November 2017

The Weekender 26/11/2017

Hi, I might be a day late but here we go. As we get closer to Christmas I might have to miss a week or two, but I'll get these out when I can.


Sport

Last weekend the Aussie coach showed how ... passionate ... he was as Australia had a loss to England 30-6. The All Blacks had some tough work to beat a dedicated Scottish team 17-22. The All Blacks finished their international season with a gritty 18-33 win over Wales this weekend, pulling ahead in the second half. They had a huge defensive first half with Sam Cane leading a massive effort and had great scoring with limited ball from the two wings Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo both scoring twice.
But the talking point was Australia's end to the season, receiving a 53-24 thrashing by Scotland!
Dan Carter has signed a two-year deal to play in Japan.

Last weekend the Kiwis bowed out of the Rugby League World Cup with 2-4 loss to Fiji. The team and coach were all fairly enthusiastic and they coped quite a bit of flak over not even being upset about losing to Tonga and Fiji.
Tonga did have an amazing run, getting through to the semis against England, and I understand that their supporters are passionate, but there have been some bad incidents. In NZ a female cop was knocked unconscious in an unprovoked attack in South Auckland, and over in Tonga a Kiwi teenager was stomped and kicked by Tongan police.

The game for Tonga against England was an interesting one, where England was ahead 20-0 after 67 minutes before Tonga came back to be 20-18 behind with two minutes to go. Tonga threw everything into those two minutes and thought they had scored a winner only to have the try disallowed with the ref not even bothering to check with video replay. That left Tongan supporters very unhappy, but I think most people agree the decision was OK.

The NZ Breakers had a 90-82 win over the Brisbane Bullets last weekend, for their ninth successive win.

Haydon Paddon hasn't had a good year but he has finished well. Over in Australia last weekend he finished third and this weekend he was the deserved favourite for the NZ leg of the WRC when he won the round.

With the All Whites missing out on the Football World Cup, Rory Fallon and Andrew Durante have both retired, and coach Anthony Hudson has left for an MLS team.

Team New Zealand have announced their boat design for the 2021 America's Cup and it is a foiling monohull, which has a lot of people excited.
The location is still in question after Auckland Council voted against extending Halsey Wharf which was Team New Zealand's preferred option.

The Black Sticks women hadn't won a game in pool play but saved their best for the quarter-finals where they stunned world No 3 Argentina 2-1.


NZ News

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was involved in a bit of a mix up when, apparently, Donald Trump thought she was Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wife. She told the story to a reporter but then refused to talk about it when questioned by other reporters. Her refusal meant the story grew rather than died - because of her odd response.

The government had to deny this week they had backed down from their election promise of planting 1 billion trees over 10 years - they claim it was always going to be a public-private partnership. I guess that gives them a way out from the overly ambitious plan.

New Zealand's first 110kph roads are on the way with approval given for Tauranga's Eastern Link Toll road and the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway getting the new speed limits. They will be in place by December 11th.

A week or two ago National lost a ruling in the High Court about their use of an Eminem song for the 2014 election advert. They were fined $60,000. This week they have appealed. The court found they had not been reckless because they sought professional, commercial and media advice, and bought the track from a company, which bought the licence from a California-based music library.


The Numbers Game

8: years as World No 1 for the All Blacks this week
33.3: degC for Cromwell with its highest-ever spring temperature
40.5: % for National in the latest poll, 39.5% for Labour, 10% Greens, NZ First are down to 5% and TOP are still at 2%
16,000: customers without power in a massive outage around Taupo
130,000: tertiary students are to get $50 extra a week - but Labour still wasn't ready to release the policy cost when questioned


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5171 (0.0014)
EUR 0.5814 (0.0035)
USD 0.6885 (0.0067)
AUD 0.9032 (0.0019)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sydney Smith
The Scientific Detective
“A New Zealander, he came to the famous Chair of Edinburgh, took ‘time off’ to organize a medico-legal system and Institute in Egypt then returned to Edinburgh to add to his brilliance in the forensic field a natural flair for administration. He was undoubtedly the most popular Dean and lecturer in a medical subject this Scots School ever had – a reincarnation of Conan Doyle’s Dr. Bell.”
Professor Keith Simpson, CBE, 1985.
Forensic science pioneer Sir Sydney Smith (1883-1969) achieved world renown through the application of science to justice. From the edge of an Otago goldfield to the telling edge of a murder weapon, Smith learnt to read the stories of dead men – and in doing so changed the way crime was investigated and solved.

http://www.nzedge.com/legends/sydney-smith/


Joke of the Weekender

So what if I don't know what Armageddon means? It's not the end of the world.


 

 

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 18/11/2017

Heading on toward the end of the year!


Sport

In the Rugby League World Cup, the Kiwis were ahead of Tonga 16-2 at halftime but Tonga was inspired by Jason Taumalolo to a 22-28 win. The win was all the more interesting considering Taumalolo defected from NZ only a week or two before the RLWC started.

Brendon Hartley qualified 15th for F1's Brazilian Grand Prix but started from the back of the grid after serving a grid penalty. He was then forced to retire with another power unit failure. Brendon has been confirmed as having a drive for Toro Rosso for 2018 in F1. Aucklander Nick Cassidy won the SUPER GT series - Japan's premier motor racing series, in a Lexus LC500.

The current All Whites had their biggest game of their lives this week. They held Peru to a draw in Wellington and then flew to Peru for the return leg, playing for a spot in the worlds biggest sporting event - the Football World Cup. Then end result was a 2-0 loss. There were interesting stories about fans setting off fireworks at 3 am and 4 am outside the All Whites hotel, and the air force doing a very loud fly over early in the morning. About locals surrounding the team bus to delay it arriving at the ground, and the flight having an unscheduled refuelling stop. Most of that was dismissed by a bit of logic (soundproof hotels, the air force flying over the entire city!, the crowds were everywhere etc), leaving the only bad thing was a couple of green laser pointers highlighting certain All White players during the game. In the end, Peru was far more passionate and won the game.
The Wellington Phoenix won their first game of the season after putting five past Perth Glory for a 5-2 win.

The All Blacks continued their northern tour last weekend with a 38-18 win over France. The first half was great but the second half terrible for the All Blacks. Sonny Bill Williams reverted to league rules and was penalised and yellow carded - although in the week the ref apologised for the yellow saying he was wrong. Dane Coles is out for 4-6 months after rupturing his ACL during the game. Then a few days later the All Blacks beat a France XV 28-23 in a close game. Finally, the All Blacks aren't happy with Hurricanes captain Brad Shields who snubbed an international call-up to sign for Wasps in an attempt to make the England World Cup squad.
In other International games, Ireland thrashed South Africa 38-3, and Australia beat Wales 21-29.

The NZ Breakers are on an eight-game roll with another narrow 88-82 win over the Perth Wildcats. With the two wins over Perth, their 8-1 gives them a bit of a buffer over second-placed Perth with 5-3.

Silver Fern Maria Tutaia has married Aussie rugby player Israel Folau in a private ceremony in Australia.


NZ News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (37 yrs old) has attacked Australia's handling of the Manus Island refugees and coincidentally, this week news was leaked about some horrible crimes from among the detainees.

There was an article pointing out how people probably hoped the new government would be more truthful than the old government, but that only two weeks in, and there are already a number of examples where they are proving to be dodgy. They claimed our maternity leave levels were "one of the lowest in the OECD where the average is 48 weeks". That is three times ours. But it was just spin - the OECD average is actually 17.7 weeks.

Another article published in the Washington Post, claimed that the government was being held hostage by the "far right" (i.e. Winston Peters and NZ First). That is the last thing Jacinda Ardern wants to be published. Labour will reject National's proposal to allow fathers and mothers to take parental leave at the same time, saying they support it - but not yet. I think National is enjoying supporting things they don't have to pay for - the joy of being in opposition.

And the Greens have been getting more & more annoyed (only two/three weeks in!) saying they would vote against the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, and also baulking at being asked to support NZ First's "Waka jumping" bill.

New Zealand First MP and defence minister Ron Marks was pulled up for wearing his medals in the wrong order, and it has also been found that he was wearing foreign service medals which he did not have permission to wear. He was seeking advice and permission.

I really wonder if you could get an honest answer from a politician, whether asking Labour in a couple of months, they would say that maybe National had done a decent job. There have been a large number of stories recently about Labour's response to a certain situations and what they are saying is pretty much exactly what National had been doing, or was going to do. One example is Pike River, which Labour swore black & blue (or rather campaigned on) would be re-entered and bodies of the miners retrieved. Then today Pike River mine minister Andrew Little starts backing down, saying he can not guarantee a re-entry of the mine. He will do what he can, but safety is the top priority. So how is that different to what National said? It isn't. I can no longer find the article, but news came out this week that the government is going to have to borrow a lot more than they thought to pay for all their promises - as previously predicted by the opposition.

With the Prime Minister and Winston Peters out of the country, it was up to Kelvin Davis to answer questions in parliament as Acting Prime Minister, and answer he did. He was happy to answer yes or no, once one of the other MPs told him what to say - and even then he didn't always get it right. They didn't even try to hide what they were doing.

In other news, United Future members have decided to disband the party after a poor showing in the latest election. Former leader Peter Dunne agreed that it was the right decision.


The Numbers Game

3: people in the Waikato were seriously ill and unconscious soon after eating wild boar suffering from botulism
99: years since the WW1 Armistice Day, celebrated by thousands around the country
600: lightning strikes in two hours Auckland with a severe thunderstorm
1.8b: $ East-West link road in Auckland was approved by a board of inquiry - but has been scrapped by the new government.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5157 (-0.0141)
EUR 0.5779 (-0.0206)
USD 0.6818 (-0.0137)
AUD 0.9013 (-0.0046)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Colin Murdoch
Dreamer for Millions
The Timaru inventor who would awaken from dreams at night with three-dimensional drawings revolving through his imagination. Pieces would be added and removed: a mental version of CAD. He would then get up and go to the kitchen table, working with pencil and ruler until he had his idea on paper. Colin Murdoch’s dreams, designs and sketches would become inventions used in every corner of the world. 
He wanted to design a more effective vaccinator for animals and, in doing so, designed and invented the disposable syringe: a device that has saved millions of human lives. Sufferers of diabetes depend on Murdoch’s invention every day to administer their dose of insulin safely. He also conceived and developed the tranquilliser dart gun, which has saved the lives of millions of animals.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/colin-murdoch/


Joke of the Weekender

What do we want?
Low flying aeroplane noises!
When do we want them?
NNNEEEEEEOOOOOOOOWWWWWW.


 

 

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 11/11/2017

Hello, today is a birthday party for a soon to be five-year-old, so I'm getting in early.


Sport

The All Blacks kicked off their northern tour with a tough 31-22 win over the kiwi-stacked Barbarians.
NZ born, Bundee Aki, the former Chiefs and Counties Manukau player, has completed his Irish residency and will play his first game for Ireland against South Africa this weekend.

Last weekend the NZ Breakers had a stunning finish to beat the Cairns Taipans 73-70 after the scores were tied with 1.9 seconds remaining. This weekend they have beaten their old rivals the Perth Wildcats, 88-84 to move to 7-1 in the ANBL. They are doing better than Stephen Adams' Oklahoma City Thunder.

Lydia Ko has claimed her fourth top-five finish out of the last seven LPGA events.

Brendon Hartley is still having engine issues in his Formula 1 car, but he and kiwi teammate Earl Bamber have won the World Endurance Championship with a second place in the race at Shanghai.
Jamie Whincup won the Sunday race for the Aussie V8's at Pukekohe, extending his championship lead. And Kiwi Richie Stanaway looks set to have a full-time drive in the Aussie V8's for 2018, everyone is just waiting for the details.

Former teammates Blair Tuke and Peter Burling are in different boats for the Volvo Ocean Race and on the second leg, they were battling each other for the lead.
Peter Burling was named 2017 World Sailor of the Year for the second time.

Surfer Paige Hareb has broken back into the surfing world tour at a pro event in Australia this week. She had been on the tour for six years before dropping out in 2014.

India won the deciding T20 match to win the T20 series against the Black Caps.


NZ News

Jacinda Ardern headed to Australia for her first diplomatic visit as Prime Minister and other than a meet and greet, it seemed to be a waste of time. She didn't get anywhere asking Australia to not charge NZers as must for tertiary fees, and she got nowhere asking to take 150 refugees from Manus Island.

During the week National highlighted Labour's planned 'erosion of democratic rights' by a plan to have only 96 select committee places. Generally, there are about the same number of select committee places as MPs, and they are roughly similar percentages of seats won. Labour's plan would have changed that.

However, it all went pear-shaped for Labour in their first parliamentary outing - the typically pedestrian voting for the Speaker of the House. The close margin was clear when a number of Labour MPs were overseas on official visits - but hadn't been sworn in, so couldn't vote by proxy. National flexed a bit of opposition muscle, threatening to block Trevor Mallard's election as speaker until Labour had some hurried anxious discussions and agreed to back down on the select committee places. It was a big win for the opposition and showed how fractured the government could be - or at least how confusing it could be making sure everyone is there.

The other huge news was information that Winston Peters is suing a number of people in relation to his leaked superannuation information during the election campaign. The first point here is that Winston has absolutely no proof. This is purely a fishing expedition. The next point is that he served the papers the day before the election and it was to a couple of reporters and a few National people - like Paula Bennett. So the key point here is that Winston strung out the entire country for two weeks saying he could go either way, but in reality, he was suing National people so he was really just taking his time to get the best deal from Labour. The entire idea of it being a fair and responsible decision was a load of rubbish - but that's who people voted in.

Labour confirmed that paid parental leave would increase to 26 weeks by 2020. There have been a number of comments on the TPPA agreement that was supposed to be signed this week. Labour started this back with Helen Clark, National did all the work and it looked like Labour was going to sign it off. One comment during the week was how Labour would be breaking their word to sign it - since they promoted huge public responses against it while National was pushing it. But as it turned out Canada didn't turn up, apparently by accident. Now Trade Minister David Parker is saying "Life will go on without the TPP" - a bizarre thing for a Trade Minister to say!
Labour has signalled its intention to repeal the so-called "Hobbit law", which brought more than $500m worth of movie production to New Zealand. The film industry heavy-hitters had a meeting this week to discuss it, but we might not have any movies made in NZ for a while.


The Numbers Game

8: people injured in Guy Fawkes related incidents - will Labour ban personal fireworks in the next three years?
29: arrests in South Auckland in celebrations from the Tonga win over Samoa in their Rugby World Cup pool game
140: kph wind gusts in Wellington - it should barely even make the news!
740: cases of the mumps in Auckland since the start of the year - the largest outbreak in 23 years.
131,500: residents in Tauranga, up more than 11,000 in the last four years.
9.3m: $ loss for NZ cricket.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5298 (0.0007)
EUR 0.5985 (0.0041)
USD 0.6955 (0.0038)
AUD 0.9059 (0.0039)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Brydone & Davidson
Chilly Bin Billionaires
New Zealand has long been heralded, mythologised (and of late, analysed) as a country that ‘rode to fortune on the sheep’s back’. The $4 billion+ export food industry of today might never have happened were it not for the innovation and wisdom shown by a group of legendary settlers of the 1880’s led by William Davidson and Thomas Brydone. The next time you carve into a tender fillet of Kiwi lamb sirloin, now exported to more than 190 countries around the world, you might like to chew on the fascinating story of how the frozen meat export industry began; a story of technology, determination, vision and pioneering colonialism. 
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/brydone-davidson/


Joke of the Weekender

What's the difference between a hippo and a zippo?
One is really heavy, and the other is a little lighter.

 

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 04/11/2017

Welcome to the November - this far through the year already!


Sport

The All Blacks take on the Barbarians this weekend in England to kick off their northern tour. The Barbarians have thirteen kiwis in the squad.

Canterbury continued their dominance of the Mitre 10 Cup with a 35-13 win over Tasman in the final.

The Rugby League World Cup continued with the Kiwis beating Samoa 38-8 and then thrashing Scotland 74-6, but all the talk has been about the Samoa vs Tonga game tonight in Hamilton. There have been a few clashes between supporters in South Auckland this week, but it seemed to calm down with no trouble in Hamilton tonight, but we were driving across town today and there were heaps of cars driving around with flags from one or the other country. Tonga were the winners 32-18.

The Aussie V8's are at Pukekohe this weekend and while title-contender Fabian Coulthard crashed out badly, fellow kiwi and defending champion Shane van Gisbergen won the Saturday race to move closer to the front of the table, and Scott McLaughlin came third.

The Wellington Phoenix looked to have turned a new leaf when they were up 3-0 against the Brisbane Roar. But they managed to blow the lead and had to settle for a 3-3 draw.

The Black Caps fell short of a maiden ODI win in India when they were narrowly beaten by six runs in the final ODI.

Lydia Ko started strongly in Japan and remains in the top-10 with one round to go.


NZ News

It has just surfaced that part of the NZ First-Labour agreement, calls for improving relations with Russia, positioning NZ alongside America, however, the EU Ambassador has been unusually critical of the move.
Labour has ignored the facts that NZ education consistently ranks highly and has planned major changes including axing league tables and a big shakeup for NCEA. They are also ignoring the great economy and aim to finalise a ban on overseas homebuyers within a couple of weeks - National has pointed out that overseas buyers are less than 2%, so other than annoying foreign investors, the move is unlikely to do anything for housing.
And it doesn't stop there. Apparently, Labour is planning on politicising the District Health Boards by demanding resignation letters from chairmen of DHB's who are not "on the same wavelength" as the new government.

The Department of Corrections annual report indicated that there was an increase of 700 prisoners this year. The number of unnatural deaths was down to one, from 11 the previous year. There were no break-outs or escapes - for the third year running. Five people escaped from escort (out of 62,500) but they were all apprehended and returned to custody. Reoffending has been declining over the last six years. The Labour government seems to have ignored this and part of their major changes is that they are scrapping the "three strikes" law, in their words "because it's not working".

The new government has planned to add 1,800 police officers over three years but Police Minister Stuart Nash has backed down on his earlier plan of hiring police from overseas.

I understand how MMP works, and fine, NZ First picked Labour and Greens and they all had more votes than National so they get to be the government. Sure, that's how it works. But Labour seems to have taken their appointment as an indication that everyone in the country wants everything in the country completely changed. They seem to think that rather than the majority of people voting for the previous government, the result means everyone thinks everything was terrible. There are huge changes to all areas being made, and considering how well things were going before, it's a bit of a worry.


The Numbers Game

3: people killed by trains in the last 24 hours
7: people died on roads in nine hours at the start of this weekend
52: % of kiwis thought the start of spring was between "Not the Best" and "Average" - only 10% picked "Awesome/Pass"
3,199: m tall Mt Cook was skied down by three experienced European skiers
20m: $ cocaine bust in Tauranga - the largest single seizure in NZ - after a five-month-long inquiry by Customs and police.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5291 (0.0068)
EUR 0.5944 (0.0046)
USD 0.6917 (0.0066)
AUD 0.9020 (0.0070)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Godfrey Bowen
World's Fastest Shearer
With a history steeped in agriculture, it is natural that New Zealand’s farmers, shepherds and shearers have become known throughout the world for their skill and toughness. Many have travelled, to teach and work in foreign countries, but few have been invited to Buckingham Palace, appeared on late-night American television or been honoured by the leader of the Soviet Union. Only one: Godfrey Bowen. 
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/endurance/godfrey-bowen/


Joke of the Weekender

I have an EpiPen. My friend gave it to me when he was dying, it seemed very important to him that I have it.


 

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}