April 2018

The Weekender 28/04/2018

Hello, we've had some lovely weather recently but another storm has hit with trees down, rain and lots of wind.


Sport

Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Chiefs dealt with the Reds 36-12 - extending the winning streak of NZ teams over Australian teams and the Crusaders beat the Sunwolves 33-11. This weekend the Hurricanes jumped to the top of the table with a 43-15 win over the Sunwolves. The Reds have beaten the high flying Lions but were ahead 27-0 after 53 minutes and only just won 27-22.
Brad Shields seems to have gotten a call-up to the England national team, even though he is still playing for the Hurricanes and has a contract with NZRU which doesn't allow him to play for anyone else, and England has a selection policy of only picking players playing in England. Perhaps England needs another kiwi captain since Dylan Hartley is out for a long break with injury.

The NZ Warriors came to earth with a thud being thrashed 50-10 in the annual ANZAC Day match. It was only their second loss so hopefully, they will bounce back from it.

Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder have been knocked out of the first round of the NBA playoffs by the Utah Jazz.


NZ News

A story was showing up a few times this week where an American backpacker "blasted" 'Pure New Zealand' as a myth. It's a bit of a non-story, but the funny part was someone retorting that perhaps "America, home of the free" might be questionable as well.

Columnist Matthew Hooton was forced to apologise to former National MP Steven Joyce this week, after a highly critical column where Hooton said the column "could reasonably be understood to suggest that the Hon Steven Joyce had engaged in unethical, dishonest and/or corrupt behaviour during his tenure as a Minister in the previous National Government". Hooton went on to say "Nothing in the column was intended to convey such suggestions, which would be untrue. I apologise to Mr Joyce for any harm caused as a consequence."

The outgoing Counties Manukau DHB chairman has directly contradicted Health Minister David Clark about what he was told about the state of buildings at Middlemore and what happened afterward. At a guess, it sounds like Clark just doesn't listen to anyone, and makes up his own version of the truth.


The Numbers Game

150: earthquake strengthened classrooms in 36 schools have been rebuilt by NZ's Himalayan Trust after the 2015 earthquake in Nepal
300: kg of honey fell of a truck in Northland - it was estimated to be worth about $12m
69,000: more people in NZ at the end of last month than the year before - and despite Labour & NZ First campaigning strongly on drastically cutting immigration, no one seems to care
28b: $ announced this week for Auckland's roads, described by the opposition as a re-announcement of their plans when in government, except with a road toll, regional fuel tax, and national fuel tax.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5108 (-0.0034)
EUR 0.5837 (-0.0030)
USD 0.7065 (-0.0157)
AUD 0.9344 (-0.0046)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sylvia Ashton-Warner
In total Ashton-Warner published five novels, two books of short stories, two autobiographies and two non-fictional accounts of her educational theory.
https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/6a1/ashton-warner-sylvia-constance


Joke of the Weekender

Have you heard about those new corduroy pillows? They're making headlines.

 

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 21/04/2018

Hello, I hope you are having a great weekend.


Sport

Go the Warriors. After dropping a game last weekend, all eyes were on them this weekend as they took on the top of the table Dragons. However, St George-Illawarra were no match for the well-performing Warriors who picked up a 20-12 win even without Shaun Johnson. The Warriors aren't leading the NRL table (yet) due to points differential, but they are right up there.
Benji Marshall played a big hand in the Tigers win last weekend as he aims for a Kiwis recall.

Back to the Commonwealth Games. The Tall Ferns took out bronze, while squash pair Joelle King and Paul Coll both got another medal getting bronze in the mixed doubles, then Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy got gold in the women's doubles. The Black Sticks women won gold and the Black Sticks men got silver. The Tall Black got bronze as well after their shock semi-final loss to Canada. Then in one of the final acts of the games, the Women's Sevens team won gold against Australia, after Australia was looking very like snatching the game. And the All Blacks Sevens (men's team) had the measure of Fiji for a good win for gold.
In the end, NZ finished fifth on the table with 15 golds, 16 silver, and 15 bronze.

Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Brumbies played well until the final quarter against the Highlanders, with the Highlanders running out to 43-17 winners.
This weekend the Highlanders beat the Blues 34-16 and the Crusaders are currently leading the Sunwolves 14-8.

The Wellington Phoenix ended a terrible season with a 2-1 win over City, and with that, managed to avoid finishing at bottom of the table.

Scott McLaughlin moved back into the Championship lead for the Aussie V8's with a win at Phillip Island.


NZ News

The government has put together a bizarre group of people to be the group consulted on New Zealand's intelligence and security issues. They include tin-hat wearing journalist and author Nicky Hager and Ahmed Zaoui's lawyer Deborah Manning.

The Health Minister has been caught out complaining he wasn't fully informed about Middlemore leady buildings, but this week an email came out showing he was properly briefed.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had a busy week meeting with Commonwealth leaders and also the Five Eyes intelligence group.


The Numbers Game

11: days without power for some Auckland houses - well only five left now, but still
43: % support for Labour after a 5% drop, and back below National on 44% - is the honeymoon over? Greens 6%, NZ First 5%
75: groups are now advising the government according to National's tally of inquiries, reference and working groups for the first six months of office
173: people died from Polio in 1925 - the worst year
1,222: female principals in NZ schools - finally overtake the 1,139 male principals for the first time
1,500: freshwater monitoring sites show that for every monitored parameter, more sites are showing evidence of improving water quality than degrading
430,000: rides on Auckland cycleways last month, more than ever before, up 13.5% on the previous year
1.27m: $ in fines for breaching the Auckland bus lanes


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5142 (-0.0028)
EUR 0.5867 (-0.0108)
USD 0.7222 (-0.0145)
AUD 0.9390 (-0.0082)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Ivan Mauger

The New Zealander described as the best motorcycle speedway rider ever, Ivan Mauger, has died aged 78.

Mauger was a speedway legend and was the holder of six individual world championship titles between 1968 and 1979.

https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/355193/speedway-champion-ivan-mauge...


Joke of the Weekender

Two men meet on opposite sides of a river. One shouts to the other "I need you to help me get to the other side!"

The other guy replies "You are on the other side!"

 

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 14/07/2018

Hello, winter really hit us this week.


Sport

It has been a big week with the Commonwealth Games, so let's get to it. Bronze in the triathlon mixed relay, Sophie Pascoe won the para-swimming 200m individual medley. Sam Webster won his second gold in the men's sprint, Campbell Stewart got silver in the scratch race and Emma Cumming got bronze in the women's time trial. Alana Barber got silver in the 20km walking race. Tom Walsh smashed the Commonwealth Games shot put record and won gold but he missed out on the world record. Eddie Dawkins got silver for the men's time trial, Natasha Hansen got bronze in the women's Keiran. Cambell Stewart got a second silver in the men's points race, and Lawn bowler Jo Edwards defended her Commonwealth gold medal. Joelle King won gold in squash with Paul Coll taking silver in the men's event. David Liti got gold in weightlifting in the 105kg+ category. Sophie Pascoe won her second gold in the 100m breaststroke. Para-athlete Holly Robinson got silver in the women's javelin, as did Linda Villumsen in cycling's road time trial. Olympic rower Hamish Bond got bronze in the individual time trial, and Julia Ratcliff got gold in the hammer throw. Sam Gaze controversially won the men's mountain bike, after he accused his NZ teammate (Anton Cooper who got silver) of bad sportsmanship. Brothers Sam & Ben O'Dea got bronze in beach volleyball. Eliza McCartney got silver in the pole vault and Dame Valerie Adams got silver in the women's shot put. Georgia Williams got silver in the women's road race and David Nyika won the boxing over an Australian when the large contingent of New Zealand supporters drowned out the home crowd Aussies. The Black Sticks women beat Australia 4-1 in the final to take gold.
New Zealand is currently 6th on the table with 12 golds, 15 silver and 13 bronze.

On to Super Rugby. Last weekend the Chiefs just managed a win over the Blues with a late penalty try 21-19, the Crusaders beat the Jaguares 40-14. This weekend the Hurricanes beat the Chiefs 25-13.

Last weekend the Warriors continued their unbeaten run with a win over North Queensland 22-12 for the fifth win in a row. But this weekend their run ended with a 27-18 defeat to the Brisbane Broncos.

In cricket's IPL, Ish Sodhi has been picked up as an injury replacement for the Rajasthan Royals.


News

It would almost be nice to have a quiet week in politics - you know, nothing long term damaging to New Zealand, but still we roll on.
This week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed the Radio New Zealand matter is at an end - at least she probably hopes people stop talking about it.
The government found some serious issues with buildings at Middlemore Hospital and blamed it squarely on the previous government, who hit back saying it hadn't been brought to the attention of the government. But it seems that was just a smoke screen for the Prime Minister to give a gloomy warning for the upcoming budget, saying the state of schools and hospitals is much worse than expected. That is rubbish (i.e. Middlemore spent millions on unnecessary rubbish, ignoring their own buildings) and is just an excuse for them because they promised soo much spending during the election campaigning.
But that wasn't all, PM Jacinda Ardern announced this week an end to oil exploration which National will overturn if elected in 2020 and says is a wrecking ball for regional New Zealand - especially Taranaki businesses who were pleading with the PM to "work with us, not against us", and the oil & gas industry also urged for talks with the government, as there has been no direct consultation. The New Plymouth mayor said it was a "kick in the guts", while commentators say the government is basically putting up a "Not Welcome" sign to foreign investment. The issue isn't what they did, but how they did it, without any consultation, different to Labour's energy manifesto, and putting at risk 11,000 jobs - most of them in Taranaki.


The Numbers Game

4: degC overnight temperature for Dunedin for the coldest night of the year so far
15: cm snow at Turoa as Mt Ruapehu has its first significant dump of snow
50: years since the Wahine Disaster this week, commemorations in Wellington
60: years ago Ettie & Bill Deverall moved to a seaside village north of Wellington being told that Transmission Gully would soon be complete, she died earlier this month before the road was completed - but at least it has been started now
74.4: % of Maori Year 12 students achieved NCEA Level 2, up from 51.6% (in 2008?)
80.7: % of Year 12 Pacific Island students are achieving NCEA Level 2 (up from 50.5% in 2008), almost equal to Pakeha students at 84.5%
216: km/h gusts of wind on the Manukau Heads
5,000: Aucklanders still without power from the storm at the start of the week
55,000: Aucklanders were without power for over 24 hours
79,000: $ paid for a Bansky print at an auction in Auckland


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5170 (0.0000)
EUR 0.5975 (0.0052)
USD 0.7367 (0.0106)
AUD 0.9472 (0.0017)


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

Knock Knock
Who's There?
Dishes
Dishes Who?
Dishes Sean Connery.

 

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 07/04/2018

Welcome back, I took an Easter break last weekend so there is a bit to catch up on.


Sport

In Super Rugby, the Hurricanes had a very lucky one point win over the Sharks with a converted try in the 85th minute.
Last weekend the Crusaders beat the Lions 14-8 for a narrow away win, while the Blues were thrashed 40-63 at home by the Sharks. Ben Lam has been putting in some fantastic performances for the Hurricanes and last weekend he picked up four tries as the Hurricanes thrashed the top of the Australian table Rebels 19-50. The Chiefs beat the Highlanders 27-22 and the week before they thrashed the Sunwolves 10-61.

Last weekend the Warriors continued their unbeaten run with a good 30-6 win over the much fancied Roosters. They weren't actually top of the table but they were second. Two weeks ago the Warriors had a comeback 20-19 win over the Raiders.

The Commonwealth Games is underway in Queensland and we've already got a few medals. Bronze in the triathlon mixed team relay, the men's individual cycling pursuit, and in the 400m medley and a silver in the women's individual pursuit and women's team pursuit

So the cricket has been interesting. In the first test, after bowling England out for 58, NZ went on to 427/8 declared and then bowled England out for 350 to win by an innings and 49 runs. The second wasn't as easy with England putting on 307 for the first innings, NZ made 278, then England made 352/9 declared with a bit of time on the fourth day. NZ didn't lose a wicket on the fourth day finishing at 42/0 and looking good. Day five started with two wickets in the first two balls. Kane Williamson got his first test golden duck. The wickets continued to flow with huge pressure from England and we went to tea at 191/6 with opener Latham out on 83. Colin de Grandhomme did alright but the standout "batsmen" were Ish Sodhi who got 56 off 168 runs, and Neil Wagner who scored 7 runs, including a four, off 103 balls. The rear-guard action drew the test match resulting in New Zealand winning their first test series over England since about 1990. The win resulted in NZ (3rd) jumping Australia in the ICC test rankings.

In the cricket awards the following night, Trent Boult picked up the player of the year award.

In boxing, Anthony Joshua beat Kiwi Joseph Parker by a unanimous points decision in the unifying heavyweight fight last weekend. However, in the undercard fight, Kiwi Mose Auimatagi JR pulled off a stunning win.


NZ News

I'm really not sure if I have time to document all the bad moves the government (or MP's thereof) made in the last couple of weeks. An NZ First MP tried to bully a National MP out of a project, threatening funding for the project. The government couldn't find (or wouldn't tell) who ordered the NZ First MP to pass on the message. Then the broadcasting minister met with senior Radio NZ employee Carol Hirschfeld, who then resigned while everyone tries to figure out what dodgy dealing went on. The MP said the meeting wasn't planned but everyone found out it was. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could have fired her MP, but hasn't, and has had to continually defender her over the past couple of weeks.
And it continues with even left-leaning commentators writing articles with headlines like "Labour looks like a general in control of a mutiny".

There is more. We became an international laughing stock when the Prime Minister and her deputy Winston Peters refused to expel the Russian diplomats like all of our allies, saying there were no spies in NZ. But then the NZSIS said there is Russian intelligence activity in NZ, but they still haven't done anything. And I guess maybe they thought the weeks couldn't get any worse so they announced their transport plan, including a fuel tax hike of 20c per litre. Not surprisingly motorways are out and public transport is in. Then the PM spent the next few days explaining how the new tax, wasn't a new tax so didn't breach her pre-election promise of "no new taxes" in her first term. And that prompted headlines like "How Labour just lost the 2020 election". Oh and the tax doesn't include GST.

The MPI battle against Myrtle rust appears to have been lost with it being found in the South Island.


The Numbers Game

2.1: % daily smoking rate for Year 10 students, a record low, but double at 5.3% for Maori students
6: dead on the roads over Easter
7: flights had delayed landing because of a drone in the airspace
32: fatal crashes over the last three years were due to worn tyre tread
32: degC temperatures in Hawke's Bay for Autumn temperatures
20,000: people affected by a power outage in Napier
50,000: cars recalled with the potentially fatal Takata airbags
72,300: permanent net gain in migration for a seventh-year increase despite the Governments efforts to restrict migration


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5170 (0.0056)
EUR 0.5923 (0.0061)
USD 0.7261 (0.0031)
AUD 0.9455 (0.0099)


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

What do the movies Titanic and the Sixth Sense have in common?

Icy dead people.

 

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}