April 2020

The Weekender 18/04/2020

Welcome to the lockdown Weekender! We've been enjoying this time - even going on a virtual South Island trip that we couldn't actually do.


Sport

About the only sport around is the virtual car racing and both Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen have been doing quite well. McLaughlin won the Virtual Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.


NZ News

The Taxpayers Union is stoked with the result after they started pushing politicians and civil servants to accept a pay cut in their ultra-safe jobs while they demanded others do without. They have been pushing mayors and councillors and this week "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just announced a six-month 20% pay cut for all central government CEOs and Ministers." Of course, our sound-bite Prime Minister claimed she wanted to lead even though it was only bowing to two weeks of public pressure. I'm not sure a 20% pay cut is enough considering we pay them 1/3 more than similar private-sector jobs, but at least it's something.
The government's own ministers are having a hard time following their own instructions, with Deputy PM Winston Peters posting a photo of himself fishing from his law. Sure, he didn't leave home, but the lockdown rules specifically prohibited fishing. Health Minister David Clark has been demoted after driving his family 20km to the beach. He is losing portfolio's other than health due to the current situation.

Countdown has declared that "The Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020" is officially over, as they praised kiwis for shopping normally.

The government is trying to prepare us for dropping the alert level from 4 to 3, but they made a bit of a hash of the education sector. They first said that returning kids to school was optional, but there was a big backlash from the teachers worried about just being baby sitters, so they quickly changed that to "clarify" that school will only be for kids with no one at home to look after them. Rather than being limited to your house, level 3 will be regional limitations - stay in your area. Rather than just "essential" businesses, "safe" businesses will be able to open, so non-contact takeaways will be allowed.

Kiwi nurse Jenny McGee has been credited by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson for saving his life. The 35-year old originally from Invercargill woman said she was just doing her job and is back at work.

Dunedin's Baldwin Street has officially reclaimed the title of the steepest street in the world. An engineer from Dunedin went to Wales to measure their road and challenged the Guinness Book of Records over their measurement method.

The last of those injured in the White Island eruption have left hospital - although I'm sure they still have a long journey in front of them.


The Numbers Game

0: official Easter road toll - which last happened in 2012
3: months jail for a man who spat at Police
4.3: magnitude earthquake near Christchurch
11: people have now died in NZ from Covid-19, mostly older and many from Rest Homes
13: new Covid-19 cases in the last day for a total of 1,422 confirmed and probable cases with 867 of those recovered
13.5: % unemployment rate expected by Treasury with a four-week lockdown
50: % of player payments will be frozen by NZ Rugby for the 2020 season
75: % drop in road toll deaths
75: % increase in internet usage - but everything is holding up well
90: % drop in bus patronage around NZ - we have a game of "spot the bus customer" since the lockdown started - we are on two
105: th birthday in lockdown for Auckland man Laurence Reynolds
600: people found breaking the lockdown rules over Easter weekend - 64 prosecutions
1,000: motel units have been made available for the homeless during the lockdown


Finance NZ Dollar

Since 04/04/2020 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.4821 (0.0021)
EUR 0.5546 (0.0095)
USD 0.6031 (0.0141)
AUD 0.9475 (-0.0344)


The Weekender NZer of the week

A Young Kiwi
The NZer of the week is a young kiwi who stood up against the lockdown rules.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12323986


Joke of the Weekender

What do fish say when they hit a concrete wall?… Dam!

 

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 04/04/2020

Welcome along. There isn't much news on right now - apart from Covid-19, and that's no fun. I might switch to fortnightly until things start up again!


Sport

There isn't much sport but Eddie Jones has re-signed with England until the 2023 Rugby World Cup, and Tony Lewis - the co-inventor of cricket's Duckworth-Lewis calculation has died aged 78.


NZ News

New Zealand has 82 new Covid 19 cases for a total of 950 as the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield has suggested that cases might have peaked. Out of the 82 cases, 52 were confirmed and 30 were probables. There were 10 significant clusters including a wedding at Bluff with 55 cases and a St Patrick's Day party in Matamata with 54 cases. 127 people have recovered. During the week the government promised to increase testing by 35% to 5,000/day.
Unfortunately, during the week we had our first related death with a woman in her 70's who died in Greymouth.
The government made a bit of a mockery with the lockdown by allowing quite a number of stores to open up during the week. The Warehouse, Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, Briscoes, Mitre 10 and PB Tech are now all allowed to offer online contact-less delivery.
Perhaps based on the Government no longer caring about the lockdown, the Health Minister (no less!) David Clark has been caught flouting the Government's lockdown advice, when he drove to a mountain biking park near Dunedin and went for a ride - leaving his sign written van in the car park. He really should have been fired long ago, and certainly should have been for this, but of course, he doesn't even get in trouble for it.
Radio Sport has been shut down, and some of NZ's most well-known magazines are shutting down and making all their staff redundant. The Listener, North & South and NZ's Woman's Weekly and their 237 staff have published their last magazine unless they find a new owner quickly.

In what I think must have been a comedy piece - perhaps to lift people's mood during this time - the headline said: "Player behaviour has improved in Australian cricket". And who was this independent third party that came to such a calculated considered opinion? None other than the Australian Captain Tim Paine.


The Numbers Game

4.8: magnitude earthquake across the top of the South Island near Seddon
1,800: emails to the government's price gouging inbox


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4800 (-0.0049)
EUR 0.5451 (0.0043)
USD 0.5890 (-0.0150)
AUD 0.9819 (0.0022)


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”.
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/frances-alda/


Joke of the Weekender

Level of cooking expertise: Using smoke alarm as timer.

 

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 28/03/2020

So it turns out we won't be taking a two-week tour of the South Island in April. New Zealand has been locked down, except for business deemed "essential".


Sport

Last weekend the final game of just about anything ever perhaps, was the Warriors losing 20-6 to the Canberra Raiders. It was days after the Warriors had decided to stay in Australia to continue with the NRL - but then the NRL, along with the A-League was suspended with the Warriors and the Wellington Phoenix players all heading home.


NZ News

On Monday the Prime Minister made an announcement that we had moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 with 48 hours to prepare for Level 4, coming into effect midnight on Wednesday. Monday was the last day of school with classes for most, continuing online for the week. School holidays were brought forward two weeks, giving teacher two weeks to plan for the following lockdown school time.
Earlier in the week, we were looking at 102 confirmed cases, but today with another 83 cases we've jumped to 451. The government is expecting the number of cases to continue rising for another 10 days before the lockout shows it's worth.
Essential businesses are supermarkets, petrol stations and chemists. People are allowed to go out for food and medical supplies and a walk in your local area. But in general, it has been pretty quiet. The other day, the family stood outside watching a flock of geese and we could hear them for quite a while with absolute silence. Auckland has had empty motorways with normal 45-minute trips taking only 20 minutes.

The only other interesting news this week was that the lone gunman who murdered 51 people in a mosque in Christchurch a year ago, has changed his plea to guilty.


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4849 (-0.0040)
EUR 0.5408 (0.0116)
USD 0.6040 (0.0343)
AUD 0.9797 (-0.0036)


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. Burchfield was enthralled:
“There I was … talking to world-famous people. And I had the privilege of just talking to them, hearing their reaction to what I was saying. I knew I had arrived in some sort of paradise.”
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/robert-burchfield/


Joke of the Weekender

Why is it a bad idea to insult an octopus?
Because it is well-armed.

 

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}