The Weekender 22/09/2018

Hello, we are getting some great spring weather with another couple of nice days for the weekend. 


Following up on last weekend's Rugby Championship, the Pumas put on a good showing to beat Australia at home for the first time in 35 years winning 23-19.
Former Waikato lad, John Mitchell, has joined the coaching staff for England's national rugby team as defensive coach through until after the Rugby World Cup next year. And Jamie Joseph is stepping down as the Sunwolves coach in 2019.

Scott Dixon came second at the final IndyCar race of the season to take out the championship for the fifth time. He leaps ahead of the other winners with only one other person who has won more championships.
Haydon Paddon had his first podium finish of the World Rally Championship season with a third in Turkey.

Kiwi surfer Paige Hareb has won silver at the world games final in Japan.

The Tall Blacks beat Lebanon 63-60 in Rotorua during the week.

The Silver Ferns bounced back for their first win with Noeline Taurua as the coach, beating South Africa 61-37.

The Warriors Women have missed out on a spot in the NRL Women's final after they were beaten 32-10 by the Brisbane Broncos.

NZ News

Last Sunday the leaders of the three parties in Government presented a united front to tell everyone the government is not "dysfunction junction" - but really the fact they feel that they need to have a pointless meeting to tell everyone that, says it all. Winston Peters has put down his foot about what people even call the government, and now all MP's are referring to it as the "coalition government". It seems Peters didn't like it being called the "Labour-led government" and now Labour MP's are forbidden to say those words.
The government has been making a habit of releasing bad news on Friday's hoping everyone will forget about it over the weekend.
The government has also made more of a hash of the 'open government' idea a couple of times this week. Firstly PM Jacinda Ardern has been purposely evasive again, this time being pulled up because she said she'd had no communication with Derek Handley about the CTO role, but it was found that he had texted her about it. It's true she didn't respond, so technically she was correct, but she was trying to hide it. The other issue was when Cabinet authorised the release of some information but it was withheld anyway.
The Prime Minister made an error during the week when she was asked on the radio if she had seen the GDP numbers, she said she had got a hint and was pretty pleased. Based on that the NZ Dollar rose, but later on, she claimed she was talking about something else. It a pretty economically dangerous thing for a Prime Minister to do!
The final bad news for the Labour-led government (that's for you Winston), was that MP Meka Whaitiri lost her portfolio because of allegations over a fracas with one of her staff. Labour was aiming for having 50% women in cabinet and didn't get close, but two that they picked have now had to be dropped.

National leader Simon Bridges had something to say when he read a leaked document on the Government's work programme and achievements to date, pointing out that it was nothing more than "nice words on paper". He said it's "no wonder they wanted to keep it a secret". They have high-level indicators for success but nothing for measuring progress after dumping the previous government's "Better Public Service" targets, which were detailed measures of progress.

Authorities are hunting for the cause after 10 school children in Carterton got sick on Friday afternoon. It was initially claimed that a plane flew over and must have sprayed pesticide on two schools, and over 100 people were decontaminated, but the plane theory has almost certainly been ruled out.

The final news of the week was from Massey University, where you may remember a Don Brash talk was shut down supposedly due to security concerns. This week emails came to light proving that the Vice-Chancellor had spent a few weeks trying to find a way to stop the talks before coming up with the "security concerns" the day before. Obviously Don Brash has called for her to be sacked - along with anyone who believes in free speech, and even some of her staff. 

The Numbers Game

10: times that NZ Police fired guns in 2017 - and Tasers were used in only 26% of incidents requiring force
40: winners of Lotto's division one resulted in only $25,000 each - the largest number of winners for a single draw
44: % of NZ homes have Smart TV's - only second in the world to South Korea
60: year old Ngaruawahia Police station is being rebuilt
91: % of Tauranga residents surveyed rated their quality of life between good and extremely good - higher than any other major city in NZ
110: th birthday for Linda Wiggins this week in Stratford
1,500: refugee quota by 2020
9,040: of the Defence Force's new rifles will get replacement firing pins after some broke

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5113 (+0.0101)
EUR 0.5681 (+0.0051)
USD 0.6686 (+0.0136)
AUD 0.9174 (+0.0014)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Don Clarke
design of goal-kicking
He was best known for his phenomenal goal kicking ability that earned him the nickname "The Boot".

Joke of the Weekender

I recently decided to sell my vacuum cleaner as all it was doing was gathering dust.


Darren Harrison:
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