In late 2003 an Auckland based, not-for-profit group Kaipatiki Project formerly called Kaipatiki Ecological Restoration Project (KERP) recognised the plight of local Kereru (New Zealand's native wood pigeon) on Auckland’s North Shore.
The small community group were determined to reverse this plight and developed The Kereru Awhina (Care) Project hoping to enrich the pigeon’s food supply and habitat by encouraging the planting of fruiting native trees such as puriri, nikau, pigeonwood and kowhai. In addition to this they also began developing education programmes on Kereru for local schools and community groups.
In early 2004 a representative from Kaipatiki Project met with a representative from Warehouse Stationery, positioned just a stone throw away overlooking the Kaipatiki Creek in Beach Haven. Kaipatiki’s passion to save Kereru on Auckland ’s North Shore inspired a partnership between business and not-for-profit to communicate the same messages on a national scale.
The problems faced by Kereru and other bird species are not just isolated to the North Shore but are spread far and wide over the New Zealand mainland. Subsequently the national campaign under the same banner, Kereru Awhina Project was launched in August 2004 to coincide with National Conservation Week.