Senior Bird Keeper

Ōtorohanga Kiwi House – Te Whare Kiwi o Ōtorohanga

Located 45 minutes south of Hamilton in Ōtorohanga, the Kiwi House – Te Whare Kiwi, is a tourism and conservation centre that has been operating for over 50 years. A breeding sanctuary, the Kiwi House cares for over 300 native animals for advocacy, research and breed for release programmes (these include brown kiwi, tuatara, kea, kaka, karearea, whio, pāteke, and Mahoenui Giant Wētā). 

We are underway with a complete rebuild and expansion of our facilities over the next few years as we develop individual zones within the sanctuary. The first five zones include multiple large free-flight enclosures and exhibits, animal training centres, new keeper and enrichment kitchens, and small animal ‘breeding laboratories’. Zone one is completed and the remaining zones 2-5 are scheduled for completion by the end of 2024. Construction will then begin on a large visitor centre, augmented reality space, audio-visual theatre, and series of nocturnal houses. The Kiwi House is working towards an international accreditation programme called the 'Living Building/Community Challenge' which incorporates sustainability, social and environmental restoration objectives. This includes capturing and recycling all three waters onsite, producing 110% of our renewable energy needs onsite, and ensuring no red list chemicals are used in materials production during and after construction.

Due to expansion the Ōtorohanga Kiwi House is looking for a Senior Keeper/s to join our Keeping team to help lead best practice in animal welfare, husbandry, animal training and conditioning, and advocacy, to enable the Ōtorohanga Kiwi House to deliver ‘NZ’s most personal wildlife experience’. This role is to assist the Wildlife Manager with the day to day running of the park and training of keepers. 

This role requires:
A clean driver’s licence
Proven expertise in the management and handling of avian and reptile species
Skilled programme delivery for positive reinforcement based animal training and conditioning
Demonstrated experience in enclosure/habitat development
Experience in managing NZ native species breeding programmes
Tertiary qualification in animal care, conservation, ecology or similar
NZ residency - permanent
A high level of physical fitness to enable tasks at the Kiwi House and in the field to be carried out in a safe manner.

This job will be done well when: 
a high level of positive animal welfare is attributed across the collection; 
proactive health care includes excellent animal training and enrichment; 
colleagues within the team feel supported and well trained to deliver excellence in animal husbandry; 
the visitor experience is engaging and inspires conservation action; 
individual animal records are accurate and up to date; 
communication across the team is effective. 

Desirable Additional Competencies:
Proficiency in Te Reo Māori and or Tikanga Māori
Captive Husbandry research experience 
Field skills in wildlife monitoring, research or pest control
Incubation and rearing skills

Position Details:
Fulltime permanent role, includes rostered weekend work and public holidays
Salary band $57,000-67,000 
Annual leave may be requested to be taken in advance 

Applicants are required to provide a current resume and covering letter outlining your ability to meet the selection requirements including NZ residency status to [email protected]

Applications close 26 May 2023