Word of the day


Aestive  – hot, burning; of or belonging to summer, summerlike.

Live life best imagined



Governor General Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae’s New Year message is on the theme of nationhood:

. . .New Zealand was the last major land mass to be settled and Wairau Bar is now considered one of the first major entry points for Polynesian migration in New Zealand. Rangihoua was the site of the first permanent European settlement here.

At both of these places of new beginnings, I reflected on the courage and resilience, our pioneering forebears needed to leave behind their familiar worlds, to venture into the unknown and to face the considerable challenges of a new land. Like those who followed them, the first New Zealanders came here to forge a better life for themselves. That vision of optimism and hope continues to attract people from many nations – people who see this country as a haven, a place of new beginnings, where they and their children can see a brighter future.

Today, when a quarter of New Zealand’s population was born elsewhere, we have the opportunity to ensure that our newest New Zealanders are welcomed, are valued, and are enabled to take their place amongst us. We want every New Zealander, whatever their origins, to live the life they would best imagine for themselves and their descendants. . .

Living the life best imagined – that’s an aspirational goal for each and all of us.

This wish will be uppermost in my mind in 2015, when the theme for my programme is Nationhood. This year we will commemorate a number of significant milestones: the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; the centenary of the Gallipoli landings, the 150th anniversary of the shift of government to Wellington – and the 50th anniversary of the Cook Islands’ independence. These anniversaries will be occasions to take stock of where we are as a nation, and to think about the future we want our children to inherit. . .

In the last couple of days, we’ve spent time with ex-pat Kiwis who have come home for Christmas.

Their love for and appreciation of New Zealand reinforces the feeling we get every time we’ve been away – how blessed we are to live here and how important it is to ensure it stays a blessed place to be for those who follow us.

In thinking about nationhood and what it means to us, I like to quote Stephen Ambrose: “The past is a source of knowledge, and the future is a source of hope. Love of the past implies faith in the future.”

I see increasing interest in our collective histories and cultures and a willingness to learn from them. This gives me great optimism that we can look forward with hope to a nation where people – from whatever background – have the opportunity to contribute and make a difference; in the workplace, in the social and cultural realm; and in their communities. . .

Knowledge and hope, two potent guides for our individual and collective contributions to our families, our communities, our country and the world.

A good New Year


Plans for a quiet New Year’s Eve were derailed by an invitation to dinner with friends.

It turned into a very enjoyable evening with delicious food, stimulating conversation, lots of laughter, a little singing (Auld Lang Syne at midnight) but not quite enough sleep.

I’m resolving to have more of the first four and less of the fifth in the year ahead.

Whatever your resolutions I wish you well with them and a very happy 2015.

January 1 in history


45 BC  The Julian calendar took effect for the first time.

1001 – Grand Prince Stephen I of Hungary was named the first King of Hungary by Pope Silvester II.

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born.

1651  Charles II was crowned King of Scotland.

1735 Paul Revere,  American patriot, was born (d. 1818).

1772 – The first traveller’s cheques, which could be used in 90 European cities, went on sale in London.

1779  William Clowes, English printer, was born  (d. 1847).

1788  First edition of The Times of London, previously The Daily Universal Register, was published.

1800  The Dutch East India Company was dissolved.

1801 The legislative union of Kingdom of Great Britain and Kingdom of Ireland was completed to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1801 The dwarf planet Ceres was discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi.

1803  Emperor Gia Long ordered all bronze wares of the Tây Sơn Dynasty to be collected and melted into nine cannons for the Royal Citadel in Huế, Vietnam.

1804 French rule ended in Haiti. Haiti becomes the first black republic and second independent country on the American Continent after the U.S.

1808  The importation of slaves into the United States was banned.

1810  Major-General Lachlan Macquarie CB officially became Governor of New South Wales.

1833 The United Kingdom claimed sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.

1833 Robert Lawson, New Zealand architect, was born  (d. 1902).

1859 Pencarrow, New Zealand’s first lighthouse, was lit for the first time.

NZ's first lighthouse, Pencarrow, lit for the first time

1860 First Polish stamp was issued.

1861  Porfirio Díaz conquered Mexico City.

1876  The Reichsbank opened in Berlin.

1877  Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India.

1879 E. M. Forster, English novelist, was born (d. 1970).

1880 Ferdinand de Lesseps began French construction of the Panama Canal.

1890  Eritrea was consolidated into a colony by the Italian government.

1892  Ellis Island opened to begin processing immigrants into the United States.

1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal,was officially opened to traffic.

1895  J. Edgar Hoover, American FBI director, was born (d. 1972).

1899 – Spanish rule ended in Cuba.

1901 – The British colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of Australia; Edmund Barton was appointed the first Prime Minister.

1912 The Republic of China was established.

1912  Kim Philby, British spy, was born  (d. 1988).

1919 J. D. Salinger, American novelist, was born (d. 2010).

1925  American astronomer Edwin Hubble announced the discovery of galaxies outside the Milky Way.

1934  Alcatraz Island became a United States federal prison.

1939  William Hewlett and David Packard founded Hewlett-Packard.

1948 The British railway network was nationalised to form British Railways.

1951 New Zealand’s upper house, the Legislative Council, was abolished.

1956  The Republic of the Sudan gained independence.

1958 The European Communitywas established.

1959 Fulgencio Batista, president of Cuba was overthrown by Fidel Castro‘s forces during the Cuban Revolution.

1960 The Republic of Cameroon achieved independence.

1962 Western Samoa achieved independence from New Zealand; its name is changed to the Independent State of Western Samoa.

1962 – United States Navy SEALs established.

1982 – Peruvian Javier Pérez de Cuéllar became the first Latin American to be Secretary General of the United Nations.

1983 – The ARPANET officially changed to using the Internet Protocol, creating the Internet.

1984 – The Sultanate of Brunei became independent.

1985 The Internet‘s Domain Name Systemwas created.

1985 – The first British mobile phone callwais made by Ernie Wise to Vodafone.

1990 – David Dinkins was sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor.

1993 – A single market within the European Community was introduced.

1994 – The North American Free Trade Agreement came into effect.

1995  The World Trade Organisation came  into effect.

1995 – The Draupner wave in the North Sea was detected, confirming the existence of freak waves.

1997 – Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan was appointed Secretary General of the United Nations.

1998 – The European Central Bank was established.

2006 – Sydney, sweltered through its hottest New Years Day on record. The thermometer peaked at 45 degrees celsius, sparking bushfires and power outages.

2007 – Adam Air Flight 574 disappeared over Indonesia with 102 people on board.

2009 – 66 died in nightclub fire in Bangkok.

2010 – A suicide car bomber detonated at a volleyball tournament in Lakki Marwat, Pakistan, killing 105 and injuring 100 more.

2011 – A bomb exploded as Coptic Christians in Alexandria, Egypt, left a new year service, killing 23 people.

2012 – A Moldovan civilian was fatally wounded by a Russian peacekeeper in the Transnistrian security zone, leading to demonstrations against Russia.

2013 – At least 60 people were killed and 200 injured in a stampede after celebrations at Félix Houphouët-Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

2014 – Latvia joined the Eurozone.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: