October 24 in history

October 24, 2018

69 –  Second Battle of Bedriacum, forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian, defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius.

1147  After a siege of 4 months crusader knights led by Afonso Henriques, reconquered Lisbon.

1260  The Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France.

1260  Saif ad-Din Qutuz, Mamluk sultan of Egypt, was assassinated byBaibars, who seized power for himself.

1360  The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

1648  The Peace of Westphalia was signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.

1795 Partitions of Poland: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was completely divided among Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Maloyaroslavets.

1830 – Marianne North, English naturalist and flower painter was born (d. 1890).

1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American adventuress was born (d. 1921).

1840 – Eliza Pollock, American archer (d. 1919).

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.

1861  The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

1882  Dame Sybil Thorndike, British actress, was born (d. 1976).

1885 – Alice Perry, Irish engineer and poet, was born (d. 1969).

1892  Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901  Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1911 Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in aWright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1912  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo concluded with the Serbian victory.

1913 Violent clashes between unionised waterside workers and non-union labour erupted two days after Wellington watersiders held a stopwork meeting in support of a small group of striking shipwrights.

Violence flares on Wellington wharves

1917 Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. (Also called Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo).

1917 The day of the October revolution, The Red Revolution.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.

Death of South Island explorer Donald Sutherland

1926  Harry Houdini‘s last performance.

1929  ”Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1930 A bloodless coup d’état in Brazil ousted Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the First Republic. Getúlio Dornelles Vargaswas then installed as “provisional president.”

1931  The George Washington Bridge opened to traffic.

1932 – Stephen Covey, American author and educator (d. 2012).

1936 Bill Wyman, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1940 – Martin Campbell, New Zealand director and producer, was born.

Martin Campbell.jpg

1944  The Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, and the battleship Musashi were sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

1945  Founding of the United Nations.

1946 A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of earth from outer space.

1947  Walt Disney testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.

1949  – Keith Rowley, Trinidadian volcanologist and politician, 7th Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born.

1954 – Malcolm Turnbull, Australian journalist and politician, 29th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1954   Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged United States support to South Vietnam.

1957  The USAF started the X-20 Dyna-Soar programme.

1960  Nedelin catastrophe: An R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad at the Soviet Union’s Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing over 100.

1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence and became the Republic of Zambia.

1969 – Emma Donoghue, Irish-Canadian author, was born.

1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.

Jeff Wilson.jpg

1973 Yom Kippur War ended.

1980 Government of Poland legalised Solidarity trade union.

1986  Nezar Hindawi was sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing on an El Al flight at Heathrow.

1990  Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti revealed to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian “stay-behind” clandestine paramilitary NATO army.

1998  Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission.

2002  Police arrested spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, DC.

2003  Concorde made its last commercial flight.

2005  Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Florida resulting in 35 direct 26 indirect fatalities and causing $20.6B USD in damage.

2006  Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the “motive clause”, an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act.

2008  ”Bloody Friday“: many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

2009  First International Day of Climate Action, organised with 350.org, a global campaign to address a claimed global warming crisis.

2014 – The China National Space Administration launched an experimental lunar mission, Chang’e 5-T1, which looped behind the Moon and returned to Earth.

2015 – A driver, arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), crashed into the Oklahoma State Homecoming parade in Stillwater, Oklahoma, killing four people and injuring 34.

Sourced from NZ History Online, Te Ara Encyclopedia of NZ, & Wikipedia.


Rural round-up

January 23, 2018

Record lamb and mutton receipts and second highest for beef:

Red meat export receipts reached a record high for the December quarter of the 2017-18 season, according to an analysis by Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) Economic Service.

The record was driven by high export volumes and average Free-on-Board (FOB) per tonne at record values for lamb and mutton, and near record values for beef, while the New Zealand dollar (NZD) has remained relatively strong.

Andrew Burtt, B+LNZ chief economist, said lamb and mutton farm-gate prices were up 30% and 59% respectively for the first quarter of the season (October-December 2017) compared to the previous season. Cattle prices were relatively steady – up 5%. . . 

MPI says disease is contained – Annette Scott:

Despite the growing number of properties testing positive for the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) remains adamant it has the disease contained.

MPI on Wednesday confirmed three new infected properties, two in Southland and one at Ashburton, bringing the total number of properties testing positive to 17, including one in Hawke’s Bay.

The number of restricted place notice properties is 34 and the number of properties for casing is 206. . . 

Fonterra ‘extremely disappointed’ as Beingmate’s forecast loss widens, again – Jamie Gray:

Fonterra says it is “extremely disappointed” that China’s Beingmate Baby & Child Food, in which it has an 18.8 per cent stake, has issued another earnings downgrade – this time to a loss of $171-$214 million for the December 2017 year.

The previous forecast was for a loss of RMB350m to RMB500m ($75m to $107m).

Fonterra said it was assessing the implications the loss would have on its first half result.

“As an investor in Beingmate, we are extremely disappointed by this announcement and the on-going performance of the company,” Fonterra said in a statement. . .

Mackay vs McKay in celebrity shears:

Jamie Mackay will be back at Waimumu to defend his speed shear title, this time going head to head with Rural Exchange presenter and former sports commentator Hamish McKay.

The inaugural Southern Field Days Speed Shears, held at the 2016 event, had The Country presenter Jamie Mackay go head to head with National leader Bill English.

Mackay walked away with bragging rights and he is coming south to compete again in this year’s “Celebrity Shear Off”. . .

Farm groups back TPP deal as Australia, Japan issue new March deadline – Kelsey Johnson:

Canadian farm groups are doubling down on their support for the revamped Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he wants the multilateral trade deal finalized by March — with or without Canada and Mexico.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) has been in negotiation since the United States pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership last January. Eleven members nations are involved in the discussions, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam and Canada.

During a state visit to Japan this week, Turnbull said Australia and Japan want the new agreement finalized and an agreement-in-principle signed by March, according to reports from The Australian Financial Review. . . 


October 24 in history

October 24, 2017

69  Second Battle of Bedriacum, forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian, defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius.

1147  After a siege of 4 months crusader knights led by Afonso Henriques, reconquered Lisbon.

1260  The Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France.

1260  Saif ad-Din Qutuz, Mamluk sultan of Egypt, was assassinated byBaibars, who seized power for himself.

1360  The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

1648  The Peace of Westphalia was signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.

1795 Partitions of Poland: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was completely divided among Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Maloyaroslavets.

1830 – Marianne North, English naturalist and flower painter was born (d. 1890).

1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American adventuress was born (d. 1921).

1840 – Eliza Pollock, American archer (d. 1919).

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.

1861  The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

1882  Dame Sybil Thorndike, British actress, was born (d. 1976).

1885 – Alice Perry, Irish engineer and poet, was born (d. 1969).

1892  Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901  Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1911 Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in aWright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1912  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo concluded with the Serbian victory.

1913 Violent clashes between unionised waterside workers and non-union labour erupted two days after Wellington watersiders held a stopwork meeting in support of a small group of striking shipwrights.

Violence flares on Wellington wharves

1917 Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. (Also called Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo).

1917 The day of the October revolution, The Red Revolution.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.

Death of South Island explorer Donald Sutherland

1926  Harry Houdini‘s last performance.

1929  ”Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1930 A bloodless coup d’état in Brazil ousted Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the First Republic. Getúlio Dornelles Vargaswas then installed as “provisional president.”

1931  The George Washington Bridge opened to traffic.

1932 – Stephen Covey, American author and educator (d. 2012).

1936 Bill Wyman, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1940 – Martin Campbell, New Zealand director and producer, was born.

Martin Campbell.jpg

1944  The Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, and the battleship Musashi were sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

1945  Founding of the United Nations.

1946 A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of earth from outer space.

1947  Walt Disney testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.

1949  – Keith Rowley, Trinidadian volcanologist and politician, 7th Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born.

1954 – Malcolm Turnbull, Australian journalist and politician, 29th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1954   Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged United States support to South Vietnam.

1957  The USAF started the X-20 Dyna-Soar programme.

1960  Nedelin catastrophe: An R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad at the Soviet Union’s Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing over 100.

1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence and became the Republic of Zambia.

1969 – Emma Donoghue, Irish-Canadian author, was born.

1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.

Jeff Wilson.jpg

1973 Yom Kippur War ended.

1980 Government of Poland legalised Solidarity trade union.

1986  Nezar Hindawi was sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing on an El Al flight at Heathrow.

1990  Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti revealed to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian “stay-behind” clandestine paramilitary NATO army.

1998  Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission.

2002  Police arrested spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, DC.

2003  Concorde made its last commercial flight.

2005  Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Florida resulting in 35 direct 26 indirect fatalities and causing $20.6B USD in damage.

2006  Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the “motive clause”, an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act.

2008  ”Bloody Friday“: many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

2009  First International Day of Climate Action, organised with 350.org, a global campaign to address a claimed global warming crisis.

2014 – The China National Space Administration launched an experimental lunar mission, Chang’e 5-T1, which looped behind the Moon and returned to Earth.

2015 – A driver, arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), crashed into the Oklahoma State Homecoming parade in Stillwater, Oklahoma, killing four people and injuring 34.

Sourced from NZ History Online, Te Ara Encyclopedia of NZ, & Wikipedia.


October 24 in history

October 24, 2016

69  Second Battle of Bedriacum, forces under Antonius Primus, the commander of the Danube armies, loyal to Vespasian, defeated the forces of Emperor Vitellius.

1147  After a siege of 4 months crusader knights led by Afonso Henriques, reconquered Lisbon.

1260  The Cathedral of Chartres was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France.

1260  Saif ad-Din Qutuz, Mamluk sultan of Egypt, was assassinated byBaibars, who seized power for himself.

1360  The Treaty of Brétigny was ratified at Calais, marking the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years’ War.

1648  The Peace of Westphalia was signed, marking the end of the Thirty Years’ War.

1795 Partitions of Poland: The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was completely divided among Austria, Prussia, and Russia.

1812 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Maloyaroslavets.

1830 – Marianne North, English naturalist and flower painter was born (d. 1890).

1838 – Annie Edson Taylor, American adventuress was born (d. 1921).

1840 – Eliza Pollock, American archer (d. 1919).

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.

1861  The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

1882  Dame Sybil Thorndike, British actress, was born (d. 1976).

1892  Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901  Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1911 Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in aWright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1912  First Balkan War: The Battle of Kumanovo concluded with the Serbian victory.

1913 Violent clashes between unionised waterside workers and non-union labour erupted two days after Wellington watersiders held a stopwork meeting in support of a small group of striking shipwrights.

Violence flares on Wellington wharves

1917 Battle of Caporetto; Italy was defeated by the forces of Austria-Hungary and Germany. (Also called Twelfth Battle of the Isonzo).

1917 The day of the October revolution, The Red Revolution.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.
Death of South Island explorer Donald Sutherland

1926  Harry Houdini‘s last performance.

1929  ”Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1930 A bloodless coup d’état in Brazil ousted Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa, the last President of the First Republic. Getúlio Dornelles Vargaswas then installed as “provisional president.”

1931  The George Washington Bridge opened to traffic.

1932 – Stephen Covey, American author and educator (d. 2012).

1936 Bill Wyman, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born.

1940 – Martin Campbell, New Zealand director and producer, was born.

Martin Campbell.jpg

1944  The Japanese aircraft carrier Zuikaku, and the battleship Musashi were sunk in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

1945  Founding of the United Nations.

1946 A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket took the first photograph of earth from outer space.

1947  Walt Disney testified to the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.

1949  – Keith Rowley, Trinidadian volcanologist and politician, 7th Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born.

1954 – Malcolm Turnbull, Australian journalist and politician, 29th Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1954  Dwight D. Eisenhower pledged United States support to South Vietnam.

1957  The USAF started the X-20 Dyna-Soar programme.

1960  Nedelin catastrophe: An R-16 ballistic missile exploded on the launch pad at the Soviet Union’s Baikonur Cosmodrome space facility, killing over 100.

1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence and became the Republic of Zambia.

1969 – Emma Donoghue, Irish-Canadian author, was born.

1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.

Jeff Wilson.jpg

1973 Yom Kippur War ended.

1980 Government of Poland legalised Solidarity trade union.

1986  Nezar Hindawi was sentenced to 45 years in prison, the longest sentence handed down by a British court, for the attempted bombing on an El Al flight at Heathrow.

1990  Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti revealed to the Italian parliament the existence of Gladio, the Italian “stay-behind” clandestine paramilitary NATO army.

1998  Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission.

2002  Police arrested spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, DC.

2003  Concorde made its last commercial flight.

2005  Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Florida resulting in 35 direct 26 indirect fatalities and causing $20.6B USD in damage.

2006  Justice Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice struck down the “motive clause”, an important part of the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act.

2008  ”Bloody Friday“: many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

2009  First International Day of Climate Action, organised with 350.org, a global campaign to address a claimed global warming crisis.

2014 – The China National Space Administration launched an experimental lunar mission, Chang’e 5-T1, which looped behind the Moon and returned to Earth.

2015 – A driver, arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), crashed into the Oklahoma State Homecoming parade in Stillwater, Oklahoma, killing four people and injuring 34.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Advance Australia where?

July 3, 2016

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has not got the decisive election result for which he was hoping.

The Liberal coalition hasn’t got a majority but nor has Labor.

The answer to the question over where and how Australia will advance now matters on this side of the Tasman too.


Saturday’s smiles

July 2, 2016

Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten were sitting next to each other on a flight from Sydney to Canberra. Bill leaned over to Malcolm and asked if he would like to play a fun game. Malcolm  just wanted to take a nap, so he politely declined and turned towards the window to catch a few winks.

Shorten persisted saying that the game was really easy and a lot of fun. “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5, and visa-versa.”

Again, Turnbull politely declined and tried to get some shut-eye.

Shorten, now somewhat tetchy, said, “Okay, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $50.”

That caught Malcolm’s attention. He also knew from long experiences with Bill in Parliament that there would be no end to this torment unless he played, so he agreed to the game.

Shorten asked the first question. “How much is the GST on a loaf of bread?” Malcolm reached into his wallet without saying a word, pulled out $5 and handed it to Bill.

Now, it’s Malcolm’s turn. He asked Bill, “What hops, carries its young in its pouch and flies?”

Shorten looked at Turnbull with a puzzled frown. He took out his laptop computer and searched all his references. He tapped into the air phone with his modem and searched the internet and the Commonwealth National Library. Frustrated, he sent emails to all his mates in the Labor Party and finally people in the Green Party. None of them had the answer.

After more than an hour and as the plane is approaching the airport to land, he woke up Turnbull and handed him $50. Malcolm took the $50 and readied himself for landing.

Bill, who was more than a little miffed, asked, “Well, so what’s the answer!”

Wordlessly,  Malcolm reached into his wallet, handed Bill a $5 note, and said, “What a pity the voters won’t know that you stayed awake for the whole flight and lost $40 and I slept most of the way but still finished $40 better off.”


Quote of the day

September 16, 2015

My firm belief is that to be a successful leader in 2015, perhaps at any time, you have to be able to bring people with you by respecting their intelligence in the manner you explain things.

Now if you look we’ve got some great leaders in Australia at state level, but let me just point to one international leader, John Key, for example. John Key has been able to achieve very significant economic reforms in New Zealand by doing just that, by explaining complex issues and then making the case for them.Malcolm Turnbull

 


Quote of the day

September 15, 2015

“I have been heartened by the messages of support flooding into Liberal MPs’ offices this evening saying most emphatically, ‘We are not the Labor Party’,” –  Tony Abbott


As Aussies see us

April 6, 2015

Cameron Stewart writes in The Australian on how, and why the trans-Tasman tide is flowing in New Zealand’s favour:

Jennifer Zhu, a former Australian public servant, was writing briefing notes for incoming prime minister Tony Abbott when she hatched her own Pacific solution.

She leans forward so her story can be heard above the rhythmic grunts of the dragon boat teams gliding across New Zealand’s ­Wellington harbour at dusk. “I was in Canberra working on the briefings for the change of ­government [in 2013] when I realised how much the public service was going to be cut [under Abbott],” she says. Her Australian boyfriend, ­fellow public servant Iain McKenzie, 28, chimes in: “We could see that promotions were unlikely.”

“So I looked up a website,” continues Zhu, 27, who now works for ­Immigration New ­Zealand, “and there were lots of government jobs here. We thought, ‘Why not?’ ” After a year in Wellington, they haven’t looked back. “We both have good [public service] jobs and it’s a much more relaxed culture,” says Iain. “We’re not leaving anytime soon.” . . .

Stewart gives other examples of Australians and ex-pat New Zealanders who have moved here to work in a variety of occupations including farming, viticulture, nursing and hospitality then looks at why the tide has turned.

What has happened is that somewhere, somehow, perhaps in the dead of night when no one was looking, Australia and New Zealand have swapped sides. Cocky, confident Australia is now home to dysfunctional politics, yawning budget deficits, rising unemployment and an electorate unwilling to accept tough reforms.

By contrast, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key is running the most successful and ­stable centre-right government in the world. Whereas Abbott might not survive his first term as leader, Key, 53, is into his third term and has never been more popular. Key presides over a country that is no longer a dead-end backwater but one that enjoys plentiful jobs, strong economic growth and is on the cusp of a budget surplus. All this despite its second-largest city, Christchurch, being devastated by the earthquake of February 22, 2011, which left 185 people dead, the city centre in ruins and a $40 billion clean-up.

Even the Kiwi dollar, for so long the poor cousin to our own currency, is at virtual parity these days. “I’ve been here for 15 years and I’ve never seen this before,” mutters the woman at the Melbourne airport currency exchange as she hands me fewer $NZ than I gave her in $A. “They must be doing something right over there.”

GDP growth in New Zealand last year was 3.3 per cent compared with 2.8 per cent in ­Australia, while unemployment was 5.7 per cent in the December quarter compared with 6.1 per cent (now 6.3 per cent) here. Forget rugby; New ­Zealand is winning a bigger game. When Abbott visited New Zealand in February, he had to ­concede Key has led “a very successful, a really, really successful centre-right government. There are lessons for ­Australia in what you have done.” By contrast, the New Zealand press pack suppressed giggles when Key told an Australian journalist: “I think it’s a bit harsh to describe it [Australia] as one of the more unstable democracies in the Pacific.”

As a result of this trans-Tasman shift in ­fortunes, we are seeing something we have not seen for a generation. The tide of Kiwis coming to our shores has ebbed while the number of those going back home has flowed. This year the trans-Tasman migration is likely to be in New Zealand’s favour — something that has not been seen since Australia had “the recession it had to have” in the early 1990s. . .

[Prime Minister John]Key says Australia’s mining sector and growth in the big cities has slowed, making the country less attractive. “It is harder; I don’t think the opportunities are there in the same way, while on the other side of the equation there are lots of opportunities here in New Zealand and while they may make less money the cost of ­living is generally a lot lower.” . . .

A friend who works in Australia says he earns more and a lot of things cost less there than they do here. But when he takes into account the higher tax rate and other compulsory costs he pays the difference isn’t nearly as big as it appears.

It is often said that Key runs New Zealand like a CEO rather than a politician and that there are clear parallels in style with another self‑ made millionaire-turned-politician, Malcolm Turnbull. “I know [Malcolm] well and I like him,” is all that Key will say of Turnbull, wary of wading into leadership speculation.

Key is a delegator rather than a dictator and makes a habit of consulting in person with ­several of his ministerial colleagues each ­morning. He holds informal meetings ahead of formal Cabinet sessions so that people can float ideas or shoot them down without undue embarrassment. “Most people realise we are not doing extreme things,” he says. “We try to explain what we are about.” He says he is “unashamedly pro-economic growth” but prefers the path of pragmatism over ideology. “My instincts are very much in the middle so I am not fighting internal demons,” he says. “I am not a secret right-winger who wants to do things.”

He does not accuse Abbott of being a secret right-winger but the truth is that compared with Abbott, Key is much more of a pragmatic centrist economically and is more liberal socially, having voted for gay marriage in 2012.

It says much about Key’s political skills that he managed to usher in an increase in the GST in 2010, a debate that both sides of Australian politics are unwilling to have. Ironically, Key did this despite Howard, the architect of ­Australia’s GST, advising Key over a lunch in Auckland in 2010 that a rise was too risky. “I said to [Howard] ‘I am going to raise the GST and drop personal tax rates’ and he said, ‘Don’t do it’. He said, ‘You’ll have the obvious ­argument that the price of bread goes up and it will be felt more keenly by the poorer person and so you will lose that debate’.”

But in the end Key chose to pursue the reform and succeeded, with surprisingly little political bloodshed, in lifting the GST by 2.5 percentage points to 15 per cent while cutting personal and company tax. As a result, New Zealand’s top personal tax rate is now only 33 per cent compared with 45 in Australia, while the company tax rate is 28 per cent compared with 30 per cent here. Key has also been part-privatising state assets in power, coal and aviation, a path that causes political grief in Australia. Key’s reform record has been helped by ­having a first-rate finance minister, Bill English.

In welfare reform, Australia is looking to ­emulate the New Zealand system, which is ­saving billions in long-term payments. In 2011, Key adopted a new model of welfare that ­identifies groups at risk of long-term welfare and establishes special targeted programs for them. “We’ve done a lot in what is called the ‘investment approach’ to welfare reform and we have been genuinely investing money up front in people who would otherwise be long-term beneficiaries,” says Key. When social services minister Scott Morrison addressed Canberra’s National Press Club in February he spent most of his speech lauding the New Zealand model and promising to look at what Australia could adopt from it.

Part of Key’s popularity stems from what political analyst Colin James calls his macro- personality. “Key has a remarkable rapport with ­people across the political spectrum and that is unusual. Bob Hawke probably had that but ­certainly Rudd, Gillard and Abbott didn’t.” . .

Because Australians and New Zealanders are allowed to work in each other’s countries without restrictions, migration statistics are not definitive but they do suggest that far more Australians are now moving to New Zealand to live. While there will always be a flurry of movement because of family ties between the estimated 600,000 Kiwis in Australia and 60,000 Australians in New Zealand, the total number of ­people from ­Australia moving to New Zealand (including New Zealanders returning home) has soared in the past two years to February from 15,355 to 23,571.

Spoonley says the ­number of non-Kiwi ­citizens arriving from Australia to live in New Zealand has jumped by 50 per cent in the past two years, from 5234 in the 12 months to ­January 2013 to 7895 this year.

Job opportunities and quality of life have driven this trend. According to data comparison website Numbeo, apartment rents are on average 24 per cent lower in New Zealand than in Australia and apartment costs per square metre 36 per cent lower. The national median house price has stayed flat at $350,000, according to the Real Estate Institute NZ, and even in Auckland, where the market is hottest, the median price of a house — $675,000 — still ­compares favourably with Australian cities.

New Zealand also enjoys a reputation for better work-life balance, although OECD ­figures suggest New Zealanders only have ­marginally more leisure time than Australians. The downside is that salaries in New Zealand are also around 30 per cent lower on average, although this gap is said to be closing.

Even so, New Zealand is trying to make the most of its moment in the sun, having recently held job expos in Perth and Sydney and another in Melbourne later this month to spread the message that “New Zealand is one of the best performing economies in the world right now and the demand for skilled workers is high”. . .

The current contrasting fortunes of both countries could easily be reversed in years ahead, and the traditional flow of Kiwis to ­Australia could resume. Like Australia, New Zealand is heavily dependent on the health of the Chinese economy and its dairy industry, the country’s biggest export earner, suffered sharply lower prices last year.

In addition, the rebuilding of Christchurch is adding around 1.25 per cent to GDP growth each year but this will tail off as the city nears completion. Even so, a report last month by Moody’s Investor Services predicts continued strong economic growth for at least the next two years and for New Zealand’s budget to return to surplus — a word that Australians can only dream about.

Key concedes that New Zealand has better growth and employment than Australia right now but declines to brag. “We want a strong Australia,” he maintains. “A strong Australia is good for New Zealand. No relationship is more important to New Zealand … there is naturally a bit of rivalry but Aussies are looked at fondly here. Most people, I think, look at Aussies and go, ‘It really is the lucky country even if it has one too many creepy-crawlies and sharks’.”

Key lists several high-profile Australians who have come to New Zealand to live, but his final one packs a punch. “The Australian High ­Commissioner [Michael Potts], who is just about to finish his time here, is not going back to Australia,” the PM reveals. “He is about to live down the road here in Wellington,” he says, pointing out the window. “His wife is a Kiwi so they have made the call they are going to live in New Zealand.”

Key cannot hide his grin. Now even the ­diplomats are defecting. It’s taken a generation, but the Bondi Bludgers are finally enjoying their revenge.

 

"A great read from The Australian on why so many Kiwis are coming home: http://nzyn.at/1FbFD4s"


Turnbull down but not out

December 8, 2009

A former party leader can go quietly or stay and fight.

Malcolm Turnbull, who was deposed as Australian Liberal Party leader last week, has a blog post Time for Some Straight Talking on Climate Change  which indicates he’s doing the latter:

While a shadow minister, Tony Abbott was never afraid of speaking bluntly in a manner that was at odds with Coalition policy.

So as I am a humble backbencher I am sure he won’t complain if I tell a few home truths about the farce that the Coalition’s policy, or lack of policy, on climate change has descended into.

First, let’s get this straight. You cannot cut emissions without a cost. To replace dirty coal fired power stations with cleaner gas fired ones, or renewables like wind let alone nuclear power or even coal fired power with carbon capture and storage is all going to cost money.

To get farmers to change the way they manage their land, or plant trees and vegetation all costs money.

Somebody has to pay.

So any suggestion that you can dramatically cut emissions without any cost is, to use a favourite term of Mr Abbott, “bullshit.” Moreover he knows it.

The whole argument for an emissions trading scheme as opposed to cutting emissions via a carbon tax or simply by regulation is that it is cheaper – in other words, electricity prices will rise by less to achieve the same level of emission reductions. . .

Maybe Tony Abbott and Phil Goff should consult each other on how to handle the choir when some of its members are singing a different song.

Hat tip: Larvatus Prodeo


October 24 in history

October 24, 2009

On October 24:

1260 Chartres Cathedral was dedicated.

Cathedral of Chartres

1857 Sheffield F.C., the world’s first football club, was founded.

logo

1861 The First Transcontinental Telegraph line across the United States was completed, spelling the end for the 18-month-old Pony Express.

 

Wood engraving depiction of the construction of the first Transcontinental Telegraph, with a Pony Express rider passing.

1882 English actress Dame Sybil Thorndike was born.

1892 Goodison Park, the world’s first association football specific stadium was opened.

1901 – Annie Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

1913 Union members and non-unionised workers clashed on Wellington wharves.

1919 South Island explorer Donald Sutherland died.

1929 “Black Thursday” stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

Crowd gathering on Wall Street after the 1929 crash
 
1930 Sultan Ahmad Shah, King of Malaysia was born.
1936 Bill Wyman, English musician from The Rolling Stones, was born.
1944 New Zealand born film director Martin Campbell was born.
1945 The United Nations was founded.
1954 Autralian politician Malcolm Turnbull was born.
1964 Northern Rhodesia gained independence from the United Kingdom and became the Republic of Zambia.

 

 

1973 Jeff Wilson, New Zealand rugby player and cricketer, was born.
1980  The Polish government legalised Solidarity trade union.
Astilleros de Gdansk.jpg
2003 Concorde made its last commercial flight.
2008 “Bloody Friday” on which many of the world’s stock exchanges experienced the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.
 
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

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