Fran O’Sullivan on blogging on YouTube


Fran O’Sullivan spoke on the accidental empire of political blogging at a breakfast organised by Rural Women NZ earlier this week.

Part of that address is now on YouTube:

Roarprawn posted on the breakfast, so did Big News and Kiwiblog  who also discussed Fran’s suggestion that NZ On Air should become NZ On Media. That in turn led to a post from Bill Ralston.


Not PC  reckons this is an example of life imitating satire; and  Liberty Scott thinks NZ On Air should be abolished

Draft walking access and out door codes released


The Walking Access Commission is calling for submissions on its the Draft National Strategy on Walking Access and the Draft New Zealand Outdoor Access Code which were launched by Agriculture Minister David Carter this week.

Both accept that private property is private property to which private property rights apply:

The Commission accepts fully that it is the prerogative of landholders to refuse access to their land, even if such access may have been traditional and the request seems to be reasonable, for example, to gain access to a river for fishing or a national park.

Landholders have the right to charge for any facilities or services on their property in association with the provision of access. They also have the right to recover any costs incurred in providing access.

Some people don’t understand the property rights which apply to a small section in town apply to large properties in the country.

The Commission does and is not seeking a right to roam. It’s taking a common sense approach, aiming to negotiate with landowners where appropriate to allow access to walking tracks, waterways or beaches.



Maps with pictures


Google gives us maps on line, eyeballnz  has added pictures.

Hat Tip: Leighton Smith on NewztalkZB

Days That Have Been


The first adult novel I can remember reading was One of the Family by Mary Scott.

I’d found it on my parents’ bookshelf, loved it and set about reading everything else she had written, including her autobiography, Days That Have Been.

 Mary was brought up in Hawkes Bay and was one of the first women to gain an MA from Auckland University. She married a farmer and her honeymoon was a two week horse-back ride to her new home on a backblocks farm.

When I think it’s too hard to write, I remember her, combining pioneer farming with raising a family and writing books on an old typewriter and I count my blessings. 

 dairy 10014

# 2 of the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge.

Over at In A strange Land Deborah has posted on My Brown Bear Barney in Trouble.

After the flood


New Zealand is giving Samoa and Tonga an initial $1 million for immediate disaster relief.

Acting Prime Minister Bill English says that is only a start.

“We recognise it is just the beginning of a long haul through the immediate emergency and into recovery and rebuilding,” he said last night.

The death toll has risen to around 150 in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, with three New Zealanders among the total. Hundreds are unaccounted for, some washed out to sea. Entire villages were flattened on the south coast of the Samoan main island of Upolu.

When reading large numbers like that, it is difficult to take in the personal impact on the individual people who are left to cope with losing family, friends and homes.

New Zealand is already helping with the immediate needs among which is medical assistance. Health Minister Tony Ryall said the health sector is mobilising to support requests for orthopaedic surgeons, general surgeons, theatre nurses, anaesthetists and post-operative staff.

After the initial response there will be the need for on-going assistance to help these small, not very wealthy countries with the huge task ahead of them in rebuilding villages and the economy.

While our eyes are on our near neighbours, a bit further north and west, the death toll after the earthquake in Indonesia is 777 and expected to rise.

New Zealand aid agencies are accepting donations to help them help. You can donate to Red Cross here.

Self-serving claptrap disguised as health advice


The headline says Supplement Company To Help Under Nourished Kids  –  that should read . . .  to help itself:

Many children in New Zealand are undernourished according to one of the country’s largest natural healthcare companies, Health & Herbs International, which has launched a new campaign to educate parents about the need for supplements. Health & Herbs’ stance is backed up by the most recent Ministry of Health Children’s Nutrition Survey which shows that only two out of five children meet the recommended number of fruit servings per day. . .

Take a desire to sell a product, add a spurious link to a survey and lace with self-interest:

. . . This week Health & Herbs launched a national campaign for better children’s health and nutrition. The appeal will be headed up by ‘Herbal Hero’, a cartoon character created by Health & Herbs to educate children and their parents on the benefits of good nutrition and taking a regular dietary supplement. . .

And taking a regular dietary supplement?

. . . Obviously, it is important to get a basic, standard diet of whole foods, grains, fruits and vegetables. . . .

‘However, if your children hate their vegetables and it is a battle every night to get them to swallow a piece of carrot, a daily dietary supplement that has been formulated specifically for children can be helpful.

Helpful?  I wonder how they define that and what scientific evidence they have to back up that claim? This sounds like self-serving claptrap disguised as health advice to me.

Children who get a balanced diet shouldn’t need dietary supplements.

If they’re not getting the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables a day, the answer isn’t tablets, it’s fruit and vegetables.

October 2 in history


On October 2:

1800 Nat Turner, a US slave who led a slave rebellion, was born.

1852 Scottish chemist William Ramsay who discovered the noble gases, was born.

1890 Groucho Marx was born.

1904 English novelist Graham Greene was born.

1907 Scottish chemist Alexander R. Todd was born.

1917 English-born Belgium chemist Christian de Duve, winner of Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, was born.

1921 Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.

1925 John Logie Baird performsedthe first test of a working television system.

John Logie Baird with his “televisor”, circa 1925.

1948 US fashion designer Donna Karan was born.

Donna Karan by David Shankbone.jpg

1949 US photographer  Annie Leibovitz was born.

1950 Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz was first published.

Peanuts gang.png

1950 Genesis co-founder Mike Rutherford was born.

1951 English musician Sting was born.

1958 Guinea  declared its independence.


1986 Slice of Heaven, the song written for the Footrot Flats movie, hit #1.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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