We look back on an even bigger, more successful year and reveal our most popular stories

We look back on an even bigger, more successful year and reveal our most popular stories

2019 has been another very good year for us. Thank you to all our loyal readers.

In fact we are ending the decade in great shape.

We were visited by a record 2.6 million "unique readers" (a remarkable +27% rise in just one year) who dialed up 8.2 million sessions reading 17.5 million pages of content. Almost 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 some readers who access our content using multiple devices.)

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

We aim to be an intelligent read for people who want to understand what is going on in our economy, and the outside forces that also shape it. Although we are still a desktop read to take full advantage of the tables, charts and other embedded resources we offer readers, there was a sharp shift to mobile in the year. In fact, now only just over 48% of our sessions were delivered on desktop browsers, 8% on tablets, and 44% on smartphones. That is quite a change from 2018.

What is remarkable about the growth of the use of our service on mobile is that engagement time of the small screen is high - in fact, it is slightly higher than for desktop showing that intelligent analysis does have a place on a smartphone.

And here's something you might find surprising - more than half of our readers are 45 year old or younger. Our readership demographics are not our commenter demographics (and that may help explain why you may think there is an outsized Trumpian predisposition among some commenters).

For 2020 we have a full program ahead. The biggest changes this year will be to our technology, but we also have some exciting content extensions we will be announcing as well.

And of course it will be an election year, not only in New Zealand but the USA as well. Our role will be to cover and explain the economic dimensions and consequences. Again, we will be leaving the partisan and political aspects to others and hope we can entice more readers to exit their echo-chambers to join us in this.

We appreciate your support of our live-and-free service, and we wish everyone Happy Holidays and good weather where ever you are. If you value what you get for "free", we would appreciate your support via our Press Patron facility at the top of this page. (Obviously what we do costs heaps, and advertising is a fickle revenue stream. Your support is valuable beyond what you may realise.)

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 ten articles that readers read the most in 2019:

10. An August 2019 report of an ANZ mortgage rate cut
https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/101379/anz-takes-ax-two-key-mortgage-rate-specials-and-pays-it-across-board-cuts

9. Greg Ninness's October article about the rise and rise of migrant visas issued
https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/101379/anz-takes-ax-two-key-mortgage-rate-specials-and-pays-it-across-board-cuts

8. Gareth Vaughan’s October report of more ANZ mortgage rate cuts
https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/102111/mortgage-rate-cuts-anz-nz-six-month-one-year-and-two-year-terms

7. Jenee Tibshraeny's August article revealing the IRD doesn't know interest data it expects taxpayers to deliver
https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/101034/shock-and-worry-it-turns-out-ird-cant-calculate-how-much-those-who-have-paid

6. Greg Ninness's December update on the number of works visa's being issued
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/102946/number-work-visas-being-approved-rising-strongly-while-residency-visas-are-falling

5. A report of a market-leading mortgage rate cut by BNZ in September
https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/101688/another-mortgage-major-trims-key-mortgage-rate-even-if-it-not-huge-cut-it

4. David Hargreaves's report of the May RBNZ OCR rate cut
https://www.interest.co.nz/bonds/99581/rbnz-cuts-official-interest-rates-first-time-november-2016

3. Greg Ninness's first report in August of the strong growth in the number of work visas
https://www.interest.co.nz/property/101394/work-visa-approvals-are-growing-strongly-while-residence-visa-approvals-are

2. An April report of rates cuts to both mortgages and terms deposits by Kiwibank
https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/99144/another-bank-tweaks-its-rates-longer-term-fixed-home-loans-adding-new-market

and the most read story on interest.co.nz in 2019 was ...

1. Jenee's Tibshraeney's June report on the Government announcing it will introduce a deposit insurance scheme, and the Treasury's warning
https://www.interest.co.nz/banking/100359/government-signs-principle-decision-introduce-deposit-protection-regime-under-phase-2

That story was read more than 47,000 times.

Note that the surprise -50 bps RBNZ rate cut article in August didn't make it into our top 10. The April cut did though. To make the top ten, in 2019 an article needed to be read at least 17,000 times, and that is a big jump from 2018.

Interestingly, our #1 article for 2019 was only our 14th most popular page. It's read-volume was well below the 416,000 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, calculators, and farms for sale pages, as examples, all were far more popular than almost any news article. Your ability to dig into the data behind the news is what makes us special.

Enjoy your holiday break. See you again in 2020.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

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Congratulations to you all. Well deserved. This site is an oasis in an otherwise barren media landscape in this country.

Now to the criticism. I am one of your Trumpian commenters, but with the mere age of 27. I oppose climate zealotry. On those two topics, you are most certainly politically partisan, make no bones about it. I would note how many of your top ten articles were about migration. Clearly your readership is somewhat Trumpian too.

Trumps (and Boris's) will always exist. The scary thing is that there exist an ignorant-enough, desperate-enough mass to vote for those types.

Climate? Merely the entropic exhaust-gases of our energy-use. The fact that that the exhaust has got to climate-altering levels, should ring alarm-bells about our energy (reduced) future. We did it on a one-off bonanza, and the best of that is behind us. Many of the currently-juggled infrastructural balls will be dropped.

But none of our media - and we have to Include Interest.co in this, even though they better every mainstream rag and pretty much every pundit-site - are tackling the real questions in systemic fashion. It appears that it is incredibly hard to divest oneself of assumptions; things like money being always 'worth' something, growth being possible forever, that kind of thing. Failure to understand what real wealth is, is another.

If Interest.co are going to be future-relevant, they'll have to buck the accepted social narrative. Just logical really; it was wrong, so to peddle it was to have been wrong too. Going to be an interesting year. methinks.

Obviously anyone who votes Drumpf or Boris, is ignorant and desperate. Climate alarmists and resource depletionistas have repeatedly been proven right, time after time and when they predict absolute catastrophe sadly it is only accepted by the intelligent portion of the population, which is why it needs to be taught in school while children's minds are open to learning.

... yassss ... oh yasss ... we must continue teaching alarminism and catastrophysing .... Gloomsterisers Rule !!! .... not many people know this , but the world's already ended ... luckily the whole shebang was rebuilt during the night by nano-bots from a friendly alien craft of transsexual Papa New Ginians ... and nobody noticed .... bit of luck that , ay ...

Tackling matters in a systematic manner implies a established position. I enjoy Interest because the majority of readers who comment have opinions of their own and throw in facts to support them. In other words not systematic but challenging.
Obviously property is the no1 topic although that is only a part of a bigger topic - money the root of all evil. Interest provides a better informed discussion of climate change, resource depletion and pollution than alternative media - it enjoys the skepticism that all science needs. PDK - please keep contributing - I've learned plenty from you.

Suggest the top story of 2019 is 2020 in that the self destructive antics of the Democrats, in pursuing an unwinnable impeachment, has gifted Trump re-election & the GOP status they hardly deserve, enough probably to eventually retake the lower house.

I wouldn’t go too overboard in linking “Trumpian” attitudes to the popularity level of interest in immigration articles.

For many the immigration issue is simply one of numbers and quality – and also the fact that the two main players in the coalition had lower immigration as key policy planks – on which they have both clearly failed to deliver.

Winston failing to deliver is normal although he did come through with his free doctors visits for 18 & under which was later adjusted or removed

Congratulations - Interest.co.nz
You offer a comprehensive concise analysis & are tolerant of varying views not your own
Superior resource & superior entertainment in my opinion
When I lived in NZ for 55 yrs I heard a lot complaining about governments but now it appears to me NZ offers stability of governance superior to where I now live & next door & over the ditch in UK
NZ just needs to watch it isn’t fully captured by foreign forces who operate with stealth & have a long term objective

Goodness me NL – that was a sudden change of heart over your original comment?!?

I noticed the same thing, RollingOn, about the popularity of the immigration articles. It's a topic that is under-reported in most other media even though it is at the heart of many of our nation's problems — from high rents to overloaded hospitals, sewers and dams, and congested roads. I don't think you have to be Trumpian to be concerned about the unfortunate effects it is having on our society.

Easy to blame immigration. yet I am on holiday in the small city I grew up in and see roads and hospitals overloaded- but I doubt it’s from immigration; more like cheap cars and baby boomers.

Thanks David and all at interest.co for a very interesting 2019, Merry Christmas

Yes a job well done providing all that interesting reading and updates through the year. Keep it up!
One thing I do hope will improve though, is that stricter control on filtering of comments. Too much defamatory/racist/slurs on foreigners/Asians/Chinese, insinuations that are not backed up by facts (e.g. foreign money=corrupt money, Chinese=Crooks, etc.). These sort of generalized comments if left unchecked can lead to racial hatred and riots and terror attacks, when they are allowed to sway and influence uninformed and ignorant minds. Such biased and often unsubstantiated comments should not be published.

I've appreciated the discussions around the comical light rail project progress - Greater Auckland and Interest.co.nz were, for the longest times, the only ones talking about it.

Nice job David and co. Btw, I bet mobile will be an even bigger % in 2020.

Also, it'd be fun to see the top 10 stories ranked by number of comments.

... would you guess that all 10 of the most commented stories were about houses ... London to a brick , yes !

Thanks to all the staff, Interest is my favourite site for intelligent articles. Enjoy the deserved holiday break. Particularly, thanks for continuing to allow comments - moderation is always a thankless task but your hard work does facilitate useful conversations.

There are some toxic commenters on this website that I would like to see the back of. Different opinions are great. Regular belittling and abusive comments aren't.
I will be visiting and commenting less as a result.

Agree. This is a free site and contributors are free to disagree. In fact that is, in essence, essential. Yes disagree, but there is absolutely no need to be disagreeable, whilst going about it.

... bad men have a free reign to run their mouths off , if good men remain silent ....

Hang in with me ... can't keep the bastards honest on me own ...

... either way , Merry Christmas !

well GBH another old quote goes something like “all fools regret saying too much, not many wise men regret saying too little.” Salut!

Evil will always triumph, because good is dumb. - Lord Dark Helmet

Regular belittling and abusive comments aren't.

I don't know. I was called a "clueless doomie gloomie" in the comments section of this site. I think it's pretty hard to take offence at that given it seems to be something you would expect to be said by a 14-year-old. Trolls are part and parcel of modern-day media engagement.

We need more censorship, hate speech isn't free speech and anything I find offensive is litrally hate speech.

.. I may not agree with what you are saying , but I'll defend to the death your right to make a complete prat of yourself...

Grevious. Voila! et Bravo!

Thanks to all the team at Interest for another great year of outstanding content. Good to see most top stories about the core "interest" issue, immigration surely polarised readers as well.
Wishing Interest staff a happy X-mas and all the best for 2020

"Again, we will be leaving the partisan and political aspects to others..."

Really??? I've seen some rather partisan articles lately (and in the lead up to the prior election) on interest.co.nz. Does the above quote suggest that this site will cease publishing partisan articles? Or maybe, provide equal time to the various parties? Personally, I'm not in favor of equal time to all, as some of the fringe parties deserve to get time equal to their support rather than equal to all parties. Sadly, this is unlikely to occur here or elsewhere.

Overall, interest.co.nz can be an extremely good place to get timely information, excepting when they publish politically slanted articles. I appreciate data that is presented objectively. I do not appreciate data that is presented with an obvious bias. I can see a couple of the frequent contributors moving on to a political party paid position, just as the most obviously biased "journalist" on this site moved on to a paid position with one party after the last election. This bias shown in the profession is not good for the long term reputation.

Compliments of the season and thanks for all the effort.
Numbers 9,10 links?