The Weekender 12/08/2017

A week can be a long time in politics, and we've certainly had two long weeks!


The Crusaders ended their title drought with a 17-25 win over the Lions last weekend. The Crusaders started well but the Lions did really well after they went down to 14 men with a red card. So that isn't a bad start for Scott Roberston in his first year of Super Rugby coaching.
The Black Ferns had a big opening win in the Women's World Cup in Ireland, beating Wales 44-12.
The Australian Rugby Union has announced that the Western Force will be dropped from Super Rugby. They announced at the same time that CEO Bill Pulver will be resigning. It's been a huge mess for all the players and their families, and dropping Western Force means wasting all the effort promoting rugby out West.

Tom Walsh has won gold at the World Athletics Champs in London. There were a couple of appeals but he survived those.
Nick Willis finished sixth in the 1500m semi finals to just sneak through to the final.

The Tall Blacks started well in the Asia Cup with a 70-49 win over Kazakhstan.

Kiwi Brendon Leitch has had a breakthrough race win in the F4 USA championship in Ohio this week.

Ryan Fox has been having a good week at the USA PGA. In the second round, he shot the lowest score of the round with a five-under 66 to jump from 80th to a share of 12th.
Lydia Ko had a disappointing first three rounds at the British Golf Open in Scotland but had a solid finish to end up two-under par.

NZ News

Another week closer to the election and another party leader steps down! The week started with stories saying how Green co-leader Metiria Turei had survived her welfare scandal and if she had resigned it would have caused a meltdown within the Green Party. Then two Green MP's resigned in protest of Turei's actions. They said civil disobedience was sometimes justified, but this should be limited to "fundamental breaches of human rights" such as torture, genocide or apartheid. "It does not stretch to the adequacy of an income benefit," they said. Turei was defiant at that point saying she would stay even if they plummeted in the polls. The next day she resigned. Those who could be bothered commenting on her resignation overwhelmingly supported her, although many entirely missed the point that she brought this whole thing on herself and her family, by trying to use them and their situation for political gain.
So that along with Labour's changes has meant a big swing of voters, not so much between left & right, but between the left leaning parties. The Green Party support dropped from 13.3% to 8.3%. Arrgh I can't find the full poll details, but NZ First dropped as well, but not as much as the Greens to be solidly the third biggest party, National were down one or two, and Labour had jumped lots. The preferred Prime Minister changed drastically with Labour leader Jacinda Adern jumping to only a few points behind Bill English.
Ardern released a number of plans this week, promising to reduce spending on roads (nooo just as we are finally getting good roads built!), and about three new taxes, including a water tax that Winston Peters claimed, would result in cabbages costing around $18. But the Labour party still can't agree on the basics. One Labour MP backed TPP (and why not since they came up with the idea), outlining why Labour's opposition to it was wrong, but most importantly Ardern can't even keep her deputy in line. One of the first things she said was that they would run a relentlessly positive campaign. That lasted three days before Labour deputy Kelvin Davis started playing the man not the ball and took pot shots at most leading National MPs, including Prime Minister Bill English, saying he had the personality of a rock. National has jumped on that, rightly declaring that this rock got NZ through the Global Financial Crisis & back into surplus. So this election has been tagged "the rock vs the rock star" - and it's anybody's game.

Armed robbers (a knife not a gun) robbed the McDonalds next to our place during the week, but the police announced that they caught two men responsible for a number of robberies around town during the week.

The Numbers Game

100,000: $ borrowed by a Real Estate agent from his builder - is now facing misconduct charges
505,000: $ for a never-before-seen painting of Auckland founding father Sir John Logan Campbell
44m: $ from the government will clean up around 100 rivers

Finance NZ Dollar

(last eight days)
GBP 0.5613 (-0.0015)
EUR 0.6185 (-0.0070)
USD 0.7292 (-0.0126)
AUD 0.9262 (-0.0081)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Janet Frame
Mixing and revolving words with the skill of a warrior handling a taiaha, novelist Janet Frame made a pre-eminent edge contribution to international literature. She came from the peripheries of art and society, yet her fictional explorations have always been forays into the interior. For Frame, her art and imagining were the conjuring of experience, madness, dreams, identity and memory, into a coiled reality. The agenda for her prose, wrestling with the dual/jewel (to borrow a typical Frame word-play) nature of ‘truth’ entangled in the medium of its expression, is laid out the famous opening lines of To the Is-land:
“From the first place of liquid darkness, within the second place of air and light, I set down the following record with its mixture of fact and truths and memories of truths and its direction toward the Third Place, where the starting point is myth.”

Joke of the Weekender

The biggest change after having kids was putting a swear jar in the house. Whenever I say a bad word, I have to put a dollar in the jar, and at the end of every month, I take all that money and buy myself a nice steak for being such a cool dad.
Comedian Mark Chalifoux

Weekender Photos

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