We look back on a big, successful year and reveal our most popular stories; announce expanded coverage for 2018

2017 has been another great year for us.

We delivered more than 3,000 original stories from our team of journalists and contributors.

We were visited by more than 1.9 million “unique readers” who dialed up 6.6 million sessions reading almost 16 million pages of content. All of these metrics were new all-time records for us.

Actually our ‘unique reader’ data is by IP address so it probably double counts readers who access our content using multiple devices.

But it is still a good proportion of New Zealand’s online adult population and more than half of them came at least once in the year to use our content and resources.

This year our journalists distinguished themselves. Gareth Vaughan won the Canon Media Award for Business Journalist of the Year. He also won Business Commentary category at the NZSA Business Journalism Awards. And at those same awards, Jen̩e Tibshraeny won the Business News category. We should also note that Jason Walls of NBR won the Young Business Journalist award Рand he subsequently agreed to join our team in 2018.

2017 of course featured the election campaign and we gave it our unique coverage. Not only were our stories of the economic issues well received, our policy comparatives were a real hit – which, given the much wider adoption by other media outlets of this type of assessment, was something of a pleasant surprise. Alex Tarrant did such a good job with his insightful coverage and analysis, newly-elected Finance Minister Grant Robertson promptly pinched him for a senior role in his office. We were sad to see him go but he went with our best wishes.

2018 will be special too. A new set of public policy makers with a different agenda will need to be followed closely. Jason Walls will be in Parliament and on the case. A three-headed coalition wrestling with Winston’s ego may well make for a lively time in Wellington. You will get all the economic implication here, first.

2018 may also be a key transition year of the future of work as it is radically challenged by AI, technology, and the blockchain. We will be on these stories as well with unique coverage.

We appreciate your support of our live-and-free service, and we wish everyone Happy Holidays and good weather where ever you are.

Although most of our staff are taking a break as well, we will have daily updates and some unique content in our regular style.

International financial markets may get ‘interesting’ in January and we will be covering that and what it means for New Zealand.

In the meantime, here are the fifteen stories that readers read the most in 2017:

#15. Shamubeel Eaqub calling out Government failures that led to an undersupply of 500,000 homes over 30 years, and rising societal gaps as social housing was ignored

#14. Our June report of the REINZ results

#13. The Government’s April tightening of skilled migrant criteria

#12. Westpac’s Boxing Day report that the average mortgage borrower is 8 months ahead in their mortgage repayments

#11. Kiwibank’s economists probe whether the housing boom is turning to a bust or has just hit a temporary bump in the road

#10. Our report of ANZ and BNZ making mortgage rate changes in November

#9. Craig Ebert’s July warning that media reports on lower house prices could be self-fulfilling

#8. Tony Alexander calling the rising Auckland house price cycle ‘over’ in October

#7. Our April REINZ sales review

#6. Our review of an October Barfoot auction where buyers showed heightened caution

#5. Greg Ninness’s October Auckland apartment auction review where everything was passed in

#4. Our September 23 election night coverage

#3. Greg Ninness’s December view that ‘something’s got to give’

#2. Our report of the July REINZ results

#1. Greg Ninness’s March story warning of the end of housing capital gains in Auckland

To be in our top 15 this year, a story had to be read more than 10,000 times, +20% more than in 2016. Our top story was read more than 28,000 times.

Interestingly, our #1 story for 2017 was only our 19th most popular page. It was well below the 546,370 people who used our term deposit rate pages over the year (and the total views were much more than that of course because readers kept coming back for updates). Many of our regular resources like our dairy industry payout history page, auction results, bonds data, and farms for sale pages, as examples, all were far more popular than most stories. Your ability to dig into the data behind the news is what makes us special.

Enjoy your holiday break. See you again in 2018.