Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kiwi three year old Sangster wins Victoria Derby at Flemington

Young Cambridge trainer Trent Busuttin stole the spotlight on one of Australasia's biggest race-days with the win by his stable star, Sangster, in the A$1.5 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington yesterday.
Sangster held off Induna by a head while Sabrage finished third in the three-year-old classic.
Busuttin, who turned 32 on Tuesday, said the Derby winning result was "just fantastic - a dream come true."
"We were three deep the whole way and I though we were no hope at the 600 metres. Hughie (Bowman, jockey) said before race that he didn't want to hit the front until the 200 metre but he was in front at the home turn," Busuttin said.
"We planned for this day for a long time and to his credit the horse delivered. We had a few hiccups along the way but he's got the race that counted."
Busuttin trains Sangster for a syndicate which paid $19,000 for him at the Karaka ready-to-run sale last November.
'He was a big skinny horse but we gelded him and he filled out and he showed he could gallop from day one.'
Busuttin brought Sangster to Sydney in August to experience Australian racing. He won one race then was placed three times in four runs leading up to Saturday's Derby.
Busuttin grew up with racing in his blood. His father, Paddy, is currently training in Asia and has been one of New Zealand's leading trainers for many years. His best horse was top stayer Castletown which won three consecutive Wellington Cups over the then distance of 3200 metres.

The historic Melbourne Cup also over 3200 metres will be held on the next day of the Flemington spring meeting - the second Tuesday in November. Another Kiwi? probably not, but it would be a good result.






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Friday, October 28, 2011

Maori Rugby League at Mt Smart 2010...

16 October 2010. New Zealand Maori vs England

New Zealand Māori Rugby League Events

NZMRL vs England - Pregame mix and mingle

Download flyer (PDF - 218kbs)

Download NZMRL Tournament Officials & Rules (PDF - 18kbs)
Where: Rotorua - Puketawhero Park
When: 22 – 24 October 2010
Grades: Wahine Toa, Waka (Mens), Rohe (Mens)
Entry Fee: $1,500 (plus GST) Per team
Entries Close: Monday 18 October
Powhiri: Tangatarua Marae, Waiariki Polytechnic, Rotorua
Please contact John Devonshire or Titia Graham for:
  • registration forms.
  • verification of membership to NZMRL for funding purposes. NOTE: we will do this once we receive your completed registration form.
  • Any other queries.

24 October
NSW Under 16 vs NZ Maori Under 17 Tournament team, Rotorua
Under 17 grade NZMRL Tournament team 2010:
1. Mitchell RobertsCounties – Manukau
2. Isaac RobinsonTaranaki
3. Pride Petterson - Robati Te Aroha
4. Chavez Glozier Tamaki Makaurau
5. Phoenix Mamaia Counties Manukau
6. Reagan HaikaRaukawa
7. Carlos HoteneTamaki Makaurau
8. Laquail Neilson Counties – Manukau
9. Daniel WalkerTe Aroha
10. Rangikino PaulTamaki Makaurau
11. Kouma SamsonTamaki Makaurau
12. Tamatererewa KoopuWaikato
13. Tyla HepiCounties Manukau
14. Trent BishopTamaki Makaurau
15. Morgan Timoti – CookTamaki Makaurau
16. Aaron CouttsTaranaki
17. Brook WateneTe Aorha
CoachKeith Hanley
ManagerMarama Puketapu
TrainerDave Robinson
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Plans being finalised for bringing out bodies from Pike River mine

GREYMOUTH, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Grievin...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Plans are being finalised for the way the recovery of bodies from the Pike River mine will be handled once the mine is finally re-entered.

Pike River Coal, now under statutory management, is working on a plan to get back into the mine where 29 men died last November in the first tragic explosion..

Neville Rockhouse, whose son Ben died in the mine, says the company's plans are progressing well, with risk assesment drilling now being done.

He says at the latest meeting it was determined that if bodies are found, they will be draped in a New Zealand flag and carried out by Mines Rescue.

Mr Rockhouse says planning has also begun for commemorating the anniversary of the disaster.
He says the families will visit the mine on the morning of 19 November and a minute's silence will be held in Greymouth at 3.42 in the afternoon, the time of the first explosion.

The NZ public has been concerned about the removal of the bodies from the mine. The Government gave a guarantee soon after the tragedy.

Ackowledgements: © 2011, Radio New Zealand
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Turkey asks NZ for help in quake...

John Key, leader of the New Zealand National PartyImage via Wikipedia

The Prime Minister's office has confirmed it has now received a request for help from Turkey, following its devastating earthquake.

It says the Government is currently working out the best way to provide assistance, and to make sure it arrives in Turkey as fast as possible.

John Key said earlier on Wednesday New Zealand had offered a search team and although Turkey had not yet taken up the offer, the team was on standby.

At least 459 people died in the magnitude 7.2 quake.

The BBC reports Turkey has substantial experience of delivering relief after quakes and had, until now, rejected help.

But officials now say they are in urgent need of housing, with 2262 homes destroyed.
The death toll from the disaster stands at 459 people, with 1352 others injured.
A two-week old baby rescued alive in Ercis.
A two-week old baby rescued alive in Ercis.

Emergency workers have rescued a 27-year-old woman alive, nearly three days after she was trapped in a collapsed building.

Rescuers also pulled a two-week-old baby girl and her mother and grandmother alive from under a collapsed building two days after the quake.

NZ's help would be appropriate.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

French reaction to AB's haka land's them in hot water...

IRC Rugby World Cup 2011 iPhone WallpaperImage by rob.masefield via FlickrCropped image of England rugby celebrations.Image via Wikipedia

France's advance on the haka has landed the team in hot water. Photo / Getty Images Expand

France's advance on the haka has landed the team in hot water. Photo / Getty Images

The British media have ridiculed the decision of the IRB to fine the French rugby team $5000 for advancing on the All Blacks haka before Sunday's Rugby World Cup final.

Eric Janssen of The Telegraph labelled the French fine "an absolute lot of nonsense".
"France made a fantastic gesture, and the All Blacks, I have no doubt, would have respected that acceptance of the challenge. It's been a great tournament - despite some controversies - and it certainly did not deserve this shameful ending. Pull your heads in, IRB. What a petty, pedantic response by the blazers."

The website ran a poll posing the question: should teams be allowed to challenge the haka? The overwhelming majority (over 90 per cent) supported the idea of a challenge.

The Guardian's Barney Ronay has described the haka as a "hot potato", while criticising the IRB's decision to fine the French for encroaching past Eden Park's halfway mark.

"It seems that the haka, the world's most famous sporting war dance, is still an unapproachably hot potato: albeit the most tediously touchy of hot potatoes, a potato warmed by its own portable fug of cultural confrontationalism," Ronay wrote.

He suggested the IRB might view the only appropriate response to the haka as standing "looking vaguely interested, like bum-bagged tourists on a stroll around the Maori museum rugby experience".

"Fining France simply for walking along in a line, while opposite them their opponents are miming acts of terrible corporeal violence, just makes the whole spectacle look a little silly."

The Daily Mail called the punishment a "final insult" to the French, while former All Black Alan "AJ" Whetton told the Sydney Morning Herald it was another sign of the IRB getting "a wee bit too pedantic".

"There's something called protocol but sometimes there's also something called common sense," he told the newspaper. "What bearing did it have on the game? Absolutely nothing. It was bloody irrelevant. There was no harm done in my point of view and I thought it added a bit of spice, really."
- Herald Online
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All Blacks groin curse continues...

New Zealand national rugby union teamImage via WikipediaWELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Colin...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

  • Quantcast


    :'(All Black groin curse continues: Carter, Slade ...and now Weepu
    Piri Weepu. Photo / Getty Images
  • Wondering what went wrong with All Black Piri Weepu's goalkicking in the Rugby World Cup final on Sunday night?

  • Look no further than the groin curse which has hit the world champions over the past six weeks.

  • It's been revealed Weepu injured his groin in warm-ups before Sunday's final, but decided to play anyway.

  • First-five eighths Daniel Carter and Colin Slade had already been invalided out of the tournament with groin injuries that needed surgery.

  • Weepu told Fairfax Media, while his injury wasn't severe it did partly explain his uncharacteristically poor performance in the final, when he was subbed after 50 minutes.

  • "I wasn't ready to come off. I had a tweak of my groin before the game started and I guess the coaches were only looking out for what was best for the team. If that means taking someone off because they're not 100 per cent, you're doing it for the team's cause and obviously it worked out."

  • Weepu's form had seen him shortlisted as one of six players for the IRB's Player of the Year award.

  • "I had doubts in my mind that if I did kick the ball I'd definitely be pulling it and wouldn't be able to run around for the amount of time that I did."

  • He told Fairfax the last half hour of the game was tough to watch from the bench.
    "Especially when they [France] had that penalty shot at goal. Fingers crossed the whole time. Then the last four minutes of the game some of us were on our knees on the sideline, holding hands, just praying to the good Lord above that he answers our prayers and obviously he did that."

  • He said extra media attention after his performance against Argentina, when his goalkicking carried the All Blacks to victory in their quarter final after both Carter and Slade had gone down, also started to affect his performance.
  • "It can get quite daunting. You've just got to manage to cope with that and put all that energy into a good cause. I tried to do that [in the final], but obviously I didn't play the best game of my career, but I'm still happy we could come away with the win."

  • Acknowledgements: NZ Herald
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Friday, October 21, 2011

CHCH EQ repairs: Fitzgerald Ave wall repair progressing well...

View from Sugar-Loaf tower towards Christchurc...Image via WikipediaA view of part of Christchurch's central busin...Image via WikipediaCHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 18:  Austral...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeChristchurch City (New Zealand) from the Port ...Image via WikipediaAvon River at Victoria Square, Christchurch.Image via Wikipedia

Christchurch EQ: Fitzgerald Ave wall repair progressing well: New northbound lanes to open April 2012

A piling rig is being used to insert the steel casings for the stone columns. Image supplied. The following update was posted on the Stronger Christchurch blog on Friday, October 21st, 2011.
Roads are something no one really notices until things go wrong. Fitzgerald Avenue – one of Christchurch’s ‘four avenues’ – was extensively damaged in February’s earthquake. The northbound lane suffered severe cracking up to two metres deep along the Avon River. Fortunately, the southbound lane only suffered minor damage and has been able to remain open, enabling repairs to occur while keeping traffic flowing.

The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team is using an innovative technique to stabilise the ground and adjacent riverside retaining wall that supports the road. Five hundred stone columns, each 600 millimetres in diameter, are being inserted into the ground to a depth of ten metres over a 200 metre length of the road.

The stone columns are constructed by pushing a steel casing into the ground. The casing is then filled with gravel and removed leaving the densified gravel behind. This makes the surrounding ground denser, stronger and improves ground water drainage. In the event of an earthquake the improved ground helps prevent liquefaction and supports structures.

Reconstruction of the riverside retaining wall will commence once the stone columns are completed. The road surface will then be reinstated. Damaged water and wastewater lines will also be repaired and a new footpath constructed. Finally, once the northbound lane has reopened, the southbound lane will be reconstructed.

Progress is tracking well, with 370 of 550 stone columns completed. Around 50 additional columns will need to be added to the original design due to the poor nature of a section of ground and this may result in a slight delay. The Downer team, who is placing the stone column piles remains dedicated to opening this section of Fitzgerald Avenue as quickly as possible. To do this the team has extended their working hours to 10pm each evening. Downer is aiming to open the road where they are currently working (all going well) by April 2012 subject to weather and construction. Once this section of work is completed there may be more work on Fitzgerald Avenue in the future.

Wednesday’s weather (on 19th October, 2011) didn’t help progress. A combination of high rainfall and high tides flooded the whole site as it is much lower than the proposed road level, causing works to be abandoned for the day. Concrete retaining wall panels being produced locally here in Christchurch are well underway and Downer will commence the construction of the retaining wall within 2 weeks.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Rena oil spill clean-up has cost NZ$4 million so far...

TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 11:  Volunteer...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
The clean-up had so far cost around $4 million. Photo / APNZ Expand

The clean-up had so far cost around $4 million. Photo / APNZ

Calm weather conditions this morning are forecast to deteriorate as pumping operations continue on the stricken cargo ship Rena.

Twenty-one tonnes of oil has been pumped off the vessel, stranded on the Astrolabe Reef off Tauranga, overnight after operations got underway around 6.30pm, Maritime New Zealand Salvage Unit head Bruce Anderson said
"Considering that the oil is the consistency of marmite and has to be pushed through 150m of hose, this represents an excellent effort.

"Night time operations have given us additional lead time, particularly given the expected change in weather conditions forecast for later today.

"Every bit of oil that is removed from the damaged vessel reduces the risk of further oil spilling into the environment."

Weather conditions this morning are excellent, he said, with calm seas and no wind, although they are anticipated to change later today.

Meanwhile clean-up crews will continue to look for oil along the region's coastline today.

"We will be focusing on scientific monitoring and surveillance of further patches of oil that come ashore, and will continue to send teams out to pick up oil as needed," national on scene Commander Nick Quinn said.
As of last night, 181 live birds were being treated at the Oiled Wildlife Recovery Centre.
Three fur seals are also in care. About 1,250 dead birds have been recovered to date.

Most beaches remain closed and people are urged not to collect or eat any shellfish in the region. While the main beach at Mt Maunganui is open down to Leisure Island, there is no swimming at all beaches, Mr Quinn said
"We will be continuing to assess the state of local beaches, and if it is safe do so, with no threat to public health, we may look to re-open some beaches over the coming days.

"In the meantime, we ask people to please keep off any closed beaches and to continue to report any sign of fresh oil or affected wildlife to us."

Around 460 volunteers assisted yesterday with beach clean ups at Mount Maunganui, Papamoa, and Maketu, while a further 260 volunteers from Opotiki to East Cape have been trained and are ready to launch into action. A further 30 volunteers were also trained at Bowentown yesterday.

"The response from the people of the Bay of Plenty has been nothing short of amazing," Mr Quinn said.
"As of this morning, almost 5,500 volunteer registrations have been received, which is fantastic."

There are three clean-up sessions planned for today at 1.30pm, two at Papamoa (starting from the Papamoa Surf Club and Taylor Reserve) and one at Mount Maunganui (Clyde Street Beach Access).
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The latest update from the Rena oil spill disaster in Bay of Plenty

TAURANGA, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 11:  Volunteer...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
 Rena oil disaster: latest updates:
The captain of the stricken cargo ship Rena is facing charges. A second officer is also facing charges under the Maritime Act...

Rena disaster: what you need to know:

* Fallen shipping containers from the stricken ship Rena begun washing up on Mt Maunganui beach overnight and this morning

* Maritime New Zealand has closed Mount Maunganui Beach until the contents and hazardous nature of at least four containers can be determined

* A second officer charged over his role in the Rena disaster has appeared in Tauranga District Court this morning

* Clean up crews have collected 55 tonnes of solid waste and five tonnes of liquid waste from 17 kilometres of shoreline

* Bay of Plenty residents living near beaches have been warned to keep their windows shut. Latest public health information available here

* Environmental response teams have recovered 200 dead birds and are asking the public to report any further dead birds to authorities

A number of containers floating in the water around the ship last night appeared to contain freeze dried coffee and beef, as well as deer skins and burger patties, the New Zealand Herald reports.

So far the container ship has leaked at least 380 tonnes of fuel oil into the sea.

It's been reported that 88 containers have fallen into the sea.

A large crack running around the ship's hull was spotted yesterday which is slowly widening in heavy seas.
Officials have said it's only a matter of time before the vessel splits in two.

The ship reportedly settled onto the Astrolabe Reef overnight, but was expected to begin moving with the next high tide at 9am.

More charges are likely to be laid against the captain, whose identity has been suppressed because of fears of a public backlash.

A second officer, who was in charge of the watch when the ship ran into the reef, has appeared in court charged with operating a vessel in a manner causing unnecessary danger or risk.

The charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000 or a maximum jail term of 12 months.

He has been remanded on bail until October 19 and is on the same bail conditions as the captain of the ship — he has surrendered his passport and must not associate with the captain.

The Rena's captain appeared in Tauranga District Court on the same charge yesterday and was remanded until next Wednesday.

It is still unconfirmed whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Police have urged people not to interfere with any shipping containers that may wash ashore from the Rena.

"We are asking members of the public to call 0800 OIL SPILL to notify authorities of the location of any containers so that they can be assessed by police and fire service and recovered by the appropriate people," Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair said.

"The containers remain the property of the original owners or insurers.

"People should not attempt to open any of the containers, as some of them may contain hazardous material.

"It is an offence to attempt to open or retrieve any of the containers and anyone found attempting to interfere with the containers will be dealt with by police.

This report is probably out of date by now.


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