Word of the day


Exigency – a pressing or urgent situation; requiring immediate action or remedy, much effort or expense; demanding.



A sorry 4/10 in the Herald’s news quiz.

Thursday’s quiz


1. Who said: “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”?

2. Who wrote Black Beech and Honeydew  and Died In The Wool?

3. It’s chemin in French, strada in Italian, camino in Spanish and rori in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Do you understand the give-way rules and are they an improvement on the old ones?

5. Marmite or vegemite?

5/5 and 14/14


5/5 in the Herald’s quiz on Sunday’s change to the give-way rules.

14/14 in the eDrive interactive test on the rules (hat tip: Kiwiblog).

Would they pay the creditors?


A UMR surveys shows 70% of New Zealanders oppose the sale of the Crafar Farms to overseas investors, regardless of the buyers’ nationalities.

The poll (with a sample size of 750) was commissioned by the Crafar Farms Purchase Group and was carried out the weekend before the Labour Party unveiled its revamped overseas investment policy on March 11.

Purchase Group spokesman Alan McDonald said the poll reflected the consistent view that New Zealanders oppose the sale of productive farm land to overseas investors of any nationality.

Shanghia Pengxin has offered to pay $210 million for the farms. The Crafar Farms purchase group has offered only $171.5m.

I wonder what those surveyed would think about some $40 million in debts going unpaid if the farms weren’t sold to the people who have made the only offer acceptable to the receivers so far?

Do they realise that most, if not all, of that debt is owed to unsecured creditors, most of whom will be local people and small businesses who supplied and serviced the farms?

Do they feel so strongly opposed to the sale of the farms to foreigners that they would be prepared to pay those creditors?

The Great Southern Marmite Drive


It’s been dubbed Marmageddon – the great Marmite shortage which was sparked off  by the announcement from Sanitarium that it had halted production of the spread after earthquake damage to its Christchurch factory.

But all is not lost for people who are partial to the sticky brown spread. Southern Region Young Nationals have come to the rescue of Marmite-dependents who won’t be able to afford their fix.

A media release from their chair, James Rawiri Meager says:

The Young Nationals Southern Region today launched a charity appeal urging people from around the deep south to open their cupboards and their hearts by donating any excess jars of Marmite to charity.

With a Facebook Event called “The Great Southern Marmite Drive”, Southern Chair James Rawiri Meager says that in light of the recent shortage of Marmite around the country, it was important that his team lend a hand to those short on their favourite breakfast spread.

“We’re calling on all people of all political persuasions to join us in collecting excess Marmite to distribute to those who cannot afford to stockpile the silky black gold, and who are not able to pay excessive prices for jars on TradeMe”

With jars of Marmite currently fetching upwards of $60 on TradeMe, Meager says that we must look to charity to make sure local kids and families don’t miss out.

 “Good on those who are being entrepreneurial and playing the game of supply and demand, but we think it’s also important to do the right thing and make sure those Kiwi families who are likely to miss out on their Marmite are provided with some form of relief. I’m sure there’s nothing worse than having to tell your distraught 7-year-old that there’s no more Marmite for his toast or sammies”.

The Southern Young Nats will be collecting any Marmite surplus to your requirements up until Sunday 8:30pm. Drop off points around Dunedin, Invercargill, Gore, Balclutha and Oamaru will be finalised shortly and advertised on the Facebook Event “The Great Southern Marmite Drive”.

I’m impressed by this combination of entrepreneurial approach to charitable giving.
The Facebook page lists drop off points for marmite or other non-perishable food items:
**Dunedin** Office of MP Michael Woodhouse, 333 Princes Street Wed & Fri 9:30am – 3:30pm Clubs and Societies, 84 Albany Street Wed – Thurs 9:00am – 10:30pm Fri 9:00am – 5:30pm Sat – Sun 10:00am – 8:30pm **Oamaru** Electorate Office of MP Jacqui Dean, 42 Thames Street Wed – Fri 9:00am – 3:00pm **Gore** Electorate Office of Hon. Bill English, 15 Main Street Wed – Fri 10:00am – 3:00pm **Invercargill** Electorate Office of Eric Roy, 97 Dee Street Wed – Fri 10:00am – 3:00pm **Queenstown** Electorate Office of Hon. Bill English, 1085 Frankton Road Wed – Fri 10:00am – 4:00pm.
There is more about the Marmageddon story at Channel 9.

March 22 in history


238 Gordian I and his son Gordian II were proclaimed Roman emperors.

1599 Anthony van Dyck, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1641).

1621  The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony signed a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags.

1622 Jamestown massacre: Algonquian Indians killed 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population.

1630  Massachusetts Bay Colony outlawed the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables.

1638 Anne Hutchinson was expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

1765  British parliament passed the Stamp Act, which introduced a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.

1784 The Emerald Buddha was moved to its current place in Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand.

1809 Charles XIII succeeded Gustav IV Adolf to the Swedish throne.

1818 John Ainsworth Horrocks, English-born explorer of South Australia, was born  (d. 1846).

1829 The three protecting powers (Britain, France and Russia) established the borders of Greece.

1849 The Austrians defeated the Piedmontese at the Battle of Novara.

1871 William Woods Holden became the first governor of a U.S. state to be removed from office by impeachment.

1873 A law was approved by the Spanish National Assembly in Puerto Rico to abolish slavery.

1887 Chico Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1961).

1894 The first playoff game for the Stanley Cup started.

1895 First display (a private screening) of motion pictures by Auguste and Louis Lumière.

1906 First Anglo-French rugby union match at Parc des Princes in Paris

1908 Louis L’Amour, American author, was born  (d. 1988).

1910 Nicholas Monsarrat, British novelist, was born (d. 1979).

1916 The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicated the throne and the Republic of China was restored.

1923 Marcel Marceau,  French Mime, was born  (d. 2007).

1930 Stephen Sondheim, American composer and lyricist, was born.

1933 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law a bill legalizing the sale of beer and wine.

1936 Roger Whittaker, British singer, was born.

1939  Germany took Memel from Lithuania.

1941 Washington’s Grand Coulee Dam began to generate electricity.

1942 Britain’s Royal Navy confronted Italy’s Regia Marina in the Second Battle of Sirte.

1942 Keith Relf, English musician (The Yardbirds), was born (d. 1976).

1943 The entire population of Khatyn in Belarus was burnt alive by German occupation forces.

1945 The Arab League was founded when a charter was adopted in Cairo.

1948 Andrew Lloyd Webber, English composer, was born.

1954 The London bullion market reopened.

1955 Valdis Zatlers, 7th President of Latvia, was born.

1960  Arthur Leonard Schawlow & Charles Hard Townes received the first patent for a laser.

1978 Karl Wallenda of the The Flying Wallendas died after falling off a tight-rope between two hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

1982 NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia, was launched on its third mission, STS-3.

1993 The Intel Corporation ships the first Pentium chips (80586), featuring a 60 MHz clock speed, 100+ MIPS, and a 64 bit data path.

1994 Anna Paquin won an Oscar for her part in The Piano. Director Jane Campion won the award for best screen play.

Kiwis win Oscars for 'The piano'

1995 Cosmonaut Valeriy Polyakov returned after setting a record for 438 days in space.

1997 Tara Lipinski, age 14 years and 10 months, became the youngest champion of the women’s world figure skating competition.

1997 – The Comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to earth.

2004 Ahmed Yassin, co-founder and leader of the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas, two bodyguards, and nine civilian bystanders were killed in the Gaza Strip when hit by Israeli Air Force AH-64 Apache fired Hellfire missiles.

2006 ETA, armed Basque separatist group, declared permanent ceasefire.

2006 – BC Ferries’ M/V Queen of the North ran aground on Gil Island British Columbia and sinks; 101 on board, 2 presumed deaths.

2006 – Three Christian Peacemaker Teams Hostages were freed by British forces in Baghdad after 118 days captivity and the death of their colleague, American Tom Fox.

2009 Mount Redoubt, a volcano in Alaska began erupting after a prolonged period of unrest.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipeida

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