Kaikohe farmer offering sanctuary to Kiwi birds

Rural Exchange 04/11/2018

Every week, RadioLIVE’s Rural Exchange uncovers the unique stories of our people on the land in a segment called ‘Character of the Country’ - and we want you, our listeners, to be involved in nominating them.

A text we recieved last week nominated a man who has been working passionately in Kaikohe building a Kiwi sanctuary on his dairy farm.

Roger Hutchings has over 100 hectares of native bush on his dairy farm, hence the strong Kiwi population.

"Over time we've gotten actively involved in pest control and that population is really starting to flourish now. We have around about 40 birds," he says.

Mr Hutching and his wife Jane were also supreme winners of the Northland Balance Farm Environment Awards in 2014, and he says they didn't enter to win.

We entered to tell a positive story that a reasonable scale dairy farm can co-exist with the environment.

"We've got large areas of native bush, we've got a healthy kiwi population, all our bush, water and wetlands are fenced off," he told Rural Exchange.

"The two can actually go hand in hand, and neither has to suffer because of the other."

If that isn't enough to make Roger a deserving Character of the Country, he's also a multi-sport athlete.

Mr Hutching competed in the Northern Crossing - a coast-to-coast race from Opononi to Kerikeri.

In his best year, he placed 6th overall and won his age group.

If you know a 'Character of the Country' nominate them by emailing rex@radiolive.co.nz

Watch the full interview with Roger Hutchings above.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.