The Weekender 21/09/2019

Welcome to the Rugby World Cup!


The Rugby World Cup started last night with the opening game between hosts Japan and Russia with Japan winning 30-10, and the All Blacks kicking off their campaign against South Africa later tonight. In games today, Australia came back in the second half to beat Fiji 39-21, France beat Argentina 23-21 with a drop goal.
In provincial rugby, Manawatu beat Canterbury 32-29 in a shock upset with unwanted All Black Ngani Laumape leading the way for the Turbos. And Southland had their first win in three years thrashing Counties Manukau 42-14 to end their 27-match losing streak.

Last weekend in the Sunday race at Pukekohe for the Aussie V8's there was a bit of safety car mayhem when the safety car came out in the wrong place and was passed by Jamie Whincup, causing all sorts of issues with people pitting etc, but at the end championship leader Scott McLaughlin won the race for a record-breaking 17 wins in a season, eclipsing Craig Lowndes' 1996 record.

Sophie Pascoe finished the World para Swimming Champs in London with her fourth gold medal in the women's 50m freestyle S9 in a new championship record time. The New Zealand team finished with six golds and one silver.

The New Zealand team got three gold medals at the Para Cycling Road World Champs in the Netherlands.

Last weekend in the opening game of league's NRLW, the NZ Warriors women beat Sydney Roosters 16-12.

NZ News

The news has died down this week surrounding Labour's stuff up of their second sexual assault investigation, but one of the members of the investigating panel has said that he wasn't told about the sexual assault complaint when they decided that no disciplinary action was needed. It's pretty clear that information had been told to the correct Labour authorities, and it seems like the party has entirely whitewashed it.
National PM Paula Bennett has said that the Prime Minister is protecting the role of her staff and Finance Minister Grant Robertson after PM Jacinda Ardern announced a new review but with a very specific set of instructions - not including what went wrong with the last investigation. I'm not quite sure why they aren't just required to simply get the Police in.
This is all on top of the Prime Minister telling us six weeks ago that a Queen's Counsel had been appointed to establish what went wrong and she was deferring all comment until those deliberations were complete. But much more recently it was discovered that the QC hasn't even started work and Jacinda Ardern is drawing up secret terms of reference.

The Prime Minister also had a jet-lag gaffe after stepping off the plane and saying it was "incredibly exciting time for New Zealand in its relationship with China - excuse me sorry, with Japan".
The Government announced this week it was establishing a new housing entity called "Kainga Ora" which will replace Housing New Zealand, its development subsidiary HLC and KiwiBuild.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford has cleared out almost all of the NZ Transport Agency's board. The opposition says he is "passing the buck" while he says he's just cleaning up a mess he inherited (two years after he gets in?).

National MP Melissa Lee told an interesting story in Parliament this week. She said a friend of the family contacted her saying they had taken their 5 and 8-year-olds to a doctor for measles vaccinations and were turned away - even after offering to pay, being told it was because Maori and Pasifika children were the priority.

The Numbers Game

19: households per staff member for NZ's least efficient council of Westland District Council - the most efficient is Tararua District with a staff member for every 117 households
24: th ranking for the Tall Blacks jumping 14 places following the recent World Cup
33: % of fees-free students did not complete at least one course because of either failure or withdrawing
3,387: $ in rates per person for Auckland Council - required to pay the 2,473 staff who earn over $100,000
25,402: $ of liabilities/debt per household for Christchurch - the highest of any council, the average is $6,197
4.5m: $ paid for Kate Sheppard's former home by the Government to become a heritage venue and educational centre
8m: $ spent by the government on "social media influencers" since 2012

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5018 (-0.0081)
EUR 0.5681 (-0.0035)
USD 0.6258 (-0.0119)
AUD 0.9245 (-0.0028)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Charles Upham
Victoria Cross and Bar
Acknowledged widely as the outstanding soldier of the Second World War, Captain Charles Upham remains the only combatant soldier to have received the Victoria Cross and Bar (awarded to members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth for exceptional bravery). In Crete in May 1941, and the Western Desert in July 1942, Upham distinguished himself with displays of ‘nerveless competence’.

Upham was renowned for combining controlled courage with quick-thinking resourcefulness. While most medals for bravery are awarded for a single act, Upham’s first citation was for nine days of skill, leadership and evident heroism. In March 1941, he was a Second Lieutenant in the 20th NZ Battalion in Crete. His display of courage included: destroying numerous enemy posts; rescuing a wounded man under fire; penetrating deep behind enemy lines and killing twenty-two German soldiers on the way to leading out an isolated platoon. This was all after being blown over by a mortar shell, and with a shrapnel wound in his shoulder and a bullet in his foot.

Joke of the Weekender

The cable repairman was on my street and asked me what time it was. I told him it is between 8 am and 1 pm.


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
{If these just fill up your junk mail, then send me an email & I'll take you off the list | The Weekender is not a verified news source, sometimes it's even just an opinion}