April 2017

The Weekender 29/04/2017

We are almost at the end of April and winter is starting to show up.


Sport

Last weekend in Super rugby, the Chiefs didn't find it a picnic in Perth, but they did finish their tour with a win, beating the Western Force 7-16, to sit third in the NZ conference on the same points but behind the Hurricanes. The Crusader did retain their unbeaten streak with a 57-24 win over the Stormers. The Blues had a blow with Jerome Kaino out for six weeks with an injury and that might affect the All Blacks for the Lions tour as well. This week the Highlanders continued their roll and continued to pile misery on the Stormers NZ tour with a 57-14 win.
In other rugby, while the All Black Sevens couldn't do it, the Black Ferns Sevens had a last-gasp try to beat Canada 17-14 in the Japan tournament.

The big news of the week for boxing was that the Joseph Parker heavyweight title fight against Hughie Fury was called off after claims Fury was injured. So now the Parker camp is rushing to find someone else to fight.

The Warriors have had a few things happen this week with Ben Matulino leaving at the end of the season, while Shaun Johnson has re-signed to the end of 2019. As for the game itself, the Warriors had a tight match against the Melbourne Storm but lost 20-14. The Warriors are back in 12th place after eight games.

Stephen Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder will be contemplating next season, after being knocked out in the first round of the post-season when they were beaten by the Houston Rockets 105-99, despite another great game by Russell Westbrook who scored 47.

Haydon Paddon continued his frustrating start to the World Rally Champs when a slow roll dropped him back to eighth place.


NZ News

Prime Minister Bill English announced a new cabinet lineup this week with the winners being Nikki Kaye and Gerry Brownlee. Nikki Kaye is the Education Minister, with Hekia Parata stepping down, while Gerry Brownlee is the new Foreign Affairs Minister, replacing Murray McCully who has had the job for eight years. Of interest around here is that Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe joins his Hamilton East colleague with a ministerial role outside of the cabinet, as Customs Minister.

The Wanaka-based Nasa team are heading home after successfully launching a super balloon this week. They will be back at some point in the future to use their launch pad, they said ''We get more support here in Wanaka from the public than we do back in the States. You can be walking downtown and if you have any Nasa gear people will stop and talk; it's great."


The Numbers Game

117: more social and transitional houses for Rotorua over the next three years, announced by Associate Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro
71,932: net migration gain for NZ over the last year to March 31, from Australia (25k), United Kingdom (15k), China (12k), India (9.5k) and USA up to 5.7k


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5315 (-0.0160)
EUR 0.6308 (-0.0236)
USD 0.6870 (-0.0138)
AUD 0.9192 (-0.0112)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Len Lye (1901–1980) is arguably one of the twentieth century’s most original artists; a one-man art movement spanning several countries and multiple media over a lifetime and beyond. As a New Zealander practising in London during the pre-war years, and then a key figure in the post-war New York avant-garde art scene, Lye mapped a unique course through Modernism.
http://www.govettbrewster.com/len-lye/


Joke of the Weekender

I’m driving with this guy, and he runs right through a Stop sign. So I say, “Hey, that was a Stop sign.” And he says, “I drive like my brother!”
A few blocks later, he ploughs right through a red light. I say, “You just ran a red light.” And he says, “I drive like my brother!”
So now we’re coming up on a green light, and he slows down. I’m confused, so I say, “It’s green; why are you slowing down?”
He says, “My brother might be coming.”


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 22/04/2017

Welcome along, it has been a lovely blue sky autumn week!


Sport

Wrapping up last weekend in Super rugby, the Hurricanes and Blues had a close match but the Canes came away 28-24 winners. The Chiefs didn't learn from the week before and let the Cheetahs out to a 24-0 head start before they started playing. But play they did, including a couple of tries to Toni Pulu and got a bonus point 27-41 win.
This week the Hurricanes had some ups & downs. The started with a couple of tries to lead 14-0 but took the foot off the pedal and found themselves 14-21 down six minutes later. But apparently that Beauden Barrett can play, and the Canes put on 42 unanswered points in the second half for a big win. The Highlanders beat the Sunwolves 40-15, and the Crusaders look to continue their unbeaten run this season, being 50-24 up against the Stormers after 68 minutes. In other games, the Waratahs season went from bad to worse being beaten by the Bottom of the table Southern Kings.
The Singapore Sevens ended unusually, with Canada beating the United States in the final! Canada beat New Zealand 26-14 in the quarters, and then England 17-5 to reach the final.
Finally, Sam Whitelock has signed with the NZRU through to 2020. Sam is already the most capped lock for the All Blacks with 84.

The Warriors missed some good opportunities against the Raiders and went on to lose 20-8. But the talk all week has been around Kieran Foran who while only having played a couple of games for the Warriors has been the talk of the Aussie newspapers about who he is signing for. What a way to derail the Warriors.

Stephen Adams' NBA season will continue a little longer as the Oklahoma City Thunder clawed back a game against the Rockets 115-113 in the post season.

The Waikato/BOP Magic couldn't continue their run as they were beaten 67-62 by the Southern Mystics.

Lydia Ko has had her best finish of the season, with a strong finish to reach second in the Lotte Championship on the LPGA.

Fabian Coulthard has won a chaotic race at Phillip Island in the Aussie V8s. Half the cars and tyres falling off and 10 cars were given 15-second penalties - including fellow kiwis Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen.


NZ News

The government has agreed to a massive historic pay equity settlement, with 55,000 low paid workers - mostly women - to get one of the biggest pay rises ever. There will be big pay increases for three government-funded areas being aged residential care, home support and disability services. The understanding is that wages will rise around 47% i.e. from $16/hr to $23/hr with annual increases for the next five years pushing it up to $27/hr.

We don't exactly know what is going on but a huge security operation is underway in Queenstown. There was some suggestion that it was a meeting of the "five eyes".

Labour leader Andrew Little has claimed that he will stop 'tens of thousands' of immigrants coming to New Zealand after the government announced they would tighten immigration rules. Perhaps Mr Little could build a wall somewhere?


The Numbers Game

2: people died on the road over Easter weekend - low but nowhere near low enough for those two families
5.1: Richter scale earthquake near Gisborne
8: % saving in drive time for Aucklanders using Google Maps according to a research firm - and 13% saving in public transport times
12: fatal shark attacks in NZ since records began in the 1850's
376: % of April's rainfall had fallen in the first two weeks for Whangaparaoa
1000: homes in Auckland had a power cut this week
9b: $ spent by Kiwis dining out in the last year - up $2.5b from 2011


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5475 (-0.0124)
EUR 0.6544 (-0.0005)
USD 0.7008 (0.0046)
AUD 0.9304 (0.0051)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Arthur Lydiard - Running ManCan you imagine any sport without jogging? People didn't use to jog like they do today - and it's all because of our own Running Man.
Arthur Lydiard invented jogging. The method of building up physical fitness by gradually increasing stamina is a simple one, used by millions of men and women worldwide as part of their everyday health and fitness regime. It was used to train New Zealand’s greatest track athletes and helped propel New Zealand to the top of world middle-distance running.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/arthur-lydiard/


Joke of the Weekender

- The closest I’ve been to a diet this year is erasing food searches from my browser history.
- If you think eggplant is good, you should try any other food; it’s much better.

 

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 15/04/2017

It's been a week alright. The news of the week was the preparation for Cyclone Cook. The actual event was ... wet, but not much more than that.


Sport

Last weekend the biggest talking point in the Blues vs Highlanders matchup was the return of Sonny Bill Williams from his Rio Olympics Sevens injury. The Highlanders' Marty Banks kicked 16 points as the Highlanders took the win 26-20. After the game, the talk quickly became about why SBW had covered up his BNZ logos on his shirt. Apparently, it was a contentious objection (which is allowed for in all players contracts), however, since this was his first game back after a long layoff, the question should be why he hadn't just quietly talked to the Blues before hand rather than making it a shameless publicity stunt. The unbeaten Stormers beat the previously unbeaten Chiefs 34-26 in an awesome game, which saw the Chiefs score a superb end to end team try, which will be a strong contender for try of the season. This weekend the Crusaders continued their unbeaten run with a 50-3 win over the Sunwolves.

In other Super rugby news, Sanzaar has announced that three teams will be dropped from the competition. Two South African and one Australian team will be dropped, with the Aussies especially vocal with the complaints because the Sunwolves and the Jaguares are staying in the competition.
The All Black Sevens again fell early in the Hong Kong Sevens beaten 17-14 to Fiji in the quarter-final. Fiji went on to beat South Africa 22-0 in the final for their 17th Hong Kong win.

The Wellington Phoenix dreams of making the playoffs are over. Last weekend they had a 92nd-minute equaliser, but other results meant it didn't matter.

The Southern Steel beat the Waikato/BOP Magic 72-59 indicating they are the team to beat this season.

The Vantage Hawkes Bay Festival (women's hockey) continued last week with Japan beating Australia. So NZ needed to win to make the final and that they did, beating USA 2-1. Then in the final, they went on to win, beating Japan 3-0.

Stephen Adams' teammate Russell Westbrook has broken a 56-year old triple double record in the NBA. He did it as the Thunder beat the Denver Nugget 106-105 with a buzzer-beating three-pointer.

At the world track cycling champs in Hong Kong, the men's sprint cycling team of Ethan Mitchel, Sam Webster and Edward Dawkins, have retained their sprint title with Netherlands finishing second and France third.

In the Aussie V8's Fabian Coulthard won the Sunday race, for his first official win for the DJR Team Penske team.


NZ News

So the cyclone preparation was a far bigger deal than the cyclone itself. Schools were closed, business closed early because of the cyclone on Thursday (probably nothing to do with getting away early for Easter). States of emergency were announced all around the country in places like Bay of Plenty.
Most of the country was already at maximum capacity for ground water, so an extra downpour didn't help, but in most cases that is all it was. Kaikoura was cut off to the south with a new slip that will take a couple of days to clear. A massive slip near Whakamaru had blocked the road in both directions. There was chaotic heavy traffic in Auckland and Wellington as everyone tried to leave the cities for the holiday weekend. Tauranga had rainfall of up to 25mm per hour, BOP had lots of power outages, strong wind gusts and about 100 call-outs in a few hours on Thursday night. The Hawkes Bay had power outages, strong wind and 50 call-outs. Gisbourne had wind gusts up to 150kph and 100-130mm of rain in 18 hours on Thursday.

In the court case against Labour leader Andrew Little, the jury was unable to reach a verdict on several of the six claims, so Andrew Little was basically found not guilty by majority verdict for all claims. The Hagamans will continue to pursue the defamation case including a retrial.


The Numbers Game

880: new Police staff have been allocated around the country as part of the government's $388m investment in Police announced in February. Waikato get 101 extra police.
435,000: residents in Auckland would be expected to be displaced by scientists imagining a two-month long volcanic eruption in the city
517,000: $ for a 1919 "Goldie" painting expected to reach $280,000 - $380,000
869,500: $ for a 1941 "Goldie" painting only recently returned to NZ and expected to reach $500,000 - $700,000
10m: $ announced by the Government to help lower reoffending rates by Maori - and a day later the Waitangi Tribunal lashed the Corrections department for failing to cut the rate


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5588 (-0.0011)
EUR 0.6587 (0.0038)
USD 0.6995 (0.0033)
AUD 0.9238 (-0.0015)


The Weekender NZer of the week

John Clarke
The creator of Fred Dagg and more recently Australian political satirist, died this week.
He obviously hadn't made much impact in NZ recently, but I had taken to watching the "Clarke & Dawe" weekly item he had been doing for 30 years. Although it was mostly about Australian politics, it was always worth watching and very funny.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3m5qxZm_JqM


Joke of the Weekender
New Words for 2016
Chairdrobe (n.): piling clothes on 
a chair in place of a closet or dresser.
Epiphanot (n.): an idea that seems like an amazing insight to the conceiver but is, in fact, pointless, mundane, stupid, or incorrect.
Internest (n.): the cocoon of blankets and pillows you gather around yourself while spending long periods of time on the Internet.
Textpectation (n.): the anticipation felt when waiting for a response to 
a text.
Unkeyboardinated (adj.): when you’re unable to type without repeatedly making mistakes.


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 08/04/2017

Welcome to what has been a wet week. Some parts of NZ have received a month's worth of rain in six hours, and the BOP town of Edgecumbe has swamped and thousands evacuated with most residents still to wait 10 days before being allowed back.


Sport

Last weekend in Super rugby the Hurricanes beat the Reds 34-15, and the Crusaders beat the Waratahs 41-22 to climb back to the top of the table and continue piling misery on the Australian teams (NZ teams have scored something like 400-63 over Australian teams so far). Last weekend I misnamed the Chiefs opponents - they actually played the Bulls. Last night the Hurricanes beat the Waratahs 38-28 but Beauden Barrett was yellow carded twice for a red and has a date with the officials. The Sunwolves had their first win of the season with a 21-20 win over the Bulls.
The Chiefs are sitting third on the NZ table (24), behind the Crusaders (26) and the Hurricanes (24) but with a game in hand, and worryingly the Brumbies are 'officially' placed fourth on the table because they lead the Australian conference, but are only on 11 points! The Highlanders are the NZ conference's worst team on 14 points.
In other news, Dan Carter was inducted into the Rugby Players' Association Hall of Fame, around the same time he was cleared (for a second time) of doping allegations. The All Blacks Sevens won their opening game against Wales 19-7 after losing their captain to injury at the Hong Kong Sevens. They've also beaten Japan 40-14.

The Warriors had some good news with Kieran Foran finally getting on the field for them and helping the Warriors to a 28-22 win over the Titans.

The Black Sticks have been taking on the USA at the Vantage Hawkes Bay Festival of Hockey and had a 3-2 win last Monday. Yesterday they played out a 1-1 draw with Australia.

In Aussie V8's, the Friday practice saw the top three qualifiers coming from this side of the ditch with Shane van Gisbergen edging Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin third. I'm not exactly sure what has happened but in the third race, Shane was leading, when the race was red-flagged after a massive crash which wiped out a third of the field and $5m worth of cars.

The Waikato BOP Magic won in their first real test of the ASB Premiership on Wednesday, when they beat the Central Pulse 52-50.


NZ News

The leaders of the two main political parties both had interesting weeks. While it doesn't sound like much, Prime Minister Bill English posted a photo of a pizza he had made which included spaghetti and pineapple and according to some commentators has divided the country. I didn't think it was even worth reading the story but it's continued to make the news all week.

On the other side of the political spectrum, Labour leader Andrew Little has spent the week in court defending his perceived right to defame hard working people because he didn't bother checking his facts before he publicly and repeatedly attacked them and their business - well them and the government of course. The jury will continue on Monday.

The Auckland Regional Public Health system has some questions to answer this week with the Typhoid epidemic hitting 16 confirmed cases, including one death, and all connected to an Auckland Pacific Island Church. Apparently, they didn't warn people and the Health Minister heard about the outbreak through the media.

The Prime Minister Bill English has announced that there won't be an inquiry into the allegations about the SAS raid after advice from the independent Chief of Defence Force and video footage backed it up.

There have been a couple of fatal truck accidents in Hamilton this week. Firstly a truck and bike accident in Te Rapa, and today a car & truck accident on a bridge.


The Numbers Game

5.0: Richter scale magnitude earthquake near Seddon this week
105: for Northland's oldest man - and he is still gardening
150: school kids were stranded at the Port Waikato school camp
846: young kiwis were killed at Passchendaele in one day, 100 years ago - and will be remembered in a series of stamps
391,000: $ is the average house price in Rotorua


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5599 (0.0000)
EUR 0.6549 (0.0003)
USD 0.6962 (-0.0031)
AUD 0.9253 (0.0106)


The Weekender NZer of the week

David Low (cartoonist)
he made his career and earned fame for his Colonel Blimp depictions and his merciless satirising of the personalities and policies of German dictator Adolf Hitler, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, and other leaders of his times.


Joke of the Weekender

After i-messaging back and forth with my wife, I jokingly commanded Siri to pass along this message: “You need to get back to work now; you have a husband to support.”
Here’s what Siri sent: “You need 
to get back to work now; you have 
a has-been to support.”


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 01/04/2017

Hello, how has your week been?


Sport

Last night in Super Rugby, the Highlanders thrashed the Rebels 51-12 in Aaron Smith's 100th game, and tonight the Blues beat the Western Force 24-15 in an unconvincing display. Tonight was Liam Messam's 150th game for the Chiefs but things weren't going well at half time down 3-9 to the Sharks. They bounced back in the second half for a bonus point 28-12 win to get back to the top of the table.
Following up from last weekend, the Highlanders had a battle but beat the Brumbies13-18, and the Blues beat the Bulls 38-14. The Stormers battled back from 24-10 down to beat the Sunwolves 31-44 in Singapore, to remain unbeaten. The Lions beat the Southern Kings 42-19 and the Jaguares beat the Queensland Reds 22-8.
Table: Chiefs 24, Crusaders 21, Lions 19, Jaguares 18, Stormers*/Sharks 17, Hurricanes*/Blues# 15, Highlanders# 14, Brumbies 11, Cheetahs 9, Waratahs 8, Reds 6, Bulls/Kings/Force 5, Sunwolves/Rebels 1. Five games except for * four games and # six games. All Australian teams are in the bottom eight! The five NZ teams are in the top nine. Go the Jaguares.

The new ANZ Premiership netball has started and the Waikato/BOP Magic have had two good wins, first up a 23-goal win over the Tactix and a 67-47 win over the Northern Stars.

The cricket ended sadly after looking so good. The first four days were supposed to be raining here in Hamilton but play went on. NZ had South Africa at 4-97 but yet again we let them get through to 314. But NZ did well with Kane Williamson reaching 176 and NZ making 489. NZ got the South Africa's main batsmen out easily again and at the end of day four, they were 80-5. The rain came on the fifth day and the game was declared drawn without any play on the final day.
In the NZ cricket awards, Kane Williamson was named Player of the Year.

In football, All Whites striker Chris Wood has been doing well in the English Premier League and has been nominated for English Football Player of the year. He also led the All Whites to a 2-0 win over Fiji in the World Cup qualifier.

The America's Cup continues to show a nasty feud between Emirates Team New Zealand and the organising authority - headed by Russell Coutts. It looks like Team NZ has won a possibly multi-million dollar arbitration. But the whole thing has gone crazy with Oracle Team USA being allowed to race in the "Challenger" series, even though they will automatically get through to the final.

The Black Sticks Women have bounced back from 0-2 down to beat the USA 3-2.


NZ News

As with most Nicky Hagar books, the news hasn't died down and there are a number of conflicting stories. The NZ Defence Force has claimed the SAS never operated in the two villages that were identified in the book. In another story, the army claims that nine people killed were armed with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns.

A follow up on the Auckland water shortage. This week on a rainy day, Aucklanders used just 376m litres - well before the requested 400m. The problem is that storms and major flooding caused silt and debris in the Hunua dams, putting pressure on the water treatment plant.


The Numbers Game

10: people have been diagnosed with typhoid in an outbreak in Auckland
199: people per day to Auckland emergency departments - up from 187 last year
420: kg blue marlin caught by Donna Pascoe has broken her one-year-old record for biggest fish caught in NZ by a female angler
2000: houses in Auckland lost power after torrential rain and thunderstorms hit the region
6.2m: $ for a Mt Maunganui waterfront home, setting a new record for the suburb


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5599 (-0.0020)
EUR 0.6546 (0.0040)
USD 0.6993 (-0.0027)
AUD 0.9147 (-0.0062)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Jack Lovelock
As the first New Zealand athlete to win an Olympic gold, Jack Lovelock was edge spirit manifest, an enigmatic achiever whose running style was said to be ‘artistic’ in grace. His spectacular 1500m win at the 1936 Berlin Olympics began a rich history of achievement in New Zealand middle and long distance athletics, front-running for such later greats as Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and John Walker.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/endurance/jack-lovelock/


Joke of the Weekender

Dad’s Brilliant Business Plan
Scene: A conversation with my friend’s father, who knows I do Web design.
Father: I have a business idea. How hard is it to make a Facebook?
Me: Oh, very easy.
Friend: He doesn’t mean to make 
a Facebook profile. He means to 
remake all of Facebook.
Me: Oh. Very hard.
Father: Oh, OK.


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}