May 18, 2024

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After a tense fortnight of campaigning, last week John Oliver was successful in his bid to get the humble Pūteketeke crowned “Bird of the Century” in New Zealand’s Forest & Bird poll.

Oliver’s efforts, which included setting up billboards around the world and dressing up as a giant Pūteketeke during an appearance on The Tonight Show, resulted in a landslide victory. The Pūteketeke received 290,000 votes, which was almost 280,000 more than the North Island brown kiwi in second.

Now, to mark the momentous occasion and raise money, Last Week Tonight has teamed up with Forest & Bird and the company Metalbird to create the perfect sculpture: A tiny John Oliver riding on the back of a Pūteketeke, like – in the host’s own words – “one of its babies”.

“As the website points out with a helpful animation, the John Oliver part can be removed if you so choose, which is magnificent — would that we all had that option,” said Oliver during 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.”

A screenshot from a website shows two sculptures side-by-side. One of a man riding on the back of a bird, and the other a close-up of the man.


Credit: Metalbird.com

30 percent of the $74.99 cost of the sculpture goes to Forest & Bird, an organisation that protects and restores wildlife in New Zealand. There’s also the option to donate an amount directly via the website.



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