The roroa/great spotted kiwi (Apteryx maxima) is one of the largest of the five kiwi species that reside in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This species predominantly lives in the north-western South Island, particularly in Kahurangi, Paparoa and Arthur’s Pass National Parks. The 2024 Kiwi coin highlights a new population established in 2004 by the Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project (RNRP), on the eastern shores of Lake Rotoiti, Nelson Lakes National Park. The RNRP is one of the original mainland island projects; it is a 5,000-hectare block of forest where intensive predator control is undertaken to provide a safe home for roroa and other endemic species. Today, about 50 roroa live on the shores of Lake Rotoiti and in the surrounding beech forest.
Kiwi have become a flagship species for conservation efforts and are often used as a measure for the state of our natural environment. They are a taonga (treasure) cherished by all cultures in New Zealand, and are a symbol of the uniqueness of New Zealand wildlife and the value of our natural heritage. Māori, in particular, have strong cultural, spiritual and historical associations with kiwi.