“Everything about the way New Zealand handled this contest was perfect,” Oliver said.
“Forty-five valid votes were cast by people giving the name John Oliver, all for the pūteketeke,” he laughed.
“My favourite response came from the NZ Breakers – a professional basketball team who’s mascot was campaigning for the kea parrot.”
He said the response from Breakers CEO Lisa Edser “really met the gravity of the moment”.
“I’m with Cheeky the kea, he’s not able to speak today,” Edser told Newshub last week.
“Whilst it’s not the result the kea community wanted, it’s important that we get behind the pūteketeke,” she continued.
Much to Oliver’s amusement, he described her response as “magnificent”, laughing alongside his audience.
“For the fact that someone had to set up the backdrop and invite journalists to this very important press conference for the line ‘He’s not able to speak today’ as if the kea is normally a real chatterbox, but is too broken to comment right now,” he said.
“This has been tremendous fun, and there is really only one more thing for us to do right now. It’s time for a victory speech,” he continued.
Oliver appeared dressed in a pūteketeke costume, beside another, three times the size.
“We never could’ve anticipated the outpouring of support,” he said. “This election represents collective wishes of good, bird-loving people from 195 countries.”