More than enough

December 23, 2011

On the Farming Show yesterday Bob McDavitt went through a list of weather nasties which had hit New Zealand in the past 12 months.

He started with Tropical Cyclone Norma in January which resulted in insurance payouts of $20 million in insurance payouts.

Most of us not affected by that would have forgotten about it after it was overshadowed in February by the Christchurch earthquake.

That and the physical, financial and emotional aftershocks which followed have dominated the year and just as everyone was beginning to relax there’s been another sizable shock:

Information about this earthquake:

Reference Number 3631359 [View event in Google Maps][View Felt Reports in Google Maps]
Universal Time December 23 2011 at 0:58
NZ Daylight Time Friday, December 23 2011 at 1:58 pm
Latitude, Longitude 43.49°S, 172.90°E
Focal Depth 8 km
Richter magnitude 5.8
Region Canterbury
Location
  • 20 km north-east of Lyttelton
  • 20 km north-east of Diamond Harbour
  • 20 km east of Christchurch

We’re more than 200 kilometres south of there and we felt the shake and a reasonable aftershock.

RadioNZ National says there has been only one report of anyone injured, and we can be grateful for that but there is more liquification.

If we’re thinking there’s been more than enough from Mother Nature, particularly when it comes to shaking, this year, how much worse it must be for the people in Christchurch.


Sunrise, sunset

September 20, 2009

The sun rose here at about 6.30 this morning and it will set at about 6.30 this evening.

If you’re in East Cape sunrise and sunset are about half an hour earlier. If you’re in Bluff they’re about quarter of an hour later.

In the normal course of events next week sunrise in Bluff would be at 6.23am  and sunset at 6.52pm. In East Cape sunrise would be 5.45am and sunset 6.08pm. But wherever you are in New Zealand, next Sunday clocks will have gone forward which will make sunrise and sunset an hour later than it ought to be.

The benefits of daylight saving compensate for the disadvantages in the middle of summer when temperatures are warmer and days are longer anyway. But extending daylight saving so it lasts from the last weekend in September until the first Sunday in April is giving us so much of a good thing it becomes a bad thing.

Putting the clock forward this early makes it darker and colder for longer in the morning without giving enough extra heat and light in the evening to make much difference. People, especially those in primary production, who have to start work early are disadvantaged without there being enough gain for those who want to play in the evenings to compensate.

LINZ has sunrise and sunset times for Auckland, Bluff, Dunedin, East Cape, Gisborne and Lyttelton.

The Royal Astronomical Society has sunrise and sunset times for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Grump warning: this is the first of what may be several annual complaints about the length of the period in which daylight saving time applies.


76th anniversary of NZ’s first female MP

September 13, 2009

It got a mention in this morning’s September 13 in history post, but because there was no photo it didn’t get the prominence it deserves.

Today is the 76th anniversary of Elizabeth McCombs’ election to parliament.

New Zealand women gained the vote in 1893 but it took until 1933, when McCombs was elected to the seat of Lyttelton in a by-election following the death of her husband who’d been the sitting MP, that we got our first female MP.

It took another 65 years – until December 1998 – to get our first female Prime Minsiter – Jenny Shipley.

McCombs died two years after her election and her son Terence then won the seat.


75th anniversary of first female MP

September 14, 2008

Elizabeth McCombs  became New Zealand’s first female MP 75 years ago yesterday, almost 40 years after women first got the vote.

She won a by-election for the Labour Party in Lyttelton after the death of her husband, James, who had held the seat.

Some Labour leaders were not convinced about her candidacy as James had only won by a slender margin in 1931. In the end they had no cause for concern – Elizabeth was elected with an overwhelming majority.

In her time in Parliament Elizabeth tried to keep women’s issues at the forefront, advocating causes such as equal pay. But she had little opportunity to effect change. Labour was then in opposition and she died less than two years later, in June 1935.

Hat tip: No Right Turn

Update: The Hand Mirror has a fuller post here.


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