weekender's blog

The Weekender 22/06/2019

Welcome to the winter Weekender!


Sport

Finishing up last weekend with Super Rugby, the Bulls beat the Lions 48-27, helping the Highlanders into the playoffs, and the Hurricanes finished their regular season with a 29-24 win over the Blues. The four NZ teams in the playoffs have been trimmed back to two after finals games this weekend though, with the Crusaders thrashing the Highlanders 38-14, and the Jaguares putting on a great defensive effort to beat the Chiefs 21-16 in Buenos Aires.
In women's sevens, the Black Ferns Sevens reached the quarter-finals in France, which was enough to seal the World Series title.

The big game tonight is the Rugby League test Kiwis vs Tonga. I'm not sure who it will be a home game for, but it is at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland. The Kiwis have beaten Tonga 34-14 with a hattrick from Shaun Johnson.

In the Aussie V8's, Scott McLaughlin's awesome season continued winning race one in Darwin.

The Football Ferns lost 2-0 to Canada in their second football World Cup match and then were knocked out with a 2-1 loss to Cameroon.

Steven Adams was listed in the Tall Blacks team for the World Cup in China, briefly giving us all hope but he has pulled out, having never played for his National team. It's a weird legacy the big man is going to leave. When he's talking he seems to love NZ and be proud to be a NZer, but he has continually refused to play for our team, even through multiple administrations.


NZ News

There have been a few plane crashes recently with a single pilot dying in a crash earlier and then two pilots died this week when their planes collided on approach to a Masterton aerodrome.

The Immigration Minister - the serial stuff up Iain Lees-Galloway - had to apologise to Israel's ambassador after an Immigration New Zealand map appeared to label Israel as "Palestine". Even Winston Peters said it was a "careless and shoddy mistake".


The Numbers Game

-7: degC at Pukaki Airport near Twizel this week, with the coldest weather of the year across the country
1: % increase in Pharmac budget only - despite this being a "Wellbeing Budget"
3: % of foreign drivers passed the NZ driving theory test in a study done in Queenstown
7.0: and 6.6 Richter scale earthquakes in the Kermadec's but there was no tsunami threat to NZ


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5173 (+0.0017)
EUR 0.5785 (+0.0008)
USD 0.6592 (+0.0101)
AUD 0.9509 (+0.0065)


The Weekender NZer of the week

John Hartstone
Design of milk production
http://www.no8rewired.kiwi/nz-inventions/milk-production-meter/


Joke of the Weekender

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

 

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 15/06/2019

Welcome to a lovely Fieldays day!


Sport

Last weekend in Super rugby the Hurricanes secured home advantage in the playoffs as they beat the Lions 17-37 at Ellis Park, while the Crusaders bounced back from their beating by the Chiefs to thrash the Rebels 66-0 in Christchurch. For the last couple of weeks, the talk around here has been how it's likely only two Kiwi teams will make the playoffs this year. But then the Chiefs beat the Crusaders and this weekend they did enough to reach the playoffs for the eighth successive season when they thrashed the Rebels 59-8. Then the Highlanders did all they could when they beat the Waratahs 49-12, but they are still waiting on other results.
The Jaguares have sealed second place with a 52-10 thrashing of the Sunwolves, meaning the Argentinian team also win the "South African" Conference.
Combined table: Crusaders 58, Jaguares 51, Hurricanes 49*, Brumbies 43*, Chiefs/Highlanders/Bulls* 36, Lions 35*, Rebels/Stormers* 34, Sharks 33*, Waratahs 30, Blues 29, Reds 28*, Sunwolves 12. * 1 more game to play
In other news, Brodie Retallick has signed with NZ Rugby for the next three years but will play in Japan ruling him out of two Chiefs campaigns. And Waikato lad Warren Gatland has been confirmed as the coach for the British & Irish Lions for the South Africa tour in 2021.

There hasn't been a lot of cricket at the Cricket World Cup this week. The Black Caps game against India was rained out, resulting in both teams getting a point. The Black Caps have been sitting at the top of the table for the week after last weekend when they beat Afghanistan by seven wickets.

Steve Williams has returned to golf (caddying that is) after former world number 1 Jason Day hired him.

The Football Ferns had a narrow loss to the Dutch in their first Fifa World Cup game after conceding a goal in stoppage time.
It seems every week for the Wellington Phoenix! This week captain Andrew Durante has confirmed that he is leaving.


NZ News

An investigation into the 'Hacking of the Budget' won't probe ministers' behaviour. So Labour may have perfected the art of a meaningless inquiry. There have also been stories about the government releasing "time-lines" of when they were told the hacking wasn't hacking vs when they announced it was, but the problem is their timelines don't add up and seem to change around.
There were interesting polls for the government and opposition this week. Two polls came out, one with good news for Labour, and the other with good news for National. It suddenly made everyone question whether the polls are meaningless - especially adding in the polling for Australia and US elections recently. The low polling for Simon Bridges as Prime Minister has political commentators saying it will be the end of him - except that is what they've been saying virtually the entire time.
The government has changed around the employment laws for the film industry but hasn't got rid of the "Hobbit law". There are minimum standards coming but striking will be illegal.
There is pressure coming on Housing Minister Phil Twyford around the massive KiwiBuild failure. He has revealed there will be a "reset".

Education has been in the news this week. Firstly around MP Chris Hipkins and his university free fees policy - for no reason. It turns out it didn't cost much anyway because not many used it and numbers going to University have actually dropped.
The education minister also met with the teacher's unions this week with the threat of ongoing strikes. Ever since this government came in they steadfastly said there was no more money for the teachers (while throwing money at all sorts of crazy other things). But this week after saying the same thing for all that time, they caved in and found enough money that the teachers will have pay-parity and are looking like they will accept the offer.

Auckland Council has joined a number of other councils around the country and declared a "Climate Emergency". I wonder if they will outlaw volcanos since they could spend billions and not really see any result, and then a single volcano could put them 100 years back.


The Numbers Game

2: Northland kids were attacked by dogs within 20 minutes
2: Fire engines had to put out a boat fire - in the middle of an Auckland Cemetary
3: hour traffic jam leaving the Fieldays at Mystery Creek - due to an accident on SH1
3-4: degC drop in temperatures for next week as winter starts to bite
5.5: Richter scale earthquake on the Alpine Fault near Queenstown & Wanaka
6.7: kg kumara was dug up in a New Lynn garden
8: people infected with measles after a party in Lower Hutt
19: children killed on NZ roads so far this year - more than all of 2018
52: % of people oppose the cannabis legalisation according to a 1News Colmar Brunton poll
300: NRL games for Adam Blair - just the third Kiwi to reach the mark
9,000: people without power last weekend in Auckland after a blustery couple of days
19m: $ spent by DHB's on staff cover after the junior doctors went on strike
20b: $ Defence Force spending plan includes a commitment to "space-based activities" (maybe Rocket Lab was showing them up!)


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5156 (-0.0075)
EUR 0.5776 (-0.0100)
USD 0.6491 (-0.0174)
AUD 0.9445 (-0.0078)


The Weekender NZer of the week

George Vernon Hudson
design of daylight savings
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hudson_(entomologist)


Joke of the Weekender

I wonder if Superman ever put glasses on Lois Lane’s dog and she was like, “I’ve never seen this dog before. Is this a new dog?”

 

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 08/06/2019

The wind and the rain hit us in Raglan this morning watching BJ playing (ripper) rugby.


Sport

In Super Rugby, more New Zealand teams look to miss the playoffs with the Blues losing to the Reds 29-28 on Friday and the Highlanders drawing with the Bulls 24-24. But the news of the week was the Chiefs "home" game in Fiji against the Crusaders last weekend. In short order, the Chiefs were 0-20 down and it was looking like another runaway win for the top of the table Crusaders. But the Chiefs played with more heart and skill than they've done in the season yet, and were down 19-20 at half time, running away to a 40-27 win in the end. Also last weekend the Hurricanes beat the Sharks 30-17.
In other news, NZ Rugby CEO Steve Tew has announced he will step down at the end of the year.

The Black Caps kicked off their Cricket World Cup in style beating Sri Lanka by 10 wickets. The bowlers won the game with Sri Lanka batting first and being all out for 136 and then Martin Guptill and Colin Munro combined to win in 16.1 overs. But the second game against Bangladesh wasn't so easy. Bangladesh was restricted to 245 but our openers didn't last long. Then Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor combined and desperately tried to run themselves out, narrowly failing each time, before scoring most of the runs but then we collapsed leaving Mitchell Santner to finish off in the 48th over for a two-wicket win.
The Aussie didn't take long to revert to their colours after their ball tamperers only just returned to the team, with spinner Adam Zampa charged for "audible obscenity" - it's just not cricket.

The National netball premiership final was last Monday with the Central Pulse beating the Northern Stars 52-48.

Scott Dixon celebrated Queens Birthday Weekend with a win at the IndyCar race at the Detroit Grand Prix. It moves him to fifth in the driver's championship. He was also awarded the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the QBW awards.

The Junior All Whites did great at the under-20 football World Cup but were knocked out 5-4 by Columbia on penalties.
While the coach and many players are leaving the Wellington Phoenix, there is cause for hope with others moving back. All Whites goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic has signed a two-year deal coming back from playing with Bristol City in the EPL.

Given the turmoil, Rugby Australia is in after they fired Israel Folau for religious reasons, an article caught my eye this week saying the Netball NZ is still "haunted" by their former management - current Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.


NZ News

News came to light this week that the government was informed by their cybersecurity experts that their budget hadn't been hacked, but they didn't stop the Treasury or Grant Robertson trying to smear National in the media. National is demanding answers about why the urgent calls from the GCSB weren't acted on. 

The Government has delayed the cabinet reshuffle. The reshuffle was due at the start of the year, then after the budget and now the end of the month, maybe. There are a number of obvious targets for being shuffled out of their jobs, like Grant Robertson for lying about the hacking, or Phil Twyford on KiwiBuild (shhh), or David Clark on health, or former stuff-ups like Iain Lees-Galloway, but the Prime Minister has shown time & again to be a soft touch by never firing anyone for doing anything terrible, so the chances of her moving people around for anything less seems slim. There are questions about whether there is even anyone else who isn't worse. A cabinet reshuffle is a great way to reward MPs who are doing well and move those sideways who aren't doing so well (!) but maybe with Labour it is a "job for life".

The Queens Birthday honours were announced on Monday with Fran Walsh receiving the Dames Companion for services to film, and Graham Lowe receiving the Knights Companion. Mike King was made an Officer (ONZM) for services to mental health and David Tua was as well for services to youth and boxing - that right there is "O" for Awesome.


The Numbers Game

0: fatal crashes on NZ's "high speed" roads since the two roads (Cambridge & BOP Easter expressways) were opened - after calls to reduce speeds
8: more tracks being opened in the Waitakere ranges following consultation over Kauri dieback disease
18: year study of the water quality in lakes around Rotorua shows a significant improvement
57: unmet election promises for the education sector according to National MP Nikki Kaye, 25 unimplemented and 31 partially implemented
356: earthquakes at White Island since May 23
500: firearms have been seized with the new law changes since the March 15 terrorist attacks - with some stories of a bit of heavy-handedness
3,200: lightning strikes around NZ as storms moved over the country, including 600 in two hours
700,000: $ paid out by ACC for e-scooter head injuries
17.1m: $ in the budget for University of Auckland's "Growing Up in New Zealand" study which tracks 6,800 people from 12 weeks before birth to 21 years old
1.65b: $ the cost of alcohol to workplaces according to an Otago University study - and yet the government wants to legalise more drugs
5b: $ more in debt than expected because the Government is doing more spending over the next four years


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5231 (+0.0060)
EUR 0.5877 (+0.0041)
USD 0.6665 (+0.0130)
AUD 0.9523 (+0.0109)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Kate Sheppard
Design of suffrage: The leader and main figurehead of the suffragist movement in New Zealand – the first country in the world to grant universal adult suffrage to men and women equally. 
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/kate-sheppard/


Joke of the Weekender

Does it disturb anyone else that “The Los Angeles Angels” baseball team translates directly to “The The Angels Angels”?

 

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 01/06/2019

And then it was June! The rain hit yesterday, huge amounts of water. But today among the showers we've got a bit of sun.


Sport

In Super Rugby, Richie Mo'unga had a hand in all of the Crusaders points after a disrupted week as they beat the Blues 19-11. This weekend the Blues missed a last-minute penalty to all but rule out the Blues from the playoffs.

The Black Caps beat India by six wickets in their first warm-up match but were well beaten by 91 runs by the West Indies in their second and last warm-up game before the Cricket world cup kicked off.

Wellington Phoenix star striker Roy Krishna has announced he is leaving the club. He isn't going to another A-League club though, he is heading to Asia.

The NZ Warriors couldn't continue their run, losing 2-8 to the Brisbane Broncos at Mt Smart.

Lisa Carrington has won the K1 200 and K1 500 and then joined up with three others to win the K4 500 at the Canoe Sprint World Cup meet in Poland.

Scott McLaughlin won again in the Aussie V8's and joined an exclusive club of drivers with 10 wins or more.

Athletics NZ had a big announcement during the week with the signing of teenage sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia.


NZ News

Following on from my comments last week about the Francis report on bullying and harassment in Parliament, most of the government didn't comment, but one employee was stood down after speaker Trevor Mallard claimed that the "incidents were tantamount to rape". The Parliamentary Service employee is now saying he is the victim of slander after the incident Trevor Mallard was referring to was found to be a high five and a hug. The employee had denied inappropriate behaviour and says he was bullied out of his job. The incident was investigated at the time and the allegation was found to be without merit. At no time was the man spoken to by the review head Debbie Francis. So it turns out, as I said last week Mallard is the bully - there was even the following news headline during the week agreeing with me "Kate Hawkesby: In my opinion Parliament's only real bully is Speaker Trevor Mallard - he needs to go".

The story of the week was around National finding out many of the important details of the budget before it was announced. National drip-fed a bunch of details pointing out things like how although the government said this was a "Wellbeing Budget", that KiwiRail was getting more than health and wellbeing sectors. Perhaps a "Railroad Budget" doesn't sound quite as touchy-feely.
Most of the week's news was around how National got the information with Labour and Treasury claiming they were hacked but it simply came down to a bunch of manual queries to the Treasury search engine returning "yet to be officially released" information.
Another embarrassing budget moment was when we found out the happy single mother and child on the front cover had given up on NZ and moved to Australia.
Health has $1.9b over five years, schools have $1.2b for a 10-year property investment programme, $1b for KiwiRail with a third of that from NZ First's slush fund, ahem, I mean the Provincial Growth Fund. The KiwiRail CEO said, "the funding sets a solid foundation for the future of rail in New Zealand." Hmm, I think I could make almost any business have a solid foundation for the future with $1b.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has admitted that he is disappointed with KiwiBuild's performance so far - I guess he's joined the rest of us! The budget had no new announcements for housing. I've also heard that Labour is refusing to even say "KiwiBuild" any more.

As if the whole budget week wasn't enough of a shambles by the government, Labour's government partners both had a dig at Labour as well. Firstly, the Green Party questioned $25m being spent on 'stopping boat people', and then Shane Jones from NZ First defended the budget from a "trophy" announcement, saying that it was NZ First who had killed the Capital Gains Tax.

And to add to all this, on Wednesday was the teacher mega-strike, with Primary and Secondary school teachers going on strike. I'm certain the stories came straight from the Ministry of Education because they are the only ones putting down the teachers, but there were more news articles talking about "teachers walking out on 773,000 children". It is so weird that the government has backed down on everyone who has gone on strike so far, but bluntly refuse the teachers - one of their big sources of union support. The Ministry has said they will meet the teachers but with no budget funding, more strikes have already been announced.

One news source this week noted that Environment Canterbury has declared a climate emergency ... but also took more than 1,400 flights in the last financial year - hypocrisy emergency!


The Numbers Game

1-7: decile schools will no longer have to pay any school "donations" - a good move by the government
2: men linked to the infamous British "unruly" tourist have been deported less than 24 hours after admitting their part in a roof fixing scam
3.5: c/L increase in tax on petrol after the Government passed a fuel-tax increase under urgency
17: $ extra per week for 300,000 beneficiaries in the budget
25: % increase in cases involving serious harm before the courts since the 2017 election
35: arrests and $1m in assets seized after a Wellington meth raid
200: earthquakes in a swarm at White Island
530: semi-automatic weapons handed into Police
600: lightning strikes over NZ last night
1m: $ fine for the Wellington Phoenix by Football Federation Australia for "failing to hit their off-field targets"
153.7m: $ in the budget to help young people transition from state care to independence
229m: $ to clean up rivers in the budget
300m: $ shortfall on DHB spending according to an expert after the latest budget


Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5171 (+0.0016)
EUR 0.5836 (-0.0012)
USD 0.6535 (-0.0018)
AUD 0.9414 (-0.0049)


The Weekender NZer of the week

Ernest Rutherford
In 1907, a New Zealander named Ernest Rutherford moved from McGill University in Canada to the University of Manchester. There, he conducted a series of experiments where he fired alpha particles at different materials...
https://www.nzedge.com/legends/ernest-rutherford/


Joke of the Weekender

We need a 12-step group for compulsive talkers. They could call it On Anon Anon.

 

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}

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