The Weekender 08/09/2017

Welcome along. The wet week has cleared for a perfect spring Saturday.


International rugby has returned to the birthplace of rugby in New Zealand for the first time in 148 years. Trafalgar Park in Nelson is just a few blocks from the Botanics where the first game was played in 1870. Tonight the All Blacks take on the Pumas. The All Black's came away with the win 46-24, but picked up a few early injuries. Not a perfect game but good considering a few young faces.

The NPC continues with Otago staging a comeback to edge Northland 27-23 for their second consecutive win. Waikato had their first win with a 43-31 mid-week win over Wellington. Canterbury continued their form with a 34-23 win over Manawatu and Auckland beat Tasman 36-10. Today Southland lost 26-43 to Counties-Manukau and Hawkes Bay lost 8-13 to Bay of Plenty.

As the NZ Warriors contemplate playing finals footy for the first time in seven years, they announced captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck as the player of the year for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, their season ended tonight, beaten 27-12 by the Penrith Panthers.

Scott Dixon extended his championship lead in the penultimate race of the season, but he still has to do well in the final race. He got caught up in an accident but remained mostly unscathed and powered on to a fifth.

Nelson cyclist George Bennett climbed into the top 10 after the ninth stage of the Vuelta a Espana.
Over in Britain, Patrick Bevan took the overall lead after three stages of the Tour of Britain.

Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney has had her European season cut short after sustaining a heel injury.

NZ News

Another ... interesting ... week for the government. It kicked off with NZ First leader, Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, giving his views on NZ's refugee quota - however, those views were in stark contrast to Labour's views. Then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had to say that it was clearly the intention of the Labour Party to increase to 1,500 refugees - the Labour Party but not the government! Then news came to light that given the Prime Minister's baby isn't immunised for Nauru, she was taking a personal Air Force flight to the island on Wednesday morning, the flight then had to return to NZ, and then was heading back to the Island to pick her up later that day. Finance Minister Grant Robertson was forced to defend the $80,000 it cost us.

The week got worse when the government announced massive new funding for parliamentary support. National called it a cash grab, and it was certainly in contrast to the wage freeze idea. However, a private group holding the government to account launched a full-scale information campaign and the government quickly backed down saying they would not be implementing the recommendations of the independent report.
The week continued downhill with under-fire Minister Clare Curran questioned on her use of a private Gmail account for government business. She shouldn't have done it and neither should her National Party predecessors - something like that would never be tolerated in any business I've worked in, I can't understand anyone who thinks it's a good idea. Anyway, on Friday she resigned claiming the relentless pressure she had been under was the cause - nothing to do with her continued mistakes! In a weird exchange, the Prime Minister told two radio stations she was not going to fire Clare Curran when she had already privately accepted her resignation. Factually correct, but very far from the open government they promised during the election.

Marama Fox has resigned as co-leader of the Maori Party after the consultancy company she set up a year ago went into liquidation. 

The Numbers Game

7: people facing charges of horse race-fixing have been banned from every racecourse in the country
13: people died on the road in another horror week on the roads
18: houses built by the Government's great KiwiBuild programme in a year - 99,982 to go
93.8: mm of rain for Napier - two months worth of rain in 72 hours
9,000: people were killed 100-years-ago by influenza - The Great Flu

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5059 (-0.0046)
EUR 0.5649 (-0.0045)
USD 0.6537 (-0.0080)
AUD 0.9195 (-0.0006)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Paul Callaghan
design of nanotechnology

Joke of the Weekender

I’ve just written a song about tortillas; actually, it’s more of a rap.


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}