The Weekender 30/06/2018

Welcome to winter, roads have been closed all over the place with snow, and a big rockfall in the Waioeka Gorge. 


The international rugby window rolled on with the All Blacks not entirely convincing in the second test winning 26-13 defined by an early red card for Frenchman Benjamin Fall. Adding to the crazy situation, the red card was deemed wrong by Rugby Officials and cancelled after the game. In the third test, Chiefs player Damien McKenzie displayed an attacking masterclass to lead the All Blacks to a 49-14 win.
Former All Black Julian Savea has confirmed that he will move to France after the Super Rugby season to play for Toulon. And Jerome Kaino played his last game at Eden Park for the Blues the other night. He should become the second most capped Blues player before the end of the season.
In other games, South Africa secured a series win over England with a 23-12 win in the second game but then dropped the last game. The USA beat Scotland for their first win over a Tier One team.
Super Rugby is just kicking back into life with the Blues thrashing the Reds 39-16 at Eden Park for Jerome's last home game.

Lydia Ko finished third in the LPGA in Michigan.

Jack Bauer and Dion Smith have been confirmed for the Tour de France.

A young Kiwis team let a 0-12 lead slip away as England came back to beat them 36-18 in a one-off Rugby league test in Denver.
The Warriors had a last-gasp loss to the Cronulla Sharks last night, losing 18-15.

Three gold medals for rowers in Austria and two for sailors in Germany. Blair Tuke finished a close second in the Volvo Ocean Race.

Scot McLaughlin had his sixth win in the Aussie V8's in the Darwin round. Scot Dixon finished third in the Indycar race in Wisconsin to extend his series lead. 

NZ News

With Jacinda Ardern now on maternity leave, Winston Peters is acting Prime Minister and someone launched a tool recording how much Labour buying New Zealand First is actually costing. Apparently, it is $5.1b already ($2,960 per NZer) and that is expected to grow while he is in charge.
The baby news about the Prime Minister was crazy - at one point Stuff had five articles about the new baby leading its news list. So it was a baby girl and was named "Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford".

The road toll shows no sign of slowing down (despite my award-winning day job focusing on that mostly) with a two-car crash which killed seven of eight people in Waverly. The four elderly people died instantly in one car, and in the other, the stepfather, and eight-month-old died immediately with the eight-year-old dying a day later and the mother still in critical condition.

Statistics NZ gave some details this week on NZ's level of debt. The figure of $2.7b is the one that scaremongers are happy to talk about, but most of that is penalties which never get paid, leaving around $700m in real payments, which is dropping for the first time in 20 years.

Former Labour MP Koro Wetere died this week aged 83. He was Minister of Maori Affairs from 1984 to 1990.

So I probably was reading something and maybe it wasn't an original idea, but I figured out why Labour gets in and suddenly all over the place from bus drivers to teachers, nurses to public servants, everyone is talking about striking for more pay. It's quite simple but basically, the government promised all their contributing unions the earth. I guess they never expected to get elected but now they find themselves having to spend huge huge sums of money and still all their "supporters" are baying for blood - or at least more money. I think the nurses have backed down after a higher pay offer from the DHB's, but the teachers had a stop-work meeting on Monday, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Following on with the government's spending, the Health Minister was grilled in Parliament this week over where the extra $8b was. Again Labour campaigned on spending $8b more than National would, but the Minister announced a four-year budget with no sign of the new spending.

The government clearly campaigned on banning house sales to overseas investors but this week they announced the full deal and it was well watered down with new exemptions.

The government has scrapped health targets because they were creating "perverse outcomes" for patients. They might have toned down the rhetoric a little if they had remembered that the targets were introduced by the Labour-led government in 2007. National warned that losing the targets will lose the accountability meaning more illnesses and fatalities.

The Speaker of the House has reprimanded Housing Minister Phil Twyford for cheeky answers to National's Judith Collins. Trevor Mallard said they showed "contempt for the accountability" and he gave National 20 more questions. So perhaps he is trying to be a bit fairer. 

The Numbers Game

-6: degC in the South Island the day after the shortest day as frosts grip the country
4.8: Richter scale earthquake hit central North Island. I don't typically report anything below 5, but nothing has come up for a long while
4.9: Richter scale earthquake in Hawkes Bay
37: % of Auckland school children are overweight - and on average almost 2kg heavier than seven years ago
70: Auckland bus drivers for Ritchies in Auckland were to strike
99: % rise in road safety spending
111: year old Madeline Anderson - NZs older person died this week
131: NZers die from Motor Neuron Disease each year - 53 more than the international average
26,000: fewer people were eligible for the government's much-touted fees-free policy for University study
60,000: $ per month spent by NZTA removing tagging on Auckland motorways
200m-600m: $ from the sale of parks by Auckland City Council in what surely is a short-sighted view 

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 16/06/2018 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.5126 (-0.0104)
EUR 0.5791 (-0.0197)
USD 0.6770 (-0.0179)
AUD 0.9140 (-0.0196)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Peter Blake
design of circumnavigation

Joke of the Weekender

(Quoted from adhdheather)

To remember how many feet there are in a mile, you just have to use 5 tomatoes.
Five to-mate-oes sounds like five, two, eight, 0 and there are 5280 feet in a mile.
Reply by "official-deutschland"
To remember how many metres there are in a kilometre you just remember "1000" because the system of measurement in the rest of the world wasn't invented by a drunk mathematician rolling dice.


Darren Harrison:
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