Jami-Lee Ross MP


Jamie-Lee Jami-Lee Ross will become New Zealand’s youngest MP when he is sworn in following his win in the Botany by-election.

AL-SAADY, Hussain PIR 28
BRIGHT, Penny IND 124
GOH, Robert IND 31
ROSS, Jami-Lee NAT 8,150
WOOD, Michael LAB 4,154
YOUNG, Paul NCP 1,572
YOUNG, Wayne IND 55

Jamie-Lee Jami-Lee won 55% of the votes but turnout was pitiful – only about half the number of people voted today compared with those who cast votes in the 2008 election.

As I predicted this morning, his strongest opposition came from apathy.

What’s up with WordPress?


A reader emailed saying he couldn’t access this blog or any others which use Wordpress.

I’ve had the same problem from my phone (an android). I could view Kiwiblog which uses WordPress but none of those I tried with a .wordpress.com address.

However, I’ve had no problem with this or other WordPress blogs from my laptop.

If you’re reading this – and reader numbers haven’t shown a marked fall – then obviously you aren’t having a problem. I’d be interested to know if you’ve noticed any difficulties accessing this or other WordPress blogs or have any idea why some people can’t connect to it.

Word of the day


Effluvium – unpleasant or harmful odour, discharge or exhalation; invisible, usually offensive, emanation.

If laughter’s the best medicince . . .


. . .  this is a good time for laughter yoga:

Jami-Lee Ross vs apathy


By-elections don’t usually attract large voter turn-outs and the Botany one is even less likely to.

The Labour candidate conceded defeat the day after his selection, the Green candidate was minutes late in registering his nomination and last week’s earthquake has quite properly been of greater moment.

Polls predict the blue seat will stay that way today and it looks like the greatest opposition to National’s Jami-Lee Ross will be from apathy.

Never “only” any number of deaths


It is wrong to preface the announcement of any number of deaths with an “only”.

Each person who died in the Christchurch earthquake is not a statistic but an individual with family, friends and colleagues whose lives will never be the same again because it is life without someone who was important to them.

On Thursday the families of those still missing in the rubble were told that searchers were moving from rescue mode to recovery. No-one has been found alive since last Wednesday, the day after the earthquake and this news signals the acceptance that it is very, very unlikely anyone else could have survived this long.

John Key said:

. . . today is a day where we as a nation, along with our many friends around the world, mark with a heavy heart and great sadness this moment of unbearable loss for all the families involved.

Without in anyway taking away from the grief and loss of the people who have lost people, and definitely not putting an “only” before the 240 which might be the death toll, for each of those who died many more survived.

Some 47,000 people work in Christchurch’s CBD, nearly 350,000 live in the city. Who knows how many thousands of others – shoppers, trades and delivery people, tourists . . . –  would have been there when the quake struck at 12.51pm last Tuesday?

For every one who died, many, many more did not.

That does not make the deaths any less of a tragedy, the losses any easier to accept;  but it is a reminder that the toll could have been much, much worse.

The investigation into the earthquake and its aftermath must look not only at why people died but also why they didn’t. The lessons learned from both could save lives in the future.

March 5 in history


On March 5:

 1046 Naser Khosrow began the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which he will later describe in his book Safarnama.

1133 – King Henry II of England, was born (d. 1189).

1324  King David II of Scotland, was born (d. 1371).

1326 Louis I of Hungary, was born (d. 1382).

1496 King Henry VI  issued letters patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorising them to explore unknown lands.

1766 Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana arrived in New Orleans.


1770 Boston Massacre: Five Americans, were killed by British troops.


1784 Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney was named President of the Board of Trade.

1824 First Burmese War: The British officially declare war on Burma.

British attack in Burma 1824.gif

1830 The outbreak of the Girls’ War  at Kororareka.

Outbreak of the Girl's War at Kororareka

 1836 Samuel Colt made the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber.


1850 The Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait between the Isle of Anglesey and the mainland of Wales opened.

1860 Parma, Tuscany, Modena and Romagna voted in referenda to join the Kingdom of Sardinia.

1868  A court of impeachment was organized in the United States Senate to hear charges against President Andrew Johnson.

1868 – Mefistofele, an opera by Arrigo Boito receives its première performance at La Scala.

Arrigo Boito

1872  George Westinghouse patented the air brake.

Control handle and valve for a Westinghouse Air Brake

1904 Nikola Tesla, in Electrical World and Engineer, described the process of the ball lightning formation.


1908  Sir Rex Harrison, English actor, was born  (d. 1990).

1912 Italian forces were the first to use airships for military purposes, using them for reconnaissance behind Turkish lines.

1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a “bank holiday”, closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions.

1936 Canaan Banana, first President of Zimbabwe, was born (d. 2003).

1937 Olusẹgun Ọbasanjọ, President of Nigeria, was born.


1940 Members of Soviet politburo signed an order for the execution of 25,700 Polish intelligentsia, including 14,700 Polish POWs, known also as the Katyn massacre.

 Mass graves at Katyn war cemetery

1942  United States Navy Seabees established.

1942 Felipe González, Prime Minister of Spain, was born.

1943 First flight of Gloster Meteor jet aircraft in the United Kingdom.

1946 Winston Churchill used the phrase “Iron Curtain” in his speech at Westminster College, Missouri.

1946 Hungarian Communists and Social Democrats co-founded the Left Bloc.

 Left Bloc rally

1948 Elaine Paige, English singer and actress, was born.

1949 The Jharkhand Party was founded in India.

1952  – Alan Clark, English keyboardist (Dire Straits), was born.

1958 The Explorer 2 spacecraft launched and failed to reach Earth orbit.


1960 The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis originated when Alister Hardy publicly announced his idea that ape-human divergence may have been due to a coastal phase.

1962 Charlie and Craig Reid, Scottish musicians (The Proclaimers), were born.

1965 March Intifada: A Leftist uprising erupts in Bahrain against British colonial presence.

1966 BOAC Flight 911 crashed on Mount Fuji  killing 124.

1970 John Frusciante, American musician (Red Hot Chili Peppers), was born.

1970 The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty went into effect after ratification by 43 nations.

1973 Donald DeFreeze, the future Symbionese Liberation Army leader, escaped from Vacaville Prison.


1974 Yom Kippur War: Israeli forces withdrew from the west bank of the Suez Canal.

1975 First meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club


1978 The Landsat 3 was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

1979 Soviet probes Venera 11, Venera 12 and the American solar satellite Helios 2 were hit by “off the scale” gamma rays leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters.


1979 – Voyager 1‘s closest approach to Jupiter, 172,000 miles.

A space probe with squat cylindrical body topped by a large parabolic radio antenna dish pointing upwards, a three-element radioisotope thermoelectric generator on a boom extending left, and scientific instruments on a boom extending right. A golden disk is fixed to the body.

1982 Daniel Carter, New Zealand rugby player, was born.


1982 Venera 14, a Soviet satellite, arrived at Venus.

Venera 13 orbiter.gif

1984 6,000 Miners in the United Kingdom began their historic strike at Cortonwood Colliery.  


1999 Paul Okalik was elected first Premier of Nunavut.

2001 In Mecca, 35 Muslim pilgrims were crushed to death during the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

2003 17 Israeli civilians were killed by a Hamas suicide bomb in the Haifa bus 37 massacre.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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