Word of the day


 Pachycephalic – thick skulled.

Rural round-up


CHB dam supporters back Wilson – Marie Taylor:

Ruataniwha dam supporters filled the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council offices to over-flowing to back Fenton Wilson’s re-election as chairman last Wednesday.

At the council’s meeting in Napier Wilson was returned for a second term as chairman by the narrowest of margins – only one vote – in a meeting which was testy at times.

Wilson, from Wairoa, won the vote 5-4 against new councillor and former Labour MP Rick Barker.

About 150 farmers turned up to this first meeting of the new nine-person council, which has six new members. Only Wilson, deputy chair Christine Scott and Alan Dick from Napier were returned. . . .

One share ruse fails – Alan Williams:

Would-be board candidate John Monaghan says Alliance Group should have had an independent authority decide on his eligibility to stand for election as director.

“There shouldn’t be any hint of interference from the board,” the Fonterra Co-operative Group director said after Alliance ruled he did not qualify as a candidate.

Monaghan called for Alliance to separate governance from representation, as Fonterra has done, to ensure fair and transparent elections. . .

Pita Alexander tells dairy farmers to ‘make financial hay’ before milk prices fall; and sheep farmers turn to shine is coming:

It struck me the other day that within five years it’s more than likely that Australia and New Zealand will be able to sell more lambs than they will have available.

It’s no secret that our lamb flock has been on the wane and we are another couple of million down from last summer’s drought.

The law of supply and demand would indicate that better prices will result.

Scarcity is a marketing tool of a type, but it is not the whole answer. . .

Molesworth Station road opening early:

A 200 kilometre road through New Zealand’s largest high country station is opening to members of the public early this year.

Molesworth Station in Marlborough is opening Acheron Road from Labour Day Weekend (October 26) to Easter Weekend (April 21).

Previously the road had opened from December to April.

The 207km unsealed road, which runs between Blenheim and Hanmer Springs, will be open to four-wheeled-drive vehicles from 7am to 7pm subject to safety and weather conditions, the Department of Conservation says.  . .

Raise a Glass to Success Campaign 2013:

Raise a Glass to Success is an exciting new online campaign being launched by one of New Zealand’s premier wine brands to celebrate six everyday Kiwis whose passion inspire us all.

The six finalists will be individuals who demonstrate innovation perseverance and a determination to succeed in their chosen field – even when those around them said it couldn’t be done.

They can be involved in any area including the arts, fashion, design or hospitality or they could be up and coming innovators in sustainability or science research. . . .

Mortgagee sale a crushing finale for winery:

A boutique winery and hospitality operation in the Hawkes Bay has been placed on the market for sale by mortgagee tender.

Park Estate located at 2087 Pakowhai Road comprises a winery, restaurant and function centre located next to the expressway, linking Hastings and Napier. The property, in two titles, is being marketed by Bayleys Hastings by salespeople Glyn Rees-Jones and Hadley Brown.

Park Estate was started in the mid 1990s, and produced several varieties under the label of the same name. However, in recent years the business has diversified production into an organic fruit juice and beverage operation currently leasing the land and building. . .



5/10 in the NBR’s Biz Quiz.

Friday’s answers


I know it’s Saturday, but I was a day late with Thursday’s questions which were:

1. Who said: The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”?

2. In her book Superwoman Shirely Conran wrote Life’s too short to stuff a what?

3. It’s occupé in French, occupato in Italian, ocupado in Spanish and toritori in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who left a note on his front door saying:  GON OUT BACKSON  BISY  BACKSON?

5. Does tempus fugit faster as we age?

Points for answers:

Andrei got four and a bonus for the music.

Grant got three and a half – right book, wrong character.

Gravedodger got two with bonuses for humour.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »



8/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz.

Labour’s Green problem


Labour’s new leader David Cunliffe has a propensity for changing to suit his audience.

If it’s a matter of style it might not matter, but when it’s substance it does as John Armstrong points out:

To show he is still boss, Key rode into town this week with all guns blazing.

For the first time outside the parliamentary chamber, he had Cunliffe very much in his sights.

The Prime Minister claimed he had information that Labour’s leader had privately told SkyCity’s management that although Labour’s official line was that the pokies-for-convention-centre deal was shonky, Labour would not accede to the wishes of the Greens and rip up SkyCity’s contract with the Crown.

Facing his first real test as leader, Cunliffe vigorously denied the charge before deliberately ducking and fudging to such an extent that confused reporters drew completely different conclusions about where Labour stands on the matter.

This is not a tactic that Cunliffe can resort to using too often.

Being a different person to different people is one thing, saying different things which sends messages which are mixed or worse, contradictory, is another.

Key will keep up the pressure. He knows Cunliffe is in a very difficult position.

On the one hand, there are those in Labour who would seek to nobble SkyCity as a matter of principle.

Others take the view that an international convention centre means jobs, and Labour’s supporters in lower socio-economic areas would take a dim view of the party kiboshing the project.

Moreover Labour cannot afford to be seen to be ripping up contractual obligations, thereby destroying its credibility with international investors and the moderate voters Cunliffe must win back from National to gain power.

Here lies Key’s wider strategy. Labour needs to show it can work with the Greens to convince people that a centre-left government is a workable proposition.

At the same time, Labour needs to create some distance between itself and the Greens to avoid accusations it is in their pocket.

Winning back votes to the left of Labour will do nothing to grow the left’s vote.

They’ve got to win votes from the centre and even right to grow the how left vote and that will be very difficult when moderates in the centre are at least as averse to the far left as they are to the far right.

Labour’s Green problem is its biggest potential coalition partner is also its biggest rival for far left votes and biggest liability in attracting votes from its right.



Maori Party not looking to merge with Mana


The Maori Party is meeting with the Mana Party to discuss co-operation on issues but it’s not looking to merge:

Maori Party president Rangimarie Naida Glavish said:

. . . “It is vital that we work with other parties to achieve the needs of our people and that’s why we’ve left ourselves open to working with whoever is in government at anytime be they blue or red, green or yellow.

“It makes sense to open discussions with the Mana Party on an issue-by-issue basis, but the question of merging with them looks very unlikely at this stage because of their position to only work with certain parties,which we think would be to the political detriment of our people.” . . .

This is sensible.

There isn’t a single Maori view. Both parties will have common views on some matters but not all.

Mana, like the Green Party, is marooned on the far left where its only chance of being in government are with Labour.

The Maori Party, sensibly stays in the middle, able to go left or right, making it a potential coalition partner in both a National-led or Labour led government.

Webster apologises to Mitchell


The opposition and some media have done their best to shoot the messenger and turn revelations over Auckland mayor Len Brown’s affair into a right wing conspiracy.

Their case is unravelling with a public apology to National MP Mark Mitchell by Auckland City Councillor Penny Webster for embroiling him in the Len Brown scandal:

. . . “I have decided to make a public statement to set the record straight when I saw him having to defend attacks on his integrity and character by Labour MPs in the Parliamentary debating chamber last night,” Webster said.

“The comment Mark made to me should never have been used for political cheap shots or a character assassination.

”It was not made at a cocktail party or as part of idle gossip. I was in a business meeting with Mark over electoral and council matters when our conversation turned to local government elections and the mayoral campaign. Mark made a passing comment, something like ‘scuttlebutt floating around for a while about the mayor having a skeleton in his closet. If there is a skeleton I hope that his wife and children know because families are always the victims in these sort of things’.”

Webster said she laughed, and said she was sure it wasn’t correct and Mitchell agreed with her.

“It was a generic conversation between him and I, and I deeply regret using his name in a later conversation with the mayor’s chief of staff.”

“I am bitterly disappointed that this information has been used in this way to attack our local MP. I wish to apologise to Mark and his family and I will be focused on re-establishing a strong working relationship that he can have confidence and trust in.”

If there’s anything remarkable about his protracted affair becoming public it’s that it didn’t happen earlier and that there wasn’t something a lot more damning than scuttlebutt about a skeleton in his closet floating about.

The guilty party in this sordid business is Brown and trying to turn the revelations into a political conspiracy won’t exonerate him.

Saturday soapbox



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.
How many things can you relate this quote to in 15 seconds?

October 26 in history


306  Martyrdom of Saint Demetrius of Thessaloniki.

1597  Imjin War: Admiral Yi Sun-sin routed the Japanese Navy of 300 ships with only 13 ships at the Battle of Myeongnyang.

1640 The Treaty of Ripon was signed, restoring peace between Scotland and Charles I of England.

1689  General Piccolomini of Austria burned down Skopje to prevent the spread of cholera. He died of cholera soon after.

1774  The first Continental Congress adjourned in Philadelphia.

1775  King George III went before Parliament to declare the American colonies in rebellion, and authorised a military response to quell the American Revolution.

1776  Benjamin Franklin departed from America for France on a mission to seek French support for the American Revolution.

1795  The French Directory, a five-man revolutionary government, was created.

1811  The Argentine government declared the freedom of expression for the press by decree.

1825 The Erie Canal opened – passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.

1859 The Royal Charter was wrecked on the coast of Anglesey, north Wales with 459 dead.

1860  Meeting of Teano. Giuseppe Garibaldi, conqueror of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies, gives it to King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.

1861  The Pony Express officially ceased operations.

1865  Benjamin Guggenheim, American businessman, was born (d. 1912).

1881  The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

1883  Napoleon Hill, American writer and philosopher, was born (d. 1970).

1905 Norway became independent from Sweden.

1909 Itō Hirobumi, Resident-General of Korea, was shot to death by Korean independence supporter Ahn Jung-geun.

1912  First Balkan War: The capital city of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, was unified with Greece on the feast day of its patron Saint Demetrius. Serbian troops captured Skopje.

1916 François Mitterrand, President of France, was born (d. 1996).

1917   Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. The young unknown Oberleutnant Erwin Rommel captured Mount Matajur with only 100 Germans against a force of over 7000 Italians.

1918  Erich Ludendorff, quartermaster-general of the Imperial German Army, was dismissed by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany for refusing to cooperate in peace negotiations.

1921  The Chicago Theatre opened.

1936  The first electric generator at Hoover Dam went into full operation.

1940  The P-51 Mustang made its maiden flight.

1942 The Women’s Jurors Act enabled women to sit on juries in New Zealand.

Women Jurors Act allows women to sit on juries

1942  Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands: U.S. aircraft carrier, Hornet, was sunk and another aircraft carrier, Enterprise, was heavily damaged.

1943 World War II: First flight of the Dornier Do 335 “Pfeil”.

1944  World War II: The Battle of Leyte Gulf ended with an overwhelming American victory.

1947  Hillary Rodham Clinton, 67th United States Secretary of State, was born.

1947 The Maharaja of Kashmir agreed to allow his kingdom to join India.

1948  Killer smog settled into Donora, Pennsylvania.

1955  After the last Allied troops left the country and following the provisions of the Austrian Independence Treaty, Austria declared permanent neutrality.

1955 – Ngô Đình Diệm declared himself Premier of South Vietnam.

1958  Pan American Airways made the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.

1959  The world saw the far side of the Moon for the first time.

1964 Eric Edgar Cooke became last person in Western Australia to be executed.

1967 – Keith Urban, New Zealand singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Ranch), was born.

1967  Mohammad Reza Pahlavi crowned himself Emperor of Iran and then crowned his wife Farah Empress of Iran.

1977 The last natural case of smallpox was discovered in Merca district, Somalia. The WHO and the CDC consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.

1979  Park Chung-hee, President of South Korea was assassinated by KCIA head Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-ha becomes the acting President.

1984  ”Baby Fae” received a heart transplant from a baboon.

1985  The Australian government returns ownership of Uluru to the local Pitjantjatjara Aborigines.

1992 The London Ambulance Service was thrown into chaos after the implementation of a new CAD, (Computer Aided Despatch) system which failed.

1994 Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty

1995  Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Mossad agents assassinated Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shikaki.

1999  Britain’s House of Lords voted to end the right of hereditary peers to vote in Britain’s upper chamber of Parliament.

2000  Laurent Gbagbo took over as president of Côte d’Ivoire following a popular uprising against President Robert Guéï.

2002 Moscow Theatre Siege: Around 50 Chechen terrorists and 150 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz stormed a theatre building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the terrorists three days before.

2003  The Cedar Fire, the second-largest fire in California history, killed 15 people, consumed 250,000 acres (1,000 km²), and destroyed 2,200 homes around San Diego.

Sourced from NZ History Online & WIkipedia.

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