Will Anderton stay in parliament?


Jim Anderton has been a Labour MP in all but name for years.

However, the pretence that he’s leading a party has cost taxpayers because party leaders get extra funding.

Now he’s planning to stand as mayor of Christchurch which raises several questions..

Will he resign as an MP or will we be paying his salary while he campaigns?

If he’s successful will he resign as an MP or will we have to keep on paying him while the citizens of Christchurch also pay him?

If he’s not successful will he stand again as an MP?

Old Time Rock and Roll


Happy birthday Bob Seger – 65 today.

Redundancy provisions can lead to redundancies


Labour’s bill to force employers to pay redundancy was defeated in parliament.

That is obviously a relief for employers but it’s also better for employees.

If individual businesses and their employees want to negotiate redundancy provisions they are free to do so but it shouldn’t be forced on all employers.

A former Labour MP told me he’d become very wary of redundancy payments after a business in his electorate collapsed.

It had expanded, taken on extra staff then lost some large orders.

Its medium to long term outlook was bright but it was having short term cash flow problems and its credit worthiness was undermined by the redundancy liability on its balance sheet. The requirement to cover redundancies if it failed was what caused it to fail.

I had a similar experience with  a trust I chaired.

Most of our funding was from government contracts, when policy changed contracts reduced and so did our income. It was a not-for profit organisation and for a couple of years we set the budget, knowing we’d have to dip into reserves to cover the deficit.

By the third year reserves had fallen to little more than the amount we’d need for redundancy. We were forced to make everyone redundant, pay out and start again. Most of those who’d been made redundant were re-employed but their contracts were changed and no longer included redundancy provisions.

It’s better to pay workers fairly and let them make their own redundancy provisions than to pay them less in order to provide cover for redundancies which might not happen, or happen because the business has to cover redundancies.

Untouchable Girls


Day six of New Zealand Music Month – the Topp Twins with Untouchable Girls.

Baby it’s cold outside


We woke to our second frost in a row this morning.

We’d had reasonably warm weather after the last rain which was letting the grass grow.

But two frosts in a row is a warning that soil temperatures are dropping and with or without more rain we’re not likely to get much more pasture growth until spring.

Someone has to pay for free money


Interest free student loans are interest free to the student but they come at considerable cost to taxpayers.

In spite of that the suggestion that students pay a $50 administration fee has already been met with howls of anguish from the usual suspects who think we don’t do enough.


“If we take into account student allowances and the student loans we lend to students to pay for fees and living costs, we spend a total of 42% of our total tertiary budget on student support,” says Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.

In comparison, Australia spends about 31% of its tertiary budget that way and the OECD average is 19%.

Mr Joyce says a big reason is the way we handle our student loans. 

“Taxpayers are currently writing off about 47 cents in every dollar that is advanced on a student loan.  We remain committed to interest-free student loans but we are looking at a number of things at the margin that will promote equity and fairness between students and taxpayers.“They won’t change the world but they will give us more funds to do more in the tertiary sector.  Final decisions will be detailed in the Budget later this month.”

Student leaders and others who complain about the government not helping students enough can’t realise that we’re spending more than twice the OECD average on student support.

Most students will be taxpayers, many already are. The more they get as students the greater the burden they’re faced with as taxpayers.

All of us would be better served if  tertiary funding was rebalanced to provide more for improving the quality of education rather than the quantity of student support.

Requiring students who have loans to make a token payment towards the cost of them would be a good start.

May 6 in history


On May 6:

1527  Spanish and German troops sack ed Rome;  147 Swiss Guards, including their commander, died fighting the forces of Charles V in order to allow Pope Clement VII  to escape into Castel Sant’Angelo.

Sack of Rome of 1527 by Johannes Lingelbach 17th century.jpg

1536  King Henry VIII  ordered English language Bibles be placed in every church.

1542  Francis Xavier reached Old Goa, the capital of Portuguese India at the time.

1682  Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles.


1757  Battle of Prague – A Prussian army fought an Austrian army in Prague during the Seven Years’ War.

Battle of Prague, 6 May 1757 - Attempted envelopment.gif

1758 Maximilien Robespierre, French Revolutionary was born (d. 1794).

1816  The American Bible Society was founded.

Logo of the American Bible Society

1835 James Gordon Bennett, Sr. published the first issue of the New York Herald.


1840  The Penny Black postage stamp beccame valid for use in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.


1856 Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychiatrist, was born (d. 1939).

1856 Robert Peary, American explorer, was born  (d. 1920).

1857  The British East India Company disbanded the 34th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry whose sepoy Mangal Pandey had earlier revolted against the British and is considered to be the First Martyr in the War of India’s Independence.

Mangal pandey gimp.jpg

1860  Giuseppe Garibaldi’s Mille expedition sets sail from Genoa to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

Partenza da Quarto.jpg

1861  Motilal Nehru, Indian freedom fighter, was born (d. 1931).

1861  American Civil War: Richmond, Virginia was declared the new capital of the Confederate States of America.

1863 American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville ended with the defeat of the Army of the Potomac by Confederate troops.

Battle of Chancellorsville.png

1877  Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Sioux surrendered to United States troops in Nebraska.


1882 Thomas Henry Burke and Lord Frederick Cavendish were stabbed and killed during the Phoenix Park Murders in Dublin.


1882  The United States Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act.


1889  The Eiffel Tower was officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition.


1895 Rudolph Valentino, Italian actor, was born (d. 1926).

1904 Moshe Feldenkrais, Ukrainian-born founder of the Feldenkrais method, was born (d. 1984).

1910  George V beccame  King of the United Kingdom upon the death of his father, Edward VII.

Full-length portrait in oils of a blue-eyed, brown-haired man of slim build, with a beard and moustache. He wears a British naval uniform under an ermine cape, and beside him a jewelled crown stands on a table.

1915  Orson Welles, American film director and actor, was born (d. 1985).

1920 Kamisese Mara, 1st Prime Minister of Fiji and President of Fiji, was born (d. 2004).

1935  New Deal: Executive Order 7034 created the Works Progress Administration.


1935  The first flight of the Curtiss P-36 Hawk.

1937  Hindenburg disaster:  Thirty six people were killed when the German zeppelin Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

1940  John Steinbeck was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Grapes of Wrath.

JohnSteinbeck TheGrapesOfWrath.jpg

1941   Bob Hope performed his first USO show.


1941  The first flight of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

1942  World War II:  On Corregidor, the last American forces in the Philippines surrendered to the Japanese.

Map of Corregidor 1941.jpg

1945  World War II: Axis Sally  delivered her last propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.

1945 Bob Seger, American singer/songwriter, was born.

1945 – World War II: The Prague Offensive, the last major battle of the Eastern Front, began.

Battles in NE Transylvania, Hungary and Czechoslovakia (1944–1945)

1947 –Alan Dale, New Zealand actor, was born.

A head shot of a man wearing a suit; he is turned away from the camera.

1953 Tony Blair, former British prime minister, was born.

1954 Roger Bannister became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.

1960 More than 20 million viewers watch the first televised royal wedding when Princess Margaret married Anthony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey.

1962  St. Martín de Porres was canonized by Pope John XXIII.

1966 Myra Hindley and Ian Brady were sentenced to life imprisonment for the Moors Murders in England.

1976  An earthquake struck Friuli, causing 989 deaths and the destruction of entire villages.

1981  A jury of architects and sculptors unanimously selected Maya Ying Lin’s design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial from 1,421 other entries.

1983  The Hitler diaries were revealed as a hoax after examination by experts.


1984  103 Korean Martyrs were canonized by Pope John Paul II in Seoul.

1989 Cedar Point opened Magnum XL-200, the first roller coaster to break the 200 ft height barrier.

Magnum1 CP.JPG

1994  Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand officiated at the opening of the Channel Tunnel.


1994 – Former Arkansas state worker Paula Jones filed suit against President Bill Clinton, alleging that he had sexually harassed her in 1991.

1996 A totally New Zealand  Royal Honours system was established.

New royal honours established

1997 The Bank of England was given independence from political control, the most significant change in the bank’s 300-year history..

Logo of the Bank of England

  1999  First elections to the devolved Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly  were held.

Coat of arms or logo.    Coat of arms or logo.

2001  During a trip to Syria, Pope John Paul II became the first pope to enter a mosque.

2002  Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was assassinated by an animal rights activist.


2008 Chaiten Volcano erupted in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 4,500 people.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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