Bother – missed one question in the Dominion Post’s political quiz.

I made a wrong guess about what was concerning the Environment Commissioner.

Kiwiblog got the lot.

Mid-week Music – The Shadows


In recognition of Hank Marvin’s birthday, The Shadows play Apache:

The Reluctant Pirate


Amos Bunberry is a pirate in training, but a relucant one.

He’s trying pirate life because his mother said he had to. But he’s not enjoying it until he meets Griselda and her gang of forward thinking pirates.

This is a quirky tale in which brains beat brawn.

The author is Pauline Cartwright. Her word plays and jokes are enhanced by Marg Hamilton’s illustrations.

The book was a finalist in the 1994 Aim Book Awards.

dairy 10004

Post 28 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 Back of the Chair by Margaret Mahy, illustrated by Polly Dunbar.

PGW rebrands


Rod Orman was less than enthusiastic about PGG Wrightson taking Chinese company Agria as a cornerstone partner.

Perhaps the person who photoshopped the PGW store with Chinese script below the brand had similar concerns:



Waimate writer wins SST short story contest


Waimate writer Sue Francis has won the open section of the Sunday Star Times short story award.

Her winning story, The Concentrators, is set in Temuka and she describes it as a coming of age story.

This is Sue’s second writing success this year. She has recently had a story published in the latest volume of Random House’s Best New Zealand Fiction. 

Sue is a classmate in the writing course I am doing at Aoraki Polytech. The win is also a good reflection on our tutor, Diane Brown.

Southland celebrates


They may not have the numbers found in provinces further north and even the most loyal Southlander would admit that they don’t always get the warmest of weather.

But Southland certainly knows how to celebrate.

The Southland Times covers yesterday’s Ranfurly Shield parade here.

Own boss for holiday pays off


The staff of the Pig & Whistle pub in Queenstown who employed themselves for Labour Day think it was worth their while.

Owner Barry Ellis turned the pub over to his staff on Monday to avoid having to pay the punishing holiday pay rates which often makes opening too expensive.

Staff signed special contracts for the day and became self employed. They had to pay all the costs and they could then share the profit.

Duty manager Daragh Cantwell said it would be a few days before the financial success of their boss handing the pub over to the staff was known.

“But we did okay. It was definitely worthwhile,” said the temporary boss, enjoying a day off yesterday after working 17 hours the previous day.

If the staff are happy and the owner is happy this may be one way of getting round the law which requires anyone working on a holiday to be paid time and a half and a day off in lieu.

There is a risk in it for staff, if they don’t make enough they’d be working for nothing for a day. But there’s a risk in operating on holidays for owners that they won’t make enough to cover the cost of extra wages and days off.

From prescriptive to flexible


Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson has introduced a bill to give flexibility to rest and meal break legislation.

The Employment Relations (Rest Breaks and Meal Breaks) Amendment Bill amends the Employment Relations Act 2000, giving employers and employees the opportunity to develop rest and meal break policies best suited to individual requirements.

Ms Wilkinson says the Bill moves the legislative focus from prescription to flexibility, and encourages both employers and staff to negotiate in good faith about workable rest and meal break arrangements.

Gosh, a minister who trusts workers and employers to work out what suits them. That’s a novel concept.

People need regular breaks and in some work places it’s possible to have them at set times but it’s not possible or preferable in all workplaces at all times.

Shearers have breaks at regular, set intervals. But the people who are bringing in the sheep aren’t going to stop on the dot if the stock aren’t where they need to be when the shearers start their next run.

When you’re lambing or calving and a ewe or cow needs help, no good farm worker will stop for a cup of tea and I don’t think anyone assisting with human deliveries would either.

UPDATE: PDM pointed to the Herald which says Gvot bill axes right to smoko.

October 28 in history


On October 28:

1510 Francis Borgia, Spanish duke and Jesuit priest was born.

Saint Francis Borgia. He is depicted performing an exorcism in this painting by Francisco Goya.

1538 The first university n the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino in the Dominican Republic, was established.

1664 The Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, later to be known as the Royal Marines, was established.


1697 Canaletto, Italian artist, was born.

1846 Georges Auguste Escoffier, French chef, was born.

1848 The first railway in Spain – between Barcelona and Mataró – wass opened

1886 President Grover Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor

1890 New Zealand’s first Labour Day celebrations took place.

1893 Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, received its premiere performance in St. Petersburg.

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky by Nikolay Kuznetsov, 1893
1903 Evelyn Waugh, English writer, was born.
1914 Jonas Salk, American biologist and physician, was born.
1918 Czechoslovakia was granted independence from Austria-Hungary.
Flag Coat of arms

1927 Dame Cleo Laine, English singer. was born.

1929 Joan Plowright, English actress was born.

1941 Hank Marvin,lead guitarist for The SHadows, was born.

1942 The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) was completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska.

1946 Australian politician, former leader of the Liberal Party, John Hewson, was born.

1948 – Swiss chemist Paul Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the insecticidal properties of DDT.

1954 The modern Kingdom of the Netherlands was re-founded as a federal monarchy.

1955 Bill Gates, American software executive, was born.

1960 Landon Curt Noll, Astronomer, Cryptographer and Mathematician: youngest to hold the world record for the largest known prime 3 times, was born.


1965 Nostra Aetate, the “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions” of the Second Vatican Council, is promulgated by Pope Paul VI; it absolves the Jews of the alleged killing of Jesus, reversing Innocent III’s 760 year-old declaration.

1967 Julia Roberts, American actress, was born.

1970 Gary Gabelich set a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas.

1970 Britain launched its first (and so far, only) satellite, Prospero, into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket.

Prospero X-3 model.jpg

1982 Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) won elections, leading to first Socialist government in Spain after death of Franco.  Felipe Gonzalez became Prime Minister-elect.

2007 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner became the first woman elected President of Argentina.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.

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