The Weekender 24/06/2017

It's a big night for NZ sport! Rugby tonight and America's Cup tomorrow morning.


Sport

The Lions have been in town. But first they took on the NZ Maoris in Rotorua - dispatching them 10-32, then they came to our place and the Chiefs, even led by inspirational sometimes Captain Stephen Donald, the Lions had another big win 34-6, showing they are certainly improving and putting up lots of question marks over tonight's first test match. The match is over (sitting there recorded for me to watch!) and at half-time, the All Blacks had a narrow 13-8 lead after an apparently great try. However, the Lions couldn't keep up in the second half as the All Blacks eased away to win 30-15 on the back of a great performance by Captain Kieran Read.
In other news, the New Zealand has won the Under-20 World Rugby Championship with a 64-17 win over England in Tbilisi.

The America's Cup started last weekend, with Team New Zealand winning the first four races from start to finish. On the first day they quickly erased Oracle's 1 bonus point, and by the end of the second day, Team New Zealand was ahead 3-0. The wind was fairly light, and the New Zealand boat (Aotearoa) was just flying. The emphatic results even quietened down Jimmy "the mouth" Spithill. However, since Oracle was in charge of the rules, after two days of racing there was a five/six-day break with racing resuming tomorrow morning. A break worked well for Oracle last time so obviously, we can't count our chickens. The best quote I've heard is that Team New Zealand rules the waves, and Oracle waived the rules.

Lydia Ko has finished 10th in her first tournament back after a three-week break. She is now the world number two.

The Warriors are getting closer to the top eight after a 21-14 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.

In the Aussie V8's Fabian Coulthard won the Hidden Valley Raceway with fellow kiwi Scott McLaughlin coming second. In the championship Fabian is leading on 1210 points, with Scott McLaughlin 34 points back and Shane van Gisbergen fourth 187 points back. That was all before the second race where Scott McLaughlin won closing up the title race, with van Gisbergen third and Coulthard fourth. Kiwis have won 11 of the 12 races of the Aussie V8's so far this season.
In the Le Mans 24 hours race, kiwis Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber were driving for Porsche when they had mechanical problems four hours in and lost an hour and 37 minutes in the pits. So back in second to last things didn't look good, but one by one other teams had issues and they took the lead with an hour to go and won.

The Waikato/BOP Magic won the battle 58-45 against the Northern Stars, but lost the war to make the playoffs.

The All Whites have been on the road and pushed Mexico, but lost 2-1 in the Confederations Cup. Their first game was against hosts Russia and they lost 2-0.


NZ News

There were two big stories this week. Bad news for National and bad news for Labour. The National bad news was a Police investigation into National MP Todd Barclay who made a secret recording of his employees. The opposition calls brought Prime Minister Bill English into the story claiming he must have been complicit in hiding illegal activity, however, the Police were investigating and no one comments on ongoing investigations. Barclay has announced he will not be seeking reelection.
The second big story of the week was an interesting one from Labour. Just when they might have made some headway with the Barclay incident, news came out that Labour had brought 85 foreign students into the country to campaign as the election gets closer. The problem is that it undermines the four main Labour political messages: better houses, cutting immigration, higher minimum wages, and removing dodgy education courses. They bring students in, don't pay them, and house them in a marae.

Winston Peters has been making noises and unfortunately, they are being reported. He has claimed that crime was out of control in Wanganui, while the statistics show that no type of crime has had significant rises over the last three years, while he claimed police weren't on duty when crime was happening - despite the statistics showing they were for the two most common times. More recently he jumped on the Barclay issue and demanded Prime Minister Bill English resign - even though it's pretty clear (and documented) that PM Bill English hasn't lied about a thing. It's pretty clear Winston doesn't need facts to make statements.

A Waikato cold case seems to have been solved this week. A year ago, a mother, Kim Richmond disappeared one morning, never to be seen again. Some of her cards were found on a road in South Waikato but that was it. This week Police divers found her car, and body, in Lake Arapuni and a man has been charged with her murder.


The Numbers Game

9: th ranking for NZ on the world Social Progress Index
16: % increase in household incomes 2008 to 2016, vs 15% from 2000 - 2008
23: % government debt when Labour came into power and it dropped to 5%, it has now risen to 25% with the help of the GFC & the earthquake
28.6: % increase in Northland house prices - up to $450,000
50: % of the way through clearing the slips north of Kaikoura after last year's earthquake
72,000: more people staying in NZ than leaving each year after nine years of National government, compared to 10,000 after nine years of Labour
4.5m: $ the cost of the Port Hills fire in early February


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5723 (0.0064)
EUR 0.6512 (0.0039)
USD 0.7276 (0.0047)
AUD 0.9622 (0.0115)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Jean Batten
She was the manifestation of triumph and hope against the odds through the dark days of the Depression. In 1934, she smashed, by six days, Amy Johnson’s flight time between England and Australia. The following year, she was the first woman to make the return flight. In 1936, she made the first-ever direct flight between England and New Zealand and then the fastest ever trans-Tasman flight. Jean Batten was the ‘Garbo of the Skies’. She stood for adventure, daring, exploration and glamour. In her time, Jean Batten was one of the most famous people in the world.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/endurance/jean-batten/


Joke of the Weekender

Good English
My ESL students try so hard and are so appreciative. One student paid me the ultimate compliment when she said, “You teach English good.” Another assured me, “I will always forget you.” And a third insisted, “I thank you from the heart of my bottom.”


Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 17/06/2017

Hello, there have been some lovely days this week, even a couple of goodies for the Fieldays.


Sport

First up the All Blacks had their first game of this season against Samoa in Auckland. It was a bit of a slow start but they pulled away in the second half to win 78-0. Samoa had a few chances but couldn't quite finish them. In other news, Australia lost to Scotland!
Well, the Lions had a tougher challenge with the Crusaders, but they stepped up and handed the Crusaders their first loss of this Super Rugby season (not that it counts for Super Rugby). The British and Irish Lions kept the Crusaders scoreless and won 12-3. Their mid-week team is still struggling though and they lost to the Highlanders 23-22 with a penalty near the end. The Lions are taking on the NZ Maori tonight in Rotorua and although the Maori got a Liam Messam try, the Lions have kicked all their points to lead 10-12.
In the World Rugby under-20 Championship, NZ beat France 39-26 in the semi and are through to the final against England.
In other rugby news, Scott McLeod will take over as the defensive coach for the All Blacks from Wayne Smith after the Lions tour. He has been rewarded for his great work with the Highlanders.

Kiwi Michael Venus has won the French Open doubles title with Ryan Harrison, who has been like a brother to him since his move to the USA.

Mark Hunt had a win in UFC Fight Night 110, with a TKO over Derrick Lewis.

In the final of the Louis Vuitton Cup, on the first day of racing Team New Zealand lead 2-1, but came back to level 2-2, before NZ won another. In the sixth race, New Zealand survived a heart-stopping moment when they lost power and dropped off the foils right near the end of the race with Artemis powering on. The cyclists saved the day by repowering the boat and they won by 1 sec to be ahead 4-2. There were three races on offer on the final day, but Team New Zealand won to go through to the America's Cup against Oracle. And it's starting soon.

The Vantage Black Sticks are touring in Spain and had a 3-1 loss and then a 3-3 draw against their hosts.


NZ News

Labour has started announcing their plans if they make it into government, and one of the keys is cutting net migration. This has started with a story about cutting 20-30,000 a year targeting low-skilled workers and students. I did hear that they said they wanted to cut 50,000 when there were only 47,000 currently, but they do seem to be changing around the numbers each week.
Bill English thinks that Labour's immigration breather would stall the momentum of the economy. Yes sure, he's the leader of the opposing political party - but he was also the finance minister through the GFC.

Ngapuhi has been in the news this week. The history is that the government agreed to discuss the Treaty negotiations but a different faction within Ngapuhi think they should be the ones doing the negotiations. The government has tried a number of times to negotiate between the two parties but things have still not been resolved. Bill English announced this week the Ngapuhi should be the ones to decide who the government should negotiate with. Of course, both parties did have complaints, one that the government has been intervening too much, and the other party annoyed that the government has backed down on who they said they would negotiate with i.e. not intervening enough.


The Numbers Game

26.2: % support for Bill English as Prime Minister, up 1.2% but nowhere near the support of Sir John Key, but well ahead of Winston Peters 9.7%, Andrew Little 7% and a big drop for Jacinda Ardern to 6.6%
47.4: % support for National - steady, Labour is down 4.4 to 26.4%, Green Party rises a bit to 12.5% and NZ First recorded their highest polling of 9.4%
7,700: people in Rotorua joined in for the World Record number of people doing a haka
1,000,000: shipping containers went through the Port of Tauranga in one year - for the first time ever


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5659 (0.0003)
EUR 0.6473 (0.0035)
USD 0.7229 (0.0023)
AUD 0.9507 (-0.0058)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Maurice Wilkins
Research undertaken by Maurice Wilkins, with support from Rosalind Franklin, led to the discovery of the DNA molecule structure. This discovery, by American geneticist James Watson and British biophysicist Francis Crick in 1953, revolutionised biology and medicine.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/maurice-wilkins/


Joke of the Weekender

An ad for a hedge clipper that I had to read twice: “A built-in safety switch prevents accidental starting, and blades will stop when you take one hand off.”

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 10/06/2017

Well, it has certainly been a week.


Sport

The British and Irish Lions have well and truly landed in NZ and kicked off their tour with a warm-up against an NZ Barbarians team last weekend. The problem was that they'd only arrived halfway through the week and the Barbarians were fired up in Whangarei and the Lions only just managed a 7-13 point win. Then mid week the Lions took on the worst NZ Super Rugby team - the Blues - and lost 22-16. And it gets worse from there, tonight they play the Crusaders.
Last week in Super Rugby, Beauden Barrett starred as the Hurricanes beat the Western Force 34-12. This week featured another fantastic NZ derby with the Chiefs heading to Wellington to take on the Hurricanes and then beating them 14-17 to snap their winning home streak.
Table: Crusaders 63, Lions 56, Hurricanes 54, Chiefs 53, Highlanders 46, Sharks 42, Blues 37, Brumbies 33, Stormers 30, Jaguares 24, Waratahs/Kings 19, Force/Reds 17, Cheetahs 16, Bulls 15, Rebels 8, Sunwolves 7
The All Blacks were announced this week and two new faces from the Hurricanes are Jordie Barrett meaning there are three from the Barrett family in the squad and Ngani Laumape.

In tennis, Michael Venus reached the French Open doubles final with his American partner Ryan Harrison.

Pole Vaulter Eliza McCartney got third in the Rome Diamond League meeting this weekend.

In cricket, NZ lost to England by 87 runs and then lost to Bangladesh by 5 wickets, so I think that means we won't be progressing.

Ryan Hoffman reach the 300-game milestone for the Warriors as they took on the Gold Coast Titans and the Warriors must have been motivated as they snapped the away losing streak with a 34-12 win, but they may have lost the services of Keiran Foran with an injury.

It has been busy in the America's Cup/Louis Vuitton Cup this week! Oracle secured a bonus point for the America's Cup when they beat Team New Zealand in their final meeting. Team NZ were already through to the next round and as top challenger they chose Ben Ainslie Racing to race against. In the first race BAR withdrew after picking up some damage, and they didn't make it back in time for the second race, so 2-0. In the third race, the wind was getting up, and Team NZ had a massive capsize just as the race was starting, 2-1. One commentator accused Oracle of foul play forcing the challengers to race in unsafe wind conditions. But Team New Zealand didn't suffer much damage and were able to make quick repairs and the next day won two of the three races, 4-2, finishing off the British the next day, 5-2. In the other side of the table, Artemis Racing from Sweden has beaten Team Japan after coming back from 3-1 down. That is a little unfortunate, as Team Japan have been Oracle's training and technology partner, so Oracle will get a bit more practice next week.


NZ News

Last weekend was Queens Birthday and that means the annual honours have been announced. John Key has been given a knighthood for his eight years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, while Michael Jones has received an Order of Merit for his services to the Pacific community, and bungy pioneer AJ Hackett was honoured with an Order of Merit for services to adventure tourism.


The Numbers Game

3: QBW road toll, three too many, but well down from 11 last year
4.4: % house price increase in Rotorua
16: % median house price increase in Northland as people move out of Auckland
49: % support for National after the budget spend up, Labour steady on 30% with Greens falling 2 to 9%
292: # ranking for Waikato University, jumping more than 100 places in three years with all eight NZ universities lifting their rankings since 2013
16,304: people charged for drink driving in 2016, down from 31,933 in 2009
4m: $ from the government for earthquake strengthening for the Hawke's Bay Opera House
7m: $ makeover for a rotting housing estate in Hamilton East, after demolishing the abandoned houses, 71 new homes are planned
31.7m: $ from the government to upgrade NZs supercomputer capabilities


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5656 (0.0146)
EUR 0.6438 (0.0124)
USD 0.7206 (0.0110)
AUD 0.9565 (-0.0021)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Katherine Mansfield 
Katherine Mansfield revolutionised the 20th Century English short story. Her best work shakes itself free of plots and endings and gives the story, for the first time, the expansiveness of the interior life, the poetry of feeling, the blurred edges of personality. She is taught worldwide because of her historical importance but also because her prose offers lessons in entering ordinary lives that are still vivid and strong. And her fiction retains its relevance through its open-endedness—its ability to raise discomforting questions about identity, belonging and desire.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/katherine-mansfield/


Joke of the Weekender

The last time we changed from daylight saving time, a preacher friend posted, “For those who habitually show up 15 minutes late to church, allow me to remind you that tonight is the night you set your clock back 45 minutes.”


 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 03/06/2017

Wow half way through the year almost.


Sport

Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Hurricanes lost Beauden Barrett before kick-off but still helped themselves to a 34-20 win over the Bulls in Pretoria. The Crusaders had an easy 41-19 win over the Rebels, and after a strong start, the Waratahs fell off the pace, losing 44-28 against the Highlanders.
This week the Crusaders beat the Highlanders 25-22 with an 83rd-minute drop goal in an epic back and forth struggle, ending the Highlanders six-game run but continuing the Crusaders 14-game run. The Blues narrowly avoided defeat, when they beat the Reds 34-29 in the first Super Rugby game in Samoa. Tonight the Chiefs took on the Waratahs and Stephen Donald was playing his 100th game, and they won 46-31 - continuing NZ's dominance over Australian teams so far.
A man from Hamilton died while playing rugby this weekend, adding to a couple of other deaths recently. I don't know if it's just that reporters are focusing on it, or if there is a recent increase but it is disturbing.

Last weekend the Warriors beat a depleted Broncos 28-10, but last night they lost to the Eels 32-24, and have yet to win a game away from home.

As the Black Caps got closer to the ICC Champions Trophy, they had a 45-run loss to India after collapsing with the bad for 189. However, the final warm-up game against Sri Lanka, saw an 116 run century from Martin Guptill off 76 balls as the Black Caps reached 359 for four, chasing Sri Lanka's 356 for eight. Then in the first game of the Champions Trophy, the Black Caps posted 292 off 46 overs against Australia, and looked heading for a win with Australia on the ropes at 53 for three after nine overs, but in a usual occurrence when in such a winning position, the rain came down and the game was declared a "No result".

The Waikato/BOP Magic snapped a three-game losing streak with a 65-46 win against the Mainland Tactix.

Scott Dixon didn't have a happy day at the Indianapolis 500, when he was clipped and his car was launched into the air, flipped and crashing into the safety barrier at around 350 kph. But he did walk himself out of the wreck.

The America's Cup (well the Louis Vouitton Cup) has kicked off! On the first day, Team New Zealand beat France and lost to Oracle. On the second day, they beat Japan and the British (BAR). On the third and fourth day, they beat Artemis, in both cases by penalty. On the fifth day of racing NZ beat BAR, almost lapping them in the light winds. On the sixth day, NZ beat Japan and France, and became the first team to run a full race "dry" - that is completely on foils without dropping at all. Ben Ainslie had issues crashing again and as thought, isn't showing much speed. That leaves NZ on eight points and Oracle next on seven. The interesting thing is that because Oracle had a point carried over, they have an edge, so the grudge match today is Oracle vs NZ and the winner takes a point into the finals (the America's Cup) - if NZ makes it that far.


NZ News

It was a strange week weather wise. Here it wasn't too bad, but Tauranga was hit by the heaviest rain it had seen in a month and the already sodden ground couldn't cope, closing the transfer station and street.

It's the budget before an election, the chance for an opposition to make some hits against a three-term government, and yet the political commentary this week were noting that the Labour MPs will soon have the opportunity to roll their leader. Of course, they wouldn't so close to an election, but the outstanding thing is that anyone is even talking about this. The next interesting story of the week was Andrew Little saying that the budget had "changed the landscape" and now he can't rule out tax hikes. The government has said it will bring in tax cuts, and many people will have already "spent" that money - and a vote for Labour means not only losing that money but more if there are tax increases. Finally, there were stories about either the Labour/Green deal being dead, or that the biggest problem the Greens have is that they tied themselves to Labour. If they had been more open, they could have been in government long ago, pushing their Green policies, rather than linking up with Labour by pushing liberal and economic policies that have nothing to do with their Green policies.


The Numbers Game

1: month earlier opening for Whakapapa than normal with their new all-weather snowmaking system
2: % of houses are sold to offshore tax residents - data called dodgy by Labour but backed up by Land Information NZ data
6: $/night for hotels increase in Auckland after Mayor Phil Goff introduced a "bed tax"
26: properties now infected with myrtle rust across the country
82: % of houses in NZ are being bought by New Zealand residents or citizens, another 16% to businesses or corporates entities - almost wholly owned by Kiwis
1.8m: $ fund for high-risk convenience stores and dairies to kerb the rise of aggravated robberies


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5510 (0.0036)
EUR 0.6314 (0.0026)
USD 0.7096 (0.0056)
AUD 0.9586 (0.0129)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Margaret Mahy (1936–2012) is New Zealand’s most celebrated children’s writer. As the author of more than 120 titles - which have since been translated into 15 different languages
http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writer/mahy-margaret/


Joke of the Weekender

I've given up social media for the New Year and am trying to make friends outside Facebook while applying the same principles. Every day, I walk down the street and tell passersby what I've eaten, how I feel, what I did the night before, and what I will do tomorrow. Then I give them pictures of my family, my dog, and me gardening. I also listen to their conversations and tell them I love them. And it works. I already have three people following me — two police officers and a psychiatrist.

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

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