New Zealand News Bulletin March 25, 2018

“INTRODUCING JOHN ROYAL” – My name is John Maori Royal and I moved to Long Island NY, after marrying New York attorney Cara Morsello in 1993. Like many of us Kiwi kids, I grew up on our 300 acre farm which also includes a half mile of coast line. A small coastal fishing and farming village called Kaiaua, located 50 miles south east of Auckland. It is so rural even today the nearest general store is still 3 miles north and 10 miles south of the farm. As most of you already know, a farm kid’s life begins around 6am with the daily round up of cows for milking. At about 7:30am after my morning chores, I would change my farm clothes and walk a half mile down our private road to the main road to catch the bus at 8am for the 10 mile ride to Kaiaua school.  Before I caught the bus each morning, I would hang my gumboots upside down on a fence post to keep them dry. Most kids went barefoot to school even in winter. My free time was spent playing backyard rugby, tramping in the bush and harvesting or digging clams (pipi & tuatau) mussels, oysters and sea urchin. Fishing for snapper, whitebait and eels on a balmy summer afternoon was the life for a country kid. Those were indeed the happiest of times.

Fast forward to 2018, I have 3 American born kids or A-Maori-Cans as I call them. Franesca is a economics and a Public Policy major at Hunter College in NYC and Nicky is an art student at FIT and Gian is a junior in high school. I am in ground operations (30 years) and the only New Zealander working at any of the New York City Airports. After retiring from club rugby, I got the itch to give back to the game and I started the first youth rugby program on Long Island in 2003. Hundreds of kids have gone through my program and one player made it all the way as an All American player for the USA u16’s team.  My youth rugby team is called the Long Island Colts, open to all kids and ages.

 My latest rugby coaching project is with Long Island University Post. I was attracted to the coaching job because women’s rugby is an official NCAA sport and it shows how much rugby has grown in the USA. As head coach I am responsible for all aspects of the women’s rugby program, including: rugby scholarships and recruitment of qualified student-athletes. My latest prospective recruit is a female rugby player from Southland in 2019, stay tuned…

 John can be contacted at JMRoyal@msn.com

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“CONVERSATION STARTER” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding cake is being baked at the Violet Bakery in East London’s Hackney. The shop is owned by Californian pastry chef Claire Ptak and the head baker is Izaak Adams who hails from Timaru.

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ANZAC DAY 2018” – PLEASE NOTE – The dawn service will be held at the Vietnam War Memorial  – 55 Water St, New York, NY 10041 on Wednesday April 25th.  It is also worth noting that the 12th of October 1917 was New Zealand’s darkest day when 846 young New Zealander’s were killed in the Battle of  Passchendaele in Belgium, with many more to die over the coming days from the wounds received on this one day. By the end of the day the total number of casualties, the wounded, the dead and the missing was 2,740. It took two and a half days to clear the battlefield of the dead and injured.

The Passchendaele Society is now proud to announce the release of our Video Documentary of the story of Nga pua mahara – the Passchendaele Centennial Memorial & Garden from conception through to completion and opening on 12th October 2017. Please click on the link below to view the documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5naiNI_ASN8

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“CONGRATULATIONS FELLOW NZer ANDREW BRITT” – Originally from Christchurch Andrew is an assistant coach of New York’s first professional rugby team (Rugby United New York – RUNY) and helped guide them to a convincing win over Boston on Saturday night at Gaelic Park in the Bronx. The team had great crowd support with over 1000 attendees including many fellow NZer’s and their children. Roll on next year when RUNY will be part of the Major League Rugby competition. More information here –http://www.rugbyunitedny.com/

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“THE NEW ALLBIRDS SNEAKER…..TREE” – This new sneaker called Tree, which is woven largely out of fibre made from eucalyptus pulp. The ‘Tree’ shoe has laces made from recycled plastic bottles, an insole derived from castor beans, and eyelets based on plant starch. To create the eucalyptus fabric, wood pulp is dissolved in a nontoxic bath that turns it into tufts of downy fibre, called Tencel. For more information, check out this story from the latest New Yorker magazine. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/03/26/when-your-shoes-are-made-of-wood-pulp

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If you have anything you’d like included in upcoming news bulletin’s, please let me know.

Cheers

Born in London to kiwi parents, grew up on the Kapiti Coast from the age of 2.

Studied political science at Victoria University, graduated 2001.

 Went on to work in some of the world’s leading political consulting firms – for Labour parties in NZ and Australia with UMR Research, and then moved to the US in 2003 to work for Democrats and UK Labour with Stan Greenberg and James Carville at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Democracy Corps in Washington, DC. In 2007 moved to New York to work in PR and strategic communications with reputation management giants Rubenstein Communications. In 2010, joined Huge, at the time a small digital design studio, and led communications and marketing for the company, helping to turn it into a 1500 person agency driving digital transformation efforts for many of the largest companies across North and South America, the UK, and APAC.   

In mid 2017, moved from NY to Minneapolis for family reasons. I currently provide strategic communications services as a consultant but I am also launching two startup ventures:

 1: an agile think tank called AI Policy Labs focused on increasing policymaker literacy in AI and creating ongoing dialogue between the AI research and federal, state, and local policymaking communities in order to to get ahead of the enormous changes AI will create for society and the economy in the coming years.

 2: A strategic leadership consultancy called Ends Inc, focused on creating more Elon Musks by helping people with the means to drive change define their vision and build the products and organizations necessary to achieve them.

Hobbies: twin eight year olds keep me too busy for real hobbies these days, but when I was in NYC I trained regularly at Krav Maga Federation with Rhon Mizrachi – recommended for anyone interested in personal development, self defence, or a good workout. These days I try to swim regularly and am cooking my way through the Momofuku Cookbook

 Contact: sam.weston@gmail.com

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KIWI CLUB OF NEW YORK, INC., ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on March 29th at a time and location TBA. If you are interested in being a Board member please email the President at president@kiwiclubny.org as soon as possible

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RIP Alfred “Bunty” Preece – The last surviving commissioned officer of the Māori Battalion has died. Alfred “Bunty” Preece, who was in his late 90s, died on Friday, his biographer Tom O’Connor said. His funeral was held on Sunday in Chatham Islands, where he was from.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/101962506/last-surviving-member-of-28th-mori-battalion-dies

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Introducing Fellow NZer Jared Broad and his company QuantConnect (from the Financial Times 2018)

Jared Broad was a teenager when he learnt a painful, but valuable, lesson: humans are imperfect traders, and emotionless machines are the future of financial markets.

The 15-year old had sold some old dusty computers from a library he was working at in New Plymouth, New Zealand and ploughed the proceeds into a penny stock. His delight as it tripled turned to horror as it quickly crashed to zero.

Mr Broad, 33, is now founder and head of QuantConnect, one of several new platforms attempting to harness the skills of freelance computer wizards and data scientists who would rather code an automated trading algorithm than invest directly in the markets themselves. This month QuantConnect took a step out of the shadows, opening up for outside hedge funds to “subscribe” to the algorithms coded by its users.

“It feels like it’s becoming mainstream,” he says. “Computing power is going up, the price of data are going down, and you can find talent around the world. There’s very real progress now.”

Yet QuantConnect faces a daunting challenge, with better-funded rivals and widespread scepticism that a “crowdsourced” approach can master one of the most complicated corners of finance. Even Quantopian, one of the highest-profile companies in the field, has struggled to get its crowdpowered hedge fund turning a profit.

The setbacks have solidified the view of many established quants that these upstarts and their Silicon Valley-tinged, fantastical visions of “democratising” investing will inevitably end in failure. While their platforms might be useful for quant dilettantes — some of which have managed to code

Equities QuantConnect platform jostles in crowded field of DIY quants

New Zealand founder is unbowed by the scepticism over freelance coders ability to beat markets

Some algorithms that have made money — scaling this up to a lucrative business model will be tough, the sceptics say.

Mr Broad acknowledges the obstacles, and the fact that several of its rivals are better-financed and more established. But he remains optimistic that QuantConnect’s model will triumph. “They are the hare and we are the tortoise,” he says of rivals.

It has certainly been a circuitous, tortoise-like journey to the world of finance for the biomedical engineer from New Zealand. After working a few years as an engineer in Auckland, he sold all his belongings, paid off his student loans, and went travelling around Asia, and eventually ended up at NGOs working on humanitarian projects in places like Myanmar, Haiti and Chile.

It was in Chile, after working on the clean-up of the country’s 2010 earthquake, when he finally started designing what became QuantConnect, helped by a $40,000 grant from the Latin American country’s start-up incubator. By early 2016 he and a Chilean co-worker had decamped for an office in downtown Brooklyn so small they nicknamed it “The Cupboard”.

Money is a little easier nowadays. QuantConnect raised $1m in January 2016, and some of its coders pay $20 a month for its full package that allows users to design, test and unleash trading algorithms on stocks, currencies, options and futures. This October it added cryptocurrencies to its platform.

The company this month launched what it calls “Alpha Streams”, where hedge funds can subscribe to follow the signals generated by the 45,000 freelance coders on its platform. So far the only signup is Tibra, an Australian firm, but Mr Broad says he expects to bring more hedge funds on to QuantConnect in 2018, offering them a way to both find new talent and to tap into the collective insight generated by its users.

This is a different business model from the two best-known platforms for aspiring DIY quant traders, Quantopian in Boston and Numerai in San Francisco, generally viewed as the leaders in the very niche but crowded field, which run embryonic hedge funds powered by their members’ efforts.

Both have big-name backing from the worlds of finance and technology, with Point72 Steven Cohen and Andreessen Horowitz invested in Quantopian, and Paul Tudor Jones, FirstRound’s Howard Morgan and Union Square Ventures invested in Numerai.

Numerai’s Silicon Valley sensibilities permeate its model. Its users download free but encrypted financial data, using artificial intelligence to sniff out patterns that can lead to predictions. They submit these predictions to Numerai, which rewards the best ones with its own cryptocurrency (Numeraire) and uses them for its own hedge fund.

How successful this has been is unclear, with Numerai declining to comment on its performance. Quantopian’s hedge fund this summer began to take in some external investment, but the $52m vehicle has lost about 3 per cent since launching, according to people familiar with the matter, and this autumn let its investment chief go.

John Fawcett, Quantopian’s founder, insists that its 160,000-plus members are producing enough good working material in the form of profitable algorithms, but the challenge has been picking the right mix for its hedge fund’s portfolio. He shrugs off the crows of the sceptics.

“There are things we definitely need to worry about, but what people think is not one of them,” he says. “The first thing we can do to change minds is to improve the performance.”

Jared can be contacted at jared@quantconnect.com

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Club Free Time – If you have a day off (great idea for visitors) and are looking for something to do in NYC you may want to consider joining Club Free Time. It costs approx. $20 per year and each week they email you with free things to do. Please see latest details below or check their website at https://www.clubfreetime.com/ or contact them at contact@clubfreetime.com

Best Free Things To Do in NYC This Week

Monday, March 5, 2018

Mon, Mar 5
2:00 pm

free
Music | Fabio Zanon, World-Renowned Guitarist
Fabio Zanon came to international prominence in 1996, when he was the first prize winner of two of t … more
Mon, Mar 5
6:30 pm

Free; RSVP required
Talks | The Botany of Sleep
Alongside contemporary demands for optimizing sleep that tend toward the technological and … more
Mon, Mar 5
7:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Music | Talea Ensemble performs Michelle Agnes Magalhães’s Herbarium
NYC-based new music group Talea Ensemble — dubbed “a vital part of the New York contempo … more
Mon, Mar 5
7:00 pm

free
Readings | Chelsia Rose Marcius discusses her book Wild Escape: The Prison Break from Dannemora and the Manhunt that Captured America
On June 6, 2015, inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from Clinton Correctional Facility, Ne … more
Mon, Mar 5
8:00 pm

free
Readings | Daniel Mendelsohn discusses his book An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, and an Epic
When Jay Mendelsohn enrolls in the Odyssey seminar his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, … more
Mon, Mar 5
8:00 pm

free
Music | NYU01 performs Glinka, Tchiakovsky, Lyadov
Program:
Glinka: Overture to Ruslan and Lyudmila
Lyadov: The Enchanted Lake/www.clubfreetime.com/new-york-city-nyc/free-classical-music/2018-03-05/event/380911“>more
Mon, Mar 5
9:00 pm

$5; no minimum
Music | Tunes at Thalia
Sing along at Tunes at Thalia. A full evening of Broadway showtunes, American Songbook favorites, ja … more

More Free Events for Mon, Mar 5, 2018

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Tue, Mar 6
12:00 pm

free
Talks | Russia after Putin’s ‘Reelection’
Vladimir Putin is expected be to get a new six-year term in Russia’s presidential elections on March … more
Tue, Mar 6
12:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Walks-Tours | Leonard Bernstein at 100: Lunchtime Tour
Jonathan Hiam, Curator of the Library’s Music Division, leads a tour of the Leonar … more
Tue, Mar 6
2:00 pm

Free; tickets required; see below
Music | The Henry Schneider Young Virtuosos Concert
Accomplished soloists from the Lucy Moses School perform music by Bach, Vieuxtemps, Schumann and Lis … more
Tue, Mar 6
3:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Theater | In the Middle: A Workshop Production
As the rain pours down and the water keeps rising, a mother sits in a flooded basement, weeping. Aft … more
Tue, Mar 6
6:00 pm

free
Music | Orfeo Duo Salon Concert: Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann
With: Ishmael Wallace, baritone and piano; Vita Wallace, violin and piano … more
Tue, Mar 6
6:00 pm

free
Music | Yarn/Wire, ‘Restlessly Curious’ Ensemble
Yarn/Wire, described as “restlessly curious” (Time Out NY), returns to perform … more
Tue, Mar 6
7:00 pm

free
Readings | PBS host Rick Steves discusses his book Travel as a Political Act
Change the world one trip at a time. In this illuminating collection of stories and lessons from the … more
Tue, Mar 6
7:00 pm

free
Music | Sandbox Percussion, ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Enemble
Lauded by The Washington Post as “revitalizing the world of contemporary music” … more
Tue, Mar 6
7:30 pm

Free; RSVP required
Theater | Hedy! The Life and Inventions of Hedy Lamarr: A One-Woman Show
Heather Massie’s one-woman play explores the life, inventions and person of Hedy Lamarr.

more

Tue, Mar 6
7:30 pm

free
Music | Ensemble Connect performs Messiaen, Stravinsky
Program:
STRAVINSKY Three Pieces for String Quartet
MESSIAEN Quartet fo … more

More Free Events for Tue, Mar 6, 2018

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Wed, Mar 7
1:00 pm

free
Music | 2018 City Skate Concert with Ice Theatre of New York
Featuring:

Rhapsody in Blue
Performed by Angela Chiang, Jordan Cowan, Joel Dear, Chr … more

Wed, Mar 7
1:00 pm

free
Talks | Peter Marks, Theatre Critic for The Washington Post
Peter Marks joined The Washington Post as its chief drama critic in 2002. Previously, he wo … more
Wed, Mar 7
3:30 pm

Free; RSVP required
Movies | NBC’s Timeless: An Exclusive Look at the Premiere Episode
An exclusive look at the Timeless premiere episode “The War to End All Wars” which centers … more
Wed, Mar 7
5:00 pm

free
Movies | Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! (2017): Holy Horror
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris.
A couple’s relationship is tested when unin … more
Wed, Mar 7
6:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Readings | Priyamvada Natarajan will speak on her book Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal the Cosmos
Priyamvada Natarajan, professor of astronomy and physics at Yale University, will recount the evolut … more
Wed, Mar 7
6:00 pm

free
Talks | Get ‘Em Out of Here: Incitement in an Era of Nativist Populism
In 2016, Donald Trump encouraged his followers to “knock the crap out of” Black Lives Ma … more
Wed, Mar 7
6:00 pm

free
Music | Songs and Arias from the Renaissance and Baroque
With: Ishmael Wallace, piano; Meredith Hudak, mezzo-soprano … more
Wed, Mar 7
6:30 pm

Free; RSVP required
Theater | Syzygy: A Collaborative Performance
A collaborative performance by scent artist and choreographer Beau Rhee and composer Jeremy Toussain … more
Wed, Mar 7
7:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Movies | CNN’s American Dynasties: The Kennedys: Preview the Documentary
Explore the exhibition Rebel Spirits: Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. (6-7pm) before ca … more
Wed, Mar 7
8:00 pm

free
Music | An Evening of Vocal Chamber Music
The Barnard-Columbia Chamber Singers join the Women’s Choir of the University of Virginia (Kat … more

More Free Events for Wed, Mar 7, 2018

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thu, Mar 8
12:30 pm

free
Dance | Heidi Latsky Dance: On Display
We’ve always been taught not to stare; that if someone “different” catches our eye we’ve objec … more
Thu, Mar 8
1:00 pm

free
Music | Rhapsodie, Blues and Chorale: Bartok, Ravel, Schumann
Program:
Bartok’s Rhapsody No. 1, Sz. 86
Ravel’s Violin Sonata No … more
Thu, Mar 8
1:00 pm

free
Movies | William Wyler’s 6-Time Oscar Winner Mrs. Miniver (1942): British Resolve During World War II
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright.
A British family struggles to survive the f … more
Thu, Mar 8
2:30 pm

Free; RSVP required
Movies | NBC’s Rise: Advance Screening and Q&A
NBC’s heartwarming new drama Rise follows dedicated teacher Lou Mazzuchelli (Josh Rad … more
Thu, Mar 8
6:00 pm

free
Talks | How to Listen with Novelist Daniel Alarcón
In 2010, with his second novel in shambles, Daniel Alarcón went to Lurigancho, Peru’s l … more
Thu, Mar 8
6:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Talks | Where in the World Have You Been? Visionary Director Julie Taymor Talks with Her First Fellows
A conversation with Julie Taymor and the first three recipients of the Julie Taymor World Theater Fe … more
Thu, Mar 8
7:00 pm

free
Readings | Ian Buruma reads from his book A Tokyo Romance
When Ian Buruma arrived in Tokyo in 1975, Japan was little more than an idea in his mind, a fantasy … more

More Free Events for Thu, Mar 8, 2018

Friday, March 9, 2018

Fri, Mar 9
3:00 pm

free
Music | Mannes Orchestra performs works by Wagner, Smetana
PROGRAM:
WAGNER Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan
SMETANA Vysehrad (The High … more
Fri, Mar 9
4:00 pm

free
Talks | Black Girls and Their Nineteenth-Century Autograph Albums
Scholars such as Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Ellen Gruber Garvey, and Jasmine Nichole Cobb explore how n … more
Fri, Mar 9
6:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Talks | Sleep: The Last Bastion of Privacy?
Will sleep habits succumb, as Jonathan Crary suggested in his book 24/7, to a … more
Fri, Mar 9
6:15 pm

free
Talks | The Jews of Italy and Italian Occupied Territories During the Holocaust
A lecture by Dr. Susan Zuccotti, followed by a question and answer period, moderated by Adjunct Prof … more
Fri, Mar 9
6:30 pm

Free; RSVP required
Readings | André Aciman reads from his book Call Me By Your Name
A reading and Q&A with André Aciman, author of the story of the romantic relationship between … more
Fri, Mar 9
10:00 pm

No cover; 1-item minimum
Theater | Emerald City Laughs
A weekly standup comedy show.  Featuring comics who have appeared on Comedy Central, College Hu … more

More Free Events for Fri, Mar 9, 2018

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Sat, Mar 10
10:00 am

$3; RSVP required
Walks-Tours | Statues, Monuments and Buildings of Lower Manhattan Tour
Moderate walking, a few stairs, about five or six hours. Look at all of the statues in Battery Park, … more
Sat, Mar 10
2:30 pm

free
Workshops | Sketch Sessions
Come draw at the gallery. Program repeats on the half-hour; drawing materials provided.
more
Sat, Mar 10
7:00 pm

Free; RSVP required
Theater | In the Middle: A Workshop Production
As the rain pours down and the water keeps rising, a mother sits in a flooded basement, weeping. Aft … more

More Free Events for Sat, Mar 10, 2018

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sun, Mar 11
10:00 am

Free; tips encouraged; reservations encouraged
Walks-Tours | Downtown in a Day Tour: Below 14th St.
This tour will explore the various neighborhoods that comprise the ever-vibrant downtown Manhattan. … more

More Free Events for Sun, Mar 11, 2018

Cheers