by Murray Dewhurst in Auckland, New Zealand
Although the title of my post is not actually true as Kiribati, and Samoa just beat us for that honour, this is my big chance to be the first to wish you all a happy New Year!
My New Year sketch is a view from above St Heliers bay, from a point called Te Pane O Horoiwi, through flowering pohutukawa towards central Auckland city. The Pou Whenua in the foreground are Hoturoa, Taikehu and Horoiwi, Maori ancestors who arrived here on the Tainui waka over 600 years ago. I think these guys really were the first - the first to see in a New Year - Auckland style.