The Department of Conservation says an intermediate school boy who killed a kea by throwing stones at it in a ski field parking area deliberately targeted the rare bird.
The boy was on a school trip with Chisnallwood Intermediate at Porters Ski Field, near Christchurch.
DoC's field centre supervisor at Arthur's Pass, Chris Stewart, says the student deliberately attacked the bird.
School principal Richard Paton says the boy is shocked and remorseful.
He says he told him he is very sorry for what happened. Mr Paton will meet with his parents on Tuesday.
Only an estimated 5000 kea - or mountain parrot - are left in New Zealand.
Under the Wildlife Act, killing kea is a criminal offence punishable by fines of up to $100,000 or six months in prison.
DoC is working with police to determine what action to take against the boy.
In the meantime the kea's body is being stored, wrapped in plastic bags, in the school staffroom fridge to be taken to DoC.
Chisnallwood Intermediate School is at Aranui, in Christchurch.