The Weekender 23/05/2020

Hello & welcome to a lovely sunny winters day. We've had a few frosts in a row, but lovely days - unless you are a farmer waiting for rain!


Sir Gordon Tietjens will step down as coach of the Samoan Seven's team when his contract expires in August.

Shane van Gisbergen has dominated the latest round of the Supercars All-Stars Eseries when he won all three races to take the overall lead from Scott McLaughlin.

NZ News

This week was news about National with a leadership bid from Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller, in response to low polling levels. The vote was yesterday, and Simon Bridges was replaced as leader of the National Party by Muller who seems to be a nice guy, but obviously we'll need to see. And also we'll need to see how he handles Jacinda-mania which has been building recently with huge social media backlash against anyone who dares questions the wisdom of the government or Saint Jacinda. Auckland MP Nikki Kaye has replaced Paula Bennett as deputy. Simon Bridges announced the change with the comment "More time for the most important job I have. Thank you New Zealand." - along with a photo of his family.

You may be wondering if things have become clearer over time with the rules around Level 2. Well no. The government has continually said that church services are allowed no more than 10 people. But when the law came through this week, churches weren't mentioned at all, so that confused us - apparently by law, the rules were the same as for pubs or restaurants.
But then yesterday there was a bit of a bombshell, I'm still a little shocked. The police announced their guidelines saying church services could resume and were allowed multiple groups of 10 - following the law. But later the same day the Government reiterated that the rules for the church hadn't changed and no more than 10 people were allowed in a gathering. So the police are saying one thing, different to the government. It's all very confusing.

The Numbers Game

-3: degC in Hawke's Bay for one of the coldest mornings of the year
2: more cellphone towers burnt in Auckland by the tinfoil hat-wearing anti-5G brigade
4: days of no new cases of Covid-19, currently there are only 28 active cases
45: days without a commercial jet landing in Queenstown
56.5: % support for Labour in a new poll, with National plummeting to 30.6% or 29% in one poll
79: % turnout of students on the first day they were allowed back
150: restaurant workers made redundant by the Good Group
500: parking tickets issues in one day in Wellington
50,000: business have applied for the government loans
500,000: $ from the Government for drought-stricken Hawke's Bay farmers - matched by the local government
5m: people now in NZ, 17 years after we hit 4 million
9m: $ to be spent by the government in local media - apparently to provide relief from plummeting advertising revenues - but I bet it won't be neutral advertising
265m: $ sport package announced by the government
278m: $ package for early childhood centres, offering higher subsidies but the preschools need 100%, qualified teachers

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.4997 (0.0093)
EUR 0.5575 (0.0090)
USD 0.6079 (0.0143)
AUD 0.9301 (0.0048)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Robert J Dickie
RJ Dickie invented, patented and marketed the world’s first stamp vending machine. His machines were in use for 50 years, 18,000 were used in Britain, with countless thousands around the world. The machine that won star honours at the 1909 Pacific Expo in Seattle came from a New Zealander with a single idea. Robert James Dickie was born in London on December 30, 1876. Twelve years later, he immigrated with his family to Wellington, New Zealand. He joined the staff of the Chief Post Office at Customs Street in 1891 and went to work in the foreign mail department.  

Joke of the Weekender

What's the best thing about Switzerland?
I don't know, but the flag is a big plus.


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