September 2018

The Weekender 29/09/2018

Welcome along, the weather here continues to be up and down. There have been recent snow storms down south but some beautiful days. Don't forget if you are contacting people in NZ, that tonight we switch to daylight savings time - spring forward 1 hour. 


Sport

The All Blacks take on the Pumas at home around 11:30 am Sunday morning. The Pumas are playing well but I suspect the All Blacks will want to bounce back from the loss to South Africa and tie up the Rugby Championship title. We all know the All Blacks don't like losing, but in general, I haven't heard anything negative about the All Blacks loss the other weekend. Most comments have been that it was good for the game.
Tony Brown has been confirmed as the coach for the Sunwolves after Jamie Joseph stepped down to focus on the Japanese national team.
In the NPC Auckland had won six in a row but were upset by Championship low-flyers Otago 31-26 last night. Waikato has so far continued to retain the Ranfurly Shield with a challenge by Southland this afternoon where Waikato won 42-11.

The Silver Ferns may have lost 60-55 to Australia but they had a good game and showed they are getting back on track.

The NZ Under-16 men's football team have defended their OFC title beating the Solomon Islands 5-4 in a shoot-out.

Cyclist Patrick Bevan picked up a bronze as part of the American BMC racing team who finished third at the men's team time trial at the World Road Champs in Austria. He then picked up eighth in the men's individual time trial.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has become the first Warrior and the third Kiwi to win the Dally M medal.
The NRL proved they have double standards when they allowed legend Billy Slater to play in Sunday's NRL Grand Final after he did a blatant shoulder charge in the previous game. I think the results would have been different had it been a Warriors player doing the same thing.

Former Black Cap Jeetan Patel has led his English county side Warwickshire to the division two championship title.


NZ News

Government officials announced this week that their estimated cost to NZ of banning new offshore oil and gas exploration will be $7.9b. The opposition has labelled it an economic wrecking ball through regional New Zealand.
The opposition hasn't held back as Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters takes over again with Jacinda Ardern in New York for the week, but Winston Peters has conveniently forgotten details after National questioned who invited him to the celebration of under-fire Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha last year. I think the basic idea is that he's dodgy and he got the job because of a connection to NZ First and perhaps even as part of the secret coalition agreement, and National are trying to confirm the links. But it's a bit hard to get past an "I have no recollection of the events" defence. Peters also provided phone details to show he didn't make calls that had been suggested - but the official channels to get the lists of calls hadn't been used, so something seriously dodgy went on there.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had to insist that she didn't mislead parliament over contact with Derek Handley, while Grant Robertson was forced to correct an answer he gave in parliament when he was given advice from Clare Curran which didn't fully disclose her email exchanges with Handley. Now the government has released a large bunch of documents related to the failed appointment and it clearly shows that the Prime Minister and her staff were more closely involved in the appointment than they've ever admitted. We've also found there were "What's App" messages which the government seems to have tried to hide. One point of correction was that Derek Handley had already planned to move his family back to NZ, so it wasn't just for the job.
The electoral freedom in NZ might be taking a hit in the next release of the index after the organisation in charge of it noted that the government's so-called "Waka jumping bill" would be a negative if it was adopted. Later on, in the week, it was.

Primary Teachers and Principals have rejected the government's latest offer of settlement after a secret online ballot.

The mass illness at schools in Carterton last week, was most likely caused by nearby compost. 


The Numbers Game

2.40: $/L for petrol in some places as Auckland regional petrol tax and other increases start to hit
30: kph speed limit is being proposed for Auckland CBD
300: m (snow down to) this week in the South Island
518: people murdered in NZ over the last 11 years - with the rate dropping
29,000: $ from a new speed camera at a Bay of Plenty hot spot in its first month of operation
320,000: $ live savings lost by a Canterbury person through an online bitcoin/cryptocurrencies scam
1.6m: $ spent by the government on the two-day Criminal Justice Summit and it seems to be climbing - almost $1m spent on consultants alone
2.6m: $ in fines from the countries most 'productive' speed camera in Northland - if only there was a way that people could avoid getting caught!


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5080 (-0.0033)
EUR 0.5695 (+0.0014)
USD 0.6619 (-0.0068)
AUD 0.9162 (-0.0012)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Kyle Mulinder was out kayaking off the coast of Kaikoura and really was just in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time when a seal popped up, with an octopus and slapped him in the face with it. Hilarious. 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12132621 


Joke of the Weekender

Don’t you hate it when someone answers their own questions? I do.

 

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 22/09/2018

Hello, we are getting some great spring weather with another couple of nice days for the weekend. 


Sport

Following up on last weekend's Rugby Championship, the Pumas put on a good showing to beat Australia at home for the first time in 35 years winning 23-19.
Former Waikato lad, John Mitchell, has joined the coaching staff for England's national rugby team as defensive coach through until after the Rugby World Cup next year. And Jamie Joseph is stepping down as the Sunwolves coach in 2019.

Scott Dixon came second at the final IndyCar race of the season to take out the championship for the fifth time. He leaps ahead of the other winners with only one other person who has won more championships.
Haydon Paddon had his first podium finish of the World Rally Championship season with a third in Turkey.

Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb has won silver at the world games final in Japan.

The Tall Blacks beat Lebanon 63-60 in Rotorua during the week.

The Silver Ferns bounced back for their first win with Noeline Taurua as the coach, beating South Africa 61-37.

The Warriors Women have missed out on a spot in the NRL Women's final after they were beaten 32-10 by the Brisbane Broncos.


NZ News

Last Sunday the leaders of the three parties in Government presented a united front to tell everyone the government is not "dysfunction junction" - but really the fact they feel that they need to have a pointless meeting to tell everyone that, says it all. Winston Peters has put down his foot about what people even call the government, and now all MP's are referring to it as the "coalition government". It seems Peters didn't like it being called the "Labour-led government" and now Labour MP's are forbidden to say those words.
The government has been making a habit of releasing bad news on Friday's hoping everyone will forget about it over the weekend.
The government has also made more of a hash of the 'open government' idea a couple of times this week. Firstly PM Jacinda Ardern has been purposely evasive again, this time being pulled up because she said she'd had no communication with Derek Handley about the CTO role, but it was found that he had texted her about it. It's true she didn't respond, so technically she was correct, but she was trying to hide it. The other issue was when Cabinet authorised the release of some information but it was withheld anyway.
The Prime Minister made an error during the week when she was asked on the radio if she had seen the GDP numbers, she said she had got a hint and was pretty pleased. Based on that the NZ Dollar rose, but later on, she claimed she was talking about something else. It a pretty economically dangerous thing for a Prime Minister to do!
The final bad news for the Labour-led government (that's for you Winston), was that MP Meka Whaitiri lost her portfolio because of allegations over a fracas with one of her staff. Labour was aiming for having 50% women in cabinet and didn't get close, but two that they picked have now had to be dropped.

National leader Simon Bridges had something to say when he read a leaked document on the Government's work programme and achievements to date, pointing out that it was nothing more than "nice words on paper". He said it's "no wonder they wanted to keep it a secret". They have high-level indicators for success but nothing for measuring progress after dumping the previous government's "Better Public Service" targets, which were detailed measures of progress.

Authorities are hunting for the cause after 10 school children in Carterton got sick on Friday afternoon. It was initially claimed that a plane flew over and must have sprayed pesticide on two schools, and over 100 people were decontaminated, but the plane theory has almost certainly been ruled out.

The final news of the week was from Massey University, where you may remember a Don Brash talk was shut down supposedly due to security concerns. This week emails came to light proving that the Vice-Chancellor had spent a few weeks trying to find a way to stop the talks before coming up with the "security concerns" the day before. Obviously Don Brash has called for her to be sacked - along with anyone who believes in free speech, and even some of her staff. 


The Numbers Game

10: times that NZ Police fired guns in 2017 - and Tasers were used in only 26% of incidents requiring force
40: winners of Lotto's division one resulted in only $25,000 each - the largest number of winners for a single draw
44: % of NZ homes have Smart TV's - only second in the world to South Korea
60: year old Ngaruawahia Police station is being rebuilt
91: % of Tauranga residents surveyed rated their quality of life between good and extremely good - higher than any other major city in NZ
110: th birthday for Linda Wiggins this week in Stratford
1,500: refugee quota by 2020
9,040: of the Defence Force's new rifles will get replacement firing pins after some broke


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5113 (+0.0101)
EUR 0.5681 (+0.0051)
USD 0.6686 (+0.0136)
AUD 0.9174 (+0.0014)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Don Clarke
design of goal-kicking
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Clarke
He was best known for his phenomenal goal kicking ability that earned him the nickname "The Boot".


Joke of the Weekender

I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner as all it was doing was gathering dust.

 

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 15/09/2018

Hi, welcome along. I'll keep this until after the game tonight. 


Sport

Well, so much for not sending this until after the All Black match to pronounce the Rugby Championship winners! ha. South Africa held on to beat the All Blacks 36-34 in Wellington for their first win in NZ in nine years. It seems like Beauden Barrett didn't have such a good night, we got six tries and only two conversions!

Last weekend the Wallabies snapped their losing streak with a 23-18 win over the Springboks - and provided some relief to coach Michael Cheika who had been hearing a bit more chatter about losing his job. The Boks have not been having a good time touring with their coach sounding like he might resign if the Boks don't beat the All Blacks tonight in Wellington.
In NPC rugby - WE WON THE SHIELD! On Sunday night for their third game in 10 days, Waikato put on a good performance and ended Taranaki's Ranfurly Shield reign for the third-straight time in a 33-19 win. Then three days later they defended the shield against the Magpies to avoid setting a new record for the shortest reign.
In other rugby news, Ma'a Nonu is returning to the Blues for the 2019 season.

The NZ Warrior Women had their first NRL game last weekend came away with a 10-4 win over the Sydney Roosters women. It was the first-ever game for the NRL Women's competition.

It has been a big week for the Silver Ferns with the popular announcements of Noeline Taurua as coach and Laura Langman as captain and their first game this afternoon, but England still won 52-39 in the Quad Series opener.

Nick Voke claimed his first professional golf victory on the PGA Tour of China.

Nick Willis has finished second in the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York this week.


NZ News

There was a protest against the use of 1080 on the steps of parliament this week with a bunch of birds the protesters claimed were killed by 1080 with fake 1080 put into their mouths. Just to be clear, all the scientific evidence shows that although most people don't want to use poison, 1080 is a safe solution that basically saves our forest and native wild-life from uncontrolled possum, rats and stoats. 
So anyway, it quickly became clear to those who know, that the birds hadn't died by 1080 but by blunt force trauma with the suggestion by the speaker of the house that they were bludgeoned to death. So he laid a complaint to police, and the protesters quickly backed down with their claim, saying they had picked up some birds off the road.

Winston Peters needs to be forgiven for a bit of old-age-forgetfulness perhaps (although he chose to be in government) when he blamed a memory lapse after he claimed all his New Zealand First MP's had signed a clause with a $300,000 penalty if they resigned from the party. It turns out none of the MP's had signed it. That was pretty significant because New Zealand First MP's didn't declare a financial interest in the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill, so if they did sign then they would have breached Standing Orders. It sounds like they were covering up a mistake by back-peddling.

The government's mess from Clare Currin continued this week after it became public that the government was paying millionaire Derek Handley $107,500 for ... doing nothing. He was hired to be the countries first chief technology officer, but then they withdrew the offer but still had to pay him for 3-months work. It's not often I would feel sorry for someone getting that much money for doing nothing - especially paid by the taxpayer, but in this case, I do, because after getting the job, he moved his family from New York, back to New Zealand. A huge horrible mess by the government!


The Numbers Game

6.8: Richter scale earthquake in the Kermadec Islands resulted in a cluster of small earthquakes around New Zealand
1.5m: $ spent by the Government for a criminal justice summit that was budgeted at $700,000 - $2,142 per person
3.11m: $ spent by the Government on two two-day education summits in May


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5012 (-0.0047)
EUR 0.5630 (-0.0019)
USD 0.6550 (+0.0013)
AUD 0.9160 (-0.0036)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Bob Charles
design of golf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Charles_(golfer)


Joke of the Weekender

I went to the doctor and he said: "don't eat anything fatty."
I asked "No bacon? No burgers?!"
To which he replied "No fatty, just don't eat anything! "

 

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 08/09/2017

Welcome along. The wet week has cleared for a perfect spring Saturday.


Sport

International rugby has returned to the birthplace of rugby in New Zealand for the first time in 148 years. Trafalgar Park in Nelson is just a few blocks from the Botanics where the first game was played in 1870. Tonight the All Blacks take on the Pumas. The All Black's came away with the win 46-24, but picked up a few early injuries. Not a perfect game but good considering a few young faces.

The NPC continues with Otago staging a comeback to edge Northland 27-23 for their second consecutive win. Waikato had their first win with a 43-31 mid-week win over Wellington. Canterbury continued their form with a 34-23 win over Manawatu and Auckland beat Tasman 36-10. Today Southland lost 26-43 to Counties-Manukau and Hawkes Bay lost 8-13 to Bay of Plenty.

As the NZ Warriors contemplate playing finals footy for the first time in seven years, they announced captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as the player of the year for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, their season ended tonight, beaten 27-12 by the Penrith Panthers.

Scott Dixon extended his championship lead in the penultimate race of the season, but he still has to do well in the final race. He got caught up in an accident but remained mostly unscathed and powered on to a fifth.

Nelson cyclist George Bennett climbed into the top 10 after the ninth stage of the Vuelta a Espana.
Over in Britain, Patrick Bevan took the overall lead after three stages of the Tour of Britain.

Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has had her European season cut short after sustaining a heel injury.


NZ News

Another ... interesting ... week for the government. It kicked off with NZ First leader, Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, giving his views on NZ's refugee quota - however, those views were in stark contrast to Labour's views. Then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had to say that it was clearly the intention of the Labour Party to increase to 1,500 refugees - the Labour Party but not the government! Then news came to light that given the Prime Minister's baby isn't immunised for Nauru, she was taking a personal Air Force flight to the island on Wednesday morning, the flight then had to return to NZ, and then was heading back to the Island to pick her up later that day. Finance Minister Grant Robertson was forced to defend the $80,000 it cost us.

The week got worse when the government announced massive new funding for parliamentary support. National called it a cash grab, and it was certainly in contrast to the wage freeze idea. However, a private group holding the government to account launched a full-scale information campaign and the government quickly backed down saying they would not be implementing the recommendations of the independent report.
The week continued downhill with under-fire Minister Clare Curran questioned on her use of a private Gmail account for government business. She shouldn't have done it and neither should her National Party predecessors - something like that would never be tolerated in any business I've worked in, I can't understand anyone who thinks it's a good idea. Anyway, on Friday she resigned claiming the relentless pressure she had been under was the cause - nothing to do with her continued mistakes! In a weird exchange, the Prime Minister told two radio stations she was not going to fire Clare Curran when she had already privately accepted her resignation. Factually correct, but very far from the open government they promised during the election.

Marama Fox has resigned as co-leader of the Maori Party after the consultancy company she set up a year ago went into liquidation. 


The Numbers Game

7: people facing charges of horse race-fixing have been banned from every racecourse in the country
13: people died on the road in another horror week on the roads
18: houses built by the Government's great KiwiBuild programme in a year - 99,982 to go
93.8: mm of rain for Napier - two months worth of rain in 72 hours
9,000: people were killed 100-years-ago by influenza - The Great Flu


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5059 (-0.0046)
EUR 0.5649 (-0.0045)
USD 0.6537 (-0.0080)
AUD 0.9195 (-0.0006)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Paul Callaghan
design of nanotechnology
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Callaghan


Joke of the Weekender

I’ve just written a song about tortillas; actually, it’s more of a rap.

 

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 01/09/2018

Welcome to spring! Today was a great spring day - a lovely day for a family ride. 


Sport

Following up on the rugby last weekend, even after a week, it was still a great game by Beauden Barrett. But anyway, the Puma's also had a good game, building on a solid showing their first-up loss to the Springboks. This time the Puma's had the home advantage and made the most of it beating the Springboks 32-19 denting the Boks plan.

Shane van Gisbergen continued his run of form with another win, making inroads to Scott McLaughlin's series lead.
Scott Dixon finished with a third in the latest IndyCar round and has a lead of 26 points in the championship with two races to go.

The NZ Warriors finished the NRL regular season with a gritty 20-16 win over Canberra to put the icing on the cake of Simon Mannering's 300th game - he was the first Warrior to reach the milestone.

NZ won three silvers in one hour at the Canoe Spring World Champs, followed up with a gold for Lisa Carrington winning her sixth successive K1 200m title.

Lydia Ko finished tied for eighth at the Canadian Open in Saskatchewan.

George Bennett finished fifth on stage two of the Vuelta a Espana (the Spanish cycling tour), and then improved four places to be 13th overall after stage four.

Netball NZ announced this week their new coach Noeline Taurua.

Tom Walsh won the shotput Diamond League final in Zurich winning $75,000. 


NZ News

Immigration NZ was forced to stop deporting all except the riskiest immigrants after they blew the budget and ran out of money earlier this year.

The government has had a rough week with PM Jacinda Ardern refusing to release the Austen report into the allegations of sexual assault at the Young Labour summer camp. The government seems to be trying their hardest to be less and less open. One of the victims spoke up slamming the lack of transparency and even former PM Helen Clark weighed in saying she would have done things differently.
This week has had pressure over the Clare Curran incident after she only got a slap on the wrist for her second serious offence but during the week MP Meka Whaitiri was stood down while there is an investigation into an alleged altercation with a staff member. It came to light that her office has had a high staff turnover in the last 10 months and she is considered difficult to work with.
This week on Tuesday the Prime Minister announced a proposal aiming to improve business confidence. It was a new group to advise her and the champion for small business was announced as Air New Zealand Chairman Christopher Luxon - not quite the "small" business champion that many had hoped for. And then ANZ released a business outlook saying that business confidence fell a further 5 points in August. So the government continues to claim there is no problem (ignoring the facts) - and if there is they can fix it with a working group. 


The Numbers Game

6: died and 13 injured on the roads in 32 hours
62: years after he died, SAS soldier Adrian Raymond Thomas has been brought back to NZ from Malaysia
430: homeowners are being forced to reapply after the Auckland Council mucked up their consents
2,300: firearm-related offences recorded by the police in the last five and a half years
16b: $ transport package unveiled by Transport Minister Phil Twyford, including $4b for road safety 


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5105 (-0.0097)
EUR 0.5694 (-0.0050)
USD 0.6617 (-0.0065)
AUD 0.9202 (+0.0080) 


The Weekender NZer of the week

Robert Burchfield
Dr Robert Burchfield was a world-renowned scholar. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “the greatest living lexicographer”, he played a crucial role in the study of the sources and development of the English language.
Born in Wanganui, New Zealand, in 1923, he was educated at Victoria University College, Wellington and then at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. At Magdalen College, Oxford, he studied under C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Burchfield was enthralled:
“There I was … talking to world-famous people. And I had the privilege of just talking to them, hearing their reaction to what I was saying. I knew I had arrived in some sort of paradise.”http://www.nzedge.com/legends/robert-burchfield/


Joke of the Weekender

I woke up this morning and forgot which side the sun rises from, then it dawned on me.

 

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}