January 2018

The Weekender 28/01/2018

Hello, we are looking at a run of 30 deg days here, not something we are used to!


The Black Caps beat Pakistan by seven wickets in the first Twenty20 for their record 13th consecutive win across all formats of the game. Pakistan did well to reach 105 after being reduced to 38 for six at about the halfway point. Pakistan finally showed some form in the second game beating the Black Caps by 48 runs.
The IPL bidding was the other day and while NZ's bowlers went unsold, Brendon McCullum topped the bidding for NZ's batsmen - even though he has been retired from International cricket for two years. He went for $770,000. Kane Williamson went for $641,000, Colin de Grandhomme went for $470,000 and Colin Munro $406,000. Those to miss out were Martin Guptill, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan and the World No1 Twenty20 bowler Ish Sodhi.

The NZ Breakers are being a bit inconsistent this year with an 81-71 loss to the Cairns Taipans, but over in the NBL, Steven Adams set a career-high 25 field goals as the Thunder thrashed the Cleveland Cavaliers 148-124. In another game, the Thunder beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-108 after being behind most of the game.

The Wellington Phoenix had a good game with a 3-2 away win over the Newcastle Jets, but in general, it doesn't look like a good season for them.

The Silver Ferns have done little to bounce back from a 4-0 battering by Australia in the last Constellation Cup. They dropped the Quad Series opener to England 57-64. They did beat South Africa 51-46 in the second game.

The Vantage Black Sticks men haven't done well in the Four Nations tournament at the University of Waikato. They dropped the opening game 3-2 to India, beat Japan 6-2 but lost 4-0 to Belgium, so meet Japan for the third-place playoff.

NZ News

The news about Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's pregnancy continued at a slower pace this week and was evenly spaced with articles I think were quite realistic about it how crazy it is. Most articles were from women who ran businesses and had a baby and wished they didn't have to do both. Articles pointed out that being a mother is an incredibly demanding 24 hour a day job. And being a Prime Minister is an incredibly demanding 24 hour a day job. Women can certainly do both. But to pretend anyone should be able to do them both at the same time is misleading everyone. A prominent UK columnist has accused Ardern of betraying voters.

Labour had decided to ditch the Better Public Service targets, which Bill English has slammed saying it will cause public service to drift. Ardern said there is merit in the system but Labour will set its own. To me, that means they are trying to just get rid of everything National has done, good or bad, and replace it with a Labour version for no reason. It's pretty obvious that is what is going on, especially in the Health sector. We already know that Labour won't have money for the basics and I wonder if this was something costed, or whether they'll just give the taxpayers the bill later.

Another statement from the government this week was from the Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway saying Employers have nothing to fear from law changes. Employers will no longer be able to opt out of multi-employment collective agreements, among a number of changes. I thought the government was scrapping the 90-day trial period for workers but it will still be available for businesses with under 20 workers, so that is great news - and that is thanks to New Zealand First. But small-business confidence has plunged to its lowest level in nine years. Only 29% of small businesses were more pessimistic about the year ahead, a net fall of 43%. That is staggering. And potentially catastrophic for a country where there is a huge number of small businesses. I don't think small business employers agree with the Workplace Relations Minister. Perhaps they think he is just doing what his union string pullers are telling him to.

Bill English returned to Ratana this year, which he has been doing since 2001. He is a semi-fluent Maori speaker and managed a few jokes about now being the leader of the Opposition. He pointed out that many Maori voted for the government but they should be wary because "they are family". "The politics, there are a lot of relatives, it's all intertwined." One of the speakers did attack English over his views on the Maori language but also said: "We still need your support for the aspirations and goals of Maoridom even though you sit in Opposition."

New Zealand small company "Rocket Lab" put a rocket into space on its second test trial this week. Their aim is to put commercial satellites into orbit for a fraction of the current cost. The rocket (called "Still Testing") deployed payload of a satellite for Earth imaging, weather mapping and tracking ship traffic.

The Numbers Game

5.1: richter scale earthquake off the central coast this week
35: people rescued in Auckland by Surf Life Saving as people hit the beaches to counteract the heat wave
35.2: degC maximum in Wanaka a new record
37: degC in Waiau, North Canterbury this week - well down on the 42 from February 1973
94: year old Liz Hawley passed away this week, she was the Honorary Consul in Nepal
11,323: lightning strikes hit the North Island after intense thunderstorms moved across the country - cooling us down a little, but not heaps
1.2m: $ being spent by Auckland Transport on electric cars
370m$: treaty top-up for Waikato-Tainui and Ngai Tahu

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5175 (-0.0074)
EUR 0.5908 (-0.0043)
USD 0.7347 (0.0057)
AUD 0.9089 (-0.0014)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Frances Alda
“New Zealand’s most famous daughter” began her career in Europe, singing at Covent Garden, La Scala and the Opera-Comique in Paris, and became a star member of the New York Metropolitan Opera, one of the world’s most enduring and distinguished opera companies. She was described as “one of the great voices of the Twentieth Century”.

Joke of the Weekender

Why did the old man fall in the well?
Because he couldn't see that well.


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 20/01/2018

Welcome back, it's been a while, but here we are back for the new year.


- Liam Messam has signed with French Club Toulon
- Lima Sopoaga has confirmed he will be leaving New Zealand at the end of 2018
- Kiwi Raelene Castle has been appointed as the Rugby Australia CEO, she had previously been a CEO for the NRL Canterbury Bulldogs
- Joseph Parker has agreed to fight Anthony Joshua in a unifying heavyweight boxing fight
- A stunning 5-4 victory over Belgium for the Black Sticks in the opening match of the four-nations
- The Black Sticks followed up with a win over Japan
- The NZ Breakers broke their slump with an impressive 98-81 win over Melbourne, earlier they had a 99-95 win over the Sydney Kings
- F1 driver Brendon Hartley got married
- Rugby World Cup star Stephen Donald got married in a quiet wedding in the Coromandel
- Stephen Adams has been doing well with the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Black Caps have put together a great run, recently completing a 5-0 sweep of Pakistan in ODI's.
- ODI 1: 61-run (Duckworth-Lewis) win after Kane Williamson scored his 10th ODI century leading NZ to 315-7
- ODI 2: eight-wicket win with an 86 from Martin Guptill
- ODI 3: 183-run win with a 5-17 from Trent Boult as Pakistan were dismissed for 74 chasing 257
- ODI 4: five-wicket win with a 56 from Colin Munro
- ODI 5: 15-run win with a superb century from Martin Guptill (man of the match and series)
- Black Caps duo of Colin Munro and Ish Sodhi have found themselves at the top of the ICC Twenty20 rankings
- Before the Pakistan series, Trent Boult climbed to No 4 in the ODI bowling rankings

NZ News

- Australia has once again shown their staggering ... something (inhumanity?) by deporting a criminal to New Zealand. The man in question has NZ citizenship but was born in American Samoa and has never been to New Zealand.
- Former deputy PM Jim Anderton passed away last week
- The Thames Coast road was destroyed by the storm which also had plenty of flight cancellations, roofs lifted, homes flooded and thousands without power
- A small fire saw TVNZ evacuated half an hour before the six o clock news which was delayed by half an hour
- Joy Cowley has received NZ's highest honour
- The new government hasn't hidden its anti-Israeli agenda, quickly joining the votes against the USA in declaring Jerusalem as capital of Israel - why do we think we should get to decide whether we recognise where another countries capital is
- The new government has been making & changing laws quickly, including introducing Medicinal cannabis legislation
- They've also introduced legislation to ban overseas buyers from buying existing houses
- And before Christmas, they introduced legislation on a Euthanasia bill for the first reading
- National says that the new government won't have enough money left over from meeting its policy promises, to pay for operating costs
- Labour released their Families Package just before Christmas - it was supposedly good for Maori, children and parents, but some didn't think it went far enough
- Treasury has warned that there will be a gap in school data after the government scrapped national standards without a replacement
- A British Medical Journal has used PM Jacinda Ardern as a poster-child for Marxist ideas

The big news of the week, which has already gone around the world, is that PM Jacinda Ardern and her partner announced that they will be having a baby. It has been talked about a lot this week and I've only got a couple of points. Firstly, I don't see how anyone could handle a first child as a Prime Minister - let alone a new Prime Minister. That is backed up by Ardern's own comments (during the campaign) that she wouldn't consider having children as either Prime Minister or leader of the Labour Party. Apparently, MP's have to be available until 10 pm when the house is sitting - that's not exactly ideal for babies. The next thing is that she found out during negotiations - that would have been good news for Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, who is all about the "baubles of office" - the chance to be Prime Minister for six weeks would have gone down well.

Numbers Game

1.328: Terabits per second from the Chorus network at 9:25 pm on December 10
3: years old is the average age that Kiwi kids get their passports
10: people dead on the roads already - on par with the terrible record of 2017
12: for the Christmas-New Year holiday road toll
35: degC in Dunedin today - the hottest day on record
40: dry days for Wanganui and that was only the start of summer - but I think most places have had some rain now
70: % drop in available rental properties in Wellington
88: drownings in 2017, up from 78 in 2016, 69 of those were males
380: road toll deaths in 2017 for the worst road toll in seven years
411: terabytes of data used over Christmas Day and Boxing Day on the Vodafone network
1,000: homes still without power, three days after a major storm swept the country
1m: $ paid by Police over five-years for information on unsolved crimes
3.74m: $ for new electric vehicles from the government
12.5m: $ of ACC injuries are caused by pets in 17,000 injuries
30m: $ methamphetamine bust in Auckland after Police raids
282.4m: $ spent in one day of Christmas shoppers - breaking electronic transaction records
15b: $ in lost revenue and royalties is the official costing given to the Greens to ban new coal mines, oil drilling and fracking

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5249 (0.0161)
EUR 0.5951 (0.0135)
USD 0.7290 (0.0450)
AUD 0.9103 (-0.0003)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Robert Burchfield
Dr Robert Burchfield was a world-renowned scholar. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “the greatest living lexicographer”, he played a crucial role in the study of the sources and development of the English language.
Born in Wanganui, New Zealand, in 1923, he was educated at Victoria University College, Wellington and then at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. At Magdalen College, Oxford, he studied under C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

In 1957, Burchfield was appointed editor of the definitive 16,750 page, 46-kilogram Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, which was published in four volumes between 1972 and 1986. He was chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary between 1971 and 1984. The Dictionary’s authority is so widely acknowledged that it needs no validation here. that, “on every day, including Sunday, six people buy an Oxford Dictionary every minute.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary is regularly number one on best-selling lists in Britain. As Burchfield said to the Evening Post in the 1980’s, “it’s ahead of all the books on dieting, and all the books about Diana. We have no idea who’s buying them. We just know they are popular.”


Joke of the Weekender

How do you get two whales in a car? Start in England and drive west.


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}