Word of the day


Macroseism – major earthquake.



6/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.

Four candidates – sign of strength or division?


Four men are vying to become Federated Farmers’ president when Don Nicolson retires at the end of the month.

“This will be the first contested election for the position of President since the early 1990’s,” says Conor English, Federated Farmers Chief Executive and Returning Officer.

“It is believed to be the largest number of candidates seeking the office of President in Federated Farmers history.

When so many voluntary organisations are struggling for members and finding people willing to become office holders is increasingly difficult, this could be seen as a sign of the organisation’s strength.

But it could also be a sign of division in the Federation.

I hope it’s not the latter. Farmers and the wider rural community need a strong and united voice and that requires an organisation focussed on issues of concern to members not one side-tracked by internal manoeuvring.

The nominees are: Donald Aubrey of Ben McLeod Station, who is vice-president;  Frank Brenmuhl of Christchurch, a former Federated Farmers dairy section chair; Lachlan McKenzie of Rotorua who is dairy spokesman;  and Bruce Wills of Napier, current meat and fibre spokesman.

Doing the numbers


A lot of people will be upset that Labour’s lax security has allowed easy access to their names, addresses and donations to the party.

The Party should be very concerned not just about that but also about the numbers which Whaleoil found on their website.

Just 18,ooo people on the database  isn’t many for what’s supposed to be one of only two major parties in the country.

Only $11,831.50 received online   indicates a lack of financial support. Even if it’s made up in small donations, it doesn’t appear many people are prepared to support this fundraising effort.

It is possible that they have another database with many more supporters and other more profitable fundraising efforts but why would they be secure when so much else wasn’t?

Good news x 3


1.  After tax wages outstripped prices in march year:

After-tax wages continue to rise faster than prices, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The real after-tax average wage increased 2.5 per cent in the year to March 2011, after accounting for all consumer price increases including food prices and the one-off rise in GST last October.

“Everyone’s circumstances are different, and we appreciate things remain challenging for many New Zealanders. But it’s encouraging to see that, on average, take-home wages continue to rise faster than prices,” Mr English told Parliament today.

“In the latest March year, the after-tax average wage grew 7.1 per cent in nominal terms and 2.5 per cent after adjusting for inflation.

“This means that since September 2008, after-tax wages have increased 17 per cent in nominal terms and 10 per cent after adjusting for inflation.

“That compares with real growth of just 4 per cent over the entire nine years to September 2008.”

“To put these figures into perspective, New Zealand’s 2.5 per cent increase in inflation-adjusted after-tax wages in the latest year compares with just 0.6 per cent real growth in Australia.”

The figures use data on average weekly ordinary time earnings from Statistics New Zealand’s Quarterly Employment Survey. This is the official series used to calculate the wage floor for New Zealand Superannuation. Comparable data is drawn from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

“This Government is committed to helping New Zealanders get ahead, enjoy higher incomes and lower interest rates for longer,” Mr English says. “This will require continuing change, year after year, to put the economy on a more competitive footing.”

2. Outlook for economy continues to improve:

The best terms of trade since the early 1970s and growing business confidence are bringing a positive outlook for the New Zealand economy, according to the BusinessNZ Planning Forecast for the June quarter 2011.

The BusinessNZ Planning Forecast incorporates BusinessNZ’s Economic Conditions Index (ECI) which tracks 33 indicators, including GDP, export volumes, commodity prices and inflation, debt and confidence figures.

The ECI for the June quarter is 22. This is up 10 from the previous quarter and up 10 from a year ago.

Key factors include the continuing rise in world commodity prices and continued strong growth in New Zealand’s largest trading partners Australia and China.

Projections of 3-4% growth for 2012 and 2013 appear feasible.

3. MAF expects good returns for primary produce to continue in the medium term:

MAF’s Situation and Outlook for New Zealand Agriculture  and Forestry says:

New Zealand exporters are receiving high prices for logs, wool, lamb, timber, beef and dairy products as the rebounding global economy drives demand for commodities.

With the exception of horticulture, these rises are more broadly based than the 2008 rise, which mainly affected dairy prices.

Short-term supply disruptions such as droughts and floods in various parts of the world are a significant factor supporting recent agricultural price increases.

At the same time, the strength of demand coming through from emerging markets, the recovery in many developed economies, and continuing demand for agricultural resources for biofuel production has led
the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to revise upwards its view of medium-term international agricultural prices.

The relative strength in the New Zealand dollar has seen only a portion of these foreign currency price gains passed through to New Zealand farmers and foresters. The strong New Zealand dollar has, however, also reduced the
impact of price rises in imports, especially fuel and fertiliser.

Beyond 2012, steady production growth in dairy, forestry, wine and kiwifruit, together with an assumed depreciation in the New Zealand dollar, leads to strong forecast growth in export revenues.

There is light at the end of the tunnel.

It isn’t a train coming towards us, it’s daylight and a sunny day at that.

June 15 in history


923  Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France was killed and King Charles the Simple was arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.


1184 King Magnus V of Norway was killed at the Battle of Fimreite.

Magnus Erlingssons saga-Vignett-G. Munthe.jpg

1215  King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta.

Magna Carta

1246  With the death of Duke Frederick II, the Babenberg dynasty ended in Austria.


1389  Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeated Serbs and Bosnians.

Battle of Kosovo 1389.PNG

1520  Pope Leo X threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bull Exsurge Domine.


1580  Philip II of Spain declared William the Silent to be an outlaw.


1623 Cornelis de Witt, Dutch politician, was born (d. 1672).


1667  The first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

1752  Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning was electricity.

1775  American Revolutionary War: George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.


1776  Delaware Separation Day – Delaware voted to suspend government under the British Crown and separate officially from Pennsylvania.

1785  Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, became the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon exploded during their attempt to cross the English Channel.


1804  New Hampshire approved the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratifying the document.

1808  Joseph Bonaparte became King of Spain.


1836 Arkansas was admitted as the 25th U.S. state.

1844  Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

1846  The Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


1859  Pig War: Ambiguity in the Oregon Treaty leads to the “Northwestern Boundary Dispute” between U.S. and British/Canadian settlers.


1864  American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg began.


1864  Arlington National Cemetery was established when 200 acres (0.81 km2) around Arlington Mansion (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) were officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day.JPG

1867  Atlantic Cable Quartz Lode gold mine located in Montana.

1877  Henry Ossian Flipper becomes the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.

Cadet Henry O. Flipper in his West Point cadet uniform. It has three large round brass buttons left, middle and right showing five rows. The buttons are interconnected left to right and vice-versa by decorative thread. He is wearing a starched white collar and no tie. He is a lighter colored African-American with plated corn rows of neatly done hair. He is facing the camera and looking to the left of the viewer.

1888  Crown Prince Wilhelm became Kaiser Wilhelm II and is the last emperor of the German Empire.

1896  The most destructive tsunami in Japan’s  history killed more than 22,000 people.


1904  A fire aboard the steamboat SS General Slocum in New York City‘s East River killed 1000.


1905  Princess Margaret of Connaught married Gustaf, Crown Prince of Sweden.


1909  Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lord’s and formed the Imperial Cricket Conference.

1910 David Rose, American songwriter, composer and orchestra leader, was born (d. 1990).

1911 W.V. Awdry, British children’s writer, was born (d. 1997).


1911  Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) was incorporated.

CTR Company Logo.png

1913  The Battle of Bud Bagsak in the Philippines concluded.

1916  U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.

Boy Scouts of America

1919  John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first nonstop transatlantic flight at Clifden, County Galway.


1920  Duluth lynchings in Minnesota.

1920  A new border treaty between Germany and Denmark gave northern Schleswig to Denmark.

1934 The U.S. Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded.

Main Entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Gatlinburg, Tennessee.JPG

1935 Jack Lovelock won the “Mile of the Century“.

Lovelock wins ‘Mile of the century’

1937 A German expedition led by Karl Wien lost sixteen members in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat. The worst single disaster to occur on an 8000m peak.

 1943 Muff Winwood, British songwriter and bassist (Spencer Davis Group), was born.

1944 World War II: Battle of Saipan: The United States invaded Saipan.

LVTs heading for shore.

1944  In the Saskatchewan general election, the CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, was elected and forms the first socialist government of North America.

1945  The General Dutch Youth League (ANJV) was founded in Amsterdam.

1946 Noddy Holder, British singer (Slade), was born.

 1949 – Simon Callow, British actor, was born.

1949 – Russell Hitchcock, Australian singer (Air Supply), was born.


1954  UEFA (Union des Associations Européennes de Football) was formed in Basle.

1955 The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) exercise, an attempt to assess the USA’s preparations for a nuclear attack.

1959The  Chinese Gooseberry was renamed kiwifruit.

Chinese gooseberry becomes kiwifruit

1963 Helen Hunt, American actress, was born.

1971 Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1973 Pia Miranda, Australian actress, was born.

1978 King Hussein of Jordan married American Lisa Halaby, who took the name Queen Noor.

1982 Mike Delany, All Black, was born.

1985  Rembrandt’s painting Danaë was attacked by a man (later judged insane) who threw sulfuric acid on the canvas and cuts it twice with a knife.


1991  Birth of the first federal political party in Canada that supported Quebec nationalism, le Bloc Québécois.


Bloc Québécois.svg

1992  The United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it was permissible for the USA to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the USA for trial, without approval from those other countries.

1994  Israel and Vatican City established full diplomatic relations.

1996  The Provisional Irish Republican Army exploded a large bomb in the middle of Manchester.

Fire engine with extended ladder in a street full of rubble

2002  Near earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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