How to make slime, how to vote and fidget spinners - Kiwis' weird and wonderful Google searches in 2017

It's a staple of Saturday night television and the Lotto results were the number one thing Kiwis Googled this year.

The most talked about topic on Facebook, America's Cup 2017, was also Googled by New Zealanders a lot, coming in second.

Each year a new toy takes the stage and this year the fidget spinner had kids in a craze. It was third on the list of our top Google searches in 2017.

In other categories, the most Googled New Zealander was Jacinda Ardern.

And parents won't be surprised to hear that 'slime' featured five times in the 'How to' category. 

Beef Stroganoff is obviously a Kiwi favourite, taking second place in the recipes category, with hot cross buns coming out on top.

Here are the top things New Zealanders searched on Google in 2017:

Overall searches

1          Lotto result NZ
2          America's Cup 2017
3          Fidget spinner
4          Election NZ 2017
5          NZTA road closures
6          Cyclone Cook
7          All Blacks vs Lions
8          Melbourne Cup 2017
9          North Korea
10        Daylight savings 2017 

News

1          Election NZ 2017
2          NZTA road closures
3          Cyclone Cook
4          North Korea
5          Hurricane Irma
6          Christchurch fire
7          New Zealand flooding
8          London fire
9          UK election
10        Cyclone Debbie           

Global People

1          Harvey Weinstein
2          Ed Sheeran
3          Bruce Springsteen
4          Pippa Middleton
5          Kevin Spacey
6          Gal Gadot
7          Floyd Mayweather
8          Jake Paul
9          David Cassidy
10        Bruno Mars     

Kiwis

1          Jacinda Ardern
2          Winston Peters
3          Bill English
4          Jerome Kaino
5          Peter Burling
6          Jaylene Cook
7          Clarke Gayford
8          Sione Lauaki
9          Metiria Turei
10        Todd Barclay

Loss

1          Tom Petty
2          Chester Bennington
3          Tania Dalton
4          Hugh Hefner
5          Bill Paxton
6          Carissa Avison
7          Rich Piana
8          John Clarke
9          John Hurt
10        Dan Vickerman

Sporting events

1          America's Cup 2017
2          All Blacks vs Lions
3          Melbourne Cup 2017
4          Wimbledon 2017
5          World Masters Games
6          Bathurst 2017
7          Rugby League World Cup
8          Mayweather vs McGregor
9          US Open 2017 tennis
10        Australian Open 2017

How to…?

1          How to make slime
2          How to vote in NZ
3          How to make a fidget spinner
4          How to make slime without borax
5          How to make fluffy slime
6          How to delete Instagram accounts
7          How to make slime without glue
8          How to lose weight
9          How to draw a dragon
10        How to cook pork belly

What is…? 

1.         What is Black Friday 2017
2.         What is typhoid
3.         What is bitcoin
4.         What is kimchi
5.         What is the time
6.         What is a fidget spinner
7.         What is botulism
8.         What is borax
9.         What is a cyclone
10.       What is MSG

Recipes

1          Hot cross buns
2          Beef stroganoff
3          Pikelets
4          Spaghetti bolognese
5          Yorkshire pudding
6          Pancakes
7          Pulled pork
8          Slime
9          Anzac biscuits
10        Lamb shanks

Fidget spinners, the America's Cup, Jacinda Ardern and slime all rated highly. Source: Seven Sharp



Tourist tax incoming amid warnings councils need urgent help

A tourist tax will be introduced sometime next year, says the new Tourism Minister, amid warnings New Zealand's reputation is at risk unless action is taken quickly to help local councils cope with growing visitor numbers.

Destination Queenstown warns the tourist hot spot could join popular and crowded destinations like Venice and Barcelona in suffering from what's described as "over-tourism" if local authorities don't get more help with booming visitor numbers.

"If Queenstown loses its lustre, if you like, or its appeal, or the experience is degraded because of that lack of investment, we think that'll have a significant impact on the New Zealand reputation," Graham Budd of Destination Queenstown told 1 NEWS.

As part of his briefing in his new role, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis has been told Kiwis might feel "pushed out" due to overcrowding at attractions, pressure on local infrastructure or increases in hotel prices.

So officials say the Government needs to do more than just fund small infrastructure projects, and should introduce a tourist tax.

It's a real burden on ratepayers - Graham Budd of Destination Queenstown

"We're looking at a levy or something similar. We'll be talking to the industry to see what they say," Mr Davis said. 

Mr Budd says visitor levies "are the answer". 

New Zealand hosted 3.5 million tourists in 2016 and that's predicted to rise to 4.9 million by 2023. And in Queenstown, there are 39 visitors to every ratepayer.

"It's a real burden on ratepayers and, while one off funding from the Government for things like infrastructure, toilets for example, is fine, what that leaves is a legacy burden on a community to maintain, service, upgrade," Mr Budd said.

Mr Davis says the Government will announce more funding for community infrastructure projects later this week. 

But despite the officials' report calling for urgent action to help councils, he's in no hurry to confirm the introduction of a visitor levy, saying, "It'll be sometime next year."

It's a date that can't come soon enough for top tourist attractions as visitor numbers continue to surge.

It's putting pressure on the new Tourism Minister to act quickly on a promise to introduce a tourist tax. Source: 1 NEWS

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Deadly drug reaches NZ, spurs calls for legal recreational testing

The threat of the deadly drug Fentanyl is adding urgency to calls to let recreational users test their drugs legally.

With the summer music festival season looming, health experts warn people will die if they don't know exactly what they're taking.

Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication that is finding its way into recreational drugs.

In Melbourne alone, it has been linked to at least 10 deaths, often laced in heroin, and that has one New Zealand drug user scared.

"Too many people are dying because their drugs are not as advertised. It's a risk you take when buying illegal substances, but death should never be a consequence," the user told 1 NEWS, her comments voiced by an actor.

Wendy Allison of the community organisation Know Your Stuff offers to test people's recreational drugs so they know exactly what they're taking and are kept safe.

"Fentanyl is an emerging issue. I have reason to believe it's in New Zealand already," Ms Allison said.

She plans to be at music festivals over the summer but plans to keep a low profile.

There is a danger with such approaches that they encourage or are seen to encourage drug use. - Health Minister David Clark

"It's illegal to knowingly permit a venue to be used for offences against the Misuse of Drugs Act and it is illegal to be in possession of illicit substances. But we do neither of those things," she said.

Last summer, 70 per cent of the drugs Ms Allison tested were what they said they were. Ten per cent contained at least one other substance, while 20 per cent of the drugs were something completely different.

New Zealand Drug Foundation chief executive Ross Bell says it's time the law was clarified so Ms Allison and her team can do the testing without facing charges.

"We want to protect people from getting hurt or from dying. So the services sort of stand by themselves. In my mind this is a no brainer. We just need that legal protection," he said. 

The new Health Minister, David Clark, wants more information.

"There is a danger with such approaches that they encourage or are seen to encourage drug use. And the law as it stands must be respected," he said. 

New Zealand Police have not seized any Fentanyl, but Customs has seen a small increase at the border and that's a worrying sign for drug users and politicians alike. 

Health experts warn that people will die if they don't know exactly what they're taking. Source: 1 NEWS