Word of the day


Sumptuary – regulating or limiting personal expenditure or extravagance; regulating commercial or real-estate activities; intended to regulate personal habits on moral or religious grounds.



6/10 in NZ History’s quiz.

Deep fried butter balls – yuk!


Scotland, the country that introduced deep-fried mars bars to the world has brought us another way to harden the arteries – deep fried butter balls.

Yuk, any more of this and I’ll have to disown my tartan genes.

Historic home for sale


One of the beautiful historic homes in our neighbourhood is for sale.

Burnside Homestead was built in the mid 1980s 1890s by John Forrester Reid. It has been owned by only two other families since then. The Hudsons bought it from the Reids in 1930 and the current owners, Alison and Bruce Albiston bought it from them in 1974.

The Albistons have lovingly renovated the house, updating it with heating and extra bathrooms in sympathy with its Victorian origins and maintained the garden and parkland with the mature trees which surround it.

The house has at least nine bedrooms, four bathrooms and two en suites, separate servants quarters, a private bedroom with en suite upstairs, a billiard room, large commercial kitchen and scullery, dining room and the grand octagonal hall with a sprung floor.

The coach house near-by was recently converted to provide two more bedrooms with a kitchen and living area.

Most of the furniture in the house is original and includes a grand piano.

The Albistons have been running the homestead as a B&B  and hosting small conferences.

Burnside is only 15 minutes from Oamaru and only a few kilometres from the route the Alps to Ocean cycle way will take.

The property is listed on TradeMe for private sale.

Thursday’s quiz


1. What’s the title of the poem which begins: “A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the year For a journey, and such a long journey;”  and who wrote it?

2. Who wrote: And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?  It came without ribbons.  It came without tags.  It came without packages, boxes or bags.  And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.  Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.  What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.  What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.

3. It’s Noël in French,  Natale in Italian, Navidad in Spanish and Kirihimete  in Maori, what is it in English?

4. How did Sticky Beak the Kiwi cause a commotion?

5. What is Viscum album?

Right to protest wrong to cost


The Court has granted Auckland City Council’s  application for a permanent injunction to end the occupation of Aotea Square.

Andrew Geddis explains the difference between this application and previous moves to move on the protesters:

. . . the Councils (both in Dunedin and Auckland) have done a better job of specifying exactly what their reasons are for wanting to see the Occupy encampments ended. There is less emphasis on the unsightliness or inconvenience they pose, and more on the actual physical damage to communal property and the intrusion they are having on others’ legitimate use of the public space.

Once the issue goes beyond the Councils simply seeking to enforce their rules just because they are their rules, and rather becomes Councils seeking to protect the broader common good against harm by a few (albeit well-intentioned) individuals, then you’ve got a balancing exercise that is worth the name. . .

The right to protest isn’t unlimited and in this case has come up against the principle that it’s wrong when it imposes costs on, or restricts the freedom of, other people or organisations.



Paul Goldsmith’s maiden speech


Paul Goldsmith seconded the motion in the Address and reply debate and delivered his  maiden speech:

I second the motion, That a respectful Address be presented to His Excellency the Governor-General in reply to His Excellency’s speech.

I begin by joining my colleague, Alfred Ngaro, in congratulating you Mr Speaker on your election to the Chair. You bring honour to your office.

No reira, e nga rangatira, e nga waka, e nga karanga maha, tena koutou.

The first member of my family to reach New Zealand was Charles George Goldsmith, who settled in Poverty Bay in the mid-1840s.

He was the typical big-hearted pioneer; a trader. And over the 50 years or so he lived in New Zealand he had four wives – two Ngati Porou and two Pākehā – and 16 children. That’s the sort of spirit that built this nation, Mr Speaker.

But it wasn’t easy for Charles George Goldsmith. Two of his children, Maria aged 15 and Albert, who was just four, were executed on the orders of Te Kooti during the Matawhero massacre of November 1868.

On my mother’s side, her great grandfather Edward Turner came to New Zealand in 1883. Like many migrants he was fleeing trouble at home and looking to start afresh in a new land. He went on to found a great enterprise, Turners & Growers that amongst other things pioneered the export kiwifruit industry.

A hundred years later, as a schoolboy, I worked down at the markets during the holidays and was inspired by my family’s enterprise.

It feels fitting on a day like this to pay tribute to my forbears. Their lives and struggles bind me to this land.
My parents, Lawrence and Margaret, are here today. As a maths teacher and a palliative care nurse they didn’t have to navigate such a precarious existence as the early pioneers, but they made sacrifices and laid a strong foundation of love and a set of values that have guided my brother, sister and I, and for which I’m truly grateful.

Mr Speaker, my history doesn’t begin with the generation who chose to come to New Zealand, or at 1840. It stretches back into the culture of the British Isles and includes the formation of this institution, through which we all serve our community today.

I’m proud of that heritage, of representative democracy and the rule of law which, while by no means perfect, have been Britain’s greatest gifts to the world.

Equally, I value the unique, blended culture that has evolved in New Zealand, and which continues to evolve today.

Mr Speaker, this is my only home.

For while I celebrate my English and Scottish roots, those countries have long since turned their back on my family – we have no special rights to return.

New Zealand is my only home. And what a wonderful home it is.

I’m very conscious of the honour, the privilege, and the burden granted to me, to serve as a member of this Parliament.

I’m honoured to be a member of a team, led so positively by John Key, a team that includes such a talented group of New Zealanders with a broad set of views and outlooks.

Mr Speaker, as some Members may remember, my primary focus during the campaign was the Party Vote. As for the electorate vote, it was up to the people of Epsom to decide.

And I congratulate my new colleague and old friend John Banks on his victory.

I arrive courtesy of the National Party list – and thereby as a result of men and women all around the country voting for National – although I’m bound to say it is gratifying to have received such strong personal support from the Labour and Green voters of Epsom. I look do forward to continuing that spirit of bipartisanship.

Epsom has been at the sharp end of MMP politics for several elections now, but it is also my home. It is a superb part of Auckland, a series of villages – Remuera, Parnell, and Mt Eden – circling around the busy hub of Newmarket.

It is my intention to base myself there and to be Epsom’s voice within the National caucus. To listen and, with my family, to be active in their community.

Though I’m not the member for Epsom, I do want to acknowledge the efforts of its recent MPs –Rodney Hide, Richard Worth, Chris Fletcher, and Sir Douglas Graham.

My goal in coming to Parliament, as I’m sure it is for all members, is to make a serious contribution to a government that through wise reform and new initiatives helps this country to grow and prosper.

I’ll be pleased if after my time here, I’ve been part of a team that has advanced, in practical terms, those core National Party principles of valuing the importance of enterprise, individual freedom and choice, and its flipside, personal responsibility.

I won’t measure my success by the number of new laws I’ve introduced. In fact, I’d be happier if we could thin out the statute books. The State’s powers of coercion should, in my view, be used sparingly and, as legislators, I believe we should resist the temptation to take too many decisions out of the hands of New Zealanders.

The liberty to decide and responsibility go hand in hand. If we chip away at the former we inevitably weaken the latter.

Mr Speaker, I want to talk briefly about the big issues that I anticipate our cohort will need to confront in the next decade or so, if given the opportunity by the voters.

And of course the economy is centre stage. While some more romantic members of the House suggest that all this focus on economic growth and material things is misplaced, I don’t doubt its central importance. The reality is we live in a competitive world.

Young New Zealanders are mostly well educated and ambitious – they want to be part of an economy that is dynamic. Most want to live in exciting cities and to have the opportunity to do well.

They won’t be satisfied with a future wearing hand-me-downs from our Australian cousins.

So we absolutely need a strong economy.

And fundamentally that comes down to producing things or offering services that the world wants to buy.

We create wealth by figuring out how to deliver those goods or services more cheaply than our competitors or, more preferably, by commanding a premium in the marketplace.

We can also increase our wealth by unlocking more of the potential stored in the human and natural capital available to us. I’ve been fortunate to spend much of the past 10 years writing the histories of many New Zealand businesses and business folk, several of whom have succeeded as manufacturing exporters – and the overwhelming theme is that it’s hard.

It’s very hard. The hurdles are high and the competition relentless.

Over the decades governments have tried to help in various ways – through export incentives, subsidies, encouragement for R&D – but I firmly believe the best thing government can do is to ensure we have good physical, technological and intellectual infrastructure, sound laws which are policed, low inflation, an educated and willing workforce and then get out of the way.

I’ve no desire to follow the political tradition of talking grandly about helping while at the same time stripping cash from struggling companies in taxes and piling on the costs to comply with all manner of nice-to-have regulation.

Mr Speaker, it feels to me as if we’ve reached the end of an era. All around the Western World the big spending welfare states are being forced to face reality.

Our way of life is being challenged by too much government spending, too much debt, too much drift, as we fall behind other more dynamic countries.

It falls to this generation to stand up and draw the country back to a more sustainable way of life.
We don’t need to turn the world upside down – but we do need to get greater productivity out of the public sector, and we need to make it easier for entrepreneurs to do their thing, and above all to inject some realism into the big areas of government spending.

I believe the National-led Government has made good progress, in difficult conditions, these past three years and I look forward to being part of the team to carry on the work.

Mr Speaker, the second defining issue, it seems to me, is welfare reform.

When Michael Joseph Savage introduced Welfare in 1938 he said it would do two things: end poverty and bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Sadly, neither of those visions has been realised. Instead, we now face entrenched, multi-generational dependency.

We have to change that system, not because we don’t care about human suffering, but precisely because we do care.

The no-questions-asked, as-long-as-you-like welfare mentality is rightly being challenged, and in my view change must surely accelerate, to target assistance to those who really need it and to restore a strong sense of accountability to the rest of society.

And when we look at education, it’s worth remembering that when my parents were young, a man could leave school with only his muscles to offer the market, and still provide for his family relatively well. It’s not the case today, and it certainly won’t be the case in 20 years’ time.

In a rapidly globalising world the premium put on internationally transferable skills is rising. The big challenge, in order to maintain a cohesive society, is to find ways to engage everyone in meaningful education.

It doesn’t mean that everyone should have to go to an expensive university or polytechnic course, but at the very least we should insist that nearly all people emerge from their schooling sufficiently numerate and literate to engage with the modern world.

I was fortunate to attend Auckland Grammar School, where we were encouraged to strive for excellence in whatever we set our mind to. I refuse to believe that that attitude is only appropriate in some parts of the country.

Life is full of successes and failures. I’d have thought a good education prepares children to face up to that honestly, and shows them what it takes to succeed.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I suspect we’ll be talking a lot more about New Zealand’s view of itself and its place in the world.

During the past few decades we’ve moved away from the Fortress New Zealand of pre-1984 to become a more outward-looking country that is part of the global mainstream. This transformation caused heartache, but the outcome has been for the better.

But at the same time, we’ve concentrated more on what makes us unique, particularly the special place of Maori within our culture. Again, this has been much for the better and has enriched us.
As an historian whose first job was at the Waitangi Tribunal, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to that in a small way.

I do worry, however, that along the way, and always with the best of intentions, there has been a tendency to elevate the importance of ethnicity in our political and legal arrangements.

And it seems to me, there is a danger, if we’re not careful, that we allow ourselves to become increasingly drawn to focus on internal differences.

We shouldn’t be afraid to debate these issues openly and with good grace.

I see myself as standing for an open, outward looking, multi-cultural, dynamic and democratic New Zealand, where our institutions are based on equality and accountability.

Mr Speaker, I would like to finish by thanking a few people.

My teachers in politics, the three Ministers for whom I was a press secretary – John Banks, Simon Upton, and Phil Goff. Each in his own way inspired me, as did my colleagues on the Auckland City Council, led by David Hay. Michael Bassett introduced me to politics when I was a postgraduate student.

Some of my biographical subjects helped shape me, such as Alan Gibbs who challenged me once to stop living vicariously by writing about other people and to get out and do something myself.

National Party leaders who encouraged me, led by Peter Goodfellow, Alan Towers, Peter Kiely, and Alastair Bell in Auckland.

My wonderful campaign helpers in Epsom, who willingly gave up so much of their time for the cause. Too many to name them all, but I want especially to mention, Tom Bowden, Grant Plimmer, Lesley Going, Beth O’Loughlan, Elizabeth and Roley Rackley, and Tim Woolfield.

And finally, my family. My parents Margaret and Lawrence. David and Jenny my elder siblings, who through their achievements prompted me to compete.

And my wife Melissa, without whom nothing would be possible.

The thing I’m most nervous about standing here today, is the possible effect a parliamentary career will have on our family. I hope it will open many opportunities for our children and expand their horizons, but I do worry about my absences.

I only dare to try because I know Melissa’s strength. Thank you.

This is a proud day for me and my family.

I pledge to work constructively with my colleagues, on all sides of the House, as we try to do our best for the people of New Zealand.

Thank you very much.  

I like his values and philosophy.

I also appreciate his acknowledgement of his family, the sacrifices his parents made for him and his siblings and the impact his career will have on his wife and their children.

Alfred Ngaro’s maiden speech


Alfred Ngaro, our first MP of Cook Island dscent, had the honour of moving the Address in Reply speech yesterday.

His was one of the most memorable maiden speechs I’ve listend to.

I began cutting and pasting highlights but that does it a disservice so here it is in its entirety:

Mr Speaker,

I move, That a respectful address be  presented to His Excellency the Governor-General  Lt  Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, in reply to  His Excellency’s speech.

The ancient chants of my people  declare this Pe’e
Taku manu Nui
Taku manu Rai
Taku manu ka rere tauiti-iti
Ki Tonga e Tokerau
Oki mai
Oki mai
Oki mai
O Great Bird
O little Bird

Fly away to the four corners of the  earth
Spread your wings and shelter your  people with a divine blessing.
But come back home, come back home,  come back home. 

Mr Speaker these are words spoken by  our tupuna and our leaders as they set out on a journey of challenge and  change. They were given the mantel of responsibility with the hope of providing  for the needs or inspiring them to take action. This Pe’e or chant is part of  the on-going legacy of our people and I stand in their shadows today.

Nō reira, e  ngā rangatira, e ngā waka, e ngā karanga maha, tēnā koutou.
Tēnā koutou  i runga i te painga o tō tātou Matua Nui i te Rangi.
Ahakoa he  tangata no moana nui a kiwa, ki rarotonga, ki Aitutaki, ki Mangaia, ki  Pukapuka  kē ahau, he mihi tonu atu ki a koutou, arā,
Nō reira,  tēnā koutou.

[So  greetings to you leaders, and canoes, and the many callings. Greetings under  the goodness of our Great Father in Heaven. Even though I am a person who comes  from the oceans of the Pacific and the motus Aitutaki, Mangaia, and Pukapuka, I  acknowledge you, with great respect.]

Firstly Mr  Speaker, I congratulate you on your re-appointment to the prestigious role of Speaker of  this Parliament. I look forward to being under your guidance and  leadership in this chamber.
I can  remember fondly the W Three show that you hosted where you would ask questions  of students that started with the letter W; the when, where, what, why and who.

How fitting  it is that you now find yourself the host as the contest of ideals are battled  out in the debating halls of this chamber. And though the three-piece suits has  given way to the two-piece you are still looking sharp and suave as ever, and  If these comments endear me to your favour of indulgence in the House within  the next three years, then so be it.

So  Mr  Speaker, with this nostalgic view of the W Three show in mind, I would like to  base my maiden speech on the Why for 40 points, the What for 30 and the When  for 20.   

Why for 40. Why am I  here today as a member of Parliament?

I am here  today because of my late grandmother, Mama Rite Tepaki Goldstein, who had a  dream that one day her grandchildren, her mokopuna would walk in the ways of  their ancestors and lead the people. I hold one of the many letters she wrote  that made me believe. She never dwelt on the things I couldn’t do, just kept  reminding me of my future potential. Granny your dreams are realised today in  me.

I am here  today to represent part of the growing diversity of our country.

I am a Kiwi  kid born in 1966 at the old St Helens hospital in Pitt Street, Auckland. I went  to Richmond Road Primary School, and then off to West Auckland at eight years  of age and schooled in Te Atatu South and Henderson; just an ordinary kid with  a state education.

But I’m a  New Zealander of Pacific descent. My parents both come from the Cook Islands,  Mangaia, Aitutaki, and Pukapuka and we were initially raised in the inner city  streets of Ponsonby, We attended the Pacific Island Church in Newton, Auckland,  first generation, New Zealand born.

There have  been a number of commentators who have talked on the “browning of Auckland and  our nation”, and yet our leaders do not reflect this proportion to our  populations’ rapid growth in numbers.
I am here  to day to fill that gap as the first Cook Islander to enter the New Zealand  Parliament and proud of it, over 60,000 instant voters, and as the Tui ads say,  No pressure mate; yeah right!

I am here  today because my parents, Taniela Ngaro and Toko Kirianu Ngaro, worked hard as  Pacific migrants for long hours, low wages, and often more than one job just to  make ends meet and to give us a better life. Meitaki maata e toku mama e papa.

I am here  today because my wife told me to do something, she challenged me that it was  about time to stop mucking around in the sandpit and start to play on a bigger  field to make a greater difference. Thank you Mokauina Fuemana for those kind  nurturing words of support, you have truly been my inspiration and soul mate,  and I do love you.

To my  children Roxcie, Winona, Aquila, and Shalom and my daughter-in-law Esther and  granddaughter Skyla, I am here today so that you will be encouraged and  challenged to be the best that you can be and to extend your reach above the  stars. I love you dearly. 

I am here  today because the National Party executive gave me a ticket on the bus but  truly believe I can make a real contribution to the nation through the party. I  want to acknowledge party president Peter Goodfellow and the other members of  the executive board.

I am also  here today because of my good friend Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga who encouraged and  challenged me to consider stepping into politics. Thank you my friend.   Thank you also to the Maungakiekie electoral and campaign team for your  support. I want to acknowledge the boys at 4pm group Hamish and Frank and all  my dear friends and family. Apparently there are some people still left in  Rarotonga.  Even though some of you sat on the other political divide you  supported me because you believed in me.

I am here  today because my faith in God has had me believe that I have a purpose in this  life to understand the gift I have and to serve the world.

There is an ancient saying that  declares: “Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my  house….”
My faith and my family have taught me  to serve faithfully, to serve wisely and to serve whole heartedly.
So I stand today ready to serve our  communities and nation as a member of this National Party caucus team and its  leadership and especially that of our Prime Minister, the Right Honourable John  Key.

The What for 30 points: What do I want to do as a member of  Parliament?

Mr Speaker,  what I want to bring to this House of representatives is a pragmatic, relevant,  and connected approach to government policies and legislation based on my  experiences as a tradesman electrician – the most honourable of trades – I come  here as a pastor, an NGO manager, a senior government advisor, and a community  development business consultant having to deal with a complexity of stakeholder  relationships.

In other  words, making policy and legislation that works for the people, by the people,  and with the people.
I want to  bring the teachings of our humble beginnings where we were taught to work hard  for everything that we had. I can still remember my brother Danny and I as kids  cleaning with mum at her second job at the Newton Post Office on K Road at  night. Mum you told me off once for not emptying the bins properly, you said it  doesn’t matter what job you’re doing, you should always do your best. You  taught me a lesson for life and that is that attitude is the key to success.

Education  with the right attitude can achieve anything.

I endorse  the view of the Prime Minister that equity of opportunities of training and  learning and mentoring deserves our greatest focus and that the outcomes of  successful employment, business development, and growth will follow.

Great  examples such as the Otorohunga Youth employment scheme where the local council  has taken the lead with a can do attitude of reducing youth unemployment by  providing training opportunities for all its young people.
Or the  Manaiakalani project in Tamaki where a blended approach with E learning tools  and multi-stakeholder support has seen rapid rise in our literacy rates.

Our communities and society have  become truly consummerised where the value of what I can get is greater than  what I can give.

I want to contribute my experiences in  working with communities to find their own solutions by using transformative  processes as the way forward so that there is more community and less  government.

That’s why I support the work of  Whanau Ora where we put the responsibility back in the hands of whanau and  families, and this is not just a Maori thing but a truly indigenous Kiwi  approach to caring for families and whanau. 
I have worked with philanthropic  entrepreneurs like Stephen Tindall and the Tindall Foundation to support the  development of organisations like Inspiring Communities, a home grown Kiwi  approach to sharing the learning stories that have inspired community  innovative solutions up and down the country.

I want to declare on this day, the 21st  of December, that I am committed to being a strong advocate for fathering in  this nation. To encourage those that are, and respectfully but intentionally  challenge those that are not.
The effects of fatherlessness on boys  are well-documented. Boys without dads are four times as likely to drop out of  school and many more times likely to end up involved in crime and drugs.

I am particularly proud of the work we  have done with the SKIP team at MSD around fathering with The Warehouse  distribution centre in Manukau. Where we addressed the issues of fathering by  sharing and learning from each other and then wrote our own book.  What  was truly remarkable was that not only did we increase knowledge and confidence  of fathering and parenting, but connectivity amongst the staff and management  went up 90 per cent, productivity went up 30 per cent and absenteeism went down  two full days for every employee. In fact we even won the EEO trust supreme  award for employee well-being and company profit and production. When asked what  was the magic that made this happen, I said no magic, we simply brought the  dignity of humanity back into the workplace and people felt like they belonged.  They became a family.

This is strong evidence that great  community led development combines both social and economic development. You  can have your cake and eat it.

I want to bring my experiences from a  big ambitious community renewal project called Tamaki Transformation, where a  vision was cast with this statement: “What if we could leverage the assets of  the Crown to create a better future for this community.” We set out to engage a  whole of community so that everyone had something to give and people could  aspire more than what they could in their current reality. The most effective  development is truly long term, so while there are lessons to learn there are  many more opportunities for us to take.

Finally Mr Speaker When for 20  points: When will we know that we are making a difference?

When people are inspired by the things  we say and do.

Mr Speaker, at the tender age of 45 I  now know more than ever before the gift I have and what it brings into this  House of representatives.

And it is simply this, the gift of  inspiration.

I have learnt that Inspiration is  birthed when the process is equal to the outcome, the greater the process the  greater the outcome. Where if we want to change a culture then we must learn to  ask a powerful question. “How do we stop our babies from being killed in this  country?”

I have seen that inspiration gains  substance when we are not afraid to hold the space for robust and even  difficult conversation. I Iearnt this lesson from Dame Whina Cooper when she  challenged her leaders by saying “don’t get hoha, stamp fist, and leave the  room, because when you’re gone they make the decisions for you. Stay in the  room.” 

 I witnessed inspiration come alive  when people have owned the outcome and simply said “look what we have done”. 

 I have felt the power of inspiration  when people are restored in their brokenness, and find the pathway to their  dreams. This quote from a fathering workshop, “we’ve all got a hard luck story  of how we were fathered, but it’s our time to rewrite the script.”

I was approached by a leader in our  community recently who said “do you know that by you standing you’ve made our  dreams that much more possible”. When we stand Mr Speaker we give people  permission and confidence to give it a go.

We have been chosen, whether by  electoral or party vote, to be leaders in this nation to inspire our people in  the hope of change and the reality of a dream.

Mr Speaker I am proud to be a Kiwi of  Cook Island descent.
I am proud to be a member of this  Parliament serving under the leadership of the National Party.
I came here to make a difference and I  intend to do so.
And I finish with this pe’e:

Ko ai ia Te Atua
I te Rangi e
Mouria to tangata
Ki to rima
E koko
Who is this God that we seek wisdom  and guidance
hold your people, hold them in your  hands. 

It’s even better listening to him than reading it, and the spoken version includes a few lines which aren’t in the written one.

December 22 in history


1550  Cesare Cremonini, Italian philosopher, was born.

1639  Jean Racine, French dramatist was born (d. 1699).

1805  John Obadiah Westwood, British entomologist, was born (d. 1893).

1807  The Embargo Act, forbidding trade with all foreign countries, was passed by the U.S. Congress, at the urging of President Thomas Jefferson.

1809 The Non-Intercourse Act, lifting the Embargo Act except for the United Kingdom and France, was passed by the U.S. Congress.

1819  Pierre Ossian Bonnet, French mathematician, was born  (d. 1892).

1851The first freight train was operated in Roorkee, India.

1858  Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer, was born (d. 1924).

1885 Ito Hirobumi, a samurai, became the first Prime Minister of Japan.

1888  J. Arthur Rank, British film producer, was born  (d. 1972).

1901  André Kostelanetz, American popular music orchestra leader and arranger, was born (d. 1980).

1907  Dame Peggy Ashcroft, English actress, was born(d. 1991).

1909  Patricia Hayes, English actress, was born (d. 1998).

1914 Swami Satchidananda, Yogi and Spiritual teacher, was born  (d. 2002).

1916 Peter Fraser, who later became Prime Minister, was charged with sedition following a speech attackign the government’s military consription policy.

Future PM Fraser charged with sedition

1942 Dick Parry, English musician (Pink Floyd), was born.

1948 Noel Edmonds, English game show host, was born.

1949  Maurice Gibb, English musician (The Bee Gees) was born  (d. 2003).

1949 – Robin Gibb, English musician (The Bee Gees), was born.

1956  Colo,  the first gorilla to be bred in captivity was born.

1962 Ralph Fiennes, English actor, was born.

1963 The cruise ship Lakonia burned 180 miles north of Madeira with the loss of 128 lives.

1964  First flight of the SR-71 (Blackbird).

1965 A 70mph speed limit was applied to all rural roads in Britain, including motorways, for the first time. Previously, there had been no speed limit.
1974  Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli voted to become the independent nation of Comoros.

1978 The Third Plenum of the 11th National Congress of the Communist Party of China was held in Beijing, with Deng Xiaoping reversing Mao-era policies to pursue a program for Chinese economic reform.

1989 After a week of bloody demonstrations, Ion Iliescu took over as president of Romania, ending Nicolae Ceauşescu‘s Communist dictatorship.

1989 – Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate re-opened after nearly 30 years, effectively ending the division of East and West Germany.

1990 Final independence of Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia after termination of trusteeship.

1992Archives of Terror  – archives describing the fates of thousands of Latin Americans who had been secretly kidnapped, tortured, and killed by the security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay – were discovered by  Dr. Martín Almada, and a human-rights activist and judge, José Agustín Fernández. This was known as Operation Condor.

1997  Acteal massacre: Attendees at a prayer meeting of Roman Catholic activists for indigenous causes in the small village of Acteal in the Mexican state of Chiapas werre massacred by paramilitary forces.

2001 Burhanuddin Rabbani, political leader of the Afghan Northern Alliance, handeed over power in Afghanistan to the interim government headed by President Hamid Karzai.

2001 – Richard Reid attempted to destroy a passenger airliner by igniting explosives hidden in his shoes aboard American Airlines Flight 63.

2008– An ash dike ruptured at a solid waste containment area in Roane County, Tennessee, releasing 1.1 billion gallons (4.2 million m³) of coal fly ash slurry.

2010 – The repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, the 17-year-old policy banning  homosexuals serving openly in the United States military, was signed into law by President Barack Obama.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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