Word of the day


Abluent – carrying off or washing away impurities;  cleanser or cleaning products.

Power resigning at election


National’s fourth ranked Cabinet Minister Simon Power has announced he will retire from politics at the election.

Mr Power said he was looking forward to continuing to contribute to New Zealand’s growth, but in the private sector.

“It’s time for new challenges and new opportunities.

“I’ve been extremely privileged to serve in the Cabinet under Prime Minister John Key, and as the Member for Rangitikei since 1999.

“It’s been an exciting and rewarding time and I’ve achieved a lot, but now I feel it’s time to move on to something else.”

He said he had discussed his decision with Mr Key and Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, who were supportive of his move.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as the holder of three warrants in this Government, and am not closing the door on future public roles, but it’s time for new challenges.”

I’m surprised by this announcement although I remember a conversation with Simon some years ago when he said he was aiming to be an MP for the medium rather than long term.

He has a wife and two young children and politics is a career which requires many sacrifices by families especially when the MP has both cabinet and electorate responsibilities.

While Simon will be missed his resignation provides an opportunity for new blood in caucus and opens up a cabinet spot for one of the other able National MPs.

Contrast that with Labour with a  front bench still dominated by Clark era MPs who on average entered parliament 17 years ago.

Rats and mice


Keeping Stock’s reminder that yesterday was the first day of autumn wasn’t a surprise.

Several mornings down here have had an autumnal feel with heavy dews over the last couple of weeks.

Yesterday I got two more very unwelcome reminders that temperatures are dropping. A mouse scuttled under the freezer in the laundry and a rat ran over the rafters in the garden shed.

Where did summer go?

Milk price up again


The trade weighted index went up by 5.9% in this morning’s globalDairy Trade auction.

The price paid for anhydrous milk fat increased 1.1%; skim milk power went up 2.3% and the price of whole milk powder increased 9.6%.

This puts the TWI well above the long term average and is a little bit of good news for the New Zealand economy.

No money to spare for wants


If a household had a large mortgage and a massive overdraft it ought to have already given up luxuries and reassessed what were absolute necessities.

If it then underwent a crisis – business failure, job loss, theft, fire, illness . . .  which added to costs and reduced income it would have to get even tougher on the difference between needs and wants.

This is the position the government is in.

The Budget was tight already and in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake it will have to get tighter.

The two highest priorities must be helping those in genuine need and economic recovery.

Had millions, possibly billions, of dollars not been wasted on people who ought to have been helping themselves, we would be in a much stronger position than we are now. As Cactus Kate says (in a post worth reading in full):

Capitalism seeks to create wealth. Socialism seeks to buy votes by spending it. For years leftist tilting welfarism has destroyed New Zealand’s chance of a nest-egg for this rainiest of days. Over-generous dollops of welfarism has spent up the nations inheritance for moments like these.

Christchurch and its people are in genuine need owing to circumstances beyond their control.

Some people in other parts of the country also have genuine needs which require assistance from the state.

But that is where welfare must stop.

There never has been a good argument for taking money from people in taxes, churning it through a bureaucracy then giving some of it back to those who don’t really need it.

Now more than ever those who can stand on there on feet must do so and leave welfare for people in genuine in need.

When you’ve got a large mortgage and a massive overdraft there is no money to spare for wants.

March 2 in history


On March 2:

986 Louis V became King of the Franks.

1127 Assassination of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders.

1316  Robert II of Scotland, was born (d. 1390).
Robert II of Scotland.png
1545 Thomas Bodley, English diplomat and library founder, was born (d. 1613).
1578 George Sandys, English colonist and poet, was born (d. 1644).
1717 The Loves of Mars and Venus was the first ballet performed in England.

1791 Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris.

1793 Sam Houston, President of the Republic of Texas, was born  (d. 1863).

1807  The U.S. Congress passed an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States… from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.”

1808 The inaugural meeting of the Wernerian Natural History Society, a Scottish learned society, was held in Edinburgh.

 Robert Jameson, founder and life president of the Wernerian Society

1815 Signing of Kandyan treaty by British invaders and Sri Lankan King.

1836 Texas Revolution: Declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico.


1842 The Grand National steeplechase at Aintree was won by Gaylad, ridden by Tom Olliver who won two other Grand national winners.

1855 Alexander II became Tsar of Russia.

1861 Tsar Alexander I II signed the emancipation reform into law, abolishing Russian serfdom.

1863 The U.S. Congress authorised track width of 4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) for Union Pacific Railroad.

1865 The Volkner Incident: Missionary Carl Völkner was hanged from a willow tree  near his church at Opotiki during the East Cape War.

Missionary Carl Volkner killed at Opotiki

1877 Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876.

1888 The Convention of Constantinople was signed, guaranteeing free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace.

1901 The U.S. Congress passed the Platt amendment, limiting the autonomy of Cuba as a condition for the withdrawal of American troops.


1903 In New York City the Martha Washington Hotel opened, becoming the first hotel exclusively for women.

1904 Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel), American author, was born  (d. 1991).

1917 The enactment of the Jones-Shafroth Act  granted Puerto Ricans United States citizenship.

1917 Desi Arnaz, Cuban-born actor and bandleader, was born (d. 1986).

1917 Nicholas II of Russia abdicated the throne in favor of his brother Michael II.


1919 The first Communist International meets in Moscow.

1923 George Basil Cardinal Hume, Archbishop of Westminster,, was born (d. 1999).


1931 Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union and Nobel laureate, was born.

1931 Tom Wolfe, American author, was born.

1933 The film King Kong opened at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.


1937  The Steel Workers Organizing Committee signed a surprise collective bargaining agreement with U.S. Steel, leading to unionization of the United States steel industry.

1938 Ricardo Lagos, President of Chile, was born.

1938 Lawrence Payton, American singer and songwriter (The Four Tops), was born  (d. 1997).


1939 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pope and took the name Pius XII.


1942  Lou Reed, American singer and guitarist, was born.

1943  Tony Meehan, English drummer (The Shadows), was born (d. 2005).

1946 Ho Chi Minh was elected the President of North Vietnam.

1948 Rory Gallagher, Irish guitarist, was born (d. 1995).

1949 Captain James Gallagher landed his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world aeroplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.


1949 – The first automatic street light was installed in New Milford, Conn..

1950 Karen Carpenter, American singer and drummer (The Carpenters), was born (d. 1983).

1953 The Academy Awards were first broadcast on television by NBC.

1955 King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicated the throne in favor of his father, King Norodom Suramarit.


1955  Jay Osmond, American musician (The Osmonds, was born.

1956 John Cowsill, American musician (The Cowsills), was born.


1956 Mark Evans, Australian bassist (AC/DC), was born.

1956 Morocco declared its independence from France.

1962 Jon Bon Jovi, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1962 In Burma, the army led by General Ne Win seized power in a coup d’état.

1968 Daniel Craig, English actor, was born.

1969 The first test flight of the Anglo-French Concorde was conducted.


1970 Rhodesia declared itself a republic.

1972  The Pioneer 10 space probe was launched from Cape Canaveral.

Pioneer 10 at Jupiter.gif

1977 Chris Martin, English musician (Coldplay), was born.

1978 Czech Vladimír Remek becomes the first non-Russian or non-American to go into space aboard Soyuz 28.


1989 Twelve European Community nations agreed to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century.

1990  Nelson Mandela elected deputy President of the African National Congress

Nelson Mandela on his 90th birthday in 2008.

1991 Battle at Rumaila Oil Field brings an end to the 1991 Gulf War.

1992 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, San Marino, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan joined the United Nations.

2004  Al Qaeda carried out the Ashoura Massacre, killing 170 and wounding over 500.

Sourced from NZ History On Line & Wikipedia

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