What was on our minds in 2012?
As 2012 drew to a close, we asked our Stuff Nation readers to sum up 2012 in five words to create a picture of what was on our minds during the year. See our interactive word cloud below.
The economic struggles of many Kiwis, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and the failed end-of-the world predictions for December 21 were all hot topics, but the top five words of 2012 were:
1. Olympics: The London Olympics started with a pop-fuelled British bang and went on to be one of New Zealand's most successful with six gold medals and a record-equalling 13 in total. The games saw plenty of triumph on the water with our rowers, sailors and Lisa Carrington in the canoe, as well as controversy-turned-victory when shot-putter Valerie Adams got a belated gold medal after her Belarusian rival was stripped of the Olympic title for using a banned steroid. It was 16 days worth of super-human sport to make every Kiwi proud.
2. Gangnam: It was the year of the horse dance as Psy's K-Pop sensation Gangnam Style went viral and now has more than a billion views on YouTube. Spoof videos abounded and even Prime Minister John Key had a go while on a radio show before Christmas. Oppa, is it over yet?
3. Dotcom: The Kim Dotcom case dominated New Zealand headlines for much of the year and layer upon layer of controversy began unravelling. Dotcom, 37, who ran the world's largest file-sharing site from his $30 million mansion in Auckland, was arrested in January on US anti-piracy charges and faces extradition. Since then allegations of illegal spying, Prime Minister John Key's knowledge of Dotcom prior to the arrest, and political donations and a gift to Act leader John Banks have turned the case in to an international saga that will continue well in to 2013.
4. Hobbit: The production and premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington brought an international media and fan frenzy to our capital in November. Thousands lined the streets of Courtenay Pl to see all the big stars including Peter Jackson, Cate Blanchett and the hobbit himself, Martin Freeman. Now we wait to do it all again...
5. Economy: In summary, in 2012 we realised we're up the debt creek and we need a fiscal paddle, stat. Our economy is going through its slowest recovery from a downturn in 80 years, jobs are scarce, families are struggling, houses are unaffordable and the country has been fiercely debating what the best way to sort the whole thing out is. Here's hoping we find some answers in 2013.