Word of the day

October 6, 2014

Pavisand –  to display an impressive or opulent array of clothing and ornament; to flaunt one’s appearance.


New Cabinet announced

October 6, 2014

Prime Minister John Key has announced the Cabinet for his third term:


“There is a lot of work ahead to continue implementing our plans to build a stronger economy, reduce debt and create more jobs,” Mr Key says.

“The new Ministry builds on the experience of the past two terms in office, and combines experience with some fresh talent.

“A number of Ministers have had significant portfolio changes, reflecting the need to give Ministers new challenges as well as providing a fresh set of eyes in some portfolio areas.”

Mr Key says a number of Ministers have been promoted either to the front bench, or further up the front bench, to reflect their strong performance in recent years and their promise for the future.

“Paula Bennett has been promoted to number five in the rankings, and picks up State Services, Social Housing and Associate Finance in addition to retaining her Local Government portfolio.

“Dr Jonathan Coleman becomes Minister of Health, and also picks up the Sport and Recreation portfolio, which will link nicely together.

“Amy Adams and Simon Bridges are promoted to the front bench, both with significant new responsibilities. Ms Adams becomes Justice Minister and Mr Bridges Transport Minister.

“Christopher Finlayson remains Treaty Negotiations Minister and Attorney-General, while picking up significant new responsibilities in the intelligence area. He becomes Minister in Charge of the NZ Security Intelligence Service and Minister Responsible for the GCSB, working closely with me in my new role as Minister for National Security and Intelligence.

“In this role I will continue to be responsible for leading the national security system, including policy settings and the legislative framework. Mr Finlayson will operate within the framework I set and exercise ministerial oversight of the NZSIS and GCSB, including approval of warrants.

“Officials have examined models used overseas and what we are adopting is very similar to what is seen with our closest partners.

“Housing continues to be a key area of focus for the Government, and a Ministerial team of Bill English, Paula Bennett and Nick Smith has been assembled to lead that work. Mr English will have direct responsibility for Housing New Zealand; Ms Bennett will focus on social housing, while Dr Smith will work on housing affordability and construction issues. The Social Housing portfolio will have responsibility for the government’s social housing functions, and for its relationship with the social housing sector.

Other changes include:

Gerry Brownlee becomes Minister of Defence, while retaining the role of Leader of the House and his Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and EQC portfolios.

Anne Tolley becomes Minister for Social Development.

Dr Nick Smith becomes Minister for the Environment.

Nikki Kaye becomes Minister for ACC.

Michael Woodhouse becomes Minister of Police. He also becomes Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety – a new portfolio title to reflect the modern focus of what had previously been the Labour portfolio.

Jo Goodhew becomes Minister for Food Safety.

Mr Key says, in announcing his new line up, three new Ministers will be appointed. Maggie Barry is to go straight into Cabinet as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Minister of Conservation and Minister for Senior Citizens. Louise Upston and Paul Goldsmith will be Ministers outside Cabinet holding a variety of portfolios.

“Two ministers previously outside Cabinet have been promoted to Cabinet. Todd McClay will be Minister of Revenue and Minister for State Owned Enterprises, while Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga will be Minister of Corrections, Minister for Ethnic Communities and Minister for Pacific Peoples.

“Craig Foss remains a Minister, but will now serve outside Cabinet as Minister for Small Business, Minister of Statistics and Minister of Veteran’s Affairs.

“Chester Borrows will not be appointed to the new Ministry. He will, however, be National’s nominee for Deputy Speaker, and I want to thank Chester for his service as a Minister,” Mr Key says.

A number of Ministers continue largely in their current portfolio responsibilities. These include Steven Joyce in Economic Development, Hekia Parata in Education, Murray McCully in Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy in Primary Industries, Tim Groser in Trade and Climate Change, and Nicky Wagner in Customs.

“The support party Ministerial and Under Secretary roles have already been announced, but I want to acknowledge again their contribution to the formation of a strong, stable National-led Government.”

Mr Key says the National Caucus will meet tomorrow (Tuesday 7 October) to elect its three whips for the coming parliamentary term.

The new Ministry will be sworn in at Government House in Wellington at 11am on Wednesday morning.

The list of names, positions and rankings is here.

 


Do we still need to write?

October 6, 2014

Yay or nay?

When fine motor skills were being handed out, I was somewhere else.

A variety of skills as diverse as sewing and applying nail polish with any degree of finesse are beyond me.

I can get away without having to do art and any more than basic sewing, and leave my nails in their natural state.

But the one fine motor skill I need and don’t have but require often is handwriting.

I type when I can but sometimes that’s not an option and it always worries me that whoever has to read what I write will think what I write is as ill-formed and immature as my writing.

My writing is appalling in spite of the best efforts of successive teachers.

I gather that a lot less emphasis is put on it in modern classrooms.

There is less need for writing than there used to be, but are we short-changing children if we don’t teach them to write, and read, real writing?


What it takes to be a farmer

October 6, 2014

People who write advertisements have a very fixed idea about farmers, or at least the way they should be portrayed.

They are almost always shown as rough and ready blokes (and they are almost always blokes) who speak like Fred Dagg, and know little and care less for urban people.

That stereotype helps build the idea that farmers aren’t particularly intelligent or articulate and that what they do doesn’t require much skill.

This Facebook post from Peterson Farm Brothers paints a much more realistic picture:

 

Peterson Farm Bros

(ORIGINAL) Farmer AKA Mechanic, Agronomist, Engineer, Economist, Businessman, Accountant, Architect, Doctor, Manager, Electrician, Plumber, Veterinarian, Communicator, Teacher, Conservationist, Nutritionist, Carpenter, Biologist, Technician, Trucker, Maintenance worker, etc.(ORIGINAL) Farmer AKA Mechanic, Agronomist, Engineer, Economist, Businessman, Accountant, Architect, Doctor, Manager, Electrician, Plumber, Veterinarian, Communicator, Teacher, Conservationist, Nutritionist, Carpenter, Biologist, Technician, Trucker, Maintenance worker, etc.


October 6 in history

October 6, 2014

105 BC Battle of Arausio: The Cimbri defeated the Roman army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus.

69 BC Battle of Tigranocerta: Forces of the Roman Republic defeated the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great.

68 BC Battle of Artaxata: Lucullus defeated Tigranes the Great of Armenia.

1600  Jacopo Peri‘s Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, received its première performance in Florence, signifying the beginning of the Baroque Period.

1683  William Penn brought 13 German immigrant families to the colony of Pennsylvania, marking the first immigration of German people to America.

1762  Seven Years’ War: conclusion of the Battle of Manila between Britain and Spain, which resulted in the British occupation of Manila for the rest of the war.

1769 Ship’s boy Nicholas Young received a gallon of rum and had Young Nick’s Head named in his honour for being the first aboard the Endeavour to spot land.

Young Nick sights land

1789  French Revolution: Louis XVI returned to Paris from Versailles after being confronted by the Parisian women.

1849  The execution of the 13 Martyrs of Arad after the Hungarian war of independence.

1854 The Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.

1884  The Naval War College of the United States Navy was founded in Newport, Rhode Island.

1889  Thomas Edison showed his first motion picture.

1903  The High Court of Australia sat for the first time.

1906  The Majlis of Iran convened for the first time.

1908 Austria annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1910 Barbara Castle, British politician, first woman to be First Secretary of State, was born (d. 2002).

1914 Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer was born  (d. 2002).

1927  Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent talking movie.

1928  Chiang Kai-Shek became Chairman of the Republic of China.

1930 Richie Benaud, Australian cricketer, was born.

1939  World War II: The  Polish army was defeated.

1942 Britt Ekland, Swedish actress, was born.

1945 Billy Sianis and his pet billy goat were ejected from Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series (see Curse of the Billy Goat).

1948 Gerry Adams, Northern Irish politician, was born.

1973  Egypt launched a coordinated attack against Israel to reclaim land lost in the Six Day War. The Ramadan War Yom Kippur War started at 2:05 pm that day.

1976  Cubana Flight 455 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean after two bombs, placed on board by terrorists with connections to the CIA, exploded. All 73 people on-board were killed.

1976 New Premier Hua Guofeng ordered the arrest of the Gang of Four and associates and ended the Cultural Revolution in China.

1976   Massacre of students gathering at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand to protest the return of ex-dictator Thanom, by a coalition of right-wing paramilitary and government forces, triggering the return of the military to government.

1977  In Alicante, Spain, fascists attacked a group of MCPV militants and sympathisers, one MCPV sympathiser was killed.

1977 The first prototype of the MiG-29, designated 9-01, made its maiden flight.

1979 Pope John Paul II beaome the first pontiff to visit the White House.

1981 President of Egypt  Anwar al-Sadat was assassinated.

1985  PC Keith Blakelock was murdered as riots erupted in the Broadwater Farm suburb of London.

1987  Fiji became a republic.

1995 51 Pegasi was discovered to be the first major star apart from the Sun to have a planet (and extrasolar planet) orbiting around it.

2000 Yugoslav president Slobodan Milošević resigned.

2000  Argentine vice president Carlos Álvarez resigned.

2002  The French oil tanker Limburg was bombed off Yemen.

2007 Jason Lewis completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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