Topless with a top?

May 6, 2011

Pippa Middleton, sister of and bridesmaid to, Kate Duchess of Cambridge is one of the top search terms for Google.

TV3’s report on this is headlined Pippa Middleton topless photo emerges.

The story makes no mention of that but there is a photo captioned: Pippa Middleton dances topless with a friend .

She might be dancing with someone and he could be a friend but she’s wearing a top which is firmly attached to her top.

Did whoever wrote the caption and headline not see the top or is this the sort of total disconnect between story and headline, caption and photo  to titilate which used to be the preserve of the sleazier tabloids?


Word of the day

May 6, 2011

Garboil – a state of commotion, noise and confusion; disturbance; uproar.


iPredict: Act up to 7%

May 6, 2011

iPredict shows a surge of support for Act after the change of leadership.

Its forecast share of the party vote has more than doubled – up from 3.1% to 7%.

Not surprisingly some of that support has come from people who had supported National which has gone down from 47.5% to 46%.

Forecast vote shares are now: National 46.0% (down from 47.5% last week and 48.0% the week before), Labour 29.3% (up from 28.9% last week), Act 7.0% (up from 3.1% last week), the Greens 6.9% (up from 6.5% last week), New Zealand First 4.8% (up from 4.2% last week), UnitedFuture 1.6% (steady), the Maori Party 1.5% (steady), the Mana Party 1.3% (up from 1.1% last week), the New Citizen Party 0.7% (steady) and the proposed Reform New Zealand Party 0.6% (up from 0.4% last week).

Based on this data, and the electorate results above, Parliament would be as follows: National 59 MPs (down from 62 last week), Labour 37 MPs (down from 38 last week), Act 9 MPs (up from none last week), the Greens 9 MPs (up from 8 last week), the Maori Party 3 MPs (steady), UnitedFuture 2 MPs (steady) and the Mana Party 2 MPs (up from 1 last week). There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply, so that Mr Key’s National Party could govern with the support of one of the Act, Maori or UnitedFuture parties. There would be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern.

That last sentence is worth repeating: There would be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern.

Even if New Zealand First reached 5% that wouldn’t change. If all other party votes were constant:

 Parliament would be as follows: National 56 MPs, Labour 36 MPs, Act 8 MPs, the Greens 8 MPs, New Zealand First 6 MPs, the Maori Party 3 MPs, UnitedFuture 2 MPs and the Mana Party 2 MPs. There would be 121 MPs, requiring a government to have the support of 61 MPs on confidence and supply. There would continue to be no politically plausible combination that would allow Labour to govern, but the National Party would have a number of options including governing with Act alone, governing with both the Maori and UnitedFuture parties but not Act, governing with all three of these current support parties, or governing with New Zealand First despite Mr Key’s pledge not to do so.

Overall, the market continues to indicate an 86% probability there will be a National Prime Minister after the election (steady compared with the last two weeks).

There is absolutely no question of John Key going back on his decision not to entertain Winston Peters as a coaltion partner. On these figures that means even if his party got into parliament it wouldn’t be in government.

However, this is a predictions market not a survey and a little more than a week ago iPredict was forecasting that Brash’s attempt to takeover the Act leadership would fail.

A lot has happened since then and there’s more than six months to go to the election in which we can expect a lot more to happen which could influence voters.


Freedom from information

May 6, 2011

Frankly, the main point is, in terms of the story, the facts are somewhat difficult to grasp and it’s good to know that Clake and Dawe are up to speed and fully across the details of everything we need to know:


Friday’s answers

May 6, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Corgis were originally bred to do what work?

2. Who said: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” ?

3. Which New Zealand singer sang If I Only Had Time? (token gesture to NZ music month).

4. It’s amitié in French, amistad in Spanish and the nearest I could find in Maori was whanaungatanga – what is it in English?

5. What is a gnomon?

Points for answers:

Andrei gets four with a bonus for Greek and wins an electronic batch of biscuits.

Paranormal gets three and a nearly for #4.

PDM gets two and a nearly for #4.

David gets two and a bonus for deduction.

Paul got three with bonuses for humour and extra information (I couldn’t find any reference to a model of the solar system for gnomon but am open to persuasion).

Gravedodger got four and an on the right track for #5 which also wins an electronic batch of biscuits.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


More money for maternity services

May 6, 2011

Health Minister Tony Ryall has announced a $54.4 million boost for maternity services and assistance to new mothers.

 “It will mean better teamwork and provide extra help to mothers and babies who need it.

“This Government has invested an extra $1.2 billion in health services over the past two years, and Budget 2011 will provide an extra $33.2 million for maternity services over four years to improve safety and quality.

“A further amount of $21.3 million will boost extra WellChild services, with a particular focus on first time mothers.

“We all want the best possible services to protect the safety of mothers and babies,” Mr Ryall says. “The additional funding will support midwives, nurses and doctors to improve safety and quality in maternity and WellChild services.”

This will extend initiatives the government has already introduced to improve services for mothers and babies. That includes one I feel particularly strongly about, the funding to enable new mothers to stay in maternity centres until breast feeding is established.

The extra funding includes:

$18.4 million to improve the safety and quality of services for mothers and babies, by bringing all local maternity professionals together for regular clinical reviews of all births. This funding will also increase the number of midwives in hospitals, together with medical specialists on-site and on-call.
• $6 million to revamp new parent information services.
• $6.8 million to help vulnerable mothers access a fuller range of health and social services. It will also assist midwives to make appropriate and timely referrals to other practitioners.
• One-off funding of $2 million to ensure all DHB maternity data is collected nationally.

The $21.3 million over four years for additional WellChild visits has a particular focus on the needs of first time mothers.

The additional funding is expected to deliver an extra 54,000 visits to around 18,000 mothers who need this additional support. For these mothers, this will mean, on average, three additional WellChild visits up to the first two months of a baby’s life.

WellChild currently provides two visits during the first two months of life.

“The Government is committed to giving new mums greater support if they need it, Mr Ryall says. “These three additional WellChild visits will ensure a smoother handover from midwives to WellChild providers and an even better start for mothers and their babies.

Additional Wellchild visits will be especially welcome.

New parents often don’t have the support of extended family as they might have in the past. Even if they do, a health professional can give reassurance, help prevent problems and treat those which do arise earlier.

Going into the home allows midwives and Plunket nurses to get a much better idea of how new parents are coping and are better able to identify babies which might be at risk then they could when babies are brought to them for clinic visits.

And because everyone gets Wellchild visits  there is no stigma attached to them as there might be to visits by other agencies like CYFS or a Public Health nurse.


Who’s left for him to play with?

May 6, 2011

No National-led coalition would include Hone Harawira’s party.

Labour, or at least its leader, has ruled out inviting him into coalition too.

Now Harawira has ruled himself out of a coalition which includes the Maori Party.

Who’s left for him to play with?

If he has a wee chat to Chris Carter he’ll find parliament is a very lonely place when you’ve got no mates.


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