Is this the same team?

July 6, 2013

The Highlanders we watched lose to the Crusaders last week were not the same as the Highlanders we’ve just watched win 49 -44 against the Hurricanes.

Is it the same team that has played so abysmally all season  and if so why didn’t they play like this earlier?

 


Word of the day

July 6, 2013

Mallemaroking – carousing of seamen on icebound ships; the boisterous and drunken exchange of hospitality between sailors in extreme northern waters.


9/10

July 6, 2013

9/10 in the Herald’s political quiz.


Saturday’s smiles

July 6, 2013

Lost –and found –  in translation:

In  a Bangkok Temple :
IT IS  FORBIDDEN TO ENTER A WOMAN, EVEN A FOREIGNER, IF DRESSED AS A  MAN.

Cocktail  lounge ,  Norway :
LADIES ARE  REQUESTED NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN IN THE BAR.

 

Doctor’s  office, Rome :
SPECIALIST IN  WOMEN AND OTHER DISEASES.

Dry  cleaners, Bangkok :
DROP  YOUR TROUSERS HERE FOR THE BEST RESULTS.

In  a Nairobi restaurant:
CUSTOMERS WHO FIND  OUR WAITRESSES RUDE, OUGHT TO SEE THE MANAGER.

On  the main road to Mombasa , leaving Nairobi :
TAKE NOTICE: WHEN  THIS SIGN IS UNDER WATER, THIS ROAD IS  IMPASSABLE.

On  a poster:
ARE  YOU AN ADULT THAT CANNOT READ? IF SO WE CAN  HELP.
In  a City restaurant:
OPEN  SEVEN DAYS A WEEK AND WEEKENDS.

In  a Cemetery:
PERSONS ARE  PROHIBITED FROM PICKING FLOWERS, FROM ANY BUT THEIR OWN GRAVES.

Tokyo   hotel’s rules and regulations:
GUESTS ARE  REQUESTED NOT TO SMOKE, OR DO OTHER DISGUSTING BEHAVIOURS IN  BED.

On  the menu of a Swiss Restaurant: 

 OUR WINES LEAVE  YOU NOTHING TO HOPE FOR.

Hotel ,  Yugoslavia :
THE FLATTENING OF  UNDERWEAR WITH PLEASURE, IS THE JOB OF THE  CHAMBERMAID.

Hotel ,  Japan :
YOU ARE INVITED TO  TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAMBERMAID.

In  the lobby of a Moscow Hotel, across from a Russian Orthodox  Monastery:
YOU ARE WELCOME TO  VISIT THE CEMETERY, WHERE FAMOUS RUSSIAN AND SOVIET COMPOSERS, ARTISTS AND  WRITERS ARE BURIED DAILY, EXCEPT THURSDAY.

 
A  sign posted in Germany ‘s Black Forest :
IT IS STRICTLY  FORBIDDEN ON OUR BLACK FOREST CAMPING SITE, THAT PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT SEX, FOR  INSTANCE, MEN AND WOMEN, LIVE TOGETHER IN ONE TENT, UNLESS THEY ARE MARRIED  WITH EACH OTHER FOR THIS PURPOSE.

 
Hotel,  Zurich :
BECAUSE OF THE  IMPROPRIETY OF ENTERTAINING GUESTS OF THE OPPOSITE SEX IN THE BEDROOM, IT IS  SUGGESTED THAT THE LOBBY BE USED FOR THIS  PURPOSE.

 
Advertisement  for donkey rides, Thailand :
WOULD YOU LIKE TO  RIDE ON YOUR OWN ASS?

 
Airline  ticket office, Copenhagen :
WE TAKE YOUR BAGS  AND SEND THEM IN ALL DIRECTIONS. A  Laundry in Rome :
LADIES, LEAVE YOUR  CLOTHES HERE AND THEN SPEND THE AFTERNOON HAVING A GOOD  TIME.

 

Seen in an Abu Dhabi Souk shop  window:
IF THE FRONT IS CLOSED PLEASE ENTER THROUGH MY BACKSIDE.

 


The case for partial floats

July 6, 2013

The Green Party is continuing to spit into the wind with its attempt to get a politician’s initiated referendum on the partial float of a few state owned companies:

P.S. This is our last week to get Keep Our Assets petitions in, so if you have any signatures yet to send, freepost them to me today at:
Russel Norman . . .

Perhaps he wasn’t listening to Question time when Bill English explained the benefits of the policy:

1. DAVID BENNETT (National—Hamilton East) to the Minister of Finance: What are the advantages of using proceeds from selling minority shareholdings in energy companies to buy new public assets, instead of borrowing that money from overseas lenders?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): Very significant advantages. In the case of the share sales programme, the Government is swapping one asset—that is, a minority stake in an energy company, which it can only hold and collect dividends—for another asset, which is cash, which it can use for all sorts of purposes. Over the entire programme we expect to free up between $5 billion and $7 billion of cash as a replacement for the asset that we are selling. This will be invested in schools, hospitals, irrigation schemes, the rebuild of Christchurch, and other infrastructure projects. The alternative is to borrow the money from overseas bankers rather than get it from New Zealand savers.

David Bennett: How are proceeds from the share sales programme being allocated to reinvest in other priority public assets? . . .

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Government has set up the Future Investment Fund. The money going into that fund comes mainly from New Zealand savers who have had the opportunity, and chosen, to invest in large New Zealand companies. The Opposition despises them for this, but we think it is good for the country. The Future Investment Fund will show transparently where that money is going, and it is going to other public assets.

David Bennett: What investments in new public assets has the Government so far confirmed will be made from the Future Investment Fund using proceeds from the share offer programme?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: As the Opposition has pointed out, it is amazing just how many new public assets you can procure. Last year’s Budget allocated $33.8 million for modernising schools, $250 million towards a KiwiRail Turnaround Plan, $88 million for health sector capital, and $76 million for the new Advanced Technology Institute. This year’s Budget allocated $426 million for the Christchurch and Burwood hospitals, $50 million to speed up the School Network Upgrade Project, $94 million for the 4th year of the KiwiRail Turnaround Plan, $80 million for irrigation projects, $700 million in contingencies for projects such as new schools in Christchurch, Christchurch’s justice and emergency services precinct, and supporting Canterbury’s tertiary institutions to recover from the earthquake. The Government also agreed that over the life of the fund $1 billion will be allocated to other health capital projects. . .

David Bennett: How does New Zealand’s approach to investing in new public assets while limiting extra debt compare with approaches in other countries?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Although some regard this idea as extreme, in fact it is very common around the world. The following OECD countries have Governments that partially own companies that are floated on the stock exchange: Austria, Belgium, Chile, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Greece, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, the Labour Party models itself on Albania, which does not have any of these sorts of companies.

The alternative to selling minority shares in a few state assets are: print more money, borrow more money, tax more or do less.

 


On track to surplus

July 6, 2013

A further improvement in government tax revenue left the operating deficit before gains and losses $763 million smaller than forecast in the 11 months to 31 May, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“The improving economy suggests this lift in tax revenue is likely to remain through until the end of the financial year on 30 June,” Mr English says. “With the Government having locked in its spending track for the next few years, this pick up in revenue, as the economy and company profits improve, is flowing through into the Government’s books.

“This is a positive sign and confirms that the Government remains on track to return to surplus in 2014/15, so we are in a position to have choices about repaying debt and investing more in public services.” . . .

budget

 


Another reason to vote for Oamaru

July 6, 2013

Warren Barton suggests you wend your way to Waitaki:

Don’t write off the Waitaki Valley, which straddles the boundary between North Otago and Canterbury, as a producer of quality wines – especially pinot noir.

This from Grant Taylor from Valli Wines, following the pullout from the area of two of the bigger producers, Craggy Range and now Pasquale, the latter owned by an Italian who spent millions establishing vineyards and a winery there.

If anyone should know it is Taylor -who grew up in Kurow, in the Waitaki Valley, honed his skills in the United States and returned in 1993, when the entire Otago vineyard was measured at just 20 hectares, to become the winemaker at Gibbston Valley Wines. . .

The proximity to the Waitaki Valley with its wonderful wines, honey, salmon and trout fishing, skiing – snow and water – tramping, yachting, boating, Vanished World fossil trail . . . is another reason to vote for Oamaru as the country’s Sharpest Town.

Seven Sharp’s video showing more of the town’s attractions is here.

You can vote here.

sharp


Saturday soapbox

July 6, 2013

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, to muse or amuse.

Happy Hump Day! TGWM x


Parker pulling out

July 6, 2013

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker has announced he’s pulling out of the contest for mayor of Christchurch in October’s local body elections.

As difficult as this decision is, I have decided that I am not going to stand for Mayor at the upcoming election in October.

I have to think of my own well-being, and those closest to me, and I don’t believe I have the energy to lead this city for another term. I feel exhausted having worked non-stop over the past six years in office and I know that I can’t sustain the pressure and stress of this job for another three. The people of this city need a fresh face to lead them over the next three years, when there will be so many great things happening with the rebuild of this city.

I really love the organisation I work for and I’m incredibly proud of this city and the people I work alongside on a daily basis. They’ve taken a pounding since the earthquakes and they have continued to perform outstandingly against much adversity. I’ve put my heart and soul in to this job, as I know they have, and I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for their loyalty and support.

It’s taken a great deal of self-examination to walk away from this job. The people of this city have stood beside each other since the earthquakes and have faced extremely demanding challenges. Their strength astonishes me and I know they now deserve to move forward with their lives with a new Mayor at the helm. Everyone deserves a fresh start and this city needs to be led by someone who has the energy and drive to take them on this journey.

The future is so bright for this magnificent city and I know there are many tremendous things already starting to happen here. I was born here and truly love this place, so I hope to find a new role where I can continue to contribute to the future of this city.

Extraordinary events require extraordinary leadership.

Polls showed Parker was likely to lose the mayoralty to Jim Anderton in 2009 but his performance after the September earthquake saved him.

He was again a voice of calm after the February quake.

But once the crisis was over,  the city and its people floundered.

The loss in the past week of the right to grant building consents and the news that some recently consented buildings didn’t meet building codes and the loss of insurance cover for claims which may arise under the Building Act reflected poorly on the council and its leadership.

How fair it is to blame the mayor may be moot, but the buck stops with him and not standing again is the right decision.

His standing down might make it easier for Lianne Dalziel but it might also open the door for another contender.


July 6 in history

July 6, 2013

371 BC – The Battle of Leuctra, Epaminondas defeated Cleombrotus I.

1044 The Battle of Ménfő.

1189 Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) was crowned King of England.

1253  Mindaugas was crowned King of Lithuania.

1348  Papal bullof Pope Clement VI protecting Jews during the Black Death.

1415  Jan Hus was burned at the stake.

1483 Richard III was crowned King of England.

1484 Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.

1495  First Italian War: Battle of Fornovo: Charles VIII defeated the Holy League.

1535  Sir Thomas More was executed for treason against King Henry VIII.

1560 The Treaty of Edinburgh was signed by Scotland and England.

1573 Córdoba, Argentina, was founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.

1609 Bohemia was granted freedom of religion.

1630 Thirty-Years War: 4,000 Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphus landed in Pomerania, Germany.

1777  American Revolutionary War: Siege of Fort Ticonderoga: After a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreated from Fort Ticonderoga, New York.

1781 Sir Stamford Raffles, British statesman, was born (d. 1826).

1785 The dollar was unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States.

1801  Battle of Algeciras: The French navy are defeated by the Royal Navy.

1809 The second day of the Battle of Wagram –  French victory over the Austrian army in the largest battle yet of the Napoleonic Wars.

1854  The first convention of the United States Republican Party was held.

1885 Louis Pasteur successfully tested his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

1887 Annette Kellerman, Australian swimmer, was born (d. 1975).

1887  David Kalakaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced at gunpoint, at the hands of the Americans, to sign the Bayonet Constitution giving Americans more power in Hawaii while stripping Hawaiian citizens of their rights.

1892 Dadabhai Naoroji elected as first Indian Member of Parliament in Britain.

1892 – 3,800 striking steelworkers engaged in a day-long battle with Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike, leaving 10 dead and dozens wounded.

1893 Pomeroy, Iowa, was nearly destroyed by a tornado that killed 71 people and injured 200.

1905 Alfred Deakin became Prime Minister of Australia for the second time.

1907 Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter, was born (d. 1954).

1907 George Stanley, Canadian politician and designer of Canada’s Flag, was born  (d. 2002).

1917  Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach, was born (d. 2004)

1917 World War I: Arabian troops led by Lawrence of Arabia and Auda ibu Tayi captured Aqaba from the Turks during the Arab Revolt.

1918  Sebastian Cabot, English actor, was born (d. 1977).

1919  The British dirigible R34 landed in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.

1921 Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the United States, was born.

1923 An Auckland−Wellington express ploughed into a huge landslip that had slumped across the tracks at Ongarue, north of Taumarunui in the King Country. Seventeen people were killed and 28 injured.

Main trunk express train disaster

1925 Bill Haley, American singer, was born  (d. 1981).

1927 Janet Leigh, American actress, was born  (d. 2004).

1933  The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Chicago‘s Comiskey Park. The American League beat the National League, 4–2.

1936 Dave Allen, Irish comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1936  A major breach of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal sent millions of gallons of water cascading 200 feet into the River Irwell.

1939 Holocaust: The last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany were closed.

1942 Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

1944 The Hartford Circus Fire, one of America’s worst fire disasters, killed approximately 168 people and injured over 700.

1946 – Sylvester Stallone, American actor, was born.

1947  Richard Beckinsale, English actor, was born (d. 1979).

1947  The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.

1951 Geoffrey Rush, Australian actor, was born.

1957 Althea Gibson won the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.

1958 Jennifer Saunders, English actress,comediene and screenwriter, was born.

1962 Nuclear test shot Sedan, part of Operation Plowshare.

1964  Malawi declared its independence from the United Kingdom.

1966  Malawi becomes a republic, with Hastings Banda as the first President.

1967 Biafran War: Nigerian forces invade Biafra, beginning the war.

1975 The Comoros declared independence from France.

1978 Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1978 The Taunton sleeping car fire occurred in Taunton, Somerset killing twelve people.

1986 Davis Phinney became the first American cyclist to win a road stage of the Tour de France.

1988 The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea was destroyed by explosions and fires. 167 oil workers were killed, making it the world’s worst offshore oil disaster.

1989  The Israeli 405 Bus slaughter -14 bus passengers were killed when an Arab assaulted the bus driver as the bus was driving by the edge of a cliff.

1998  Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport was closed and the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok becomes operational.

2003  The 70-metre Eupatoria Planetary Radar sent a METI message Cosmic Call 2 to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri, HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris that will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049 respectively.

2006  The Nathula Pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opened for trade after 44 years.

2009  Jadranka Kosor became the first female Prime minister of Croatia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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