Two takahē have been released on Rotoroa Island, an exchange of taonga between Ngai Tahu and Ngai Tai ki Tamaki.
There are 270 takahē in the world and up to five breeding pairs are bound for the island.
Rotoroa Island Trust chair Barrie Brown said takahē were the sixth wildlife species introduced to Rotoroa in the past twelve months, and would help enhance the island’s schools programme.
Auckland Zoo director Jonathan Wilcken said placing takahē on lots of smaller islands was a way of ensuring their survival. The birds were hatched at the Department of Conservation’s Burwood Bush Takahē Rearing Unit near Te Anau.