June 2018

The Weekender 30/06/2018

Welcome to winter, roads have been closed all over the place with snow, and a big rockfall in the Waioeka Gorge. 


The international rugby window rolled on with the All Blacks not entirely convincing in the second test winning 26-13 defined by an early red card for Frenchman Benjamin Fall. Adding to the crazy situation, the red card was deemed wrong by Rugby Officials and cancelled after the game. In the third test, Chiefs player Damien McKenzie displayed an attacking masterclass to lead the All Blacks to a 49-14 win.
Former All Black Julian Savea has confirmed that he will move to France after the Super Rugby season to play for Toulon. And Jerome Kaino played his last game at Eden Park for the Blues the other night. He should become the second most capped Blues player before the end of the season.
In other games, South Africa secured a series win over England with a 23-12 win in the second game but then dropped the last game. The USA beat Scotland for their first win over a Tier One team.
Super Rugby is just kicking back into life with the Blues thrashing the Reds 39-16 at Eden Park for Jerome's last home game.

Lydia Ko finished third in the LPGA in Michigan.

Jack Bauer and Dion Smith have been confirmed for the Tour de France.

A young Kiwis team let a 0-12 lead slip away as England came back to beat them 36-18 in a one-off Rugby league test in Denver.
The Warriors had a last-gasp loss to the Cronulla Sharks last night, losing 18-15.

Three gold medals for rowers in Austria and two for sailors in Germany. Blair Tuke finished a close second in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Scot McLaughlin had his sixth win in the Aussie V8's in the Darwin round. Scot Dixon finished third in the Indycar race in Wisconsin to extend his series lead. 

NZ News

With Jacinda Ardern now on maternity leave, Winston Peters is acting Prime Minister and someone launched a tool recording how much Labour buying New Zealand First is actually costing. Apparently, it is $5.1b already ($2,960 per NZer) and that is expected to grow while he is in charge.
The baby news about the Prime Minister was crazy - at one point Stuff had five articles about the new baby leading its news list. So it was a baby girl and was named "Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford".

The road toll shows no sign of slowing down (despite my award-winning day job focusing on that mostly) with a two-car crash which killed seven of eight people in Waverly. The four elderly people died instantly in one car, and in the other, the stepfather, and eight-month-old died immediately with the eight-year-old dying a day later and the mother still in critical condition.

Statistics NZ gave some details this week on NZ's level of debt. The figure of $2.7b is the one that scaremongers are happy to talk about, but most of that is penalties which never get paid, leaving around $700m in real payments, which is dropping for the first time in 20 years.

Former Labour MP Koro Wetere died this week aged 83. He was Minister of Maori Affairs from 1984 to 1990.

So I probably was reading something and maybe it wasn't an original idea, but I figured out why Labour gets in and suddenly all over the place from bus drivers to teachers, nurses to public servants, everyone is talking about striking for more pay. It's quite simple but basically, the government promised all their contributing unions the earth. I guess they never expected to get elected but now they find themselves having to spend huge huge sums of money and still all their "supporters" are baying for blood - or at least more money. I think the nurses have backed down after a higher pay offer from the DHB's, but the teachers had a stop-work meeting on Monday, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Following on with the government's spending, the Health Minister was grilled in Parliament this week over where the extra $8b was. Again Labour campaigned on spending $8b more than National would, but the Minister announced a four-year budget with no sign of the new spending.

The government clearly campaigned on banning house sales to overseas investors but this week they announced the full deal and it was well watered down with new exemptions.

The government has scrapped health targets because they were creating "perverse outcomes" for patients. They might have toned down the rhetoric a little if they had remembered that the targets were introduced by the Labour-led government in 2007. National warned that losing the targets will lose the accountability meaning more illnesses and fatalities.

The Speaker of the House has reprimanded Housing Minister Phil Twyford for cheeky answers to National's Judith Collins. Trevor Mallard said they showed "contempt for the accountability" and he gave National 20 more questions. So perhaps he is trying to be a bit fairer. 

The Numbers Game

-6: degC in the South Island the day after the shortest day as frosts grip the country
4.8: Richter scale earthquake hit central North Island. I don't typically report anything below 5, but nothing has come up for a long while
4.9: Richter scale earthquake in Hawkes Bay
37: % of Auckland school children are overweight - and on average almost 2kg heavier than seven years ago
70: Auckland bus drivers for Ritchies in Auckland were to strike
99: % rise in road safety spending
111: year old Madeline Anderson - NZs older person died this week
131: NZers die from Motor Neuron Disease each year - 53 more than the international average
26,000: fewer people were eligible for the government's much-touted fees-free policy for University study
60,000: $ per month spent by NZTA removing tagging on Auckland motorways
200m-600m: $ from the sale of parks by Auckland City Council in what surely is a short-sighted view 

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 16/06/2018 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.5126 (-0.0104)
EUR 0.5791 (-0.0197)
USD 0.6770 (-0.0179)
AUD 0.9140 (-0.0196)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Peter Blake
design of circumnavigation

Joke of the Weekender

(Quoted from adhdheather)

To remember how many feet there are in a mile, you just have to use 5 tomatoes.
Five to-mate-oes sounds like five, two, eight, 0 and there are 5280 feet in a mile.
Reply by "official-deutschland"
To remember how many metres there are in a kilometre you just remember "1000" because the system of measurement in the rest of the world wasn't invented by a drunk mathematician rolling dice.


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 16/06/2018

Hello, how are you this Fieldays Week! Next weekend we have a family get together, so I'll be skipping the Weekender, catch you the week after. 


The All Blacks kicked off their international games last weekend, with a 52-11 win over France at Eden Park. But the first half was a bit rusty in their first game of the season and at halftime were behind 8-11. Rieko Ioane got a double with Beauden Barrett, Taylor, Ben Smith, McKenzie, Laumape and Ardie Savea all scoring tries and three Barrett brothers starting the game.
The Australian and South African teams may well be struggling in Super Rugby but the national teams helped provide a trifecta of wins over their northern hemisphere counterparts. Australia ended Irelands 15 month run, beating them 18-9, and the Springboks fought back from a great English start to win 42-39. Hurricanes captain Brad Shields has been handed a start for the English team for this weekend.
The Black Ferns won the final round of the World Series in Paris, beating Australia 33-7 in the final.
The NZ under 20 side won't be defending their World Championship title after they were beaten 16-7 by France in the semi-final.
Jono Gibbes will become the Director of Rugby for French Top 14 Club La Rochelle at the end of the year. And Julian Savea has reportedly signed a two-year deal with Toulon.

Last weekend Shaun Johnson inspired the Warriors to a 34-14 win over Manly in his 150th NRL game. This weekend, captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returned from injury to help the Warriors to a 23-16 win over the North Queensland Cowboys.

Surfer Paige Hareb has had to withdraw from the next two Championship tour events after breaking her ribs after she hit a rock.

The White Ferns continued their dominance over Ireland with a 306-run win at the start of the week, and for three games scored over 400.

Haydon Paddon finished fourth in the Rally Italy in Sardinia - a good bounce back from previous results.
Scott Dixon won his second race in a week in IndyCar with a win in Texas putting him onto the top of the championship.
Brendon Hartley appears to have received backing from Red Bull after rumours that he was about to be replaced. He hasn't had a good start to the season but hopefully, he can start doing a bit better.

Evie Corrigan has broken two world records to claim gold at the 2018 World Classic Powerlifting Championships.

NZ News

Although the commentary had been around a close race, the Northcote byelection was won comfortably by National with a 1,362 majority. It was a safe seat for National but obviously would have been a boost for Labour if they'd been able to pull off a win.

The government seems to have gone shy on announcing yet another review after they quietly set up an advisory group to replace National Standards.
There were confusing announcements this week around justice with the government seeming to indicate they were no longer going to repeal the three strikes law which they've talked over & over about repealing. However, it seems New Zealand First forced their hand, with the opposition saying it "underlined cracks in the coalition".
The Prime Minister has left to have her baby, leaving Winston Peters in charge - with everyone wondering what will happen. Especially with an announcement the same day that Winston Peters was pushing forward in suing former ministers Paula Bennett and Anne Tolley but also the Ministry of Social Development, its Chief executive and the State Services Commissioner for $450,000. So he is currently acting Prime Minister and he is suing his own government. What a bizarre set of circumstances.
Green MP and Minister Eugenie Sage has come under fire from her own party after she allowed a Chinese-owned company to expand its water bottling plant. She really has done the right thing, but it is weird considering Greens campaigned strongly against any foreign companies having rights to sell NZ water.
Police Minister Stuart Nash has been quizzed after he admitted he didn't bother to read official advice on options for phasing in 1,800 new police officers over five years. He said he doesn't read those papers because of the coalition promise. How unbelievable.
You'd think that would be enough for the week but no, National has a voice message indicating that under fire Health Minister David Clark tried to gag public servants, offering them jobs in return for their silence over the issues at Middlemore Hospital.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has had more problems this week with councillors penning a letter of no confidence with his recent handling of the downtown stadium.

The weather has been causing a bit of havoc recently and nowhere more so than Lemons Hill SH 11 in the Bay of Islands. They had another slip on the road a day before it was due to be opened after clearing a previous slip. 

The Numbers Game

3.5: % of Aucklanders use mobile phones according to a survey
5.06: $ the average price for an Avocado at the moment
44,000: $ cost for fixing tracks with the derailed train at Britomart

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5230 (-0.0020)
EUR 0.5988 (+0.0009)
USD 0.6949 (-0.0088)
AUD 0.9336 (+0.0082)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Clarence Beeby
design of education

Joke of the Weekender

Why aren’t koalas actual bears?
They don’t meet the koalafications.


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 09/06/2018

Welcome along. After a lovely sunny Saturday ride last weekend, the rest of the long weekend was very stormy, but later this week we've had some amazing blue sky days with frosty mornings. 


Super Rugby takes a break for the international window but last weekend the Crusaders out-muscled the Chiefs 34-20 for a 10-game winning streak.
Table: Crusaders* 54, Hurricanes 45, Highlanders/Lions* 40, Chiefs 37, Waratahs 35, Jaguares 34, Rebels 34, Sharks 28, Brumbies/Stormers* 25, Bulls 24, Reds 19, Blues 17, Sunwolves 10. Four NZ teams in the top five (on points). Thirteen games except for 14*.
Brad Shields has been fast-tracked into the England squad and is on the bench for the first test against South Africa.

Scott Dixon had his first win of the IndyCar season last weekend, making it four top-five finishes in the first seven races. He is second in the championship.

The White Ferns have broken the men and women's ODI highest score record. Ireland put them into bat and they scored 490-4 and they went on to a 346-run win. Captain Suzie Bates and Maddy Green struck centuries with Bates now having the most runs for NZ women.
The successful Black Caps coach Mike Hesson is standing down after six years in the role to spend more time with his family.

Ryan Fox has grabbed a spot on the US Open next week.

The All Whites beat Chinese Taipei 1-0 for their first win at the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai. They followed that up with a win over India 2-1.

Tom Walsh has won the shot put in the latest round of the Oslo Diamond League.

NZ News

Last weekend the Queens Birthday honours were announced and former Prime Minister Bill English was knighted, as did singer John Rowles, while Annabel Langbein was made an Officer of the Order of Merit for services as a food writer. 

The speedway is leaving Western Springs after 90 years, and the ground will become a cricket ground - at the end of the 2019-20 season.

Phil Goff (mayor of Auckland) has defended not giving councillors full access to a $1m "pre-feasibility" report on a potential $1.5b downtown stadium.

The teachers union is planning industrial action after the offer by the Ministry of Education fell short of their expectations. It hasn't taken long for the unions to flex their muscles with this government. 

The Numbers Game

42.7: % support for Labour in Radio NZ's "poll of polls" (average of three polls), down from 44% and showing no bounce from the budget
86: # ranking for Steven Adams in the Forbes' annual list of the world's top hundred highest-paid athletes
113: more plants classified as "threatened" - including Kauri from the die-back disease
122: reviews initiated by the government costing an estimated $114m by the opposition (those are things the now-government had 9 years to work on in opposition)
150: m from sea-level snow in Dunedin during the week
9,000: km away from NZ is South Georgia island where kiwis have led the world's biggest rodent eradication project
32,000: $ bill for taxpayers for former US President Barak Obama's three-day visit to NZ recently
1,000,000: babies that Sir Ray Avery is planning to save with his LifePod incubators
10m: $ clean up in Tolaga Bay after the recently flooding

Finance NZ Dollar

For years I've used the OANDA rates, but this week we switch to a free API service I've found to make it easier, it's now a one-click process. The price differences are from the new service from last week.
GBP 0.5250 (+0.0017)
EUR 0.5978 (-0.0008)
USD 0.7037 (+0.0053)
AUD 0.9254 (+0.0029)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Jean Batten
design of flying

Joke of the Weekender

What's ET short for?
He's only got little legs.


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 02/06/2018

Welcome to June. This week has seen lovely blue sky days and frosty mornings, with the weather supposed to be packing in for the long (Queen's Birthday) weekend. 


Following up the Super Rugby from last weekend, the papers had great delight in saying that Australia's run of wins over New Zealand teams ended at one, with the Waratahs falling 39-27 to the Chiefs in an epic encounter here in Hamilton, while the Reds had a horror night with the boot to lose 15-18 to the Highlanders.
This weekend the Highlanders beat the stuttering Hurricanes 30-14 in Dunedin, while the Blues hit rock bottom with a 10-20 loss to the Melbourne Rebels, and the Chiefs are hosting the Crusaders tonight.

Last weekend the Rabbitohs powered past the Warriors 30-10.

In the kayaking World Cup 2 in Germany, World Champions Lisa Carrington and Caitlin Ryan were convincing in their K2 500m win for gold. Then Carrington paired up with Aimee Fisher to win the K2 200m and then Carrington, Ryan, Fisher and Rebecca Cole joined together to win the K4 500m.

Scott Dixon came third in the Indy 500 last weekend for his fourth podium finish at the event.
Dylan Hartley failed to finish the Monaco Grand Prix after being shunted from behind. 

NZ News

The government announced a plan to eradicate the Mycoplasma bovis cattle disease with many cattle due to be culled.
Housing MP Phil Twyford just can't stay out of the news! This week at a business breakfast he commented: "If you don't want to have affordable housing or quality density housing in your neighbourhood, you go and live in Pokeno or Dairy Flat".

The Te Mata peak is a lovely spot to visit and no doubt a great place for exercise, so a while ago, Craggy Range winery got council approval and put in a zig-zag track from their side to the top. This greatly angered the local Maori who apparently the council didn't consult, and groups of protestors have since taken it out on Craggy Range. This week an agreement was reached between Craggy Range and Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi, but now Waimarama mana whenua are saying it goes against iwi agreements. 

The Numbers Game

3: % pay rises over 18 months is the governments offer to nurses - they are now considering striking with many unhappy at the offer
11.5: cent fuel tax to hit Aucklanders on 1st July after council approval, local councillors say it will hurt poor communities in South Auckland
45: % support for National in a post-budget 1 News Colmar Brunton poll, Labour on 43%, Greens down to 5%, New Zealand First below 5%
49: bus trips affected by Auckland bus drivers strike
68: % of Kiwis support the three-strikes law that the government wants to repeal
153: year old ship unearthed near the entrance to Kaipara Harbour
159: road deaths so far this year, ahead of last year at 146 with another five deaths last weekend
115,000: searches on Trademe for heaters - up 50% on the previous month
250,000: $ in benefits for a fraudster home-owner beneficiary (he owned a mortgage-free house in Auckland and a property in Paris)

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5248 (0.0060)
EUR 0.5984 (0.0062)
USD 0.6987 (0.0067)
AUD 0.9248 (0.0098)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Dick Quax
The New Zealand running legend and standing Auckland councillor passed away this week.
Alongside Sir John Walker and Rod Dixon, Dick Quax was a prominent figure in what was a golden era for New Zealand distance running in the 1970s.
Born in the Netherlands before moving to New Zealand as a boy, Quax emerged as a leading runner while attending Hamilton Boys' High School.
Best known for his run to Olympic silver in 1976, the following year Quax achieved what was arguably a more impressive feat, breaking the 5000m world record in Stockholm, in Sweden. Quax also picked up silver in the 1500m at the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

Joke of the Weekender

How did the hipster burn his mouth?
He ate the pizza before it was cool.


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}