The Weekender 17/08/2019

Welcome back. Last weekend was our annual snow trip. The weather wasn't great but we had a couple of good sessions playing in the snow for some great fun.


Sport

Last weekend in the Bledisloe and Rugby Championship the All Blacks flew to Perth. But before we mention the score that I'm sure you all know, let me talk about my son's Ripper Rugby coach. He is a former Waikato player and is president of the Hamilton Old Boys and he also flew to Perth for the match, so I asked him at training what his prediction for the score was. He told me he was expecting a draw - surprising after the All Blacks drew with South Africa. But the reason was that this All Blacks team is testing, trying and to be honest foxing about their abilities. They aren't going to show their tricks before the Rugby World Cup later on this year. So if the result from last weekend made you nervous, relax.
Yes, the Wallabies played well and beat the All Blacks 47-26, and Scott Barrett got the All Blacks fourth-ever red card. So even though the refs completely missed all the skullduggery the Australian's performed, the result still stands.
The Black Ferns had no such trouble though, beating Australia 10-47 with eight tries.
Later on that night, the Springboks beat Argentina 46-13 to claim the Rugby Championship.

Former Black Cap Captain Brendon McCullum has retired from all cricket and has taken up a new coaching role.

Michael Campbell had his best result since returning to professional golf as he tied for second at the latest European PGA Seniors Championship event.

The NZ Warriors survived a late comeback to beat the Manly Sea Eagles 24-16 to keep themselves in the hunt for an NRL playoff spot, but the problems with the anti-Warrior refs continue.


NZ News

The weather has been pretty cold over the last two weeks with snow falling in the Mamaku near Rotorua, and the central mountains getting lots of snow.

The Labour Party has been having issues recently with at least four members resigning over the investigation into allegations against a staff member. The allegations involved sexual assault, rape and offers to pay for sex, and the staff member has friends who are apparently incredibly high up in the Beehive, so it seems Labour is sweeping things under the carpet and refusing to discuss anything, saying it is a "party matter".
The Chief Ombudsman is going to investigate Green MP Julie Anne Genter's secret letter about the $6.4b Wellington transport project. It sounds like the Green's made some serious pushing for the Wellington transport project to change and despite fully supporting the government to be open, they are being incredibly tight-lipped about the letter. They certainly don't want anyone to know what it said - which just makes everyone want to know more. She claimed she didn't write the letter as an MP, but then confirmed she signed it as a Minister, so really she is playing politics and being dodgy. A Wellington City councillor has said that the government is "steamrolling" transport solutions for the sake of a Labour-Greens relationship, and all Wellington City councillors have been told they aren't allowed to talk to the media (that's not very "open"), but some haven't been gagged, with even the claim that Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter threatened to resign over the project during negotiations.
The government were excited to hear that there is an 11-year low in the unemployment rate, but the wind was taken out of their sails with the Reserve Bank governor cutting the official cash rate 50 points to a 1% cash rate - a clear signal that he is trying to stimulate the economy because, despite a great economic environment, this government has strangled the life out of the 'rock star' economy we used to have.

The head of Stats NZ has resigned because of the poor handling of the 2018 Census. A review came out heavily criticising the department.

The government is pushing through new abortion laws, allowing mothers to end their pregnancy until 20 weeks, without any statutory test. So I have a question. The new law retains "the criminal offence of killing an unborn child for any person who causes harm to a pregnant woman and in doing so causes the death of a fetus". So at that point, they are admitting that it is an unborn child and it was killed. But for random reasons, no one cares to explain, if we think about it differently, then suddenly it is allowable to kill the unborn child? This government promoted themselves as defenders of the weak and helpless, and there are none so weak and helpless as those who haven't yet been born, being attacked by those who have. Justice Minister Andrew Little said, "Abortion is the only medical procedure that is still a crime in New Zealand." Well, that is because this "medical procedure", results in a human being killed - just like the new law states if someone harms a pregnant woman.

The report into the Pigeon Valley fire last summer which destroyed 2300 ha of pine forest, and caused 2,500 people to be evacuated, determined that it was an unfortunate accident caused by a farmer ploughing a stony field. The fire was the worst in NZ for 72 years.

In terrible local news, an Australian was shot dead out at Raglan this week with his Canadian girlfriend fleeing on foot after the couple were apparently randomly attacked at the top of Te Toto Gorge. The body and campervan were found on the other side of where we are, at Gordonton. The police moved swiftly and this morning raided a Waikato property and arrested a man and charged him with murder.


The Numbers Game

5.5: Richter scale earthquake hit Milford Sound, and was felt all around the lower South Island
6: hours without power for some Auckland residents during the storm, others were four days without power in the inner city!
39: % support for the cannabis referendum (47% against), down from 52% in April and 60% in November last year - including a growing number of Green Party voters - I guess they really did look at what has happened where cannabis has been legalised!
53: athletes will row in 16 boats at this month's World Champs in Austria
97: texts per month for Hawke's Bay users on average - the biggest by far - 53 more than second-placed Manawatu-Whanganui
150: people hospitalised for measles in Auckland this year, a total of 369 confirmed cases
1,700: lightning strikes in the storm early this week, with an Auckland school having a roof ripped off
8,000: premature deaths due to alcohol in the last 10 years with a social cost of $70b and up to 30,000 children born with alcohol-related brain damage
99,000: searches for heaters were made on TradeMe last week
3m: $ worth of cocaine washed up on a West Auckland beach last weekend
20m: $ from the government to help reopen Rotorua Museum
25m: $ of Government funding for 12 new radiation machines, Pharmac also announced plans to fund cancer drugs Kadcyla and Alecensa
36m: $ drug bust in Rotorua was the biggest they've had in the Bay according to the Police chief
100m: $ for the NZ Army to fund modern warfare high-tech upgrades, like satellite-tracking and helmet-cams
144m: $ worth of methamphetamine was found by Police during a major drug operation when they arrested two British nationals
150m: $ of the $300m that the Government has allocated to fighting the effects of climate change has been earmarked for projects in the Pacific Islands


Finance NZ Dollar

Since 03/08/2019 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.5291 (-0.0087)
EUR 0.5795 (-0.0081)
USD 0.6429 (-0.0110)
AUD 0.9482 (-0.0131)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sir Brian Lochore died last week at the age of 78. He was a former All Blacks captain and coach.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/395916/all-black-great-sir-brian-loc...


Joke of the Weekender

At what age do you think it’s appropriate to tell 
a highway it’s adopted?

 

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 27/07/2019

Hi, we are certainly powering through July!


Sport

Last weekend New Zealand again played England in a world championship, this time Netball, and this time beating them 47-45, making it to their sixth straight final against Australia. And a day or two later they played the final and beat Australia 52-51, reversing their 1-point loss from round play. It was a great game for the Silver Ferns and a number of their older players like Maria Folau, get to celebrate a world championship in probably their last game. The turn around is due to coach Noeline Taurua.

In their Rugby Championship opener, the South Africans beat Australia 35-17, while the All Blacks beat Argentina 20-16 in Buenos Aires. The All Blacks have started playing the Springboks in Wellington for tonight's game.

The Warriors have had a finals blow with a 24-22 loss to the Paramatta Eels, with the refs starring for the Eels with a backwards pass ruled forward and a 9-2 penalty count to the Eels.


NZ News

The Government has pushed out the unveiling for the KiwiBuild reset until late August. Perhaps they should commission another working group.


The Numbers Game

3: times the amount of roads the government plans to make "safer", but it's just bandaids really, rather than fixing the roads
135: electric vehicles registered in the government's fleet of 15,500 since Labour took office - National says the government is telling people "do as I say, not as I do"
1,110: new homes targetted for Ohinewai, just north of Huntly, as Sleepyhead plans a new factory and community
25,000: $ per Silver Fern after Sky TV, ANZ, MYOB and Puma contributed so they got some sort of bonus for winning the World Cup - but nothing for wonder-coach Noeline Taurua
17m: $ treaty settlement with Ngati Rangi


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5360 (-0.0051)
EUR 0.5953 (-0.0068)
USD 0.6636 (-0.0128)
AUD 0.9600 (-0.0009)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Nancy Wake
The White Mouse
Nancy Wake was the Allies’ most decorated servicewoman of WWII, and the Gestapo’s most-wanted person. They code-named her ‘The White Mouse’ because of her ability to elude capture. When war broke out she was a young woman married to a wealthy Frenchman living a life of luxury in cosmopolitan Marseilles. She became a saboteur, organiser and Resistance fighter who led an army of 7,000 Maquis troops in guerrilla warfare to sabotage the Nazis. Her story is one of daring, courage and optimism in the face of impossible odds.

https://www.nzedge.com/legends/warriors/nancy-wake/


Joke of the Weekender

Why is there so much pressure to spend Independence Day with other 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 20/07/2019

Hi, there are a bunch of well-worn edges of couches after last Sunday night/Monday morning!


Sport

So, the game of the century was the Cricket World Cup final at Lords in England, between England and the Black Caps. New Zealand batted first and reached 241 for eight, while England was all out in the last over, the last ball for 241. So following the draw it came down to a super over. England batted first and got 15, so NZ needed 16 to win - and got 15. England won the game based on boundaries scored. There are so many things to say, Ben Stokes' 6 on the ground, or the tie-tie rule change, or that we didn't actually lose, or that Christchurch-born Ben Stokes won it for England, but we were seriously stoked just to be there, and even though we lost, it was an awesome game, and so great to see two respectful teams playing it. Can you imagine if one of - or both, Australia and India had played a game like that? So after the dust settled, Kane Williamson was named player of the tournament, and Skipper of the World Cup tournament team. Lochie Ferguson was also named in the team. As if Stokes' heroics for England weren't enough, he has also been nominated for the New Zealander of the Year Award!

In rugby, the Maori All Blacks played Fiji last weekend and were beaten 27-10, they are playing again now in Rotorua. The Black Ferns have won the women's rugby super series and retained their World Number One ranking, beating England 28-13 in the deciding match.

In the Netball World Cup, the Silver Ferns made light work of their week, beating Barbados 78-25, Singapore 89-21, Zimbabwe 79-36 and Northern Ireland 77-28. Then they played Australia and while Australia did win, the narrow 49-50 loss gave them great hope that they have recovered from their recent slump.

The NZ Warriors hopes of making the finals are up in the air after a rare draw against Brisbane 18-18 after 90 minutes and golden goal failed the separate the teams. This weekend they did beat Shaun Johnson's Sharks 19-18 in Wellington with Blake Green scoring his first NRL field goal.


NZ News

National this week pointed out the flaws of the government's vehicle plans. They are planning to ban quite a number of popular vehicles, branded as unsafe, but they are also planning to make "green" cars cheaper by subsidising them. The issue is that their policies point to subsidising unsafe vehicles because they came out with multiple opposing policies almost at the same time.

PM Jacinda Ardern has backed KiwiBuild after the Auditor-General started investigating whether the scheme skirted rules by backing housing developments that were already underway.
The PM may also be wondering about increasing the Air Force budget after her plane broke down in Australia after taking her there for a quick trip. I assume she found alternative arrangements, but a second Air Force plane sent to bring back the political journalists also broke down. Maybe the Air Force is trying to tell her she is welcome to stay there?

The government has shown it will back down, regardless of what it says, when faced with strike action, so up next is the DHB psychologists, who are refusing to work overtime for five weeks.

The government has planned an ambitious Road to Zero safety plan. Obviously, it would be impossible to have a road toll of zero, but I definitely think it's still worth aiming for it. The AA has welcomed the plan saying it is "comprehensive and ambitious", but that it will cost billions to realise. The National leader pointed out that they've ignored the single biggest thing they could do by investing in the roads of national significance.


The Numbers Game

2nd: steepest street in the world for Dunedin's Baldwin Street after a North Wales town petitioned to become the world's steepest street
1,200: lightning strikes in the South Island over 24 hours last Sunday

4,500: lightning strikes over the country in 24 hours early in the week
9m: $ paid by Aucklanders for driving in bus lanes in less than a year
75m: $ pay deal for Kindy teachers after four days of negotiations - that has to be a slap in the face for how hard teachers had to push to get their deal


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5411 (+0.0085)
EUR 0.6021 (+0.0090)
USD 0.6764 (+0.0069)
AUD 0.9608 (+0.0072)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sir Edmund Hillary
Sir Ed would have been 100 this week so here is an article celebrating more than just conquering Everest sixty six years ago.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12243619&ref=rss


Joke of the Weekender

Nostalgia: How long’s that been around?

 

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 13/07/2019

Hi, the weather doesn't know if it's good or bad at the moment, the days seem to be alternating.


Sport

The game of this week was obviously the Black Caps, who knocked highly favoured India out of the Cricket World Cup. It was a stunning, surprising and unexpected win after the Black Caps had lost three games leading up to the semi-finals. So the game was played over two rain-interrupted days. New Zealand batted first and reached 239 with Kane Williamson scoring 67, and serial-run-out-artist Ross Taylor reaching 74 before being run out. In reply, India's first three much-vaunted batsmen were each bowled out for 1 run with a fourth coming at 24 runs. They never recovered from there, and with Jimmy Neesham taking a great catch and Martin Guptill firing in an amazing run out to take out MS Dhoni, India was all out for 221.
In the other semi-final, England bowled Australia out for 223, and then beat them by eight wickets. So last World Cup, NZ had to play Australia in Melbourne for the final, and this time around we have to play England at Lord's. Tomorrow.

The Crusader took on the Jaguares last weekend for the Super Rugby title and won 19-3 to win their third "three-peat" and their tenth title. The Crusaders scored the only try and the Jaguares had the majority of possession and territory but the Crusaders defence was up to the task.
This weekend in rugby, Fiji has beaten the NZ Maori 24-10 in Suva. And Beauden Barrett has re-signed with NZ Rugby for four years - but not with the Hurricanes. He is heading to the Auckland Blues as his wife comes from Auckland.

The NZ Warriors had a comeback 24-20 win over Newcastle last weekend, despite yet another bunker blunder against the Warriors. Maumalo scored a clean try according to the replays but the bunker overturned the try decision but the Warriors scored late to win anyway.

The Silver Ferns banished memories of their last loss against Malawi beating them 64-45 in their opening match of the Netball World Cup in Liverpool.


NZ News

The government announced a deal this week aiming to get greener* cars on the road. Their plan is to provide an $8,000 subsidy for emission-free** vehicles, and to pay for it by charging $3,000 on the "highest greenhouse gas-emitting cars imported to New Zealand". The best quote about the deal is "Let’s be very clear: this is a tax on Otara vehicles to subsidise Teslas in Remuera". Another goodie from the Federated Farmers was "It's going to be pretty hard to fit a bundle of strainer posts on the back of a Nisan Leaf."
* By "greener" I think they just mean that the energy is created at a different place (i.e. a power station) to the car itself, allowing the owners to conveniently ignore power generation and delivery questions.
** Again, "emission-free" at the vehicle itself, not at the energy source

The government has again tried to do something nice - but without thinking ... at all. There were 150,000 students who had credits held back because of unpaid NCEA fees. The government announced that all NCEA fees would be wiped. Those people are probably pretty happy, but the angry ones are those connected to parents who worked overtime for a long long time to pay off their child's fees. Another parent talked about how it took them eight months to pay off the fees. A teacher talked about how one student stopped going to school because their parents couldn't pay the fees. The system may have been odd, to begin with, but just randomly scrapping the fees seems like a knee-jerk reaction that nobody took any time to think about.

The Government and Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council has said NZ was at an "infrastructure crisis point" and had no master plan to fix it. They said there was "no overarching vision or leadership in New Zealand for infrastructure development".


The Numbers Game

1.05m: great white shark found on Ninety Mile Beach - the smallest ever recorded
9: years since the Scott Guy murder and there has been no justice for the family
25.50: $/hr to be paid to family carers of ill family members, announced by the government
639: Australian's with criminal convictions were allowed to get a firearms licence in NZ - wait are people allowed into Australia "without" a criminal conviction these days?
30m: $ more from Gisborne from the regional slush fund - I mean the Provincial Growth Fund
58m: $ redevelopment for Auckland Zoo starting zoon


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5325 (+0.0031)
EUR 0.5931 (+0.0029)
USD 0.6695 (+0.0066)
AUD 0.9536 (+0.0047)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Ernest Rutherford
The creator of modern atomic physics and forerunner of the nuclear age, Rutherford was one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 and a baronetcy in 1931, choosing the title Baron Rutherford of Nelson. In the words of Einstein, he was “a second Newton”, the man who “tunnelled into the very material of God”: inventor, experimenter and Nelson farm boy.
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/ernest-rutherford/


Joke of the Weekender

How come you never see a headline like “Psychic Wins Lottery”?

 

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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