What does this say about 760,170 TV viewers?


Last night’s Cheers for 50 Years which was TVNZ’s celebration of a half century of TV in New Zealand attracted 760,170 viewers.

It was the sixth highest rating programme this year, beaten only by five episodes of One News.

Like Inventory 2 at Keeping Stock I thought it was a cringe-fest..

I started watching in the expectation of seeing some of the people and programmes I’d remembered and forgotten.

That’s what they showed but in tiny fragments and I couldn’t be bothered sitting through the game show format to watch them.

In my eyes it wasn’t so much a celebration of the past 50 years as an indictment on current programmes and a warning of what’s to come.

Those 760,170 other people must be easier to please.

Pomp and Circumstance


Edward Elgar would have been 153 today.

It pays to read the fine print


I’d booked to fly from Christchurch to Auckland last Thursday.

When a check with Rural Transport confirmed my suspicion that flooded roads would stop me driving north to the airport I changed my plans to fly from Dunedin instead.

I tried to change the booking online but found I couldn’t change the place of origin or destination so made a new booking and presumed I’d have to write-off the old one.

Only when I read the fine print this morning did I discover I could cancel and claim a refund without cost before the flight and with a charge afterwards.

It would be helpful if that was explained on the manage-your-bookings part of the website.



Either this week’s Dominion Post political trivia quiz was easier or I was concentrating better: 9/10.

Milk price stable in latest auction


Fonterra’s media release describes the price of milk as stable after last night’s globalDairyTrade auction.

Average price  US $ per tonne FAS  % change 
Anhydrous Milk Fat  5324  5.9% 
Skim Milk Powder  3462  -6.2% 
Whole Milk Powder  3790  -3.4% 

Paul Grave, globalDairyTrade Manager, said the market continued to be relatively stable with supply factors the primary driver of market sentiment.

I presume those supply factors include northern hemisphere milk coming on stream and the release on to the market of some of the milk powder which was stock piled whent he price was low.

And the nominees are:


The bloggers who:

a) Reckoned they have a chance.

b) Didn’t want to be seen as wimpy when told to harden up.

c) Had some work to avoid and spent some time avoiding it by trawling through last year’s posts.


d) Were amused by what the NZ Bloggers’ Union had done.

Have been awarded a thankyou the size of a brand new A320 for entering the Air New Zealand Best Blog Awards.

The 32 nominations  included only 7 of the top 20 from Tumeke!’s ranking but the judge’s were able to nominate one of the other 13.

The winner will be announced next Thursday.

Good trails take time


Much ado is being made of the discovery that the cycle trail initiative has progressed more slowly than some would like.

However, as John Key explained, it’s the planning and consenting process which is taking time.

That’s certainly the case with the Alps to the Ocean cycle trail, the last kilometre of which the PM opened when he was in Oamaru last weekend.

But that was the easy kilometre because it was on public land. Much of the remaining 313 kilometres are on private land and getting permission for it to pass through properties takes time.

Almost all affected land owners are happy with the idea in principle. They realise the economic benefits it could bring to the district, that the trail would be an asset for locals too and some see potential business opportunities in feeding, accommodating and entertaining cyclists.

But there are issues of property rights to work through.

The minimum width of land required is 1.5 metres, which isn’t a lot, even when multiplied by the distance which the track will pass through most properties.

But landowners are being asked to surrender part of their properties and lose privacy with – at least at this stage – no compensation.

I haven’t heard of anyone asking that the trail buys the land it will need but there are suggestions that a little rates relief might be in order.

This isn’t a major obstacle, there’s plenty of goodwill on both sides and almost everyone is supportive of the trail. But sorting through the issues and gaining the necessary permission from each property owner can’t be done quickly.

I am confident the trail will go ahead and that the promise of economic development from it will be realised, but good trails take time to get from the drawing board to completion.

June 2 in history


On June 2:

455  The Vandals entered Rome, and plundered the city for two weeks.


1098  First Crusade: The first Siege of Antioch ended as Crusader forces took the city.


1615  First Récollet missionaries arrived at Quebec City.

1692  Bridget Bishop was the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials.


1740 Marquis de Sade, French author, was born (d. 1814).


1763  Pontiac’s Rebellion: Chippewas captured Fort Michilimackinac by diverting the garrison’s attention with a game of lacrosse, then chasing a ball into the fort.

Pontiac conspiracy.jpg

1774 William Lawson, explorer of New South Wales, was born (d. 1850).

1774  The Quartering Act was enacted, allowing a governor in colonial America to house British soldiers in uninhabited houses, outhouses, barns, or other buildings if suitable quarters are not provided.

1780 The Derby horse race was held for the first time.


1793  Jean-Paul Marat recited the names of 29 people to the French National Convention, almost all of whom were guillotined.

1835  P. T. Barnum and his circus started their first tour of the United States.

1840 Thomas Hardy, English writer, was born  (d. 1928).


1848  The Slavic congress in Prague began.

1855 The Portland Rum Riot took place.

1857 Edward Elgar, English composer, was born  (d. 1934).

1876  Hristo Botev, a national revolutionary of Bulgaria, was killed in Stara Planina.

1886  U.S. President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the White House, becoming the only president to wed in the executive mansion.


1896  Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his newest invention: the radio.

1907 Dorothy West, American writer, was born  (d. 1998).

1909 Alfred Deakin became Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.


1913 Barbara Pym, English novelist, was born  (d. 1980).

Recent paperback cover

1917 The Wairuna, a steamer en route from Auckland to San Francisco, was captured by the German raider Wolf and then sunk near the Kermadec Islands.

NZ steamer captured by the Wolf

1918  Kathryn Tucker Windham, American writer and storyteller, was born.

13 Alabama Ghosts Jeffrey.jpg 

1924 U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.


1935 Carol Shields, American-born novelist, was born (d. 2003).


1940  King Constantine II of Greece, was born.


1941 Charlie Watts, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1941 William Guest, American singer (Gladys Knight & the Pips), was born.

1941  World War II: German paratoopers murdered Greek civilians in the village of Kondomari.

1946  In a referendum, Italians voted to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic.

1953 Keith Allen, Welsh comedian, actor, singer and writer, was born.

1953  The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the first major international event to be televised.


1955  The USSR and Yugoslavia signed the Belgrade declaration and thus normalize relations between both countries, discontinued since 1948.

1960 Tony Hadley, English singer (Spandau Ballet), was born.

1965 – Mark Waugh Australian cricketer, was born. 

1965 – Steve Waugh, Australian cricketer, was born. 


1966 Surveyor 1 landed in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft land on another world.


1967 Luis Monge was executed in Colorado’s gas chamber, in the last pre-Furman execution in the United States.

1967  Protests in West Berlin against the arrival of the Shah of Iran turn into riots, during which Benno Ohnesorg is killed by a police officer. His death results in the founding of the terrorist group Movement 2 June.


1979  Pope John Paul II visited his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country.


1984 Operation Bluestar, a military offensive, was launched by the Indian government at Harmandir Sahib, also known as Golden Temple, the holiest shrine for the Sikhs, in Amritsar.

Golden temple Akal Takhat.jpg

1988 Sergio Agüero, Argentinian footballer, was born.

Kun aguero.jpg

1990 The Lower Ohio Valley tornado outbreak spawned 66 confirmed tornadoes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, killing 12.

1992  In a national referendum Denmark rejected the Maastricht Treaty by a thin margin.

1995  United States Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady‘s F-16 wass shot down over Bosnia while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone.


1997   Timothy McVeigh was convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

1999 The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brought television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time.


2003 The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.


2004  Ken Jennings began his 74-game winning streak on the syndicated game show Jeopardy!

 Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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