In the wake of Cyclone Gabrielle, many kiwi conservation projects are still getting out there assessing any damage they may have sustained. Below is an update on kiwi conservation work in some of the affected areas.

Last updated: 28 February 2023

Western region

Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary

The Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary sustained serious tree damage, with many trees falling down including some onto the pest-free perimeter fence. The fence was damaged in parts and Wairakei’s maintenance team got right onto clearing trees and setting up temporary barriers. Special thanks must go to James, Craig, and the team from Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari who raced down to Wairakei almost immediately to start repairing the fence. The Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary team, including arborists and loggers, continue to assess damage across the rest of the golf course.

Together with Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary, our teams are implementing an incursion plan including additional trapping and camera monitoring to identify if any predators got into the sanctuary while the fence was damaged, and target them appropriately. We can only hope that nothing got in, but we must assume that something did until proven otherwise. Thank you to Epro Ltd who have given up some of their time to help fix and rebait traps.

Some trees fell onto the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow but damage was minimal. Inside, none of the seven eggs or 12 chicks onsite at the time were harmed. Last Friday, all chicks were temporarily removed from the facility while arborists cleared the trees, and now it’s business as usual at the Burrow.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari sustained some damage, including losses to approximately 25 metres of their predator-proof perimeter fence. Maungatautari happened to have a fencing contracting team onsite pre-cyclone in preparation for takahē being released into the sanctuary in the coming months, so that team was quickly able to refocus their attention to repairing the fence.

Almost immediately, Maungatautari’s fencing team headed to Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary to assist the team there with repairing their fence.


The kiwi creche at Rotokare is relatively unscathed, with some small branches falling onto the fence but not damaging it. We have heard reports that Tongariro has lost a lot of forest but to which extent and what that impact could have on kiwi is currently.


Eastern region

Napier kiwi creche

The team at the Napier kiwi creche had a good evacuation plan in case they needed it, but the predator-proof fence around the runs remained intact, no flooding was sustained, and all chicks onsite at the time were unimpacted.

Cape Sanctuary

After recent storms, Cape Sanctuary had already carried out extensive fencing reinforcement work, which meant they sustained no damage to the fence during Cyclone Gabrielle.

Maungataniwha & Pohokura

Maungataniwha’s roading has been extensively damaged and it is expected that roading repairs could take months. Pohokura has sustained some wind damage.

Tangoio and Opouahi creches

The predator-proof ring fence at Tangoio is relatively new. Their perimeter fence has sustained no damage and this has been a good test for them. At Opouahi, chicks have been uplifted and taken to Cape Sanctuary where they’ll stay until further notice.


Hauraki/Coromandel & Northland regions

The biggest issue both Northland and Hauraki regions currently face is access to check traplines. Some projects are reporting that while their traps are still intact, access to check them or carry out any repairs is very limited. A trend is also emerging that traps that have been placed near waterways are likely to have been washed away. Much of the Coromandel peninsula is made up of steep terrain which is likely to have been impacted by slips, which may have resulted in the loss of traps.