A recently hatched kiwi chick has been given a name that reflects its connection to the Bay of Plenty tourists whose donations have made its upbringing and care possible.
'Manuhiri', meaning 'visitor' in te reo Māori, was hatched near Tauranga last month and its carers are thankful for donations made by passengers onboard the last season of cruise ship visitors before COVID-19 closed the borders.
A call went out on Tourism Bay of Plenty's Facebook page for name suggestions after the chick's hatching and Manuhiri was chosen from among dozens.
Other names suggested:
- Kinz ( Kiwi in New Zealand )
- Kaipuke (ship, liner)
- Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbit
- Mo short for tauranga moana
- Little Matariki
"We're delighted to give this special kiwi chick such a fitting name," said Nikita Fraser of Tourism Bay of Plenty.
"The hatch of Manuhiri at the time when we would normally begin welcoming cruise passengers to our shores for the season is symbolic.
"This kiwi has reminded us of the positive impacts of tourism. Manuhiri has encouraged us to continue building towards a regenerative tourism economy that gives back to our environment."
The egg of Manuhiri was collected in September from the Ōtanewainuku Forest in Ōropi, Tauranga, and then transported to the National Kiwi Hatchery in Rotorua to incubate, and this is where Manuhiri hatched at 5pm, October 6.