September 25 in history

September 25, 2018

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at theBattle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time,Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

New Zealand's first grapevines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander  Nevsky Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born (d. 2005).

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brownand French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accuse Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


September 25 in history

September 25, 2017

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at theBattle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time,Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

New Zealand's first grapevines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander  Nevsky Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born (d. 2005).

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brownand French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accuse Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


September 25 in history

September 25, 2016

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at theBattle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time,Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander  Nevsky Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born (d. 2005).

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brownand French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accuse Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


September 25 in history

September 25, 2015

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at theBattle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time,Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander  Nevsky Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born (d. 2005).

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accuse Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


September 25 in history

September 25, 2014

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time, Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander  Nevsky Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born (d. 2005).

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Labour’s wrong again

March 12, 2014

Labour is claiming that current government debt is worse than it was under Sir Robert Muldoon.

But they’re wrong again.

In cash terms, Labour is right.

But to base such a claim on the cash figure is economically and financially illiterate.

Firstly, inflation means the dollar value of the amount concerned – $52 billion – is rather different in 2014 compared to 1984.

But that is not the most important thing.

Anyone with an ounce of financial nous knows debt should never be viewed in isolation. An 18-year old will, typically, be carrying much less debt than a typical 38 year old but the 38-year old is usually better off financially because of assets to offset that debt.

And so it is with government debt. The key figure is debt as a proportion of GDP: here, government debt is forecast to top out at 30% over the next couple of years and then fall.

To put this in context, gross government debt peaked at a little higher than 78% in 1987 and net government debt – the more important measure – peaked at 67% of GDP.

It is currently at  27% of GDP . . .

That peak of 78% for gross debt and 67% of net debt in the mid 80s was under Labour, when several of its current MPs were in power.

That was due in part to Muldoon’s foolish policies but those were very different from the ones National has now.

Debt is higher than it should be, no thanks to Labour’s policies as a result of which it was forecasting a decade of deficits when it went out of power.

The increase in debt in the last five years is also due to a deliberate strategy to take the harder edges off the effects of the Global Financial Crisis and deal with the effects of the Christchurch earthquakes.

Which of the spending National took to cope with those would Labour cut?

How would it do that when it’s fought tooth and nail against every single measure National has instituted to cut back Labour’s public service excesses, reduce costs while maintaining services and get the economy back on track to surplus?

How could it do it when its media releases show its economic and financial illiteracy?

Labour either doesn’t understand the numbers or it’s deliberately misrepresenting them.

Either way it is wrong again.


September 25 in history

September 25, 2013

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time, Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born (d. 2005).

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Tale from #10’s table

April 13, 2013

Whether or not you agree with what Baroness Margaret Thatcher did and how she did it, she transformed Britain.

Until I read this in Trans Tasman, I hadn’t realised what she did for New Zealand.

. . . She was the first UK prime minister who treated NZ as an equal. It helped that she was the only one (other than Lady Muldoon, to my knowledge) who ever dared call the Prime Minister “Bob.” Mrs Thatcher stood the line over NZ access to the EU. It helped that she was a healthy sceptic and a vigorous champion of the Commonwealth.

My most abiding, touching and heart-wrenching moments were at a dinner at Downing Street during the Falklands war. It began with an amusing entree. We arrived at No 10 and immediately behind the black door was Mrs Thatcher and her formidable press secretary Bernard Ingham – a towering, battle-scarred, bear-like Yorkshireman, in a robust exchange on a Commons matter. They got on very well, on first names terms. She said, “Bob, this is Bernard.” Sir Robert, who always addressed his staff formally, gulped long and squeezed out, “this is, ahh, ahh, ahh, Brian.”

It had been a good day. Sir Robert had scored well with Fleet Street by proposing the loan of a frigate to replace a British ship in the Indian Ocean. The dinner went well until the butler intervened, calling Mrs Thatcher from the table. There was a serious pause. Dennis Thatcher sensed trouble and leapt up. Minutes later they returned with Mrs Thatcher evidently distressed. He was holding her closely. A British ship had been attacked off the Falklands and was sinking with much loss of life.

Sir Robert rose and proposed a toast to the Royal Navy and those in peril on the sea. He suggested we adjourn but Mrs Thatcher would have none of this. On with business. So we (she with more than a tear in her eyes) continued. Sir Robert would never have subscribed to her economic programme but this never blunted a solid friendship. – Brian Lockstone


September 25 in history

September 25, 2012

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time, Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon, New Zealand Prime Minsiter was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born.

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas, US actor was born.

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born (d 2004).

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2009 – U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in a joint TV appearance for a G-20 summit, accused Iran of building a secret nuclear enrichment facility.

2010 – Mahmoud Abbas spoke at United Nations General Assembly to request that Israel end its policy of building settlements in the West Bank.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Labour doesn’t get it, National and the public do

April 21, 2011

Trans Tasman gets to the nub of Labour’s failure and National’s support:

Labour’s bigger problem is its failure to communicate a relevant message in the current political climate.

On the other side of the fence, Finance Minister Bill English reckons there hasn’t been a time in NZ’s recent history when the need for change in how the country is run has been more widely understood by the public. Get spending down, cut out waste, make the country more efficient, lift exports, start paying our way in the world again: it’s a simple plan which every household understands.

Rob Muldoon once said, “Most people wouldn’t recognise a deficit if they fell over it.”

Whether or not that was true at the time it certainly isn’t now.

There can’t be many people who don’t understand the dire state of the economy and the need for tough medicine to cure it.

We can’t keep spending more than we earn and the situation is sufficiently grave that a bit of tinkering won’t fix it.

Election year Budgets usually have a few sweeteners. The government has made it quite clear this one won’t – no more extra spending in total, increases in any areas will have to be matched by cuts in others.

National recognises the problem and has a solution. The public understands what they’re doing and why. 

Meanwhile on anotehr planet Labour is still talking of spending increases and tinkering with GST and that’s one of the reasons they’re not making traction.

They don’t get it but National and the public do.


September 25 in history

September 25, 2010

On September 25:

275  The Roman Senate proclaimed Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

 
EmpereurTacite.jpg

303 On a voyage preaching the gospel, Saint Fermin of Pamplona was beheaded in Amiens.

1066  The Battle of Stamford Bridge marked the end of the Viking invasions of England.

 
Stamford.jpg

1396  Ottoman Emperor Bayezid I defeated a Christian army at the Battle of Nicopolis.

Nicopol final battle 1398.jpg

1513  Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1555 The Peace of Augsburg was signed in Augsburg by Charles V and the princes of the Schmalkaldic League.

Front page of the document

1690  Publick Occurrences Both Foreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, was published for the first and only time.

1694 Henry Pelham, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1754).

 

1725 Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot, French steam vehicle pioneer, was born (d. 1804).

 

1764 Fletcher Christian, English Bounty mutineer, was born (d. 1793).

 

1775  Ethan Allen surrendered to British forces after attempting to capture Montreal during the Battle of Longue-Pointe. At the same time, Benedict Arnold and his expeditionary company set off from Fort Western, bound for Quebec City (Invasion of Canada (1775)).

 

1789   The U.S. Congress passed twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: the Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten known as the Bill of Rights.

 
United States Bill of Rights

1804   The Teton Sioux (a subdivision of the Lakota) demanded one of the boats from the Lewis and Clark Expedition as a toll for moving further upriver.

1819 1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

NZ's first grape vines planted?

1846  U.S. forces led by Zachary Taylor captureed the Mexican city of Monterrey.

 

1862 Billy Hughes, seventh Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1952).

 

1868  The Imperial Russian steam frigate Alexander Neuski was shipwrecked off Jutlandwhile carrying Grand Duke Alexei of Russia.

 

1889 C. K. Scott-Moncrieff, Scottish writer and translator, was born (d. 1930).

1897 William Faulkner, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1962).

1906  Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrated the invention of the Telekino in the port of Bilbao, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered the birth of the remote control.

 

1911 Eric Williams, first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, was born (d. 1981).

1912  Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded in New York.

 

1915   World War I: The Second Battle of Champagne began.

1916 Jessica Anderson,  Australian author, was born (d 2010).

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon was born (d 1992).

1922 Hammer DeRoburt, first President of Nauru was born (d. 1992).

 

1929   Jimmy Doolittle performed the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing was possible.

 

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born.

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

Barbara Walters.jpg

1938 Jonathan Motzfeldt, first Prime Minister of Greenland, was born.

 

1942  World War II: Swiss Police Instruction of September 25, 1942 denied entry into Switzerland to Jewish refugees.

1944 Michael Douglas,  US actor was born.

 

1944  World War II: Surviving elements of the British 1st Airborne Division withdraw from Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Battle of Arnhem and Operation Market Garden.

 

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

Goodlife.jpg

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born(d 2004).

 

1955  The Royal Jordanian Air Force was founded.

Jafinsignia.png

1956   TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, was inaugurated.

1957  Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated by the use of United States Army troops.

 

1959 Solomon Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka was mortally wounded by a Buddhist monk, Talduwe Somarama.

1962  The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

1970 Cease-fire between Jordan and the Fedayeen ended fighting triggered by four hijackings on September 6 and 9.

1972  In a referendum, the people of Norway rejected membership of the European Community.

1977 About 4,200 people took part in the first Chicago Marathon.

ChicagoMarathonLogo.jpg

1978 PSA Flight 182, a Boeing 727-214, collided in mid-air with a Cessna 172  in San Diego, resulting in the deaths of 144 people.

1981  Sandra Day O’Connor became the 102nd person sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and the first woman to hold the office.

 

1983  Maze Prison escape: 38 republican prisoners, armed with 6 handguns, hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of the Maze prison.

 

1996 The last of the Magdalene Asylums closed in Ireland.

 

2002 The Vitim event, a possible bolide impact in Siberia.

2003 A magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck just offshore Hokkaidō.

2008  China launched the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Oamaru Mail goes online

December 1, 2009

The Oamaru Mail has gone online.

That was the paper which gave me my first job when I graduated from Canterbury University’s journalism school.

I wasn’t over enthusiastic about returning to the town I’d grown up in but it gave me a lot of experience I wouldn’t have got as a new reporter elsewhere. While classmates who started work on bigger papers got all the little stories I had three rounds of my own – farming, health and social welfare. I also had to do court and local body reporting when the chief reporter was away.

It was election year – 1981 – and among the people I interviewed were then deputy leader of the Labour Party, David Lange, and its president Jim Anderton.

The day the Prime Minister, Rob Muldoon was in town, Social Credit was having a meeting in Waimate. I had to go there to interview Bruce Beetham while the chief reporter covered Muldoon. 

The paper edition of the Mail is published Monday to Friday and it’s part of APN’s stable of regional newspapers.

Others are: Northern Advocate, The Aucklander, Bay of Plenty Times, Rotorua Daily Post, Hawkes Bay TodayStratford Press, Wairarapa Times-Age, Wanganui Chronicle and Star Canterbury.


September 25 in history

September 25, 2009

On September 25:

1513 Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reached the Pacific Ocean.

1819 Samuel Marsden planted what is believed to have been the first grape vines in New Zealand.

1897 US writer William Faulkener was born.

1921 Sir Robert Muldoon was born.

1929 English comedian Ronnie Barker was born.

1929 US broadcaster Barbara Walters was born.

Barbara Walters.jpg

1944 Michael Douglas was born.

1946 English actress Felicity Kendal was born.

1952 US actor Christopher Reeve was born.

1962 The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria was proclaimed.

1969 English actress Catherine Zeta-Jones was born.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


Think Big pays off with Ballance

September 18, 2009

Ballance Fertiliser’s urea manufacturing plant  at Kapuni has produced its 5 millionth tonne of fertiliser.

The plat began life as one of Rob Muldoon’s Think Big projects and has since contributed billions of dollars to the New Zealand economy.

Bay of Plenty Fertiliser, which grew to become the Ballance national fertiliser co-operative, has invested heavily to achieve this output after buying it in 1992 – it had previously been owned by Petrocorp and Fletchers.

In Ballance’s hands the plant has become a significant income stream, a role model for infrastructure spending.

It underwent a major expansion soon after the takeover, boosting production by 30 percent on design, and on a regular basis since then has benefited from a substantial maintenance and capital programme.

In the most recent plant upgrade last November, the co-operative invested $21 million over six weeks to bring the plant up to tip-top condition. It runs 24/7 between the now three-yearly scheduled shutdowns.

While the first million tonnes took 7.5 years to produce, Ballance’s investment has lifted production to the extent that the fifth million tonnes took just 4 years.

Muldoon envisaged the plant would be able to help New Zealand’s balance of payments through exports,but internal demand from New Zealand farmers now absorbs all the plant can produce.

Some early production was exported, but the plant now produces just 40 percent of New Zealand’s total requirements – 260,000 tonnes a year. A further 330,000 tonnes or so is imported.


Getting the numbers

April 21, 2009

Commentators seem to be agreed that Melissa Lee is the favourite to win the National nomination for the Mount Albert by-election.

I have no inside knowledge of her, any other candidates or the views of members in the electorate.

But I do know the party rules and that some favourites have been overtaken in the past by nominees who had a better understanding of what was required –  support from more than 50% of members or voting delegates, in the electorate.

Progressive voting is used so if a nominee doesn’t get at least half the votes in the first ballot the name of the lowest polling nominee is removed and everyone votes again, and if necessary, again until someone crosses the 50% threashold.

Providing an electorate has more than 200 members, and I think  Mount Albert does, it is only the members from the electorate who vote.  The members decide at their AGM if voting will be by universal suffrage or if it’s to be done by delegates with one for every set number of members.

Some high flyers in previous selections have either not understood this or have understood but still failed to win over enough delegates and missed out. David Kirk didn’t get the selection for Tamaki after Rob Muldoon’s retirement because Clem Simich had the numbers

But it’s quite simple. Candidate selection in the National Party, unlike other parties which give at least some of the power to its hierachy,  is grass roots democracy. The winning nominee is the one who wins the support of at least half the members or voting delegates in the electorate and that’s done the old fashioned way by letting them get to know you and convincing them you have the skills and abilities to be a good electorate MP.

John Key has announced the by-election date. It’s June 13th which is also the date Simon and Garfunkel will be playing in Auckland and the All Blacks have a test match in Dunedin., not that either will be relevant becasue both will take past after polling closes.

UPDATE: Lou taylor at No Minister  has another perspective on the by-election


Peters’ fiasco shows MMP flaws

August 1, 2008

Public law specialist Andy Nicholls says the Peters’ debacle shows a review of MMP is needed.

Winston Peters’ value to both Labour and National has become abundantly clear. Both parties are pulling their punches over the donations allegations for fear of alienating him as an ally or future ally.

MMP creates hostage situations. Remember Alamein Kopu and her pull over Jenny Shipley?

In this most recent row Sir Robert Jones has unexpectedly been firing most of the bullets at Peters. He probably summed up the view of many when he said, “I belong to a different era. I don’t like it now under MMP.”

John Key has said National will, if elected, hold a referendum into MMP. Key’s referendum will first ask voters: are you satisfied with MMP? If the majority says no, then a second referendum will be held pitting MMP against some other unspecified alternative.

But is this what we need? MMP was itself born out of a referendum, and voter frustration at the unbridled power of first-past-the-post governments. First Sir Robert Muldoon, then Sir Roger Douglas proved if you could control the Cabinet you could control the country.

But one wage freeze and an unadvertised rapid economic transformation later, voters realised they wanted their leaders on a tighter leash. They wanted them to have to work harder, and more consensually, to get their own way. Which is what MMP delivers with its minority or coalition governments, its requirements to consult and its generally slower pace of change.

Referendums are very blunt instruments and support for MMP in the 1993 one came at least in part from people voting against politicians rather than for a change in the voting system.

Plus, of course, for anyone younger than 32, two-tick voting is voting. So why would we ditch it? Because MMP has flaws which undermine the legitimacy of our parliamentary system.

Nicolls gives examples such as the ability for MPs like Gordon Copeland to abandon their parties, switch allegience and still be an MP; or those like Rick Barker who lose a seat but still get back into parliament – and even cabinet – on a party list. Although this also allows MPs to enter parliament when standing in an unwinnable seat, as Katherine Rich has in Dunedin North.

If that is justified by the sanctity of the party list, then what about Mike Ward and Catherine Delahunty? Both Greens and both higher placed on the list than Russel Norman, yet both pushed inelegantly aside when Nandor Tanczos’s early retirement offered the co-leader the chance to get to Parliament in time for some pre-campaign publicity.

All these inconsistencies create unfairness, though not so much as the threshold rule itself.

Under MMP a party must win 5 per cent of the party vote or an electorate seat. A win in an electorate, where the party scores lower than 5 per cent, still gets a proportionate top-up. So Rodney Hide’s win in Epsom gave Act two MPs even though the party won only 1.5 per cent of the party vote.

By comparison, in 1996, the Christian Coalition won 4.33 per cent of the party vote, a hair’s breadth from the magic threshold. But it failed to win in any electorate – so bad luck, no MPs.

There are two issues. Firstly, is the 5 per cent threshold too high? The commission that recommended MMP preferred 4 per cent, but the two major parties argued for a higher threshold. Those fears have proved unfounded. In fact, as much as MMP has delivered a more diverse Parliament, only one new party (Act) has broken in since the switch to MMP. The others have all been created around a sitting member.

But is the electorate threshold too low? In Germany, a party must win three electorates before qualifying for list seats. Adopting a three-electorates or 5 per cent criterion at the 2005 election would have seen five parties able to get in list MPs.

United Future and Act would have been restricted to Peter Dunne and Rodney Hide. As Jim Anderton couldn’t bring in a list MP under current arrangements, the Progressives would have been unaffected. Since none of those three parties attracted more than 2.6 per cent of the party vote, is that an unfair result?

And then there is the Maori vote. Last election, the Maori Party won 2.12 per cent of the party vote and four electorates, hence it has four MPs. This coming election it may win more electorates even though polling indicates its party vote will be no higher.

Since the number of Maori seats grows in accordance with the number on the Maori roll, it is entirely possible that over time this disparity between the number of MPs elected and the party’s proportion of the party vote will grow. That will mean a larger and larger over-hang and the leading party will need to garner not 61 votes to govern, but 63, 64, 65. Is this what we want?

These are all valid issues in need of debate. But they do not fit the yes-no format of a referendum. Nor do they provide evidence that MMP itself is beyond repair.

What they point to is the need for a considered review of the electoral system. Learning the lessons of the Electoral Finance Act, this should be conducted in a non-partisan way with a clearly stated purpose of seeking greater fairness.

In the spirit of fairness, perhaps such a review should also look at the Prime Minister’s prerogative to set the election date. Or the length of the political term; four years might be more productive.

The problem is that these changes require MPs to vote against their own interest. History tells us MPs don’t do that. Which is why a simplistic question in a referendum is so appealing. It looks as if something substantive is being done, even if it isn’t.

But concerns about MMP’s peculiarities are genuine and a more considered review would be more constructive.

I agree a considered review if not instead of, at least before, a referendum would serve us better than the blunt instrument of for or against vote in isolation.


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