News | 4 July 2022
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Landmark whale-chat recording on WCC Elections 2022

Te Whanganui-a-Tara Marine Mammal Translation Service shared this transcript recorded at Wellington Harbour, 14:00 hours 23 June 2022. Lat. 41°17′11″ S , Long. 174°46′32″ E, Depth 3.5 m.

Two animated whales in Wellington Harbour.

Tohorā 1 | Southern Right Whale 1, (juvenile female): My friend Jonah said now I’m 18 I can vote in the Wellington City elections. What’s the story?

Tohorā 2 | Southern Right Whale 2, (mature female): Oh yeah! You can. You enrol at Vote.NZ.

Whale 1: Er, but I don’t have a computer, or arms.

Whale 2: Leap on your whalephone and call 0800 36 76 56.

Whale 1: Then what?

Whale 2: They mail out the voting papers mid September. You put a 1 next to your favourite candidate, a 2 by your next favourite, and so on, and mail them back.

Squeaking (indecipherable), sound of tail slapping.

Whale 2: If you can’t fill in the form yourself, you can get someone to do it for you. Our friend wheke - he can do eight at once! Don’t forget – every whale counts.

Whale 1:  Jonah said I could stand for mayor, or be a councillor?

Whale 2: He tino pai whakaaro! Look up the info for candidates at

Whale 1: Am I eligible?

Whale 2: You’re 18 – good to vote, good to stand. Shall we surface to celebrate?

Whale 2. Yep, Let’s flip!

(Loud whoosh and sound of bubbles.)