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}

The Weekender 12/05/2018

After a nice week, heavy rain and strong winds have been forecast for the country over the weekend. 


Sport

Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Hurricanes beat the Lions 28-19 with a Ben Lam hat-trick - he is certainly playing well. The Highlanders were given a lesson by the Sharks, trashed in Durban 38-12, while the Blues upset the Waratahs 24-21 - this was the 38th defeat of an Australian Super Rugby team by a New Zealand Super Rugby team and the worst NZ team against the best Australian team. 
This weekend the Hurricanes continued their roll with a 36-15 win over the Auckland Blues despite Sonny Bill Williams being back from injury. The Waratahs talked up their backline ahead of their game against the Crusaders (!) and maybe they were right as they shot out to a 0-29 lead in the first half hour. But the Crusader put on 31 unanswered points to win 31-29. The Sunwolves thrashed the Reds 63-28 with Kiwi Hayden Parker scoring 24 of their 29 first-half points.
In other news, New Zealand Rugby has cleared Brad Shields to play for England in next months tour. While Ryan Crotty and Scott Barrett have re-signed with New Zealand Rugby.

Last weekend the Warriors had another good game beating the Tigers 26-4, but this weekend they aren't doing so well. Update: The Roosters ran away with the game 32-0.

Lydia Ko continued her good form finishing eighth at the LPGA Texas Classic. And Danny Lee has shot up the leaderboard to be tied for second at the unofficial fifth major - the Players Championship.

Kiwi Ironman Trent Bozzone continued his unbeaten 2018 season with his fourth win at Ironman 70.3 in Western Australia.

Kiwi George Bennett finished fourth in the sixth leg of the Giro d'Italia to move into ninth spot overall.

New Zealand Football has claimed a world first by announcing pay parity between the All Whites and the Football Ferns. That is huge news - who knew they actually paid the players!

Scott McLaughlin is building a lead in the Aussie V8's after winning the first race in Perth for his third in a row and then producing what may be the greatest drive of his career coming from 19th to win the second race. Scott is on 1247 point, ahead of fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen on 1089 points with Fabian Coulthard back in ninth on 809 points.


NZ News

The government has been digging holes for themselves this week, firstly by saying that overstayers and illegal migrants might be allowed to stay in NZ if they have construction skills, as the government looks toward their election promise of 100,000 new houses. Labour made the promise to build over 10 years, including $500,000 1-bedroom houses, and 2 and 3 bedroom houses up to $600,000. However, they obviously didn't do their homework in their nine years of opposition and now a three-bedroom house will cost $650,000. But the real crazy thing was Housing Minister Phil Twyford gave wrong numbers in an interview about how much the houses were to cost. Then he said he rejected a National claim that Labour has also lifted the price of its smaller houses, saying he misspoke during a TV appearance this morning. So he misspoke and then managed to blame the result on National? But it turns out the government is looking to use "public partnerships" i.e. they are going to claim a large number of houses that were going to be built anyway, and their great plan will be irrelevant - except for any political points they get out of it.
The government has stepped in after a loophole saw a widowed father denied paid parental leave after his wife died in childbirth. The government gave him a one-off ex gratia payment.
The government has said that Aucklanders could be using two light-rail networks across the city within six years - but that will depend on who is in power in three years time.

Auckland has had some transport problems this week after the Britomart station was shut down after a train derailed, and fog hit Auckland Airport with over 60 regional flights grounded. 


The Numbers Game

290: farms now under regulatory control for Mycoplasma bovis - a jump from 130 in the last week
1,200: person kiwifruit labour shortage
23,000: people are diagnosed with cancer every year, with 9,500 dying to be 31% of deaths - our biggest killer
100,000: $ given to charity KidsCan by the Waikato-Tainui iwi


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5144 (-0.0035)
EUR 0.5838 (-0.0028)
USD 0.6966 (-0.0053)
AUD 0.9236 (-0.0081)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Margaret Brimble 
The first New Zealand woman to be elected fellow of Royal Society of London
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12048240


Joke of the Weekender

A guy walks into a bar and orders a fruit punch.
The bartender says "Pal, if you want a punch you'll have to stand in line." The guy looks around, but there is no punch line.

 

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 05/05/2018

We finished the week with some lovely blue sky autumn days but the week started with a thunderstorm watch for Northland and Auckland.


Sport

Last weekend the Highlanders pulled out a last-gasp 29-28 win over the Bulls, and the Crusaders beat the Brumbies 21-8 with an ACT winger getting a five-week ban for a high shot on Israel Dagg.
This week the Crusaders crushed the Rebels 55-10 to extend the winning streak of NZ teams over Australian teams - but the Waratahs are playing the Blues this weekend so all bets are off. The Jaguares continued their red-hot run with a 23-19 win over the Chiefs. Things did not go well for Chiefs with questionable decisions and the just couldn't pull anything off.

Lydia Ko won last weekends round of the LPGA - her first win since 2016.

Kane Williamson has led his IPL team to the top of the table with a man of the match performance.

Brendon Hartley finished in the points in Formula One for the first time, when he finished 10th in a crash-strewn Azerbaijan Grand Prix. The last NZer in points in Formula One was the late Chris Amon in 1976.

Despite lots of talk for alternatives, the NZ Warriors club has been sold to their original owners - Auckland Rugby League.

NZ Sailors got Gold, Silver & Bronze at the World Cup regatta in Hyeres.


NZ News

The government has pulled out of cheaper doctors visits, saying coalition funding pressures, saying they will be phased in over time. The two massive Auckland roading projects announced last week are not timed for six or seven years - that's two election wins away.
On the ongoing "it's not a new tax because we promised no new taxes" - but really it is, the Government announced the so-called "Amazon tax", for taxing all low-value online purchases from overseas. Hamilton has joined Christchurch in putting it's hand up for a regional fuel tax of 11.5 cents.

But the biggest news of the week was a huge foot in the mouth for whoever is running the media side of the Labour Party. It seems they have orchestrated the Police Commissioner coming out with a statement that they were not investigating PM Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford. Now a couple of things. The first was that I think everyone in the country (except those working in media and politics), said "What rumours?". A few reports made out that everyone knew the rumours but no one does. The second point was that the Police are supposed to be politically distant - but in this case, they certainly weren't.


The Numbers Game

2: days in rough seas in a broken down boat for a father & daughter, finally found both OK
8: months of average rain for Christchurch in the first four months of the year
100: Auckland kindergartens have to have training in tree climbing before they are allowed to supervise kids climbing trees
820,000: $ more spent on pokies in Northland over last year
3.3m: $ cash injection for Hamilton for the inaugural Hamilton Sevens


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5179 (0.0071)
EUR 0.5866 (0.0029)
USD 0.7019 (-0.0046)
AUD 0.9317 (-0.0027)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Ian Axford
design of astrophysics
http://nzmathsoc.org.nz/downloads/centrefolds/NZMScentrefold21_Ian_Axfor...


Joke of the Weekender

I couldn't figure out why the baseball kept getting larger. Then it hit 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}

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}

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