The 2017 Kiwi Coin celebrates New Zealand’s iconic national bird. This stunning coin issue follows on from the 2015 and 2016 Kiwi coins and features the Rakiura (Stewart Island) tokoeka.
‘Tokoeka’ literally means 'weka with a walking stick', and there are three geographically and genetically distinct forms: Haast, Fiordland, and Rakiura.
Rakiura tokoeka are the largest kiwi, reaching 4.1 kilograms. They have thick and powerful legs, and very long bills (up to 168mm). Classified as ‘nationally endangered’, they live mainly in the southern two-thirds of Stewart Island. Unlike other kiwi, Rakiura tokoeka are not strictly nocturnal; it is not unusual to see females out feeding during the day.
The three coins in this issue feature the Rakiura tokoeka wandering on a beach on Rakiura during the daytime. The polished circular design behind the kiwi is representative of the sun, and the design also features both the common and scientific name of this precious kiwi (Apteryx Australis Lawryi).