Word of the day


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


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


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


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


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


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?


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.

GFC far from over


It hasn’t been a week for good news in provincial New Zealand.

Solid Energy has suspended workers at its Spring Creek mine on the West Coast, threatening the jobs of 250 staff and 130 contractors which will have a flow on impacts on the wider community.

Then New Zealand Aluminium Smelters announced it’s accelerating plans to axe 100 jobs from its Bluff smelter as depressed global metal prices continue to challenge the aluminium sector worldwide.

And yesterday tests confirmed that the kiwifruit vine killing disease Psa has been found in a Coromandel orchard.

It’s only a single orchard but the ease with which the disease spreads will be causing justifiable concern in the area and the industry.

The disease has devastated orchards further north and that in turn has hit packing houses, job opportunities and the wider community.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is making good progress in implementing the recommendations of the recent independent review of imports of kiwifruit plant material.

This will go a long way to ensuring a similar incursion doesn’t happen again.

But that will be of little if any comfort to the people whose jobs, livelihoods, businesses and retirement plans have been affected so badly by the disease.

All in all provincial New Zealand could be excused for feeling a bit gloomy and it’s all due to circumstances beyond local control. The GFC is not over and won’t be for some time.

Thank goodness the milk price increased in yesterday’s GlobalDairyTrade auction.

The country – in both the rural and national senses of the word – really needs something to give us some optimism.

September 6 in history


394  Battle of the Frigidus: The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosiu I defeated and killed the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast.

1522 The Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, returned to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620  The Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth on the Mayflower to settle in North America.

1628 Puritans settled Salem.

1634 Thirty Years’ War: In the Battle of Nördlingen the Catholic Imperial army defeated Protestant armies of Sweden and Germany.

1669 The siege of Candia ended with the Venetian fortress surrendering to the Ottomans.

1729 Moses Mendelssohn, German philosopher, was born (d. 1786).

1757 Marquis de Lafayette, French soldier and statesman, was born (d. 1834).

1781 The Battle of Groton Heights resulted a British victory.

1800 Catharine Beecher, American educator, was born (d. 1878).

1847  Henry David Thoreau left Walden Pond and moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family.

1860 Jane Addams, American social worker, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1935).

1870  Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming became the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally.

1885 Eastern Rumelia declared its union with Bulgaria.

1888  Charles Turner became the first bowler to take 250 wickets in an English season.

1901 Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot and fatally wounded US President William McKinley.

1919 Wilson Greatbatch, American inventor (cardiac pacemaker), was born.

1930 Argentine president Hipólito Yrigoyen was deposed in a military coup.

1937  Spanish Civil War: The start of the Battle of El Mazuco.

1939 World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.

1940 King Carol II of Romania abdicated and was succeeded by his son Michael.

1943 Roger Waters, British musician (Pink Floyd), was born.

1943 The Monterrey Institute of Technology, was founded in Monterrey, Mexico.

1948 New Zealand citizenship was established.

New Zealand citizenship established

1948  Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands.

1949 Allied military authorities relinquished control of former Nazi Germany assets back to German control.

1955 Istanbul Pogrom: Istanbul’s Greek and Armenian minority were the target of a government-sponsored pogrom.

1957 José Sócrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, was born.

1963 Alice Sebold, American novelist, was born.

1965  India retaliated following Pakistan’s failed Operation Grand Slam which resulted in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

1966 The architect of Apartheid, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, was stabbed to death during a parliamentary meeting.

1968  Swaziland became independent.

1970 Two passenger jets bound from Europe to New York were simultaneously hijacked by Palestinian terrorist members of PFLP and taken to Dawson’s Field in Jordan.

1972  Munich Massacre: 9 Israeli athletes and a German policeman taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games by the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group died  at the hands of the kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt.

1976   Soviet air force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko landed a MiG-25 jet fighter on the island of Hokkaidō and requests political asylum in the United States.

1985  Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9 crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.

1986 In Istanbul, two terrorists from Abu Nidal’s organisation killed 22 and wounded six inside the Neve Shalom synagogue during Shabbat services.

1991 – The name Saint Petersburg was restored to Russia’s second largest city, which had been renamed Leningrad in 1924.

1997 Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales which was watched by a television audience of more than 2.5 billion.

2008 – Turkish President Abdullah Gül attended an association football match in Armenia after an invitation by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan; he is the first Turkish head of state to visit the country.

2009 – The ro-ro ferry SuperFerry 9 sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines with 971 persons aboard; all but ten were rescued.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia

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