The Weekender 10/11/2018

We've had some good weather up here but down on the West Coast it's been much worse with roads closed and one woman swept to her death in a flooded river. In general, through NZ, we've had high humidity, lots of rain and high temperatures. 


The All Blacks had a number of players head straight to England to acclimatise, but the players they left behind in Japan still beat Japan 69-31. It was good to see a good performance from Richie Mo'unga and a return of Dane Coles, while George Bridge scored with his first touch of the ball.
The big game against England is overnight tonight.
The Black Ferns crushed USA 67-6 in Chicago last weekend and had a scrappy 14-0 win over France.

England took heart from two wins in league and rugby last weekend but both were close games with dodgy ref calls. In rugby, England beat South Africa 12-11 after the ref ignored a no-arms illegal tackle from Owen Farrell which would have given South Africa a kickable penalty. In the league against the Kiwis, England wrapped up the series with a 20-14 win, while England's George Burgess clearly and purposely did an eye-gouge on Kiwis captain Dallin Watene-Zelezniak. The ref should have given out a red card, which would have changed the game. The ref and the video ref both checked it and negligently ignored it - proven after Burgess was later given a four-match ban.

The NZ Breakers have beaten the Cairns Taipans 104-81 in Auckland last night, but have two games this weekend so need a quick turnaround.

The Wellington Phoenix were beaten 2-0 by Melbourne City last night.

The White Ferns were beaten by India in their opener for the Twenty20 World Cup by 34 runs. 
The Black Caps won their first ODI against Pakistan by 47 runs. The Black Caps wobbled early but were steadied by a 130-run fourth wicket partnership between Ross Taylor and Tom Latham to reach 266-9. But Pakistan never recovered from a Trent Boult hat-trick in his second over.
And then Pakistan levelled the ODI series against the Black Caps. We could only manage 209 and Pakistan cruised to the win in 41 overs.

Scott McLaughlin has restored his narrow lead at the top of the Aussie V8's championship after a win at Pukekohe last weekend with one race to go in the season. Fellow Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen had beaten him in the first race to close the gap.

Kiwi MMA star Israel Adesanya had a record-breaking fourth win with a first-round TKO last weekend.

NZ News

This government hasn't learned their lessons about attacking business. The Prime Minister kicked things off by delivering a stern warning to the banking sector saying they need to "lift their game" (to avoid regulation) and now Shane Jones is saying he wants the banking sector to pay a levy of $100m a year for their "extravagantly privileged position". The banks have probably already started secretly charging us extra, to pay for this levy in case it ever comes in - thanks government.

The bad news for the government on immigration continued this week - well granting residency to convicted drug-smuggler Sroubek. And interspersed with the bad news, the Prime Minister continued her inability to make hard calls, saying she doesn't blame officials or Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters partly stayed on the script by not blaming the minister but suggested the blame lies with the Immigration NZ officials.
Things got worse later in the week when Iain Lees-Galloway said he made the decision within about an hour and didn't even read the whole case file. The Prime Minister said she "still" has confidence in the Minister. 

The Numbers Game

45: % average increase over three years for Wellington properties
1,100: midwives have voted to strike after rejecting the DHB's pay offer
115,000: ha pest-free Banks Peninsula agreement
7.1m: $ extra for Bay of Islands hospital 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5195 (+0.0067)
EUR 0.5945 (+0.0100)
USD 0.6739 (+0.0082)
AUD 0.9323 (+0.0089)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Gus Hutt
A fisherman who pulled a baby from the ocean at Matata Beach says it wasn't the baby's time to go.
"As he floated past I thought he was just a doll," said Gus Hutt.
"So, I reached out and grabbed him by the arm; even then I still thought it was just a doll.
His face looked just like porcelain with his short hair wetted down, but then and he let out a little squeak and I thought 'this is a baby and it's alive'."

Joke of the Weekender

Some people just have a way with words, and other people … oh … not have way.
Steve Martin


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 03/11/2018

Welcome to November! Fireworks are on sale around the place, building up to Monday night! 


The Black Caps fell to a two-run defeat in their first Twenty20 match against Pakistan, then in the second Twenty20 NZ posted 153-7 and Pakistan hauled in the total with two balls to spare (and six wickets).

The Silver Ferns have won the Fast5 Netball World Series title in Melbourne for the seventh time.

Lydia Ko finished in a tie for sixth at the Swinging Skirts LPGA tournament in Taiwan.

The NZ Breakers had a great performance from Finn Delaney leading the Breakers to a 114-94 NBL win over the Adelaide 36ers, but up next is an away game against the Perth Wildcats.

The Kiwis Rugby league team are touring in England and they let the lead slip to lose the opening match 18-16.

NZ News

The Royals have been on tour this week with Meghan and Harry in the country. They appeared to have a great time in Wellington and Rotorua and thanked New Zealand when they left.

So a year into the government's KiwiBuild programme and this week the first houses were sold - in fact the first house went a soon-to-graduate doctor and Marketing manager. The salary cap is $180,000, and it seems more & more likely that the government is spending this huge amount of money to subsidise middle class to wealthy people.

The rest of the 14 articles I have are all about the government's huge mess about the immigration of convicted drug-smuggler Karel Sroubek - or whatever he is calling himself these days. The Czech arrived in NZ on a false passport - and a judge discharged him without conviction. Four years later he was jailed in 2016 for five years and nine months after being convicted of importing 5kg of MDMA. Apparently, he told the government that some corrupt cops were after him and Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway granted him residency rather than kicking him out of the country.
After a day of investigation, a newspaper discovered that he had gone back to the Czech Republic twice - not something that someone who was wanted would do. The government closed ranks with Winston Peters claiming it was "responsible", and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern backed her minister, while others pointed out examples where law-abiding useful people were denied the chance to stay.
Apparently, the minister is looking into it. 

The Numbers Game

3: rd most generous country in the world according to an annual giving index
6.2: Richter scale earthquake in the lower North Island - there were no reports of damage
7: NZ nominations for the World Rugby awards: Beauden Barrett, Rieko Ioane, and Black Ferns skipper Fiao'o Faamausili (along with the four Black Ferns Sevens players)
14: years of prison for synthetic drug-dealers being proposed by New Zealand First and supported by National - enough to get it through
6.5m: departure cards filled in annually in NZ will no longer be required from Monday - saving travellers 100,000 hours 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5128 (+0.0053)
EUR 0.5845 (+0.0145)
USD 0.6657 (+0.0145)
AUD 0.9233 (+0.0049)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Major General Sir Andrew Russell
The Kiwi forces were led by a remarkable man from Hawke's Bay whose name and memory is revered by the townspeople of Le Quesnoy.
They were in northeastern France in a small town called Le Quesnoy which had been the centre of a remarkable assault on November 4, 1918 by Kiwi troops to oust the German forces which had occupied it. A remarkable and successful assault.

Joke of the Weekender

I wrote a song about a tortilla. Well actually, it’s more of a wrap.


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 27/10/2018

Welcome along, we've had some lovely spring weather this week but the rain has come back right now. 


Last night the mighty Waikato bounced back into the Premiership after only a year in the Championship after they got revenge for losing the shield by beating Otago 36-13. In the Premiership final, Canterbury had won nine of the last 10 titles but were beaten in an extra-time thriller 40-33 by Auckland who won their first title since 2007.
The All Blacks are taking on Australia in Japan in the final dead-rubber Bledisloe Cup game tonight and the All Black lead 37-20 with only a minute or two to go.

The Black Ferns Sevens beat the USA 33-7 to win the opening leg at the Colorado Sevens.
Joe Moody has re-signed with NZ Rugby and the Crusaders through to 2022. Ben Smith has reportedly signed a short seven month deal with Pau in France.

Last weekend in league Australia withstood a great challenge from Tonga in Auckland, winning 30-14.

The NZ Breakers were thumped 101-78 by the Sydney Kings last weekend.

The Wellington Phoenix got off to a good start in the Australian football league with a 2-1 over the Newcastle Jets.

Eddie Dawkins got silver in the men's keirin at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Paris.

Lydia Ko has been doing well at golf's LPGA in Shanghai producing a great round to jump up to a tie for second.

NZ News

The Primary School teachers have voted for rolling strikes across the country in the week starting 12th November.

There was a story recently about how the NZ Taxpayers Union (a group trying to stop wasteful spending in local government and all government), had to resort to using bogus identities when requesting information from the government-funded Callaghan Innovation organisation because they had been stonewalling their official information requests. Well, the stories were mostly around how it was terrible they were using bogus identities - while I thought the stories should be around why they had been stonewalled with requests covered by the Official Information Act. So this week an inquiry has been launched into the OIA requests by Callaghan Innovation. Great news.

After a terrible week of news for National last week, the stories have mostly dropped off this week, although rogue MP Jami-Lee Ross was picked up by the police and taken to a mental health facility during the week. The polls responded but only barely with a drop of 2% for National, but National leader Simon Bridges dropped again.

Former ANZ Chief economist Cameron Bagrie has urged the government to give small business a tax cut as the government continues to increase costs.
The socialists amongst us (ahem Jacinda) must be revelling in the news that NZ's education system is becoming more equal - unfortunately, it's because the well-off families have slipped more than poorer students. But they won't let the truth get in the way of spin.
Then during the week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seemed to randomly announce that regional fuel taxes wouldn't be allowed anywhere except Auckland. It was a huge shock for Hamilton and Wellington councils who had already applied, and regional development MP Shane Jones who seemed surprised. National claimed Labour was making up policy on the fly. And despite Transport Minister Phil Twyford saying not telling Jones was a "glitch", the Prime Minister continued to blame everyone else saying everyone should have known.
There was also news of another government policy backfiring in education, with Statistics NZ showing that partly because of the government's fees-free tertiary education, the highest-spending households (i.e. the richest) had the lowest level of inflation. Or as ACT Leader David Seymour said: "the data showed the policy primarily benefited those who didn't need government assistance."

The Numbers Game

1: # most beautiful large NZ town award for Taupo
1: # most beautiful NZ city award for Dunedin at the 2018 environmental awards
3: of the Black Ferns team have been nominated for World Rugby Women's Sevens Player of the Year - all of the nominations
4.4: Richter scale earthquake shook Seddon in the South Island
5: deaths on the road during Labour Weekend

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5074 (+0.0030)
EUR 0.5700 (-0.0019)
USD 0.6512 (-0.0082)
AUD 0.9185 (-0.0077)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Leslie Comrie
design of computation

Joke of the Weekender

If I got 50 cents for every failed maths exam, I’d have $ 6.30 now.


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 20/10/2018

Hello, we have a nice sunny long weekend at the moment! 


It was semi-finals NPC rugby this weekend with Canterbury beating Tasman 21-16 in Nelson and Auckland beating Wellington 38-17. The final will be in Auckland next weekend. In the Mitre 10 Cup Waikato beat Northland 48-26 to make the final which they will host.
At the Youth Olympics, the women's rugby team won the gold beating France 15-12.

Last Sunday the Silver Ferns thrashed Australia 55-44 in Hamilton breaking an eight-game losing streak and kept the Constellation Cup alive. They were unable to win the final Constellation Cup game with Australia winning 58-47.

Last weekend we left the league test with the Kiwis winning 8-6 and unfortunately the Aussies scored 18 more points. But fortunately, the Kiwis scored 18 more points! So it was a double upset last weekend with the Kiwis beating Australia 26-24 at Mt Smart Stadium.

The NZ Breakers bounced back from their first game to beat the defending champions Melbourne 88-81.

Auckland golfer Nick Voke has won for the third time in the PGA Tour of China.

Scott McLaughlin overtook fellow kiwi Shane van Gisbergen in the Aussie V8 championship and now leads by 14 points.

NZ News

The news has been all bad for National this week. It started with National MP Jami-Lee Ross being identified as the most likely suspect for leaking National leader Simon Bridges expenses - something he denied. But then Ross claimed he had a recording of a discussion with Bridges doing illegal activity with party donations. The Party couldn't find any proof of the allegations and then the party sacked Ross as an MP. Ross hit back and released the tape, but I read the transcript and there certainly isn't a smoking gun for illegal activity, but it still wasn't the sort of conversation one wants to be made public. There were other allegations as well, and it's all been quite messy.
However, as one political commentator said: "I found the covert recording of Simon Bridges played to the nation by his would-be nemesis, Jami-Lee Ross, this week immensely reassuring." ... "If this is corruption NZ-style, we're lucky".

Don Brash is finally getting to speak at Massey University but it looks like those that cancelled his last speech under false pretences have got away with it.

Three people were killed in a Wanaka helicopter crash this week. The well known Wallis family have lost a second brother within three months to another helicopter accident. The other two people killed were DOC workers, one a ranger with 47 years experience. The police have said there is nothing to suggest foul play.

The Numbers Game

19: % increase in people on hardship assistance grants from September 2017 to 2018
21: walking tracks around the country have been shut down because of the spread of the kauri dieback disease
50: trucks protested in convoy through central Auckland against high petrol prices
70: th wedding anniversary for Kapiti couple Ken and Joan Fenton
75: % of NZers have experienced a tech scam - the highest level in the world
736: undersized paua were found in the possession of four people in Taranaki
5,833: votes for the Kereru (native wood pigeon) means it is crowned as New Zealand's bird of the year
25,000: foot skydiving jump NZ record for a high altitude low opening jump by Tasman woman Wendy Smith
224m: $ boost for North Shore and Whangarei hospitals
957m: $ for the annual Auckland City wages bill
1.8b: $ sunken waterfront stadium is being proposed for Auckland

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5044 (+0.0098)
EUR 0.5719 (+0.0098)
USD 0.6594 (+0.0088)
AUD 0.9261 (+0.0117)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Scott Quate
Senior Constable Scott Quate was today presented with the Police Association's Bravery Award at its annual conference in Wellington.
The Napier police officer said he didn't think twice before jumping into a freezing, fast-flowing river to try and save two people.

Joke of the Weekender

If we shouldn’t eat at night, why do they put a light in the fridge?


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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