The Weekender 12/05/2018

After a nice week, heavy rain and strong winds have been forecast for the country over the weekend. 


Last weekend in Super Rugby, the Hurricanes beat the Lions 28-19 with a Ben Lam hat-trick - he is certainly playing well. The Highlanders were given a lesson by the Sharks, trashed in Durban 38-12, while the Blues upset the Waratahs 24-21 - this was the 38th defeat of an Australian Super Rugby team by a New Zealand Super Rugby team and the worst NZ team against the best Australian team. 
This weekend the Hurricanes continued their roll with a 36-15 win over the Auckland Blues despite Sonny Bill Williams being back from injury. The Waratahs talked up their backline ahead of their game against the Crusaders (!) and maybe they were right as they shot out to a 0-29 lead in the first half hour. But the Crusader put on 31 unanswered points to win 31-29. The Sunwolves thrashed the Reds 63-28 with Kiwi Hayden Parker scoring 24 of their 29 first-half points.
In other news, New Zealand Rugby has cleared Brad Shields to play for England in next months tour. While Ryan Crotty and Scott Barrett have re-signed with New Zealand Rugby.

Last weekend the Warriors had another good game beating the Tigers 26-4, but this weekend they aren't doing so well. Update: The Roosters ran away with the game 32-0.

Lydia Ko continued her good form finishing eighth at the LPGA Texas Classic. And Danny Lee has shot up the leaderboard to be tied for second at the unofficial fifth major - the Players Championship.

Kiwi Ironman Trent Bozzone continued his unbeaten 2018 season with his fourth win at Ironman 70.3 in Western Australia.

Kiwi George Bennett finished fourth in the sixth leg of the Giro d'Italia to move into ninth spot overall.

New Zealand Football has claimed a world first by announcing pay parity between the All Whites and the Football Ferns. That is huge news - who knew they actually paid the players!

Scott McLaughlin is building a lead in the Aussie V8's after winning the first race in Perth for his third in a row and then producing what may be the greatest drive of his career coming from 19th to win the second race. Scott is on 1247 point, ahead of fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen on 1089 points with Fabian Coulthard back in ninth on 809 points.

NZ News

The government has been digging holes for themselves this week, firstly by saying that overstayers and illegal migrants might be allowed to stay in NZ if they have construction skills, as the government looks toward their election promise of 100,000 new houses. Labour made the promise to build over 10 years, including $500,000 1-bedroom houses, and 2 and 3 bedroom houses up to $600,000. However, they obviously didn't do their homework in their nine years of opposition and now a three-bedroom house will cost $650,000. But the real crazy thing was Housing Minister Phil Twyford gave wrong numbers in an interview about how much the houses were to cost. Then he said he rejected a National claim that Labour has also lifted the price of its smaller houses, saying he misspoke during a TV appearance this morning. So he misspoke and then managed to blame the result on National? But it turns out the government is looking to use "public partnerships" i.e. they are going to claim a large number of houses that were going to be built anyway, and their great plan will be irrelevant - except for any political points they get out of it.
The government has stepped in after a loophole saw a widowed father denied paid parental leave after his wife died in childbirth. The government gave him a one-off ex gratia payment.
The government has said that Aucklanders could be using two light-rail networks across the city within six years - but that will depend on who is in power in three years time.

Auckland has had some transport problems this week after the Britomart station was shut down after a train derailed, and fog hit Auckland Airport with over 60 regional flights grounded. 

The Numbers Game

290: farms now under regulatory control for Mycoplasma bovis - a jump from 130 in the last week
1,200: person kiwifruit labour shortage
23,000: people are diagnosed with cancer every year, with 9,500 dying to be 31% of deaths - our biggest killer
100,000: $ given to charity KidsCan by the Waikato-Tainui iwi

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5144 (-0.0035)
EUR 0.5838 (-0.0028)
USD 0.6966 (-0.0053)
AUD 0.9236 (-0.0081)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Margaret Brimble 
The first New Zealand woman to be elected fellow of Royal Society of London

Joke of the Weekender

A guy walks into a bar and orders a fruit punch.
The bartender says "Pal, if you want a punch you'll have to stand in line." The guy looks around, but there is no punch line.


Darren Harrison:
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