Media are invited to the first release of cleaned little blue penguins from the oiled wildlife facility.
Media and members of the public are welcome to attend – however, it is important to note that the welfare of the wildlife is the first priority.
There will be a strictly enforced cordon between the animals and spectators – this is to protect the birds from being alarmed by any crowds, to ensure their release goes smoothly. Please respect the cordon.
People interested in viewing the release should arrive early, as the number of clear viewing points will be limited. We will provide opportunities for the public to view subsequent penguin releases.
There will be some brief speeches before an iwi representative blesses the birds, then all the birds will be released at once. It is possible they will swim away quite rapidly.
Please note this event is part of an ongoing programme of wildlife releases. Many will not be open to the public. While we appreciate the public interest in these release events, these must be balanced by operational requirements to ensure the birds are released without being stressed.
There will be further wildlife releases over the next week or so that public and media can attend – we will let you know once we have confirmation of dates and times.
When: 10am, Tuesday 22 November
Where: Mount Maunganui main beach, next to Leisure (Moturiki) Island
Who: Representatives from central and local government, Maritime New Zealand, the National Oiled Wildlife Response Team, Department of Conservation, iwi and other supporting agencies.
What: About 60 little blue penguins will be released back into the wild.