Maggie Barry for North Shore


Whaleoil reports thatMaggie Barry won the National Party selection for North Shore  on the first ballot.

Selections use preferential voting and it is a real vote of confidence in a candidate if s/he gets more than 50% support from the first vote.

Barry’s strong blue-green credentials will be an asset to the party and, if she wins the seat which is a strong blue one, also to the country.

Word of the day


Profligate – a licentious, dissolute person; recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources.

Ready, steady whoa


Labour and the Maori Party have announced they’re standing candidates in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

They’re ready to go but there isn’t a by-election yet and won’t be until and unless Hone Harawira resigns.

Even if he does stand will he be able to do so under the Mana Party banner?

Whaleoil points out that the name might not meet the requirements of the Electoral Act.

Confusion between the Mana electorate and the party might be enough to rule out the name; and the logo looks a bit like one used by Te Mana Kōrero, part of the Ministry of Education.

Add to that the loss of a couple of months salary, travel and accommodation expenses and it would be understandable if he decides it’s all too hard in the best interests of his constituents to stay in his seat until the general election.

No broken promises


Labour has been trying to say that National will be breaking the promises it made about Kiwisaver, student loans and Working for Families.

Those promises applied to this term.

John Key’s pre-Budget speech makes it clear any changes will not take place until after the election.  People will be able to take the proposed changes into account when deciding whether or not they give National a second term.

Mr Key said the Budget will contain changes to KiwiSaver, Working for Families and interest-free student loans – programmes which collectively cost almost $5 billion a year.

“These programmes were introduced during a debt and consumption-driven economic bubble, and it is clear that they are unaffordable,” Mr Key said.

“None of the changes we will be making will affect people before the election so New Zealanders will be voting with all the information they need and can make their own choices.”

The Government intends to reduce the amount of money it has to borrow from overseas to put into KiwiSaver, and increase the amount of genuine savings from the private sector.

It makes no sense for the government to borrow to help other people save nor to help those who could and should be looking after themselves.

Mr Key said Working for Families will also be better targeted at lower-income families, who have a much greater need for assistance, and a little less generous to families higher up the Working for Families scale.

“We will do this gradually, in a way that minimises the impact on families,” Mr Key said.

The student loan scheme will also be adjusted but will remain interest-free.

“The changes we are making in the Budget will make all of these programmes more affordable and ensure they survive into the future,” Mr Key said.

WFF should never have been given to upper income families. A three year repayment holiday on student loans for people who go overseas was also far too generous.

There was no justification for welfare for wealthy people when the government’s books were in surplus and there is even less for it now they’re in deficit.

It will be very interesting to see how opposition parties react to this. It won’t be easy to convince people that borrowing to give money to wealthy families and people who’ve left the country is a good idea.

The full speech is here.

Where are the young people?


Act has opened nominations for Epsom.

Former National MP and Auckland MP John Banks has said he’s keen to stand.

I’m not going to join those saying he, or the party’s new leader Don Brash are too old.

In launching the Ministry of Social Development report The Business of Ageing, Realising the economic potential of older people in New Zealand,  Minister for Senior Citizens John Carter said:

“There is a growing realisation of the economic potential of older people and this report is a discussion-starter that presents new research on the subject,” Mr Carter said. . .

. . . “I hope the report broadens the discussion about our ageing population to something more than the sustainability of a pension system and the perceived economic burden of the aged. The flip-side of that coin is the opportunities of a largely fit, active and economically powerful demographic.”

Sixty five is no longer old.

Our longest-serving employee is 81. When he turned 70 my farmer suggested he took it a bit easier and start work an hour later. He did that for a couple of days but was back at 8am on the third and he’s still working fulltime. The next oldest is 78 and is happy to spend all day dagging lambs – though he does take Wednesday afternoons off to play bridge.

Older people have a lot to contribute and should not be put out to pasture if they’re still willing and able to work. This is as applicable in politics as anywhere else.

Parliament needs wisdom (which isn’t confined to older people) and experience but it also needs fresh ideas.

If Act is serious about making a resurgence it needs to recruit younger candidates too – and preferably not from the ranks of former National MPs.

A rare endorsement


I know the enemy of my enemy can sometimes be an ally if not a friend.

And the lesser of two evils could be better or at least a long way less bad.

And that politics is only a difference of opinion not a war.

And I know that parliament would be a better place without Hone Harawira with his radical left-wing and racially confused agenda.

But I just can’t bring myself to say vote for a Labour candidate.

However, I will point you to the logic of others who don’t let emotion cloud their views:

Adolf explains why in My enemy’s enenmy at No Minister and there’s rare, very rare, endorsements by Cactus Kate, Whaleoil, Kiwiblog, Keeping Stock, and Fairfacts Media.

P.S. The Veteran at No Minister has some local intelligence which reckons Hone Harawira and the media have over-estimated his support.

p.p.s. That local intelligence is supported by this email which arrived this morning:

As a rule, I don’t pass along these “add your name” lists that appear in e-mails,

BUT this one is important.

It has been circulating for months and has been sent to over 2.2 million people.

We don’t want to lose any names on the list so just hit forward and send it on.

Please keep it going!   

To show your support for the MP, Hone Harawera, and the job  he is doing please go to the end of the list and add your name. ………. 


1.  Titiwhai Harawera

What if . . .


. . . one evening when I sat down to type a post to appear at 7ish next morning as is my wont (and usually my will but not, until now, my won’t) [this sentence is getting a bit too clever for its own good, start again – Ed].

. . .  one evening when I sat down to type a post to appear at 7ish next morning as I habitually do, I thought “no, I’m having one of those fortnights this week and I’d rather go to bed with a book”?

Normal service will resume later in the day.

May 11 in history


330 Byzantium was renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but was more popularly referred to as Constantinople.

1310 In France, fifty-four members of the Knights Templar were burned at the stake as heretics.


1647 Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam to replace Willem Kieft as Director-General of New Netherland, the Dutch colonial settlement in present-day New York City.


1745 War of Austrian Succession: Battle of Fontenoy –French forces defeated an AngloDutch-Hanoverian army.


1792 Captain Robert Gray became the first documented European to sail into the Columbia River.

1799 John Lowell, American philanthropist, was born (d. 1836).


1812 Prime Minister Spencer Perceval was assassinated by John Bellingham in the lobby of the House of Commons.


1813 William Lawson, Gregory Blaxland and William Wentworth led an expedition westwards from Sydney. Their route opened up inland Australia for continued expansion throughout the 19th century.


1820 Launch of HMS Beagle, the ship that took Charles Darwin on his scientific voyage.

Longitudinal section of HMS Beagle as of 1842

1852 Charles W. Fairbanks, 26th United States Vice President was born (d. 1918).

1857 Indian Mutiny: Indian rebels seized Delhi from the British.

1862 American Civil War: The ironclad CSS Virginia was scuttled in the James River.

CSS Virginia

1867 Luxembourg gained its independence.

1875  Harriet Quimby, American aviator, was born (d. 1912).


1888 Irving Berlin, American composer, was born (d. 1989).

1891 The Ōtsu Incident : Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Imperial Russia (Nicholas II) was critically injured by the sword attack by a Japanese policeman Tsuda Sanzō.

1892  Margaret Rutherford, English actress, was born (d. 1972).

1894 Pullman Strike: Four thousand Pullman Palace Car Company workers went on a wildcat strike in Illinois.


1904 Salvador Dalí, Spanish painter was born (d. 1989).

1907 A derailment outside Lompoc, California killed 32 Shriners when their chartered train derails at a switch near Surf Depot.

1910 An act of the U.S. Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.


1918 The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was officially established.

1924 Mercedes-Benz was formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging their two companies.

Mercedes-Benz logo.svg

1927 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded.

1942  William Faulkner’s collections of short stories, Go Down, Moses, was published.


1943  World War II: American troops invaded Attu Island..

1944 World War II: The Allies started a major offensive against the Axis Powers on the Gustav Line.


1945 Captain Charles Upham was presented with the VC and Bar.

Upham presented with VC and Bar

1945  World War II: The aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill, was hit by two kamikazes, killing 346 of her crew.


1946 UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) was created.

1949  Siam officially changed its name to Thailand for the second time.

1953  The 1953 Waco tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado hit downtown Waco, Texas, killing 114.

1960 In Buenos Aires four Israeli Mossad agents captured fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, living under the assumed name Ricardo Klement.


1960 – The first contraceptive pill was made available on the market.

1967 – Andreas Papandreou, Greek economist and socialist politician, was imprisoned in Athens by the Greek military junta.

1970 The Lubbock Tornado a F5 tornado hits Lubbock, Texas, killing 26 and causing $250 million in damage.

1984 A transit of Earth from Mars took place.


1985  Fifty-six spectators died when a flash fire struck the Valley Parade football ground during a match in Bradford, England.


1987  Klaus Barbie went on trial in Lyon for war crimes committed during World War II.

1987 The first heart-lung transplant took place, performed by Dr. Bruce Reitz, of Stanford University School of Medicine.

1995 More than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

1996  A fire started by improperly handled oxygen canisters in the cargo hold of Atlanta-bound ValuJet Flight 592 caused the Douglas DC-9 to crash in the Florida Everglades killing all 110 on board.

1997 IBM Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeated Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.

Start of chess board.
a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn d7 black knight e7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
c6 black pawn
g5 white knight
d4 white pawn
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 white bishop g1 white knight h1 white rook
End of chess board.

1998 India conducted three underground nuclear tests in Pokhran, including a thermonuclear device.

2000 Effective date of Canada’s first modern-day treaty – The Nisga’a Final Agreement.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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