The Weekender 19/05/2018

Hi, Auckland woke up to thunderstorms with hail the size of squash balls a couple of days ago.


Following up on the Crusaders win last weekend, prop Joe Moody was cited for foul play after striking Kurtley Beale in an off-ball incident and was suspended for two weeks. The Highlanders held off a late charge from the Lions to win 39-27.
This weekend the Hurricanes held on to beat the Reds 38-34 and the Sunwolves had back-to-back wins when they beat the Stormers 26-23 with kiwi Hayden Parker again playing a big role.
The Black Fern Sevens had a record 46-0 win over Australia in the final of the Canada round.
All Blacks and Highlanders flanker Elliot Dixon has signed a deal with a Japanese club. New Zealand born Irish centre Bundee Aki will lead the Barbarians against England later this month.

George Bennett has done well this week in the Giro d'Italia, improving to seventh after nine stages, and then up to sixth after the tenth stage, and held on to that spot to the end.

The Warriors returned to winning ways beating the Parramatta Eels 24-14 last night.

Scott Dixon started in 18th place at the back of the grid and fought his way through to second for a podium finish in the Indianapolis Grand Prix.
Brendon Hartley finished twelfth in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Hayden Paddon was airlifted to hospital after crashing in the latest round of the world rally championship in Portugal.

Tai Wesley has signed a one year deal with the NZ Breakers, while after 10 years Alex Pledger is moving to Melbourne United.

NZ News

This week was the budget. Sigh. This government inherited an economy in vastly better shape than any new Government since 1972. However, the Prime Minister has persisted with the "story" that they want to "build" and "rebuild" over time. The new government has themselves admitted that things are in good shape - so the only thing that can be gained by "rebuilding" is to do it worse. But this budget is more about dividing the pie than growing it. There doesn't seem to be anything there to stimulate business confidence, industry, investment and wages. The government announced $4.05b for health, although National leader Simon Bridges claimed National increased new health funding by more last year than the new government has done, and midwives across the country are quitting, saying they are devastated that their pay rise isn't enough, and the Maori Party are claiming overlooking Whanau Ora is a "kick in the guts". $1.93b for education but key election promises have been missed and the NZ Education Institute president said it was "just such a major disappointment" and the Tertiary Education Union president said she was "massively disappointed". $1.2b for Justice including an additional 1,800 police officers over five years, $1b for R&D Tax credits, $1b for the Provincial Growth Fund, $904m for Foreign Affairs, $100m for a 'Green Investment Fund' and $181m for DOC, and $100m for infrastructure for the America's Cup.
There are suggestions around that the coalition's credibility is being dented by Winston Peters' spending, and the opposition leader said: "Everything we did was about making the boat go faster, and they've pulled anchor". NZ First MP Shane Jones said Maori should be "on the rafters hollering with joy" about the Budget - but they aren't. It isn't clear why he thinks they should be happy but there is $37m for Maori Development, only a third what they got in 2016 & 2017.

Following on from last weeks information on the Kiwibuild fiasco, Housing Minister Phil Twyford has called Treasury officials kids "fresh out of university", claiming they have their figure wrong on the impact of Kiwibuild on residential investment. 

The Numbers Game

15: confirmed cases of the measles in the South Island
26: % increase in the public housing wait list in the last three months
39: staff of Cadbury World have lost their jobs after it was announced the cafe & shop would close with the government announcing a new hospital on the site
46: place jump in the world golf rankings for Danny Lee after a strong result at the Players Championship in Florida
1.3m: $ worth of cocaine found by Customs, being smuggled in by an American 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5116 (-0.0028)
EUR 0.5856 (0.0018)
USD 0.6903 (-0.0063)
AUD 0.9191 (-0.0045)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Brian Barret Boyes
design of the heart

Joke of the Weekender

People in Dubai don't like the Flintstones.
But people in Abu Dhabi do!


Darren Harrison:
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