Memorable NZ news stories of 2015


From pooing in pools to pulling ponytails, New Zealand had its fair share of memorable news stories in 2015.

But what were the most memorable? 3 News sniffed around and yanked out some of them to look back on.

The Department of Corrections announced in December it would not renew Serco's contract to manage Auckland's Mt Eden Corrections Facility.

The decision came after the government department took over the day-to-day management of the prison in July, when footage emerged of prisoners allegedly taking part in organised fight clubs.

"For some time I have been considering whether the current contract is the best way to deliver services for this prison," said Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith. "I have decided that it is not."

Serco's Mt Eden contract will end officially in March 2017.

It's become one of the country's biggest mysteries – who was Invercargill's serial pool pooper?

For six Fridays in a row across February and March, the pooper – or poopers – struck at the city's Splash Palace Aquatic Centre.

"We refer to it as a 'code brown'," Aquatic Services Manager Pete Thompson said at the time.

"Normally there's a scream or a cry for help from the water. So we – as gently as possible – try to get everybody out of the pool."

One of the worst brown bombings saw the entire complex closed.

On Tuesday, March 10, police invited media to attend an urgent press conference at their national headquarters in Wellington.

We will be breaking into programming at 3:45pm for a story of national significance - on #3News and streaming on

— 3 News Editor (@3NewsEditor) March 10, 2015

Messages had been sent to Fonterra and Federated Farmers threatening to contaminate infant and other formula in protest against the use of the 1080 poison in pest control.

In October, police announced a 60-year-old businessman had been arrested in relation to the threats.

No contaminated formula was ever identified.

In April, John Key was caught up in a hair-pulling controversy, dubbed 'ponytail-gate'.

An Auckland waitress revealed the Prime Minister had repeatedly pulled her ponytail, against her wishes, in the Parnell café she worked at.

"That's very, very silly on my part," Mr Key admitted at the time. "I should have read the situation more accurately."

A claim against Mr Key, accusing him of breaching the Human Rights Act, was dismissed by the Human Rights Commission in October.

After years of negotiations, the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) – including New Zealand – agreed to a deal in October.

The TPP will get rid of 93 percent of tariffs on New Zealand exports, the Government says.

"The overall benefit of [the] TPPA to New Zealand is estimated to be at least $2.7 billion a year by 2030," said Mr Key.

It is a deal that faced (and is still facing) plenty of opposition, with several protests taking place around the country over the course of the year.

Before the TPPA comes into effect, the countries involved must ratify the deal.

3 News