John Oliver’s marketing campaign postpones New Zealand’s vote for its favourite chook

Estimated read time 4 min read

WELLINGTON, New Zealand – New Zealand’s canvassers have been so overwhelmed by overseas interference that they needed to delay asserting the winner.

The competitors to decide on the nation’s favourite chook, with enter from comic John Oliver.

Organized by the Forest and Fowl Conservation Group, the annual occasion, usually known as the Fowl of the Yr, is held to boost consciousness in regards to the plight of the nation’s native birds, a few of that are threatened with extinction. This 12 months, the competitors was named “Fowl of the Century” to mark the one centesimal anniversary of the group’s founding.

Oliver found a loophole within the guidelines, which allowed anybody with a sound electronic mail handle to solid a poll. So he went all out with a humorous marketing campaign for his favourite chook, the pūteketeke, on his HBO present “Final Week Tonight.”

Oliver had a billboard for “The Lord of the Wings” within the New Zealand capital, Wellington. He additionally positioned billboards in Paris, Tokyo, London and Mumbai, India. He had a aircraft with a banner flying over Ipanema Seashore in Brazil. He dressed up as an outsized chook on Jimmy Fallon’s “The Tonight Present.”


New Zealand's hornbill vote count has been delayed due to comedian John Oliver's global campaign, as he discovered a loophole in the rules, which allows anyone with a valid email address to cast a ballot.
Potikitiki and his chick at Ellesmere Lake, south of Christchurch, New Zealand.Peter Faulds/AP

“In the end, that is the essence of democracy,” Oliver mentioned on his present. “America interferes in overseas elections”

Forest & Fowl mentioned canvassers needed to spend a further two days verifying the a whole lot of hundreds of votes that poured in by Sunday’s deadline. They now plan to announce the winner on Wednesday.

“It has been completely loopy, in the easiest way potential,” CEO Nicola Tocchi advised The Related Press.

New Zealand is uncommon in that birds advanced to grow to be the dominant animals earlier than people arrived.

“If you concentrate on New Zealand’s wildlife, we do not have lions, tigers and bears,” Toki mentioned. She added that though almost 9 out of ten New Zealanders now stay in cities or cities, many retain a deep love of nature.

“We’ve got this intangible, very sturdy connection to our wildlife and our birds,” Toki mentioned.

The competition has weathered earlier controversy. In 2020, election auditors found about 1,500 fraudulent votes for the little noticed kiwi. Two years in the past, a bat gained the competitors, which was allowed as a result of it was thought-about a part of the chook household by indigenous Maori.

When the competition began in 2005, they acquired a complete of 865 votes, which they thought-about an awesome success, Toki mentioned. That rose to a report 56,000 votes two years in the past, a quantity that was surpassed this 12 months inside two hours of Oliver launching his marketing campaign, she mentioned.

Oliver contacted the group earlier this 12 months and requested if he might advocate for a chook, Tuckey mentioned. They requested him to maneuver on, not realizing what was coming.

“I used to be crying with laughter,” Toki mentioned when she noticed Oliver’s clip.

Oliver described the pūteketeke, which quantity fewer than 1,000 in New Zealand and are also referred to as the Australian crested crow, as “unusual, mullet-coloured vomiting birds”.

“They do a mating dance the place they every maintain a clump of moist grass and their chests bump in opposition to one another earlier than they arise uncertain of what to do subsequent,” Oliver mentioned on his present, including that he had by no means identified something like this in his life. .

Some in New Zealand opposed Oliver’s marketing campaign. One group put up billboards studying: “Pricey John, do not disrupt the hierarchy,” whereas others urged folks to vote for the nationwide chook, the kiwi. Oliver responded by saying that the kiwi appeared like “a mouse with a toothpick.”

“For the report, all of your birds are superb, and it will be an honor to lose to any of them when the outcomes are introduced on Wednesday,” Oliver mentioned on his present. “The explanation it is simple for me to say that’s as a result of we’re not going to lose, proper? We’ll win, and we’ll win by a giant margin.”

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