MediaDecember 26, 2016

Spinoff Top 20 Countdown: The most-read stories across the site in the year AD 2016


Clicks and content, content and clicks: these are the posts that attracted the most eyeballs on friendly fledgling website ‘the Spinoff’ this year.

Tomorrow we’ll be publishing the Spinoff stories that were unfathomably spurned by readers, but for today, these are the 20 most clicked-upon articles from 2016, in reverse order.


From June, Madeleine Holden’s ‘This is how you raise a rapist’: on the culture which created Brock Turner – how the statements of Stanford student athlete and rapist Brock Turner’s family and friends point to the poisoned atmosphere which helps prominent men believe they are entitled to rape.


Some deplorable coverage of a high-profile murder case in Brisbane prompted Kristina Hard to write In defence of Warriena Wright: an open letter to a slut-shaming newspaper columnist.


Way back in January, Hirini Kaa wrote: Dear Mike Hosking – I saw your Waitangi rant, and I can help.



Duncan Greive reckoned Hilary Barry’s departure from TV3 amounted to more than just another MediaWorks human evacuation. And so he wrote Why Hilary Barry’s resignation is the climax of TV3’s red wedding.


David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s Tickled had its most gonzo moment yet when two of the film’s subjects dropped in for a Q&A in June. Joshua Drummond watched the chaos unfold on Facebook Live and documented it in It just gets weirder: watching David D’Amato’s bizarre appearance at Tickled screening.


In the days following the Kaikōura earthquake, scientists quickly concluded they were dealing with a whole bunch of ruptured faults. Toby Manhire interviewed some of the GNS experts for This stunning map shows that six faults – at least six – ruptured in the big Kaikoura quake.


Speaking of Kaikōura, how do you pronounce it? In You say Kai-kura, I say Kaikōura – why your inability to pronounce Māori place names pisses me off, Luke Tipoki lamented New Zealanders’ rubbish reo.


A major Hayden Donnell investigation brought the nation to standstill: Terrible news: We found out what the K in K Bar stands for and it’s not good.



A poem! Hera Lindsay Bird was the literary sensation of 2016, and it all – or a good part of it, at least – began with the publication of ‘Keats is Dead so Fuck me From Behind’ on the Spinoff Review of Books.


When Tony Veitch published a terrible column, Delaney Mes came to the rescue with a point-by-point rebuttal. We called it A point-by-point rebuttal of Tony Veitch’s terrible column.


Hard to believe the flag debate was still going into 2016. Simon Pound’s brilliant March piece summed it all up: A creative director’s last lament for this whole sorry flag fiasco.


A Spinoff investigation, ‘I will come forward’, revealed how a prominent New Zealand music identity conducted a troubling series of relationships with young women, including girls as young as 12.


New Zealand’s leading marijuana correspondent Don Rowe cracked a global audience in March with A nation in crisis – New Zealand’s catastrophic marijuana shortage.


Tickled director David Farrier investigated another deeply troubling online subculture in ‘Hello, my name is Ally’ – how children are being exploited by YouTube predators.


When the prime minister urged reporters to “google TradeMe” to find affordable housing, Madeleine Chapman said, all right then. The results: John Key suggested we Google TradeMe for homes under $500,000. So we did, and here they are.


Melanie Bracewell took a deep breath and launched herself Undercover at The Bachelor NZ’s The Women Tell All live event.



A stonking yarn from Tim Murphy: What happens when you appear before a judge you called a c*** on Facebook?


Fuelled by a rabble of Reddit debate worldwide, the click-bronze goes to Joshua Drummond’s impassioned New Zealand’s absurd gardening ban once again makes us the laughing stock of the internet.

Jemaine in his Manhattan wardrobe. Via jiffygiffy


In the very first days of the year, the death of David Bowie sent the year into a tailspin from which it never recovered. Jemaine Clement paid tribute to the great musician in his piece headlined On Writing Flight of the Conchords’ ‘Bowie’s in Space’.


Edging Clement out by a whisker – drum roll, etc – one that went through the roof in October: lawyer Natalya King on coverage of the incident of the rugby player and an airport toilet: Aaron Smith got screwed – and Stuff could end up getting sued.


Stories like these are powered by the generous support of our members. If you value what we do and believe in the importance of independent and freely accessible journalism – tautoko mai, donate today.

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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