TODAY |

Meet the Coromandel guardian angel who has helped save hundreds of kiwi chicks

Paula Williams is doing incredible things for kiwi in the Coromandel, collecting eggs and hatchlings and caring for them before releasing them into the wild.

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Paula Williams is doing incredible things for kiwi in the Coromandel. She reckons she’s been living the dream. Source: Seven Sharp

Thanks to her efforts with Project Kiwi, the Kuaotunu Peninsula, 15 minutes up the road from Whītīana, has become the backdrop for a great kiwi comeback.

So far, 60 kiwis have been saved in the last four years, and over 500 in the last 11, increasing their survival rate to up to 70%.

"I think if I didn't do this as a job, I would definitely volunteer," Ms Williams told Seven Sharp reporter Tamati Rimene-Sproat.

Before taking the little birds under her wing, Ms Williams was looking after another type of Kiwi youngster – as a school teacher.

"I don't think I could ever go back teaching, only because my own children are exhausting enough."

Ms Morrison moved to the Coromandel from Kerikeri 11 years ago to live on her father-in-law's private beach and manage the project.

She said they're lucky they "found this space not at retirement".

"It means that I can be a good mum and do everything for my kids, and then come home, jump on my quad or jump on my computer and do my work and so meet all of those targets.

"Life could definitely be worse."