Year in Search: New Zealand's most Googled questions of 2023 revealed, including trending recipes, how-tos, and definitions

As 2023 draws to a close, it's the perfect time to reflect on the moments and milestones of the past 12 months that made the year what it was: a hodgepodge of historic events, hosting women's soccer and heavy rain - not to mention a Census, cyclone, and all the coalition chaos of the general election.

To make sense of yet another year in the books, Google has released its annual Year in Search results, revealing what captured Kiwis' interest, the trending events, figures and foods, and the burning questions only a search engine could solve.

For a quick rundown on some of our most Googled terms of 2023, you can read this wrap here - but if you've come for a full, comprehensive breakdown of the whys, whats and hows, this is it.  

We all know 2023 has been a big year in little old Aotearoa, with the likes of the general election, Cyclone Gabrielle, Auckland's flooding, Jacinda Ardern's resignation and the Census, but there have also been numerous international events that have captured our attention, for better or for worse. Whether it was the Coronation of new monarch King Charles III, the Rugby World Cup, the Titan submersible implosion, or the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, the year has seen historic highs and heart-wrenching lows. 

Aside from the news headlines, Kiwis also looked for some escapist relief this year, whether that be by watching a new series, trying new recipes, or getting creative with good-old-fashioned DIY crafts. Many of us were also using the internet productively, seeking answers to all-important questions like 'How to get rid of my AI on Snapchat' - or actually important questions, such as 'How to vote', which indicate many of us were looking to educate ourselves in some way or another.

The top questions Kiwis were asking Google this year included:


  1. How to vote  
  2. How to lock Facebook profile  
  3. How to watch Rugby World Cup
  4. How to deactivate Facebook
  5. How to solve a Rubik's cube
  6. How to get rid of my AI on Snapchat  
  7. How to say happy Matariki  
  8. How to register to vote  
  9. How to watch Women's World Cup  
  10. How to find Matariki.


  1. What is Threads?  
  2. What is happening in Israel?  
  3. What is Hamas?  
  4. What is a blue moon?  
  5. What is ALS?
  6. What is the Willow Project?  
  7. What is Oppenheimer about?
  8. What is ChatGPT?
  9. What is a culvert?
  10. What is Matariki Day?   
Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer
A lot of Kiwis were curious about Oppenheimer this year. Photo credit: Universal


  1. Why is Israel and Gaza fighting?
  2. Why is Book Depository closing?
  3. Why were chainsaws invented?  
  4. Why is there an egg shortage?
  5. Why did Hamas invade Israel?
  6. Why was the Interislander ferry Kaitaki in the news last week?  
  7. Why did Jacinda Ardern retire?
  8. Why is China upset with Japan?
  9. Why were some roads closed and the public asked to avoid an area in central Auckland last week?
  10. Why is it called a blue moon?


  1. Culvert  
  2. Cis white male  
  3. Wan  
  4. Woman  
  5. Proclaim  
  6. Staid  
  7. Credo  
  8. Snafu  
  9. Contempt  
  10. Misogyny.

New Zealand's foodies were also out in force this year, with Kiwis showing a keen interest in cooking, baking and trying new recipes. The top trending food-related search data for 2023 is as follows:

Sweet recipes

  1. Cookie
  2. Scone
  3. Afghan
  4. Icing
  5. Mug cake 
  6. Red velvet cake
  7. Pancakes
  8. Muffin
  9. Orange cake
  10. Pikelets.
Pancakes and pikelets were among Kiwis' most Googled recipes. Photo credit: Getty Images

Savoury recipes  

  1. Yorkshire pudding  
  2. Focaccia
  3. Coronation quiche  
  4. Coronation chicken  
  5. Teriyaki sauce  
  6. Fry bread  
  7. Pulled pork  
  8. Bagel  
  9. Big Mac Sauce  
  10. Chicken nibbles.

How to cook...

  1. How to cook pasta  
  2. How to cook steak  
  3. How to cook lamb chops  
  4. How to cook brown rice  
  5. How to cook tofu  
  6. How to cook choko  
  7. How to cook rhubarb  
  8. How to cook salmon  
  9. How to cook crayfish  
  10. How to cook frankfurters.

Here's the rest of New Zealand's trending search data for 2023:


  1. Cyclone Gabrielle
  2. Matthew Perry
  3. Election results
  4. Census 2023
  5. Auckland Airport
  6. Auckland flooding
  7. Jacinda Ardern
  8. War in Israel and Gaza 
  9. Auckland shooting
  10. Submarine missing.

Sporting events  

  1. Rugby World Cup
  2. FIFA World Cup
  3. NRL Ladder
  4. Cricket World Cup
  5. Warriors vs Broncos
  6. All Blacks vs Ireland
  7. ASB Classic
  8. Ashes 
  9. All Blacks vs France
  10. Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury.

Sports teams

  1. Warriors
  2. All Blacks
  3. Black Caps
  4. Inter Miami
  5. Lakers 
  6. Football Ferns
  7. Wrexham
  8. Chiefs
  9. Breakers
  10. Manchester City.


  1. Matthew Perry
  2. Sinead O'Conner
  3. Jock Zonfrillo
  4. Ken Block
  5. Tina Turner
  6. Nicola Bulley
  7. Yanfei Bao
  8. Cal Wilson 
  9. Angus Cloud
  10. Lance Reddick.

Global figures

  1. Posie Parker
  2. Andrew Tate
  3. Taylor Swift
  4. David Beckham
  5. Harry Styles 
  6. Prince Harry
  7. Margot Robbie
  8. Jeremy Renner
  9. Elton John
  10. Ed Sheeran.

Notable New Zealanders 

  1. Ryan Fox
  2. Israel Adesanya  
  3. Liam Lawson
  4. Lydia Ko  
  5. Dai Henwood
  6. Shaun Johnson  
  7. Rachin Ravindra  
  8. Simon Barnett  
  9. Sam Whitelock  
  10. Michael Boxall.

New Zealand politicians

  1. Jacinda Ardern  
  2. Chris Hipkins
  3. Kiri Allen
  4. Christopher Luxon
  5. Winston Peters 
  6. David Seymour
  7. Carmel Sepuloni
  8. Wayne Brown
  9. Chlöe Swarbrick
  10. Marama Davidson.


  1. Oppenheimer
  2. Barbie
  3. Avatar
  4. Everything Everywhere All at Once 
  5. Guardians of the Galaxy
  6. John Wick 4
  7. The Menu
  8. Sound of Freedom  
  9. Puss in Boots 
  10. Glass Onion.


  1. The Last of Us 
  2. Ginny & Georgia
  3. The Night Agent
  4. Daisy Jones & The Six
  5. Wednesday 
  6. Queen Charlotte
  7. Succession
  8. Beef
  9. White Lotus 
  10. The Idol.


  1. Headboard
  2. Chicken coop 
  3. Lash extensions
  4. Easy Halloween costumes
  5. Chocolate gift box ideas
  6. Mother's Day gifts 
  7. Solar panels
  8. Dog wash
  9. Fly screen
  10. Advent calendar.