We’re in the final

October 19, 2012

Twelve months is a long time in rugby.

A year ago Otago was in the doldrums, tonight the team beat Tasman 41 – 34 to secure a spot in the final.

Is it too much to hope that Southland will beat Counties Manakau tomorrow to provide a Southern showdown and give Otago a home final?

 


1 Young Nat beats Labour Party

October 19, 2012

A Young Nat took part in Live Below the Line – living on just $2.25 a day for five days.

She raised more than $2,000 in sponsorship.

The Labour Party took part and raised $1,986.

One student managed to make more money for charity than Labour.

Can we claim another victory for the principles of self-reliance and capitalism against socialism?

 

 


Word of the day

October 19, 2012

Ferly – a wonder or marvel;  something amazing, strange, unusual, or unexpected; something causing wonder or terror; to wonder or be surprised.


6/10

October 19, 2012

It’s been a while since I tried NZ History Online’s quiz: 6/10.


Labour wants more power to meddle

October 19, 2012

Labour finance spokesman David Cunliffe wants to give politicians the power to meddle in commercial decisions:

“The threat of an overseas takeover of Fisher and Paykel is now very real and the likelihood of excellent skilled jobs going overseas is worryingly high. 

“Fisher and Paykel is a Kiwi innovation icon. It is the sort of company we need more of in New Zealand, not less. But National is just waving it goodbye.

“The implications of its sale to New Zealand are too important leave the takeover approval to officials. Such a major decision must be made by Ministers. That’s Labour’s policy.

If that’s Labour’s policy Heaven help the share market when they get back in government.

Who’d want to risk their money in the share market when they know that politicians could devalue their shares at whim?

 


Friday’s answers

October 19, 2012

Andrei stumped me with his two questions but Wildwan got the answers which are here with more information from Andrei.

Since I’m baking for a birthday anyway, Andrei can have an electronic chocolate cake for educating me and Wildwan can have one for getting the answers.


Water quality concern for all

October 19, 2012

The Ministry of Environment report on water quality shows most of our popular coastal swimming spots are fine for swimming most of the time but there are many freshwater swimming spots which should be avoided.

The immediate response to this was criticism of farmers and “dirty dairying” in particular.

But farmingin genreal and dairying in particular are not the only culprits.

The New Zealand Herald editorial calls for more action from farmers but also points out:

. . . Oil and brake fluid released onto roads is carried by rains into stormwater drains and end up in streams. Too often in heavy rain wastewater systems overflow and add to the contamination. . .

I make no excuses for people who pollute waterways but some of the criticism levelled at farmers is unfair and where farming can be blamed, it’s not necessarily dairying that is causing problems.

The MfE data summary shows the Kakanui River at Clifton Falls as having poor water quality.

This is very near the intake for the rural water scheme which supplies the water we drink but it is upstream of any dairy farms.

Further down the Kakanui from Clifton Falls, below several sheep and dairy farms and some intensive horticulture,  at the estuary the water quality is fair.

We’ve been working with the regional council to ensure we’re doing all we can on our farm to protect waterways. Tests showed high E-coli below a dam and it wasn’t our stock or farming practices which were to blame, it was water fowl.

Some water issues can be laid at the feet of human visitors too  Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers water spokesman notes:

“Being a representative farmers’ organisation, we know our members cannot duck or hide that a number of these sites do fall in rural areas. Federated Farmers is aware of this and is why we are working across industry and with our own members to lift agriculture’s game.

“I know farmers ‘get it’ and this is why it is wrong to blame farming for everything. Doing that masks the reality there are very poor sites around settlements and near camp sites. . . 

Some farmers still need to improve their practices but most recognise the need to protect waterways. Feds chief executive Conor English says:

. . . The focus needs to be on finding solutions, based on sound science and profitable and sustainable farming.

Farmers are custodians of the land and water, harvesting for the benefit of today and future generations. They want to leave it better than they found it.

While some still need to pull their socks up, farmers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars putting in effluent systems, excluding stock from waterways, measuring fertiliser and investing in more efficient irrigation. That investment has allowed export growth, earning money to pay the bills for hospitals, schools and other services. It provides jobs and has improved the environment.

Water-quality measures must include all those whose discharge into rivers . . .

Water quality concerns us all and improving it requires improvements in both rural and urban practices.


NZ only one to get it right

October 19, 2012

One of US President Barack Obama’s top financial advisors has given New Zealand a ringing endorsement for the way the National Government is handling the deepening world debt crisis,  State Owned Enterprises and Health Minister Tony Ryall said.

‘This week, in a major international BBC debate on rescuing the world economy, Peter Orszag, Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget until 2010, opposed the austerity only position taken by the IMF’s Chairman Christine Lagarde, and Wolfgang Schauble, German Minister of Finance,’ Mr Ryall said.

‘Mrs Lagarde and Mr Schauble said cutting spending was difficult but necessary.  But Mr Orszag said it was better to take a mixed approach – with stimulus for the economy combined with deficit reduction that is put in place now but which takes effect over time.

‘President Obama’s former senior aide singled out New Zealand alone as the model for its balanced approach to the deepening international debt crisis,’ Mr Ryall said.

‘Mr Orszag said: … “for most countries it’s better to combine deficit reduction that you put in place now but that takes effect over time, with if anything, additional support, and that means stimulus, for the economy, effective immediately. And what’s interesting about the fiscal monitor the IMF published also as part of these meetings, is if you look across all the developed countries, there is only one country… which has actually done that, which is New Zealand- who have coupled additional stimulus with medium-term fiscal consolidation. That’s the right policy combination.”(BBC ‘World Debate – Rescuing the Global Economy – What Next?’)

‘This statement by one of President Obama’s top advisors acknowledged the balanced approach taken by the Key led Government over the last four years. The National government has borrowed to take the sharp edges off recession, at the same time maintaining strong fiscal discipline,’ said Mr Ryall.

‘Around $2 billion of borrowings over the last four years have been to protect and grow public health services.  This has contributed to the improved health services New Zealanders are seeing every day, including free doctors’ visits for children under 6, and 35,000 more patients getting elective surgery a year than four years ago.  

‘It is also important the Government completes its government share offer programme, so that we can control our debt, and build the hospitals and schools and broadband we need , but would otherwise have to borrow to complete.

In spite of what the doom merchants are saying, New Zealand is weathering tough global economic times well.

The debate is here.


October 19 in history

October 19, 2012

202 BC  Second Punic War: At the Battle of Zama, Roman legions under Scipio Africanus defeated Hannibal Barca, leader of the invading Carthaginian army.

439  The Vandals, led by King Gaiseric, take Carthage.

1216  King John of England died and was succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.

1453 The French recapture of Bordeaux brought the Hundred Years’ War to a close, with the English retaining only Calais on French soil.

1466 The Thirteen Years War ended with the Second Treaty of Thorn.

1469   Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile, a marriage that paved the way to the unification of Aragon and Castile into a single country, Spain.

1512  Martin Luther became a doctor of theology (Doctor in Biblia).

1789 John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the United States.

1813 The Battle of Leipzig concluded, giving Napoleon Bonaparte one of his worst defeats.

1822  In Parnaíba; Simplício Dias da Silva, João Cândido de Deus e Silva and Domingos Dias declared the independent state of Piauí.

1850  Annie Smith Peck, American mountaineer, was born (d. 1935).

1864 Battle of Cedar Creek – Union Army under Philip Sheridan destroy the Confederate Army under Jubal Early.

1864 – St. Albans Raid – Confederate raiders launched an attack on Saint Albans, Vermont.

1882  Umberto Boccioni, Italian painter and sculptor, was born (d. 1916).

1899  Miguel Ángel Asturias, Guatemalan writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1974).

1904 Polytechnic University of the Philippines founded as Manila Business School through the superintendence of the American C.A. O’Reilley.

1914 The First Battle of Ypres began.

1921 Portuguese Prime Minister António Granjo and other politicians were murdered in a Lisbon coup.

1931  John le Carré, English novelist, was born.

1943  Streptomycin, the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis, was isolated by researchers at Rutgers University.

1946 Philip Pullman, English writer, was born.

1950 The People’s Liberation Army takes control of the town of Qamdo in what is sometimes called the “Invasion of Tibet”.

1950  Korean War:  China joined the Korean War by sending thousands of troops across the Yalu river to fight United Nations forces.

1954 First ascent of Cho Oyu.

1959  The first discothèque, The Scotch Club in Aachen,  opened.

1966 President Lyndon Johnson, the first NZ president to visit New Zealand,  and his wife, Lady Bird, arrived at Ohakea airfield at the start of a 24-hour visit.

New Zealand’s day with LBJ

1969  The first Prime Minister of Tunisia in twelve years, Bahi Ladgham, was appointed by President Habib Bourguiba.

1974 – Niue became a self-governing colony of New Zealand.

1976  Battle of Aishiya in Lebanon.

1983  Maurice Bishop, Prime Minister of Grenada, was overthrown and executed in a military coup d’état led by Bernard Coard.

1986 Samora Machel, President of Mozambique and leader of FRELIMO, and 33 others died when their Tupolev 134 plane crashed into the Lebombo Mountains.

1987  Black Monday – the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22%, 508 points.

1989  The convictions of the Guildford Four were quashed by the Court of Appeal  after they had spent 15 years in prison.

2001 SIEV-X, an Indonesian fishing boat en-route to Christmas Island, carrying over 400 asylum seekers, samk in international waters with the loss of 353 people.

2003 Mother Teresa was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

2004 Myanmar prime minister Khin Nyunt was ousted and placed under house arrest by the State Peace and Development Council on charges of corruption.

2004 – Care International aid worker Margaret Hassan was kidnapped in Iraq.

2005  Saddam Hussein went on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

2005 – Hurricane Wilma became the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb.

2007  A bomb explosion rocked Glorietta 2, a shopping mall in Makati. It killed 11 and injured more than 100 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia


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