In the 1860's & 70's non-migratory carnivorous birds from the 'homeland' of Europe were introduced to New Zealand to control the plagues of insects that had come about due to deforestation and unwitting imports in food and goods.
Settlers were paid not insignificant sums for bringing out live breeding pairs. Many birds did not survive the voyage and many attempts were made before success was reached.
Birds were kept in special breeding aviaries or 'Acclimatization Gardens' in the Auckland Domain to build populations up. Visitors to the colony often remarked on the unusualness of seeing such common English birds treated as distinguished guests.
Those so called 'distinguished guests' now go unnoticed; they've become part of the furniture, even considered pests or at the least competition for our native birds.