Maori Party picks up Harawira’s gauntlet


Hone Harawira threw down a gauntlet when he announced he’s resigning to force a by-election in te Tai Tokerau and the Maori Party has picked it up:

On Saturday, Mr Harawira announced the formation of his new left wing party, the Mana Party, and also that he plans to force a by-election in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

Maori Party president Pem Bird says he and other party members were shocked by the by-election announcement.

He says a Sunday night meeting of the party’s council will determine whether it will stand a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau electorate.

It was always an uneasy truce between Harawira and his former party and this signals an end to it.

If the Maori Party does stand a candidate it could split the vote and let the Labour one through the middle. But if it doesn’t stand a candidate most of those who don’t support Harawira are more likely to vote Labour.

Word of the day


Benedick – a newly married man, especially one who was a confirmed bachelor.

State of emergency over


The state of national emergency which has existed in Christchurch since the earthquake on February 22nd has expired.

Those of us in other parts of the country need to remember that doesn’t mean that life is back to normal for people in the city.

The after shocks continue, many still can’t return to their homes or workplaces, roads and services are still disrupted and the rebuild will be a long, slow process.

The expiration of the state of emergency is just one small step on the long road to recovery.

Rural round-up


 Manuka honey dressings to be used against some ‘super bugs’

Approval from European health authorities is expected shortly for a medical manuka honey-based wound-care dressings said to be capable of fighting antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Laboratory studies by Professor Rose Cooper and colleagues at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, show medical-grade manuka honey interacts with three bacteria that commonly infect wounds, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). . .

Centuries of tradition at the Pushkar Camel Fair – Allan Barber writes:

I have just spent three weeks inIndiawith two days at Pushkar in Rajasthan during the annual Camel Fair. The fair coincides with the full moon and attracts around 25000 animals (17000 camels, 5000 cattle, 2000 horses and assorted buffaloes, goats and donkeys) for trading in two enormous ‘paddocks’ in the sand on the edge of the desert. Total turnover is up to Rupees 100 million ($3.5 million) measured at road checks on the way in and out of town. . .

Leadership award for North Otago sharemilker – Sally Rae writes:

A strong involvement in Young Farmers, which included helping to raise $70,000 for the Christchurch earthquake appeal, has paid off for lower order sharemilker and equity partner Greig Moore.

Mr Moore (26) received the Federated Farmers of New Zealand leadership award at the Canterbury North Otago Dairy Industry Awards. . .

New Hope from small start to giant now – Richard Rennie in NZ Farmers Weekly:

New Hope Group, the company seeking to partner with Agria on the PGG Wrightson deal claims at its roots a founder who started his fortune raising quails’ eggs.

In the 1980s New Hope Group founder Liu Yonghao and his three brothers started raising chickens and quails’ eggs while China opened up to economic reform.

The company is today claimed to have $NZ700 million in assets and sales of over NZ$1.4 billion a year in the food and agribusiness sector. . .

Maori dairy factory eyes Asian markets –  from Rural News:

 NEW milk plant for a Maori-owned farming operation is on track for opening August 1. It will make whole milkpowder (WMP) for Vietnam and other Asian countries.

The plant owner Miraka is 80% owned by Maori and 20% by Vietnam’s largest dairy company Vinamilk.
Miraka chairman Kingi Smiler says the plant, west of Taupo, is on budget and two weeks ahead of schedule. . .

The ups and downs of coping with drought – Jon Morgan writes:

Farming has been a rollercoaster ride for Tom and Anna Clouston since they took over Tangmere, the family property at Flemington, near Waipukurau, in the middle of the 2007 drought.

Like all farms, they depend on late summer and autumn rains to grow enough grass to get them through till spring.

It is a feed bank farmers draw on through winter to keep their capital stock well fed and healthy so they can deliver the lambs and calves that are their main income source.

But for the Cloustons, and many other farmers throughout New Zealand, over the past few years the rains have been erratic – turning up one year, not the next. . .

Pork Industry pays the price –  by  Jon Morgan:

The pork industry has been going through a turgid time in the last couple of years. Night raids on piggeries by animal welfare activists have been followed by new controls on farrowing conditions.

It is a double blow – to pig farmers’ public image and to their pockets when they have to pay for the remedy.

Now, they have to deal with a new threat. The easing of regulations threatens to open the way to disease-carrying imported pork.

Or so you would believe if you swallowed the line put out by the industry’s public relations firm.

It is a shame NZPork didn’t crank up its PR machine earlier, when it was under attack by the rabid forces of the anti-farming lobby, assisted by a gullible TV channel. Then, it had a much better case for eliciting public sympathies. . .

Opportunities for beekeeper – Sally Rae in the ODT:

Middlemarch beekeeper Blair Dale is used to dealing with the vagaries of the weather.

Following a “fantastic” spring – probably the best Mr Dale has seen for at least 15 years – he thought it was going to be a good summer.

But while the cool, wet weather was good for pasture growth and there was lots of feed for stock and bees, it was not good for “little flying insects” who needed warm weather to go and forage. . .

Couple increase kelpie profile in US – Terry Sim in Stock and Land:

MONTANA ranchers Bill and Janice Mytton are riding a rising tide of interest in the Kelpie in the United States, but shipping home a good Australian working dog is getting expensive.

When they brought their first kelpie off Tom Gilchrist, Casterton, seven years ago it cost $75 to get it home, now it takes $2000 to get your dog stateside.

“I really think that limits the agriculture sector,” Mr Mytton said.

The Myttons now have nine Kelpies on their cattle ranch at Absarokee in central Montana.

They muster cattle on horseback at up to 1500 metres above sea level in temperatures of up to 32 degree Celsius. . .

Why grassfed beef has problems in the US –  Rod Smith in Stock and Land:

DEMAND for “grass-fed beef” – beef from cattle exclusively grazed on pastures and ranges, often qualifying as natural or organic product – is rapidly increasing in the US, and now makes up three per cent of the US beef market, according to Kenneth H. Mathews Jr. and Rachel J. Johnson at the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

Consumers who prefer this kind of beef are willing to pay premium prices for it, and the market “survived the challenges of the last two years,” Mathews and Johnson noted in a special article of a recent ERS “Livestock, Dairy & Poultry Outlook” report.

Historically, US beef production has been grass oriented, with cattle grazed on pasture and rangeland that’s not suitable for crops and other harvested forages, they said. . .


Mayday for Labour on May Day


Mayday is the international distress call and it’s what Labour might well be calling on this May Day which is celebrated by the left as International Workers Day.

The formation of the Mana Party yesterday made Labour look an even less attractive option for voters.

If Labour propped up by the Greens, Maori Party, New Zealand First and Peter Dunne was a recipe for instability with little electoral appeal, how much worse would it be with the addition of the Mana Party with these policies :

 . . . nationalising assets such as power, water and housing and ending state asset sales. He said it would campaign on the so-called ‘Hone Heke’ tax – a financial transaction tax of one cent in the dollar.

The party also wants to nationalise monopolies and duopolies.

State owned supermarkets anyone?

Labour was quick to say that a Don Brash-led Act Party would drag National to the right. But National is in a much stronger position to withstand extreme demands from potential coalition partners than Labour which will be further weakened by the spectre of the Mana Party on its left-flank.

It’s only (other people’s) money – updated


Quote of the week from Dim Post:

Sometimes I just want to strap the entire spectrum of left-wing politicians into dentists chairs and patiently explain to them – using chisels and barbed wire – that most the state’s wealth comes from ordinary people working hard and then giving a huge chunk of their income to the government, so spending it is a sacred trust not an endless opportunity to squander it all on gimmicks and whims and political stunts.

He was prompted by Hone Harawira’s decision to force a by-election but every politician and public servant – anywhere on the political spectrum – ought to take heed of and be governed by this premise. 

Not the dentists’ chairs, chisel and barbed wire, tempting though the use of those would be on some; but the hard working and sacred trust not to be wasted bits.

Respect for other people’s money appears to be a foreign concept to Harawira. His decision to force an entirely unnecessary by-election reinforces his arrogant attitude to public funds.

Early in his parliamentary career he was dressed down by his then-party co-leader Tariana Turia for accepting koha from constituents he helped.

Then he went AWOL while leading a  parliamentary delegation to the EU so he could visit Paris.

Further evidence of his profligacy was found in the release of MPs’ travel expenses last week.

In the first three months of this year Harawira spent, $42,971,  almost as much as the entire Maori Party on travel. He excuses that because of the size of his electorate and it’s distance from Wellington.  Te Tai Tokerau is 16,370 square kilometres in area but Rahui Katene whose Te Tai Tonga electorate is about 10 times bigger at 161,443 square kilometres in area spent less than half the amount Harawira did – $20,462. Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean whose Waitaki Electorate covers 34, 888 square kilometres, more than twice the size of Harawira’s, claimed $15,671.

Now he’s going to force the waste of half a million dollars on a by-election.

He reckons it’s for democracy but Keeping Stock has indentified a more venal reason – if  Harawira wins back the seat and returns to parliament as the leader of the Mana Party he’ll get the extra funding that comes with that.

However, once he resigns he’ll lose his MP’s salary and the ability to claim for his expenses which means for the duration of the campaign it won’t be our money he’s spending.

The timing of the by-election is at the discretion of the Prime Minister. Every day further out the date of the by-election is set will be a day when the public purse is relieved of the need to contribute to Harawira’s upkeep. Let’s hope it’s a very long campaign.


National hasn’t stood candidates in Maori electorates in the alst last couple of elections. The Maori Party has an agreement not to compete with Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau. If it sticks to that could the Labour candidate win and leave the Mana Party in the dust at its first outing?

May 1 in history


On May 1: 

305  Diocletian and Maximian retired from the office of Roman Emperor. 

880 The Nea Ekklesia was inaugurated in Constantinople setting the model for all later cross-in-square Orthodox churches. 

1328  Wars of Scottish Independence ended: Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton – the Kingdom of England recognised the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state. 

Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland 

1576  Stefan Batory, the reigning Prince of Transylvania, married Anna Jagiellon and they became the co-rulers of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. 


1707 The Act of Union joined the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. 


1751 The first cricket match was played in America. 

1753 Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. 


1759 Josiah Wedgwood founded the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain. 


1776 Establishment of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt


1778 American Revolution: The Battle of Crooked Billet began in Hatboro, Pennsylvania. 

Battle of Crooked Billet Monument.jpg 

1785  Kamehameha, the king of Hawaiʻi defeated Kalanikupule and established the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. 


1786  Opening night of the opera The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna. 


1831 Emily Stowe, Canadian physician and suffragist, was born (d. 1903). 


1834  The British colonies abolished slavery

1840  The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, was issued in the United Kingdom. 

Penny black.jpg 

1846  The few remaining Mormons left in Nauvoo, Illinois, formally dedicated the Nauvoo Temple


1848 The Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta was founded at Jefferson College in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. 

1851 Queen Victoria opened the Great Exhibition in London. 


1852 Calamity Jane, American Wild West performer, was born (d. 1903). 


1852 The Philippine peso was introduced into circulation. 

1000-peso note one-peso coin

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville began.  

1865 The Empire of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay signed the Treaty of the Triple Alliance

1869 The Folies Bergère opened in Paris. 


1875 Alexandra Palace reopened after the 1873 fire burnt it down. 


1884  Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States. 

1884 Moses Fleetwood Walker became the first black person to play in a professional baseball game in the United States. 


1885 Ralph Stackpole, American sculptor, painter, was born  (d. 1973). 


1886 Rallies, that ended in the Haymarket affair, were held throughout the United States demanding the eight-hour work day. 


1893 The World’s Columbian Exposition opened in Chicago. 


1893 Richard Seddon became Premier of New Zealand. 

Richard Seddon becomes Premier 

  1894 Coxey’s Army, the first significant American protest march, arrived in Washington, D.C. 

1898  Spanish-American War: The Battle of Manila Bay – the United States Navy destroyed the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first battle of the war. 


1900 The Scofield mine disaster killed more than 200 men in Scofield, Utah. 


1901 The Pan-American Exposition opened in Buffalo, New York. 


1910 Dr. J. Allen Hynek, Astronomer/Astro-physicist. Noted UFO investigator, was born  (d. 1986). 


1915  The RMS Lusitania departed from New York City on her two hundred and second, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. 


1925 The All-China Federation of Trade Unions was officially founded. 

ACFTU logo.jpg 

1926 New Zealand Railways magazine was launched. 

NZ Railways Magazine launched 

1927 The first cooked meals on a scheduled flight were introduced on an Imperial Airways flight from London to Paris. 

1927  The Union Labor Life Insurance Company was founded by the American Federation of Labor. 

1930 The dwarf planet Pluto was officially named.


1931 The Empire State Building was dedicated in New York City.

Manhattan at Dusk by slonecker.jpg

1937  Una Stubbs, English actress, was born. 


1939 Judy Collins, American folk singer, was born. 


1940 The 1940 Summer Olympics were cancelled owing to war. 

1941 – World War II: German forces launch a major attack on Tobruk

1945 World War II: A German newsreader officially announced that Adolf Hitler had “fallen at his command post in the Reich Chancellery fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism and for Germany”. 

1945  Yougoslav partisans freed Trieste

Yugoslav Partisans flag 1945.svg 

1945  Rita Coolidge, American singer, was born. 


1946  Joanna Lumley, English actress, was born. 

1946 Start of 3 year Pilbara strike of Indigenous Australians. 

1946 The Paris Peace Conference concluded that the islands of the Dodecanese should be returned to Greece by Italy. 


1947 Portella della Ginestra massacre against May Day celebrations in Sicily by the bandit and separatist leader Salvatore Giuliano; 11 people were killed and 33 wounded.

1948 The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) was established, with Kim Il-sung as president.


1950  Guam was organized as a United States commonwealth.


1956  The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk was made available to the public. 

1956  A doctor in Japan reported an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.

1960 Formation of the western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra.

1960  Cold War: U-2 incidentFrancis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, iwa shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis.


1961 The Prime Minister of Cuba, Fidel Castro, proclaimed Cuba a socialist nation and abolishes elections.

Five horizontal stripes: three blue and two white. A red equilateral triangle at the left of the flag, partly covering the stripes, with a white five pointed star in the centre of the triangle. A shield in front of a fasces crowned by the Phrygian Cap, all supported by an oak branch and a laurel wreath


1965 Battle of Dong-Yin, a naval conflict between ROC and PRC, took place. 

1970  Protests erupted in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country. 

1971 Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) was formed to take over U.S. passenger rail service.


 1977 36 people were killed in Taksim Square, Istanbul, during the Labour Day celebrations. 

1978 Japan’s Naomi Uemura, travelling by dog sled, became the first person to reach the North Pole alone.

1982 The 1982 World’s Fair opened in Knoxville, Tennessee.


1982 Operation Black Buck: The Royal Air Force attacked the Argentine Air Force during Falklands War. 


1983 Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

1987 Pope John Paul II beatified Edith Stein, a Jewish-born Carmelite nun who was gassed in the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz.


1989 Disney-MGM Studios opened at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida.


1990 The former Philippine Episcopal Church (supervised by the Episcopal Church of the United States of America) was granted full autonomy and raised to the states of an Autocephalous Anglican Province and renamed the Episcopal Church of the Philippines. 


1992 On the third day of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, African-American activist, criminal, and victim of police beating Rodney King appeared in public before television news cameras to appeal for calm and plead for peace, asking, “People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?”. 

1994  Three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna was killed in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.


1995 Croatian forces launch Operation Flash during the Croatian War of Independence. 

1997  Tasmania became the last state in Australia to decriminalize homosexuality. 

2001 Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the existence of “a state of rebellion”, hours after thousands of supporters of her arrested predecessor, Joseph Estrada, stormed towards the presidential palace at the height of the EDSA III rebellion.


2003 2003 invasion of Iraq: In the “Mission Accomplished” speech, on board the USS Abraham Lincoln (off the coast of California), U.S. President George W. Bush declaref that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended”. 


2004 Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined the European Union, celebrated at the residence of the Irish President in Dublin.

Circle of 12 gold stars on a blue background.

2006  The Puerto Rican government closed the Department of Education and 42 other government agencies owing to to significant shortages in cash flow. 

2007  the Los Angeles May Day mêlée occured, in which the Los Angeles Police Department’s response to a May Day pro-immigration rally become a matter of controversy. 

2008 The London Agreement on translation of European patents, concluded in 2000, entered into force in 14 of the 34 Contracting States to the European Patent Convention

2009 Same-sex marriage was legalised in Sweden. 

2010 – attempted car bombing of Times Square.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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