The Weekender 09/06/2018

Welcome along. After a lovely sunny Saturday ride last weekend, the rest of the long weekend was very stormy, but later this week we've had some amazing blue sky days with frosty mornings. 


Sport

Super Rugby takes a break for the international window but last weekend the Crusaders out-muscled the Chiefs 34-20 for a 10-game winning streak.
Table: Crusaders* 54, Hurricanes 45, Highlanders/Lions* 40, Chiefs 37, Waratahs 35, Jaguares 34, Rebels 34, Sharks 28, Brumbies/Stormers* 25, Bulls 24, Reds 19, Blues 17, Sunwolves 10. Four NZ teams in the top five (on points). Thirteen games except for 14*.
Brad Shields has been fast-tracked into the England squad and is on the bench for the first test against South Africa.

Scott Dixon had his first win of the IndyCar season last weekend, making it four top-five finishes in the first seven races. He is second in the championship.

The White Ferns have broken the men and women's ODI highest score record. Ireland put them into bat and they scored 490-4 and they went on to a 346-run win. Captain Suzie Bates and Maddy Green struck centuries with Bates now having the most runs for NZ women.
The successful Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is standing down after six years in the role to spend more time with his family.

Ryan Fox has grabbed a spot on the US Open next week.

The All Whites beat Chinese Taipei 1-0 for their first win at the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai. They followed that up with a win over India 2-1.

Tom Walsh has won the shot put in the latest round of the Oslo Diamond League.


NZ News

Last weekend the Queens Birthday honours were announced and former Prime Minister Bill English was knighted, as did singer John Rowles, while Annabel Langbein was made an Officer of the Order of Merit for services as a food writer. 

The speedway is leaving Western Springs after 90 years, and the ground will become a cricket ground - at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Phil Goff (mayor of Auckland) has defended not giving councillors full access to a $1m "pre-feasibility" report on a potential $1.5b downtown stadium.

The teachers union is planning industrial action after the offer by the Ministry of Education fell short of their expectations. It hasn't taken long for the unions to flex their muscles with this government. 


The Numbers Game

42.7: % support for Labour in Radio NZ's "poll of polls" (average of three polls), down from 44% and showing no bounce from the budget
86: # ranking for Steven Adams in the Forbes' annual list of the world's top hundred highest-paid athletes
113: more plants classified as "threatened" - including Kauri from the die-back disease
122: reviews initiated by the government costing an estimated $114m by the opposition (those are things the now-government had 9 years to work on in opposition)
150: m from sea-level snow in Dunedin during the week
9,000: km away from NZ is South Georgia island where kiwis have led the world's biggest rodent eradication project
32,000: $ bill for taxpayers for former US President Barak Obama's three-day visit to NZ recently
1,000,000: babies that Sir Ray Avery is planning to save with his LifePod incubators
10m: $ clean up in Tolaga Bay after the recently flooding


Finance NZ Dollar

For years I've used the OANDA rates, but this week we switch to a free API service I've found to make it easier, it's now a one-click process. The price differences are from the new service from last week.
GBP 0.5250 (+0.0017)
EUR 0.5978 (-0.0008)
USD 0.7037 (+0.0053)
AUD 0.9254 (+0.0029)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Jean Batten
design of flying
http://www.nzedge.com/legends/jean-batten/


Joke of the Weekender

What's ET short for?
He's only got little legs.

 

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 02/06/2018

Welcome to June. This week has seen lovely blue sky days and frosty mornings, with the weather supposed to be packing in for the long (Queen's Birthday) weekend. 


Sport

Following up the Super Rugby from last weekend, the papers had great delight in saying that Australia's run of wins over New Zealand teams ended at one, with the Waratahs falling 39-27 to the Chiefs in an epic encounter here in Hamilton, while the Reds had a horror night with the boot to lose 15-18 to the Highlanders.
This weekend the Highlanders beat the stuttering Hurricanes 30-14 in Dunedin, while the Blues hit rock bottom with a 10-20 loss to the Melbourne Rebels, and the Chiefs are hosting the Crusaders tonight.

Last weekend the Rabbitohs powered past the Warriors 30-10.

In the kayaking World Cup 2 in Germany, World Champions Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Ryan were convincing in their K2 500m win for gold. Then Carrington paired up with Aimee Fisher to win the K2 200m and then Carrington, Ryan, Fisher and Rebecca Cole joined together to win the K4 500m.

Scott Dixon came third in the Indy 500 last weekend for his fourth podium finish at the event.
Dylan Hartley failed to finish the Monaco Grand Prix after being shunted from behind. 


NZ News

The government announced a plan to eradicate the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease with many cattle due to be culled.
Housing MP Phil Twyford just can't stay out of the news! This week at a business breakfast he commented: "If you don't want to have affordable housing or quality density housing in your neighbourhood, you go and live in Pokeno or Dairy Flat".

The Te Mata peak is a lovely spot to visit and no doubt a great place for exercise, so a while ago, Craggy Range winery got council approval and put in a zig-zag track from their side to the top. This greatly angered the local Maori who apparently the council didn't consult, and groups of protestors have since taken it out on Craggy Range. This week an agreement was reached between Craggy Range and Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi, but now Waimarama mana whenua are saying it goes against iwi agreements. 


The Numbers Game

3: % pay rises over 18 months is the governments offer to nurses - they are now considering striking with many unhappy at the offer
11.5: cent fuel tax to hit Aucklanders on 1st July after council approval, local councillors say it will hurt poor communities in South Auckland
45: % support for National in a post-budget 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, Labour on 43%, Greens down to 5%, New Zealand First below 5%
49: bus trips affected by Auckland bus drivers strike
68: % of Kiwis support the three-strikes law that the government wants to repeal
153: year old ship unearthed near the entrance to Kaipara Harbour
159: road deaths so far this year, ahead of last year at 146 with another five deaths last weekend
115,000: searches on Trademe for heaters - up 50% on the previous month
250,000: $ in benefits for a fraudster home-owner beneficiary (he owned a mortgage-free house in Auckland and a property in Paris)


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5248 (0.0060)
EUR 0.5984 (0.0062)
USD 0.6987 (0.0067)
AUD 0.9248 (0.0098)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Dick Quax
The New Zealand running legend and standing Auckland councillor passed away this week.
Alongside Sir John Walker and Rod Dixon, Dick Quax was a prominent figure in what was a golden era for New Zealand distance running in the 1970s.
Born in the Netherlands before moving to New Zealand as a boy, Quax emerged as a leading runner while attending Hamilton Boys' High School.
Best known for his run to Olympic silver in 1976, the following year Quax achieved what was arguably a more impressive feat, breaking the 5000m world record in Stockholm, in Sweden. Quax also picked up silver in the 1500m at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.


Joke of the Weekender

How did the hipster burn his mouth?
He ate the pizza before it was cool.

 

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 26/05/2018

Wow, the politics is almost worse than at election time, sigh. 


Sport

Following up Super Rugby from last weekend, the Crusaders were too strong for the Blues winning 32-24 - a win but not a thrashing, and the Sharks beat the Chiefs 28-24 with something like 30 Chiefs players out injured or on All Black rests. After two years and forty games, an Australian Super Rugby team finally beat a New Zealand team when the Waratahs won 41-12 against the Highlanders who played most of the game with 14 players. The Jaguares had their fifth win in a row with a 54-24 win over the Bulls.

This week the Crusaders who have had their own injuries and All Black's rested, still comfortably beat the Hurricanes 24-13. The Jaguares did it again beating the Sharks 29-13, while the Rebels were too good for the Sunwolves 40-13 who couldn't manage a third in a row.
There have been a few discipline problems in the NZ teams recently, last weekend Highlanders winger Tevita Nabura and Crusaders prop Owen Franks was cited with Franks suspended for two weeks. Australia has their own problems with Wallabies prop and Queensland Reds skipper James Slipper being suspended for two months for cocaine use.

George Bennett wasn't finished in the Giro d'Italia (I thought it was over), and he has faced a number of mechanical issues this week as he has dropped down to 10th overall.

Last weekend Scott Dixon was 8th fastest in Indy Cars to remain in contention for this weekends Indianapolis 500.
In the Aussie V8's there was an all kiwi podium last weekend with teammates Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin one & two, with Shane van Gisbergen picking up third.

Third-time lucky for Corey Webster, who has been given yet another shot with the NZ Breakers. There is no doubt he is talented, but hopefully, he makes the most of it this time.

Team Wellington has won the OFC Champions League after beating Lautoka 10-3 on aggregate in Oceania's premier football international club competition.

NZ Women kayakers have won four gold medals at the opening of the World Cup regatta in Hungary.


NZ News

Petrol prices have been in the news (prices below) as they head upward and there is talk that $3/L will be common soon. This seems to be based on the government's plans but doesn't include any of the upcoming government fuel taxes. The government is showing no signs that they will relent on their tax plans. 

The US Congress has been told that one of the major fundraisers for Jacinda Ardern's Labour Party "is linked to the Chinese Communist Party". There were also claims that any intelligence briefing given to former PM Bill English, was forwarded to former Chinese spy trainer, National MP Yang Jian. The US lawmakers are considering whether NZ needs to be kicked out of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance. 

Labour MP and Transport Minister Phil Twyford this week offered his resignation after he took a phone call on a plane. PM Jacinda Ardern refused the offer but he lost responsibility for Civil Aviation Authority. National has also noted that at the same time Twyford stood in the plane while the seatbelt light was on. Moving on from that (but not Twyford) this week he decided to ignore official advice to do more to use buses for Auckland transport to the Airport (saving taxpayers $2.5b), but he has rejected the idea and is pushing the light rail system.
As if that wasn't a bad enough week for Twyford, he was also reprimanded by the PM for saying Treasury Officials were "kids fresh out of university". Ironically, this week Twyford's fellow Labour MP from our area, Jamie Strange, graduated from University - so it is actually those running the country who his comments apply to.

The government has made more big calls - but without real plans, after they cancelled the Waikeria "mega-prison" but giving no decision on a back-up plan. Ironically, this week news came out that despite higher numbers in jail, the policies have been working.  The government has also been talking about repealing the three-strikes law, while National is calling on New Zealand First to stick to its principles to keep the law in place. New Zealand First had previously campaigned on the creating the law. 

The other story of the week is an ongoing feud between the National Party and the speaker of the house Trevor Mallard. Now the whole deal with the job of being the speaker is to run the parliament and to be fair. And it seems that is a bit hard for someone described as "loyal to a fault, particularly if you're part of the Labour tribe".  Earlier this month Mallard apparently heard the comment "stupid little girl" (referring to PM Jacinda Ardern) from someone in the National Party, but when he quizzed National, no one had a clue what he was talking about. National leader Simon Bridges investigated and there is no evidence from the recordings and no one in National heard or said anything like that. That didn't stop Mallard who told reporters all about it - an astonishing act for someone who is supposed to be fair. What's more, Mallard has come up with a system for punishing those who do him wrong, by docking them questions. The number of questions parties get is very important and it's the only way opposition can hold the government to account, so taking away the questions - especially for almost random things, is just wrong. The whole issue has caused a stink and National MP Paula Bennett walked out after National was docked five questions because Gerry Brownlee had the audacity to ask the Prime Minister questions. When Bennett returned Mallard made her apologise to him for a negative comment directed at him - even though she hadn't. A day later she was kicked out while Mallard threatened Hamilton MP David Bennett with being "named" (an even worse punishment) after he didn't apologise and Mallard refused to say what he should apologise for! What a bizarre situation. National is considering a no-confidence vote against the speaker. 


The Numbers Game

1: # most liveable city in the world rating for Wellington - the second year in a row
1: # most trusted brand for Whitakers again, Air NZ was third, Toyota fifth, Tip Top eighth
1.807: $/L for unleaded at the countries cheapest petrol station at Atiamuri, $2.30 up the road in Rotorua, while Great Barrier Islanders pay $3.11
6: people died on the roads last weekend within 41 hours making it the second deadliest weekend of the year
8: sperm whales died after becoming stranded on a beach in South Taranaki
27: drink drivers caught in 24 hours has disappointed Hawke's Bay Police
55.43: % of people in Whakatane voted against introducing Maori wards in a binding poll
81: m of visual clarity at times in the Te Waikoropupu Springs near Takaka according to NIWA - nearing the theoretical maximum for water of 83m
9,500: lightning strikes in the North Island with snow hitting the South Island as a very active front swept the country on Thursday/Friday
1.7m: tourists in 12 months for NZ - with about half of them going to one of our national parks
7m: $ in fines in the last year for Aucklanders using the special bus or transit lanes
49m: $ contract awarded to improve the Wellington commuter trains


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5188 (0.0072)
EUR 0.5922 (0.0066)
USD 0.6920 (0.0017)
AUD 0.9150 (-0.0041)


The Weekender NZer of the week

An Upper Hutt Roadworker
Three young boys were watching some roadworks, and an unnamed roadworker went and got three safety vests and sat the boys down on the footpath and spent time explaining to them what they were doing. Good on him.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12055399


Joke of the Weekender

I've been told I'm condescending.
(that means I talk down to 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}

The Weekender 19/05/2018

Hi, Auckland woke up to thunderstorms with hail the size of squash balls a couple of days ago.


Sport

Following up on the Crusaders win last weekend, prop Joe Moody was cited for foul play after striking Kurtley Beale in an off-ball incident and was suspended for two weeks. The Highlanders held off a late charge from the Lions to win 39-27.
This weekend the Hurricanes held on to beat the Reds 38-34 and the Sunwolves had back-to-back wins when they beat the Stormers 26-23 with kiwi Hayden Parker again playing a big role.
The Black Fern Sevens had a record 46-0 win over Australia in the final of the Canada round.
All Blacks and Highlanders flanker Elliot Dixon has signed a deal with a Japanese club. New Zealand born Irish centre Bundee Aki will lead the Barbarians against England later this month.

George Bennett has done well this week in the Giro d'Italia, improving to seventh after nine stages, and then up to sixth after the tenth stage, and held on to that spot to the end.

The Warriors returned to winning ways beating the Parramatta Eels 24-14 last night.

Scott Dixon started in 18th place at the back of the grid and fought his way through to second for a podium finish in the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Brendon Hartley finished twelfth in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hayden Paddon was airlifted to hospital after crashing in the latest round of the world rally championship in Portugal.

Tai Wesley has signed a one year deal with the NZ Breakers, while after 10 years Alex Pledger is moving to Melbourne United.


NZ News

This week was the budget. Sigh. This government inherited an economy in vastly better shape than any new Government since 1972. However, the Prime Minister has persisted with the "story" that they want to "build" and "rebuild" over time. The new government has themselves admitted that things are in good shape - so the only thing that can be gained by "rebuilding" is to do it worse. But this budget is more about dividing the pie than growing it. There doesn't seem to be anything there to stimulate business confidence, industry, investment and wages. The government announced $4.05b for health, although National leader Simon Bridges claimed National increased new health funding by more last year than the new government has done, and midwives across the country are quitting, saying they are devastated that their pay rise isn't enough, and the Maori Party are claiming overlooking Whanau Ora is a "kick in the guts". $1.93b for education but key election promises have been missed and the NZ Education Institute president said it was "just such a major disappointment" and the Tertiary Education Union president said she was "massively disappointed". $1.2b for Justice including an additional 1,800 police officers over five years, $1b for R&D Tax credits, $1b for the Provincial Growth Fund, $904m for Foreign Affairs, $100m for a 'Green Investment Fund' and $181m for DOC, and $100m for infrastructure for the America's Cup.
There are suggestions around that the coalition's credibility is being dented by Winston Peters' spending, and the opposition leader said: "Everything we did was about making the boat go faster, and they've pulled anchor". NZ First MP Shane Jones said Maori should be "on the rafters hollering with joy" about the Budget - but they aren't. It isn't clear why he thinks they should be happy but there is $37m for Maori Development, only a third what they got in 2016 & 2017.

Following on from last weeks information on the Kiwibuild fiasco, Housing Minister Phil Twyford has called Treasury officials kids "fresh out of university", claiming they have their figure wrong on the impact of Kiwibuild on residential investment. 


The Numbers Game

15: confirmed cases of the measles in the South Island
26: % increase in the public housing wait list in the last three months
39: staff of Cadbury World have lost their jobs after it was announced the cafe & shop would close with the government announcing a new hospital on the site
46: place jump in the world golf rankings for Danny Lee after a strong result at the Players Championship in Florida
1.3m: $ worth of cocaine found by Customs, being smuggled in by an American 


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5116 (-0.0028)
EUR 0.5856 (0.0018)
USD 0.6903 (-0.0063)
AUD 0.9191 (-0.0045)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Brian Barret Boyes
design of the heart
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Barratt-Boyes


Joke of the Weekender

People in Dubai don't like the Flintstones.
But people in Abu Dhabi 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}

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