Kiwi and the Bank of New Zealand
The bank has long had an association with the kiwi, including some of the earliest representations of the kiwi as a New Zealand icon. BNZ used an image of the kiwi on its early bank notes, on the banks official seal, and later the kiwi was incorporated on the banks official coat of arms. The image of a kiwi has also been carved into bank furniture and used in building ornamentation.
Reinforcing this connection, the bank has worked together with DOC and other organisation’s to protect and increase the population of kiwi in New Zealand.
In 1991 BNZ formed a partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC), together with Forest & Bird to prevent the extinction of kiwi on mainland New Zealand.
In 2002, building on this partnership BNZ and DOC established BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust in 2002 to increase the kiwi population, protect its habitat and maintain its genetic diversity.
In another initiative BNZ Operation Nest Egg took kiwi eggs from the wild and hatched them in order to increase their chances of survival. Once the kiwi chicks weighed 300-400 grams, they were released on predator-free crèche islands. At 1 kilogram kiwi can fight off predators, such as stoats and wild cats. On 17 February 2008 the 1000th BNZ Operation Nest Egg chick was hatched at Kiwi Encounter, Rotorua. The chick was named Hūpai, meaning to overcome.
In 2015 the BNZ sponsorship for kiwis for kiwi ended after 22 years of support, during that time BNZ had contributed more than $12 million to kiwi conservation.