Kiwi Te Iti Pounamu heads home

Kaumātua Willie Wilson and Reo Rapana along with Shona Thompson helped the Department of Conservation and Ngāti Rangi at the final Kiwi release of the season.

The rains cleared just in time for a special karakia to be held for Te Iti Pounamu or 'Junior' before he headed out into the wild back to his whanau.

The 13-year-old prolific breeder has fathered four chicks this year and one in 2014 alone and it's hoped he will do well in his transition from the Otorohanga Kiwi House to his new home in the Rotokura bush as part of the ongoing re-establishment programme.