Only 9/10


Another political trivia quiz from the Dominion Post.

I got 9/10.

The wrong answer was the result of not thinking before I clicked. Those old school reports were right “She’d do better if she took a little more care. . . ”

Hat Tip: Kiwiblog

Message from the club no-one chooses to join


The Bereaved parents Club is one no-one chooses to join.

The death of a child is against the normal order of things. Coping with that is difficult enough when it is the result of an illness and no-one is to blame, as was the case with our sons. Dealing with the death of a loved daughter, sister and friend when it is the result of murder must be so much harder.

I was overseas when Clayton Weatherston was tried. I deliberately avoided the court reports yet still picked up enough of the awful details to sicken me from online news and blogs.

My heart went out to Sophie Elliot’s mother, father, family and friends, as the pain of her murder was compounded by having to listen to the dreadful details of her death and hear the man accused of murdering her besmirch her memory.

Clayton Weatherston was found guilty of her murder and has now been sentenced to life imprisonment with an 18 year non-parole term.

Those who loved Sophie have their own life sentence. They have lost not just what they had with her and what she meant to them, but the hopes and dreams they had for her future as well.

The sentencing will be the end of one chapter of their grief but not the end of their grieving.

May they have the love they need to heal; the knowledge that, in time,  it is possible to be happy again; and may they have peace.

Tuesday’s answers


Paul Tremewan wins another electronic bunch of spring flowers with four right and two bonus points for wit.

Kismet got three points and a bonus for ingenuity.

I’ll accept Gravedodger’s word he knew three and he can have an extra point for the extended discussion.

Andrei gets 2 points and a bonus for extra information and because PDM earned a sprig of blossom for one right.

Monday’s Questions were:

1. “Read him for the tittle-tattle. But for strategic analysis find yourself a grown-up.” Colin James said it, to whom was he referring?

2. Who wrote All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?

3. Titi-tea is the Maori name for which mountain?

4. Sheep breeders encourage multiple births, why aren’t cow breeders so keen on twins?

5. Which ship took New Zealand’s first frozen meat exports to Britain?

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Regulated milk price to rise


Fonterra’s competitors will have to pay more for the milk the co-operative has to supply them from the start of next season.

The new formula will price milk at 10 cents above the farm gate price per kilo of milk solids. The farm gate price excludes the value-added component and will be based on the milk component of the Fonterra payout.

Agriculture Minister David Carter said:

“A 2008 review found that for five of the last six seasons, independent processors have been able to access milk under the regulations at a lower price than Fonterra pays its own farmers.

“This was never the intention of the regulations.”

Mr Carter also noted that a margin was necessary to reflect the seasonal changes in the value of milk.

“The 10 cent margin addresses the fact that independent processors can access a square or uniform milk supply rather than a seasonal supply. Given a uniform supply is considerably more valuable to processors than a seasonal one, I consider it fair that the regulations permit a margin to reflect this.”

The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act under which Fonterra was established, requries the co-operative to supply competitors with milk. However, existing legislation allows the independent companies to buy the milk at a lower price than Fonterra has to pay for it. The proposed change, which requires an amendment to the DIRA, will remedy that.

The Minister also plans to consult the dairy sector over the future of regulated milk supply because the DIRA requirements on Fonterra will lapse by 2013. He said a raw milk auction would be considered in the consultation process.

Last cab has the mana and the power


Labour has walked out of talks on the Emissions Trading Scheme because National now has the Maori Party’s support for it.

I think Labour may live to regret this move for two reasons.

The first is that any legislation which has as significant an impact as the ETS ought to have as widespread support as possible so it can endure when the government changes.

Labour steamrolled the existing scheme through in the dying days of their administration without trying to get National onside so they are standing on very shaky ground when they say National’s not playing fair now.

The second is that Labour’s petulance give the Maori Party another reason to ally itself with National rather than Labour at the next election.

The Maori Party were, understandably, furious at being called the last cab off the rank by Helen Clark before the 2005 election. John Key invited them into coalition although he didn’t need their votes to govern.

That not only gave him options, which have paid off now, it gave the Maori Party mana and power which they’ve used to stunning effect by making Labour look irrelevant.

Labour could have taken the principled approach and still tried to work out a grand coalition but they’ve let emotion and short term pique get in the way of the long term good of both the country and their own ambitions.

Don’t say don’t


Visualise a tennis racket.

Now visualise a step ladder.

Now don’t visualise a helicopter.

Hmmm – almost impossible isn’t it?

That helps you understand what the world’s like for people who aren’t very good with language but are good with pictures.

The child is told it’s windy, don’t open the front door. He can picture windy and front door but can’t picture don’t. He goes out the front door, it slams and the glass breaks, he gets punished because he was told not to open the door.

The farm worker is told to take the quad up the race, don’t open the first gate, open the next one.

He can’t picture next and opens the first one.

Is that his problem or the farmer’s? Both, but the easiest way to solve it is for the farmer to number the gates.

This is a small snapshot from a presentation I listened to last night which helps explain why about 15% of children, most of whom are boys, have problems at school. They’re taught in language but learn from looking and doing.

Education appears to be even more language based now than it used to be. It’s not enough to be able to do something, pupils have to explain what and why they’re doing it and that is all language-based learning. It’s no wonder more children are failing to grasp the basics of literacy and numeracy if the way they are taught doesn’t help them learn.

In the words of the man who gave the presentation, it’s like trying to run a diesel vehicle on petrol.

September 15 in history


On September 15:

1254 Italian explorer Marco Polo was born.

1889 USA writer Robert Benchley was born.

1890 English author Agatha Christie was born.

1968 Steel production began at Glenbrook.

1976 The Wellington-Lyttelton ferry service ended.

1984 Prince Henry was born.

2008 Lehman brothers filed for bankruptsy.

%d bloggers like this: