Hugger-mugger – disorderly confusion; muddle; in utter disorder; secret, clandestine.
Air New Zealand has slashed its fares to Honolulu, as Hawaiian Airlines announced it was offering three flights a week from Auckland to the Pacific island.
An average round trip economy ticket on Hawaiian Airlines will cost around $1800, which includes meals. Air New Zealand is currently offering return flights from $1000, without meals.
From June, Air New Zealand, which also flies to Honolulu three times a week, is increasing its capacity to the destination, offering bigger planes that will hold 60 more passengers, as well as offering premium economy and flat beds in business class. . .
Isn’t competition grand?
Thursday’s questions were:
1. Who said: “Peace begins with a smile.”?
2. Who was the spy hunter in Graham Greene’s book Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?
3. It’s sourire in French, sorriso in Italian, sonrisa in Spanish and I couldn’t find a noun in Maori but the verb is mene.
4. What’s the name of this song and what is the last line of this verse:
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying?
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5. What five things will always make you smile?
Points for answers:
Alwyn wins an electronic basket of stone fruit with a clean-sweep and a bonus for correcting my literary slip.
Andrei also wins an electronic basket of stone fruit with a clean sweep and a bonus for making me smile with his answer to #5.
Willdwan got four right and a bonus for making me grin with his/her answer to #5.
Answers follow the break.
A state of drought has been officially declared throughout the entire North Island by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy today.
“Local groups have asked for regional declarations of drought in the past week, and it has become clear that nearly all farmers in every part of the North Island are facing very difficult dry conditions.
“Extra Government funding will now be available to Rural Support Trusts who work closely with farmers, providing support and guidance.
“There will also be Rural Assistance Payments (RAPs) available from Work and Income, through the Ministry of Social Development. These are equivalent to the unemployment benefit and are available to those in extreme hardship.
“Many rural people can be reluctant to ask for help, but it is important for them to know that support is available. This is a difficult time for rural families and they need to know that the Government and all New Zealanders are behind them.
“Some rain is forecast this weekend which is welcome news. However we will need more than this to help prepare for the winter and set up for next spring.
“Parts of the South Island are also very dry, in particular the Grey and Buller districts. We are keeping a close watch on all further regions.
“I’m very pleased with how communities have pulled together to help each other out. Federated Farmers have been operating a ‘Feedline’ to match farmers with feed supplies, which is receiving good interest.
“Beef + Lamb NZ, Dairy NZ, the Ministry for Primary Industries and others have also been providing practical support.
“Farmers should contact their accountants or the IRD if they need help or flexibility with making tax payments, and standard hardship assistance is available from Work and Income,” says Mr Guy.
Previously drought has been declared in Northland and North Auckland (February 27) and in the South Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay regions (March 6).
Regularly updated drought information is available at:
This is a very strong argument for irrigation.
Nothing beats water from the sky. But when nature doesn’t co-operate irrigation helps to protect soil, keeps pastures and crops growing, stock in good condition and money flowing from farms through the rest of the economy.
It gives farmers options, makes farms more resilient and reduces the physical, psychological and financial stress of droughts.
Farmers have various tools in the drought-proofing box but none of them is as good as irrigation.
The tax and spend Opposition parties weren’t impressed when National made changes to taxes.
. . . On the revenue side the Govt is now getting the benefit of its broad-based,low-rate tax regime where the loopholes have been closed off: the consequence is total tax collected on nominal GDP is now running faster than it would have on the old regime. . .
A broad-based lower rate tax regime with loopholes closed is fairer than the punish-the-rich and
disicentivise disincentivise-productivity tax policies of the opposition.
They either don’t understand, or don’t care, that lower tax rates can and do lead to higher tax takes.
Voters next year have two choices.
A National-led government that understands the importance of low inflation:
. . . These forecasts of low inflation are good for New Zealand households, particularly those on lower or fixed incomes. In addition, average floating home mortgage interest rates are now around half what they were 5 years ago in 2008. For a family with a $200,000 mortgage, that is saving them around $200 a week.
Or the alternative:
Hon STEVEN JOYCE: Well, there are a number of alternative policies that would put substantial benefits of current low inflation and low interest rates at risk, and that would, of course, cost New Zealand households dearly—for example, trying to artificially and substantially devalue the exchange rate or going soft on inflation; or, for example, opposing the Government’s share offer programme and instead borrowing billions of dollars more to pay for priority assets like schools and hospitals; or, for example, just pulling out the photocopier and printing more money. All of those things would send interest rates and inflation through the roof, directly affecting New Zealand households and families. They are, of course, the cornerstones of the Labour-Green opposition—
Oh yes, the Green Party still wants to print money:
So NZ is borrowing other countries (sic) freshly printed money and paying them interest for the privilege. So why don’t we print some of our own?