The Weekender 20/10/2018

Hello, we have a nice sunny long weekend at the moment! 


It was semi-finals NPC rugby this weekend with Canterbury beating Tasman 21-16 in Nelson and Auckland beating Wellington 38-17. The final will be in Auckland next weekend. In the Mitre 10 Cup Waikato beat Northland 48-26 to make the final which they will host.
At the Youth Olympics, the women's rugby team won the gold beating France 15-12.

Last Sunday the Silver Ferns thrashed Australia 55-44 in Hamilton breaking an eight-game losing streak and kept the Constellation Cup alive. They were unable to win the final Constellation Cup game with Australia winning 58-47.

Last weekend we left the league test with the Kiwis winning 8-6 and unfortunately the Aussies scored 18 more points. But fortunately, the Kiwis scored 18 more points! So it was a double upset last weekend with the Kiwis beating Australia 26-24 at Mt Smart Stadium.

The NZ Breakers bounced back from their first game to beat the defending champions Melbourne 88-81.

Auckland golfer Nick Voke has won for the third time in the PGA Tour of China.

Scott McLaughlin overtook fellow kiwi Shane van Gisbergen in the Aussie V8 championship and now leads by 14 points.

NZ News

The news has been all bad for National this week. It started with National MP Jami-Lee Ross being identified as the most likely suspect for leaking National leader Simon Bridges expenses - something he denied. But then Ross claimed he had a recording of a discussion with Bridges doing illegal activity with party donations. The Party couldn't find any proof of the allegations and then the party sacked Ross as an MP. Ross hit back and released the tape, but I read the transcript and there certainly isn't a smoking gun for illegal activity, but it still wasn't the sort of conversation one wants to be made public. There were other allegations as well, and it's all been quite messy.
However, as one political commentator said: "I found the covert recording of Simon Bridges played to the nation by his would-be nemesis, Jami-Lee Ross, this week immensely reassuring." ... "If this is corruption NZ-style, we're lucky".

Don Brash is finally getting to speak at Massey University but it looks like those that cancelled his last speech under false pretences have got away with it.

Three people were killed in a Wanaka helicopter crash this week. The well known Wallis family have lost a second brother within three months to another helicopter accident. The other two people killed were DOC workers, one a ranger with 47 years experience. The police have said there is nothing to suggest foul play.

The Numbers Game

19: % increase in people on hardship assistance grants from September 2017 to 2018
21: walking tracks around the country have been shut down because of the spread of the kauri dieback disease
50: trucks protested in convoy through central Auckland against high petrol prices
70: th wedding anniversary for Kapiti couple Ken and Joan Fenton
75: % of NZers have experienced a tech scam - the highest level in the world
736: undersized paua were found in the possession of four people in Taranaki
5,833: votes for the Kereru (native wood pigeon) means it is crowned as New Zealand's bird of the year
25,000: foot skydiving jump NZ record for a high altitude low opening jump by Tasman woman Wendy Smith
224m: $ boost for North Shore and Whangarei hospitals
957m: $ for the annual Auckland City wages bill
1.8b: $ sunken waterfront stadium is being proposed for Auckland

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5044 (+0.0098)
EUR 0.5719 (+0.0098)
USD 0.6594 (+0.0088)
AUD 0.9261 (+0.0117)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Scott Quate
Senior Constable Scott Quate was today presented with the Police Association's Bravery Award at its annual conference in Wellington.
The Napier police officer said he didn't think twice before jumping into a freezing, fast-flowing river to try and save two people.

Joke of the Weekender

If we shouldn’t eat at night, why do they put a light in the fridge?


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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 13/10/2018

Hello and welcome to the weekend after Bathurst. Just kidding. Mostly. Hope you've had a great week, I got to see most of the Great Race - well about five of the six hours.


Following up last weekends sports! The All Blacks had a last minute 30-32 win over South Africa in a meaningless game, after the Springboks lead by 12 points with four minutes to play. Sam Cane left the field early and it turned out he had a fractured neck. There was no permanent damage though, and he stayed behind for the week to have an operation. He will miss the end of year tour but should recover fine in a few months.
The Wallabies were in Argentina and had their own amazing comeback from 24-points to win 45-34 - narrowly avoiding finishing bottom of the table.
The Ranfurly Shield is on the move after Otago beat Waikato 23-19 this afternoon here in Hamilton.

Last weekend at the Great Race, Craig Lowndes and kiwi co-driver Steven Richards won the race. Kiwi Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat finished third with kiwis Shane van Gisbergen and Earl Bamber fifth. Kiwi Fabian Coulthard was ninth.

Hayden Paddon finished the muddy Wales Rally GB in seventh place - his position for most of the round.
Brendon Hartley qualified sixth and finished 13th at F1's Japanese Grand Prix.

There are a triple-header league games on tonight as the young kiwis, women's and men's Kiwis take on Australia. This week there was a surprise announcement with young Dallin Watene-Zeleniak named as captain.
The Kiwi Ferns lost 26-24 to the Jillaroos, and currently, the Kiwis are leading the Kangaroos 8-6. I don't expect that score to change (ha!).

The Silver Ferns have had a good game and a not so good game but all with the same resulting loss to Australia. 57-42 in the first game, and an improved game for a 56-47 loss in the second game.

Young kiwis are doing well at the Youth Olympics with Dylan McCullough winning NZ's first medal with a gold in the triathlon - then he picked up a silver along with Brea Roderick and a couple of Aussies in the combined Kiwi-Roos triathlon team. Oscar Guo got a silver in the badminton team relay event.
And over in Adelaide, the Kiwis won two gold medals on the opening night of the Oceania Track Cycling Championships.

The NZ Breakers have gone down 86-73 to the Brisbane Bullets in their opening game after a promising pre-season.

NZ News

This has been the week of bad news about petrol prices for the government. The opposition blasted them for tax increases saying the average NZ household now pays $200 a year more for petrol, with Auckland families paying $324 extra.
Then the Prime Minister had the audacity to claim that "Consumers, in my book, are being fleeced" when she was questioned on petrol prices. Yes by you! She launched a scathing attack on petrol companies saying the government is going to pass the Commerce Amendment Bill to allow the government to force petrol companies to open their books. She gave some calculations on the price increases, but "forgot" (?) to include the recent excise tax and also left out Auckland's Regional Fuel tax. Perhaps she is allowed to start using Winston Peters' "I have no recollection of those events"-excuse.

The Court of Appeal has dismissed Mark Lundy's appeal against his conviction for the murder of his wife and daughter. They will apparently appeal to the Supreme Court. The long-running court saga has been going since the pair were found back in 2000. 

The Numbers Game

4.3: Richter scale earthquake hit Milford Sound during the week
5: years until noticeable water quality improvement - if the government is still around presumably?
8: th ranking for NZ in the "world energy performance index" - the only non-European country in the top 10
8: th most powerful passport in the world - we can travel without visas to 182 countries
31: people from Christchurch have needed to go to a hospital in the last three week, from the side-effects of synthetic drugs
1,891: $ worth of petrol stolen by a man in Hastings as the price of petrol rises
250m: $ the oppositions estimate of the cost of the governments 182 working groups
444m: $ the estimated cost of cyberbullying - it would be interesting to know their definition of bullying

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4946 (+0.0036)
EUR 0.5620 (+0.0035)
USD 0.6506 (+0.0064)
AUD 0.9144 (+0.0016)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Kim Casali
This week a suggestion from one of our readers with this note:

"I stumbled onto this while preparing my sermon. My sister had this book when I was growing up. I only today read the below link to find out it was a Kiwi who started this craze in the 70’s. Perhaps this could be your NZer of the week sometime. It was syndicated in over 50 newspapers worldwide. I remember it as a kid."

Kim Casali, a New Zealand native, began making drawings for her husband-to-be in California in 1967. The Los Angeles Times picked up the drawings for publication, and "Love is..." became a syndicated cartoon in 1970. It went on to appear in newspapers in 50 countries.

Joke of the Weekender

The best thing about good old days is that we were neither good nor old.


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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 06/10/2018

Welcome to Bathurst weekend! With Kiwis doing well in the Aussie V8 championship I'll be keeping a close eye on the results of the Great Race tomorrow. 


in the Rugby Championship, the Wallabies failed to recover from a first-minute brain-fade by Kurtley Beale going down to the Springboks 23-12. While the All Blacks won their third straight championship when they beat the Pumas 35-17. There was an interesting write up on all the strange calls by the ref. A shoulder charge that wasn't, a double movement TMO call that was ignored and a late hit that was ignored.
The All Blacks have their final game of the championship against South Africa early tomorrow morning.
In NPC rugby Waikato thrashed Northland 71-28

The Sydney Rooster thrashed the Melbourne Storm in the NRL final last week 21-6.

Sarah Walker has had her first top-three finish in seven years after a horror run of injuries.

The NZ Breakers warmed up to their season by heading to the USA to play the Phoenix Suns and while they didn't win they certainly did themselves proud losing only 91-86.

Brendon Hartley will start from sixth on the grid of the Japanese Grand Prix - a career-best start.

NZ News

One interesting follow-up story on PM Jacinda Ardern's trip to New York was about how she hired (well we paid for it) an Ad agency to photograph and film the trip. Previously, Prime Ministers have simply had a staff take a few photos, but it seems she wanted a more professional job done - perfect for adding some spin I guess. She got elected saying she was going to do things differently - but she failed to mention it would be worse, not better. Her reply to the question was "It was cheaper and made more sense to have someone on the ground". Well, that is a load of rubbish. There is no way it would be cheaper, and it's obviously a play purely for ratings, which the taxpayer paid for. There are also questions around whether the company made a donation by charging a lower rate - something Labour hasn't been upfront about.

Labour has also had an issue this week with their coalition partner New Zealand First after deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said that they would push for a law change to make migrants "respect New Zealand values". Labour has backed away from the idea.

And more bad news for the government with teachers voting on rolling strikes across New Zealand. The strikes will start in Auckland on Monday and 'travel' through the country ending up in Wellington on Friday. 

The Numbers Game

3.5: c/L petrol tax increase nationwide this week, hot on the heels of the new Auckland regional fuel tax
16: year high of car crash-related injuries
64: year-old Auckland activist Penny Bright died in hospital this week
1,200: St John ambulance synthetic drug-related callouts so far this year 
42,000: $ repair bill left by tenants with the landlord saying the law doesn't protect investors
160,000: $ owed by former Maori party leader Marama Fox after the collapse of her consultancy business
5m: $ donated by NZ for the quake and tsunami in Indonesia along with a Defence Force Hercules loaded with supplies

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4910 (-0.0170)
EUR 0.5585 (-0.0110)
USD 0.6442 (-0.0177)
AUD 0.9129 (-0.0033)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Marie Clay
design of reading

Joke of the Weekender

I hate Russian dolls, they’re so full of themselves.


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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 29/09/2018

Welcome along, the weather here continues to be up and down. There have been recent snow storms down south but some beautiful days. Don't forget if you are contacting people in NZ, that tonight we switch to daylight savings time - spring forward 1 hour. 


The All Blacks take on the Pumas at home around 11:30 am Sunday morning. The Pumas are playing well but I suspect the All Blacks will want to bounce back from the loss to South Africa and tie up the Rugby Championship title. We all know the All Blacks don't like losing, but in general, I haven't heard anything negative about the All Blacks loss the other weekend. Most comments have been that it was good for the game.
Tony Brown has been confirmed as the coach for the Sunwolves after Jamie Joseph stepped down to focus on the Japanese national team.
In the NPC Auckland had won six in a row but were upset by Championship low-flyers Otago 31-26 last night. Waikato has so far continued to retain the Ranfurly Shield with a challenge by Southland this afternoon where Waikato won 42-11.

The Silver Ferns may have lost 60-55 to Australia but they had a good game and showed they are getting back on track.

The NZ Under-16 men's football team have defended their OFC title beating the Solomon Islands 5-4 in a shoot-out.

Cyclist Patrick Bevan picked up a bronze as part of the American BMC racing team who finished third at the men's team time trial at the World Road Champs in Austria. He then picked up eighth in the men's individual time trial.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has become the first Warrior and the third Kiwi to win the Dally M medal.
The NRL proved they have double standards when they allowed legend Billy Slater to play in Sunday's NRL Grand Final after he did a blatant shoulder charge in the previous game. I think the results would have been different had it been a Warriors player doing the same thing.

Former Black Cap Jeetan Patel has led his English county side Warwickshire to the division two championship title.

NZ News

Government officials announced this week that their estimated cost to NZ of banning new offshore oil and gas exploration will be $7.9b. The opposition has labelled it an economic wrecking ball through regional New Zealand.
The opposition hasn't held back as Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters takes over again with Jacinda Ardern in New York for the week, but Winston Peters has conveniently forgotten details after National questioned who invited him to the celebration of under-fire Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha last year. I think the basic idea is that he's dodgy and he got the job because of a connection to NZ First and perhaps even as part of the secret coalition agreement, and National are trying to confirm the links. But it's a bit hard to get past an "I have no recollection of the events" defence. Peters also provided phone details to show he didn't make calls that had been suggested - but the official channels to get the lists of calls hadn't been used, so something seriously dodgy went on there.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had to insist that she didn't mislead parliament over contact with Derek Handley, while Grant Robertson was forced to correct an answer he gave in parliament when he was given advice from Clare Curran which didn't fully disclose her email exchanges with Handley. Now the government has released a large bunch of documents related to the failed appointment and it clearly shows that the Prime Minister and her staff were more closely involved in the appointment than they've ever admitted. We've also found there were "What's App" messages which the government seems to have tried to hide. One point of correction was that Derek Handley had already planned to move his family back to NZ, so it wasn't just for the job.
The electoral freedom in NZ might be taking a hit in the next release of the index after the organisation in charge of it noted that the government's so-called "Waka jumping bill" would be a negative if it was adopted. Later on, in the week, it was.

Primary Teachers and Principals have rejected the government's latest offer of settlement after a secret online ballot.

The mass illness at schools in Carterton last week, was most likely caused by nearby compost. 

The Numbers Game

2.40: $/L for petrol in some places as Auckland regional petrol tax and other increases start to hit
30: kph speed limit is being proposed for Auckland CBD
300: m (snow down to) this week in the South Island
518: people murdered in NZ over the last 11 years - with the rate dropping
29,000: $ from a new speed camera at a Bay of Plenty hot spot in its first month of operation
320,000: $ live savings lost by a Canterbury person through an online bitcoin/cryptocurrencies scam
1.6m: $ spent by the government on the two-day Criminal Justice Summit and it seems to be climbing - almost $1m spent on consultants alone
2.6m: $ in fines from the countries most 'productive' speed camera in Northland - if only there was a way that people could avoid getting caught!

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5080 (-0.0033)
EUR 0.5695 (+0.0014)
USD 0.6619 (-0.0068)
AUD 0.9162 (-0.0012)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Kyle Mulinder was out kayaking off the coast of Kaikoura and really was just in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time when a seal popped up, with an octopus and slapped him in the face with it. Hilarious. 

Joke of the Weekender

Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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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