March 2018

The Weekender 23/03/2018

Hi all. This is a day early since I'm unavailable tomorrow.


Sport

Last weekend the Blues hoped to put a run of at least two winning games together with the Stormers supposedly travel-weary after a tough tour of NZ, but that didn't work out with the Stormers taking home advantage with a 37-20 win. The Highlanders won the battle of the South, handing the Crusaders their first loss 25-17. The Lions took over as the overall leaders with a close match against the Sunwolves. The Japanese team is getting better, but it must be a bit embarrassing to be leading the competition and only win 40-38. The Rebels had their first loss, being thrashed by the Waratahs 51-27 - after leading 3-20 after half an hour.
In other rugby, it was interesting to watch the 6 Nations championship up in the north, with Ireland handing England their third loss on route to the title. Ireland's coach, kiwi Joe Schmidt has certainly put his credentials out there for those thinking about who the next All Black coach will be. And Wales (coached by Waikato's Warren Gatland) finished second.

The Black Caps are back in the action with a day-night test match against England. I checked the scores last night after the game started and was concerned to see NZ at 8-1. Until I realised that England had batted first and were all out for 58. Kane Williamson did well and reached his 18th test century to become NZ's leading century-maker. As long as the rain holds off, NZ might have a chance, currently 229/4.

In league the NZ Warriors looked good again, beating the Gold Coast Titans 20-8.

In the Winter Paralympics, Adam Hall struck again winning the slalom standing event for gold. He won two of NZ's three medals.

The Silver Ferns opened the Taini Jamison Trophy series with a 75-42 win over Malawi.


NZ News

So it has been an interesting political week. The news and comments on most news stories have been solidly left-leaning since Jacinda-mania took over, but this week I've seen a definite swing. There were a number of solid articles about things poorly handled by the government, without a single (or maybe only a couple of) comments in support of the government. But to be fair the things this week are pretty indefensible.

Firstly there was a comment about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern failing for first big test over the Labour camps scandal. No one has taken any sort of responsibility, they have simply palmed it off to an inquest, or a working group, which seems to be a huge theme to this government.

The second big deal is that Shane Jones has been mouthing off about Air New Zealand. The 51% government-owned airline has cut some regional flights and Shane Jones has spent the week demanding the chairman and board stand down. Of course, Shane Jones has no power to do anything and he was quickly told that by his Prime Minister, but it didn't stop him. The problem, that no one in this government seems to realise, is that businesses need the confidence of continuity. This week has been a huge blow to any business connected to the government, wondering how much interference they will have from the government. The government should be "hands off", letting the business be a business, not threatening peoples jobs if they don't do want one rogue MP wants.

It got more bizarre though. Shane Jones spent the week abusing Air New Zealand but then turned up to the Air New Zealand-hosted event with Barak Obama (who was in the country for some golf with Sir John Key). It didn't make any sense.
It didn't stop there with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern taking the unusual step of personally accepting a petition to stop the oil & gas industry in New Zealand. It would have a profound effect on many areas but especially New Plymouth's multibillion-dollar industry. However, things aren't all rosy for the coalition with Winston Peters saying NZ First will not compromise on the oil & gas permits.

As if all that wasn't enough for the coalition they got the news this week that the Green Party has handed over their questions to National to help it hold the government to account. The Green Party were wanting to end "patsy" questions which are just questions made to make the government look good.

Polytechnics compared enrolment numbers this week and found that despite the government's much-touted fees-free policy, the numbers are basically flat with no increase in domestic numbers.

Greenpeace has been denied Charity status by the Charities board - and the tax-free benefits that go with it.

Jonathan Coleman, National MP and former Health Minister is quiting politics to run a private hospital.


The Numbers Game

2: Kiribati fishermen were found by the NZ Defence Force after searching for the lost men for three days
39: degC the temperature of Ruapehu's crater lake - and a bunch of small earthquakes, has geologists on alert
91: road deaths and the annual toll continues to be very high
335: m hole in one for a par four shot by golfer Mackenzie Gibson
3,000: jobs will be lost, according to government officials, if the minimum wage is raised to $16.50 at the end of the week as per the Government's 100-day plan
50,000: $, 10,000 cannabis plants and 30 guns have been seized in an annual operation by NZ Police and the NZ Defence Force


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5114 (-0.0075)
EUR 0.5862 (-0.0018)
USD 0.7230 (-0.0004)
AUD 0.9356 (0.0031)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Burt Munro
Burt Munro, known as the fastest man from New Zealand, became internationally known for the records he broke at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the 1960s. In eleven record attempting trips to the National Speed Week, the Kiwi broke three world records on his Indian motorcycle – one of which still stands today. The “World’s Fastest Indian” from the edge of the world believed in boundless opportunities and in the importance of never giving up his dreams regardless of challenges along the way.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/burt-munro-worlds-fastest/


Joke of the Weekender

Communism jokes aren't funny unless everyone gets them.

 

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 17/03/2018

Welcome along as summer recedes.


Sport

Continuing Super Rugby from last weekend, the Hurricanes beat the Crusaders 29-19, while Aucklanders had a memorable weekend with the Blues surprise away winners over the Lions 38-35. The Rebels have had a great start to the season (after picking up some Western Force personnel) with a run of perfect wins, last weekend beating the ACT Brumbies 33-10.
This weekend the first game was the Chiefs beating the Bulls 41-28 here in Hamilton, but they did have to battle back from 7-21 down after the Chiefs underestimated how good the Jon Mitchel coached Bulls were on attack.
In Sevens, Fiji has beaten Kenya 31-12 to win the Canada Sevens.

Backing up the Blues win, the Warriors beat the Rabbitohs 32-20 in Perth for the first time both of Auckland's teams have won away from home for six years.

Veteran para skier Adam Hall has won a bronze medal at the Paralympic Winter Games.

The White Ferns have broken records when they beat the West Indies by 106 runs in Mount Maunganui.


NZ News

New National leader Simon Bridges has reshuffled his line up, which is mostly a boring topic, but the interesting part is that Labour was incredibly vocal about including equal numbers of women, but when it came down to it, Labour hasn't done very much and for National, three of the top five and eight of the top 20 are women.

Back in the first term of the National government, Labour and the Greens criticised the government for excessive use of Air Force transport for a few flights, but coalition and NZ First MP Defence Minister Ron Mark has already created a long list of Air Force taxi services apparently just to ferry Ron Mark between events and his hometown. Apparently, it was happening so regularly that the locals were beginning to ask questions.

But that wasn't the worst news for the government this week. Stories came to light about sexual assault allegations at a Labour Party summer school camp. Labour stuck to their guns and responded with fairly blanket lawyery-speak, which would placate anyone, except those who are or have been parents of teenagers. The students attacked were only 16 and Labour opened themselves up to allegations of a cover-up when they didn't go to the police, the kid's parents, or even the Prime Minister - perhaps they don't really trust her, so she was blindsided by the initial questions. They are going to review their policy and have cancelled all future events, and although they didn't provide alcohol, it was allowed and obviously used to the point there were reports of people throwing up in toilets and bushes. It wasn't just a single event either with similar stories appearing over the week from other events. Labour has definitely taken a hit on this one and refuses to acknowledge they really did anything wrong as they are standing firm on not firing anyone.


The Numbers Game

12: people killed in a horror five days on NZ roads
30: mm of rain in six hours on Tauranga as ex-Cyclone Hola came through, providing great surfing conditions
19,000: km travelled by a message in a bottle thrown in at Whangarei by a woman and her son and was picked up in Spain
30,000: $ found in a safe dumped for inorganic collection
2m: $ seizure of meth at the NZ border by Police and Customs
23m: $ grant for a promising NZ-made anti-cancer drug CP-505


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5189 (-0.0072)
EUR 0.5880 (-0.0030)
USD 0.7234 (-0.0041)
AUD 0.9325 (0.0015)


The Weekender NZer of the week

John Britten
Maverick Genius of Motorcycle Design
John Britten was a revolutionary motorcycle designer whose home-brewed machine won international plaudits for its stunning design and performance. The 300+ km/h blur of speed, the smell of burning rubber and the distinctive roar of the Britten V1000 motorcycle linger over the tarmac of kiwi myth and the world of motorcycle design. From his backyard in Christchurch John Britten melded the edges of design and engineering, the acclamation testifying to a visionary talent: “man against the manufacturers”, design genius, engineer, artist, thinker, entrepreneur, “the last of the great privateers”, inventor, “Renaissance man” – as well as architect, builder, glider pilot and glass sculptor.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/john-britten/


Joke of the Weekender

What did the pirate say when he turned 80 years old?
Aye matey.

 

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 10/03/2018

Hello, we have another storm coming apparently, but the last few days have been hot.


Sport

Last weekend in Super Rugby the Crusaders beat the Stormers 45-28, and the Hurricanes beat the Jaguares 34-9. The Chief's horrific injury toll climbed when the lost Atu Moli for the season in the win against the Blues. During the week John Plumtree was announced as coach for the Hurricanes, and Damien McKenzie committed to NZ Rugby for another three years - a big win for NZ because that is two years past the World Cup.
This weekend kicked off with the Highlanders beating the Stormers 33-15.

So the ODI between the Black Caps and England wasn't the final last weekend, it was a five-match ODI series. England won the game last weekend, setting up the midweek as a must win. England batted first in the fourth game and amassed a huge 335-9 and when the two openers when for zero, it wasn't looking good. But that was when Ross Taylor stepped up. He had support from Kane Williamson, then Tom Latham, briefly Colin de Grandhomme, and finally Henry Nichols as he reached 181, even after seriously injuring his leg just after his century. The final result was a five-wicket win for the Black Caps and game on for the final match. The final match was tonight and the Black Caps batting first, reached just 223, losing by seven wickets.

  • In the English Premier League, Chris Wood scored the winner for Burnley beating Everton 2-1, while Winston Reid has been ruled out of the remainder of the season for West Ham.
  • In the Winter Paralympics, Corey Peters has claimed a bronze medal for NZ in the men's downhill sitting event.
  • Shane van Gisbergen won both races last week in the opening round of the Aussie V8's.
  • Nick Willis has been forced to pull out of the Commonwealth Games, coming up in the Gold Coast.
  • The NZ Breakers didn't fire in their first semifinal game, going down 88-77 to Melbourne, and were beaten by a stunning buzzer beater 88-86 in the second.
  • Tom Walsh has defended his IAAF World Champ title with a throw of 22.31m, almost a metre further than his competitors.

NZ News

So we always thought it was always going to be a struggle tying together this government and that is proving the case. After the irrational, but strong, negative response to the TPPA from Labour and the Greens, Labours sudden reversal (of a deal they barely touched other than signing) is proving a bit difficult to swallow for their coalition partners with Green MP Goliz Ghahraman protesting the deal as "essentially the same as before". Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, "It's not perfect but it's good enough".

More and more people have come out against the government's plan to ban foreign houses, but it is unlikely the government will take any notice. The latest is American billionaire Ric Kayne who is planning on expanding his golf course (widely regarded as one of the best in the world) but has said the plans will be over if the government goes ahead. Northland and Otago have also pointed out the economic advantages to the regions.

Steven Joyce is leaving Parliament but gives a vote of confidence to Simon Bridges. He has had a large number of roles during his time and was very experienced. But that brings me to my discussion point for the week. During the John Key era, the left-leaning media were surprisingly quiet. I don't know why but it certainly showed in the polls, National could do no wrong, and there was no opposition. But since Ardern provided a spark for Labour (despite no change in policies), the left-leaning media has come out in force. The prime example this week was the headline "Steven Joyce's hissy fit not surprising". The claim was he was leaving because he wouldn't be getting the Finance port folio. The reality, based on a pretty clear comment from the man himself, he wasn't upset and it wasn't the reason for leaving. That is one example, and it's not surprising, but it has been going on for months.


The Numbers Game

18.8: C was the average temperature for summer, 2.1C above the average, and surpassing the 18.5C of 1934-1935
2.58m: $ spent by Labour for the election, $3.85/vote vs National's $3.40/vote ($2.55m)
3m: (almost) NZers completed the census online by the deadline
1b: $ worth of drugs stopped by Customs at the border in the last year.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5261 (0.0002)
EUR 0.5910 (0.0016)
USD 0.7275 (0.0027)
AUD 0.9310 (-0.0034)


The Weekender NZer of the week

William Atack
William Harrington Atack, of Canterbury, was the first sports referee in the world to use a whistle to stop a game.
Today the referee’s whistle is a ubiquitous feature in sport. It now seems logical and obvious, but it was a New Zealander who first thought of it in June 1884.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/william-atack/


Joke of the Weekender

Wife says to her programmer husband, "Go to the store and buy a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, buy a dozen."
Husband returns with 12 loaves of bread.

 

Darren Harrison: darren@harrison.gen.nz
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
Website: www.dunwich.co.nz/weekender/
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}

The Weekender 03/03/2018

Welcome back, I hope you've had a good couple of weeks!


Sport

We have quite a bit to get through!

Super Rugby has kicked off and the Stormers held on for a 28-20 win over the Jaguares, and the Lions beat the Sharks 26-19.
The following week NZ started with the Highlanders beating the Blues 41-34. The Hurricanes started slowly and lost 21-19 to the Bulls in Pretoria, while the Crusaders relied on a disputed penalty try & yellow card (you are not allowed to defend your line, apparently!) to beat the Chiefs 45-23.
This weekend the Chiefs beat the Blues 27-21 after starting with about 15 players out injured. What do Australian Super Rugby teams and the Blues have in common? Neither can beat any of the NZ teams!
Wyatt Crockett has announced he will retire at the end of the season. He has had only three defeats in 71 games as an All Black. Jerome Kaino has announced he will be leaving NZ rugby at the end of this season to play in France.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has turned down an offer from the All Blacks to switch codes and has re-signed with the Warriors for four years.

The Black Caps continued in the tri-series with a 2-run loss to England, but the margin was small enough that NZ went through to the final against Australia. And Australia won the final by 19 runs.
Next on the list was a three-match ODI series and Ross Taylor hit hist 18th century to lead NZ to a three-wicket win. England bounced back in Mt Maunganui to win by six wickets and the final game is on right now. England got a below average score but NZ's had a collapse and it isn't looking good!

The Wellington Phoenix had a positive game a couple of weeks ago beating Perth Glory 2-1 - but there hasn't been much more good news with their coach not continuing on after a single year in charge. 
The All Whites announced their new coach, Swiss Fritz Schmid.

The Winter Olympics has been on and NZ has been competing. I guess we weren't expecting much, although I remember the excitement back in 1992 when Annelise Coberger won silver. What I didn't realise was that that was our only Winter Olympic medal - until this time when on the same day two sixteen-year-olds got bronze. Firstly Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in the women's Big Air event and later Nico Porteous in the men's halfpipe freeski.

The NZ Breakers missed out on finishing third after they were beaten 101-86 by the Sydney Kings. Kirk Penney has announced he will retire at the end of this season.
The Tall Blacks have been playing as well and a young team had an impressive 82-73 win over China in a World Cup qualifier, followed up with a 93-84 win over South Korea.

Haydon Paddon finished fourth in Rally Sweden after being near the top for the race.

Dean Barker has been linked with the New York Yacht Club for the Quantum Racing series, fueling speculation that they will make an America's Cup bid.

The Aussie V8 season has started and Shane van Gisbergen had a good win in the first race of the round.

The Volvo Ocean Race arrived in Auckland this week with Blair Tuke's MAPFRE beating his Olympic partner Peter Burling to the finish line.


NZ News

Former tropical cyclone Gita hit NZ bring more rain and stormy weather. It crossed through central/south North Island and hit the top of the North Island too. Buller declared a state of emergency after they had coastal flooding. Sixty tourists were trapped two hours south of Greymouth after roads were closed and washed away. There were power outages across Wanganui Region.

A charity helping patients with rare disorders has slammed the Government for backing down a pre-election promise of $20m for rare diseases. You can't blame the government though, they promised the world and everyone believed them but now they are in they've realised they can't just print money.
But maybe they figured out a way as they started spending (or announcing) parts of their $3b fund for regions. They announced $61m for a number of things from a railway in Napier to a number of things up north. National pointed out that a number of things included were already going ahead, or planned for by the previous government.
Apparently, the universities are complaining about Labour's much vaunted free fees policy claiming it will only create an added administrative burden and push students into courses they won't or can't pass.
PM Jacinda Ardern went to Australia this week, apparently with the intent of trying to stop Australia deporting criminals with very loose ties to NZ (i.e. recently they deported someone who had never even been to New Zealand). But as anyone would expect, Australia just ignored her.

The National Party leadership race had five entries at one point but ended up with Tauranga MP Simon Bridges. He is 41 and was brought up in West Auckland and is part Maori.


The Numbers Game

3: NZ cities/areas were named in a report highlighting the world's 100 best users of renewable energy, Auckland, Wellington and Kapiti
5.2: Richter scale earthquake southwest of Hastings
7: th most powerful passport in the world
48: % support for Labour with a jump in fortunes. National has dropped a little (3%) to 43% with NZ First and Greens both dropping well down
150: years of justice at Auckland High Court
350: drivers have had to resit their licences or had them revoked after an investigation by NZTA revealed bribery and general 
21,000: overpaid to PM Jacinda Ardern & Deputy PM Winston Peters - but it wasn't their fault & they immediate repaid it
25,000: $ clean up bill for Auckland Council after someone dumped 1,285 tyres into a ravine
520,000: $ spent on travel for Auckland City executives resulted in Mayor Phill Goff wanting to ban business class travel
22.5m: $ worth of cocaine intercepted by authorities after an attempt by two Canadians
669m: $ worth of payments from the Government to early childhood providers were paid twice this week after a Westpac error - it was mostly recovered.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5259 (0.0000)
EUR 0.5894 (-0.0038)
USD 0.7248 (-0.0155)
AUD 0.9344 (0.0022)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Robert J Dickie
Champion of Automation
RJ Dickie invented, patented and marketed the world’s first stamp vending machine. His machines were in use for 50 years, 18,000 were used in Britain, with countless thousands around the world. The machine that won star honours at the 1909 Pacific Expo in Seattle came from a New Zealander with a single idea. Robert James Dickie was born in London on December 30, 1876. Twelve years later, he immigrated with his family to Wellington, New Zealand. He joined the staff of the Chief Post Office at Customs Street in 1891 and went to work in the foreign mail department.
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/robert-j-dickie/


Joke of the Weekender

What's the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing.

 

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}