Word of the day


Utile – advantageous; being of use or service; useful; a large tropical African hardwood tree.

Isn’t it great they want to invest here?


American billionaire Bill Foley’s bid to take over NZX-listed The New Zealand Wine Company has been approved.

 The Overseas Investment Office allowed his tilt for up to 90 per cent of the business, which owns Marlborough vineyards and produces wine under the Vavasour, Goldwater, Clifford Bay and Dashwood labels.

Under the application approved on August 15 and just released, Foley gets control of 149ha of land deemed sensitive for $48.1 million. He is then able to expand his interests here, which already include the luxurious Wairarapa lodge Wharekauhau.

Via solicitor Cathy Quinn of Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, Foley made a case for the wine deal being approved, saying he would create and retain jobs, increase export receipts, add market competition and productivity, make available additional investment for development purposes, increase processing of primary products and offer to gift a riverbed to the Crown. . .

The Xenophobes won’t like this but I think it’s great that a businessman like this wants to invest here.

The Foley family gets the business and some land and New Zealand wince gets better access to distribution in the USA and the promise of more inward investment for development.

Is the Meat Workers Union trying to hide something?


The Meat Workers’ Union  has been given a deadline of October 12 to provide consolidated accounts for the 2011 financial year to the Registrar of Incorporated Societies.

It’s been given more time to provide similar details for the previous five years since the national union took over the branches which had been incorporated societies in their own right.

Allan Barber has been on the trail of the missing accounts for almost a year.

The whole story makes very interesting reading and raises several questions, not least of which is: is the union trying to hide something and if not, why hasn’t it been filing accounts as required to by law?



High protein, hypoallergenic milk from AgResearch cow?


AgResearch scientists have bred the first cow in the world to produce high protein milk that may be hypoallergenic.

The work by scientists at AgResearch’s Ruakura campus has been published in the current edition of the prestigious American science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

​“This is tremendously significant,” says AgResearch Chief Executive Dr Tom Richardson. “PNAS is one of the top journals in the world, and to be published in it reflects the world-leading quality of the science behind this discovery.  This will be one of the top-ranking science publications from New Zealand this year.”

The AgResearch team, led by Dr Goetz Laible, wanted to discover if they could produce milk which contained less of a particular milk protein known to be allergenic.

“We were successful in greatly reducing the amount of beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), a milk whey protein which is not in human breast milk and which can cause allergic reactions,” says Dr Stefan Wagner, one of the lead authors on the paper. “Two to three percent of infants are allergic to cow’s milk, and BLG allergies make up a large part of that percentage.” . . .

If you click on the link above you’ll get the explanation of the science behind the discovery.

Malaghan Institute Director Prof. Graham le Gros says “This outstanding breakthrough has enormous implications due to its potential to reduce the significant impact milk allergies have on our children and neatly avoids the concerns associated with genetic modification of the milk proteins themselves.”

Dr Wagner says in future, the basic process of using designer microRNAs to target other genes could provide an efficient tool to change additional livestock traits, for example to produce animals with enhanced disease resistance and/or improved lactation performance.

The successful research team comprised co-authors Anower Jabed, Stefan Wagner, Judi McCracken, David Wells and Goetz Laible. The work was funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and AgResearch.

This is an exciting discovery and it is a bonus that it avoids concerns about genetically modifying milk proteins when GM is very contentious.

Still too early


Given we left Buenos Aires at 5pm Sunday their time (9am Monday here) and had very little sleep it doesn’t make any difference to our body clocks that daylight saving started on Sunday.

But it was only 6 degrees when we got home at 5am, there’s fresh snow on the Kakanui Range and a chill breeze blowing which indicates again that it is till too early to put the clocks forward.

The timing this year did coincide with the start of school holidays which will give teachers and pupils a couple of weeks to adjust before having to face the classroom.

But that’s the only positive I can see in losing an hour in the morning this close to the spring solstice.

But if I’m finding adjusting to travelling a long distance and being short of sleep, it’s nothing to how the All Blacks must be feeling.

Sleep takes priority


We were part of the  Air New Zealand All Black entourage to Argentina which left New Zealand last Saturday (September 22nd) and got back to Auckland late last night.

We then had a connecting flight to Christchurch and drove home from there, arriving at about 5am.

Blogging will resume when I’ve caught up with some sleep and the other items on the things-to-do-when-you-get-home list.

October 2 in history


1187 Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captured Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.

1263  The battle of Largs between Norwegians and Scots.

1535 Jacques Cartier discovered Montreal.

1552 Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible.

1780 John André, British Army officer, was hanged as a spy by American forces.

1789  George Washington sent the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification.

1800 Nat Turner, American leader of slave uprising, was born (d. 1831)

1814  Battle of Rancagua: Spanish Royalists troops under Mariano Osorio defeated rebel Chilean forces of Bernardo O’Higgins and Jose Miguel Carrera.

1835  The Texas Revolution began with the Battle of Gonzales: Mexicansoldiers attempted to disarm the people of Gonzales but encountered stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia.

1851  The pasilalinic-sympathetic compass was demonstrated but proved to be a fake.

1852  William Ramsay, Scottish chemist who discovered noble gases, was born (d. 1916).

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Saltville – Union forces attacked Saltville, Virginia, but were defeated by Confederate troops.

1889  In Colorado, Nicholas Creede struck silver during the last great silver boom of the American Old West.

1890 Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1977).

1904 Graham Greene, British novelist, was born (d. 1991).

1907  Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd, Scottish chemist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1997).

1919  US President Woodrow Wilson suffered a  stroke, leaving him partially paralysed.

1921 Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born (d. 2000).

1924  The Geneva Protocol was adopted as a means to strengthen the League of Nations.

1925  John Logie Baird performed the first test of a working television system.

1928 The “Prelature of the Holy Cross and the Work of God”, commonly known as Opus Dei, was founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá.

1938  Tiberias massacre: Arabs murdered 20 Jews.

1941  Pilot Officer Carlyle Everiss – a New Zealand fighter pilot saved the lives of countless people in the Scottish village of Cowie by staying with his crippled plane to steer it away from houses.

NZ pilot saves Scottish village

1941  World War II: Operation Typhoon, Germany began an all-out offensive against Moscow.

1944 World War II: Nazi troops ended the Warsaw Uprising.

1948 Donna Karan, American fashion designer, was born.

1949 Annie Leibovitz, American photographer, was born.

1950  Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz was first published

1950 Mike Rutherford, English musician (Genesis), was born.

1951 Sting, English musician and actor, was born.

1958 Guinea declared its independence from France.

1959  The anthology series The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS television.

1967  Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African-American justice of United States Supreme Court.

1968 A peaceful student demonstration in Mexico City culminated in the Tlatelolco massacre.

1970 A plane carrying the Wichita State University football team, administrators, and supporters crashed in Colorado killing 31 people.

1986 – ‘Slice of Heaven’  hits No. 1.

1990 A Chinese airline Boeing 737-247 was hijacked; after landing at Guangzhou, it crashed into two airliners on the ground, killing 132 people.

1992 The Carandiru Massacre after a riot in the Carandiru Penitentiary in São Paulo, Brazil.

1996  The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments were signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

1996  An AeroPerú Boeing 757 crashed in Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff from Lima, Peru, killing 70.

1997   European Union: The Amsterdam Treaty was signed.

2001  Swissair liquidated and the airline was replaced by SWISS.

2002  The Beltway sniper attacks began.

2004 American Samoa joined the North American Numbering Plan.

2005 Ethan Allen Boating Accident: The Ethan Allen tour boat capsizes on Lake George, killing twenty people.

2006  Five school girls were murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.

2007  President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea walked across the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea on his way to the second Inter-Korean Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

2009 The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was approved at the second attempt, permitting the state to ratify the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon.


Sourced from NZ History & Wkipedia

%d bloggers like this: