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Penguin of the Year

Mr Mac takes the title of Penguin of the Year 2023!

mr mac resizedYou’ve voted, you’ve shared your thoughts, and campaigned for your favourite. We’re thrilled to announce Mr Mac has taken out the title of Penguin of the Year 2023.

This was the closest voting we’ve ever seen with Mr Mac and Mo being heads and flippers above the rest of the pack making up 30% of the total votes! It came down to the wire but Mr Mac had the competitive edge right at the very end.

Mr Mac and his partner Draco are now a power couple with Draco taking out the title in 2019. He has charmed you with his dedication to Draco, helping her at feeding time and being an architectural genius when it comes to nest building. Mr Mac came to Penguin Cove as an abandoned chick, is 14 years old and father to Pepper.

From all the team at the National Aquarium of New Zealand, including our amazing keepers who take such great care of the smallest penguin in the world – little penguin/kororā, we thank you for your support and getting involved.

Please remember some simple steps to look after not just kororā but the range of amazing species we find on our beaches by picking up litter, keeping your dogs on a lead and giving penguins their space.

If you find an injured penguin, contact the Department of Conservation on 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).

The National Aquarium's Little Penguins (Kororā)



 The Little Penguin (Kororā) is the world’s smallest species of penguin and is native to New Zealand (as well as South Australia). Their name is perfect, because Little Penguins only grow to about 30cm tall, and usually only weigh around 1kg.

The National Aquarium is a rehabilitation centre for Little Penguins. Some penguins are brought in because they've been abandoned as chicks, are partially sighted, have become sick in the wild, or have been injured in dog attacks. Some are also missing flippers due to getting caught in fishing nylon.

Once recovered and ready, Little Penguins are sent back out into the wild. But some are unfortunately not strong enough to return to their natural habitats, so they find a permanent home at the Aquarium's Penguin Cove.

We can't wait to show you our world.

Opening Hours

Daily from 9:00am - 5:00pm
(including public holidays)
last entry 4:30pm


Marine Parade, Napier

+64 6 834 1404

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