Ponui donkey

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Ponui donkey
Conservation statusrare[1]
Other namesPonui Island donkey
Country of originNew Zealand
DistributionNew Zealand
  • Male:
    90–110 cm (36–42 in)[2]
  • Female:
    90–110 cm (36–42 in)[2]
Coatlight dun or chocolate, with darker dorsal stripe
Donkey & Mule Society of New ZealandBreed description

The Ponui donkey or Ponui Island Donkey is a breed and feral population of domestic donkey from Ponui Island, in the Hauraki Gulf off New Zealand. It is the only feral donkey in New Zealand.


Frederick Chamberlin bought Ponui Island from the New Zealand government in 1854.[3] Donkeys were brought to the island together with other livestock from New South Wales, and a feral population established itself. The Ponui Island Donkey now has formal breed status,[4] and some are distributed in mainland New Zealand.[1] It is registered by the Donkey & Mule Society of New Zealand. The Ponui donkey is listed as "rare" by the Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand.[1]


The Ponui donkey is docile and sturdy. It stands about 1 metre at the withers. It is usually light dun in colour, but may be chocolate; broken-coloured donkeys cannot be registered.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ponui Donkeys: A Rare Breed of New Zealand Origin. Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand. Accessed July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Rules for the Ponui Island Donkey register Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine. Donkey & Mule Society of New Zealand. Accessed July 2014.
  3. ^ Chamberlin, Frederick, b. 1826: An account of my proceedings since my arrival in New Zealand in 1853, with a diary (catalogue entry). Auckland War Memorial Museum Library – Te Pataka Matapuna. Accessed July 2014.
  4. ^ Heaven: a jack and several jennys, catalogue entry for: Alex Stone (2013). Heaven: a jack and several jennys. Gulf News, 21 March 2013. p. 18. Library of New Zealand – Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Accessed July 2014.