darrenh's blog

The Weekender 06/08/2016

Hello, I will be taking a break for a few weeks, while I head to Ireland
for a wedding! I'm sure it will be an awesome time, and we'll catch up when
I get back!
The Super Rugby final is over and the new champions are the Hurricanes.
They had a 20-3 win over the Lions with Beauden Barrett having a great game
in the wet conditions.
In other news, Christian Lealiifano has been diagnosed with Leukaemia. He
was born in Auckland, and is a star for the Wallabies and Brumbies.

The Black Caps are in Zimbabwe and in the first test match NZ was fairly
comfortable winning by and innings and 117 runs.

Golfer Ryan Fox had a great week when he shot to victory in the Northern
Ireland Open with a nine-under.

Hayden Paddon managed a fifth in Rally Finland during the week and is now
fourth in the drivers standings.

Obviously the Olympics have just started. NZ announced that they would have
two captains, with Peter Burling and Blair Tuke both listed to carry the
flag in the opening ceremony. After not initially being selected for Rio
(in Rugby Sevens), Liam Messam is now on his way with Teddy Stanaway being
ruled out.
*NZ News*
While the news of Teina Pora's payment is still fresh, the government
announced that David Bain would not be compensated, however he will be paid
$925,000 ex gratia payment. The retired judge Ian Callinan found that Bain
was not innocent "on the balance of probabilities". I guess that is the
difference. To be put into prison you have to be found guilty, but to get
compensation, you have to be proven innocent.

The Maori Party announced this week that they would not be supporting Helen
Clark's bid of the UN Secretary General's job. It's an interesting change
since they completely supported her originally. They have said that it was
because of her "huge mistakes" when Prime Minister.

The weather has been alright this week but that has changed closer to the
weekend. Snow blanketed down south and it was heading north as well, Hawkes
Bay got 50-70cm of snow!. The Desert Road was expecting snow, and the
Taupo-Napier road was closed yesterday and expected to stay closed until
*The Numbers Game*
3.1: % increase in crime, 13% or 8,676 more robberies
4: % of Housing New Zealand tenants have had applications against them for
eviction in the last year, that's 2,591, up from 2,247 in the year before
20m: $ in meth was found in spatulas being imported
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5471 (0.0031)
EUR 0.6452 (0.0013)
USD 0.7173 (-0.0026)
AUD 0.9391 (-0.0076)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Chris Amon
Motor racing driver Chris Amon, who was considered one of the best Formula
One drivers of his generation, has died aged 73.
*Joke of the Weekender*
A woman noticed her husband standing on the bathroom scale, sucking in his
stomach. “Ha­­! That’s not going to help,” she said.
“Sure, it does,” he said. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers.”
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 23/07/2016

Hello, we've just had a great evening at a family birthday, an outside mid
winter party and although it was a wet day, the temperatures have been
quite warm for winter. But apparently it might not stay that way.
So last weekend was the final Super rugby round. The Chiefs fell to the
Highlanders 25-15 which knocked them off the top of the table, and the
Hurricanes 10-35 away win over the Crusaders secured top spot for them when
the Lions second string team losing to the Jaguares. The Brumbies beat the
Force 24-10 to secure the top Australian spot - but with only 43 points
would have put them fifth on the NZ conference, barely above the Blues.
Final table: Hurricanes 53, Highlanders/Lions 52, Chiefs/Stormers 51,
Crusaders 50, Sharks/Brumbies 43, Bulls 42, Waratahs 40, Blues 39, Rebels
31, Jaguares 22, Cheetahs 21, Reds 17, Force 13, Sunwolves/Kings 9.
Wow this shows that NZ was the strong conference and expanding the teams in
South Africa and Australia has ruined the game there.
So the Quarter-finals are as follows Brumbies (4th) vs Highlanders (5th),
Hurricanes (1st) vs Sharks (8th), Lions (2nd) vs Crusaders (7th), Stormers
(3rd) vs Chiefs (6th)
The first game is already played with the Highlanders hanging on to beat
the Brumbies 9-15.
There was some tough mid week news for some teams. The Crusaders have ruled
out Andy Ellis and Nemani Nadolo with injury, while the Chiefs were told
Liam Messam couldn't play because he didn't play enough regular season
games after trying to break into the Olympic Sevens team. So given
injuries, the Chiefs have named Stephen "Beaver" Donald in the starting
line up for the big game against the Stormers.
The Hurricanes are playing right now and have put on five tries over the
Sharks to lead 34-0. They have been playing some great dry weather rugby
even though it's wet & windy with Barrett having a great game. Update: The
Hurricanes have won 41-0.

The Waikato/BOP Magic certainly turned their season around and have stunned
the Southern Steel 59-57 to retain the NZ conference title.

Valerie Adams has continued her good form with a season record of 20.19m to
win in Hungary.

Lydia Ko won the Marathon Classic for her fourth LPGA win of the season,
and with that, her career earnings hit $10m. She was also named in the
Olympic team, along with Ryan Fox and Danny Lee.

William Trubridge has broken his world freedive record when he got down to
102m (and back up) with no assistance (i.e. a rope).

Joseph Parker improved his record to 20-0 with a knockout win over Aussie
Solomon Haumono in Christchurch this week. He can now start concentrating
on a world title fight against IBF champ Anthony Joshua.

Jamie Whincup was looking to secure his 100th win in Aussie V8's, until his
teammate Shane Van Gisbergen made a late pass in the latest round at
Queensland Raceway. That puts Van Gisbergen only 41 points behind Whincup
on the table, continuing a great run this season for the kiwi.

A couple of hard luck stories for the week, first with Scott Dixon who was
in control at the street track in Toronto, until a late yellow saw him drop
to eighth. And Shane Archibold is out of the Tour de France with a broken
pelvis after a crash. His teammate was in awe, because Shane actually
continued and finished the stage. Finally the Warriors have had their
second golden point defeat in a row with the Raiders scoring in the 82nd
minute to win 26-22.
*NZ News*
A woman and four children - two of them 5 & 6, were lost for two nights in
the Urewera's this week. They were treated for mild hypothermia and
dehydration but were otherwise ok.
*The Numbers Game*
6: th ranking for NZ for mobile connectivity ahead of USA (8th) and UK
(10th), based on four categories: infrastructure, affordability,
consumption and content
23: % of fatal crashes in 2015 involved trucks, but the trucks were only
responsible for 35% of those accidents
33: year absence of US warships in New Zealand (due to our anti-nuclear
stance) will end this year
83: students busted at universities last year for cheating, there were 93
in 2014 and 63 in 2013
33,360: houses vacant in Auckland at the last census - almost matching the
36,597 homes that were overcrowded
700,000: $ stolen by a Ministry of Transport staff member, who then faked
some leave and skipped the country
7m: $ meth haul by Customs to continue their great work
35m: $ fund over four years announced by the government for universities to
attract world-class researchers
493m: $ to be spent by the government on a naval tanker - custom made for
use in Antarctica
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5282 (-0.0085)
EUR 0.6335 (-0.0109)
USD 0.6981 (-0.0176)
AUD 0.9324 (-0.0063)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Sir Edmund Hillary, Knight of the Order of the Garter, Companion of the
Order of New Zealand, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
He conquered Mount Everest and the South Pole and captured the world’s
imagination. Yet where others would have been content to admire the view,
look down and bask in the sheer individuality of achievement, for Sir
Edmund Hillary it was only the beginning of a lifetime of service to others.
*Joke of the Weekender*
E-mail Addresses It Would Be Annoying To Give Out Loud
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 16/07/2016

Hello, I hope you've had a great week!
Last weekend in Super Rugby the Hurricanes remained in the race for the
finals spots beating the Waratahs 17-28 in a tight game. That capped off a
horrid weekend for Australian rugby with all NZ vs Aust games leaving NZ
the victors 203-63.
On to this weekend. The Blues continued to play the spoilers as they beat
the Waratahs 34-28, ending their chance of making the playoffs. The
Brumbies (who the Blues thrashed last weekend) will represent Australia.
The Blues who were the worst of the NZ teams won't make the playoffs - does
that seem right?
In the first of the NZ match ups, the Hurricanes have beaten the Crusaders
at home 35-10 dominating the second half and are sitting 2 points ahead of
the Chiefs, with the Chiefs taking on the Highlanders later tonight. Next
week we'll have the result of that game and the final layout of the Super
Rugby post season table.

In other rugby news Ardie Savea has resigned with NZ Rugby and the
Hurricanes until 2018.

The Tall Blacks dream of heading to the Olympics was ended with a 78-72
loss to Canada.

Danny Lee had a great weekend last weekend, with the kiwi golfer finishing
second at the Scottish Open.
The ESPY awards have again honoured Lydia Ko as the No 1 women's golfer,
but she was edged as the international athlete of the year by Cristiano

NZ has a couple of sportspeople who are leading their fields and have done
for ages, but they got a wake up call this week after Peter Burling and
Blair Tuke's winning streak in the 49er class of yachting, was ended as
they finished third in their final warm up before Rio. They had a run of 27
wins going back to the London games in 2012 when they got silver.

Valerie Adams seems to be hitting her stride with a winning 20.05m season
best throw to win the Monaco Diamond League event.
*NZ News*
Labour's three pronged approach to solving the housing crisis revolves
around an entity called the Affordable Housing Authority (AHA) which has
the power to buy land compulsorily. The AHA would partner with developers
to build 10,000 new houses. Three measures to stop prices going up would be
Capital Gains tax on homes sold within five years, landlords couldn't avoid
tax by charging less rent than they pay on taxes (which would surely drive
up rental prices?), and overseas residents would be banned from buying
existing houses - they would have to build new.
The government announced that Housing New Zealand would spend $2b to buy
houses, with the majority being in Auckland.

State Highway 8 between Tekapo and Twizel was closed during the week after
two crashes on icy roads left seven people injured. Twizel started the
morning with -2 degC and Middlemarch hit -3.

I'd back NZ Police any day of the week, but this week there were two
shooting by police - a fatal in Hamilton - and in both cases the people
were known users of methamphetamine.

There were no New Zealanders killed in the terrible events in Nice
recently. A group of Christchurch school girls had been at the event but
had gone back to their hotel before the tragic event. There were other
kiwis who were witnesses. As a result of the ongoing troubles in France,
MFAT has put a warning on travelling to France.
*The Numbers Game*
34: new kakapo chicks for a record breeding season, adding to the total of
160 kakapo - better than the 70's when only 18 were known to exist - all
100: G per month used by the average NZ household, half way through the
month and we're sitting on 62G.
515: tickets issued to slow drivers last year - the highest number in a
40,000: kiwis raised money to buy Awaroa Beach and this week it became part
of Abel Tasman National Park
2,027,215: facebook fans for Mad Mike Whiddett - a professional drift
driver. More followers than Sonny Bill Williams, Richie McCaw, Dan Carter
and Steven Adams combined
4.7m: population of NZ this week
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5367 (-0.0245)
EUR 0.6444 (-0.0122)
USD 0.7157 (-0.0108)
AUD 0.9387 (-0.0275)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Blaine Rakena PhD
When Blaine Rakena's 5-year-old son told his class all his Dad did was stay
home and watch television the Kaikohe man knew he had to change. Blaine
Rakena once thought he was "too dumb" to go to university and saw the
freezing works as his only option. He now holds a PhD in science
mathematics education.
*Joke of the Weekender*
Chairdrobe (n.): piling clothes on a chair in place of a closet or dresser.
Epiphanot (n.): an idea that seems like an amazing insight to the conceiver
but is in fact pointless, mundane, stupid, or incorrect.
Internest (n.): the cocoon of blankets and pillows you gather around
yourself while spending long periods of time on the Internet.
Textpectation (n.): the anticipation felt when waiting for a response to a
Unkeyboardinated (adj.): when you’re unable to type without repeatedly
making mistakes.
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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 09/07/2016

Hello, how are things. There has been flooding in Auckland and BOP in the
last few days, but we only had showers here - and quite a good day today.
Last weekend there were a few more rugby games and some table changes. The
Stormers beat Melbourne 57-31, the Cheetahs beat the Force 30-29 and the
Lions beat the Sharks 37-10 to jump to the top of the table overall, one
point ahead of the Chiefs. The Highlanders beat the Southern Kings 48-18
after running in four late tries and the Jaguares beat the Bulls 29-11 (!).
This weekend the Blues (who can't make the finals) demolished the
top-of-the-Australian-conference the Brumbies 40-15. The Chiefs had a great
game against the Reds who were hoping to spoil their chances with the
Chiefs winning 50-5 to secure a bonus point. The scores kept getting bigger
though with the Crusaders thrashing the Melbourne Rebels 85-26. At half
time the Highlanders lead the Waratahs but only by 10-11.

The Black Sticks men have taken bronze in the Six Nations tournament in
Valencia with a 4-1 win over Argentina.

Haydon Paddon has climbed to third overall in the World Rally Champs after
he came third in Rally Poland.

The Tall Blacks had a great game to beat the Philippines 89-80, on their
road to Rio, then they led world number five France at the end of the third
quarter before the French stars stepped up to win 66-59.

In Australian NRL the Eels have been docked 12 points and fined $1m for
salary cap breeches going back to 2013.
*NZ News*
Former NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark has some added support for her bid to
become UN Secretary General - someone has released "Aunty Helen" t-shirts.

The Labour Party celebrated their 100th anniversary this week and marked it
with three housing announcements. Reporters asked a number of Labour
supporters how they thought the party was going and the quotes went from "I
think they may have lost the plot sometimes" to "they have more of a social
conscience ". In other locations the random people on the street struggled
to know who Andrew Little (Labour leader) even was.
I'm not sure if all of Labour's plans have been made public (if they have,
they haven't made any news I've seen!) but one of their plans was to turn
Housing NZ into a public service, and use the dividends to buy more houses,
getting 1,000 more houses each year until demand has been met. Steven Joyce
on behalf of the government, doesn't think the changes would do anything
except slow down the housing building programme and I'm not sure if adding
politicians to anything ever helps.

A High Court Judge has apologised to John Bank's wife Amanda after
accepting the word of Kim Dotcom and his wife over John and Amanda Banks.
John Banks is continuing with this claim of $190,000 in court costs.
*The Numbers Game*
1: volcanic alert left for Ruapehu after lake temperatures dropped
3: rd warmest June on record with Napier getting a high of 25.1 degC
24: years since NZ has sent a diver to the Olympics, but 18 year old
Elizabeth Cui from Auckland has been named
46d 20h: in the air for Nasa's super balloon which was launched in Wanaka -
a record for mid-altitude balloons
4,000: Grey Power supporters have signed a petition to stop the government
making changes to the SuperGold Card - despite them saying the changes
won't have any negative ramifications
56,927: $ cost to rescue a group of people trapped by snow on a four wheel
drive track
30m: $ worth of meth found in small silica gel sachets in a shipment of
4000 handbags, as Customs continue their great run of stopping drugs
80m: $ from tax payers for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in Hawkes
Bay after the council voted that all conditions have been met
1b: $ fund announced by John Key to help with housing and fast-track
infrastructure development by councils
*Finance NZ Dollar*
GBP 0.5612 (0.0233)
EUR 0.6566 (0.0129)
USD 0.7265 (0.0109)
AUD 0.9662 (0.0083)
*The Weekender NZer of the week*
Ernest Rutherford
The creator of modern atomic physics and forerunner of the nuclear age,
Rutherford was one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. He was
awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 and a baronetcy in 1931,
choosing the title Baron Rutherford of Nelson. In the words of Einstein, he
was “a second Newton”, the man who “tunneled into the very material of
God”: inventor, experimenter and Nelson farm boy.
*Joke of the Weekender*
My Mom Taught Me …
Logic: “If you fall off that swing and break your neck, you can’t go to the
store with me.”
Humour: “When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”
Justice: “One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.
Then you’ll see what it’s like!”
*Weekender Photos*
Have a look at photos https://picasaweb.google.com/dunwich42

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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