Word of the day


Murcid – lazy, slothful; shirking work or duty.

Inspired by this.

Has farming harmed salmon fishing?


Salmon farming hasn’t harmed angling, on the contrary it has helped it.

Why then are anglers so concerned about the prospect that trout farming might be permitted in New Zealand?

I haven’t found any policy from any party promoting this although Don Nicolson, then president of Federated Farmers and now an Act candidate, did talk of the benefits of trout farming.



7/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Stone carving auction tomorrow


Sculptors from around New Zealand have been carving huge blocks of Oamaru Stone on Takaro Park for the last couple of weeks.


Their work will be auctioned tomorrow.

The ODT reports on it here and the Oamaru Mail report is here.

The stone comes from Parkside Quarries.

The dog that didn’t bark


In all the fuss about the teapot tapes has anyone seen or heard any criticism about the Diplomatic Protection Squad?

That something could sit on a table beside the Prime Minister without being noticed or questioned does not reflect well on them.

But he hasn’t once criticised or blamed them for doing, or not doing, something.

That is how it should be although not every Prime Minister has had that respect for the police.

Meanwhile, the NBR, has a story behind its pay wall saying the Greens deny paying for the vandalism of National’s hoardings.

It quotes Russel Norman saying he had nothing to do with the attacks and didn’t know who paid for it.

How long before every other Green MP and office holder is asked the same questions?

There’s a dog not barking somewhere. Someone needs to find it and its owner,  where’s Sherlock Holmes when we need him?.

People will be losers if privacy not protected


In respect for my blood pressure I don’t often listen to talkback but every now and then I tune in to hear what people are thinking.

This week the storm in a teapot story was a popular topic but I was pleasantly surprised that a majority of callers were saying it had all been blown out of proportion and were backing the Prime Minister’s stand on the principle of privacy.

This has been confirmed by a Fairfax Media poll:

Voters overwhelmingly think the “tea party tape” of the conversation of John Key and John Banks was a breach of privacy and should have been wiped without being made public. . . .

The Fairfax Media-Research International poll asked if the recording was a breach of privacy and should have been destroyed immediately.

A net 58 per cent agreed, with a net 29 disagreeing.

But respondents were equally divided when asked if the event was all about publicity, so all aspects should be available for reporting.

By a narrow margin – 45 to 41 per cent – voters polled said there was no such thing as a private conversation in public.

But 63 per cent felt politicians should be able to talk about controversial ideas without fear of those discussions being made public, with only 22 per cent disagreeing.

The poll of 507 people had a margin of error of 4.2 per cent.

The issue of whether or not the conversation was private is to be considered by the High Court on Tuesday.

If it decides that it wasn’t, we will all be the losers.

In New Zealand we have remarkably free access to politicians. If they know that anything they say in a conversation in a public place could be regarded as public they will be far less willing to engage with people and politics will become even more stage managed than it already is.

It could also hamper the media because politicians will be even more carful about off-record conversations and backgrounders.

Perhaps that’s why we’re now seeing what Keeping Stock calls mea culpe season.

Pike River tragedy unresolved


A year ago today 31 men went into the Pike River mine.

Two survived the explosion which happened that afternoon, the rest died in the mine.

The first anniversary of a death is a big milestone which usually helps families and friends in their journey through the grief maze. They know they have survived all the firsts – birthdays, Christmas, mothers’ and fathers’ days – without the one for whom they are grieving and can realistically hope that the next year will be better.

But the coming year will bring more of the same for the relatives and friends of the Pike River men. They still have to endure the Royal Commission into the disaster and a court case of those being held accountable for it.

And they still wait in hope that the bodies or remains might be recovered.

The Pike River mine disaster is still an unresolved tragedy.

It could take many more months before it is resolved and regardless of how it is resolved it can never bring back those 29 men who went to work a year ago today.

November 19 in history


1095 – The Council of Clermont, called by Pope Urban II to discuss sending the First Crusade to the Holy Land, began.


1493 – Christopher Columbus went ashore on an island he first saw the day before. He named it San Juan Bautista (later renamed Puerto Rico).

1600 King Charles I of England was born (d. 1649).


1794 – The United States and Great Britain signed Jay’s Treaty, which attempts to resolve some of the lingering problems left over from the American Revolutionary War.


1805 Ferdinand de Lesseps, French diplomat and Suez Canal engineer, was born (d. 1894).


1816 – Warsaw University was established.


1847 – The Montreal and Lachine Railway, was opened.

1863 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the military cemetery ceremony at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.


1881 – A meteorite landed near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1905 Tommy Dorsey, American bandleader, was born (d. 1956).


1916 – Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn established Goldwyn Pictures.


1917 Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India was born (d. 1984).


1930 – Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow committed their first of a large series of robberies and other criminal acts.


1933 Larry King, American TV personality, was born.


1941 – World War II: Battle between HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran. The two ships sank each other off the coast of Western Australia, with the loss of 645 Australians and about 77 German seamen.


1942 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad – Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launched the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR’s favor.


1943 – Holocaust: Nazis liquidated Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg (Lviv), western Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.


1944 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced the 6th War Loan Drive, aimed at selling $14 billion USD in war bonds to help pay for the war effort.

1950 – US General Dwight D. Eisenhower became supreme commander of NATO-Europe.

1954 – Télé Monte Carlo, Europe’s oldest private television channel, was launched by Prince Rainier III.


1955 – National Review published its first issue.

1959 – The Ford Motor Company announced the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel.


1961 Meg Ryan, American actress, was born.


1962 Jodie Foster, American actress, was born.


1967 – The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong.


1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean landed at Oceanus Procellarum (the “Ocean of Storms”) and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

1969 – Football player Pelé scored his 1,000th goal.


1977 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to officially visit Israel.


1977 – Transportes Aéreos Portugueses Boeing 727 crashed in Madeira Islands, killing 130.

1979 – Iran hostage crisis: Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ordered the release of 13 female and black American hostages being held at the US Embassy in Tehran.

1984 – San Juanico Disaster: A series of explosions at the PEMEX petroleum storage facility at San Juan Ixhuatepec in Mexico City started a major fire and killed about 500 people.


1985 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time.

1985 – Pennzoil won a $10.53 billion USD judgment against Texaco, in the largest civil verdict in the history of the United States, stemming from Texaco executing a contract to buy Getty Oil after Pennzoil had entered into an unsigned, yet still binding, buyout contract with Getty.

1988 – Serbian communist representative and future Serbian and Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic publicly declared that Serbia was under attack from Albanian separatists in Kosovoas well as internal treachery within Yugoslavia and a foreign conspiracy to destroy Serbia and Yugoslavia.


1990 – Pop group Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy Award because the duo did not sing at all on the Girl You Know It’s True album. Session musicians had provided all the vocals.


1992 The Fred Hollows Foundation was established in New Zealand.

Fred Hollows Foundation launched in NZ

1994 – In Great Britain, the first National Lottery draw was held. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.


1996 – Lt. Gen. Maurice Baril of Canada arrived in Africa to lead a multi-national policing force in Zaire.


1998 – Lewinsky scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee began impeachment hearings against U.S. President Bill Clinton.

1998 – Vincent van Gogh‘s Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for $US71.5 million.

1999 – Shenzhou 1: China launched its first Shenzhou spacecraft.

2010 – An explosion in the Pike River mine trapped 29 men.


Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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