Hero image

Some heroes wear feathers

How an unusual project is benefiting Aucklanders in need.

Publish Date : 04 Jul 2018
Gt Barrier chickens 1
GBI chicken release 2
GBI chickens 4
GBI chickens 3

Heroes come in many shapes and sizes; in this case the form of feathery fowls.



A team of chickens on a mission hunting down plague skinks on Aotea Great Barrier as part of an Auckland Council biosecurity experiment are now giving the Auckland community an egg-cellent gift as well.

An island full of chickens leaves behind a fair few eggs. To avoid scrambling Great Barrier, Auckland Council has organised sending the eggs to the Auckland City Mission.

“We were delighted to be approached by Auckland Council with the opportunity to get a regular supply of eggs,” says Chris Farrelly, Auckland City Missioner.

“In the past 12 months the Mission has provided 15,000 emergency food parcels to families and individuals. The food parcels contain staple items to help make meals for around 4 days. To be able to include such a great source of protein as eggs in the food parcels is absolutely amazing.”

SeaLink, the Great Barrier ferry service, was happy to crack open the hold for a good cause, carrying the eggs from the island to the mainland.

“Our role in this coup is to provide regular ferry transportation for the eggs from Great Barrier Island to Auckland. The team at SeaLink are thrilled the eggs from the Great Barrier community are being used to help another community through the Auckland City Missions”, says SeaLink’s Marketing Manager, Glenys Henry.

Mayor Phil Goff is enthusiastic about the solution.

“It’s a great matchup and a win-win,” he says. “We’re getting rid of pesky Aussie invaders and helping vulnerable Auckland families.

“We work closely with Chris Farrelly and the team at the City Mission to help those who are struggling in our city. They do great work and it’s fantastic that we can provide more help by providing healthy food."

Gt Barrier chickens Goff
City Missioner Chris Farrelly & Mayor Phil Goff

Between the chooks’ skink-hunting and food-parcels, we really have to appreciate their community spirit.  

So here’s a cheer – or cluck – for the feathered guys!

You can also watch more on the showdown between chickens and skinks on the TVNZ Breakfast Show and The Project.

Pest Free Green


Back to News