February 2016

The Weekender 27/02/2016

Hello, it's been warm, very warm. In fact Hamilton is on course to beat the
average temperature record for February which was set way back when I was
born in 1974. Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland and Christchurch averages are
also all right up there. Christchurch had a high of 32.8 degC. However just
so things don't dry out too much there seems to be some good rain right
across the North Island at least, for the next few days.
------------------------------
*Sport*
Well there goes the summer of cricket, Super Rugby has started. We now have
an expanded competition. The NZ & Australian conferences are the same but
there are now two South African conferences with the addition of the
Japanese team the Sunwolves, the Argentinian team the Jaquares, and the
South African Kings.
The Chiefs hadn't even started the season before they called in
reinforcements for two season ending injuries to Nepo Laulala and Mitchell
Karpik. They got Counties Manukau flanker Sam Henwood and Japanese prop
Hiroshi Yamashita.
On to the games. Things didn't start well for either of last years
finalists. The Highlanders took on a well performing Blues (rejuvenated
with new coach Tana Umaga), and the Blues won a great game 33-31, while the
Hurricanes were thrashed by the Brumbies 52-10, with some sports writers
picking a big year for the Brumbies. The Jaquares had a winning start,
beating the Cheetahs 34-33, while the Sunwolves lost to the Lions 26-13,
although they had a big crowd of 25,000 for the game. In a game that has
just finished the Chiefs have started with an away win against the
Crusaders 21-27 in a compelling contest.

Kane Williamson reached 4000 runs to join an exclusive club - well maybe
not that exclusive if there are seven NZers in it. He was the big winner at
the cricket awards though with the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for player of
the year, test player of the year and the Redpath Cup for first-class
batsman.
However the rest of the second test match wasn't much about Williamson at
all. The Aussies spat the dummy with both Josh Hazlewood and their captain
Steven Smith, charged for dissent when they abused the third umpire within
listening distance of the stump cam. Again the decision was the right one,
so to show their true colours and it seems like they have a very real need
to be really bad sports when they win - the media kicked in to talk about
how the Aussies were "seething over crowd abuse". Now you may have heard
this story overseas and wondered about the kiwi crowd, but I hope you heard
the full story. Eye witnesses heard nothing out of the ordinary except for
one person who was eventually ejected from the game, so I guess the Aussies
were complaining about that one person. Oh, the witnesses also happened to
mention that the person was an Australian. He seemed to abuse both teams
equally, but yet again it wasn't a kiwi being a bad sport.
But yes, Australia did win by 7 wickets, which unfortunately gave them the
No 1 ranking (perhaps that's why the Aussies were upset?) and left Brendon
McCullum with not quite the best test record for an NZ captain. Brendon
certainly left his mark though. The profile of cricket over the last few
years has improved immeasurably. I'll leave the final word to incoming
captain Kane Williamson to describe it. "Something Brendon believed more
and more was that runs and wickets were cool," Williamson wrote, "but being
a good person throughout was the most important thing."

The Wellington Phoenix continued their confusing results with a big scalp
when they beat Melbourne City 2-1.

Finally the NZ Breakers now know their opposition for the ANBL final - and
they really know them. It's the Perth Wildcats.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
This week saw the fifth anniversary of the deadly Christchurch earthquake,
and a minutes silence was held for the victims. Unfortunately around the
same time, there was a serious 5 on the Richter scale earthquake causing
it's own round of damage, but more seriously denting the psychological
shell that locals have been rebuilding to cope with the 2011 quake.

The trial of the man who threatened child milk formula with 1080 has been
on trial this week and apparently he regretted his move immediately. He did
it for financial reasons as his business supplied the major alternative to
1080.

The Upper Hutt City Council has declared Upper Hutt a TPP-free zone, and
they are receiving some heavy flack for it. I think we should just all
agree with them and bypass them with all the benefits.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
3: rd best city in the world ranking for Auckland for quality of living
according to Mercer - for the fourth time in a row
47: % support for National in the latest One News-Colmar Brunton poll,
steady over the signing of the TPP, Greens dropped 4 to 8%
733: $ (accidentally) on four bottles of wine for Foreign Minister Murray
McCully on a working lunch, he repaid the amount
133,000: to one odds for a Gisborne family where the Grandmother, mother
and daughter all have the same birthday
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4817 (0.0195)
EUR 0.6106 (0.0152)
USD 0.6722 (0.0104)
AUD 0.9331 (0.0035)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Nancy Wake
design of resistance
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/nancy-wake/
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

26. Start your order with "I'd like... ." A little later, slap yourself
and say "No, I don't."
27. If they repeat the order to make sure they have it right, say "OK.
That'll be $10.99; please pull up to the first window."
28. Rent a pizza.
29. Order while using an electric knife sharpener.
30. Ask if you get to keep the pizza box. When they say yes, heave a sigh
of relief.
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 20/02/2016

Hello, I'm contemplating sending the weekender out on Saturday nights, so
you might get it a few hours earlier. This week we have had a couple of
days of rain. This summer was predicted to be a big drought but hasn't been
anything of the sort, however a couple of days of rain was very welcome.
Happy Birthday Craig!
------------------------------
*Sport*
The final test match for Brendon McCullum started today, after news this
week that he might have been an All Black. Brendon was picked in front of
Dan Carter at fly-half for the South Island Secondary Schools team in 2000.
NZ didn't do particularly well in the first innings on a green wicket but
that didn't stop Brendon McCullum hitting a world record century off just
54 balls. He finished on 145 off 79.
In the first test match, Australia posted 562 to lead by 379 and then won
by over an innings.

Lydia Ko wasn't fazed by the Christchurch earthquake (see below) and went
on to win her third NZ Open title in four years. And then she was fazed, as
she gave a tearful thanks to her New Zealand backers.

Hayden Paddon had a scare and had to nurse his Hyundai home but still
managed to finish second for his second podium finish. Awesome result.

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke took out their fourth world title in Florida
this week to land a good psychological blow heading toward the Olympics.

This week was the Halberg Awards with All Blacks taking out Team of the
Year, and the Supreme Halberg award, and Steve Hansen taking the coach of
the year. But it wasn't all rugby with Kane Williamson taking Sportsman of
the Year and Lydia Ko winning Sportswoman of the Year.

As the NZ Warriors prepare for a new season, Simon Mannering has stood down
as captain saying the pressure has taken away his love of the game. He will
be replaced by Australian Ryan Hoffman.

Former Tall Black Sean Marks has been named Brooklyn Net's General Manager,
after being assistant GM at San Antonio Spurs. The job is an amazing
opportunity for Sean and a much sort after job.
The NZ Breakers started their post season with a huge 91-82 win over
Melbourne in game one of the semifinal. The second game was tonight and the
Breakers again beat Melbourne 91-78 to go through to the finals.

The Wellington Phoenix have been granted a 10 year extension to play in
Australia's A-League. It isn't anywhere near the same deal that the
Australian teams get but it's far better than either nothing or the four
year deal that had previously been talked about.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
Christchurch had a big earthquake this week. It was only a 5.7 but it
frayed the nerves of a group of people who have had enough pain and
aftershocks. A cliff collapsed at Sumner causing a great shot for the news,
but there were no reports of serious injuries - now for more insurance
reports!

The race for the Auckland Mayoralty has kicked off and there are a few
candidates. Phill Goff is probably the front runner, and he takes on
Victoria Crone (former CEO ? of Xero), Mark Thomas, Stephen Berry, Penny
Bright, and David Hay.

Judith "Crusher" Collins has released some information relating to boy
racing accidents after the introduction of her bill to "crush" cars of
people caught "boy racing". Back in 2001 there were seven deaths, and 77
injuries, and in 2014 there were no deaths and 23 injuries. She is
considering adding those that flee from the police to the group of cars
that can be crushed, after this week a man, woman and five month baby were
injured by someone fleeing the police.

The Salvation Army has produced a "State of the Nation" report on New
Zealand and found a generally rosy picture. Apparently real wages are
rising, while material hardship, crime, welfare, teen pregnancy, infant
mortality, alcohol consumption, and gambling are dropping. However not
everything is perfect. Inequality is still growing and a near-record 29% of
children are living in homes earning below 60% of the median household
income after housing costs. Although the main cause of inequality is
Auckland housing prices.

A confidential report into compensation for David Bain, has found that he
is not "innocent beyond doubt" so is unlikely to get compensation despite
being found not guilty.

Last weekend I mentioned that it wasn't a good week for news - if you
didn't like sport. Well this week the New Zealander of the Year awards back
up the point that New Zealand is very sports focused. The NZer of the Year
was Richie McCaw, not just for leading the All Blacks to a second Rugby
World Cup, but also his charities that he supports, while Lydia Ko was name
Young New Zealander of the year. Both worthy recipients. Local Hero of the
Year went to Selwyn Cook from Hamilton, who owns 14 "Z" petrol stations
(formerly Shell), and uses that to provide work opportunities for people
with disabilities.

I'm sure Winston Peters won't lose any sleep about destroying someone's
career with no proof, but this week former New Zealand First MP Brendan
Horan, was cleared of all charges by the police.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
6.0: richter scale earthquake struck 160km southwest of Snares Island at
10km deep
22: % increase in Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB or fibre) connections since
September 2015, 135% increase in the last year
48: cases of the Zika virus reported in New Zealand this year
51: people in Auckland quarantined after a measles scare where one person
ignored their quarantine
61,000: births in 2015, up 7% on the previous year
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4622 (0.0024)
EUR 0.5954 (0.0049)
USD 0.6618 (-0.0045)
AUD 0.9296 (-0.0086)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
John Walsh
design of the dental drill
http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v195/n12/full/4810852a.html
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

21. Tell the order taker you're depressed. Get him/her to cheer you up.
22. Make a list of exotic cuisine’s. Order them as toppings.
23. Change your accent every three seconds.
24. Order 52 pepperoni slices prepared in a fractal pattern as follows from
an equation you are about to dictate. Ask if they need paper.
25. Act like you know the order taker from somewhere. Say "Bed-Wetters'
Camp, right?"
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 14/02/2016

Welcome to a slow news week - well if you don't like sport at least.
------------------------------
*Sport*
The NZ Breakers have put themselves back in the frame for the ANBL
play-offs with a 85-74 win over the Taipans. And then they had their fourth
straight win with a 100-63 thrashing of top of the table Melbourne.

The All Black Sevens beat Fiji 14-12 in a tense semi final at the Sydney
Sevens before beating Australia 27-24, after the final whistle, for the
second time in the tournament for the win.

Jacko Gill has kicked off the 2016 season with a massive personal best
throw of 20.83m to qualify for the Rio Olympics.

The cricket continued with the final tie-breaking ODI and the Aussies
actually did something nice, by forming a guard of honour as he came out
onto the field. As for the game, McCullum did what he does with 47 off 27,
and the top order kept things going nicely, until the last five wickets
went for 23 runs, for a seemingly sub-par 246. But Australia were worse and
regular wickets saw a NZ win by 55 runs, and the series. The Australian's
(and their media) kicked up a huge stink over the dismissal of Marsh. The
caught & bowl were appealed and the umpires took their time before they saw
a big screen replay and requested the third umpire take a look. The aussies
complained of the way the result was reached, but it was definitely a
wicket - something they have totally ignored.
The first test is on now in Wellington and although NZ aren't doing
particularly well at the moment, Brendon McCullum taking the field was
enough for another record. This test is his 100th consecutive tests for New
Zealand. That makes him the first of 2,809 test cricketers to reach that
mark. McCullum is the third NZ cricketer to reach 100 tests at all after
Stephen Fleming and Daniel Vettori. New Zealand are once again stuck with
being on the wrong end of an umpiring decision with Voges being given not
out. It's interesting though that NZ complain less about incorrect
decisions, than Australia complains about correct decisions.

In ongoing event, Hayden Paddon is sitting in second in Rally Sweden
showing some great form, and Lydia Ko jumped from third to first as she
defends the NZ Open.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
A TV show 45 years in the making has been purchased by 30 networks around
the world. It's based on a ground breaking study on 1000 New Zealanders
born 45 years ago and has featured in prestigious science journals and has
even been the basis of advice given to the US President.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
5.7: Richter scale earthquake in Nelson, was felt around the country
8.5: unintentional injury deaths of children under 14, per 10,000 children
in 2010, down from 10.5 in 2001, latest reported year 2013 totals 38, down
from 126 in 1989
9: km high for one of the rockets fired off at the Rocketry Association's
annual open day out at Taupiri
29: Mbps LTE speed for NZ, rated second in the world behind Singapore,
Australia is eighth on 24
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4598 (0.0037)
EUR 0.5905 (-0.0023)
USD 0.6663 (0.0046)
AUD 0.9382 (0.0027)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Brendon McCullum
As Brendon McCullum heads to the end of his career, here is a great article
on why he is so great. Ultimately his entire leadership career was like
most of his innings: so much fun, way too short.
http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/971039.html
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

16. Ask for a deal available somewhere else. (e.g. If phoning Domino's,
ask for a Cheeser! Cheeser!)
17. Ask what the order taker is wearing.
18. Crack your knuckles into the receiver.
19. Say hello, act stunned for five seconds, then behave as if they called
you.
20. Rattle off your order with a determined air. If they ask if you would
like drinks with that, panic and become disoriented.
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 07/02/2016

Hello and welcome back to a more regular Weekender from now on. Wow, three
weeks to catch up on.
------------------------------
*Sport*
The NZ Breakers haven't been doing so well with their third loss in a row
being a double over time 96-103 loss to the Hawks, and then the Breakers
announced that former player Paul Henare would be head coach next year.
That didn't help with motivation as they crashed to a 89-66 loss to the
lowly Townsville Crocs, and then lost to the Taipans 90-87 for their sixth
in a row. But they kept their faint play-off hopes alive with a 77-74 win
over the Crocs and then beat the Adelaide 36ers 84-106.

The summer of cricket continued. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson smashed
a world record stand and opening partnership in the second T20 against
Pakistan to win by 10 wickets. And in the third T20 NZ won by 95 runs to
win the series 2-1. Then they moved on the ODIs with NZ putting on 280-8
and then bowling Pakistan out for 210. The second ODI was abandoned in
Napier, and the third was rain affected but NZ won by 3 wickets with 2
balls remaining. Things continued quickly with Australia arriving and NZ
reached 309 with Martin Guptill run out on 90 and Brendon McCullum (in his
farewell tour) hitting 44 off 29. I kept an eye on the game and saw NZ had
done well, but Australia was still due to bat. After a meeting I checked
the score and saw they were 4 down cheaply. So I quickly checked the ball
by ball report to see how the Aussies got out, and while I was doing that
we got two more wickets. As the Aussie captain said, you don't win after
losing six wickets in the first 10 overs, and we went on to win by 159
runs. Australia did bounce back in the second ODI yesterday though winning
by four wickets.

Nick Willis showed good pre-Olympics form in the 3000m to win his third
national title.

In the Wellington Seven's final, the All Black Sevens came back from 14
points down halfway through the second half to beat South Africa 24-21.
However later in the week the ref apologised to South Africa for a poor
game. This week in Sydney, NZ topped their pool, however are being
investigated for video footage showing eight players on the field leading
to a draw against Australia. Update: NZ have been found to have broken the
rules but the result will stand, and NZ may face further disciplinary
action. In the quarters NZ beat USA to move into the semis.

Joseph Parker is one step closer to his dream of becoming the world
heavyweight boxing champion after being ranking the No1 contender by the
WBO.

The NRL Nines are on in Auckland this weekend and the Warriors have come up
with a game winning try against the Broncos to move through to the
quarter-finals.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
Student loans can be quite difficult to recover when students take out a
big loan and then leave the country, however IRD is now working with
immigration. So if IRD has been unable to contact someone and they turn up
in NZ, in the worst case they might get arrested. The first such case
happened a couple of weeks ago. The fact that it was the nephew of the Cook
Islands Prime Minister, and that he said "I don't think I'm a criminal"
should be irrelevant. He claimed that IRD were sending the documentation to
the wrong address, however in an interview with him a couple of days ago I
heard him say something along the lines that he lives in the bush and
doesn't receive mail. That's not IRD's fault. You can bet that when
students sign up for a loan they agree to making sure IRD have their latest
address.

Labour gave a 'state of the nation' this week an announced a plan that
would give three years of free post-school education over a person's
lifetime. Apparently it would cost $1.2b per year by 2025. Wow it didn't
take Labour long to start "virtually" spending the money National has been
struggling to recover after Labour's last big spend up during Helen's last
term. National suggested that the policy would take from the poor and give
to those studying for lucrative jobs. Steven Joyce said it took just over
six years to repay a student loan.

The story of the last few weeks continues to be the TPP Trans Pacific
Partnership trade deal. Labour has come out firmly against the deal and
rolled their resident protesters into action with a few people turning up
in Auckland and Waitangi. Oh also 100 people in Raglan who wanted to jump
off the walk bridge and claim they were all against TPP. But unfortunately
for Labour they can't get their story straight. A number of their senior
MP's were forced to back down from supporting the TPP. It wasn't
surprising, because this deal was started by Labour. They wanted it then,
but now presumably Andrew Little has decided to politicise the deal to try
and win the next election. Another funny thing Labour did was start an
online petition, with a poster saying "Stand up for democracy, Join over
75,000 Kiwis who have said no to the TPPA". I think Labour might need to
check the dictionary on "democracy" or the population of New Zealand,
because TPP going ahead is democracy in action if 75,000 are against
4,471,000. Sure I can understand that a few vocal people really, really,
don't like John Key, but it's really hard to believe that many of those
against TPP are anything more than John-Key-haters. A large group of Maori
are staunchly against the deal, despite a specific clause in the deal
stating "Nothing in this agreement shall preclude the adoption by New
Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment
to Maori in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi."
The funny thing around this are the protesters. I've seen one guy on social
media claiming that the cost of medicines will increase for Pharmac, only
to be seriously shot down by a guy who turned out to be a Pharmac director
and the person responsible for budgeting the costs. I've seen numerous
people interviewed who don't really know what the problem is, they just
want to protest. A number of those were asked about their protesting
history and it seems they protest everything! Most of the others can't say
anything against the TPP but simply say they don't like or trust John Key.
Fair enough, but don't take it out on a trade deal which is hugely
beneficial to New Zealand.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
3: rd most dangerous road in the world is the Skippers Canyon road
according to one site - a claim rubbished by a man who drives it frequently
4: people have died and six critically injured in the first day of Waitangi
weekend
6.6: richter scale earthquake 1,100km off the North Island caused a number
of tremors through New Zealand
30: deg C for Napier on Jan 24th, a typical day over the hot last few weeks
43: rd ranking for Danny Lee as he moves up the world golf rankings - he is
currently leading the Phoenix Open in front of 200,000 fans
50: year old birthday for Auckland Airport, opened on 29th January 1966
193m: $ taken in by the box office last year for a record year, up 5.5% on
2014
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
(from 17/01/2016)
GBP 0.4561 (0.0080)
EUR 0.5928 (0.0026)
USD 0.6617 (0.0182)
AUD 0.9355 (0.0051)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Kelly McGarry - the Kiwi pioneer and daredevil
The renowned Kiwi mountain biker, who has died aged 33 of a suspected heart
attack while riding a Queenstown track, was a hard-to-forget freestyle
daredevil.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=1158346...
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

11. Tell them to put the crust on top this time.
12. Sing the order to the tune of your favourite song from Metallica's
"Master of Puppets" CD.
13. Do not name the toppings you want. Rather, spell them out.
14. Put an extra edge in your voice when you say "crazy bread."
15. Stutter on the letter "p."
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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}