The penguins arrive in Christchurch

It’s been an exciting week for the Pop Up Penguins project as the penguins have landed in the city.

To add some drama to the arrival a few little ones got stranded in Antarctica and we had to ask our friends at Air New Zealand to pick them up and fly them into the city. These little ones were happily welcomed at Christchurch International Airport by a couple of the large penguins, Jim Davis representing Harcourts our Presenting Partner and Maddy Lloyd from Breakfast News on TVNZ1.

You can see the story unfold here

The penguins will take part in the Pop Up Penguins art trail, launching on the streets of Christchurch in late November.

We now have almost all of the 65 school penguins adopted by schools from across the city. The Pop Up Penguins Learning Programme is supported by Antarctica NZ, the International Antarctic Centre, CONMAP, the College of Education, Health and Human Development and Gateway Antarctica and will teach students about penguins and Christchurch’s connection to Antarctica.

Sponsors of the large sculptures have started choosing from our portfolio of 128 designs, sent in by talented artists from Canterbury and beyond. These imaginative designs will bring each penguin to life, and we can’t wait to share their beauty with all the trail followers who be hunting them out over the summer.

At the end of the Pop Up Penguins art trail, the large penguins will be sold at auction to raise money for Cholmondeley Children’s Centre. In 2014, the giraffe sculptures of Christchurch Stands Tall sold for a total of $465,000, 75% of which was given to charitable causes. With their regular fundraising events cancelled due to Covid-19, the Cholmondeley team is hopeful the penguins will raise much-needed funds for the charity next February.

CEO for Cholmondeley, Arron Perriam reflects, “When you’re an essential service that’s 80% community funded and you lose a significant portion of your fundraising revenue, it’s a big blow. These penguins bring with them a great opportunity for Cholmondeley Children’s Centre and we are looking forward to seeing them colour our city come summer”

We’re so grateful to have the support of our city leaders, who are enthusiastic about the event.

“We can all remember the effect the giraffes of Christchurch Stands Tall had on our city as we were in recovery from the earthquakes,” says Mayor Lianne Dalziel. “They brought people into the city and gave everyone, young and old, something joyful to share for a whole summer. Now Pop Up Penguins will populate the city this summer, a great theme for one of the world’s five gateway cities to Antarctica. We need events and creative projects like Pop Up Penguins to draw people into the central city, promote creativity, delight children, connect communities and celebrate life. I encourage businesses in a position to do so, to support this project and give Christchurch a summer of smiles.”

If your company would like to sponsor a large penguin on the trail, please contact our Event Producer, Claire Cowles –

Pop Up Penguins

Pop Up Penguins