Five juvenile kiwi are cruising their new neighbourhood as they settle into the Hunua Ranges.
However, they are without one of their mates. Six kiwi were initially going to be released on Friday 31 March, however it was discovered the sixth bird had an infection. She is recovering in Rotorua and will join her companions soon.
The group of North Island brown kiwi were released around dusk, ready for their first wild night.
Mayor Phil Goff released his charge, who he named Te Whai – he arrived at the name with the help of the public.
Local iwi representatives released the remaining four birds.
Earlier in the day the party was welcomed at Wharekawa Marae by local iwi.