Word of the day


Skinkling – gleaming, glistening, sparkling; showy.

How many will know it’s ours?


The New Zealand flag has been raised at the United Nations in New York to mark the beginning of our term on the Security Council.

How many people will know it’s ours?

Some flags are easy to identify with their country. The best example of this is probably Canada’s.

Ours is not and worse still, it’s far too often confused with Australia’s.

That’s two good reasons for changing  it which Jamie Banks includes in his eight reasons to change the flag. Among his others are:

1. It’s not representative. . .

5. It won’t actually cost much. . .

6. Symbolic change promotes real change. . .

7. The arguments against the change are few and weak. . .

One of those arguments is that our soldiers fought and died under it

Some also fought under the two previous flags and those who are buried in war graves have the silver fern, not the flag, on the stones marking them.

I don’t support the idea of the flag used by sports teams with a silver fern on a black background.

But I wouldn’t be averse to a fern on a flag with blue signifying water and sky, green representing the land and a southern cross.

And almost all of the alternative designs I’ve seen are more distinctively New Zealand than the existing one which has had its day.






Follow the Kiwi Way


People are encouraged to ‘follow the Kiwi way’ over the holidays by showing respect for neighbouring landholders when accessing the country’s beaches, forests, rivers and mountains.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission Chief Executive Mark Neeson said New Zealand’s striking outdoor environments provided fantastic opportunities for people to get out and enjoy themselves this summer but understanding how to act responsibly in these areas was necessary to maintain New Zealand’s special access culture.

“Most landholders are happy to grant access across their property when asked. However, it is important that people using the outdoors for recreation repay that trust by acting responsibly.

“People who are unaccustomed to rural life are often unaware of behaviours we take for granted. A little extra knowledge can make all the difference.”

Mr Neeson said the New Zealand Outdoor Access Code, available on the New Zealand Walking Access Commission’s website, offered practical advice and information for accessing the outdoors, including simple steps like asking permission before crossing private land, walking in single file around stock and leaving gates as they are found.

People planning trips into the outdoors this summer could also make use of the Walking Access Mapping System – a free online tool developed by the Commission to help people identify publicly accessible land.

Research conducted by the Commission last year found that 92 per cent of New Zealanders had been in the outdoors for recreation during the past 12 months, with picnics and family outings as the most popular outdoor recreational activity (66 per cent), followed by short walks (63 per cent) and swimming (49 per cent).

The Walking Access Code is here.

The access mapping tool is here, though it’s still a work in progress.

Most visitors adhere to it without the need to be told, respecting property rights and sticking to the exhortation to take only photos, leave only footprints.

It’s usually just a few who deliberately or through ignorance, let the majority down.



January 2 in history


366 – The Alamanni crossed the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.

533 – Mercurius became Pope John II, the first pope to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.

1492  Reconquista: the emirate of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, surrendered.

1818 The British Institution of Civil Engineers was founded.
1860  The discovery of the planet Vulcan was announced at a meeting of the Académie des Sciences in Paris.

1871 Amadeus I became King of Spain.

1873 Thérèse de Lisieux, French Roman-Catholic nun, was born (d. 1897).

1896 – Sir Lawrence Wackett, Australian aircraft engineer, was born (d. 1982).

1938 The first official New Zealand airmail to the United States departed Auckland for San Francisco aboard Pan American Airline’s Samoan Clipper, a Sikorsky S-42B flying boat was piloted by Captain Ed Musick.
First official airmail flight to San Francisco
1947 David Shapiro, American poet, literary critic, and art historian, was born.
1949 Luis Muñoz Marín became the first democratically elected Governor of Puerto Rico.

1955  Panamanian president Jose Antonio Remon was assassinated.

1959  Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, was launched by the U.S.S.R.

1967 Francois Pienaar, South African rugby player, Sprinbok, was born.

1971 – The second Ibrox disaster killed 66 fans at a Rangers-Celtic football match.

1974  President Richard Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve fuel during an OPEC embargo.

1975  Reuben Thorne, New Zealand All Black, was born.

1999  A brutal snowstorm hit the Midwestern United States, causing 14 inches (359 mm) of snow in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and 19 inches (487 mm) in Chicago, where temperatures plunged to -13°F (-25°C); 68 deaths were reported

2001 – Sila Calderón became the first female Governor of Puerto Rico.

2002 – Eduardo Duhalde was appointed interim President of Argentina by the Legislative Assembly.

2004 – Stardust successfully flew past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that are returned to Earth.

2006 – An explosion in a coal mine in Sago, West Virginia trapped and killed 12 miners and left another in a critical condition.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

%d bloggers like this: