New Zealand. In March, New Zealand held a referendum on
the country's flag. The choice was between keeping the flag
with the British Union flag in one corner or choosing a new
flag in which Union Jack was replaced by a white fern. The
vote, in which 67% of the country's voters participated,
resulted in just over 56% voting to retain the old flag.
countryaah, a record seizure of 448 kg of methamphetamine was made in
June at Ninety Mile Beach on the North Island. Three young
men were arrested in connection with the seizure, whose
value corresponded to around SEK 2.6 billion.
In November, New Zealand was hit by a powerful
earthquake, which occurred about 9 miles north of
Christchurch on the South Island. The quake, which was
measured to magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale, was followed
by several hundred aftershocks, the most powerful with
magnitude 6.5. As a result of the earthquakes, according to
the New Zealand Herald, 100,000 landslides were triggered
from northern Canterbury to southern Marlborough. The most
violent race hit the mouth of the Clarence River, where a
dam was damaged and people living downstream were forced to
leave their homes and move to higher locations. In the
capital Wellington, electricity and water lines were broken
while several buildings, bridges and roads were damaged.
Even worse, the city of Kaikoura, which is also a popular
tourist destination, hit. Due to landslides, the city with
about 2,000 residents became completely isolated and more
than 1,000 residents and tourists were moved to evacuation
centers. Two people died in the earthquake.
In December, John Key surprisingly announced that he
would leave his post as the country's prime minister for
personal reasons. The new prime minister was elected as the
country's former finance minister and Deputy Prime Minister