The Weekender 14/09/2019

Welcome along, only six days until the Rugby World Cup!


It is only a few days until the Rugby World Cup, but there is already a casualty for the All Blacks with Waikato loose forward Luke Jacobsen being ruled out of the tournament.
Former All Black Joe Rokocoko has retired after five seasons at French club Racing 92. He played the last of his 68 test in 2010.
Former All Black Mark Robinson has been appointed the new chief executive of NZ Rugby.

Last weekend the All Blacks took on Tonga here in Hamilton and won 92-7. After 65 minutes the All Blacks took Ryan Crotty off without replacing him to have some game time with a player down but that was at 92-0 so I guess it didn't work out for them.
The win wasn't enough to retain the world number one ranking with Ireland taking over the top spot for the start of the Rugby World Cup.

Venus was yet again the runner up at the U.S. Tennis Open. Kiwi Michael Venus that is, in the mixed doubles. How awesome that a kiwi made the US Open final!

The NZ Warriors put on a gritty performance for a surprise 24-20 win over the Canberra Raiders.
Former Kiwis coach Frank Endacott is coaching Mate Ma'a Tonga for the upcoming rugby league tests against Great Britain and Australia.

The Tall Blacks thumped Japan 111-81 in the classification round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China to give themselves a shot at making the Olympics. Then they beat the much higher-ranked Turkey 102-101.

The Black Sticks Women have qualified for next year's Tokyo Olympics after Olivia Merry scored with five minutes to go to draw the final game against Australia, giving the Black Sticks the Oceania Cup with a superior goal difference.

Sophie Pascoe has been at it again in the pool at the World Para Swimming Champs in London. She won gold in the women's 100m freestyle S9 final, another in something else and a third in the 100m butterfly S9 for her 11th world title.
Cameron Leslie has set a world record as he won gold for the men's S4 50m freestyle.

It wasn't the day at Pukekohe for Aussie V8 championship leader Scott McLaughlin to claim his race wins record, but it was the day for Shane van Gisbergen to win the race from pole position. Red Bull Racing Holden got a one-two with Jamie Whincup taking second place. Race Two is tomorrow.

NZ News

The government has launched a new office to tackle suicide rates with support coming from mental health campaigner Mike King.
The government has announced that New Zealand history will be compulsory in all schools by 2022.

A bunch of Kiwi firefighters paid tribute to first responders who lost their lives in the attacks on September 11, 2001, in the USA, by performing a spine-tingling haka at the base of the Sky Tower.

After five weeks of news about a highly ranked Labour employee who was involved in a sexual assault scandal, something finally happened this week. It kicked off with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying she was incredibly frustrated over Labour's handling of the situation. And that kind of confused everyone here, because we have been hearing about it for weeks, and she is the Labour leader - surely the boss has things under control?
So then came the curious news with Ardern saying she only heard that the incident was a sexual assault 48 hours before - but it had been in the news, lots of stories, lots of headlines and she'd even been asked about the incident a couple of weeks before on a talkback show, where she responded like she knew what he was talking about. The party president also said he didn't know about the allegations, although multiple people have come forward to say that the President and the party's investigating panel had been made aware of it. There are apparently 12 people who have made complaints but it wasn't just the president at fault, it has become clear that Ardern's senior staff knew about it months ago, and it's a pretty big reach to think that they knew and she didn't. The Prime Minister appears to be either straight-out lying or incompetent.
There were calls for the Labour President to resign over his handling of the incident, and then mid-week he did resign. However, he has continued to claim he didn't know, despite complainants providing email correspondence proving he did know. As if that wasn't bad enough for the complainants, the temporary replacement for the Labour president, was the head of the panel investigating the claims - that is someone who doesn't believe them.
So what of the person at the centre of the allegations. They have been allowed to resign - no that can't be right, surely they would have been fired? No, they have been allowed to leave on their own terms. And based on the Prime Minister refusing to comment, they have probably received a compensation payout.
There are other players in this charade. There is Deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis who dismissed the complainants by calling the allegations "rumours", and then he tried to hide behind double meanings in Maori to get away with it - he clearly isn't impartial. Then there is Helen Clark who said Jacinda Ardern was "let down" in the Labour sexual assault scandal - but only if she doesn't have anything to do with the Labour Party (like running it). I think it's more likely everyone in the country has been let down by her handling of it and complete lack of leadership.

This should be a big write up by itself, not just a footnote after the previous paragraph, but during the week it was made known that a left-wing political campaign company called ActionStation with close connections to Labour and the Green's, is being funded by me - and all other taxpayers. They have received a grant from Netsafe, who claim on their website that they do not fund political organisations. So what are ActionStation doing? They have been giving fuel vouchers to Ihumatao protestors and financially supporting beneficiaries to move into the campsite. Basically a protest for hire, to try and convince the government to pay more for already settled Treaty claims.

The Numbers Game

7: lightning strikes per minutes over an hour for Auckland during a storm last week
75: people have died after taking synthetic drugs in the last two years
1007: cases of the measles in Auckland as the outbreak shows no signs of slowing

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5099 (-0.0111)
EUR 0.5716 (-0.0032)
USD 0.6377 (-0.0022)
AUD 0.9273 (-0.0072)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Norman Bitters
One of Hawke's Bay's last remaining WWII survivors, Norman Bitters, has died at 97 years of age.
Bitters served as part of the New Zealand Navy and managed to spend his last Anzac Day attending three different services.

Joke of the Weekender

Seen on the door of a repair shop:
WE CAN FIX ANYTHING. (Please knock on the door—the bell doesn’t work.)


Darren Harrison:
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