The Weekender 04/08/2017

A day early and maybe a dollar short, but I'm away tomorrow and it's been a long time in politics since last Saturday!


In the second game of last weekend, the Lions beat the Hurricanes to set up a Lions vs Crusaders final in South Africa this weekend.
Aaron Mauger has been named as the new Highlanders coach.
The two South African teams (Cheetahs and Kings) which were dropped from Super Rugby have joined England's Pro 12 competition.

Ryan Fox and Danny Lee have qualified for the PGA.
Lauren Boyle has decided to retire from competitive swimming.
The Tall Blacks haven't had everything go their way, but they beat the previously unbeaten - and tournament favourites, Angola 72-64 in the Kunshan International Basketball Champs.

NZ News

This week the news has all been politics. The week started with Labour leader Andrew Little attacking Green co-leader after her confession of welfare fraud, ignoring the recent polls which put Labour down to 24%. The problem compounded when it came to light that Labour's own polling had the party at 23%, the worst result in 20 years (and very likely Little wouldn't even be an MP after the election). Things got worse for Andrew Little when he admitted to reporters that he had offered his resignation and been turned down. The very act of doing that was a sign of the end. Things moved quickly on Tuesday which saw Andrew Little resign as leader of the Labour party, and Jacinda Ardern elected unopposed as the leader, with Kelvin Davis as deputy. Appointing Ardern has been a popular decision by all accounts, and having Davis as deputy is seen as a unifying move for the Maori Party and New Zealand First as he has strong ties to both. Ardern has shuffled portfolios around keeping Andrew Little in the mix and unveiled a new slogan "Let's do this".
Now we have to go back to Green co-leader Metiria Turei and her benefit fraud. It's not just benefit fraud, after it was uncovered she was enrolled to vote at the home of the father of her children. So you lose the benefit altogether if you live with the child's father, but she claimed she was enrolled there, only so she could vote for a friend. Dodgy, dodgy. So if you believe that, then she lived in another house with her mother (claiming her finances were complete independent) with other flatmates, none of whom she declared. She is currently being investigated. The biggest problem I have with all this is that she isn't in the slightest bit sorry - even saying "I don't regret a minute". She is very much treating it as if the country somehow owes her everything she has taken. The irony of this all has to be that at the time she was studying law. Of all subjects.

So this time last week it didn't look likely Labour would get enough in the polls to form a government (with the Greens and NZ First), but the changes this week may mean maybe they've got a shot - and they may even get to work with the Maori Party. The problem is ... the Greens.

The Numbers Game

-13: degC in Mt Cook as the week saw huge frosts around the country
7: % drop in traffic on SH1 after the opening of the Waterview tunnel
14,000: attacks on hospital staff by patients since 2012
2.6b: $ plan from National to fix Auckland's traffic problems, including a new highway alongside the Southern Motorway and a Northern Busway

Finance NZ Dollar

(Last six days)
GBP 0.5628 (-0.0089)
EUR 0.6255 (-0.0136)
USD 0.7418 (-0.0074)
AUD 0.9343 (-0.0050)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Jack Lovelock
As the first New Zealand athlete to win an Olympic gold, Jack Lovelock was edge spirit manifest, an enigmatic achiever whose running style was said to be ‘artistic’ in grace. His spectacular 1500m win at the 1936 Berlin Olympics began a rich history of achievement in New Zealand middle and long distance athletics, front-running for such later greats as Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and John Walker.

Joke of the Weekender

It's not really a joke, but it is quite funny. This week some thieves stole a caravan. But they didn't check inside it. The occupant who had been sleeping realised what was happening and called the police - guiding them to exactly where the thieves were.

Weekender Photos

Have a look at photos


Darren Harrison:

The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)


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