The Weekender 20/04/2019

Hello, and welcome to Easter!


News from last weekend is that Damian McKenzie has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with his knee injury. It is a big blow to the Chiefs season, but he was certainly a welcome spark with the All Blacks as well. It happened during the Chiefs 33-29 win over the on form Blues, allowing the Chiefs to jump off the bottom of the NZ Conference. The discussions around who should replace him for the World Cup have been interesting with everyone from Aaron Cruden to Dan Carter suggested. I don't think Stephen Donald will be available.
This week the understrength Chiefs had a surprise loss to the Lions 17-23, while the Hurricanes came back from 13 points down to beat the Sunwolves 23-29.

The NZ Warriors blew a 12-point lead and a great chance to beat the Rabbitohs, losing 28-24.

The Waikato/BOP Magic beat the Northern Tactix 57-50 for their second win in a row.

Israel Adesanya has stormed home in the latest UFC fight for a unanimous points decision against American Kelvin Gastelum. He is certainly making his mark on the sport.

The Kiwis are sharing around the Aussie V8 race wins with Fabian Coulthard having his first race win in 11 months in the second leg of the Phillip Island event.
Mitch Evans had a break-through win for himself and Jaguar in the Formula E Championship.

In the English Premiership, Chris Wood scored twice to lead Burnley to a win over Cardiff City.

NZ News

The National terror threat has finally been downgraded from the March 15th attacks from high to medium.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters announced that the government would be 'revitalising' the racing industry which has been in serious decline. I wonder if he said it with a straight face.

The Auditor General has announced that he will be taking a closer look at the Provincial Growth Fund's operation and finances.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff told Auckland Transport that "you are not a dictatorship" - it is unconfirmed if he further added, "because we can only have one of us in Auckland".

One of the stories of the week was about kiwi nurse Louisa Akavi. She was captured by the Islamic State in 2013 and has never been forgotten with the Red Cross and the government trying repeatedly to get her back. But they've been doing it quietly. This week the Red Cross made a worldwide public appeal, which the government thinks will put her life in danger, and they aren't happy.

The second big story was Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern canning the entire Capital Gains Tax idea, saying it will never happen while she is in charge. It's very weird. Some people are saying Winston blocked it, but she ruled it out permanently. The Taxpayers Union are stoked, noting 5,000 people using their tool to email Winston and Jacinda. Some people are saying it was just a sensible decision but those on the extreme left are very upset about this, and it goes completely against this government's rhetoric that this will be a "transformational government". CGT is dead, KiwiBuild is having all sorts of issues, and everything else seems to be making things worse, not better.

The cost of Auckland's City Rail link has jumped $1b to $4.410b, with the City Rail chief pretty clear that one of the factors for the price increase was political pressure to underplay costs so that taxpayers wouldn't be scared off by the price tag. I find this almost unbelievable that a fuss hasn't been kicked up about this. The politicians forced them to lie to get it through. I'm just staggered that something like this is allowed to happen.

The Numbers Game

1: # top search for people wanting to change their jobs was for becoming a Police officer
18: days to rebuild the Waiho Bridge on the West Coast after a major flood washed it away, 300 cars were waiting to cross it when it opened
33: hours swinging for Charlie O'Brien (on a swing) to set a new world record for the Napier teenager
58: ANZAC day events were cancelled at the request of the Police, simply because their staff are exhausted with all the extra security work recently
100: days of waiting for pre-schoolers with disabilities to get extra help - despite the Government's commitment to cut wait times a year ago
483: undersized paua stolen by a couple of men from a Central Hawkes Bay beach
4,300: trainee teachers, the highest number in four years
6,000: $ was offered by a courier company after they damaged a $50,000 artwork
9,500: cannabis plants seized by Police and NZ Defence Force during a three-week operation
46,000: $ paid for two giant tuna caught by Takitimu Seafoods last week, they were 230kg northern bluefin tuna and a 135kg tuna
500,000: $ in fines and reparation from Southern District Health Board after an X-ray machine crushed a worker's arm
4.8b: $ is now the estimated social cost of fatal and injury crashes

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5145 (-0.0025)
EUR 0.5946 (-0.0031)
USD 0.6687 (-0.0078)
AUD 0.9343 (-0.0098)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Yvette Williams
The first New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal, died last week aged 89.

Joke of the Weekender

Q. What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy?
A. I don’t know and I don’t care.


Darren Harrison:
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