A brown kiwi whose leg was caught in a possum trap has been safely returned to her home after rehabilitation.
Wendy Sporle with Owhata the kiwi.
Local hapu, Kiwis for kiwi and Department of Conservation gathered at Mangamuka Marae in the far north to celebrate the release of Owhata back into the wild.
An electricity company worker discovered Owhata caught in the leg hold trap on September 28 and saved her life by rushing her to a Kaitaia vet for treatment.
Veterinarian Lesley Baigent said she was lucky to survive.
"She was in a very bad state," Ms Baigent said.
"She was dehydrated, her foot was cold and she was quiet, which is a bad sign because female kiwis are usually very stroppy."
Hours after Owhata was found in a trap, another young male kiwi was found nearby in another, and though he was flown to Massey University's Wildbase Hospital, he had to be euthanised due to his injuries.
Owhata, however, responded well to treatment and was eventually sent to be rehabilitated by Wendy Sporle, who runs a rehab centre for kiwi in Kaitaia and has been working with the birds for 30 years.
"I really care about kiwi and acknowledge just how special they are," Ms Sporle said.
"It's vital that we all learn how to better protect them from both dogs and traps."
She said that seeing Owhata returned to the wild healthy on October 11 made all the effort worthwhile.