Word of the day


Basorexia – an overwhelming or uncontrollable inner push or uncontrollable urge to kiss or neck.

Chosen in memory of a New Year’s Eve spent in Argentina.

Everyone kissed us when we arrived at the party, everyone kissed us again at midnight and everyone kissed us again when we left.

None of those kisses were prompted by basorexia but afterwards my farmer commented it was a long time since he’d been kissed by that many women and he’d never been kissed by that many men.

Key Trotter’s NZer of year


Chris Trotter has named David Cunliffe runner-up as New Zealander of the year.

But there’s a but:

But, winning the leadership of the Labour Party is a long way from winning the confidence of the country. To do that one must not only have a story to tell the country, it must also be a story the country is wanting to hear.
Now, you might object that Mr Cunliffe has barely been 100 days at the helm of the Labour Party, and that a great many more days than that are required to open the ears of the electors. My answer to that objection would, however, be a blunt as it is bleak: 100 days was all the time Mr Cunliffe had.
One year out from an election most voters have already made up their minds. To have any chance at all of changing those minds a new leader has to hit the ground running with a message he knows the electorate is longing to hear. . .
Labour finished the year rating only slightly better in the polls than it started in spite of the change of leader. He won the support of members and unions, he wasn’t first choice for most of his caucus and he has done little better than his predecessor in convincing the country to trust him.
Trotter’s New Zealander of the year is Prime Minister John Key:
. . . Seven years on, Mr Key remains New Zealanders’ overwhelming choice as “Preferred Prime Minister”, and his party continues to poll in the high 40s. This would be a remarkable feat under the old first-past-the-post electoral system, it is nothing short of astonishing under a system of proportional representation.
Nothing that has happened in 2013: not the GCSB controversy; not the partial privatisation of state assets; not Kim Dotcom; and certainly not David Cunliffe; have been able to make even a sizeable dent in Mr Key’s apparently impregnable political armour.
For holding our attention – and our affection – for yet another year, I cannot forebear from naming John Key, New Zealander of the Year.
That Trotter is able to see past his left-bias in acknowledging the PM’s strengths is a tribute to both men.
I don’t think my blue bias would allow me to be so magnanimous about a leader from the left.
I think he’s right about both men, I hope he’s also right about the election outcome.
If it was First Past the Post I’d be more confident, but under MMP it will be much harder for National to win a third term.


2013 in review


The clever WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 370,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 16 days for that many people to see it. . . 

The top referring sites were:

  1. nominister.blogspot.co.nz
  2. keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz
  3. kiwiblog.co.nz
  4. nzconservative.blogspot.co.nz
  5. twitter.com

The most prolific commenters were:

  • 1 TraceyS 1383 comments
  • 2 robertguyton 811 comments
  • 3 Andrei 722 comments
  • 4 Viv 629 comments
  • 5 Armchair Critic 448 comments

Thank you to the people who write the blogs which refer readers here, the people who visit and the people who comment.

Click here to see the complete report.

Can’t blame cows


Some Auckland beaches are too polluted to be safe for swimming.

One-third of New Zealand’s beaches are contaminated with sewerage and run-off, and even though local councils are aware of the problem, some are not acting on it. . .

The Auckland Council has released a report telling Aucklanders which beaches are safe and which are not, also identifying four places in the region that are highly polluted.

Weymouth Beach in south Auckland is one of the most polluted beaches in the country. Swimming or even fishing there could make you very sick. . .

If dairy effluent was causing this pollution farmers would almost certainly be prosecuted.

Cows can’t be blamed for sewerage  and some councils which are responsible for its safe disposal aren’t held to the same standard as farmers are.

This doesn’t excuse poor farming practices.

It does show that water pollution is an urban problem too.

Happy New Year


You know you’re growing up when you don’t have to stay up til midnight to farewell the old year;  and it’s so much easier to welcome the new one when you’ve had enough sleep.

However, you spent last night and however you feel this morning, I hope that 2014 is kind to you and yours.

January 1 in history


45 BC  The Julian calendar took effect for the first time.

1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary was named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.

1651  Charles II was crowned King of Scotland.

1735 Paul Revere,  American patriot, was born (d. 1818).

1772 – The first traveller’s cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, went on sale in London.

1779  William Clowes, English printer, was born  (d. 1847).

1788  First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, was published.

1800  The Dutch East India Company was dissolved.

1801 The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland was completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1801 The dwarf planet Ceres was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

1803  Emperor Gia Long ordered all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.

1804 French rule ended in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country on the American Continent after the U.S.

1808  The importation of slaves into the United States was banned.

1810  Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially became Governor of New South Wales.

1833 The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

1833 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect, was born  (d. 1902).

1859 Pencarrow, New Zealand’s first lighthouse, was lit for the first time.

NZ's first lighthouse, Pencarrow, lit for the first time

1860 First Polish stamp was issued.

1861  Porfirio Díaz conquered Mexico City.

1876  The Reichsbank opened in Berlin.

1877  Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.

1879 E. M. Forster, English novelist, was born (d. 1970).

1880 Ferdinand de Lesseps began French construction of the Panama Canal.

1890  Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.

1892  Ellis Island opened to begin processing immigrants into the United States.

1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal,was officially opened to traffic.

1895  J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director, was born (d. 1972).

1899 – Spanish rule ended in Cuba.

1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton was appointed the first Prime Minister.

1912 The Republic of China was established.

1912  Kim Philby, British spy, was born  (d. 1988).

1919 J. D. Salinger, American novelist, was born (d. 2010).

1925  American astronomer Edwin Hubble announced the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.

1934  Alcatraz Island became a United States federal prison.

1939  William Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett-Packard.

1948 The British railway network was nationalised to form British Railways.

1951 New Zealand’s upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished.

1956  The Republic of the Sudan gained independence.

1958 The European Communitywas established.

1959 Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba was overthrown by Fidel Castro‘s forces during the Cuban Revolution.

1960 The Republic of Cameroon achieved independence.

1962 Western Samoa achieved independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.

1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar became the first Latin American to be Secretary General of the United Nations.

1983 – The ARPANET officially changed to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei became independent.

1985 The Internet‘s Domain Name Systemwas created.

1985 – The first British mobile phone callwais made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

1990 – David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.

1993 – A single market within the European Community was introduced.

1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect.

1995  The World Trade Organisation came  into effect.

1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea was detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.

1997 – Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.

1998 – The European Central Bank was established.

2006 – Sydney, sweltered through its hottest New Years Day on record. The thermometer peaked at 45 degrees celsius, sparking bushfires and power outages.

2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappeared over Indonesia with 102 people on board.

2009 – 66 died in nightclub fire in Bangkok.

2010 – A suicide car bomber detonated at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 and injuring 100 more.

2011 – A bomb exploded as Coptic Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, left a new year service, killing 23 people.

2012 – A Moldovan civilian was fatally wounded by a Russian peacekeeper in the Transnistrian security zone, leading to demonstrations against Russia.

2013 – At least 60 people awee killed and 200 injured in a stampede after celebrations at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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