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Who I’m voting for….

It’s a very important time of year guys. An pivotal election is already underway. Tensions are elevated. Competition is strong, and the stakes are very high. Things could get ugly.

Voting has a lot of pressure, I don’t want to screw it up!

Some of you nosy humans have been harassing me on social media about who I’m voting for this year. But come on, isn’t obvious? I mean I drop hints and talk about it all the time.

Surprise! I’m voting for the kākāpō for Pres….I mean New Zealand Bird of the Year.

who I'm voting for

Meeting Sirocco in Wellington

To be fair, if you’ve been following me for a while, it shouldn’t come as such a surprise. I mean, I pretty much ramble on about these quirky birds as often as I can! Kākāpō have an amazing story that deserves to be shared with the world, and I want to do my part as best as I possibly can! Current goal – I want everyone to know what a kākāpō is. If anyone is interested in joining my team in charge of kākāpō brand awareness – hit me up.

So before humans arrived in New Zealand, the islands were home only to birds. Imagine that! But we brought pests, like ferrets, stoats, possums, rats and cats which almost decimated them.

Kākāpō, like so many of New Zealand’s native birds, need our help. Going from the 3rd most common bird in New Zealand to fewer than 150 left today, they are the prime example of an amazing creature facing extinction – it’s our fault they’ve almost disappeared so it’s up to us to help bring them back! Collective historical and social responsibility people!

who I'm voting for

Some of this years chicks in Invercargill

who I'm voting for

Kākāpō footprint on Codfish Island

Ever year Forest and Bird holds a “Bird of the Year” competition in New Zealand, and this year I volunteered to be the campaign manager for my beloved kākāpō. What a surprise, I know. DIBS!

I mean it was a tough call because I love all of New Zealand’s native birds, listening for their calls on hikes and following the amazing conservation projects around helping them. After all, they are almost all facing the same issues.

Besides kākāpō, Fantails are probably my favorite bird, especially as I have them living in my garden, though the cheeky kea (alpine parrot) and the chubby kererū woodpigeon (that gets drunk on fermented berries and falls out of trees – a bird after my own heart), are a close second.

But at the end of the day, kākāpō are in the number one spot for me. I’ve held the famous Sirocco at Zealandia last year (best moment of my life; I just about died) and visited Whenua Hou, one of the three offshore islands where kākāpō live, and I am determined to use all of my blogging powers to help them as much as I can!

who I'm voting for

Codfish Island/Whenua Hou

who I'm voting for


Here are five reasons why I am voting for kākāpō for Bird of the Year and why you should too!

1. Kākāpō are the misfits of the parrot kingdom. They can’t fly, are nocturnal and are seriously endangered. So many of New Zealand’s birds face this but kākāpō have it bad. There are less than 150 left, and their breeding cycles are frankly bizarre and involve a subsonic mating boom call that travels for miles. Say what?

2. I’m pretty sure kākāpō are dinosaur birds, a relic of a bygone age. I mean look at them! How cute are they? Apart from being huge, rotund and shaped like a giant avocado (kākāpō are the heaviest parrot in the world), they kinda look like an owl and a parrot had a baby. But what surprised me the most was their smell which is strong and musty, like the inside of an old violin case. Yes, you read that right. A prehistoric bird that actually smells old.

who I'm voting for

Lisa 2 – all kākāpō have names

who I'm voting for

Kākāpō feathers are collected from the ground on Whenua Hou and give to the local Māori iwi

3. Kākāpō live for a long time. Like, a really long time. I’m talking an average of 90 years give or take. Respect.

4. The most famous of kākāpō is Sirocco, who rose to fame with a viral video of him getting frisky on the BBC. Sirocco was sick as a baby and was hand-reared by people and accidentally imprinted on them – he thinks he’s human. Like one time he jumped off a jetty and tried to swim, and he used to build his bowls to boom into (to attract the lady kākāpō) on the path to the toilet. Then he would surprise “boom” at an unlucky lady ranger headed to the bathroom in the middle of the night and try to climb up her leg and mate with her. Sigh. Men.

who I'm voting for

Sirocco selfie – gives you an idea of how big these birds are

who I'm voting for

Some very young chicks this year

5. I believe kākāpō deserve to be Bird of the Year because 2016 was an epic year for them, with one of the best breeding seasons ever with 34 chicks being born. This is a big deal guys! It was also the year that Kākāpō Recovery got enough funding to sequence the genomes of the entire species to help save them. Though finally, I also think kākāpō can become the case we need to show the world that extinction can be stopped, and yes, we can actually make a difference, setting an example for the rest of the endangered birds in New Zealand.

Don’t forget to vote for kākāpō for Bird of the Year – pretty please! You also will get the chance to win an expedition trip to the Subantarctic Islands!

Oh, and I’m also voting for Hillary for president of the US because OBVIOUSLY. Don’t know how you can be a sensible, sane, moderately-educated human being and not vote for her. Over and out.

38 Responses to Who I’m voting for….

  1. Kate October 18, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    Okay, these guys are seriously adorable, and I had never once heard of them before this post.

    Yet another reason to visit New Zealand!

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 8:29 am #

      Yay one more kakapo fan!

  2. Stephanie Craig October 18, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Trump has been seriously bad for American travelers. I mean he’s obviously bad for every part of everything for everyone, but I get a thousand questions about him everywhere I go. Even in the UK pre-Brexit vote, they were telling me how he was going to win and what a racist he was, etc. I really cannot wait for him to exit stage left.

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 8:30 am #

      same haha

  3. Ants October 18, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

    It’s pretty awesome that you are contributing so much back to New Zealand in this way! I don’t want to sound too preachy, but the stereotype I normally get about travel bloggers is they are more consumers, moving on from place to place just living for an experience then moving on, so its pretty cool to see you giving back to our country.

    I’ve voted for Kakapo, but it looks like the Kea and Kokako are storming out to a big lead early on!

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      I totally get that! I’m super passionate about conservation here and abroad, and I think New Zealand’s birds are so amazing and I would do anything I could to help them. Damn Kea always ruin everything haha

  4. Renee October 19, 2016 at 2:18 am #

    They have my vote!

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 8:31 am #


  5. Franco October 19, 2016 at 2:33 am #

    Voted! 🙂

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 8:31 am #

      Thank you!

  6. Madi | Restless Worker October 19, 2016 at 3:34 am #

    What interesting creatures! Can honestly say I’ve never heard of them before. They’ve got my vote!

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 8:31 am #


  7. Alicja October 19, 2016 at 3:46 am #

    Dear Liz,
    I’m voting for… you (and this lovely bird of course) !
    Thank you so much for the postcard, I couldn’t believe at first that you took the time to send me one ! I’m beyond grateful ! This card came from the other side of the planet (as I’m in France), it’s amazing ^^ Plus, it’s from a girl I truly admire !
    Thank you so so much !
    Love you, Xx

    PS : Please let me know in the comments or by sending me an email if I can write you back ! I would love to send you funny, strange or just beautiful postcard from France 🙂

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 11:56 am #

      Oh yay! Glad it arrived and sorry it took so long!

  8. Nicole October 19, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    Sent in my ballot yesterday….for president that is and obvs Hillary. And just wrote a post on how to move to NZ if Trump becomes president haha. I used to work for DOC and on one of the biodiversity funds to help protect the kakapo. Love it!

    • Liz October 19, 2016 at 11:57 am #

      what a cool job!!

  9. Zoe October 19, 2016 at 1:01 pm #


    • Liz October 20, 2016 at 1:17 pm #


  10. Taylor October 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

    I love that you’re highlighting the incredible wildlife in New Zealand! 😍

    I gotta say though, Gary Johnson has strong qualifications and gets my vote. And I’m sane, sensible, and pretty well-educated…

    Love the blog!

    • Liz October 20, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

      Sane and educated maybe, but not very sensible because you’re throwing away your vote in the most important election of our generation.

      • Taylor October 21, 2016 at 2:37 am #

        I get it. People tell me that I’m throwing my vote away all the time, and I get what they mean. But I always have the same response to them, and it’s what I’ve heard Gary Johnson say himself – it’s not throwing away your vote if you really believe in who you’re voting for.

        I believe that Johnson would make a fantastic leader. I like where he stands on a lot of issues. And he’s the only candidate that doesn’t make me feel like I’m being manipulated.

        I agree with you – this is the most important election of our generation. And it’s an election that has been sick with fear and anger and violence and hate.

        When I walk in and out of a voting booth, I don’t want to feel that way. I don’t want to stand in front of my ballot and feel that fear and anger, just because other people are telling me that the way I want to vote is pointless.

        I know that Johnson has no chance to win, but the election system is not really about winning or losing; it’s about letting your voice be heard. Casting a vote for a candidate that I don’t fully support would not only be throwing my vote away, it would be throwing my voice away.

        That being said, after watching the final debate last night, I feel less apprehensive about a President Hillary Clinton (because I really don’t feel like Trump stands a chance anymore). She was very presidential, in my opinion. We disagreed on a few issues, but she spoke with passion and I respected that a lot.

        I’m not writing this comment because I want to get into some silly online debate with you – not at all. I see those all the time and I just roll my eyes (you know the kind I’m talking about). I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I have a lot of respect for you and how you’re running your business and your life.

        I’ve just been having so many people angrily shouting their opinions at me, trying to make me feel bad about my vote, and no one is actually asking me how I feel about the issues. They just want to tell me I’m wrong.

        All right, I’ve made this long enough.

        Enjoy the New Zealand spring – I’m so jealous!

        • Liz October 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm #

          I 100% totally respect your comment and I really appreciate you writing all that. For me I really value being able to see other people’s side. This is the most important election of our generation and it’s very close, and I think it’s going to be decided by the people who vote for 3rd parties or don’t vote at all. At this point Trump could do or say just about anything and his fans will still support him (the comments online are terrifying). This election isn’t about the candidates it’s about choosing democracy and progression, make no mistake, there are only two candidates running and to vote for a 3rd is akin to not voting at all, and every vote will count in this election. Imagine how you will feel if Trump wins – because it’s votes like yours that will decide that. will you be comforted knowing that you did nothing to stop it? I’m not going to write in Bernie Sanders, Batman or even Michelle Obama as a candidate even though I wish they were on the ballot.

          • Melissa October 27, 2016 at 4:19 am #

            Seconded! A great philosophy professor of mine shared some advice from his father: you vote your heart in the primary, then for the lesser of two evils on election day. While I do believe that everyone should vote how they want (especially if the alternative is not voting at all), I also firmly believe that if you don’t want Trump, you need to vote Clinton. While I’d love to see a real third party candidate on the debate stages and ultimately on the ballot with a reasonable chance of winning, our system is not going to change in the next two weeks. No matter the results of this election, anyone with half a brain should be obligated to be more involved in local politics and communities, because that’s where change starts. It’s not enough to simply vote in the presidential election; we need to stand up and fight for change.

  11. Anne October 20, 2016 at 11:02 pm #

    Great post! It’s really interesting, I haven’t heard of these birds before. Thanks for sharing this great post 🙂

    • Liz October 22, 2016 at 4:47 pm #


  12. Sheri G. October 21, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Voted! The hubs and I were in on an overnight cruise in Milford Sound in March. One of the crew was quite taken by the kakapo and told us all about efforts to save them. The crew also spent a lot of time telling us about stoats and how they endangered the native birds. One guide explained the various color traps and markers in the forest (seems to me that the pink ones were to mark stoat traps). BTW-love your blog…found it googling places to live if Trump wins. Sadly, I already know I don’t qualify (except as a tourist!) since I googled NZ immigration back when Dub was president. Happy adventures to you…can’t wait to read your next post.

    • Liz October 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm #

      oh that’s awesome!

  13. Barb Adair October 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm #

    I too would love to immigrate to NZ if the election goes “south” but alas I’m too old. I perhaps could move to Canada but could never be a citizen for afore mentioned reason. The revulsion I feel over this whole mess makes my heart hurt.cost of living in Canada is higher and I’m on social security. Spent my retirement on my kids and the funds are gone. Maybe someday I’ll get to at least visit NZ. Liz, keep having fun and exploring the world. Sorry I didn’t and truly regret it. Keep going kid!

    • Liz October 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm #


  14. Joseph October 27, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    We just arrived in New Zealand less than a week ago and people are already asking us who we are voting for. I’m happy to tell them that I cast my vote by leaving the country altogether. I’ve been right there with Nicole in telling friends and family that they can always do the same if they’ve had enough. 🙂

    • Liz October 28, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

      hahaha but in the meantime please go vote for kakapo for bird of the year!

  15. Heather Hopkins October 29, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    I love them! haha and this post made me happy.

    • Liz October 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

      Yay! Thanks!

  16. Jim November 15, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Hillary lost hahahahahahahahahahahaha

  17. Jim November 15, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    This liberal socialist chick also blocks your email and erases your messages when you don’t agree with her. Thats because liberals are racist bigoted intolerant people that try to silence anyone that disagrees with them. Intolerant intolerant intolerant I call intolerant. They can’t stand to hear anyone else’s opinion because they know its better than theirs. So if this message gets erased by the intolerant liberal I am going to create a thousand email addresses and bomb this site on every single page like there is no tomorrow. I will crash this freaking thing so you better not remove my comment. Hypocrite

    • Liz November 15, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

      I have never blocked you, I never block anyone unless they verbally abuse my readers in the comments or spam me, which you are coming close to on both accounts. Say what you want about me but each comment you leave you sound more and more unhinged and you are just embarrassing yourself.


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