Word of the day


Orotund – full, round, and imposing; sonorous; bombastic; pompous; pretentious.

From grievance to growth


Trans-Tasman notes a tug-of-war between the government and Maori over the mixed ownership model for partial sales of state assets:

In seeking to get its mixed ownership model on state assets off the starting blocks the Govt is engaged in a vigorous tug-of-war with Maori interests, as it readies a share float of 49% of Mighty River Power. On the one hand some Maori interests have mounted a case with the Waitangi Tribunal to halt the sale. On the other, elements within the Iwi Leadership Forum see virtue in the share float as a safe haven for Treaty settlement money.

The more commercially minded believe a steady cash flow from investing in a utility (which has a proven record of consistent profits over a long period) is more desirable than costly court action. If the share float were to be halted it would eliminate an important avenue for safe investment of hard won Treaty settlement proceeds. Some within the Maori leadership see an opportunity to repeat the tactics of the 1980s when predecessors used the courts to extract concessions from the Govt. In its eagerness to get the sale off the ground, the Govt for its part has to find a balance which satisfies both elements.

You can’t blame anyone who sees a chance to get more from doing what they can to get it, including court action.

But real progress for Maori will come not from continuing protest and court action. It will come from moving from grievance to growth. That requires accepting  Treaty settlements, investing them wisely and using the proceeds carefully for economic and social good.

But I thought she was with you


The headline says: David Cameron left daughter behind after pub visit.


But that’s not what the story recounts.

The British PM and his family were lunching with friends, the PM left in one car, his wife in another, both thought their eight-year-old daughter Nancy was with the other, neither realising she’d gone to the loo.

The paper says:


The story could prove embarrassing for the prime minister, coming on the same day as the government relaunches its £450m troubled families programme.


No doubt both parents were embarrassed and upset but there’s a world of difference between a lapse in communication between parents and a child and troubled families.


How many parents could say they haven’t done something similar or at least realise how easily it could happen?


I left my young son with my mother while I was shopping one day. It was only when I stopped at the supermarket halfway between town and home that I noticed the empty car seat in the back of the car and realised I’d forgotten to pick him up again.


Another time I was in Dunedin with my daughter and and niece who were having for swimming lessons. After class they were playing with a school friend whose mother had asked another North Otago parent to keep an eye on her until her father arrived.


The father hadn’t claimed his daughter when the other parent wanted to leave so I offered to look after the girl. An hour later the father still hadn’t turned up and the girls were getting tired. This was before the days of mobile phones so I told the staff what had happened and took the children back to our motel.

There I phoned the girl’s grandparents who lived in Dunedin. It turned out the father had gone to the pool, hadn’t spotted his daughter among the kids in the pool and not seeing his wife either had assumed the girl was with her.

The headline suggests negligence when it is something that most parents will think, there but for the grace of God, go I.

Such incidents aren’t rare and fortunately in most, while child and parents are usually upset, all are safe.

Lasting benefit from exchange of ideas


The biggest event on the agribusiness calendar opens at Mystery Creek tomorrow.

The number of visitors from New Zealand and overseas make it easy to accept the Fielddays provide a massive economic boost for exhibitors and the local and wider economies.

But Waikato University Agribusiness Professor Jacqueline Rowarth says the millions of dollars in sales alone don’t reflect the true long-term benefit:

Two-yearly research by Waikato University’s management school has estimated the 2010 event generated $129 million for the Waikato economy, and $529 million nationally, through equipment sales and flow-on effects.

That figure was $865 million in 2008. . .

Prof Rowarth says while a surge of expenditure is expected as a result of field days, the bigger economic benefit is the increased interaction between the urban and rural community.

She says field days enables an “exchange of ideas” which creates long-term benefits, including product enhancements and improved efficiency.

“Each year, people go back to their own places and say, ‘I wonder if I could do that differently’.

“You get the urban people coming in and making comments and testing products, and then farmers and food preparers can go away and come up with ways to do it better.”

Field days is the ultimate event for the exchange of ideas because it brings the farming, urban and business communities together, Prof Rowarth says. . .

Agricultural production is a rural business but most consumers are urban. The Fielddays which brings producers, processors and consumers together and helps us learn from each other is good for all of us.

June 12 in history


1381  Peasants’ Revolt: in England, rebels arrived at Blackheath.

1418  An insurrection delivered Paris to the Burgundians.

1429  Hundred Years’ War: Joan of Arc led the French army in their capture of the city and the English commander, William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk in the second day of the Battle of Jargeau.

1560  Battle of Okehazama: Oda Nobunaga defeated Imagawa Yoshimoto.

1653  First Anglo-Dutch War: the Battle of the Gabbard began.

1665 England installed a municipal government in New York City.

1758 French and Indian War: Siege of LouisbourgJames Wolfe‘s attack at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia commenced.

1775  American Revolution: British general Thomas Gage declared martial law in Massachusetts. The British offer a pardon to all colonists who lay down their arms with two exceptions: Samuel Adams and John Hancock, if captured, were to be hanged.

1776 The Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted.

1798 Irish Rebellion of 1798: Battle of Ballynahinch.

1802 Harriet Martineau,  journalist, political economist, abolitionist and feminist, was born (d. 1876).

1806 John A. Roebling, German-America civil engineer (Brooklyn Bridge), was born (d. 1869).

1819  Charles Kingsley, English writer, was born (d. 1875).

1827 Johanna Spyri, Swiss writer, was born (d. 1901).

1830  Beginning of the French colonization of Algeria: 34,000 French soldiers landed at Sidi Ferruch.

1860  The State Bank of the Russian Empire was established.

1864 American Civil War, Overland Campaign: Battle of Cold Harbor – Ulysses S. Grant gave the Confederate forces under Robert E. Lee a victory when he pulled his Union troops from their positions at Cold Harbor, Virginia and moved south.

1889 –  78 people were killed in the Armagh rail disaster.

1897 Anthony Eden, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1977).

1898 Philippine Declaration of Independence: General Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines’ independence from Spain.

1899 New Richmond Tornado killed 117 people and injured around 200.

1915 David Rockefeller, American banker, was born.
1922 King George V received the colours of the six Irish regiments that were to be disbanded – the Royal Irish Regiment, the Connaught Rangers, the South Irish Horse, the Prince of Wales’s Leinster Regiment, the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
1924 George H. W. Bush, 41st President of the United States, was born.
1929 Anne Frank, German-born Dutch Jewish diarist and Holocaust victim, was born (d. 1945).

1935 Chaco War ended: a truce was called between Bolivia and Paraguay.

1938 Tom Oliver, Australian actor, was born.

1939  Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures’ Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.

1939  The Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, New York.

1940  World War II: 13,000 British and French troops surrendered to Major General Erwin Rommel at Saint-Valery-en-Caux.

1942 The first troops from the USA landed in Auckland.

First US troops land in Auckland

1942  Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday.

1943  Reg Presley, English singer/songwriter (The Troggs), was born.

1943  Germany liquidated the Jewish Ghetto in Berezhany, western Ukraine. 1,180  are lpeople were led to the city’s old Jewish graveyard and shot.

1952 Pete Farndon, English musician (The Pretenders), was born (d. 1983).

1963 Civil rights leader Medgar Evers was murdered by Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith.

1964 Anti-apartheid activist and ANC leader Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in South Africa.

1967  The United States Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declared all U.S. state laws which prohibited interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.

1967   Venera 4 was launched.

1979  Bryan Allen won the second Kremer prize for a man powered flight across the English Channel in the Gossamer Albatross.

1987  The Central African Republic‘s former Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa was sentenced to death for crimes he had committed during his 13-year rule.

1987  Cold War: At the Brandenburg Gate U.S. President Ronald Reagan publicly challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.

1990 Russia Day – the parliament of the Russian Federation formally declared its sovereignty.

1991  Russians elected Boris Yeltsin as the president of the republic.

1991 –  Kokkadichcholai massacre: the Sri Lankan Army massacred 152 minority Tamil civilians in the village Kokkadichcholai.

1994  Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered outside her home in Los Angeles.

1996  In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a panel of federal judges blocked a law against indecency on the internet.

1997  Queen Elizabeth II reopened the Globe Theatre in London.

1999  Kosovo War: Operation Joint Guardian began when a NATO-led United Nations peacekeeping force (KFor) entered the province of Kosovo.

2000  Sandro Rosa do Nascimento took hostages while robbing Bus #174 in Rio de Janeiro.

2004  A 1.3 kilogram chondrite type meteorite struck a house in Ellerslie causing serious damage but no injuries.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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