April 2015

The Weekender 26/04/2015

Welcome along to the ANZAC weekender - 100 years since Gallipoli.
Let's kick off with Super rugby. The Highlanders run came to an end being
beaten 31-18 by the Brumbies (although they were resting all their All
Blacks), and the Chiefs beat the Western Force 35-27 and got a bonus point
to take them to the top of the table (for now). Last night the Crusaders
beat the Blues 29-15.
In other rugby news, Aaron Cruden requires knee reconstruction and is out
of the rest of the season including the Rugby World Cup. The NZ women's
team continue their march toward the Olympics when they won the Canada
round of the women's sevens tournament beating first time finalists Russia
29-10. And finally not anything to do with NZ, but Australia have changed
their selection policy to allow the selection of overseas based players -
something NZ has been able to avoid to ensure the local competitions remain
strong. Since Australia's local competition has never been strong it will
be interesting to see if this decimates it further.

In a reverse of the result against the mens hockey team, the Black Sticks
Women's team lost 3-2 to Australia at the death of the Hawke's Bay
tournament at the start of the week.

Scott Dixon continues to do well in IndyCar, this week winning the Grand
Prix of Long Beach.

In cricket the IPL continues although a few of the NZers are heading home
with injuries. Corey Anderson is out with a finger injury, and Auckland
batsman Colin Munro has been drafted in to the Mumbai Indians.
*NZ News*
Tapanui, a small town in West Otago has been the filming location for a new
movie called "Pete's Dragon". Keep an eye out for signs of NZ if you happen
to see the Disney movie.

A group of young men in Auckland are heros after they saw a young woman
being attacked in her car. It was outside the internet cafe they were in,
and they stopped the attack and help the man down until police arrived.

The story of the week (if you believe one certain NZ newspaper) was Prime
Minister John Key being accused of bullying by pulling the ponytail of a
waitress at a cafe he frequents with his wife. So obviously it was a bit
silly of him, but it's not really news. The whole thing has raised more
questions about other things than John Key to be honest. Firstly you have
to ask about how the story arrived. One paper broke the news, but then
questions came about where they got their story from, when the "victim"
said she was told she was talking to a Public Relations consultant working
confidentially - only for the story to arrive as front page news. Next if
you actually read the story, it read like she repeatedly asked John Key to
stop via telepathy and he NEVER did (which makes it bullying). When she
finally actually said something, he immediately stopped and appologised. As
for the act itself, sure I would never do it, but I can easily imagine a
playful person joking around doing something like that. It must have been a
slow news day. Non story, enough said, move on.
*The Numbers Game*
6.4: richter scale earthquake centred off Kaikoura
20: th most powerful passport in the world - is NZ's! It was based of visa
free access, price & length of validity - a strange list
49: % support for National, so despite losing the Northland seat the
general support hasn't changed
10,500: cockles found by fisheries officials in two vehicles (now
confiscated) with eight people - that was 9,300 over their limit
107,000: $ each for the seven cricket fans who took a one handed catch
during the cricket world cup
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5016 (-0.0102)
EUR 0.6991 (-0.0097)
USD 0.7578 (-0.0085)
AUD 0.9721 (-0.0129)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
This weekend it has all been about 100 years since Gallipoli. Yesterday on
ANZAC day there was the live streaming of the Gallipoli dawn parade.
*Joke of the Weekender*
It makes me mad when people say I turned and ran like a scared rabbit.
Maybe it was like an angry rabbit, who was running to go fight in another
fight, away from the first fight.
*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 19/04/2015

It's been a cold week, although warmer weather should return. Snow
everywhere it normally snows should do some watering of paddocks that have
been a bit dry too.
Super rugby started with the Chiefs thrashing the Crusaders 26-9 - just
like they did earlier in the season and I think the first time we've beaten
them twice in a season. That temporarily put the Chiefs on the top of the
table. And the Hurricanes stellar start to the season ended with a 29-24
loss to the defending champs NSW Waratahs - for Jeremy Thrush's 100th game.
The Blues put on a terrible first half performance and ended up losing
30-24 to the Highlanders
In other rugby news, Colin Slade has confirmed a move to French club Pau
after the Rugby World Cup. The Sharks directors have recognised that
they've got some problems and have announced that players suspended because
of foul play will not be paid for taking a break.

So I was visited by some American friends the other month, and they
impressed upon me how important the World Surf League is. Out of the 7.3
billion people on earth, 36 of them are "invited" to join the World Surf
League. One of those just happens to be kiwi Ricardo Christie. Now even
most non-surfers have heard the name Kelly Slater. Just to put this into
perspective, Kelly Slater is currently 12th on the table. Anyway, Ricardo
has been getting going on the tour, and this weekend at Margaret River, in
the second round he knocked out the ladder co leader Felipe Toledo. He
didn't make it past the third round, but that's pretty good anyway.

The Black Sticks men's team had a stellar week as they won the Sultan Azlan
Shah Cup by beating world number one Australia 3-1 in a shoot-out.

The Wellington Phoenix stopped losing last weekend as they held Melbourne
City to a 0-0 draw and ensured they would finish in the top four. And then
this weekend they came back from 2 down to beat the Central Coast Mariners
3-2 as they try to make the top two.

The Warriors led the North Queensland Cowboys for 78 minutes of their match
but it doesn't could till the end where they lost 28-24.

The NZers are doing well in the IPL Twenty20 cricket competition with Trent
Boult taking 3-36 to help his Sunrisers team beat the Royal Challengers,
Tim Southee's Rajasthan Royals beat the Sunrisers, and finally Brendon
McCullum was part of a strong starting partnership which resulted in his
team's latest win.

Steven Adams improved on his first year in the NBL playing for the Oklahoma
City Thunder, but the team didn't quite make the playoffs so their season
is over. Hopefully they will get a fully fit Kevin Durant and Russell
Westbrook for next season.

Sophie Pascoe has been at it again, breaking records. At the New Zealand
Open swimming champs, the para-swimmer broke the S10 100m record becoming
the first swimmer to break the 1 minute mark with 59.77s.
*NZ News*
Sad news this week as it was announced that Dame Alison Holst would be
giving up cooking, after a decline due to dementia. The legendary cook
probably has a cookbook in every NZ house and her work will be continued by
her son Simon. She was first on TV screens in 1965 and has written more
than 100 recipe books and sold over 3 million copies.

John Key has ruled out following Australia's idea of 'no jab, no pay', in
an effort to 'encourage' people to get children immunised by making it a
condition of getting the benefit. I think that health decisions should be
up to health professionals, but I don't think I'd vote for that level of

The Court of Appeal have ordered an urgent hearing for John Banks after it
was discovered the Crown failed to disclose important evidence. I wonder if
he'll be cleared in time to run for the Auckland Mayor?

The government is moving to outlaw some of the worst aspects of the
zero-hour contracts, but some businesses aren't waiting for those changes
with KFC owner Restaurant Brands ruling out the contracts.
*The Numbers Game*
3: earthquakes within an hour and half around East Cape last week a 4.6,
4.2 & 3.1
7: new schools being built by the government in a $244m package - as the
dribble of budget stories are released - including Rototuna Senior High
School just up the road
80: lightning strikes in two hours over Auckland as the storm passed through
200: km+ in 24 hours in a kayak for new world record holder Tim Taylor from
123m: $ worth of meth seized by police as they shut down two sophisticated
drug rings
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5118 (-0.0027)
EUR 0.7088 (-0.0014)
USD 0.7663 (0.0113)
AUD 0.9850 (0.0026)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
100 years since Gallipoli has not been forgotten around NZ with lots of
special events taking place this Anzac day (next Saturday).
One of those was our NZer of the week, James Waddell. He is very rarely
recognised in New Zealand, mostly because he never enrolled to fight for
NZ. He started with the British Army and then joined the elite French
Foreign Legion, where he was described as "an exemplary figure in the
history of France ... and New Zealand".
*Joke of the Weekender*
Sometimes I think the world has gone completely mad. And then I think, "Aw,
who cares?" And then I think, "Hey, what's for supper?"
*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 12/04/2015

Hello, great to see you.
In super rugby, another week another Shark banned - this time Jean Deysel
for 7 weeks for kneeing a Crusader in the head. Also from last week, it
seems that Waratah and Wallaby coach Michael Cheika has got away with a
blatant violation of entering the referees room at halftime during last
weeks match against the Blues. If he had been found guilty of wrong doing
he would have been banned from all rugby due to a previous violation - and
I suppose they couldn't ban the Australian coach in a World Cup year, for
not following the rules could they. They gave him a warning (which suggests
he did something wrong) but wasn't found to have done anything wrong. The
Blues didn't want to complain and look like sore losers but the penalty
count in the first half was 8-1 in favour of the Blues, and after Cheika's
"quiet talk" with the ref, the count was 9-1 in favour of the Waratahs.
This week the Blues have finally won. And intriguing to note that NZ's
worst team by far, did it by beating top-of-Australia team the ACT
Brumbies. They were ahead 10-0 at halftime and held on to win 16-14. The
Stormers beat the NSW Waratahs 32-18 and the Highlanders had 3 tries in 10
minutes around halftime to beat the Crusaders 25-20. A number of other
teams had a bye.
In rugby sevens the series leader South Africa was beaten 21-14 in the
Tokyo final by England. With NZ winning the plate final with a 21-14 win
over Scotland.
Finally, Chief Ben Afeaki has retired from all rugby after concussion
concerns, and Aaron Cruden has turned down an offer to play Seven's rugby
for the Olympic campaign.

After reaching the heights of the A League the Wellington Phoenix have had
a rough patch, again with a 0-3 loss, this time to Melbourne Victory. The
Perth Glory have been booted out of the playoffs after it was found they
were over the salary cap.

Last weekend the Warriors couldn't continue their great form against the
Melbourne Storm with a 30-14 loss on Ryan Hoffman's 250th game. But this
weekend they beat the Wests Tigers 32-22 for Manu Vatuvei's 200th game. The
Warriors managed to keep the news quiet but Sam Tomkins will be leaving
early to head back to England. The news was quiet because they also
announced signing Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

Jesse Sergent's tour of Flanders was ended when he was hit by a support car.

The Black Sticks did well in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia with a
2-1 win over India, but were beaten by World #1 Australia. The two
trans-tasman teams are still favoured to be in the final. Update: NZ will
face Australia in the final after a 3-3 draw with South Korea.

The Waikato/BOP Magic finally had some good news with a 57-63 win over the
Southern Steel to jump to one point off the top of the NZ conference at the
halfway point.

Another week, another person airing their views on the America's Cup - this
time it was former Cup sailor, AC historian and journalist Bob Fisher who
among other things said "You have abused it, misused it and reduced it to
no more than an average regatta, losing on the way its prestige and at the
same time driven away the most serious competitors."

Just a little cricket for those missing it. Brendon McCullum 'helped' his
Chennai Super Kings to a win over the Sunrisers with 100 off 56 balls.
*NZ News*
The news of the week was the NZ dollar reaching parity with Australia for
the first time since it was floated back in the Eighties. At the same time
an Australian magazine wrote a story on how more NZers are returning home &
more Australians are moving permanently to New Zealand for a more balanced
work-life culture and raising children.

Tuatara have hatched in the wild at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary for the first
time in several hundred years.
*The Numbers Game*
0: Queensland fruit flies have been found for the last month - checks will
continue until November
1: fatal road crash over Easter. It's no consolation to those involved but
it's great the numbers are so low - the second lowest road toll on record
2: extinct native herb have been found on DOC land in Molesworth
25: % of houses sold by Barfoot & Thompson last month, were sold for more
than $1m
70: year birthday for Winston Peters - can't be long now for the one person
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5145 (0.0072)
EUR 0.7102 (0.0196)
USD 0.7550 (0.0011)
AUD 0.9824 (-0.0081)
We've been hovering near 1:1 on the Australian dollar all week & I did see
one report of them matching, but it obviously slipped back a little later
in the week.
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
William Pickering
design of space flight
*Joke of the Weekender*
It makes me mad when I go to all the trouble of having Marta cook up about
a hundred drumsticks, then the guy at Marineland says, "You can't throw
chicken to the dolphins. They eat fish." Sure they eat fish, if that's all
you give them. Man, wise up.
*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 Weekend 05/04/2015

Hello, how are things going, I hope you've had a good week and are having a
great Easter Weekend break.
Ok, so the Cricket World Cup final was last weekend between Australia and
New Zealand, and we lost. The Australian players played well and we were
well beaten. But I would any day, rather support New Zealand losing, than
have to support the Australian's winning, and they proved why even in the
final. They continued their unprovoked sledging & abuse of players who had
just got out, showing yet again that Australian's (or just their sports
teams?) are terrible winners. The New Zealand players completely
sidestepped the issue not wanting to comment but it was clear what had
happened. Even a highly regarded Melbourne newspaper attacked the
Australian team as 'insufferably arrogant'. As if the coach Lehmann thought
it was an excuse, he said it wasn't the players fault, they were following
team orders. It's insane to think that an international team condones this
behaviour - let alone orders it! I'd like to talk about that statement "it's
just not cricket
", and
explain how Australia (and India?) *just don't get it*. They play to the
rule, but that's just not cricket. But I've talked about cricket enough
this year!
Following up from the competition, Dan Vettori announced his retirement and
his appointment as coach of the Brisbane Heat Twenty20 team, and Kyle Mills
also retired. In the NZ cricket awards, Brendon McCullum was named NZ's top
cricketer, winning the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal.
On the world arena, the ICC World Cup 2015 side, was captained by Brendon
McCullum and he was joined by Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill
and Dan Vettori. Only three Australians and two South African's made the

Let's move on to Super Rugby. From last weekend Sharks centre Francois
Steyn was banned for four matches for a tackle on Aaron Cruden and it was
announced that former All Black Daryl Gibson will take over as head coach
of the Waratahs next year as their coach moves on to the Australian team.
The Hurricanes continued their unbeaten run with a 25-20 win over the
Stormers, after being 25-3 at half time! The Chiefs made hard work of the
Blues winning 23-16 to stretch the Blues losing streak to seven (from
seven), and the Brumbies continued doing well with a 20-3 win over the
Cheetahs while the Crusaders thrashed the Sharks at home 52-10 without Dan
Carter & with McCaw on the bench, the Melbourne Rebels beat the Reds 23-15,
and the Lions beat the Bulls 22-18. Top 8: Hurricanes* 31, Brumbies* 24,
Chiefs 28, Highlanders^ 20, Crusaders*/Bulls*/Sharks 19, Waratahs^ 18. (8
games except for * 7 games & ^ 6 games - officially the top three are from
each of the conferences).
In Rugby Sevens, Fiji thrashed NZ 33-19 in the Hong Kong final last weekend.

Last weekend with the NRL, the Warriors had a 24-16 loss to the Broncos as
Twenty years since the Warriors started in the NRL, they repeated their
game (and loss) to the Broncos.

The table topping Wellington Phoenix had a 3-0 loss to Sydney FC last
The All Whites also had a loss but they put on their best performance under
Anthony Hudson with the 1-0 loss to Korea during the week.

The America's Cup has gone crazy in the last week. Oracle reneged on their
deal to have qualifying races in Auckland, and without those races the
Government won't put up the 'bridging' money. Oracle and most other teams
also voted on smaller boats which are single design - to reduce costs, but
Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa opposed the idea - sure it costs more, but
it negates NZs design abilities. And then in a bombshell, Luna Rossa
withdrew from the competition. In the last couple of days a former sailor
and hall of famer has come out discussing how Oracle has ruined the Cup.
Oracle seem to have done a number of things to try and force NZ out of the
America's Cup and perhaps this will do it.

Cambridge will host a round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in December
at the Avantidrome.
*NZ News*
John Banks is asking the Court of Appeal to reverse the retrial decision on
his false electoral return charge after he found out that the Crown failed
to disclose relevant information before the appeal hearing.

The Mark Lundy re-trial has finished up this week with Lundy being found
guilty for the murder of his wife and daughter. Obviously I don't know all
the details of what came to light in court, but the media seemed to focus
on things that the original investigation got wrong so I hadn't really been
expecting that result. Obviously there was more to it that I read at least
and the jury heard enough to find him guilty after only 16 hours
deliberation. The final bill to tax payers is expected to be at least $5m.
*The Numbers Game*
6: top players for kicking the ball so far this Super Rugby season are
South African & Australian, proving NZ teams run the ball more
12: days per year stuck in traffic for the average Aucklander
23: % drop in tobacco sales over the last four years
34: fire department call outs for Alexandra last weekend to mop up after a
flood - doubling their call outs for the year
150: Super Rugby games for Ma'a Nonu
93,013: a new record for a cricket game at the MCG in the Cricket World Cup
final last weekend
480m: $ in ACC cuts kicked in this week
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5073 (-0.0023)
EUR 0.6906 (-0.0060)
USD 0.7539 (-0.0037)
AUD 0.9905 (0.0185)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Richard Pearse
design of flight
*Joke of the Weekender*
Even though he was an enemy of mine, I had to admit that what he had
accomplished was a brilliant piece of strategy. First, he punched me, then
he punched me again.
*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}