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HTL help Kiwi chicks fight for survival
26th January 2014

HTL Insurance are helping Beaudy the kiwi chick to beef up before his return to Taranaki.

Beaudy the kiwi chick has snagged himself a corporate sponsor to help him beef up before his return to Taranaki.

The chick hatched at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park at the weekend after arriving at the hatchery two months ago as a very young egg discovered in Taranaki's eastern hill country.

Expected not to survive, the plucky chick defied the odds and hatched on his own, leading to staff naming him for Taranaki All Black Beauden Barrett.

Beaudy, aka Beau, currently weighs just under 300 grams and needs to reach 1 kilogram before he can leave the kiwi park and be released back into the wild.

HTL Insurance in New Plymouth has offered to sponsor Beaudy, beating a handful of others who had approached the East Taranaki Environment Trust for the honour.

Senior adviser at HTL Insurance Lyall Bunn said he had planned to get involved with the trust over the past few months and Beau had arrived at the right time.

"I wanted to get involved, and then this came along and we said: Let's do it."

Fittingly, Mr Bunn also has ties to the kiwi chick's namesake.

"I used to play footy with Beauden's dad and watched him grow up."

Mr Bunn owns about 600 hectares of land at Tarata where he plans to start predator control.

"We do have kiwi out there but probably not as many as we should," Mr Bunn said.

East Taranaki Environmental Trust member Karen Schumacher said she had received a number of calls from people wanting to sponsor Beau and get involved in the kiwi project.

She said it was a relief to know his future was secure.

"There's that time and effort to get him to where he is now and allow him to stay there until he's a kilogram in weight."

Lou Eaton, in charge of HTL Insurance's marketing, said she had not realised how many kiwi lived in the wild in Taranaki.

Ms Eaton said they were happy to support such a worthy cause.

"It's about gaining awareness that there are things you can do in your own backyard that make a difference.

"I think we should do a road trip and go and see him," she added.