Word of the day

August 25, 2014

Fuscous – dark and sombre in colour; of brownish-gray; dusky.


Richard Attenborough 29.8.23 – 24.8.14

August 25, 2014

British actor and film director Richard Attenborough has died.

 

Oscar-winning British film director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90, his son has said.

Lord Attenborough was one of Britain’s leading actors, before becoming a highly successful director.

In a career that spanned six decades, he appeared in films including Brighton Rock, World War Two prisoner of war thriller The Great Escape and later in dinosaur blockbuster Jurassic Park.

As a director he was perhaps best known for Gandhi, which won him two Oscars. . . .

 

 


Rural round-up

August 25, 2014

Key skill is the attitude – Bryan Gibson:

I had the chance last week to spend an afternoon at the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre in Masterton during a visit by Prime Minister John Key.

He spent more than an hour talking to staff and students and saw them at work milking, measuring pasture, washing down quad bikes and fencing. . .

Stint as ocean-going shepherd an eye-opener – Sally Rae:

When Fred Ellis boarded a ship at Port Chalmers in 1957 in charge of a consignment of stud sheep bound for Brazil, he was ”dead scared”.

His only previous sea experience was crossing Cook Strait on the Wellington-Lyttelton ferry in his school holidays.

Now in his 80s and retired in Inglewood, Taranaki, Mr Ellis contacted the Otago Daily Times after watching a recent Country Calendar episode which featured Central Otago.

It reminded him of his own exploits 57 years ago and he wondered where the sheep came from and how many subsequent exports of sheep to South America there had been. . . .

They don’t come here for fun – Alan Williams:

New Zealanders need to respect the reasons for migrant workers coming to this country to work, Waimate resource centre manager Steve Napper says.

Most of those he speaks to haven’t come just for the Kiwi way of life.

“They come from areas of the world with much greater deprivation than we experience and so come to earn a decent wage so they can support their families back home,” he said.

“That they come here to support their families instead of living large is to be admired.” . . .

Couple thrilled with move north – Sally Rae:

Dairying is likely be a regular topic of discussion in the Duffy household.

Husband and wife Mark and Sue Duffy work for artificial breeding company CRV Ambreed, which has a core business of dairy semen production and sales.

Mr Duffy is sales and services manager for the South Island, managing about 20 full-time staff, while Mrs Duffy is the regional sales and services manager, covering the area from Rakaia to Invercargill. . .

Alpaca breeders forming owners’ group – Sally Rae:

Interested in alpacas?

Southern alpaca breeders Brenda and Stewart McLean, of Windermere Alpacas, and Gordon Baird, of Waiwera Alpacas, have formed an Otago-Southland alpaca owners’ group.

The aim of the new group was to share information and help new and interested alpaca owners, following an increasing number of inquiries to breeders about basic alpaca care, from health and welfare through to feeding and shearing.

Mr Baird, from Waiwera South, in South Otago, first became interested in alpacas in the mid-1990s. . .

Winegrowers see growth through value:

Future wine industry growth will largely come from increased value, rather than from planting more vineyards, New Zealand Winegrowers chair Steve Green says.

The industry exports more than $1 billion worth of product and has set a target of nearly doubling that within two years.

It has confirmed a record grape harvest this year of 445,000 tonnes, up about 60,000 tonnes on last year. . .


National working for and in the south #27

August 25, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 27:


What is your calling in life?

August 25, 2014

What is your life’s calling?

Intellectual Genius

You have a fascinating mind. You’re very self-aware, wickedly smart (no doubt), sometimes a bit shy, and you tend to enjoy indoor hobbies just as much, if not more, than outdoor ones. You may not open up easily, but once you do, no one can compete with you. Your brilliance seems to increase by the day!

I think someone else must have answered most of these questions for me to come up with this answer.

 


National working for and in the south #28

August 25, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 28:

(In case you’re wondering that’s First Church, not Forsyth Barr Stadium, though there are some who regard sport, and rugby in particular, as a religion).


All aren’t equal

August 25, 2014

Teacher unions try to tell us that all teachers are equal, this survey gives the lie to that:

Two thirds of people remember a teacher who had a significant positive impact on their life, according to a survey.

And nearly everyone believes a good teacher can change the course of a student’s life, the survey commissioned by Warehouse Stationery found.

About 87 percent of respondents felt teachers had a “really hard job”, while eight out of ten said teachers were undervalued. . .

Good teachers can and do change their pupils’ lives for the better, teaching is a very difficult job and teachers are undervalued.

Schools can’t do much to change home environments but good teachers can do a lot for even the most disadvantaged children.

Not all teachers are good. Most could be with the right help and that is why putting resources into helping teachers be better is one of the best uses for extra funding in education.


He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.

August 25, 2014

He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.

This Maori quote about what is most important – it is people – came to mind as I looked around the crowd at the Vodafone Events Centre where National launched its campaign yesterday.

It’s a big venue and there were very few empty seats.

But it wasn’t just that there were lots of people it was that they were representative of New Zealand – from babes in arms to the elderly, from the far south to the far north, men and women and a wonderful mix of ethnicities.

If ever National could have been criticised for being pale, male and stale that is certainly no longer the case.

This is the only party that still truly represents all New Zealanders and is working for all New Zealanders.

The people who were there are the volunteers who ensure that is the case.

They don’t make the headlines but they do make a big difference.

Principles, values and policy matter but they are just theory without the people who believe in them and are prepared to work for them.

Those people were on show, and in voice, at the campaign opening.

They will be energised and enthused by what they saw and heard and with the many thousands more who weren’t there will be working for the party so it can keep on working for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

He tangata. He tangata. He tangata.


Campaign opening the right way

August 25, 2014

The National Party campaign opening attracted around 2,500 members.

John Key asked us to thank all of you who came along to help make our 2014 campaign launch a stunning success today. Over 2500 of you joined us in the heartland of South Auckland to keep #TeamKey working for New Zealand. Thank you.

When I arrived the crowd was enjoying the music of Lapi Mariner and his band and teenage MC Lavana Seuala had us hanging on his every word.

He welcomed Social development Minister Paula Bennett who went through the accomplishments of the last six years which clearly drew the dots between head and heart.

National has taken tough decisions because it cares about improving the lives of the most vulnerable and knows that helping people move from welfare to work is best for them, their families and the country.

Lavana then welcomed Deputy leader and Finance Minister Bill English who reminded us of the importance of careful financial management and paid tribute to Prime Minister John Key.

Then it was the PM’s turn.

Such was the rapturous reception he got, it took him about five minutes to get to the stage and twice that to get back out.

He began his speech by saying how good it was to be in South Auckland.

 Doesn’t it feel great to be launching National’s election campaign here in the heartland of South Auckland?

We’re the party that’s working for New Zealand.

We’re the government that’s delivering results.

The economy’s growing.

Wages are rising.

Benefit numbers are dropping.

Crime rates are falling.

More elective surgery is being done in public hospitals.

And this year, after all we’ve been through as a country, I’m proud to say that the Government’s books will be back in the black.

On top of all that, my sense is that New Zealand has become a much more assured and more optimistic country.

A multicultural and more vibrant country – one that’s increasingly comfortable in its own skin.

I think back to 2008, when every month a net 3,000 people were leaving New Zealand for Australia.

Do you know what that figure was last month?

It was 80.

Rather than a stadium full of people leaving for Australia, it’s now more like a busload.

Because people know in their hearts and in their heads that New Zealand is moving in the right direction.

So the choice in this election is clear.

It’s between strong and stable leadership that’s delivering the benefits of a growing economy.

Or a group of parties that can’t agree with each other.

It’s between policies that are getting real results for New Zealand families.

Or a reversal of everything that’s working.

A choice between a government careful with your money.

Or parties whose election promises already add up to $28 billion and who want to tax you more to pay for them.

I know what I choose.

But I have to tell you that under MMP anything is possible.

Despite being low in the polls, it’s still possible for Labour to cobble together a government with the Greens, Dotcom and others, because that’s how the maths might work.

So everyone who wants National to lead the next government has to get out there on September 20 and party vote National.

They should have total confidence in doing that.

I lead a government that knows what it’s doing, and knows where it’s going.

I’m unashamedly positive for New Zealand.

I back New Zealanders to get ahead.

In the next 27 days I’m going to keep doing what I’ve done for the last six years – be relentlessly focused on what’s best for New Zealand.

I think we’ve got a great future ahead of us but we can take nothing for granted.

In 27 days from now, New Zealanders have the chance to lock in our plan for another three years.

In doing so, they’ll be voting for higher wages, more jobs and more growth.

Today is the official start of our campaign.

We’ve already announced some of our election policies.

These reinforce the approach we’ve always taken – supporting the most vulnerable, helping families, and staying tough on people who don’t follow the rules.

We’re cracking down on gangs that do so much harm.

We’ve set a target to reduce the crime rate even further.

We’ve released a policy I feel very strongly about, because it affects so many families at a difficult time.

We know the anguish people go through when their loved ones are in their final days and weeks – and we want to do our best to support them.

So we’ve made a commitment to increase funding for hospices by $20 million a year.

And let’s not forget – we’re the Party that funded the breast cancer drug Herceptin and, as a result, 1,100 women have got this treatment.

We’re also committing more to education.

We’re putting aside $350 million to build nine new schools in Auckland, with three earmarked for here in South Auckland.

Education is a huge focus for this government, and for me personally.

It’s the real opportunity we have to achieve generational change in the fortunes of New Zealand children and families.

We’re already seeing clear progress.

More kids are leaving school with at least NCEA Level 2, and I’m pleased to say the biggest lift in achievement has come from Pasifika students.

But we’re doing a lot more.

Earlier this year I announced a $359 million package of policies to do two things – to keep the best teachers in the classroom, and to get principals and teachers working together to raise student achievement across the board.

Because that’s what makes the biggest difference for our young people.

That, and getting them into work.

Under this government, the number of teenagers who are not working and not in education is heading towards a record low.

We’re working hard to expand the training opportunities available for young people, including Trades Academies and more apprenticeships.

Teen parents and other young beneficiaries now have a responsible adult alongside them.

That person makes sure they are in education or getting a job, have the support they’re often lacking from a parent, and are paying their bills.

And I can tell you that since 2009, the number of teen parents on a benefit has dropped by 40 per cent.

We’re going to announce more policies this election.

And you know from National that everything will be carefully considered and fiscally prudent.

Taken together, our policies won’t come anywhere near the big spending that Labour and the Greens have committed to.

I think New Zealanders can see that for what it is.

The country has yet to post a surplus but already our opponents are promising the earth to get elected.

They haven’t learnt from the past.

In its last five years, the previous Labour government increased its spending by 50 per cent.

The pressure this put on the economy helped drive mortgage rates up to almost 11 per cent.

That was tough for home owners.

But that’s not all.

Under the previous Labour government, house prices rose faster in New Zealand than in any other developed country.

In fact house prices doubled over Labour’s nine years.

No wonder home ownership is now more difficult for young Kiwis.

National values home ownership.

That’s because it provides stability for families, strength for communities and security in retirement.

So it’s important for young people to get their foot on the ladder, and into their first home.

We’ve been tackling this issue head on.

For a start, can I tell you that one of the best ways the Government can support more New Zealanders into home ownership is by helping to keep interest rates lower for longer.

We’re doing that by carefully controlling our spending and sticking with sensible monetary policy.

We are also working to increase the amount of land available for new houses, and to get those houses built.

We’re setting up housing accords with local councils to free up more land.

We’ve already signed accords with Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Western Bay of Plenty and Tauranga.

And the latest figures show building activity up 16 per cent over just one quarter.

There are also other things the Government is doing to help people get into their own home. . .

The PM then went on to announce policy to help more first-home buyers onto the property ladder.

Home ownership provides stability for families, strength for communities and security in retirement, that’s why I’ve just announced that we’re going to help 90,000 first home buyers into a house of their own over the next five years. ntnl.org.nz/1BQ94dK #Working4NZ

Details of the policy are here.

We’re doubling the support for first home buyers with KiwiSaver HomeStart Grants of up to $10,000 – or a total of $20,000 for a couple – for those purchasing a newly-built home. ntnl.org.nz/1BQ94dK #Working4NZ

When the alarm went off at 5am yesterday I wondered why I was going all the way to Auckland for such a short time.

On the 3 1/2 hour drive to Christchurch I wondered again.

But once there, any doubts I had were dispelled.

It was amazing to be part of such a positive and buoyed up crowd of people who are in the party for the right reasons and are working with the MPs and candidates to help return National for three more years so it can keep working for New Zealand.

It was good to be reminded of what matters and that National has such a strong caucus and line-up of candidates who are focussing on that.
Campaign launch

And it’s not only members who recognise the party’s strengths.

The taxi driver who took me from the airport was a Pacific Islander.

He said his people had traditionally voted Labour but that was changing as they recognised that National’s values and policies were better for them.


August 25 in history

August 25, 2014

1248 The Dutch city of Ommen received city rights and fortification rights from Otto III, the Archbishop of Utrecht.

1530 Tsar Ivan IV of Russia – Ivan the Terrible – was born (d. 1584)

1537 The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment in the British Army and the second most senior, was formed.

1580  Battle of Alcântara. Spain defeated Portugal.

1609  Galileo Galilei demonstrated his first telescope to Venetian lawmakers.

1724 George Stubbs, British painter, was born (d. 1806).

1758 Seven Years’ War: Frederick II of Prussia defeated the Russian army at the Battle of Zorndorf.

1768 James Cook began his first voyage.

1825 Uruguay declared its independence from Brazil.

1830 The Belgian Revolution began.

1835  The New York Sun perpetrated the Great Moon Hoax.

1894  Shibasaburo Kitasato discoversedthe infectious agent of the bubonic plague and published his findings in The Lancet.

1898  700 Greeks and 15 Englishmen are killed by the Turks in Heraklion, Greece.

1900 Hans Adolf Krebs, German physician and biochemist; Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1981).

1910  Yellow Cab was founded.

1912 The Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party, was founded.

1916 The United States National Park Service is created.

1918 Leonard Bernstein, American conductor and composer, was born (d. 1990).

1920 Polish-Soviet War: Battle of Warsaw,  ended.

1921  The first skirmishes of the Battle of Blair Mountain.

1930 Sean Connery, Scottish actor, was born.

1930 Bruce Allpress, New Zealand actor, was born.

1933 The Diexi earthquake struck Mao County, Sichuan, China and killed 9,000 people.

1938 Frederick Forsyth, English author, was born.

1942 World War II: Battle of Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea.

1944 Paris was liberated by the Allies.

1945  Supporters of the Communist Party of China killed Baptist missionary John Birch, regarded by some of the American right as the first victim of the Cold War.

1946 Charles Ghigna (Father Goose), American poet and children’s author, was born.

1948 Three people died and 80 injured when a tornado hit Frankton on the outskirts of Hamilton.

Killer twister hits Frankton

1948 – The House Un-American Activities Committee held its first-ever televised congressional hearing: “Confrontation Day” between Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss.

1949 Martin Amis, English novelist, was born.

1949  Gene Simmons, Israeli-born musician (Kiss), was born.

1950  President Harry Truman ordered the US Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike.

1954 Elvis Costello, English musician, was born.

1961 Billy Ray Cyrus, American singer and actor, was born.

1970 Claudia Schiffer, German model, was born.

198  Tadeusz Mazowiecki was chosen as the first non-communist Prime Minister in Central and Eastern Europe.

1989  Voyager 2 spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune, the outermost planet in the Solar System.

1989  Mayumi Moriyama became Japan’s first female cabinet secretary.

1991  Belarus declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1991 – The Battle of Vukovar began.

1997  Egon Krenz, the former East German leader, was convicted of a shoot-to-kill policy at the Berlin Wall.

2003  The Tli Cho land claims agreement was signed between the Dogrib First Nations and the Canadian federal government in Rae-Edzo (now called Behchoko).

2012 – Voyager 1 spacecraft entered interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.

2013 – 6 people died and 22were injured when a train derailed inHuimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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