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Introducing Otago Museum’s jewelled gecko… ‘Manawa’

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Otago Museum’s treasured jewelled gecko – moko kākāriki has officially been named, following a competition run by the Museum seeking inspiration from the community.

Members of the public were asked to suggest their favourite names, with the top three entries, selected by a panel of Museum staff and Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou representatives, going out to public vote.

From over 950 entries and 929 total votes, ‘Manawa’ emerged as the preferred name for the Museum’s latest resident, who lives in a purpose-built terrarium on the Museum’s Atrium Level 1.

The rationale behind the winning name and entry was particularly poignant. Referencing the te reo Māori word ‘manawa’, meaning heart, the winning entrant explained how geckos are not only special in her heart, but also the heart of many conservation stories. She also felt the gecko deserved a strong name after the journey it has been through to get to the Museum, and a name that is tied to our Kiwi love of nature.

The winning prize package includes not only officially naming the Museum’s resident gecko, but also a family combo pass to the Perpetual Guardian Planetarium and Discovery World Tropical Forest, a $50 voucher for both the Museum Shop and Café, and a family tour of the Museum’s galleries.


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