NZ 24 – Fiji 7


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


Melange – assortment, mixture.



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

D’ ye ken wha’ he’s sayin’?


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



. . . 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


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


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?

February 4 in history


211 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.

960 The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty  period.

1677 Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer, was born  (d. 1731).

1703 In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commited seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.

1789 George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1792 George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1794 The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.

1810 The Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe.

1820 The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald completed the 2 day long capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.

1825 The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.

1859 The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.

1902 Charles Lindbergh, American pilot, was born (d. 1974).

1905 Hylda Baker, English comedy actress, was born (d. 1986).

1913 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activistwas, born (d. 2005).

1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston, was born.

1915 Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, was born  (d. 2007).

1921 Betty Friedan, American feminist, was born  (d. 2006).

1921 Lotfi Asker Zadeh, American-Iranian/Russian mathematician and computer scientist and the father of fuzzy logic., was born.

1936 Radium becomes the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.

1941 The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops.

1941 John Steel, British musician (The Animals), was born.

1945 World War II: The Yalta Conference began.

1947  Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1948 Alice Cooper, American musician, was born.

1948 Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) became independent.

1957 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne‘s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.

1966 All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 jet plunged into Tokyo Bay, killing 133.

1967  Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

1969 Yasser Arafat took over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

1974 The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.

1975 American Lynne Cox became the first woman to swim Cook Strait when she swam from the North Island to the South in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

First woman to swim Cook Strait

1975 Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.

1976 In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake killed more than 22,000.

1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.

1985 The New Zealand Labour government refused the USS Buchanan entry to the country on the grounds that the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the ship had nuclear capability.

USS <em>Buchanan</em> refused entry to NZ

1992 A Coup d’état led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.

1996 Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin tied all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)

1997 Two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.

1997 Serbian  President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.

1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000.

1999 Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an urelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.

1999 The New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon.

2003 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed  Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution.

2004 Facebook, a mainstream online social network was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.

2006 A stampede occured in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.

2008 – The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme began to oeprate.

2010 – The Federal Court of Australia’s ruling in Roadshow Films v iiNet set a precedent that Internet service providers (ISPs) were not responsible for what their users do with the services the ISPs provide them.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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