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New Zealand's timeline of events

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/12/2016

JANUARY

1 - Campers around Northland, Auckland and Coromandel abandon their campgrounds because of wet and blustery weather.

FEBRUARY

5 - Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has a dildo thrown at him by a Waitangi protester.

14 - Christchurch is hit by the 5.7 "Valentine's Day earthquake", partially collapsing a cliff near Sumner.

22- Christchurch marks the fifth anniversary of the deadly 2011 quake disaster. Greymouth man John Howland was arrested after throwing a mixture of flour, eggs, vinegar and chocolate over Ilam MP Gerry Brownlee.

24 - Organisers announce public campaign to raise $2 million to buy a beach in Abel Tasman National Park has been successful.

MARCH

3- Former cricketer Martin Crowe dies after suffering from lymphoma for four years.

9-10 - Four police officers shot while investigating someone shooting at cannabis-spotting plane near Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty. Rhys Warren later arrested.

23 - Auckland businessman Jeremy Kerr, 60, is jailed for nearly nine years for the 2014 blackmail threat to lace baby formula with 1080.

24 - Nearly 57 per cent of voters say no to a new New Zealand flag following a two-year, $26m process.

30 - A study is released which says New Zealand has overtaken Australia for the highest rate of melanoma in the world.

APRIL

22- Police dog Gazza is shot dead when police try to arrest a man in a Porirua house.

MAY

27 - Russell John Tully jailed for at least 27 years following the 2014 murders of two WINZ staffers in their Ashburton offices.

JUNE

14 - Police reveal the country's largest ever methamphetamine seizure - 448kg (worth $448m) of the drug thought to have been dropped in the water off Northland's Ninety Mile Beach.

15 - Government announces record $2.5m compensation for Teina Pora, wrongly jailed for 1992 murder of Susan Burdett in Auckland.

JULY

21 - Kiwi freediver William Trubridge, 36, sets a new world record, descending 102m into Deans Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

25 - Government announces goal of making the country predator-free by 2050 in a bid to protect native species.

28 - Government announces Child, Youth and Family will be replaced by the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, with critics panning the name for its stigmatising name.

AUGUST

2 - Government announces it will give David Bain $925,000 but refuses to call it compensation for his years in jail.

5 - New Zealand judge Dame Lowell Goddard quits the UK's troubled inquiry into child sexual abuse.

11 - It is revealed All Black legend Sir Colin Meads has pancreatic cancer.

13 - School children in Havelock North start going down with a tummy bug, heralding the start of the town's outbreak of campylobacter caused by the water supply.

24 - Police reveal they have rescued a tramper from Fiordland's Routeburn Track. It is later revealed Pavlina Pizova had spent nearly a month in a hut after her partner died in a fall.

SEPTEMBER

2 - A magnitude-7.1 earthquake strikes about 130km off the East Cape. A tsunami warning is issued but later cancelled.

19 - French hitch-hiker Cedric Rault-Verpre, 27, is arrested and charged with attacking road signs after spending four days on the West Coast without getting a lift. He later said the country should be renamed "Nazi Zealand".

OCTOBER

6 - Former prime minister Helen Clark fails in bid to become United Nations secretary-general after Security Council unanimously recommended Portugal's Antonio Guterres.

14 - Former union leader Helen Kelly dies from cancer.

NOVEMBER

5 - Ireland beat the All Blacks for the first time in 111 years, scoring a 40-29 victory in Chicago.

14 - Magnitude-7.8 earthquake strikes 15km northeast of Culverden, north Canterbury. Two people die in the aftermath and Kaikoura suffers the most, being cut off by road.

20 - The Kiwis league side relinquishes their Four Nations league title, thrashed 34-8 by Australia in Liverpool.

28 - Singer and songwriter Ray Columbus dies, aged 74.

DECEMBER

5 - Prime Minister John Key announces he is quitting.

10 - Joseph Parker beats Andy Ruiz Jr to claim World Boxing Organisation's heavyweight title.

15 - Feroz Ali, the first person convicted of human trafficking in New Zealand, is jailed for nearly 10 years.

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