In Touch


dairy 10007

No woman could get in to the All Blacks, not even a West Coaster. Or could she?

In Janette Sinclair’s In Touch, Sandy Jones manages it.

This is a light hearted romp with a twist in the tail – and the tale.

Post 27 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge

book month logo green

Over at In A Strange Land Deborah posts on Down the Dragon’s Tongue by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Patricia MacCarthy.

Rob’s catching up with The Shag Incident by Stephanie Johnson and two books by Barry Gustafson: His Way, a Biography of Robert Muldoon and kiwi Keith, a Biography of Keith Holyoake.

And Karen Healey has made a late entry to the challenge with: The Alex Quartet by Tessa Duder; The works of Elizabeth Knox; and Gavin Bishop.

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1. Who wrote Requiem for a Wren?

2. Who said “Always for give your enemies, nothing annoys them so much”?

3. What is Zaire now called?

4.When were New Zealand’s first Labour Day celebrations held?

5. Which was New Zealand’s first National Park?

Paul Tremewan gets the winner’s electronic bouquet (violets today) with four right, a bonus for extra information and half a point  for the answer to 3 which was worng but amused me.

Samo gets 4 1/2  – it would have been 5 had the answer to 2 not had two names.

PDM gets 2 and 2 bonuses for extra information.

PaulL gets one right and a bonus for being first.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Fish & Game internal ructions


Fish & Game’s challenge attempt to establish a right to roam on pastoral lease land was an expensive business for pastoral lessees and the Crown who were defendants.

It was also costly for the organisation and not just in financial terms. It has caused serious internal ructions.

The Timaru Herald reports that Central South Island Fish & Game has passed a vote of no confidence in the organisation’s national chief executive, Bryce Johnson.

Fish & Game is funded from fishing and hunting licences. Many pastoral lessees hold licences are were livid that they were paying for the court action three times – through their licence fees for the body taking the action and both as taxpayers and lessees for the defence.  

Anecdotal evidence from people hunting and fishing on their land supported lessees’ contention that Fish & Game didn’t have whole hearted support of its members for the action. This vote of no confidence supports the anecdotes.

5m by mid 2020s


New Zealand’s population is expected to reach 5 million by the mid 2020s, according to projections by Statistics New Zealand.

While the total population is expected to grow, a greater number of us will be in the older age group:

New Zealand’s population aged 65 years and over (65+) is projected to eclipse 1 million in the late 2020s, Statistics New Zealand said today. According to the 2009-base national population projections, by the late 2020s those aged 65+ will comprise one in five New Zealanders and exceed the number of children aged under 15 years.

Currently, there are 550,000 people aged 65+ and 890,000 children. These trends largely reflect the higher fertility rates of the 1950s and 1960s, the much lower fertility rates since, and the continuing gains in life expectancy. 

The population growth is expected to slow from an average of 1.2% in the past five years to an average of 1% in the next decade, .7% a year in the 2020s and .5% in the 2030s.

These figures are from mid-range series 5, one of nine different projection series derived to indicate the likely size and structure of New Zealand’s population. This projection assumes in the long run that New Zealand women will average 1.9 children each, that life expectancy will continue to increase, and that net migration will average 10,000 people a year. 

People worried about the impact people have on the environment may be cheered by the thought that the birth rate will be under the figure of just over 2% needed for population maintenance. 

Those already concerned about immigration won’t be happy that our population increase will come from immigrants rather than live births.

This is happening throughout the western world. But what these stats don’t show is that the people who are delaying having families and having fewer children tend to be better educated and wealthier than those who are having more children.

The social and economic  implications of that may be just as serious as the implications of the increase in the average age.

And the winners are:


Drum roll please, the winner of the Homepaddock poll for best broadcaster is Jim Mora and the best programme title goes to Afternoons.

Jim got 39% of the votes after sitting at more than 50% until yesterday when a surge in votes took Peter Sledmere to 23%.

Mary Wilson attracted 13% support, Brian Crump and Kathryn Ryan got 10% and Clarissa Dunn 6%. There was a lone vote for Sean Plunket in the comments but his nomination came too late for the poll.

Afternoons won 33% support, Media Watch was second with 28%, Country Life attracted 22% of the vote and Check Point got 17%.

If this had been scientific I’d have to tell you how many people voted. Since it’s not, suffice it to say the results reflect high quality opinons rather than a large quantity of voters. 🙂

Jim and the staff at Afternoons will, as promised, receive a box of Whitestone Cheese, which will be delivered some time in the next couple of weeks.

FTAs slow but vital progress to prosperity


The announcement of a free trade agreement with Malaysia, our eighth biggest trading partner, is welcome news.

Prime Minister John Key said:

“Between 2004 and 2008 New Zealand’s goods exports to Malaysia grew by more than 80 per cent – double the rate for New Zealand’s export growth to the world over the same period.”

If we can achieve that without an FTA, the opportunities with one will be even better.

Trade Minister Tim Groser said:

“Malaysia’s large and growing population of more than 28 million people presents considerable opportunity for new and enhanced market access for New Zealand’s exporters, including in education, environmental, management consulting and veterinary services.

Fran O’Sullivan highlights the opportnuities for dairy prodcue too.

But it’s not just about goods and services, it’s also about attitude.

For generations we looked to the other side of the world, to Britain, and sent most of our produce there.

Now we are looking to markets closer to home. This is not just about trade, it signals a change in culture and a growing recognition of the importance of the Asia Pacific region.

How good are your fences?


Fences are required by law to keep strays out rather than to keep the owner’s stock in.

That doesn’t however, absolve farmers from blame if their stock gets loose and causes an accident.

A Gisborne man successfully sued a farmer for $5,386 after his car hit a calf which had got on to the road.

The calf had been recently weaned and the disputes tribunal found the Nuhaka farmer negligent because he did not take all reasonable steps to ensure adequate fencing.

This doesn’t mean that farmers are always regarded as responsible if stock get on to the road.

A Dunedin woman hit a herd of calves which had escaped through a fence and over a cattle stop. The farmer’s insurance company has said he wasn’t liable for the damage to the woman’s car.

The lessons from this is for farmers to ensure their fences are up to the job required of them and for drivers on rural roads to be aware that fences can fail.

October 27 in history


On October 27:

1466 Desiderius Erasmus Roterdamus, Dutch humanist and theologian, was born.

Desiderius Erasmus in 1523 as depicted by Hans Holbein the Younger

1728 James Cook, British naval captain and explorer, was born.

1795  The United States and Spain signed the Treaty of Madrid, which establishes the boundaries between Spanish colonies and the U.S.

1811 Isaac Singer, American inventor, was born.

1854 Sir William Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys’ Brigade, was born.

1858 Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, was born.

1873 Emily Post, American etiquette author, was born.

1914 Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet, was born.

1932 Sylvia Plath, American poet, was born.

1939 John Cleese, British actor and writer, was born.

John Cleese 2008 cropped.jpg

1943  New Zealand troops made their first opposed land since Gallipoli when soldiers from 8 Brigade, New Zealand 3rd Division, helped their American allies clear Mono Island of its Japanese defenders.

1945 Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil.

1950 Fran Lebowitz, American writer, was born.

1958 Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran), was born.

1970 Alama Ieremia, Samoan born All Black, was born.

1986 The British government suddenly deregulated financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operated in the country, in an event now referred to as Big Bang.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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