Word of the day

May 23, 2014

Putative –  commonly believed, generally considered or reputed to be; alleged; supposed; assumed to exist or to have existed; imagined; postulated, hypothetical.


Chris Bishop Nat candidate for Hutt South

May 23, 2014

Chris Bishop has been selected by National as its candidate for the Hutt South electorate.

. . . Chris was born and raised in Lower Hutt, attending Eastern Hutt School and Hutt Intermediate. He has worked in both the private and public sector, as well as contributing to the community as President of the New Zealand Schools Debating Council. He was the 2006 Young Wellingtonian of the Year.

Chris holds a first class Honours degree in Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University, and has been admitted to the bar as a Barrister and Solicitor.  He is a skilled debater and public speaker, having won ten intervarsity debating tournaments, including at the Cambridge Union and Sydney Union.

Chris worked as a researcher for National in opposition before spending two and a half years working as a Ministerial Advisor to Hon Gerry Brownlee. Between 2011 and 2013 he lived and worked in Auckland as Corporate Affairs Manager for Philip Morris New Zealand, before returning to Parliament to work as a Senior Advisor to Hon Steven Joyce.

Some commentators have seized on the fact this is the second candidate who’s worked for Philip Morris and suggested a conspiracy, but National’s record on anti-smoking initiatives show there is nothing to worry about.

Prime Minister John Key isn’t worried about National putting up two former tobacco lobbyists as election candidates.

“Not in the slightest,” he told reporters.

“Look at the government’s record – we’ve done everything from changing point of sale rules to substantially increasing tobacco excise, and we’ve got a plain packaging bill in parliament.” . . .

I’m anti smoking to a point infinitesimally short of bigotry  but have no concerns that should one or both these candidates become MPs there will be any change in National’s efforts to reduce smoking.

 


NZ back in top 20 for competitiveness

May 23, 2014

New Zealand is back in the top 20 for global competitiveness:

New Zealand’s global competitiveness is climbing again. It has improved five places in the past year to rank 20th in the world, according to the just released Swiss-based IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, a performance survey assessing 60 global economies based on 338 criteria (2/3 are statistical indicators, 1/3 is survey data).

New Zealand’s ranking fell consistently from 15th place, recorded in 2009, to our lowest ever ranking of 25th recorded last year. Our highest ever ranking was 11th recorded in 1997. The IMD survey has been going for 26 years.

This year’s leap further closed the gap between trans-Tasman neighbours New Zealand and Australia. Australia slipped another notch from 16th to 17th place this year. Australia ranked behind New Zealand 17 years ago, but the tables turned over the intervening years and at one stage Australia passed New Zealand by a healthy 10 place margin.

“New Zealand seems to be climbing back into contention and pitching for a higher slot,” said New Zealand Institute of Management (NZIM) Chief Executive Mr Gary Sturgess when he announced the release of the results of the latest survey. NZIM is IMD’s local survey partner.

“This year’s result is pleasing and no doubt reflects New Zealand’s generally improving economic performance,” said Mr Sturgess. “It’s been a long, hard slog to get back on top of our competitiveness game but the signs, as revealed in this year’s survey, are promising. If we’re to compete successfully in our new and fast growing Asian marketplace, we’ll have to perform better than we have in recent years.

“This year’s results do, however, show that New Zealand still has some way to go to get back to competitiveness performance levels achieved in the past,” said Mr Sturgess. “For example, our overall economic performance still ranks at 34 compared with 30 back in 2009. And our business efficiency and infrastructure rankings at 23 and 24 respectively are still down on what they were five years ago.

“New Zealand has always ranked among the world’s highest when it comes to government efficiency. This year’s survey confirms that we are still one of the world most business friendly economies. We’re an open, tariff and subsidy-free economy. Bribery and corruption aren’t prevalent and government is generally very transparent in its business and public transactions.

“But we still suffer from an acute shortage of international management skills. International (management) experience, entrepreneurship and employee training all rank lower than 50 among the 60 economies measured. Our shortage of skilled labour and low workplace productivity are competitiveness performance inhibitors according to the survey. Organisations must put more effort into developing the competencies needed to lift our overall management and leadership capability,” said Mr Sturgess.

The IMD and NZIM identified five challenges facing New Zealand in 2014, the first of which highlighted the need to solve the country’s shortage of internationally competent and experienced senior managers.

The other four challenges included the need to:

• improve international market access and trade connections

• boost knowledge-based capital investment

• raise productivity and workplace skills levels

• close the gap between productivity and average per capita income levels.

The United States is still the world’s most competitive economy, after slipping to second in 2012. Switzerland is second, Singapore third, Hong Kong fourth and Sweden the world fifth most competitive economy. Germany, Canada, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Denmark and Norway rounded out the first 10 places.

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook ranks countries on their ability to create and sustain enterprise competitiveness. The overall ranking released today reflects more than 300 criteria, two-thirds of which are based on statistical indicators and one-third on an exclusive IMD survey of 4,300 international executives.

The world rankings scoreboard is here.

Highlights from this year’s report include:

The US retains the No. 1 spot in 2014, reflecting the resilience of its economy, better employment numbers, and its dominance in technology and infrastructure.

There are no big changes among the top ten. Small economies such as Switzerland (2), Singapore (3) and Hong Kong (4) continue to prosper thanks to exports, business efficiency and innovation.

Europe fares better than last year, thanks to its gradual economic recovery. Denmark (9) enters the top ten, joining Switzerland, Sweden (5), Germany (6) and Norway (10). Among Europe’s peripheral economies, Ireland (15), Spain (39) and Portugal (43) all rise, while Italy (46) and Greece (57) fall.

Japan (21) continues to climb in the rankings, helped by a weaker currency that has improved its competitiveness abroad. Elsewhere in Asia, both Malaysia (12) and Indonesia (37) make gains, while Thailand (29) falls amid political uncertainty.

Most big emerging markets slide in the rankings as economic growth and foreign investment slow and infrastructure remains inadequate. China (23) falls, partly owing to concerns about its business environment, while India (44) and Brazil (54) suffer from inefficient labor markets and ineffective business management. Turkey (40), Mexico (41), the Philippines (42) and Peru (50) also fall. . .WCY-country-rankings2

WCY-country-rankings


Rural round-up

May 23, 2014

Beef producers demand a high quality TPP deal:

Beef producers from four Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries have again demanded that any TPP agreement be a high quality deal that eliminates all tariffs on beef.

Members of the Five Nations Beef Alliance (FNBA)* from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, urge all participants involved in the TPP negotiations to re-commit to securing a comprehensive, non-discriminatory outcome – one which eliminates tariffs and importantly addresses behind the border trade barriers.

FNBA is concerned that TPP members have not been able to craft a tariff-eliminating deal for beef, and unless all parties step up to the plate and reaffirm their commitment to a trade liberalizing outcome, countries could begin to drift away from the goal of achieving a 21st century agreement. . .

Forest researchers frustrated by ruling:

A High Court ruling against the use of genetic engineering techniques for tree breeding has frustrated forestry researchers but relieved GM opponents.

The Sustainability Council challenged a decision by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) that allowed Forest Research Institute Scion to use two new plant breeding technologies to grow pine trees that among other things would cope better with climate change, and be more disease resistant.

But the High Court has ruled the authority misinterpreted the law and should not have approved the techniques.

Scion said the court decision showed up serious deficiencies in the law covering genetically modified organisms. . .

Native plants often the best answer:

Native plants can help farmers in a multitude of ways, South Canterbury expert Hugh Thompson says.

Speaking at the Trees on Farms workshop at Pleasant Point on April 30, Mr Thompson said native species could be used in shelter belts and riparian plantings, for soil stability in creeks and steep areas, for biodiversity, and for aesthetic reasons.

”They look natural and they’re there forever.”

Six years ago, concerned by the neglect of native vegetation on farmland, Mr Thompson became a full-time horticulturist and started a native nursery.  . .

Goat Conference to address adding value to New Zealand:

Federated Farmers is pleased to announce that the inaugural NZGoats Conference in Queenstown, on 23-25 May, will be focusing on adding sustainable value to the industry.

“Right now the goat industry has a lot to offer with goat meat leading global red meat consumption and Mohair becoming a popular niche fibre so this conference is at a pivotal time for the industry,” said John Woodward, Federated Farmers Mohair New Zealand (INC) Chairperson.

Chairperson of Federated Farmers NZGoats, Dawn Sangster, added “The event is a collaboration between Mohair New Zealand (Inc), Meat Goat New Zealand and NZ Goats, under the Federated Farmers Goats industry umbrella, and the New Zealand Boer Goat Breeders Association (Inc).

“It is aimed at both experienced goat farmers and those interested in the potential of goat farming as a way to diversify their farm business”. . .

Chilly diners get blanket coverage – Sally Rae:

When it came to warming up Queenstown’s Public Kitchen and Bar over winter, the solution was simple – New Zealand wool.

And it all fell into place after Domenic Mondillo was tackled by restaurant manager Heidi Thomson about ways to promote Mondillo Wines and also how to keep customers warm.

Mr Mondillo’s wife Ally had been looking for wool blankets to put their branding on and use as promotional items for clients and overseas visitors and met Polly McGuckin at Exquisite Wool Blankets. . . .

Outdoors Lobby Seeks Party Election Policies:

A national organisation is seeking the views of political parties and current MPs on outdoor recreation and environmental issues. The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations (CORANZ) has prepared an election charter and sent it to political parties and MPs said Andi Cockroft, CORANZ co-chairman of Wellington.

“Responses will be later collated and made public,” he said.

Andi Cockroft said CORANZ was strictly apolitical and “politically impartial” but had increasingly viewed with alarm the style and policies of recent governments that were bypassing democracy and eroding the public’s heritage of the outdoors and environmental quality.  . .


Budget day behind the scenes

May 23, 2014


Friday’s answers

May 23, 2014

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: In large states, public education will always be mediocre, for the same reason that in large kitchens the cooking is usually bad.?

2.  What is a spurtle?

3. It’s four in French, forno in Italian, horno in Spanish and oumu in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What would you do with a toque?

5. You’ve got half an hour to prepare a meal for unexpected guests, what do you cook?

Points for answers:

Ray and Gravedodger get four with a bonus for the menu.

J Bloggs also got four and Andrei got three.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Budget works for women

May 23, 2014

A few decades ago James K. Baxter wrote about National Mum and Labour Dad.

Things went downhill after that and until recently national has found it harder to win women’s support.

The good news is that has been changing and the Budget has helped to woo women:

The Key Govt, which is fighting to keep its support base around the 46% mark, got an unexpected bonus from the budget last week, with what could be a decisive shift in support from women voters. Trans-Tasman understands private polling showed women reacted positively to the measures announced in the budget for free GP visits and free prescriptions for children under 13, improvements to paid parental leave, a lift in the parental tax credit from $150 a week to $220 a week, and the move to make early childhood centres more accessible and affordable. In reporting their feedback from the budget National backbenchers also noted the intense response from women to measures which were seen to be directing some of the fruits of economic success to where support is most needed. Traditionally National’s support base has been weakest among women voters, especially in the 20-to-40 age group, and in this election it may be more vital than previously to ensure it maximises its vote in this segment.

It was a family-friendly Budget.
Maggie Barry MP's photo.

But it wasn’t just family-friendly, it was also business-friendly.

There has also been a positive reaction from the business sector whose priority is for the Govt to deliver on the basics and ensure the economy is moving in the right direction. This is particularly important where business is moving through the phase of investing in new plant and machinery. The interesting new feature in budgetary responses is coming from iwi leaders who seek dialogue with the Govt, as they plan developments in the wake of major Treaty settlements.

That last point is a welcome sign of what happens when iwi move from grievance to growth.


NZ First faltering

May 23, 2014

Confidence votes are important for governments.

Without them they fall.

No confidence votes moved by the Opposition are largely for show – and what was shown yesterday was that New Zealand First is faltering in the absence of its leader.

Yesterday parliament was asked to vote on the vote of no confidence moved by labour leader David Cunliffe.

The Green’s default position is to be against everything and it voted against it.

NZ First was leaderless yesterday and without Winston Peters its MPs don’t know what they’re for or against and they too voted against the motion.

The Greens realised their mistake before it was counted and corrected it. NZ First’s MPs did not and Cunliffe’s vote was initially defeated 50-71.

Someone must have told the hapless MPs what they’d done and Barbara Stewart returned to the house to seek leave to correct the result.

Perhaps it was a Freudian slip which shows the MPs really prefer National to Labour, or maybe it was just a sign the NZ First in not just Winston First, it’s Winston only and when he’s not there his MPs haven’t a clue what they’re doing.

The voting starts around 10 minutes, but Bill English’s right of reply which precedes the vote is worth listening to, too.

Should you prefer to read it, here’s Hansard’s draft transcript:

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance): It is a privilege to be able to just wind up this Budget debate as the Government looks to a confidence vote with some confidence. I was very pleased to hear Minister Tolley’s speech, because she, along with other Ministers, has done an excellent job over the last 6 years now—almost 6 years—of providing better public services when we have had a tight budget, and we have done it again this year. At a time when the Government is spending less new money, by a large factor, than the previous Labour Government, we are seeing improvements in those kinds of issues that are at the core of the purpose of our public services. Because this is a Government that seeks to resolve problems and reduce misery, not fund a system that feeds off it.

That is where the Labour Party is. The Labour Party believes in State monopolies that fund services that feed off misery. Labour does not want problems solved, because if you have less misery, you have less Government. That is a key to this Budget. Under this Budget the Government will spend 30 percent of GDP—down from 35 percent just 4 years ago. We have been able to control expenditure not by slashing and burning but by understanding the core drivers of criminal behaviour, of educational failure, and social dysfunction, and starting to act on them. I say “starting” because it is pretty clear that the changes we are bringing about in public services are only just getting going and the benefits are only just starting to flow. There is so much more to be done. That is why we have a surplus. We have a surplus because what works in our communities works for the Government’s books: less crime, less spend—you get a surplus. More educational achievement, less remedial teaching—you get a surplus. That is what is working. That is in the context of a growing economy. We are having a confidence vote tonight. This is a confident Budget for a confident country—a Budget for a country that knows where it is going from a Government that knows what it is doing. That is why it is going to win the confidence vote in this Parliament. It is because it is in the context of an economy that is growing and New Zealanders beginning to understand that all New Zealanders can share in the benefits of that growth—this time around, it is New Zealand families with young children. That is the product not of any particular, big decision in this Budget or in the previous five from the John Key – led National Government; it is a product of considered and consistent change over time, always working towards sustained economic growth that can deliver dividends to New Zealand households year after year. New Zealanders do not really measure growth in terms of GDP. They measure it in terms of better job security—and it is a lot better now than it has been for a long time—and whether their incomes are likely to rise. If we achieve, if New Zealand achieves—

Andrew Little: You’ve got a pretty bad start so far—46 percent can’t get a pay rise.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: It is interesting that the member keeps quoting that, because that is about the average in most years, including when Labour was in Government. In any given year when Labour was in Government, 45 percent of the workforce did not get a pay rise. But I will tell you what they were doing. I will tell you what was happening. They were paying interest rates of 10 percent for first-home mortgages. The cost of living was going up. Inflation by 2007-08 was 5 percent, and today it is less than 2 percent. So they had no wage rises, interest rates were going through the roof to 10 percent, and the cost of living was going up by 5 percent.

Andrew Little: What are you doing to lift wages?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Well, let us discuss some of the member’s proposals that came up in this Budget debate. Here is one. Here is a question: what is the Labour Party’s immigration policy?

Hon Member: They don’t know.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: All I would say is: “Don’t ask them because they don’t know.”, because I think, as Phil Twyford said, they were going to cut immigration to a net 5,000. So I expect that this weekend at the ethnic functions in Auckland, Labour members will be getting up in front of the Indian community and saying “There’s far too many of you. We’re going to cut the number. We’re going to slash the number—no more Indians.” Then, because they are true to their word, they will be going off to the Chinese celebration and saying “Ahh, too many Asians in housing auctions around Auckland. They’re all Chinese. We’re going to slash the numbers.” And then they are going to go down to the Pasifika function. That is right, and they are going to say “No more family members from the Pacific Islands.” That is because Phil Twyford and David Cunliffe said on the radio: “We are going to slash immigration in order to control the housing market.”

Hon Hekia Parata: That’s what it means.

Hon BILL ENGLISH: It is not just what it means; it is what they said. It is what they said. Labour’s immigration policy is to slash migrant inflows. I think it is a bit weird. I think it is a bit weird from a party that has traditionally regarded itself as the representative of the migrant communities. But we will be there, Ms Collins will be there, Sam Lotu-Iiga will be there, Kanwal Bakshi will be there, and they will write down what Grant Robertson says to those people. But then it is not weird when you think about what they are saying to low-income New Zealanders.

Chris Auchinvole: What do they say?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I will tell you what they are saying to low-income New Zealanders. They are saying—I thought you might be interested—“We’ve got this really bright new idea, which is to increase KiwiSaver contributions so that the Chinese buyers don’t have to pay higher interest rates.” OK? Or so that the Indian buyers do not have to pay higher interest rates. So we have asked a simple question: by how much would you need to increase KiwiSaver contributions in a compulsory scheme to offset a 1 percent increase in interest rates?

Chris Auchinvole: And what do they say?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: They do not know, so we have done our own calculation and it is 15 percent—15 percent. In the weekend Labour members are going to be out in the Ōtara market, saying to women who have the second job in a household and are doing 25 hours’ cleaning in the middle of the night during the week in order to feed their family: “You have to join compulsory super, and we are going to take 9 percent of your gross income off you. That’s not enough, because when the Chinese drive the interest rates up, we’re going to put it up to 15 percent.”, and we will be listening.

What a stupid, dangerous, unfair policy. Apparently slashing immigration and forcing low-income people to save money they do not have is Labour’s response to the Budget. I used to think it was lazy, but I did not think it was that silly. I really did not. I am looking forward to campaigning in south Auckland with the growing interest from the Pasifika vote. We can stand up and say that jobs are growing, wages are rising, and they will stand up and say “We are going to slash your take-home pay and make sure your family cannot come to New Zealand.” But you know what they will do, they will say something completely different. As usual, we will have no idea what their policy is, because in here, in the office buildings, and on Radio New Zealand they say compulsory superannuation and slashed migration, but when they get out in the suburbs of Auckland, I do not know what they will say. They will sound like Martin Luther King. That is what they will do—

Hat tip: Keeping Stock


Labour’s listing

May 23, 2014

Labour MP Ruth Dyson is standing for the Port Hills electorate but isn’t seeking a place on her party’s list.

Dyson has dropped down the Labour Party rankings in a series of reshuffles, from No 5 under former leader Phil Goff in 2011, to recently being demoted by David Cunliffe to 28 (out of 34), behind the likes of Kelvin Davis.

Davis is not yet even an MP but will return to the Capital when Shane Jones leaves Parliament.

Barnett said it was “not unusual” for MPs not to chase list placings. . . .

He was never on the list when he was an MP and Lianne Dalziel didn’t seek a list place three years ago. Nor did Damien O’Connor who objected to the process being run by selection process run by “self-serving unionists and a gaggle of gays”.

Labour’s candidate in Napier, Stuart Nash isn’t seeking a list place this time either.

Dyson’s move was announced at a regional list selection meeting in Christchurch on Sunday, which Barnett said was “relaxed”. He believed the move was tactical, with Port Hills always a tightly contested seat.

“It’s not unusual for somebody in a seat which is going to be a pretty tight, hard race to focus entirely on being an electorate candidate,” Barnett said.

“My sense [speaking to Dyson] was the consideration was entirely about the electorate . . . It’s always been a tight seat for the 20 years that she’s been there; it’s the nature of that part of the city.” . . .

National won the party vote in the seat at the last election and boundary changes have made it far more marginal.

But under MMP, it is never entirely about the electorate.

Electorate votes get a candidate into parliament but it’s the list vote which gets a party into government.

Opting off the list can send a message to voters that if they want the candidate, they have to give them their electorate vote.

But this also reinforces the message that all’s not well on the not so good ship Labour, that candidates have no confidence in the list ranking process and emphasises the lack of unity in the party and caucus.

The nautical definition of listingis a tendency for a boat to tilt or lean to one side owing to an unstable load or ballast.

If it lists too far it can start losing cargo and eventually tip over.

Labour’s lurch to the left could be described as listing to port which ought to please Dyson who is one of its more left-wing MPs but she has decided to jump overboard from the list.

It could just be a message for voters to support her with their electorate votes. It could also be showing she doesn’t trust her party to give her the support she’s seeking from voters.


Lowering the tone

May 23, 2014

Debate in parliament can be robust, it can also be personal and in the past week there’s been a lowering of the tone with a descent into nastiness:

NZ First leader Winston Peters is known for his expensive suits but he triggered a Savile row of a different nature when he turned on ex-NZ First MP Brendan Horan this week. To say there is bad blood between the two is an insult to leukemia. The loathing runs deeper than the Marianas Trench, as wide as the mouth of the Amazon.

But to do as Peters did, and to describe Horan as “the Jimmy Savile of NZ politics”  – and to do so not once but twice in what was clearly a calculated insult – takes it to a whole new level. Savile, the deceased British “celebrity” who sexually preyed on young, often handicapped, girls, is the nuclear option of insults. It all looked a bit desperate. You cannot make such a comment without backing it up with some evidence.

Yet Peters not only failed to do so, but failed to front in Parliament the following day, when Horan had signalled he would reveal his own deep scandal about NZ First.

It left the rest of the NZ First MPs – who tend to resemble a bunch of ageing Social Creditors with anger management issues at the best of times – making a shambles of trying to use Parliament’s standing orders to block their former colleague.

In the end, Horan’s revelations Peters was using the leader’s budget for electioneering and campaigning expenses, namely software and staff, proved something of a damp squib. It is still far from clear NZ First is doing anything wrong with its Parliamentary funding, although no doubt the party does – like all the others – push it right up to the edge of the rules. . .

New Zealand wasn’t the only party guilty of lowering the tone:

Back in February, Trans-Tasman (14/1933) called attention to what it saw as a “crusty, even nasty, undertone” in political debate. This week the tone was definitely nasty, and it wasn’t an undertone. Winston Peters was slugging it out with his onetime colleague, now independent MP, Brendan Horan labelling him the “Jimmy Savile of NZ politics.” Judging by the sycophantic responses from other NZ First MPs, it was a rehearsed line to put down Horan, who had been trying to table NZ First board meeting minutes, telling Parliament they “point to improper use of taxpayer money.” Just as unpleasant was the tweet from Green MP Jan Logie – “John Key says Bill English has produced as many Budgets as children. Begs the question who he has f&%d to produce it.” Logie subsequently apologised for the comment, but it showed how far current Green MPs have moved from the high standards of former leaders the late Rod Donald and Jeanette Fitzsimons. . .

It’s not only far from the standards of the past, it’s a long way from the current code of conduct for Green MPs and the lowering of tone has resulted in a call for MPs to mind their manners:

Prime Minister John Key is warning MPs to behave following what he describes as “a nasty streak” running through Parliament. . . 

Mr Key said on Thursday that politicians risk offending the public with nasty behaviour or mindless tweets.

“Political parties actually need to think about that a little bit. We’re seeing tweets that I think have been wholly inappropriate, we’ve seen all sorts of allegations been made that are unfounded.

“It’s one thing to have parliamentary privilege – it’s quite another thing to actually say those things, because actually they do have repercussions, they do send ripples through the community.”

Mr Key said a tweet is no different from a media statement.

The sort of nastiness that’s been exhibited in the past week is what puts a lot of people off politics.

It adds to the negative view many have of politicians.

And it puts the focus on the petty and personal instead of the principles and policies which really matter.


May 23 in history

May 23, 2014

844 – Battle of Clavijo: The Apostle Saint James the Greater is said to have miraculously appeared to a force of outnumbered Spanish rebels and aided them against the forces of the Emir of Cordoba.

1430 Siege of Compiègne: Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.

1498 Girolamo Savonarola was burned at the stake in Florence on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.

1533 The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.

1568 The Netherlands declared their independence from Spain.

1568  Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeated Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.

1618 The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.

1701  After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged.

1706 Battle of Ramillies: John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.

1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.

1810 Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist, was born  (d. 1850).

1813  Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and was proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).

1820 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor, was born  (d. 1887).

1829 Accordion patent granted to Cyrill Demian.

1844  Declaration of the Báb: a merchant of Shiraz announced that he was a Prophet and founded a religious movement. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith, and Bahá’ís celebrate the day as a holy day.

1846 Mexican-American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.

1855 Isabella Ford, English socialist, feminist, trade unionist and writer, was born (d. 1924).

1861 – The first major gold rush in Otago started after Tasmanian Gabriel Read found gold ‘shining like the stars in Orion on a dark, frosty night’ near the Tuapeka River.

1863 Organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.

1863  The Siege of Port Hudson.

1863  American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney became the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.

1873  The Canadian Parliament established the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

1875 Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors, was born  (d. 1966).

1907  The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.

1911 The New York Public Library was dedicated.

1915  World War I: Italy joined the Allies after they declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1923  Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.

1928 Nigel Davenport, English actor, was born.

1929 The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “The Karnival Kid“, was released.

1933 Joan Collins, English actress, was born.

1934  American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.

1934 The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo”, a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.

1939  The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank  during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.

1945 World War II:  Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, committed suicide while in Allied custody.

1945  World War II: The Flensburg government under Reichspräsident Karl Dönitz was dissolved when its members are captured and arrested by British forces at Flensburg in Northern Germany.

1949 Alan Garcia, President of Peru, was born.

1949  The Federal Republic of Germany was established and the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany was proclaimed.

1951 Tibetans signed the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with China.

1956 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer, was born.

1958  Explorer 1 ceased transmission.

1966   Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the first Maori Queen,  was crowned.

Coronation of first Māori Queen

1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.

1995  Oklahoma City bombing: The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building were imploded.

1995  The first version of the Java programming language was released.

1998 The Good Friday Agreement was accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes.

2002  The “55 parties ca;use”of the  Kyoto protocol was reached after its ratification by Iceland.

2004 Part of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s Terminal 2E collapsed, killing four people and injuring three others.

2005 The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure.

2006  Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupted.

2008  The International Court of Justice (ICJ) awarded Middle Rocks to Malaysia and Pedra Branca (Pulau Batu Puteh) to Singapore, ending a 29-year territorial dispute between the two countries.

2010 – Jamaican police began a manhunt for drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, after the United States requested his extradition, leading to three days of violence during which at least 73 bystanders were killed.

2013 – The Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River collapsed in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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