A record number of threatened native New Zealand parrots have been released into the Abel Tasman National Park by Project Janszoon.
Twelve captive raised kākā flew from their purpose-built aviary at Bark Bay/Wairima in the heart of the park, and into the nearby trees.
It was a magical moment for some youngsters from nearby Ngatimoti School, for iwi who blessed the moment and for the volunteers who have worked hard to make it happen.
The Ngatimoti students were youth ambassadors for Project Janszoon – a private trust dedicated to conservation in the Abel Tasman National Park. They have played a key role in getting the kākā established, as 11 year-old Louie Burger explained.
“Bark Bay is our adopted section site so pretty much what we do is come out and work on it, and help to restore it.
“So today we’re coming out to help release the kākā which is really cool.”
Sophie Maxwell, also a youth ambassador said it was an important day for them.
“We’re really connected to the environment – we’re an enviro school, and I just really love the environment… I like being in it, and the kākā sort of symbolise that the national park is getting better for an illness.”