Kennedy co-founded New Zealand Geographic magazine in 1988 and served as editor for 15 years. He now writes for the magazine and for National Geographic, and gives a fortnightly report on the outdoors and the environment on Radio New Zealand’s award-winning Nine to Noon programme with Kathryn Ryan. He has written books on the world’s threatened mangrove forests, the Tuhoe iwi of Te Urewera and New Zealand’s State Highway 1. He became enchanted by the story of pīpīwharauroa and riroriro in 2013 when he organised a ‘Welcome back cuckoo’ event for his local ecological restoration group, the Friends of Oakley Creek. The group sang cuckoo songs (including one written for the occasion), wore cuckoo face masks, and wrote messages thanking the warbler for its sterling service as a foster parent for the cuckoo, which were then posted into a large replica of a grey warbler nest.