Archive for the ‘New Zealand’ Category

No money for legal bills

March 1st, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

NBR reports:

Internet giant Kim Dotcom still owes Simpson Grierson $2 million, the High Court at Auckland has heard. 

Considering that Dotcom has enough money to stick $4.5 million of it into the Internet Party, then it must be galling to Simpson Grierson that he says he can’t pay them.

He wants $200,000 per month for living expenses

That is almost $7,000 a day. Even five fulltime staff would only cost $1,000 a day.


Deaker on Team NZ

February 28th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Murray Deaker writes:

Dalton must realise that his use-by date has been and gone. I believe he has made three fundamental errors that mean many sailors and certainly a large number of sports journalists have lost respect for him.

Dalton should never have called a lay-day during the last America’s Cup.

It should not have been his call. It should have been the sole right of Dean Barker to make that call, as skipper. Barker didn’t even know that Dalton had made the call. Dalton made the call for commercial reasons … some of the key sponsors hadn’t arrived in San Francisco and he wanted them to see the final victory. This decision, on its own, is so bad it should have led to his resignation.

Second, Dalton should never have been on the boat as a grinder. Russell Coutts pointed out the folly of this to Dalton in a public debate before the event began.

Winston Macfarlane was recognised as a much better grinder, being stronger, younger and more focused.

Third, Dalton lost his focus and some of his behaviour off the water in San Francisco, meaning he lost the respect of his team.

If Team New Zealand is to survive it will do so only if Dalton resigns. He has had his day and it is unbelievable that there is no one on the board of Team New Zealand prepared to tell him so.

The decision is one purely for Team New Zealand, except …

If this was a private syndicate, we would have no right to know anything. However, this is a team that revels in the title Team New Zealand, that raises money because it uses the name of our country and that thrives on our support, our patriotism. That comes at a cost. We need to know the facts and we need to know why the next challenge will lead to a success, not another failure.

It is apparent that the Government, John Key and Steven Joyce particularly, have not realised the depth of feeling against Team New Zealand. If the Government funds Team New Zealand under its present leadership and structure, it will pay for it at the polling booths. I could not bring myself to vote for any party supporting the current bunch.

String words, but ones shared by many.

Does Team New Zealand have a future? Unquestionably. But that future must be without the baggage of the past.

There is no question Barker’s days with Team New Zealand are over. Yet no self-respecting man would tolerate the way he has been treated.

I believe Dalton is past it and before his reputation is completely tarnished, he should resign.

Clearly the board needs new direction and strength. This can only happen with a clean-out there as well.

There should be no doubt an the minds of anyone involved in TNZ that the rank and file of New Zealand sports fans now view you as a dysfunctional, unstructured group that has hopefully had its last hand-out from the Government.

I hope they can sort themselves out, but like Deaker I don’t want any taxpayer money going towards them unless they look like a professional focused team that has a very real chance of winning the America’s Cup, and bring it back to NZ with the economic returns it would generate. At present they should be on their own.

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How far can sledging go?

February 28th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Alexander Bisley interviews Grant Elliott for the Guardian:

On the topic of Australia, New Zealand’s fellow World Cup hosts, where does Elliott stand on the controversial sledging that caused such a storm during India’s pre-World Cup visit there? “I like to see emotions in cricket. You don’t mind sledging as long as it’s not personal. If it gets to that personal side then it’s just childish, like you’re in a playground again, six years old. I don’t mind it because I think it brings out the emotions in players. I think the public want to see emotions, they want to see a battle, they want to see a fast bowler versus someone who’s trying to hit him out the ground. So I quite like those battles. If there’s a couple of verbals, like I said, if it doesn’t get personal, that’s fine. It’s just the heat of the battle. Obviously the umpires are there to make sure it doesn’t get to a level that’s unacceptable.”

David Warner was fined for his part in an ugly on-field spat with Rohit Sharma during that Tri-Series, and Elliot is keen to stress there is a line that must not be crossed. “You have to keep reminding yourself of the spirit of cricket and not take it to that level…I was brought up in the Johannesburg league system, so that was pretty hairy. I started playing league cricket when I was 14, so the abuse that we got was definitely not acceptable.”


I see sledging like caption contests. They should be funny, not nasty.

The all time best sledge and retort in my view was:

McGrath: “Why are you so fat?”

Brandes  “Because every time I fuck your wife, she gives me a biscuit.”

The entire Australian team were in hysterics at that.

A close second is:

Rod Marsh : “So how’s your wife & my kids?”

Ian Botham : “The wife is fine but the kids are retarded”

The nastiest sledge I have heard of was the teams that made choo choo sounds at Chris Cairns, referring to his sister’s death in a train crash. That is just nasty and sick.


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The Nation – 28 February 2015

February 27th, 2015 at 9:45 pm by Kokila Patel

Its boots on the ground… kind of. With the announcement that New Zealand is sending trainers to Iraq, 3News political editor Patrick Gower sits down with Prime Minister John Key to find out whether he expects retaliation, how long we’ll be there, and what the end goal is.

Then, as Australians fight abroad – and in the Liberal Party caucus –  Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Julie Bishop about Iraq and whether Tony Abbott is on his way out.

And what is it actually like on the front line? We talk to a British man fighting with Kurdish forces about what’s really needed to defeat Islamic State and what happens if he gets captured.

We’ll discuss all this and more with our panel: Victoria University political scientist Jon Johansson and public relations consultant Matthew Hooton.

The Nation on TV3, 9.30am Saturdays and 10am Sundays.

Check us out online, on Facebook or on Twitter. Tell us what you think at or text 3330.

The Nation is proudly brought to you by New Zealand on Air’s Platinum Fund.


Big drop in alcohol available for consumption

February 27th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The latest data from Stats NZ is interesting.

  • Volume of alcoholic drinks available for consumption down 10 million litres or 2%
  • Beer volume down 6.5 million litres
  • RTDs down 4.5 million litres or 7%
  • The amount of pure alcohol per adult has dropped from 9.6 litres in 2010 to 9.1 litres in 2014

So again the moral panic over how we’re drinking and abusing more alcohol is not supported by the data.


Record inflow from Australia

February 27th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar


Look at that inflow from Australia. It is almost double where it has been historically. And the outflow to Australia is at a near record low in absolute terms, and probably is at a record low as a share of the population.

In the last 12 months, the net outflow to Australia has reduced to just 2,730, or around seven people a day.

At the end of 2008, it was a massive net 98 people a day or almost 36,000 a year.


Lung cancer hits non smokers also

February 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Council of Trade Unions (CTU) president Helen Kelly has been diagnosed with lung cancer.

In an email to trade union colleagues last night, Kelly said she would be undergoing additional tests to determine the prognosis.

Hopefully it has been detected at Stage 1 where the prognosis is a lot better than at later stages. If you get diagnosed at Stage 1 the one year survival rate is 70% while at Stage 4 it is 15%.

I hope Helen is able to have successful treatment, and continue her strong advocacy for many years to come.

Family confirmed Kelly was not a smoker and had never smoked.

Around 15% of people with lung cancer have never smoked. This is why it is important even  non smokers get a check up of they have symptoms such as a persistent cough.

There is a an excellent publication on lung cancer at Pfizer, for those who want more information. Curia did some of the research for it.



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Minimising the crime

February 26th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Convicted killer and X Factor contestant Shae Brider is not asking for mercy or pity, but says his success on the talent show was simply “tearing down another wall” to escape a life he left in a prison cell years ago.

However, his victim’s mother says the show’s producers should have ensured the full facts of the crime – including his seriously assaulting three other people on the same night – were fully disclosed to audiences.

Brider, 29, was sentenced to 8 years in jail for his part in the manslaughter of Jeremy Frew, 16, in Wanganui in 2004.

He was one of four charged with Jeremy’s death after what the judge described as a “rampage of violence” where the group assaulted Daniel Grey, Greg Parnell and Robert Kerrigan on the same night.

On Tuesday, Brider’s successful X Factor audition was broadcast with a segment describing the crime.

“I met some dudes and we went to a bonfire,” the Masterton man told the show. “There was a commotion with two of them and one of them stabbed the other one and he ended up passing away.”

Brider admitted he served six years in prison but no further context was given to the story.

What Brider said on television minimised what they did that night. It sounded like he was just unlucky to be caught up in a fight between two friends.

Jeremy Frew’s mother, Donna Travers, said the family should have been notified the episode was going to air and ensured the facts were told correctly. “It’s devastating for us, it revictimises us. My sister and my daughter were watching it and they had no idea it was going to be on.

“What really got to us the most was that he said Jeremy was his friend. That was the worst thing that guy could have said. My son was scared of him and his mates and he said it on the day he was killed.”

You can only feel sorry for the family.

Brider said he moved to Masterton out of respect to his victim’s family, and prison was life-changing for him.

Apart from a driving offence, he had remained clear of convictions since his release.

Now married, he works at a Masterton service station, where he said customers supported him.

It is a very good thing that Brider has turned his life around, and like the family I have no issues with the fact he is on X-Factor. But it is unfortunate that he is underplaying what happened.


Well done Anglican Church

February 26th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An Anglican cleric who controversially told Jews last month the holocaust “should have taught them a lesson” has been stripped of his title as bishop.

Good. Kudos to the Anglican leadership for taking meaningful action, not just a slap on the hand.

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Pellett loses $250,000 on Scoop

February 25th, 2015 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

NBR reports:

Ownership changes at news and press release website Scoop mean several shareholders are short of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In December the website’s majority shareholder, Margaret Thompson (mother of Scoop publisher Alastair Thompson), exercised her power of sale under her first-ranked security, effectively wiping out all other shareholders.

Imarda co-founder and chief executive Selwyn Pellett held 20% of the shares in Scoop, with the rest being split between several shareholders including journalists Gordon Campbell, Russell Brown and Pattrick Smellie.

Asked how much he had invested in Scoop, Mr Pellett says, “How much I invested and how much it gobbled up are two different answers.”

“The truthful answer is that I don’t know, but [the total amount lost] would be approaching $200,000 to $250,000.”

He paid $250,000 or so for a 20% share in Scoop?

Scoop has reached 30% of its $30,000 fund raising goal on Pledge Me.

I would be saddened if Scoop fails. Their press release archive alone is incredibly useful. And I often read what Gordon Campbell writes, even if I rarely agree.

142 people have pledged $10,444 which is an average $70 or so. You can pledge here.

However I have doubts that donations is a sustainable model going forward. People may donate once for a good cause, but harder to get them doing it regularly.

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RIP Dame Thea Muldoon

February 25th, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Dame Thea Muldoon, wife of the late Prime Minister Sir Robert Muldoon, has died.

Dame Thea passed away peacefully yesterday, aged 87.

She was the wife of New Zealand’s 31st prime minister, who was in power from 1975 to 1984 as leader of the governing National Party.

The often-polarising Sir Rob died in 1992, aged 70.

Dame Thea, born Thea Dale Flyger, married Muldoon in 1951 and they had three children.

The Muldoons’ eldest child Barbara Williams died following a battle with motor neuron disease.

A service for Dame Thea will be held at the All Saints Chapel in the Auckland suburb of Meadowbank on Tuesday.

I don’t know a person alive who ever had a bad word to say about Dame Thea. She remained active in public life and charitable causes many years after her husband died.


Wake Up Tomorrow

February 23rd, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Wake Up Tomorrow is on for a week at Circa as part of the Fringe Festival. It is far removed from traditional theatre, as you might expect from the Fringe Festival.

Wake Up Tomorrow is primarily set on a plane and and a large cast entertains you with multiple scenes and plot threads. Some of them are related, and some are just there for fun.

The production is in collaboration with Active, a service for youth with an intellectual impairment. They provided the ideas for the plot, and make up the vast majority of the cast.

The 60 minute show was very heart warming, with many moments of laughter. The central plot was focused on whether Agent 009 would identify Spyfox before he could cause harm.

The show was a bit disjointed. While probably deliberate, some scenes did not seem to mesh well with others. This was probably a creative tension between letting the cast explore what they could do, but it did somewhat diminish the viewing experience. In the end it wasn’t so much a show with a plot, but rather a show about imagination. The Olympics scene at the end I found especially amusing, due to its ridiculousness.

All of the cast did well in bringing their vitality to the stage, and pulling off a show that both they and the audience enjoyed. Janiece Pollock, who played Bella and Kwame Williams-Accra as Spyfox were especially good.

The show also made good use of four dancers who performed dual roles in moving props on the stage, and helping move the show along.

Overall it was a cute and inspiring performance which I’m glad I got to see.

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Taxi competition working

February 23rd, 2015 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A price gap of up to $60 has emerged between taxi companies travelling from Auckland Airport to the city.

The Herald reported on Saturday that an undercover survey of four taxi companies travelling the same route found a difference of up to $40. One company, Black Cabs, charged $91.60, while the cheapest, booked through the app CabChooze, charged $50.83.

The Herald received feedback from readers after the story pointing to much cheaper deals, leading to a bigger difference of nearly $60.

A reporter yesterday took a pre-booked trip from the airport to the city with Cheap Cabs, costing only $33.

The company’s website lists flat-rate fares to and from the airport.

Another company, Discount Taxis, quoted the Herald a cash fare of $40 to travel from the airport to SkyCity.

This is a good thing that there is such a wide range of prices. Some customers are price sensitive and will want the cheapest fare. Others go for quality and will always go for Auckland Combined or Corporate Cabs.

Apps will play a major part in allowing people to choose the cab they want.


Half Mast Occasions

February 23rd, 2015 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

When King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died, some on the left complained about the fact NZ had flags at half mast to mark his death. It is of course standard procedure to do half mast for the death of any reigning head of state, and none of them complained when the same happened for Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, despite his terrible human rights record.

I got curious about how often in the last decade NZ flags have flown at half mast and why, so I asked the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. It has occurred 38 times.

I’ve split them into categories.

Death of Foreign Head of State

  1. Pope John Paul II, 2005
  2. Prince Rainer III of Monaco, 2005
  3. King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, 2005
  4. King Tupou of Tonga, 2006
  5. Samoan Head of State, 2007
  6. King Tupou V of Tonga, 2012
  7. President Chavez of Venezuela, 2013
  8. President Sata of Zambia, 2014
  9. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, 2015

Of interest is that flags were lowered in 2005 for King Fahd, and as far as I can see not a single person complained. However when there is a National Government in power, it becomes a major media story!

Death of New Zealanders

  1. David Lange 2005
  2. Rod Donald 2006
  3. Maori Queen 2006
  4. Sir Edmund Hillary 2008 (twice)
  5. NZ soldiers killed in service 2009, 2010, 2011 (x5), 2011 (x6)
  6. Pike River 2010 (twice)
  7. Christchurch Earthquake 2011, 2011, 2012
  8. Sir Paul Reeves 2011
  9. WWI centenary 2014


  1. Asia Boxing Day tsunami 2005
  2. London bombings 2005
  3. Samoa tsunami 2009

Herald queries Police action on court siding

February 23rd, 2015 at 7:28 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

Cricket followers were introduced to a new practice, court-siding, during the opening Cricket World Cup match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The attempt to stamp out this activity, named for its initial use at tennis tournaments, saw police officers, some in plain clothes, patrolling the Hagley Oval in search of spectators using lap-tops or constantly on their cellphones. Later, they revealed that “several” people caught court-siding had been interviewed and removed from the ground. This for an activity that is not actually illegal in this country.

Given that, there is every reason to question the police involvement. This has been highlighted by AUT senior law lecturer Craig Dickson. Court-siding’s only offence, he noted, was that it breached the terms and conditions of World Cup tickets, as prescribed by the International Cricket Council. On that basis, it seems reasonable to conclude that any transgressions should be left to the security staff employed by the ICC.

Absolutely. It is not a criminal matter.

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Stop offending and then you can change

February 22nd, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A transgender prisoner with a taste for arson is taking legal action against the Corrections Department to get access to hormone treatment.

Brendon Forrest, who identifies as a woman, has taken a case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal after being denied expensive medical treatment in prison.

After a policy change last year, transgender inmates can request a transfer to a different prison matching the sex they identify with, instead of that on their birth certificate.

Factors to be considered include any risk the prisoner may pose to the safety of other prisoners, and vice-versa.

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar described the situation as “nuttiness”.

“If he wants to sort himself out, or find out what gender he is that’s fine, but let it be on the outside. It shouldn’t be on the taxpayer. That’s what happens with these bush lawyers, they play merry hell with the system.”

I agree.

Forrest has a record of arson, threatening and setting a car alight with a person in it. If he stops committing crimes, then he’ll be out of prison and free to pursue treatment he desires.


The quake story you should read

February 21st, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Olivia Carville, formerly of The Press, writes of her first anniversary of the quake away from Christchurch. I won’t try to summarise it, just to say it is well worth reading.


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Courageous conversations?

February 21st, 2015 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Philip Mathews reports in The Press:

“We bent over backwards to follow the letter of the law,” says Canterbury Museum director Anthony Wright.

“I’m not surprised or offended by anti reactions at all,” Wright says. “Museums are about sparking courageous conversations and I’m proud that we do that. We don’t kowtow to undue pressure.”

Really? Courage would be showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Actually courage would be showing any depiction at all of Mohammed, even a benign one.

Between unpacking the offensive shirt in December and applying for an exemption to show it in January, the Charlie Hebdo shooting happened in Paris. Wright says that did not give him pause.

“I can’t imagine any context in which we would be doing anything on Mohammed,” he says.

Of course not.

But the hypothetical question is obvious. If one of Charlie Hebdo’s obscene drawings of Mohammed had been on a T-shirt that Zammit submitted, would the museum show it?

“You can make anything a hypothetical,” Wright says. “It’s just light years different. I was personally shocked when connections were made with things like that.”

Wright should have the courage of his convictions and spark a “courageous conversation” about the purported Quranic ban on depictions of Mohammed. Hard to argue it is not topical issue.

But of course he won’t. Because that would in fact take courage.

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A religious belief should not be forced on others by law

February 20th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Local iwi want the Christchurch City Council to stop allowing people to scatter or bury human ashes in parks and reserves but councillors are hesitant to ban the practice.

The council has been in a quandary over the issue since Mahaanui Kurataiao Ltd (MKT), a company that acts on behalf of the six runanga within Christchurch, raised concerns in a submission on the draft 2014 Parks and Reserves bylaw.

The draft bylaw included a provision for ashes to be interred or scattered in parks and reserves on the condition that written approval was first obtained from the council.


Why need permission in writing? The only requirement should be that any scattering not be done in a way that detracts from the enjoyment of others in the park – ie be considerate.

MKT asked the council to amend the bylaw to prohibit the burial or scattering of ashes of any deceased person or animal in any public park or reserve.

Cr David East, who chaired the hearings panel the council set up to consider public submissions on the bylaw, said the panel had met recently with MKT to hear more about its concerns.

“Obviously for Maori there is a cultural issue with the spreading of ashes in parks and reserves. In their view that land is then tapu and that prevents them from gathering food and doing all sorts of activities,” East said.

That is a religious view that some (not all) Maori may have. That view should not be forced on the entire population of Christchurch, and more than the views of Scientologists should be given credence in law.

No tag for this post.

What should the public health system fund?

February 20th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The letter comes after Christchurch weight loss blogger Elora Harre, posted on her Facebook page, the Shrinking Violet, that she had been refused excess skin removal surgery during a consultation with a plastic surgeon at Christchurch Hospital on Friday.

She was told she was a “perfect candidate” but the hospital lacked resources to operate, she said.

“Why is it that despite the fact we are quickly becoming an obese nation, for someone who has done what I was asked and lost the weight that could’ve cost our public health system A LOT more, that there is no resource for me?” she wrote.

She said the excess skin on her stomach, inner thighs, calves, lower back, arms, breasts and armpits caused her both psychological discomfort and physical discomfort, including a recurrent staph infection in her navel.

The post, which has attracted more than 600 “likes”, called on her thousands of followers to email Christchurch hospital general manager Pauline Clark and Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman in support of her cause.

I have some sympathy for Ms Harre’s cause. By losing weight naturally she has saved the health system money, and specifically could have been eligible for gastric bypass surgery which is very costly. It would arguably be a nice incentive that if you lose weight without surgery, you could qualify for some cheaper cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin.

However with limited resources it is hard to argue it is a priority:

Christchurch Hospital’s clinical director of plastic surgery has responded to criticism from a woman who was refused excess skin removal following her 55-kilogram weight loss.

In a letter to, Dr Barnaby Nye wrote of the challenge of delivering health care in a budget-constrained environment. …

In his letter, Nye did not wish to comment on individual cases, but offered hypothetical case studies of patients he may treat, including a woman with carpel tunnel syndrome, and a man requiring jaw reconstruction after cancer removal.

“Every one of these patients lives will be improved with surgery,” Nye wrote.

“We are tasked with drawing a threshold to treat patients in the public system and must weigh the benefits for each of these … Our budget demands a certain number of cases be done per year but with limited operating time, operating on [one person] potentially denies more than 30 [other people] the chance of treatment.”

It is hard to say that the clinicians have their priorities wrong.


A new Bain review

February 20th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Amy Adams released:

The Government has agreed to set aside all previous advice relating to David Bain’s compensation claim and conduct a fresh inquiry, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced.

In November 2011, former Canadian Supreme Court judge Justice Ian Binnie was appointed to provide advice on the claim. He completed his report in August 2012.

After being made aware of concerns raised about Justice Binnie’s report and receiving advice from the Solicitor-General, the then Justice Minister Judith Collins decided to seek a peer review by former High Court judge Dr Robert Fisher. Dr Fisher found that Justice Binnie’s report contained a number of errors and was, therefore, unsafe to rely on.

“Given these events, it’s my view that Cabinet doesn’t have the information in front of it on which it could reasonably reach a decision,” says Ms Adams.

“For that reason, the advice of both Justice Binnie and Dr Fisher will be set aside and I will appoint a new inquirer to conduct a fresh inquiry into Mr Bain’s claim.”

This was the only sensible outcome. Regardless of your personal views on the Bain case, most people will support a decision being based a proper inquiry.

I have my personal views on who did it, but I am happy for compensation to be paid or not paid, based on what an inquiry finds to be the balance of probabilities.

It is a damn shame that Binnie’s report was so flawed (see here for details from three law professors). Not necessarily the conclusion, but the reasoning. If the Binnie report had been up to scratch, then this would have been settled two years ago.

The next key step will be the identity of the person or persons asked to do the second report. I pity the person, but hope they do such a good job that it convince all but the most ardent believers on both sides (many of whom comment here!).


Go Ireland

February 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Ireland’s giant killers have struck again although captain Will Porterfield wasn’t listening to any talk of an upset.

The Irish have a history of Cricket World Cup upsets. Their hit-list has included a tie with Zimbabwe as a qualifier in 2007 before beating Pakistan and Bangladesh ahead of a stunning three-wicket final-over win against England in 2011.

But today’s pulsating four-wicket win over the West Indies in their pool B clash at Nelson’s Saxton Oval ranked among the best of them as they spectacularly added another top-tier nation to their trophy bag.

I love it when a minnow nation in a sport topples one of the top tier teams. Who would have ever thought that an Irish cricket team would beat the West Indies.

So looking forward to other matches over the next few weeks.


Would National Radio do better with more sports coverage?

February 16th, 2015 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader writes in:

National Radio doesn’t run enough sports bulletins with their news. Most other stations have a short news and sports broadcast on the hour and half-hour during the prime morning and drivetime periods. National Radio has sports (I think, in the morning when I listen) at 7am, 8am and then not until 12 noon.

 A large number of musicians are big fans of sport, especially the English Premier League. Many of the musos in Auckland play football both 11 a side and indoors. Apparently Anika Moa nearly ended up playing for the Black Ferns, something I have never heard in any newspaper article on her.

So my theory is that National Radio would hold and increase its audience if it brought in regular sports segments with all of their news broadcasts. They could do a particular angle in features that would suit their audience on the intersection of music and sport. Or politicians and sport. Or environmentalists and sport.

It’s an interesting point. New Zealand does love its sports, and National Radio could increase its coverage of sports in a way that would complement its brand. I wonder what research Radio NZ has done around this – both of current listeners and former listeners?


Where are the riots and murders?

February 16th, 2015 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The organiser of a street art festival is outraged Canterbury Museum is ignoring his request to pull a controversial T-shirt from its exhibition, which is part of the event.

Spectrum street art festival director George Shaw is distancing himself and the festival from the T-shirt. He is upset the museum ignored his early warnings to consult with stakeholders before deciding to include the garment.

T-Shirts Unfolding is a big part of the Spectrum festival and features 1000 T-shirts – including the Vestal Masturbation, which shows an image of a masturbating nun while on the reverse it has the phrase “Jesus is a c…”.

Museum director Anthony Wright is standing firm, saying the museum has no plans to ditch the shirt.

The shirt is offensive and obscene. Canterbury Museum though has the right to display it. There is no requirement in NZ not to upset adherents of a particular religion.

I note however that upset people have responded with letters of complaints and an online petition. Not riots and killings.

The question to Canterbury Museum should be whether they would allow a t-shirt that displayed Mohammed masturbating, and the phrase “Mohammed is a w***er”?


Isn’t the solution to stop the delay?

February 16th, 2015 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Betting cheats evicted from the Cricket World Cup opening match in Christchurch used multiple cellphones and laptops to relay information to people overseas willing to pay big money for the information, police say. 

A security expert said police probably knew who they were looking for before Saturday’s game began.

Police arrested “several” individuals and groups for courtsiding during the New Zealand versus Sri Lanka match at Hagley Oval.  

All were trespassed from future International Cricket Council events.

Courtsiding refers to a spectator at an event sending immediate information on game scores and activities before it is broadcast. The delay can be up to 15 seconds and allows people overseas to make spot bets.

Superintendent Sandy Manderson said yesterday that some of the cheats caught at Saturday’s game lived in New Zealand. The others were overseas visitors.  

Manderson said plainclothes police trained in spotting courtsiders, as well as members of the public, identified the men.

Why is this an offence, and why are Police spending time on it?

I’m all for cracking down on match fixing and the like. But this is not the same thing.

Trying to stop 40,000 people at a venue from communicating with the outside world is doomed to fail.

If an overseas bookie is stupid enough to keep taking bets on a game, while it is underway, then their stupidity does not need NZ Police protecting them. They could institute a rule that no bets within 30 seconds of a wicket are valid, due to the delay.

While not illegal in New Zealand, courtsiding is in breach of the terms of entry to matches at the Cricket World Cup.

So why are NZ Police involved?