The Weekender 16/03/2019

This is the week. 

Christchurch Special

I'm sure you've all heard but yesterday was a dark day for a bruised city. The loss of life in the Christchurch earthquake was higher, but it was a natural disaster. There was nothing natural or yet explainable about the gunman who attacked two mosques in Christchurch killed 49 men, woman and children, and injuring 48 others. Three men and one woman have been arrested. The man attacked one mosque, then travelled to the other. The man was an Australian citizen but had been living in Dunedin. The hospital and schools were locked down across the city with reports that schools and their staff did a great job with many kids not even knowing there was something wrong. One of the heroes of the story was a man who tackled the gunman and took his gun and chased him down the street. The other heroes of the story are definitely the police. Probably 99.9% of their time they are doing traffic control or PR in schools or general mundane things, but then at a moments notice they have to be prepared to tackle something like this head-on. 


This weekend in Super Rugby the Chiefs battled to a 23-23 draw against the Hurricanes - a significant improvement over their first three games!
Hamilton will host a combined men's and women's Rugby Seven's tournament from next season. 

The Bangladesh cricketers were very close to the Christchurch mosque shootings so the rest of the tour has been called off with the players heading home. The previous weekend the first two days of the second test were rained out in windy Wellington. Bangladesh batted first and reached 211 with Wagner taking four and Boult three. Then NZ lost their openers early but captain Kane Williamson hit 74 with an injured shoulder, Ross Taylor got to 200 (and then got out) and Henry Nichols got 109 as NZ declared on 432. Wow, Ross Taylor is not slowing down, he is doing so well. Then on the final day, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 209 for an innings and 12-run win by the Black Caps. And that sealed the series.
Neil Wagner jumped in the latest ICC ratings to fifth for bowlers.

Scott Dixon has made a solid start to his defence of the Indycar title with a second in the first round at St Petersburg Grand Prix in Florida.

The Wellington Phoenix had a record-equalling 8-2 win over the Central Coast Mariners in the A-League last weekend.

Havelock North's Geordie Beamish has had an upset win in the mile race at the NCAA indoor track & field champs in the USA.

NZ News

MP Shane Jones has certainly had a week. He admitted a conflict of interest in a Northland tourism project, but he didn't remove himself from the meeting. We just have to take his word that he didn't sway any arguments. PM Jacinda Ardern has backed the New Zealand First MP. ACT have asked the auditor general to investigate and Jones has also been accused of breaching parliamentary privilege by deliberately misleading the House. It looks like Jones then tried to deflect news from his conflict of interest by attacking Spark after they went public with a Government GCSB decision.
Green party co-leader James Shaw was attacked (black eye) as he walked to Parliament this week, by someone shouting something about the U.N. A man was arrested.
The government has released a review on Tomorrow's Schools, calling for a radical reboot of the Education System. When you look into it, there are plenty of reports proving that our education system is actually great. The report is based on 13% of schools - mostly small, rural and isolated who are failing. The report ignores that that means 87% of NZ schools are succeeding - and not just passing, but doing really well. We went up in Science in the latest test. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater!

National have had their own problems this week with the Serious Fraud Office agreeing to look into Jami-Lee Ross' claims of dodgy dealing with donations.

Kate Hawkesby wrote a great article regarding the approaching referendum on cannabis including some insights into what has happened in Colorado - and is likely to happen here if the vote goes through. Basically, big business takes over and the product becomes about ten times stronger. She finished by saying that we could easily "...create a bigger health issue for ourselves than we already have with those other legalised corporatised addictive drugs such as tobacco and alcohol?  They're legal: look how that turned out."

Numbers Game

6: fruit flies found in Northcote - after two more were found
12.3: degC in Lumsden on the 13th for NZ's coldest temperature, with Banks Peninsular hitting a country high of 29.5
25: % (only) of the Government's extra public housing, is newly built houses, not the huge increases in permanent, long-term public housing that is needed
47: cases of the measles in NZ for the year, with 28 of those in Christchurch
70,000: people went on strike last year, the highest number of people since the late eighties. Nurses, teachers, bus drivers, port, fast-food, retail, steel-workers and public servants
403,883: lifestyle blocks would be affected by the proposed Capital Gains Tax
1.2b: $ sewer pipe project in Auckland has been given the green light, to clean up beaches and waterways from stormwater flooding

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5145 (-0.0082)
EUR 0.6040 (-0.0014)
USD 0.6852 (+0.0048)
AUD 0.9663 (+0.0006)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Gordon Dryden
design of learning



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}