What might happen in 2017?

2:17 pm on 1 January 2017

Donald Trump as US president, Bill English as Prime Minister and more hot weather. Here are RNZ reporters' picks for what might happen in 2017.

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Steady as she goes: Bill English will spend 2017 as Prime Minister, but will he need Winston Peters to crown him king after the general election? Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King


Prime Minister Bill English will try to win favour with middle and lower income New Zealand with bold budget policies for social equity.

Jacinda Ardern will romp to victory in the Mt Albert by-election on 25 February.

Kingmaker Winston Peters strikes again. After the general election in September, Mr Peters will court Labour, but, given their Greens allegiance, he'll likely go with National in exchange for a top job.

The departures: John Key, David Shearer, David Cunliffe, Clayton Cosgrove, Hekia Parata, Murray McCully, Maurice Williamson ... the list goes on.


The economy will continue to grow, then hit a wall in the second half of the year as a Trump-style shock hits the global economy and concerns about the eurozone (specifically Italy) and China's economic health pose a threat.

There will be a significant company failure.

The Commerce Commission will turn down one and possibly two major media mergers and find its decisions appealed in court.

US President-elect Donald Trump.

Unsteady as he goes: Donald Trump and his team will cause at least one international crisis. Photo: AFP


Donald Trump will be inaugurated US President. He (and/or his picks for national security and budget directors) will cause at least one international crisis. The world will long for Barack Obama.

British Prime Minister Theresa May will officially notify the European Union that Brexit is happening. Britain will regret its decision, mainly because of the cost and complexity.

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Not all white: Arctic ice will melt in winter as climate change grips the globe. Photo: 123rf.com

Climate change will spell another record hot year, including for New Zealand. More species will edge towards extinction, Arctic sea ice will melt in winter and more coral will die. There will be at least one megastorm.


Seventeen years after last winning sailing's America's Cup, Team New Zealand will captivate the nation in May and June when they compete in Bermuda. We're feeling optimistic - they will win.

The Hurricanes (or at least a New Zealand team) will be crowned Super Rugby champions.

Olympic medallist Eliza McCartney

Eliza McCartney's star won't stop rising… Photo: AFP

Athletics will return to its former glory thanks to young stars Tom Walsh, Eliza McCartney and Liam Malone.

Golfer Lydia Ko will lose her number one world ranking, but it will not change her star status.

New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker holds up the WBO belt alongside his team.

… Neither will Joseph Parker's. Photo: Photosport

Joseph Parker will suffer his first loss as a professional boxer, but will keep his dual national hero status (in NZ and Samoa).

The Kiwis will not make the final of the Rugby League World Cup.

The Lions tour hits New Zealand in June and July. The All Blacks will win the test matches 3-0.

Around the nation

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Keep dreaming: Auckland house prices will go in one direction - up. Photo: 123rf.com

Tourism numbers will put a strain on small towns - and their ablution facilities. Freedom campers will cop much of the blame.

Aftershocks, prepare for them.

Central Wellington buildings owners, council and insurers will argue about who should pay for seismic strengthening.

Wellington Airport's bid to extend the runway will get tied up in court wrangling.

Auckland house prices will keep marching upwards. Auckland's Task Force on Housing will make recommendations on how to accelerate building, but the house shortage will continue to worsen.

A government inquiry will get to the bottom of the Havelock North drinking water contamination.

State highway 1 - north of Kaikoura

Slow going: State Highway 1, north of Kaikōura, will stay at least partially closed for most, if not all, of the year. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Kaikōura will get back on its feet. Tourists will trickle back (some will not have heard about the earthquake), at least one business will quit the town, but once the marina is repaired things will look up. Repairs to State Highway 1, north of Kaikōura, will still be going when 2017 ends.

Christchurch's anchor projects will creak forward. The new Justice Precinct will open, while the Convention Centre, Metro Sports Facility and East Frame homes will start in earnest. A plan will finally emerge for the languishing ChristChurch Cathedral.

Dunedin fur seals will become even more emboldened and start sleeping in upmarket cafes.

West Coast coal mining will make a resurgence. Authorities will give a bold plan for a waste to energy plant in Westport the big tick.

The lot where a new convention centre will be built in downtown Christchurch.

Good-bye empty lot: Construction of Christchurch's convention centre will start in earnest now the Crown is going it alone. Photo: Frank Film

Queenstown's traffic woes will get some relief with the first stage of the $22 million eastern access road opening. Plans for a $60m publicly-funded convention centre will get dropped in favour of a private one by Remarkables Park Town Centre.

Otago will get a shockingly early - and an appallingly late - snow dumping.

Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt will start riding a push-scooter to council meetings.

The Holcim Cement silos site could be replaced by Veolia's clean energy plant creating much needed jobs in the Westport area.

Making power out of rubbish: A bold plan for a waste to energy plant in Westport will get the green light. Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

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