Word of the day

September 27, 2014

 Struthious – of, related to or resembling an ostrich or related bird.


Cunliffe resigns – for now

September 27, 2014

David Cunliffe will resign as leader of the Labour Party after Tuesday’s caucus but plans to seek re-election:

I have today decided to resign the leadership of the Labour Party, effective from the end of caucus on Tuesday.

The party has suffered an historic election loss and in resigning as leader I take responsibility for that.

The party will review all the contributing factors. That process has begun and I give it my full support. . . .

We need to renew and rebuild our culture, accountabilities, how we do things and present to the world.

Achieving that in time for the 2017 election will require experienced and determined leadership with a broad mandate.

Whatever decisions are made must be in the best interests of New Zealand to have a strong and vital Labour Party.

The Party’s interests must come before any personal interests. I have thought carefully before responding to the calls to re-offer myself for the leadership of the party. 

Consultation with colleagues, members and affiliates has affirmed that the whole party must participate in this choice, and not just one part of it.

Therefore I am announcing today that I will nominate for a primary contest, which will be held across the caucus, the party membership and the affiliates as the party constitution requires. . . .

Cunliffe was never the first choice of most of his caucus. Duncan Garner reckons it’s now even fewer:

. . . My sources tell me he can count his supporters on one hand, with only four MPs left backing him. Even his most loyal and ardent supporters, such as Palmerston North’s Iain Lees-Galloway, have deserted him. . .

For graphic evidence of why Cunliffe appears to be on another planet, take a look at these photos of him – at the beach in a suit.

He was elected on the strength of the unions and ordinary members and they still have the same voting power.

Will they accept that the leader must have the confidence of his/her caucus or will they again impose someone they don’t want on them?

 


Rural round-up

September 27, 2014

Forensic tests key in sheep death inquiry – David Bruce:

Forensic results from Australia could determine the direction of Oamaru police investigations into the death of 218 sheep on two North Otago farms in June.

It was initially believed the sheep, worth about $45,000, were shot, but police were never 100% convinced and were having further forensic tests carried out.

Yesterday, Detective Warren Duncan said initial tests were done by a forensic veterinarian.

From those results, it was decided further forensic tests would be carried out to get definitive answers. . .

Water by-law under attack – David Bruce:

Rural people have come out in fierce opposition to a Waitaki District Council draft water bylaw, one describing it as ”a summons to divorce”.

But some councillors, and assets manager Neil Jorgensen, said the criticism was a result of misinterpretation and a lack of definition in the draft bylaw, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher commenting: ”There are a whole lot of things being read in which was never intended.”

Staff and councillors are going to take another look at the bylaw, including whether rural water schemes should be separated from urban. . .

World’s Best Young Shepherds Flock to France:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand is sending two young Kiwi shepherds to France this week to take on the world’s best in an international test of sheep farming skills.

Katey Craig and Mitchel Hoare will represent New Zealand at the second World Young Shepherds Challenge, in Auvergne, 30 September–1 October.

Katey, 21, is a junior shepherd at Otiwhiti Station in Hunterville, while 19-year-old Mitchel is a senior cadet at Waipaoa Station, near Gisborne.

“The World Young Shepherds Challenge is a fantastic event, showcasing a vital industry and a range of young people from around the globe who have a major contribution to make to the international sheep farming sector,” says Beef + Lamb New Zealand CEO, Dr Scott Champion. . .

 Dairy export prices and volumes move upwards over 20 years:

This article examines how dairy export prices and volumes changed between 1992 and 2012. Dairy exports mainly cover milk powder, butter, cheese, yoghurt, and whey. Also see the infographic Dairy exports in 2012 compared with 1992.

20-year summary

Compared with 20 years ago, both dairy export volumes and prices have risen, with most of the growth being in volumes. In 2012, the volume of dairy exports was four times as high as in 1992.

New Zealand is now more diversified in the countries it exports dairy products to. Notably, the amount of dairy exported to China has grown strongly. In the 1960s, New Zealand exported dairy products mainly to the United Kingdom (UK) but this has changed to include the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and North Africa. . . .

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Traditional treatment nets supreme award for Sealord smoked salmon:

Sealord Group’s Hot Manuka Smoked Salmon received a resounding thumbs up from both the professional panel of judges and the consumer judging panel at this year’s New Zealand Food Awards.

The 2014 Supreme Award winner is smoked in West Auckland the traditional way, over manuka wood.

Judge Ray McVinnie says the winners he liked most this year were steeped in tradition, but with a modern twist.

“I was very impressed with the way the best things seem to set the trends, not follow them,” Mr McVinnie says. . . .

 

Buyers have ‘pick of the bunch’ as viticulture and agriculture units go on the market for sale:

A cluster of income-producing agricultural and viticulture land holdings in the Nelson region have come onto the market simultaneously – with the intention of having new owners in place in time to capitalise on the various 2015 harvest seasons.

Two high profile wineries, a large scale hop growing and processing operation, and an apple and kiwifruit orchard and packhouse are all up for sale across the region – each for different reasons.

Combined, the quartet of primary production ventures has an asking price of almost $32 million. . . .

 


Saturday’s smiles

September 27, 2014

A Lexus mechanic was removing a cylinder head from the motor of a LS460 when  a well-known cardiologist walked into the workshop.

She was waiting for the service manager to come and take a look at her car when the mechanic shouted across the garage,  “Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?”

The cardiologist walked over to where the mechanic was working.

The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and said,  “So Doc, look at this engine. I opened its heart, took the valves out, repaired or replaced anything damaged, and then put everything back in, and when I finished, it worked just like new. So how is it that I make $60,000 a year and you make a couple of million when you and I are doing basically the same work?”

The cardiologist paused, smiled and said, “Try doing it with the engine running.”

 


3/10

September 27, 2014

Obviously not paying attention to business this week – only 3/10 in NBR’s Biz Quiz.


In praise of erudition

September 27, 2014

National’s candidate for Rongatai, Hon Chris Finlayson writes on his campaign for the elucidation of readers of the Spectator:

Every three years in New Zealand, incumbent politicians must hit the campaign trail. Since 2008, I have chased votes in the Rongotai electorate. My Labour opponent, Annette King, has held the seat since 1996. She is a fine parliamentarian, a thoroughly nice person, and also a distant cousin on my mother’s side. ‘Chris says if he wins Rongotai, he’ll ask for a recount,’ she delights in telling voters. This is supposed to be a joke but, under New Zealand’s mixed member proportional voting system, winning individual seats is not the be all and end all. The number of seats a party has in Parliament is determined by a party vote, and local representatives by a separate electorate vote. As a list MP standing in a traditional left seat my job is to maximise the party vote for National.

The Rongotai electorate takes in Wellington’s rugged southern coast, the Miramar Peninsula and the working class suburbs of Newtown and Berhampore, which are fast gentrifying and turning from red to green. Its furthest boundary is the Chatham Islands, an archipelago around 700km from the mainland. It is a place of isolated natural beauty, rich cultural history, abundant fisheries and distinctively salty mutton. On my most recent trip, the twin-propeller plane was struck by lightning and my stay had to be extended by two days. There is no cellular reception in the Chathams, adding to its attractiveness.

The Newtown debate is usually the rowdiest of the campaign. In 2011, I was shoved by an Anglican vicar as I made my way out. This year, there are ten candidates lined up across the stage facing the audience squeezed into a wooden church hall. The crowd has a very particular strand of rule-bound, suburban radicalism: every mention of ‘revolution’ is cheered, but the audience will not allow proceedings to begin while party signs are blocking the fire exits. Along with Annette, the candidates include Russel Norman, a Tasmanian who relocated to New Zealand to work for the Green Party and now, holding the office of Male Co-leader, campaigns against foreign ownership. He finds himself fighting candidates from the populist Conservative and New Zealand First parties for the xenophobe vote. The Newtown audience thinks I am insufferably right wing but also thinks the same about the Greens and Labour. Dr Norman is accused of dismissing victims of sexual assault. Annette King gets a frosty reception for her party’s track record on Maori issues. I am roundly booed when I say the audience is ‘redistributionist’. More popular are a young man dressed as a shark and representing the Climate Party (his contribution to the debate is ‘learn to swim’) and also the candidate for the Patriotic Revolutionary Front. The PRF wants a benevolent dictatorship and has a leaflet showing a composite picture of Stalin and Einstein as its ideal leader. . .

It’s not just what he says but the way that he says it.

Oh to have the ability to write so eruditely, and also to have been a better Latin scholar.

Can anyone translate his quote (in the paragraph which follows the extract I’ve used) from Horace: parturiunt montes, nascetur ridiculus mus ?

I tried Google and got the mountains are in labour, security issues. Even without dim memories of third form Latin I would doubt that is what it means.


Down but . . .

September 27, 2014

Cartoon of the week:

knock out

For a bigger image and more of Garrick Tremain’s wonderful cartoons click here.

 


Saturday soapbox

September 27, 2014

Saturday’s  soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Classic Quote - Like Baisden Live


September 27 in history

September 27, 2014

489   Odoacer attacked Theodoric at the Battle of Verona, and was defeated again.

1331  The Battle of Płowce between the Kingdom of Poland and the Teutonic Order was fought.

1422  The Teutonic Knights signed the Treaty of Melno with the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

1540  The Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) received its charter from Pope Paul III.

1590   Pope Urban VII died 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

1605  The armies of Sweden were defeated by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Battle of Kircholm.

1669 The Venetians surrender the fortress of Candia to the Ottomans, ending the 21-year long Siege of Candia.

1821  Mexico gained its independence from Spain.

1822 Jean-François Champollion announced that he had deciphered the Rosetta stone.

1825  The Stockton and Darlington Railway opened, and begins operation of the world’s first service of locomotive-hauled passenger trains.

1854  The steamship SS Arctic sank with 300 people on board. This marks the first great disaster in the Atlantic Ocean.

1903  Wreck of the Old 97, a train crash made famous by the song of the same name.

1905  The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein‘s paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?”, introducing the equation E=mc².

1908  The first production of the Ford Model T car was built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan.

1916  Iyasu was deposed as ruler of Ethiopia in a palace coup in favor of his aunt Zauditu.

1922  King Constantine I of Greece abdicated his throne in favor of his eldest son, King George II.

1930  Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur Championship to complete the Grand Slam of gol -the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur.

1937  Balinese Tiger declared extinct.

1938  Ocean liner Queen Elizabeth launched in Glasgow.

1940  World War II: The Tripartite Pact was signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan and Italy.

1941 The SS Patrick Henry was launched becoming the first of more than 2,700 Liberty ships.

1941 – Foundation of EAM (National Liberation Front) in Greece.

1942  Last day of the September Matanikau action on Guadalcanal as United States Marine Corps barely escaped after being surrounded by Japanese forces.

1942 – Alvin Stardust, English singer, was born.

1943 Randy Bachman, Canadian musician, was born.

1944 The Kassel Mission resulted in the largest loss by a USAAF group on any mission in World War II.

1947 Meat Loaf, ( Michael Lee Aday)American singer, was born.

1948 Michele Dotrice, English actress, was born.

1949  The first Plenary Session of the National People’s Congress approved the design of the Flag of the People’s Republic of China.

1953 Greg Ham, Australian musician and songwriter (Men at Work), was born.

1954  The nationwide debut of Tonight! (The Tonight Show) hosted by Steve Allen on NBC.

1956  USAF Captain Milburn G. Apt became the first man to exceed Mach 3 while flying the Bell X-2.

1958 Socttish author Irvine Welsh was born.

1959  Nearly 5000 people died on the main Japanese island of Honshū as the result of a typhoon.

1964  The Warren Commission released its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

1964  The British TSR-2 aircraft XR219 made its maiden flight from Boscombe Down in Wiltshire.

1968 – The stage musical Hair opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

1972 Gwyneth Paltrow, American actress, was born.

1974 William Sutch was charged with spying.

William Sutch charged with spying

1977  The 300 metre tall CKVR-TV transmission tower in Barrie, Ontario, was hit by a light aircraft in a fog, causing it to collapse. All aboard the aircraft were killed.

1983  Richard Stallman announced the GNU project to develop a free Unix-like operating system.

1988 The National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi was founded.

1993  The Sukhumi massacre  in Abkhazia.

1995  The Government of the United States unveiled the first of its redesigned bank notes with the $100 bill featuring a larger portrait of Benjamin Franklin slightly off-centre.

1996  In Afghanistan, the Taliban captured the capital city Kabul after driving out President Burhanuddin Rabbani and executing former leader Mohammad Najibullah.

1996 – The Julie N. tanker skip crashed into the Million Dollar Bridge in Portland, Maine spilling thousands of gallons of oil.

1998  Google was founded.

2003  Smart 1 satellite was launched.

2008 CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7.

2012  – A mass shooting takes place at Accent Signage Systems, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, killing 6 people, including the gunman who committed suicide, and wounding 2 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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