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For the birds: From left, NZ Nature Fund founder Denis Marshall, venue host Kinross co-owner Christine Erkkila and contributing artist Hannah Shand

By PHILIP CHANDLER

A fundraiser at Gibbston’s Kinross last Saturday did a lot to put one of the world’s rarest shorebirds back on its feet.

Organised by New Zealand Nature Fund founder, Queenstowner Denis Marshall, it raised over $30,000 to support the recovery of NZ’s shore plover.

NZ Nature Fund’s pledging $80,000 to Department of Conservation and already had $40,000 from an anonymous donor.

Marshall — a one-time Conservation Minister himself — says the shore plover’s ‘‘been somewhat neglected over the years’’.

‘‘There’s only 250 of these little fellows left, so we thought we better get in behind DoC and see what we can do to help them.’’

The bird’s mainly found in the Chatham Islands and on two islands in the North Island.

Auction items included drawings of NZ’s extinct huia bird by Southland artist Hannah Shand.

‘‘It’s just a good example of a wonderful, iconic NZ species we’ve lost,’’ Marshall told the audience.

‘‘We don’t want to lose the shore plover.’’

Marshall — who co-owns Gibbston winery Hawkshead — founded the original NZ National Parks and Conservation Foundation about 20 years ago, but rebranded it NZ Nature Fund last summer.

scoop@scene.co.nz