Word of the day


Accolent – one who dwells near by, neighbour.

Thompson sacked


The NBR reports that Alasdair Thompson has been sacked from the Employers and Manufacturers’ Association (Northern).

He could probably have survived the initial poor performance during the radio interview but an organisation like the EMA needs someone with better judgement and media skills than he displayed in the subsequent interview with TV3.

He might have shown better judgement had he jumped before he was pushed too.

Dealing with the substance of the issue of equal pay, though, the NBR has an earlier story on the forgotten gender pay gap which says some international studies show lesbians get paid more than heterosexual women.



7/10 in the NZ Herald’s Maori Language Week quiz – like yesterday I was fooled by one of the photos.

Which century is it?


We know she’ll be good because she’d have to be at least 10% better than a man to have got that job.”

That comment ought to have stayed in the 19th or at best early to mid 20th century.

Unfortunately it was made in the 21st – just a couple of weeks ago.



7/10 in the NZ Herald’s world news quiz.

Feds new board bridging town & country


Federated Farmers new board has more urban experience than its predecessors :

The new president, Bruce Wills spent 20 years as a banker, returning to the family farm only seven years ago.

Mr Wills said that with agriculture being an important part of an economy coping with a massive debt burden, the federation had “a real part to play – bigger than just being part of the rural community”.

“We’ve got to embrace the urban community. We’re small in number but large in significance.”

His vice president is  Dr William Rolleston:

 . . . a biotechnologist who runs a business on his South Canterbury farm collecting sheep blood sera for medical research.

He is also chairman of the Innovation Board of the Science and Innovation Ministry.

He said his company was an example of how farming could add value to the economy. “We’re good at biology because we’re good at agriculture, and that’s where we need to go.”

A former Hawkes Bay Wairarapa provincial president and former New York investment funds analyst Anders Crofoot,  has also joined the board. He and his wife Emily farm Castlepoint Station.

Other new board members are new  dairy section, chair Ashburton farmer Willy Leferink; the first woman leader of the meat and fibre section, Jeanette Maxwell who farms at Mt Hutt; and grains and seeds section chairman Ian MacKenzie, of Ashburton.

That’s a good mix of skills – farming, business and science – and the mix of urban and rural experience makes it well placed to bridge the town and country divide.

Foreign investment brings benefits


Mention foreign investment and opponents will talk about exporting profits.

They rarely if ever mention the benefits:

. . . when foreign companies were investing in the country they were bringing with them the new and interesting ways of doing things, those higher productivity ways, which increase the wealth of the country. Note that these new ways only have to be a few percentage points more efficient than the local ways to more than cover the dividends and profits flowing out again.

Tim Worstall is writing about Venezuela but his point is universal.

Providing foreign investors obey our laws, meet our standards and pay our taxes we’re better off with their money, expertise and technology than without it.

July 6 in history


371 BC – The Battle of Leuctra, Epaminondas defeated Cleombrotus I.


1044 The Battle of Ménfő.


1189 Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) was crowned King of England.


1253  Mindaugas was crowned King of Lithuania.


1348  Papal bullof Pope Clement VI protecting Jews during the Black Death.

Clemens VI.gif

1415  Jan Hus was burned at the stake.

1483 Richard III was crowned King of England.

1484 Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.

1495  First Italian War: Battle of Fornovo: Charles VIII defeated the Holy League.


1535  Sir Thomas More was executed for treason against King Henry VIII.

1560 The Treaty of Edinburgh was signed by Scotland and England.

1573 Córdoba, Argentina, was founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.


1609 Bohemia was granted freedom of religion.


1630 Thirty-Years War: 4,000 Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus landed in Pomerania, Germany.


1777  American Revolutionary War: Siege of Fort Ticonderoga: After a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreated from Fort Ticonderoga, New York.

The star-shaped fort is visible in the center of the photograph, with its inner buildings roofed in red. The fort is surrounded by forest, and a body of water (a portion of Lake Champlain) is visible behind the fort.

1781 Sir Stamford Raffles, British statesman, was born (d. 1826).

1785 The dollar was unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States.

$1 Coin

1801  Battle of Algeciras: The French navy are defeated by the Royal Navy.


1809 The second day of the Battle of Wagram –  French victory over the Austrian army in the largest battle yet of the Napoleonic Wars.


1854  The first convention of the United States Republican Party was held.

1885 Louis Pasteur successfully tested his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.


1887 Annette Kellerman, Australian swimmer, was born (d. 1975).


1887  David Kalakaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced at gunpoint, at the hands of the Americans, to sign the Bayonet Constitution giving Americans more power in Hawaii while stripping Hawaiian citizens of their rights.

1892 Dadabhai Naoroji elected as first Indian Member of Parliament in Britain.


1892 – 3,800 striking steelworkers engaged in a day-long battle with Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike, leaving 10 dead and dozens wounded.

1893 Pomeroy, Iowa, was nearly destroyed by a tornado that killed 71 people and injured 200.

1905 Alfred Deakin became Prime Minister of Australia for the second time.

1907 Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter, was born (d. 1954).

1907 George Stanley, Canadian politician and designer of Canada’s Flag, was born  (d. 2002).

 1917  Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach, was born (d. 2004)

1917 World War I: Arabian troops led by Lawrence of Arabia and Auda ibu Tayi captured Aqaba from the Turks during the Arab Revolt.


1918  Sebastian Cabot, English actor, was born (d. 1977).

1919  The British dirigible R34 landed in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.


1921 Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the United States, was born.

1923 An Auckland−Wellington express ploughed into a huge landslip that had slumped across the tracks at Ongarue, north of Taumarunui in the King Country. Seventeen people were killed and 28 injured.

Main trunk express train disaster

1925 Bill Haley, American singer, was born  (d. 1981).

1927 Janet Leigh, American actress, was born  (d. 2004).

1933  The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Chicago‘s Comiskey Park. The American League beat the National League, 4–2.

1936 Dave Allen, Irish comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1936  A major breach of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal  sent millions of gallons of water cascading 200 feet into the River Irwell.


1939 Holocaust: The last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany were closed.

1942 Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.


1944 The Hartford Circus Fire, one of America’s worst fire disasters, killed approximately 168 people and injured over 700.


 1946 – Sylvester Stallone, American actor, was born.


1947  Richard Beckinsale, English actor, was born (d. 1979).

1947  The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.

Rifle AK-47.jpg

1951 Geoffrey Rush, Australian actor, was born.

1957 Althea Gibson won the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.

Althea Gibson in 1956.

1958 Jennifer Saunders, English actress,comediene and screenwriter, was born.


1962 Nuclear test shot Sedan, part of Operation Plowshare.


1964  Malawi declared its independence from the United Kingdom.


1966  Malawi becomes a republic, with Hastings Banda as the first President.

1967 Biafran War: Nigerian forces invade Biafra, beginning the war.

Biafra independent state map-en.svg

1975 The Comoros declared independence from France.

1978 Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1978 The Taunton sleeping car fire occurred in Taunton, Somerset killing twelve people.


1986 Davis Phinney became the first American cyclist to win a road stage of the Tour de France.

1988 The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea was destroyed by explosions and fires. 167 oil workers were killed, making it the world’s worst offshore oil disaster.

1989  The Israeli 405 Bus slaughter  -14 bus passengers were killed when an Arab assaulted the bus driver as the bus was driving by the edge of a cliff.

1998  Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport was closed and the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok becomes operational.

View of HK Airport from air.JPG

2003  The 70-metre Eupatoria Planetary Radar sent a METI message Cosmic Call 2 to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri, HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris that will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049 respectively.

2006  The Nathula Pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opened for trade after 44 years.

2009  Jadranka Kosor became the first female Prime minister of Croatia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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