Word of the day


Naufragous – causing ship wreck.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Which author lived at 56 Eden St, Oamaru?

2. What is a Prunus persica var. nucipersica?

3. Who said: “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”?

4. How many general electorates are there in New Zealand?

5. Which cheese is usually coated in red wax?

Waka rocker shows race not enough for party


Every party has at least one potential waka rocker, a maverick  MP who puts him or her self before the good of the party.

The smaller the party the more serious the damage done. One dissident voice out of 30 or 40 can be easily silenced, one out of five is much louder.

If one paddler breaks the rhythm in a big waka the strength of the others will still carry if forward. But a small waka will lose momentum and it doesn’t take much rocking to tip it right over.

Hone Harawira’s column in the Sunday Star Times was not the first time he’s stood up and rocked the waka but this time his colleagues have had enough.

Rebel Maori Party MP Hone Harawira faces disciplinary action and possible expulsion from the party after a formal complaint against him by his fellow MPs over his public criticisms of the party and its links to National.

The party will hold an urgent hui tomorrow in Mr Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau electorate, but if that fails to resolve the issue it will go to a formal hearing of the party’s disciplinary and disputes committee.

Bryce Edwards at Liberation thinks this is a fight to the political death but Cactus Kate asks if the party’s constitution can save Hone.

If it can it might sink the party in the process because the schism shows the problem inherent in a Maori Party – there are Maori issues but no single Maori view.

A party and its supporters need to be united by a common philosophy and principles not just issues and definitely not just race.

Famous for being not well known


When someone whispered, via email, who the celebrity seeking name suppression after his arrest for disorderly behaviour was I recognised the name but couldn’t place it.

I’m in good company. The judge who heard an application for continued suppression said he didn’t know who the bloke was either.

Had the accused fronted up and apologised it would all have blown over by now.

Instead of which he’s become famous for not being well known, ensured his case gets on-gong going publicity and given further impetus to the need for changes to the law on name suppression.

January 20 in history


On January 20:

  • Emperor Decius began a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Pope Fabian was martyred.Emperor Traianus Decius (Mary Harrsch).jpg1265 In Westminster, the first English parliament conducted its first meeting held by Simon de Montfort in the Palace of Westminster.Looking down from some height, a large stone building in the Gothic style lies by a river with its long side parallel to it. It is internally organised around a number of courtyards, and its various wings feature grey roofs and multiple=

    1356 Edward Balliol abdicated as King of Scotland.

    1523 Christian II was forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway.

    1649 Charles I of England went on trial for treason and other “high crimes”.

    1788 The third and main part of First Fleet arrived at Botany Bay. Arthur Phillip decided that Botany Bay was unsuitable for location of a penal colony, and decided to move to Port Jackson.


    1840  Dumont D’Urville discovered Adélie Land, Antarctica.

    Dumont d'Urville00.jpg

    1840 – Willem II became King of the Netherlands.

    1841  Hong Kong Island was occupied by the British.

    1885  L.A. Thompson patented the roller coaster.

     Thompson’s Switchback Railway

    1887  The United States Senate allowed the Navy to lease Pearl Harbor as a naval base.

    1892  At the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts, the first official basketball game was played.

     The first basketball court: Springfield College.

    1896  George Burns, American actor, comedian, was born (d. 1996).

    1899  Clarice Cliff, English ceramic, was born (d. 1972).

    1910 Joy Adamson, Austrian naturalist and writer, was born (d. 1980).

    1921 The first Constitution of Turkey was adopted, making fundamental changes in the source and exercise of sovereignty by consecrating the principle of national sovereignty.

    1926 Patricia Neal, American actress, was born (d. 2010).

    1929  In Old Arizona, the first full-length talking motion picture filmed outdoors, was released.

    1930  Buzz Aldrin, American astronaut, was born.


    1934  Tom Baker, British actor, was born.

    1936  Edward VIII became King of the United Kingdom.

    1937 Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated for a second term as President of the United States. This was the first inauguration scheduled on January 20, following adoption of the 20th Amendment. Previous inaugurations were scheduled on March 4.

    1950  Liza Goddard, British actress, was born.

    1952 Paul Stanley, American musician (Kiss), was born.

    1957 Scott Base opened in Antarctica.

    Scott Base opened in Antarctica

    1959 The first flight of the Vickers Vanguard.

    1960 Hendrik Verwoerd announces a plebiscite on whether South Africa should become a Republic.

    1961  John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as the youngest man, and first-ever Roman Catholic, to become elected President of the United States.

    1965   Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, was born.

    1981 Irann released 52 American hostages twenty minutes after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as U.S. President, the oldest man to be inaugurated at 69.

    1987  Church of England envoy Terry Waite was kidnapped in Lebanon.

    1990  Black January – crackdown of Azerbaijani pro-independence demonstrations by Soviet army in Baku.

     Soviet tanks in Baku during Black January.

    1991 Sudan‘s government imposed Islamic law nationwide, worsening the civil war between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south.

    2001  Philippine president Joseph Estrada was ousted in a nonviolent 4-day revolution, and was succeeded by Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    2009 Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America – the United States’ first African-American president.

    Portrait of Barack Obama

    Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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