Story: Kiore – Pacific rats

Loading kiore bait

This helicopter is loading poison bait to eradicate kiore from Little Barrier Island (Hauturu), in 2004. Because kiore eat native plants and animals, the Department of Conservation has worked to eradicate the rats from Crown-owned islands.

Listen to concerns that the bait will also poison tuatara. The sound file, which is in Māori, translates as:

The Department of Conservation is planning to lay rat poison on Little Barrier Island (Hauturu) within the Ngātiwai tribal area. Despite fears that the poison might kill tuatara on the island, it is seen as necessary as the island is infested with kiore. Although Ngātiwai does not want [to kill] the kiore, Hori Parata of the [tribe’s] Kaitiaki Board says it is necessary that they are eradicated as tuatara are taonga (highly valued) to the tribe.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Te Kowae Paneke – Ruia Mai/Reference number CDR 4983).

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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Fiona Oliphant

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How to cite this page:

Bradford Haami, 'Kiore – Pacific rats - Arrival and life in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 September 2021)

Story by Bradford Haami, published 24 Nov 2008