Kiwi Trip: Piki-Maunga

Friday March 29th 2019, six rangatahi and four pahake from Ngaa Rauru Kiitahi repatriated a Kiwi from Puukaha to Maunga Tautari, Waikato Tainui. The Kiwi was rescued alongside a kiwi egg from a farm in Waverley and transferred and nurtured by the staff at Puukaha. Ngaa Rauru named the Kiwi ‘Piki-Maunga’.


The journey began on the Friday morning when Matt Lowrie and Kiela Te Awhe collected Piki-Maunga after a special karakia was given by Rangitane kaumatua at Puukaha.  Once Piki-Maunga was safely stowed for transportation in Kaela’s ute (along with 3 pig dogs and a wild pig on the back), Matt and Kiela then met the rest of our ope accompanying Piki-Maunga to his new location in Marton. The pig dogs and their catch came along for a ride and became quite an attraction for people whilst on the hiikoi to Waikato with many tourists taking photos of the wild pig on the back of Kaela's ute. 


Leaving Marton, our ope headed to Taupo where we met the Tumu Whakarae, Mike Neho and had lunch together before continuing on our hiikoi to Maunga Tautari.   Arriving at Maunga Tautari our ope gathered for the Poowhiri. Piki-Maunga was carried in his box by one of the rangatahi while being called on to the Maunga. Once the poowhiri was over, Matt explain to the hau kainga that Ngaa Rauru had named the Kiwi ‘Piki-Maunga’.

“Nga Rauru named him Piki-Maunga because he travelled from Nga Rauru to Taranaki all the way to Maunga Tautari so basically ‘climbing our mountains between us” Matt exclaimed.


Following these discussions, Piki-Maunga was taken away to be checked by the Sanctuary Mountain staff. While Piki-Maunga was being checked the ope had a Kai and met some of the staff who work at Sanctuary Mountain. Piki-Maunga came back to see all those who had travelled with him and was taken out of his box to meet the people. The Hau kainga provided Karakia while Piki-Maunga was being taken out of the box.

The Sanctuary staff then explained where Piki-Maunga would be taken, what they were going to do with him all the while,  a staff member held him and walked around to show everyone. He is very little and very cute. A few of us then went down to where Piki-Maunga was going to live. Going through several locked gates, on our way to take Piki-Maunga to his habitat, we saw some Takahe.

Everyone then gathered around Piki-Maunga’s habitat to release him. While releasing him the Hau Kainga offered a karakia followed by a karanga. Everyone then made their way back up to the staff room and had a bit of a korero before leaving. Then we said a mihi to Sanctuary Mountain staff and headed back home. It was a very fast process and was a great experience. I really enjoyed it and feel privileged to have been a part of Piki-Maunga’s journey to Sanctuary Mountain.

Click here to see images from the Kiwi Trip

Article written by: Levani Pari (Kai Iwi Marae)