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Kōkako 2018

Kōkako. Image: David Cook.

Welcome to Kōkako - restoring bird song to Mt Pirongia. This field trip takes place on 19-21 June 2018 and is supported by the Ministry of Education/Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, WWF New Zealand, Mount Pirongia Te Aroaro o Kahu Restoration Society and Waipa District CouncilEnrol now.


On this field trip you will help return kōkako to Mt Pirongia. You will work alongside an ecologist to safely capture kōkako from the remote Pureora Forest and care for them while they are transported and released on Mt Pirongia.

In the early 1900s kōkako were common in forests all over New Zealand but 90 years later, there were just 330 breeding pairs left. The haunting song of kōkako was destined to disappear. In the 1990s a public campaign had the last of the kōkako on Mt Pirongia removed so they wouldn't die out. Kōkako were seriously declining in number across the North Island as logging, land clearance and predators all took their toll. Hard work by scientists, the Department of Conservation, iwi and community groups over the past 20 years is helping kōkako numbers recover.

Join us on this field trip to celebrate 20 years of hard work to bring kōkako back to their maunga and see how you too can help restore birdsong to your local area.

Meet Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher.
Meet Shelley the LEARNZ field trip teacher

Watch the introductory video - on Vimeo.


You will fly into Hamilton and drive 130km south, to Pureora Forest Park near Lake Taupo. Pureora forest was protected from logging in 1978 and is recognised as one of the finest rain forests in the world, with trees over 1,000 years old. Then you will follow the journey of translocated kōkako from Pureora to Mt Pirongia/Pirongia-o-Te Aroaro-ō-Kahu, which is an extinct volcano reaching 959 m above sea level making it the highest point in the Waikato.

Field Trip Plan - Term 1 2018

Monday 18 June

Travel Day 

Read the diary about the weather affected travel from Dunedin to Pureora Village to begin the Kōkako virtual field trip. Read the ambassador updates and find out how they coped with over seven hours of delayed flights.

Tuesday 19 June

Kōkako recovery

Explore the remote and ancient Pureora Forest. Work with ecologist Dave Bryden and watch the videos to see how he safely captures kōkako. Read the diary about translocating kōkako from Pureora to Mount Pirongia. Read the ambassador updates and watch the recorded web conference.

Wednesday 20 June

Returning kōkako back to Mt Pirongia

Watch the videos to find out about where kōkako live and what threatens their survival. Read the diary to discover more about the work done by locals and scientists to help save this species. Watch the recorded web conference and read the ambassador updates

Thursday 21 June

Restoring Mt Pirongia

Watch the videos at Pūrekireki Marae and find out how iwi have helped restore Mount Pirongia. Read the diary about the importance of kōkako and how they have been returned to their maunga. Watch the recorded web conference and read the ambassador updates.

What's New

Monday 18 June Newsletter 3 sent to all enrolled classes. 

Monday 21 May

The Kōkako background pages and their easy reading versions and student activities are now online.

Monday 21 May

The Kōkako field trip website is now online.

The LEARNZ Team think that joining the NZASE and staying connected through the NZ Science Teacher will help you become a better teacher of science.

  Ministry of Education   WWF New Zealand  Mount Pirongia Restoration Society        Waipa District Council        WRC