The 11 oddest NZ stories of 2016

The 11 oddest NZ stories of 2016

New Zealand can be pretty weird at times.

This year, a Member of Parliament posed with his "member", and cats both helped fight crime and became material for a roadkill purse.

Whatever is happening in the news, you can be sure there will always be something a bit odd.

Here are 10 of the oddest stories from around Aotearoa in 2016:

Andrew Little and Andrew Big (Andrew Little/Twitter)
Andrew Little and Andrew Big (Andrew Little/Twitter)

We begin in the weird world of New Zealand politics. It was odd enough Whanganui artist Mark Rayner decided to create a full-frontal nude portrait of Labour Party leader Andrew Little, but it got even stranger when Mr Little himself posed alongside it (fully clothed, thankfully).

Mr Little told The Nation's end-of-the-year party the generous portrait had the right proportions everywhere, "apart from the arms".

Continuing the theme of phallic symbols and New Zealand politicians, who can forget when Steven Joyce copped a dildo to the nose at Waitangi?

It only got weird from there, as Mr Joyce issued a challenge to comedian John Oliver to feature it and, 10 days later, the comedian came through with an epic piece featuring Sir Peter Jackson proudly waving a New Zealand flag superimposed with an image of Mr Joyce and the dildo.

The 11 oddest NZ stories of 2016

An Auckland library was so thrilled with the return of a book that was due back in December 1948, it decided to waive the $24,604 overdue fine.

Myths and Legends of Maoriland by A W Reed was checked out of Epsom Library when the woman was a child and accidentally taken with her when she moved out of Auckland. The woman, who is now in her 70s, took very good care of the book.

The 11 oddest NZ stories of 2016

The best type of odd news involves cats and has a positive outcome, and this story has it all. A man in Auckland's Grey Lynn was arrested in May and the cat is the hero.

Skinny the cat came to owner Carly Marr's rescue in the early hours of the morning, alerting Ms Marr to the alleged peeping tom. Ms Marr was smoking a cigarette at around 2:30am, when Skinny suddenly took off, charging down the driveway with her head looking toward the road.

Ms Marr said she could see the concern on Skinny's face so she followed, and that's when she spotted a man on her property and called the police.

The 11 oddest NZ stories of 2016

This cat story didn't end as well - a controversial purse made from the corpse of a feral cat sold on Trade Me for $545 back in September.

Christchurch taxidermist Claire Third argued the roadkill accessory was all about respect for animals.

While the purse copped some flak from animal rights group SAFE, it was clearly not a problem for the fashionista who picked it up for a bargain.

Marianna Young and Toby Ricketts
Marianna Young and Toby Ricketts

Of all the New Zealand firsts, this ranks among the strangest. Toby Ricketts and Marianna Young, members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, tied the knot in April - dressed up like pirates.

The spoof "religion" has been around since 2005 and has a growing number of adherents. Mr Young says its fundamental tenets are "mindfulness, kindness and scepticism - and also dressing up like a pirate and drinking rum and having fun".

Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre (Facebook)
Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre (Facebook)

In September, a French hitchhiker threw a tantrum in the small West Coast town of Punakaiki, putting New Zealand in the spotlight again for bizarre reasons.

Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre was arrested over claims he attacked road signs in the town after Kiwis wouldn't give him a lift for four days.

When he appeared in Greymouth District Court the following day charged with wilful damage, he told reporters outside court New Zealand should be renamed "Nazi Zealand".

No this wasn't an episode of The Graham Norton Show, just Peter Jackson, Helen Clark and Pippa Middleton - all in the same story.

But they are not the celebrities and personalities you are thinking of. They are three people who suffer from mistaken identities.

As you would expect, sharing the same name with a well-known figure has some perks, but it's mostly just a pain.

The 11 oddest NZ stories of 2016

It was supposed to be a simple journey for goldfish Lil B from Wellington to Auckland, but the journey soon took a turn when the young traveller was rejected from the Jetstar flight.

Lil B's owner, James Ayr, had planned to travel with the goldfish in a Tupperware container as a birthday gift for his girlfriend.

After they were made unwelcome on their first flight, hopes sank, but Air New Zealand flew in to the rescue, even getting the goldfish his own plane ticket.

The kayak completed the trans-Tasman crossing without its occupant (Nathan Marshall/Facebook)
The kayak completed the trans-Tasman crossing without its occupant (Nathan Marshall/Facebook)

This story is less odd than just eerie and amazing. In May, a kayak that was abandoned 18 months previously during a trans-Tasman crossing attempt washed up on Auckland's Muriwai Beach.

Nathan Marshall stumbled across the kayak while taking his dogs for a run. It belonged to Stuart Cleary, who tried to cross the Tasman in it in December 2014. He had to abandon the kayak 110km out from Coffs Harbour after it took on water.

(Richard Lee/Facebook)
(Richard Lee/Facebook)

When Asian-Kiwi Richard Lee went to renew his passport this month, the Department of Internal Affairs' online checker rejected his photo because it said his eyes were closed.

While some called the system racist, Mr Lee didn't take it so seriously.

"I thought it was hilarious - not racist at all," he said.

"It's also great to see how many of my fellow Asians saw the funny side and was able to laugh about it."

Newshub.

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