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The stories New Zealanders followed most closely this year

The rescue of the stranded schoolboys from an underground cave in Thailand was the story that New Zealanders followed most closely this year.

That's the result of polling by UMR Research, which has released a list of the stories New Zealanders reported they followed most avidly this year.

The second most followed story was petrol price hikes in October, followed by the primary school teachers' strike in August.

The ban on single use plastic bags and Cyclone Gita were also big stories for New Zealanders.

The top political story of the year was the National Party leak scandal involving Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's tour of the United States coming second.

Internationally, apart from the Thailand cave story, New Zealanders were interested in the finding of a needle in Australian strawberries, and the mass shooting at a Florida school.

Since 2003, the most closely followed story for New Zealanders has been the Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, followed by the Pike River Mine disaster.
Top news stories in 2018

1. The rescue of the boys from a cave in Thailand

2. Rising fuel costs

3. Primary teachers strike

4. Banning of single use plastic bags

5. Twelve boys and their coach found alive in a cave in Thailand

6. Cyclone Gita

7. Record breaking heat wave

8. Nurses strike

9. Needles found in Australian strawberries

10. Floods from Cyclone Fehi
Top news stories each month

January - Jacinda Ardern announcing that she is pregnant

February - Cyclone Gita

March - The 2018 Census

April - The recent wintery storm and power outages around New Zealand

May - The historic meeting between North and South Korean leaders

June - Nurses' plan to strike after rejecting the latest pay offer

July - The rescue of the boys from a cave in Thailand

August - Primary school teachers' strike

September - Needles found in Australian-grown strawberries

October - Rising fuel costs

November - The rolling teachers' strike

December - The controversy around the Nelson Santa parade
Top political news in 2018

1. The National party scandal involving Jami-Lee Ross and Simon Bridges

2. Jacinda Ardern's tour of the United States

3. Bill English's resignation and the National Party leadership contest

4. Government plans to eradicate M Bovis

5. Jacinda Ardern announcing that she is pregnant

6. The rolling teachers' strike

7. The decision to re-enter the Pike River Mine

8. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returning to her duties after maternity leave

9. The government's decision to stop future offshore oil exploration

10. Winston Peters moving into the role of Prime Minister
Top international news in 2018

1. The rescue of the boys from a cave in Thailand

2. Twelve boys and their football coach found alive in a cave in Thailand

3. Needles found in Australian-grown strawberries

4. The mass shooting at a high school in Florida

5. The meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

6. The controversy around the murder of the Saudi Arabian journalist

7. The historic meeting between North and South Korean leaders

8. Brett Kavanaugh's appointment as a Supreme Court Justice in the United States

9. Volcanic eruptions in Hawaii

10. The 2018 Commonwealth games
 

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