New Taupo kiwi hatchery set to boost conservation efforts

A fledgling kiwi hatchery near Taupo is set to dramatically boost efforts to save the national bird from extinction.

In the new purpose-built incubation facility at Kiwis for Kiwi, opening on Monday, the state-of-the-art incubators and new brooding boxes are set to revolutionise kiwi conservation.

Kiwis for Kiwi executive director Michelle Impey said the facility should be able to look after 150 eggs per year.

"That will almost double what's being done on the North Island when we're up to capacity," she said.

Chicks cared for at the facility have a 70 percent chance of reaching adulthood, compared with just 5 percent for those born in the wild.

Kiwi keeper Bev Wilkinson said although it sounds like a broken record, the birds won't survive on their own.

Cameras fitted in brooding boxes allow keepers to keep up with what the chicks are doing, including one who had a tantrum over his dinner.

"He didn't like our cooking that night, so we just changed the consistency of his food and made it easier for him to eat, I guess," Wilkinson said.

In the last days when eggs are likely to hatch, he said it's like the birds are "running a marathon" and they want out.

But when they do decide to come out, this next generation of kiwi will have a much-needed leg up.