The Weekender 21/07/2018

Hello, how are you all, hope you've had a good week. 


Last weekend the Crusaders thrashed the Blues 54-17, and the Highlanders had a five-try 43-37 win over the Brumbies. And that was the end of the regular season of Super Rugby.
The Chief's season ended five days later (last night) after a one-point loss to the Hurricanes 32-31 in a game where neither team did very well, but TJ Perenara did score a controversial try (the on-field call was no try, and the TMO overruled because he couldn't see that he didn't get the try - what?).
In other news, Israel Dagg has signed a short-term contract to play in Japan for the rest of the year, while Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea have both re-signed with the Hurricanes and NZ Rugby.

Kiwi Michael Venus made it through to the final of the Wimbledon doubles, before being beaten by an American pair.

The NZ Warriors upset the Brisbane Broncos in Brisbane for the first time in five years with a 26-6 win to keep their hopes of a top-four spot alive. Simon Mannering announced this week that he will be ending his 14-year career at the end of this season.

New Zealanders have won five gold medals at the World Rowing regatta in Lucerne but the news of the day was that Robbie Manson beat Mahe Drysdale in the single sculls final.

Scott Dixon extended his lead in the Indy Car series with a win in Toronto.

Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney set a season-leading world best when she cleared 4.94m at a meet in Jockgrim, Germany. 

Netballer Anna Harrison will retire from netball at the end of the ANZ Premiership season. Silverferns coach Janine Southby has resigned after a review of NZ's disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign.

NZ News

Phil Goff has stamped his mark on free-speech by banning two controversial Canadians who have been accused - by left-leaning media - of hate speech. I have no idea what they've actually been saying but people I know who have investigated, have found nothing quite like they are being accused of. It seems intriguing to me that left-leaning people are quite vocal about demanding free-speech until they find something they object to and then they are equally vocal about banning it. They never quite seem to get on board with the idea that I might not like what you say, but I'll fight for your right to say it. 

There was more damage around the country this week with storms rolling through. The Coromandel is often hit hardest and this week both SH25 and SH25A were closed with slips for days. 

There were interesting follow-up stories on the government's announcement of $2.3 billion being spent on new combat planes for the Air Force this week. Firstly noted was the lack of protest. Typically any military spending is met with large loud groups of protestors, but this huge deal seemed to have been ignored (does that suggest Labour organises all the protests?). Secondly, the whole deal seemed to have been announced by New Zealand First without any say so from Labour - that's a bit weird. And finally, and most importantly is that the deal is a major military realignment toward Australia, US and Canada and it signals a big ideological shift in defence policy for the coalition government, toward the right. I wonder what the right-now-non-existant Labour MP's think about that. 

If anyone was in doubt that the current government is putting a halt to our economy, the BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of services index shows that activity in the services sector has slowed across all major categories, slowing to the lowest levels since December 2012 (about when finance-rockstar Bill English was pulling us out of the GFC). The level is 52.8 which is 4.3 points lower than in May, and if it gets below 50 then our economy is contracting rather than growing. They've been in less than a year, and there is no reason for it. 

The "Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry" Andrew Little has signed off the concept plan outlining three re-entry options. 

National has pointed out that despite the government campaigning on raising the refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500, they have not lifted the quota or made any announcements that they are going to. I don't think they have even created yet another toothless, expensive working group to investigate it! 

The Numbers Game

4.0: Richter Scale earthquake in Christchurch was the biggest for six months
29.8: km from a spot in Fiordland to the nearest building (incl. DOC huts, houses etc.) for NZ's most remote point
91: % of Aucklanders support Sir Ray Avery's "Million Babies" charity concert at Eden Park - but not former PM Helen Clark who is vocally against it
1,000: EQC claims after storms and cyclones hit the country between January and June for over $7m in repairs
4,000: IRD and MBIE staff will strike again after their July 9th strike didn't change their bosses minds - maybe their new chant should be "we want 50% more than non-government workers doing the same job"
37,500: $ fine for a company which ignored quake strengthening orders for 10 years 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5191 (+0.0081)
EUR 0.5806 (+0.0021)
USD 0.6812 (+0.0050)
AUD 0.9171 (+0.0067)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Professor Stephen Robertson
Meet the Kiwi DNA detective helping children across the globe.
World-renowned paediatric geneticist Professor Stephen Robertson has steadily been helping unravel obscure diseases while giving fresh hope to countless children across the planet.

Joke of the Weekender

Some people think it's romantic to carve their names on trees in the park while on a date.
I'm more worried about why they're bringing a knife on their date.


Darren Harrison:
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