Gold Card transport review necessary


If there is one thing that the Peters’ Party election bribe of free public transport for the elderly did it was prove that incentives work.

Card holders can travel at no cost to themselves so they do for a whole variety of reasons, not all of which could be regarded as worthy of taxpayer largesse.

Among the beneficiaries are wealthy people who live or holiday on Waiheke Island and are able to enjoy free transport to and from Auckland on the ferries.

A review of what the card will cover includes the eligibility of some high cost services, including the Waiheke ferry and not before time.

It’s debatable whether untargeted free public transport is the best use of money for the elderly, especially when few people outside the main centres have access to it. But even if there is a case for blanket cover, it ought to exclude the ferries.



Verdi’s Rigoletto premiered on this day in 1851.

Executive Development programme applications open


Rabobank is calling for applications for its Executive Development Programme for Primary Producers and its Farm Managers Programme.

The EDPPP is a business management programme designed specifically for farmers.

It aims to help primary producers take their operations up several levels and anyone I know who’s done it speaks very highly of the programme and the positive impact applying what they’ve learned has had on their businesses.

The first module covers management and motivation, human resource management, strategic issues for leading producers, business strategy, equity growth options, financial management, marketing and effective communication and presentation.

Participants then have several months to do a management project related to their own businesses which they present at the second module.

Other sessions in the second module cover leading effective teams, future market directions, problem solving and innovation, risk management, negotiation, performance benchmarking, succession planning and work life balance.

My farmer did the programme about 12 years ago and we’ve both been to three alumni conferences from which we, and our business, gained a lot.

The EDPPP helps participants take their operations up several gears and helps with both business and personal development.

One of the benefits is the networking opportunities with the people you meet. The programme attracts farmers from throughout Australia and New Zealand and the value of the friendships developed between them is immeasurable.

More information and enrolment forms are here. Applications close on May 28.

Women win Meat Board elections


The board of Meat and Wool New Zealand  has two new directors – both of them women.

Anne Munro of Fairlie has beaten long-serving director David Douglas of North Otago in the Central South Island electorate and in the Western North Island, Kirsten Bryant of Fordell beat Tony Gray of Pohangina Valley. Sitting director Ron Frew hadn’t sought re-election in that electorate.

The defeat of a sitting director, following the vote against wool levies last year which means Meat & Wool will soon just be Meat, reinforces the message farmers aren’t happy.

However, I think M&W is bearing the brunt of farmer frustration with the industry as a whole and there’s little if anything M&W can do about that.



8/10 in the Dominion Post’s politics quiz – four guesses – two wrong, two right.

March 11 in history


On March 11:

1387 Battle of Castagnaro: English condottiero Sir John Hawkwood led Padova to victory in a factional clash with Verona.


1649 The Frondeurs and the French government signed the Peace of Rueil.

1702 The Daily Courant, the UK’s first national daily newspaper was published for the first time.

The Daily Courant.png

1708 Queen Anne withheld Royal Assent from the Scottish Militia Bill, the last time a British monarch vetoed legislation.

1824 The United States War Department created the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Bureau of indian affairs seal n11288.gif

1845 Hone Heke cut down the British flag pole for the fourth time. He and Kawiti were leading figures in the attack which resulted in the the fall of Kororareka.

The fall of Kororareka

 1848 Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine and Robert Baldwin became the first Prime Ministers of the Province of Canada to be democratically elected under a system of responsible government.


1851 The first performance of Rigoletto, written by Verdi.


1864 The Great Sheffield Flood: The largest man-made disaster ever to befall England killed more than 250 people.


1867  The first performance of Don Carlo written by Verdi.


1872 Construction of the Seven Sisters Colliery, South Wales, started; located on one of the richest coal sources in Britain.

1888 The Great Blizzard of 1888 begins along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.


1903 Ronald Syme, New Zealand classicist and historian, was born.


1915 J. C. R. Licklider, American computer scientist and Internet pioneer, was born.

1916 Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1916  Ezra Jack Keats, children’s  author


1917   Baghdad fell to the Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.


1927 Samuel Roxy Rothafel opened the Roxy Theatre in New York.

Roxy Theater postcard.jpg

1931 Rupert Murdoch, Australian-born entrepreneur, was born.

1941  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Lend-Lease Act into law, allowing American-built war supplies to be shipped to the Allies on loan.

 The Lend-Lease Memorial in Fairbanks, Alaska commemorates the shipment of U.S. aircraft to the Soviet Union along the Northwest Staging Route.

1945 The Imperial Japanese Navy attempted a large-scale kamikaze attack on the U.S. Pacific Fleet anchored at Ulithi atoll in Operation Tan No. 2.

USS Randolph (CV-15) under repair.jpg

1952 Douglas Adams, English writer, was born.


1958 Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer, interim President of Iraq, was born.

1977 The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.

1978 Coastal Road massacre: At least 37 are killed and more than 70 are wounded when Al Fatah hijack an Israeli bus, prompting Israel’s Operation Litani.


1985 Mikhail Gorbachev beccame the Soviet Union’s leader.

1990 Lithuania declared itself independent from the Soviet Union.

1990 Patricio Aylwin was sworn-in as the first democratically elected Chilean president since 1970.

1993 Janet Reno was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn-in the next day, becoming the first female Attorney General of the United States.

1999Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Infosys logo.svg

2004  Simultaneous explosions on rush hour trains in Madrid   killed 191 people.

2006 Michelle Bachelet was inaugurated as first female president of Chile.

2009 Winnenden school shooting – 17 people are killed at a school in Germany.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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