July 2017

The Weekender 29/07/2017

Hello, hope you've had a great week.


Sport

Last weekend, the top-ranked Lions came from behind in the 77th minute with a 55m penalty to beat the Sharks (doh!) and send the Hurricanes from Australia to South Africa for their semi-final. The Hurricanes had earlier booked their spot with a 35-16 win over the Brumbies, after a close first half. The Crusaders overwhelmed the Highlanders 17-0 on a wet Christchurch night. The game had almost been called off with the storm closing both Dunedin and Christchurch airports.
This weekend, unfortunately, the Chiefs came to the end of the line. The travel-toll seems to have played its part (and to be fair the Crusaders have had a stunning season), but the Crusaders won 27-13 with four tries to one.

The Vantage Black Sticks came sixth at the Hockey World League after they beat Ireland 1-0.

The NZ Warriors have lost 26-12 to the Sharks to end their hopes of making the top eight.

Nick Willis has been added to the New Zealand team for the World Championships in London after he recently made the cut. Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has won a meeting in Belgium in her lead up to the games.

In football, Rory Fallon has signed with fifth-tier English side Torquay, while John Kirwan's son Niko Kirwan has signed a professional contract in Italy.

Porsche has confirmed that they are leaving the World Endurance Champions LMP1 at the end of the season. That is bad news for kiwi drivers Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber who have had some great wins recently.
Scott McLaughlin has extended his lead in the Aussie V8's with a win at Ipswich in race one.


NZ News

So there was another huge storm this week, with huge flooding across Canterbury. The Defence Force stepped up of course and eight Scottish soldiers who were here on manoeuvres joined in as well. Coromandel has had some access issues this week with both the Kopu-Hikuai Road and the west coast road being closed at various times. Even days later, 143 residents in Otago were unable to return home. The Manawatu Gorge and nearby residents had more bad news. The road which has been closed since April had two more significant slips.

Northland had a terrible event this week when a mother and daughter, who were property inspectors, were killed and another man, a contractor was injured by a gunman. The police responded quickly and returned fire with tear gas, briefly before the house burned to the ground. The gunman's body was found in the burned out house.


The Numbers Game

22.5m: $ expected increase for Northland with the new milk forecast
8.16b: minutes of calls on mobiles in NZ in 2016 - four times a decade ago, compared to 6.7b on landlines


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5717 (-0.0007)
EUR 0.6391 (0.0010)
USD 0.7492 (0.0058)
AUD 0.9393 (0.0000)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Alan MacDiarmid
For a hundred years young graduates have been told that “there’s a great future in plastics.” That exhortation continues to have currency today, thanks to the work of New Zealand born and educated scientist Alan MacDiarmid who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2000 for his and his colleagues’ “discovery and development of electronically conductive polymers.” The Nobel Prize recognized advances that are seen to be the future of the technology fuelling the age of information. Alan, the model of a scientist, lives by the sign in his study: “I am a very lucky person and the harder I work the luckier I seem to be.”
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/alan-macdiarmid/


Joke of the Weekender

I spotted several pairs of men’s Levi’s at a garage sale. They were sizes 30, 31, and 32, but I was looking for size 33. So I asked the owner if he had a pair. He shook his head.
“I’m still wearing the 33s,” he said. “Come back next year.”


 

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 22/07/2017

Another week another storm or two, this was more rain than snow, and the South Island particularly is very flooded right now.


Sport

Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Chiefs beat the Brumbies 28-10 with outstanding work from Damien McKenzie, but they let in a try to miss out on a bonus point. The top eight this year are the same as last year. The Hurricanes snapped the Crusaders Super Rugby winning streak with a 31-22 win, also meaning the Lions finished at the top of the Super Rugby table - having not played any New Zealand teams. That gives the Hurricanes a slightly easier run sending them to Australia to face the Brumbies, while the Chiefs head to South Africa to play the Stormers.
Final table: Lions 65, Crusaders 63, Hurricanes 58, Chiefs 57, Highlanders 51, Stormers 43, Sharks 42, Blues 37, Brumbies 34, Jaguares 33, Southern Kings 28, Force 26, Reds/Cheetahs 21, Bulls 20, Waratahs 19, Sunwolves 12, Rebels 9

The Hurricanes have not been playing particularly well and they did the same this week, sitting a point behind the Brumbies (!) at half time, but they pulled it back in the second to win 16-35.
Ryan Crotty has re-signed with NZ Rugby and the Crusaders/Canterbury. While Malakai Fekitoa has confirmed he is moving to Toulon.
Stats from the Super Rugby Season: Most points Elton Jantjies (Lions) 166, Most tries Ngani Laumape and Vince Aso (Hurricanes) 14, Most Carries  Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) 210, Most metres Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) 1514, Defenders beaten Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) 72.

Levi Sherwood has won his first gold medal at the X-Games in Minneapolis.

The Black Sox had a tough semi-final against World Champs Canada in the men's world softball championship in Whitehorse, Canada. The Black Sox were down 9-2 but came back to win 11-12. Then it was the final against Australia. The final result was 4-6 to the Black Sox - World Champions!

New Zealand has won the Netball World Youth Cup title for the second time in a row, beating Australia 60-57 in the final.

Ryan Fox continues to do well in European golf finishing the Scottish Open last weekend tied for fourth.

Kiwi drivers Brendon Hartley and Earl Bamber (along with Timo Bernhard) have continued their dominance in the World Endurance Championship with a win at Nurburgring.

Kiwi rider George Bennett has pulled out of the Tour de France with illness. He was sitting in 12th.


NZ News

The storm, the storm, the storm. Last week there were even bread shortages in Wellington and around the South Island after deliveries just couldn't make it through. More roads were closed with the Paraparas having a diversion after big slips there. States of emergency were declared in Waitaki, Dunedin, Christchurch, and Selwyn. In Dunedin, there were 26 slips across roads with houses evacuated. Timaru had 54mm of rain in 9 hours - more than their monthly average.

It might be just politics but Andrew Little and Winston Peters had "words" in the media this week after Winston Peters said he doubted Andrew Little would even make it into Parliament. It's a pretty unlikely scenario, but if Labour drops a few more points in the polls - and Labour wins lots of electoral seats, then they might not get any list MP's into parliament, meaning Andrew Little would be out. That would certainly be something - but maybe not something you want a possible coalition partner to be talking about.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei admitted this week that she lied to WINZ about her living situation to keep her benefit (years ago). It was during an announcement saying the Green Party would radically reform welfare (if they get more votes than National and Labour and form a government?). After a bit of an outcry, she announced she would pay back what she owed, however, the issue is that if she is found guilty of fraud she would have to stand down from Parliament. The Green's also had bad news with a former candidate defecting to Gareth Morgan's "The Opportunities Party".
Former Prime Minister Sir John Key has been awarded Australia's most prestigious award and become a Companion of the Order of Australia. Previous international awardees were Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. John Key said, "Clearly there's been a reduction in quality since those fine people, but it's lovely for them to put me on the list and looking forward to it."
In a recent poll, people were asked who National should go into a coalition with if they need to after the election. A quarter picked their current coalition parties, but 24% picked New Zealand First and 17% said the Greens, while 34% were unsure.


The Numbers Game

41: % listed Prime Minister Bill English as the most capable person to run the Government, Andrew Little 10%, Winston Peters 9% in Herald online survey
20,000: houses in Kapiti were without power after a cable snapped
2m: $ expected cost of the recent storm for Powerco as they race to repair lines
10m: $ for a new Great Walk (NZ's 10th) 55km down the West Coast from Punakaiki will be purpose built for walkers and cyclists
20b: $ more than National, is Labours promise on spending (for health, education & families)


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5724 (0.0094)
EUR 0.6381 (-0.0028)
USD 0.7434 (0.0105)
AUD 0.9393 (-0.0021)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Kate Sheppard
The leader and main figurehead of the suffragist movement in New Zealand – the first country in the world to grant universal adult suffrage to men and women equally. Kate was a source of inspiration to suffragists and campaigners for equality between the sexes, both in New Zealand and throughout the world.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/kate-sheppard/


Joke of the Weekender

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me everything you know.”


 

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 15/07/2017

Well, it certainly has been a stormy week, news below.


Sport

Oh yeah, the rugby was on last week. It seems like a bad distant memory. The fans and players all ended up a little disappointed as the All Blacks and British and Irish Lions drew the game 15-15 - and that means the series too. An odd way for it to be allowed to finish.

Super Rugby has kicked off again with the departing Kings beating three-time champions the Bulls 31-30. This weekend the Highlanders thrashed the Reds 40-17 and while both teams were out of contention, the Sunwolves humiliated the Blues 48-21, even though the Blues had everything to play for in their send-off game for Charlie Faumuina and Steven Luatua. It was only the second win for the Sunwolves. Tonight the Chiefs have beaten the Brumbies 28-10 to make a season clean sweep for New Zealand teams over Australian teams 25-0.

In the Women's cricket world cup, kiwi Susan Devine became the first woman to hit nine sixes in an ODI innings, as NZ beat Pakistan by eight wickets.

It's not really sport, but Jimmy Spithill is about to release a biography, and after his recent and obviously unexpected loss of the America's Cup, he has had to change the working title from "Unstoppable" to "Undaunted".

Kiwi George Bennett has been doing a great job, running between 9th and 11th in the Tour de France. He was hit with a 20 sec penalty for accepting water from a fan, but that was overturned. Fellow Kiwi Jack Bauer was punched by another rider, but it was captured by the camera so the other guy was punished.

It has been a week to forget for the Warriors. Firstly, Manu Vatuvei was granted a release and he is heading to the English Super League. Yesterday was his final game for the Warriors, and the Penrith Panthers spoilt his farewell party, winning 22-34, and have knocked the Warriors chances at making the playoffs. As if all that wasn't enough, playmaker Shaun Johnson's season might be over after he picked up a serious knee injury.

Sports in brief: The Black Sticks men had a 3-3 draw with France and a 3-1 win over Japan. Ryan Fox has qualified for the British Open. The Anchor Junior Tall Blacks finished the FIBA World Cup with a win, beating hosts Egypt 85-69 to finished 11th in their first tournament. Kiwi Michael Venus made it to the Wimbledon quarters in the men's doubles. The Black Sox had an 8-1 win over Japan at the world champs in Canada. The White Ferns were beaten by England by 75 runs at the Cricket World Cup. The Tall Ferns have beaten Singapore 80-55, then 70-30, and beat Japan 75-72.


NZ News

Yesterday, all the central North Island roads were closed. That included Waioeka Gorge (Whakatane to Gisborne) due to a slip a few days earlier. In the South Island, all the mountain pass roads were closed and then a major route north near Hamner was blocked for some time after a truck caught fire.
For a good part of the week, police were urging anyone who didn't have essential travel, to keep off the roads. In the South Island, there was snow down to 100m, with this being called the worst storm of the year. Hawkes Bay and Rotorua had snow, and Wellington had 150 kph winds and waves crashing over motorways. People were trapped all over the place, on the Taupo-Napier road, 500 were trapped in the Chateau Tongariro and Skotel Alpine resort.

Politics continues unabated. This week news came of a former Labour Party candidate joining National, more ruckus between New Zealand First and the Greens which is all a nightmare for Labour leader Andrew Little who in a best case scenario has to work with both of them to get in. There was bad news for Labour in the polls with a drop of 3% to the worst level since Andrew Little assumed the leader role. New Zealand First was up one to now be ahead of the Greens, and in the preferred Prime Minister, Andrew Little drops to fourth on the list at 5%. Labour's own internal polling has been leaked and it doesn't show anything different.
This week Labour released their Families Package and while it would be a boost to 30,000 middle-class families, it is at the expense of all the tax cuts promised by National.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has announced that Auckland will get a $300m boost from the governments $1b housing infrastructure fund, to build 10,500 new homes in Auckland.
Of course, Winston hasn't been quiet but one of his more absurd comments this week was when he slammed the government's roading record in the Bay of Plenty. I don't know if you've been to the Bay of Plenty, and it might have busy roads, but I think they've had more roading projects over the past 15 years, than anywhere else in the country.
And finally, the Greens have promised that they will give more to families than National and Labour. It must be great to be in a position where you never have to follow through with your promises. Even if they get into government, the chances of their policies getting through Labour and New Zealand First are not worth looking at.


The Numbers Game

6.4: Richter scale earthquake, well south of Invercargill, with no Tsunami risk
9: th placing in the world for Russian - by a self-taught Kiwi girl
20: % increase in Northland houses over a year, as Aucklanders move north
30: $/week to feed a family of four by a Hamilton mum and blogger - when challenged she made 64 meals for $100
1.2m: $ worth of crystal meth has been seized in Nelson - two have been charged


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5630 (0.0000)
EUR 0.6409 (0.0031)
USD 0.7329 (0.0051)
AUD 0.9414 (-0.0171)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Alexander Aitken
The Human Computer 
Alexander Aitken was the greatest mathematician of his era and possessed an astonishing computational brain that could complete challenges that today are reserved for the most complex computers. As one of the most remarkable mathematical brains of all time, Aitken could recite Pi to 707 decimal places, multiply two nine digit numbers in his head in 30 seconds, and render fractions to 26 decimal places in under five seconds.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/alexander-aitken/


Joke of the Weekender

Fifth Third Bank? I don’t think you understand how to number things, which is something I generally look for in a bank.


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 08/07/2017

Welcome along, it's been a stormy week with businesses in Auckland cleaning up after a "carnage" causing storm - and there is more cold weather on the way.


Sport

Well, the talk of last weekend was the Lions win over the All Blacks 24-21. Good on them, it certainly made the series come alive and lots of credit to their coach (and Waikato local) Warren Gatland. It was interesting with Sonny Bill Williams being talked about as one of the greats of the game just hours before, descending from hero to zero when he did a league tackle to become only the third All Black to get a red card and the first for 50 years. Or how about that being the All Blacks first home defeat in 2,849 days going back to September 2009 for a 47-test unbeaten home run.
The final test against the Lions is in Auckland tonight.
In Super Rugby, the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings have officially been kicked out. It is very interesting seeing how differently South Africa and Australia have handled this process. South Africa is to be commended.

The Warriors had a narrow 26-22 loss to the Sea Eagles, but people are still talking like they might make the playoffs.

Haydon Paddon brushed off a not-so-great year to claim a second in Rally Poland.

Ryan Fox has had his best ever finish on the European PGA tour with a sixth at golf's French Open in Paris.

The Blacks Sticks beat Korea 1-0 in the World League Semi-Final in Brussels to come third.

The White Ferns moved back into contention in the ICC Women's World Cup when they thrashed the West Indies. Rache Priest smashed 90 off 55, chasing 150 from the Windies, and they reached it in 18.2 overs for the loss of two wickets.

Tom Walsh has thrown a season-best in the shot put at the latest Diamond League event, claiming silver in Lausanne.


NZ News

In another difference between the Greens and Labour, this week the Greens backed down on its previous anti-immigration stance, wanting to talk about values rather than numbers.

The cold case of a Te Awamutu mum who disappeared one morning has finally been solved with her partner being charged with her murder, soon after her vehicle and body were found in Lake Arapuni a year later.

A fisherman was knocked unconscious this week - by a plane. The plane had run out of fuel and landed on the mostly quiet beach near Whakatane but the fisherman was hit and knocked out. His brother reckoned he was going to be in trouble with his mum because she'd said to be careful while fishing.

The long discussed Ruataniwha Dam in the Hawkes Bay has been dismissed by the High Court, which was a win for the Forest and Bird, but a loss for the Department of Conservation and industry in the area. Forest and Bird claim the land swap was illegal, but the government had thought the law was put in place for that very situation. What DOC wanted to do was swap 22ha of land for 170ha of far more valuable private farm land - it sounds like a good deal to me. I would say that Forest & Bird have blocked DOC from getting a great deal.


The Numbers Game

-11.3: degC at Mt Cook airport
4: th ranking for Lydia Ko after slipping one place
53: employers have been banned from hiring migrant workers after being issued infringement notices
153: cases of mumps in Auckland in this epidemic - children are being forced to stay home from school until they can prove they've been immunised
701: lightning strikes in Auckland on Thursday evening
5m: $ for Team New Zealand from the government to help them retain key personnel until other funding can be arranged
104m: $ to rebuild the Christchurch cathedral (after the earthquake), the government has offered $10m plus $15m interest-free, $10m from the Council and $42m insurance and others, they end up $14m short
1.4b: $ spent on the Waterview Tunnel providing the link for Auckland's Western motorway and now it is finally open


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5630 (-0.0001)
EUR 0.6378 (-0.0031)
USD 0.7278 (-0.0044)
AUD 0.9585 (0.0060)


The Weekender NZer of the week

William Pickering
Rocket Man
The launch of Sputnik in 1957 forced the United States into the space race. Fighting the Cold War, the Americans needed to show the world that they too could launch a rocket into space — and they had to do it quickly. Less than three months later Explorer 1 was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The man behind it: William Pickering from Wellington, New Zealand.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/william-pickering/


Joke of the Weekender

We need a 12-step group for compulsive talkers. They could call it On Anon Anon.


 

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 01/07/2017

Welcome to July, it's wet right now, but it has been a good frosty week.


Sport

The America's Cup is once again New Zealand's cup. After the break, NZ won the first race and then Oracle came back for their first - and turned out only - win, on the third day. On the fourth day, NZ won both races leaving them one win away from the Cup. The final day only took one race as Team New Zealand swept Oracle with 8 race wins to 1. I'm pretty sure no one told Jimmy "the mouth" Spithall that this time round, it was best of seven (with NZ starting at -1), and so he was waiting till we were 8-1 ahead before making a big come back.
There are so many interesting things that happened, whether it was Peter Burling's amazing hook in the starting box to leave Oracle stranded 14 sec behind at the start, or forcing Oracle into so many mistakes like going out of bounds, or all the news that came out afterwards, like Peter Burling was "foxing" in all his starts for the Louis Vuitton Cup, but came out swinging in the America's Cup, taking Jimmy Spithall completely by surprise. Or the information that the Team NZ foils were damaged when the boat when over in the semifinals and each day they would do an ultrasound to see how far the cracks went, and each tack or gybe the crew were wondering if it would hold. There was also the news that two years ago, Team New Zealand was ready to shut down, Grant Dalton had written a press release with the announcement before further funding came through overnight. And after all that, I know Oracle, Sir Russell Coutts and Jimmy Spithall have been the most horrible competitors with huge attacks against Team New Zealand, but in the end, Jimmy Spithall was very gracious in defeat. And Grant Dalton - the target of all the attacks, and the one muzzled throughout these races, was not so gracious in winning.

The Lions are playing the All Blacks again tonight, on a wet Wellington night. The All Blacks will be without deputy Captain Ben Smith for the rest of the tour. During the week they played the Hurricanes, and after the Lions got away to a big lead, the Hurricanes came back for a 31-31 draw.

The All Whites had a crushing 4-0 defeat to Portugal in their final Confederations Cup game.

The White Ferns stayed on top of the table, at the Cricket World Cup tied with India and South Africa.

The Black Ferns 7s finished their World Series season, winning their fifth tournament win out of six.

The Black Sticks Women have had their first loss 1-0 to hosts Belgium, at the FIH World League Semi Final. Then they beat Malaysia 1-0 in their final game to go through to the Quarter Finals.

Scott Dixon had his first IndyCar win of the year at the Road Race in Wisconsin. It might be his first win, but he is leading the championship.

There are four kiwis in the Tour de France this year, Jack Bauer, George Bennett, Dion Smith and Patrick Bevin. That is one more kiwi than there are American's.

The Southern Steel have beaten the Central Pulse 69-53 in the final of the ANZ Premiership.


NZ News

Labour has finally come out with something interesting, saying they will increase the minimum wage if they get in government, but they will keep the 90-day trial period.

While Prime Minister Bill English has stated that further tax cuts and lifting incomes would be one of National's priorities if they are re-elected.


The Numbers Game

-6: degC overnight on the Desert Road this week
14: year programme of NZ Police in the Solomon Islands has come to an end at a cost of around $150m
16: people hurt on our roads in one night, and one killed in a spate of crashes
15.688m: $ plan for Hamilton Zoo includes an overnight "glamping" area, tenting near wild animals


Finance NZ Dollar 

GBP 0.5631 (-0.0092)
EUR 0.6409 (-0.0103)
USD 0.7322 (0.0046)
AUD 0.9525 (-0.0097)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Charles Upham
Victoria Cross and Bar
Acknowledged widely as the outstanding soldier of the Second World War, Captain Charles Upham remains the only combatant soldier to have received the Victoria Cross and Bar (awarded to members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth for exceptional bravery). In Crete in May 1941, and the Western Desert in July 1942, Upham distinguished himself with displays of ‘nerveless competence’.
Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1908 Upham was educated at Christ’s College and Canterbury Agricultural College, Lincoln. He was a farm manager and then farm valuer before enlisting in the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force (aged 30) in 1939, quietly citing his reason as a desire to fight for justice.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/warriors/charles-upham/


Joke of the Weekender

I put so much more effort into naming my first Wi-Fi than my first child.


 

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}