Whose tree was it?


A Temuka couple faced a fine of up to $300,000 or a jail term for cutting down a rotting tree on their property.

Whose property was it? Theirs.

Whose tree was it? Theirs, but it was protected.

However, they didn’t know it was protected and their lawyer says there was nothing on the property title referring to the tree or its status.

In light of the background to felling the tree, the council agreed not to prosecute, but only if the Wests agreed to pay $3000 compensation.

The amount covered what would have been paid for getting resource consent and for the compensation for the loss of “amenity value” of the tree.

The council may have been within the letter of the law to prosecute but to do so in these circumstances would have been ridiculous.

And while $3,000 may be a fraction of what the couple could have been fined, it still looks like a very steep price to pay for resource consent and the amenity value of a rotting tree.

If the council wants to protect trees,  it has a responsibility to ensure those whose properties they are on are aware of that.

There must be a schedule of protected trees, how hard would it be for the council to ensure they are noted on property titles?

They should also think about the costs of protection.

Presumably a tree is protected so that the community, rather than the property owner, can enjoy its amenity values. In that case,  doesn’t the community have a responsibility for any costs associated with its  care including, when the time comes  as it does for all living things, its end?

Sadly not. This is a case where the public get the benefit and the private property owner pays the price.

Hat Tip: SOLO.

Fizzy milk benefits from ban


Richard Revell wanted to sell his fizzy milk, MO2,  at the Fieldays but was told he couldn’t because another company had a contract which gave it exclusive rights for beverage sales.

That’s business but it’s not all bad.

The ensuing fuss over the ban has given MO2 much more publicity than it would have had if Revell had been able to have a stand.

The Glass On The Bar


Australian poet Henry Lawson was born on this day in 1867.

The Glass On The Bar

Three bushmen one morning rode up to an inn,
And one of them called for the drinks with a grin;
They’d only returned from a trip to the North,
And, eager to greet them, the landlord came forth.
He absently poured out a glass of Three Star.
And set down that drink with the rest on the bar.

`There, that is for Harry,’ he said, `and it’s queer,
‘Tis the very same glass that he drank from last year;
His name’s on the glass, you can read it like print,
He scratched it himself with an old piece of flint;
I remember his drink — it was always Three Star’ —
And the landlord looked out through the door of the bar.

He looked at the horses, and counted but three:
`You were always together — where’s Harry?’ cried he.
Oh, sadly they looked at the glass as they said,
`You may put it away, for our old mate is dead;’
But one, gazing out o’er the ridges afar,
Said, `We owe him a shout — leave the glass on the bar.’

They thought of the far-away grave on the plain,
They thought of the comrade who came not again,
They lifted their glasses, and sadly they said:
`We drink to the name of the mate who is dead.’
And the sunlight streamed in, and a light like a star
Seemed to glow in the depth of the glass on the bar.

And still in that shanty a tumbler is seen,
It stands by the clock, ever polished and clean;
And often the strangers will read as they pass
The name of a bushman engraved on the glass;
And though on the shelf but a dozen there are,
That glass never stands with the rest on the bar.

A death every 28 days


It’s been a sad week in rural North Otago with the deaths of two relatively young men.

Neither death was the result of an accident but  ACC tells us that a farmer dies as a result of an accident every 28 days.

Thirteen farmers died in accidents on New Zealand farms in 2009, which is the equivalent to one farmer dying every 28 days.

Farmers also experienced more than 18,600 injuries on farms last year, which means that a farmer or agricultural worker is injured approximately every 34 minutes in New Zealand.

The most common causes of injuries were poor handling of animals, quad bikes and farm machinery.

Animals, quads and machinery are all potentially dangerous.

We have safety manuals and rules but policy and procedures aren’t foolproof. Sometimes things go wrong. Sometimes it’s a result of misjudgement, carelessness, inexperience or stupidity.; sometimes it’s just bad luck. Sometimes there’s serious consequences and sometimes there’s not.

We’ve had a couple of accidents which could have resulted in serious injury or death this year but in both cases, luck was with the men who escaped with nothing more than a fright. – and a valuable lesson for all of us to be more careful.

How does a Milestone compare with an iPhone?


Those who responded to my question of whether it would be better to buy a Blackberry or an iPhone all said an iPhone.

Now I have another question, how does Telecom’s Milestone, which is to be lanunched on July 1 compare with an iPhone?

The media release says it’s  powered by Android™ 2.1 operating system – which I presume is a good thing, but will it work outside main centres?

Goose, golden egg


In New Zealand we’ve had thousands of people marching in protest at the suggestion that the potential for mining on conservation land be investigated.

When we were in Australia a couple of weeks the papers were full of stories on the government’s proposal to levy a super tax on mining, almost all of which were in support of the mining companies.

Here’ we’d probably have people saying sock it to ’em. There people understand the part mining plays in the economy and what it contributes to the country’s wealth.

The tax is seen as the government’s attempt to kill the goose which lays the country’s golden eggs and most people recognise that hurting mining hurts them too.

June 17 in history


On June 17:

1239 Edward Longshanks, English king, was born (d. 1307).

A man in half figure with short, curly hair and a hint of beard is facing left. He wears a coronet and holds a sceptre in his right hand. He has a blue robe over a red tunic, and his hands are covered by white, embroidered gloves. His left hand seems to be pointing left, to something outside the picture.

1462Vlad III the Impaler attempted to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.

Vlad Tepes 002.jpg

1497Battle of Deptford Bridge – forces under King Henry VII defeated troops led by Michael An Gof.

1565  Matsunaga Hisahide assassinated the 13th Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshiteru.


1579  Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called Nova Albion (modern California) for England.


1631 Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spent more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

Mumtaz Mahal.jpg

1691 Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Italian painter and architect, was born  (d. 1765).

1704 John Kay, English inventor of the flying shuttle, was born  (d. 1780).


1773 Cúcuta, Colombia was founded by Juana Rangel de Cuéllar.

1775 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Bunker Hill.


1789  In France, the Third Estate declared itself the National Assembly.

1839 In the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kamehameha III issued the Edict of toleration which gave Roman Catholics the freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands.

1843 The Wiarau Incident: New Zealand Company settlers and Ngati Toa clashed over the ownership of land in the Wairau Valley.

The Wairau incident

1863 Battle of Aldie in the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War.

Battle of Aldie.png

1867 Henry Lawson, Australian poet, was born  (d. 1922).

1876 Indian Wars: Battle of the Rosebud – 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse beat back General George Crook‘s forces at Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory.


1877  Indian Wars: Battle of White Bird Canyon – the Nez Perce defeated the US Cavalry at White Bird Canyon in the Idaho Territory.


1885 The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbour.


1898  The United States Navy Hospital Corps iwa established.

Rating Badge HM.jpg

1900 Martin Bormann, Nazi official, was born  (d. 1945).

1901  The College Board introduced its first standardized test.

1910 Aurel Vlaicu performed the first flight of A. Vlaicu nr. 1.


1930  U.S. President Herbert Hoover signed the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act into law.


1932  Bonus Army: around a thousand World War I veterans amassed at the United States Capitol as the U.S. Senate considered a bill that would give them certain benefits.


1933 Union Station Massacre: in Kansas City, Missouri, four FBI agents and captured fugitive Frank Nash were gunned down by gangsters attempting to free Nash.

1939  Last public guillotining in France. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in Versailles.

1940  World War II: Operation Ariel began– Allied troops started to evacuate France, following Germany’s takeover of Paris and most of the nation.

1940 – World War II: sinking of the RMS Lancastria by the Luftwaffe.

RMS Lancastria.jpg

1940 – World War II: the British Army’s 11th Hussars assaulted and took Fort Capuzzo in Libya from Italian forces.

1940 – The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fell under the occupation of the Soviet Union.

1943 Barry Manilow, American musician, was born.

1944  Iceland declared independence from Denmark and became a republic.

1945 Ken Livingstone, English politician, was born.

1947 Paul Young, English singer and percussionist, was born  (d. 2000).

1948  A Douglas DC-6 carrying United Airlines Flight 624 crashed near Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, killing all 43 people on board.


1950 Lee Tamahori, New Zealand film director, was born.

1953  Workers Uprising: in East Germany, the Soviet Union ordered a division of troops into East Berlin to quell a rebellion.


1957 Phil Chevron, Irish musician (The Pogues, The Radiators From Space), was born.

1958  The Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing being built connecting Vancouver and North Vancouver, Canada, collapses into the Burrard Inlet, killing many of the ironworkers and injuring others.


1958  The Wooden Roller Coaster at Playland, in the Pacific National Exhibition, Vancouver, opened.


1960  The Nez Perce tribe was awarded $4 million for 7 million acres of land undervalued (4 cents/acre) in the 1863 treaty.

Tribal flag

1961  The New Democratic Party of Canada was founded with the merger of the Cooperative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) and the Canadian Labour Congress.

New Democratic Party.svg

1963  The United States Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in Abington School District v. Schempp against allowing the reciting of Bible verses and the Lord’s Prayer in public schools.

1963  A day after South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem announced the Joint Communique to end the Buddhist crisis, a riot involving around 2000 people breaks out, killing one.

1972  Watergate scandal: five White House operatives were arrested for burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee

1987  With the death of the last individual, the Dusky Seaside Sparrow became extinct.


1991  Apartheid: the South African Parliament repealed the Population Registration Act, which had required racial classification of all South Africans at birth.

1992  A ‘Joint Understanding’ agreement on arms reduction was signed by U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

1994 O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

O.J. Simpson 1990 · DN-ST-91-03444 crop.JPEG

SOurced from NZ history Online & Wikipedia

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