February 2015

The Weekender 22/02/2015

Welcome to February - the birthday month! (Craig's yesterday, mine
tomorrow...)
------------------------------
*Sport*
Wow. What a game. Surely you've heard about it. Cricket World Cup. The
Black Caps vs England. Our first big test. Supposedly. England won the toss
and chose to bat. NZ started ok, talking a couple of wickets as England got
through to 3-103, but then Tim Southee stepped up. Well that's a bit of an
understatement. Everyone stepped up. The Black Caps were just another level
in the field, everyone starting with the Captain (B.Mac is his 'street'
name) throwing themselves around, and the start of the collapse was fast
bowler Adam Milne with a diving outfield catch. The last seven wickets were
gone for 19 runs leaving England all out at 123. They didn't even play like
they wanted to be there, with Root not "protecting" his wicket and the
others just throwing theirs away. Tim Southee was the destroyer with a NZ
record of 7-33. So then surely NZ can make quick work of 123, especially
since they seem very keen on getting 100 runs in the first 10 overs of
their World Cup games. Captain Brendon McCullum wasn't playing pretty, he
was bashing things. He ran down the wicket more to smack the ball than he
did to get a run. He quickly got the World Cup's fastest 50 (17 balls) and
when he got out at 77, had bashed 7 sixes and 8 fours for a strike rate of
308!! Guptill also had a great start and his 22 was run a ball, but he was
comparatively pedestrian. When B.Mac left after 7.1 overs (NZ only needed 7
overs to get to 105!), we only needed another 18 runs to win - with 43
overs to do it in. The final result was an 8 wicket win in 12 overs - 226
balls remaining.
What a game. There are only a couple more things to say. The first is
English bowler Steven Finn probably couldn't have done anything
differently, but he was bashed for 49 off two overs - 24.5 per over! and
the entire game was less than 46 overs.

So staying with cricket, earlier in the week NZ had a win over Scotland.
Scotland were bowled out for 142, and while NZ eventually reach 146/7. It's
true they lost lots of wickets but the aim was to increase their runs per
over rate to potentially help them later on in the tournament if teams are
on equal points. And since they only took 24.5 overs to finish the game,
they succeeded with that aim. Ireland upset the West Indies by 4 wickets.
In other news Trent Boult was picked up for the IPL for $800,000, being the
fourth highest-priced player to be purchased.

Last weekend in Super Rugby the Waratahs stumbled in their first game being
beaten 13-25 by the Western Force. This weekend the Chiefs beat the
Brumbies 19-17, the Hurricanes did well to beat the Bulls at home 13-17,
and the Blues lost a man for punching and then lost the game against the
Stormers 27-16. The Crusaders bounced back to beat the Highlanders 20-26,
the Sharks beat the Lions 29-12, and the Waratahs beat the Rebels 28-38.
In other rugby, the All Black Sevens team closed in on competition leaders
South Africa, but were beaten by Fiji in the Las Vegas final.

Lisa Carrington won her seventh straight K1 200m title at the Canoe Racing
NZ national champs at Lake Karapiro last weekend - and the win was recorded
by software that I wrote!

In Basketball the NZ Breakers beat the Perth Wildcats 87-89 with a miracle
ball from Cedric Jackson with 0:00 seconds on the clock. His throw from
over halfway in double overtime was great to watch!

Hayden Paddon has got a career best fifth place in Rally Sweden, driving
for the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team.

The news from Team New Zealand this week has been messy and confusing, but
it looks like Dean Barker will be dropped as skipper with the brilliant
young Peter Burling to take over. Apparently Dean only heard about it
through social media but surely he'd done enough to be told in person.
Anyway, they still want him around (although they may have messed that
chance up).

Our cyclists have been doing well with the men's team sprint trio looking
to have had a dominant victory, but after committing a technical
infringement they were dropped to silver. Then the young pursuiters got the
first gold and Matthew Archibold followed that up with a bronze in the kilo
time trial.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
Up in Auckland's North Shore, a provider of community housing has said to
the Government that they won't buy state houses unless they are free. Well
duh. I'd "buy" them if they were free.

A kiwi fugitive who has been wanted & occasionally seen around NZ, appeared
in Australia this week after stealing a yacht in NZ. A sharp eyed kiwi on
holiday over the ditch, spotted the yacht while it was heading into port
and tracked it while phoning the authorities.

It has been a rough few weeks on our roads with road deaths spiking to 25%
above last year. A number have been foreigners including three people who
weren't wearing seat-belts and spun out of control into the path of a
logging truck. In quite a number of cases, trucks have been involved but in
these (and most!) cases, not at fault.

Lucy Knight has recovered enough to receive a bravery medal, at the
shopping centre that almost claimed her life back in September. She was the
good samaritan who tried to help an elderly Chinese woman from having her
bag snatched, and was then left with a fractured skull after being punched.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
1.52: % population growth for NZ, faster than Australia, China & the US
1.80: $/loaf for the average loaf of white bread - the same today as five
years ago
3: dangerous Queensland fruit flies found in Auckland - a large biosecurity
threat but they have been found & eradicated before
60: whales refloated near Nelson from a pod of almost 200 to have beached
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4879 (0.0047)
EUR 0.6605 (0.0085)
USD 0.7518 (0.0079)
AUD 0.9583 (-0.0007)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Colin Murdoch
design of pain relief
http://www.nzedge.com/colin-murdoch/
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd
all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us.
It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 15/02/2015

Welcome along, I hope you are having a great February!
------------------------------
*Sport*
The Cricket World Cup kicked off today, but during the week the Black Caps
had a final warm up against serious contenders South Africa. NZ won the
toss and batted first reaching 331-8, with everyone contributing and only
Tim Southee (who arrived in the final over) not reach double figures - in
fact only Luke Ronchi getting below 20 and he got 19. Then South Africa
were rolled for 197 for a 134 run win - but it didn't mean anything.
Today's game however did. The opening game was against Sri Lanka and NZ
were sent in to bat. Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill started really
well for an opening stand of 111, while Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson and
Luke Ronchi smashed 102 runs off the last 10 overs to reach 331-6. Sri
Lanka started well but then regular wickets fell as each of Dan Vettori,
Adam Milne, Tim Southee and Corey Anderson took two wickets. Sri Lanka had
their chances but dropped them and couldn't make it stick as NZ went on to
win by 98 runs.

The Halberg Awards were this week with Hamish Bond and Eric Murray taking
out the Supreme Award. Lydia Ko won the Sportswoman of the year, Brendon
McCullum won Sportsman of the year, and NZ's favourite sporting moment
(with his triple century).

The Super Rugby has kicked off this weekend with the Hurricanes beating the
Lions 8-22 and the Rebels beating the Crusaders 10-20. The Brumbies also
thrashed the Queensland Reds 47-3. The Chiefs beat the Blues 23-18 with new
No 10 Damian McKenzie having a great game, in for rested Aaron Cruden, and
even out shinning Sonny Bill Williams who helped to set up two tries.

The NZ Breakers were beaten 88-93 by Adelaide as they head toward the
finals.

In football news, the Football Ferns had a 1-1 draw with Korea DPR, and the
Wellington Phoenix had their second straight loss with a 2-0 beating by the
Wanderers.

The NZ Women won the latest round of the women's Rugby Sevens in Brazil,
beating Australia 17-10.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
I have to be careful what I say here, or else the Mark Lundy supporters
will be emailing me like last time (!), but the Mark Lundy retrial has
begun. Basically the Crown says Lundy had a high-speed drive from
Wellington to Palmerston North, killed his wife & daughter & then quickly
drove back. Mark Lundy says otherwise claiming the Police never looked at
anyone else. The Crown has changed their minds on when they think the
murders took place compared to the 2002 trial. If the Police did single
mindedly go after Lundy, you would have to think it was because one of the
cops wanted to have a go at replicating the high speed trip (which they did
to prove it was possible).

I used to think Winston Peters had just gone lazy. It was obvious to me
when he wasn't interested in talking to the government about working on
common goals, that he is just there for the free ride these days. But maybe
he's going senile. And this week seemed to confirm that. He still has
enough ego to want to say something, but rather than anything interesting,
this week he went on the attack - over John Key's hair. His big scoop of
the month was that John Key dyed his hair - although the grey bits on the
side immediately proved him wrong, along with John Key's denial. I mean,
really? so what? As if that wasn't enough he then rattled off a dodgy
phrase that didn't mean what he thought it did, to make himself a bit of a
laughing stock.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
11.3: % uptake for Ultra-Fast Broadband (fibre) in December, twice that of
2013 & four times 2012
68: mice after the controlled release of 2 on a Auckland island for a trial
198: pilot whales stranded themselves at Farewell Spit the other day, a
massive effort is under-way to re-float them
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4832 (0.0018)
EUR 0.6520 (0.0036)
USD 0.7439 (0.0098)
AUD 0.9590 (0.0179)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Burt Munro
design of the fastest Indian
http://www.burtmunrochallenge.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=arti...
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
I wish a robot would get elected president. That way, when he came to town,
we could all take a shot at him and not feel too bad.
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 08/02/2015

Hello, great to have you here. This week the far too hot temperatures of
the previous weeks are fading and there have been more low 20's than high
20's. A bit of rain has been welcome as well.
------------------------------
*Sport*
So the biggest news of the week is surely Lydia Ko. After much promise last
year, in the first tournament of the year, kiwi Lydia Ko has become the
Women's World Number One for golf, breaking the men's & women's record for
youngest player, set by Tiger Woods, by four years! Good on her, long may
it continue.

Last weekend was the rugby league "Nines" tournament in Auckland. In a
league attempt to replicate the Rugby Seven's popularity, the "Nines" had
their second year, and for the second year, despite the Warriors being
favoured for the win (by who? and why?), they didn't. They were knocked out
in the quarter-finals by the Sharks. In the end the Rabbitohs beat the
Sharks 18-14 for the title.

In the second & final ODI against Pakistan, the Black Caps went in to bat
scoring a whopping 369-5 in their 50 overs. Kane Williamson's 112 resulted
in Martin Crowe saying it was the "dawn of probably our greatest ever
batsman". Ross Taylor scored 102 not out, with Martin Guptill hitting 76.
NZ went on to win by 119 runs with Nathan McCullum, Grant Elliott, Adam
Milne & Tim Southee all picking up two wickets.

The Black Sticks women opened a first of three test series against Canada
with a 4-1 win in Whangarei this week.

The Wellington Seven's was on this weekend. In pool play, NZ beat England
24-5, and also beat Canada 26-5 & Papua New Guinea 38-7. That put NZ in the
finals where they beat Australia 26-7, and a tough 7-17 win over
competition leaders South Africa to join England in the final. What a great
game the final was with Rieko scoring two tries to give NZ an unbeatable
lead before NZ took the foot off allowing a couple of soft tries near the
end but NZ still won 27-21 for their eighth Wellington title. That jumps NZ
into second place on the table with 69 points, only 7 points behind South
Africa and only 5 points ahead of Fiji. The find of the weekend was 17 year
old Rieko Ioane, who was young enough to need a dispensation to play.
In other rugby news, after the World Cup, Conrad Smith will be leaving for
France, and it looks like this will be Richie McCaw's last Super 15 so
maybe he will be able to have a good long, well deserved rest after the
World Cup.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
A kiwi led team of scientists have transformed the understanding of what
happens beneath the Earth's tectonic plates by setting up a line of 877
seismographs and then detonating hundreds of kilograms of dynamite.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
26.1: % in the latest poll for Labour and they are celebrating, Andrew
Little has the highest ratings since Helen Clark! (is that saying much?) -
but National was up 3.1% to 49.8 as minor party support drops away
36: % of kiwis use contactless payment in supermarkets, 23% in retail shops
- mostly because it saves time
308: sunshine hours for Auckland in January make it the sunniest ever
recorded - a general drought over NZ but there has been a little rain,
hopefully with more on the way
5,500: beneficiaries were issued with a warrant-for-arrest notifications,
as the government cracks down on those with arrest warrants no longer able
to receive a benefit
37,523: $ owed by one person in Auckland for parking & traffic offences,
unpaid fines in Auckland have hit $9m
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4814 (-0.0008)
EUR 0.6484 (0.0068)
USD 0.7341 (0.0077)
AUD 0.9411 (0.0065)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Ivan Mauger
Design of speedway
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_Mauger
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think
liked dolphins the most? I'd say Flippy, wouldn't you? You'd be wrong,
though. It's Hambone.
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 01/02/2015

Welcome to the month of birthdays! Last weekend was Auckland Anniversary so
we were away for a family camp (which is rather more hectic with a 2 & 0
year old!), and next weekend is Waitangi Day - two short weeks in a row.
------------------------------
*Sport*
It's getting closer to rugby season but it still feels like it should be
cricket season with the cricket world cup still coming up. The national
sevens championship was on in Rotorua two weekends ago and Waikato got
their sixth title with a 38-19 win over defending champs Wellington.

The NZ Breakers have been good & bad recently. They started with a 88-75
win over Melbourne, they then had a shocker against Sydney losing 81-101,
but on Thursday they beat long time rivals Perth 90-79. And that leaves
them on the top of the table followed by Cairns, Perth & Adelaide - who are
their last three opponents for the season!

Cricket continues! In the fourth ODI the Black Caps beat Sri Lanka by four
wickets to take a 2-1 lead, and then in the fifth ODI NZ was looking
"shaky" at 93-5 when Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott put their hands up. Luke
hit 170* off 99 balls and Grant hit 104* off 96 to power NZ to 360-5,
despite a 116 from Dilshan we won by 108 runs. In the sixth ODI Williamson
& Taylor almost reach centuries (97 & 96) as NZ made 315-8, and the bowlers
did the job with only Sangakkara's 81 getting beyond the 20's as they were
all out for 195. NZ won comfortably by 120 runs to seal the series. Brendon
McCullum was rested for the seventh ODI and Sri Lanka lost by 34 runs.
It doesn't stop there with Pakistan now in town and last night was the
first ODI of this series. Pakistan batted first and the NZ quicks kept
control of the run rate with only a cameo of 67 off 29 from Afridi
threatening as they reached 210. Grant Elliott scored 64 not out, helped by
a welcome 39 from Guptill & 59 from Taylor. NZ won by seven wickets with 10
overs to spare.

Scott Dixon drove a long final leg to win a sixth Rolex 24 at Daytona in
the Chip Ganassi Racing "star car". They won by 1.33 seconds. It wasn't
just Dixon on the grid for the Kiwis with Earl Bamber, Brendon Hartley and
Shane van Gisbergen all there.

The Oklahoma City Thunder haven't been doing so well this year with legend
Kevin Durant injured for the start of the season, but kiwi Steven Adams has
been getting good game time and doing really well. Steven is one of only
two players that have started every game. He has also been selected for the
World NBA Rising Stars Challenge team.

Sir Owen Glenn has indicated he want's to end the fight for compensation
for his half of the Warriors shares by transferring them to a charitable
trust for the benefit of the rugby league community.
------------------------------
*NZ News*
AgResearch senior scientist Dr Phil Rolston was awarded China's highest
research honour, which less than 100 people have received. He has been
instrumental in introducing Kiwi-style grassland farming systems to western
China.

Russel Norman has decided to step down as co-leader of the Green Party.
Some media in NZ have said that thanks to Norman the "loony tag" has gone
from the Green party, but with the Australian suggesting NZ print money to
pay for, what was it, the Christchurch rebuild?, I'm not so sure about
that. I do think it's a pity that the Green party weren't interested in
getting Green policies implemented rather than just being a slightly
greener & less popular version of the Labour party.
------------------------------
*The Numbers Game*
5: % increase in rents on a year ago according to Trade Me Property,
indicating that renters have been spared from the high house prices
60,000: motorists have been caught using their mobile phones since the ban
was introduced in 2009
------------------------------
*Finance NZ Dollar*
(since 18th Jan)
GBP 0.4822 (-0.0322)
EUR 0.6416 (-0.0314)
USD 0.7264 (-0.0543)
AUD 0.9346 (-0.0153)
------------------------------
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Keith Park
design of battle - if you don't know how this humble kiwi saved Britain &
indeed the war, you should read his story. And perhaps Thames should be
renamed "Parkesville".
http://www.nzedge.com/legend-keith-park/
------------------------------
*Joke of the Weekender*
The memories of my family outings are still a source of strength to me. I
remember we'd all pile into the car - I forget what kind it was - and drive
and drive. I'm not sure where we'd go, but I think there were some trees
there. The smell of something was strong in the air as we played whatever
sport we played. I remember a bigger, older guy we called "Dad." We'd eat
some stuff, or not, and then I think we went home. I guess some things
never leave you.
------------------------------
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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}