Year in Search: The moments that defined 2017 in New Zealand

Kiwis searched for slime, sport and spaghetti bolognese in 2017

2017 was an action-packed year for New Zealand. We won the America’s Cup. We elected a new government. We kept a close eye on world news and events, but found time to try new things at home. We lost some truly amazing people, but celebrated the true heroes among us. To see the year off in style, here’s a wrap of the top trending* searches brought Kiwis together in Search.

On top of the world

New Zealand’s victory in the America's Cup in Bermuda put the country back on top of the yachting world, and put the tournament high on our trending search list this year. True to form, we also spent a lot of time checking out other major sporting events like the Lion’s Tour and the Melbourne Cup. The highly addictive fidget spinner came in at number three, spinning its way into our hearts, hands and searches for much of the year.

Democracy and disasters

The General Election led our news searches in 2017, undoubtedly the biggest news moment of the year with almost 80% of enrolled Kiwis turning out to vote (how to vote was also a very popular search term in 2017). We were also preoccupied with wild weather events that wreaked havoc here and abroad, from hurricanes and cyclones to flooding and fires.

Politicians and other public figures

Half of our top ten trending Kiwis this year were politicians. New Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern came out at number one, while interest in her partner Clarke Gayford also put him on the list. We also searched for our favourite sports legends, including Peter Burling, Jerome Kaino and the late All Black Sione Lauaki.

Honouring the departed

We mourned the loss of some greats this year, too. John Clarke, the Kiwi behind the cultural icon Fred Dagg sadly passed away. Other legends we said goodbye to included Silver Fern and international netball player Tania Dalton, singer-songwriter Tom Petty and actor John Hurt.

How do you make slime, anyway?

Our top ‘how to…?’ searches for 2017 show we were completely obsessed with making slime, with four of top ten trending searches related to this sticky endeavour. But just to show we can be serious too, ‘How to vote in NZ’ took the number two spot, while the popularity of ‘how to cook pork belly’ proves we were keen to keep mixing it up in the kitchen. We also asked some pretty eclectic questions, with topics ranging from cryptocurrency to kimchi. And fidget spinners, just for good measure.

Meat makes a comeback

Our top recipe searches show our love affair with meat dishes continued in 2017. Beef stroganoff, pulled pork, lamb shanks and spaghetti bolognese all tickled our taste buds throughout the year, joined by other non-meaty favourites like hot cross buns, pikelets, and the perennial Year in Search classic, pancakes!

And that’s just a preview. To dive into the top trending terms of the year, check out New Zealand’s full trending lists*:

Overall searches

  1. Lotto result NZ
  2. America's Cup 2017
  3. Fidget spinner
  4. Election NZ 2017
  5. NZTA road closures
  6. Cyclone Cook
  7. All Blacks vs Lions
  8. Melbourne Cup 2017
  9. North Korea
  10. Daylight savings 2017


  1. Election NZ 2017
  2. NZTA road closures
  3. Cyclone Cook
  4. North Korea
  5. Hurricane Irma
  6. Christchurch fire
  7. New Zealand flooding
  8. London fire
  9. UK election
  10. Cyclone Debbie

Global People

  1. Harvey Weinstein
  2. Ed Sheeran
  3. Bruce Springsteen
  4. Pippa Middleton
  5. Kevin Spacey
  6. Gal Gadot
  7. Floyd Mayweather
  8. Jake Paul
  9. David Cassidy
  10. Bruno Mars


  1. Jacinda Ardern
  2. Winston Peters
  3. Bill English
  4. Jerome Kaino
  5. Peter Burling
  6. Jaylene Cook
  7. Clarke Gayford
  8. Sione Lauaki
  9. Metiria Turei
  10. Todd Barclay


  1. Tom Petty
  2. Chester Bennington
  3. Tania Dalton
  4. Hugh Hefner
  5. Bill Paxton
  6. Carissa Avison
  7. Rich Piana
  8. John Clarke
  9. John Hurt
  10. Dan Vickerman

Sporting events

  1. America's Cup 2017
  2. All Blacks vs Lions
  3. Melbourne Cup 2017
  4. Wimbledon 2017
  5. World Masters Games
  6. Bathurst 2017
  7. Rugby League World Cup
  8. Mayweather vs McGregor
  9. US Open 2017 tennis
  10. Australian Open 2017

How to…?

  1. How to make slime
  2. How to vote in NZ
  3. How to make a fidget spinner
  4. How to make slime without borax
  5. How to make fluffy slime
  6. How to delete Instagram accounts
  7. How to make slime without glue
  8. How to lose weight
  9. How to draw a dragon
  10. How to cook pork belly

What is…?

  1. What is Black Friday 2017
  2. What is typhoid
  3. What is bitcoin
  4. What is kimchi
  5. What is the time
  6. What is a fidget spinner
  7. What is botulism
  8. What is borax
  9. What is a cyclone
  10. What is MSG

  1. Hot cross buns
  2. Beef stroganoff
  3. Pikelets
  4. Spaghetti bolognese
  5. Yorkshire pudding
  6. Pancakes
  7. Pulled pork
  8. Slime
  9. Anzac biscuits
  10. Lamb shanks