Word of the day

December 23, 2011

Enough – as much or as many as required;  adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire; expression of impatient desire for an end to undesirable behaviour or speech.

More than enough

December 23, 2011

On the Farming Show yesterday Bob McDavitt went through a list of weather nasties which had hit New Zealand in the past 12 months.

He started with Tropical Cyclone Norma in January which resulted in insurance payouts of $20 million in insurance payouts.

Most of us not affected by that would have forgotten about it after it was overshadowed in February by the Christchurch earthquake.

That and the physical, financial and emotional aftershocks which followed have dominated the year and just as everyone was beginning to relax there’s been another sizable shock:

Information about this earthquake:

Reference Number 3631359 [View event in Google Maps][View Felt Reports in Google Maps]
Universal Time December 23 2011 at 0:58
NZ Daylight Time Friday, December 23 2011 at 1:58 pm
Latitude, Longitude 43.49°S, 172.90°E
Focal Depth 8 km
Richter magnitude 5.8
Region Canterbury
  • 20 km north-east of Lyttelton
  • 20 km north-east of Diamond Harbour
  • 20 km east of Christchurch

We’re more than 200 kilometres south of there and we felt the shake and a reasonable aftershock.

RadioNZ National says there has been only one report of anyone injured, and we can be grateful for that but there is more liquification.

If we’re thinking there’s been more than enough from Mother Nature, particularly when it comes to shaking, this year, how much worse it must be for the people in Christchurch.


December 23, 2011

11/15 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz year in business.

Sticky Beak the Kiwi

December 23, 2011

Sticky Beak the Kiwi stumped all but one of the respondents to yesterday’s quiz.

It was one of the few local offerings on the children’s request programme on the radio when I was a child.

NZ History Online has the story behind the song.

Friday’s answers

December 23, 2011

Thursday’s questions were:

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?

Points for answers:

James got three with a bonus for Dr Seuss’s full name.

Andrei got three with a bonus for language knowledge.

Will got three and a smile for the sticky stuff.

PDM got two, a bonus for knowing the tune and a grin for the vaccum cleaner.

Grant got four with the help of his wife.

Teletext gets an electronic Christmas cake for five right and bonus for such comprehensive answers.

Adam gets one, and a sigh for the spirit of Scrooge.



Answers follow the break:

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I don’t hate Christmas . . .

December 23, 2011

. . . but after spending part of yesterday amid the crowds shopping in Dunedin yesterday I thought of this :

Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special!  How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer…. Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?  ~Bill Watterson, Calvin & Hobbes

You don’t have to be a Christian to celebrate hope, joy, peace and love but too often they are forgotten in the madness that leads up to Christmas Day.

As I prepare for what started as a barbeque tonight for our local staff and grew I’m trying very hard to remember:

As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.  ~Eric Sevareid

Sensible to investigate PPPs for hospitals

December 23, 2011

Health Minister Tony Ryall has asked the Canterbury District Health Board to investigate Public Private Partnerships for the $600 million rebuild of hospitals in Christchurch.

“This could include design, build and management of buildings, and some non clinical support services – while the DHB maintains full responsibility for delivering public health services,” says Mr Ryall.

“The process will explore whether or not a PPP may suit the Canterbury redevelopment. In the current economic situation, the Government expects DHBs to look outside the square when it comes to achieving value for money in capital projects.

“There is already a wide range of private involvement in the public health service – and similar public private infrastructure partnerships have worked well overseas.”

A decision on any public private partnership would be considered as part of the business case.

Considering PPPs is sensible, reasonable and moderate when so much money is involved and there is such an imperative to reduce debt.

But the PSA doesn’t see it that way:

“The Health Minister talks about future proofing Canterbury’s health infrastructure, but a PPP to build a new hospital, manage it and run non-clinical support services will be a black hole in which to pump tax payers’money,” says Richard Wagstaff.

The PSA is basing its criticism on British examples. It should look closer to home.

Oamaru Hospital is owned and run by a Waitaki District Health Services, a Local Authority Trading Enterprise. It provides publicly funded health services for the people of the district and also offers some private services.

It’s been operating that way for more than 10 years.

The PSA might prefer to have scarce money tied up in bricks and mortar rather than paying wages and providing services. The government is more concerned to ensure that every public dollar is spent wisely and where it would do most good and using PPPs to build hospitals could be one way of doing that.

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