Members of the public are welcome to attend a release of cleaned little blue penguins from the oiled wildlife facility - 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.
This event will represent the last significant release of the MountMaunganui penguins and is likely to be the last bird release opportunity for members of the public to attend. The majority of the remaining little blue penguins at the facility are fromMotitiIsland, making future releases less accessible to the general public.
There will be a brief speech before an Iwi representative blesses the birds, then all the birds will be released at once. It is likely they will swim away quite rapidly.
Please note this event is part of an ongoing programme of wildlife releases. Many are not 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 quickly and without being stressed.
When: 8am, Thursday 15 December
Where: Mount Maunganui main beach, next to Leisure (Moturiki) Island
What: Between 35 and 40 little blue penguins will be released back into the wild.
Numbers of birds being cared for at the oiled wildlife facility in Te Maunga (as at 13 December)
107 clean little blue penguins
2 rare New Zealand dotterels