The Weekender 01/12/2018

And it's December already, welcome to summer! Today doesn't look like summer, but the Christmas decorations are up and last week had some nice patches. 


Last weekend the All Blacks hit back after their loss to Ireland and took it out on Italy running away to win 66-3 for their final game of the season. 
It wasn't a good weekend for southern hemisphere teams except that Fiji beat France for the first time, winning 21-14.
The result from the week before saw Ireland scoop most of the World Rugby awards for the year, although Michaela Blyde did win the women's sevens player for the second straight year, and Brodie Retallick won the try of the year award for his magnificent dummy against Australia earlier in the year.
This weekend is the Dubai Sevens and the Black Ferns Sevens beat Canada in the final 26-14.

Joelle King has won the Hong Kong Open squash title after beating world champion Raneem El Welily from Egypt. Joelle had a bad time in the sport but has come back and proven she can take on and beat the best in the world. I'm looking forward to seeing how she goes.

The Aussie V8 championship wrapped up last weekend in Newcastle and the first race saw a win from Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen to leap above fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin in the title race. Shane was stripped of the win and the valuable points though after the stewards spotted a pit lane infringement. Regardless, it all came down to the final race and Scott who had led the championship for most of the series finished second to win the title. Last year at this time was the lowest point in his career after he lost the title in the final race, so it was great that he could hang on this time. And a Kiwi one-two in the championship was great as well.
In other racing news, Brendon Hartley has been dropped by his Formula One team. There is hope he might get another drive, but for now, it is all over.

The Warriors have had an interesting week. The news came out about a week ago that they were going to let former star Shaun Johnson "test the waters". It became pretty clear they no longer wanted him, even though he was a very expensive signing just last year. He asked them for an early release and has been snapped up by the Cronulla Sharks. It wasn't a very nice way to treat someone who had been at the club his entire career.

The Black Caps didn't do very well in their second test against Pakistan falling to an innings and 16-run defeat. Yasir Shah had a record-equalling 14-wicket test haul.

In Basketball the Tall Blacks are one win away from clinching a spot at the World Cup after a 95-69 win over Jordan in Christchurch.

The Black Sticks men beat France 2-1 in the opening game of the World Cup in India.

The under-17 women's football team have done an amazing job at the world cup in Uruguay but they lost their semi-final 2-0 to European champs Spain.
The Football Ferns are a step away from the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup after they beat New Caledonia in the OFC semi-final.

The Auckland Tuatara had a thrilling extra-innings 3-2 win over the Canberra Cavalry for their third win of the season in the Australian Baseball League.

NZ News

The government is combining Housing New Zealand and Kiwibuild to create a mega housing authority with the power to override local councils. It will be called the Housing and Urban Development Authority.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter has announced that NZTA will spend $23m over three years to get more children riding bikes. The wittiest response was the headline "'Minister of Bikes' Julie Anne Genter puts our money where her mouth is".
The government had to back down on a flagship policy this week when New Zealand First put their foot down over the Workplace Relations Bill. Labour's plan was to allow unions into any workplace even without employers permission, but now they will only be allowed if there are collective agreements. And for collective agreements, employers will have to enter the bargaining process, but they won't be compelled to settle. It would have meant that businesses all over the country would be bound to the same terms as pay conditions in Auckland.
It wasn't all good news for Winston this week though after he was kicked out of parliament after an exchange with the Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley.

The government gave notice to Spark this week that Huawei has some work to do to convince the GCSB before their equipment can be used for their flagship 5G network. The network has recently been announced and will be planned for the America's Cup in Auckland. Most of the news stories said the government has banned Huawei, but it seems that isn't the case, but the GCSB did find that it would raise significant national security risks.

The government announced that Czech drug dealer Karel Sroubek is now liable for deportation after a residency review - but the "new" information which made them change their minds was in the original file. The Prime Minister continues to have confidence in her MP despite the obvious muck-up and u-turn.

There is some shocking news coming from the government's Tax Working Group with the chair Sir Michael Cullen saying “We are not supposed to be looking at inheritance taxes but a majority of my colleagues on the Tax Working Group appear to have a found a partial way around that.” The working group were explicitly prohibited from suggesting an inheritance tax. 

The Numbers Game

5: times the death rate for motor neuron disease in NZ compared to the global average
5.8: Richter scale earthquake from south of Stewart Island, was felt in Auckland
60: people caught using their mobile phones while driving in a Tauranga police operation
80: pilot whales stranded in the Chatham Islands - there have been a number of mass strandings recently
145: pilot whales died after a mass stranding on Stewart Island
1,000: injuries a month from trampolines according to ACC data
1,000: $ fine for Kevin Braswell as the NZ Breakers coach continues to complain against unjust officiating in the Aussie Basketball league
5,000: vehicles need to be rechecked after NZTA suspends a Onehunga vehicle inspector for faulty WOF checks
1.8m: cigarettes were seized by Customs and Police, and Police expect to make more arrests over the smuggling operation
2m: $ every day that MP Shane Jones needs to give away for his $3b fund for the regions - he can give up to $20m without Cabinet approval and no economic cost-benefit analysis
3m: $ for the upgrade to Premier House for PM Jacinda Ardern - triple the original estimate
7.1m: $ shortfall from fares to the cost of funding Tauranga's bus service as the numbers of passengers drop

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5387 (+0.0095)
EUR 0.6075 (+0.0093)
USD 0.6875 (+0.0090)
AUD 0.9397 (+0.0022)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Geoffrey Cox
design of journalism
The obituaries for Sir Geoffrey Cox rightly highlighted his role as a 'TV trailblazer' and the 'Founder of News at 10' for Britain's Independent Television News (ITN). But most also drew attention to his role as an eyewitness to momentous events in Europe during the 1930s and '40s.

Joke of the Weekender

When I lost my rifle, the Army charged me $85. That’s why in the Navy, the captain goes down with the ship. 


Darren Harrison:
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