Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Big Farming Story of the Week: Winter Wonderland.
You know when you hear Aucklanders, sitting in their air conditioned offices, moaning about how cold it is, there’s been a bracing start to winter.
The deep south, particularly Central Otago, has enjoyed/endured a picture-postcard past couple of weeks with hoar frosts, fogs, frozen pipes and a bonspiel to boot.
Other than the outdoor curling at the Idaburn dam, it was definitely better in than out. But better now than August or September.
Big Political Story of the Week: John Key upsets Maori.
Regardless of where you sit on Maori ownership rights to land, sea, foreshore, air, water and whatever, there can be no doubt the latest stoush over water rights has thrown a giant spanner in the works of the Mixed Ownership Model (the euphemism for the sale of state owned assets).
Myself, I prescribe to the outmoded, old fashioned and politically incorrect ideal that New Zealand belongs to all New Zealanders. I don’t buy into the grievance industry. I reckon we all own the water.
Key now finds himself between a rock and rocky foreshore on this one. He can govern without the Maori Party, but only just. He can bank on Banks, who has nowhere else to go, but who knows what the flaky Peter Dunne could do if he’s having a bad hair day.
What started life, in the mind of the PM, as a promising new share float for mum and dad investors could well be sunk by an age-old argument about race.
Big Sporting Story of the Week: Roger Federer wins Wimbledon #7.
There is something regal about Roger. He is truly the prince among modern-day athletes and he reigns on the tennis court with majestic ease.
Even Princess Catherine in the royal box was swooning, despite having to keep a stiff upper British lip about the prospects of the dour Scot Andy Murray.
Although Federer has regained the number one world ranking, he’s still arguably number three behind Djokovic and Nadal. That doesn’t prevent him displaying all the decorum of a true champion with 17 grand slam trophies in his cabinet.
There’s a bloke who’s trying desperately to add to his 14 majors who could do worse than take some lessons (of the non-golfing variety) from Roger.
Brickbat: The Sonny Bill Circus.
Like many, I think I was becoming a SBW convert. Putting aside his penchant for boxing overweight sickness beneficiaries, he was a revelation for the Chiefs and really looked the goods for the All Blacks against Ireland. He is a god-given Adonis who has made life miserable for myriads of middle age men with beer guts and man boobs.
My real problem with Sonny Bill (other than the cruel comparison when we take our shirts off) is not with him taking the money and running. He’s a professional athlete and entitled to ply his trade where he wants. My issue is the sycophantic circus that surrounds him.
It started with the (then) All Blacks coach Graham Henry chauffeuring around SBW’s dodgy manager Khoder Nasser as the NZRU rolled out the red carpet in an attempt to woo Williams. The coup de grace was the fawning display from Wayne Smith, Dave Rennie and Ian Foster at the 30-pieces-of-SBW-silver press conference.
Don’t spin me the line that you’re going back to league because of a handshake deal you made four years ago either, Sonny. Prior to that, you walked out on a signed and sealed contract, so how good is your word?
And don’t expect me to swallow the hook that you’d come back and play for the Chiefs for nothing. You won’t and you wouldn’t. Sayonara, Sushi Bill.
Bouquet: Ma’a Nonu, Dan Carter and Richie McCaw.
Last time I looked, Nonu, an All Black since 2003, had played 66 tests for the All Blacks.
From 2008 until the recent Irish series, he was always the first pick to wear the black number 12 jersey.
For most of those 66 tests he’s been outstanding, and will be again. There is life after SBW.
And doesn’t the SBW departure make you appreciate the loyalty and legacy of McCaw and Carter even more?