How did the Kiwi become our national symbol?

Ryan Bridge 05/04/2019

There is a Maori legend about how the kiwi lost its wings. According to Maori myth, Tane-mahuta, god of the forest, was worried about his children, the trees, as bugs and birds were eating away at them.

He consulted his brother Tane-hokahoka, god of the birds, who asked his children to come down from the forest roof and live on the floor. But the Tui was scared of the darkness on the forest floor, the Pukeko didn’t like its dampness, and every bird had another excuse.

Only the Kiwi agreed to sacrifice his beautiful wings and feathers to live on the forest floor. And as a reward, Tane-hokahoka made him the most well-known and best-loved bird of all.

But you kiwi, because of your great sacrifice, you will become the most well known and most loved bird of them all.

Watch Ryan tell the full legend above.