This year's Royal Cam chick
Image: DOC


The Royal Cam chick has a new name.


The competition for 2021 differed from past seasons to welcome our growing global audience and due to the impact of COVID-19.

The competition and voting was open to everyone across the globe. This gave all Royal Cam fans a chance to name the chick and win a prize.

Over 1,600 votes were cast across the five top names with voters coming from all over the world. About half of all votes were from New Zealand, around third from America, and about a fifth from Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany.

Winning name: Tiaki

The winning name for this year's Royal Cam chick was Tiaki. This name recevied 494 of the 1,615 votes we received. This was almost a third of all votes cast.


Tiaki means to protect, preserve, and care. The submitter of this name hopes it inspires protection of our planet and the care it needs. The name is to remind us to preserve the land and sea the Royal Cam chick and other wildlife depend on. 

Prize winners

Several prizes have been awarded to those who submitted a name from DOC and the Royal Albatross Centre. The Royal Albatross Centre generously supported each prize with unique items for royal albatross fans.

We'll be in contact with all winners to arrange postage of your prize. DOC will pay for any domestic or international shipping costs needed.

First prize winner

We had 8 people submit the winning name Tiaki. So the first prize pack has been awarded to a randomly picked person from those who submitted it.

The person drawn to receive first prize is Sylvia Govers. Sylvia will receive the first prize pack which includes a:

  • professionally printed and framed A3 image of this year's chick
  • Tumbleweed teeshirt worth $60 and
  • soft toy albatross chick worth $30.

Second prize winner

Second prize was awarded to a randomly drawn submission from the first shortlist. Our first shortlist was our selection of 20 names for Te Poāri a Pukekura (Pukekura Co-management Trust) to choose the top five.

This prize was awarded to Pip Wheatley. The second prize pack includes:

  • the 'Albatross: their world, their ways' book worth $40 and
  • an albatross chick toy with sound worth $25.

Spot prize winners

Spot prizes were also randomly selected from all valid name submissions. This year's spot prizes are going to Tanya Duncan and Jacob.

These prizes are worth up to $20 and include:

  • an albatross tea towel
  • a reusable travel cup and
  • fridge magnets.

How the chick's name was selected

We selected the top 20 names based on the theme and judging criteria. Te Poāri a Pukekura (Pukekura Co-management Trust) shortlisted these to the top five. The top five names then went to a public vote from 29 April to 6 May 2021.

The winning name was Tiaki, which received the most votes. It was announced Tuesday, 11 May 2021 on our Royal Cam livestream, website and social channels. 

The top five names in our 2021 competition and their votes were:

  1. Tiaki: 494 votes or 31% of all votes.
  2. Ururaki: 356 votes or 22% of all votes.
  3. Mahara: 276 votes or 17% of all votes.
  4. Ataraki: 274 votes or 17% of all votes.
  5. Kaihautū: 215 votes or 13% of all votes.

Theme and judging criteria

This year's competition theme is ‘kaitiaki’ which is the Māori concept of guardianship over the land, sea and sky. This theme has been chosen to inspire names that celebrate this vital role.

The presence of albatross can indicate if a natural environment is healthy. We can support the health of the natural spaces albatross need to nest, forage and fly wherever we are in the world. This will help ensure this special species and the Royal Cam chick can thrive.

The judges looked for names that:

  • had clear a relevance to the theme, the chick, colony or species
  • had strong originality and/or creativity
  • reflected the characteristics of northern royal albatross or their habitat on Pukekura/Taiaroa Head.

Read the full terms and conditions.

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