Judith Collins has trumped Simon Bridges in Twitter's top-mentioned Kiwi politicians, coming in second place after Jacinda Ardern.
Of all Kiwi politicians the Prime Minister was the most tweeted about with a 40.3 percent share of Twitter mentions, followed by Ms Collins with 19.2 percent, Mr Bridges with 15.8 percent, and Green MPs Golriz Ghahraman and Marama Davidson with 12.4 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively.
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Twitter's Kara Hinesley, head of public policy, government and philanthropy for Australia and New Zealand, said there is no definitive explanation for why Ms Collins garnered a higher share than her party's leader, but said some politicians use the platform more effectively.
"There are certain politicians that gravitate towards the social media platforms, especially Twitter, and they just really know how to use it well and use it to their advantage," she said, adding that politicians who reply to questions are often most popular.
It comes as Ms Collins creeps closer to Mr Bridges in the preferred Prime Minister stakes. However, both National MPs remain well-behind Prime Minister Ardern.
"There are a lot of reasons why people can get pushed up on the list," said Ms Hinesley.
"Whenever we're doing these metrics, we're tracking the volume of conversations. We're not looking at the actual content - just the volume as it's trending on the platform."
"As you'd expect, the top discussed leader was Jacinda Ardern," she added.
"She took up over 40 percent of conversations, because as an international figure, and the decisions she's made as Prime Minister, they were very newsworthy and forward-thinking.
There was some "interesting synergy" there with her partner Clarke Gayford, Ms Hinesley said, "who is also very prominent on Twitter and is very open about his role" as primary caretaker of the couple's baby Neve.
New Zealand's most-popular tweet of the year, Twitter revealed, was by a user called Janina Matthewson, who wrote, "NZ's prime minister is having a baby with a man she's not married to and he's going to be a stay at home dad while she runs the country. Welcome to 2018..."
In terms of the most talked about topics around New Zealand politics, #tax took out the top spot, followed by #cannabis, #union, #Nauru and #businessconfidence.
"We saw spikes in conversation around fuel tax and sugar tax," said Ms Hinesley.
"Those were issues that were trending whenever they came up in politics when folks started talking about how that would affect them in their everyday lives."
"One of the really interesting things too that we saw on the platform was conversations around cannabis and the new reforms that are being introduced in Parliament around how cannabis is being used for palliative care."
Ms Hinesley was referring to changes proposed by the Government for the Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill, which would make medicinal cannabis access wider and faster. Conversations have also centered on legalising recreational cannabis in New Zealand.
"We even saw a really interesting conversation between former Prime Minister Helen Clark and the youngest MP Chlöe Swarbrick," said Ms Hinesley.
Top trending topics around #nzpol:
Twitter's general top five NZ topics: