April 2019

The Weekender 27/04/2019

Welcome along, next weekend I'll take a break as the family is having a holiday over to Great Barrier Island, it should be fun.


Sport

The Black Fern Sevens had some trouble in the Japanese leg after they let their winning record slip with a draw against Russia and then lost to France for the first time in the Seven's series.
Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Highlanders got their third win of the season beating the Blues 24-12, while in South Africa the Brumbies beat the Stormers 19-17.
This weekend, former Chief Sevu Reece got two tries to help the Crusaders to a 36-10 win over the Lions in a replay of last year's final, while the Highlanders hit top gear thrashing the Sunwolves 0-52 with a dominant forwards performance.

The Warriors have had a bad couple of weeks. Last weekend they were beaten 17-10 by North Queensland, and this weekend for the ANZAC day match against Melbourne Storm, they put up and amazing fight and were leading near the end until the Storm were given a penalty despite a knock-on to level the score and then they got a miracle drop goal to win the game 13-12. The Storm are a great side, and it doesn't hurt that they get more than their fair share of 50-50 calls.

In the World Cup Series sailing regatta in Genoa, Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Wilcox won the 470 medal race to complete the triple with Isaac McHardie and William McKenzie taking silver and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke getting the bronze in the 49ers.

Last weekend Roy Krishna had a record-breaking hat-trick to give the Wellington Phoenix a late 3-2 win over Melbourne City. The Phoenix have missed out on a home semi but I think are pretty safe to make the playoffs.

Four White Ferns have been selected to play in the Women's Twenty20 Cricket Challenge in India next month, alongside the men's IPL finals.


NZ News

The story of the week was without a doubt the helicopter crash near the Auckland Islands. A Southern Lakes helicopter and it's three crew were tasked with flying to the Auckland Islands (half way to Antarctica). They were to stay on the island for the night while bad weather passed, and then pluck a man needing medical attention, off a fishing boat and take him back to Invercargill. Nothing about that sounds simple but things went worse when two minutes out from landing on the island the helicopter went radio-silent. Southern Lakes prepared for the worst and rolled a rescue operation into gear. The four helicopters didn't find anything and then the bad weather rolled in. The next day a fishing vessel discovered helicopter wreckage off the coast of the island. But a little later a helicopter found the three walking along the beach. I guess everyone on those sorts of flights always have full emersion swimming suits on, but those three did. One got briefly knocked unconscious during the crash, but he was pulled free and the three of them swam in complete darkness and freezing water to the island where they were found. Wow.

The information coming out of Sri Lanka is confusing but the attack which killed 253 was known about 10 days before and apparently referenced as retaliation for the Christchurch attack. There was also media reports of an alleged terror plot to attack the Gallipoli ANZAC service in response to Christchurch.
This week Prince William paid a visit to Christchurch to meet some of those affected by the attack, and he also attended an ANZAC day ceremony.

A story has come out this week that the Australian military is rejecting ex-pat Kiwis on the grounds that they could pose a security threat. A 2001 law change saw Australia remove access to permanent residency - which is a legal requirement for joining the military.


The Numbers Game

1: # most trusted brand in Australia is ... Air New Zealand
3: people died on the roads over Easter, four fewer than 2018 but still three too many
4.8: Richter scale earthquake hit the lower North Island with a short and sharp jolt


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5158 (+0.0013)
EUR 0.5968 (+0.0023)
USD 0.6663 (-0.0024)
AUD 0.9467 (+0.0124)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sir Keith Park
The Kiwi who saved the world.
I've always been a big fan of Sir Keith, but this week I saw an interesting dramatised documentary on his exploits.
Read about him below.
Also, today he is being honoured in his home town of Thames with a bronze statue, I'll have to go for a look one day. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12225174&ref=rss
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/warriors/legend-keith-park/


Joke of the Weekender

A Canadian psychologist is 
selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog’s IQ. Here’s how it works: If you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog 
is smarter than you.

 

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 20/04/2019

Hello, and welcome to Easter!


Sport

News from last weekend is that Damian McKenzie has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with his knee injury. It is a big blow to the Chiefs season, but he was certainly a welcome spark with the All Blacks as well. It happened during the Chiefs 33-29 win over the on form Blues, allowing the Chiefs to jump off the bottom of the NZ Conference. The discussions around who should replace him for the World Cup have been interesting with everyone from Aaron Cruden to Dan Carter suggested. I don't think Stephen Donald will be available.
This week the understrength Chiefs had a surprise loss to the Lions 17-23, while the Hurricanes came back from 13 points down to beat the Sunwolves 23-29.

The NZ Warriors blew a 12-point lead and a great chance to beat the Rabbitohs, losing 28-24.

The Waikato/BOP Magic beat the Northern Tactix 57-50 for their second win in a row.

Israel Adesanya has stormed home in the latest UFC fight for a unanimous points decision against American Kelvin Gastelum. He is certainly making his mark on the sport.

The Kiwis are sharing around the Aussie V8 race wins with Fabian Coulthard having his first race win in 11 months in the second leg of the Phillip Island event.
Mitch Evans had a break-through win for himself and Jaguar in the Formula E Championship.

In the English Premiership, Chris Wood scored twice to lead Burnley to a win over Cardiff City.


NZ News

The National terror threat has finally been downgraded from the March 15th attacks from high to medium.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced that the government would be 'revitalising' the racing industry which has been in serious decline. I wonder if he said it with a straight face.

The Auditor General has announced that he will be taking a closer look at the Provincial Growth Fund's operation and finances.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff told Auckland Transport that "you are not a dictatorship" - it is unconfirmed if he further added, "because we can only have one of us in Auckland".

One of the stories of the week was about kiwi nurse Louisa Akavi. She was captured by the Islamic State in 2013 and has never been forgotten with the Red Cross and the government trying repeatedly to get her back. But they've been doing it quietly. This week the Red Cross made a worldwide public appeal, which the government thinks will put her life in danger, and they aren't happy.

The second big story was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern canning the entire Capital Gains Tax idea, saying it will never happen while she is in charge. It's very weird. Some people are saying Winston blocked it, but she ruled it out permanently. The Taxpayers Union are stoked, noting 5,000 people using their tool to email Winston and Jacinda. Some people are saying it was just a sensible decision but those on the extreme left are very upset about this, and it goes completely against this government's rhetoric that this will be a "transformational government". CGT is dead, KiwiBuild is having all sorts of issues, and everything else seems to be making things worse, not better.

The cost of Auckland's City Rail link has jumped $1b to $4.410b, with the City Rail chief pretty clear that one of the factors for the price increase was political pressure to underplay costs so that taxpayers wouldn't be scared off by the price tag. I find this almost unbelievable that a fuss hasn't been kicked up about this. The politicians forced them to lie to get it through. I'm just staggered that something like this is allowed to happen.


The Numbers Game

1: # top search for people wanting to change their jobs was for becoming a Police officer
18: days to rebuild the Waiho Bridge on the West Coast after a major flood washed it away, 300 cars were waiting to cross it when it opened
33: hours swinging for Charlie O'Brien (on a swing) to set a new world record for the Napier teenager
58: ANZAC day events were cancelled at the request of the Police, simply because their staff are exhausted with all the extra security work recently
100: days of waiting for pre-schoolers with disabilities to get extra help - despite the Government's commitment to cut wait times a year ago
483: undersized paua stolen by a couple of men from a Central Hawkes Bay beach
4,300: trainee teachers, the highest number in four years
6,000: $ was offered by a courier company after they damaged a $50,000 artwork
9,500: cannabis plants seized by Police and NZ Defence Force during a three-week operation
46,000: $ paid for two giant tuna caught by Takitimu Seafoods last week, they were 230kg northern bluefin tuna and a 135kg tuna
500,000: $ in fines and reparation from Southern District Health Board after an X-ray machine crushed a worker's arm
4.8b: $ is now the estimated social cost of fatal and injury crashes


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5145 (-0.0025)
EUR 0.5946 (-0.0031)
USD 0.6687 (-0.0078)
AUD 0.9343 (-0.0098)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Yvette Williams
The first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal, died last week aged 89.
https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/387421/remembering-yvette-trailblaz...


Joke of the Weekender

Q. What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A. I don’t know and I don’t care.

 

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 13/04/2019

Hi, there have been reports of bad weather around the country, but we've had a mostly good week.


Sport

In Super Rugby, the Highlanders started well with a Ben Smith try to lead the Crusaders 7-10 at the break, but the Crusaders pushed on in the second half to win 43-17.
In the Hong Kong Sevens, the All Black Sevens were beaten 14-12 by France in the quarterfinals and they were beaten in the final by Fiji who claimed a record fifth straight Hong Kong crown and also jumped NZ to the second spot on the table. This weekend in Singapore the All Blacks Sevens have started by thrashing Japan 43-0.

Kiwi Jack Salt became the first Kiwi to win a US NCAA men's college basketball final as his University of Virginia Cavaliers beat Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime.

The Football Ferns beat World No 12 Norway 1-0 in Spain for their first win over them in 38 years.
The Wellington Phoenix have been in form in the latter part of this year but lost to the lowly Brisbane Roar 2-1. The result comes after reports that wonder-coach Mark Rudan will be leaving after a single year in charge as he is finding it too difficult being away from his family in Sydney.

After eight races Holden finally has a win in the Aussie V8's, breaking the new Ford Mustang's winning streak. And the winner at Symmons Plains was Shane van Gisbergen. Here's hoping there are two or three kiwis fighting for the championship at the end of the season.
In the Indycars, Scott Dixon has continued his strong start to the season with a second at the latest round in Alabama.

The Ice Ferns (NZ women's ice hockey) has beaten Croatia to claim bronze at the International Ice Hockey Federation tournament in Romania.


NZ News

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has flatly rejected primary teachers' request for more money and the NZEI has overwhelmingly turned down the Ministry of Education's latest offer. Of course, my understanding is that the teachers are after better conditions and not money - so perhaps the Prime Minister hasn't read the teacher requests. A mega strike of both Primary and Secondary teachers is looking more likely.

The government is pulling out of the Square Kilometre Array - one of the biggest science projects on the planet. NZ is currently a full member and that secures opportunities for NZ scientists for the next 50 years. But the Ministry of Business & Employment (ha!) have recommended downgrading to associate membership to save $2.4m annually - saying it is not a good science investment.

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is treading on thin ice again after having conversations with the NZTA chief executive while pushing for NZTA to back down on shutting down companies who aren't acting safely. The news reports seem to make out that NZTA is being a big bully threatening the livelihoods of thousands of people, but they have been trying to get transport companies up to proper safety levels for years and years and this is the last resort for a few companies.


The Numbers Game

1: # most popular summer destination (according to Bookabach records) was Hamilton!
10: people turned up to a campaign launch for a pro-Captial Gains Tax group - who are claiming they speak for the majority of New Zealanders
11: people fined for Freedom camping at DOC locations
12.9: % drop in the volume of house sales last month
15: cases of the measles in Auckland after three more were identified
42: degC temperature of Mt Ruapehu's crater lake - it has been high for the last six months, breaking a known cycle of heating & cooling
55: % of the government's "Kiwibuild" houses were already under construction before being contracted to Kiwibuild - in the words of a National MP "KiwiBuild is just a welfare scheme for property developers"
60: ANZAC Day events in Auckland have been cancelled after security concerns following the Christchurch terror attacks
60: people have been prosecuted for failing to fill out a census form
62.5: % of respondents to a BusinessNZ poll didn't think the government should prioritise the Capital Gains Tax
66: % of the Capital Gains Tax would be because the working group hasn't allowed for inflation, according to the Tax Payers Union
70: % for NZers have unlimited broadband - with 48% watching streaming services
110: deaths on our roads in the first quarter of the year - last year the terrible record was 378
200: $ fine for a Queenstown man for "freedom parking" when the sober driver chose to have a quick sleep rather than drive tired
500: objections to a new liquor store in Wellington - a possible record
1,000: lightning strikes in 12 hours over Bay of Plenty
150,000: $ earmarked by the Hamilton City Council to fight SkyCity's plan to add 60 more pokie machines to the Hamilton Casino
5m: $ from the government to help young people on youth benefits or in care, get their drivers licences


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5171 (+0.0006)
EUR 0.5976 (-0.0019)
USD 0.6765 (+0.0031)
AUD 0.9441 (-0.0034)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Bob Fitzsimmons
design of the punch: one of the hardest punchers and greatest fighters in the history of boxing
https://www.fitzsimmons.co.nz


Joke of the Weekender

You’ll never be as lazy as whoever named the fireplace.

 

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 06/04/2019

Welcome along, we were told this weekend would be cold and wet all across NZ, but we had quite a nice day. 


Sport

Last weekend the Chiefs had a last gasp 27-30 win over the Jaguares with a last minute try. This weekend Ardie Savea scored two long-range tries to help the Hurricanes beat the Highlanders 31-28. The Brumbies had their best 40 minutes of rugby for a while to be leading the Crusaders 0-7 at the break, but that was as good as it got as the Crusader ran out to a 36-14 win.
Aaron Smith has re-signed with NZ Rugby until 2021, and Israel Dagg is retiring with his knee injury not coming right. He is 30 years old and played 66 tests with the All Blacks and 89 games for the Crusaders.
The Hong Kong Seven's has started and the All Black Sevens started well with a 40-19 win over Australia and a 36-0 win over Kenya.

Last weekend the Warriors were thrashed 46-12 by Manly, but this weekend they bounced back to beat the Titans 26-10.

The Wellington Phoenix have continued their great run beating Newcastle 4-1.

Mahe Drysdale's dream of a third straight Olympic single scull appears to be over, but the 40-year old is joining Hamish Bond in the eights, so that will be interesting.

Scott McLaughlin defied the odds and sickness to win at Symmonds Plains for his sixth win out of seven.


NZ News

Business owners along the route of the new Auckland $3.4b City Rail Link are on the edge of financial ruin as well as having to deal with a heavy personal toll. There is disruption from dust, deafening noise and road closures which have been going on for two years and will drag on until the end of next year. There wasn't anything in the $3.4b for compensation and none has been paid. The Auckland Mayor and the Transport Minister both looked to the ground or the sky and mumbled that it was someone else's fault.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had 24 hours in China in an attempt to patch things up. It seems it might have been successful but well overhyped, and digging deeper shows things aren't as rosy as the government might suggest.

Winston Peters (verbally) attacked an Australian politician this week. To be fair that particular Aussie politician is an idiot, but the funny part was that the Aussie talked about how he agreed with comments that Winston Peters had made a few years ago - you know, back when he was anti-immigration.

The Thames Council has voted against signing a pact to do more on climate change. Students have been protesting but I recently read an interesting point of view that this generation is the worst ever as far as wasting resources go, being driven to school, requiring air conditioning, it went on and on. 


The Numbers Game

1.9: % of Year 10 students smoke on a daily basis (survey of 29,000) - down from 15.2% from 20 years ago, 81% haven't smoked at all
24: people killed on the roads last week - the worst week for sixteen years
77: % of people infected with measles in the latest outbreak have not been vaccinated
90.2: % of submissions on the End of Life Choice bill have been against the proposal
25,000: people got the Winter Energy Payment by accident costing taxpayers $3.4m
50.9m: $ of speeding tickets were issued to Aucklanders last year, out of $110m for all of NZ - Auckland is 33% of NZ's population
55m: $ trade training school to be built at Manukau Institute of Technology
300m: $ the new expected cost of a gun buyback programme - up $100m from the previous estimate - the Mongrel Mob have said they aren't handing in any guns
2.7-6.8b: $ the expected cost of implementing the Capital Gains Tax according to Business NZ calculations


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5165 (-0.0050)
EUR 0.5995 (-0.0061)
USD 0.6734 (-0.0068)
AUD 0.9475 (-0.0124)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sean Fitzpatrick
design of captaincy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Fitzpatrick


Joke of the Weekender

We get it, poets: Things are like other things.

 

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}