June 2015

The Weekender 28/06/2015

Hello, we've had a few lovely blue sky days, with cold nights and frosts!
The Super 15 is heading to a showdown with the Hurricanes continuing their
dominant form to thrash the Brumbies last night in Wellington 29-9. Julian
& Ardie Savea both scored, and Nehe Milner-Skudder did some amazing work.
Almost more amazing was the number of times the Hurricanes didn't score,
they should have won by 50! In the second semi final the Highlanders ended
up easily beating the defending champs the Waratahs 17-35 to set up and all
New Zealand final where a new champion will be unveiled. It was a fairly
even match until the Highlanders had a penalty try decision go in their
favour. The Waratahs were the strong favourites (for the Aussie
commentators at least!) having an all Wallaby front row.
In other rugby news, the All Blacks for this season have been announced
with a few new faces. Codie Taylor, Waiseke Naholo who has been doing
amazing things for the Highlanders, James Broadhurst, Nehe Milne-Skudder
who seemed to do something amazing every time he touched the ball for the
Hurricanes last night. As an aside, if I happened to see an All Black at my
local supermarket last night, and he was wearing sandals and socks - should
I say anything?
Finally, Tana Umaga has been appointed the coach for the Auckland Blues
Super rugby team. He's done wonders with Counties Manukau, so hopefully he
can make the Blues and NZ stronger.

The Black Caps ended an unhappy tour of England by being thrashed by 56
runs in the only Twenty20 match. The only good news was that Brendon
McCullum has signed up for another year.

In league the Warriors beat the Raiders 30-8 with Shaun Johnson having a
great game.
Top half of the table: Broncos 26, Cowboys 24, Dragons/Rabbitohs 20,
Roosters/Storm/Warriors/Sharks 18

In the women's hockey World League, the Black Sticks thrashed India 5-0 in
their second game after beating Poland 12-0. And then they pulled off a
stunning 2-0 win over Australia - only their 17th win in 112 matches. In
their final pool game the Black Sticks beat hosts Belgium 2-0 to top their
pool scoring 21 goals with none against them!
*NZ News*
Wanganui remained in a state of emergency early this week after the 1 in 85
year floods they had last weekend. Around 100 properties were evacuated and
a number of people will be out of their homes for months while repairs take

The Conservative Party has fallen apart this week after allegations of
sexual misconduct without any sex, apparently. It's all tied up in a
confidentiality clause between party leader Colin Craig and his former
press secretary Rachel MacGregor. They both want to talk about it but
can't. So everyone on the board followed Christine Rankin and resigned -
except for John Stringer who very much wants to get rid of Colin Craig - a
weird thing to do when he pretty much founded and paid for the entire
party. Anyway, John Stringer got himself a new board which voted Colin
Craig out, except Colin Craig has documentation saying that Stringer had
been officially removed from the board last week. Such an interesting saga
for a political party who couldn't buy a seat in parliament.
*The Numbers Game*
-20: degrees at Lake Pukaki this week, nearing NZs record cold of -25, and
-21 at Omarama the next night
2: kiwi sailors were rescued from the middle of the Pacific after their
yacht burned up
3: people survived a helicopter crash in Westland National Park
4: the safest place in the world to live, behind Iceland, Denmark &
Austria, due to political and social stability and low levels of corruption
9: year old elephant Anjalee has arrived at Auckland Zoo to keep resident
elephant Burma company
13: % of NZers are climate change sceptics, only behind Norway (15%) and
Australia (17%)
50m: $ in drugs were destroyed by Customs this week
330m: $ being put into 41 cycleways by the government
1b: $ in health insurance payouts in the last year - up $38m on last year,
and up $450m since 2006
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4362 (0.0010)
EUR 0.6138 (0.0049)
USD 0.6866 (-0.0043)
AUD 0.8927 (0.0036)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Ernest Rutherford
design of the universe
*Joke of the Weekender*
When Rick told me he was having trouble with his wife, I had to laugh. Not
because of what he said, but because of a joke I thought of. I told him
the joke, but he didn't laugh very much. Some friend HE is.
*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 21/06/2015

Hello, it's sunny here but central New Zealand has been hit by lots & lots
of rain in the last day or two.
Ahh well that's it for the Super Rugby - for this part of the country at
least. The Chiefs were beaten last night 24-14 by the Highlanders in the
quarter final. They just couldn't recover from all the injuries. In the
other game the Brumbies beat the Stormers 39-19 to knock the last of the
South Africans out. The Brumbies win also means that the two New Zealand
teams don't meet in the semifinal. The Hurricanes will host the Brumbies
while the Highlanders head to Sydney to take on the defending champions the
In other news John Kirwan has quit as coach of the Auckland Blues, with
Tana Umaga being targeted as the new coach.

The Football U20 World Cup continued this week with Mail beating Germany
4-3 on penalties, and Brazil beating Portugal 3-1 on penalties. Serbia went
through to their first semifinal with a 6-5 win over USA - on penalties. In
the third/fourth playoff, Mail got three late goals to beat Senegal 3-1 and
in the final last night Serbia beat Brazil 2-1 in the 117th minute in extra

The third cricket ODI against England saw Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor
put on a 206 run third-wicket stand as NZ reached the target of 303 for a
three wicket win. It was Williamson's 24th century in 72 innings. Trent
Boult had good news & bad. The bad was he was ruled out of the rest of the
series with injury, but he is now ranked the third best test bowler.
In the fourth ODI, NZ batted first and set what looked like a respectable
score of 349/7 with a Williamson 90, but England creamed it with centuries
for Root & Morgan and a 7 wicket win in the 44th over. So it's all down to
the final ODI - and it's on now, I'll update the result in the morning
before I send this out. Ahh that was a pity. England won by three wickets
in a rain affected match. NZ reached 283 for 9 off their 50 (Guptill 67),
and England's rain affected innings was 192 for 7 in 25 overs with a 83 not
out off 60 balls for Bairstow.

The NZ Warriors had one of their best games of the season beating the
Titans 14-36 last night.

In the ANZ Netball champs the Northern Mystics were thrashed 60-44 by the
Firebirds and the Waikato/BOP Magic were beaten 60-52 by the NSW Swifts so
yet again the final is an all Australian game.

Hayden Paddon made history last weekend with a second placing in the WRC
Italy, as the first NZer to have a podium finish outside of NZ. He led the
rally for the first day and a half but had some mechanical problems and
managed to hold on to second.

Kiwi driver Earl Bamber has won the 24 Hour Le Mans race and Brendon
Hartley came second! They are teams of three drivers so it was just a kiwi
one-two but a great result for the guys (who were friends from karting

The Junior All Blacks are through to the World Under 20 Championship final
after crushing France 45-7. They face England in the final. Update. The
Baby Blacks have won the title with a 21-16 win over England.

NZ had a great regatta at the Sailing World Cup in Weymouth with Peter
Burling and Blair Tuke winning their 17th straight 49er, and Marcus Hansen
and Josh Porebski coming second!, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie came second in
the Women's 470, as did Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech in the 49erFX.
Finally Josh Junior came second in the Finn, and Andrew Murdoch got bronze.

Lydia Ko didn't do so well in her latest tournament and has lost her No.1
ranking (Women's Golf) but I'm sure she'll bounce back.
*NZ News*
A kiwi professor working in Sydney, Dr Glen Reid, has spent the last few
years researching a treatment and it looks like it might work. The
treatment is for the incurable lung cancer caused by asbestos. The
treatment is in it's early stages but a trial on one Sydney man has had
dramatic and encouraging results.

A man gave the police a false name this week, but unfortunately the name he
used was wanted for a breach of bail conditions so he was arrested and
locked up!

The funeral for Jerry Collins stopped Porirua this week, thousands turned
up but I think the most touching part was more details on the event.
Apparently in the last moments, Jerry Collins wrapped his arms around his
daughter to shield her from the crash that killed him and his partner. It
gave his daughter a chance to live.

A police policy hit the headlines this week stating that police in South
Auckland should avoid ticketing unlicenced Maori drivers and instead refer
them for training. The Superintendent said the document should have been
worded better.
*The Numbers Game*
8.6: m stop banks on the Wanganui River were breached overnight with the
public being warned to stay away from the river
50: % of the Ultra Fast Broadband (Fibre) has now been rolled out across
the country, that's 2,200 schools. The first stage of UFB gets fibre to 75%
of NZers
211: ml of rain in 24hrs in Hokitika caused huge flooding and needed a big
clean up
235m: $ worth of high-grade heroin (260kg) was destroyed by the Navy in an
international operation
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4352 (-0.0152)
EUR 0.6089 (-0.0132)
USD 0.6909 (-0.0083)
AUD 0.8891 (-0.0153)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Alison Roe
design of the marathon
*Joke of the Weekender*
Instead of raising your hand to ask a question in class, how about
individual push buttons on each desk? That way, when you want to ask a
question, you just push the button and it lights up a corresponding number
on a tote board at the front of the class. Then all the professor has to do
is check the lighted number against a master sheet of names and numbers to
see who is asking the question.
*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 14/06/2015

Hello, I hope you've had a great weekend. It was a little cold & wet around
here - but that is to be expected for the Fieldays!
Let's kick of with Super Rugby in the last game of the regular season. The
Highlanders staked their claim for a home semi after they thrashed the
Blues 44-7 in Keven Mealamu's 175th and final game for the Blues after 16
seasons. The Crusaders finished their season beating the Brumbies 24-37 to
send off Richie McCaw and Dan Carter. The top of the table clash was the
Hurricanes vs the Chiefs at the Chiefs home ground of New Plymouth
(formerly Hurricanes home ground), and the Chiefs started well going out to
a 13-0 lead but the Hurricanes fought back to win 13-21 and knock the
Chiefs down the ladder a bit. In other games the Western Force beat the
Rebels 13-11 but still finished last overall, the Waratahs beat the
Queensland Reds 31-5, the Cheetahs beat the Bulls 42-29 and the Sharks beat
the Stormers 34-12.
Table: Hurricanes 66, Highlanders 53, Waratahs 52, Chiefs 48, Stormers 45,
Brumbies 47, Crusaders 46, Lions 42, Bulls 38, Rebels 36, Sharks 34, Reds
22, Cheetahs 26, Blues 20, Force 19. The conference adjusted top six are:
Hurricanes, Waratahs, Stormers, Highlanders, Chiefs, Brumbies. (One more
point Crusaders, one more point!) The playoff games next week will see the
Highlanders host the Chiefs, and the Stormers host the Brumbies.
In other news the Chiefs had a bit of a coup by signing the promising Nepo
Laulala from the Crusaders for next year.

The Black Caps were thrashed in the first ODI against England. England
scored a massive 408-9, while NZ was all out for 198 to be beaten by 210
runs. However in the second ODI they did a bit better, batting first they
reached 398-5 with a Ross Taylor 119 not out and Kane Williamson 93.
England reached 365-9 off 46 overs losing by 13 runs according to
DuckworthLewis. It will be an interesting ongoing series!

The Warriors had a last minute loss to the Roosters yesterday going down
21-25 after being ahead 14-0 at one point in the game.

In the U20 World Cup New Zealand lost 2-1 to Portugal with a late goal.
Portugal had the general run of play but it was a cruel way for the host
team to be knocked out. Good on them, they did well.
The Women's Football World Cup in on now in Canada, and the Kiwi women are
there. They had a 1-0 loss to the Netherlands.

Joseph Parker continued his dominant boxing form last night knocking out
German Yakup Saglam in the second round.

Scott Dixon dominated the IndyCar race at Texas for a 7.8 second win.

WRC Rally driver Hayden Paddon is currently leading the Rally of Italy! He
is the third driver for Hyundai and has an eight second lead after the
opening three stages.

The Black Sticks Men got a quarter final spot with a 1-1 draw over the
Netherlands in the Semis at Bueno Aires this week.

The Waikato/BOP Magic booked in a home semi with a 57-54 win over the
Northern Mystics in the ANZ netball champs.
*NZ News*
In great news, the proposed developer of a sub division at the iconic New
Chum Beach has withdrawn the plans. The beach is awesome as it is, and has
been ranked as one of the world's top 10 beaches.

Ok so I just did a rant to Anna, so it must be worth writing about here. I
was just about to put in the Numbers that the cost to Auckland of traffic
gridlock has been estimated by the OECD New Zealand economic survey, at
$1.25 billion. Let's think about that number for a bit.
I've often thought about that number and numbers like it, and contemplated
what completely free public transport would do to it. I think any forward
thinking city council would look at their gridlock cost and think that if
providing free public transport drops peak time traffic by 25% then it has
to be worth it. A couple of other points. According to the web page I'll
link to below, the cost of Auckland public transport is around $300m with
half of that being covered by fares, so my whole idea could be funded by
$150m - a bargain. Next, the widely talked about and slow in coming
Auckland City Rail Link, is expected to cost $2b, it would be paid for in
under two years without gridlock. Finally the web page link below is
basically arguing against free public transport and they have some
interesting points, but they don't contemplate the benefit to the current
gridlock problems.
*The Numbers Game*
6: people diagnosed with Legionnaires disease in Christchurch since April,
after a small outbreak
93: % of NZers trust the Fire Service - NZs most trusted profession, 92%
for the Ambulance service, 87% Doctors & Nurses, at the bottom is
Journalists 23%, Politicians 25%
411.6: kg monster bluefin tuna was hauled in by an exhausted Donna Pascoe
3,342: cases of pneumonia in the four months to April, 168 more than last
year after the cold snap
50,000: sheep sent live to Mexico for breeding purposes - the largest cargo
of animals to leave NZ
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4504 (-0.0132)
EUR 0.6221 (-0.0125)
USD 0.6992 (-0.0107)
AUD 0.9044 (-0.0212)
The reserve bank is dropping interest rates, to help offset the huge drop
in dairy prices world wide in an attempt to help farmers a bit, and this is
causing a drop in the NZ dollar.
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Bill Roberston
design of quake resistance
*Joke of the Weekender*
If you were a gladiator in olden days, I bet the inefficiency of how the
gladiator fights were organized and scheduled would just drive you up a
*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 07/06/2015

Hello, I hope things are good with you.
The bad news of the week was that former All Black hard man Jerry Collins
died in a car accident, along with his partner on a French motorway. Their
three month old baby survived but is in critical condition. The loss for
the Hurricanes particularly, inspired them to a huge 56-20 over the
Highlanders. That win secures the Hurricanes the top of the table at the
end of the season for the first time ever. The Crusaders beat the Blues
34-11, and the Chiefs secured a playoffs spot beating the Reds 24-3. The
Chiefs welcomed back Liam Messam and Brodie Retallick and can now push for
a home semi. The Rebels beat the Bulls 21-20, the Waratahs beat the
Cheetahs 58-33, the Stormers drew 19-19 with the Lions, and the Brumbies
beat the Force 33-20.
Table: Hurricanes 62, Chiefs/Highlanders 48, Waratahs/Brumbies 47, Stormers
45, Lions* 42, Crusaders 41, Bulls 37, Rebels 35, Sharks 29, Reds 22,
Cheetahs 21, Blues 20, Force 15 (all 15 games except for Lions with 16) -
one more round to go.
Unless things change the top three qualifiers (by Conference) are
Hurricanes, Waratahs, Stormers, and the next three qualifiers are Chiefs,
Highlanders, Brumbies.
In other news Dane Coles has signed with the NZRU for another four years.
The Crusaders might not be doing so well on the table but they lead the
competition on number of tries scored - 48 so far.

The Fifa U20 World Cup is on around the country at the moment, and last
Sunday afternoon we went along to watch a couple of games at Waikato
Stadium. It started off with Columbia vs Qatar and it really felt like a
home game for Columbia - who knew there were so many Columbian's in
Hamilton! The second game was Portugal vs Senegal and while the crowd was
quieter, the skills were better. A goal to Portugal in the first 25 seconds
had us intrigued to see how it would turn out but then all was quiet for 90
minutes (except for the great football) before a final flurry saw Portugal
win 3-0. During the week the Junior All Whites were thrashed 4-0 by USA,
first time World Cup attendees Fiji shocked Honduras 3-0, and then
yesterday the Junior All Whites made history with their first win at a
World Cup, beating Myanmar 5-1. Continuing with the history making, other
results went our way and the team is through to the next round.

In the ANZ Netball champs the Waikato/BOP Magic have knocked out the
Southern Steel in a extra time 71-69 thriller.

The Black Caps had an interesting second cricket test against England. NZ
was put into bat and made 350, England had their go and made ... 350. A few
of the days were slightly rain affected but NZ went on to declare at 454
for 8 (with a BJ Watling 120), and then bowled England out for 255 on the
last day, a great 199 run win and the test series was drawn 1-1. It's a
pity England didn't think NZ deserved a third deciding test. With that win,
Brendon McCullum became NZ's most successful test captain by win percentage.

In the NRL the Warriors were thrashed 36-4 by the Rabbitohs.
*NZ News*
A typical tit for tat week in politics with Labour blaming National for a
$70,000 sign for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and
then National blamed Labour for wanting to install a door that cost $30,000
to separate Labour MPs from National MPs in Parliament.
Perhaps Labour was also annoyed by a news report that their review of the
election performance indicated that unless they turned things around they
faced oblivion. I wonder if that made them sit up and call all their media
friends because all my links to the article failed!

The interesting news of the week was the court case by Lecretia Seales, a
former lawyer who went to court to win the right to die, legally. The High
court judge ruled against her saying the "complex legal, philosophical,
moral and clinical issues raised by Ms Seales' proceedings can only be
addressed by Parliament". He's right, just because you don't agree with the
law doesn't change the law. A fading Lecretia heard the ruling but passed
away that night before it was released publicly. The Labour & Greens are
pushing for a review. Three times a similar question has been put before
parliament and three times it was voted against. It's a tricky thing to
look at the big picture sometimes.
*The Numbers Game*
2: months as the new MP for Northland and Winston Peters hasn't made any
approaches about the promises that he made
5: the Queen's Birthday Weekend road toll - but still not good enough say
the Police
21,000: in damaged caused by a tenant in Wairarapa who did a runner
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4636 (-0.0025)
EUR 0.6346 (-0.0156)
USD 0.7099 (-0.0033)
AUD 0.9256 (-0.0061)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Te Rauparaha
design of the Haka
*Joke of the Weekender*
When I think back on all the blessings I have been given in my life, I
can't think of a single one, unless you count that rattlesnake that granted
me all those wishes.
*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 31/05/2015

Welcome to the end of May - already! This week NZ was hit by the biggest
storm on earth (no, not seriously, they must mean at the time, not ever)
but only 20% of it affected NZ. There was lots of snow, lots of cold
weather and rain - but from Wednesday on, amazing perfect blue sky days.
Well the Black Caps are in England and the first test started well with
Kane Williamson putting on a solid ton to give NZ a good lead over England
after the first innings. But then England set the Black Caps 344 to win and
we folded for 220. The second test started with NZ batting and we somewhat
recovered from 2-2 to get close to 300 with rain possibly affecting the
outcome. We were helped by Luke Ronchi making the most of his debut
reaching 88 of 70 balls. Update: The Black Caps tail end put on a show
reaching 350, and then Mark Craig bought them back into the game picking up
a few wickets to finish day two with England 253 for five.

Super Rugby continues although we are getting near to the end of the
season. The Crusaders thrashed the form team, the Hurricanes 35-18, and the
Highlanders thrashed the Chiefs 36-9. In other games the Queensland Reds
had their fifth win of the season beating the Western Force 32-10, the
Stormers beat the Cheetahs 42-12, the Lions beat the Waratahs 27-22, the
Brumbies beat the Bulls 22-16 and the Sharks beat the Rebels 25-21. The
Reds were the only team to win away from home this weekend.
Table: Hurricanes 57, Highlanders 48, Chiefs 44, Stormers 43,
Waratahs/Brumbies 42, Lions* 40, Crusaders/Bulls 36, Rebels 31, Sharks* 29,
Reds 22, Blues/Cheetahs 20, Force 15 (14 games except for *15)
In other rugby news, NZ Rugby has re-signed Julian Savea and Brodie
Retallick with long term contracts.

The Fifa U20 tournament (the world's third? biggest sporting event!) has
started in New Zealand yesterday with the Junior All Whites getting a 0-0
draw with Ukraine. This afternoon I'll be heading to a double header game
at Waikato Stadium for Qatar vs Columbia and Portugal vs Senegal.

Scott Dixon was on poll position for the Indy 500 but he had some late
power loss and faded to fourth - which is still a great result.

Marina Erakovic had never played on centre court before and got the chance
in the first round of the French Open. She played fourth seed Petra Kvitova
and battled for two hours 25 mins, eventually losing 6-4, 3-6, 6-4.
*NZ News*
Slow news week? The Green Party have announced a new co-leader and they
have voted for James Shaw, who has only been in Parliament for seven months.
*The Numbers Game*
6: m swells battered the Napier coast as the storm hit NZ
23: rd most powerful woman in the world for Helen Clark, two behind Beyonce
50: Maui dolphins only, are left according a researcher
82.6: % of NZers rated their overall satisfaction with life in NZ at 7 or
above, 87.1% rated their sense of purpose highly. NZers are happy with
their lives.
134: deaths on the roads so far this year after another two last weekend -
it's going to be a bad year unless we are all careful
26,000: health care workers rejected the collective agreement from the 20
District Health Boards
11m: $ has been committed to a development plan for the Wellington
waterfront over the next three years
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4661 (-0.0048)
EUR 0.6502 (-0.0116)
USD 0.7132 (-0.0216)
AUD 0.9317 (-0.0011)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Maui Pomare
design of Maori health
*Joke of the Weekender*
People think it would be fun to be a bird because you could fly. But they
forget the negative side, which is the preening.
*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}