Rotorua's most popular stories of 2012

A story about Rotorua's Gavin Hayes tugged on the heartstrings of not only Rotorua residents but people nationwide, making it the most-read article on The Daily Post website last year. Mr Hayes was named The Daily Post Person of the Year 2012 on Saturday.

In October, The Daily Post reported how the 82-year-old had been targeted for months by teens who had stolen money and food from his Glenholme flat and twice stolen his car. The second time, on October 9, the vehicle was written off, leaving the previously independent pensioner without the will to live.

TV3's Campbell Live and TVNZ's Te Karere both followed the story, which prompted widespread outrage.

A huge community response saw Mr Hayes - affectionately known as "Gabby" - given a new car and more than $14,000 through a Facebook campaign titled "Gift for Gav".

The original story gained thousands of hits on The Daily Post website.

The second most-viewed story on our website was about two Rotorua businessmen who were involved in a heated argument with then-Black Caps stars Jesse Ryder and Doug Bracewell, which led to the cricketers being dropped from an upcoming match.

Brendon Arkwright and Jason Mills went to watch the Black Caps play South Africa in Napier in March. The two men were at the Cri Cafe Bar & Grill at midnight when they saw three players - Ryder, Bracewell and Tarun Nathula - at the bar.

Mr Arkwright claims Ryder and Bracewell were drinking shots with patrons.

He approached Ryder and asked him if it was a good idea to be drinking after not scoring any runs against South Africa.

He told The Daily Post that Ryder and a man with him verbally abused him in response.

Other stories in the top 10 include one about Rotorua's Nigel Dixon, who said he was going straight thanks to Destiny church, and one about the shock death of cyclist Patrick Avery.

Other stories, which didn't make the top 10 but had thousands of views, included a story about UFOs in Rotorua, Taupo's rapids being used in the filming of The Hobbit, the country's newest boyband Titanium and earthquakes.


Most popular stories:

Elderly man Gavin Hayes at his wits end after teenage girls stole his car

Jesse Ryder incident: Rotorua pair involved

`Money is Good-Bad' campaign hijacked by troll

Attack on pregnant woman in city street

Anger as man's image goes viral in web meme joke

Body found in Rotorua park

Shock Rotorua cycling death

White Island: Orange flashes light up sky

He was a `gang banger'. Now he's going straight

Beyond the Darklands: Nia Glassie


- Rotorua Daily Post

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