The Weekender 04/08/2018

Hello, this has been delayed a bit to bring you the Super Rugby final result - currently 0-0 down in Christchurch between the Crusaders and the Lions. 


Last weekend in the Super Rugby semi-finals, the Lions beat the Waratahs 44-26 to reach the finals for a third time, while Richie Mo'unga had a brilliant game to lead the Crusaders to a 30-12 win over the Hurricanes.
And the winners for the second year in a row are the Crusaders 37-18 over the Lions with a man of the match performance from Richie Mo'unga.
In 23 years of Super Rugby we have now had: 
- 3 SA wins (all Bulls)
- 4 Australia wins (Brumbies x2, Reds, Waratahs)
- 16 NZ winners (Crusaders x9, Blues x3, Chiefs x2, Highlanders, Hurricanes)

The Blacks Sticks drew 1-1 with Australia in the women's hockey World Cup in England but were knocked out of the competition by Argentina in a 2-0 loss.

Last weekend the NZ Warriors lost to the lowly Titans after looking good at halftime but having a horrible second half to lose 36-12. This weekend they made a big step in the right direction with a 12-18 away win over the Dragons.

Joseph Parker suffered his second straight defeat in a points loss to British fighter Dillian Whyte, but the promoters are looking at appealing the result after the judges appeared to miss a headbutt which resulted in a knockdown and change in fortunes for Parker.

Danny Lee had his best finish of the season in a tie for sixth at the PGA Canadian Open.

Hayden Paddon finished fourth in the Rally of Finland last weekend.

NZ News

Australia is certainly keen on exporting their criminals. This week though, they had to back down after trying to send one to New Zealand. The crim was born in New Zealand but only because his pregnant mother became ill while on a trip to NZ.

Macleans College (NZ's fourth biggest school) have joined a growing number of schools who are abandoning NCEA Level 1 after being scared off by the government's proposed reforms.

The government seems to be ignoring a massive drop in business confidence, labeling it as "junk" and "bias", as an ANZ survey shows confidence at it's lowest levels since mid-2008 - during the GFC. They are saying they are "expanding beyond the traditional narrow measures of economic success" and have planned to create a new list of 100 environmental, social and economic indicators. In other words, despite their election promises, they are all about the Spin.
NZEI announced this week that Primary school teachers had voted to strike for a full day the week after next. 
The reign of Winston Peters (as acting Prime Minister) is over for now with Jacinda Ardern returning to the role. Winston showed his class on the final day when Speaker Trevor Mallard was warning Gerry Brownlee after a robust debate and Winston was heard to say "throw fatty out". All class.

The Insurance Council has slammed the government after they set up a new tribunal to settle Canterbury claims quicker. The problem they claim is that it is one-sided with only policyholders able to bring cases, and not insurers.

I noted last week about the government's issues with treaty claims, and this week it escalated with clashes outside parliament as Ngai Te Rangi representatives protested the Pare Hauraki settlement. 

The Numbers Game

4.3: % unemployment in Hawkes Bay after drops, with more jobs announced
5: of 11 major storms in NZ since 2000 have hit Northland meaning it has one of the highest proportions of people affected by weather disasters
40: NZ firefighters are heading to California to help battle the 15 deadly wildfires
3,000: PSA workers at IRD went on strike this week 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5189 (+0.0010)
EUR 0.5831 (+0.0003)
USD 0.6747 (-0.0045)
AUD 0.9117 (-0.0053)

The Weekender NZer of the week

John Britten
design of speed

BJ beside the Britten at Te Papa last month.



Joke of the Weekender

Did you hear about the semi-colon that broke the law? He was given two consecutive sentences.


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}

The Weekender 28/07/2018

Hello, how are you today? 


Last weekend in Super Rugby, the quarter-finals continued. The Crusaders were clinical beating the Sharks 40-10, while in South Africa the Lions beat the Jaguares 40-23. The Highlanders were 17 points ahead of the Waratahs at halftime but ended their season with a poor second half losing 30-23.
In Rugby Sevens, last weekend in San Francisco, the women beat a tough challenge from the hosts 26-21 to make the final, going on to beat France in the final, while the men beat Fiji 22-17 to make the final, then went on to beat England 33-12 in the final for a great Sevens double.

Hayden Paddon is near the front at the halfway mark of the WRC Rally of Finland.
Scott McLaughlin extended his lead in the Aussie V8's after winning at Ipswitch last weekend.

The NZ Warriors lost 12-6 to the table-topping Melbourne Storm in Auckland last weekend, but they did raise $70,000 for four charities.

The new Wellington Phoenix coach has signed up two former Socceroos as he plans for an improvement from the club. 

NZ News

Wellington commuters faced big delays last week as they had to contend with not only the return of school but also industrial action. While nurses are expected to accept the new offer from the DHB's - but then they were also expected to accept the last offer, and apparently there are still plenty of negative comments about the new offer.

There has been a call for Labour and NZ First MP's to follow suit after the Green Party stepped up to their ideals of an open government, and released the diaries for all their MP's. It allows people to see who they are spending time with and is in contrast to their coalition partner Labour, who has come under fire for withholding information about meetings that opposition MPs have requested.
Treaty negotiations minister Andrew Little has announced he is ready to sign a deal with Hauraki, however, it isn't all rosy, with claims by the iwi infringing on Tauranga iwi land.

It has been a difficult week for the Green's after their conservation minister was forced to explain why given the government has moved to halt new mining, two large areas of the South Island have just been opened for prospecting. They have also had to "swallow a dead rat" and vote for the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment (or waka-jumping) Bill which they were strongly against - but failed to mention in coalition negotiations.

So Sir Ray Avery has a plan to save 1,000,000 babies with a great invention called the Life Pod. He could still do it, but he planned a fundraising concert at Eden Park, and although it was widely supported, there were a few very vocal opponents headed by former Prime Minister Helen Clark. This week Eden Park cancelled the concert with Helen Clark having the gall to say she was relieved. Sir Ray Avery was obviously gutted saying "I got up in the morning and tried to do something that was wonderful. I thought that all of New Zealand would get behind it and 91 per cent of them did." 

The Numbers Game

5.2: Richter scale earthquake 25km northeast of Picton with over 8,000 people noting it
100: kph speed limit for the Waterview tunnel in Auckland - although it will drop if necessary at times
123: year old piano seized by DOC after being imported to NZ because of Ivory importing rules
173m: $ pay settlement for mental health and addiction support workers to bring them inline with care and support workers
8.4b: $ spent by tourists in Auckland this year 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5179 (-0.0012)
EUR 0.5828 (+0.0022)
USD 0.6792 (-0.0020)
AUD 0.9169 (-0.0002)

The Weekender NZer of the week

NZ Police
Well not all of them today, but some Counties Manukau officers certainly. They received three 1-1-1 calls from a four-year-old boy who had wanted a police-themed fifth birthday party. He had told his mother he wanted them to come but she didn't think he would call them. Anyway, they turned up for the party, even bringing a toy police dog. The police arrested his friends, let him play with the siren and even the police helicopter did a fly-over.

Joke of the Weekender

Q. What’s the difference between ignorance and apathy? 
A. I don’t know and I don’t care.


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}

The Weekender 21/07/2018

Hello, how are you all, hope you've had a good week. 


Last weekend the Crusaders thrashed the Blues 54-17, and the Highlanders had a five-try 43-37 win over the Brumbies. And that was the end of the regular season of Super Rugby.
The Chief's season ended five days later (last night) after a one-point loss to the Hurricanes 32-31 in a game where neither team did very well, but TJ Perenara did score a controversial try (the on-field call was no try, and the TMO overruled because he couldn't see that he didn't get the try - what?).
In other news, Israel Dagg has signed a short-term contract to play in Japan for the rest of the year, while Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea have both re-signed with the Hurricanes and NZ Rugby.

Kiwi Michael Venus made it through to the final of the Wimbledon doubles, before being beaten by an American pair.

The NZ Warriors upset the Brisbane Broncos in Brisbane for the first time in five years with a 26-6 win to keep their hopes of a top-four spot alive. Simon Mannering announced this week that he will be ending his 14-year career at the end of this season.

New Zealanders have won five gold medals at the World Rowing regatta in Lucerne but the news of the day was that Robbie Manson beat Mahe Drysdale in the single sculls final.

Scott Dixon extended his lead in the Indy Car series with a win in Toronto.

Pole vaulter Eliza McCartney set a season-leading world best when she cleared 4.94m at a meet in Jockgrim, Germany. 

Netballer Anna Harrison will retire from netball at the end of the ANZ Premiership season. Silverferns coach Janine Southby has resigned after a review of NZ's disastrous Commonwealth Games campaign.

NZ News

Phil Goff has stamped his mark on free-speech by banning two controversial Canadians who have been accused - by left-leaning media - of hate speech. I have no idea what they've actually been saying but people I know who have investigated, have found nothing quite like they are being accused of. It seems intriguing to me that left-leaning people are quite vocal about demanding free-speech until they find something they object to and then they are equally vocal about banning it. They never quite seem to get on board with the idea that I might not like what you say, but I'll fight for your right to say it. 

There was more damage around the country this week with storms rolling through. The Coromandel is often hit hardest and this week both SH25 and SH25A were closed with slips for days. 

There were interesting follow-up stories on the government's announcement of $2.3 billion being spent on new combat planes for the Air Force this week. Firstly noted was the lack of protest. Typically any military spending is met with large loud groups of protestors, but this huge deal seemed to have been ignored (does that suggest Labour organises all the protests?). Secondly, the whole deal seemed to have been announced by New Zealand First without any say so from Labour - that's a bit weird. And finally, and most importantly is that the deal is a major military realignment toward Australia, US and Canada and it signals a big ideological shift in defence policy for the coalition government, toward the right. I wonder what the right-now-non-existant Labour MP's think about that. 

If anyone was in doubt that the current government is putting a halt to our economy, the BNZ-BusinessNZ performance of services index shows that activity in the services sector has slowed across all major categories, slowing to the lowest levels since December 2012 (about when finance-rockstar Bill English was pulling us out of the GFC). The level is 52.8 which is 4.3 points lower than in May, and if it gets below 50 then our economy is contracting rather than growing. They've been in less than a year, and there is no reason for it. 

The "Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry" Andrew Little has signed off the concept plan outlining three re-entry options. 

National has pointed out that despite the government campaigning on raising the refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500, they have not lifted the quota or made any announcements that they are going to. I don't think they have even created yet another toothless, expensive working group to investigate it! 

The Numbers Game

4.0: Richter Scale earthquake in Christchurch was the biggest for six months
29.8: km from a spot in Fiordland to the nearest building (incl. DOC huts, houses etc.) for NZ's most remote point
91: % of Aucklanders support Sir Ray Avery's "Million Babies" charity concert at Eden Park - but not former PM Helen Clark who is vocally against it
1,000: EQC claims after storms and cyclones hit the country between January and June for over $7m in repairs
4,000: IRD and MBIE staff will strike again after their July 9th strike didn't change their bosses minds - maybe their new chant should be "we want 50% more than non-government workers doing the same job"
37,500: $ fine for a company which ignored quake strengthening orders for 10 years 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5191 (+0.0081)
EUR 0.5806 (+0.0021)
USD 0.6812 (+0.0050)
AUD 0.9171 (+0.0067)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Professor Stephen Robertson
Meet the Kiwi DNA detective helping children across the globe.
World-renowned paediatric geneticist Professor Stephen Robertson has steadily been helping unravel obscure diseases while giving fresh hope to countless children across the planet.

Joke of the Weekender

Some people think it's romantic to carve their names on trees in the park while on a date.
I'm more worried about why they're bringing a knife on their date.


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}

The Weekender 14/07/2018

Hello, we've had a reasonable week but another storm is coming! 


Last weekend Damian McKenzie was key to helping the Chiefs to a tense 24-19 win over the Brumbies in Hamilton. The Hurricanes retained their spot with a 42-24 win over the Blues with Laumape bagging four tries. The Blues hung in there for most of the game but couldn't quite help the Chiefs up a spot by tipping the Canes over. This weekend the Queensland Reds have finished their most successful season after a 48-27 win over the Sunwolves - coach Brad Thorn must be happy. In Hamilton, the Chiefs left a number of top players out, and a few more were injured but they still managed to beat the Hurricanes 28-24 - even with a 63-minute red card. The game will be replayed next weekend for the quarter-finals but will be tougher as it's in Wellington.

The top eight are looking like: Crusaders, Waratahs, Lions, Hurricanes, Chiefs, Highlanders, Jaguares, and either the Sharks or Rebels. But that is due to the conference system. With points, four NZ teams may actually be ahead of all other teams.
Former Auckland and North Harbour coach Wayne Pivac will replace Warren Gatland as head coach of Wales after Gatland finishes up his term.

New Zealand riders have been making history in the Tour de France this week with Dion Smith becoming the first Kiwi to wear the polka dot King of the Mountain jersey. The very next day Patrick Bevin helped his team (BMC Racing) to the win for the "team time trial", so was on the podium as well.

Ryan Fox finished runner-up at the Irish Open after losing a play-off. He still picks up $1.5m for his efforts.

Scott Dixon didn't do too well in Iowa finishing 12th but retained the series lead.

New Zealand has another shot put champion with Maddison Wesche winning the Women's Under 20 World Champs in Finland.

The White Ferns (NZ women's cricket team) lost the first two ODI's against England but won the last by four-wickets.

NZ News

So last weekend it appeared the nurses liked the latest DHB offer and were prepared to accept, but against the advice of their union, they rejected the offer and this week they went on strike while Prime Minister Winston Peters said: "this is the best we can do".
And what do you think the Health Minister was doing in the lead-up? Having late night meetings trying to avoid the strike action perhaps? No, he took his family on an overseas holiday.
When Labour was campaigning before the last election, they said they would be transparent, and there was a group of people who hated John Key, believing everything he did was secretive and terrible. But every week we seem to hear stories about how Labour is pretty much doing the same sorts of things or worse. This week it was a secretive meeting with Google that despite official ideals, no meeting notes were taken. The National MP said he had a few such meetings but only with other countries & never with corporates.

The Opportunities Party started by Gareth Morgan has decided that it won't contest the next election. The party was formed in 2016 and got 2.4% of the vote. Always good for a quote, Morgan said: "When 20 per cent of the vote moves in 48 hours simply on the back of a change of leader, with no improvement at all in policy being offered, what makes the New Zealand voter tick is clear."

The Numbers Game

2: whales found washed up on a Northland shore are so rare they've only been seen at sea 30 times before
90: % of NZers filled in the census form, down from 94.5% in 2013
4,000: MBIE and Inland Revenue staff went on strike for two hours this week - they must think they deserve more than 34% more they get than public staff in similar roles
158m: $ infrastructure loan for Tauranga from the government - that's a 10-year interest-free loan
2.3b: $ announced by Prime Minister Winston Peters to replace the ageing Air Force fleet

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5109 (-0.0038)
EUR 0.5785 (-0.0031)
USD 0.6762 (-0.0078)
AUD 0.9105 (-0.0096)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Brian Brake
design of the image

Joke of the Weekender

I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather did, not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.


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}


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