The Weekender 21/03/2020

Welcome to our 10th Wedding Anniversary!


Well, there is a little bit of sport from last weekend but basically it has all stopped.

Australia beat us in the first Chappell-Hadlee match played without any fans in Australia. I watched some of the game and it was very weird having no crowd. Also interesting when the players had to go looking for a ball hit for a six - with no crowd to throw it back! But then the series was postponed and the Black Caps came home.

The Highlanders were supposed to play the Jaguares to an empty stadium, but with the government introducing a two-week self-isolation period to all incoming passengers, the Highlanders called off the game when they couldn't get back in time. The Crusaders thrashed the Sunwolves in probably now their last ever game in Super Rugby 49-14 in Brisbane in a relocated match. And then Super Rugby was suspended.

The Wellington Phoenix were in impressive form when they beat Melbourne Victory 3-0 and have based themselves in Australia, so they can continue to play in the A-League - if it continues.

The ANZ Premiership continued the longest with the Waikato/BOP Magic beating the Southern Steel 48-54 in Dunedin. It's now finished.

NZ News

I was looking at Stuff the other day and they have a top 10 stories - every single one was about the coronavirus - Covid-19. NZ and Singapore have announced an agreement to keep supply chains open like medical supplies. This afternoon PM Jacinda Ardern announced a new alert system and we are on Level 2 (max is 4). Those over 70 should stay at home, restrictions on mass gatherings (100 people), physical distance on public transport, limit non-essential travel around the country and work from home. Previously, the government had closed the borders to everyone except citizens and residents. New Zealanders travelling overseas have been urged to return home. The government announced a support package worth $12b, made up from $8.7b for businesses and jobs, $2.8b for income support, $500m for health.
New Zealand currently has 52 cases with a couple of those who haven't travelled overseas.
Local Hamilton brewery has shut down one of its whiskey lines and has started to produce hand sanitiser.

Unfortunately, while the rest of the world's governments were focused on important matters (virus response), our government was focusing on pushing through some of the most liberal abortion laws in the world. Only a few years ago the Green Party demanded changes to block barbaric abortion of calves - but they were front and centre pushing through law changes that give humans far far fewer rights.

The Numbers Game

3: mm of rain in the past couple of days
5: c drop in petrol prices due to change in usage with the coronavirus

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4890 (-0.0052)
EUR 0.5292 (-0.0150)
USD 0.5697 (-0.0367)
AUD 0.9833 (0.0022)

The Weekender NZer of the week

William Hudson
The Snowy Mountains (Australia) Hydro-Electric Scheme, begun in 1949, was 25 years in construction and remains one the world’s great engineering and social achievements. Attaining its goal of irrigating the arid Australian interior for food production, and generating hydro-electricity, it also dramatically changed the nature of Australian culture.

Joke of the Weekender

“Mom, don't get alarmed, but I’m at the hospital.”
“Son, please. You’ve been a surgeon there for 8 years now. Can we start our phone calls differently?”


Darren Harrison:
The Weekender: mailed weekly (Sunday nightish)
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