Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Photographs inside the Red Zone in quake devastated Christchurch...

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Monday, September 26, 2011

All Blacks praise their coach "Ted" ahead of his 100th test...

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 27: All Black coach ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A week after All Blacks captain Richie McCaw celebrated his 100th Test cap with a win over France, another All Blacks leader will reach the milestone.

The All Blacks' final pool match against Canada will be coach Graham Henry's 100th match at the helm.
'Ted' as he is affectionately known by those he has coached, took over the reins from John Mitchell in 2004, following a successful stint coaching Wales.

Since then he has fashioned an impressive record which includes five Tri Nations titles, three Grand Slams at an 85% success rate.

The milestone obviously hasn't been mentioned much in the All Blacks camp with lock Ali Williams finding out about it at a press conference today.

"Is it Ted's 100th? Oh awesome," Williams exclaimed when asked about it.

However he was quick to praise the former headmaster, who is often viewed as hard taskmaster in the media.
"He's a great man, from the outside the perception is not actually the reality, he's got a great sense of humour.

"But he's a man that shoots straight at you, he tells you know where you stand. I can't speak highly enough about him."

Halfback Piri Weepu said Henry's coaching style had changed over the years.

"Everytime you guys see him he looks grumpy, but that's just how he looks. I guess from 2004 when I first made the team to now he has mellowed a little bit and he's probably more approachable now," Weepu told reporters.

However Weepu admitted he'd had to witness a telling off from the angry headmaster at times.
"Maybe once or twice in the changing room," Weepu said with a cheeky grin.

"But when you're not playing the best, the coaches are disappointed because they expect the best from you and you're not delivering.

"His standards are high and you've gotta try and stay at those standards, we have seen him erupt a few times, luckily most times we've done pretty well."

While Canada are unlikely to provide enough of a challenge to cause a Henry eruption on Sunday, there's no doubt the All Blacks will be keen to ensure their coach's 100th Test is a memorable one.

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Richie McCaw celebrates 100 games against France...

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 23:  Richie ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife


Playing old rivals France in a World Cup clash at Eden Park is the perfect scenario to become the first All Black to win 100 caps, New Zealand captain Richie McCaw says...

The openside flanker achieved the mark at the clash in Auckland on Saturday night when the All Blacks beat France 37-17 in their Pool A match.
Richie McCaw is honoured with his 100th cap, having represented New Zealand 100 times at an international level.
Richie McCaw is honoured with his 100th cap, having represented New Zealand 100 times at an international level.

"If you were going to pick a place to play and a team to play against, the French would be one you'd pick," McCaw told reporters on Friday.

He was set to achieve the feat last week in less glamorous circumstances against lowly Japan at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium but a calf injury ruled him out after he had been selected, Reuters reports.

"Had it happened last week it still would have been pretty cool so I wasn't too worried either way, but now that it has come down to this occasion the thing now is to make sure it is a good memory," McCaw said.

McCaw has been a mainstay of the All Blacks side since making his debut against Ireland in a 40-29 win in Dublin a decade ago.

A three-time winner of the International Rugby Board player-of-the-year award, he is widely regarded as one of the finest All Blacks and his skills at the breakdown and ability to read the play have consistently been a thorn in the side of opponents.

The 30-year-old is likely to win many more caps, although he admits few matches would rival the feeling of winning his first. "It was a day I could finally call myself an All Black. Up until that point it was a dream.", Radio New Zealand

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Kiwi Scott Dixon still in Indy car contention after Japan win...

Scott DixonImage by emetsger via Flickr

Kiwi Scott Dixon still in Indy car contention after Japan win...

Scott Dixon
ROAD RACE WIN: Scott Dixon celebrates winning the Indy Japan.


Pole-sitter Scott Dixon of New Zealand won the Indy Japan today to stay in contention for the IndyCar series championship with two races to go.

The Target Chip Ganassi driver held off Will Power, who moved into the championship lead, to capture his second IndyCar win of the season.

''I've got to give a lot of credit to Team Target,'' said Dixon, who won the Honda Indy 200 last month. ''They gave me a great car with great pit stops and great fuel strategy.''

Team Penske's Power moved into first place in the standings with 542 points, 11 ahead of Dario Franchitti, who finished in eight place after being penalized for hitting Ryan Briscoe's car on the 26th lap.

Dixon, who finished 3.4375 seconds ahead of Power, is 59 points out of first place with two races to go. The final two races of the season in Kentucky and Las Vegas are on ovals.

The deadly March 11 earthquake damaged the oval at Twin Ring, so Sunday's 63-lap race was held instead on the recently repaved 14-turn, 4.8-kilometre road course.

Franchitti's chances to hold onto his lead in the overall standings were damaged when he made contact with the right-rear of Ryan Briscoe's Team Penske car entering turn one on the 26th lap.
- AP

Blogging along with Pete 

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Friday, September 16, 2011

More bad news for Canterbury and Christchurch - no new insurance available...

Gerry Brownlee at the Solray Algae to Biofuels...Image via Wikipedia

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee has returned from meetings with insurance chiefs in Europe to report that premiums will go up and that for the meantime it will not be possible to get new insurance contracts in Canterbury.

That will severely limit the ability of Cantabrians to rebuild their region.

Speaking today on TV3's "The Nation" Mr Brownlee said overseas based reinsurance companies would not write new contracts for Canterbury until there was a more settled seismic situation.

"What we're talking about is new risk, new exposure and expansion of various insurers' books, "he said.
"Insurance companies in New Zealand are continuing to cover their clients, and in many parts of New Zealand they're still expanding their book effectively.

"In Christchurch they're sticking with their clients.

"So if you're going out of a red zone into a new house somewhere, or building a new house, then the insurance company will stick with you through that process.

"Where it gets a little difficult is the lack of willingness at the moment to expand the book to write new covers, particularly involving the earthquake in Christchurch.

"Now that will be a transitory period I think."

But Mr Brownlee said he could not say when that situation might change.

And he also said that his attendance at a major insurance conference in Monte Carlo had convinced him New Zealand insurance premiums would have to go up.

"The reinsurers are saying premiums not just in New Zealand but everywhere, have to go up because it's been such a bad 12 month," he said.

"New Zealand's been under-priced for a fair period of time, and we would expect to see some price rise. "

Just when will the Canterbury region get a fair go?
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

New $6 million Hutt Park Stadium has opened

Hutt Park
Maarten Holl
Hutt Indoor Sports Centre, Hutt Park, Seaview, has been developed on a shoestring to give Hutt residents easy access to sports facilities.


Where Wellington City Council has spent nearly $47 million on its new Kilbirnie Sports Centre, Hutt Valley residents have got a new indoor sports centre at no cost to ratepayers.

The new seven court stadium at Hutt Park, which has just opened without fanfare, is over half the size of the Kilbirnie but it has only cost $6m says developer Mukesh Dayal.

Mr Dayal, director of Wellington Indoor Sports and Hutt Indoor Sports, said it was built at a cost so that it could pay its way as a private venture.

Where the Kilbirnie centre had sprung wooden floors for basketball, netball and volleyball the Hutt Park stadium had artificial turf flooring and was set up for indoor netball, cricket and soccer.

"The comparison is not a true reflection. Where the $47m [spent at Kilbirnie] was probably overkill at lot of that was down to its design and they've gone for top of the line, we've had to make a return and make it work for us."

The Hutt Park stadium, built to be self-funding with costs covered by those who hire its courts, includes a large specially-designed Junglerama children's play area, a cafe and bar.

Construction started in January and the complex opened for business last week - an official opening is scheduled to take place once the carpark is complete.

Mr Dayal praised Hutt City Council for its encouragement and assistance. It had offered leased land on the former Hutt Park Raceway and it been very helpful by putting in a carpark.

The developer said he was now looking at the possibility of putting in a rink in a second stage development at Hutt Park where he plans to build another 2500sqm multi-purpose sports stadium next to the new centre.

Architect Geoffrey Meyer said the Hutt centre had taken just eight months to build and incorporated natural ventilation and lighting to reduce running costs. The building was insulated so it did not get too cold in winter or too hot in summer.

He said the centre was designed to meet local needs, providing sports and recreation facilities for schools and businesses in the area.

Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace said the new complex was a real asset for the city with its quality courts, a fantastic children's area and cafe.

Acknowledgements: - The Dominion Post
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sick of a child molester and the Judge who claimed he was talented..

I have to write about the following, even if it did happen down in my neck of the woods.

A Judge has cited a well-known comedians talent as one of the reasons she discharged him without conviction despite him pleading guilty to a sex act on a child - his four year old daughter.

In weighing the offence against the effect of a conviction the Judge said the comedian and entertainer had already paid a high price with the loss of his family and career, and the case was unusual,"And his talent - he's a talented New Zealander. he makes people laugh, and laughter's an incredible medicine that we all need a lot of."

I'm not laughing, New Zealand is not laughing, and I bet most of the world will not be laughing at an adult man who drank too much and interfered with his four year old daughter. He thought his daughter was his wife. What? He got into bed, and suddenly his wife said what are you doing? He had taken the girls pyjamas and pull-up nappies off and kissed her.
:no::##The Judge has imposed permanent name suppression. The Judge is a joke!

Now there is doubt cast on the industry, comedians and entertainers. Who is it, people are asking?

A Justice campaigner,Garth McVicar said there is one law for them and one law for us. He also said, "We're talking about a child. I can't think of a much worse act. This sets a precedent. Its disgraceful."

He said he had no time for the "excuse mentality" and saying, "I was drunk at the time.
A doctors report said the man had "odd" incidents in the past after drinking, and waking up without knowledge of what he had done.

If he had been just a poorly educated rubbish collector without any talent, I imagine the Judge would have jailed him. This makes me bloody sick! Sick of him and that excuse for a Judge!!

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Labour's youth policy will dip into dole money...

Labour youth skills and employment package unveiled today will cut spending on the dole and redirect millions to fund apprenticeships.

Labour will reprioritise $80 million from existing schemes, with $58 million going to the apprenticeship subsidy instead of dole payments.

It will be funded out of revenue from Labour's tax plan.

The party proposes converting dole payments into a $8700 subsidy to fund 9000 additional apprenticeship places. Dole payments would be converted into incentives for employers to take on additional apprentices.
The package will cost $251 million over four years, starting before young people leave school and Labour claims it will see teens earning or learning within three years.

Leader Phil Goff said youth unemployment is too high.

"Our young people represent more of our total unemployment numbers than in any other OECD country," he said.

"This is a ticking time-bomb and has to be fixed. These kids are our future but at the moment they are being left on the scrapheap."

He said if something is not done now the New Zealand Institute estimates the cost of disengaged youth is $900 million a year.

Goff said Labour will also adopt ideas from the old Maori Trade training programme and apply them to Maori and Pasifika communities. The party also aims to build on proven programmes such as Gateway, the youth transition service, tertiary high schools and trades academies, and the Conservation Corps.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister John Key unveiled welfare reforms which take a hard line on unemployed youth and solo parents who do nothing to find a job.

National's policy would involve cash bonuses paid to private organisations and putting controls on teenage beneficiaries in terms of how they can spend their welfare money, while also offer them more mentoring and support to get back into work.

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern said Key is targeting a small group of unemployed and ignoring the majority.
She said he has targeted 1600 young people rather the other 58,000 people who are not in jobs, education or training.

Key responded by saying New Zealand has a welfare system that is not sustainable. National doesn't know how to manage or administer a social welfare system.

National doesn't have a youth policy or an employment creation policy - just inane and poorly worked  anti- welfare policies. National doesn't have a clue to be fair!

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