Word of the day


Horme – energetic activity; goal directed or purposeful behaviour; eagerness for a task; setting oneself in motion.

Christchurch earthquake appeal goes global


Prime Minister John Key has launched a global appeal for the Christchurch earthquake recovery effort.

“It’s vital we reach as many people throughout the world as possible who want to help. This isn’t just New Zealand’s tragedy – the February 22 earthquake affected countless people internationally.

 “Like all Cantabrians and fellow New Zealanders, I have been humbled by the offers of help and assistance pouring in from individuals, organisations and governments around the world. This new Appeal gives people another means of donating to the people of Christchurch and the recovery effort.

 Mr Key said the Appeal was designed to complement those already established, such as the funds organised by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

 “It’s my intention that the Government will work alongside these organisations to make sure the funds are used in the best possible way.”

Mr Key said New Zealand government departments at home and around the world would be throwing their weight behind the Appeal. 

“This Appeal will have global reach, with our network of diplomatic posts able to reach millions of people world-wide.

“I am also pleased to announce that the proceeds raised for the earthquake recovery from Saturday’s special Lotto draw will go directly to the Appeal,” said Mr Key.

 Mr Key praised several organisations which had donated their time and expertise in order to get the Appeal up and running.

“Westpac has worked tirelessly with Clemenger BBDO, Direct Payment Solutions and AIM Proximity to turn the Appeal into a reality in a very short space of time. Facebook has also helped its users engage in the initiative, which gives the Appeal a truly international flavour.”

Mr Key also thanked Colenso BBDO and Run the Red, both of which worked with Westpac on the Appeal website and text message donation service respectively.

 “I’d also like to thank New Zealand’s other retail banks, which are working with Westpac on the Appeal.”

 Mr Key said he was encouraging New Zealanders to give generously to Christchurch.

 “Every little bit helps – every donation, no matter how small, will be welcomed.”

 Donations can be made at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz

 Telecom, Vodafone and 2 Degrees mobile customers can text chch to 933 to make an automatic $3 donation.

 Donations can also be made via internet banking, or at any branch of New Zealand’s retail banks, by depositing into account number 03-0251-0039807-00.

More information on the gloabl appeal can be found on Facebook.

Fonterra has arranged for shareholders to donate from their milk cheques and will match those donations and any from its staff dollar for dollar up to $1 million, on top of the $1 million donated last week.

A newsletter from chairman Henry van der Heyden on Friday said shareholders and staff had already donated $260,ooo which with the company’s matching donation meant more than half a million dollars had been given.

Olduvai Gorge Thorn Tree


Discussion on Arts on Sunday between Lynn Freeman and poets Mary McCallum and Jeffrey Papmoa Holman reminded me I hadn’t done my usual post on Tuesday poem.

This week’s feature poem is Olduvai Gorge Thorn Tree by Sarah Lindsay.

Among the links in the sidebar is prose and poetry about or related to the Christchurch earthquake.

InRebuilding Christchurch one sandcastle at a time – Catherine Fitchett posts photos of her daughter’s creative response to the silt.

Helen Lowe has earthquake update and earthquake recovery day 3, day 4 and day 5

Renee Liang writes of the weed mat of humanity.

Helen Rickerby writes on the earthquake.

Belinda Hollyer writes the city of ruins will rise again.

In my city of ruins/tales of Canterbury Tim Jones writes:

. . . In an attempt to do something, anything, to make a difference, we are putting together an anthology of short stories loosely themed around survival, hope and the future. All profits of this anthology will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal, or another registered charity aimed at aiding those in need in Canterbury.

The purpose of this Anthology is two-fold—to help financially, but also, we hope, to provide entertainment and alleviation in a time of crisis. We hope that our words will help make a difference. . .

In earthquake – the words, Mary McCallum posts Earth, the poem she wrote after the September 4 quake.

UPDATE: Lou at No Minister has a photo of Olduvai Gorge, the setting for the feature poem.

A tale of two highways


On Friday evening I drove down state highway 1 from Totara, south of Oamaru, to Invercargill.

Traffic was heavy and the journey was made worse by slow vehicles whose drivers showed absolutely no consideration for those following them.

A couple of times it was the second vehicle in line which was the problem – it’s driver didn’t take opportunities to pass but kept too close to the slow one in front to enable anyone behind to pass them separately.

At one stage I was eighth in line travelling at between 70 and 80 kph for more than 10 kilometres before we got to a passing lane which enabled the first five vehicles to pass. It was another six kilometres before the remaining car in front of me and I were able to pass safely.

When I turned off the main road at Clinton I caught up on a four wheel drive vehicle travelling behind a car travelling at 90 kph which stayed in the right hand lane when we got to a passing lane.

I didn’t have to be in Invercargill by a particular time which helped me stay patient and not take silly risks but it wasn’t a pleasant drive and took more than half an hour longer than usual.

Yesterday evening I drove up state highway 6 from Invercargill to Queenstown then over the Crown Range to Wanaka. Traffic was much lighter but drivers were also more considerate. The few times I caught up on slower vehicles they slowed at the start of a straight stretch to allow me to pass.

The trip took a little more than three hours – and I wasn’t speeding. Not having to slow down made it a faster, and much more pleasant, journey.

Moaning about road congestion in the south of the South Island is a bit like complaining to Australians about dry weather. Many roads further north  are worse than those in the south and have a lot more traffic.

But regardless of the state of the roads and number of vehicles, consideration for other drivers makes travelling safer and more pleasant.

Cooking from scratch


A Christchurch friend was waiting for a call from Red Cross when I phoned her on Friday.

She and her daughter had volunteered to do a five hour cooking shift.

They are safe and so is their home – there’s a big mess inside but it escaped with no major structural damage.  But they know people who are missing and many others whose home and businesses are in ruins.

They had power but no water from the taps but had prepared an emergency pack with food and bottled water after the first quake. She  knows how to cook from scratch and how to stretch basic food into appetising meals.

Heeding calls to conserve power and the need to use water sparingly she had cooked enough rice for three meals at a time as efficiently as possible.

Her instructions are:

Boil two cups of water. (If it’s not bottled water it must be boiled for three minutes to purify).

Put three bags of Uncle Ben’s rice (the wee bags that come in a bigger packet) into a 16cm pot.

Pour over rice until it’s just covered.

Put lid on pot and cook gently for 8 minutes.

They’d had rice salad and chicken with the first serving and she was planning to do a stir fry with the second.

She has worked a food consultant and used to take cooking classes. She wants to help others who don’t know how to cook meals from scratch and make basic food go further.

I suggested finding out if there was a school which had home economics rooms undamaged which might be used. If it was at or near a welfare centre, classes would give people camping their something useful to do.

There will be people like this all over the city with skills which are needed and people who need their help. All that’s required is some co-ordination to match them.

No logic and always risk


Two columns written in the wake of  Tuesday’s earthquake in Christchurch are worth reading in full:

Jim Hopkins:

Bad things happen. That’s it. There’s no logic to it, no reason for it. There’s no sense in it. If the world wants to shrug, it shrugs. Even that distorts the facts.

The world doesn’t want to shrug. It’s not a choice. Sometimes it shrugs. Most times it doesn’t. But sometimes it does. It just does. That’s it. . .

Deborah Hill-Cone:

. . .  We live in times where we are able to delude ourselves a lot of the time that we can manage the risks in our lives . . .

Among many other columns and stories on the quake are two first hand accounts of the horror (hat tip Keeping Stock):

The first is written by Press journalist Vicki Anderson and this written by an ambulance officer.

February 27 in history


On February 27:

1560 The Treaty of Berwick, which expelled the French from Scotland, was signed by England and the Congregation of Scotland.

1594 Henry IV was crowned King of France.

1617 Sweden and Russia signed the Treaty of Stolbovo, ending the Ingrian War and shutting Russia out of the Baltic Sea.

1626 Yuan Chonghuan was appointed Governor of Liaodong, after he led the Chinese into a great victory against the Manchurians.


1700 William Dampier was the first European to discover the island of New Britain.

1797 The Bank of England issued the first one-pound and two-pound notes.

1807 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet, was born  (d. 1882).

1812 Poet Lord Byron gave his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

1844 The Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti.

1900 British military leaders received an unconditional notice of surrender from Boer General Piet Cronje at the Battle of Paardeberg.

Surrender of Cronje.jpg

1900 The British Labour Party was founded.

Labour logo

1902 John Steinbeck, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1968).

John Steinbeck with 19 year-old son John (left), visits President Johnson in the Oval Office,

1912 Lawrence Durrell, British writer, was born (d. 1990).

Durrell stands at a podium, gazing at the crowd as he addresses them. He wears a suit over a white shirt with a striped tie, and holds his left arm at his side, with his elbow bent upwards as if to shake his fist. A caption runs below the image that reads "Lawrence Durrell, 1986 - photo courtesy R. Rubrecht."

1921 The International Working Union of Socialist Parties was founded in Vienna.

1922 A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, was rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.

1930 Joanne Woodward, American actress, was born.


1932  Elizabeth Taylor, British-American actress, was born.

In Father of the Bride

1933 Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin was set on fire.

1934 Ralph Nader, American author, activist and political figure, was born.

1939 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikes violated property owners’ rights and were therefore illegal.

1940  Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discovered carbon-14

1942 During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied strike force was defeated by a Japanese task force in the Java Sea


1943 The Smith Mine #3 in Bearcreek, Montana, exploded, killing 74 men.

 Memorial of the Smith Mine disaster

1943 – The Rosenstrasse protest started in Berlin.

 Part of the memorial “Block der Frauen” by Ingeborg Hunzinger, commemorating the protest

1945 Lebanon declared Independence.


1951 The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, was ratified.

1951 Troops were sent on to Wellington and Auckland wharves to load and unload ships during the waterfront dispute.

Troops deployed in waterfront dispute

1961 The first congress of the Spanish Trade Union Organisation was inaugurated.

Italian Fascist flag

1963 The Dominican Republic got its first democratically elected president, Juan Bosch, since the end of the dictatorship led by Rafael Trujillo.

1964 The government of Italy asked for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.

1967 Dominica gained independence from the United Kingdom.


1973  The American Indian Movement occupied Wounded Knee, South Dakota.


1974 – People magazine was published for the first time.


1976 The formerly Spanish territory of Western Sahara, under the auspices of the Polisario Front declared independence as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.

1986 The United States Senate allowed its debates to be televised on a trial basis.

1989 Venezuela was rocked by the Caracazo riots.

1991 Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announced that “Kuwait is liberated”.

1999 Olusegun Obasanjo became Nigeria‘s first elected president since mid-1983.

2002 Ryanair Flight 296 caught fire at London Stansted Airport.

2002 – Godhra train burning: a Muslim mob killed 59 Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya;

2003 Rowan Williams was enthroned as the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

2004 A bombing of a Superferry by Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines’ worst terrorist attack killed 116.

2007 The general strike against Lansana Conté in Guinea ended.

2007 – The Chinese Correction: the Shanghai Stock Exchange fell 9%, the largest drop in 10 years.

2010 – Central Chile was struck by an 8.8 magnitude earthquake.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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