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Allegations of voter rigging and trolling of candidates: It may sound like the US elections but no, it's the humble Bird of the Year competition in New Zealand.
Last week it was revealed that someone from Christchurch lodged more than 100 fraudulent votes for the white-faced heron.
Now an Instagram account is trolling the bird candidates, accusing the white-faced heron of being a racist and the kiwi a "fat flightless f**k."
Another bird's plumage is compared to one of David Bain's infamous jerseys.
The annual Bird of the Year competition, run by Forest and Bird, is intended as a way of raising awareness of the threats facing some of our most endangered bird species.
But it's also become an excuse for all sorts of underhanded behaviour.
The Instagram account @gullforglory, backing the humble seagull has been trolling the other candidates with a series of memes.
Radio Hauraki is backing @gullforflory and has defended the trolling campaign saying "if we are talking about dirty tactics the advocates for the white-faced heron have been cheating, the campaign is dirty already".
This is something Bird of the Year coordinator Kimberly Collins is well aware of, saying "the competition can be fierce, and people find all sorts of ways to promote their bird".
"Good on the boys for getting behind the black-billed gull. It's one of the rarest gulls in the world, so they've picked a real battler.
Obviously we love all native birds equally, so can't condone their smear campaign, but we're not surprised. Bird of the Year always involves a lot of dirty tactics and tricks - just like any political event."
This year has been the most popular Bird of the Year competition to date, with 30,000 entries raising more than $10,000.
To cast your vote go to www.birdoftheyear.co.nz
Voting closes on Monday.