Call to replace NZ symbol with soaring seabird

2:52 pm on 10 September 2017

A seabird conservation group is calling for a bird that can actually fly to replace the kiwi as the country's national symbol.

Chris Gaskin would like to see the Buller's shearwater (left) replace the kiwi as New Zealand's national symbol.

Chris Gaskin would like to see the Buller's shearwater (left) replace the kiwi as New Zealand's national symbol. Photo: 123RF / Supplied

The Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust said flightless kiwis didn't represent the intrepid travellers New Zealanders are.

Its co-founder Chris Gaskin is throwing his support behind the Buller's shearwater, also known as the rako, to be the new national emblem.

"Having a seabird as a national bird is far more representative of who we are and where we are, we're an outward looking nation, we like travelling."

He hoped having a seabird as the new symbol would also raise awareness about them.

But Mr Gaskin said he knew a lot of New Zealanders felt a connection to the word kiwi and that would be hard to change.

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