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Air New Zealand wants takahe to nest-flix and chill this Valentine’s Day

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Valentine’s Day can be a lonely time for humans, but imagine being one of only 418 birds in the world when the day rolls around. As part of its ongoing partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC), Air New Zealand has shared a tongue-in-cheek social media post for Valentine’s Day as part of a wider campaign to raise awareness about the plight of native birds.

On its social media channels, the airline suggests a charming way for a lone takahē to meet a mate in order to encourage the population to grow: online dating. The lighthearted piece has a serious message at its core - New Zealand’s biodiversity is under major threat, and the airline, in partnership with DOC, has been involved with transporting threatened species to new homes since 2012.

Air New Zealand’s General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing Jodi Williams says takahē are alluring, loyal animals and the airline wanted to play off this aspect of their personalities to raise awareness of the wider biodiversity crisis New Zealand is facing.

"The post is quirky but has seriousness at its heart - because while New Zealand is one of the richest areas of biodiversity on the planet, we also have one of the highest rates of threatened species. That’s why we’re working with DOC to support the release of native birds like takahē on the country’s Great Walks network, which are an iconic part of New Zealand’s tourism offering.

"The post supports a case study video released this week in partnership with DOC which shines a spotlight on New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, highlights what we’re doing in partnership with DOC to address this, and lets Kiwis know how they can get involved."

In 2018 Air New Zealand worked with DOC, iwi and other partners to put on a special charter flight that brought 18 takahē from the Burwood Takahē Centre near Te Anau to a new protected habitat in the Gouland Downs area of the Heaphy Track in Kahurangi National Park. This marked the first time a wild population of takahē had been established on mainland New Zealand in over 100 years.

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