Wild Thing


Happy birthday Reg Presley – 67 today.

10 degrees outside . . .


. . . but it’s 23 inside with out any heating thanks to sunlight, insulation and double glazing.

Why have New Zea;anders been so slow to build warm houses?

Saturday’s smiles



A priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish.

A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech.

However, he was delayed, so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited:

“I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his employer, had an affair with his boss’s wife and taken illegal drugs, I was appalled.

“But as the days went on I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.”

Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and started by saying:

“I’ll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived. In fact, I had the honour of being the very first person to go to him for confession. . . ”

Hat Tip: The Ag Letter from Baker and Associates. It’s full of informative and useful reading on farming matters. You can read a past edition and subscribe here.

Gift duty to go?


Federated Farmers has been campaigning against gift duty for years and is welcoming the news that  it may go.

“Federated Farmers is extremely happy as we’ve lobbied successive Governments to end this arcane but avoidable tax, for those who have the means and time to restructure their affairs,” says Philip York, Federated Farmers economics and commerce spokesperson.

“The current gift duty threshold of $27,000 per annum means it can take decades to gift a farm from parents to their children. Succession is a major issue in farming today so the end of gift duty is a major step forward for Federated Farmers priority of farming for generations.

“In tragic circumstances gift duty greatly amplifies any sense of loss if affairs are not in order.  Unless gifted, for every $1 million up to $250,000 is payable to Inland Revenue.   

“Yet gift duty is easily avoided over time thanks to accountants and lawyers, so that makes gift duty not only inefficient, but punitive and pointless as well. . . “

The ODT reports that the amount collected doesn’t  justify the effort anyway:

The scheme cost $435,000 to administer each year, but generated just $1.5 million in duties.

A lot of people were escaping the tax by selling their assets at market value in exchange for a debt which they progressively wrote off without requiring repayment.

Feds describes gift duty as an “envy tax”. Getting rid of it will mean there’s no need for avoidance and make succession planning a bit easier for farming families.

Twenty seven thousand dollars may be a lot to someone who doesn’t have much but it’s less than the average wage. It would take decades to give away the value of even a small farm at no more than that amount each year.

Gift duty doesn’t  just apply to farmers or other business people, though. It applies to anyone, including Lotto winners who have to pay the tax if they want to share any more of their winnings than $27,000 annually.

The state shouldn’t be standing with its hand out between people who want to give away what they’ve earned or won and the recipients.

Tech tantrum


Our office manager discovered the internet wasn’t working when she got to work on Tuesday morning.

She rang the Orcon help desk and was told a technician would be out within 48 hours.

Late the following afternoon she rang to check on progress and was told if no-one had come by Friday to ring back.

My farmer wasn’t happy about that so he rang and was advised to buy a thingamee which might solve the problem.

He did but when we got home we couldn’t work out how to install it.

We rang the help desk again, listened to recorded messages and eventually got a real person who couldn’t help andtold us the bloke who’d advised us before was tied up but he’d get him to ring back.

He did but couldn’t help and said we’d have to wait until the specialists got to work next morning and he’d leave a message to call us first thing.

By late afternoon when no-one had called I rang back, got through the recorded messages to a real person and got the specialists-aren’t-here story again.

Yesterday morning we finally got one of the specialists who faxed us instructions for the thingamee. Our accountant, who is much better with technology than the rest of us, read them, followed them and got the internet working again.

We’re relieved but also wondering why we had to go without the internet for three whole days when someone could have told us about the thingamee and faxed instructions for it at the first call.

June 12 in history


On June 12:

1381  Peasants’ Revolt: in England, rebels arrived at Blackheath.


1418  An insurrection delivered Paris to the Burgundians.

1429  Hundred Years’ War: Joan of Arc led the French army in their capture of the city and the English commander, William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk in the second day of the Battle of Jargeau.

Battle of Jargeau Martial d'Auvergne (1508).jpg

1560  Battle of Okehazama: Oda Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto.

The grave of Yoshimoto Imagawa in Okehazama.jpg

1653  First Anglo-Dutch War: the Battle of the Gabbard began.


1665 England installed a municipal government in New York City.

1758 French and Indian War: Siege of LouisbourgJames Wolfe‘s attack at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia commenced.

Map of Louisbourg 1758.png

1775  American Revolution: British general Thomas Gage declared martial law in Massachusetts. The British offer a pardon to all colonists who lay down their arms with two exceptions: Samuel Adams and John Hancock, if captured, were to be hanged.


1776 The Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted.

1798 Irish Rebellion of 1798: Battle of Ballynahinch.

Vinegar Hill 1.jpg

1802 Harriet Martineau, controversial journalist, political economist, abolitionist and life-long feminist, was born (d. 1876).


1806 John A. Roebling, German-America civil engineer (Brooklyn Bridge), was born (d. 1869).


1819  Charles Kingsley, English writer, was born (d. 1875).

1827 Johanna Spyri, Swiss writer, was born (d. 1901).

1830  Beginning of the French colonization of Algeria: 34,000 French soldiers landed at Sidi Ferruch.

1860  The State Bank of the Russian Empire was established.

1864 American Civil War, Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor – Ulysses S. Grant gave the Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee a victory when he pulled his Union troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Virginia and moves south.

Battle of Cold Harbor.png

1889  78 people were killed in the Armagh rail disaster.

1897 Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1977).


1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence: General Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines’ independence from Spain.

1899  New Richmond Tornado killed 117 people and injured around 200.

Ruins of the town's Methodist Church following this deadly tornado.
1915 David Rockefeller, American banker, was born.
1922 King George V received the colours of the six Irish regiments that were to be disbanded – the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the South Irish Horse, the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
1924 George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, was born.
1929 Anne Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim, was born (d. 1945).

1935 Chaco War ended: a truce was called between Bolivia and Paraguay.

Disputed Bolivia Paraguay.jpg

1938 Tom Oliver, Australian actor, was born.


1939  Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures’ Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.

1939  The Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, New York.

1940  World War II: 13,000 British and French troops surrendered to Major General Erwin Rommel at Saint-Valery-en-Caux.

Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-012-43, Erwin Rommel.jpg

1942 The first troops from the USA landed in Auckland.

First US troops land in Auckland

1942  Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday.


1943  Reg Presley, English singer/songwriter (The Troggs), was born.

1943  Germany liquidated the Jewish Ghetto in Berezhany, western Ukraine. 1,180  are lpeople were led to the city’s old Jewish graveyard and shot.

1952 Pete Farndon, English musician (The Pretenders), was born (d. 1983).

1963 Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was murdered by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith.


1964 Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.


1967  The United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declared all U.S. state laws which prohibited interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.


1967   Venera 4 was launched.


1979  Bryan Allen won the second Kremer prize for a man powered flight across the English Channel in the Gossamer Albatross.

1987  The Central African Republic‘s former Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa was sentenced to death for crimes he had committed during his 13-year rule.

1987  Cold War: At the Brandenburg Gate U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.


1990 Russia Day – the parliament of the Russian Federation formally declared its sovereignty.

1991  Russians elected Boris Yeltsin as the president of the republic.

1991 1991 Kokkadichcholai massacre: the Sri Lankan Army massacred 152 minority Tamil civilians in the village Kokkadichcholai.

1994  Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered outside her home in Los Angeles.

1996  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a panel of federal judges blocked a law against indecency on the internet.

1997  Queen Elizabeth II reopened the Globe Theatre in London.


1999  Kosovo War: Operation Joint Guardian began when a NATO-led United Nations peacekeeping force (KFor) entered the province of Kosovo.


2000  Sandro Rosa do Nascimento took hostages while robbing Bus #174 in Rio de Janeiro.

2004  A 1.3 kilogram chondrite type meteorite struck a house in Ellerslie causing serious damage but no injuries.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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