Word of the day


Assiduous – Constant in application or attention; devoted; attentive; performed with constant diligence or attention; unremitting; persistent.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Which book written by whom begins :”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. “?

2. Who said: “Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would yield every honor which has been accorded by war.”?

3.  It’s  paix in French, pace in Italian, paz in Spanish and rongomau in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Which gem is associated with a 60th anniversary?

5. How many monarchs have there been in the House of Windsor?

Radio Live PM broadcast referred to police


The  Electoral Commission has referred Radio Live to the police over the politics-free hour hosted by John Key last year.

Newstalk ZB’s obtained a copy of the commission’s decision regarding a Labour Party complaint over a show the Prime Minister conducted on Radio Live during last year’s election period.

The commission’s found the broadcast was an election programme and a breach of the Broadcasting Act.

Newstalk ZB understands both Labour and National have been given advance copies of the decision but are bound by a confidentiality agreement not to talk about it until its officially released at five this afternoon.

Radio Live had checked with the commission before the broadcast and understood that as long as there was no discussion of politics the broadcast would not be in breach the Act.

Obviously there is now doubt about that which once again raises questions over the clarity of campaign regulations.

It also raises questions over the effectiveness of the law when it takes this long to make a decision.

Kathryn Ryan discussed the isssue with Graeme Edgeler on Nine to Noon.


Adding costs won’t address housing affordability


Auckland City deputy mayor Penny Hulse has got the wrong idea about how to reduce the cost of housing:

She says the council needs, among other things, new powers to reward developers who create genuinely affordable housing.

Ms Hulse says another idea would be a small tax on the increase in property values which occurs when land is zoned for subdivision, or higher density housing.

All of these suggestions would have the opposite effect, adding costs and making housing even less affordable.

This isn’t what Christchurch needs


Christchurch needs a council and staff who are focussed on helping people and businesses get back to normal as quickly as possible and systems which enable that to happen.

Instead you have a man with a really good idea to get a business up and running after the earthquake. Then he met the bureaucracy and months later is still jumping hurdles.

You need to read all three posts to appreciate just how difficult making progress has been, and still is, but here’s a taste:

Me: “You need to understand, it’s just a bus and a couple of portable buildings.”

Council employee: “It’s not a bus, it’s a building.”

“Trust me, it’s a bus. It has a warrant and registration.”

“That might be the case, but it’s a building.”

“No, it’s definitely a bus.”

“It doesn’t matter what you think. To us it’s a building.”

“Do you want me to come and pick you up in the building. We can drive around town in the building and see if we can’t resolve this.”

“Don’t be smart with me…”

Half way through our conversation I realised I was getting some use from my useless university education. As far as I can tell this argument could be framed using Aristotle’s ideas of Matter and Form. What is it about a bus that gives it it’s “busness”? Does a bus become a building if it plays the role of a building? If you sit on a table does it become a chair?

I thought “this is interesting, it could be a fun debate”, but I suspect someone who went from a boring degree to a boring job might not have had the inclination to study Greek philosophy. So I told him people like him were killing the city and hung up.

Is it any wonder Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee is losing patience with the mayor?

Brownlee said he was “sick and tired of the scrapping” between city councillors, which was sparked by a controversial pay rise for chief executive Tony Marryatt.

Brownlee said the Government was spending $5.5 billion, as a minimum, on Christchurch and that he was working hard for the city while city councillors continued their infighting.

“Dealing with this negative, going-nowhere stuff, I am at the end of my tether and frankly it’s not surprising that the ratepayers are either,” he said.

Negative is not what the city and its people need.

Hat Tip: Credo Quia Absurdum Est.

February 9 in history


474 Zeno was crowned as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

1555 Bishop of Gloucester John Hooper was burned at the stake.

1621 Gregory XV became Pope, the last Pope elected by acclamation.

1770 Captain Cook completed his circumnavigation of the North Island.

Cook completes circumnavigation of North Island

1773 William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States, was born (d. 1841).

1789 Franz Xaver Gabelsberger, German inventor of the stenography, was born (d. 1849).

1825 After no presidential candidate received a majority of electoral votes, the United States House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams President.

1849 New Roman Republic was established.

1865 Mrs. Patrick Campbell, British actress (b0rn Beatrice Stella Tanner), was born (d. 1940).

1870 – The U.S. Weather Bureau was established.

1874 Amy Lowell, American poet, was born (d. 1925).

1885 The first Japanese government-approved immigrants arrived in Hawaii.

1889 The United States Department of Agriculture was established as a Cabinet-level agency.

1891 Ronald Colman, English actor, was born (d. 1958).

1895 William G. Morgan created a game called Mintonette, which was soon referred to as volleyball.

1897 – Charles Kingsford Smith, Australian pilot, was born  (d. 1935).

1900 Wanganui Opera House opened.

1900 The Davis Cup competition was established.

1920 Under the terms of the Spitsbergen Treaty, international diplomacy recognised Norwegian sovereignty over Arctic archipelago Svalbard, and designated it as demilitarized.

1926 Garret FitzGerald, 7th Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, was born.

1934 The Balkan Entente is formed.

1936 Stompin’ Tom Connors, Canadian country singer, was born.

1940  Brian Bennett, British musician (The Shadows), was born.

1940 – J. M. Coetzee, South African author, Nobel laureate, was born.

1942 – Year-round Daylight saving time was re-instated in the United States as a wartime measure to help conserve energy resources.

1942 Carole King, American singer, was born.

1943 World War II: Allied authorities declare Guadalcanal secure after Imperial Japan evacuates its remaining forces from the island, ending the Battle of Guadalcanal.

1944  Alice Walker, American writer, was born.

1945 Mia Farrow, American actress, was born.

1945 The Battle of the Atlantic – HMS Venturer sank U-864 off the coast of Fedje, Norway, in a rare instance of submarine-to-submarine combat.

1947 Carla Del Ponte, Swiss UN prosecutor, was born.

1950 Second Red Scare: Senator Joseph McCarthy accused the United States Department of State of being filled with Communists.

1955 Charles Shaughnessy, British actor, was born.
1960 Joanne Woodward received the first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1960 Holly Johnson, British singer (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), was born.

1962 Jamaica became independent.

1964 The Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a “record-busting” audience of 73 million viewers.

1965 The first United States combat troops were sent to South Vietnam.

1969 First test flight of the Boeing 747.

1970 Glenn McGrath, Australian cricketer, was born.

1971 The 6.4 Richter Scale Sylmar earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley area of California.

1971  Satchel Paige became the first Negro League player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

1971 Apollo 14 returned to Earth after the third manned moon landing.

1975 The Soyuz 17 Soviet spacecraft returned to Earth.

1991 Voters in Lithuania voted for independence.

1994 Vance-Owen peace plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina was announced.

1995 Space Shuttle astronauts Bernard A. Harris, Jr. and Michael Foale became the first African American and first Briton, respectively, to perform spacewalks.

1996 The Irish Republican Army declared the end of its 18 month ceasefire shortly followed by the explosion of a large bomb in London’s Canary Wharf.

2001 The submarine USS Greeneville (SSN-772) accidentally struck and sunk the Ehime-Maru, a Japanese training vessel.

Divers inspect the wreckage of Ehime Maru off Oahu, November 5, 2001.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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