The Weekender 01/06/2019

And then it was June! The rain hit yesterday, huge amounts of water. But today among the showers we've got a bit of sun.


In Super Rugby, Richie Mo'unga had a hand in all of the Crusaders points after a disrupted week as they beat the Blues 19-11. This weekend the Blues missed a last-minute penalty to all but rule out the Blues from the playoffs.

The Black Caps beat India by six wickets in their first warm-up match but were well beaten by 91 runs by the West Indies in their second and last warm-up game before the Cricket world cup kicked off.

Wellington Phoenix star striker Roy Krishna has announced he is leaving the club. He isn't going to another A-League club though, he is heading to Asia.

The NZ Warriors couldn't continue their run, losing 2-8 to the Brisbane Broncos at Mt Smart.

Lisa Carrington has won the K1 200 and K1 500 and then joined up with three others to win the K4 500 at the Canoe Sprint World Cup meet in Poland.

Scott McLaughlin won again in the Aussie V8's and joined an exclusive club of drivers with 10 wins or more.

Athletics NZ had a big announcement during the week with the signing of teenage sprint sensation Edward Osei-Nketia.

NZ News

Following on from my comments last week about the Francis report on bullying and harassment in Parliament, most of the government didn't comment, but one employee was stood down after speaker Trevor Mallard claimed that the "incidents were tantamount to rape". The Parliamentary Service employee is now saying he is the victim of slander after the incident Trevor Mallard was referring to was found to be a high five and a hug. The employee had denied inappropriate behaviour and says he was bullied out of his job. The incident was investigated at the time and the allegation was found to be without merit. At no time was the man spoken to by the review head Debbie Francis. So it turns out, as I said last week Mallard is the bully - there was even the following news headline during the week agreeing with me "Kate Hawkesby: In my opinion Parliament's only real bully is Speaker Trevor Mallard - he needs to go".

The story of the week was around National finding out many of the important details of the budget before it was announced. National drip-fed a bunch of details pointing out things like how although the government said this was a "Wellbeing Budget", that KiwiRail was getting more than health and wellbeing sectors. Perhaps a "Railroad Budget" doesn't sound quite as touchy-feely.
Most of the week's news was around how National got the information with Labour and Treasury claiming they were hacked but it simply came down to a bunch of manual queries to the Treasury search engine returning "yet to be officially released" information.
Another embarrassing budget moment was when we found out the happy single mother and child on the front cover had given up on NZ and moved to Australia.
Health has $1.9b over five years, schools have $1.2b for a 10-year property investment programme, $1b for KiwiRail with a third of that from NZ First's slush fund, ahem, I mean the Provincial Growth Fund. The KiwiRail CEO said, "the funding sets a solid foundation for the future of rail in New Zealand." Hmm, I think I could make almost any business have a solid foundation for the future with $1b.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford has admitted that he is disappointed with KiwiBuild's performance so far - I guess he's joined the rest of us! The budget had no new announcements for housing. I've also heard that Labour is refusing to even say "KiwiBuild" any more.

As if the whole budget week wasn't enough of a shambles by the government, Labour's government partners both had a dig at Labour as well. Firstly, the Green Party questioned $25m being spent on 'stopping boat people', and then Shane Jones from NZ First defended the budget from a "trophy" announcement, saying that it was NZ First who had killed the Capital Gains Tax.

And to add to all this, on Wednesday was the teacher mega-strike, with Primary and Secondary school teachers going on strike. I'm certain the stories came straight from the Ministry of Education because they are the only ones putting down the teachers, but there were more news articles talking about "teachers walking out on 773,000 children". It is so weird that the government has backed down on everyone who has gone on strike so far, but bluntly refuse the teachers - one of their big sources of union support. The Ministry has said they will meet the teachers but with no budget funding, more strikes have already been announced.

One news source this week noted that Environment Canterbury has declared a climate emergency ... but also took more than 1,400 flights in the last financial year - hypocrisy emergency!

The Numbers Game

1-7: decile schools will no longer have to pay any school "donations" - a good move by the government
2: men linked to the infamous British "unruly" tourist have been deported less than 24 hours after admitting their part in a roof fixing scam
3.5: c/L increase in tax on petrol after the Government passed a fuel-tax increase under urgency
17: $ extra per week for 300,000 beneficiaries in the budget
25: % increase in cases involving serious harm before the courts since the 2017 election
35: arrests and $1m in assets seized after a Wellington meth raid
200: earthquakes in a swarm at White Island
530: semi-automatic weapons handed into Police
600: lightning strikes over NZ last night
1m: $ fine for the Wellington Phoenix by Football Federation Australia for "failing to hit their off-field targets"
153.7m: $ in the budget to help young people transition from state care to independence
229m: $ to clean up rivers in the budget
300m: $ shortfall on DHB spending according to an expert after the latest budget

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5171 (+0.0016)
EUR 0.5836 (-0.0012)
USD 0.6535 (-0.0018)
AUD 0.9414 (-0.0049)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Ernest Rutherford
In 1907, a New Zealander named Ernest Rutherford moved from McGill University in Canada to the University of Manchester. There, he conducted a series of experiments where he fired alpha particles at different materials...

Joke of the Weekender

We need a 12-step group for compulsive talkers. They could call it On Anon Anon.


Darren Harrison:
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