Meridian Energy announced as National Partner of DOC’s Kākāpō Recovery Programme

Meridian Energy has today been named as the new National Partner of the Kākāpō Recovery Programme, in a partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC).

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The partnership was announced at Meridian’s Manapōuri hydro station, located in Fiordland National Park, as part of a kākāpō chick release on Pukenui/Anchor Island.

CEO Mark Binns says Meridian is delighted to be able to contribute to the ongoing conservation of the rare and iconic kākāpō.

“Kākāpō are a national treasure that need protection. Meridian is dedicated to helping protect our natural environment and we are proud to be raising awareness of the plight of these beautiful birds.”

The Kākāpō Recovery Programme is a world class conservation effort that has been in place since 1990, working to bring kākāpō back from the brink of extinction from a low of just 50 birds in 1995.

DOC’s Director-General Lou Sanson says “In a year in which our kākāpō team has hatched a record number of chicks, the Department is delighted to bring Meridian Energy on board to support the work we do in conjunction with Ngāi Tahu on the Kākāpō Recovery Programme.

“DOC’s partnership with Meridian will help us to further develop techniques in the way we manage kākāpō, through research on genetics, nutrition and disease management.”

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Tāne Davis, the Ngāi Tahu appointee to the Kākāpō Recovery Group, says kākāpō are treasured by Ngāi Tahu as a taonga species.

“Kākāpō are part of our tribal identity and it’s wonderful to see that Meridian values them too.”

Kākāpō are native to New Zealand and are listed as a critically endangered species, with only 158 known surviving birds as of June 2016.

The Kākāpō Recovery Programme supports breeding populations on three predator-free islands: Whenua Hou/Codfish Island, off Stewart Island; Pukenui/Anchor Island in southwest Fiordland; and Hauturu/Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf.

For more information on the partnership visit the Meridian Energy website www.meridianenergy.co.nz/kakapo

For more on DOC’s Kākāpō Recovery Programme visit www.kakaporecovery.org.nz

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Contacts:

Meridian: External Communications Philippa Norman 021 707 854 philippa.norman@meridianenergy.co.nz
DOC: National Media Advisor Leigh-Anne Wiig 04 495 8629 lwiig@doc.govt.nz

Images:
Credit: Angelo Giannoutsos

  1. DOC threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki and Manapōuri site manager John Twidle with kākāpō at Manapōuri power station.
  2. Kākāpō in viewing enclosure at Manapōuri power station.
  3. Kākāpō are transported by helicopter to Manapōuri power station en route to Pukenui/Anchor Island.