The Weekender 03/03/2018

Welcome back, I hope you've had a good couple of weeks!


We have quite a bit to get through!

Super Rugby has kicked off and the Stormers held on for a 28-20 win over the Jaguares, and the Lions beat the Sharks 26-19.
The following week NZ started with the Highlanders beating the Blues 41-34. The Hurricanes started slowly and lost 21-19 to the Bulls in Pretoria, while the Crusaders relied on a disputed penalty try & yellow card (you are not allowed to defend your line, apparently!) to beat the Chiefs 45-23.
This weekend the Chiefs beat the Blues 27-21 after starting with about 15 players out injured. What do Australian Super Rugby teams and the Blues have in common? Neither can beat any of the NZ teams!
Wyatt Crockett has announced he will retire at the end of the season. He has had only three defeats in 71 games as an All Black. Jerome Kaino has announced he will be leaving NZ rugby at the end of this season to play in France.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck has turned down an offer from the All Blacks to switch codes and has re-signed with the Warriors for four years.

The Black Caps continued in the tri-series with a 2-run loss to England, but the margin was small enough that NZ went through to the final against Australia. And Australia won the final by 19 runs.
Next on the list was a three-match ODI series and Ross Taylor hit hist 18th century to lead NZ to a three-wicket win. England bounced back in Mt Maunganui to win by six wickets and the final game is on right now. England got a below average score but NZ's had a collapse and it isn't looking good!

The Wellington Phoenix had a positive game a couple of weeks ago beating Perth Glory 2-1 - but there hasn't been much more good news with their coach not continuing on after a single year in charge. 
The All Whites announced their new coach, Swiss Fritz Schmid.

The Winter Olympics has been on and NZ has been competing. I guess we weren't expecting much, although I remember the excitement back in 1992 when Annelise Coberger won silver. What I didn't realise was that that was our only Winter Olympic medal - until this time when on the same day two sixteen-year-olds got bronze. Firstly Zoi Sadowski-Synnott in the women's Big Air event and later Nico Porteous in the men's halfpipe freeski.

The NZ Breakers missed out on finishing third after they were beaten 101-86 by the Sydney Kings. Kirk Penney has announced he will retire at the end of this season.
The Tall Blacks have been playing as well and a young team had an impressive 82-73 win over China in a World Cup qualifier, followed up with a 93-84 win over South Korea.

Haydon Paddon finished fourth in Rally Sweden after being near the top for the race.

Dean Barker has been linked with the New York Yacht Club for the Quantum Racing series, fueling speculation that they will make an America's Cup bid.

The Aussie V8 season has started and Shane van Gisbergen had a good win in the first race of the round.

The Volvo Ocean Race arrived in Auckland this week with Blair Tuke's MAPFRE beating his Olympic partner Peter Burling to the finish line.

NZ News

Former tropical cyclone Gita hit NZ bring more rain and stormy weather. It crossed through central/south North Island and hit the top of the North Island too. Buller declared a state of emergency after they had coastal flooding. Sixty tourists were trapped two hours south of Greymouth after roads were closed and washed away. There were power outages across Wanganui Region.

A charity helping patients with rare disorders has slammed the Government for backing down a pre-election promise of $20m for rare diseases. You can't blame the government though, they promised the world and everyone believed them but now they are in they've realised they can't just print money.
But maybe they figured out a way as they started spending (or announcing) parts of their $3b fund for regions. They announced $61m for a number of things from a railway in Napier to a number of things up north. National pointed out that a number of things included were already going ahead, or planned for by the previous government.
Apparently, the universities are complaining about Labour's much vaunted free fees policy claiming it will only create an added administrative burden and push students into courses they won't or can't pass.
PM Jacinda Ardern went to Australia this week, apparently with the intent of trying to stop Australia deporting criminals with very loose ties to NZ (i.e. recently they deported someone who had never even been to New Zealand). But as anyone would expect, Australia just ignored her.

The National Party leadership race had five entries at one point but ended up with Tauranga MP Simon Bridges. He is 41 and was brought up in West Auckland and is part Maori.

The Numbers Game

3: NZ cities/areas were named in a report highlighting the world's 100 best users of renewable energy, Auckland, Wellington and Kapiti
5.2: Richter scale earthquake southwest of Hastings
7: th most powerful passport in the world
48: % support for Labour with a jump in fortunes. National has dropped a little (3%) to 43% with NZ First and Greens both dropping well down
150: years of justice at Auckland High Court
350: drivers have had to resit their licences or had them revoked after an investigation by NZTA revealed bribery and general 
21,000: overpaid to PM Jacinda Ardern & Deputy PM Winston Peters - but it wasn't their fault & they immediate repaid it
25,000: $ clean up bill for Auckland Council after someone dumped 1,285 tyres into a ravine
520,000: $ spent on travel for Auckland City executives resulted in Mayor Phill Goff wanting to ban business class travel
22.5m: $ worth of cocaine intercepted by authorities after an attempt by two Canadians
669m: $ worth of payments from the Government to early childhood providers were paid twice this week after a Westpac error - it was mostly recovered.

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5259 (0.0000)
EUR 0.5894 (-0.0038)
USD 0.7248 (-0.0155)
AUD 0.9344 (0.0022)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Robert J Dickie
Champion of Automation
RJ Dickie invented, patented and marketed the world’s first stamp vending machine. His machines were in use for 50 years, 18,000 were used in Britain, with countless thousands around the world. The machine that won star honours at the 1909 Pacific Expo in Seattle came from a New Zealander with a single idea. Robert James Dickie was born in London on December 30, 1876. Twelve years later, he immigrated with his family to Wellington, New Zealand. He joined the staff of the Chief Post Office at Customs Street in 1891 and went to work in the foreign mail department.

Joke of the Weekender

What's the difference between a good joke and a bad joke timing.


Darren Harrison:
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