Quiz, what quiz?

June 30, 2011

Whoops – having one of those fortnights this week and the quiz is a casualty of that.

Normal service should resume next week.

In the meantime, you can answer your own questions or enjoy Andrei’s quiz which is technologically superior – and challenging – I scored a lowly 5/10.


New section chairs for Feds

June 30, 2011

When I saw the headline Dairy and Meat and Fibre groups gain new chair people I thought Federated Farmers was being a bit PC, but  people was correct in this case as one of the new chairs is a man and the other’s a woman.

Mt Hutt farmer Jeanette Maxwell was elected as Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre chair,  the first woman to hold this position. She replaces Bruce Wills who also stepped down. Willy Leferink is the new chairy for the dairy section, replacing Lachlan McKenzie who has stepped down.

The Dairy Vice-chairs are Robin Barkla and Andrew Hoggard. Michelle Riley and Kevin Robinson also elected to the executive.

Ciaran Tully continues as Sharemilkers section Chairperson.

Meat and Fibre section’s new vice-chair is Dugald McLean. Tim Mackintosh was re-elected to the executive with new members Will Foley and Lyn Neeson.


Word of the day

June 30, 2011

 Chimerical – wildly fanciful, imaginary unreal; given to or indulging in fantasies; highly improbably, existing only as the product of unchecked imagination; fantastically visionary or improbable; given to fantastic schemes.

Hat Tip: Credo Quia Absurdum Est


MMP not necessarily better for Maori

June 30, 2011

Alternatives to MMP will not necessarily  reduce the ability of Maori to get into parliament:

Since its introduction in 1996 MMP has meant “More Maori in Parliament”. It is the best system, of those on offer, for Maori representation in the New Zealand parliament, says Maori politics lecturer Dr Maria Bargh.

On the contrary, in an excellent post fact-checking the referendum Graeme Edgeler writes:

Under MMP there are currently 7 Maori seats. A change to first past the post, or preferential voting, or single transfer vote systems would see an increase in the number of Maori seats to at least 12, and probably 13 seats. A change to the supplementary member system would see an increase at least 9 and possibly 10 Maori seats.

Any voting system which has more electorates will result in more Maori seats. Regardless of the system Maori will also have as much a chance as anyone else of seeking a general electorate seat.

Maori seats aren’t up for debate by the Electoral Commission should a majority of people vote to change from MMP but that doesn’t guarantee they will remain.

Abolishing them has been National party policy for a couple of elections but dropping that was one of the concessions the party made in coalition negotiations with the Maori Party.

I have no idea what National’s policy on the seats will be for the coming election but it’s a sure bet that Act will campaign on getting rid of them.

If National is able to form the next government and Act has a role as a coalition or support partner and the Maori Party doesn’t, the Maori seats will almost certainly go.


Fairer policy for state housing

June 30, 2011

Changing the way state houses are allocated is both fairer and more sensible.

Housing Minister Phil Heatley said those in greatest need (A and B) will be eligible for a state house, those with lower needs (C and D) will be helped into other types of housing.

“All applicants (A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s) will continue to be recorded on a Housing Needs Register so that we maintain a clear picture of wider housing need” says Mr Heatley.

“But whereas once C and D tenants would languish on the waiting list with no real prospect of getting a state home, they will now be given assistance to find a home outside state housing, and we think this is a positive,” he said.

“Housing those not eligible for state housing means working very closely with third sector providers of niche, social and affordable housing to significantly grow the volume of social housing available.

“We want to ensure that tenants with the greatest need have timely access to a state home for the duration of their need,” says Mr Heatley.

The first priority for state help should be those in greatest need.

Under the current system those with lower needs would be on the waiting list even though there was little if any chance of ever getting into a state house. The new system will stop the pretence that there might be something available one day and give them help now.

Another welcome change is the introduction of reviewable tenancies for all new tenants from 1 July.

“A tenant’s circumstances will be reviewed once every three years to ensure their housing needs are being properly catered for. When their circumstances improve significantly and they are able to afford a home outside state housing they will be assisted to move – freeing up a state house for someone in greater need,” Mr Heatley said.

“Elderly tenants and those with significant disabilities will be subject to a desk top review only as their circumstances are unlikely to have changed, and we don’t want to worry them unnecessarily,” he said.

This means that people occupying a larger house will have to move if, for example, children leave home meaning they no longer need so many bedrooms.

This is much fairer than the current situation which allows a single person or small family to continue occupying “their” state house when larger families are in need is unfair.

A tennnt renting a privately owned home wouldn’t expect to live their for life, nor should someone in a state house.

 Other changes that HNZ are making include:-

• A suspension period to prevent tenants who are issued a ninety day notice, for abusing their state home or for ongoing anti-social behaviour that affects communities, from reapplying for a state house for up to a year; and
• Stronger measures to detect and prevent fraud.

“The Government wants the state housing system to be fairer, more focussed and more efficient,” Mr Heatley said.

“These changes are fairer to people in greatest need, more transparent to C and D applicants and give a clear signal to the other social housing providers that we need them,” says Mr Heatley.

“A state home and the Income Related Rent that goes with it amounts to a considerable taxpayer subsidy for a household. We want to make sure this benefit goes to those in the greatest need, for the duration of that need,” he said.

 This policy will result in a much better match between people and housing.

It also sends an important signal that state house are for those in greatest need while in need. That might be forever for some people but it won’t be for all.


Don’t stop at one

June 30, 2011

Today is hug a cantab day but don’t stop at just one:

We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

- Virginia Satir -


June 30 in history

June 30, 2011

350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, was defeated and killed by troops of the usurper Magnentius.

Centenionalis-Nepotianus-rome RIC 200.2.jpgDouble Centenionalis Magnentius-XR-s4017.jpg

1422  Battle of Arbedo between the duke of Milan and the Swiss cantons.

Bellinzona Tschachtlan.jpg

1520  The Spaniards were expelled from Tenochtitlan.

 

1559  King Henry II of France was seriously injured in a jousting match against Gabriel de Montgomery.

 

1651 The Deluge: Khmelnytsky Uprising – the Battle of Beresteczko ended with a Polish victory.

Battle of Beresteczko 1651.jpg

1688  The Immortal Seven issued the Invitation to William, continuing the struggle for English independence from Rome.

1758  Seven Years’ War: The Battle of Domstadtl.

Battle of Domstadtl memorial.jpg

1794 Native American forces under Blue Jacket attacked Fort Recovery.

 

1859  French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

 

1860  The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

 

1864 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln granted Yosemite Valley to California for “public use, resort and recreation”.

1882  Charles J. Guiteau was hanged for the assassination of President James Garfield.

 

1886 The first transcontinental train trip across Canada departs from Montreal.

1905 Albert Einstein published the article “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”, in which he introduced special relativity.

1906  The United States Congress passed the Meat Inspection Act and Pure Food and Drug Act.
 
 
1908 Winston Graham, British writer, was born (d. 2003).
 
 
 
Marnie book cover.jpg

1908  The Tunguska explosion in SIberia – commonly believed to have been caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet fragment at an altitude of 5–10 kilometres (3.1–6.2 mi) above the Earth’s surface.

 

1912  The Regina Cyclone hit Regina, Saskatchewan, killing 28.

 

1917  Susan Hayward, American actress, was born (d. 1975).

 

1917 – Lena Horne, American singer and actress (d. 2010)

 

1934  The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler’s violent purge of his political rivals took place.

 

1935  The Senegalese Socialist Party held its first congress.

1936  Emperor Haile Selassie of Abbysinia appealled for aid to the League of Nations against Mussolini’s invasion of his country.

 

1939 The first edition of the New Zealand Listener was published. 

First issue of NZ Listener published

1941  World War II: Operation Barbarossa – Germany captured Lviv, Ukraine.

Original German plan

1943  Florence Ballard, American singer (The Supremes). was born (d. 1976).

1944 Glenn Shorrock, Australian singer-songwriter (Little River Band) was born.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Cherbourg ended with the fall of the strategically valuable port to American forces.

 
Cherbourg1944-Combat avParis.jpg

1950 Leonard Whiting, British actor, was born.

1953 Hal Lindes, British-American musician (Dire Straits) was born.

1953  The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.

 

1956  A TWA Super Constellation and a United Airlines DC-7 (Flight 718) collided above the Grand Canyon killing all 128 on board the two planes.

1959  A United States Air Force F-100 Super Sabre from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, crashed into a nearby elementary school, killing 11 students plus six residents from the local neighborhood.

1960 Murray Cook, Australian singer (The Wiggles) was born.

1960  Congo gained independence from Belgium.

1962 Julianne Regan, British singer and musician (All About Eve), was born.

1963  Ciaculli massacre: A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco “Ciaschiteddu”, killed seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1966  Mike Tyson, American boxer, was born.

Mike Tyson festival de Cannes.jpg

1966  Marton Csokas, New Zealand actor, was born.


 

1968  Credo of the People of God by Pope Paul VI.

 
Paulaudenece1977.jpg

1969  Nigeria banned Red Cross aid to Biafra.

 

1971  The crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft were killed when their air supply escaped through a faulty valve.

 

1971 – Ohio ratified the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, lowering the voting age to 18, thereby putting the amendment into effect.

Great Seal of the United States

1972  The first leap second was added to the UTC time system.

 Deviation of day length from SI based day, 1962–2009

1985 Thirty-nine American hostages from a hijacked TWA jetliner were freed in Beirut after being held for 17 days.

1986  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

1987 The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the $1 coin, known as the Loonie.

ObverseReverse

1990 East and West Germany merged their economies.

1991 32 miners were killed when a coal mine fire in the Donbass region of the Ukraine released toxic gas.

1992 Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher joined the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher.

 
A professional photograph of a lady with ginger-blonde hair, sitting in a traditional style and wearing jewellery.

1997  The United Kingdom transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to China.

A flag with a white 5-petalled flower design on solid red background A red circular emblem, with a white 5-petalled flower design in the centre, and surrounded by the words "Hong Kong" and "中華人民共和國香港特別行政區"

2007 A car crashed into Glasgow International Airport in an attempted terrorist attack.

2009 Yemenia Flight 626 crashed off the coast of Moroni, Comoros killing 152 people and leaving 1 survivor.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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