Mittens The Cat Battles Jacinda Ardern For New Zealander Of The Year

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 21 Aug 2020 10:00
Mittens The Cat Battles Jacinda Ardern For New Zealander Of The YearMittens The Cat Battles Jacinda Ardern For New Zealander Of The Yearpandoratolson/Twitter/PA Images

New Zealand celebrity Mittens the cat is running to be New Zealander of The Year, and he already has my vote.

Mittens is running against the likes of country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and, while Ardern may have done an arguably great job at running New Zealand during the pandemic, is she fluffy with four legs and a cute face?


In addition to Ardern, the feline is running against others such as clothing designer Kelly Coe, journalist Patrick Gower, musician Dane Rumble, and microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles.

Mittens rose to fame after being spotted out and about several times in Wellington; the outgoing feline visited local tattoo shops, churches and even the university – maybe he wants to enrol in a Mewsic degree?

Concern was raised for the cat after he was regularly seen on his own around Wellington, so worried locals took him to a local police station. Following several encounters with Mittens, a member of New Zealand’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) took it upon themselves to create a Facebook page for the popular cat, so people could keep up to date on his adventures.


The page, called The Wondrous Adventures of Mittens, boasts an impressive 54,500 followers and allows people to post photos of his whereabouts. The most recent picture was posted three hours ago, at time of writing, in which Mittens can be seen sticking his head into a shopping bag, probably looking for Pawsecco…

It’s not been reported how many people have nominated the cat, but he’s in for the running and that’s all that matters.

The description for the award for Kiwibank’s New Zealander of The Year reads:


The Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year Award – Te Pou Whakarae o Aotearoa honours the achievements and contributions of an inspirational Kiwi who has made a big, positive contribution to our country this year. Their pursuit of excellence can be in any area; science, business, the arts, cultural or community involvement, te Ao Māori, sport, education, and health. Their achievements have positive effects on how we feel about our nation and ourselves.

Whoever nominated Mittens had to explain: who benefits from Mittens’ ‘work’ and how; how he sets a positive example; what he’s done to go above and beyond to show leadership; how thoughtful he is towards challenges; how he demonstrates a positive impact and how this award would benefit him.

While I’ve never met Mittens, I personally think he fits the bill and makes the purrfect winner.


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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, cat, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, Now


Newshub and 1 other
  1. Newshub

    NEW ZEALAND New Zealander of the Year: Ashley Bloomfield, Jacinda Ardern, Patrick Gower and Mittens in the running

  2. The Guardian

    Celebrity cat called Mittens in the running to be New Zealander of the year