The North Island brown kiwi chick was the 13th of 14 kiwis hatched at Pukaha, near Wellington.
Pukaha Mt Bruce spokesman Bob Francis yesterday said the chick was not an albino but rare progeny of kiwi that were transferred to Mt Bruce from Little Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, off Auckland.
"As far as we know, this is the first all-white chick to be hatched in captivity," Mr Francis said.
"The kiwi population on Little Barrier Island has birds with white markings and some white kiwi but this was still a big surprise."
The kiwi is related to a group of birds called ratites, which includes the emu and NZ's extinct moa. There are five species of kiwi - the brown, rowi, tokoeka, great spotted or roroa and little spotted. All are threatened.
Only 350 each remain of the rowi and tokoeka kiwis. About 1600 little spotted kiwis remain on predator-free islands.
Pukaha board member Jason Kerehi said [b]tribal elders saw the white chick - named Manukura - as a tohu or sign of new beginnings.
"Every now and then something extraordinary comes along to remind you of how special life is," he said.
Manukura was bred to be released into the wild but its future is uncertain because rangers fear its colour might make it vulnerable.
The nocturnal kiwi cannot fly and has loose, hair-like feathers and long whiskers. It makes burrows and is the only bird known to have nostrils at the end of its long bill.