Word of the day


Réclame – art or practice by which publicity or notoriety is secured; a gift for dramatisation or publicity; hunger for publicity, flair for getting attention; showmanship;  public acclaim.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who wrote Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds, . . .:?

2. Who wrote the poem How Do I Love Thee? and what is its first line?

3. Who composed the wedding march known as here Comes the Bride and for which Sakespeare play was it written?

3b – Is that enough about love and marriage?

4. When did Don Brash become an MP?

5. At which university did Rodney Hide teach?

Hide jumps


Rodney Hide has jumped before what appeared likely to be a definite push.

Act leader Rodney Hide has resigned as party leader.

Hide, the Minister of Local Government, has just announced his decision at a media conference in Auckland.

Dr Don Brash, whose leadership push forced Hide to resign, was at the announcement and will now take over as leader.

Hide has put the good of his party before his personal ambitions but this saga doesn’t reflect well on Act.

A party whose leadership can be overturned by someone outside parliament with the support of just  three MPs in the face of  criticism from the party president isn’t very stable.

Brash sees Act as the vehicle to get his policies implemented but events of recent days show it’s a vehicle in urgent need of maintenance.

He will have to do a lot of work on it to convince people to trust it with their votes.

Fortune favours the bold


It’s looked more like a hostile takeover than a leadership bid. But Virgil was right, fortune favours the bold and Don Brash’s unorthodox challenge might succeed:

Don Brash looks certain to become the new Act leader, with the party’s newest MP, Hilary Calvert, switching sides yesterday after a private meeting in Dr Brash’s Auckland apartment.

A vote could be held at the next caucus meeting on Tuesday, but if Mr Hide accepts he has lost majority support to the former National Party leader, he could resign earlier.

The adage that any publicity is good publicity doesn’t apply to internal ructions in political parties.

If Brash really does have the numbers then the best thing Hide can for do for Act is resign the leadership and hope a new leader can drag the party out of the doldrums where it’s been mired for months.

Update: Hide is to make an annoucnement at noon:

Embattled ACT leader Rodney Hide will make an announcement on his future with the party at midday today.

Sources close to 3 News political editor Duncan Garner say it is believed he will resign as leader, paving the way for Don Brash to take over..

He is expected to hold onto his ministerial portfolios.

Giving up the leadership would be best for the party.

Holding on to his portfolios which also means staying on as an MP is sensible. There’s nothing to be gained by triggering the expense of a by-election this late in the electoral cycle.

P.S. A reader emailed to tell me the comments for this post had been disabled earlier. I’ve no idea how that happ but have ticked the boxes to enable them again.

March record month for dairy exports


There isn’t a lot of good news on the economic front at the moment and most of the bright spots come from primary industries, notably dairy:

Fonterra has recorded its highest ever month for exports with 229,000 tonnes of its dairy products leaving New Zealand shores in March.

Gary Romano, Managing Director of Fonterra Trade & Operations, said the record shipments are the result of continued growth in global demand for high quality dairy products from New Zealand.

“Our supply chain team were effectively closing the door on an export container every 2.6 minutes. That’s equivalent to 560 containers a day.”

“As a result of this effort we expect the record month will inject around $1.2 billion into the New Zealand economy,” he said.

The outlook is for continued high demand and the challenge is to keep up with it.

Increased domestic production will be satisify some of the demand but we can’t do it all here.

Joint ventures and the development of dairy farms in other countries will also be needed if dairy produce is to keep increasing its much-needed contribution to export income.

April 28 in history


On April 28:

1192  Assassination of Conrad of Montferrat (Conrad I), King of Jerusalem, in Tyre, two days after his title to the throne was confirmed by election.


1253 Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk, propounded Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for the very first time and declared it to be the essence of Buddhism, in effect founding Nichiren Buddhism.


1611 Establishment of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines, the largest Catholic university in the world.

1715 Franz Sparry, composer, was born (d. 1767).

1758 James Monroe, 5th President of the United States, was born. (d. 1831).

1789 Mutiny on the Bounty: Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors were set adrift; the rebel crew returned to Tahiti briefly and then set sail for Pitcairn Island.


1792  France invaded the Austrian Netherlands (present day Belgium), beginning the French Revolutionary War.


1796  The Armistice of Cherasco was signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Vittorio Amedeo III, the King of Sardinia, expanding French territory along the Mediterranean coast.

Cherasco is located in Italy

1862 American Civil War: Admiral David Farragut captured New Orleans.

1864 The assault of Gate Pa began.

Assault of Gate Pa begins

 1902  Using the ISO 8601 standard Year Zero definition for the Gregorian calendar preceded by the Julian calendar, the one billionth minute since the start of January 1, Year Zero occured at 10:40 AM on this date.

1912 Odette Sansom, French resistance worker, was born (d. 1995).

1916 Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian automobile manufacturer, was born (d. 1993).

1920 Azerbaijan was added to the Soviet Union.

1922 Alistair MacLean, Scottish novelist, was born (d. 1987).

1926 Harper Lee, American author, was born.

1930 The first night game in organised baseball history took place in Independence, Kansas.

1932 A vaccine for yellow fever was announced for use on humans.

1937 – Saddam Hussein, President of Iraq, was born (d. 2006).

1941 Ann-Margret, Swedish-born actress, was born.

1945 Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were executed by a firing squad consisting of members of the Italian resistance movement.

1947 Thor Heyerdahl and five crew mates set out from Peru on the Kon-Tiki to prove that Peruvian natives could have settled Polynesia.


1948 Terry Pratchett, English author, was born.

1949  Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon, 61, was assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 others are also killed.

1950 Jay Leno, American comedian and television host, was born.


1950  Bhumibol Adulyadej married Queen Sirikit.


1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Commander of NATO.


1952 Occupied Japan: The United States occupation of Japan ended with the ratification of Treaty of San Francisco.


1952 The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) iwa signed in Taipei between Japan and the Republic of China to officially end the Second Sino-Japanese War.

1956 Jimmy Barnes, Scottish-born singer, was born.

1960  Ian Rankin, Scottish novelist, was born.

1965 United States troops landed in the Dominican Republic to “forestall establishment of a Communist dictatorship” and to evacuate U.S. Army troops.

1967  Expo 67 opened to the public in Montreal.


1969 Charles de Gaulle resigned as President of France.

1969 – Terence O’Neill announced his resignation as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.

1970 Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorised American combat troops to fight communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.

1974 Penélope Cruz, Spanish actress, was born.

1977 The Red Army Faction trial ended with Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin and Jan-Carl Raspe found guilty of four counts of murder and more than 30 counts of attempted murder.


1977 The Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Microorganisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure was signed.

1978 President of Afghanistan, Mohammed Daoud Khan, was overthrown and assassinated in a coup led by pro-communist rebels.

1981  Jessica Alba, American actress, was born.

Head shot of a brown-eyed young woman smiling. She has long brown hair and bangs.

1986 The aircraft carrier USS Enterprise became the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the USS Coral Sea.

Enterprise underway in the Atlantic Ocean during Summer Pulse 2004.

1987 American engineer Ben Linder was killed in an ambush by U.S. funded Contras in northern Nicaragua.

1988  Near Maui, Hawaii, flight attendant Clarabelle “C.B.” Lansing was blown out of Aloha Flight 243, a Boeing 737 and fell to her death when part of the plane’s fuselage rips open in mid-flight.

1994  Former C.I.A. official Aldrich Ames pleaded guilty to giving U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and later Russia.

1996  Whitewater controversy: Bill Clinton gave a 4½ hour videotaped testimony for the defense.

1996 – In Tasmania Martin Bryant went on a shooting spree, killing 35 people and seriously injuring 21 more.

1997 – The 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention goes into effect, with Russia, Iraq and North Korea among the nations that have not ratified the treaty.


2001 – Millionaire Dennis Tito became the world’s first space tourist.

Dennis Tito.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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