Insight & Analysis

Bird of the Year under siege

Published: Dec 2020

New Zealand has been the real stand out star of a country when it comes to 2020. With their Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s popularity at ever dizzying heights, a new election victory under her belt and her management of the COVID-19 pandemic respected the world over, they have certainly had a less turbulent year than most of the world.

An angry looking bald eagle close up

However, controversy has besieged this popular and low populated country as scandal comes to a national competition. The annual Bird of the Year election is in its 13th year and is by no means taken lightly. In 2020 the voting structure was changed to proportional representation as voters cast multiple votes for their top five flying friends.

Each bird had its own campaign manager or team, with Tinder advertising amongst the other promotional tools employed. This year’s contest was rocked with revelations of fraudulent votes for the Spotted Kiwi, leading to its false victory. As the world’s attention turned to North America and the general election, New Zealand’s Bird of The Year was cruelly targeted.

Let’s hope for a calmer 2021 with reputable voting for birds of the year and an end to this pandemic ahead.

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