Alistair Polson dies aged 58

06/06/2014

Agriculture envoy and former Federated Farmers president Alistair Polson has died.

“Alistair was a great farmer and a truly great New Zealander who has been taken from us way too soon,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Bo and their family. 

“Bo and Alistair formed the most amazing and loving partnership and while Alistair was called overseas as Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, she kept the farm and family running.

“Where do you start with someone who gave so unstintingly of himself?  It is telling that despite Bo and Alistair’s home being inundated by the 2004 floods they put community before self.

“Alistair has been an office holder at most levels of Federated Farmers of New Zealand, serving as Wanganui provincial president and later National President between 1999 and 2002.

“Alistair has also served as a director of both the Waitotara Meat Company, PPCS (now Silver Fern Farms) and the Agriculture Industry Training Organisation. He has also served on the New Zealand Veterinary Council and the then National Animal Welfare Advisory Board.

“With a strong environmental ethos Alistair chaired the NZ Landcare Trust for seven years and in 2012, he became chairman of the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust. 

“Chairing the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards Trust was something I know Alistair was deeply proud of.  It assured him the next generation of farmers cared for the land every bit as much as he did.

“Alistair himself won the Grasslands Memorial Trust Award for sustained improvement of pastures and sheep breeds in Wanganui hill country.  He was a past Nuffield Scholar and would later chair the New Zealand Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust too.

“In 2004 he was appointed New Zealand Special Agricultural Trade Envoy by the Hon Phil Goff and continued in that role to 2013 under the Hon Tim Groser.

“In Argentina, for the World Farmers Organisation earlier this year, South American delegates mentioned Alistair’s name with reverence.  He was a noble man of true mana who gave his all for New Zealand.

“Alistair was a giant and his loss touches us all greatly,” Mr Wills concluded.

The Farm Environment Trust also pays tribute:

The New Zealand Farm Environment Trust has lost a truly inspirational leader.

Alistair Polson died on Thursday, June 5, following a short illness.

The well-known Wanganui farmer was a highly respected member of the farming community. He had extensive experience in business management and farming politics, serving as national president of Federated Farmers from 1999 to 2002. In 2004 he was appointed Special Agricultural Trade Envoy for New Zealand, and in 2012 he was elected chairman of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFE).

NZFE acting chairman Simon Saunders says Mr Polson will be greatly missed by the Trust and by the wider farming community and he extends his sincere sympathy to Bo Polson and their children, Nick, Guy and Sarah.

“They have shared Alistair with so many and the loss of such a wonderful husband and father will be devastating, their family plans and dreams for the future have been so sadly taken from them.”

“Alistair made a massive contribution to New Zealand agriculture and he was a passionate and inspirational advocate for New Zealand farming. The Trust and New Zealand agriculture in general have lost a valued leader and a great friend.”

Mr Polson took over the chairmanship of NZFE in October 2012.

Prior to joining the Trust he was a member of the judging panel for the National Winner award in the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. He was a key supporter of the concept that good environmental practice and profitable farming go hand in hand.

“Alistair jumped straight into the role of chairman and he led the organisation with considerable professionalism and a huge amount of enthusiasm,” Mr Saunders says.

“He quickly grasped what the Trust was all about and his proven leadership ability was a great asset for the Trust and the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Mr Saunders says Mr Polson had a huge amount of passion for agriculture and a warm and approachable personality.

“Alistair loved nothing more than to be able to discuss and promote all the great attributes of our agricultural industry”

Mr Polson’s achievements in agriculture were extensive. He was a former director or committee member of a number of rural-based organisations, including AgITO, the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, Veterinary Council of New Zealand and NZ Landcare Trust.

An agricultural science graduate from Massey University and a Nuffield Scholar, he also held company directorships with two major meat companies.

Mr Polson farmed in the Mangamahu Valley, near Wanganui.

“The wheel has turned completely since the days when the hero in the valley was the farmer who chopped down as much bush and scrub as possible. Now the heroes are the farmers who are retiring native bush, fencing waterways and planting trees for shade, shelter and erosion control.” – Alistair Polson.

Farming and New Zealand are the richer from his contributions and the poorer for his too-early death.


Politics daily

06/06/2014

While I link to a variety of news stories, the blogs I link to are usually from the centre to the bluer end of the political spectrum or the more reasonable or witty bits of the pink to red end.

You’re welcome to leave links to other news and blogs in comments.

John Key in Pacific

Claire Trevett @ NZ Herald – Hard questions for Key in Niue

NZ to invest $1.25 million into tourism and energy in Niue

John Banks

John Armstrong @ NZ Herald – John Banks will take verdict hard

John Armstrong @ NZ Herald – National left nursing party that’s a never ending embarrassment

Adam Bennett @ NZ Herald – Key: Banks is honest, has ‘options’

Ian Steward, Laura Walters, Hamish Rutherford @ Stuff – John Banks’ position ‘untenable

Tracy Watkins  @ Dominion Post – John Banks is clinging to the wreckage

Hamish Rutherford @ Stuff – Banks case throws by-election into the mix

ODT – Resignation the honest action

The Press –  Verdict ruins a reputation

Stuff – John Banks: A life in politics

Inventory 2 @ Keepign Stock – Hoist by his own petard

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – The sanctimony and hypocrisy of David Cunliffe

David Farrar @ Kiwiblog

Andrew Geddis @ Pundit – Banks redux | Pundit

The Veteran @ No Minister – On John Banks

Labour

Cameron Slater @ Whaleoil – Labour’s Immigration policy this week looks quite different to last week, and different to the week before that

Cameron Slater @ Whaleoil – Chris Trotter is either on the payroll or simply lost the plot completely

Cameron Slater @ Whale Oil – I wonder if Labour’s expensive American software caused this or are they just tits?

Matthew Beveridge – Labour Party to or by?

Coat tailing

NZ Herald – National should rise to challenge on coat-tailing

Carbon tax

Cameron Slater @ Whale oil – About that carbon tax huh?

Other

Matthew Beveridge – Rock Enrol: Non partisan or not?

Donal Curtin – @ The Dismal Science – In praise of policy rules

Matthew Beveridge – Come discuss with Clayton Commerce

Government Finance Statistics (Central Government): Year ended June 2013


Word of the day

06/06/2014

Mensur – the traditional kind of fencing; the distance between two duellers.


Cunliffe chucks stones from glass house

06/06/2014

Prime Minister John Key said he was not in a position to offer the former Auckland mayor, now Act MP, John Banks advice.  

. . . “It’s not for me to offer a view on that,” Key said in Nelson this morning.

“In the end he is the leader of another political party.

“I can’t offer him advice any more than I could offer David Cunliffe advice on whether he should resign.”

Asked about Cunliffe’s claims that the Government was being propped up by a “corrupt” politician, Key said Cunliffe should rule out working with the Internet Party.

“I’m not going to be lectured by David Cunliffe,” he said.

“If he was the man of principle he says he is, he’d be ruling out the Internet Party and Kim Dotcom who’s before the court and is a convicted fraudster, but he’s not going to do that. Most people will see it for what it is, which is politics.” . . .

The PM didn’t have to sack Banks as a minister because he resigned.

He doesn’t have the power to sack him as an MP.

Banks was elected by the people of Epsom. Unless or until he’s convicted he can resign, which would be the honourable thing to do, or tough it out for another few weeks until parliament rises but he can’t be sacked.

Cunliffe should be very careful about criticising the PM over this because he’s chucking dirty great stones from a glass house.

He does have the ability to rule out any deal with the Internet Mana Party but won’t because he knows he might need the support of its MPs to govern.


Rural round-up

06/06/2014

Milk production hits record levels – Gerard Hutching:

Chasing higher prices, dairy farmers have produced a record 1.8 billion kilograms of milksolids in 2013-14, a 160 million kg hike over the year before, the latest economic update from the ASB reports.

“Of the 10 per cent increase, 7.5 per cent comes from Fonterra’s farmers, with other companies lifting it to the 10 per cent,” economist Nathan Penny said.

He said that the increase was not just a response to higher prices, but farmers had also bounced back from the drought of 2012-13.

“But you don’t get a rebound from the drought two years in a row, it’s harder to get a big jump again,” Penny said. . .

Industry champion rendered speechless – Annette Scott:

Being named the winner of this year’s Deer Industry Award came as a bit of a shock for Paddy Boyd, who admits he was lost for words. He talked to Annette Scott.

When Mackenzie farmer and Haldon Station manager Paddy Boyd was named winner of this year’s Deer Industry Award he was lost for words.

The announcement at the industry conference in Methven came as a surprise for Boyd, who said he was usually able to string a few words together as a voice for deer producers. . .

Flock House farm to be jointly run:

A Rangitikei based iwi, a Maori incorporation and local Pakeha farmers will be working together to run the historic Flock House farm near Bulls.

AgResearch has completed the sale of its Flock House farm to Nga Waiariki-Ngati Apa for an undisclosed sum.

The farm was brought by Te Runanga o Ngati Apa, in partnership with Atihau-Whanganui Incorporation and Waitatapia Station Limited, and farming will be carried out by Te Hou Farms Limited Partnership. . .

$7m to assess irrigation viability in South Canterbury:

A new funding agreement will investigate the viability of the Hunter Downs irrigation scheme for up to 40,000 ha in South Canterbury, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

‘The Government’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund will provide $7.044 million over two years to co-fund technical investigations and design work to determine if an irrigation scheme is viable, both from a technical and economic perspective,’ says Mr Guy.

‘This will be matched by funds from shareholder equity and the scheme’s partner, Meridian Energy. . .

Green Ribbon Award finalists announced:

To mark World Environment Day, Environment Minister Amy Adams has today announced the finalists for the 2014 Green Ribbon Awards, which honour outstanding contributions to protecting New Zealand’s environment.

“Over the 24 years of the Green Ribbon Awards, more than 150 environmental champions have been recognised for their initiative, commitment and dedication to tackling environmental issues,” Ms Adams says.

“For this year’s awards, 113 nominations were received across 12 categories. The finalists come from a range of backgrounds and the work they do is challenging, time-consuming and sometimes unrewarded. . . .

Federated Farmers @ Fieldays 2014:

Federated Farmers has not only uprated its 2014 Fieldays presence with a site in the feature pavilion but will hold the final meeting of its current Board in Hamilton ahead of Fieldays.

“Federated Farmers will make Hamilton, or should I say, Megatron, as its base for Fieldays week,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President, who retires from the role in July.

“As this is my final Fieldays as National President, I am pleased to say we are making our largest ever investment into our Fieldays site.  . . .

Drinking water from poo nearly ready for market:

A technology for extracting drinkable water from manure is on its way to commercial application this year, a US university said today. The technology is particularly useful for animal operations in dry regions where water is at a premium, according to Michigan State University.

The McLanahan Nutrient Separation System is an add-on to an anaerobic digester, which extracts energy and chemicals from manure. The system adds ultrafiltration, air stripping and a reverse osmosis system to produce water that’s clean enough for cattle to drink. . .

 


Friday’s answers

06/06/2014

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said:The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.?

2. Which animal said All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.?

3. What feature differentiates fish from other water-dwelling creatures?

4. What is a redd?

5. Fish, feathers or fur for a pet?

Points for answers:

Andrei got three right, J Bloggs got two and Alwyn got three with a bonus for the full answer to #2.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Money but no people

06/06/2014

The Internet Party has money – lots of it.

But it’s having problems getting people.

I came across two posts like this on Facebook last night:

imp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They had a meeting to set up the Internet Party on Campus but got only five people – they need 10 to get affiliation with OUSA.

The party which has all that money and wants to appeal to young people can attract only five people to a meeting at Otago University.

Whether that’s a result of apathy or antipathy to the party doesn’t matter, the result is the same – lots of money but very few people.

Successful parties need people and no amount of money can make up for the lack of them.


Farmers foster fish

06/06/2014

This makes a very pleasant change from the usual negative stories about dairying:

Dairy farmers are getting praise from unlikely quarters after the most salmon in 40 years have been seen spawning in a small stream in the middle of dairying country.

After identifying good salmon catches in the area during the angling season and higher spawning rates in lowland streams than normal, fishery officers did a spot check at the spring-fed Waikuku Stream, expecting to see little salmon activity.

In a small stretch of the stream which feeds into the Ashley River they found about 35 salmon and as many nests – redds – containing thousands of eggs.

Among other theories for the high salmon count, Fish & Game New Zealand think the main reason is the work of dairy farmers to fence, plant and protect the stream.

South Island spokesman Andrew Currie said it was pure chance they found so many salmon spawning in the stream and farmers deserve the credit.

“In a 200-metre stretch I walked there were at least 25 to 35 redds and that augurs well for the fishery because each one of these nests contains 3000 to 4000 eggs and we can see the day when the Ashley River returns to a good run. What was particularly pleasing by the find was that the stream was in the heart of a dairy farm.”

Currie said the “textbook” spawning site had free-running water, nice overhangs, little weed and an exposed shingle bed and was an example of top riparian planting by farmers.

“I think a lot more farms in Canterbury could have the same in their backyard if they had similar plantings and fencing.

“This is proof that dairy farming and Fish & Game can co-exist. . .

That is refreshingly positive and is appreciated by Federated Farmers:

Federated Farmers is thrilled to hear Fish and Game acknowledge the massive positive effect farmers Good Management Practice (GMP) is having on our waterways.

“Headline news in the Christchurch Press today reports farmers riparian management has resulted in the sighting of the most salmon seen spawning in 40 years, an acknowledgement that is huge for the farming community,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Water & Environment Spokesperson.

“The 35 salmon, nests and thousands of eggs found in the Waikuku stream, was smack bang in the middle of dairy farming land. Feeding into the Ashley River, this bountiful Canterbury stream is testament to allowing reasonable timeframes for farmers to fence and riparian plant their waterways.

“It is encouraging to see the results of farming coexisting with its waterways and heartening to have it acknowledged by Fish and Game. This is not an isolated event with similar reports in Ashburton of large numbers of salmon spawning in Spring Creek, tributary to the Ashburton River.

“This article is timely as I sat down to listen, after speaking at the New Zealand Primary Industry Summit today. It was the perfect parallel to reflect on the big picture of our industry and the correlation that it has with the economy. We are looking for ways to move forward in a sustainable way, as the most successful exporters in the world, but we have to make it right at home first and this is proving to be challenging.

“Each regional council is interpreting the requirements for the National Policy Statement for Freshwater management differently and in some cases every catchment, which will lead to an implementation nightmare. Whilst every region is different there needs to be a cohesive approach here and a standardisation of what is required.

“What we are seeing in the Waikuku stream, Spring Creek, and numerous others throughout the country, could be tenfold with a consistent and organised approach from Central and Regional Government,” concluded Mr MacKenzie.

Farming and healthy waterways which foster fish aren’t mutually exclusive.

Sustainability balance economic, environmental and social concerns and is achievable with good management practice from landowners and councils.


Carbon tax conundrum

06/06/2014

Trans Tasman explains the implications of the Green Party carbon tax policy and the conundrum it poses for Labour:

. . . Dairy farmers who are currently exempt from the ETS will pay a reduced rate of $12.50 a tonne for their pollution. Beef and sheep farmers will be exempt. A BERL economic report released with the policy indicates the average dairy farmer would take a 12.5% hit to their income, and should the milk price fall to around $7kg M/S, about 10% of dairy farmers would be vulnerable. Implementation of the policy would hinge on post-election backing from Labour, which appears at best lukewarm – David Cunliffe is already distancing himself from the policy saying it is Green policy to be negotiated after the election. NZ First leader Winston Peters says he does not support a carbon tax. So it leaves confusion in voters’ minds whether a carbon tax would be a goer.

A policy with such serious implications as this isn’t one that ought to be left to post-election negotiations.

Whether or not Labour would countenance the tax could well influence voters – but maybe that’s why Cunliffe won’t make a stand.

What Peters says he supports and what he would actually support, given the chance, aren’t necessarily the same thing.

But it does confirm the Greens, in placing such a high priority on climate change protection (even though NZ is only responsible for 0.14% of global emissions), want to drive fossil fuel producers out of business, and halt the expansion of dairying. And if Labour has to cosy up closer to the Greens to ensure it looks like a Govt-in-waiting, how will this play out in electorates like the West Coast (where mining is a core industry) or New Plymouth where Andrew Little, with leadership ambitions, will be trying to show he can win a seat? . . .

A party trying to gain only a relatively small proportion of the party vote can afford policies which impact badly on certain areas.

Those trying to win electorates too are much more aware of the negative impact policies which might be attractive in theory have on real people in practice in real life.

 

 

 


It’s only one poll

06/06/2014

The latest Roy Morgan poll continues the positive trend for National:

. . . Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a strong gain in support for National (52.5%, up 7%) now at their highest since before the last New Zealand Election and well ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance (38%, down 6%) – almost matching their performance at the 2011 New Zealand Election at which the two parties polled a combined 38.5%.

Support for Key’s Coalition partners has also improved with the Maori Party 1.5% (up 0.5%), ACT NZ (1%, up 0.5%) and United Future 0% (unchanged).

Support has fallen significantly for all Opposition parties with the Labour Party down 1.5% to 29%, the Greens down 4.5% to 9% (the lowest support for the Greens since September 2011), New Zealand First 4.5% (down 1.5%) and Mana Party 0.5% (down 0.5%). Support for the Conservative Party of NZ is 1% (unchanged) and the Internet Party is 0.5% (unchanged).

If a National Election were held now the latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows that the result would be a landslide victory for the National Party and a third term for Prime Minister John Key. . .

But wait, there’s more good news:

The latest NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has also improved considerably – up 8.5pts to 140.5pts with 64.5% (up 4.5%) of New Zealanders saying New Zealand is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to 24% (down 4%) that say New Zealand is ‘heading in the wrong direction’.

Gary Morgan says:

“Today’s New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll shows a strong positive response to the predicted Budget Surplus of $372 million handed down by Finance Minister Bill English with National surging to 52.5% (up 7%) – it’s highest since the last New Zealand Election. National has surged to a huge lead over a potential Labour/ Greens alliance (38%, down 6%).

“The closer the election, it appears the less support there is for the main opposition parties with support for Labour (29%, down 1.5%) now stuck below the level that prompted the resignation of previous leader David Shearer for most of 2014. The initial surge provided by David Cunliffe has well and truly worn off. In addition the Greens (9%, down 4.5%) have slumped to their lowest level of support since before the last New Zealand election after announcing last weekend a proposal to introduce a Carbon Tax in New Zealand in place of the current Emissions Trading Scheme.

“Last week’s merger announcement of the Internet Party (0.5%) and Mana Party (0.5%) to contest this year’s election offers both parties a better chance of attaining the 5% threshold required to elect a slate of Party List MPs. However, the combined support for the two parties has never exceeded 2%, and it would appear unlikely the merged party can bridge this gap in the next few months.” . . .

Polls can be too good, of course.

This level of support for National could make supporters complacent.

Some might think they can afford to vote for another party, others might not bother to vote at all.

However, while it continues the positive trend for National of other recent polls, it is only one poll and the one which is usually regarded as the least reliable.

But is it?

Thomas Lumley at Stats Chat, says it’s not:

. . . In fact, there’s not much difference between the major polling companies in the variability of their estimates. . .

There really is not much to see here. So why do people feel that Roy Morgan comes out with strange results more often? Probably because Roy Morgan comes out with results more often.

For example, the proportion of poll-to-poll changes over 3 percentage points is 0.22 for One News/Colmar Brunton, 0.18 for Roy Morgan, and 0.23 for 3 News/Reid Research, all about the same, but the number of changes over 3 percentage points in this time frame is 5 for One News/Colmar Brunton, 14 for Roy Morgan, and 5 for 3 News/Reid Research. . .

What that shows is voter preference is volatile and that more frequent polls reflect that volatility.

That’s why it doesn’t pay to get too excited about a single poll, or even several with the same trend.

The volatility of support merely reinforces the oft repeated phrase, there’s only one poll that counts.

 

 


June 6 in history

06/06/2014

1508 Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, was defeated in Friulia by Venetian forces.

1513 Italian Wars: Battle of Novara. Swiss troops defeated the French under Louis de la Tremoille, forcing the French to abandon Milan. Duke Massimiliano Sforza was restored.

1523 Gustav Vasa was elected King of Sweden, marking the end of the Kalmar Union.

1644 The Qing Dynasty Manchu forces led by the Shunzhi Emperor captured Beijing during the collapse of the Ming Dynasty.

1654 Charles X succeeded his abdicated cousin Queen Christina to the Swedish throne.

1674 Shivaji, founder of the Maratha empire was crowned.

1683 The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford opened as the world’s first university museum.

1752 A fire destroyed one-third of Moscow, including 18,000 homes.

1799 Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet, was born (d. 1837).

1808 Napoleon’s brother, Joseph Bonaparte was crowned King of Spain.

1809 Sweden promulgated a new Constitution, which restores political power to the Riksdag of the Estates after 20 years of Enlightened absolutism.

1813 War of 1812: Battle of Stoney Creek – A British force of 700 under John Vincent defeated an American force three times its size under William Winder and John Chandler.

1823 Samuel Leigh and William White established Wesleydale, a Wesleyan (Methodist) mission station at Kaeo, near Whangaroa Harbour.

Wesleyan mission established

1832 The June Rebellion of Paris was put down by the National Guard.

1833 U.S. President Andrew Jackson became the first President to ride a train.

1844 The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London.

1857 Sophia of Nassau married the future King Oscar II of Sweden-Norway.

1859 Queensland was established as a separate colony from New South Wales (Queensland Day).

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Memphis – Union forces captured Memphi, from the Confederates.

1868 Robert Falcon Scott, English explorer was born (d. 1912).

1882 More than 100,000 inhabitants of Bombay were killed when a cyclone in the Arabian Sea pushed huge waves into the harbour.

1882 The Shewan forces of Menelik defeated the Gojjame army in the Battle of Embabo. The Shewans capture Negus Tekle Haymanot of Gojjam, and heir victory leads to a Shewan hegemony over the territories south of the Abay River.

1889 The Great Seattle Fire destroyed downtown Seattle, Washington.

1892 Chicago El began operation.

1894 Governor Davis H. Waite orders the Colorado state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners’ strike.

1906 Paris Métro Line 5 was inaugurated with a first section from Place d’Italie to the Gare d’Orléans.

1912 The eruption of Novarupta in Alaska began.

1918 World War I: Battle of Belleau Wood – The U.S. Marine Corps suffered its worst single day’s casualties while attempting to recapture the wood at Chateau-Thierry.

1919 The Republic of Prekmurje ended.

1921 The Southwark Bridge in London, was opened for traffic by King George V and Queen Mary.

1923 V. C. Andrews, American author, was born (d. 1986).

1925 The Chrysler Corporation was founded by Walter Percy Chrysler.

1932 The Revenue Act of 1932 was enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per US gallon (1/4 ¢/L) sold.

1933 The first drive-in theatre opened, in Camden, New Jersey.

1934 King Albert II of Belgium, was born.

1934 New Deal: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Securities Act of 1933 into law, establishing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

1936 Levi Stubbs, American musician (The Four Tops), was born (d. 2008).

1939 Adolf Hitler gave a public address to returning German volunteers who fought as Legion Kondor during the Spanish Civil War.

1942 Battle of Midway. U.S. Navy dive bombers sank the Japanese cruiser Mikuma and four Japanese carriers.

1944 Battle of Normandy began. D-Day, code named Operation Overlord, commenced with the landing of 155,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy.

1944 Alaska Airlines commenced operations.

1946 The Basketball Association of America was formed in New York City.

1956 Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player, was born.

1964 Under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven, Germany, were terminated.

1966 James Meredith, civil rights activist, was shot while trying to march across Mississippi.

1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy died from his wounds after he was shot the previous night.

1971 Soyuz 11 launched.

1971 A midair collision between a Hughes Airwest Douglas DC-9 jetliner and a United States Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II jet fighter near Duarte, California claimed 50 lives.

1971 Vietnam War: The Battle of Long Khanh between Australian and Vietnamese communist forces began.

1974 Sweden became a parliamentary monarchy.

1981 A passenger train travelling between Mansi and Saharsa, India, jumped the tracks at a bridge crossing the Bagmati river.

1982 1982 Lebanon War began. Forces under Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon invaded southern Lebanon in their “Operation Peace for the Galilee“.

1983 – Joe Rokocoko, Fijian rugby player and All Black was born.

Joe Rokocoko.jpg

1984 The Indian Army attacked the Golden Temple in Amritsar following an order from Indira Gandhi.

1985 The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” was exhumed in Embu, Brazil; the remains found were later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’s “Angel of Death”.

1986 – Gin Wigmore, New Zealand singer/songwriter, was born.

1990 U.S. District court judge Jose Gonzales rules that the rap album As Nasty As They Wanna Be by 2 Live Crew violated Florida’s obscenity law; he declared that the predominant subject matter of the record is “directed to the ‘dirty’ thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind.”

1993 Mongolia held its first direct presidential elections.

1999 In Australian Rules Football, Tony Lockett broke the record for career goals, previously 1299 by Gordon Coventry which had stood since 1937.

2002 A near-Earth asteroid estimated at 10 metres diameter exploded over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The resulting explosion was estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.

2004 Tamil was established as a Classical language by the President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.

2005 The United States Supreme Court upheld a federal law banning cannabis, including medical marijuana, in Gonzales v. Raich.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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