Rare & precious
Manukura was our very dear and precious white kiwi that hatched at Pūkaha on the 1st of May 2011. There was a lot of public interest in her because she was the first white kiwi to be hatched in captivity anywhere in the world.
North Island brown kiwi are normally born brown but Manukura was a very rare exception. She had rare genetics that meant her feathers were white even though those of both her parents were brown. Her colouration on arrival was a complete surprise to everybody including all the staff and rangers.
Media from around the world soon spread news of the special kiwi. Soon everybody wanted to come and see her. Kathy Houkamau, the Centre Manager of Pūkaha at the time, fielded so many media requests wanting a visit with the precious taonga (treasure) that she jokingly used to refer to herself as Manukura’s Personal Assistant.
A special kiwi
When Manukura was old enough she went and lived in the Kiwi House. Her popularity knew no bounds and she was instantly able to connect with adults and children from across the globe that came to see her.
A visit with Manukura left visitors feeling very uplifted. She had an aura about her that made others feel very special in her presence. Everyone that saw Manukura would smile and marvel at how wonderful she was and in turn they felt better about themselves and their lives.
The wee kiwi reminded us all that it’s okay to be different, and to just be yourself. She exuded love and in return was loved by many for her uniqueness and for being who she was. She very quickly became known around the world as The White Kiwi.
Sadly Manukura passed away peacefully after an operation to remove an infertile egg that had become stuck. The video below shares some of the stories from her life by those who knew her well.