The Weekender 09/12/2018

Hello, we've had a couple of lovely blue sky days, but that came after some amazing thunder and lightning storms earlier in the week.


Last weekend the All Black Sevens beat USA 21-5 in the Dubai Sevens final to claim the double after the women had earlier won their event.
The All Black Sevens started the Cape Town Sevens with five experienced players ruled out injured. They had a great escape when they trailed South Africa by seven points with 30 seconds to go. They won 26-21, after previously losing to Samoa, meaning a loss would have knocked them out at the pool stage for the first time ever. They look to be struggling without their stars but at least they made it out of pool play.
The women's Rugby Sevens team won the Lonsdale Cup - New Zealand Olympic's top award.
A proposed Pacific-based Super Rugby team won't be going ahead after it failed to find the required funding.

The Black Caps were looking to bounce back from being thumped in the second test against Pakistan and didn't particularly start well. In fact, at the end of the third day, they seemed to be struggling not to lose badly again. NZ got to 274, Pakistan reached 348, and NZ were 2 down for 26 runs. But then the fourth day happened. Kane Williamson and Henry Nicholls had a record fifth wicket with Williamson out for 139 and Nicholls 126 not out. Day five started Twenty 20 style with NZ hitting a quick fire 90 and declaring at 353/7. The first five Pakistani wickets fell quickly and they were 5/55 at lunch, and they were all out for 156 before tea. That left NZ with the game and series win - the first away win against Pakistan in 49 years.

In surfing, Ricardo Christie has joined Paige Hareb in the elite World Surf League Qualifying Series. He is in a great position but still has a lot of work to do to join the tour.

The Wellington Phoenix have had a massive 3-1 away win over Sydney FC. Roy Krishna became an NZ citizen freeing up an import slot, and during the game this weekend he became the club's joint all-time leading scorer.
Sticking with Basketball, Steven Adams has been playing really well for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He recently scored a game-high 21 points to lead OKC to a 110-83 win over the Detriot Pistons. Adams is having a career-best season averaging 14.6 points and 10.4 rebounds. The OKC is third in their conference.

The Tall Blacks have qualified for the 2019 World Cup after beating Syria 97-74.

The Football Ferns were the last team to qualify for the 2019 Women's World Cup when they beat Fiji 8-0 in the final of the OFC Nations Cup.
The under-17 women finished third at the FIFA U-17 World Cup when they beat Canada 2-1. Their aim in the competition was just to score a goal, so they have done really really well.

The Auckland Tuatara beat Canberra Cavalry 9-1 in the Australian Baseball League.

More news has come out about the Shaun Johnson saga with the NZ Warriors. There are always two sides to every story and the Warriors side was quite interesting and balanced things out. Johnson has said that new coach Stephen Kearney just didn't like him.

NZ News

Auckland Airport had some disruptions yesterday with two separate fire evacuations. Earlier in the week with the thunderstorms and the lightning, caused them to stop refuelling planes resulting in flights cancelled and delayed. The rain caused part of a ceiling at "The Base" shopping centre here in Hamilton to collapse.
The Primary and Intermediate teachers have rejected the government's latest pay offer "overwhelmingly" saying it will not fix the industry's staffing "crisis".

There has been some internal bickering in the Labour Party this week with outspoken MP Greg O'Connor blaming the government's drop in the polls, on the handling of the Sroubek case. The Police Minister was very blunt saying "good riddance, never come back" to the drug-smuggling Czech, Sroubek.
The Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, this week apologised for saying Simon Bridges was a "smart-arse". It didn't stop there though, with Simon Bridges (rightly) accusing the Speaker of protecting the Prime Minister and (rightly) being kicked out for suggesting bias. National MPs followed him out en masse. But there is some pretty clear evidence that the supposedly impartial "Speaker of the House" is actually quite biased toward Labour. He seems to have struggled far more than any other Speaker.
Another week and more bad press for the KiwiBuild scheme. Without telling any of his superiors (including the Prime Minister), MP Phil Twyford decided on their (and our) behalf that he would change some of the fundamental rules of KiwiBuild. The original and main rule was that if you bought a KiwiBuild house and didn't live in it for three years, you had to give all the profit back to the government. Twyford decided this week that you would now just have to pay back 30%. Perhaps he had to do something after more stories this week about houses all over the place that either didn't sell at all or were selling at higher than the average in the area.
The Mental health inquiry report was released this week and it appears to be a typical Labour inquiry result - it produced nothing definite and doesn't seem to tell anything we didn't already know.

National hasn't had an entirely smooth week though, with allegations of bullying being levelled against MP (and former gardening show presenter), Maggie Barry. She has said that a workplace investigation has cleared her. A complaint has been laid with the Auditor General about the misuse of public money.

The sad news this week was about missing British backpacker Grace Millane who disappeared in Auckland. At first, it was a missing person case, but police talked to a man after tracking down security camera footage of her, and soon switched to a homicide investigation. They have charged the man with her murder, even though they were still trying to locate her body.

Numbers Game

4: cows were killed by lightning near Hamilton this week
10: houses in Hamilton were evacuated with flooding this week
46: % support for National after a jump in the latest poll, Labour dropped to 43%, Greens 5%, NZ First 4%
50: % of public sector chiefs are woman with the appointment of Bernadette Cavanagh to the head of Ministry for Culture
500: lightning strikes in Rotorua on Wednesday morning
2,000: lightning strikes across the North Island - I can't remember a storm that went on as long as that one
700,000: $/day being spent on Government enquiries, according to opposition calculations
14.5m: $ approved by Auckland City Council for the America's Cup, Malta has confirmed they are one of the eight new challengers
22.5m: $ additional funding approved by the Government for the America's Cup
100m: $ green investment fund announced by PM Jacinda Ardern and James Shaw this week 

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 01/12/2018 (8 days ago).
GBP 0.5401 (+0.0014)
EUR 0.6041 (-0.0034)
USD 0.6876 (+0.0001)
AUD 0.9549 (+0.0152)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Fred Hollows
In February, a $2.1 million refurbished and extended eye clinic, funded by Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, is due to open in Vanuatu. It will have modern laser equipment and the foundation is funding raising to buy an up-to-date diagnostic camera.

Joke of the Weekender

A conference call is the best way for a dozen people to say “bye” 300 times.


Darren Harrison:
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