May 2016

The Weekender 29/05/2016

Hello, sorry for the delay in getting this out, yesterday was a busy day!
The weather has been amazing this week, I don't remember this many
thunderstorms but they keep coming.
Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Blues somehow managed to hold on to beat
the Force 17-13. The Chiefs lost No.8 Michael Leitch with injury for two
This week was full of surprises. The Hurricanes beat the Highlanders 27-20,
maybe the Blues should have won, but the Crusaders beat them 26-21, and the
formerly top of the table Chiefs lost 45-25 to the Waratahs. The Southern
Kings beat the Jaguares 29-22, the Brumbies beat the Sunwolves 66-5, the
Lions beat the Bulls 56-20, the Stormers beat the Cheetahs 31-24.
At the end of the London Sevens, Fiji are on top of the world with 181
points, followed by South Africa on 171 and NZ back in third on 158.
While one NZer made the England squad, six new players have made the All
Blacks: Damian McKenzie, Seta Tamanivalu, Ardie Savea, Elliot Dixon, Liam
Squire and Ofa Tu'ungafasi. And Israel Dagg is back in black after missing
out on the World Cup last year.

Last weekend just after I sent out the weekender, it was all on for Joseph
Parker in the most difficult fight of his career, but he did get a
unanimous decision win over Carlos Takam and with the win announced he was
ready to fight for the IBF world heavyweight title.

It has been a good week for Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Well maybe more for OKC than Steven. For the second game in a row Steven
Adams was hit "below the belt" by Golden State Warriors player Draymond
Green. Afterwards Steven commented "It happened before mate, he is pretty
accurate". However the event spurred OKC on to thrash the Warriors 133-105
and they also won the fourth game to lead 3-1 in the best of seven series.
The Warriors pulled a game back, but OKC just need to win one more to make
the finals series. However Steven has shown he is a star of the future in
this series, he has been getting better each game and his great attitude
has seen him very poplar with the media - an awesome ambassador for NZ.
Update: The Warriors have won today's games so at 3-3 it's winner takes all
for the next game!

Valerie Adams is slowly coming back from her shoulder surgery and in the
Diamond League in Rabat threw a winning 19.68m shot for the third longest
throw this season.

In league the Warriors have started making changes, by letting go of Konrad
Hurrell. Hurrell had the potential to be a great player but just wasn't for
the Warriors, and he was quickly snapped up by the Gold Coast Titans.

Lisa Carrington kicked off her season with a win in the K1-200 and a second
in the K2-500 at the World Cup of canoeing.

Emma Twigg qualified for the Olympics in rowing, but four other crews
missed out, two of those by a single place.

In cricket, the national coach Mike Hesson has signed up for the next three

The Tall Ferns got off to a good start in the European leg of Olympic
Qualifying Tournament when they beat Latvia 70-64, but Latvia turned the
result around in the second game winning 72-52.

The All Whites started the Nations Cup with a 3-1 win over Fiji.
*NZ News*
The budget is no longer an all in one package these days, they start drip
feeding it out early but it was mostly released this week. I think a great
summary was from former Labour MP John Tamihere who said "Everybody wants
more out of the Budget but no one wants to pay extra taxes to cover it."
*The Numbers Game*
36.7: % support for John Key as Prime Minister, his lowest since he took
office, but still well ahead of second place Winston Peters on 12.1% and
Labour leader Andrew Little dropping to 8.9%
47: % support for the National Party - steady
300: new houses in Auckland targetting lower-cost or social housing
520: $/week average Auckland rent after a $20 jump in one week
9.7m: $ extra funding for Greymouth Hospital
650m: $ extra for the vulnerable, spanning health, welfare & education,
helping those 'at risk' - NZ Budget 2016
2.2b: $ extra put into health - NZ Budget 2016
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4574 (-0.0069)
EUR 0.6018 (-0.0013)
USD 0.6690 (-0.0072)
AUD 0.9311 (-0.0042)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Roy Kerr
In a ceremony held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm
yesterday, Emeritus Professor Roy Kerr, 82, was handed the million-dollar
Crafoord Prize by HM King Carl XVI Gustaf.
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

86. Order a one-inch pizza.
87. Order term life insurance.
88. When they say "Will that be all", snicker and say "We'll find out,
won't we?"
89. Order with a Speak-n- Spell where applicable.
90. Ask how many dolphins were killed to make that pizza.
*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 21/05/2016

Hello, let's get into it.
Last weekend in Super Rugby the Blues may have won their first away game in
almost two years, but then they played the Lions. Well maybe "played" is a
stretch. They were thrashed 43-5 . The three NZ teams at the top of
the table (the Highlanders had played one more game, and the Hurricanes
were one point behind) were all pushing this weekend to stay there, and the
Crusaders started by beating the Waratahs 29-10 getting a win, but not a
bonus point. The Chiefs had a great game beating the Melbourne Rebels 36-15
including a bonus point. In other games Queensland made hard work of the
Sunwolves winning 35-25, and the Blues are currently leading the Force 3-17
at half time.
Table: Chiefs 42, Crusaders 41, Highlanders 37, Hurricanes 36, Lions* 32,
Stormers* 31, Sharks/Waratahs 30, Brumbies 29, Bulls* 28, Blues* 25, Rebels
23, Cheetahs/Reds# 16, Jaquares* 13, Force* 10, Sunwolves 9, Kings* 4
All teams 11 games except for: * 10 games, # 12 games
In other rugby news, Dan Carter didn't get the fairy tale season end after
his Racing 92 team were beaten 21-9 by Saracens last weekend.
Last weekend the All Black Sevens handed Fiji the series title when they
lost 19-17 to Argentina in the quarter-final. The surprise sevens news of
the week was that former NRL player Jarryd Hayne, has now retired from NFL
(where he didn't make a huge impact) and hopes to join the Fiji Sevens for
the Olympics.

Tom Walsh finished second in his first Diamond League meet of this season,
leading the shot put early with a first up throw of 20.79m.

You might not know it (because I haven't mentioned it) but the netball ANZ
championship is on right now. I've been a little quiet because the NZ teams
are rubbish, and it looks like this will be the final year of the
competition. Half way through the season the Waikato/BOP Magic have just
picked up their first win beating the Mainland Tactix 58-57 but I don't
think any of the NZ teams have beaten any of the Australian teams - well
maybe one. Then this weekend the Magic won again (on a roll!) beating the
Northern Mystics 49-45.

People are definitely sitting up and taking notice of Steven Adams' role as
the third best player of the Oklahoma City Thunder in these NBA play-offs.
Especially as OKC stepped up and beat the seasons best team, Golden State
Warriors, in the first game of the Western Conference finals. However the
Warriors led by the amazing Steph Curry easily won the second game so the
next week will be interesting!

Perhaps the NZ Warriors have given up on their season after they were
thrashed 38-12 by the Canberra Raiders tonight.
*NZ News*
The Waikato measles outbreak has spread to the South Island and Fairfield
College is the latest location of infected people.

Nasa has successfully launched a super balloon from Wanaka Airport this
week, which they hope will float at 33.5km up and stay there for 100 days.

Andrew Little seems to be relying on stunts rather than policy and this
week it back fired on the Labour leader after he asked journalists to turn
up to a house where he was no doubt going to accused the government of
personally and directly causing an overcrowding situation - until the owner
insisted the house was just being renovated!
Little was obviously so busy being tricky, he forgot to do the one thing he
had to do this week and apologise to the Hotel chain, so they have
initiated their defamation action.
*The Numbers Game*
89: % of people surveyed support creating a marine sanctuary in the
Kermadec Islands
30,000: lightning strikes in & around NZ in 24hrs during the week, with a
couple of decent thunderstorms in our area as well
25m: $ boost for the New Zealand Cycle Trail - it is certainly a great way
to see the country and being well used
35m: $ wanted for Kim Dotcom's mansion, but after three weeks, no offers
have been made
46m: $ boost for sexual violence services to help overhaul the sector
97m: $ boost for Health R&D over the next four years from the government
238m: $ in claims for car crashes on ACC - and worth every penny if it
avoids a litigious society
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4643 (-0.0073)
EUR 0.6031 (0.0041)
USD 0.6762 (-0.0032)
AUD 0.9353 (0.0033)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Maurice Wilkins
design of DNA
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

82. Make the first topping you order mushrooms. Make the last thing you say
"No mushrooms, please." Hang up before they have a chance to respond.
83. When the order is repeated, change it slightly. When it is repeated
again, change it again. On the third time, say "You just don't get it, do
84. When you're given the price, say "Ooooooo, that sounds complicated. I
hate math."
85. Haggle.
*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 14/05/2016

Hello, great to see you, it's been a great week for us, although there was
a bit of bad weather further south.
Last weekend was momentous for the Blues. A month short of it being two
years since they won an away game, they beat the lowly Kings 18-34, while
the Hurricanes returned to being inconsistent with a 32-15 loss to the
Sharks. They also had 5 senior players miss a curfew by 18 mins so were
dropped for this weekends game against the Reds. The punishment was harsh
but they had all decided in advance what would happen on this tour if
curfew was broken.
This weekend the Highlanders looked serious contenders with a 34-26 win
over the Crusaders. The bonus point win puts the Crusaders, Chiefs and
Highlanders all equal on points at the top of the table. So five players
down but only playing the Reds, and the Hurricanes managed to win 29-14.
Table: Crusaders/Chiefs/Highlanders 37, Hurricanes 36, Stormers/Brumbies
29, Bulls 28, Lions 27, Sharks 26, Blues/Waratahs 25, Rebels 23,
Cheetahs/Jaquares/Reds 12, Force 10, Sunwolves 7, Kings 4
In other rugby news, Opotiki born Teimana Harrison has been named in the
England training squad to face Wales.

The basketball is getting interesting. Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City
Thunder saw off the San Antonio Spurs - who many had predicted would be the
runners up. The OKC won four in a row with Steven Adams getting more & more
court time, and getting better & better. He isn't yet at the level of the
two superstars in the OKC, but he has been the third best player in most of
these games. In fact with his contract up for renewal, one writer has
estimated Steven will be in line for a $60m contract, easily making him the
highest paid NZ sports start, and putting him in the top 30 NBA earners.
In other basketball news, one of NZ's best all time players Kirk Penney has
officially retired from international basketball.

Last weekend Team New Zealand won the latest round of the America's Cup
World Series, in the last race of the regatta. They extended their overall
lead in the series by two points.

Over in the English Premier league, Winston Reid continues to do well with
West Ham, scoring the winner against Manchester United, to give West Ham a
win in their final game at the Boleyn Ground or Upton Park, where they have
been since 1904.

The Warriors played in Christchurch for the first time in six years but
that didn't help losing 30-18 to Penrith.
*NZ News*
A researcher has added more information to NZ's history with NZ's official
encyclopaedia altering their details. Everyone
knows that Dutch explorer Able Tasman arrived in 1642, but it's possible
Spanish or Portuguese ships may have reached or been wrecked in NZ before

Prime Minister John Key has said that it is "utterly incorrect" that the
Panama Papers indicate New Zealand is a tax haven, with us having similar
rules to most other countries. It doesn't mean that all the countries can't
get better at blocking havens though.
It wasn't a good week for the Prime Minister after he was ejected from
Parliament by the Speaker for the first time since becoming the Prime
Minister. That resulted in Labour leader Andrew Little claiming John Key
was "out of control", but in reality it was just boisterous debate. Green
co-leader James Shaw had been demanding Key apologise for bringing
Greenpeace and Amnesty into the debate about the Panama Papers, while Key
was correctly stating that just because someone was named in the papers, it
didn't mean they were evil.
However the week got worse for Andrew Little as well with a hotel chain
demanding an apology within the week, or else they will start defamation
action. The Scenic Hotel Group were at the centre of Andrew Little's claim
of "dodgy deals" when they gave a donation to the National Party. The claim
was quickly seen to be false, however Little's statement was made outside
of the protection of parliament.

Morrinsville College was shut down by the Waikato Medical Officer of Health
this week and will only allow children back who can prove they are
vaccinated against measles, after a child became infected. People
(including teachers) who can't prove it, will have to be vaccinated and
stay home for two weeks. There are currently 20 cases of the measles in the
Waikato, and 12 cases under investigation.
*The Numbers Game*
1: km long bush fire is raging in the Canterbury plains tonight, hot winds
have been drying everything out
4.7: richter scale earthquake hit Christchurch mid week - likened to a
"baby King Kong"
20: degC temperature rise in Ruapehu crater lake has resulted in an
increase volcanic alert level - but they aren't really worried yet
500: homes in Wellington were without power after a storm hit on Friday
1.2m: $ worth of methamphetamine seized by police and customs, destined for
22.2m: $ boost to cyber security by the government
50m: $ animal research station being built by Otago University
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4716 (-0.0018)
EUR 0.5990 (-0.0012)
USD 0.6794 (-0.0056)
AUD 0.9320 (0.0052)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Roy Kerr
This month, Roy will receive the Crafoord Prize - only the second time it
has been awarded in 150 years. He is widely known for his work on black
holes and general relativistic astrophysics.
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

76. Learn to play a blues riff on the harmonica. Stop talking at
regular intervals to play it.
77. Ask if they would like to sample your pizza. Suggest an even trade.
78. Perfect a celebrity's voice. Stress that you won't take any crap
from some two-bit can't-hack- it pimple-faced gofer.
79. Put them on hold.
80. Teach the order taker a secret code. Use the code on all
subsequent orders.
*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 07/05/2016

Welcome along, we've been told that May will continue to be warm and we
have had some lovely blue days.
Last weekend in super rugby the Hurricanes started their African tour by
thrashing the Lions 50-17. This weekend the Crusaders thrashed the Reds
38-5 to jump to the top of the NZ conference - equal with the Chiefs but
with a game in hand, the Western Force found someone to beat in the
Sunwolves 40-22, and the Highlanders showed their class beating the Chiefs
13-26 with a Naholo double.

Last weekend the Warriors broke an 11 game losing streak to the St George
Illawarra Dragons, beating them 26-10, but the talk of the league week was
three Warriors stars who were dropped from that game for a breach of team
standards, and who were also blocked from playing for the Kiwis in the
ANZAC day test match.
The talking points continued as the Kiwis were beaten 16-0 by Australia,
however the curtain raiser was a different story with the Kiwi Ferns
beating Australia 26-16.

In the WTA Morocco tennis tournament, Marina Erakovic had a great run
through to the final, where she was beaten 6-2 6-1 by the top seed Timea

NZ picked up a gold and silver at the Sailing World Cup this week, with
Blair Tuke and Peter Burling taking gold in the 49ers and Sam Meech taking
silver in the Laser class.

William Trubridge broke his own free diving record this week with a 122m
four minutes and 30 second dive for his 16th World Record.

Steven Adams is playing some great basketball as the Oklahoma City Thunder
continue in the NBA play offs. They are up against it at the moment though!

In the latest cricket Twenty20 rankings, NZ has reached the top of the
table. In ODI rankings NZ is second behind Australia.

There were three kiwis in the top 10 after the first day at the Badminton
Horse Trials in England. Clark Johnston is fourth, Jesse Campbell fifth and
Jock Paget is 9th.
*NZ News*
The government has revealed that electric cars will be allowed to travel in
bus lanes as part of plans to increase electric vehicles here.

The NZ police kicked off a recruitment drive with a funny Janet Jackson
Running Man take off, and then they challenged a few other police
departments to do the same. The video went viral (and by viral I mean it
got more views that NZ's population within about 2 days), and the New York
Police Department were kind enough to join in, along with a few different
Australian departments and even the Scots. It's pretty funny and it has
been well received.
*The Numbers Game*
72: % of cyclists who broke the law last year, haven't bothered to pay
their fines, 4,449 people owing $244,695
109: th birthday for Madeline Anderson born in Dunedin in 1907
45,344 vehicles every week for Great North Rd and Lincoln Rd, Auckland's
busiest roads
1.4m: $ collected by National in donations last year, while Labour got
$279,134. I just love NZ when I heard that a US candidate trying to win a
nomination to run for president, took in $15m in one week
1.55m: $ for a 1890 villa in Ponsonby - which had been gutted by a fire in
October last year
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.4734 (-0.0034)
EUR 0.6002 (-0.0113)
USD 0.6850 (-0.0123)
AUD 0.9268 (0.0128)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Yvette Williams
design of the long jump
*Joke of the Weekender*
100 ways to phone in a pizza order

71. State your order and say that's as far as this relationship is going to
72. Ask if they're familiar with the term "spanking a pizza." Make up a
description to go with the term. Ask that this be done to your pizza.
73. Say "Kssssssssssssssht" rather loudly into the phone. Ask if they felt
74. When listing toppings you want on your pizza, include another pizza.
*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}