The Weekender 19/10/2019

Hello, great to see you, hope you've had a good week so far.


So Bathurst - the Great Race - was on last Sunday and with Sky Sport providing cheap weekend viewing I was able to watch the entire race for the first time since it was on free television. Scott McLaughlin took provisional pole ahead of the Top Ten Shootout and I watched the shoot out - up to the last two cars when the Sky streaming coverage simply stopped. After an uproar from their customers, Sky refunded us all (so it became free!). Later on, I watched it and McLaughlin beat everyone in every part of the track to take pole.
Then on Sunday McLaughlin claimed his maiden Bathurst 1000 title after what really was a great race - but it is still a provisional result after his team told teammate Fabian Coulthard to slow down during a safety car period due to an overheating issue - which may or may not have been real. The officials are still looking into it and if it was a breach, deciding what to do.

In the Rugby World Cup Samoa bowed out being beaten 47-5 by Ireland even with (kiwi) Bundee Aki getting a red card in the 29th minute (and a three-week ban). Tonga exited the tournament but before they did they had their first win 31-19 over the United States. Scotland had threatened to sue the RWC if they didn't play as they needed to beat Japan to get through, but the game went ahead and Japan played really well beat them 28-21. That provoked huge celebration for Japan - their first-ever quarter-final's appearance.
The quarter-finals teams were decided with unbeaten Japan taking on South Africa, England vs Australia, France vs Wales and later on tonight (Saturday) the All Blacks take on Ireland. No one really knows how it is going to go, and it sounds like the Irish are getting more & more confident but I think the All Blacks are just quietly confident as well. The kids are sleeping in the lounge tonight, and we will be getting up to watch it (delayed slightly).

The Silver Ferns had back-to-back wins against Australia (including the World Cup final) when they won the first game of the Constellation Cup 53-52 in Christchurch, but Australia won the second game in Auckland.

The NZ Breakers were beaten 96-91 in their opening game of the ANBL against the Sydney Kings.

NZ News

Some local government election results are still coming through but in the big ones, the Hamilton Mayor has changed to Paula Southgate, beating incumbent Andrew King. In Auckland, Phil Goff easily retained his seat, as did Lianne Dalziel in Christchurch. Twenty-eight-year-old Campbell Barry has become NZ's youngest-ever mayor for Hutt City, and Judy Turner is the mayor of Whakatane. But the biggest news has been around the Wellington Mayor. Labour lapdog and incumbent Justin Lester appears to have been ousted but by not many votes so a recount is being called. He was beaten by the Sir Peter Jackson-backed Andy Foster. The new mayor is far less likely to care if the Greens threaten to quit the government if Wellington's transport plan isn't exactly what they want. Although maybe Lester won't be so happy to toe the party line if he does make it back in after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern claimed he ran as an independent, a very embarrassing saga for Lester since he was a Labour-endorsed candidate.

The latest Newshub-Reid poll shows a dramatic drop in the polls for Labour - down almost 10 points to 41.6%, with National gaining 6.5 to 43.9%. The Prime Minister's personal popularity has also dropped by 10.6% for the preferred Prime Minister. In the following 1News/Colmar Brunton poll, Labour had dropped to 40% and National and Act had the numbers to form a government with National on 47%.

Treasury has advised the Government that there is little evidence that their gun buyback scheme would avoid future gun-related death and injury. As most rational people can see, sure there might be fewer guns out there, but it's only going to be the law-abiding people who return their guns.
Labour MP Raymond Huo has claimed that National was better at NZ-China relations than Labour. The Prime Minister has dismissed the comments as a personal opinion - but seriously, it is personal opinion from a China-born Labour list MP!

The Numbers Game

550: jobs are in the balance as Mediaworks' TV business (TV3 etc) goes up for sale with no buyer in sight
5,376: council staff across the country earn more than $100,000 - out of a total of 30,497 staff
100m: $ for a new mental health facility in Hamilton
300m: $ upgrade for New Plymouth hospital

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4914 (-0.0093)
EUR 0.5715 (-0.0025)
USD 0.6381 (0.0047)
AUD 0.9309 (-0.0016)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Keith Park
Saviour of Britain
A decorated fighter pilot in World War One, Keith Park was Commander-in-Chief of No. 11 Group during the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk (France) in the early part of World War Two. He was in charge of defending London and southern England from German bombing raids during the Battle of Britain.
In 1942, he led the defence of Malta. Highly decorated and awarded, knighted, and with a reputation for fearlessness, Park returned to New Zealand sometime after the war for a career in aviation and local government. It was thanks in part to Park’s role in World War Two that Winston Churchill memorably proclaimed: “Never in the history of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Joke of the Weekender

A man walked into the doctor’s office with a strawberry stuck in his ear.  “Can you help me, doctor?” he pled. The doctor looked closely, and said, “I think I’ve got some cream for that.”


Darren Harrison:
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