Once plentiful, this large dull coloured native bush parrot is now fairly rare in both the North and South Islands of New Zealand. The name Kaka is a Māori language word meaning “parrot.”
The Kaka’s diet consists mainly of berries, nectar and insects found in mature native forests. The parrot has not easily adjusted to loss of its native habitat and competition for food with introduced mammals and insects, such as possums and wasps. These vespula wasps have invaded the honeydew beech forest to consume the honeydew nectar, a favourite food of the Kaka. Honeydew is important to breeding birds and there is an obvious difficulty in controlling wasp populations. This has resulted in recent years in the alarming decrease in the number of this beautiful parrot.
Raucous and inquisitive, the Kaka was hunted by the early Māori for food and its underwing red feathers were used to adorn prized possessions and favourite weapons.
Te Rarawa, Ngāti Paoa, Te Ātiawa
Rex Homan was born 1940 in Thames, New Zealand of Māori, Irish and Scottish ancestry. He lived in Auckland in his early years before moving to the Bay of Plenty. Rex has earned international recognition as a wood sculptor in the 1960s and 1970s and began working in bronze in the 1980s. His current work is influenced by the culture of the Pacific and displays uniqueness in its diversity of form and dramatic flow of lines. Rex has exhibited in solo, group and jury shows. He has won several national awards for “National Wood Skills” and is represented in corporate and private collections worldwide.
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