Media merry-go-round

December 17, 2013

Has TVNZ has decided Seven Sharp isn’t sharp enough?

The changes can’t have anything to do with the Broadcasting Standards Authority ordering TVNZ to apologise for “personal abuse masquerading as satire” about Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.

Jesse Mulligan who delivered the diatribe is staying on the show.

The programme got bad reviews before it started.

I warmed to it after it gave the title of the country’s Sharpest Town to Oamaru.

But the programme never fired and TV3’s Campbell Live became the default for anything resembling harder news stories.

The changes have prompted a bit of  a media merry-go-round.

Ali Mau is going to RadioLIVE.

Seven Sharp presenter Ali Mau is leaving TVNZ’s light current affairs evening show to host a RadioLIVE programme with Willie Jackson.

The pair will host a new early afternoon show. . .

Jackson previously hosted an afternoon RadioLIVE show with John Tamihere, but both were taken off air after an interview with an alleged friend of a Roast Busters victim.

Tamihere will not be returning to RadioLIVE next year.


Where were the subs?

December 17, 2013

The ODT and NZ Herald often run the same columns.

Today they both published one by Bob Jones.

The ODT subs did what they were supposed to do and edited out a paragraph in which Jones delighted in a protester committing suicide after he’d told him to.

But where were the Herald subs? They left the offending paragraph in until readers reacted.

The ODT column isn’t on-line. The Herald’s edited version is now with an apology for causing offence to some readers.

Keeping Stock has the original version.

Jones enjoys a reputation for blunt speaking and writing but he crossed a line with this column. The Herald subs ought to have realised that and edited it, as the ODT ones did.


Need for Brown Law

December 17, 2013

If ministers misbehave they can be sacked.

There is no ability to do that for a mayor and Watching Brief has a proposal for legislation to change that:

. . .The Minister shall introduce legislation as a matter of urgency providing for the recall and subsequent new election for any elected local government position.

The legislation will be drafted to achieve the following objective;

To allow voters recall a politician if they get the support of at least 10 per cent of the people who voted in the last election. The politician would be removed from office and a by-election would be held. The recalled politician could still run as a candidate. . .

Len Brown’s behaviour and refusal to resign has highlighted council and public impotence in the face of serious transgression by a mayor.

Watching Brief’s proposal should be taken seriously.

It could be called the Brown Law after the man who has shown such legislation is necessary.

Pending that – there is a petition calling on the mayor to resign.


Rural round-up

December 17, 2013

Canterbury suffers another blow:

Farmers are reeling from yet another blow, after a severe localised hail storm tore its way through the Mayfield area of Mid-Canterbury.

“As the year draws to a close and we are fast approaching harvesting season, Mid-Canterbury farmers are facing a financial nightmare after the hail storm yesterday,” says David Clark, Mid-Canterbury Grain and Seed Chairperson.

“This has been a mongrel year for farmers in Mid-Canterbury; we have gone from snow to wind storms to a very dry spring to now this. It is a horrible way to finish off the year, with radish and carrot crops shredded and wheat and barley crops having the stuffing knocked out of them. . .

A timely reminder:

Fonterra dropped a bombshell last week when it announced its latest consideration on its farmgate milk price.

For farmer shareholders in New Zealand’s largest company, it had been shaping up to be a particularly merry Christmas, with economists suggesting the milk price could be lifted as much as 40c.

Elevated prices, which have defied predictions and remained at very high levels – the GlobalDairyTrade price index was just 7% below its April high and about 50% higher than a year ago – raised expectations for the forecast to rise. . .

UK butter eaters lose taste for Anchor after dairy giant cuts NZ ties – Nicholas Jones:

British shoppers have noticed that their favourite Anchor butter tastes different – with the explanation being it’s no longer from New Zealand.

In Britain, the famous Kiwi brand is used by European dairy company Arla. Until recently, Arla had shipped over New Zealand butter made by Fonterra, but has now switched production to its British facilities.

The Arla logo has been added to block butter packs, but the company has faced a number of complaints from disgruntled customers who were unaware of the change. . .

How much dairying is too much in terms of water quality? – Daniel Collins:

On 21 November the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright, released her second report on water quality. It warned that business-as-usual dairy expansion by 2020 would leave our lakes and rivers more degraded than they are now, even with improved mitigation. I’d now like to re-cap what the report concluded, how it got there, and how it was received.

The report

The purpose of the report was to illustrate how land use change could affect future nutrient runoff – nitrogen and phosphorus – based on a simple, business-as-usual scenario for 2020.

Motu used a combined economics-land use model called LURNZ to project what land use changes are likely by 2020, driven by commodity process and knowledge of land use practices and landscape characteristics. Sheep and beef farming were expected to give way to dairying, forestry, and even reversion to shrubland. . .

Director elections mean an exciting Red Meat Industry:

Federated Farmers looks forward to working with the Boards of the cooperatively owned Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group following their recent Director elections.

“Federated Farmers congratulates the new directors elected to our two largest cooperatives, Don Morrison at Alliance Group as well as Richard Young and Dan Jex-Blake at Silver Fern Farms,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“We also congratulate Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart on his re-election.

“Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre wishes to formally thank Alliance Group’s Owen Poole and Jason Miller as well as Silver Fern Farms’ David Shaw for their service to shareholders. . .


Little change in final referendum results

December 17, 2013

The final results for the referendum on the partial float of a few state assets show little change from the preliminary ones:

Votes

Number of Votes Received

Percentage of Total Valid Votes

For the response

Yes

442,985

32.4%

For the response

No

920,188

67.3%

Informal votes*

4,167

0.30%

Total valid votes

1,367,340

100.0%

*An informal vote is where the voter has not clearly indicated the response they wish to vote for.

Voter turnout on the basis of the final result is 45.1%.  Turnout is calculated by taking the total votes cast of 1,368,925 (being total valid and invalid votes) as a percentage of the total number of voters enrolled as at 21 November 2013 (3,037,405).

The number of invalid votes cast was 1,585 or 0.12% of total votes cast.  Invalid votes are excluded from the count and include, for example, voting papers that cannot be processed because the voter has made the QR code unreadable, or voting papers cancelled as a result of replacement voting papers being issued.

Breakdown by electorate can be found here.

The Dominion Post says the referendum was a waste of money:

. . . If opponents of partial privatisation believe the Government is now honour bound to reverse its position on state asset sales, then previous governments were presumably honour bound to give effect to the popular will expressed in referendums on firefighter numbers, the size of Parliament, tougher prison sentences and smacking.

Except that on each previous occasion a citizens-initiated referendum was held, the government of the day also ignored its outcome. The 1995 National government did not entrench firefighter numbers at January 1995 levels. The 1999 Labour-led government did not cut the number of MPs from 120 to 99. Nor did it introduce hard labour for serious violent offenders. The current National-led Government has not reversed the anti-smacking legislation introduced by its predecessor.

There’s the rub. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Referendums are, as the 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System observed, “blunt and crude” instruments.

They have their place. There are a handful of constitutional issues that should not be decided without reference to the public.

But generally governments should be left to govern. Issues can seldom be reduced to simple “yes” or “no” questions and the country’s position on serious matters should not be determined by populism. . .

Few issues are black and white and therefore most are unsuited to the referendum option of yes or no.

This has been an expensive exercise in self-promotion for the opposition.

Labour’s former president Mike Williams said it was also a way to harvest contact details which discredits the process even more.

 


Critical Mass

December 17, 2013

Discussion with Jim Mora on Critical Mass today was sparked off by:

* A Peculiar Christmas Feast and the 4th Wise Man from Valerie Davies, one of my favourite bloggers.

* Pixar’s 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling

* What 120 things you should do every day to improve your life

And:

* If you need some inspiration for your resolutions try the New Year’s resolution generator.


On track to surplus

December 17, 2013

The government’s plans to return to surplus are on track, but there is no room for complacency.

The Government’s programme to build a faster-growing economy with more jobs and rising incomes is delivering positive results, Finance Minister Bill English says.

The Half-Year Economic and Fiscal Update, issued today, forecasts a relatively strong upturn, with economic growth reaching 3.6 per cent in 2015 and the unemployment rate falling.

“While the recovery gathers momentum, the global environment still remains uncertain,” Mr English says. “In this environment, it is important to maintain clear and credible economic and fiscal settings, as this is the best way to create new jobs, raise incomes and help families to get ahead.”

The latest forecasts show the Government posting a modest operating surplus before gains and losses of $86 million in 2014/15 – similar to the $75 million surplus forecast in Budget 2013.

Surpluses are then forecast to increase to $1.7 billion and $3.1 billion respectively in the following two years. Debt is forecast to fall, with net core Crown debt expected to peak at 26.5 per cent of GDP in 2014/15, before falling to 16.9 per cent of GDP in 2019/20.

“The Government remains committed to responsible long-term fiscal management,” Mr English says. “Improving public sector performance will assist in ongoing spending restraint beyond 2014/15, so we can pay down debt in dollar terms from 2016/17 and build a buffer against future shocks.

“We have a lot of work ahead to make the forecasts and projections a reality. The Government is this year borrowing a net $78 million on average every week and, in dollar terms, net debt will peak at $64.5 billion in 2015/16.

“It is also important to avoid the mistakes of the mid-2000s, when large increases in government spending and a booming housing market drove up interest rates and the exchange rate and eroded productivity.”

At the same time as getting its own finances in order, the Government is continuing to address New Zealand’s significant economic challenges, including a sustained rebalancing towards those sectors of the economy that compete internationally.

“A broad range of targeted microeconomic reforms currently underway, through the Business Growth Agenda, will help lift New Zealand’s productivity and competitiveness.

“Since mid-2009, the tradeables sector has grown by 11.1 per cent, after going into recession in 2005. In the same period, the non-tradeables sector has grown by 6.6 per cent.

“This is a good start, but successful rebalancing will require consistent and positive change over several years,” Mr English says.

The New Zealand economy continued to expand through 2013, growing at 2.5 per cent in the year to June – despite the severe drought which significantly restricted growth in the first half of 2013. This was among the higher annual growth rates among developed countries.

“Signs are that the pace of growth has picked up appreciably in the second half of 2013, and the Half-Year Update shows the economy expanding at 3.6 per cent over the year to March 2015, and then at an average of 2.3 per cent over the following three years.”

Mr English says New Zealand is well placed compared to most countries.

“On average, wages are increasing faster than inflation, business confidence is at its highest level since 1999 and the terms of trade remain high. There are over 53,000 more people employed now than a year ago, and the unemployment rate is dropping as the economy gathers strength.”

Budget 2014 will continue the Government’s priorities for this term: responsibly managing its own finances and returning to surplus; pushing ahead with wide-ranging microeconomic reforms to create a more productive and competitive economy; driving better results and better value for money from public services; and supporting the rebuilding of Christchurch.

“The Half-Year Update confirms the Government’s economic programme is working by laying the foundations for a stronger economy, sustainable jobs and higher incomes,” Mr English says. “New Zealand is well-placed to take advantage of the many opportunities available over the next few years and to withstand global shocks when they come our way.”

Labour left office forecasting a decade of deficits.

National has been able to turn that round in spite of the financial and natural disasters which it’s faced.

It’s back on track to surplus but that surplus is wafer thin.

It’s also at risk from a change of government.

The opposition has fought every policy which has contributed to the economic turn around.

It continues to espouse policies which shows it would continue the higher tax, higher spending policies like those of the last labour-led government which put New Zealand into recession long before the global financial crisis.

The HYEFU is here  and the Budget policy statement is here.

SUMMARY OF ECONOMIC AND FISCAL FORECASTS

 

 

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Actual

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Economic (March years, %)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Economic growth

2.7

2.7

3.6

2.7

2.0

2.2

Unemployment rate

6.2

5.8

5.6

5.4

5.2

4.7

CPI inflation

0.9

1.4

2.4

2.4

2.3

2.2

Current account balance

-4.5

-4.2

-5.5

-6.3

-6.5

-6.4

Fiscal (June years)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Crown OBEGAL ($millions)

-4,414

-2,320

86

1,674

3,104

5,623

Net debt (% of GDP)

26.2

26.3

26.5

25.8

24.4

22.3

Media contacts:  Craig Howie 027 7555 809

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A tale of two selections

December 17, 2013

A media release from the National Party:

Former Westland District Mayor Maureen Pugh has been selected to stand for the National Party in the West Cost-Tasman for the 2014 general election.

“My family has history on the Coast going back more than a century.  It’s an immensely proud day to have been selected by National to contest the 2014 election and given the challenge of winning back the electorate for the National Party.”

Maureen Pugh was selected as the National candidate at a meeting of local party members in Murchison today.  

“This region has massive jobs and growth potential and National has a good story to tell here. I am looking forward to getting out and telling that story,” says Mrs Pugh.

Maureen was first elected to the Westland Distract Council in 1998 serving two terms before becoming the first woman elected as a mayor of Westland District. She served in that role for 9 years before standing down at the recent local body elections.  

“Growing our local economy is essential for the development of our region. We need to continue to explore our mineral resources and capitalise on our massive tourism potential. Now is the time for leadership on these issues, while my opponents aren’t sure where they stand on these important issues,” she says.

National Party Canterbury/Westland Regional Chair Roger Bridge says he’s “delighted to be able to confirm a candidate of such calibre with such strong connections to the West Coast-Tasman area.”

Mrs Pugh says “I have a family history here going back 130 years. I am passionate about the area and have worked hard in one capacity or another for the last 30 years to make it better place from within. Now I am looking forward to promoting our region’s opportunities in Wellington.”  

Maureen Pugh and her husband John live on their dry stock farm in Turiwhate. They have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren. Before entering public life Maureen balanced being a full time mother with part time work and a substantial involvement in community work. 

Throughout her working career she has worked in many different fields from hospitality to school administration. She is currently serving as a trustee or director of several groups including the West Coast Power Trust and the Pike River Memorial Scholarship Trust.

“I have seen through my former role as mayor that the top priorities for our region are job security, improving our tourism sector and filling in the communication/broadband gaps.”

“As a mayor I am proud to have made real achievements in developing our tourism economy, building partnerships with private enterprise to improve the financial literacy of our region’s children and advancing the important role that women need to play in local development.”  

“I am a passionate West Coaster, This is where my family are from and this is where I have made my home. I want to be able to make sure that the issues that matter to us here on the West Coast & Tasman are represented inside the next John Key, National-led government.”

 A media release from the Labour Party:

In the party’s first selection meeting for the 2014 General Election, Labour has endorsed Dr Deborah Russell as the candidate for Rangitikei.

Deborah Russell is a tax expert and left wing columnist, well known in New Zealand social media. She was born in Taranaki and currently lives in Manawatu with her husband and three daughters.

“I’m delighted to be chosen to run for Labour in Rangitikei,” said Dr Russell.

“Rural people have major issues about access to basic services and the infrastructure needed to be a part of New Zealand society. Labour is the party best placed to deliver on this.”

Dr Russell said that the current government tended to forget about some New Zealanders. “Whether you’re a farmer in Taihape, or a mum at home with children in Marton, or a teenager on the streets, you should be able to get decent healthcare, decent housing and decent education.”

She said that the current government was all about big business, and that ordinary people weren’t getting a fair go.

Dr Russell started her career as an accountant working for Deloitte and Treasury. She subsequently completed a PhD in Philosophy at the Australian National University. She went on to be a senior tax policy analyst for the IRD, and is now a senior lecturer in taxation at Massey University. Russell chairs the Labour Party Economic Policy Committee.

In her youth, she was captain of the New Zealand Universities Debating Team.

The difference between the selections is that National selects on merit and Labour has a quota for women.

I know Dr Russell only through her blogs ( A Bee of  A Certain Age and Telling It Left),  and radio appearances.

We’re not going to agree on politics but there is no question over her ability to be an MP.

She’s even been endorsed by David Farrar, although she might not thank him for that!

The question is over Labour’s political management.

Why did it buy itself an argument it doesn’t need to have when it has women who can win selection on merit?


Com Com taking action on swaps

December 17, 2013

The Commerce Commission is to issue proceedings on interest rate swaps.

The Commerce Commission confirms that it has advised three major New Zealand banks, ANZ, ASB and Westpac, that it intends to issue legal proceedings over their sales of interest rate swap contracts to rural customers.

The Commission has advised the banks that in its view there is sufficient evidence that they may have breached sections 9, 11 and/ or 13 of the Fair Trading Act, and that it wishes to place the matter before the Court for its decision.

Commerce Commission Chairman Dr Mark Berry says the Commission aims to file proceedings in March 2014.

“This has been a very extensive and complex investigation, but that phase of it is almost at an end. We have advised the banks of our views that swaps were misrepresented to rural customers. I expect to have more talks with the banks about these views, and about the different facts that might apply to each of them, over the coming months,” said Dr Berry.

“Because court proceedings are in prospect, the Commission will not be commenting further at this time.”

The Commission is also considering the conduct of other institutions that have sold interest rate swaps.

The Commission encourages affected swap customers to contact the Commission on 0800 943 600.

Interest rate swaps are a financial derivative product that allows a borrower to manage the interest rate exposure on their borrowing.

Interest rate swaps were typically provided to large corporate and institutional customers, but from 2005 were offered by various banks to rural customers throughout New Zealand.

In August 2012 the Commission began enquiring into whether interest rate swaps were misleadingly marketed from 2005.

Federated Farmers welcomes the news:

“Having fielded calls from concerned farmers over recent years, we formally wrote to the Commerce Commission in November 2012 requesting that they look into the selling of interest rate swaps,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“Now we have the news that the Commission has found there is a case to be answered under the Fair Trading Act.  Legal proceedings are to be filed in the New Year against ANZ Bank, ASB and Westpac.

“Some of the debt instruments sold to farmers have been highly complicated to say the least.  In both 2009 and 2010, we mentioned problems with swaps in various submissions, including to the Opposition’s Banking Inquiry and the Review of the Banking Code of Practice.

“This was why we felt the Commerce Commission was best placed to properly investigate them and its decision today vindicates this faith.

“The Commission looked at swaps from the perspective of the Fair Trading Act 1986.  This includes misleading and deceptive conduct in trade such as false and misleading representations.

“In this case the Commission is looking at potential breaches of sections 9, 11 and/or 13.

“Federated Farmers supports the Commerce Commission in wanting to hear from farmers adversely affected by swaps.  They can contact the Commission on 0800 943 600.

“We believe the case, when it comes before the Courts, will help to resolve what has been controversial to say the least.  It will also be a good opportunity to remind the entire financial industry of its wider obligations,” Mr Wills concluded.

NBR reports that about $8 billion of rural swaps loans were made.

They were sold without full information being given to customers, at least some of whom felt pressured to take them.

A lot of farmers lost a lot of money with swaps and some lost their farms.


NZ – it’s working

December 17, 2013

The brighter future National promised requires more people in work.

It’s working.
From @[183355881680015:274:New Zealand National Party] : Our plan is working: 53,700 more people employed in the past year.

And more people aren’t not working:

From @[183355881680015:274:New Zealand National Party] : New Zealand’s long-term unemployment is among the lowest in the developed world.


Dairy farmer scores film win

December 17, 2013

Tweet of the day:

Federated farmers commenting on the news James Cameron is to make three Avatar films in New Zealand.


Consumer confidence at 4 year high

December 17, 2013

The good news continues:

New Zealand consumer confidence rose to its highest level in about four years in the fourth quarter as kiwis turned positive about their own finances and more optimistic their own circumstances will improve in the year ahead.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index rose to 120.1 in December, the highest since the third quarter of 2009, from 115.4 in the September survey. Asked about their own financial situation, of those polled a net 0.4 percent said things had improved, up from -9.4 three months ago. Those expecting further improvement in the next 12 months rose to 12.1 from 9.6.

“With the construction sector ramping up, jobs on the rise, house and share prices soaring, and dairy prices sky high, we would have been surprised to see otherwise,” said Dominick Stephens, chief economist at Westpac Banking Corp. “Households haven’t been this positive about their own finances, or optimistic for the wider economy, in many years.”

The survey results come less than a week after the Reserve Bank gave a clear signal it will start raising interest rates early next year in the face of increased momentum in the domestic economy. The Westpac survey follows the ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index last week, which recorded the highest reading in almost four years. Business confidence is near a 15-year high.

“If any more evidence was needed that the New Zealand economy is picking up, this is it,” Stephens said.

 The Westpac survey shows the present conditions index improved to 113.1 from 107.6, while the expected conditions index climbed to 124.8 from 120.5

The one-year outlook for the economy as a whole showed the biggest gained between the third and fourth quarters, surging to 27.8 from 14.1. The five-year outlook slipped back to 34.4 from 37.8.

Those deeming it a good time to buy a major household item rose to 25.8 from 24.7.

The survey of 1,569 people was conducted between Dec. 1 and Dec. 10.

A vehicle dealer told me that last year was a good one and this year is even better. National sales are up 10% and North Otago sales are up 40%.

He credits irrigation with making the difference here.

He said it’s not just farmers who are buying new vehicles. Trades people who are benefiting from the building which has come in the wake of the irrigation are too.


December 17 in history

December 17, 2013

497 BC – The first Saturnalia festival was celebrated in ancient Rome.

546 – Siege of Rome: The Ostrogoths under king Totila plundered the city, by bribing the Byzantine garrison.

942 Assassination of William I of Normandy.

1398 – Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud‘s armies in Delhi were defeated by Timur.

1531 – Pope Clement VII established a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

1538  Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry VIII.

1577  Francis Drake set sail from Plymouth on a secret mission to explore the Pacific Coast of the Americas for Queen Elizabeth I.

1583 – Cologne War: Forces under Ernest of Bavaria defeated the troops under Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg at the Siege of Godesberg.

1586 – Emperor Go-Yozei became Emperor of Japan.

1600 – Marriage of Henry IV of France and Marie de’ Medici.

1637 – Shimabara Rebellion: Japanese peasants led by Amakusa Shiro rose against daimyo Matsukura Shigeharu.

1773 At Wharehunga Bay, Queen Charlotte Sound, 10 men who were with James Cook’s navigator Tobias Furneaux died at the hands of Ngati Kuia and Rangitane, led by their chief, Kahura.

Ten crew of Cook's ship <em> Adventure </em>  killed and eaten

1819  Simón Bolívar declared the independence of the Republic of Gran Colombia in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar in Venezuela).

1834 The Dublin and Kingstown Railway, the first public railway in Ireland opened.

1853 – Pierre Paul Émile Roux, French physician, co-founded the Pasteur Institute (d. 1933)

1865 First performance of the Unfinished Symphony by Franz Schubert.

1889 New Zealand’s Eifel tower opened at the South Seas Exhibition.

New Zealand’s own Eiffel Tower opens

1904 Paul Cadmus, American artist, was born (d. 1999).

1915 André Claveau, French singer, was born (d. 2003).

1918 Culmination of the Darwin Rebellion as some 1000 demonstrators march on Government House in Darwin.

1935 First flight of the Douglas DC-3 airplane.

1936  Tommy Steele, English singer and actor, was born.
1937 Kerry Packer, Australian businessman, was born (d. 2005).
1938  Peter Snell, New Zealand runner, was born.
Peter Snell and Murray Halberg win Olympic gold
1939  Battle of the River Plate – The Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled by Captain Hans Langsdorff outside Montevideo.

Graf Spee at Spithead.jpg

1944 Major Major, No. 1 Dog, 2NZEF, and member/mascot of 19 Battalion since 1939, died of sickness in Italy. He was buried with full military honours at Rimini.

Major Major, mascot of 19 Battalion, dies of sickness

1947  First flight of the Boeing B-47 Stratojet strategic bomber.

1961 Sara Dallin, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1967  Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt disappearsed while swimming near Portsea, Victoria and was presumed drowned.

1969 The SALT I (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) began.

1969  Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closed its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of “A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects.”

1983 The IRA bombed Harrods Department Store killing six people.

1989 Pilot episode of The Simpsons aired in the United States.

2003  SpaceShipOne flight 11P, piloted by Brian Binnie, made its first supersonic flight.

2005 – Jigme Singye Wangchuck abdicated the throne as King of Bhutan.

2009 – MV Danny F II sank off the coast of Lebanon, resulting in the deaths of 44 people and over 28,000 animals.

2010 – Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. This act became the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and the wider Arab Spring.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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