Word of the day


Peace – freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility; the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world;  freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension;  public order and security agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations or groups; to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism; a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, especially in personal relations;  freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions.

Chosen to mark World Peace Day.

For World Peace Day


It’s World Peace Day in honour of which I offer this:

I don’t think of it as working for world peace, he said. I think of it as just trying to get along in a really big strange family.

By Brian Andreas at Story People.

Hat tip: Raymond Huber


Friday’s answers


Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: “ The news is being flashed far and wide, and before our earth has revolved on her axis every civilized community within the reach of the electric wires will have received the tidings that civic freedom has been granted to the women of New Zealand. … It does not seem a great thing to be thankful for, that the gentlemen who confirm the laws which render women liable to taxation and penal servitude have declared us to be “persons”… We are glad and proud to think that even in so conservative a body as the Legislative Council there is a majority of men who are guided by the principles of reason and justice, who desire to see their womenkind treated as reasonable beings, and who have triumphed over prejudice, narrow-mindedness and selfishness.“?

2. Which flower is the symbol of women’s suffrage?

3. In which year did women in New Zealand gain the right to vote?

4. Who was Premier when women got the right to vote?

5. In which year was the first election in which New Zealand women were able to vote?

Points for answers:

Andrei and Alwyn all got four right.

Gravedodger wins an electronic batch of shortbread with five right and a bonus for extra information.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »

Have a right royal birthday


If your birthday is on November 14 you’ve got the chance to make it a right royal one:

New Zealanders whose birthday falls on 14 November are being offered a unique opportunity to celebrate their special day with HRH The Prince of Wales.

HRH Prince Charles and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand from 11 to 16 November to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The visit also coincides with the Prince’s 64th birthday and to mark the occasion Government House is inviting New Zealanders aged 18 years and older whose birthday falls on 14 November to apply for an invitation to the party.  Sixty-four people will be chosen by ballot from the applications received to attend the party at Government House in Wellington.

Niels Holm, Official Secretary at Government House, said the birthday party was a wonderful opportunity for New Zealanders to meet Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

“That the Diamond Jubilee visit includes the Prince’s birthday is a happy coincidence that we couldn’t simply allow to pass without marking in a special Kiwi way.  And what better way to mark the Prince’s birthday than to invite New Zealanders from a wide range of backgrounds who are also celebrating their special day to join a most memorable party.”

The Governor-General, Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, whose birthday also falls on November 14, welcomed the initiative.

“The Diamond Jubilee visit is a chance to recognise 60 years’ of remarkable service to New Zealand by our Queen.  That we also have the chance to welcome the Prince of Wales and celebrate with him and the Duchess on this special day is, if you’ll excuse the pun, the icing on the cake!”

Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday 10 October 2012.

You’ll find the application form if you click on the link at the top of the post.


High $ hits import substitutes more


The high value of the New Zealand dollar against the United States dollar does erode returns for exporters who trade in that currency.

But it’s manufacturers competing with imports who are finding it most difficult:

In its review of current economic conditions the Reserve Bank last week noted exports of manufactured goods have not fallen over the last three years, and are worth at present close to $4.5bn a year. But while manufactured volumes have held up, the high NZ dollar is encouraging continued substitution with imports, as it lowers the price of imports relative to domestically produced goods and services. The RBNZ says while prolonged weakness in the NZ construction sector has contributed significantly to the divergence “it appears the high NZ dollar is negatively affecting import-competing firms to a greater extent than exporters.”

This highlights the benefit of our open borders for domestic consumers.

In the not-so-good-old days tariffs and import restrictions kept goods produced overseas out of New Zealand.

Producing things we couldn’t import did protect jobs here but that protection came at a very high price.

We had less choice about what we bought and domestically produced goods were often of lower quality and/or higher price.

The job losses and business closures which followed the opening of our borders got headlines.

The stories of existing businesses which adapted and new ones which set up and prospered by producing things people here and in the rest of the world wanted to buy often went unnoticed.

The trading environment, here and overseas, isn’t easy. But meddling with the exchange rate, subsidising local firms or closing our borders to imports would be band-aid solutions which would take us back to the bad-old-days.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce described calls for meddling a snake oil salesman solution:

He says the Reserve Bank’s fundamental objective has to be inflation and keeping the NZ economy on track over time. “You cannot say to the Reserve Bank we want you to favour one particular industry against a whole bunch of other things that are going on. That is not the answer. The answer is to make NZ businesses more competitive. That’s what our business agenda’s about. It’s investing in skills. It’s investing in innovation. It’s investing in the RMA to get things happening. It’s investing in growing export markets.”

Anyone who remembers the 80s knows that such snake oil solutions eventually poison the economy which has then to be treated with strong and very unpalatable medicine.

Alternatives to meddling with exchange rate


Meddling with the exchange rate isn’t a panacea for the world’s woes, Employers’ and Manufacturers’ Association chief executive Kim Campbell says.

He says many of the factors influencing the dollar’s values are largely out of our control.

“The things that are in our control include re-examining how central and local government can avoid adding to inflationary pressures,” says Mr Campbell.
Examples are:
* Freeing up the supply of land at local government level to make building a house more affordable.

* Ensuring tax policy takes account of its impact on monetary policy. For example, any new government spending should be assessed for its impact, both short-term and longer term, on inflation.

* Introducing a Regulatory Responsibility Act to improve the quality of regulation.
* Reducing government and private sector debt where appropriate (high debt drives up interest rates as lenders demand a risk premium) – we need to stay the course.

These are far more likely to help and less likely to have nasty consequences than meddling with the exchange rate.


September 21 in history


455 – Emperor Avitus enteed Rome with a Gallic army and consolidated his power.

1217 Livonian Crusade: The Estonian tribal leader Lembitu and Livonian leader Kaupo were killed in Battle of St. Matthew’s Day.

1411 Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, claimant to the English throne, was born (d. 1460).

1745 Battle of Prestonpans: A Hanoverian army under the command of Sir John Cope was defeated, in ten minutes, by the Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

1756 John MacAdam, Scottish engineer and road-builder, was born (d. 1836).

1792 The National Convention declared France a republic and abolished the monarchy.

1827  Joseph Smith, Jr. was reportedly visited by the angel Moroni, who gave him a record of gold plates, one-third of which Smith has translated into The Book of Mormon.

1834 Betty Guard and her children were rescued from Ngati Ruanui (who had held them captive in Taranaki since April) by troops from HMS Alligator and Isabella.

Rescue of Harriet survivors begins

1860   In the Second Opium War, an Anglo-French force defeated Chinese troops at the Battle of Baliqiao.

1866 – H. G. Wells, English writer, was born (d. 1946).

1874 –  Gustav Holst, English composer, was born (d. 1934).

1897  The “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” editorial was published in the New York Sun.

1898  Empress Dowager Cixi seized power and ended the Hundred Days’ Reform in China.

1902 Sir Allen Lane, British founder of Penguin Books, was born (d. 1970).

1921  A storage silo in Oppau, Germany, exploded, killing 500-600 people.

1934  A large typhoon hit western Honshū killing 3,036 people.

1937 J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was published.

1938  The Great Hurricane of 1938 made landfall on Long Island, killing an estimated at 500-700 people.

1939  Romanian Prime Minister Armand Calinescu was assassinated by ultranationalist members of the Iron Guard.

1942  On the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Nazis sent more than 1,000 Jews of Pidhaytsi to Belzec extermination camp.

1942  In Poland, at the end of Yom Kippur, Germans ordered Jews to permanently evacuate Konstantynów and move to the Ghetto in Biała Podlaska, established to assemble Jews from seven nearby towns.

1942 In Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, Nazis murdered 2,588 Jews.

1942  The B-29 Superfortress made its maiden flight.

1947 Stephen King, American author, was born.

1947 Don Felder, American guitarist (Eagles), was born.

1950 Bill Murray, American comedian and actor, was born.

1957 Kevin Rudd, 26th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1961  Maiden flight of the CH-47 Chinook transportation helicopter.

1964  Malta became independent from the United Kingdom.

1964  The XB-70 Valkyrie, the world’s first Mach 3 bomber, made its maiden flight from Palmdale, California.

1965 David Wenham, Australian actor, was born.

1972  Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire country under martial law.

1976  Orlando Letelier, a member of the Chilean socialist government which was overthrown in 1973 by Augusto Pinochet,  was assassinated in Washington, D.C.

1978 Doug Howlett, New Zealand rugby union footballer, was born.

1981 Belize was granted full independence from the United Kingdom.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate as the first female Supreme Court justice.

1989  Hurricane Hugo made landfall in South Carolina.

1991  Armenia was granted independence from Soviet Union.

1993 Russian President Boris Yeltsin suspended parliament and scrapped the then-functioning constitution, thus triggering the Russian constitutional crisis of 1993.

1999  Chi-Chi earthquake in central Taiwan, left about 2,400 people dead.

2001 – AZF chemical plant exploded in Toulouse killing 31 people.

2003 – Galileo mission was terminated by sending the probe into Jupiter’s atmosphere, where it was crushed by the pressure at the lower altitudes.

2004  The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War and the Maoist Communist Centre of India merged to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist).

2008  Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the two last remaining independent investment banks on Wall Street, become bank holding companies as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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