I’m either Neville Chamberlain or William Pitt the Younger.
Ramage – boughs or branches; warbling of birds in trees; wild, untamed, unruly, violent.
Labour leader David Cunliffe has been struggling to be heard above the noise of the Dotcomana dalliance but finally he’s got some attention:
Labour leader David Cunliffe has taken a swipe at John Key over the royal visit, suggesting the prime minister is milking the extra “facetime” with Prince William and his wife, compared with his own limited meetings.
He also described a possible visit to the White House as “pre-election PR from the prime minister ” who was “stage managing the calendar of the year as it suits him”.
But he conceded “it may not be the first time prime ministers have stage managed international visits”.
Cunliffe said it was very important that the treatment of the royal visit was as even-handed as possible between the government and the opposition, and also that the visit was well-spaced from the election.
The split between the government and the opposition should be as even as possible – but it wasn’t, he said.
Labour was positive about the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and they were very welcome in New Zealand.
“We are not going to play politics with it,” Cunliffe said. He would “leave it for New Zealanders to decide” if there was sufficient gap between their visit and the election.
Apart from a one-on-one meeting with Prince William, Labour would be part of only one other event, a trip to Blenheim on Wednesday.
Cunliffe repeated he would let the people of New Zealand draw their own conclusion if that was fair or if he was getting enough “facetime”.
Any publicity isn’t good publicity.
Cunliffe sounds like a child with his nose out of joint because an older sibling is getting more attention.
It also shows a warped view of what matters to and influences voters.
Key said that he would not be at the “vast, overwhelming” number of events on the royal visit schedule and did not believe he was milking the event.
“I don’t actually think anyone’s going to vote National, Labour or any other political party because we’re seen standing next to the royals when they’re in New Zealand,” Key said.
“They vote on the economy, law and order, health and education. As soon as David Cunliffe starts talking about that and not this sort of rubbish, he might do a little bit better.”
If Cunliffe really thinks someone who’s going to notice who’s spending time with the Duke and Duchess in April will let that influence their vote in September, he’s needs to get out more.
Political tragics might be interested in the election now but few others I’ve spoken to recently are remotely interested.
When, and if, they start thinking about it the royal visit is very unlikely to be a factor.
A taste of Waitaki – Pam Jones:
Pam Jones travels a create-your-own wine and food trail in Waitaki Valley and gives the region top marks.
There is no formal wine and food trail in Waitaki Valley but it is not hard to create your own.
Take a trip from Omarama to Kurow and back to Oamaru and you will discover pinot noirs and aromatics that knock your socks off with their flavours and minerality.
Then add some gourmet treats or rustic farmers’ fare on the side.
It is a recipe for a wonderful day of wining and dining, or stay the night at places along the way to turn it into a multiday sojourn.
We start our loop at the Ladybird Hill Cafe, Restaurant and Winery in Omarama, tucked to the side at the southern entrance of the busy crossroads town. . .
Edendale Nursery sold to large forestry biotech – Sally Rae:
Forestry biotech company ArborGen has expanded its stable of nurseries with the acquisition of Edendale Nursery in Southland.
ArborGen, in which NZX-listed Rubicon has a 31.67% stake, is the largest supplier of seedlings in New Zealand.
It sells up to 25 million trees annually, predominantly in the North Island, and owns five production nurseries, two seed orchards, and a manufacturing facility for the production of radiata varietal seedlings. . . .
Making horseshoe among Young Farmers tasks – Sally Rae:
When Sonja Dobbie entered the North Otago district final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest, she did not expect to do well.
The competition was held at Totara Estate, near Oamaru, last November and members of her Five Forks club encouraged each other to enter to ensure good representation.
But Miss Dobbie (23), a first-time entrant, finished third behind Marshall Smith (Upper Waitaki Young Farmers) and Steven Smit (Glenavy-Waimate), ensuring her a place in this month’s Aorangi regional final. . .
Okaihau dairy farmers Roger and Jane Hutchings are the Supreme winners of the 2014 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
Judges described the Hutchings’ 680-cow business in the Bay Of Islands, Lodore Farm Ltd, as a very sustainable high-input system which is profitable across all aspects of the operation.
“There is a clear balance between the financial performance of the operation and the environmental and social aspects.” . . .
Beef + Lamb New Zealand has appointed a Chairman and General Manager to run the new entity Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics.
Former Landcorp CEO and Massey University Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics Board and Graham Alder the former Genetics Business Manager of Zoetis, has been appointed General Manager of Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics.
The appointments follow the successful vote at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Annual Meeting to combine the organisation’s current genetics investments. This means Sheep Improvement Ltd (the national sheep genetic dataset), the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Central Progeny Test and Ovita, with added investment in beef genetics, come together with government funds to create the new entity Beef + Lamb New Zealand Genetics. . .
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy is welcoming success by three Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programmes this week, including an award nomination for a revolutionary seafood programme.
“The Precision Seafood Harvesting Programme has been nominated for a KiwiNet Research & Business Partnership Award. This is fitting recognition for a programme that could revolutionise the global fishing industry.
“The programme is developing new sustainable fishing technology that will allow fish to be landed on fishing boats alive, and in perfect condition, while safely releasing small fish and other species.
“The potential economic and environmental benefits of this are huge, and it’s no surprise it is attracting so much attention. This is a $52 million project with funding coming from both industry and government.” .
Another PGP programme – Shellfish Production and Technology New Zealand Ltd (SPATnz) – has also reached a milestone in selective breeding of greenshell mussels. . .
Locals and visitors to Houhora, Pukenui and the coastline north to Rarawa Bay may notice a boost in mobile coverage in the area, with Telecom announcing today that it has invested more than $175,000 on improved coverage to the region.
Telecom’s investment in the Houhora Central Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) site responds to the increasing demand for mobile coverage in the area and will give locals and visitors added access to voice, mobile broadband and text services over the Telecom mobile network, which has been built specifically for smart phones.
The improved mobile coverage is part of Telecom’s commitment to open up access to mobile data and applications for rural communities. . .
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has joined forces for the first time with China’s most popular business-to-consumer online shopping platform Tmall.com, to promote New Zealand seafood in a week-long campaign.
The promotion with Tmall.com will take place between 9-15 April, allowing Chinese shoppers to buy live seafood fresh from the sea in New Zealand, then have it packaged and air freighted to Shanghai within 36 hours. Within 72 hours, the seafood orders will be delivered to Chinese consumers across the country. The New Zealand products available for sale include paua, greenshell mussels and Bluff and Pacific oysters.
The ability to sell and deliver live seafood to Chinese consumers is a significant milestone. A similar Tmall.com campaign with Alaskan seafood last year resulted in a total of 50 metric tonnes supplied to Chinese consumers. . .
The ‘B’ word – Mad Bush Farm:
Yesterday I read the forecast for Northland and I used the “B” word. It’s now Autumn, and yet again we’re in a drought. So is the Waikato and things are looking rather grim where rainfall goes. I’m letting the Toyota crew there say the “B” word on my behalf, and the rest of the rural crew out there looking up at the skies and praying it rains and soon!
The need for continued spending restraint has been confirmed by another month of revenue running below forecast which has again pushed up the deficit, Finance Minister Bill English says.
“We remain committed to reaching surplus next year and Budget forecasts next month will confirm we are on track,” he says. “But today’s figures confirm what we have said repeatedly: It is a challenging task that will be achieved only if we remain disciplined.”
The Government’s financial statements for the eight months to 28 February show the operating deficit before gains and losses at $1.4 billion, or $884 million more than expected, due mainly to lower than-forecast core Crown tax revenue.
Consistent with a growing economy, tax revenue was $1.9 billion (or 5 per cent) higher than at the same time last year – reflecting increases in source deductions, other persons’ tax and GST. However, tax revenue was $1.1 billion less than forecast in the Half-Year Update in December.
“While some of the variance is due to timing issues and is therefore likely to dissipate over coming months, corporate tax, GST, other individuals’ tax, source deductions and customs and excise duties were all below forecast,” Mr English says.
“These figures will be factored into next month’s Budget and reinforce the need for restraint in government spending. They also confirm that there will be no capacity for reckless spending promises ahead of the election later this year.”
Continuing strength in equity markets saw gains of $3.5 billion on financial instruments, which was $1.9 billion ahead of forecast. As a result, the Government’s operating surplus at $3.7 billion was $891 million higher than forecast.
National inherited a forecast decade of deficits before the global Financial Crisis and earthquakes.
That it’s on track to surplus next year in spite of those natural and financial disasters is a credit to careful management and restraint.
That’s the recipe which has got us through the recession without the slash and burn policies that would hurt the vulnerable.
It’s the recipe we must continue to follow to ensure the good times aren’t squandered and we’re well equipped to deal with the next challenges.
Plans for a rural retirement home are likely to be blocked by council staff who think it’s too far from town:
There are big plans for a secluded tract of land locked away in the hills of Wainui, near Silverdale. The owners want to turn it into Auckland’s first rural retirement village. But local bureaucrats say the elderly should not be living so far away from town.
“It’s nuts,” says farmer-developer Charles Wedd. “There is just absolutely no logic for it at all.”
Some say the council’s attitude is patronising to the elderly.
“I’ve lived in Dairy Flat for something like 50 years,” says local Bob Falloon. “Why wouldn’t I want to retire here?”
The Auckland Council says the elderly residents need access to medical facilities and shops, which they say the place does not have.
But how far is the closest town?
“It is a whole 12 minutes, so that’s probably closer than many places in the middle of Auckland,” says Mr Wedd. . .
When council staff say the elderly can’t be too far from town they mean they must be close.
Can’t be too far could also mean the further away the better.
A lot of people who like country life would agree with that and surely it’s their business not the council’s.
. . . The council says it does not have a policy to prevent the elderly living in the countryside. It says the report is a planner’s report from a planner looking at planning issues from a planner’s perspective. The council says one of its main aims is trying to protect rural areas like Wainui from urban development, even though some of New Zealand’s fastest urban growth is happening even closer than the shops. . .
A planner’s report form a planner looking at planning issues from a planner’s perspective.
Would it be too much to ask someone to take a human perspective which acknowledges some people like country living and would rather finish their days there than in town?
The audience at the annual Kim Hill Earth Hour debate decided there is a place for genetic engineering in New Zealand.
. . . Ninety minutes of pros, cons and broad views presented by panellists Tony Conner (AgResearch), Robert Cruickshank (Lincoln University) and Richard Newcomb (Plant and Food Research) on one team and Christine Dann (Organics Aotearoa), Philip Gregan (NZ Winegrowers) and Jon Hickford (Lincoln University) on the other, with close interrogation of them all by Kim Hill, was followed by 30 minutes of questions from the audience. Chairwoman Sarah Walters, Deputy Mayor of Selwyn, then invited the audience to indicate by “noise” how they felt on the question.
Sarah ruled that the “ayes” were “slightly louder” signalling that genetic engineering should stay on New Zealand’s agenda “as a research opportunity” but with the provisos that it be well regulated, that consumers have a choice between GE and non-GE through strict labelling, and that the role of large overseas corporate organisations funding, and thereby influencing, research, be curbed. . .
Richard Newcomb added that the “GE debate has become completely intertwined with the anti-big business debate and with the notion of big business controlling food production and supply.” . . . .
He’s right – many of those opposed to GE are on the left of politics and also opposed to what they label big business.
Defending the environment, Christine Dann said she believed genetic engineering was “ecologically dangerous and too risky.”
“If everyone had their own little garden and grew their own vegetables the problem would be solved,” she said. . .
If she is right, and I don’t think she is, Would she care that a whole lot of other problems would be created including job losses?
New Zealand is taking a very cautious approach to GE which is as it should be.
But the vehement opposition to it is based on emotion not science.
That a majority of the audience gave cautious support, albeit with provisos, to GE gives some hope that science might win.
New Zealand risks missing ’a golden opportunity’ to grow its agricultural sector, and addressing this will require a coordinated, joint approach from across the sector, a new report on the competitiveness of New Zealand agribusiness has warned.
Agriculture in Focus 2014: Competitive Challenges, by agricultural banking specialist Rabobank, says New Zealand agribusiness is facing mounting competitive threats throughout the supply chain, which require concerted and aligned action from industry and government.
The report, which jointly examines New Zealand and Australia’s agribusiness sectors, identifies six key challenges affecting the competitiveness of the countries’ food and agribusiness industries, which are increasingly coming under threat from a growing group of highly-resourceful international competitors, including countries in South America, Eastern Europe and even Asia.
The report says the critical areas, which need to be addressed as a matter of priority are:
• rising production costs both on-farm and beyond farmgate
• international market access
• logistics infrastructure (in)efficiencies
• regulatory pressures
• capital constraints and
• product innovation and development.
A change in government would aggravate most if not all of these.
Rabobank general manager Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory Luke Chandler says “while the rising demand growth for food from Asia remains a golden opportunity, New Zealand and Australia both risk missing the boat without a more co-ordinated effort from industry and government” to address the factors which threaten to impact both countries’ future competitiveness in world export markets.
“While the competiveness of New Zealand’s food and agricultural sectors has generally compared favourably in a global context in the past, this situation is far from static,” he says.
“Many of New Zealand’s competitors in agricultural markets around the world are
investing heavily and becoming much more productive, and this is very much raising the bar for New Zealand’s agricultural industries.”
Mr Chandler says food and agriculture is becoming the subject of increased focus from governments around the world as the challenge of meeting the food needs of a growing and wealthier global population places pressure on farming enterprises.
“However, we need to realise that New Zealand is not the only agricultural exporter looking to capture this increasing demand,” he says. “Over the past decade highly-resourceful developing countries have begun to assume a greater role in the global export trade of food and agriculture products.
“The potential of countries in South America and Eastern Europe is obvious, but even some major food-importing countries and regions, such as China and the ASEAN-5 nations are playing a greater role in shaping the export landscape.”
Some of these countries don’t have our high standards for food quality and safety and environmental practices.
That means we face higher costs but also gives us a marketing opportunity.
As opportunities to boost direct on-farm cost competitiveness become harder to realise for New Zealand, the report says, the nation’s food and agribusiness sector must look to broader factors to maintain its competitive edge.
Regulatory pressures – New Zealand dairy The report notes other determinants of growth and prosperity for agriculture include the sector’s ability to deal with regulatory pressures.
As a case in point, it says, New Zealand’s dairy industry needs to increasingly deal with significantly heightened environmental regulation, both current and pending.
“New Zealand’s milk production growth is likely to be constrained over the next five years relative to the 2008 to 2013 growth period as the ability to change land use will become more difficult and expensive,” the report says.
“The future growth of the New Zealand dairy industry will party depend on how efficiently producers adapt production systems to meet heightened environmental controls. This will require even closer engagement locally with regulators and the wider community, alongside a rigorous programme of measuring, monitoring and mitigating environmental impacts.”
Capital constraints – sheepmeat
The growing need for new capital to rationalise and revitalise industry supply chains is another priority in lifting the competitiveness of New Zealand’s agricultural sector, the report says.
Ready access to efficient investment capital is critical to driving the pursuit of scale, infrastructure investment and the adoption of new technologies which act to support competitiveness across the agribusiness sector, it says.
“In recent times a lack of investment capital has been a particularly pressing issue affecting the competitiveness of the New Zealand sheepmeat sector,” Mr Chandler says.
“Investment, whether local and/or foreign, is clearly required to improve efficiencies and productivity downstream in the supply chain. With the sheep flock halving since 1990, the adjustment of both processing capacity and capability has not kept pace and is consequently impacting returns.”
With the two major meat companies being co-operatives there’s not a lot of opportunity for foreign investment.
‘Road map’ forward
Mr Chandler says that while the solution to the competitive challenges to New Zealand agriculture does not lie in any one direction, there is a ‘road map’ that can guide industries to build a more competitive and sustainable base for the sector into the future.
“While some competitive factors such as exchange rates and wage costs are beyond the sector’s control, many other issues can be successfully addressed through the concerted and coordinated action of industry and government institutions,” he says.
“There is no question that a food and agriculture sector that has better access to global markets, ready access to capital, more efficient logistics infrastructure, higher value product and processes, a highly sustainable environmental impact, and more affordable production inputs will be better placed to capture the ‘Asian dining boom’.”
Agriculture in Focus 2014: Competitive Challenges is the first in a series of reports Rabobank will release examining the issues impacting the agricultural sector along the supply chain.
The world has a growing demand for protein.
Our climate gives us a natural advantage for producing that through converting grass to milk and meat.
Other countries which have similar advantages don’t all have our stable political and economic conditions nor our high standards in production and processing.
The challenge is to make the most of these to compete on quality where we can’t compete on price.
That doesn’t mean it’s not important to also keep costs down in all areas, including those imposed on us by local and central government.
Agriculture is making a major contribution to the economic recovery. We need to make sure we don’t miss the opportunity that will ensure it continues to do that.
National list MP Tau Henare has announced that he will retire from politics at the election.
He’s one of the more prolific tweeters among MPs and that’s how he told the world:
The Dominion calls him a veteran:
. . . The veteran MP announced he will retire at the election.
The 53-year-old former Maori Affairs Minister made the announcement via Twitter this morning, saying: “Well, I’m on my way to caucus to inform my colleagues of the @NZNationalParty that I intend to retire at the upcoming General Election.”
Henare was first elected to Parliament in 1993 elections for New Zealand First in the former Northern Maori electorate.
He is currently chair of the Maori Affairs select committee and a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee. . .
He will be the 15th National MP to step down during this term or at the election which has provided a wonderful opportunity for healthy renewal in the caucus.
Contrast that with Labour which so far has had only one retirement announced.
National MPs are showing they know they can succeed outside parliament, most Labour ones are too scared to try.
National will be presenting fresh ideas and fresh faces to voters, Labour will have the same stale faces who squandered the good years of the noughties, and lost the 2005 and 2008 elections, offering the same old tax and spend policies.
Hone Harawira, one suspects, used to specialise in Chinese burns and other playground tortures when he was at school. The Mana Party leader has the kind of air about him redolent of such schoolyard antics. John Key was probably the cheeky kid who cracked enough jokes to be popular with the other kids but who nevertheless did his homework assiduously and kept on authority’s good side. David Cunliffe was the greasy goody two shoes, bright, geeky and probably a bit of a sneak. Peter Dunne – swotty pants. Russel Norman – ditto, but a more argumentative version of the same. Metiria Turei: the slightly flaky party girl (a bit like Paula Bennett, in fact).
We had classic playground diversion stuff this week when it was suggested Harawira is the lone electorate MP Kim Dotcom has signed up to his party. It’s not me, sir, Harawira protested – pointing indignantly to the class swot Peter Dunne sitting quietly in the corner. Key of course has rubbished the idea his support partner might be in talks with the Internet pirate who has promised to bring the Prime Minister down. “Not a dog show,” the PM laughed, which prompted a few to remember the Country Calender spoof about the remote controlled sheep dogs, and to ponder Dunne’s resemblance to a slightly affronted Scottish Rough Collie.
Former Labour leader David Shearer – the decent kid everyone used to pick on – is the other candidate who has been suggested, but this looks even less likely than Dunne. Dotcom has historically held a somewhat awkward relationship with the truth which has occasionally brought him to the attention of the authorities. This looks like another of those occasions. . .
An awkward relationship with the truth, may or may not apply to the 2000 members his Internet Party claims to have.
It’s applied to register as a political party.
. . . Following registration the Internet Party will need to submit its rules providing for the democratic participation of members and candidate selection within the time period specified by law. . .
It’s constitution is here but Russell Brown raises questions on whether they allow for democratic participation by members:
1. There is a special role called ‘party visionary.’ This is defined as Kim Dotcom, or a person selected by Kim Dotcom. THis visionary has the automatic right to sit and vote on the party’s executive and policy committee and cannot be kicked out by the membership.
2. To stand for election to the party’s executive, in addition to being nominated by current members of the party you’ve got to be nominated by a current member of the National Executive. This locks in the incumbents.
3. The party’s executive has nearly unfettered control over the list: they put together an initial list, send it out to the membership to vote on, and then they ultimately decide what the final list should be having regard to the member’s choices.
4. The national executive chooses who stands in what electorate. No local member input at all.
5. The party secretary has a very important role (eg they get to solely arbitrate over disputes; they set out the process for amending the constitution, they decide the process for electing office holders; they’re a voting member of the National Executive). The only problem is they’re legally an employee of the party’s shell company, meaning that it is very hard for the members to exercise democratic control over the secretary (you can’t just fire an employee).
6. On a related note: the way the Internet Party is structured is so all its assets are kept in a shell company (Internet Party Assets Inc), away from the party itself. I don’t know what the purpose of this one was TBH. (the rules of this company were meant to be attached to the constitution in a schedule, but as far as I can see they’re not there)
7. They’re using the old ‘vote in Parliamentary caucus’ decides leader method. To be fair, most parties use this though. There is a bit of a quirk though that until we know their list we don’t know who their party leader is, because if they’re outside of Parliament their party leader is just whoever is at number 1 of the list. (I also note there’s no way to remove a leader if they don’t have representation in Parliament).”
Not so much of, for and by the members as of, for and by Dotcom.
But the silver lining to the Dotcom cloud is that every bit of media attention he’s getting – and he’s getting a lot – is less for the rest of the opposition.
217 Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
1093 The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.
1139 Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated.
1149 Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum.
1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León declared Florida a territory of Spain.
1730 Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated.
1767 Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.
1820 The Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.
1866 Italy and Prussia allied against Austrian Empire
1873 Julius Vogel became Premier of New Zealand.
1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.
1892 Mary Pickford, Canadian actress, was born (d. 1979).
1895 The Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.
1904 The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.
1904 John Hicks, British economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner, was born (d. 1989).
1906 Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died.
1908 Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.
1913 The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, became law.
1919 Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born (d. 2007).
1938 Kofi Annan, Ghanaian United Nations Secretary General, was born.
1942 World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.
1942 – World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines.
1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.
1946 The last meeting of the League of Nations, was held.
1950 India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.
1952 U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.
1953 Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.
1954 A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.
1955 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, was born.
1962 Izzy Stradlin, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.
1965 Michael Jones, New Zealand rugby player and coach, was born.
1968 BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.
1970 Bahr el-Baqar incident Israeli airforce F4 Phantom II fighter bombers, struck the single-floor school with five bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles. 46 children were killed, and more than 50 wounded.
1975 Frank Robinson managed the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.
1985 Bhopal disaster: India filed suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.
1989 The Democratic Party was formed in South Africa from the merger of four parties.
1989 The two Greek Communist parties and smaller left-wing parties, merged to form the Coalition of the Left and Progress .
1990 New Democracy won the national election in Greece.
1992 Retired tennis champion Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.
2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada.
2008 The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia