Amid fevered Bird of the Year campaigning, Forest & Bird has issued a mid-election voting result update.
Forest & Bird spokesperson Megan Hubscher says “As of Sunday 3rd November, the bird with the most ‘number one’ votes is the hoiho, the endangered yellow eyed penguin, with 1441 ‘first preference’ votes.
“However, under the Single Transferable Voting system, the lead is snatched from the hoiho, and taken up by the kākāpō, at least up to the 4th to final iteration of vote transfers. At that point the game becomes anyone, with only 253 votes separating kākāpō from the rest of the flock of contenders.
“We could still see a win from any of the other bird candidates with a week of voting to go, campaigners working hard, and the ranking system bringing an element of unpredictability to the election.
Ms Hubscher says with the result being so close, every vote counts.
“These results are close, and could easily go in any direction. No one wants the decision to be made by a coin toss as we’ve seen in recent human elections, so it’s vital to make democracy count by spreading the word, and getting your friends and family voting.”
The top five ranked birds, according to first preference votes alone, are:
- Hoiho, yellow-eyed penguin, 1441 votes
- Kākāpō, with 1339
- Pīwakawaka fantail, 737 votes
- Tūturiwhatu, banded dotterel, 698 votes
- Kererū, wood pigeon, 672 votes
Under the STV system, the top 5 ranked birds are:
- Kākāpō, 3099 votes
- Hoiho, yellow-eyed penguin, 2846 votes
- Kakaruia, black robin, 2201 votes
- Pīwakawaka, fantail, 1768 votes
- Kererū, wood pigeon, 1745 votes
Voting for Forest & Bird's Bird of the Year is open until 5pm Sunday the 9th November at www.birdoftheyear.org.nz