December 2015

The Weekender 20/12/2015

Welcome along to the last Weekender of the year, it's mostly been a great
week weather-wize but Christchurch did have a cold snap which included a
large amount of hail making it look like a white Christmas a week early! I
will take a couple of weeks off and catch you in 2016!
The All Black Sevens have had their worst start to a season ever, finishing
fourth in Dubai last weekend and being knocked out by Argentina in the
quarter finals in Cape Town. They then lost to USA with only seven players
The British have been having their awards and this week the All Blacks were
given the President's Award, a huge honour apparently. Although maybe it
was a booby prize since they don't have a president...
And Dan Carter has won the 2015 BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
award, beating out the likes of Usain Bolt, Jordan Spieth, Novak Djokovic
and Serena Williams. Jonah Lomu was the only other rugby player to win the
award back in 1995.

Continuing on with the first cricket test from last weekend, NZ batted on
declaring to give Sri Lanka 405 to win - and putting Brendon McCullum on
100 text sixes, equalling the world record. In the end NZ bowled them out
for 282 to win the test.
This time round things aren't looking so good at the moment. Sri Lanka
batted first in Hamilton and were all out for 282. NZ started well but had
a collapse to be 232/9 at the end of the second day. But today Sri Lanka
showed they wouldn't leave all the collapsing to the Black Caps. Although
Sri Lanka put on 71 for the first wicket, it was all down-hill from there
with only one other person reach double figures (and extras!), as they were
all out for 133. But NZ's openers fell cheaply and we still need 157.

Something has happened at NZ Rowing. Long term successful coach Dick Tonks
was found to be coaching a Chinese pair who had the potential to race the
NZ teams, so NZ Rowing sent a please explain and it seems Tonks didn't
really want to, preferring to walk away from coaching any NZers including
Mahe Drysdale - only eight months out from the Olympics. Mahe pushed to
retain Tonks and so it looks like he might continue with a couple of crews,
but it can't be good for our long term rowing success.

The men's Black Sticks team have been confirmed to go to the Rio Olympics
after receiving an invitation after initially being denied due to a low

The Wellington Phoenix scored late to salvage a draw against Sydney in the
90th minute. Nine yellow cards were issued in the match!
*NZ News*
The police did some great work and tracked down the 60 year old man who
caused a baby formula milk scare over 1080 poisoning. He was charged and
has pleaded guilty to two charges of blackmail.
*The Numbers Game*
7: people died on the road last weekend with the Police pleading with
people to be careful
16.2: % for Andrew Little as preferred Prime Minister, up 2.9%, although
John Key is up 1.5% to 65.2%. Love him or hate him, you have to admit most
people like John Key
35: degC forecast for Blenheim and 31 for Christchurch on Monday, it's
going to be a hot hot week
51.3: % support for National according to a Herald-DigiPoll, up on the last
survey and on a year ago, after the first year of their third term
29,179: km ride in 123 days circumnavigating the world by bicycle &
breaking the world record, for Andre Nicholson to raise funds for cancer
60,000: $ donation to the National Party by Gallagher Group, declared as
all donations over $15,000 are
400,000: $ worth of Methamphetamine found by police in a raid in Northland
15m: $ extra for the Corrections Department to help it cope with a growing
prison population
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4511 (0.0070)
EUR 0.6184 (0.0037)
USD 0.6723 (-0.0014)
AUD 0.9360 (0.0048)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
John Walker
design of the 1500m
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

1. If using a touch-tone, press random numbers while ordering. Ask the
person taking the order to stop doing that.
2. Make up a charge-card name. Ask if they accept it.
3. Use CB lingo where applicable.
4. Order a Big Mac Extra Value Meal.
5. Terminate the call with, "Remember, we never had this conversation."

*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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 13/12/2015

Hi all, it's been a mostly wet weekend with the grass growing like weeds in
the warm spring weather.
The first story of the week is basketball with the NZ Breakers who had a
battle on their hands last night to keep their home court win record
intact. But they put in the effort and beat the Sydney Kings 96-84.

The annual rugby awards night was held in Hamilton last week with Steve
Hansen winning coach of the year, and the All Blacks winning team of the
year, but the surprise was the player of the year going to Ma'a Nonu.

Sri Lanka are visiting NZ and the first test match kicked off in Dunedin a
couple of days ago. NZ made 431 with opener Martin Guptill reaching 156 and
Kane Williamson helping with 88. Sri Lanka's reply was 294 with 84 to
Karunaratne making 84 and Chandimal 83. At the end of day three NZ is
sitting on 171 for 3 with Latham and Williamson in the box seat.
In national cricket, Auckland joined Otago in the final for the Georgie Pie
Super Smash Twenty20 final.

The Rugby Sevens is on in Cape Town with New Zealand and South Africa
having shock defeats in pool play but both bouncing back to make the
quarters. South Africa were beaten 14-12 by Kenya, while injury-hit New
Zealand were beaten 24-12 by Canada.

Joseph Parker has moved to No 3 on the WBO rankings, ahead of former world
champ Wladimir Klitschko.
*NZ News*
New Zealand has chosen a contender for a new country flag with preliminary
results indicating the Blue and Black silver fern option. It retains the
history with the four starts of the southern cross, adding in the silver
fern. Next year we will get to decide whether or not it will replace our
current flag.

A week after a Labour reshuffle, National has done the same with PM John
Key bringing back cleared MP Judith Collins getting back the Corrections
and Police port folio. Trade minister Tim Groser is leaving parliament to
become the next Ambassador to the United States. There weren't many
changes. Judith Collins made some immediate impact with private jail
operator Serco being kicked out of Mount Eden prison after constant
failures and missing targets.

The New Zealand government is leading a group of 30 countries in a joint
diplomatic protest against Japan's whaling.

The lead up to Christmas is not going well for food shoppers with a new
food recall for a new week. Manuka-smoked chicken has been recalled after
it was found to be undercooked.

Comedian Jon Gadsby has died aged 62, after a battle with cancer.
*The Numbers Game*
1: # airline in the world for Air New Zealand
3: out of the top 5 TripAdvisor destinations are NZ cities - for the South
Pacific. I bet 5 of the top 5 are NZ cities for TripAdvisor top NZ
750,000: households expect in Auckland by 2038, up from 500,000 in 2013
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4441 (0.0011)
EUR 0.6147 (0.0004)
USD 0.6737 (0.0038)
AUD 0.9312 (0.0175)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Joel Dash
You don't have to be an adult to be the Weekender NZer of the week. Joel
was heading to school when he spotted an elderly man who had fallen going
for his morning paper. He managed to get the man up and inside, before
going for help. Legend.
*Joke of the Weekender*
How to know if you are ready for kids:
FINAL ASSIGNMENT Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture
them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet
training and child's table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve.
Emphasise to them that they should never allow their children to run
Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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 06/12/2015

Well, it looks like it's December already!
So last week I talked about the mistake made by the third umpire in the
cricket test between New Zealand and Australia and in the end Australia won
by three wickets, but that point in the match was crucial. New Zealand sent
a "please explain" to the umpires and were duly informed that a mistake was
made. At that point though, there isn't much that can be done, other than
taking the umpire out of a few games, but they haven't even done that! What
a way to ruin the first day/night game and series.
In other cricket related news, after months of stories about Chris Cairns
trial in England he was this week found not guilty of perjury and
perverting the course of justice. There was never any smoking gun and even
though there were lots of reliable witnesses against him, none of them
really had anything other than hearsay. He wasn't being charged with match
fixing, but that's essentially what the charge was about. If he didn't fix
matches then he didn't lie about it in court.

The UCI Track World Cup was on this weekend in Cambridge at the Velodrome.
And the New Zealand teams impressed with the pursuit team getting silver
and the sprint team did the same, and the women's pursuit team got bronze.
What a great event to have just down the road.

The NZ Breakers bounced back against the Perth Wildcats 99-78 - that's a
pretty good score against Perth.

The Dubai Sevens is on this weekend and after cruising through the first
couple of games, New Zealand promptly lost to United States 14-12 for the
first time ever. In the pool games New Zealand beat France 21-14, and
Portugal 47-5. NZ beat Samoa in the quarters but were beaten 19-5 by Fiji
in the semis and then lost again to USA 31-12 to finish fourth - NZ were
injury hit and could only field 5 players at times. Fiji began the defence
of their title with a 28-17 win over England.

In the Fight for Life, Irene van Dyk showed some potential with a first
round TKO, while rugby bad boy Zac Guildford got beaten up by reality TV
Bachelor star Art Green, and Joseph Parker had a first round knock out
against Daniel Martz.

The Wellington Phoenix moved up the ladder - and also prevented Melbourne
from taking first spot with a 2-0 win in Wellington.

The NZ Breakers beat the Townsville Crocs 75-86.
*NZ News*
Andrew Little has shuffled deck chairs on the Titanic, ahem I mean shuffled
his cabinet, deservedly moving Kelvin Davis up the rankings and giving him
the Maori Affairs portfolio from long serving Nanaia Mahuta. Jacinda Ardern
has moved up four to fifth, and Megan Woods moves to the front bench, while
David Cunliffe drops along with Mahuta dropping eight places, and Phil Goff
drops to the bottom due to his run for the Auckland mayoralty.

New Zealand is now Queensland Fruit Fly free after a successful operation
from last summer after a few of the pesky Australian's were found.

There has been a Hepatitis A scare this week from frozen berries, a
mandatory recall on some products and the company also voluntarily recalled
some other products.
*The Numbers Game*
1.17: % average of their income, given by NZers, slightly down on 2011, but
still the third most generous country
30: hours of playing wheelchair basketball for the Auckland Wheelbreakers
to take the Guinness World Records
10,000: food hampers for people in need at Christmas by LIFE church with
help from Tear Fund and Nestle
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4430 (0.0084)
EUR 0.6143 (-0.0035)
USD 0.6699 (0.0149)
AUD 0.9137 (0.0052)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Lance Corporal Rory Malone
He died a hero, gunned down in Afghanistan after saving the life of his
commanding officer. He was be posthumously honoured with a New Zealand
Government gallantry award.
*Joke of the Weekender*
How to know if you are ready for kids:
PHYSICAL TEST (Men) Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the
counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food
store. Go to the head office and arrange for your pay-check to be
directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read
it quietly for the last time.
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos

Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{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}