Word of the day

May 12, 2015

Debauchee – a person given to excessive indulgence in sex, alcohol, or drugs; one who habitually indulges in debauchery or dissipation; a libertine.


Cards, days and cardboard boxes

May 12, 2015

Discussion on Critical Mass with Simon Mercep today was sparked by:

* 8  non-traditional and wonderfully empathetic cards. I came across them at Upworthy which links to the site of their creator Emily McDowell.

* Days of the Year which celebrates serious and strange celebrations. Today is both Nurses Day and Limerick Day

* Poetry through the ages gives us the history of limericks and some examples of them.

And via Mums on Top I found 50 things to do with a cardboard box at Kids’ Activities Blog.


Rural round-up

May 12, 2015

Initiative promotes agricultural careers – Sally Rae:

When it comes to his career, Leon Olsson’s only regret is that he did not get into the agricultural sector earlier.

Mr Olsson (26), who manages a dry stock farm at Ranfurly which is part of a large scale dairy operation, told pupils at John McGlashan College, in Dunedin, this recently.

It was part of Soil Makes Sense, an initiative supported by Lincoln University and DairyNZ aimed at promoting the opportunities available in the primary industries.

A panel of speakers outlined their own career paths and involvement in the sector. . .

New agribusiness course – Sally Rae:

The opportunities for young people to forge a professional career in the agribusiness sector are ”so diverse”, John McGlashan College principal Neil Garry says.

The Dunedin school was one of seven New Zealand secondary schools invited to become ”lead schools” for the Centre of Excellence for Agricultural Science and Business, the brainchild of St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton.

The joint venture between St Paul’s and agricultural industry partners aimed to deliver and roll out an agribusiness programme to secondary schools throughout New Zealand. . .

Backing for speed limit cut:

The head of road policing is backing lowering the speed limit on many rural roads to 70 or 80 kilometres an hour in the wake of a horrendous weekend of deaths.

Ten people were killed in five separate crashes in a weekend police said was a shocking toll not seen for at least 30 years.

Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Dave Cliff told Morning Report many roads around the country were simply not designed for the usual 100 km/h speed limit. . .

Farmers back Fonterra – Neal Wallace:

Last week Farmers Weekly gathered the thoughts of southern dairy farmers as they contemplated a winter facing low payouts while coping with the drought hangover. This week Neal Wallace and Hugh Stringleman spoke to some of their North Island counterparts to see what they are thinking. It seems they staunchly back Fonterra but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some advice on how it could improve.

When will it end?

Te Awamutu dairy farmer Brad Eyre remains convinced Fonterra is the right vehicle for the industry. It has just hit a rough patch. . .

Budget 2015: New Afforestation Grant Scheme:

The Government has today confirmed a multi-million dollar reboot of the popular Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS), Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew says.

The new version of the scheme will see $22.5 million invested over the next six years to encourage the planting of an expected 15,000 hectares of new forest.

“The new scheme will take up where its highly successful predecessor left off,” Mrs Goodhew says. “Farmers and landowners can again use the AGS to make better use of marginal land and increase farming diversification.”

Under the previous scheme, from 2008 to 2013, more than 12,000 hectares of new forest was planted, much of it on erosion prone land. This improved water quality and reduced the impact of severe flooding. . .

Gypsy Day – Effluent Management Doesn’t Stop at the Farm Gate:

Waikato Regional Council is reminding dairy farmers of the importance of good stock effluent management during the upcoming Gypsy Day on 1 June.

That’s the day when thousands of cows will be transported from one farm to another, meaning potential for effluent to spill on to roads creating hazardous driving conditions.

To help reduce the amount of stock effluent produced in transit, the council stresses the importance of preparing animals prior to transport, including not giving them green feed for 4 – 6 hours before their journey. . .


Checking out but not leaving

May 12, 2015

The weekend’s National Party Mainland conference was my last as Southern Regional chair.

It was the end of six years in the position and I chose not to seek re-election for several reasons.

I believe you should step down before you lose the enthusiasm and energy needed for what you’re doing.

The year after an election is the best one in the cycle for a change in chair, allowing the new one plenty of time to come to grips with the job before having to work on candidate selections and the election.

One important measure of success is the quality of your successor and I had one who was ready, willing and able to take over.

It’s been a privilege and pleasure to work with other volunteers, MPs and party staff over the last six years. In that time the party has increased its membership, strengthened its financial base and continued to earn the sort of support in polls few parties attain let alone maintain.

That is due to several factors which include the leadership of the parliamentary wing, the volunteers and staff.

It’s not just party faithful like me who admire our leader and the Prime Minister John Key. To be in a third term in government and still attracting similar levels of support in polls to that when first elected requires someone special at the head of a very good team.

Government and governance are never smooth sailing.

In spite of all that’s been thrown at them, the PM and his team have concentrated on what matters to voters – the economy,  education, health and law and order. They also continue to respect and value the voluntary wing.

I’ve been involved in the party for around three decades and have never known such cohesion between and performance by MPs, staff and volunteers.

Judy Kirk was president when I became regional chair. Her successor Peter Goodfellow has built on the foundation she laid.

I have had all the support and communication from the board I could have wished for. On the few occasions I had concerns I needed to talk to Peter, or other board members about, I was taken seriously and got action.

The strong financial position the party is  in is due to the work of the president, the board and strong membership.

One of the reasons membership has grown is the encouragement and support volunteers have had from the board and the service centre.

General manager Greg Hamilton changed the name of headquarters to the service centre and it wasn’t just window dressing. He and his staff provide amazing service to activists and work very hard to ensure members get value for their loyalty.

The importance of that can’t be overstated.

National is, sadly for democracy, the only party left in New Zealand that has a broad based membership of tens of thousands.

Leading those in the south has provided a few challenges, meant a lot of work but also been very rewarding.

I stepped down and have been succeeded by a woman who has the passion, personality and skills to do all that’s required and more.

I’m looking forward to working with her. My two immediate predecessors were women who provided good role models not only for the position but also for continuing to be involved after retiring from it.

Besides, the party is a bit like the Hotel California. I’ve checked out of the office but I won’t be leaving the building.

We’ve got an election to win in 2017 and earning the votes required to do that requires hard work and a team to do it.


Quote of the day

May 12, 2015

New Zealand National Party's photo.

Most people are amazingly determined to do well under their own steam.

All they want the Government to do is created the environment for that . . .

We create the environment which enables jobs to be created. – John Key


May 12 in history

May 12, 2015

1191  Richard I of England married Berengaria of Navarre who was crowned Queen consort of England the same day.

1264 The Battle of Lewes, between King Henry III and the rebel Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, began.

1328 Antipope Nicholas V, a claimant to the papacy, was consecrated in Rome by the Bishop of Venice.

1364  Jagiellonian University, was founded in Kraków.

1551  National University of San Marcos, was founded in Lima.

1588 French Wars of Religion: Henry III fledParis after Henry of Guise enters the city.

1689  King William’s War: William III joined the League of Augsburg starting a war with France.

1743  Maria Theresa of Austria was crowned King of Bohemia after defeating her rival, Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor.

1797  First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquered Venice.

1812 Edward Lear, British author and poet was born (d. 1888).

1820 Florence Nightingale, British nurse was born (d. 1910).

1821  The first big battle of the Greek War of Independence against the Turks occured in Valtetsi.

1828  Dante Gabriel Rossetti, British painter,was born (d. 1882).

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Raymond: two divisions of James B. McPherson‘s XVII Corps (ACW) turned the left wing of Confederate General John C. Pemberton‘s defensive line on Fourteen Mile Creek, opening up the interior of Mississippi to the Union Army during the Vicksburg Campaign.

1864 American Civil War: the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House: thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers died in “the Bloody Angle”.

1865  American Civil War: the Battle of Palmito Ranch: the first day of the last major land action to take place during the Civil War, resulting in a Confederate victory.

1870 The Manitoba Act was given the Royal Assent, paving the way for Manitoba to become a province of Canada on July 15.

1873  Oscar II was crowned King of Sweden.

1881  Tunisia became a French protectorate.

1885 North-West Rebellion: the four-day Battle of Batoche, pitting rebel Métis against the Canadian government, ended with a decisive rebel defeat.

1890  The first-ever official County Championship match begins. Yorkshire beat Gloucestershire by eight wickets at Bristol. George Ulyett scored the first century in the competition.

1907 Katharine Hepburn, American actress, was born (d. 2003).

1910 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, British biochemist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1994).

1924 Tony Hancock, British comedian, was born  (d. 1968).

1926  UK General Strike 1926: In the United Kingdom, a nine-day general strike by ended.

1932  Ten weeks after his abduction, the infant son of Charles Lindbergh was found dead in Hopewell, New Jersey, just a few miles from the Lindberghs’ home.

1937 Susan Hampshire, British actress, was born.

1937 – George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon were crowned King and Queen.

1941 – Konrad Zuse presented the Z3, the world’s first working programmable, fully automatic computer, in Berlin.

1942 – World War II: Second Battle of Kharkov – in the eastern Ukraine, Red Army forces under Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched a major offensive from the Izium bridgehead.

1942 – The Holocaust: 1,500 Jews were sent to gas chambers in Auschwitz.

1945 Ian McLagan, British keyboardist (Small Faces), was born.

1945  Argentinian labour leader José Peter declared the Federación Obrera de la Industria de la Carne dissolved.

1949 – The Soviet Union lifted its blockade of Berlin.

1949 – The western occupying powers approved the Basic Law for the new German state – the Federal Republic of Germany.

1952 Gaj Singh was crowned Maharaja of Jodhpur.

1958 Aformal North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement was signed between the United States and Canada.

1962  Douglas MacArthur delivered his famous “Duty, Honor, Country” valedictory speech at the United States Military Academy.

1965 – The Soviet spacecraft Luna 5 crashes on the Moon.

1967  Pink Floyd staged the first-ever quadraphonic rock concert.

1971 A civic reception for 161 Battery on its return from Vietnam was disrupted by protesters.

Anti-Vietnam War protests in Queen Street

1975 Jonah Lomu, New Zealand rugby union footballer, was born.

Jonah Lomu (cropped).jpg

1975  Mayagüez incident: the Cambodian navy seized the American merchant ship SS Mayaguez in international waters.

1978  In Zaïre, rebels occupy the city of Kolwezi, the mining center of the province of Shaba.

1981  Francis Hughes starved to death in the Maze Prison in a republican campaign for political status to be granted to Provisional IRA prisoners.

1982 – During a procession outside the shrine of the Virgin Mary in Fátima, Portugal, security guards overpower edJuan Fernandez Krohn before he  attacked Pope John Paul IIwith a bayonet.

1999 David Steel became the first Presiding Officer (speaker) of the modern Scottish Parliament.

2002  Former US President Jimmy Carter arrived in Cuba for a five-day visit with Fidel Castro becoming first President of the United States, in or out of office, to visit the island since Castro’s 1959 revolution.

2003  The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda, kill 26.

2003 – Fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers bring the Texas Legislature to a standstill by going into hiding in a dispute over a Republican congressional redistricting plan.

2006  Mass unrest by the Primeiro Comando da Capital began in São Paulo, leaving at least 150 dead.

2007  Karachi riots , which killed over 50 people in Karachi and above 100 injured, on the arrival of Chief Justice of Pakistan; Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in Karachi city.

2008 Wenchuan earthquake (measuring around 8.0 magnitude) in Sichuan, China, killed more than 69,000 people.

2008 – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted the largest-ever raid of workplace and arrests nearly 400 immigrants for identity theft and document fraud.

2010 – An Afriqiyah Airways Flight crashed, killing all but one person on board.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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