Labour admits debt legacy


Here it is in black and red (or more accurately white and black on red) – Labour will leave more for future generations than just debt.

What is just debt?

I’d say any of the debt they’re planning to leave is unjust.

But just or unjust, they’re admitting they’ll leave a debt legacy and they’ll have to incur that for the more they’re promising.

And what else will they leave? More beneficiaries, more bureaucracy, less growth, poorer health care, lower education standards, more crime . . . .

Concept of concert


The ODT says the Big Night In was absolutely fantastic and the production was.

A lot of work had gone in to the show and the performances were professional from the amateurs recruited from around the south and the bigger names from further afield.

The were concerns about the sound quality but you can’t expect concert hall acoustics in a stadium designed for sports and nor it seems can you expect concert hall behaviour.

The evening was billed as a family event and that’s who it attracted. A lot of children spent the show running round the ground and their noise competed with the singing.

However, a lot of people old enough to know better also competed with the singing.

A small party came in late and sat behind us. They arrived while 15 year-old Seqoia Cunningham was singing Ave Maria. One woman said in a tone of surprise, “Everyone’s talking” then proceeded to talk throughout the song, and subsequent ones, herself.

A friend whose daughter was also singing said she thinks some people don’t understand the concept of concert, when performers perform and the audience listens in silence, anymore.

This was a free concert, with a set budget put on to celebrate the ODT’s 150th birthday and the new stadium. We enjoyed it but I think the performers were let down by the audience.

2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy launched


Entries have opened for the 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy – BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming Award.

This year it’s the turn of Māori dairy farmers to accept the challenge and test themselves against some of the best dairy farmers in Aotearoa.

The 2012 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming competition was launched at the FoMA (Federation of Māori Authorities) conference in the Mataatua rohe (Tauranga) on Saturday November 12 by AgITO’s Strategic Relations Manager Peter MacGregor. AgITO is one of four silver sponsors of the award. . .

Peter MacGregor praised the historic competition for its unique role in encouraging Māori farmers to make the best, sustainable use of their resources to build strong agribusinesses which provide good returns to shareholders, as well as long term employment and other economic benefits for New Zealanders of all backgrounds.

A friend who does a lot of work with Maori farmers says the tall poppy syndrome is seen in a big brown knocking machine which aims at anyone who does anything different.

Competitions like this are a very good way to showcase better farms and provide an opportunity for entrants to learn from their peers and the judges.

Is Robin standing too?


Labour could do with some help from a superhero and it looks like they’re getting it:


Is it just Batman or is Robin standing too?


I am not condoning the graffiti even though it is a wee bit witty which is more than can be said for most of the attacks on hoardings.

Electorates are reporting the worst defacing and theft they can remember. Most appears to be the result of random acts of vandalism.

But some are politically motivated a few are personally abusive, racist and/or sexist.

In Waitaki a lot of hoardings have been shot at.

The cost of replacement hoardings doesn’t have to be accounted for in electoral returns but they do have to be paid for with money hard earned by volunteers.

MMP fails governance test


Former Finance Minister Ruth Richardson says the question voters need to be asking about the electoral system is: will it produce a government capable of governing?

Primacy must be accorded to the ability to  form an effective government and to be rid of that government if it is judged by the electorate to have failed in that quest.

MMP rarely delivers that. The most popular party will almost always be beholden to one or more of the wee ones for a majority and MPs an electorate gets rid of can return to parliament on their party’s list.

The awful truth is that MMP has condemned New Zealand to a regime where party and brand count for more than policy and a plan.

This regime has tended to produce craven politicians who judge it in their best interest to tow the party hierarchy line and has certainly corroded the quality of decision making as first-best policy is sacrificed to a lowest common denominator bargain.

The last thing a country needs in a global financial crisis is a government crippled by indecision and inaction; where the daily hand is forced by counting political not financial numbers.

While it is possible for a party to have an outright majority under MMP, it is very unlikely and the need for post-election wheeling and dealing has been very costly.

The jury is no longer out on the MMP experiment; the verdict is in and the evidence shows that coalition building has fuelled a rise in public expenditure and a drop in the quality of public policy leadership.

Ms Richardson goes on to quote Edmund Burke who said that:

“your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you, if he  sacrifices it to your opinion.”

Under MMP, MPs have to sacrifice their judgement not only to the opinions of the people they represent but to those of their coalition partners.

One of the reasons a slim majority of people voted for MMP in the first place was that they were sick of MPs implementing radical policy without a mandate.

Ironically that is even more likely under MMP because a lack of a strong party in the centre means the bigger parties are pulled towards more radical policies by the need to appease coalition partners.

That almost always means acting in the interest of small minorities at the expense of the public interest.

What does it say about security?


National’s  campaign chair Steven Joyce says the Herald on Sunday has many questions to answer about the illegal taping of a conversation between John Key and John Banks.

“There are a number of inconsistencies in the story which together suggest an attempt to conceal a deliberate News of the World-type covert operation,” says Mr Joyce.

“Firstly, the radio transmission device was concealed inside a pouch and placed next to the Prime Minister. Any camera operator knows that if you are seeking to obtain legitimate audio, you don’t muffle it by leaving the microphone in a pouch. This was an experienced cameraman, and the only possible conclusion is that the concealment was deliberate.

“Secondly, the Herald on Sunday article states the cameraman approached the Prime Minister’s staff to retrieve the microphone during the meeting and was rebuffed. The problem is that no approach was made until after the meeting was over. If the approach had been made during the meeting to inform staff that a recording or transmitting device was left on the table, it would have been retrieved immediately.

“Thirdly, the Herald on Sunday article states that the taping was discovered on the cameraman’s return to his office. That is untrue. When the cameraman approached the Prime Minister’s staff member for the return of the microphone, the cameraman acknowledged he was aware the conversation had been recorded.

“Fourthly, the Herald on Sunday article describes the cameraman as a ‘freelance cameraman’, and makes no attempt to disclose his working relationship with the Herald on Sunday. However in an email to the Prime Minister’s office last night chief reporter David Fisher seeks the return of the wireless microphone, which he says was ‘taken from our staff member’.

“The conclusion one is left with is that the Herald on Sunday deliberately arranged the taping, in an unwelcome introduction of UK-style News of the World tabloid tactics into the New Zealand media environment, and is now deliberately seeking to distance themselves publicly.

There are questions about all of this which need to be answered.

There are enough inconsistencies in the stories to raise suspicions even though New Zealand has been relatively free of covert recording by the media of private conversations.

There is another question to be answered too: why did none of the security people who accompany the Prime Minsiter not notice the bag in which the microphone was concealed which was apparently sitting in full view on the table at which the men were sitting?

November 14 in history


On November 14;

1533 – Conquistadors from Spain under the leadership of Francisco Pizarro arrived in Cajamarca, Inca empire.


1770 – James Bruce discovered what he believed to be the source of the Nile.


1805 Fanny Mendelssohn, German composer and pianist, was born (d. 1847).

1840 Claude Monet, French painter, was born (d. 1926).


1845 – Governor George Grey arrived in New Zealand.

George Grey arrives in NZ

1878 – Julie Manet, French painter, was born (d. 1966).


1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) began a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days.


1908 Joseph McCarthy, U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, was born.


1910 – Aviator Eugene Ely performed the first take off from a ship in Hampton Roads, Virginia when he took off from a makeshift deck on the USS Birmingham in a Curtiss pusher.


1918 – Czechoslovakia became a republic.

1919 Veronica Lake, American actress, was born (d. 1973).


1921 – The Communist Party of Spain was founded.


1921 – Brian Keith, American actor, was born. (d. 1997).


1922 – The BBC began radio service.

1922 – Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Egyptian UN Secretary-General, was born.


1923 – Kentaro Suzuki completed his ascent of Mount Iizuna.

1935 King Hussein of Jordan was born (d. 1999).


1940 – Coventry was heavily bombed by Luftwaffe bombers. Coventry Cathedral was almost completely destroyed.


1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal sank after torpedo damage from U-81 sustained on November 13.


1947 P. J. O’Rourke, American writer, was born.


1948 Prince Charles was born.


1952 – The first regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express.


1954 – Condoleezza Rice, former United States Secretary of State, was born.


1957 – The Apalachin Meeting outside Binghamton, New York was raided by law enforcement, and many high level Mafia figures were arrested.

1959 Paul McGann, British actor, was born.


1965 – Vietnam War: The Battle of the Ia Drang began – the first major engagement between regular American and North Vietnamese forces.


1967 – The Congress of Colombia, in commemoration of the 150 years of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declared this day as “Day of the Colombian Woman”.


1969 – NASA launchds Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the Moon.


1970 – Soviet Union enters ICAO, making Russian the fourth official language of organisation.

1970 – Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed in the mountains near Huntington, West Virginia, killing 75, including members of the Marshall University football team.

1971 Adam Gilchrist, Australian cricketer, was born.


1971 – Enthronment of Pope Shenouda III as Pope of Alexandria.


1973 – The passage of the Social Security Amendment Act introduced the Domestic Purposes Benefit to New Zealand’s social welfare system.

DPB legislation introduced

1973 – Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips, in Westminster Abbey.


1975 – Spain abandoned Western Sahara.

1982 – Lech Wałęsa, the leader of Poland’s outlawed Solidarity movement, was released after 11 months of internment.


1984 – Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, was assassinated in his home city.

1990 – After German reunification, the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Poland sign a treaty confirming the Oder-Neisse line as the border between Germany and Poland.


1991 – Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returned to Phnom Penh after 13 years of exile.

1991 – In Royal Oak, Michigan, a fired United States Postal Service employee went on a shooting rampage, killing four and wounding five before committing suicide.

1995 – A budget standoff between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress forced the federal government to temporarily close national parks and museums and to run most government offices with skeleton staffs.

2001 – War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters took over Kabul.

2002 – Argentina defaulted on an $805 million World Bank payment.

2003 – Astronomers Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz discovered 90377 Sedna, a Trans-Neptunian object.

2007 – The last direct-current electrical distribution system in the United States was shut down in New York City by Con Edison.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikiepdia

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