The Weekender 25/08/2018

Welcome back. Last weekend we had our annual show trip to Whakapapa for the kids to play in the snow, and had a couple of great days! 


The Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup kicked off last Saturday in Sydney. It was a relatively even first half with the Wallabies leading 6-5, but from then on the Wallabies just looked tired. The All Blacks kicked off at that point going on to win 13-38 with Naholo grabbing a double in a few minutes and Brodie Retallick having what some called the perfect game. The worst part of the game was a nasty friendly-fire head knock to Ryan Crotty.
The 'curtain raiser' for the Bledisloe Cup match was between the Black Ferns and Wallaroos (Aussie women) which the Black Ferns won 11-31. They are also playing tonight and the Black Ferns won 45-17.
Also, tonight was the second Bledisloe Cup match at the Eden Park fortress and the cup is staying in NZ with a Beauden Barrett masterclass where he scored four tries and 30 points leading the ABs to a 40-12 win. I will watch the game but one of the best parts of these games is watching the reactions from Michael Cheika in the Aussie coaches box - he is a passionate man! So many of the players did well including Owen Franks in his 100th test match. New Zealand retains the Bledisloe Cup for the 16th year in a row.
The NPC rugby season has also kicked off with Taranaki defending the Ranfurly Shield with a 41-21 win over Manawatu to retain the Log o wood. Last weekend Tasman beat defending champs Canterbury 25-17.

The NZ Warriors beat the Penrith Panthers on Friday night 36-16 to confirm a spot in the top eight for the first time in a few years. But last weekend wasn't so much fun with a heartbreaking field goal by Canterbury for a 27-26 loss.

Former Black Caps Grant Elliott has ended his cricket career. Who could forget his World Cup knock! Canterbury's Gary Stead will replace Mike Hesson as coach of the Black Caps.

Patrick Bevin has re-signed with the US BMC Racing pro cycling team.

In netball the Southern Steel dramatically defended their title, scoring the last seven goals to win 54-53.

WRC star Hayden Paddon has popped home to complete enough of the New Zealand Rally Champ to win his fourth championship - with two rounds still to go.
Scott Dixon has extended his deal with Chip Ganassi Racing after signing a multi-year deal.

NZ News

The Opportunities Party (or TOP) has announced that it will continue and contest the 2020 election after all. Founder and leader Gareth Morgan has stepped down, but people wanted to continue with their research-based policies party so deputy leader Geoff Simmons will lead the party.

There has been an interesting ongoing story over the past few weeks with someone releasing Simon Bridges travel expenses. It had been high, partly because the crown limo service is slow with their billing, but partly because he was travelling the country to find out what people want for their next government - something clearly needed if anyone has seen how unfocused the current government was with no idea what to do after nine years of opposition. But the story has all been about who released the expenses. The speaker announced an inquiry, but finally, the leaker contacted Bridges saying they were National members and that they had a mental health issue which would get worse if they were exposed. So the Speaker dropped the case and it looks like even though the police know their identity, they will get away with it.

As far as the government goes, the Prime Minister has sacked Clare Curran from Cabinet and stripped her of her Open Government portfolio after she actively hid a meeting - clearly not very open. But Curran has stuffed up a number of times so she seems to have got away with all the other things.
Defence Minister Ron Mark announced new chiefs for all three branches of the defence forces.
The Prime Minister announced an MP wage freeze. It seemed to be popular but also might just be a bit of PR fluff since the Remuneration Authority is independent and there isn't much of an answer anyway.

Numbers Game

8,600: lightning strikes across the North Island last Friday
40,000: tonnes of plastic rubbish to be turned into concrete from the end of 2019
443,000: more people are in New Zealand than five years ago - driven by high net migration - as we close in on five million
456,800: $ for a 100-year-old Goldie painting - over double its predicted price
240m: $ more allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund for the government's one billion trees initiative
390m: $ for a walking and cycling Skypath over the Auckland Harbour bridge over three years 

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 11/08/2018 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.5202 (+0.0048)
EUR 0.5744 (-0.0017)
USD 0.6682 (+0.0101)
AUD 0.9121 (+0.0110)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Bill Buckley
design of ion beams
Bill Buckley, engineering genius, rather likes that you haven't heard of him. He dislikes the media, hates public attention, and has taken some persuasion to give this interview (his motive, unusual, will be revealed anon).

Joke of the Weekender

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


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}