Word of the day


Glabrous – free of down, hair or projections; smooth.

Superannuation can’t be considered in isolation


Discussions on the affordability of superannuation focus on the aging population and likely costs.

That is only a small part of a complex issue.

Prime Minister John Key pointed out in Question Time :

Of course superannuation is an issue, but one thing that is worth noting is that increasing the age of eligibility has much less of an impact than commentators might imagine. For instance, moving the age to 67 makes a difference of about 0.7 percent of GDP, and that is not until 2030. So it is an issue, but growing the economy and fixing some of the other issues we inherited from Labour are more significant. 

Pete George has started a BADASS (Bloggers Advancing Debate About Super Solutions) campaign.

I agree with him on the importance of having the debate but no solutions will be found if we concentrate on superannuation alone.

It is a major, and growing, part of government expenditure but discussion must look at all other expenditure and revenue.

The country can afford superannuation as it is if it spends less or makes more elsewhere.

One question to ask is, whether we want superannuation as it is.

Regardless of the answer to that discussion then must consider at what we need, what else we might want and whether the government is the best provider of  it all.

It must also look at government income. Tax increases and more user-pays charges are the left’s usual answer to increasing that but more taxes and higher tax rates can and do reduce the tax take

The PM’s answer provided the only sustainable solution – that’s growing the economy.

Thursday’s quiz


It’s your opportunity to ask the questions again.

The electronic jelly sponge went unclaimed last week but there’s another – with or without cream as the winner/s wish/es – for anyone who sumps everyone.

How about an electronic batch of biscuits for the most inventive or humorous answer regardless of whether it’s right as well?

They came, they tried, they folded


The two companies which planned a large dairy development near Omarama have gone into voluntary liquidation.

Richard Peacocke, director of Southdown Holdings Ltd and Williamson Holdings Ltd, confirmed yesterday when contacted shareholders had decided to enter “solvent liquidation”, for both companies because the process for the dairy developments had become “too long, too hard”

. . . Millions of dollars were spent on the proposal, resource consents process and property development, although Mr Peacocke yesterday declined to be more specific.

Southdown proposed establishing six dairy farms running up to 7000 cows on Glen Eyrie Downs in Quailburn Rd near Omarama.

Williamson Holdings planned three dairy farms with 3850 cows on 1200ha of Killermont Station land on SH8 it had a purchase option over, subject to conditions.

The 2135ha Glen Eyrie Downs property, which has a Waitaki district rateable value of just over $5 million, has been offered for sale.

It was a big project and a big gamble.

Had it succeeded it would have provided a big boost to job opportunities in an area which is sparsely populated.

However it was environmental concerns which held sway.

There we’re reasonable concerns about the impact on water quality.

But a lot of the objections were founded on emotion by people who, if they visit the district at all do so travelling at 100 kph or more en route from Canterbury to Central Otago.

Freeing from welfare trap


The welfare system was set up with the best of intentions but while it helps some it also traps others.

Social Welfare Minister Paula Bennett knows what can be done to change it and why it’s necessary to do it:

The welfare system has not been working as it could. It has allowed too many to become trapped in an intergenerational cycle of dependence.

There are more than 317,000 people on welfare right now. Add to that the 220,000 children living in welfare dependent homes and there are more than half a million New Zealanders reliant on welfare in any given week

This Government is transforming the welfare system into one that is modern, active and responsible because currently it is passive, out of date and quite frankly it is failing us . . . 

She then asks why not leave the economy to fix things as Labour and the Green Party want to:

We could leave it as it is, sure. And yes the Unemployment Benefit would decrease significantly as the economy bounces back.

But that would mean ignoring the other 270,000 people on welfare. That would mean wiping them off as not worthy of support into work and independence of the State.

And I will not do that.

I understand completely how frightening change can be. I get how debilitated and worthless some feel on welfare.

And the left would say that’s a strong enough reason to leave well enough alone, to feel sympathy for those on welfare.

They would pat them on the head and feel sorry for them. How condescending, how patronising and how meaningless.

I will not do that.

I understand how frightening change can be and I acknowledge that up-skilling, gaining confidence and getting a job is not easy.

But as Minister of Social Development I will continue to push, cajole, incentivise, obligate and at the end of the day put all my belief in those people on welfare.

And I will take some of the anger that comes from those most unsure and often frightened because to ignore the benefits of work, to only look at what they can’t do instead of what they can do, was a failure of the previous Labour Government, a failure I will not allow to continue.

Long overdue change is on its way and this is the first stage of this second term Government’s welfare reforms.

Change is necessary for those on benefits and those who pay for them.

This is not to punish anyone but to help those who can work to work, to give them new skills and the opportunity for a far better life than they could have if they remained trapped on welfare.

June 14 in history


1276 While taking exile in Fuzhou in southern China, away from the advancing Mongol invaders, the remnants of the Song Dynasty court held the coronation ceremony for the young prince Zhao Shi, making him Emperor Duanzong of Song.

1287 Kublai Khan defeated the force of Nayan and other traditionalist Borjigin princes in East Mongolia and Manchuria.

1381 Richard II met leaders of Peasants’ Revolt on Blackheath. The Tower of London was stormed by rebels who entered without resistance.

1645 English Civil War: Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.

1648 Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts colony.

1775 American Revolutionary War: the Continental Army was established by the Continental Congress, marking the birth of the United States Army.

1777 The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.

1789 Mutiny on the Bounty: Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reached Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.

1789 – Whiskey distilled from maize was first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. It was named Bourbon because Rev Craig lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

1800 The French Army of First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Marengo in Northern Italy and re-conquered Italy.

1807 Emperor Napoleon I’s French Grande Armee defeated the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland ending the War of the Fourth Coalition.

1811 Harriet Beecher Stowe, American author, was born (d. 1896).

1821 Badi VII, king of Sennar, surrendered his throne and realm to Ismail Pasha, general of the Ottoman Empire, ending the existence of that Sudanese kingdom.

1822 Charles Babbage proposed a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables”.

1839 Henley Royal Regatta: the village of Henley staged its first Regatta.

1846 Bear Flag Revolt began – Anglo settlers in Sonoma, California, staredt a rebellion against Mexico and proclaimed the California Republic.

1863 American Civil War: Battle of Second Winchester – a Union garrison was defeated by the Army of Northern Virginia.

1863 Second Assault on the Confederate works at the Siege of Port Hudson during the American Civil War.

1864 Alois Alzheimer, German physician, was born (d. 1915).

1872 Trade unions were legalised in Canada.

1900 Hawaii became a United States territory.

1900 The Reichstag approved a second law that allowed the expansion of the German navy.

1907 Nicolas Bentley, British writer and illustrator, was born (d. 1978).

1907 Norway adopted female suffrage.

1909 Burl Ives, American musician, was born (d. 1995).

1919 John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown left St. John’s, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight

1928 Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Marxist Revolutionary, was born (d. 1967).

1929 Cy Coleman, American composer, was born (d. 2004).

1937 – U. S. House of Representatives passed the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.

1936 Renaldo “Obie” Benson, singer (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2005).

1938 Action Comics issue one was released, introducing Superman.

1940 World War II: Paris fell under German occupation, and Allied forces retreat.

1940 The Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Lithuania resulting in Lithuanian loss of independence

1940 A group of 728 Polish political prisoners from Tarnów become the first inmates of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

1941 June deportation, the first major wave of Soviet mass deportations and murder of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, began.

1942 Anne Frank began to keep a diary.

1946 Donald Trump, American businessman and entrepreneur, was born.

1949 – Alan White, British drummer (Yes), was born.

1950 Rowan Williams, 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, was born.

1951 UNIVAC I was dedicated by U.S. Census Bureau.

1952 The keel was laid for the nuclear submarine USS Nautilus.

1954 U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law that places the words “under God” into the United States’ Pledge of Allegiance.

1959 A group of Dominican exiles with leftist tendencies that departed from Cuba landed in the Dominican Republic with the intent of deposing Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. All but four were killed and/or executed by Trujillo’s army

1961 Boy George, British singer (Culture Club), was born,

1962 – The European Space Research Organisation was established in Paris.

1962 The New Mexico Supreme Court in the case of Montoya v. Bolack, 70 N.M. 196, prohibits state and local governments from denying Indians the right to vote because they live on a reservation.

1966 The Vatican announced the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (index of prohibited books), which was originally instituted in 1557.

1967 Mariner 5 was launched toward Venus.

1976 The trial began at Oxford Crown Court of Donald Neilson, the killer known as the Black Panther.

1982 The Falklands War ended: Argentine forces in the capital Stanley unconditionally surrenderred to British forces.

1984 Robert Muldoon called a snap election.

Muldoon calls snap election

1985 TWA Flight 847 was hijacked by Hezbollah shortly after take-off from Athens.

1990 Miners from Jiu Valley were called to Bucharest by President Ion Iliescu to quell demonstrations in University Square by anti-government protesters.

2001 China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan form the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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