The most intense election ever seen in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, has resulted in the Australasian crested Grebe winning NZ’s Bird of the Century and mostly due to a British American TV host John Oliver who used his global influence to win the vote. Competition runners Forest & Bird are celebrating 100 years this year and decided to name the competition Bird of the Century. John Oliver chose the Puteketeke and then set about a campaign on his TV show Last Week Tonight creating so much global interest that Forest and Bird delayed the winners announcement till today.
John Oliver’s favourite – the colourful Puteketeke won in a landslide. Forest and Bird CEO Nicola Toki revealed more than 700,000 people from 195 countries voted in this year’s election, with one very enthusiastic person in Pennsylvania voting 3403 times – equating to one every three seconds. They were disqualified. But more than 350,000 voters did things the right way and were able to be verified, giving us the winner.