NZ 24 – Fiji 7

February 4, 2012

A friend who is a Wellington Sevens regular reckons that when you get bored you can watch the rugby.

Bored or not, if the sound of the crowd was anything to go by they were watching the final and delighted with the result: New Zealand 24 –  Fiji 7.


Word of the day

February 4, 2012

Melange – assortment, mixture.


February 4, 2012

6/12 in the Herald’s Leonard Cohen quiz.

D’ ye ken wha’ he’s sayin’?

February 4, 2012

A reader emailed me this and wondered if I could understand it.

(Warning: it uses the word which manages to cross most language/accent barriers).

I dinnae have a problem and could understand every worrrrd he said.

My father was a Scot and while my friends all told me he had a really strong accent I couldn’t hear it.

But when we went to Scotland I had no trouble understanding the locals and often had to translate for my farmer.

Quote of the day

February 4, 2012


. . . At the very least, it’s refreshing to have a big political player who isn’t dementedly texting, blogging and quote-mongering. All the same, politics is not a safe place to create a vacuum. The longer voters have to wait for Shearer’s Dr Who-style regeneration of the Labour Party, the more whizz-bang they will expect the special effects to be – an unrealistic expectation, given that there’s no Budget surplus to play with.

In the meantime, Shearer is cutting a similar figure to that of Chance, Peter Sellers’s character in the movie Being There: a zen-calm blank canvas onto which everyone projects his or her best guesses. Jane Clifton

Registrar and celebrant have protective role

February 4, 2012

Marriage laws were originally designed to protect women.

One of the reasons services used to have to be held in public was to ensure that no-one was forced into marriage.

Although that requirement has been relaxed I can’t understand how a 17 year-old was forced into marriage in New Zealand.

The story is no longer on the Stuff website (the link above goes to quotes from it at Kiwiblog). But it said she was tricked into the marriage by her parents which leaves me asking what happened to the protective role of the registrar and celebrant?

Before anyone can marry the law requires a licence:

To get a licence you will need to complete a Notice of Intended Marriage application form.  If either of you have been married or in a civil union before, and the marriage or civil union has been dissolved, you may be asked to produce evidence of the dissolution (e.g. Divorce/Dissolution Order) when you give notice to the Registrar. If your previous spouse or partner has died you do not have to produce evidence of their death, but you will have to give the date of death on the Notice of Intended Marriage.

Make a Statutory Declaration

As part of completing the application form for a marriage licence, you need to make a statutory declaration. Either you or your partner will need to make a formal statutory declaration that there is no lawful impediment to the marriage (i.e. no legal reason that you both cannot be married), that the details given are true, that the bride and groom are not within the “prohibited degrees of relationship” and that consent has been given (where relevant).
If you live in New Zealand one of you must make this declaration in the presence of a Registrar of Marriages.

Only one of the two to be married needs to make the statutory declaration and it is possible in this case that it was the groom who did it.

However, the age of the bride ought to have raised concerns.

Even if the registrar didn’t sense anything amiss I can’t understand how the celebrant could have not realised something was wrong.

The law also requires that at some stage in the marriage service both parties say :”I AB, take you CD, to be my legal wife/husband” or words to similar effect.

It would be impossible to trick someone into saying anything like that against her will without the celebrant being aware of it.  If the young woman did not say those words, or something similar, then the celebrant should not have signed the marriage certificate.

If the celebrant did sign the certificate without the woman saying the required words voluntarily then s/he should be de-registered.


Foreign investment better than debt

February 4, 2012

Which is better: borrowing money from foreign banks to try to improve businesses and create employment or accepting foreign investment which does that?

Since we don’t save enough ourselves those are the two options we have if we want to pay for  the first world infrastructure and services we need and investment is usually  preferable to debt.

Unfortunately, as Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says, not enough New Zealanders appreciate the  benefits of foreign investment and economic growth:

. . . “There a sort of a sense among some people that there is some magic by which you can achieve jobs without considering the tradeoffs.”

It was not enough to just want higher skills or just green tech jobs. “We need to take a bit more of a realistic understanding of what does create jobs and encourage investments.”

Economic growth required the use of capital, resources, skilled labour, infrastructure, innovation and a market.

“So all those things have to be managed. It’s not a case of carte blanche but every time you say ‘I don’t want that’ that shuts off another opportunity.”

This country was built on immigration and foreign investment.

JC left a comment on Thursday which pointed out:

. . . prior to 1948 most farmland was owned by “foreigners”, and that the period 1900-1950 is regarded at the Golden Age when NZ was in the top three countries in the Western World for prosperity and quality of life.. despite an awful lot of farm profits still being sent “Home”, and much of our farm implements, clothing, machinery, cars and trucks being imported from the UK. . . 

The foreigners weren’t always welcomed, bigotry, ignorance  and xenophobia aren’t new. They haven’t always been aimed at the same target but the current hysteria isn’t the first time Chinese have been treated badly here.

The government imposed a poll tax on them in 1881 which wasn’t repealed until 1944.

But if it wasn’t for China we would not have weathered the global financial crisis and on-going uncertainty nearly as well as we have.

The free trade agreement with China doesn’t mean it is easy to do business there; Cactus Kate has listed 10 of the challenges. But it is already providing a very important market for us and there will be more opportunities for us there and through their investment here

The launch yesterday of the NZ inc China strategy by Prime Minister John Key should be welcomed.

. .. .”Trade with China is one of the success stories of the New Zealand export sector over the past decade or so. China is also New Zealand’s largest source of foreign students, and our fourth biggest tourist market and we plan to develop these areas further.”

The strength of the relationship with China is underpinned by the Chinese community in New Zealand, which numbers more than 147,000 and is growing. . .

Most of these people make a positive contribution to our country. They are generally under-represented in negative statistics and over represented in positive ones.

I wonder what they  think of the criticism being levelled at the land of their ancestors?

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