Top NZ tweeters as voted by you

MP Tau Henare. Photo / Supplied
MP Tau Henare. Photo / Supplied

Now it's our readers' turn to have their say. This week, the Herald's online experts nominated New Zealand's Top 50 Tweeters - a mix of those who contribute laughs, expertise or encouragement. We received dozens of emails and Tweets, and whittled the readers' favourites down to the following ...

Angus Westgarth, mo bro

@evilkud

Followers: 2523
Following: 518

Last year, Angus Westgarth - proudly from "TiMOru" - raised $5000 for Movember. This year, he plans to travel around New Zealand, out of his own pocket, using Twitter to raise awareness of men's health and attract fundraisers.

In @meegandale83's nomination, she wrote: "Angus is a genuine, all-round awesome Kiwi who would do anything for his friends and family."

"Angus is just a regular guy trying to make a difference to other people's lives," wrote @V8Matty. "It's awesome to see people finding new ways to care."

Tweeted: "Body screams Monday, mind screaming at it TUESDAY. In unrelated news, I watched so much sport this weekend I think I pulled a calf."

Ruckin Good Stats, numbers gurus

@ruckingoodstats

Followers: 2095
Following: 46

The Twitter account for Wellington-based sports team statistics website Ruckin Good Stats. Their website says they've been in the sports game longer than they care to remember with positions ranging from players to managers. Now they provide statistics on match analysis, and according to Matt Willis the service is "more useful than actual commentators sometimes".

They were a popular nomination by Herald readers, though they did thrice beg their followers to send in their names.

Tweeted: "Conversion of BUL's 2nd try. Distance on the angle 31.14 m. Probability of success 87 per cent. Score before kick BUL 30 to CRU 16 #BULvCRU"

Mark Leggett, graphic designer

@markleggett

Followers: 17,660
Following: 447

Mark Leggett's one-liners have made him something of a cult figure online.

He is a regularly featured humorist at witstream.com, an American-based site which specialises in curating the funniest tweets around.

It's "pretty amazing for a graphic designer from Dunedin", writes comedian @guywilliamsguy. "I think it's amazing that he has 17,000 followers and is literally one of New Zealand's most popular comedians, based 100 per cent on his Twitter feed."

Tweeted: "Clearly The Wiggles are all from different gang factions, but they put that aside to make incredible music together. Learn from this."

Ben Gracewood

@nzben

Followers: 4788
Following: 409

Ben Gracewood's "irreverent take on technology and especially the Android mobile ecosystem" makes him a must-follow personality, writes @kpatton.

The self-confessed geek and software designer has his own website dedicated to his technological musings, which flows on to his Twitter account.

In the past he was a reviewer on TVNZ's Breakfast programme, a development manager for Datacom and a development unit manager for Orion Health. He was also one of the co-creators of codemania.co.nz.

He now calls himself a "recovering manager".

Tweeted: "The more I look at Phonegap, the more I see an application for building iOS-looking apps if you don't know ObjC. Cross-platform my ass."

Tau Henare, MP

@tauhenare

Followers: 2717
Following: 863

New Zealand's unofficial "Minister for Twitter" enjoys the cut-and-thrust of Twitter as much as the parliamentary circus.

Henare, who has cheekily dubbed himself the West Side Tory on his profile page, "is consistent and is always ready to give his biased, National view", writes Phoebe Davis.

"I like that he is always tweeting his views."

Tweeted: "Just listening to the Iranian delegation speak on 'good governance'. Should be interesting. They will blame USA and the USA will blame them."

Dan News, breaking news hound

@dannews

Followers: 5637
Following: 2249

Plenty of people profess to be "news junkies" but nobody really comes as close as the Auckland-based Dan News, who runs a popular website dedicated to television news, current events and bloopers.

On Twitter, he "has news before some other media do" and curates a running stream of the news and current affairs items from a range of sources in New Zealand and from overseas.

Tweeted: "Was that Maurice Williamson trying to be funny with bits of paper? That failed."

New Zealand Police, pie safety advocates

@BetterWorkStory

Followers: 1362
Following: 2000

Twitter's one place where it's not a terrible fright to see you're being followed by the police.

In this feed, aimed at attracting new recruits and informing the public, police officers share their stories from the beat. Some are serious and cautionary, others are pure "facepalm" material.

Tweeted: "Tradesman to wife: 'We was hot-boxing the work van. Got hard out munchies so opened door 2 get sum chips. There was a #Policedog outside."'

Laura McQuillan, journalist/blogger

@mcquillanatorz

Followers: 1032
Following: 855

Laura McQuillan began her career in journalism with Victoria University's Salient magazine, then spent almost two years with the NZ Press Association before moving on to Radio Live, and ultimately the AAP's Wellington bureau.

McQuillan also blogs about life in the capital. According to @ohsarahrose, she is "the perfect mix of politics, feminism, fashion, and humour. Plus, she's a babe."

Tweeted: "Collins says Shearer also defamed her but she won't pursue that as 'no one takes him seriously'. Consider that a personal win @trevormallard."

Pebbles Hooper, fashion expert

@PebblesHooper

Followers: 1631
Following: 926

Her claim to fame used to be that she was the daughter of World founders Denise L'Estrange-Corbet and Francis Hooper, but Hooper has very much come into her own.

As well as having a popular fashion blog, being a stylist and girl-about-town, Hooper also shares a "Dear D&P" advice column in the Weekend Herald's Canvas magazine with her mother.

Tweeted: "I always think of jail when I drop the soap :("

Lucy Lawless actress/activist

@reallucylawless

Followers: 21,690
Following: 41

Lucy Lawless became a global icon for her lead role in Xena: Warrior Princess but is rapidly gaining a profile as an eco warrior. She was one of seven Greenpeace protesters arrested in February after spending four days demonstrating on board a Shell drillship at Port Taranaki.

Lawless brings a "unique blend of Hollywood goss and environmental activism" to the medium, writes Nick Young.

Tweeted: "Every NZer needs to know what the TPPA is. Sounds like toilet paper and probably is."

Yellow Fever, Phoenix fans

@YellowFever_NZ

Followers: 1328
Following: 96

Yellow Fever are the unofficial supporters' club of the Wellington Phoenix FC, and arguably the most passionate fanbase in our sports-mad country.

They tweet anything and everything related to the Phoenix, and provide entertaining, refreshingly biased commentary during team fixtures.

Tweeted: "Just a point but if Brownie is retiring would a life ban for breaking Burns' leg really worry him?"

Pete Marsden, radio DJ

@PeteDaPalagi

Followers: 1540
Following: 266

Flava radio DJ Pete Marsden - aka Pete Da Palagi - tweets frequently and irreverently.

Earlier this year, Marsden went head-to-head with a Canadian disc jockey who also used the name "PDP", culminating in "the first international rap battle" on FM radio.

Tweeted: "I've had an air hostess staying as a flatmate for like 6 months now and not one bottle of duty free, not one! That's the whole reason she's in."

Ema Tavola, writer/arts

@ColourMeFiji

Followers: 890
Following: 1518

Ema Tavola is an arts administrator and writer who is best known for her service to the Fresh Gallery Otara, a community arts initiative running in South Auckland.

The gallery's final exhibition under her watch will open on May 10.

Tweeted: "Minister on #CloseUp is a joke. GO PORIRUA!! Amazing community driven development: Govt can take little to no credit."

Graeme Russell, charitable thinker

@AdageBusiness

Followers: 4396
Following: 2940

Though Auckland is a city of well over a million people, Graeme Russell manages to make it seem like a village - he appears to know everyone in it, or at least how to relate to them.

His tweets reflect his topical sense of humour, and a passionate concern for his community.

"He adds value to the Auckland community," writes @keri_little. "He brings everything to my timeline, from current affairs to great humour."

Tweeted: "Will the next social site Zuckerberg buys be New Zealand, we're a land of 4 million who are more social than most other places."

Nat Torkington, IT genius/musician

@gnat

Followers: 6971
Following: 1481

"He's probably done more to bring together New Zealand's technorati than any one other individual," says @nzben of Nat Torkington, founder of Kiwi Foo Camp.

The camps, which have been running since 2007, bring together policymakers and people from the tech industry, creative sector and associated influencers.

Torkington also plays bluegrass with the Pipi Pickers.

Tweeted: "Once again losing valuable hours to someone on the internet who is wrong. WHY DO THEY LET WRONG PEOPLE ON MY INTERNETS!?!!!"

Anna Connell, community manager

@AnnaGConnell

Followers: 1987
Following: 1312

Anna Connell worked across multiple sectors in her time, including education, local government and the arts before finding a role as an online community manager in the banking industry.

She is known as one of the Kiwi Twittersphere's sharpest wits and friendliest faces.

Tweeted: "Greenlane: the point at which my thermal unitard and gumboots are no longer acceptable attire."

Marcus Lush, broadcaster

@marcuslush

Followers: 9499
Following: 9121

An acclaimed radio broadcaster, TV personality and documentary maker, Marcus Lush has been fronting Radio Live's breakfast show for the past five years.

Lush was no stranger to television when Intrepid Journeys came into his life in 2003, but it set him on a course which took in the award-winning Off the Rails - a homespun look at the Kiwi rail system and the people who used it - and Ice, a five-parter about Antarctica.

Tweeted: "At the Ellerslie races. A class load of primary school children are here. Is racing now part of the syllabus? Makes sense!"

Cheryl Bernstein, art historian

@CherylBernstein

Followers: 1269
Following: 514

Cheryl Bernstein has an extensive knowledge of Christchurch's history and of the buildings that made it special. Since the earthquakes began in 2010, she has tweeted and blogged on the state of the city's architecture and, of course, its people.

Tweeted: "I loathe what that ex-woodwork teacher is doing to Christchurch, under the rubric of utility & 'common sense' & the TINA principle."

Sacha Dylan, health and disability advocate

@kaupapa

Followers: 1691
Following: 2001

Sacha Dylan has his eye on achieving long-term change in the health sector, particularly where it concerns New Zealanders with disabilities. He has a grounding in ICT and communications, and wishes to use his skills to encourage "innovation and social change."

He is one of the Kiwi Twittersphere's most welcoming conversationalists, and has a superb wit.

Tweeted: "Faith trumps evidence for our pork-bearing overlords."

Jolisa Gracewood, writer/blogger

@nzdodo

Followers: 906
Following: 465

A popular nominee for this list, Jolisa Gracewood was born in Dunedin and went on to study her way through Japan and the United States, where she earned a PhD in comparative literature in 2005. Gracewood taught non-fiction writing at Yale University, and has wielded a pen/keyboard herself as a blogger for Public Address, and a reviewer for Metro, the Listener and other publications.

Tweeted: "Uh-oh. Are hangovers contagious? Or is that a last-day-of-school tummy bug? Well timed, little dude."

Bob Buckham, pharmacist

@bobsyauncle

Followers: 1735
Following: 1377

Bob Buckham is an accomplished pharmacist who has worked in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He's also a very funny individual whose stories from the world of medicine could well be the spoonful of sugar Mary Poppins once sang of.

As @CateOwen puts it: "Witty one-liners and science. What more could you want?"

Tweeted: "'Have you seen comic sans on a medicines label?' Finally, the serious issues in pharmacy are being investigated."

Gareth Hughes, MP

@GarethMP

Followers: 3853
Following: 989

The most enduring image of Gareth Hughes may have been taken before he entered Parliament with the Greens in 2010. In a photo his party said "defined the protest", Hughes was snapped in full Ronald McDonald costume, looking through a patrol car window as police drove him away from a demonstration against genetic engineering.

Since coming into Parliament he has campaigned for marine conservation, improved housing and transport.

Tweeted: "Passing Ngati Porou settlement bill in extended hours, a new way of sitting longer. This Parliament isn't abusing urgency like the last one."

Erica Lloyd, banking sector PR

@ericalloyd

Followers: 1518
Following: 1212

Erica Lloyd has worked her way through the world of business journalism, and now works for "a big bank" in a public relations role. On Twitter she discusses business and the quirks of Kiwi life, and shares articles of interest.

Tweeted: "Ngati Devonport locals vented their concerns over a planned iwi settlement on Auckland's North Shore today."

Simone McCallum, social media strategist

@simonemccallum

Followers: 1945
Following: 1033

Simone McCallum has one employer, but works hard to serve everyone on Twitter, on Facebook, and in just about every other social space imaginable. Never short of a piece of advice or timely observation, McCallum has developed a reputation as one of New Zealand's foremost go-to people for social media, and appeared as a panellist at the South by Southwest digital conference in Texas this year.

Tweeted: "Found Ms 5 getting stuck on reading a word on the iPad. The word was p-a-s-s-w-o-r-d and it was from the App Store."

Ali Ikram, TV reporter

@AliIkram

Followers: 3919
Following: 809

Nightline's Ali Ikram, formerly of TVNZ, is well known for his satirical approach to television journalism - and it's a trait that he carries over to Twitter with wonderful effect. He is also unflinchingly serious when he chooses to be. At all times, he's a model citizen on Twitter: interesting, engaging, a good neighbour all-round.

Tweeted: "Elmo talks about himself in the 3rd person a fair bit - may be an arsehole."

- NZ Herald

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