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Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea

24 October 2016

For immediate release

Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea

The national Bird of The Year competition is heating up, with a shock concession from one of the contenders.

The kōtare, or kingfisher, has conceded it will not win the poll, and flown in behind one of the two leading candidates, the kea.

The kōtare has notched up 229 votes in the first week of the two-week ballot. But two birds are clear leaders in the hard-fought election race: kea on 1246 votes and kōkako on 1368.

Kōtare campaign manager Greening the Red Zone said the people had spoken, and for the integrity of the competition it was important for minor players to step back and focus on electing the best representative for all New Zealand’s birds.

“We love our kōtare, and want to see many more of them throughout a regenerating red zone,” said Greening the Red Zone co-chair Ashley Campbell. “But it’s clear that this is not the kingfisher’s year.

“The kōtare’s time will come, but in this electoral battle we need to throw our support behind best candidate for right now.

“We believe that candidate is the kea – the world’s only mountain parrot, and one that’s facing serious decline,” Ms Campbell said.

“While we will never see kea in the red zone, we want to make sure they stay forever in our mountains, entertaining tourists, rearranging windscreens, and just being the amazing birds they are.

“Besides which, we are troubled by the electoral track history of the kōkako and don’t want to see this important national poll mired in yet another voting scandal,” Ms Campbell said.

You can #VoteKea at You can read more about Greening the Red Zone’s plans for a native forest and wetland park in Christchurch’s Avon River Red Zone


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