Word of the day


Anabiosis – resurrection; restoration to life after death or apparent death.

Bit players’ perspective


When you’re brought up going ot Sunday school and church every Sunday, the Easter story becomes familiar.

But that familiarity is with the main characters, not the bit players.

Chris Trotter has a gift for telling the story from the perspective of those minor characters and he has done it again in Guard Duty: An Easter Story.

Enjoy the views if not the game


I wouldn’t go quite as far as Mark Twain who reckoned golf was a good walk spoiled.

But the odd game – and when I’m playing odd is often the operative word – is enough for me.

However, interrupted or not, it would be difficult not to enjoy a walk with views like this:

This is what you’ll see at what is probably the country’s newest golf course, The Cairns at Tekapo.

We spent a weekend near by last month and were pleasantly surprised by the development since we’d last been there several years ago including a luge and hot pools.

We climbed up Mt John to the observatory where our exertion was rewarded by panoramic views of the MacKenzie Basin. We didn’t have time to do the night sky tour but it’s on our bucket list.



8/12 in the Herald’s chanigng world quiz.

Two standards


Dairy farmers can be charged for effluent spills which might enter waterways but councils  aren’t councils held to the same high standard for human waste:

A Horowhenua farming couple could lose their business if their district council doesn’t stop flooding their land with sewage.

The commissioners hearing the consent application for the council’s Shannon wastewater treatment plant were told yesterday how a lack of action by Horowhenua District Council to stop water flowing over the dairy farmers’ land polluted it with human waste.

Last month the company that picks up Wayne and Lesley Rider’s milk informed them that if it continued to be a problem the tankers would stop coming. . .

. . . Rider said the council should be given three years to drain the sewage ponds, remove the sludge, reline them and regulate their level to stop the sewage ending up on his land.

The council is asking for a consent to continue discharging waste water into Stansell’s Drain but Rider said every time the drain was in flood, sewage flowed on to his property. “I would support their request if they put a permanent pump at the end of the drain and if they lined their ponds to stop sewage seeping out.”

Horowhenua District Council’s community assets manager Wally Potts has given evidence at the hearing that when the Mangaore Stream rose to a certain level, the flap gate on Stansell’s Drain closed, creating high water in the drain.

Rider said this water then ends up over his property.

But Rider said he felt it would take more than a pump and some lining to sort the council’s problems out. The council should be looking at a land-based discharge and not to water, he said.

“They have got to fix the whole sewage system. I want them given four years to become fully land-based. If Shannon cannot afford to run its sewage system properly then they should look at putting the town on septic tanks.”

How can any council even contemplate a system which could result in raw sewage entering a waterway and flooding land? This is not a first world, 21st century practice.

Meanwhile, Southland dairy farmers face a 95% differential rates increase as Environment Southland does more to improve water quality.

No farm would be allowed to operate a system which had the potential to cause the sort of pollution the Horowhenua council’s does, nor should it.

There appears to be different rules for cows and people but the high standard of effluent disposal required of farms should also be required of local authorities.




Election returns


Candidate returns and registered promoter expense returns for last year’s election and referendum have been made public.

A summary of data disclosed in each candidate return is now available here.

The information includes amounts disclosed for donations, contributions to donations, anonymous donations, and overseas donations, and election expenses for newspaper advertising, radio and television advertising, internet advertising, and other forms of advertising.

• Candidate returns organised by electorate are available here.

• Candidate returns organised by party are available here.

Only registered promoters who spent more than $100,000 on election or referendum expenses during the regulated period (which started on 26 August and ended on 25 November 2011) were required to file a return. Copies of the registered promoters’ returns are available here.

Only four organisations filed promoter returns: Campaign for MMP spent $156,568.61 and Vote for Change spent $79,047.66 on the referendum; the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and Public Service Association (PSA) spent $280,100.86 and $196,368.34 respecitively on the election.

Any thoughts on which party or parties the two unions were promoting and whether they thought it was money well-spent?

April 8 in history


217  Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.

1093 The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.

1139  Roger II of Sicily was excommunicated.

1149 Pope Eugene III took refuge in the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum.

1271 Sultan Baybars conquered the Krak of Chevaliers.

1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León declared Florida a territory of Spain.

1730 Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, was dedicated.

1767  Ayutthaya kingdom fell to Burmese invaders.

1820 The Venus de Milo was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.

1832 Black Hawk War: Around three-hundred United States 6th Infantry troops left St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans.

1864 American Civil War: Battle of Mansfield – Union forces were thwarted by the Confederate army at Mansfield, Louisiana.

1866 Italy and Prussia allied against Austrian Empire

1873 Julius Vogel became Premier of New Zealand.

Julius Vogel becomes Premier

1886 William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

1892 Mary Pickford, Canadian actress, was born (d. 1979).

1895  The Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax to be unconstitutional in Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Co.

1904 The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.

1904 British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribed the first chapter of The Book of the Law.

1904  John Hicks, British economist, Bank of Sweden Prize winner, was born (d. 1989).

1904 Longacre Square in Midtown Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.

1906 Auguste Deter, the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, died.

1908 Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.

1913 The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, beccame law.

1918  World War I: Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin sold war bonds on the streets of New York City’s financial district.

1919  Ian Smith, Prime Minister of Rhodesia, was born (d. 2007).

1929  Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw handouts and bombs to court arrest.

1935 The Works Progress Administration was formed when the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 became law.

1938 Kofi Annan, Ghanaian United Nations Secretary General, was born.

1942 World War II: Siege of Leningrad – Soviet forces opened a much-needed railway link to Leningrad.

1942 – World War II: The Japanese took Bataan in the Philippines.

1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided thereby, and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.

1946 The last meeting of the League of Nations, was held.

1950 India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact.

1952  U.S. President Harry Truman called for the seizure of all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike.

1953 Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was convicted by Kenya’s British rulers.

1954  A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing 37 people.

1955 Barbara Kingsolver, American novelist, was born.

1962 Izzy Stradlin, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1965 Michael Jones, New Zealand rugby player and coach, was born.

1968 BOAC Flight 712 caught fire shortly after take off. As a result of her actions in the accident, Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.

1970  Bahr el-Baqar incident Israeli airforce F4 Phantom II fighter bombers,  struck the single-floor school with five bombs and 2 air-to-ground missiles. 46  children were killed, and more than 50 wounded.

1975 Frank Robinson managed the Cleveland Indians in his first game as major league baseball’s first African American manager.

1985  Bhopal disaster: India filed suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.

1989  The Democratic Party was formed in South Africa from the merger of four parties.

1989 The two Greek Communist parties and smaller left-wing parties, merged to form the Coalition of the Left and Progress .

1990  New Democracy won the national election in Greece.

1992  Retired tennis champion Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during one of his two heart surgeries.

1999 Haryana Gana Parishad, a political party in the state of Haryana, mergesdwith the Indian National Congress.

2004  Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.

2006 Shedden massacre: The bodies of eight men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario, Canada.

2008 The construction of the world’s first building to integrate wind turbines was completed in Bahrain.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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