UF candidates announced


United Future has announced  what it calls its first wave of candidates:

Hon Peter Dunne – Ohariu;  Jackie Douglas – West Coast/Tasma n; Peter George – Dunedin North; Martin Gibson – East Coast;  Andrew McMillan – Rangitata; Doug Stevens – Nelson; Monique Watson – Wellington Central; Ram Parkash – Botany; Bryan Mockridge – Mt Roskill.

The chances of any of them getting into parliament are slight.

Peter Dunne’s majority was less than the Green party vote in his electorate last time. He will probably hang on but it is very unlikely the UF party vote will enable any other of its candidates to become an MP.


Word of the day


Witzelsucht –  excessive facetiousness, feeble, inappropriate or pointless humor.

Do people vote for what they want?


Supporters of MMP say One of the benefits of that electoral system is that people get what they vote for.

Providing the party they vote for wins a seat or reaches the 5% threshold that’s correct, but that doesn’t mean people vote for what they want or want what they vote for.

In 2002 for example, some people who prererred National decided it wasn’t going to win and voted Labour in the hope it then wouldn’t need the Green Party.

Others voted for Act, United Future (or whatever it was called then) or New Zealand First to limit Labour’s influence.

They got what they voted for but the decrease in votes for the wee parties in 2005 showed they didn’t want what they got.

People vote for all sorts of reasons, sometimes their votes aren’t so much as for a party as against the others.

If there was the option to vote for a plague on all their houses I suspect that might attract good support, possibly even more than for some of the wee parties which get into parliament.

Will the good prices last?


Last season was the best in a generation for farmers, but there is reasonable confidence that bust won’t follow the boom.

Prices aren’t likely to stay at this year’s highs but Alliance Group expects protein markets to stay strong:

Speaking in Oamaru during the company’s annual series of shareholder/supplier meetings, chief executive Grant Cuff said it was expected 2012 prices to shareholders would remain high for lamb, sheep, cattle and deer.

Indicative pricing was that lamb would remain at $100 plus and sheep at $85 plus, with cattle prices down slightly.

Sheep and beef numbers were stable worldwide, consumption of meat was increasing and there were growing sales in the East.

Uncertainty in Britain, Europe and the USA is concerning but our two most important trading partners, Australia and China, are more stronger.

A free trade deal with India would provide more opportunities.

One of the benefits of new markets in Asia is that they are interested in the cheaper cuts which aren’t popular in our traditional markets.

Water tax wrong approach


The Green Party’s water policy has some good points.

Sustainable use makes sense, so does ensuring water is clean and safe.

But taxing irrigation to provide funds to clean up waterways does not.

Irrigation NZ points out this would cost the average irrigated farm in Canterbury and North Otago $40,000 – $50,000 a year.

The idea of imposing the cost is to provide a financial incentive for conservation. But we already have that, we pay about 30 cents a cubic metre for our irrigation.

We are also required to have an environmental farm plan to prevent waste and protect soil and water.

Irrigation NZ CEO Andrew Curtis points out an irrigation tax would unfairly target a relatively small number of farmers:

He says the concept is badly thought out and unfair because it would mean irrigation users, most of whom are in Canterbury, would be paying to clean up polluted waterways in other parts of the country.

Farmers have a direct interest in the sustainable use and cleanliness of water. We drink it and swim in it.

Taxing irrigation, which would impose an added cost on a relatively small number of users, isn’t the best way to protect and enhance it.

More to success than leader


There’s no doubt that John Key’s popularity is an important component in National’s popularity.

But there is more to political success than a party leader.

This is a lesson Act must be learning. Don Brash led National close to winning the 2005 election but he’s made no impact on Act’s support.

It is something Labour don’t appear to understand.

Trans Tasman says:

Meanwhile Goff questioned his front bench colleagues last week as to whether he should resign as leader. The questioning took place at a pre-caucus meeting of the front bench group. It followed publication of at least three opinion polls showing Labour slipping heavily in electoral popularity.

Caucus sources says the response to the question was muted, with one senior MP saying “it’s up to you Phil.” There was no disagreement. The catalyst for a leadership discussion is the realisation if Labour slips further respected list MPs like Kelvin Davis and Stuart Nash may lose their places.

Phil Goff and some of his colleagues denied this but Tracy Watkins reports a senior MP confirmed the story.

What happened, or didn’t, doesn’t matter as much as the picture the story paints of an unstable and divided caucus.

They could change leaders but until they have loyalty, cohesion and policy the public support it won’t make much difference.

John Key is part of National’s success and Phil Goff is part of his party’s failure. But it will take a lot more than a leadership change to solve Labour’s problems.

August 22 in history


565  St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness.

1138 Battle of the Standard between Scotland and England. 

1485  The Battle of Bosworth Field, the death of Richard III and the end of the House of Plantagenet.


1559 Bartolomé Carranza, Spanish archbishop, was arrested for heresy. 

1642 Charles I called the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil War began. 

1654 Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam – the first known Jewish immigrant to America.

1770  James Cook‘s expedition landed on the east coast of Australia.

1780 James Cook‘s ship HMS Resolution returned to England after Cook was killed in Hawaii. 

1791  Beginning of the Haitian Slave Revolution in Saint-Domingue.


1798 French troops landed in Kilcummin harbour, County Mayo to aid Wolfe Tone’s United Irishmen’s Irish Rebellion.

1827 José de La Mar became President of Peru.


1831  Nat Turner’s slave rebellion commenced leading to the deaths of more than 50 whites and several hundred African Americans who are killed in retaliation for the uprising. 

1849 The first air raid in history. Austria launched pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice.

1851 The first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.


1862 Claude Debussy, French composer, was born (d. 1918). 

1864  Twelve nations signed the First Geneva Convention. The Red Cross was formed.


1875 The Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Japan and Russia was ratified, providing for the exchange of Sakhalin for the Kuril Islands.

1893 Dorothy Parker, American writer, was born (d. 1967).


1901 Cadillac Motor Company was founded.


1902  Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.

1909 Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter, was born (d. 2000).

1915 James Hillier, Co-inventor of the electron microscope, was born (d. 2007).


1922  Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army was shot dead during an Anti-Treaty ambush at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, during the Irish Civil War.


1925 Honor Blackman, English actress, was born.


1926  Gold was discovered in Johannesburg.

1932 The BBC first experimented with television broadcasting.

1934  Bill Woodfull of Australia became the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes.


 1934 – Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. general, was born.


1934 – Sir Donald McIntyre, English bass-baritone, was born.

1935 E. Annie Proulx, American author, was born. 


1939  Valerie Harper, American actress, was born.


1941 World War II: German troops reached Leningrad, leading to the siege of Leningrad.


1942  World War II: Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy.

1944 World War II: Romania wascaptured by the Soviet Union.

1949  Queen Charlotte earthquake: Canada’s largest earthquake since 1700.

1950  Althea Gibson became the first black competitor in international tennis.


1952 The penal colony on Devil’s Island was permanently closed.


1961  Roland Orzabal, British musician (Tears for Fears), was born.


1962 An attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle failed.


196  The NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered cargo ship, completed its maiden voyage.


1963  Joe Walker in an X-15 test plane reached an altitude of 106 km (66 mi). 

1968 Pope Paul VI arrived in Bogotá –  the first visit of a pope to Latin America.


1969 The first Young Farmer of the Year contest was won by Gary Frazer.

First 'Young Farmer of the Year' chosen

1972 Rhodesia was expelled by the IOC for its racist policies.

1973 Howie Dorough, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1978 The Frente Sandinista de Liberacion – FSLN – occupied national palace in Nicaragua.


1989 The first ring of Neptune was discovered. 

1996  Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, representing major shift in US welfare policy

2003  Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.


2004   The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo.


2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million e-mails in one day. 

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia

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