Word of the day


Ergasiophobia –  an abnormal and persistent fear (or phobia) of work, finding work or functioning;  aversion to work; diffidence about tackling a job.

Too proud to work – or not


He’s in his 70s, had worked hard, saved and was enjoying the benefit of those savings his retirement.

Then the finance companies in which he had his money collapsed taking his savings and income with them.

He took a deep breath and got a job.

It’s not a glamorous one but it gives him a purpose and enables him to earn money to give him some choices and comfort he wouldn’t be able to have if he relied only on government superannuation.

Contrast that with former mayor and MP Georgina Beyer who is unemployed and too proud for some jobs:

Ms Beyer admits she has been told to “lower her sights”, but says some jobs are off the agenda.

“I do draw the line at being a crew member at McDonald’s. I’m a little bit past that sort of thing.”

Past it at 54? Only in her mind.

Most of us would do anything rather than rely on a benefit if we had the choice and those who turn down work for which they are capable, even if over qualified, can and should lose their benefits.

Welfare was designed for people in need, not those too proud to work.

You say tomato . . .


Blog post of the week:

English Pronunciation

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud.

Dearest creature in creation,

Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse

Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.

I will keep you, Suzy, busy,

Make your head with heat grow dizzy.

 Tear in eye, your dress will tear.

So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. . .

You’ll find the rest at Spelling

Hat Tip: Sharing the Love at The Lady Garden.

Title ‘dissident’ must be earned


Quote of the day:

“The noble title of ‘dissident’ must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement …”

“Do bear in mind that the cynics have a point, of a sort, when they speak of the ‘professional naysayer’.” “To be in opposition is not to be a nihilist. And there is no decent or charted way of making a living at it. It is something you are, and not something you do.” – Letters to a Young Contrarian, 2001

It was written by journalist and writer Christopher Hitchens who died yesterday.

I didn’t share many of his views but he  I admired his intelligence, wit and writing.

You can find more of his bon mots here (for which I hat tip Beattie’s Book Blog).

Whole of government approach saves $s


The whole of government approach to goods and services is resulting in big savings.

New all-of-Government contracts for air travel and external legal services will save the Government $178 million over the next six to seven years, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

The new contracts include all public sector agencies, councils and up to 2500 schools.

“The contracts we are announcing today will mean we have achieved a total saving to the Government of $293 million from the six contracts that have been completed to date in the Government Procurement Reform Programme,” Mr Joyce says.

“Saving more than $108 million on legal costs over the next six years shows the negotiating power of the whole of government when contracting services. We’ve shaved an average of 18 percent off the $100 million annual external legal services bill which is a great result.” . .

The bigger an organisation the greater its purchasing power and there is probably no organisation bigger than the government and public sector agencies.

The only question is, why one earth wasn’t this whole of government approach taken years ago?

Dawn Sangster wins place on Alliance Board


Alliance Group’s shareholders have elected Dawn Sangster from the Maniototo to replace retiring director Owen Buckingham.

She was one of eight people standing for two places. One was created by the retirement of long-serving board member Owen Buckingham. The other was created through rotation and sitting board member John Lindsay, who was up for re-election was returned which is a vote of confidence in him and the company.

The voting power for Alliance is in Southland and all else being equal they tend to vote for Southlanders which meant Sangster started at a disadvantage.

Mrs Sangster, who has a bachelor of agricultural commerce degree in farm management from Lincoln University, has a  25-year farming career and experience and training in commercial and community leadership and governance.   

She is actively involved in a family company comprising two sheep and beef properties running 10,000 stock units. She      also runs one of New Zealand’s largest flocks of angora  goats. 

She is also a graduate fo the Agri-Women’s Development Trust’s inaugural Escalator course aimed at developing rural leadership and governance skills in women.

AWDT executive director Lindy Nelson was thrilled with Mrs  Sangster’s success, saying she had been a “fantastic”      participant in the programme.   

She had a “fantastic strategic mind” and was a “thoroughly  prepared” person.   

She was probably the first participant who had gone on to become a director, although there were other directors on the programme. About 12 women will take part in the Escalator programme next year.  

You can read more about the trust here.

Who said poverty not core concern?


Misconception  of the day:

Poverty is not a core concern of National supporters. Colin James

Where on earth did he get that idea?

It certainly wasn’t in the party’s vision which says:

The National Party seeks a safe, prosperous and successful New Zealand that creates opportunities for all New Zealanders to reach their personal goals and dreams.

It is probably fair to say most National supporters aren’t in favour of spending more money on benefits which trap people in dependence. But that doesn’t mean we’re not concerned about poverty and determined to help people get out of it.

We want a healthier, wealthier, better educated and safer country. That won’t be achieved without addressing the causes of poverty and helping people help themselves out of it.



December 17 in history


942 Assassination of William I of Normandy.

1398 – Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud‘s armies in Delhi were defeated by Timur.

1531 – Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

1538  Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII.

1577  Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for Queen Elizabeth I.

1583 – Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg.

1586 – Emperor Go-Yozei became Emperor of Japan.

1600 – Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici.

1637 – Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rose against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu.

1773 At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men who were with James Cook’s navigator Tobias Furneaux died at the hands of Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, led by their chief, Kahura.

Ten crew of Cook's ship <em> Adventure </em>  killed and eaten

1819  Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

1834 The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland opened.

1865 First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1889 New Zealand’s Eifel tower opened at the South Seas Exhibition.

New Zealand’s own Eiffel Tower opens

1904 Paul Cadmus, American artist, was born.

1915 André Claveau, French singer, was born.

1918 Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin.

1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.

1936  Tommy Steele, English singer and actor, was born.
1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman, was born.
1938  Peter Snell, New Zealand runner, was born.
Peter Snell and Murray Halberg win Olympic gold
1939  Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

Graf Spee at Spithead.jpg

1944 Major Major, No. 1 Dog, 2NZEF, and member/mascot of 19 Battalion since 1939, died of sickness in Italy. He was buried with full military honours at Rimini.

Major Major, mascot of 19 Battalion, dies of sickness

1947  First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

1961 Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1967  Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappearsed while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

1969 The SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”

1983 The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store killing six people.

1989 Pilot episode of The Simpsons aired in the United States.

2003  SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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