Special mission to rescue unhatched kiwi after brutal cold snap

The blizzard that nailed the central North Island last week has also hampered kiwi conservation efforts.

Kiwi eggs nearing hatching time were meant to be recovered from Maungataniwha last week until the snow blew in.

A week after the big snow much of inland Hawke's Bay remains frozen, making it hard to access kiwi eggs which need to be moved to safety.

"We're dealing with nature and sometimes nature throws a bit of a wobbly," says Pete Shaw from the Forest Lifeforce Restoration Trust.

The roads in are blocked by snow and fallen branches but the eggs need removing before the chicks hatch.

"They're so vulnerable, they can hardly walk...a stoat could come up and nail them just like that," says Barry Crene from the Maungataniwha Kiwi Project.

Some Kiwi eggs were meant to be recovered from inland Hawke's Bay last week, that is, until the snow blew in. Source: 1 NEWS

Experts track the movements of the nocturnal kiwi and when signals from a transmitter say the male bird has moved off his nest the eggs can be safely retrieved.

When the healthy eggs are removed from the nest it's a careful ride back to base before a flight north the next day.

The final destination is Rotorua's kiwi encounter where the chicks will hopefully hatch and later be returned to the hills when they're big enough to fend off predators.