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The 2015 Idealog Year in Review Awards

The Hubba Bubba Bubble Burst of the Year Award

In 2014, Australian economist Paul Bloxham told CNBC that New Zealand would be the rockstar economy of the year, so a year later, Fiona Rotherham asked, Do we really have a rockstar economy?

Spoiler alert: not really. Solid? Sure, but (sorry John Key) not rockstar. 

Besides, as Jonathan Cotton argued later in the year, let’s stop it with the rock stars and ninjas, okay? Okay.

Illustration: Tane Williams

The Primo Milk They’re-Queuing-for-What? of the Year Award

Another one looking back to the distant past of 2014 (it was quite a year), Nikki Mandow went deep into the madness, the myth, and the mystery of Lewis Road, the ad-man-founded dairy company that made a chocolate milk so rare, it was being sold on TradeMe for tens of dollars.

The Barely-related (Third) Tower Insurance Conspiracy Theory of the Year Award

Henry Oliver has long been suspicious about those bottles of chocolate milk that were sold on TradeMe. He suspects that the first bottle sold on the auction site was, in fact, listed and bid on by agents of Lewis Road, generating news stories and copycat auctions, telling the sugary dairy consumers of our fair nation that not only was it perfectly normal to spend $8 on chocolate milk, it was cheap! Other patriots are paying over $20! $8 is the goddamn bargain of the goddamn year!

(There’s no Idealog story to link to and no ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’ to back this up, but c’mon sheeple!)


The All Blacks Not-Actually-a-Big-Deal-for-NZ of the Year Award

In August, the Chinese stock market crashed like the car in that movie Crash. Despite having no money in Chinese stocks, we all thought maybe we’d lose everything we’d never invested.

Thankfully, Jonathan Cotton was a quick call-to-Bernard-Hickey away from reassuring us that all would be okay, that chaos is the only constant, that death awaits us all, but that life is still beautiful.


The Miss Universe Internet-Miserablist/Faux-Ludditist of the Year Award

Jonathan sure has mixed feelings about the internet-of-things: “Any rational person can see that Amazon Dash is, in fact, outrageous in its horribleness at the very least, if not the first horseman of some sort of consumerist apocalypse itself.”

Take that Bezos!

Illustration by Angela Keoghan

The Gareth Morgan False Flag of the Year Award

2015 will (probably not) be remembered as the year of the flag. We seemed to endlessly cover the flag until we didn’t and got all hot and bothered about the mediocrity-guaranteeing consultation and selection process.

But one of our peaks of the year (sorry) was Henry’s hyperbolic submission to Red Peak fever (catch it!) He went a little far, and was proved wrong by John Key receiving some polling that probably showed that A) it was worth letting it be included in the referendum; and B) it wasn’t a threat to his favourite Lockwoods, but who can be held accountable for those heady days of Red Peak’s heroic, historic and histrionic return from the dead?

May it always fly proudly in our hearts.


The Elton John Rocket Man of the Year Award

It’s 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 … Peter Beck, of course! (Honorable mention to jet pack man, Glenn Martin of course). 

Vincent Heeringa went deep into what propels him and got us all inspired to follow our childhood dreams).


The Unsponsored Weird Mix of Technology and Grief of the Year Award

Tragedy struck Paris in November. It wasn’t funny and there isn’t really anything funny to say about it.

But, after the attacks, people were understandably freaking out and engaged in some behaviour on social media, which Henry wrote about soberly and seriously.

Image by Rupal Hira (original illustration by Jean Jullien)

The ANZ It’s 2020 and I’ve-Lost-All-My-Savings-Investing-in-a-Buzzword of the Year Award

We can probably all agree that if someone is trying to do something you think is really, really great and you really, really want to support them, it’s pretty cool of you to give them some of your money.

If you’ve been living under a rock, this is now known as crowdfunding (i.e. getting people to give you money for something). But crowdfunding is so 2014. 2015 is all about equity crowdfunding (i.e. getting people to give you money for something and giving them equity in return) and as Nikki reported, it’s still a very cool thing of you to do (if you can afford to lose the money).

Needless to say, if you’re looking for a solid investment, you should probably look elsewhere (like Kiwisaver, maybe).

And that’s it! Be good, stay safe, and we’ll see you next year for the 2016 awards…

Main image by Rupal Hira

One of the talented Idealog Team Content Producers made this post happen.

Review overview