The Weekender 17/08/2019

Welcome back. Last weekend was our annual snow trip. The weather wasn't great but we had a couple of good sessions playing in the snow for some great fun.


Last weekend in the Bledisloe and Rugby Championship the All Blacks flew to Perth. But before we mention the score that I'm sure you all know, let me talk about my son's Ripper Rugby coach. He is a former Waikato player and is president of the Hamilton Old Boys and he also flew to Perth for the match, so I asked him at training what his prediction for the score was. He told me he was expecting a draw - surprising after the All Blacks drew with South Africa. But the reason was that this All Blacks team is testing, trying and to be honest foxing about their abilities. They aren't going to show their tricks before the Rugby World Cup later on this year. So if the result from last weekend made you nervous, relax.
Yes, the Wallabies played well and beat the All Blacks 47-26, and Scott Barrett got the All Blacks fourth-ever red card. So even though the refs completely missed all the skullduggery the Australian's performed, the result still stands.
The Black Ferns had no such trouble though, beating Australia 10-47 with eight tries.
Later on that night, the Springboks beat Argentina 46-13 to claim the Rugby Championship.

Former Black Cap Captain Brendon McCullum has retired from all cricket and has taken up a new coaching role.

Michael Campbell had his best result since returning to professional golf as he tied for second at the latest European PGA Seniors Championship event.

The NZ Warriors survived a late comeback to beat the Manly Sea Eagles 24-16 to keep themselves in the hunt for an NRL playoff spot, but the problems with the anti-Warrior refs continue.

NZ News

The weather has been pretty cold over the last two weeks with snow falling in the Mamaku near Rotorua, and the central mountains getting lots of snow.

The Labour Party has been having issues recently with at least four members resigning over the investigation into allegations against a staff member. The allegations involved sexual assault, rape and offers to pay for sex, and the staff member has friends who are apparently incredibly high up in the Beehive, so it seems Labour is sweeping things under the carpet and refusing to discuss anything, saying it is a "party matter".
The Chief Ombudsman is going to investigate Green MP Julie Anne Genter's secret letter about the $6.4b Wellington transport project. It sounds like the Green's made some serious pushing for the Wellington transport project to change and despite fully supporting the government to be open, they are being incredibly tight-lipped about the letter. They certainly don't want anyone to know what it said - which just makes everyone want to know more. She claimed she didn't write the letter as an MP, but then confirmed she signed it as a Minister, so really she is playing politics and being dodgy. A Wellington City councillor has said that the government is "steamrolling" transport solutions for the sake of a Labour-Greens relationship, and all Wellington City councillors have been told they aren't allowed to talk to the media (that's not very "open"), but some haven't been gagged, with even the claim that Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter threatened to resign over the project during negotiations.
The government were excited to hear that there is an 11-year low in the unemployment rate, but the wind was taken out of their sails with the Reserve Bank governor cutting the official cash rate 50 points to a 1% cash rate - a clear signal that he is trying to stimulate the economy because, despite a great economic environment, this government has strangled the life out of the 'rock star' economy we used to have.

The head of Stats NZ has resigned because of the poor handling of the 2018 Census. A review came out heavily criticising the department.

The government is pushing through new abortion laws, allowing mothers to end their pregnancy until 20 weeks, without any statutory test. So I have a question. The new law retains "the criminal offence of killing an unborn child for any person who causes harm to a pregnant woman and in doing so causes the death of a fetus". So at that point, they are admitting that it is an unborn child and it was killed. But for random reasons, no one cares to explain, if we think about it differently, then suddenly it is allowable to kill the unborn child? This government promoted themselves as defenders of the weak and helpless, and there are none so weak and helpless as those who haven't yet been born, being attacked by those who have. Justice Minister Andrew Little said, "Abortion is the only medical procedure that is still a crime in New Zealand." Well, that is because this "medical procedure", results in a human being killed - just like the new law states if someone harms a pregnant woman.

The report into the Pigeon Valley fire last summer which destroyed 2300 ha of pine forest, and caused 2,500 people to be evacuated, determined that it was an unfortunate accident caused by a farmer ploughing a stony field. The fire was the worst in NZ for 72 years.

In terrible local news, an Australian was shot dead out at Raglan this week with his Canadian girlfriend fleeing on foot after the couple were apparently randomly attacked at the top of Te Toto Gorge. The body and campervan were found on the other side of where we are, at Gordonton. The police moved swiftly and this morning raided a Waikato property and arrested a man and charged him with murder.

The Numbers Game

5.5: Richter scale earthquake hit Milford Sound, and was felt all around the lower South Island
6: hours without power for some Auckland residents during the storm, others were four days without power in the inner city!
39: % support for the cannabis referendum (47% against), down from 52% in April and 60% in November last year - including a growing number of Green Party voters - I guess they really did look at what has happened where cannabis has been legalised!
53: athletes will row in 16 boats at this month's World Champs in Austria
97: texts per month for Hawke's Bay users on average - the biggest by far - 53 more than second-placed Manawatu-Whanganui
150: people hospitalised for measles in Auckland this year, a total of 369 confirmed cases
1,700: lightning strikes in the storm early this week, with an Auckland school having a roof ripped off
8,000: premature deaths due to alcohol in the last 10 years with a social cost of $70b and up to 30,000 children born with alcohol-related brain damage
99,000: searches for heaters were made on TradeMe last week
3m: $ worth of cocaine washed up on a West Auckland beach last weekend
20m: $ from the government to help reopen Rotorua Museum
25m: $ of Government funding for 12 new radiation machines, Pharmac also announced plans to fund cancer drugs Kadcyla and Alecensa
36m: $ drug bust in Rotorua was the biggest they've had in the Bay according to the Police chief
100m: $ for the NZ Army to fund modern warfare high-tech upgrades, like satellite-tracking and helmet-cams
144m: $ worth of methamphetamine was found by Police during a major drug operation when they arrested two British nationals
150m: $ of the $300m that the Government has allocated to fighting the effects of climate change has been earmarked for projects in the Pacific Islands

Finance NZ Dollar

Since 03/08/2019 (14 days ago).
GBP 0.5291 (-0.0087)
EUR 0.5795 (-0.0081)
USD 0.6429 (-0.0110)
AUD 0.9482 (-0.0131)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Sir Brian Lochore died last week at the age of 78. He was a former All Blacks captain and coach.

Joke of the Weekender

At what age do you think it’s appropriate to tell 
a highway it’s adopted?


Darren Harrison:
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