Word of the day

September 6, 2012

Diatribe – a forceful and bitter verbal or written attack against or  denunciation of someone or something; a prolonged discourse; ironic or satirical criticism.


Postman pat-on-the-back Award to Hokitika

September 6, 2012

Rural Women NZ’s Postman-pat-on-the-back award has gone to Hokitika’s Diane Howe.

Out of 22 entries, we’re delighted to announce the winner of our Postman pat-on-the-back Award is Diane Howe of Hokitika, who was nominated separately by Anne van Beek and Di Strang.

Diane Howe fell into the role of postie, RD2 Hokitika, after her husband Bernie died following an accident delivering mail in the area.  Diane didn’t want to let his customers down, so took on the run herself.  That was 12 years ago and she now travels 52,000 kilometres a year and has 499 clients. Diane’s help has been legendary, says Anne van Beek.  “It’s never a problem to deliver medicine, packages or whatever may have been urgently requested.”

Di Strang agrees.  “She’s a character and has one of the most generous natures I have ever seen.”  Di  says Diane Howe’s friendly face at the mailbox helped her overcome loneliness when she moved to the area nine years ago.  Since then Diane’s given gifts to each new baby that’s come along as well as older siblings, and at Easter all the children get a treat.

After the Christchurch earthquakes Diane packaged up 17 boxes of lego she had at home, and with Di’s help, sent them to children who’d faced loss.

Diane reports road problems to the council, along with suggested solutions.  If children are seen waiting for the mail, Diane explains where they should wait so they are not in danger.

Anne says Diane’s been a godsend.  “Reliable affable and always ready to go the extra mile, to help out wherever she can.”

If you click on the link above it will take you to the other 21 nominees.


AMP People’s Choice

September 6, 2012

AMP’s People’s Choice Scholarships are going social.

The applicant with the most votes on the Facebook Page will win a $10,000 scholarship.

AMP Do Your Thing!

Among them is Nathanael Napier from North Otago who is entered in the science category.

Entrants from cities have a population advantage. They can motivate their schools with thousands of pupils while those from the provinces and rural areas have only a few hundred fellow pupils to back them.

If you’d like to help a young man from the country who is aiming to study science and pharmacology – both fields in which New Zealand is in need of workers – please click here, select science category, go to page 14 and vote for Nathanael.


Thursday’s quiz

September 6, 2012

1. Who said: “Women have got to make the world safe for men since men have made it so darned unsafe for women.”?

2.  No Safe Harbour  is a book for young adults about which New Zealand maritime disaster and who wrote it?

3. It’s sûr in French, sicuro in Italian,  seguro in Spanish and haumaru in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Legislation enacted in 1972 made the use of what compulsory in New Zealand?

5. Sir William Gallagher made what to keep his car safe from a  horse?


Court action better than vigilante tactics

September 6, 2012

Conservationists are considering taking legal action to stop landowners planting Douglas fir plantations on the Lammermoor Range.

The plantations for carbon credits are on a private farm at the site of Meridian Energy’s planned Project Hayes wind farm which was cancelled after the Environment Court ruled the area was a nationally important landscape.

Wilding trees – mostly pines and firs – are a significant problem in several areas of the South Island high country and the conservationists’ concern is understandable. But if plantations are surrounded by a buffer zone of other trees and grazing land there should be little risk of seeds blowing on to conservation areas.

The landowners have already gone through years in limbo waiting for the lengthy process which preceded the decision to can plans for the wind farm. Now they might face more expense and delays through court action.

But at least these conservationists are proposing to take the legal way and not talking about vigilante tactics as others concerned about Douglas Firs did last month.


NZ has ‘short man’ syndrome

September 6, 2012

How’s this for a diagnosis of what ails New Zealand?

New Zealand has the state equivalent of ‘short man’ syndrome – comparing ourselves to other countries often and regarding everything from Olympic medals to average house prices.

The default is to look over our shoulder to Australia and David Shearer keeps admiring Finland from afar, but Dr Robin Mann says we should have our sights firmly set on Singapore.

Mann says the Asian city-state has developed a culture of constant betterment that has improved its business performance immensely.

“Although a different environment it’s really about the leadership in Singapore.

“They have put in place a culture which is about trying to become better continually, year on year,” he says.

“It’s embedded from the school system to business.” . . .

How good could New Zealand be if we too had a culture which was about trying to become better continually, year on year in our schools, businesses and wider society?


SMOG or playing to gallery?

September 6, 2012

From any other politician this would be regarded as a SMOG – social media own goal:

Hone Harawira · 2,262 subscribers

8 hours ago ·

  • Time John Key realised a few home truths like (1) he can tell his little house niggers what to do, but (2) the rest of us don’t give a shit for him or his opinions!

It’s certainly not language befitting an MP but he’s playing to his gallery.

I presume he’s referring to this:

That leaves the Maori Party. Co-leader Tariana Turia says  she doubts they will be attending.

“Well at this point I don’t really see the point in going,” she says.

Fellow co-leader Pita Sharples agrees.

“We believe this is a thing that iwi/hapu have to work out  themselves,” he says.

They are right.

Maori as a whole don’t have rights to water. If anyone has a case it’s individual iwi or hapu.


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