December 2016

The Weekender 18/12/2016

Welcome to the last Weekender of the year. I'll take a break over Christmas & New Year and catch you up in a few weeks!


Sport

The Black Sticks have won the fifth match 2-1 against Malaysia in New Plymouth, they did lose the third game 1-0 and won the first game 3-0.

In Rugby Sevens, NZ ended up third in the Cape Town Sevens after being beaten 14-7 by South Africa - so they are improving! England went on to beat South Africa 19-17 in the final.
It looks like the Chiefs will have former Hurricanes coach Colin Cooper after Dave Rennie leaves for Scotland in 2018.

The NZ Breakers snapped out of a slump beating the Perth Wildcats 69-57.

The Wellington Phoenix came from behind to draw 2-2 with the Wanderers on Saturday.


NZ News

Prime Minister Bill English has announced his new cabinet with deputy runner Simon Bridges the big winner with a jump from No 9 to 5. Amy Adams now has more responsibility picking up the social housing from Paula Bennett and state housing from Bill English. Nikki Kaye seems to have recovered from her health scare and will pick up the Education portfolio from Hekia Parata who is leaving. Michael Woodhouse jumps from 17th to 9th and gets the ACC. There were a handful of others who have better roles and only a very few who have dropped places but generally keep their portfolios.
There are a number of people standing down at the next election: Murray McCully, and Craig Foss for the National Party. 
It will be really interesting to see what Bill English does as Prime Minister, and I really hope he gets another three years to make a difference, but he has stated that his government will have a stronger emphasis on addressing social issues. He's not coming from the same direction as Labour because he is great at finance (as proven by his track record over the last eight years), but now he can start spending that $8b that he's saved, in places that it will really help.

The Labour Party also did a reshuffle with the departure of Phill Goff and David Shearer. Long time activist Laila Harre has rejoined the Labour Party.
Green Party MPs Catherine Delahunty and Steffan Browning are to retire at the next election.

The South African government announced a move to match the New Zealand government from earlier this year, and now Kiwis require a passport to travel to South Africa. To get the passport you need to travel to Wellington.


The Numbers Game

1: # tournament for the WTA in Asia Pacific region is the ASB Classic - for the third year in a row
5: teens were rescued from Wellington Habour after their yachts capsized in a strong southerly front - in Wellington - who would've thought
6: year after Neil Broom last played an ODI for the Black Caps and he is back in the squad
124: years in the making but the New Zealand Rugby finally has a woman board member - former Black Fern Farah Palmer
20,000: homes in Gisborne had their power switched on after a 33-hour outage, after a plane crashed into pylons, killing two people
295,000: $ for one of Phil Goff's Auckland Mayoral staff, four people are paid more than $150,000
1m: $ rugby players in NZ after a major boost in salary from the NZ Rugby Union
26m: $ Taramakau road bridge has been started to replace the last road/rail bridge in NZ, down on the West Coast
1b: $ and 12 months the expected cost of rebuilding SH1 through Kaikoura - the government has committed to the rebuild. The inland road will fully open next week


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5567 (-0.0058)
EUR 0.6651 (-0.0114)
USD 0.6954 (-0.0210)
AUD 0.9513 (-0.0088)


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

Bullseye
Don’t get upset if I ask you 
where something is in Target when you choose to wear a red shirt and khakis to shop.


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 11/12/2016

Wow what a week it has been!


Sport

The biggest news in sport came last night as Joseph Parker beat Andy Ruiz to win the vacant WBO world heavyweight boxing title. It was a close fight and Ruiz won a number of rounds but Joseph won 115-113, 114-114, 115-113. He is the first New Zealander to win a heavyweight boxing title in the 150 years of these rules.

Steven Adams continues doing really well with the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the Thunder is still having mixed results. Steven got a career-high 24 points in a close loss to the Houston Rockets. Earlier in the week a Steven Adams double-double helped the Thunder to a 102-99 win over Atlanta.
In other basketball, the New Zealand Breakers had a 102-92 loss to the Adelaide 36ers, after earlier beating the Brisbane Bullets 82-75.

The Junior Tall Blacks pulled off a stunning 57-51 win over favourites Australia in the FIBA Under 18 Oceania Champs to become the first age group team to qualify for a FIBA World Champs.
Last weekend I may have been a bit harsh on Corey Webster in my disappointment. Obviously, he shouldn't have been out so late and that is why he was dropped for a game by the team, but Webster has said he had no involvement in the incident.

It was a dramatic week for the Wellington Phoenix after last weekend when their loss dropped them to last place. That was the last straw for coach Ernie Merrick who resigned as coach - not that anyone believes the poor form was his fault. However, it spurred the team on and they beat the Central Coast Mariners 3-0.

The Black Caps haven't had a happy time in Australia, losing the Chappell-Haddlee Trophy 3-0. In the last match, Australia batted first and David Warner was dropped on 18 and went on to score 156, heading Australia to a sub-par 264. New Zealand looked OK at 74-1, but Kane Williamson and in-form Martin Guptill both departed quickly and nobody else even tried after that to be all out for 147.

New Zealand was well represented in the annual "Supercar" awards in Australia. New champ Shane van Gisbergen won the drivers' driver award, third place Scott McLaughlin won the Barry Sheene medal for the best and fairest driver for the second year in a row, and former team owners Ross & Jimmy Stone were inducted into the Supercar Hall of Fame.


NZ News

By this time tomorrow, New Zealand will have a new Prime Minister. Yes, it's been a busy political news week! Last Monday John Key announced that he would be stepping down and Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party. There appears to be no background news on this, he just thinks he has done all that he can do and it's time to move on. The timing gives everyone time to get used to the new leader before the elections and leaves the party in a great position at around 50% in the most recent polls. He has been leader for 10 years and becomes the first post-war Prime Minister to choose to leave.

John Key tipped his deputy Bill English to take over, although Jonathan Coleman and Judith Collins put their names up for the top job as well. This led Labour leader Andrew Little to claim (hope?) there would be lots of internal strife over the selection (maybe based on every Labour leadership challenge), however, within half a week Coleman and Collins both pulled out and Simon Bridges withdrew from the deputy role leaving Paula Bennett as the deputy Prime Minister. All nicely sorted out and it certainly seems like everyone is supportive of the new appointments.

So what about Bill English? He has been the rock star Finance minister who has been in charge of our finances right through the Global Financial Crisis, leading NZ to be the envy of other countries. Despite the financial challenges and two major earthquakes, the country has a huge $8b surplus announced this week. Although it's not the first time Bill English has led the National Party, he was leader when they dropped to 24% in the polls in 2002 for their heaviest defeat, but hopefully, he will do better as Prime Minister than he did in opposition.
John Key has been named as an ideal candidate to head the International Monetary Fund and been backed by President Obama.

In other political news, Labour avoided a black eye when they won their safe seat in the Mt Roskill byelection, and David Shearer is likely to trigger another byelection as he leaves for a UN job.

In education, NZ increased it's rankings in science, mathematics and reading, but the actual numbers have dropped. So good results but still more work to do.


The Numbers Game

5.5: Richter scale shallow earthquake hit central NZ this week
33.7: % increase in median house prices in the Gate Pa area of Tauranga for the year to September
95: % of the country was dry on the first weekend of summer, Kawerau was the hottest place at 23.3C
50: Mbps the new minimum for Chorus customers as they increase the base plan
516: mm of rain for Wellington this spring - it's wettest since World War II
650: gig download by a colleague of mine in a single day, he couldn't figure out why, perhaps DDOS attack, but wow that is a lot


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5625 (0.0067)
EUR 0.6765 (0.0103)
USD 0.7164 (0.0059)
AUD 0.9601 (0.0036)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Nancy Wake
Nancy Wake was the Allies’ most decorated servicewoman of WWII, and the Gestapo’s most-wanted person. They code-named her ‘The White Mouse’ because of her ability to elude capture. When war broke out she was a young woman married to a wealthy Frenchman living a life of luxury in cosmopolitan Marseilles. She became a saboteur, organiser and Resistance fighter who led an army of 7,000 Maquis troops in guerrilla warfare to sabotage the Nazis. Her story is one of daring, courage and optimism in the face of impossible odds.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/warriors/nancy-wake/


Joke of the Weekender

Honest Brand Slogans
Hallmark: “When you care enough to give a card mass-produced by 
a corporation.”
Ritz crackers: “Tiny, edible plates.”
CliffsNotes: “They’re still going to know you didn’t read the book.”
Gillette: “We’re just going to keep adding blades.”
ChapStick: “You’ll misplace it before the tube’s empty.”
Hot Pockets: “Every bite is a different temperature.”


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 03/12/2016

Welcome to the December, the tree is in the lounge, the lights are up!


Sport

Shane van Gisbergen has claimed his maiden Aussie V8 championship. He set a lap record to claim pole but had a horror start dropping five places. Then after a pit stop penalty, he dropped to the back of the field, but had an amazing car & moved back up to third to get enough points to win the championship. He is the third New Zealand to win, but the first since Gentleman Jim Richards back in 1991.

International rugby continued last weekend with Scotland beating Georgia 43-16, and England beating Argentina 27-14. Italy couldn't continue their run and lost to Tonga 19-17. Australia missed out on their shot at a grand slam when they were beaten 27-24 by Ireland, and the Springboks ended an awful season beaten by Wales 27-13.

The All Blacks absorbed a lot of pressure from France to eventually win 24-19. France played really well, though.
The Black Ferns wrapped up a great season beating Ireland 38-8, after leading 5-3 at half time. And the women's sevens team have won the first event in Dubai.

In other news, French papers seem fairly sure that All Blacks Israel Dagg, Ben Smith and Aaron Cruden will be leaving for big money offers in France. I can understand Israel and Aaron taking offers, they are both in great form for the All Blacks at the moment. But it would be a shame to lose Ben.

The Blacks Caps continued their second and final test match over the weekend and on the final day on Tuesday it looked like it would be a draw, or maybe Pakistan might reach the target. But then in the final session, Pakistan had a dramatic nine-wicket collapse for 71 runs - all out for 230, NZ won the match by 138 runs and the series 2-0. The win was set up with a good century to Ross Taylor and good declaration by captain Kane Williamson.

The NZ Breakers haven't had a good week. It started with Corey Webster, who has been doing so well, being arrested for assault at an Auckland bar early in the morning. The team suspended him for one match. And the bad week continued with their third straight loss, beaten by the Hawkes 91-95.


NZ News

There was a charter fishing boat tragedy in Kaipara where a boat flipped over, going over the bar, in terrible weather and four-metre swells. Of the 11 people on the boat, three survived and all but one of the bodies have been found.

There was unanimous support in parliament this week for measures the government introduced to speed up recovery from the Kaikoura earthquake. It makes it easier by dropping most of the resource consents.

Tim Shadbolt apparently didn't do very well on social media during the recent local election campaigning, but the eight-term mayor hit gold after he was videoed using a scooter to pop down to the shops for some milk.

Musician Ray Columbus died this week aged 74, after a long illness. He and his band The Invaders topped the NZ and Australian charts in 1964 with "She's a Mod".

Buzz Aldrin was evacuated, in an emergency flight, from the South Pole to a hospital in Christchurch with fluid on his lungs. Buzz was the second man to walk on the moon and the story goes that all the photos of the "first step on the moon" were actually of Buzz because someone needed to take the photos!


The Numbers Game

5.1: Richter scale earthquake near Wairoa in the Hawkes Bay
5.1: Richter scale earthquake near Te Araroa on the East Cape
8: large and alive crabs from Samoa were found by an airport quarantine officer in a passenger's luggage
12: years jail for a man found with 448kg of methamphetamine buried on Ninety Mile Beach
27.7: % jump in house prices in Rotorua for the last year
32: year wedding anniversary for Prime Minister John Key and his wife Bronagh
50: % support for National in the latest 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, up two points, Labour is also up 2, to 28%. Greens and NZ First down
170: year old grievances have been settled in treaty settlements this year for the Ngaruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki iwi
11,000: claims have been made to the Earthquake Commission since the Kaikoura earthquake


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5625 (-0.0019)
EUR 0.6662 (0.0022)
USD 0.7105 (0.0078)
AUD 0.9565 (0.0111)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary, Knight of the Order of the Garter, Companion of the Order of New Zealand, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
He conquered Mount Everest and the South Pole and captured the world’s imagination. Yet where others would have been content to admire the view, look down and bask in the sheer individuality of achievement, for Sir Edmund Hillary it was only the beginning of a lifetime of service to others. 
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/endurance/edmund-hillary/


Joke of the Weekender

Weird Things Librarians Hear
Librarians may be shy, but 
their patrons aren’t. Look at their oddball requests:
A patron offered me $100 to steal 
a cactus from somebody’s yard.
A patron wanted me to find a 
book to teach her dog German.
A patron on his way to the casino asked to rub my red hair for luck.
A patron once asked me for my home phone number so she could call me with reference questions when I wasn’t at work.


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}