Archive for August, 2009

Mr Pink or Mr Blonde?

Kevin Rudd, resplendent in his All Blacks tie, looking a bit like he’s come straight from the set of a Tarantino movie.

John Key’s enjoyed his trip to Aus hasn’t he? It’s been very productive by the sounds of it.

I tell you what John: you can get rid of the border controls, have a single currency, a single market, and we’ll even buy your friggin’ apples.

But in return, we get your rugby team. Maybe one or two of the Wallabies might get a guernsey for the AUS/NZ team (the All Golds?), but we’ll just merge the squads and pick from the best, okay?

And we also get Dan Vettori and Jesse Ryder. We’d also take Jacob Oram but we already have one injury-prone over-rated all-rounder.

Done deal.

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Best of Kiwis vs Aussies from FotC

Another lazy Friday YouTube. This is becoming a trend

All the best bits of Aussie baiting from the first season of Flight of the Conchords:

Best bits from the second season are here (these probably aren’t as good though).

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The Minority Sports Report: Ice Hockey

Forget the rugby, this is the biggest sporting event in New Zealand this weekend (via the sporting nuts over at Sportsfreak):

Ice Hockey: Ice Blacks vs Australia

The life of being an advocate for a minority sport in New Zealand isn’t always an easy one. The most common response to “Oh, I can’t, I’ve got ice hockey tonight” seems to be “oh, you can play that here in New Zealand?”

That’s why this weekend’s double-header test match between Australia and New Zealand is big. Super big. It’s not just the fact that Australia is the traditional rival for New Zealand in so many sports (in ice hockey Australia was one of the first teams New Zealand played in international competition, a complete whitewash that finished up 58-0 to Australia in 1987, a score of astounding proportions in the sport where scores of more than 10 are very unusual. The two teams were much closer when they played in the Division II World Champs in Australia in 2008 when the score was 4-2 to Australia).

Did anyone know that Australia or New Zealand even had an ice hockey team?

Ever met an ice hockey player?

Nup, me either.

And what the heck happened in 1987? Did the Might Ducks Ice Blacks forget to come back on after the first period?

Still, I dunno about anyone else, but I’ll be keeping a close eye on the results. Nothing better than adding another entry into the list of sporting event Australia can claim ascendancy over Kiwis at, right?

And I would just like to note, for the record, that New Zealand has SIGNIFICANTLY more snow and ice than Australia.

Just saying.

Is there an equivalent of bowling underarm in ice hockey?

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Right hand rule not the right rule

Oh yes.

This has made my day.

Finally, sense might prevail with New Zealand’s insane right-hand-turn rule.

Right-hand rule not the right rule

The notorious right hand rule should be consigned to the dustbin as a bad idea and if Australia can do it, so can we, says the Automobile Association.

New Zealand is the only country in the world with the right hand rule – if cars are turning they give way to all traffic not turning, and in all other situations, give way to traffic crossing or approaching from the right.

And just as I’ve said before:

Mr Noon said the rule was confusing for the more than 1 million tourists that visited New Zealand each year and New Zealanders travelling all over the planet.

The rule was responsible for a lot of side impact accidents, where the driver was not well protected.

One newspaper survey showed 20 percent of drivers did not observe it, he said.

“In most cases he who is bravest goes first and gets across.”, said Stephen Joyce

Absolutely true. I’ve found this to be even more the case since purchasing a vehicle with a bull-bar. Now I always have right of way.

Transport Minister Stephen Joyce, what a man. A man of reason, insight, common sense, and logic.

The status-quo is utter, complete chaos, and must be ended.

If anyone still need convincing, see my scientific explanation from a while back.

Well done to the AA (equivalent to RACV etc, not the alcoholics’ group) and Stephen Joyce.

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Right hand rule not the right rule – AA

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The Tasman’s getting smaller

Some good developments regarding trans-Tasman travel in the last couple of days:

Border deal to cut airfares

Prime Minister John Key will this week announce a significant breakthrough in his drive to turn international trans-Tasman flights into domestic ones, a move expected t cut airfares and reduce travel times.

And as reported from the other side of the ditch:

Cheap NZ flights as Tasman union looms

FLYING from Australia to New Zealand will become almost as cheap and easy as domestic travel under a plan to bring the two countries a step closer to a common border.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and NZ Prime Minister John Key will this Thursday announce new efforts to streamline trans-Tasman travel, potentially scrapping departure taxes, duplication of quarantine, customs and security checks and allowing planes to land at domestic terminals.

All sounds pretty positive, and as our glorious manager-in-chief says, it’s “moving into decision-making territory”. That can only mean it’s heading into the final committee and ready for cost-benefit analysis, risk-assessment, and an ROI evaluation. All in all, it’ll probably be in place by 2015.

But anyway, anything to make flights cheaper is fine by me. I might even get to pop over to see a couple of footy matches next year if this is not all completely speculative.

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Some facts about New Zealand

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Is NZ a no-win nation?

I found this article from Sunday interesting:

Is NZ a no-win nation?

When the All Blacks, the country’s global ambassador embodying all the values New Zealanders hold dear, continually implode when the eyes of the world are watching, it hints at there being some kind of fragility in the national psyche.

Now I’m far from an expert on such things, unlike others, but these were my initial reactions:

  • There’s more to life than the form of the All Blacks. Hard to believe I know.
  • Nobody much in Australia, apart from alumni public school boys, gives a fig about the Wallabies, apart from at World Cup time. We love a good World Cup, even in tiddlywinks. And we’d better friggin’ win it.
  • Be careful what you wish for. The endless over the top “aren’t we shit hot” attitude that Aussies carry on with when they win something is cringe-worthy. Even before they yobs start the “Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!” business. Olympic swimming events are the worst.
  • Artistic types interviewed for articles like this always babble on about nobody being aware of the weirdo art house film producers that the general public simply MUST be aware of. They can be safely ignored.
  • Measuring your place in the world based on rugby World Cup results is insane. Rugby is now a fully-fledged professional sport. Sport is now big business. The World Cup’s structure means that the “best” team doesn’t necessarily win. Get over it.
  • However, don’t greet the useless turds at the airport with cheering etc, for god’s sake.
  • Something does have to be done about the Black Caps. Vettori’s far to placid to captain an international cricket team (though he does however happen to be one of the best offies in the world who actually BOWLS). They haven’t been the same since Stephen Fleming retired. He had a bit of that bad-arsed bastard streak in him, I think.
  • Are New Zealanders simply too well mannered and friendly to win at sport? I’m thinking this is possible the case. It’s okay to offend people – look where it’s got the Aussie cricket team.
  • There’s more to life than the form of the All Blacks. Hard to believe I know.
  • Stop being such sad-sacks. Isn’t the best mountain biking in the world enough for you people?

Thoughts?

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Thunderstruck

As you’ve no doubt heard, Australia’s biggest rock band, AC/DC, are coming to New Zealand early in 2010. And their concerts have sold out in record time, which frankly surprises me a bit.

I mean, their music isn’t really anything remotely like anything any of the Finns have done, now is it?

Would they play AC/DC is an elevator, dentist’s waiting room, or supermarket?

Exactly.

acd04b0716-ac-dc-5x7

Convict rock: Australia's finest.

Sadly I’m probably not going to see them, as it’s a minimum 4.5 hour drive and I’m a lazy git, but I should probably give myself a kick up the date and buy some tickets (there are still some available). I mean look at the old geezers; they’re not going to be shaking things all night long for a heck of a lot longer, now are they?

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