August 2019

The Weekender 31/08/2019

Welcome to a lovely winter weekend after a bit of a wet week.


Sport

The All Blacks announced the squad for the Rugby World Cup this week and with all the talking points of people who made it (like Brad Webber), the biggest talk was around those who missed out. Specifically, dropping 108-test Owen Franks, Liam Squire and Ngani Laumape. The Chiefs are the second most represented Super Rugby team with 8 players, behind the Crusaders with 11.

The Black Caps have levelled the cricket test series against Sri Lanka after they bowled them out for 122 runs to win by an innings and 65 runs on the final day of the rain-affected test.

In their second race ever, the women's rowing quad has qualified for next years Olympics.
Lisa Carrington won her third K1 200m title at the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Champs in Hungary, winning the final by almost two seconds. Lisa then picked up a second gold in the K1 500m winning by 1.63 seconds.

The Warriors had their last home game last night, losing 10-31 to the Rabbitohs, to finish with only three wins from 10 games at Mt Smart.

Scott McLaughlin had back-to-back wins in South Australia to equal Craig Lowndes record of 16 wins in a season back in 1996.

Former NZ defender Danny Hay has been announced as the new coach of the All Whites.

Tom Walsh had a stunning performance in Paris to win the Diamond League shot put with a throw of 22.44m.

George Bennett has climbed six places in the latest stage in cycling's Spanish Vuelta to be sitting on ninth.


NZ News

The government announced a free school lunch trial next year to feed 5,000 children and they expect to eventually feed 21,000. So you might think they are trying to help children, but not for children who haven't been born yet. They are also pushing to remove almost all limits around killing those children.

Labour MP Clare Curran has announced she won't re-stand at the 2020 election. She was sacked from Cabinet a year ago.

I haven't heard the final result but Mark Lundy's final bid to overturn his conviction has been going on this week in the Supreme Court. Update: The Supreme Court has reserved its decision.

National has said they won't be supporting the second round of gun law reforms saying that it was targeting the wrong people.


The Numbers Game

3: men escaped from police custody the other week in Levin. This week the second man was arrested, one to go
16: % drop in popularity of Jacinda Ardern for Prime Minister
29: days of rain in Auckland during August - a new record for the most rain days in a single month
849: cases of the measles so far this year, making it the worst measles epidemic in 22 years - 300 students sent home from Manurewa High School because they hadn't provided proof of immunisation
44,728: $ worth of domestic travel for Shane Jones in three months April to June. He was of course defended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who spent $40,341
400,000: $ worth of e-scooter injuries as their popularity explodes. Auckland surgeons now are operating on more e-scooter injuries than motorbike injuries
1m: $ of fraud from Canterbury DHB has been admitted by a former employee


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5192 (-0.0023)
EUR 0.5734 (+0.0036)
USD 0.6313 (-0.0091)
AUD 0.9369 (-0.0114)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Maurice Wilkins
A Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine in 1962 for his contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA – the very essence of life itself – and a New Zealander by birth, Maurice Wilkins is among our greatest achievers.
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/maurice-wilkins/


Joke of the Weekender

My neighbour is in the Guinness World Records. He has had 44 concussions. He lives very close to me. 
A stone’s throw away, in fact.

 

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 24/08/2019

It is a lovely sunny blue sky day today, and it was last Monday, but we've had a big storm in between and another coming up.


Sport

The All Blacks stood up last weekend and thrashed the Wallabies 36-0 at Eden Park to retain the Bledisloe Cup. They played much better and in wet conditions to continue Australia's 33-year drought at Eden Park. Despite the win, the All Blacks have been dropped off the number one ranking with New Zealander coached Wales claiming the top spot after they beat England. The All Blacks had 509 consecutive weeks at the top.
The Black Ferns also thrashed Australia 37-8 with five tries to one.


NZ News

This has been a funny week for the government. PM Jacinda Ardern jumped up and down over poor New Zealander's being fleeced by prices at the petrol pump. Sure we pay quite a lot, but here are two points. The first is that Labour and the Green's are pushing all sorts of "environmentally aware" transport, blocking many roads that would get traffic (cars) flowing smoother & quicker - they should be unapologetically pushing petrol prices up - if it wasn't just politics for them. Secondly, I've seen comparisons of NZ's petrol prices compared with other countries - showing the tax component. Let me tell you a secret. We pay a lot for petrol because the government taxes it so highly. When National leader Simon Bridges pointed this out Ardern jumped up & down even more. I guess she was upset that 47% of petrol costs are due to taxes. Maybe she will drop that.
Speaking of Labour & the Green's pushing "environmentally aware" transport, the government is handing out $4.5m of our money in corporate welfare, to companies to buy electric vehicles and charging stations. The Interislander got $65,000 to put in electric vehicle chargers on the ferries - but the "green" power comes directly from the diesel ferry engines.
This week the government announced that the Auckland light rail process will drag out past next year with more work to decide who will deliver the project. Transport Minister Phil Twyford also pushed CAA chairman Nigel Gould to resign from the CAA, saying "the CAA was going through some big changes and it would be best to have fresh leadership at this time".
This week the government found out the results of one of their big campaign promises - reducing the gender pay gap. And it turns out it hasn't changed from when they were elected. That isn't a big surprise to anyone looking into the issues because it seems like it is due to women choosing to do work that historically is paid less. But the government will continue to talk about it and create working groups and plead with everyone that it will just take more time (another election cycle perhaps?).
I don't know whether this is a result of the KiwiBuild reset or not, but the head of delivery for KiwiBuild is leaving just as the much anticipated "reset" is to be announced. She had a six-month contract but is leaving a month early.

Winston Peters has said he will drop his law-suit against everyone he doesn't like, as long as Paula Bennett leaves parliament. He doesn't actually have any proof, the law-suit is to find out if anyone wronged him. So he was off for a week with a knee operation and Paula Bennett sent him flowers. He was, of course, was very rude and regifted them, saying they were "seriously bad taste".


The Numbers Game

3: of the World's 100 Greatest Places of 2019 (according to Time magazine) are in NZ, Wellington's Zelandia Ecosanctuary, Hiakai restaurant in Wellington and Camp Glenorchy
4.6: Richter scale earthquake felt over central NZ
23: rain days in Auckland so far this month - it has rained every day after a dry start to the year
38: people are refugees from New Zealand, according to a UN High Commission for Refugees Global Trends report
602: ha area in the earthquake-ravaged eastern Christchurch will have a "once in a lifetime" makeover after the government approved a number of projects in the area that once housed 5,000 properties
616: cases of the measles in Auckland with an alert for travellers from Los Angeles
3,600: lightning strikes in the north of NZ as storms hit the country during the week
54m: $ announced by the government to help keep people off the streets - a new petrol tax might help with that


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5216 (-0.0075)
EUR 0.5697 (-0.0098)
USD 0.6404 (-0.0025)
AUD 0.9483 (+0.0001)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield revolutionised the 20th Century English short story. Her best work shakes itself free of plots and endings and gives the story, for the first time, the expansiveness of the interior life, the poetry of feeling, the blurred edges of personality. She is taught worldwide because of her historical importance but also because her prose offers lessons in entering ordinary lives that are still vivid and strong. And her fiction retains its relevance through its open-endedness—its ability to raise discomforting questions about identity, belonging and desire.
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/katherine-mansfield/


Joke of the Weekender

What should you do when you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?

 

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 17/08/2019

Welcome back. Last weekend was our annual snow trip. The weather wasn't great but we had a couple of good sessions playing in the snow for some great fun.


Sport

Last weekend in the Bledisloe and Rugby Championship the All Blacks flew to Perth. But before we mention the score that I'm sure you all know, let me talk about my son's Ripper Rugby coach. He is a former Waikato player and is president of the Hamilton Old Boys and he also flew to Perth for the match, so I asked him at training what his prediction for the score was. He told me he was expecting a draw - surprising after the All Blacks drew with South Africa. But the reason was that this All Blacks team is testing, trying and to be honest foxing about their abilities. They aren't going to show their tricks before the Rugby World Cup later on this year. So if the result from last weekend made you nervous, relax.
Yes, the Wallabies played well and beat the All Blacks 47-26, and Scott Barrett got the All Blacks fourth-ever red card. So even though the refs completely missed all the skullduggery the Australian's performed, the result still stands.
The Black Ferns had no such trouble though, beating Australia 10-47 with eight tries.
Later on that night, the Springboks beat Argentina 46-13 to claim the Rugby Championship.

Former Black Cap Captain Brendon McCullum has retired from all cricket and has taken up a new coaching role.

Michael Campbell had his best result since returning to professional golf as he tied for second at the latest European PGA Seniors Championship event.

The NZ Warriors survived a late comeback to beat the Manly Sea Eagles 24-16 to keep themselves in the hunt for an NRL playoff spot, but the problems with the anti-Warrior refs continue.


NZ News

The weather has been pretty cold over the last two weeks with snow falling in the Mamaku near Rotorua, and the central mountains getting lots of snow.

The Labour Party has been having issues recently with at least four members resigning over the investigation into allegations against a staff member. The allegations involved sexual assault, rape and offers to pay for sex, and the staff member has friends who are apparently incredibly high up in the Beehive, so it seems Labour is sweeping things under the carpet and refusing to discuss anything, saying it is a "party matter".
The Chief Ombudsman is going to investigate Green MP Julie Anne Genter's secret letter about the $6.4b Wellington transport project. It sounds like the Green's made some serious pushing for the Wellington transport project to change and despite fully supporting the government to be open, they are being incredibly tight-lipped about the letter. They certainly don't want anyone to know what it said - which just makes everyone want to know more. She claimed she didn't write the letter as an MP, but then confirmed she signed it as a Minister, so really she is playing politics and being dodgy. A Wellington City councillor has said that the government is "steamrolling" transport solutions for the sake of a Labour-Greens relationship, and all Wellington City councillors have been told they aren't allowed to talk to the media (that's not very "open"), but some haven't been gagged, with even the claim that Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter threatened to resign over the project during negotiations.
The government were excited to hear that there is an 11-year low in the unemployment rate, but the wind was taken out of their sails with the Reserve Bank governor cutting the official cash rate 50 points to a 1% cash rate - a clear signal that he is trying to stimulate the economy because, despite a great economic environment, this government has strangled the life out of the 'rock star' economy we used to have.

The head of Stats NZ has resigned because of the poor handling of the 2018 Census. A review came out heavily criticising the department.

The government is pushing through new abortion laws, allowing mothers to end their pregnancy until 20 weeks, without any statutory test. So I have a question. The new law retains "the criminal offence of killing an unborn child for any person who causes harm to a pregnant woman and in doing so causes the death of a fetus". So at that point, they are admitting that it is an unborn child and it was killed. But for random reasons, no one cares to explain, if we think about it differently, then suddenly it is allowable to kill the unborn child? This government promoted themselves as defenders of the weak and helpless, and there are none so weak and helpless as those who haven't yet been born, being attacked by those who have. Justice Minister Andrew Little said, "Abortion is the only medical procedure that is still a crime in New Zealand." Well, that is because this "medical procedure", results in a human being killed - just like the new law states if someone harms a pregnant woman.

The report into the Pigeon Valley fire last summer which destroyed 2300 ha of pine forest, and caused 2,500 people to be evacuated, determined that it was an unfortunate accident caused by a farmer ploughing a stony field. The fire was the worst in NZ for 72 years.

In terrible local news, an Australian was shot dead out at Raglan this week with his Canadian girlfriend fleeing on foot after the couple were apparently randomly attacked at the top of Te Toto Gorge. The body and campervan were found on the other side of where we are, at Gordonton. The police moved swiftly and this morning raided a Waikato property and arrested a man and charged him with murder.


The Numbers Game

5.5: Richter scale earthquake hit Milford Sound, and was felt all around the lower South Island
6: hours without power for some Auckland residents during the storm, others were four days without power in the inner city!
39: % support for the cannabis referendum (47% against), down from 52% in April and 60% in November last year - including a growing number of Green Party voters - I guess they really did look at what has happened where cannabis has been legalised!
53: athletes will row in 16 boats at this month's World Champs in Austria
97: texts per month for Hawke's Bay users on average - the biggest by far - 53 more than second-placed Manawatu-Whanganui
150: people hospitalised for measles in Auckland this year, a total of 369 confirmed cases
1,700: lightning strikes in the storm early this week, with an Auckland school having a roof ripped off
8,000: premature deaths due to alcohol in the last 10 years with a social cost of $70b and up to 30,000 children born with alcohol-related brain damage
99,000: searches for heaters were made on TradeMe last week
3m: $ worth of cocaine washed up on a West Auckland beach last weekend
20m: $ from the government to help reopen Rotorua Museum
25m: $ of Government funding for 12 new radiation machines, Pharmac also announced plans to fund cancer drugs Kadcyla and Alecensa
36m: $ drug bust in Rotorua was the biggest they've had in the Bay according to the Police chief
100m: $ for the NZ Army to fund modern warfare high-tech upgrades, like satellite-tracking and helmet-cams
144m: $ worth of methamphetamine was found by Police during a major drug operation when they arrested two British nationals
150m: $ of the $300m that the Government has allocated to fighting the effects of climate change has been earmarked for projects in the Pacific Islands


Finance NZ Dollar

Since 03/08/2019 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.5291 (-0.0087)
EUR 0.5795 (-0.0081)
USD 0.6429 (-0.0110)
AUD 0.9482 (-0.0131)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Sir Brian Lochore died last week at the age of 78. He was a former All Blacks captain and coach.
https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/395916/all-black-great-sir-brian-loc...


Joke of the Weekender

At what age do you think it’s appropriate to tell 
a highway it’s adopted?

 

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}