Kiwi Release

‘Turua’ 21 day old female kiwi, weight 392g, released on Motuora 2/03/2018

Walking to kiwi release site

Three more North Island brown kiwi raised in the Kiwi for Kiwis Auckland zoo programme have been released on Motuora. On Friday 2nd March Turua (beautiful) a 21 day old female kiwi was ferried from Sandspit on the Norma Jean along with zoo staff, Department of Conservation staff, Motuora Restoration Committee members plus several supporters of Kiwi for Kiwis.

These kiwi are left on Motuora until they are mature when they are returned to Northland to breed. However they do so well on Motuora that some kiwi have started to breed on Motuora so there is a thriving kiwi population on the island.

Paul O’Shea about to release Turua

Two more kiwi were released on Tuesday 6th March. Paul O’Shea from the Kiwis for Kiwis zoo programme provided the following images and report:

Turn The Tide On Plastic visit to Motuora Island to assist with releasing kiwi chicks. Photo © Beau Outteridge / Turn The Tide On Plastic

Crew from the Volvo Ocean Race “Turn the Tide on Plastic” team joined staff from Department of Conservation, Kiwis for kiwi, Auckland Zoo & ATEED (Auckland Tourism Events and Environment) on a kiwi release on Motuora Island on the 6th of March. Two kiwi were released on the day – the first Moana Nui named by mana whenua for Motuora Island Ngāti Manuhiri. The name is in reference to the seaway north east of Whāngaparāoa, known to Ngāti Manuhiri as Te Moana Nui ō Toi (the Great Sea of Toi) – in which of course Motuora (Te Mau Tohorā ā Manaia) is located. The name Te Moana Nui ō Toi itself honours the famous early Māori ancestor and voyager Toi Te Huatahi. Moana Nui weighed in at 473 grams and was 29 days old and definitely the more feisty of the two kiwi.

Turn The Tide On Plastic visit to Motuora Island to assist with releasing kiwi chicks. Photo © Beau Outteridge / Turn The Tide On Plastic

The team from Turn the Tide on Plastic decided to name the second kiwi released (and brother to the kiwi that was released on Friday) Mōhio which is the te reo Māori word for wisdom and named after the Volvo Ocean Race’s albatross mascot named wisdom. Mōhio was 31 days old and 447 grams.

1988 Survey of Flora and Fauna on Motuora

John Stewart, Chairperson of Motuora Restoration Society has located a report of a careful survey of the Flora and Fauna on Motuora that was conducted by John Dowding and 11 members of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand on 29th July 1988. This thorough report details the 14 ferns, 125 higher plants, 45 bird species and 1 species of lizard observed on Motuora between August 1987 and July 1988.

A pdf copy of this report is available by clicking HERE. Please note that all information on the Motuora Restoration Society’s web site is covered by a Creative Commons Provision that allows fair use of any content on our web site when used with accurate acknowledgement of source.

jpeg of first page of typed report detailing results of survey of flora and fauna on Motuora in 1988

Pycroft’s Petrel News from John Stewart

Pycroft’s Petrel Chick, photo J. Stewart

We have more good news from Motuora as we continue to record birds arriving back on the Island, pairing up and laying eggs. Last year we had one pair lay our first egg which subsequently hatched but, sadly, the chick died a few weeks before it was due to fledge. This year we are delighted to already have four pairs occupying nest boxes and incubating their single eggs. Three of these pairs occupied the same boxes last year, but the fourth pair has occupied a box for the first time and laid an egg.

So far this year we have at least 13 birds attending the colony, eight of these are the birds with eggs and, of the other five, one was recorded in box 74 last year and the other four are new, one from the 2013 transfer, one from the 2014 transfer and our first two from the 2015 transfer. This is the first season that we can expect to have returning birds from the 2015 transfer. One of our breeding birds is number D207311 which is in box 86. This bird was our first returner which we discovered on 28th December 2015 and it hasn’t been recorded since then until it was found in the box with an egg.

Thanks are due to our enthusiastic volunteers monitoring progress on the Island including Karin Gouldstone, Ngaire Skelton, Kay Milton, Eva and Juan Fernandez, and Morag and Simon Fordham.

John Stewart

Pycroft’s Petrel Photo J Stewart

MRS Membership & Support

Please support the Motuora Restoration Society

In the 1990s when The Motuora Restoration Society was established the Committee expressed their hopes for the future as:

It is our dream that future generations will enjoy a forest alive with native birds, reptiles and insects.

As you can see from the above 2015 satelite image, native bush now cloaks Motuora. This remarkable transformation of Motuora from farm to a treasured bush clad island and a developing sanctuary for native birds, insects, reptiles and plants depends on the volunteer and financial support of members and friends of the Motuora Restoration Society.

The Motuora Restoration Society depends on members and friends to help us protect and continue our dream for Motuora by assisting with on-going weeding, growing plants from seed, infill and canopy tree planting, track clearance and the specialised tasks associated with seabird, reptile and wetapunga translocation. So we still require people to volunteer for our workday trips to Motuora.

So please join our workdays if you can.

But we also need funds to pay for species translocations, boat trips to Motuora, weeding of cliff site, potting mix and tools for track clearing etc. So please renew your membership of Motuora or become a new member or make a donation.


You can renew your MRS membership on-line by paying into our bank account but please complete the Particulars and Reference details as listed so we know to whom to send receipts.
IF PAYING BY CHEQUE please make cheque payable to  Motuora Restoration Society and post with your contact details to:

Membership Secretary, Motuora Restoration Society (Inc.)
PO Box 100-132, NSMC, Auckland 0745
Subscription        $______($25 full or $5 student)
Donation             $______
Total Enclosed:    $______

IF PAYING BY INTERNET BANKING please use the Motuora Restoration Society Account Number: 02-0480-0126517-00 and include following details:

Particulars:  Your family name or Organisation Name

Code:          SUB    for membership

DON    for Donation

SUBD     for Membership & Donation

STU    for Student Membership

Reference: Your current Membership ID if known from a recent e-mail.
AND PLEASE e-mail: for receipt if you use Internet Banking.

 Please note the mrsadmin e-mail is temporarily out of action as we are moving our website to another host.

This is what Motuora looked like last century:

 And here is a beautiful image of Motuora taken in 2012 by Toby Shanley when he and his partner Sian Potier were managing Motuora for MRS.

So please continue to help us protect and nurture Motuora.

Bruce Ross, Membership Secretary

MRS Annual General Meeting



The Motuora Restoration Society’s AGM
to be held on
Sunday, 28th May 2017

at Red Cross Hall, 33a Silverdale St,

Silverdale at 1.30 p.m. (Opposite St Johns Hall)


  1. Minutes of May 2016 AGM
  2. Matters arising from Minutes
  3. Financial Report
  4. Chairperson’s Annual Report
  5. Election of Officers/Committee Members*
  6. Subscriptions for the 2017/2018 financial year
  7. Any other business

*The officers of the Society comprise the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary, and the Constitution calls for at least two other committee members.  Nominations for all these positions will be accepted by mail, to be received by the Secretary at PO Box 100132 North Shore, Auckland 0745, by Thursday 25 May 2017 Nominations will also be accepted from the floor at the meeting.  All nominees, proposers and seconders must be financial members of the Society.

After the formal AGM John Stewart, MRS Chairperson, will show slides and talk about the success of the Pycroft’s Petrel translocation to Motuora.

A pdf copy of our April 2017 Newsletter can be downloaded here.