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About 85 people are attending the annual conference, which was originally scheduled for June, but postponed because of Covid-19.
The two-day event started yesterday with an announcement by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage of $19.7million in new funding for kiwi conservation projects throughout the country over the next five years.
Among the groups represented at the conference is the Kiwis for Kiwi charitable trust, an umbrella group linking grassroots conservation projects with the Department of Conservation (Doc), government ministers and larger-scale projects.
Its executive director Michelle Impey, speaking to attendees by video link from Auckland, said the new funding was "huge".
The trust was managing the funding on behalf of Doc, and had received nearly 50 applications it had already pared down to a shortlist of 13 projects for which full proposals would be submitted.
It would present a final plan to Doc by the end of next month.
Ms Impey said the trust expected the new funding to enable between 70,000ha and 100,000ha of land to be made safer for kiwi, and create up to 100 new jobs for community and iwi conservation projects at the peak of activity.