Performance anxiety & pay parity


The chief executive of the  Manufacturing Excuses Asssociation, Alice Deerthompson has casued an uproar from gender equality activists after saying that men can’t expect to be paid the same rates as women because they have performance problems.

Ms Deerthompson apologised for causing offence but didn’t resile from what she said.

“The facts speak for themselves,” she said. “Men and women, fortunately are different. Men suffer from manflu. In 30 years as a CEO I have never had a woman take time off for manflu, it is 100% a problem suffered by men.

“Men are fathers, they have children and they take time off to look after them. I haven’t once had a woman ask to leave work early to be father-help at school. Absenteeism for father-help in every workplace I’ve ever been associated with has been  100% a man’s problem.”

Ms Deerthompson said she wasn’t sexist.

“I’m a strong supporter and advocate for equal pay for equal work, but let’s face it people with performance anxiety can’t be relied on to be as productive as those biologically advantaged who are free from it.”

“Let’s face it, you can’t fight biology. Men are sensitive wee souls and sometimes, due to entirely natural cycles over which they have no control – the fortunes of their sports teams, bachelor parties, duck shooting, boys’ weekends . . .  their performance suffers. Some days,  they’re just not up to scratch and no employer is going to pay them the same rates of pay as women whose performance isn’t affected in this way.”

“Performance is the key, equal pay for equal performance.”

Ms Deerthompson declined to be interviewed on camera because she said that unlike some people she’d learned that when you’re in a hole it’s best to stop digging.

Earthquake package gives choice


The government’s announcement of the next steps for Christchurch people offers some choice to property owners in the worst affected areas:

Advice from geotechnical engineers has seen all greater Christchurch land divided into four residential zones – red, orange, green and white.

Residential red zones – which involve around 5000 properties – are where the land is unlikely to be able to be rebuilt on for a considerable period of time.

Homeowners in this zone face lengthy disruption that could go on for many years, Mr Key said.

For people who owned property with insurance in the residential red zones on 3 September 2010 there will be two options:

• the Crown makes an offer of purchase for the entire property at current rating value (less any built property insurance payments already made), and assumes all the insurance claims other than contents; or
• the Crown makes an offer of purchase for the land only, and homeowners can continue to deal with their own insurer about their homes.

The government has been criticised for leaving people in limbo but the Prime Minister explained why it has taken so long to get to this point:

Mr Key said the size, scale and complexity of the issues the government has been dealing with following the earthquakes means it has taken some time to get information to residents.

“Each subsequent earthquake since 4 September has made an already large and complex challenge more difficult.

“To put this in context, Treasury has estimated the combined cost of the first two Canterbury earthquakes to be equivalent to about 8 per cent of New Zealand’s GDP.

“Damage from the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan was just over 2 per cent of Japan’s GDP, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost about 1 per cent of US GDP, and March’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami disaster was an estimated 3-5 per cent of Japan’s GDP.

“This has been a major event and the government is committed to getting things right for the people of Canterbury. We’re moving as quickly as we can to give some certainty to those affected,” Mr Key said.

Treasury estimates put the net cost of all the properties in the red zone – about 5000 – at $485 million to $635 million.

The number of people who take up the offer, government valuations and insurance payouts will determine the final costs which will be met from the $5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake recovery Fund.

People have nine months to consider the offer.

The government can’t make the problems go away but this is a generous offer which gives people choices and time to consider their options.

Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee says the information released today is the most up to date information that can be provided. Details are here.

It includes the announcement that people in the green zone are free to rebuild. People in the orange zone – owners of about 10,000 properties will ahve tow ait before more work is done.

A website, LandCheck, has been set up for people to check the staus of their properties.

A video of the announcement by The Prime Minsiter and Minister is here.

Thursday’s quiz


1. What does a luthier do?

2. Who said: “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”?

3. What are the two missing lines in this poem:

If you can keep your head when all about you

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

4. It’s  pomme de terre in French;  patata in Italian; patata  or papa in Spanish and puteito in Maori, what is it in English?

5. What is a Brassica oleracea botrytis?

Send in the clowns


This calls for a caption:

Humour is welcome, a political slant is inevitable but no personal invective, please.

Mixed ownership provides opportunities for local investors


State Services Minister Tony Ryall is correct when he says there can be no guarantee that shares in state assets will remain in the hands of New Zealanders.

It might be possible to control who makes the initial purchase  and to ensure a certain percentage of shares remain in local hands – although that will have to be done very carefully if it’s not to lower their value. 

But in a free market with an open economy, onerous restrictions on who people could sell their shares to would be at best problematic.

That won’t stop opponents to even a partial sale of some state ownership playing politics over the prospect of foreign investment.

What those people will gloss over or ignore is that National’s policy is for a mixed-ownership model where no more than 49% is sold. The state would retain at least 51% of any SOE offered for partial sale so even if all the shares sold went overseas, the majority share of the company would still be New Zealand owned.

Even then it is most unlikely that all or even most of the minority shareholding sold would end up in foreign hands. Even if individual shareholders didn’t hold on to their shares for long, institutions like the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, ACC, community trusts, Iwi and the various companies with KiwiSaver accounts would.

Instead of complaining about the potential for foreign money to come into New Zealand, we should be celebrating the opportunity for these big local institutions to keep more of their funds at home.

What about the uninsured?


This afternoon’s announcement on assistance for property owners in parts of Christchurch will apply to those who had insurance.

NZPA understands the offer that is going to be put on the table is for insured houses in the worst-affected suburbs and the payout will be at the government valuation for the houses immediately before the first earthquake in September.

The Government will pay the money upfront and then get most of it back from insurance companies and the Earthquake Commission.

What about the uninsured?

They might be eligible for welfare but they cannot receive compensation without undermining the insurance industry.

They took the risk of remaining uninsured and they will have to pay the price.

That might seem tough, but a conversation I overheard between two supermarket workers explains why that is the way it must be:

“I’ve paid premiums for 20 years and never had to claim. Why would you bother if you knew that those who paid nothing would get something?” one said.

“Well you wouldn’t would you?” the other replied.


June 23 in history


47 BC Pharaoh Ptolemy XV Caesarion of Egypt was born  (d. 30 BC).

Denderah3 Cleopatra Cesarion.jpg

79 Titus Caesar Vespasianus succeeded his father Vespasianus as tenth Roman Emperor.

Tito, testa in marmo da Pantelleria.jpg

1180 First Battle of Uji, starting the Genpei War in Japan.

Genpei kassen.jpg

1305 The FlemishFrench peace treaty was signed at Athis-sur-Orge.

1314  First War of Scottish Independence The Battle of Bannockburn, south of Stirling, began.


1532  Henry VIII and François I signed a secret treaty against Emperor Charles V.

1565  Turgut Reis (Dragut), commander of the Ottoman navy, died during the Siege of Malta.

Turgut Reis Admiral.JPG

1611  The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson‘s fourth voyage set Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they were never heard from again.


1661  Marriage contract between Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza.

Seated man of thin build with chest-length curly black hair 

1683  William Penn signed friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians in Pennsylvania.

1713  The French residents of Acadia were given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia.

1757 Battle of Plassey – 3,000 British troops under Robert Clive defeated a 50,000 strong Indian army under Siraj Ud Daulah at Plassey.


1758  Seven Years’ War: Battle of Krefeld – British forces defeated French troops at Krefeld in Germany.

1760 – Seven Years’ War: Battle of Landeshut – Austria defeated Prussia.

1780 American Revolution: Battle of Springfield.

Battle of Springfield NJ 1780.jpg

1794  Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.

1810  John Jacob Astor formed the Pacific Fur Company.

1812  War of 1812: Great Britain revoked the restrictions on American commerce, thus eliminating one of the chief reasons for going to war.

1812 – Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon I of France invadesd Russia.

1860  The United States Congress established the Government Printing Office.

1865  American Civil War: At Fort Towson in the Oklahoma Territory, Confederate Brigadier General Stand Watie surrendered the last significant rebel army.

Stand Watie.jpg

1868  Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for Type-Writer.


1887 The Rocky Mountains Park Act became law in Canada, creating the nation’s first national park, Banff National Park.

1894 King Edward VIII was born (d. 1972).

Young clean-shaven man in military uniform

1894  The International Olympic Committee was founded at the Sorbonne, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

1914  Mexican Revolution: Francisco Villa took Zacatecas from Victoriano Huerta.

Pancho villa horseback.jpg


1917  In a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retired 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.

1919  Estonian Liberation War: The decisive defeat of German Freikorps (Baltische Landeswehr) forces in the Battle of Cesis (Võnnu lahing). This day is celebrated as Victory Day in Estonia.

1926 The College Board administered the first SAT exam.

1931 Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine plane.


1937  Niki Sullivan, American guitarist (The Crickets), was born  (d. 2004) .



1938 The Civil Aeronautics Act was signed into law, forming the Civil Aeronautics Authority in the United States.


1940 Adam Faith, English singer and actor was born, (d 2003).

1940 Stuart Sutcliffe, English musician (The Beatles) , was born (d. 1962).


1940 – World War II: German leader Adolf Hitler surveys newly defeated Paris in now occupied France.

1941 Roger McDonald, Australian author, was born.

1941 The Lithuanian Activist Front declared independence from the Soviet Union and formed the Provisional Government of Lithuania.

1942 World War II: The first selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz took place on a train load of Jews from Paris.

1942  World War II: Germany’s latest fighter, a Focke-Wulf FW190 was captured intact when it mistakenly landsedat RAF Pembrey in Wales.

1943  World War II: British destroyers HMS Eclipse and HMS Laforey sank the Italian submarine Ascianghi in the Mediterranean after she torpedoed the cruiser HMS Newfoundland.


1945 World War II: The Battle of Okinawa ended when organised resistance of Imperial Japanese Army forces collapsed.


1946  The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake struck Vancouver Island.


1947  The United States Senate followed the United States House of Representatives in overriding U.S. President Harry Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley Act.

1956  Gamal Abdel Nasser was elected president of Egypt.

Head and shoulders of a man in his forties smiling. He has dark hair that is pulled back, a long forehead, thick eyebrows and a mustache.  He is wearing a gray jacket and a white shirt with a tie.

1958  The Dutch Reformed Church accepted women ministers.


1959  Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs was released after only nine years in prison and allowed to emigrate to Dresden.

1959  A fire in a resort hotel in Stalheim, Norway killed 34 people.

1961 Cold War: The Antarctic Treaty, which set aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and banned military activity on the continent, came into force after the opening date for signature set for the December 1, 1959.

Antarctica, territorial claims.svg

1965 Paul Arthurs, British guitarist (Oasis), was born.

 Oasis, 1997. L-R: Alan White, Paul McGuigan, Noel Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, and Liam Gallagher.

1967  Cold War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin in Glassboro, New Jersey for the three-day Glassboro Summit Conference.

1968  74 were killed and 150 injured in a football stampede towards a closed exit in a Buenos Aires stadium.

1969 Warren E. Burger was sworn in as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court by retiring chief justice Earl Warren.


1972  Watergate Scandal: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and White House chief of staff H. R. Haldeman were taped talking about using the Central Intelligence Agency to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s investigation into the Watergate break-ins.

1972 45 countries left the Sterling Area, allowing their currencies to fluctuate independently of the British Pound.

1973   The International Court of Justice condemned French nuclear tests in the Pacific.

World court condemns French nuclear tests

1973 A fire at a house in Hull, England, which killed a six year old boy was passed off as an accident; it later emerged as the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by arsonist Peter Dinsdale.

1985  A terrorist bomb aboard Air India flight 182 brought the Boeing 747 down off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 aboard.

1988 James E. Hansen testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that it is 99% probable that global warming had begun.

1989 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a law passed by the U.S. Congress banning all sexually oriented phone message services was unconstitutional.

1991 Moldova declared independence.


1998 – Paul Reitsma resigned his seat in the British Columbia legislature; the first elected politician in the British Commonwealth to be removed from office by legally-binding petition.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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