Karearea bird of year



New Zealand’s fastest bird, the karearea/ New Zealand falcon, has been voted the 2012 Bird of the Year.

. . . karearea are also known for their aerial acrobatics. They have a maximum speed of 230km/hr and can catch their prey mid-flight, making this falcon the daredevil of the air.

It received 1255 out of 10223 votes.

Past Winners

Tuesday’s answers


Monday’s questions were:

1.  Who wrote “Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house/ Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse . . .?

2. Who said, about Christmas, “Bah! Humbug!”?

3. What is Peraxilla colensoi?

4. What is a Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae?

5. What was the origin of Boxing Day?

Andrei gets four and a bonus because he was first but his links diverted it to the spam and it didn’t get rescued until late afternoon.

Kismet gets three.

Paul Tremewan gets four and a bonus for imagination.

David Winter is this week’s winner with five and a bonus for humour.

PDM gets one and a bonus for restraint.

Thanks to all of you who’ve taken part, hope you and yours have a happy Chirstmas and that next year treats you well.

Quzes may or may not appear in the next couple of weeks and if it’s not they will resume sometime in January.

Tuesday’s answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »

Kiwi’s #1


The kiwi is New Zealand’s number one bird according to a Forest & Bird poll.

The top 10 birds in this year’s poll are:

1. Kiwi (1586 votes)
2. Rifleman (1230 votes)
3. Kea (1093 votes)
4. Kakapo (829 votes)
5. Tui (619 votes)
6. Takahe (571 votes)
7. Fernbird (462 votes)
8. Fantail ( 395 votes)
9. Karearea/native falcon (383 votes)
10. Pukeko (382 votes)

This is the fifth year the competition has been run. Last year the kakapo won and the kiwi didn’t make the top 10.

Previous winners were: the tui in 2005,  the fantail in 2006 and the grey warbler in 2007.

Recession’s over ?


When announcing last week’s drop in interest rates Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard said the recession was technically over.

John Key doesn’t share his confidence.

Bernard Hickey is sure there’s worse to come.

Tui is too:


Trust ’em – yeah right


From the creative genius at goNZo Freakpowere

Trust Tui


 Apropos of the post on the Tui sign in Wanaka:


Hat Tip: PM of NZ

Yeah right?


Sign on the front of Wanaka’s Red Rock bar:

Trouble is with MMP she could lose the election and still win power. That would be great for the country – yeah right.

Greens consider National


It sounds like a Tui billboard, but there it is in the ODT: Greens consider National.

The Green Party is not willing to be defined as either left or right, despite its strongly left-leaning policies, and has not ruled out working with the centre-right National Party, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said during a visit to Dunedin yesterday.

“It is not a right thing or a left thing. It is a Green thing. It is a different dimension,” she said.

Ms Fitzsimons said neither the left nor the right had the same policies on the environment as the Green Party, but with more influence in parliament, the party could change that.

She’s right in theory but in practice the Greens seem to be at least as concerned about a radical left social and economic agenda as they are about the environment which weakens their position and influence.

In MMP the power is in the middle. If National wins the election the Greens may choose to work with them on some issues but until they move from the far left of Labour they limit their options and their power.

Tui ads & NZ First secretary ok


The Electoral Commission  has decided that Tui’s billboards about Winston Peters are not election advertisements.

The billboards said “When Winston says no, he means no – yeah right.”

The commission said:

Whether any particular item is an election advertisement within the meaning of section 5 of the

Electoral Finance Act is a question of circumstances and degree. In the Electoral Commission’s view the statutory test is not whether an item “can be regarded” as encouraging or persuading voting in a particular way – as a matter of logic, almost anything “can” be so regarded – the test is whether the item “can reasonably” be so regarded, allowing inclusion within the definition only when it is objectively reasonable to do so.

I think this is a reasonable decision but if the Act meant “can reasonably” rather than just “can” why didn’t it say so?

The commission also found the New Zealand First secretary didn’t commit an offence in relation to the Party’s 2007 return on donations. However, the commission said:

This summary does not form part of the decision, which is withheld for now in order to avoid potential prejudice to a continuing police investigation. 

The commission’s third decision was that office space provided free-of-charge to Act by Sir Robert Jones at a value of about $20,000 ought to have been included in donations returns up to 2005 and the party is required to make ammended returns.

Tui truths


Tui truth n: an  assertion to which the immediate response is, “yeah right” for example:

* The dog ate my homework

* The cheque is in the mail

* We did it to comply with the EFA

* Failing to declare a $50,000 donation was a “genuine mistake“.

Peters promises to reveal all – again


Another day another promise from Winston Peters. He’ll reveal all – but not yet.

Shunned by the National Party and fighting for his political life, Winston Peters is again promising to reveal evidence that will clear his name.

But not just yet. He told Parliament last night he would hold his fire until the privileges committee meets on Thursday next week.

This man is a living, breathing Tui billboard.

Parliament was stunned yesterday by two events which put Mr Peters under intense pressure and cast doubt on his future as an effective politician.

The first was the release by the privileges committee of a letter from Owen Glenn in which the billionaire said Mr Peters solicited a $100,000 donation during a personal conversation, and later thanked him for it.

Mr Peters has persistently denied asking for any money, and has said he did not even know about the donation, made in 2006 to help pay his lawyer’s fees, until last month.

The second was National Party leader John Key’s announcement that he would not make any deals with Mr Peters after the election unless the NZ First leader came up with a “credible explanation” about the donation.

“I am ruling out Mr Peters,” said Mr Key.

“He simply doesn’t have the integrity in my view, unless he can somehow change that.”

Mr Key said he thought it was highly unlikely Mr Peters would be able to prove Mr Glenn was wrong and he was right, and Mr Key called on Prime Minister Helen Clark to stand Mr Peters down as foreign minister, or sack him.

Miss Clark said she still had confidence in Mr Peters, the evidence was contradictory and she would wait for the privileges committee to report to Parliament.

Mr Peters launched his counter attack in Parliament, saying Mr Key had made “a very, very silly decision” that he would live to regret.

He said he now knew the details of a conversation he held with Mr Glenn, and the information came from his ministerial travel diary.

“I’ve had a conversation this afternoon that tells me exactly what time this conversation happened, why it happened, who it happened with and what Mr Glenn said,” he told Parliament.

“I know the dates and the times, and I’m going to be telling the select committee, in public, all the details about that.”

He knew the dates yesterday but Whaleoil found evidence he’d “misrembered” here  and here.

It is the fourth time Mr Peters has promised to reveal the facts about the donation.

He was overseas when it first came to light two months ago, and he said he would clear it up when he returned. Then he said he would reveal the facts in Parliament, and then he vowed to go public with all the details at last Monday’s privileges committee hearing.

He did speak on those occasions, but nothing was resolved and the situation is now even more incendiary than it was at the beginning.

Just like the boy who cried wolf, he’s promised and not delivered too many times and even if he did actually manage to answer a straight question with a straight answer he’s misfired so many times he’s shot holes in his own creibility.

EFA rules ok – yeah right


A Tui billboard  in Tauranga may breach the Electoral Finance Act.

It says: When Winston says no he means no. Yeah right.

The billboard is in the Tauranga electorate Winston Peters is desperate to win, and the Electoral Commission told the Herald it would write to brewers Tui saying it could be “election advertising” against him.

If that’s breaching the Act ,what about the giant wrap around bill board I noticed on a building on the corner of Albert and (I think) Customs Streets? It had a counter showing how much NZ profit goes from overseas banks each day.

It was bright green with an anti foreign-ownership message so I thought it was a political hoarding until I looked again and saw it was for Kiwi Bank.

My first impression  was that it was a political message rather than a commercial one so given NZ First and Greens are strongly against foreign ownership of NZ assets might this ad persaude people to vote for one of them or against other parties with more sensible views on investment?

Then there’s the ad which shows a couple of blokes driving across a paddock in a red ute. There’s a bump, they stop, get out and realise they’ve hit a bull. The driver turns to his passenger and says “Should’ve bought a blue one.”

It’s advertising Ford utes but there is a subliminal political message there too. It could be seen as words or graphics which persuade people to vote for or against a party.

But the EFA isn’t that stupid. Yeah right.

Words come back to haunt her


Fairfacts Media over at No Minister discovered three stories on Helen Clark and one on Jenny Shipley from 1999 and 2001 on the Herald politics page last night. From one on Clark’s Mission:

Labour leader Helen Clark launched her election campaign yesterday aiming to capitalise on public anger over party-hopping politicians and waste in the public sector.

“Our mission is to clean up Government and to clean up Parliament, too. We want the defectors out,” she told a cheering crowd in the Auckland Town Hall already in party mood after a 45-minute routine by Pacific band Te Vaka.

Labour’s law to force MPs who left their parties to resign from Parliament would be accompanied by a new era of moderation, frugality and integrity in the public sector, she told the meeting.

“The party is over for the senior management of [Work and Income New Zealand] and of all those other Government organisations who have wasted public money.”

Is this another ad for Tui?

Over at Keeping Stock  Iventory 2 comments on one of the other stories about The Transforming of Helen Clark.

Edwards’ main criticism of Clark is her penchant for publicly criticising her ministers.

“That could bring Helen down,” he says. “Her view is, ‘If you’re going to be open, you have to be seen to be open – I’m not going to tick them off in private and the public likes it … ‘

“While she’s riding high in the polls she’s in a very strong position in her own party but … if she drops off in the ratings there may be a backlog of grievance there.


Hat tip: No Minister, Keeping Stock.

Tui Truth


Yesterday’s drive through Southland provided a tale of two countries.

Radio news was telling us that New Zealand is in recession but our eyes were seeing another story. The wee towns we passed through were bustling, growing for the first time since the wool boom of the 1950s; and new houses are springing up everywhere.

A sign on the outskirts of Winton provided the explanation: No-one wants to be a dairy farmer. Yeah right.

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