The crazy popularity of Dunedin skateboarder Levi Hawken's
'Nek Minute' YouTube video has propelled him into the top 10
Google searches of 2011.
The 9 second clip, shot at a Fairfield skateboard park, has
racked up 1.5 million views and spawned countless parodies.
Now, the phrase 'Nek minute' has been revealed as one of the
most-searched phrases by Kiwis in 2011, alongside rugby,
Pippa Middleton, Sonny Bill Williams, the 1939kj bunless KFC
Double Down burger and the rumoured iPhone 5.
Google measures which search topics rocket and which plummet
in order to get a sense of the "zeitgeist'', or spirit, of
In 2011, the fastest rising search by New Zealanders was
perhaps unsurprisingly the Rugby World Cup.
Second on that list was "Japan earthquake'' after people hit
Google for more information about one of this year's most
This year, Sonny Bill Williams trumped Justin Bieber in the
most popular searched images, proving biceps and ball skills
could overcome Bieber fever.
Google New Zealand spokesman Johnny Luu said the global
internet search engine was often the first point of call for
"These annual search results give us a real snapshot of the
big events, memorable moments and growing trends in New
Zealand this year.''
Also high-up on the fastest-rising search ranking - comprised
of search terms that have seen the largest increase in volume
over the last year - was "Her Royal Hotness'', Pippa
Middleton, and the viral "nek
minute'' video on YouTube.
The California-based internet powerhouse also kept track of
the more quirky queries typed into the search engine.
The top searches for "what is?'' showed New Zealanders were
most interested in learning what "love'' is, with "energy'',
"culture'', "Twitter'' and "planking'' filling out the top
Prime Minister John Key's son's contribution to the online
craze of planking may well have led to the number of New
Zealanders questioning the internet fad.
The top celebrity fixes were predominantly from Hollywood,
with Kim Kardashian, Scarlett Johansson and Harry Potter's
Emma Watson making the top three.
But Kiwis were also a patriotic bunch, with Ken Ring, Kimbra
and Sonny Bill Williams making the fastest-rising people
Mr Luu said the year-end zeitgeist was a cultural barometer
that showed "what quickened our national heartbeat and drove
"From news and current affairs, to pop culture, sports, cars,
and everything in between, search trends reveal what's on our
collective minds,'' he said.