Word of the day


Velleity – slightest wish, merest inclination, volition at its weakest.



How well do I know my news, the NZ Herald asks – well this week in their quiz, not very well at all.


I don’t think some questions being Auckland centric excuses me.

No contest


What’s the difference between 500 words  on farming or wider rural topics written for a daily paper and the same number of words on similar subjects written for a comapny magazine?

The company magazine pays the writer  five times more for them than the paper.

Is it any wonder journalists move from the media to PR?

Simple is better


It’s 14 24 years today since a Goods and Services Tax was first introduced in New Zealand.

It was right in the middle of the ag-sag when every cent mattered so I was among the many who bought things in September to avoid the 10% consumption tax.

I don’t remember rushing to buy anything before GST was increased to 12.5% in 1989 and I haven’t done any extra shopping to beat today’s increase to 15%.

Although I did a pre-GST shop in 1986 I don’t remember noticing sharp price increases from October 1 and do recall some goods reduced in price because the plethora of sales taxes on a variety of goods was replaced by a single, simple GST.

Simplicity was and still is one of our GST’s good points.

That Phil Goff and Labour are prepared to tinker with it and end more than a decade of cross-party support for keeping it that way is a sign of desperation.

It could also be a sign they’ve given up trying to win the next election. That’s easier to believe than the idea that they’re really serious about the suggestion zero rating GST on fruit and vegetables would achieve anything worthwhile.

October 1 in history


On October 1:

331 BC Alexander the Great defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela.

The charge of the Persian scythed chariots at the battle of Gaugamela by Andre Castaigne (1898-1899).jpg

959  Edgar the Peaceable became king of all England.


1189  Gerard de Ridefort, grandmaster of the Knights Templar since 1184, was killed in the Siege of Acre.

Siege of Acre.jpg

1787  Russians under Alexander Suvorov defeated the Turks at the Battle of Kinburn.

1791  First session of the French Legislative Assembly.

1795  Belgium was conquered by France.

1800  Spain ceded Louisiana to France via the Treaty of San Ildefonso.

1811 The first steamboat to sail the Mississippi River arrived in New Orléans, Louisiana.


1814   Opening of the Congress of Vienna, intended to redraw the Europe’s political map after the defeat of Napoléon the previous spring.

Period oil painting of the delegates to the Congress of Vienna. 

1827  The Russian army under Ivan Paskevich stormed Yerevan, ending a millennium of Muslim domination in Armenia.


1843  The News of the World tabloid began publication in London.


1847  German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens founded Siemens AG & Halske.

1854   The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocated to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.


1869   Austria issued the world’s first postcards.


1880  John Philip Sousa became leader of the United States Marine Band.


1880  First electric lamp factory opened by Thomas Edison.


1887  Balochistan conquered by the British Empire.


1890  The Yosemite National Park and the Yellowstone National Park were established by the U.S. Congress.


Grand Canyon of Yellowstone

1891  Stanford University opened.

1898  Czar Nikolay II expelled Jews from major Russian cities.

1898  The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration was founded under the name k.u.k. Exportakademie.

WU Wien Logo.png

1903  Baseball: The Boston Americans played the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.


1905  František Pavlík was killed in a demonstration in Prague, inspiring Leoš Janáček to the piano composition 1. X. 1905.

1908  Ford put the Model T car on the market at a price of US$825.


1910  Los Angeles Times bombing: A large bomb destroyed the Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles, California, killing 21.


1918  World War I: Arab forces under T. E. Lawrence (a/k/a “Lawrence of Arabia”) captured Damascus.

1920 Sir Percy Cox landed in Basra to assume his responsibilities as high commissioner in Iraq.

1920 US actor Walter Matthau was born.

1924 US President Jimmy Carter was born.

1926  An oil field accident cost aviator Wiley Post his left eye – he used the settlement money to buy his first aircraft.


1928 The Soviet Union introduced its First Five-Year Plan.

1931  The George Washington Bridge linking New Jersey and New York opened.


1935 actress Julie Andrews was born.

1936  Francisco Franco was named head of the Nationalist government of Spain.


1938  Germany annexed the Sudetenland.


1939  After a one-month Siege of Warsaw, hostile forces entered the city.


1940  The Pennsylvania Turnpike, often considered the first superhighway in the United States, opened to traffic.

Pennsylvania Turnpike logo.svg

1942 USS Grouper torpedoed Lisbon Maru not knowing she was carrying British PoWs from Hong Kong.

1942  First flight of the Bell XP-59 “Aircomet”.

1945 US musician Donny Hathaway was born.

1946  Nazi leaders sentenced at Nuremberg Trials.

1946  Mensa International was founded in the United Kingdom.

1947  The F-86 Sabre flew for the first time.


1949  The People’s Republic of China was declared by Mao Zedong.

1958  NASA created to replace NACA.

NASA seal.svg

1960  Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1961  East and West Cameroon merged as Federal Republic of Cameroon.

Vertical tricolor (green, red, yellow) with a five-pointed gold star in the center of the red. Tricolor shield before two crossed fasces. Its center is an inverted red kite shape covered with a purple outline of Cameroon below a gold star, with the scales of justice superimposed. Its left is green and its right is gold. Banners with fine print are above and below.

1962  First broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.


1964 The Free Speech Movement was launched on the campus of University of California, Berkeley.


1964  Japanese Shinkansen (“bullet trains”) began high-speed rail service from Tokyo to Osaka.


1965 Apostasia of 1965, a political move in Greece designed to overthrow the Prime Minister, George Papandreou.

1965 – General Suharto crushed an attempted coup in Indonesia.

1966 West Coast Airlines Flight 956 crashed with 18 fatal injuries and no survivors 5.5 miles south of Wemme, Oregon.

1969  The Concorde supersonic transport plane broke the sound barrier for the first time.


1971  Walt Disney World opened near Orlando, Florida.

Walt Disney World logo.svg

1975  The Seychelles gained internal self-government.


1975  The Ellice Islands split from Gilbert Islands and took the name Tuvalu.

1975  Thrilla in Manila: Muhammad Ali defeated Joe Frazier in a boxing match in Manila.

1978  Tuvalu gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1978  The Voltaic Revolutionary Communist Party was founded.


1979 The United States returned sovereignty of the Panama canal to Panama.

1982  Helmut Kohl replaced Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor of Germany through a Constructive Vote of No Confidence.


1982  EPCOT Centre opened at Walt Disney World.

1 epcot spaceship earth 2010a.JPG

1982  Sony launched the first consumer compact disc player (model CDP-101).


1985  The Israeli air force bombs PLO Headquarters in Tunis.

1986 Goods & Services Tax (GST) was introduced in New Zealand.

Goods and Service Tax Act comes into force

1987  The Whittier Narrows earthquake shook the San Gabriel Valley, registering as a magnitude 5.9.

1989  Denmark: World’s first legal modern same-sex civil union called “registered partnership”

1991  New Zealand’s Resource Management Act 1991 started.

1992  Turkish destroyer TCG Muavenet (DM-357) crippled causing 27 deaths and injuries, by missiles negligently launched by U.S. aircraft carrier USS Saratoga.

TCG Muavenet (DM-357)

1994  Palau gained independence from the United Nations (trusteeship administered by the United States of America).

1998  Vladimir Putin became a permanent member of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.


2009  The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which acquired the judicial functions of the House of Lords, began work.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia

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