Word of the day


Palliate – allay or moderate; relieve or lessen without curing; mitigate; alleviate;  make (an offense or crime) seem less serious; extenuate.

Labour wants failure to keep big government


Bill English has got to the bottom of Labour’s opposition to social policy changes which will reduce the number of people dependent on the state:

. . . During the debate, Mr English said that if the Government reduced the number of teenagers getting into trouble that might mean fewer social workers were needed and there may be a smaller government department.

“In the Labour Party’s world, that is failure,” he said. . .

Fewer young people in trouble, fewer people on benefits, more people with better education . . .  All the things the government is aiming for will, over time, reduce the number of people who require assistance from the state and therefore enable a reduction in the size of government departments.

Who’d buy shares without voting rights?


Who’d want to buy shares which don’t carry voting rights?

This is one of the questions being asked in the wake of Fonterra shareholders’ vote to approve Trading Among Farmers.

Given the number of people who own shares now who know little if anything about the companies, don’t read prospectuses or annual reports, don’t attend AGMs and either don’t vote or just do as the board advises, I don’t think the lack of voting rights will be a stumbling block.

Pretty meaningless stuff


Another quote of the day:

Rt Hon John Key: Has he seen any reports that the Government’s attempt to quantify 14 different outcomes is “pretty meaningless stuff”, and does he think it is pretty meaningless stuff to

be tackling rheumatic fever, abuse of children, and better education for New Zealanders—is that pretty meaningless stuff?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I saw a report—well, I heard a report that I did not initially believe, actually, because it was a quote from some chap called Chris Hipkins from the Labour Party, who said of these result areas—better educational achievement, less crime, and fewer vulnerable children—“It’s actually pretty meaningless stuff.” And on “Planet Labour”, I think it is.

On Planet Labour all sorts of strange things are said and done. Maybe it’s all the SMOGs (Social Media Own Goals) which cloud their thinking.

Megan Woods tweeted a Hitler comparison yesterday and David Clark followed it up by criticising Peter Dunne for his absence from parliament when he (Dunne) was at a funeral.

Such things are probably meaningless stuff outside the Bowen Triangle and among political tragics but they’re still nasty stuff.

Achieving better results


Quote of the day:

John Hayes: How will the Government and the Public Service go about achieving better results?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: In the first place, by focusing on making a difference, rather than just getting more money, which has been the culture up to 2009. Secondly, by working more closely together among departments. But, thirdly, by looking around the wider community to see who can help us with getting higher levels of educational achievement or less offending in prison. Under the National-led Government the Public Service is not so arrogant that it believes everything has to be run by the Public Service.

The idea that the community can help is not new.

That’s what used to happen before the welfare system was established.

The public service has taken over  delivery of support and assistance which was formerly provided by community groups. It’s not necessarily better at doing it which is why it makes sense to hand some of that work back to other organisations.

Why keep opposing what won’t be changed?


The Bill  enabling the Government to offer New Zealanders minority shares in four energy SOEs has passed its third and final reading in Parliament yesterday.

Even someone as partisan as I am wouldn’t call the 61 -60 vote an overwhelming majority. But as Colin James points out the government has a mandate to govern.

Using that mandate it has chosen to sell up to 49% of four energy companies so it doesn’t have to borrow to invest in other assets.

“This is part of the National Government’s wider economic plan to control debt and keep investing in our economy,” State Owned Enterprises Minister Tony Ryall says. . .

“We expect strong New Zealand interest.  Current international economic uncertainty may see more interest in the government share offers as local investors stay home rather than invest overseas, and as they look to invest in known infrastructure businesses such as the electricity sector.

“The National Government has been upfront about its plans to offer New Zealanders minority shareholdings in government owned businesses, as part of a wider plan to protect and grow the New Zealand economy.

“We took that clear plan to the country and New Zealanders voted for us in overwhelming numbers.

“The share offers will help to control debt, increase opportunities for New Zealanders to save, and deepen capital markets.

“And, over the next 3 to 5 years the around $6 billion in proceeds from these share offers will pay for essential new public assets like modern schools and hospitals through a new Future Investments Fund – that is $6 billion we would otherwise have had to borrow from overseas lenders and pay significant interest on. That is $6 billion off our national debt.

“We have strict ownership limits and these are now enshrined in legislation. The government will retain at least 51 per cent control and there will be a 10 per cent share cap on all other investors. We have also set a target of 85-90 per cent New Zealand ownership at the time of the offer.

The opposition still won’t like this, even though most people opposed to the partial sales would buy shares if they could.

That won’t stop them continuing to waste money on attempting to gain enough signatures to force a Citizens MPs Initiated referendum on the issue.

The motive for that, when they’ve said they wouldn’t buy the shares back if/when they’re in government, is purely political.

It’s an opportunity to get attention and they’ll continue to milk that opportunity for as long as they can.



June 27 in history


1358  Republic of Dubrovnik was founded.

1709  Peter the Great defeated Charles XII of Sweden at the Battle of Poltava.

1743  War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen: On the battlefield in Bavaria, George II personally led troops into battle. The last time that a British monarch would command troops in the field.

1759  General James Wolfe began the siege of Quebec.

1838 Paul von Mauser, German weapon designer, was born (d. 1914)

1844  Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were murdered by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail.

1846 Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish independence fighter, was born (d. 1891).

1850 Jørgen Pedersen Gram, Danish mathematician, was born (d. 1919).

1865 Sir John Monash, Australian military commander, was born (d. 1931).

1869 Emma Goldman, Lithuanian/American anarchist and feminist, was born (d. 1940).

1880 Helen Keller, American deaf and blind activist, was born (d. 1968).

1895  The inaugural run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.

1898  The first solo circumnavigation of the globe was completed by Joshua Slocum.

1905  (June 14 according to the Julian calendar): Battleship Potemkin uprising: sailors started a mutiny aboard the Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war.

1923  Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane.

1941  Romanian governmental forces, allies of Nazi Germany, launched one of the most violent pogroms in Jewish history in the city of Iaşi, resulting in the murder of at least 13,266 Jews.

1941  German troops captured the city of Białystok during Operation Barbarossa.

1942 Bruce Johnston, American musician (The Beach Boys) was born.

1950  The United States decided to send troops to fight in the Korean War.

1951 Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, was born.

1954  The world’s first nuclear power station opened in Obninsk, near Moscow.

1967 The world’s first ATM was installed in Enfield, London.

1970 John Eales, Australian Rugby Player, was born.

1973  The President of Uruguay, Juan María Bordaberry,  dissolved Parliament and headed a coup d’état.

1974  U.S president Richard Nixon visited the U.S.S.R..

1975 Mark Williams reached No 1 with Yesterday Was Just The Beginning of  My Life.

Mark Williams hits No. 1

1976 Air France Flight 139  was hijacked en route to Paris by the PLO and redirected to Entebbe, Uganda.

1977  France granted independence to Djibouti.

1982  Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Centre on the final research and development flight mission, STS-4.

1989 The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, ILO 169 convention, was adopted.

1991  Slovenia  was invaded by Yugoslav troops, tanks, and aircraft, starting the Ten-Day War.

2007 The Brazilian Military Police invaded the favelas (slums)of Complexo do Alemão in an episode which is remembered as the Complexo do Alemão massacre.

Sourced from NZ HIstory Online & Wikipedia

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