Three Kiwi Tales: More fabulous fix-it stories from Wildbase Hospital


Three Kiwi Tales: More fabulous fix-it stories from Wildbase Hospital


Kiwi conservation is a live issue. Over the past 100 years, kiwi numbers have been in rapid decline and urgent, ongoing action around predator control and habitat protection is required if the trend is to be reversed.

Janet Hunt is an acclaimed natural history and children’s author, who, in Three Kiwi Tales, highlights the alarming threat to our national icon by introducing young readers and their caregivers to three special kiwi: Latitude, Raratoka and Piwi. Hunt also pays tribute to the dedicated teams of people all over New Zealand, who are working together to save kiwi.

Treated by the expert team at Wildbase Hospital in Palmerston North, specialists in caring for our precious native birds and animals, Hunt shares the poignant stories of the feisty trio in her delightful new book, Three Kiwi Tales.  We learn about the rescue of a North Island brown kiwi egg and its subsequent hatching (Latitude); the South Island tokoeka from Haast with a
damaged bill, which required innovative thinking from the Wildbase team to fix (Raratoka); and the story of a small brown kiwi (Piwi), who broke his leg — twice. Piwi needed multiple surgeries and rehabilitation to fully recover, including walking on a treadmill!

Alongside these inspiring stories, Hunt shares the fascinating history, physiology and habitat of kiwi, and the wider issue of conservation, including the work of Operation Nest Egg and the Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery Centre, which opened this year. This purpose-built facility means that patients like Latitude and Piwi have somewhere to live while they recover their strength. See Editors Notes for full information.

Hunt also reveals the challenges and triumphs of caring for New Zealand’s unique national icon, alongside the innovative approaches that are being taken with the treatment and rehabilitation of kiwi, to ensure their successful return to the wild.

Three Kiwi Tales is the follow-up to the hugely successful How to Mend a Kea and replicates the educative narrative and high production values: lively text, wonderful photographs, compelling design. It is sure to delight readers young and old — not least all those budding vets and conservationists.


Janet Hunt is one of New Zealand’s best-known natural history writers, both for adults and children. Her books include: How to Mend a Kea (2017), which was a Storylines Notable Book in 2018; A Bird in the Hand: Keeping New Zealand Wildlife Safe (2003), Book of the Year and Best in Non-Fiction at the 2004 New Zealand Post Book Awards and the Elsie Locke Award
at the LIANZA Children’s Book Awards in 2004; and Wetlands of New Zealand: A Bitter-sweet Story (2007), which won the Montana Medal for Non-Fiction at the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

Wildbase Hospital was established in 2002 and is part of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical
Sciences at Massey University in Palmerston North. It is also a training hospital for vets, technicians and nurses. They work closely with DOC, vet clinics, bird rescue centres, wildlife parks and sanctuaries, and the general

Operation Nest Egg (O.N.E.) began in 1994 to help counter the impact of predation. Under this scheme, kiwi
eggs are lifted from nests in the forest around day 60 and taken to hatcheries around New Zealand. Kiwi are
returned to the forest when they are large enough to fend off stoats.

The Wildbase Recovery Centre is owned by the Palmerston North City Council and co-managed by Massey
University’s veterinary school. For further information:

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