Farmer Francis Helps and his wife Shireen have converted much of their Banks Peninsula land into a safe haven for one of the word’s smallest penguins, the rare white-flippered penguin, also known as korora. Helps said that he grew up surrounded by the small blue-white birds, which are known for their loud, football-like victory dances. “As a kid I can remember … all you could hear at night was penguins.” But even then the penguins were on the decline. Introduced pests had overrun the country. Twenty years ago Helps and the Department of Conservation (DOC) teamed up, installing traps to catch and kill the predators and nesting boxes to protect the penguins’ nests. The Helps also offer penguin tours and kayak trips to help fund conservation. “It’s just a really little slice of penguin paradise,” DOC ranger Anita Spencer said.