Word of the day

September 24, 2011

Whizzer -extraordinary or  wonderful person or thing;  someone/something that whizzes; a centrifugal machine for drying grain, sugar, clothes etc; an arm lock trapping one’s arms against the opponent’s body from behind.


September 24, 2011

Even random clicking couldn’t save me in the Herald’s quiz on Nirvana – a red-faced 1/10.


September 24, 2011

6/10 in the Herald’s travel quiz.

Another good bloke

September 24, 2011

Richie McCaw is playing his 100th test this evening, the first All Black to reach this milestone.

He was brought up in the Hakatarmea valley which is on the other side of the Waitaki River but learned to play rugby in Kurow, where he went to primary school before heading south to Otago Boys’ for his secondary education.

Whether it’s his genes, his rural upbringing or just him, friends who know him well say  he’s a really good bloke who hasn’t let his role as All Black captain go to his head.

Tonight’s game against France would be a big one even if it wasn’t the one in which he’ll earn his 100th test cap. All fingers and toes are crossed for him and the team.

Inventory 2 who knows more about rugby than I ever will pays tribute to Richie here.

TV3 has a video tribute here.

Last night the Wallabies beat the Eagles 67 – 5.

This evening England play Romania in Dunedin then attention will focus on Eden Park when the All Blacks play Les Bleus.


September 24, 2011

Why do I bother when I know I know nothing about rugby history? Just 3/10 in the Herald’s All Black-France rugby quiz. All were guesses.

A good bloke

September 24, 2011

I first met John Key in 2005 when he’d been an MP for a couple of years and I was National’s Otago electorate chair.

He was relaxed, personable and genuinely interested in the people he was meeting.

I was at a dinner with him in Christchurch on Thursday evening – just him, a couple of hundred others and me – and he was just the way he’d been six years ago.

As he went round each table, chatting to everyone, it was like watching a movie star except with him it’s not for show. He is a really good bloke, genuinely interested in people, relaxed with them and likes them and they respond to that.

One of the friends at my table commented how rare it would be in most countries for a political leader to be interacting with people like that and it must make life difficult for his security people especially in a less formal setting than a dinner.

To their credit the security staff cope really well, although yesterday one got a little more than he bargained for.

Canterbury engineering students hung a sign out a window saying “John, mate, come up for a yarn with your country’s future engineers” and he did.

It’s about 4 minutes into the clip before John sees the sign.

There was a bit of banter between John and the students and one asked if one of the security men would challenge the students’ arm wrestling champion.

The story and video have gone round the world giving publicity money can’t buy and reinforcing again just how difficult it will be for the opposition to counter him.

When was the last time a group of students cheered any Prime Minister, let alone a National one?

Offsetting Behaviour loves the informality of New Zealand politics  and reckons a National win is underpriced at  95% likely to win the next election on iPredict.

Keeping Stock says: If John Key’s personal popularity translates into electoral support, National may yet be able to do the MMP unthinkable after November.

I can dream, but  know that getting more than 50% was very rare under First Past the Post and hasn’t been done at all since we’ve had MMP.

Desperate Act

September 24, 2011

If I was a member of Act I’d be looking hard for a saboteur inside the upper echelons of the party.

There is no other rational explanation for the board’s decision to have Don Brash contest the North Shore electorate.

What on earth can he, or the party he’s leading, have to gain in the way of party votes by putting him head to head against Maggie Barry?

She is number 58 on National’s list which means she will have to win the seat to become an MP.

Like every other National candidate she’s campaigning for the party votes which are needed to ensure National stays in government. But she will be running a two-tick campaign to ensure she gets in to parliament too.

Where will that leave Brash?

Saying, “don’t vote for me but vote for my party and get me anyway”?

He’d make far more impact saying that without complicating the issue by being a Clayton’s candidate in an electorate.

It looks like a desperate act and a desperate Act.

Brash gained the party’s leadership by unorthodox means, losing another constituency contest – which is what he’s aiming to do by seeking only, or mainly, party votes, will do nothing for his credibility or that of his party.

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