The Weekender 26/08/2017

Hello, I hope your week has gone well.


It certainly was a game, and it even had a couple of halves. Not quite 40 minutes, more like 50 minutes - at which point the All Blacks were 6-54 ahead of the Wallabies in the first Bledisloe Cup match. But the All Blacks played like Taranaki earlier in the day and were mesmerised by the scoreline, switching off for Australia to storm back to 34-54. Still a thrashing but not an 80-minute performance from the All Blacks in their first hit out of this international season.
In the other game, South Africa beat Argentina 37-15.
Sir Colin Meads passed away this week after a battle with cancer. His funeral was today in Te Kuiti.
In provincial rugby, Northland had a rare 28-23 win over the BOP Steamers last weekend.

The Black Ferns crushed US 45-12 to reach their fifth Women's Rugby World Cup final.

The Tall Blacks were beaten 106-79 by the Boomers at the FIBA Asia Cup in Beirut. Then they lost the bronze medal match against Korea 80-71.

Tom Walsh continued his winning ways with a win in the diamond league meeting in Birmingham.

All White Captain Chris Wood completed his record deal in a move to Burnley for $NZ26m or $NZ3.2m/year.

NZ News

Great Barrier Island has officially become the first island to be designated as a dark sky sanctuary.

So three leaders in three weeks. The politics continue! This week Peter Dunne announced he would step down - all but sealing the fate of the United Future party. The polls had been showing he would be defeated in his electorate with the Labour candidate jumping ahead. He has done well for his party, being in every government since 2002.
In other interesting stories, Gareth Morgan disconnected with a lot of people when he made the twitter call for Jacinda Ardern to "show you're more than lipstick on a pig". He is rightly claiming that so far Labour's revival is completely down to personality over policy, but he isn't making friends with the way is saying it.
Labour has promised something the Greens announced last week, with a basic commuter rail system from Auckland to Hamilton and Tauranga. The commuter rail system has become a bit of an election item but it has been tried and so far it's been entirely uneconomical. Labour leader Jacinda Ardern also announced she may pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, has "not ruled out" capital gains tax, wants to talk about becoming a republic. She seems to be showing she is very much a Labour politician, sticking to typical Labour things (lots of new taxes etc).
Labour did have some trouble this week when a Labour party candidate threatened the Pakuranga night market operator because he failed to get free space and access for Labour leader Jacinda Ardern. The market owners response was brilliant ... "This is a party that is wanting to charge royalties for water, but they expect things to be given to them free of charge."
The Greens had their own problems with their political director resigning just weeks before the election.
National has plans to complete or start seven free trade deals, unlocking markets with 2.5 billion people.
The latest poll was on who was the most capable leader. Bill English jumped 4 points to 45%, with Jacinda Ardern rated for 32% - certainly an increase of the 10% that Andrew Little got last month.

The Numbers Game

18: $ doctor visits will be extended to another 600,000 lower income New Zealanders, National announced, Labour said half of NZers would pay $8
75: % spike in pedestrian crash deaths
110: kph for some expressways after a change in law this week
1,550: $ for a Sir Edmund Hillary Everest expedition team postcard
10.5b: $ plan for 10 new major highways in a plan from the government.

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5624 (-0.0052)
EUR 0.6100 (-0.0124)
USD 0.7223 (-0.0088)
AUD 0.9122 (-0.0111)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Rewi Alley
Rewi Alley; social reformer, educator, fireman, writer, poet, translator, great internationalist, industrialist, revered citizen, potter, soldier, a hero and a friend of China. Edgar Snow, the famous American journalist: “Rewi Alley is unique because he has achieved greatness in a country where few foreigners ever manage to achieve an authentic ripple.” The most travelled European in the Chinese interior and its ‘white veteran’, associate of Mao and Che Guevara. Author of 66 books, always with the aim of bringing about a greater understanding of his second homeland and its people. The man who introduced ‘Gung Ho’ into the Western idiom.

Joke of the Weekender

Try as she might, our granddaughter couldn’t grasp the concept of potty training. Then one day … Success! Jumping up and down, she threw her arms in the air and yelled in excitement, “I went potty all by myself, and now I can go to Harvard!”

Weekender Photos

Have a look at photos


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
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