Harawira to force by-election


Hone Harawira has annoucned he’s going to resign from parliament to force a by-election.

The by-election is expected to cost $500,000. Under Electoral Commission rules, a by-election cannot occur with less than six months until an election, but Harawira’s announcement will come just one month ahead of that deadline.

What a waste of money.

Although there is one way to stop him – call an earlier election.

John Key announced in February that the election would be on November 26 – just a few weeks earlier and it would be within six months of Harawira’s resignation.

Word of the day


Abscissin – plant hormone which triggers the fall of autumn leaves.

Appropriate sponsors


John Drinnan, the Herald’s media commentator muses on the suggestion that sponsorship might be introduced to RadionNZ National:

With its medical disease of the week, Kathryn Ryan’s Nine to Noon could be brought to you by Prozac. Chris Laidlaw would work well with extra strong coffee. Mary Wilson on Checkpoint would suit Mack trucks. . .

It would be hard to beat the Mack Truck for mary Wilson on Checkpoint, but who could sponsor other programmes like Morning and Midday reports, Afternoons, Nights, Country Life or Kim Hill on Saturday morning?



From last week’s bad 4/10 to this week’s worse 3/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.

With friends like these . . .


Hone Harawira is launching the Mana Party today with help from some friends:

It was earlier thought plans to rally together left-wing activists like Sue Bradford and Matt McCarten in to the party had fallen over.

But details emerging this morning suggest Bradford and McCarten could be intimately involved with the party – possibly as candidates. . .

. . .  A list of speakers for Saturday’s Mana Party launch released this morning includes Bradford, McCarten and veteran left-wing activist John Minto.

With friends like these there is no doubt Mana will be a left wing party and it might mean they will contest some general electorate seats not just the Maori ones.

New leader has no mandate for demands


Don Brash grabbed the leadership of Act in an unorthodox manner with reportedly the support of only three MPs.

Former leader Rodney Hide has been gracious in defeat and given the new leader his support. The fifth member of the Act caucus, John Boscawen apears to be demonstrating that loyalty to the party is paramount and is supporting the new leader.

The party board will ratify the leadership decision today but that still doesn’t give Brash any mandate for making demands of Prime Minister John Key.

He is leading a wee party which got into parliament with only 3.65% of the party vote thanks to the seat of Epsom which was won by Hide, the leader he’s deposed.

He is confident he will lift the vote well above that in November and he might well do so. If he does and National is in a position to form a government he could start negotiating for ministerial places then, but only then.

However, he wants some influence sooner:

Mr Hide has said he wants to stay on in his roles as local government and regulatory reform minister.

However, Dr Brash said last night that he expected to discuss the issue with Mr Key next week.Those are held at the discretion of the Prime Minister but it is also the convention in a coalition that the leader of the party in which those portfolios are held has a view on that.”

He indicated he would ask Mr Key to give Mr Hide’s portfolios to another MP, citing as a precedent Mr Hide’s decision to strip Heather Roy of her portfolios because of her coup attempt.

That isn’t a valid comparison. Roy had done her best to replace Hide inflicting great damage on her party in the process.

 Hide by contrast has put the party first by stepping aside without any public display of acrimony.

If his replacement insists on attempting to take his portfolios from him it would be understandable if Hide decided the party, and the man who calls him a friend, no longer deserved his loyalty.

Regardless of that, the election is only seven months away and it would be unnecessarily disruptive to change ministers at this late stage without a much better reason than to reward someone else for disloyalty to her leader who happens to hold the portfolios.

I have a great deal of respect for Dr Brash but if he attempts to replace Hide as a minister he will be attempting to wield influence well out or proportion to his position. He should put his intellect and energy into helping his new party become part of the next government and leave this one be.

To do otherwise would risk damaging this government and reduce the chances of both National and Act being part of the next one.

April 30 in history


On April 30:

313  Roman emperor Licinius unified the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule.

132 Licinius.jpg

1006  Supernova SN 1006, the brightest supernova in recorded history, appeared in the constellation Lupus.


1315 Enguerrand de Marigny was hanged on the public gallows at Montfaucon.

1492 Spain gave Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration.

1513  Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, was executed on the orders of Henry VIII.

John de la Pole, 1st Earl of Lincoln.jpg

1651 Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, French educational reformer, Catholic saint, was born (d. 1719).

1662 Queen Mary II of England was born (d. 1694).

1671  Petar Zrinski, the Croatian Ban from the Zrinski family, was executed.

Petar Zrinski (1621-1671)

1789  George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.


1794  The Battle of Boulou was fought, in which French forces defeated the Spanish under General Union.

Bataille de Boulou.jpg

1803  Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.

Location of Louisiana Purchase

1838  Nicaragua declared independence from the Central American Federation.

1864  Pai Marire warriors were defeated at Sentry Hill.

Pai Marire defeated at Sentry Hill Taranaki

1865 ex-Governor Robert Fitzroy committed suicide.

Ex-Governor FitzRoy commits suicide

1871 The Camp Grant Massacre took place in Arizona Territory.

1894 Coxey’s Army reached Washington, D.C. to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893.


1900 Hawaii became a territory of the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor.

1900  Casey Jones died in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.


1904 The Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s Fair opened in St. Louis, Missouri.

1907  Honolulu, Hawaii became an independent city.

1909  Queen Juliana of the Netherlands,  was born (d. 2004).


1925 Dodge Brothers, Inc was sold to Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million plus $50 million for charity.

Dodge Logo

1927  The Federal Industrial Institute for Women, opened in Alderson, West Virginia, as the first women’s federal prison in the United States.

Alderson Federal Prison Camp entrance.jpg

1927 – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford became the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Grauman's Chinese Theatre, by Carol Highsmith fixed & straightened.jpg

1933 Willie Nelson, American musician, was born.

1937  The Philippines held a plebiscite for Filipino women on whether they should be extended the right to suffrage; more than 90% voted in the affirmative.

1938  The animated cartoon short Porky’s Hare Hunt debuted in movie theatres, introducing Happy Rabbit.

1938 The first televised FA Cup Final took place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End.

1939  The 1939-40 New York World’s Fair opened


1939  NBC inaugurated its regularly scheduled television service in New York City, broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s World’s Fair opening day ceremonial address.

NBC logo.svg

1943  World War II: Operation Mincemeat: The submarine HMS Seraph surfaced in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain to deposit a dead man planted with false invasion plans and dressed as a British military intelligence officer.


1945 World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide after being married for one day. Soviet soldiers raised the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building.


1946 King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, was born.

1947 The Boulder Dam was renamed Hoover Dam a second time.

Hoover Dam

1948 The Organization of American States was established.

1949 António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, was born.

1953  In Warner Robins, Georgia, an F4 tornado killed 18 people.

1953 Merrill Osmond, American musician (The Osmonds), was born.

1954 Jane Campion, New Zealand film director, was born.

1956 Former Vice President and Senator Alben Barkley died during a speech in Virginia. He collapsed after proclaiming “I would rather be a servant in the house of the lord than sit in the seats of the mighty.”

1959 Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1973  Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that top White House aids H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and others had resigned.

1975 Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gained control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ended with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Duong Van Minh.

1980 Accession of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands.

1988 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened World Expo ’88 in Brisbane, Australia.


1993  CERN announced World Wide Web protocols would be free.

1993 Virgin Radio broadcast for the first time in the United Kingdom.


1995 U.S. President Bill Clinton became the first President to visit Northern Ireland.

1999 Cambodia joined the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bringing the number of members to 10.

2004 U.S. media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

2008  Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia were confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia and one of his sisters Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna.

2009 Chrysler  filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Chrysler LLC logo.svg

2010 – Hailed as the largest World’s Fair in history, Expo 2010 opened in Shangai.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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