Who says the New Zealand holiday period is nothing but an extended slow news week made up of pet capers and teen misadventures? And although 2014 has now disappeared like a Trumpet down Rachel Hunter's gob, or Jim hanging up his hat on the weather report, you can relax in the knowledge that the news will once again roll in Godzone country, no matter how small or quaint it may seem. Not even the latest earthquake, the country's least favourite phenomenon, can shake NZ's stride into 2015.
Heading the hot-button issues of the holidays is the news that the founder of pet-finding service Pets on Net had lost her cat in Thames. Fear not though cat-lovers, Snoopy was found the next day – she had just gone down the wharf for some fish and chips. Further south in Canterbury, nine cats risked a daring escape for freedom from a cattery on Christmas Eve. Two of the cats were later returned to their owners, but the other seven remain on the lam including Tiger (clearly the ringleader) who remained elusive even when offered a hare's leg.
Someone started Christmas off with a zing after $15K worth of V was stolen from a warehouse in South Auckland. If you received a pallet of energy drink from Santa, the Manukau Police would like to speak to you.
It is common knowledge that drinking lots of water is the beauty tip of all attractive celebrities, but it's also being credited with helping the perfect attendance record of an Auckland schoolboy. The 13-year-old from Blockhouse Bay has not missed a single day of school since starting at the age of five, taking an hour-long scooter ride each morning and afternoon by himself. Christopher Kerata credits drinking lots of water as his secret to staying healthy enough to achieve his record. We could all look to Christopher as an example in the post-Christmas-binge slump.
Do you have a tubby friend but can only think of subtle ways to tell them it's time to put down the Big Bens? A weight loss company in NZ have come up with an indelicate company name in order to fat-shame participants into dramatic dieting. Fat Mates has proven to be a huge success with one participant recording a loss of 13.5kg in 8 weeks — about the weight of one skinny mean friend.
All eyes again turned to the news on January 1 to assess the behaviour of young Kiwis on New Year's Eve. This year was especially eventful as it transpired that Whanga and the Mount are now for oldies and nerds, and the new hotspot for trouble is Gisborne. Although prior to the festivities the Hawke's Bay Police had specifically asked the crowd at the BW Festival not to be dickheads, many chose to blatantly ignore the advice and were in fact big fat dickheads. Police even went so far as to describe some of the troublemakers as "bad eggs". There were 63 arrests made as drunken revellers set fire to tents and airbeds, hurled bottles at each other and generally looked like gross munters.
A happier time was had in Cromwell, where the golf club has sent out a plea for the owner of a pair of knickers and white wedge heels to collect their lost goods, which were recovered from the green on the first day of the year.
Finally, John Key proved himself to be a most patriotic Kiwi when a recent study showed that the phrase he has used most frequently since coming to power is ... New Zealand. Good on you John, this totally makes up for all the times you sold off state assets.
Follow Carolyn on Twitter: @wowcat9