It's been a year of highs and lows for New Zealand on the
international stage, with some standout figures and stunning
Here's a quick round-up of our winners and losers for 2013.
Lorde (left) and Eleanor Catton.
No list of Kiwi winners would be complete without a
mention of the three women trouncing their rivals on a global
scale this year - Auckland singer Lorde, golfer Lydia Ko and
Booker prize winner Eleanor Catton.
The trio have hit the top spot in their chosen fields,
soaring to international acclaim this year, with Lorde
topping the charts in the US and UK, Ko turning pro and
winning in just her second tournament as a professional,
while Catton became the youngest Man Booker prize winner,
with the longest book, for her epic novel The Luminaries.
In another coup for the women, a group of Auckland law
students made headlines around the world after their parody
of Robin Thicke's hit song Blurred Lines went viral.
The Law Revue Girls' Defined Lines took a stand against the
objectification of women and the songs' controversial lyrics,
but it sparked controversy of its own and was temporarily
banned from YouTube.
However, the prize for luckiest Kiwi surely goes to the
Christchurch man who nearly missed out on a $22.6 million
Lotto payout after believing the ticket had already been
The anonymous winner was tracked down by Lotto officials who
traced his jackpot Big Wednesday ticket after it lay
unclaimed for weeks.
Meanwhile, Maori Affairs MP Pita Sharples found a ray of
light among the formalities of Nelson Mandela's funeral when
he became "sandwiched" between supermodel Naomi Campbell and
Irish rocker Bono on the bus taking dignitaries to view the
South African leader's remains.
He tweeted it was "certainly an extraordinary occasion", and
told reporters he had a "good old chat" with Campbell, who
was "very gorgeous and has a groovy voice".
One image which was, unfortunately, seared into the minds
of sports fans this year was that of State of Origin streaker
The 33-year-old New Zealander ran onto the field wearing
nothing but joggers during the final minutes of the rugby
league decider in July, quickly incurring the wrath of
Queensland fans when he cost them an attempt at a try.
He was later jailed for three months and fined $2000 for his
The city of Wellington may have taken one of the biggest
blows of the year, after Sir Peter Jackson decided to hold
the premier of the second instalment of his Hobbit trilogy in
Los Angeles. To the dismay of New Zealand-based Tolkien fans,
the capital - which played host to the world premier of the
first film - was pushed to one side.
In another movie-related incident, New Zealand suffered on
the international stage when Oscar winning film Argo re-wrote
history by suggesting Kiwi diplomats turned away Americans
who escaped from a US Embassy hostage crisis during the 1979
Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Politicians here took it badly, formally criticising the
portrayal in Parliament, an action which saw other countries
poke fun at Kiwis' thin-skins.
But the furore prompted the release of official documents,
and an acknowledgment from the film's director and star Ben
Affleck who admitted it "casts Britain and New Zealand in a
way that is not totally fair".
And finally, do we dare mention the America's Cup? ... Too
- By Patrice Dougan of APNZ