The Weekender 15/12/2018

Welcome to a holiday weekender - we are staying at Opal Hot Springs this week. The weather has been a mix, lots of thunder & lightning storms but some nice days too. 


The All Blacks Sevens missed out on a medal at the South Africa legs of the sevens, when they were outplayed by USA 31-12. USA is leading the table with two second placings.
Ben Smith and Nehe Milner-Skudder have announced they will head to France after next year's Rugby World Cup - there will be a few of them going! Steve Hansen has announced that he will step down as coach of the All Blacks after the RWC next year. Although he thinks he could still do the job, he thinks it would be best for the team. He also seems to think Ian Foster is the best man to replace him, not current Irish coach Joe Schmidt, who many think would be a good option.
A female has won the New Zealand Rugby player of the year award for the first time, with Black Ferns player Kendra Cocksedge taking the award.

Marina Erakovic has retired from professional tennis, she has done really well in her career, reaching a singles ranking high of 39 back in 2012, and a ranking of 25 on the doubles circuit. She also won a WTA singles title in Memphis in 2013, and she won eight doubles titles.

The nominations for the Halberg Awards are in, and it looks like NZ Rugby League has dropped the ball by not nominating Dally M winner Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. There were a record 93 nominations.

The Black Sticks men have been knocked out of the World Cup with a first round 2-0 knockout against England.

A Stars and Stripes branded American entry to the America's Cup has been announced as the fifth challenger for 2021 in Auckland.

Kiwi WRC rally driver Hayden Paddon has lost his contract with Hyundai. He has had a great couple of years, and even this year with only a partial contract, he finished eighth after competing in seven of 13 rounds.

NZ News

The body of British backpacker Grace Millane was quickly found and the NZ Police with their emotional and professional response earned high praise for NZ. The father of Millane thanked the "heroic" police and the people of New Zealand for the "outpouring of love, numerous messages, tributes and compassion". There were memorial services across New Zealand during the week.
Despite a court order not to name the defendant, British media have named him and so the information is available from overseas sources even though the information can't legally be published in New Zealand. Justice Minister Andrew Little pled with the overseas media not to use the name, fearing that it could be argued that he won't get a fair trial. And that is fair enough, emotions around this are pretty high around here.

A DOC ranger has told how he has had to sleep with a gun under his bed because of fear for his family after death threats from anti-1080 activists.

The government has had a rough week with chief executives. Despite being happy to announce the appointments, they have clammed up and are refusing to comment about the resignation of the NZTA chief and the KiwiBuild chief this week.
The Prime Minister has also been firing line after it came to light that a joint friend of hers and Czech drug dealer Karel Sroubek has sent her a text commending Immigration Minister Lees-Galloway's initial decision to grant residency. National previously asked questions about the individual, and Labour gave the impression that there had been no contact - clearly dishonesty by omission which seems far more common with this government than the last.

Air New Zealand narrowly avoided strikes just before Christmas after agreeing to terms with the logistics and engineers union this week.

An audit into North Canterbury Fish & Game found that they ignored the wishes of a keen angler who bequeathed them $500,000.

The Numbers Game

1: % of expenditure to be identified to be cut by government ministers before the next budget
2: nd ranking for the Silver Ferns in the International Netball Federation's latest rankings
46: th most attractive country/region for oil and gas exploration, down from 14th a year ago
700: km of roads will have lower speed limits around Auckland
1,500: people in Whangarei are without broadband after a digger cut the fibre optic cable
50m: $ has been paid for the Government's flagship fees-free policy on students who have failed or withdrew

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 09/12/2018 (6 days ago).
GBP 0.5400 (-0.0001)
EUR 0.6011 (-0.0030)
USD 0.6798 (-0.0078)
AUD 0.9465 (-0.0083)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Martin Crowe
design of centuries

Joke of the Weekender

The Revenant (2015). An epic tale of one man’s desperate journey to do whatever it takes to finally win an Oscar. 


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
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