Word of the day


Fanfaronade – bragging or blustering manner or behavior; bravado; boasting talk or showy action; a fanfare.

How safe is which vehicle?


If you’re thinking of buying a car, or wondering how safe your current one is, you can check its safety rating in the Australasian New Car Assessment Programme .

You can search for a type, make or model so you don’t have to trawl through all the pages to find a particular vehicle.

New car ratings are here and used car ratings are here.

It makes sobering reading and is a reminder that in spite of improvements to car design, driving to prevent accidents will provide better protection than any vehicles.



8/10 in NZ History Online’s quiz.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said: “Equality and development will not be achieved however if peace is not
understood from women’s’ point of view.”?

2. What is a clackamore?

3. It’s  paix in French, pace  in Italian, paz in Spanish and   houhanga a rongo in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Complete the sentence: Dulce et Decorum est . . .  and name the poet who wrote it.

5. What is the greatest distance from the sea you can be in New Zealand?

From one of the tribe


Quote of the day:

It is true that the current party organisation is moribund, bereft of money and courage and hopelessly beholden to a small clique of activists well past their use-by date.

It comes from Phil at The New Tasman whe describes himself as tribal Labour and cast a special vote for the party in spite of it.

Desperation Stakes


The weather’s cool and the track soft for today’s feature race the Desperation Stakes.

The favourite is Notworking For Families from Socialism out of Delusion. Union Trophies by Ideology out of Power and Money is also favoured.

Then we have Fudging Numbers by Guestimate out of  Not Counting and his stable mate Baubles by Tax and Spend out of Other People’s Money.

Poll Dancer by Emotion out of Headline usually starts well but has trouble over long distances.

Workers Hopes by Hard Yards out of  Reward For Effort is a stayer but might struggle against the showier horses.

And they’re off, racing now, Workers Hopes is first out,  with Union Trophies and Poll Dancer neck and neck, Not Working For Families is back a head.

Fudging Numbers is half a length back followed closely by Baubles.

Round the bend they go with Poll Dancer on the inside, Notworking For Families is right there a good head in front of Workers Hopes running neck and neck with Union Trophies, then its Fudging Numbers and Baubles.

Down the back straight now and Poll Dancer is flagging. Workers Hopes is in front by a nose but Not Working For Families and Union Trophies are right here. Fudging Numbers is striding gamely and Baubles is closing in.

Round the bend and into the home straight. Workers Hopes has been cut off by Union Trophies and Notworking For Families is overtaking on the inside. It’s Union Trophies and Notworking For Families, Workers Hopes is struggling, Fudging Numbers is on his tail.

With 100 metres to go its Union Trophies and Not Working For Families are neck and neck, Fudging Numbers back a length followed by Poll Dancer then Baubles with Workers Hopes has been left in the dust.

And to the finish line its Not Working For Families by a nose, Union Trophies in second place and Fudging Numbers in third. Then it’s Poll Dancer, a couple of lengths back to Baubles and Workers Hopes has limped in last.

Labour/Green ag policies economic poker


Federated Farmers is warning the Labour and Green parties they are playing economic poker with their agricultural policies:

“While Federated Farmers is apolitical, it would be irresponsible not to warn the Labour and Green parties of the risk carried by their respective agricultural policies,” says Bruce Wills, President of Federated Farmers.

“The primary sector generates over half of New Zealand’s entire foreign exchange earnings so we cannot afford economic poker.

“The current policies of the Labour and Green parties also risk making the family farm a folk memory. The only farmers who’d flourish would be those capable of farming on an industrial scale and I don’t think Kiwis want that outcome.

The more costs imposed on farms the more expensive farming becomes so they will get bigger to gain economies of scale.

“As a former banker I am concerned at the overall risk to farm viability. Fast tracking farm biological emissions into the Emissions Trading Scheme and introducing ‘resource rentals’, could result in farm business failures.

“Since the introduction of the ETS in 2010, farm fuel and electricity expenses have increased. Yet it’s the way the ETS has worked its way into everything from freight costs to feed and even pest control, which has bitten the hardest.

“If farm biological emissions are forced into the ETS in 2013, Beef & Lamb NZ estimates it would cost each sheep and beef farm $40,000. The cost for dairy would be much higher.

“In this season, $40,000 represents 21 percent of the average sheep and beef farms forecast profit before tax. If biological emissions were in the ETS over the past ten seasons, farms would have generated less than the average household income for five while two seasons would have seen big losses.

“While $40,000 is a conservative estimate for dairy farms, it is 12 percent of this season’s average forecast profit before tax. If applied to past seasons, 2008/9 would have seen big losses and 2002/3 would have returned just $8,759 as the average profit before tax.

Unless and until there are viable ways to reduce emissions, the ETS is simply another tax which will increase the cost of production for no benefit and with absolutely no impact on emissions.

“Resource rentals on things like water create additional financial risk. With reduced profits rural land prices could be further weakened sparking a banking crisis of our own making. There are a lot of unintended consequences at stake here.

“Federated Farmers is asking both Labour and the Green parties to recognise there are few means to mitigate farm animal emissions, aside from reducing livestock. Fewer livestock mean fewer exports and reducing exports limits public spending choices.

“I believe most Kiwis want a flourishing export sector serving a world in need of more food. Exports create national wealth and national wealth creates options for everyone.

“How to grow these exports while reducing our environmental footprint are the agricultural policies we’d like to discuss,” Mr Wills concluded.

National’s  primary sector  policy will get a much more positive reception.

It includes the establishment of the Crown Water Investment Company with up to $400,000 million from the Future Investment fund.

New Zealand’s primary sector is an economic priority and National will put aside money from the Future Investment Fund for irrigation and water storage development, says Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key. 

“Well-designed water storage and irrigation is a win for the economy and for the environment,” said Mr Key today at the release of National’s primary sector policy.

“Irrigation increases the productivity of our farm land, protects against droughts and takes the uncertainty out of water flows for farmers and recreational users.

“It also allows the more efficient use of water.  Storage allows us to capture water at times of plenty, for efficient use at times of need.

“It is also important to our environment.  More reliable access to water will lead to more efficient use of water, and provide for the replenishment of aquifers and the restoration of stream and river flows.

“National is committed to increasing New Zealand’s economic potential while balancing our environmental responsibilities,” says Mr Key.

Irrigation will do that and it also has social benefits, increasing rural populations and decreasing the average age of farming communities.

“Should National win the election, we will provide up to $400 million from the Future Investment Fund to confirm the funding for the second phase of our water priorities, to be called the Crown Water Investment Company.  Funding will be available from Budget 2013, and will carry on for the following four budgets.

“The scheme would operate through the Crown being a minority partner, and investing with the expectation of a commercial return on that investment.  The intention would be that the stake would be sold off over time.  It would not be a grant scheme.

This is not a hand out, it’s an investment which expects to make money and will be repaid.

“Because we are using the Future Investment Fund, which draws from proceeds of the mixed ownership model, we will not have borrow more at a time when financial restraint is needed.

“Government investment in large-scale irrigation schemes can deliver high quality projects, sooner, and give confidence to capital markets to invest.

“Our plan will be good for jobs, good for growth, and good for the economy.”

Agriculture Minister David Carter said:

The development of smart irrigation infrastructure will boost economic development and also contribute to the sustainable growth of our primary sectors.
NZIER research shows the fund could support 340,000ha of new irrigation which could boost exports by $1.4 billion a year by 2018, rising to $4 billion a year by 2026. But this is not about irrigation at all costs.
One of our greatest competitive advantages is water. It’s our “liquid gold”. But to date we have not done a good enough job of storing, allocating and utilising this wonderful resource.
The Irrigation Acceleration Fund provides an opportunity to develop new water infrastructure proposals that promote efficient water use and good environmental management.
Irrigation good practice is essential if we are to protect our vital water resource for tomorrow.

Central Plains Water is delighted with the scheme and points out the benefits will flow far beyond the farm gate. CPW general manager Derek Crombie said:

“Not only is today’s announcement a good one for the Canterbury farming sector, but also for Christchurch itself.  The city’s economic prosperity lies in the agricultural sector with an estimated 70% of the city’s wealth directly and indirectly having its roots in the farm.

“Canterbury already has 350,000ha of irrigated land and we know we can cater for up to 800,000ha across the Canterbury region without too much difficulty. With a direct economic impact of between $3 – $5 billion, this is almost equivalent to the total exports through the city at present,” he said.

The red and green policies  would add costs and risks to farming.

National’s policies are designed to help it, the communities it supports and the country prosper.

November 10 in history


1444 – Battle of Varna: The crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna were crushed by the Turks under Sultan Murad II and Vladislaus is killed.


1483 Martin Luther, German Protestant reformer, was born (d. 1546).


1619 – René Descartes had the dreams that inspired his Meditations on First Philosophy.


1674 – Anglo-Dutch War: As provided in the Treaty of Westminster, Netherlands ceded New Netherlands to England.

1697 – William Hogarth, English artist, was born.

1728 – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright, was born.


1766 – The last colonial governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, signed the charter of Queen’s College (later renamed Rutgers University).

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas.


1793 – A Goddess of Reason was proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Chaumette.


1821 – Cry of Independence by Rufina Alfaro at La Villa de Los Santos, Panama setting into motion a revolt which lead to Panama’s independence from Spain and to it immediately becoming part of Colombia.

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney was wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, was hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.


1868 The Matawhero ‘Massacre’: Te Kooti and his followers killed approximately 60 people – roughly equal numbers of Maori and Pakeha.

Te Kooti attacks Matawhero

1871 – Henry Morton Stanley located missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, allegedly greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”.


1880 Jacob Epstein, American sculptor, was born (d. 1959).


1898 – Beginning of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, the only instance of a municipal government being overthrown in US history.

1925 Richard Burton, Welsh actor, was born (d. 1984).


1940 Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician, was born  (d. 1999).

1942 – World War II: Germany invaded Vichy France following French Admiral François Darlan’s agreement to an armistice with the Allies in North Africa.

1944 Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist, was born.

1944 – The ammunition ship USS Mount Hood exploded at Seeadler Harbour, Manus, Admiralty Islands.


1945 – Heavy fighting in Surabaya between Indonesian nationalists and returning colonialists after World War II, was celebrated as Heroes’ Day (Hari Pahlawan).


1947 Greg Lake, British musician (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), was born.


1947 Dave Loggins, American songwriter and singer, was born.

1951 – Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service began in the United States.

1954 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington National Cemetery.


1958 – The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.


1969 – National Educational Television in the United States debuted the children’s television programme Sesame Street.


1970 – The Soviet Lunar probe Lunokhod 1 was launched.


1971 – Khmer Rouge forces attacked the city of Phnom Penh and its airport, killing 44, wounding at least 30 and damaging nine aircraft.

1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from was hijacked and, at one point, was threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

1975 – The 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board.


1975 – United Nations Resolution 3379: United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution equating Zionism with racism.

1979 – A 106-car Canadian Pacific freight train carrying explosive and poisonous chemicals from Windsor, Ontario, derailed in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada just west of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, causing a massive explosion and the largest peacetime evacuation in Canadian history and one of the largest in North American history.

1989 – Fall of the communist regime in Bulgaria.

1995 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop), were hanged by government forces.


1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announced a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time).

2006 – Sri Lankan Tamil Parliamentarian Nadarajah Raviraj was assassinated in Colombo.


2007 – ¿Por qué no te callas? (Why don’t you shut up?) incident between King Juan Carlos of Spain and Venezuela’s president Hugo Chávez.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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