Hard times in Hobbiton


Not recommended for bedtime viewing if you’re prone to nightmares:

Creative director:  Whaleoil

Word of the day


Contumacy –  stubborn refusal to obey authority; wilful contempt of the order or summons of a court.



14/15 in Stuff’s kids quiz – tricked by the trick question.

Cheaper provincial flights?


We live about an hour and a half from Timaru Airport, two hours from Dunedin Airport and three and a half from Christhchurch.

Although it’s further away we usually fly to and from Christchurch. There are more flights to and from there and they are usually significantly less expensive.

Provincial airports do have a cheaper airfares but there’s never very many and you have to book ages in advance which we aren’t usually able to do.

Air New Zealand decision to buy new and bigger planes for provincial routes might change that:

Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe says the airline has ordered seven  of the planes off the French manufacturer, with an option to purchase a further  five, and says the aircraft will open up regional New Zealand to cheap flights.

“This order potentially doubles the size of Air New Zealand’s ATR fleet  and will put a further two million seats into the New Zealand regional market  annually.

“For our customers that will mean a big increase in the number of  business timed seats and seriously cheap ‘grabaseat’ fares we have on regional  routes every day,” he says.

Improved returns from farming, tourism and technological advances which make working away from cities is helping to reverse the population decline in the provinces.

Being here is great but getting in and out isn’t. The upgraded provincial fleet will help make it a ltitle easier and possibly cheaper.



9/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.

Rain gauge overfloweth


Yesterday’s post lamenting too little rain was premature.

When my farmer went to check the rain gauge this morning he found it had overflowed which means we’ve had at least 40 mls and this comment from Raymond reports even more further north.

That’s the first significant rainfall we’ve had since early May and very welcome.

Farmers in the high country who have just started lambing won’t be so happy, especially those who got snow as well.

Silly dam(n) mistake


On Q&A some weeks ago Guyon Espiner asked a Labour MP if he knew which power company he used.

I can’t find the link but I think it was David Cunliffe. Whoever it was struggled to answer as many people will unless they’re the one who pays the household bills.

Many people would also not be sure who owns the power company which supplies them. That’s not surprising when it’s not who owns it but the price they charge and service they provide which concerns most of us.

However, if you’re a party opposing the Mixed Ownership Model for State Owned Enterprises, you ought to know which companies are publicly owned and which ones aren’t, if only to stop you using a photo of one which isn’t to illustrate your campaign.

Whaleoil has a copy of Labour’s brochure campaigning against National’s policy to sell minority shares in a few state owned companies. It’s illustrated with a photo of the Clyde Dam which isn’t owned by the state, it’s owned by Contact Energy.

That’s a silly dam(n) mistake which doesn’t do anything for the credibility of the party or its policy.

Good for unions bad for employees/ers


Labour’s work and wages policy takes employment relations back decades.

Over at Keeping Stock, Inventory 2 puts a very strong case against raising the minimum wage to $15.

None of our employees is on the minimum wage but, as I2 says, increasing it will put pressure on other wages.

It’s a policy which will discourage the employment of the young, unskilled and inexperienced, as will ending the 90 day trial period for new employees.

We employed a manager earlier in the year. She came well recommended but we had some reservations about how well she’d cope with the job. She agreed to a 90-day-trial period, proved herself and we confirmed the position as permanent.

Had we not been able to give her a trial we wouldn’t have employed her.

The policy also includes Industry Standard Agreements which will take us back 50 years.

We don’t need backward looking policies like the one today on industrial relations from the Labour Party, says Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Association.

“The Industry Standard Agreements policy is a one size fits all approach that would take us back to 1960’s,” Mr Campbell said.

“People sitting in Wellington can’t decide what’s good for businesses and their employees in Invercargill and Kaitaia. It simply doesn’t work.

“Business wants to work to build an exciting future for all New Zealanders and we all want to get on with it.

“We want to focus on increasing productivity and attracting more investment to lift our business performance.

“But no matter how its dressed up this policy takes us back to system of national awards and it would undermine all the progress made towards flexible workplaces. . .

Kiwiblog has a graph of stoppages and work days lost to strikes which illustrates the danger of returnign to the bad old days.

The policy is pay-back for the financial support unions give the party.

It might be good for unions but it will increase costs without increasing productivity which will be bad for employees and employers.

Fonterra’s biggest ever day; auction price up


Fonterra had its biggest day’s collection last week – 81.2 million litres.

That makes this morning’s news of a 1.7 % increase in the trade weighted index in this morning’s GlobalDariyTrade auction even more welcome after eight successive falls.

The price of whole milk powder increased 5.7% to US$3,503/MT; skim milk powder was up 3%  to US$3,292/MT; anhydrous milk fat was down 1.7% to US$3,645/MT; butter milk powder was down 1.9% to US$3,019/MT; rennet casein dropped 14% to  US$7,040/MT; milk protein concentrate was down  6.4% to US$6,295/MT and cheese dropped 8.4% to  US$3,497/MT.

Labour clouded by SMOG again


All’s not fair in election campaigns but common sense and good taste usually put some things above or beyond politics.

Disasters, natural or otherwise, which kill people head the list.

Labour’s candidate for Rodney, Christine Rose either didn’t know or doesn’t care about that.

She’s photshopped a National Party billboard and uses it to lay the blame for the Pike River mine explosion, Christchurch earthquakes and grounding of the MV Rena on the party.

It’s yet another SMOG (Social Media Own Goal) from Labour.

The party can’t be held responsible for every action of every candidate but this is one in an on-going series of SMOGs and Labour is responsible for not acting to stop them.


October 19 in history


202 BC  Second Punic War: At the Battle of Zama, Roman legions under Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal Barca, leader of the invading Carthaginian army.

439  The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage.

1216  King John of England died and was succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.

1453 The French recapture of Bordeaux brought the Hundred Years’ War to a close, with the English retaining only Calais on French soil.

1466 The Thirteen Years War ended with the Second Treaty of Thorn.

1469   Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile, a marriage that paved the way to the unification of Aragon and Castile into a single country, Spain.

1512  Martin Luther became a doctor of theology (Doctor in Biblia).

1789 John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.

1813 The Battle of Leipzig concluded, giving Napoleon Bonaparte one of his worst defeats.

1822  In Parnaíba; Simplício Dias da Silva, João Cândido de Deus e Silva and Domingos Dias declared the independent state of Piauí.

1850  Annie Smith Peck, American mountaineer, was born (d. 1935).

1864 Battle of Cedar Creek – Union Army under Philip Sheridan destroy the Confederate Army under Jubal Early.

1864 – St. Albans Raid – Confederate raiders launched an attack on Saint Albans, Vermont.

1882  Umberto Boccioni, Italian painter and sculptor, was born (d. 1916).

1899  Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1974).

1904 Polytechnic University of the Philippines founded as Manila Business School through the superintendence of the American C.A. O’Reilley.

1914 The First Battle of Ypres began.

1921 Portuguese Prime Minister António Granjo and other politicians were murdered in a Lisbon coup.

1931  John le Carré, English novelist, was born.

1943  Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, was isolated by researchers at Rutgers University.

1946 Philip Pullman, English writer, was born.

1950 The People’s Liberation Army takes control of the town of Qamdo in what is sometimes called the “Invasion of Tibet”.

1950  Korean War:  China joined the Korean War by sending thousands of troops across the Yalu river to fight United Nations forces.

1954 First ascent of Cho Oyu.

1959  The first discothèque, The Scotch Club in Aachen,  opened.

1966 President Lyndon Johnson, the first NZ president to visit New Zealand,  and his wife, Lady Bird, arrived at Ohakea airfield at the start of a 24-hour visit.

New Zealand’s day with LBJ

1969  The first Prime Minister of Tunisia in twelve years, Bahi Ladgham, was appointed by President Habib Bourguiba.

1974 – Niue became a self-governing colony of New Zealand.

1976  Battle of Aishiya in Lebanon.

1983  Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister of Grenada, was overthrown and executed in a military coup d’état led by Bernard Coard.

1986 Samora Machel, President of Mozambique and leader of FRELIMO, and 33 others died when their Tupolev 134 plane crashed into the Lebombo Mountains.

1987  Black Monday – the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22%, 508 points.

1989  The convictions of the Guildford Four were quashed by the Court of Appeal  after they had spent 15 years in prison.

2001 SIEV-X, an Indonesian fishing boat en-route to Christmas Island, carrying over 400 asylum seekers, samk in international waters with the loss of 353 people.

2003 Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

2004 Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt was ousted and placed under house arrest by the State Peace and Development Council on charges of corruption.

2004 – Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan was kidnapped in Iraq.

2005  Saddam Hussein went on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

2005 – Hurricane Wilma became the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb.

2007  A bomb explosion rocked Glorietta 2, a shopping mall in Makati. It killed 11 and injured more than 100 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia

%d bloggers like this: