Word of the day


Famicide – slanderer, destroyer of reputation.

Was Pooh Bear a romantic?


Discussion with Noelle McCarthy on Critical Mass began with the Last Post on Stoatspring in which Anne Else, his widow, gave the news of his death.

In response to that she is now using her blog, Elsewoman, to write about learning to live by herself for the first time in her life.

Still on the subject of love we looked at the 10 most romantic lines in English Literature.

Emily Bronte penned the winning words: ” Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same” in Wuthering Heights.

A.A. Milne’s Pooh Bear (or was it Christopher Robin to Pooh?) was voted second with:  “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you” .

If you find this to sugary, pop across to Today Is My Birthday for Ally’s amusing reaction to the romance.

Poem for a Hard Time


Canadian poet Lorna Crozier’s Poem for a Hard Time is this week’s Tuesday Poem.

Among the poems linked in the side bar are:

She Who Is Like The Moon by James K Baxter

In/Let by Jo Thorpe

Big Stupid Grin by Andrew Bell

Ode to Things by Pablo Neruda

Gypsy Girl by Alicia Ponder

Knowing by Helen Lowe

Old People Love  by Susan Landry

Roses by Sue Wootton

Bus Stop by Harvey Malloy

Mackenzie Trust trusts locals


The Mackenzie Sustainable Futures Trust proposal is being set up to bring together a variety of interest groups to develop a shared vision for resolving land use issues in the Mackenzie, Ohau and Omarama basins.

The impetus for the trust came from the debate on land use in the area. What happens is of interest to people throughout New Zealand but Environment Minister Nick Smith has said from the start that solutions must be locally driven:

“. . .  this Government believes the best solutions are going to come locally. We see any solutions which are imposed on the community as flawed and will fail.”

He reinforced this at a meeting on Friday:

[He] told the 40 stakeholder representatives present that locals who were concerned they could be ‘out-voted’ by outsiders need not be concerned, as the Trust would not work like that.

“The Government would not support anything unless it had local buy-in, particularly from the district councils,” he said.

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean who has responsibility for setting up the trust said she was pleased with the high degree of good will and open mindedness displayed by those who attended.

“Those concerned about personal property rights had their fears allayed when, after an intelligent and constructive debate, the meeting unanimously agreed to add a special statement on property rights as part of the scope of work.

“This includes an assurance that any individual property owner can veto any proposal on or affecting their property rights, but not the working party’s findings.  It was an illustration of the collaborative spirit in action, and bodes well for the future of the process.”

That is a very important step which reinforces the commitment to local solutions the the trust being put in locals to do what’s best for their backyard.

The hard work involved in getting groups like  Forest and Bird, Mackenzie Tourism and Development Trust, Waitaki and Mackenzie District Councils, ECan, Fonterra, Twizel and Omarama communities, mountain clubs, irrigation interests and Federated Farmers engaged and co-operating should not be underestimated.

There are many competing and opposing interests represented by these organisations and Jacqui should be congratulated on getting them to this stage.

The chances of sustainable solutions for the Mackenzie Basin are greatly improved now these diverse groups are talking to each other and working together.

Labour wants power with the politicians


Labour has confirmed it will work with Winston Peters if he gets back into parliament.

Phil Goff says no one in caucus asked him to rule out working with the New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, should he be returned to Parliament.

Mr Goff says the caucus is unanimous in its position on any post-election coalition deals.

Labour will make its decisions after the election in November on the basis of compatibility and policies that it wants to pursue for all New Zealanders.

In other words if you vote for Labour you’re voting for a pig in a poke and will get whatever deal the party needs to cobble together to get into government.

This gives the power to the politicians.

National, by contrast, has given the power to the people.

John Key has ruled out working with Peters so voters know where they stand – they can have a National-led government without him or a Labour-led one with him.

February 15 in history


On February 15:

509 Khosrau II was crowned king of Persia.


1564 Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and physicist, was born (d. 1642).

1637 – Ferdinand III became Holy Roman Emperor.

 1804 – Serbian revolution started.

1805 – Harmony Society was officially formed.

 The Harmony Society church in Old Economy Village, Pennsylvania.

1812 Charles Lewis Tiffany, American jeweller, was born (d. 1902).

1820 Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist, was born  (d. 1906).


1835 – The first constitutional law in modern Serbia was adopted.

1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, London, admitted its first patient.


1874 Sir Ernest Shackleton, Irish Antarctic explorer, was born  (d. 1922).

1877  Louis Renault, French automobile executive, was born (d. 1944).


1879 American President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

1882 The first shipment of frozen meat left New Zealand.

First shipment of frozen meat leaves NZ

1891 AIK was founded at Biblioteksgatan 8 in Stockholm by Isidor Behrens.


1898 – Spanish-American War: The USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana harbour, killing more than 260.

USS "Maine" entering Havana Harbor on 25 January 1898, where the ship would explode three weeks later

1906 – The British Labour Party was formed.

Labour logo

1909 Miep Gies, Dutch biographer of Anne Frank, was born (d. 2010).


1909 The Flores Theatre fire in Acapulco, 250 died.

1942  The Fall of Singapore. Following an assault by Japanese forces, British General Arthur Percival surrendered. About 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. The Sook Ching massacre began.

Singaporesurrender.jpgLt Gen. Arthur Percival, led by a Japanese officer, walks under a flag of truce to negotiate the capitulation of Allied forces in Singapore, on 15 February 1942.

1944 The assault on Monte Cassino, started.

Battle of Monte CassinoRuins of Cassino town after the battle

1944 Mick Avory, British drummer (The Kinks), was born.

1945  – John Helliwell, British musician (Supertramp), was born.


1947 David Brown, American musician (Santana), was born (d. 2000).

1950 – The Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China signed a mutual defense treaty.

1951 Jane Seymour, British actress, was born.

1952 – King George VI was buried in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

1959 Ali Campbell, British singer and songwriter (UB40), was born.

1960 Mikey Craig, British musician (Culture Club), was born.

1961 – Sabena Flight 548 crashed in Belgium, killing 73, with the entire United States Figure Skating team, several coaches and family.

1965 – A new red-and-white mapleleaf design was adopted as the flag of Canada, replacing the old Canadian Red Ensign banner.


1970 – A Dominican DC-9 crashed into the sea during takeoff from Santo Domingo, killing 102.

1971 – Decimalisation of British coinage was completed on Decimal Day.

1972 – Sound recordings were granted U.. federal copyright protection for the first time.

1976 – The 1976 Constitution of Cuba was adopted by the national referendum.

1978 New Zealand beat England in a cricket test for the first time.

New Zealand beats England in a cricket test for the first time

1980 Television One and Television Two (formerly South Pacific Television) under the newly formed Television New Zealand went to air for the first time.

1982 The drilling rig Ocean Ranger sank during a storm off the coast of Newfoundland, killing 84 rig workers.


1989 Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan: The Soviet Union officially announced that all of its troops have left Afghanistan.

1991 The Visegrád Agreement, establishing cooperation to move toward free-market systems, was signed by the leaders of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

2001 First draft of the complete Human Genome is published in Nature.

2003 Protests against the Iraq war occurred in over 600 cities worldwide. It is estimated that between 8 million to 30 million people took part, making this the largest peace demonstration in the history of the world.

 StWC poster advertising the demonstration

2005YouTube, was launched in the United States.

YouTube logo.svg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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