I Got You


Split Enz reached #1 with I Got You 30 years ago today.

Security relates to risk


“Breaking the news is good, making it isn’t.”

These words of advice from a seasoned editor obviously don’t apply at the Sunday Star Times which stupidly sent its reporters to test security at sports stadiums last week.

Shock horror, they cry, there isn’t any.

Well why would there be?

There is always a risk of some idiot doing something stupid, as these reporters did. There’s also a risk of someone with evil intent harming others.

But the risk of acts of stupidty is higher than the risk of terrorism in New Zealand and we can’t live our lives in fear nor with the expense and restrictions which high security would impose on us.

Police Minister Judith Collins points the stunt could have led to the evacuation of a stadium and games being called off.

“This would have caused not only great public inconvenience and cost, but possibly presented a risk to the safety of spectators.

“Common sense would tell you that running around a stadium dressed as a bomber has the potential to end very badly.

“If there had been panic there was the very real possibility that people – particularly the elderly, children and those less mobile – could have been hurt. . . “

Ms Collins said security at major events is based on risk, and that security at a provincial rugby game will be much less than for a major international match.

“The only thing people masquerading as bombers will achieve is an unnecessary increase in security at considerable cost and inconvenience to the public,” she said.

David Farrar over at Kiwiblog makes a similar point:

New Zealand is not a country that has security based on paranoia. It is based on credible threat. I do not want to live in a country where I get x-rayed going to the local rugby match. Bizarrely, the Sunday Star-Times does.

But any more of these silly stunts and security might be tightened. That would include restrictions on the Prime Minister and other high profile people to whom reporters and the general public have remarkedly easy access.

The SST would be among the first to complain then and have only themselves to blame.

I was in Britain in the early 80s when there was the real and ever present threat of terrorist attack by the IRA. Security in some places was tight but generally people were free to get on with their lives without restrictions because that would have been seen as a victory by the terrorists.

There was a similar reaction after the 2005 London bombings.

If real acts of terrorism don’t lead to restrictive security in other countries, why would the SST expect our freedom to be curtailed when the risk is so low here?

Water schemes win


Two Canterbury irrigation schemes are among the winners in a competition for projects judged to have the potential to make $1 billion each in sales within 20 years.

Two other projects, a central-city village for international students and a whitebait-farming proposal, were also recognised.

The $150 million Central Plains Water Enhancement Scheme (CPW), now a cut-down irrigation project after widespread community opposition, and the Hurunui Water Project, were judged as having big potential.

Together, the two want to irrigate more than 100,000 hectares of farmland in central and north Canterbury.

They involve land acquisition and the construction of canals and a dam.

The competition, which drew 18 entries, was the brainchild of University of Canterbury vice-chancellor Dr Rod Carr.

The winners receive up to 50 days free professional help each, worth about $140,000, to further project development and confirm feasibility.

The competition was a great idea and it’s no surprise that irrigation schemes were among the winners.

The benefits and costs are high for farmers and it takes them many years to get real returns on their investment. But the returns for the people who work for, service and sell to farmers are immediate and so are the boosts to the wider economy.

Irrigation can have both positive and negative impacts on the environment. It will almost certainly lead to an increase in dairying which will concern some people. But dairying in itself isn’t a problem.

The best comment on this I’ve read comes from Daniel Collins at Sciblogs.

In a post entitled It’s Not US or the Cows, worth reading in full, he writes:

In any case, it is the pollution that is the problem, not the cows. More intense dairying would likely lead to worse water quality all else being equal, but there is no need to assume all else will be equal. In conjunction with regional planning to limit the extent of dairying, there is room for on-farm management practices to improve. The question is both how many cows and how to manage them.

Increased concern about the environmental impacts of irrigation and dairying have led to a lot of improvements in management.

One of the conditions for the North Otago Irrigation Company’s consent was that every shareholder must have an environmental farm plan which is independently monitored.

It works well to protect and enhance the health of soil and water and something similar could be adopted in Canterbury to ensure that the economic gains from irrigation don’t come at the expense of the environment.

Top Topps


The Topp Twins were busy enough at the show in Wanaka.

Official duties included judging the Glammies, presenting prizes for the Fox Terrior race (won by 14 year old Jed) and leading the Grand Parade before taking to the stage to entertain a large and appreciative crowd.

By the end of the show they’d have been forgiven if they’d been a little tired of smiling and being pleasant. If they were they didn’t show it when I came to a stop beside their car because the track ahead was blocked.

Lynda directed me backwards safely so one of the vehicles blocking the way could move, put a plastic chair over a large tent peg which I might not have seen, ushered me forwards and waved me goodbye with a broad grin.

The Topps are tops.

March 14 in history


On March 14:

1489 The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sold her kingdom to Venice.

Gentile Bellini 002.jpg

1590 Battle of Ivry: Henry of Navarre and the Huguenots defeated the forces of the Catholic League under the Duc de Mayenne during the French Wars of Religion.


1647 Thirty Years’ War: Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden signed the Truce of Ulm.

Jacques callot miseres guerre.gif

1757 Admiral John Byng was executed by firing squad, on-board the HMS Monarch, for neglecting his duty.


1794 Eli Whitney was granted a patent for the cotton gin.


1869 Defeat of Titokowaru.

Von Tempsky's death Kennett Watkins.jpg 

1900 The Gold Standard Act was ratified, placing United States currency on the gold standard.

1903 The Hay-Herran Treaty, granting the United States the right to build the Panama Canal, was ratified by the United States Senate.

1905 Chelsea Football Club was founded.

Chelsea FC.svg

1910 Lakeview Gusher, the largest U.S. oil well gusher near Bakersfield, California, vented to atmosphere.


1915 Cornered off the coast of Chile by the Royal Navy after fleeing the Battle of the Falkland Islands, the German light cruiser SMS Dresden was abandoned and scuttled by her crew.


1939 Slovakia declared independence under German pressure.

1942  Orvan Hess and John Bumstead became the first in the world to successfully treat a patient, Anne Miller, using penicillin.


1945 World War II – The R.A.F. first operational use of the Grand Slam bomb, Bielefeld, Germany.

British Grand Slam bomb.jpg

1951  Korean War: For the second time, United Nations troops recaptured Seoul.

1964  A jury in Dallas, Texas found Jack Ruby guilty of killing Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of John F. Kennedy.

1972  Italian publisher and former partisan Giangiacomo Feltrinelli was killed by an explosion.

1978  The Israeli Defense Force invades and occupies southern Lebanon, in Operation Litani.


1979 A Hawker Siddeley Trident crashed into a factory near Beijing, killing at least 200.

1980 Split Enz reached No 1 with I Got You from their True Colours  album.

Split Enz hit No.1 with 'I got you'

  1980 A plane crashesd during final approach near Warsaw killing 87 people, including a 14-man American boxing team.

1984Gerry Adams, head of Sinn Féin, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt.

1989 General Michel Aoun declared that he will act for the liberation of Lebanon.

1994 Linux kernel version 1.0.0 was released.


1995 Astronaut Norman Thagard became the first American astronaut to ride to space on-board a Russian launch vehicle.


1998 An earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale hit southeastern Iran.

2005 Cedar Revolution: hundreds of thousands of Lebanese went into the streets of Beirut to demonstrate against the Syrian military presence in Lebanon and against the government.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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