After a tense two-week campaign last week, John Oliver was successful in his bid to have the humble Pūteketeke crowned ‘Bird of the Century’ in New Zealand’s Forest & Bird poll.
Oliver’s efforts, which include putting up billboards around the world and dressing up as a giant Pūteketeke during an appearance in The show tonight, led to a convincing victory. Pūteketeke received 290,000 votes, which was almost 280,000 more than the North Island brown kiwi in second place.
John Oliver’s ‘worryingly aggressive’ campaign worked. Pūteketeke is the “Bird of the Century”.
Now to mark the milestone and raise money, Last week tonight teamed up with Forest & Bird and the company Metalbird to create the perfect sculpture: a tiny John Oliver riding on Pūteketeke’s back as – in the host’s words – “one of his babies”.
“As the website points out with a helpful animation, the John Oliver part can be removed if you choose, which is great — if we all had that option,” Oliver said on Sunday’s edition of Last week tonight. “If you want one, with or without me on it, you can order one from this website right here.”
30 percent of the sculpture’s $74.99 price goes to Forest & Bird, an organization that protects and restores wildlife in New Zealand. There is also an option to donate an amount directly through the website.