In September 2016 I visited Kerikeri to check out ideas and locations for a kiwi story. Here are some of the photos that helped my thinking about the story.
Kerikeri was first settled by Europeans 200 years ago, one of the earliest settlements in the country.
And while most of the native forests have been felled over the last 200 years, there are pine forests that seem to suit some kiwi just as well, although special care needs to be taken at harvesting time.
Even though the land surrounding the town is intensely developed for agriculture and horticulture there are still pockets of scrub and bush suitable for kiwi.
The Brown Kiwi is doing better around Kerikeri than in most of the rest of the country, which means that school children no longer see kiwi only in zoos or glass cases; some may be roaming near to their schools at night.
Unfortunately they also go on the roads at night, which is a major cause of kiwi deaths.
Although not everything killed on the roads is cause for alarm. This adult male stoat is sure to have killed and eaten kiwi chicks.
The opening scene in the story has a feral pig on the run around the streets of Kerikeri. This was inspired by this real event:
Another major source of ideas came from newspaper articles, some of which are listed below.
A major source of tension in the story is exploding batteries on dog-tracking collars.
The tracking-collars used in the story are illegal because they interfere with the safety at logging camps within the Waitangi Forest. I got this idea from:
There's a tendency to think that kiwi-killing dogs will be fierce animals. This is not usually true; often they are family pets, some of them real cute. These articles give information on how killers around Kerikeri were detected.
Much is being done to help kiwi recover all over Aotearoa. These are some of the articles that I found helpful: