Word of the day


Pollicitation – a promsie made but not yet accepted.

Why only a rort now?


Phil Goff reckons that Act going for the electorate vote in Epsom while National goes after only the party vote is rorting MMP.

If that’s rorting MMP why wasn’t not trying to win Wigram ever since Jim Anderton left Labour a rort?

And why wasn’t Peter Dunne sitting in three successive Labour cabinets after National voters elected him in the seat but ticked National for their party vote a rort?

Maybe acting within the rules of MMP to maximise the chances of governing is only a rort when it doesn’t help his party.

Saturday smiles


Two friends with radically different political views meet outside a polling booth on election day.

One turns to the other and says “You know, we’ve argued about policies and philosophy for months, and we’re obviously going to vote for different candidates. Our votes will cancel each other out anyway, so why don’t we just call it a draw and go home instead?”

The other woman pauses, thinks for a minute, nods her head and they part ways to go back to their cars.

A man who overheard the conversation approaches the dealmaker and says with admiration, “That’s a real sporting offer you just made!”

“Not really,” the woman  says, “That’s the third time I’ve done the deal this mroning.”

Know what you’re voting for


The Maxim Institute has acted on its concern about voter ignorance by developing a website, NZ Votes.Org  to educate people.

In 2011 the nzvotes website will function as a portal to a whole lot of resources that will help people learn about the candidates andparties they have to choose between at the election. It will also link them to resources to find out about the voting systems on offer in the Referendum.

Along with this we have created a few videos to help kiwis recognise the need to pay attention to politics and learn about what the different parties stand for before casting their vote.

The website is NZ Votes.Org.

The videos are here and  here.

New Zealand Cup picks


My not so fool-proof method of picking winners for racing by the names of horses and colour of the silks is foundering for the New Zealand Cup today because there aren’t many jockeys in blue.

But # 17 Triolgy, is being ridden by Daniel Stackhouse in cobalt blue so I’ll take that for a win followed by # 18 Fast Love for the name, a blue stripe over apple green with blue and yellow striped sleeves, and in the spirit of female solidarity because the jockey is a woman, Lisa Allpress.

My third pick is The Raconteur, also ridden by a woman, Samantha Collett, in emerald green  with royal blue diamonds.


Happy Birthday ODT


The Otago Daily Times, New Zealand’s oldest daily paper and the only one still under private independent ownership, is celebrating its 150th birthday.

Every day this year the ODT’s print edition has had a page counting down to the anniversary of its first publication, a small, four-page tabloid, on November 15, 1861.

On Tuesday, the paper will mark its sesquicentennial by printing a special edition covering 150 years of news and 80 additional pages and tonight the paper is hosting the province at the Big Night In at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Top Otago young performers will be joined by national and international stars for what promises to be a spectacular show.

ODT Big Night In

Rural Affairs minister no compensation for bad rural policy


Labour plans to re-appoint a Minsiter of Rural Affairs.

Spokesperson Damien O’Connor says there is a need for advocacy and representation for rural affairs at a ministerial level.

There’s also a need for advocacy and representation for rural affairs in the Labour caucus but if there is it’s obviously too weak to prevent the development of what Federated Farmers rightly labels as hat trick of ill conceived policies for the high country,a griculture and water.

But isn’t that typical of Labour?

It would create problems for the rural community in general and farmers in particular though ill-founded policy then add to the burden of the state by appointing a Minister to give the appearance they’re doing something about the problems of their making.

Finding the money to fatten the assets – UPDATED


Quote of the day:

Once a basket case, Air NZ is now a prized asset – and it only got that way because we allowed private investment to fatten it up. We have capital-hungry assets that will lose value and even function if they don’t have serious money spent on them. But we can’t afford to feed them, because we’d have to borrow even more from overseas lenders to do so. Which is, of course, how we, and much of the developed world, got into the pickle we’re in now. Jane Clifton

This is a point that has escaped the parties and people opposing National’s plan to sell minority stakes in a few state owned enterprises.

The country is facing another two or three years of deficits so has nothing to spare for investing in SOEs to help them grow.

If a minority share isn’t opened up to other investors the government will either have to increase its borrowing or let the assets stagnate or go backwards.

Neither of those is a sensible or desirable option for the companies or the country.

Even if the government’s accounts were back in surplus, would investing in these companies be better use of the money than improvements to health, education and other areas which could make a positive difference to the lives of us all?

Every dollar can be spent only once.

Letting individuals and organisations feed a few energy companies with their spare cash allows the government to put its dollars to better use elsewhere.


While much has been made of the expected price for the partial sales, Anti-Dismal points out that’s not as important as improvements to the efficiency and productivity of the economy.

November 12 in history


764 – Tibetan troops occupied Chang’an, the capital of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.

1028 – Future Byzantine empress Zoe married Romanus Argyrus.

1439 – Plymouth, became the first town incorporated by the English Parliament.

1555 – The English Parliament re-established Catholicism.

1651 Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Mexican mystic and author, was born  (d. 1695).


1729 Louis Antoine de Bougainville, French explorer, was born (d. 1811).


1793 – Jean Sylvain Bailly, the first Mayor of Paris, was guillotined.

1840 Auguste Rodin, French sculptor, was born (d. 1917).


1847 – Sir James Young Simpson, a British physician, was the first to use chloroform as an anaesthetic.


1866 Sun Yat-sen, the 1st President of the Republic of China was born  (d. 1925).


1892 – William “Pudge” Heffelfinger became the first professional American football player on record.

1893 – The treaty of the Durand Line was signed between present day Pakistan and Afghanistan.

1905 – Norway held a referendum in favor of monarchy over republic.

1912 Striking worker Fred Evans was fatally injured in a clash with police and strikebreakers during the bitter six-month-long dispute at the goldmining town of Waihi.

Striker fatally wounded at Waihi

1912 – The frozen bodies of Robert Scott and his men were found on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica.


1918 – Austria became a republic.

1920 – Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes signed the Treaty of Rapallo.

1927 – Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.

1929 Princess Grace of Monaco (Grace Kelly), was born  (d. 1982).


1933 – Hugh Gray took the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster.


1934 Charles Manson, American cult leader, was born.


1936 – The San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic.


1938 – Hermann Göring proposed plans to make Madagascar the “Jewish homeland”.

1941 – World War II: Temperatures around Moscow dropped to -12 ° C and the Soviet Union launcheed ski troops for the first time against the freezing German forces near the city.

1941 – World War II: The Soviet cruiser Chervona Ukraina was destroyed during the Battle of Sevastopol.

1942 – World War II: The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal began.

1943 Bjorn Waldegard, Swedish rally driver, was born.


1944 – World War II: The Royal Air Force launched 29 Avro Lancaster bombers in one of the most successful precision bombing attacks of war and sinks the German battleship Tirpitz, with 12,000 lb Tallboy bombs.

1944 Booker T. Jones, American musician and songwriter (Booker T and the MG’s), was born.

1945 Neil Young, Canadian singer and musician, was born.


1948 – An international war crimes tribunal sentenced seven Japanese military and government officials, including General Hideki Tojo, to death for their roles in World War II.

1958 – A team of rock climbers led by Warren Harding completed the first ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.


1962 Naomi Wolf, American author and feminist, was born.


1969 – Vietnam War: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the My Lai story.

1970 – The Oregon Highway Division attempted to destroy a rotting beached Sperm whale with explosives, leading to the now infamous “exploding whale” incident.

1970 – The 1970 Bhola cyclone makes landfall on the coast of East Pakistan becoming the deadliest tropical cyclone in history.

1978 – As Bishop of Rome Pope John Paul II took possession of his Cathedral Church, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

1979 – Iran hostage crisis: In response to the hostage situation in Tehran, US President Jimmy Carter ordered a halt to all petroleum imports into the United States from Iran.

1980 – The NASA space probe Voyager I made its closest approach to Saturn and takes the first images of its rings.

1981 – Mission STS-2, utilizing the Space Shuttle Columbia, marked the first time a manned spacecraft was launched into space twice.

1982 – Yuri Andropov became the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party’s Central Committee, succeeding Leonid I. Brezhnev.

1982 – Lech Wałęsa, was released from a Polish prison after eleven months.

1990 – Crown Prince Akihito was formally installed as Emperor Akihito of Japan, becoming the 125th Japanese monarch.

1990 – Tim Berners-Lee published a formal proposal for the World Wide Web.


1991 – Dili Massacre, Indonesian forces opened fire on a crowd of student protesters in Dili.

1996 – A Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane collided in mid-air near New Delhi, killing 349. The deadliest mid-air collision to date.

1997 – Ramzi Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

1998 – Vice President Al Gore signed the Kyoto Protocol.

1998 – Daimler-Benz completed a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler.

1999 – The Düzce earthquake struck Turkey with a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale.

2001 – American Airlines Flight 587, an Airbus A300 en route to the Dominican Republic, crashed minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport, killing all 260 on board and five on the ground.

2001 – Taliban forces abandoned Kabul, Afghanistan, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops.

2003 – Iraq war: In Nasiriya, Iraq, at least 23 people, among them the first Italian casualties of the 2003 Iraq war, were killed in a suicide bomb attack on an Italian police base.

2003 – Shanghai Transrapid set a new world speed record (501 kilometres per hour (311 mph)) for commercial railway systems.

2006 – The region of South Ossetia held a referendum on independence from Georgia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikiepdia

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