The Weekender 16/03/2019

This is the week. 

Christchurch Special

I'm sure you've all heard but yesterday was a dark day for a bruised city. The loss of life in the Christchurch earthquake was higher, but it was a natural disaster. There was nothing natural or yet explainable about the gunman who attacked two mosques in Christchurch killed 49 men, woman and children, and injuring 48 others. Three men and one woman have been arrested. The man attacked one mosque, then travelled to the other. The man was an Australian citizen but had been living in Dunedin. The hospital and schools were locked down across the city with reports that schools and their staff did a great job with many kids not even knowing there was something wrong. One of the heroes of the story was a man who tackled the gunman and took his gun and chased him down the street. The other heroes of the story are definitely the police. Probably 99.9% of their time they are doing traffic control or PR in schools or general mundane things, but then at a moments notice they have to be prepared to tackle something like this head-on. 


This weekend in Super Rugby the Chiefs battled to a 23-23 draw against the Hurricanes - a significant improvement over their first three games!
Hamilton will host a combined men's and women's Rugby Seven's tournament from next season. 

The Bangladesh cricketers were very close to the Christchurch mosque shootings so the rest of the tour has been called off with the players heading home. The previous weekend the first two days of the second test were rained out in windy Wellington. Bangladesh batted first and reached 211 with Wagner taking four and Boult three. Then NZ lost their openers early but captain Kane Williamson hit 74 with an injured shoulder, Ross Taylor got to 200 (and then got out) and Henry Nichols got 109 as NZ declared on 432. Wow, Ross Taylor is not slowing down, he is doing so well. Then on the final day, Sri Lanka was bowled out for 209 for an innings and 12-run win by the Black Caps. And that sealed the series.
Neil Wagner jumped in the latest ICC ratings to fifth for bowlers.

Scott Dixon has made a solid start to his defence of the Indycar title with a second in the first round at St Petersburg Grand Prix in Florida.

The Wellington Phoenix had a record-equalling 8-2 win over the Central Coast Mariners in the A-League last weekend.

Havelock North's Geordie Beamish has had an upset win in the mile race at the NCAA indoor track & field champs in the USA.

NZ News

MP Shane Jones has certainly had a week. He admitted a conflict of interest in a Northland tourism project, but he didn't remove himself from the meeting. We just have to take his word that he didn't sway any arguments. PM Jacinda Ardern has backed the New Zealand First MP. ACT have asked the auditor general to investigate and Jones has also been accused of breaching parliamentary privilege by deliberately misleading the House. It looks like Jones then tried to deflect news from his conflict of interest by attacking Spark after they went public with a Government GCSB decision.
Green party co-leader James Shaw was attacked (black eye) as he walked to Parliament this week, by someone shouting something about the U.N. A man was arrested.
The government has released a review on Tomorrow's Schools, calling for a radical reboot of the Education System. When you look into it, there are plenty of reports proving that our education system is actually great. The report is based on 13% of schools - mostly small, rural and isolated who are failing. The report ignores that that means 87% of NZ schools are succeeding - and not just passing, but doing really well. We went up in Science in the latest test. Talk about throwing out the baby with the bathwater!

National have had their own problems this week with the Serious Fraud Office agreeing to look into Jami-Lee Ross' claims of dodgy dealing with donations.

Kate Hawkesby wrote a great article regarding the approaching referendum on cannabis including some insights into what has happened in Colorado - and is likely to happen here if the vote goes through. Basically, big business takes over and the product becomes about ten times stronger. She finished by saying that we could easily "...create a bigger health issue for ourselves than we already have with those other legalised corporatised addictive drugs such as tobacco and alcohol?  They're legal: look how that turned out."

Numbers Game

6: fruit flies found in Northcote - after two more were found
12.3: degC in Lumsden on the 13th for NZ's coldest temperature, with Banks Peninsular hitting a country high of 29.5
25: % (only) of the Government's extra public housing, is newly built houses, not the huge increases in permanent, long-term public housing that is needed
47: cases of the measles in NZ for the year, with 28 of those in Christchurch
70,000: people went on strike last year, the highest number of people since the late eighties. Nurses, teachers, bus drivers, port, fast-food, retail, steel-workers and public servants
403,883: lifestyle blocks would be affected by the proposed Capital Gains Tax
1.2b: $ sewer pipe project in Auckland has been given the green light, to clean up beaches and waterways from stormwater flooding

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5145 (-0.0082)
EUR 0.6040 (-0.0014)
USD 0.6852 (+0.0048)
AUD 0.9663 (+0.0006)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Gordon Dryden
design of learning



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 09/03/2019

Hi, and how are you, we've had a bit more rain this week which is great except for the cricket.


Last weekend in Super Rugby, BJ and I went along to the Chiefs - hoping things couldn't get worse but they did. It was still a good game and the Kiwis played really well - at least the Kiwis playing for the Sunwolves! The Sunwolves had their first ever Super Rugby away win, beating the Chiefs 15-30. The Crusaders won despite a dodgy yellow card call from the ref, beating the Reds 22-12.
This weekend the Hurricanes had a close 25-22 win over the Highlanders after being behind near the end. The Chiefs are playing the Crusaders, so we aren't expecting good news there!
In other news, All Black captain Kieran Read announced he will be retiring from international rugby after the RWC this year and is joining Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.

The Black Caps had their breakthroughs in the first test match against Bangladesh with Trent Boult taking a five-wicket haul to lead NZ to an innings and 52-run win. The second test started yesterday but the first two days have been washed out with rain in Wellington.

The Black Sticks women have climbed to fifth in the Pro League with a 3-1 win over the United States on Friday.

The Football Ferns had their first win with a 2-0 over Argentina in Brisbane for the inaugural Cup of Nations.

Tom Walsh has won his tenth straight shot put title at the national athletics champs in Christchurch.

Robbie Manson has again beaten legend Mahe Drysdale and has been announced as getting the berth for the Olympics.
Hamish Bond announced this week that he would be returning to rowing after spending the last two years doing quite well in cycling.

In cycling, Campbell Stewart has a world cycling title with a win in the omnium at the UCI Track World Champs in Poland.

NZ News

There have been more & more stories about the government's proposed Capital Gains Tax (CGT) with most pointing to a huge tax grab. The CGT is targetting pretty much anything you can invest in: Shares, businesses, bach or holiday homes, rental properties, intellectual property (!), any homeowner who enters a relationship with another homeowner, homeowners who move overseas for a while, if you buy a new home or section or move into a rest home and can't sell your house for more than 12 months, lifestyle blocks bigger than 0.45 hectares, if you claim expenses for a home office, if you have flatmates or list a room on Air B&B. The government has tried to claim it is a tax for the wealthy but it will hit a large number of average New Zealanders. They have also been talking about exemptions for iwi - with Simon Bridges saying that if it's a bad idea for Maori, then it's a bad idea for every New Zealander.
The government has extended Sir Michael Cullen's contract and he could be paid more than $1000/day as he defends the integrity of the report.

Something else that the Tax Payers Union brought to light is NZ's very own version of the Clinton Foundation - the Helen Clark Foundation, bludging off taxpayers. So Helen Clark founded the group as an "independent" voice on policy - which is great. But they are "partnering" with AUT, which is obviously taxpayer funded. It doesn't stop there, because the Helen Clark Foundation (HCF) was able to register as a charity - something that the conservative Family First and Sensible Sentencing Trust had stripped off them. HCF is clearly a political lobby group, but it seems that now charity status depends on whether you are left leaning or not.

There was also a story this week that one of the Labour ministers threatened the funding of a voluntary animal evacuation organisation because the founder had been criticising the system and the way it operated. The Prime Minister hasn't yet made the hard call on any of her MP's so the odds are high that they will try to sweep this one under the rug.

Primary Teachers are disappointed with their latest pay offer and are looking to strike on April 3rd. I think that is when the secondary teacher will strike as well for a mega strike.

We've finally had a bit of rain around here, but this week was still dry and police arrested two people near Nelson for attempting to light a fire. The second fire in Pigeon Valley was also brought under control this week. 

The Numbers Game

1: # best beach in NZ was voted to be Mount Maunganui - I can see it getting the most votes, but I don't think it's NZ best beach!
5: $/week more in taxes is the promise for Phil Goff's re-election bid
10: tonnes of fruit has been destroyed around Auckland after eight fruit flies of two species were found
28: claims to ACC for electric scooter injuries during the 14 days when Lime eScooters were banned in Auckland & Christchurch, vs 182 the 14 days prior
100: th birthday for Dannevirk's Nanny Noa Nicholson
915: rating points for Kane Williamson officially makes him NZ's greatest cricketer ever - Sir Richard Hadlee reached 909 points for his bowling
46,474: people in a record for the Eminem concert in Wellington - and only 16 arrests
52,000: firearms have been brought into NZ over the last year 

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5227 (+0.0081)
EUR 0.6054 (+0.0080)
USD 0.6804 (+0.0007)
AUD 0.9657 (+0.0061)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Roger Douglas
design of the open market
Douglas served as a Labour Member of Parliament from 1969 to 1990. During his time as Minister of Finance (1984–1988), the New Zealand dollar was floated, corporate practices were introduced to state services, state assets were sold off, and a swathe of regulations and subsidies were removed. Douglas's economic policies were regarded as a betrayal of Labour's left-wing policy platform and were deeply unpopular with the public and ordinary party members. His supporters defended the reforms as being necessary to revive the economy, which had been tightly regulated under National's Muldoon.

Joke of the Weekender

There is nothing more awkward than the moment you realize you’re getting a double-cheek kiss.


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 02/03/2019

Welcome along, we had some cooler days and rain last weekend, and it's been cooler but still fine and sunny all week. 


The Highlanders have had their first loss of the season being beaten 24-19 by the Melbourne Rebels. Tonight BJ & I are off to the Chiefs vs the Sunwolves. Hopefully, the Chiefs do better than last week when they were thrashed by the Brumbies 54-17. Last weekend as well the Sharks beat the Blues 26-7, and the Crusaders easily beat the Hurricanes 38-22.

Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has won another title taking out the slopestyle at the US Open Snowboarding Champs in Colorado.

The Black Caps have risen to second in the ICC test cricket rankings - their highest ever ranking. Henry Nicholls has jumped to fifth-equal for batting with Kane Williamson retaining the second spot.
In the first test match against Bangladesh, Bangladesh was bowled out for 234, before NZ piled on 715/6 before declaring. Wow. That 715 included centuries for the openers 132 for Jeet Raval, and 161 for Tom Latham, while Kane Williamson hit 200 not out. Bangladesh has started well in the second innings with 70 without loss on the third day.

Waikato/BOP Magic bounced back in the ANZ premiership netball competition when they beat The Stars 51-57.

The Tall Blacks beat Lebanon 69-67 for their 10th consecutive World Cup qualifier win, led by Tom Abercrombie with 19.

NZ News

Secondary teachers have announced a possible date for the next teachers strike.

National is accusing MP Shane Jones of using the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) to buy votes in Northland after they were allocated $100m. The region of Tairawhiti in the East Coast has actually been allocated around $157m. One interesting thing that came up this week was that despite huge fanfare announcing allocations from the PGF it turns out that most of the loans haven't yet been given out - in fact, the only loan actually handed out was the $10m to Ruapehu Alpine Lifts.

The Labour Party has refused to renew the party membership of Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere, and he is considering legal action since they have given no just reason.

This week the Pigeon Valley fire was finally brought under control.

The government's Capital Gains Tax has come under fire this week. Economist Cameron Bagrie isn't convinced it would improve living standards, while political commentators claim the taxpayers are set to suffer the most, while others claim that it is going to mean defeat for the government. Another commentator pointed out that two previous elections have been lost by the Labour party pushing a CGT and how odd it was that Jacinda Ardern personally overrode her party in pushing this policy and after the tax working group didn't recommend a CGT, she sent them back to find a CGT that would work (when they'd already decided one wouldn't work). The working party chair Sir Michael Cullen claimed the family home would be exempt from the CGT - but there are exemptions from the exemptions - so essentially it's all going to be very messy. The reason why GST has worked well is because its simple. This will be a lawyers playground. 

The Numbers Game

3: Queensland fruit flies have been found in Auckland's North Shore
5: Richter scale earthquake on the East Coast
5: th person in a Measles outbreak
4,000: Big Ben pies on the road in Manukau after a truck spilt its load
73,771: $ spent by Green party co-leader and Climate Change Minister James Shaw on international travel in the last quarter
226,000: $ from the Michael J Fox Foundation for a Kiwi project tackling Parkinson's disease
55m: $ meth haul by Customs hidden in two golf carts

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5146 (-0.0098)
EUR 0.5974 (-0.0061)
USD 0.6797 (-0.0048)
AUD 0.9596 (-0.0005)

The Weekender NZer of the week

Robert Dickie
design of postal technology
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.

Joke of the Weekender

I’m trying to get into classical music, but I can’t find any original recordings. All the music is performed by cover bands.


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 23/02/2019

Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, so I don't want to spend too long on this today.


Tom Walsh won the Supreme Award at the Halberg Awards during the week. Lisa Carrington won the sportswoman of the year, and the Black Ferns Sevens won team of the year. The favourite moment was from the under-17 Women's World Cup.

In Super Rugby, the Highlanders had another last five minute try to beat the Reds 36-31.
Last weekend the Hurricanes beat the Waratahs by 20-19 when Bernard Foley missed a penalty near the end of the match. The Crusaders had a dramatic 24-22 win over a much-improved Blues outfit.

In the second ODI against Bangladesh, Martin Guptill got his second ton in a row, leading NZ to an eight-wicket win. The Black Caps completed a clean sweep with an 88 run win in the final game.

Ryan Fox has won his maiden European Tour title with a comprehensive win in the final of the World Super 6 in Perth (because we all know Perth is in Europe??).

NZ News

After news a while ago that the Kiwi (bird) originated from Madagascar, scientists have discovered that New Zealand's long-lost adzebill birds come from Madagascar as well.

Researchers at Massey University say that the risks of legal cannabis in New Zealand have been understated.

The government's Tax Working Group has released its recommendations including the harshest Captial Gains Tax of anywhere in the world. They would combine it with lower taxes for some, but would actually increase the tax rate for the majority of middle New Zealanders. A quick poll suggested that 54% of NZers wouldn't support such a tax, and it has been suggested that it will hit older Kiwis the hardest, especially those who have saved money to invest in assets, holiday baches and investment properties. 

The Numbers Game

8: years since the Christchurch earthquake that kills 185 people
70d 90h 37m: for Isaac Giesen to row solo across the Atlantic - the first Kiwi to do so
223: kg marlin caught at a Gisborne fishing competition - the catch won the $10,000 prize
1,000: less Chinese students enrolling in NZ schools - a definite signal that NZ-China relations aren't going too well
10,000: people now on the urgent queue for social housing - a 70% increase in the last year
28,000: faults found in Hamilton footpaths during a recent survey
560,000: $ paid out by ACC for electric scooter incidents in the last five months
30b: $ cost of the government's ban on oil & gas exploration by 2050 according to figures by NZIER

Finance NZ Dollar

GBP 0.5244 (-0.0080)
EUR 0.6035 (-0.0043)
USD 0.6845 (-0.0021)
AUD 0.9601 (-0.0006)

The Weekender NZer of the week

William Davidson
design of export
The $4 billion+ export food industry of today might never have happened were it not for the innovation and wisdom shown by a group of legendary settlers of the 1880’s led by William Davidson and Thomas Brydone.

Joke of the Weekender

I think it’s pretty cool how the Chinese made a language entirely out of tattoos.


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}


Subscribe to The Weekender RSS