Well, I poked around and the Kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand and has been for a good while. It's a tough, doughty flightless bird native to the islands that has nostrils at the end of its' beak and has the largest eggs relative to it's body size. It really got world attention when an Australia man who married a woman from New Zealand put out "Kiwi Brand" boot and shoe polish.
The Kiwi started showing up on NZ military badges such as the "South Canterbury Battalion in 1886 and the Hastings Rifle Volunteers in 1887" according to http://www.newzealandsites.com/about-new-zealand/the-kiwi.html
which also says this:
"During the First World War, New Zealanders carved a giant kiwi on the chalk hill above Sling Camp in England. In Flanders during the war, the name "Kiwi" for New Zealand soldiers came into general use. The Kiwi (New Zealand Army) Football Team which toured the British Isles, France and Germany in 1945-46 also enhanced the emblem's popularity. "
I found similar information on other sites, so it seems that the bird was adopted as a local symbol and with WWI's having some troops from NZ it caught on, reinforced by boot polish.
The fruit called a "kiwifruit" is originally from China and was called the "Chinese Gooseberry" though on the outside it looks nothing like a gooseberry. It started to get planted in other places including New Zealand and when things Chinese were less then popular due to politics, it was dubbed the "Kiwifruit" being brown and hairy like the birds.
There. probably more then you wanted to know about Kiwis.
Where are you going to New Zealand, Ania? and is it business or pleasure? I very much want to visit that country some day.
Ebor, Hunter and Gatherer of Information