Conservation Minister Maggie Barry hasn't ruled out putting taxpayer money towards mayoral candidate Justin Lester's campaign to reintroduce the brown kiwi to Wellington's town belts.
Five minutes from Wellington's CBD is Polhill Reserve, part of the town belt and a paradise for native birds.
"Ten to 15 years ago, the only place you would've seen tieke as a member of the public was islands like Kapiti or Tiritiri Matangi," said Paul Ward of the Polhill Restoration Group.
"Now they're in Brooklyn and Highbury backyards
And now Deputy Mayor Justin Lester wants to see a similar comeback by the national icon - the kiwi.
"We want to see kiwi come back into Wellington as well - and I think within seven years that's actually quite realistic," he said.
Mr Lester's vague on details but says his plan would cost in the tens of thousands of dollars.
"A lot of it's volunteer hours but we would fund traps for communities, for example, and make sure we promote awareness," he said.
Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says she'll put taxpayer money towards it.
"If they put a case to us, we will give them funding," she said.
She says fully grown kiwi are capable of defending themselves
"Once they get up to a kilogram in weight - which might only take a couple of months - they're quite fierce. They have sharp claws and they can fend off most predators," she said.
That means stoats and possums, but their biggest killer is man's best friend.
"Would they be able to take on a dog or a cat? I don't know about a dog, [but] a chihuahua, probably."
But kiwi don't have a breastbone, meaning a nip from even a small dog can be fatal.
In remote areas, kiwi live to up to 60-years-old. In urban areas near dogs, the average life expectancy is 14.
Lester says the council currently spends $250,000 a year on pest eradication - but experts say if the group's serious about bringing kiwi back to the capital, it might have to consider measures taken in Northland, like introducing dog and cat free subdivisions.