August 2017

The Weekender 26/08/2017

Hello, I hope your week has gone well.


Sport

It certainly was a game, and it even had a couple of halves. Not quite 40 minutes, more like 50 minutes - at which point the All Blacks were 6-54 ahead of the Wallabies in the first Bledisloe Cup match. But the All Blacks played like Taranaki earlier in the day and were mesmerised by the scoreline, switching off for Australia to storm back to 34-54. Still a thrashing but not an 80-minute performance from the All Blacks in their first hit out of this international season.
In the other game, South Africa beat Argentina 37-15.
Sir Colin Meads passed away this week after a battle with cancer. His funeral was today in Te Kuiti.
In provincial rugby, Northland had a rare 28-23 win over the BOP Steamers last weekend.

The Black Ferns crushed US 45-12 to reach their fifth Women's Rugby World Cup final.

The Tall Blacks were beaten 106-79 by the Boomers at the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut. Then they lost the bronze medal match against Korea 80-71.

Tom Walsh continued his winning ways with a win in the diamond league meeting in Birmingham.

All White Captain Chris Wood completed his record deal in a move to Burnley for $NZ26m or $NZ3.2m/year.


NZ News

Great Barrier Island has officially become the first island to be designated as a dark sky sanctuary.

So three leaders in three weeks. The politics continue! This week Peter Dunne announced he would step down - all but sealing the fate of the United Future party. The polls had been showing he would be defeated in his electorate with the Labour candidate jumping ahead. He has done well for his party, being in every government since 2002.
In other interesting stories, Gareth Morgan disconnected with a lot of people when he made the twitter call for Jacinda Ardern to "show you're more than lipstick on a pig". He is rightly claiming that so far Labour's revival is completely down to personality over policy, but he isn't making friends with the way is saying it.
Labour has promised something the Greens announced last week, with a basic commuter rail system from Auckland to Hamilton and Tauranga. The commuter rail system has become a bit of an election item but it has been tried and so far it's been entirely uneconomical. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern also announced she may pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, has "not ruled out" capital gains tax, wants to talk about becoming a republic. She seems to be showing she is very much a Labour politician, sticking to typical Labour things (lots of new taxes etc).
Labour did have some trouble this week when a Labour party candidate threatened the Pakuranga night market operator because he failed to get free space and access for Labour leader Jacinda Ardern. The market owners response was brilliant ... "This is a party that is wanting to charge royalties for water, but they expect things to be given to them free of charge."
The Greens had their own problems with their political director resigning just weeks before the election.
National has plans to complete or start seven free trade deals, unlocking markets with 2.5 billion people.
The latest poll was on who was the most capable leader. Bill English jumped 4 points to 45%, with Jacinda Ardern rated for 32% - certainly an increase of the 10% that Andrew Little got last month.


The Numbers Game

18: $ doctor visits will be extended to another 600,000 lower income New Zealanders, National announced, Labour said half of NZers would pay $8
75: % spike in pedestrian crash deaths
110: kph for some expressways after a change in law this week
1,550: $ for a Sir Edmund Hillary Everest expedition team postcard
10.5b: $ plan for 10 new major highways in a plan from the government.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5624 (-0.0052)
EUR 0.6100 (-0.0124)
USD 0.7223 (-0.0088)
AUD 0.9122 (-0.0111)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Rewi Alley
Rewi Alley; social reformer, educator, fireman, writer, poet, translator, great internationalist, industrialist, revered citizen, potter, soldier, a hero and a friend of China. Edgar Snow, the famous American journalist: “Rewi Alley is unique because he has achieved greatness in a country where few foreigners ever manage to achieve an authentic ripple.” The most travelled European in the Chinese interior and its ‘white veteran’, associate of Mao and Che Guevara. Author of 66 books, always with the aim of bringing about a greater understanding of his second homeland and its people. The man who introduced ‘Gung Ho’ into the Western idiom.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/rewi-alley/


Joke of the Weekender

Try as she might, our granddaughter couldn’t grasp the concept of potty training. Then one day … Success! Jumping up and down, she threw her arms in the air and yelled in excitement, “I went potty all by myself, and now I can go to Harvard!”


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 19/08/2017

Welcome to another week, a storm earlier in the week, lovely blue sky winters day on Wednesday & Friday, and another storm down south.


Sport

The All Blacks and the Wallabies open the Rugby Championship/Bledisloe Cup tonight in Sydney.
Provincial rugby has started with Taranaki holding off Waikato 34-29, after being well ahead with 15 minutes to go.

In other rugby, the Black Ferns beat Hong Kong 121-0 in their World Cup match in Dublin.

So New Zealand is still all about rugby in general, but the amount the players get is still tiny compared to football. All White Captain Chris Wood may stay at Leeds after getting a $21m offer, or someone might offer more. In contrast, Charles Piutau is set to become the highest-paid player with a 1m GPB offer from Bristol. Dan Carter is currently paid more, but his contract expires at the end of the new season.

Last weekend the Warriors hit their sixth defeat in a row, losing to the Raiders 36-16, and this weekend their seventh 36-18 to the Rabbitohs.

Greg Henderson has announced his retirement from competitive cycling. He has competed in five Tours de France and represented New Zealand at five Olympics and four Commonwealth Games.

The Tall Blacks beat Jordan 98-70 to set up a semi-final clash with Australia in the Asia Cup.

In the Aussie V8s Fabian Coulthard won a dramatic race in Sydney with Scott McLaughlin spinning out Shane van Gisbergen as they were duelling. McLaughlin has won the season's pole award, when he won his 12th pole, even though there are nine races remaining.


NZ News

The politics continued this week with a bit of back lash for Labour over one of their policies. Many people are worried about a lack of detail and Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson was warning that Labour's policy could cause Treaty renegotiations.

But the biggest political ruckus came from Australia. In Australia, you aren't allowed to be an MP if you have dual citizenship. And without knowing, the Australian deputy Prime Minister had dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship (he got it through his father). Anyway, the difficulty was that it was found out because an NZ Labour MP requested the information, causing the Australians to claim they will find it hard to build trust with Labour, should they get in. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern both denied it and confirmed it (like a true politician) when she said MP Chris Hipkin wasn't on a dirt-digging exercise, but she had reprimanded him. 

The latest poll has more of the same, the Green Party has plummeted to below the five per cent threshold, while Labour has jumped from 24% to 37%, with National dropping a few points. New Zealand First was down one to 10, Maori Party up to 2%, and Gareth Morgan's TOP on 2%. And on the basis of all that the Greens are promising an Auckland-Hamilton-Tauranga passenger rail running five times a day.


The Numbers Game

300: Kiwis killed in the last five years because they weren't wearing a seatbelt
9,500: lightning strikes across the country early this week
77.8m: $ for the new Grey Base Hospital on the West Coast
1b: $ redevelopment programme for Canterbury health
1.2b: $ to rebuild Dunedin hospital


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5676 (0.0063)
EUR 0.6224 (0.0039)
USD 0.7311 (0.0019)
AUD 0.9233 (-0.0029)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse: “Mad Pearse”, “Bamboo Dick”, self-taught inventor, prophetic designer, trail blazing aviator and eccentric visionary. On or about 31st March 1903 a reclusive New Zealand farmer Richard Pearse climbed into a self-built monoplane and flew for about 140 metres before crashing into a gorse hedge on his Waitohi property. Even at half the distance, Pearse must have felt the liberating but anxious exhilaration of flying. There is uncertainty about whether it met the definitions of sustained flight, but it came eight months before the Wright Brothers entered the record books at Kitty Hawk North Carcancelled 17th December 1903.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/richard-pearse/


Joke of the Weekender

Jimmy Fallon asked his viewers to tweet #IGotBusted and share the most embarrassing times they got caught.
“I was on Facebook at work, and my boss walked up. I slammed down what I thought was my laptop screen, but it was actually my desktop monitor.”
“I lied and told my dad school was cancelled. He said, ‘Let’s go see a movie.’ We got in the car, and he dropped me off at school.”
“I was Facebooking in church, and the usher passed by and whispered, ‘You better be texting Jesus.’”


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 12/08/2017

A week can be a long time in politics, and we've certainly had two long weeks!


Sport

The Crusaders ended their title drought with a 17-25 win over the Lions last weekend. The Crusaders started well but the Lions did really well after they went down to 14 men with a red card. So that isn't a bad start for Scott Roberston in his first year of Super Rugby coaching.
The Black Ferns had a big opening win in the Women's World Cup in Ireland, beating Wales 44-12.
The Australian Rugby Union has announced that the Western Force will be dropped from Super Rugby. They announced at the same time that CEO Bill Pulver will be resigning. It's been a huge mess for all the players and their families, and dropping Western Force means wasting all the effort promoting rugby out West.

Tom Walsh has won gold at the World Athletics Champs in London. There were a couple of appeals but he survived those.
Nick Willis finished sixth in the 1500m semi finals to just sneak through to the final.

The Tall Blacks started well in the Asia Cup with a 70-49 win over Kazakhstan.

Kiwi Brendon Leitch has had a breakthrough race win in the F4 USA championship in Ohio this week.

Ryan Fox has been having a good week at the USA PGA. In the second round, he shot the lowest score of the round with a five-under 66 to jump from 80th to a share of 12th.
Lydia Ko had a disappointing first three rounds at the British Golf Open in Scotland but had a solid finish to end up two-under par.


NZ News

Another week closer to the election and another party leader steps down! The week started with stories saying how Green co-leader Metiria Turei had survived her welfare scandal and if she had resigned it would have caused a meltdown within the Green Party. Then two Green MP's resigned in protest of Turei's actions. They said civil disobedience was sometimes justified, but this should be limited to "fundamental breaches of human rights" such as torture, genocide or apartheid. "It does not stretch to the adequacy of an income benefit," they said. Turei was defiant at that point saying she would stay even if they plummeted in the polls. The next day she resigned. Those who could be bothered commenting on her resignation overwhelmingly supported her, although many entirely missed the point that she brought this whole thing on herself and her family, by trying to use them and their situation for political gain.
So that along with Labour's changes has meant a big swing of voters, not so much between left & right, but between the left leaning parties. The Green Party support dropped from 13.3% to 8.3%. Arrgh I can't find the full poll details, but NZ First dropped as well, but not as much as the Greens to be solidly the third biggest party, National were down one or two, and Labour had jumped lots. The preferred Prime Minister changed drastically with Labour leader Jacinda Adern jumping to only a few points behind Bill English.
Ardern released a number of plans this week, promising to reduce spending on roads (nooo just as we are finally getting good roads built!), and about three new taxes, including a water tax that Winston Peters claimed, would result in cabbages costing around $18. But the Labour party still can't agree on the basics. One Labour MP backed TPP (and why not since they came up with the idea), outlining why Labour's opposition to it was wrong, but most importantly Ardern can't even keep her deputy in line. One of the first things she said was that they would run a relentlessly positive campaign. That lasted three days before Labour deputy Kelvin Davis started playing the man not the ball and took pot shots at most leading National MPs, including Prime Minister Bill English, saying he had the personality of a rock. National has jumped on that, rightly declaring that this rock got NZ through the Global Financial Crisis & back into surplus. So this election has been tagged "the rock vs the rock star" - and it's anybody's game.

Armed robbers (a knife not a gun) robbed the McDonalds next to our place during the week, but the police announced that they caught two men responsible for a number of robberies around town during the week.


The Numbers Game

100,000: $ borrowed by a Real Estate agent from his builder - is now facing misconduct charges
505,000: $ for a never-before-seen painting of Auckland founding father Sir John Logan Campbell
44m: $ from the government will clean up around 100 rivers


Finance NZ Dollar

(last eight days)
GBP 0.5613 (-0.0015)
EUR 0.6185 (-0.0070)
USD 0.7292 (-0.0126)
AUD 0.9262 (-0.0081)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Janet Frame
Mixing and revolving words with the skill of a warrior handling a taiaha, novelist Janet Frame made a pre-eminent edge contribution to international literature. She came from the peripheries of art and society, yet her fictional explorations have always been forays into the interior. For Frame, her art and imagining were the conjuring of experience, madness, dreams, identity and memory, into a coiled reality. The agenda for her prose, wrestling with the dual/jewel (to borrow a typical Frame word-play) nature of ‘truth’ entangled in the medium of its expression, is laid out the famous opening lines of To the Is-land:
“From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture of fact and truths and memories of truths and its direction toward the Third Place, where the starting point is myth.”
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/janet-frame/


Joke of the Weekender

The biggest change after having kids was putting a swear jar in the house. Whenever I say a bad word, I have to put a dollar in the jar, and at the end of every month, I take all that money and buy myself a nice steak for being such a cool dad.
Comedian Mark Chalifoux


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 04/08/2017

A day early and maybe a dollar short, but I'm away tomorrow and it's been a long time in politics since last Saturday!


Sport

In the second game of last weekend, the Lions beat the Hurricanes to set up a Lions vs Crusaders final in South Africa this weekend.
Aaron Mauger has been named as the new Highlanders coach.
The two South African teams (Cheetahs and Kings) which were dropped from Super Rugby have joined England's Pro 12 competition.

Ryan Fox and Danny Lee have qualified for the PGA.
Lauren Boyle has decided to retire from competitive swimming.
The Tall Blacks haven't had everything go their way, but they beat the previously unbeaten - and tournament favourites, Angola 72-64 in the Kunshan International Basketball Champs.


NZ News

This week the news has all been politics. The week started with Labour leader Andrew Little attacking Green co-leader after her confession of welfare fraud, ignoring the recent polls which put Labour down to 24%. The problem compounded when it came to light that Labour's own polling had the party at 23%, the worst result in 20 years (and very likely Little wouldn't even be an MP after the election). Things got worse for Andrew Little when he admitted to reporters that he had offered his resignation and been turned down. The very act of doing that was a sign of the end. Things moved quickly on Tuesday which saw Andrew Little resign as leader of the Labour party, and Jacinda Ardern elected unopposed as the leader, with Kelvin Davis as deputy. Appointing Ardern has been a popular decision by all accounts, and having Davis as deputy is seen as a unifying move for the Maori Party and New Zealand First as he has strong ties to both. Ardern has shuffled portfolios around keeping Andrew Little in the mix and unveiled a new slogan "Let's do this".
Now we have to go back to Green co-leader Metiria Turei and her benefit fraud. It's not just benefit fraud, after it was uncovered she was enrolled to vote at the home of the father of her children. So you lose the benefit altogether if you live with the child's father, but she claimed she was enrolled there, only so she could vote for a friend. Dodgy, dodgy. So if you believe that, then she lived in another house with her mother (claiming her finances were complete independent) with other flatmates, none of whom she declared. She is currently being investigated. The biggest problem I have with all this is that she isn't in the slightest bit sorry - even saying "I don't regret a minute". She is very much treating it as if the country somehow owes her everything she has taken. The irony of this all has to be that at the time she was studying law. Of all subjects.

So this time last week it didn't look likely Labour would get enough in the polls to form a government (with the Greens and NZ First), but the changes this week may mean maybe they've got a shot - and they may even get to work with the Maori Party. The problem is ... the Greens.


The Numbers Game

-13: degC in Mt Cook as the week saw huge frosts around the country
7: % drop in traffic on SH1 after the opening of the Waterview tunnel
14,000: attacks on hospital staff by patients since 2012
2.6b: $ plan from National to fix Auckland's traffic problems, including a new highway alongside the Southern Motorway and a Northern Busway


Finance NZ Dollar

(Last six days)
GBP 0.5628 (-0.0089)
EUR 0.6255 (-0.0136)
USD 0.7418 (-0.0074)
AUD 0.9343 (-0.0050)


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

It's not really a joke, but it is quite funny. This week some thieves stole a caravan. But they didn't check inside it. The occupant who had been sleeping realised what was happening and called the police - guiding them to exactly where the thieves were.


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}