Posted 14 months ago | By Latitude Homes
Latitude Homes are proud building sponsors of a new, exciting and heart-warming initiative; a transit lounge at New Zealand’s famous Kiwi House in Otorohanga.
This transit lounge is an essential part of the successful introduction of kiwi from being raised in captivity to being released into the wild. This custom design and build enclosure was launched on the 3rd of May and is a part of a larger $8M improvement plan for the park.
Our Waikato and King Country teams with a little help from the CEO, General Manager and even a couple of ‘ring- ins’ from marketing, came together to build the transit lounge over a two-day period during the 1st and 2nd of May 2021.
The Otorohanga Kiwi House is located in the Waikato region (just south of Hamilton) and has been conserving kiwi and other New Zealand native species since 1971.
This famous Otorohanga Kiwi House is home to over twenty brown kiwi on-site as a part of a nationwide captive breeding programme. These kiwis come from near and far; including brown kiwi from the Northland, western and eastern provinces.
The younger kiwi can be seen on display, in their specially designed nocturnal enclosures. Visitors to the park can see the kiwi during the day as they bathe in ponds and nestle their way through native plants, leaf litter and soil.
When the kiwi reach a breeding age, they are moved to an off-display enclosure nearby. This enclosure is much larger, sharing very similar living conditions as the wild, giving the kiwi the freedom required to raise their chicks.
Our South Waikato/King Country franchise holders, Lee and Ross Hughey, have recently opened offices in Otorohanga and, in partnership with the Waikato franchise holders, Darrin and Sue Payne, are very excited to be able to work with the Otorohanga Kiwi House to create this essential asset for them.
Latitude Homes CEO Marc Hunter says, “This is a great example of showcasing what our brand is all about. With our tagline being, “Where Kiwis find comfort”, we are delighted to sponsor the materials and build the literal embodiment of this sentiment for our little kiwi friends at the Otorohanga Kiwi House”.
Latitude Homes proudly contributed all of the materials and labour to see this project completed and are beyond happy with the final result. A handful of our franchise owners will be present for the launch of the brand new facility, to watch the first lucky kiwi enjoy its new lounge before being released into the wild.
One of the challenges of the build was that all of the materials had to be carried on to the site which was set on a sloping section in the bush behind predator proof fencing. Day one required a fair share of heavy lifting to get the framing to the site but by mid morning the facility had already started to take shape.
Like the custom-made homes we build for everyday kiwis, this new build was to be no different. The team at Latitude Homes successfully met the brief of designing a comfortable enclosure for the kiwis to be assessed and treated in before their journey into the wild and are proud to contribute to such a great kiwi initiative.
A curious fact about the kiwi is that they are little metal detectors and love to rummage around to find anything metallic on the ground. Unfortunately this is yet another danger for our little national treasure as swallowing anything metallic is detrimental to their health.
This meant that the team had to be extra vigilant during the build, every nail and every staple used had to be counted and accounted for, even when drilling the roofing there was someone at hand with the vacuum cleaner to ensure that no metal shavings would go astray. The team could possibly be up for tidiest worksite of the year award.
The transit lounge will remain at the Otorohanga Kiwi House permanently and is a key part of the successful care of kiwi before their release. If you haven’t already, we encourage people to visit the Kiwi House to see if you can spot a kiwi finding comfort before they transition into the wild.
For more information on the Otorohanga Kiwi House and their residing kiwis, visit http://kiwihouse.org.nz/
You too can make a difference for our kiwis and their way of living.
The Otorohanga Kiwi House is a non-profit organisation and operates solely off admissions to the park, memberships and donations.
Help support essential research and breeding programmes for kiwi and other endangered native birds and reptiles by donating today.