January 2015

The Weekender 18/01/2015

Welcome to the New Year! Let's see if we can catch up.
It's summer and there has been a lot of cricket, with NZ doing quite well.
Sri Lanka have been in town and we started with the test series where
Brendon McCullum bashed 195 to become the first kiwi to reach 1000 runs in
a calendar year. So the first test was an 8 wicket win by NZ. In the second
test, and three days after the unveiling of a plaque noting last year's
record sixth wicket partnership (and Brendon McCullum's triple century),
Kane Williamson and BJ Watling set a new sixth wicket partnership record of
365 with both men setting personal records, Kane reaching 242 and BJ 142.
NZ went on to a 193 run win and won the series 2-0. Then the ODI's started
and NZ won the first by three wickets including a 19 ball half century by
Brendon McCullum. Sri Lanka won the second ODI and finally when Prime
showed some live cricket, the third ODI in Auckland was rained out

The Auckland tennis has been on as well, with Venus Williams winning the
ASB Classic over Caroline Wozniacki. The men's Heineken Tennis Open has
been hit by three top seeds pulling out. But in the end Czech qualifier
Jiri Vesely won the title.

The NZ Breakers had their best game of the season beating the Kings 85-97
to jump to the top of the Australian NBL table, and stayed there with a
74-81 win over the Adelaide 36ers and an overtime 98-91 win over the Hawks.

The Wellington Phoenix continued their climb through the Australian
A-League table with a 1-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers, then a 3-1 win
over Adelaide to take them within four points of first place. They then
beat defending champs Brisbane Roar 3-0 to move into second place
The Football Ferns claimed their first win over Denmark beating them 3-2 in
Ivan Vicelich was honoured in the New Years honours with a Order of Merit.

In random news, Ali Williams has announced his retirement from rugby, after
a couple of seasons with Toulon. And Sonny Bill Williams has moved to
Hamilton with his family ... oh that's not really news is it. Him helping
the Chiefs to a third Super rugby title will be news. And finally Peter
Saili has quit Auckland and the Blues to play in France.
Not rugby, but double Olympic medalist Bevan Docherty has announced his
retirement from professional triathlon.
*NZ News*
A couple of plane crashes have been in the news. The first in the Raglan
harbour where the pilot steered to avoid people on the beach. The three
survived and eventually made it out of hospital.
And down in Taupo a skydiving plane had it's engine die soon after take
off. Within 15 seconds the 6 tourists and 6 instructors (for the tandem
jumps) were jumping from the plane, soon followed by the pilot. They were
all picked up by boaties and everyone was fine - the worst off being the
pilot because it was his first jump and he landed in a gorse bush.

Everyone around the country was mostly well behaved for New Years - except
for Gisborne, where there was a riot with 63 arrests. But police suspected
that a few people planned and incited the riot and with the help of
cellphone footage they have arrested eighteen young men who will face court
*The Numbers Game*
2: # clearest skies in the world ranking for Lake Tekapo, second only to
San Pedro de Atacama in Chile
3: % rise for Labour in the first poll since Andrew Little took over (to
28.9%), and National is also up 2.2% to 50.4%
5.5 richter scale earthquake felt through Southland and centred near Te Anau
6: th in the world rankings for kiwis Kane Williamson and Trent Boult in
batting & bowling respectively, NZ's test ranking jumped two places to fifth
6: richter scale earthquake shook West Coast and Canterbury, and there were
around six insurance claims lodged the next day
7: % pay packet increase in 2014 for kiwis on average
7: people drowned over the Christmas/New Year holiday period - a huge
disappointment for Water Safety NZ
17: for the holiday road toll - over double for the last two years
35: degC temperatures for Lake Pukaki over New Years but 28-29 deg days
here in Hamilton all last week
44: more for the 2014 road toll compared to the record low previous year
175.9: c/L for 91 as petrol prices plummet - it might not be quite as cheap
as Australia but there are fewer Australians - so it balances out
2,500: for lunch for Auckland City Mission on Christmas day
22m: $ worth of meth was intercepted at Auckland Airport
100m: $ in parking & vehicle fines for Auckland city, over four years
5.3b: $ spent in December according to Paymark - up $300m or 5.4%
*Finance NZ Dollar*
(since 21st December)
GBP 0.5144 (+0.0173)
EUR 0.6730 (+0.0379)
USD 0.7807 (+0.0043)
AUD 0.9499 (−0.0025)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Squadron Leader Harvey Sweetman
A celebrated World War II hero who saved lives by shooting down flying
bombs has died in Auckland aged 93.
*Joke of the Weekender*
To me, clowns aren't funny. In fact, they're kind of scary. I've wondered
where this started and I think it goes back to the time I went to the
circus, and a clown killed my dad.
*Weekender Photos*
Summer photos (so far)

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}