Is kiwi farming the way to save our national bird?


Currently Australia is the only country in the world that eats their national animal but could New Zealand become the second by eating kiwi?

Last week Conservation Minister Maggie Barry announced a policy that plans to turn around the dwindling number of kiwi, getting their numbers up to 100,000 by 2030.

Brand specialist Nick Baylis believes "free range kiwi" could be the next big thing, saving the bird and helping out brand "NZ".

"It's like anything, if it goes well it is fantastic so we are seen as innovative, clever and doing something out of the box. But if it goes wrong then we are murdering endangered birds," he says.

Mr Baylis says it could be a chance to create an iconic national dish.

"We can elevate the humble old kiwiburger. At the moment we've got beetroot and egg, putting a kiwi in there adds a whole new level to the kiwiburger clearly."

The founder of Brandology suggests we go for the beak to claws approach, eating everything in between.

"That's the on trend with animals, nose to tail eating so beak to claw with kiwis seems logical."

Just as the French eat frogs legs and the Chinese chicken feet, Mr Baylis says the unique eating properties of the kiwi legs and feet come from its flightless status.

He also suggests we grind the beak down and might even save another endangered animal in the process.

"The rhino horn… Imagine if you could replace rhino horn with kiwi beak!"

But he warns promotion of the product is key, adding it could all go downhill very quickly if it's not marketed right to the world.

"The key thing is that the strategy behind it has to be a key piece of the marketing; that it's about preservation not about serving up kiwis because we want to.

"The reality is if you farm these birds you've got to have a clear to-market strategy and a market that wants it. There are markets all around the world that eat unusual things as delicacies."