Aoraki/Mt Cook’s South Ridge to be Sir Ed’s


Aoraki/Mount Cook’s South Ridge is to be renamed Hillary Ridge .

Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson confirmed this today after a recommendation from the Geographic Board:

“Sir Edmund made an enormous contribution to our country and abroad and it is befitting and appropriate that his contribution is acknowledged in this way,” Mr Williamson said.

“Sir Edmund was a much admired and respected climber and mountaineer, not only in New Zealand but in many other parts of the world.”

“Altering the name South Ridge to Hillary Ridge will further cement Sir Edmund’s place in New Zealand’s history.”

Sir Edmund’s personal association with this geographic feature began as one of the party of four to make the first successful ascent of the South Ridge in February 1948.  The three other climbers were guides Harry Ayres and Mick Sullivan who both led the climb, and Ruth Adams.

“My decision was made with the greatest respect to these three other accomplished climbers and their families,” Mr Williamson said.

The naming is not just because he was in the party which made the first successful ascent via the South Ridge.

It is a tribute to hi life work helping the people of Nepal following his ascent of Mount Everest and a logical way to commemorate one of  New Zealand’s greatest men.


Which apps work well?


A teenager has offered to help me learn how to make the most of my new iPad but it could be a few weeks before we’re able to schedule a lesson.

In the meantime I’d welcome any advice on must-have or even nice-to-have apps.

I’ve downloaded a dictionary, a few news sites, a couple of bookshops and Google Maps (which doesn’t have the road we live on) and World flights which lists all commercial arrivals and departures.

I’ve also got Yelp which found restaurants in Hawaii but tells me it doesn’t recognise New Zealand.

What else might I find useful or entertaining?

I also have a technical problem: when I connect it to a PC for updating it tells me I’ve purchased items which haven’t been transferred to my iTunes library but I can’t work out how to do that. Any advice (in simple language as befits a digital immigrant) would be appreciated.

Seeking stats good and bad


Stats Chat is running a Stat of the Week competition with the chance to win an iTunes voucher:

  • Anyone may add a comment on this post to nominate their Stat of the Week candidate before midday Friday August 12 2011.
  • Statistics can be bad, exemplary or fascinating.
  • The statistic must be in the NZ media during the period of August 6-12 2011 inclusive.
  • Quote the statistic, when and where it was published and tell us why it should be our Stat of the Week.

Next Monday at midday we’ll announce the winner of this week’s Stat of the Week competition, and start a new one.

Follow the link above for the fine print.

Idealog reports that Stats Chat is run by Auckland University’s Department of Statistics.

“We’re looking for bad, exemplary or fascinating examples of statistics,” says blog coordinator Rachel Cunliffe.

Professor Thomas Lumley, a regular contributor, wants New Zealanders to be more aware of statistics and the role they play in the media.”

“We see numbers in the media every day and we want people to think carefully about them – what they actually mean and whether or not they make sense,” he says.

Those who adhere to the Stratford Theory of Numbers will know they often don’t make sense and will have no difficulty finding examples to prove it.

Partial asset sales ideal


Quote of the week:

“The market is flush with cash and there is a thirst out there for new equity issues. Funds like KiwiSaver have to find a home for their money and the Government’s partial asset sales would have been ideal.”

It comes from Deloitte Dunedin managing partner Steve Thompson in response to Prime Minister John Key saying that partial sales of state assets might be delayed by a few months if market conditions were unsuitable.

This is one major difference between what National is proposing and the sale of assets in the late 80s and early 90s.

Then assets were sold in total in fire sales. The new plan is for a mixed ownership model. The government will retain a majority share and sell the minority stake in an orderly manner, holding back if the time isn’t right.

Mr Thompson’s comments show that New Zealand super funds and other institutions like ACC will be lining up to buy.

Taking from the needy


Changes to requirements for beneficiaries have led to more than  7,400 people going off benefits :

About half of the 7,400 didn’t complete the process, more than 2,000 were in work and 1,400 had left the country, were studying or just failed the work test.

That raises several questions two of which are: how long had they been getting money which they didn’t need? and why don’t immigration and WINZ share information so that the latter knows when anyone on a benefit leaves the country?

The $6 million saved from the initiative so far, with another $3.5m expected to be saved in the next few months, is small beer in terms of the total welfare budget.

But every dollar taken by someone who doesn’t need it is a dollar that can’t be used for someone in genuine need.

August 10 in history


610 The traditional date of the Laylat al-Qadr, when Muhammad began to receive the Qur’an. 

955 Battle of Lechfeld: Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor defeated the Magyars, ending 50 years of Magyar invasion of the West.

991 Battle of Maldon: English, led by Bryhtnoth, Duke of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings.

1270 Yekuno Amlak took the imperial throne of Ethiopia, restoring the Solomonic dynasty to power after a 100-year interregnum.

1316  Second Battle of Athenry.

1519 Ferdinand Magellan‘s five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe.


1557 Battle of St. Quentin: Spanish victory over the French in the Habsburg-Valois Wars.


1628 The Swedish warship  Vasa sank in the Stockholm harbour after only about 20 minutes on her maiden voyage. 

1675 The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London was laid. 

1680 The Pueblo Revolt began in New Mexico.

1792 French Revolution: Storming of the Tuileries Palace, Louis XVI  was arrested. 

1809 Quito, , declared independence from Spain.

1829 First ascent of Finsteraarhorn, the highest summit of the Bernese Alps.

1840 HMS Britomart arrived at Akaroa, on Banks Peninsula, a week before a shipload of French colonists landed. The ship’s captain raised the Union Jack to confirm British sovereignty over the area.

British assert sovereignty as French head for Akaroa

1846 The Smithsonian Institution was chartered by the United States Congress after James Smithson donated $500,000 for that purpose.


1861 American Civil War: Battle of Wilson’s Creek.


1901 The U.S. Steel Recognition Strike by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers began.

1904 Russo-Japanese War: the Battle of the Yellow Sea.


1905 Russo-Japanese War: peace negotiations began in Portsmouth. 

1913  Delegates from Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece signed the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the Second Balkan War.

1920 World War I: Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI’s representatives signed the Treaty of Sèvres that divides the Ottoman Empire between the Allies. 

1932 Rin Tin Tin, German shepherd dog, was born (b. 1918).


1932 A 5.1kg  chondrite-type meteorite broke into at least seven pieces and landed near Archie in Cass County, Missouri.

1940 Bobby Hatfield, American singer (The Righteous Brothers), was born (d. 2003).


1943 Jimmy Griffin, American guitarist (Bread), was born (d. 2005).


1944 World War II: American forces defeated the last Japanese troops on Guam.

1947  Ian Anderson, Scottish singer (Jethro Tull), was born.


1948 Candid Camera made its television debut after being on radio for a year as Candid Microphone.


1954 The groundbreaking ceremony for the Saint Lawrence Seaway was held. 

1961  Jon Farriss, Australian musician (INXS).

1969 Members of Charles Manson‘s cult killed Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.

1977  David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) was arrested for a series of killings in the New York City area over the period of one year.

1988  U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing $20,000 payments to Japanese Americans who were either interned in or relocated by the United States during World War II. 

1990  The Magellan space probe reached Venus. 

1990 The Massacre of more than 127 Muslims in North East Sri Lanka by paramilitaries.

1993  An earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter Scale hit the South Island.

1995  Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were indicted for Oklahoma City bombing.  Michael Fortier pleaded guilty in a plea-bargain agreement for his testimony.

1998 The Royal Proclamation of HRH Prince Al-Muhtadee Billah as the crown prince of Brunei.


2003 The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK – 38.5°C (101.3°F) in Kent.

2003 – Yuri Malenchenko became the first person to marry in space.


2006  Scotland Yard disrupted major terrorist plot to destroy aircraft travelling from the United Kingdom to the United States. In the wake of this all toiletries were banned from commercial airplanes.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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