7/10 n the NZ Herald current affairs quiz.

Lucy can’t quite wrap it up


Lucille Ball would have been 99 today.

Word of the day


One for the Libertarians:

Thelemic – allowing people to do as they like.

Marching in spirit


Nearly 20 years ago I was among more than 13,000 North Otago people who marched through Oamaru to protest against the removal of surgical services from the local hospital.

That was more than half the population of the district and about the total population of the town and we were wrong.

There were very good clinical reasons for closing the hospital’s operating theatre. Increased specialisation and technological advances meant the hospital and its surgeon simply weren’t able to offer the modern, and often less invasive, surgical services available in Dunedin.

That was a local battle lost for clinical reasons. Now the whole of Otago and Southland is fighting a bigger battle with clinical support.

More than 1000 people gathered for a meeting in Dunedin Town Hall last night to support the retention of neurological services in the city’s hospital.  Many more thousands of people are marching as I type for the cause and will form a chain of support around the hospital at lunch time.

I can’t be with there but I’m marching with them in spirit.

The south’s four National MPs, Jacqui Dean, Bill English, Eric Roy and Michael Woodhouse,  sent a message of support to last night’s meeting.

Jacqui pointed out in a media release that recent heavy workloads for the Otago Rescue Helicopter Trust highlighted the need for the people of Otago and Southland to have access to neurosurgery services in Dunedin.

Last month the rescue trust experienced what was the busiest day in its 11-year history, when its’ helicopter conducted six rescue trips, over 1934km, including four to Wanaka, one to Dunstan Hospital and one to Ranfurly.

While none of the emergencies related to head injury, Mrs Dean said the call-outs highlighted how essential it was for there to be access to health services which could meet the ever-increasing needs of the Otago and, particularly, the Central Otago communities.

“When we have an emergency helicopter service that can make six rescue missions in one day, it sends a pretty clear message to me that ours is a region that needs access to health services as close at hand as possible.

“We have people living in these areas which at times can be quite isolated. We need to have health services in place to meet their demands and to do it in a time frame in which lives are saved – not lost.

“The majority of the rescue trust’s missions relate to accidents – that is the nature of the Central Otago region, with its adventure tourism, skifields and challenging roads.

“This, in my opinion, reinforces the need for neurosurgery services to remain in a centrally located position at Dunedin.

“A shift in neurosurgery services to Christchurch is only likely to jeapardise lives and negatively disadvantage the people of this region.”

A widely scattered population can’t expect to get specialist services in local secondary hospitals but providing there’s no clinical evidence to the contrary, the nearly 300,00 people in the south ought to be able to get most of them in our nearest tertiary hospital, Dunedin.

Credo Quia Absurdum Est has a report:

 which shows the agreement to have a single site for neurology for the Southland Island was taken by the Canterbury DHB to mean it would be based in Christchurch.  As such the CDHB has spent considerable time and resources focusing on that and ignoring the single service, two sites approach.

The report is here and in another post CQAE points out :

“That the recommended neurological service for the South Island is one service based in Christchurch, with a comprehensive Outreach programme.”

Hang on a minute.  Dunedin does outreach services, but how does Christchurch perform in that regard at the moment?

“Christchurch’s record on outreach is poor.  Christchurch does not provide outpatient clinics outside Christchurch, while Dunedin’s record is impressive.”

Canterbury DHB would no doubt be happy to have all South Island tertiary services in Christchurch and on purely financial grounds there may be a case for that.

However, patients are almost always better off if they can get the treatment they need closer to home providing it is clincially safe and in this case it is.

Dunedin clinicians are confident the neurological services can be provided safely. This is a turf war with the Canterbury DHB which should back down and take a South Island-wide view.

Fonterra’s Every Farm Every Year programme to tackle effluent


Fonterra has launched an initiative designed to substantially reduce non-compliance with regional council dairy effluent rules.

The nationwide rollout of the “every farm, every year” programme follows a pilot study carried out with Waikato farmers between March and July this year.

Fonterra is checking every farm’s dairy effluent system every year as part of their annual Farm Dairy Assessment. Systems found to be at risk of non-compliance will be referred to a Sustainable Dairy Specialist who will work with the farmer to develop a remedial plan for action and timeframe for implementation. Fonterra has doubled to 10 its Sustainable Dairying Specialist team to support shareholders in getting compliance right.

Tim Deane, General Manager, Milk Supply for Fonterra said “the programme is an important step towards bringing down the incidence of significant non-compliance with council effluent rules and forms part of an annual $5 million investment from Fonterra supporting sustainable dairying practices.

“That includes the advice and support given by our Area Managers, our advocacy programme in the policymaking area and specialist support systems like our Sustainable Dairying Specialists.”

He said Fonterra’s initiative had been welcomed by regional councils who were keen to partner with the co-operative to improve compliance performance. Improved results in regions like Canterbury and Auckland showed gains could be made when councils, DairyNZ, farmers and Fonterra worked constructively together.

Mr Deane said the Waikato pilot gave the opportunity to raise awareness for farmers and provide additional training for the assessors responsible for carrying out annual on farm checks. “It’s imperative that both farmers and assessors learn to recognise when an effluent system could be at risk of non-compliance.”

Fonterra Sustainable Dairy specialists visited over 350 farms in the Waikato between March and July on the back of referrals from the pilot programme, the regional council or requests from farmers for advice. In many cases they found that minor changes could be the difference between compliant or at-risk systems.

“Small details like the size of an effluent dispensing nozzle, the speed of an irrigator or good effluent system maintenance could make all the difference in being compliant or not.

“The advantage of doing our every farm, every year checks is we’re now finding and fixing potential issues before they can cause problems down the line and the proactive approach not only helps farmers avoid costly penalties but also helps keep the environment and our streams clean.”

The Waikato pilot also highlighted the need for sufficient effluent infrastructure and storage. Farms at risk of non-compliance were already working with a Sustainable Dairy Specialist for further support.

“This is exactly what we expected to see and the fact that there are farmers out there who need assistance is why we put the programme in place. The important thing is that we’re able to raise the levels of awareness and through education and specialist advice we’re looking to make effluent compliance a complete non issue for Fonterra’s suppliers. This is good for our farmers, good for us and good for the environment.”

Non-compliance with regional council regulations on the discharge of effluent are the council’s responsibility.

However, Fonterra recognises it has a part to play in safeguarding the dairy industry’s reputation and helping farmers comply with good environmental standards.

Carter was right but now he’s wrong


Public opinion supports Chris Carter’s contention that Labour can’t win the next election with Goff as leader.

But while he was right about that, he was also wrong to think a change of leader would help because the TV3 poll has even worse news for the party –  people don’t think it will win with anyone else as leader either.

Tonight’s TV3 survey followed Labour MP Chris Carter’s attack on Mr Goff, when he said “Phil Goff is a very nice guy but he’s just not going to win”.

It asked voters whether Mr Carter was right, and 42 percent said he was. A further 32 percent said Labour can’t win no matter who the leader is.

The majority of people polled – 64% – also thought Carter should resign from his seat.

I agree with them. Macdoctor has diagnosed his problem as expediency rather than stress. Even if he has a genuine illness it is unlikely that two months will be enough to cure  him.

Given the amount of travelling he’s done, the people of Te Atatu have had a part-time representative for several years. Now they’ve got one who’s on leave.

They deserve someone who’s committed to serving them fulltime and preferably someone who has a better grasp of what’s acceptable behaviour towards the party which selected him and for the people who elected him.

August 6 in history


On August 6:

1284 Pisa was defeated in Battle of Meloria by Genoa, ruining its naval power.

Battle of Morelia.jpg

1538  Bogotá, was founded by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada.

1661 The Treaty of The Hague was signed by Portugal and the Dutch Republic.

1787 Sixty proof sheets of the Constitution of the United States were delivered to the Constitutional Convention.

1806 Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor, abdicated ending the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.

1809 Alfred Lord Tennyson, English poet, was born (d. 1892).


1819  Norwich University was founded in Vermont as the first private military school in the United States.

1825  Bolivia gained independence from Spain.

1845 The Russian Geographical Society was founded in Saint Petersburg.


1861 Edith Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, was born (d. 1948).


1861 The United Kingdom annexed  Lagos, Nigeria.

1862  American Civil War: the Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas was scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering damage in a battle with USS Essex.


1870  Franco-Prussian War: Battle of Wörth is fought, resulting in a decisive Prussian victory.


1881 Alexander Fleming, Scottish scientist, Nobel laureate, was born  (d. 1955).


1890 At Auburn Prison in New York murderer William Kemmler became the first person to be executed by electric chair.

1901  Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.

1909  Alice Ramsey and three friends became the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip.


1911 Lucille Ball, American actress, was born (d. 1989).

Glamorous publicity shot of Lucille Ball from the waist up, dressed in a blue strapless gown and smiling.

1912  The Bull Moose Party met at the Chicago Coliseum.


1914 First Battle of the Atlantic – ten German  U-boats left their base in Helgoland to attack Royal Navy warships in the North Sea.


1914 – World War I: Serbia declared war on Germany; Austria declared war on Russia.

1915  Battle of Sari Bair – the Allies mounted a diversionary attack timed to coincide with a major Allied landing of reinforcements at Suvla Bay.

1917  Battle of Mărăşeşti between the Romanian and German armies began.

Romanian troops at Marasesti in 1917.jpg

1917 Robert Mitchum, American actor, was born  (d. 1997).

1922 Sir Freddie Laker, English entrepreneur, was born  (d. 2006).


1926  Gertrude Ederle became first woman to swim across the English Channel.


1926  Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone system premiered with the movie Don Juan starring John Barrymore.


1926   Harry Houdini performed his greatest feat, spending 91 minutes underwater in a sealed tank before escaping.


1928 Andy Warhol, American artist, was born  (d. 1987).

1934 Chris Bonington, British mountaineer, was born.

1936 Jack Lovelock won New Zealand’s first Olympic athletics gold medal when he ran the 1500-metres in a world record time of 3:47.8.at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Lovelock wins 1500-m gold at Berlin

1937 Barbara Windsor, English actress, was born.


1942 Queen Wilhelmina became the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

1945 The atomic bomb “Little Boy” was dropped on Hiroshima  by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people were killed instantly, and tens of thousands died in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.


1952 Vinnie Vincent, American musician (Kiss), was born.

1960  Cuban Revolution: in response to a United States embargo, Cuba nationalised American and foreign-owned property in the nation.

1962 Jamaica beaome independent.


1964 Prometheus, a bristlecone pine and the world’s oldest tree, was cut down.


1965 US President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

1966  Braniff Airlines Flight 250 crashed in Falls City, NE killing all 42 on board.

1969 Simon Doull, New Zealand cricketer, was born.


1972 Geri Halliwell, British singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1976 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid the foundation stone of Port Qasim, Karachi.


1986  A low-pressure system that redeveloped off the New South Wales coast dumped a record 328 millimeters (13 inches) of rain in a day on Sydney.

1990  The United Nations Security Council ordered a global trade embargo against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

1991  Tim Berners-Lee released files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuted  as a publicly available service on the Internet.


1991  Doi Takako, chair of the Social Democratic Party  became Japan’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives.

Social Democratic Party Logo

1993 Heavy rains and debris killed  72 in the Kagoshima and Aira areas, of Kyūshū, Japan.

1996  NASA announced that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contained evidence of primitive life-forms.


1997 Korean Air Flight 801, a Boeing 747-300, crashed into the jungle on Guam on approach to airport, killing 228.

2008 A military junta led by Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz staged a coup d’état in Mauritania, overthrowing president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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