Anthems shouldn’t be dirges


Memo to whoever is responsible for the singing of national anthems before sport matches: they’re supposed to be enthusiastic and uplifting.

I’ve just listened to God Defend New Zealand and Advance Australia Fair being sung in Tokyo where the All Blacks are playing the Wallabies.

Both sounded like dirges.

North Otago wins Lochore Cup


North Otago won the Lochore Cup in a match against West Coast today.

Also celebrating his local team is Inventory 2 who makes a brief return at Keeping Stock to record that Wanganui won the Meads Cup.

Apropos of sport, all the best to those dedicated souls (and soles) participating in the Auckland marathon tomorrow.

Saturday’s smiles


An Aussie truckie walks into  an outback cafe with a full-grown emu behind him. The waitress asks them for their orders.

The truckie says, ‘A hamburger, chips and  a coke,’ and turns to the emu,  ‘What’s yours?’

‘I’ll have the  same,’ says the emu.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order ‘That will be $9.40  please.’ He reaches into  his pocket and pulls out the exact change for payment.

The next day, the man and the emu come again and he says, ‘A  hamburger,  chips and a coke.’ The emu says, ‘I’ll have the same.’

Again the truckie reaches into his pocket and pays with exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. ‘The usual?’ asks the  waitress.

‘No, it’s Friday night, so I’ll have a steak, baked  potato and a salad,’ says the man. ‘Same,’ says the emu.  

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, ‘That will be  $32.62.’

Once again the man pulls the exact change out  of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress can’thold back her curiosity any longer. ‘Excuse me, mate, how do you manage to always come up with the exact change in your pocket every time?’  

‘Well, love’ says  the  truckie, ‘A few years ago, I was cleaning out the back shed, and found  an old lamp. When I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything,  I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money  would always be there.’

‘That’s  brilliant!’ says the  waitress. ‘Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you’ll always be as rich as you want for as long as you live!’  

‘That’s right. Whether it’s a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there,’ says the man.

The waitress asks, ‘What’s with the bloody emu?’  

The truckie sighs, pauses, and answers, ‘My second wish was for a tall chick with a big arse and  long legs, who agrees with everything I say.’  

Honey Co tops Deloitte fast 50


New Zealand Honey Co, the country’s single largest producer of specialty honey, topped the 2009 Deloitte Fast 50 list.

Matt McKendry, Deloitte’s Fast 50 leader, said New Zealand Honey Co. was an example of a company developing high-value niche products from an indigenous Kiwi source, and exploiting their “massive value-add potential”.

He said the Deloitte Fast 50 had made a habit of identifying emerging industries and honey was another great example. “New Zealand Honey Co. follows in the footsteps of last year’s fastest growing company, Masterton-based Watson and Son. Based on the performance of these two companies, there is no reason to think honey cannot become a much larger industry than its current $100m size, and become a major industry for New Zealand.

Honey provides opportunities for businesses using it as both a food and a farmaceutical.

McKendry said that none of the companies which made the list had done anything outrageous to cope with the recession, if anything they had succeeded by concentrating on the basics.

“All the discussions and interviews we have done this year across New Zealand indicate to us that Fast 50 companies navigated their way through the difficult economic times by making sure they have the fundamental elements of their business right. The key elements are retaining a great team, nailing a product or service niche, having a thorough understanding of their markets and being active with their customers. Great performers in a recessionary environment are doing all the same things that great performers do in economically rosy times.”

Fourteen companies in this year’s list have been in revious Fast 50s. They are:

NextWindow, Torpedo7 (4 times); Digital Island, RimuHosting, Triodent, Working In, Observatory Crest (3 times); Catch, Enztec, Futrix, Mobile Mentor, Seales, Synlait, (2 times).

NZ Book Month


Today is the last day of NZ Book Month and the post a day challenge.

It’s been fun and the challenge for me was not what to include but which books to leave out.

Deborah kept up with the calendar. In doing so reminded me of some old favourites and added several books to my must-read list.

Family, work, life and other more important things got in the way of Rob’s good intention to post each day, but what he lacked in quantity was more than compensated for by quality. 

 He didn’t get round to Bollard and Buckle’s “Economic Liberalisation in New Zealand’  which he reckoned is a real page turner; nor Malcolm McKinnon History of the NZ Treasury which he promised would have you on the edge of your seat.

Maybe next year. 🙂


Deborah has posted on a month of books and in doing so reminded me that Karen Healey became a late entry to the challenge and posts here on Margaret Mahy; and that Oswald Bastable also did some book month posts, although none on his own.

Beak of the Moon


Not long after I started my first job on a newspaper the chief reporter told me an author was coming and I was to interview him.

The author was Philip Temple who was on a promotional tour for his newly published novel, Beak of the Moon.

It must have been one of those interviews authors dread because I hadn’t read the book. However,  I had heard of the author and was an admirer of his pictorial books like Mantle of the Skies, with its amazing photos of the bush and mountains.

He gave me a copy of Beak of the Moon which I read and then reviewed enthusiastically.

It’s an anthropomorphic story, giving a kea’s eye view of the arrival of people in the high country. The plot is absorbing and the story reflects the author’s knowledge and love of the high country.

Temple is one of New Zealand’s most prolific writers and has won several prizes including the Prime Minister’s Literary Award.

dairy 10013

Post 31 in the post a day for New Zealand Book Month challenge

book month logo green

Over at In A Strange Land Deborah’s final post for the challenge is The Best Loved Bear by Diana Noonan, illustrated by Elizabeth Fuller.

Farmaceutical ice cream could counter chemo side effects


Ice cream developed by the University of Auckland and Fonterra may be successful in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy.

The ice cream, known as ReCharge, has started Phase 2 clinical trials in New Zealand to assess its effectiveness against Chemotherapy Induced Diarrhoea (CID) and anaemia, but the ‘dessert with a difference’ could also reduce weight loss and damage to the immune system during chemotherapy.

Oncology Centres at Whangarei, Auckland, Waikato, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill are taking part in the trial. Around 10 patients are already signed up for a daily regime that includes eating a 100 gram tub of strawberry ice cream containing two active dairy ingredients that combine to address the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy. Cancer Trials New Zealand (CTNZ) is currently seeking 190 additional volunteers for the trial.

If trials are successful it will be great news for cancer patients.

It could also bring benefits for farmers. 

There is huge potential in the development of “farmaceuticals” . These medicines using farm produce could provide opportunities for diversification and added value for producers.

October 31 in history


On October 31:

1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1795  John Keats, British poet, was born.

1960  Juliette Low American founder of the Girl Scouts was born.

1863  British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron began their Invasion of the Waikato.

1887 Chiang Kai-shek, Nationalist Chinese leader, former Republic of China president, was born.

 1908 – Muriel Duckworth, Canadian activist, was born.

1913 Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States.


1917 The Battle of Beersheba took place, the “last successful cavalry charge in history”.

Charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade
A photograph of a re-enactment of the Charge on Beersheba taken in early February 1918.

1920  Dick Francis, Welsh born jockey & author, was born.

1923 The first of 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees (37.6 C) at Marble Bar, Australia.

1931 Dan Rather, American television journalist, was born.


1984  Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards.

1985 Keri Hulme’s book The Bone People  won the Booker Prize.

1999  Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigatingthe world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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