The Weekender 15/06/2019

Welcome to a lovely Fieldays day!


Last weekend in Super rugby the Hurricanes secured home advantage in the playoffs as they beat the Lions 17-37 at Ellis Park, while the Crusaders bounced back from their beating by the Chiefs to thrash the Rebels 66-0 in Christchurch. For the last couple of weeks, the talk around here has been how it's likely only two Kiwi teams will make the playoffs this year. But then the Chiefs beat the Crusaders and this weekend they did enough to reach the playoffs for the eighth successive season when they thrashed the Rebels 59-8. Then the Highlanders did all they could when they beat the Waratahs 49-12, but they are still waiting on other results.
The Jaguares have sealed second place with a 52-10 thrashing of the Sunwolves, meaning the Argentinian team also win the "South African" Conference.
Combined table: Crusaders 58, Jaguares 51, Hurricanes 49*, Brumbies 43*, Chiefs/Highlanders/Bulls* 36, Lions 35*, Rebels/Stormers* 34, Sharks 33*, Waratahs 30, Blues 29, Reds 28*, Sunwolves 12. * 1 more game to play
In other news, Brodie Retallick has signed with NZ Rugby for the next three years but will play in Japan ruling him out of two Chiefs campaigns. And Waikato lad Warren Gatland has been confirmed as the coach for the British & Irish Lions for the South Africa tour in 2021.

There hasn't been a lot of cricket at the Cricket World Cup this week. The Black Caps game against India was rained out, resulting in both teams getting a point. The Black Caps have been sitting at the top of the table for the week after last weekend when they beat Afghanistan by seven wickets.

Steve Williams has returned to golf (caddying that is) after former world number 1 Jason Day hired him.

The Football Ferns had a narrow loss to the Dutch in their first Fifa World Cup game after conceding a goal in stoppage time.
It seems every week for the Wellington Phoenix! This week captain Andrew Durante has confirmed that he is leaving.

NZ News

An investigation into the 'Hacking of the Budget' won't probe ministers' behaviour. So Labour may have perfected the art of a meaningless inquiry. There have also been stories about the government releasing "time-lines" of when they were told the hacking wasn't hacking vs when they announced it was, but the problem is their timelines don't add up and seem to change around.
There were interesting polls for the government and opposition this week. Two polls came out, one with good news for Labour, and the other with good news for National. It suddenly made everyone question whether the polls are meaningless - especially adding in the polling for Australia and US elections recently. The low polling for Simon Bridges as Prime Minister has political commentators saying it will be the end of him - except that is what they've been saying virtually the entire time.
The government has changed around the employment laws for the film industry but hasn't got rid of the "Hobbit law". There are minimum standards coming but striking will be illegal.
There is pressure coming on Housing Minister Phil Twyford around the massive KiwiBuild failure. He has revealed there will be a "reset".

Education has been in the news this week. Firstly around MP Chris Hipkins and his university free fees policy - for no reason. It turns out it didn't cost much anyway because not many used it and numbers going to University have actually dropped.
The education minister also met with the teacher's unions this week with the threat of ongoing strikes. Ever since this government came in they steadfastly said there was no more money for the teachers (while throwing money at all sorts of crazy other things). But this week after saying the same thing for all that time, they caved in and found enough money that the teachers will have pay-parity and are looking like they will accept the offer.

Auckland Council has joined a number of other councils around the country and declared a "Climate Emergency". I wonder if they will outlaw volcanos since they could spend billions and not really see any result, and then a single volcano could put them 100 years back.

The Numbers Game

2: Northland kids were attacked by dogs within 20 minutes
2: Fire engines had to put out a boat fire - in the middle of an Auckland Cemetary
3: hour traffic jam leaving the Fieldays at Mystery Creek - due to an accident on SH1
3-4: degC drop in temperatures for next week as winter starts to bite
5.5: Richter scale earthquake on the Alpine Fault near Queenstown & Wanaka
6.7: kg kumara was dug up in a New Lynn garden
8: people infected with measles after a party in Lower Hutt
19: children killed on NZ roads so far this year - more than all of 2018
52: % of people oppose the cannabis legalisation according to a 1News Colmar Brunton poll
300: NRL games for Adam Blair - just the third Kiwi to reach the mark
9,000: people without power last weekend in Auckland after a blustery couple of days
19m: $ spent by DHB's on staff cover after the junior doctors went on strike
20b: $ Defence Force spending plan includes a commitment to "space-based activities" (maybe Rocket Lab was showing them up!)

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5156 (-0.0075)
EUR 0.5776 (-0.0100)
USD 0.6491 (-0.0174)
AUD 0.9445 (-0.0078)

The Weekender NZer of the week

George Vernon Hudson
design of daylight savings

Joke of the Weekender

I wonder if Superman ever put glasses on Lois Lane’s dog and she was like, “I’ve never seen this dog before. Is this a new dog?”


Darren Harrison:
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