The Weekender 13/04/2019

Hi, there have been reports of bad weather around the country, but we've had a mostly good week.


In Super Rugby, the Highlanders started well with a Ben Smith try to lead the Crusaders 7-10 at the break, but the Crusaders pushed on in the second half to win 43-17.
In the Hong Kong Sevens, the All Black Sevens were beaten 14-12 by France in the quarterfinals and they were beaten in the final by Fiji who claimed a record fifth straight Hong Kong crown and also jumped NZ to the second spot on the table. This weekend in Singapore the All Blacks Sevens have started by thrashing Japan 43-0.

Kiwi Jack Salt became the first Kiwi to win a US NCAA men's college basketball final as his University of Virginia Cavaliers beat Texas Tech 85-77 in overtime.

The Football Ferns beat World No 12 Norway 1-0 in Spain for their first win over them in 38 years.
The Wellington Phoenix have been in form in the latter part of this year but lost to the lowly Brisbane Roar 2-1. The result comes after reports that wonder-coach Mark Rudan will be leaving after a single year in charge as he is finding it too difficult being away from his family in Sydney.

After eight races Holden finally has a win in the Aussie V8's, breaking the new Ford Mustang's winning streak. And the winner at Symmons Plains was Shane van Gisbergen. Here's hoping there are two or three kiwis fighting for the championship at the end of the season.
In the Indycars, Scott Dixon has continued his strong start to the season with a second at the latest round in Alabama.

The Ice Ferns (NZ women's ice hockey) has beaten Croatia to claim bronze at the International Ice Hockey Federation tournament in Romania.

NZ News

The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has flatly rejected primary teachers' request for more money and the NZEI has overwhelmingly turned down the Ministry of Education's latest offer. Of course, my understanding is that the teachers are after better conditions and not money - so perhaps the Prime Minister hasn't read the teacher requests. A mega strike of both Primary and Secondary teachers is looking more likely.

The government is pulling out of the Square Kilometre Array - one of the biggest science projects on the planet. NZ is currently a full member and that secures opportunities for NZ scientists for the next 50 years. But the Ministry of Business & Employment (ha!) have recommended downgrading to associate membership to save $2.4m annually - saying it is not a good science investment.

New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is treading on thin ice again after having conversations with the NZTA chief executive while pushing for NZTA to back down on shutting down companies who aren't acting safely. The news reports seem to make out that NZTA is being a big bully threatening the livelihoods of thousands of people, but they have been trying to get transport companies up to proper safety levels for years and years and this is the last resort for a few companies.

The Numbers Game

1: # most popular summer destination (according to Bookabach records) was Hamilton!
10: people turned up to a campaign launch for a pro-Captial Gains Tax group - who are claiming they speak for the majority of New Zealanders
11: people fined for Freedom camping at DOC locations
12.9: % drop in the volume of house sales last month
15: cases of the measles in Auckland after three more were identified
42: degC temperature of Mt Ruapehu's crater lake - it has been high for the last six months, breaking a known cycle of heating & cooling
55: % of the government's "Kiwibuild" houses were already under construction before being contracted to Kiwibuild - in the words of a National MP "KiwiBuild is just a welfare scheme for property developers"
60: ANZAC Day events in Auckland have been cancelled after security concerns following the Christchurch terror attacks
60: people have been prosecuted for failing to fill out a census form
62.5: % of respondents to a BusinessNZ poll didn't think the government should prioritise the Capital Gains Tax
66: % of the Capital Gains Tax would be because the working group hasn't allowed for inflation, according to the Tax Payers Union
70: % for NZers have unlimited broadband - with 48% watching streaming services
110: deaths on our roads in the first quarter of the year - last year the terrible record was 378
200: $ fine for a Queenstown man for "freedom parking" when the sober driver chose to have a quick sleep rather than drive tired
500: objections to a new liquor store in Wellington - a possible record
1,000: lightning strikes in 12 hours over Bay of Plenty
150,000: $ earmarked by the Hamilton City Council to fight SkyCity's plan to add 60 more pokie machines to the Hamilton Casino
5m: $ from the government to help young people on youth benefits or in care, get their drivers licences

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5171 (+0.0006)
EUR 0.5976 (-0.0019)
USD 0.6765 (+0.0031)
AUD 0.9441 (-0.0034)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Bob Fitzsimmons
design of the punch: one of the hardest punchers and greatest fighters in the history of boxing

Joke of the Weekender

You’ll never be as lazy as whoever named the fireplace.


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