Word of the day

June 10, 2011

Idoneous – adequate, apt, fit, proper, suitable.


Would principles be stronger than ambition?

June 10, 2011

If punters at iPredict are right, Labour could win the next election but only in New Zealand First crosses the 5% threshold needed to gain seats in parliament.

National Party would need all of the Act, United Future and Maori parties to govern meaning that the Maori Party would genuinely hold the balance of power.

This would give it the option of supporting a Labour/Green/New Zealand First/Maori Party/Mana Party government, which would have 61 seats on confidence and supply.

A two-party National/Green government would also be possible. 

In announcing the Green Party could support National, although it was unlikely, party co-leader  Metiria Turei said:

“We are principled, we are patient and we have built a powerful political voice as an independent party.”

Alongside that principled independence sat ambition and a sense of urgency, she said.

If they had the choice of supporting a government with New Zealand First in it would ambition and urgency overcome the principles?

 


Shrek for Te Papa?

June 10, 2011

Shrek’s dead but he’s not going to be buried – Cure Kids want him preserved so he can live on at Te Papa alongside Phar Lap.

If there’s a place for a horse at our palce, why not a sheep?

Shrek’s story is an amazing one and it shouldn’t be allowed to die.


9/10

June 10, 2011

9/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.


Friday’s answers

June 10, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who are the MPs for Taupo, Selwyn, Rangitata and Waitaki?

2. Who said:”We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”?

3. It’s cœur in French, corazón in Spanish and manawa  in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is a Vitis vinifera ?

5. Valetta is the capital of which country?

Points for answers:

Bearhunters and Gravedodger both get an electronic box of chocolates for five right with a bonus for extra information.

PDM gets 1 3/4 (accepting the missing T in Upston is a typo) and a bonus for extra information.

Adam gets four a a bonus for  the anecdote.

Paul got four with a bonus for wit and a grin for his answer to #1.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


More meat but no stock for Indonesia

June 10, 2011

Australia’s ban on shipping cattle to Indonesia might provide an opportunity for New Zealand to sell more meat there but Agriculture Minister David Carter said he will not lift the ban on live shipments.

Nor should he.

The Australian ban was imposed on animal welfare grounds and unless practices in Indonesian slaughterhouses are substantially upgraded we should not be even contemplating sending livestock there.


Managers didn’t understand own departments

June 10, 2011

Read this headline and weep: Public sector didn’t understand their own departments: English

Senior managers of government departments had little understanding of how their organisations ran when the government took office in 2008, says Finance Minister Bill English.

Addressing a Trans-Tasman Business Circle lunch in Wellington, English said that while people in the capital were more sceptical, the rest of the country have “tears of joy” in their eyes at the government’s plans to rein in the public sector after a decade of heavy spending increases.

It’s not a lack of sympathy for the people affected as individuals. Change is often difficult and unsettling especially if your job is under threat. But from the outside the public sector appears to be bloated and inefficient.

No private sector manager would last long if s/he didn’t understand what they were managing, there’s no excuse for allowing it in the public sector.

However, public service bosses were grasping nettle.

“I’m impressed that departments realise these are not circumstances they can wait out,” he said. “Two years ago, most public sector heads did not understand their organisations. They have a better grip on it now”, following benchmarking studies and a steady focus on cost reduction.

“They now need better industrial relations,” said English. “We can’t get through this process without intensive engagement between management and, particularly, front line staff.”

Nonetheless, the actual cuts expected of government departments over the next four years amounted to only 1% of total spending, in keeping with the government’s political strategy of making “reasonably significant but not too scary decisions” on the way to its longer term goals.

The trick is cut the fat without damaging the muscle. It’s a balancing act which requires the co-operation of the people involved, at least some of whom have it in their power to sabotage the plans.

“That recipe appears to be working,” English said. “Despite having delivered the tightest Budget in 20 years, we have got pretty broad public approval for it. They understand why we’re doing what we are doing.”

If the latest Budget’s forecasts were correct, New Zealand could expect to be one of only two developed economies in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development to be running a Budget surplus by 2015.

There is quite a bit of scepticism about Budget forecast for growth but we are already seeing increased economic activity in the provinces.

Two small examples: I was ordering curtains for one of the dairy farm houses last week and the business owners said they were very busy. A friend rang from Central Otago today, she’s wanting curtains and one business she went to said it would be the end of the month before they’d have time to measure her windows.

The highest prices for agricultural commodities since the Holyoake years would underpin the recovery, while there was no question about whether or not $15 billion to $20 billion would be spent rebuilding Christchurch over the next three or four years.

“It will be spent,” he said, and the impact on the New Zealand economy would be, relatively speaking, three times as great as the rebuild required by the Japanese tsunami.

However, he predicted the non-tradeable sector – businesses not involved in producing for export and import substitution markets – would continue to find times tough for the foreseeable future.

“The great thing about this global recession is that it was an unambiguous signal to stop borrowing up large and spending. That’s why it’s still tough running a retail outlet in Willis Street (in Wellington’s central business district). There has been a big shift in New Zealanders’ attitudes.

“Miserable economists expect people to back to old bad habits” once the economy improves. “However, I believe in you,” English told the high end Wellington business audience.

A combination of the lessons learned from the recession and the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes has changed attitudes to spending in the south.

There’s always been a Presbyterian attitude to conspicuous consumption down here. That’s even more evident now with people more committed to saving and investment and a lot less interested in buying things for buying’s sake.


June 10 in history

June 10, 2011

1190  Third Crusade:  Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the river Saleph while leading an army to Jerusalem.

 

1539 Council of Trent: Paul III sent out letters to his bishops, delaying the Council due to war and the difficulty bishops had travelling to Venice.

1619 Thirty Years’ War: Battle of Záblatí, a turning point in the Bohemian Revolt.

1624 Treaty of Compiègne, signed between France and the Netherlands.

1688  Prince of Wales, James Francis Edward Stuart  was born (d. 1766).

 

1692 Salem witch trials: Bridget Bishop was hanged at Gallows Hill  for “certaine Detestable Arts called Witchcraft & Sorceries”.

1710 James Short, Scottish mathematician, optician and telescope maker was born  (d. 1768).

 

1719 Jacobite Rising: Battle of Glen Shiel.

1770  Captain James Cook ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef.

1786  A landslide dam on the Dadu River created by an earthquake ten days earlier collapses, killing 100,000 in the Sichuan province of China.

1793  The Jardin des Plantes museum opened in Paris.

1793 – French Revolution: Following the arrests of Girondin leaders the Jacobins gained control of the Committee of Public Safety installing the revolutionary dictatorship.

1805  First Barbary War: Yussif Karamanli signed a treaty ending hostilities with the United States.

1829 The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge took place.

1838  Myall Creek Massacre in Australia: 28 Aboriginal Australians are murdered.

1854  The first class of the United States Naval Academy students graduated.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Brice’s Crossroads – Confederate troops under Nathan Bedford Forrest defeated a much larger Union force led by General Samuel D. Sturgis.

1871  Sinmiyangyo: Captain McLane Tilton led 109 Marines in a naval attack on Han River forts on Kanghwa Island, Korea.

1886  Mount Tarawera erupted, killing 153 people and destroying the famous Pink and White Terraces.

Eruption of Mt Tarawera

1898 Spanish-American War: U.S. Marines landed in Cuba.

1901 Frederick Loewe, Austrian-born composer, was born  (d. 1988).

Brigadoon 1947 a.JPG

1906 Liberal Prime Minister Richard Seddon died  at sea while returning from Australia to what he called “God’s Own Country”.

Death of Richard Seddon

1910 Robert Still, English composer, was born  (d. 1971).

 

1915 Saul Bellow, Canadian born writer and Nobel laureate was born (d. 2005).

1918 The Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István sank after being torpedoed by an Italian MAS motorboat.

1921 Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born.

1922 Judy Garland, American musical actress, was born (d. 1969).

  

1923 Robert Maxwell, Slovakian-born newspaperman was born  (d. 1991).

1924 Fascists kidnapped and killed Italian socialist leader Giacomo Matteotti.

1925 Inaugural service for the United Church of Canada, a union of Presbyterian, Methodist, and Congregationalist churches, held in Toronto Arena.

1935  Dr. Robert Smith took his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by him and Bill Wilson.

1940 Augie Auer, US born New Zealand meteorologist and television presenter, was born  (d. 2007).

1940 World War II: Italy declared war on France and the United Kingdom.

1940 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt denounced Italy’s actions with his “Stab in the Back” speech at the graduation ceremonies of the University of Virginia.

1940 – World War II: German forces, under General Erwin Rommel, reached the English Channel.

1940 – World War II: Canada declared war on Italy.

1940 – World War II: Norway surrendered to German forces.

1942  World War II: Nazis burnt the Czech village of Lidice in reprisal for the killing of Reinhard Heydrich.

1944 World War II: 642 men, women and children were killed in the Oradour-sur-Glane Massacre in France.

1944 – World War II: In Distomo, Boeotia Prefecture, Greece 218 men, women and children were massacred by German troops.

1945  Australian Imperial Forces landed in Brunei Bay to liberate Brunei.

1947 Saab produced its first car.

Saab Technologies logo.svg

1957 John Diefenbaker led the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada to a stunning upset in the Canadian federal election, 1957, ending 22 years of Liberal Party rule.

1965 – Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Xoai began.

1967 –  Six-Day War ended  Israel and Syria agreed to a cease-fire.

1973 John Paul Getty III was kidnapped in Rome.

1977 – Apple shipped its first Apple II personal computer.

 

1980 The African National Congress published a call to fight from their imprisoned leader Nelson Mandela.

1996  Peace talks began in Northern Ireland without the participation of Sinn Féin.

1997 Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot ordered the killing of his defense chief Son Sen and 11 of Sen’s family members.

 

1999  Kosovo War: NATO suspended its air strikes after Slobodan Milošević agreed to withdraw Serbian forces from Kosovo.

2001  Pope John Paul II canonized Lebanon s first female saint Saint Rafqa.

2002  The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans was carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.

2003  The Spirit Rover was launched, beginning NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission.

Mars Spirit rover's solar panels covered with Dust - October 2007.jpg

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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