NZ Bird of the Year: How Russia influenced the vote

The yellow-eyed penguin on Monday was voted Bird of the Year.
The yellow-eyed penguin on Monday was voted Bird of the Year. Photo credit: Getty

It's a story about Russia and voting but no, it doesn't involve alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

Believe it or not, the world's largest nation got well and truly amongst New Zealand's 2019 Bird of the Year Competition, which was won by the yellow-eyed penguin.

Also known as the hoiho, the yellow-eyed penguin was the first-ever seabird to win the title - beating the kākāpō, black robin, banded dotterel and piwakawaka, also known as the fantail.

According to a Forest & Bird voting map and the map's creator, 335 people from Russia voted in the annual competition, with a similar amount of votes coming from neighbours Australia.

"Is there no election they won't meddle in?" one amused Twitter user asked.

In March, a 22-month investigation into Trump's alleged links to Russia found no one involved in his presidential campaign "conspired or coordinated with Russia" to win the 2016 election.

But that didn't exonerate the president. A report last month suggested a new probe into Russia's alleged interference had become a criminal investigation.