Spy: Best of the Year Awards


Taika Waititi and Rita Ora were named Spy’s Best Hook-up 2021.

As we prepare to say goodbye in 2021, Spy editor Ricardo Simich hands over his annual awards.

Best connection

Kiwi director Taika Waititi and British singing superstar Rita Ora hanging out in Australia left fans wondering if she will make her Marvel debut in Waititi’s latest Thor film.

Waititi, 46, filmed Thor: Love and Thunder in Sydney and Ora, 31, filmed there as a judge for The Voice Australia.

In April, Ora shared a photo of herself with Waititi’s arms around her, both wearing matching Gucci outfits.

While Waititi’s face was partially covered by a hat, it was tagged in the photo with the headline “Good times, memories, random things on my phone, and the ones I love”.

The world went nuts on a rumored romance.

Stories surfaced about the new couple who, along with Thor stars Chris Hemsworth and Matt Damon, stepped off a private jet in Sydney after returning from the Gold Coast.

Not long after, photos of Waititi kissing Ora and Thor actress Tessa Thompson went viral on social media. The Daily Mail, which published the photos, reported that the pictures were taken after a party at Waititi’s home. A storm was brewing in a teacup, but things calmed down.

A few months later, after being regularly popped in Los Angeles, the couple did so on their own terms as they posed together at Ora’s Fourth of July rooftop party to celebrate her new song You for Me.

In September they came to the Met Gala in New York in a silver look.
The pair were spotted out on a night out in London last month, walking arm in arm through the city streets and having dinner together at Queen’s Pub in Primrose Hill.

Ora took Waititi back home with her, this week the two of them were together on the red carpet in Sydney, where it all began. Could Waititi take his pop princess home to Godzone to meet the family over the holidays?

Best baby boom

The year has seen a bumper crop of A-list babies, with more than 20 notable additions, including six possible future All Blacks and a Black Fern or Black Stick.

Art and Mailda Green with Autumn and Milo, Samatha Hayes and Jay Blaauw with a little sister for Marlow.  Richie McCaw and Grace, Antoia Prebble and Baby Augustus
Art and Mailda Green with Autumn and Milo, Samatha Hayes and Jay Blaauw with a little sister for Marlow. Richie McCaw and Grace, Antoia Prebble and Baby Augustus

In June, former All Black captain Richie McCaw and his wife Black Stick Gemma welcomed their second child, a girl named Grace – a younger sister of three-year-old Charlotte.

A week later, McCaw’s former teammate Dan Carter and his wife Honor welcomed their fourth child – a boy named Cruz, and the proud father said the baby’s older brothers Marco, Fox and Rocco adored him.

The current All Blacks had a lot to do on both sides of the world tour.

Sam Whitelock and Mrs. Hannah welcomed their third child, Penelope, in late August, and Richie Mo’unga and Mrs. Sophie welcomed their second child, son Marley, in September.

Aaron Smith and Mrs. Teagan had a second child, a boy, Leo, in November, and Scott Barrett and Mrs. Hannah followed weeks later with the birth of their first child, a boy named Dougal.

The 2021 baby boom wasn’t limited to sports stars. In August, Westside stars Antonia Prebble and her fiancé Dan Musgrove got Augustus, a little brother of two-year-old Freddie.

Newshub host Samantha Hayes and her fianc̩ Jeroen Blaauw welcomed their second child, Amaya Рa sister of two-year-old brother Marlow, in September, and a month earlier, Kanoa Lloyd of The Project and husband Mikee Carpinter celebrated their first child, a girl named Nikau.

Last month, Celebrity Treasure Island co-host Matt Chisholm and his wife, Ellen, welcomed their third child, a girl named Bree, a sister of the Bede and Finn brothers.

In Radioland, Laura McGoldrick-Guptill and her husband, Black Cap Martin Guptill, started this year’s Baby Rush with the admission of son Theodore (Teddy) in February – a brother for their daughter Harley. The radio showbiz couple Sharyn and Bryce Casey had their second son Reuben, a brother for three-year-old Tyson, in November.

In Hollywood, KJ Apa, who was filming his 100th episode of his Netflix show Riverdale this week, welcomed his first child in September with partner Clara Berry, a boy named Sasha. Former Go Girls star Anna Hutchison and husband Mike Gillespie welcomed a little brother for their 2-year-old daughter, Joanie Pearl. In New York, FBI: Most Wanted actress Keisha Castle-Hughes had baby Matilda in June with her new husband Donny Grahamer, whom she married in January.

And in Sydney, top model Georgia Fowler and partner Nathan Dalah welcomed baby Dylan in September, while recently retired rugby league star Benji Marshall and wife Zoe welcomed their second child, a girl named Ever, a sister for three, in June Years of fox.

There was also good news for the BA’s most famous couple, Art and Matilda Green, who gave birth to their second child Autumn, a sister of two-year-old son Milo, in June.

The best secret romances

It seems like a lifetime ago that Auckland celebrated Team NZ’s 36th America’s Cup win in March – and several romances were revealed during the regatta as well.

Peter Burling and Lucinda Nelson, Nick Dana and Caroline Jones.
Peter Burling and Lucinda Nelson, Nick Dana and Caroline Jones.

Rumors began around the America’s Cup Village that Team NZ’s helmsman Peter Burling was dating Lucinda Nelson, who was a fixture in partner functions and support crews throughout the race. It wasn’t until September, from the SailGP in Saint-Tropez, France, that 30-year-old Burling went public and published pictures of Nelson and himself on social media and wrote “Happy Birthday” with three hearts of love.

Another romance whispered through the viaduct was between Luna Rossa grinder Nicholas Brezzi and TVNZ’s Emily van Velthooven – the younger sister of Simon, a grinder for Emirates Team NZ.

Sources across the village told Spy that the couple had been together and were often seen out and about together. On Valentine’s Day, van Velthooven posted a beautiful bouquet of flowers on Instagram that she had received without telling her followers who sent it, but we were told they were from her Brezzi.

Another romantic note: American Magic Sailor Nick Dana proposed marriage to his girlfriend and American country singer Caroline Jones a few weeks after the Raglan race.

During the regatta, Jones played the American national anthem at American Magic Base, a moment Dana was very proud of.

Best surprise relationship

In June we revealed that one of New Zealand‘s jewels has found happiness again – former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes, 57, and businessman Glenn Cotterill, 58, dubbed The Grocer for his success in supermarkets, were an item.

Former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes and businessman Glenn Cotterill have teamed up.  Anika Moa has split up.
Former Miss Universe Lorraine Downes and businessman Glenn Cotterill have teamed up. Anika Moa has split up.

A leading figure in the fashion and beauty industries, Downes has looked happier in years since the death of her husband, cricket legend Martin Crowe.

After a few months of dating, the couple changed their Facebook status to “In Relationships” but didn’t mention who they were with. Friends told Spy that the couple were introduced by close friends and family and enjoyed a scenic Queenstown vacation before the Auckland lockdown.

The high-profile media power couple Anika Moa and Natasha Utting split up in sad news. The couple met in 2013 and started a blended family after getting married in a romantic ceremony on Bethells Beach in 2017.

Best demolition work

Last year we revealed that billionaire Zuru Toys’ former All Black Ali Williams and siblings Anna Mowbray moved into a millionaire love nest.

Ali Williams and Anna Mowbray before and after their property was demolished.
Ali Williams and Anna Mowbray before and after their property was demolished.

The lovebirds moved to a stunning two-story waterfront home in Westmere and donated $ 24 million to make one of the most expensive home purchases of the year.

Mowbray, co-founder and chief operating officer of Zuru, the multi-billion dollar kiwi toy company, told Spy at the time that this was her home forever. The couple celebrated their families’ merging with soap bubbles.

We believe Mowbray meant their forever property – in October the couple showed a demolition site after bowling the property with plans for a new three-story home on the half-acre waterfront property.

Some in the neighborhood won’t pop champagne. The Herald reported late last month that neighbors were concerned about the noise of the new building and unhappy about plans for a helipad.


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