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BNN — Waterproof feathers are flying in the annual showdown between resident kororā (little penguins) at the National Aquarium of New Zealand.

The fun, yet slightly unoriginal, Penguin of the Year competition was launched in 2018. Humans from around the world cast their vote to elect a supreme penguin leader. With the competition closing tomorrow, Bird News Network breaks down the candidates for those of us who have left our votes until the last minute.

Timmy is a real little shit (photo by National Aquarium of New Zealand)


Last year’s champ, Timmy, is a bit of an asshole but everyone lets him get away with it because he got hit by a boat when he was four. He’s known for flicking sand at the zookeepers and bowling down the other penguins to be first in line for some kai. He’s a tough contender, but polls indicate voters might swing towards ‘wholesome’ this election.


Tux is a good lookin’ guy but sources say he’s too whipped by his bae Pepper to get his head in the ‘Penguin of the Year’ game. But if he manages to escape Pepper’s feminine wiles for a sec, there’s a good chance he could take down Timmy like that time he yeeted him off the pier. Pepper and Tux make the ultimate penguin power couple–could one of ‘em hop-hop into the presidency? Maybe.

Mr Mac

Mr Mac will fail to win the Millennial vote with his uppity boomer habit of thinking he’s better than everyone. He also fell victim to the #MeTooPenguin movement as he stole a fish from his blind girlfriend Lulu.

Mr Mac loves to “spin yarns” about how all millennials could afford their own burrow if they didn’t buy so many bloody avocados (Photo by National Aquarium of New Zealand).


Mo is known as a bad boy and a ladies’ man, with two girls on the go (Elmo and Betty). One of last year’s finalists, Mo’s redemption arc from ‘naughtiest penguin’ to ‘just mildly lazy’ could resonate with voters.


Draco is a friendly old gal who likes to pop around to the other burrows for a yarn. She was hit by a car while crossing the road and has been left with a head injury.

She has to be one of the most patient penguins in the world as she shacked up with Timmy. Her good deeds know no bounds — she even babysat Burny’s egg!

A wholesome choice, but will she capture the voters’ thirst for drama?

Draco has put up with too much of Timmy’s shit. She needs this win… (Photo by National Aquarium of New Zealand).

Captain and Flip

Captain and Flip are another terrific team, with three flippers and three eyes between ‘em. Flip reportedly “knows how to penguin well” and Captain is a stellar dad, looking after their chick alone for a full week while Flip had some ~me time~.


Dora is the charismatic princess who steals all the human hearts with her sweetness. She’s the keepers’ favourite, but her suck-up ways don’t make her popular among her penguin brethren.

A-freaking-DORA-ble! (Photo by National Aquarium of New Zealand).

Vote for Penguin of the Year

The coveted top spot promises worldwide fame, unlimited fish and daily professional preening sessions (‘plumicures’) with an in-house feather technician. Which candidate has your vote?

See all the candidates and vote before tomorrow at 17:00 (NZST).

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