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Tuesday, 20 September

01:37

Level of volcanic activity at White Island volcano increased, alerts raised - New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

The level of volcanic activity at New Zealand's White Island volcano has increased on September 13, 2016, with minor volcanic ash passively emitted from a vent on the 2012 lava dome. GNS has raised the Volcanic Alert Level from 1 to 3 (of 5). The Aviation Colour...... Read more »

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Monday, 19 September

22:01

September 20 in history Homepaddock

451  The Battle of Chalons: Flavius Aetius‘s victory over Attila the Hun in a day of combat, is considered to be the largest battle in the ancient world.

524 Kan B’alam I, ruler of Maya state of Palenque, was born (d. 583).

1187  Saladin began the Siege of Jerusalem.

1378  Cardinal Robert of Geneva, known as the Butcher of Cesena, was elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.

1519 Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda with about 270 men on his expedition to circumnavigate the globe.

1633  Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun.

1697 The Treaty of Rijswijk was signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic ending the Nine Years’ War (1688–97)

1737  The finish of the Walking Purchase which forced the cession of 1.2 million acres (4,860 km²) of Lenape-Delaware tribal land to the Pennsylvania Colony.

1835  Farroupilha’s Revolution began in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

1842  James Dewar, Scottish chemist, was born (d. 1923).

1848  The American Association for the Advancement of Science was created.

1854 Battle of Alma: British and French troops defeated Russians in the Crimea.

1857 The Indian Rebellion of 1857 ended with the recapture of Delhi by troops loyal to the East India Company.

1860  The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) visited the United States.

1863  American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga ended.

1870  Bersaglieri corps entered Rome through the Porta Pia and completed the unification of Italy.

1871  Bishop John Coleridge Patteson, the first bishop of Melanesia, was martyred on the island of Nukapu.

1881  Chester A. Arthur was inaugurated as the 21st President of the United States following the assassination of James Garfield.

1891  The first gasoline-powered car debuted in Springfield, Massachusetts.

...

19:31

Facebook used to recruit illegal migrant workers to New Zealand "IndyWatch Feed Politics.us"

A human trafficking scam that’s carried on undetected for years is claimed to be using Facebook to lure migrants into jobs paying less than $10 an hour on New Zealand orchards. Investigations have been launched after a Filipino man, who paid his first month’s wages as commission to an offshore organiser, raised the alert. First […]

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

19:08

366 days of gratitude Homepaddock

Spring starts slowly in the garden but day by day plants which have been resting over winter make their appearance.

Today’s discovery was dog’s-tooth violets (Erythronium dens-canis if you want to get technical) spreading bright yellow cheer alongside the path through the trees and I’m grateful for them.


Filed under: garden, gratitude

16:12

Six good ideas from Trump Your NZ

Alan pointed to an interesting article by Joshua Mitchell at Politico that points out the political unravelling around the world, with Trump, Bernie Sanders, Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn being symptoms. Mitchell extracts six good ideas from Donald Trump’s many ramblings. Donald Trump Does Have Ideas—and We’d Better Pay Attention to Them The post-1989 world order […]

15:25

Gerry Webb on Raewyn Alexander and Dominic Sheehan Quote Unquote

The 95th in this occasional series of reprints from Quote Unquote the magazine is from the August 1996 issue. The lead book review was David Eggleton on Sue McCauley’s novel A Fancy Man, followed by Barbara Else on E Annie Proulx’s novel Accordion Crimes, Kevin Ireland on Jan Corbett’s non-fiction crime debut Caught By His Past and Sheridan Keith on Elizabeth Smithers’ journal The Journal Box. Here is Gerry Webb on two first New Zealand novels.

FAT
by Raewyn Alexander
Penguin, $24.95, ISBN 0140260374
FINDING HOME
by Dominic Sheehan
Secker & Warburg, $19.95, ISBN 0790004623
Auckland poet Raewyn Alexander’s first novel fairly crackles and pops. The sheer dash and bite of her language make for a densely packed and colourful text with lots of great lines. The narrator is Poppy, maid and minder to Iris, a well-to-do hooker, “a whore through and through”. Poppy’s sharp intelligence ducks back and forth over her history and contacts — middle-class origins in Avondale, waiting at tables, university, a relationship with a dope grower, work at a London sex club, the underworld of the Auckland sex industry. At the same time she relates the sinister developments resulting from her delivery of Iris’s blackmail note to a wealthy, titled sleazeball in the Waikato. It’s a narrative which shifts and weaves.
Poppy has a strong, sometimes combative voice; she gets in a few punches against “the system” and at the end, when she and her five-year-old daughter flee Auckland for the bosom of her family, she finds in Marxism “the theory to back up what I’ve always felt”. It’s not a subtle option or a very satisfying ending. In fact the novel loses some of its brilliant edge in the latter stages as Poppy seeks normality in her family and with a local lad on the Firth of Thames.
But the main part, the characters and scenes in and around Auckland and the sex business, is outstanding. Especially brilliant are dangerous, decadent Sir Arthur (“an old walrus full of fish”), boss lady Ho in her 80s and Iris with “the hard seagull eyes”. A luscious and coruscating book — I was hooked on the first page.
Life was never more intense and hair-raising than that year in Standard Three: a treacherous teacher, playground fights, parents’ arguments spilling from behind closed doors, a big sister who leaves home without a blessing, small-town hostility towards dad — my Standard Three in Cheviot, North Canterbury, in the mid-50s? Not quite; but Dominic Sheehan’s Finding Home, the story of Kevin Garrick’s year in a small Taranaki town in the mid-70s, rang a few bells.
Kevin says at the outset that his adult self keeps getting in the way of his attempt “to listen and think as I was then”, but in fact his story beautifully recreates the world of the child, and this is the major strength of this disarmingly fresh and gripping book.
Especially authentic is the private nature of the child’s world that we are shown — Kevin’s relationships, fantasies and humiliations, his genuinely scary encounters with others’ nastiness and suffering are not things that he can tell his parents about. At times I thought of Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s young protagonists, but though this novel skirts the macabre it is a much gentler creature and opts for language that is low-key, sometimes rather ordinary, but always transparent. Sheehan’s sympathetic characterisation and tense story-line will appe...

14:30

Word of the day Homepaddock

Dittohead – an unquestioning supporter of an idea or opinion expressed by a particular person or organization; one who mindlessly agrees with an idea or opinion.


Filed under: language Tagged: dittohead

14:13

ENDANGERED SPECIES MONDAY | PHOCARCTOS HOOKERI EXTINCTION LOOMING – NATIONAL EMERGENCY. "IndyWatch Feed Enviro"

ENDANGERED SPECIES MONDAY | PHOCARCTOS HOOKERI

This Monday’s endangered species (E.S.P.) article I’ve chosen to document on the New Zealand sea lion. Image: New Zealand Sea Lion. Credits: Tui De Roy

Listed as (endangered) the species was identified by Dr Gray back in 1866. Dr Gray John Edward Gray, FRS (12 February 1800 – 7 March 1875) was a British zoologist. He was the elder brother of zoologist Dr George Robert Gray and son of the pharmacologist and botanist Dr Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828).

Dr Gray was Keeper of Zoology at the British Museum in London from 1840 until Christmas 1874, before the Natural History holdings were split off to the Natural History Museum published several catalogues of the museum collections that included comprehensive discussions of animal groups as well as descriptions of new species. He improved the zoological collections to make them amongst the best in the world.

Scientifically identified as the Phocarctos hookeri the species was listed as vulnerable from 1994-2008. Unfortunately due to continued population declines the New Zealand seal is now bordering complete extinction within the wild (and things really aren’t looking good neither)  Endemic to Australia (Macquarie Is.); and New Zealand (South Is.), the species is also native to the Pacific North West.

To date there is estimated to be no fewer than 3,031 mature individuals remaining within the wild. New Zealand sea lions are one of the largest New Zealand animals. Like all otariids, they have marked sexual dimorphism; adult males are 240–350 cm long and weigh 320–450 kg and adult females are 180–200 cm long aMnd weigh 90–165 kg. At birth, pups are 70–100 cm long and weigh 7–8 kg; the natal pelage is a thick coat of dark brown hair that becomes dark gray with cream markings on the top of the head, nose, tail and at the base of the flippers.

Adult females’ coats vary from buff to creamy grey with darker pigmentation around the muzzle and the flippers. Adult males are blackish-brown with a well-developed black mane of coarse hair reaching the shoulders. New Zealand sea lions are strongly philopatric.

pupnz

Image: New Zealand Sea Lion Pup. Credits: NZ Fur Seals

Back in 2012 populations of New Zealand sea lions “were estimated to be standing at a population count of 12,000 mature individuals”. However since that count took place, from (2014) populations have ‘allegedly plummeted’ to all new levels although there doesn’t appear to be any evidence as to why the species suddenly declined – fish trawling and disease have been noted though!.

Like the Maui’s dolphin, the sea lion has come under intense scrutiny this year after research showed its numbers had halved since 1998. It has been cla...

12:47

Seymour on immigration and Islam Your NZ

David Seymour has again suggested that immigrants should accept and sign up for “the most basic values of New Zealand society”. Whaleoil: EXCLUSIVE: David Seymour’s thoughts on Islamic Immigration All immigrants should accept the most basic values of New Zealand society: namely freedom of speech, equality of gender and race before the law, that spirituality […]

11:45

Preppers Beware: The Dangers of Groups (Video) "IndyWatch Feed Economics"

Canadian PrepperYT Comment Brendon Macnee I’m lucky I live in New Zealand have told friends of the up and coming events and to prepare some have some can’t afford to I’m trying to keep up their moral by saying that anything is better than nothing and try to get them to learn trapping and to live…

11:26

Voting age women outnumber men Homepaddock

Statistics New Zealand has marked Suffrage Day with a media release which says voting-age women in New Zealand outnumbered men by about 137,000 at the 2013 Census, and women are more likely to vote.

In 1893, New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant women the right to vote. This year, Suffrage Day (September 19) comes just as local government voting papers go out on 16–21 September.

Census figures showed there were more than 1.66 million women in New Zealand aged 18 years and over (18+), compared with about 1.53 million men.

Women on average live longer than men which will account for some of the difference but just as women are more likely to vote, I wonder if they’re more likely to fill out census forms.

Women are more likely than men to vote in general and local government elections, according to past Statistics NZ General Social Surveys. In a survey after the 2011 general election more than 80 percent of women said they voted, compared with about 77 percent of men.

Almost 95 percent of women and men aged 65+ years said they voted in the 2011 general election, compared with just over half of those aged 18 to 24.

Voter turnout is lower for local government elections, at less than 65 percent for women and 62 percent for men. However, 87 percent of all those aged 65+ said they’d voted in local elections in a 2012 survey, compared with just 28 percent of people aged 18 to 24.

Census figures for 2013 showed there were 1.19 million European women in New Zealand aged 18+ years. There were about 193,000 Māori women in that age group, closely followed by almost 187,000 Asian women. Pacific women aged 18+ totalled about 90,000.

The candidates in my district and regional council wards have been elected unopposed which means the only decision I’ll have to make is whether to support the sitting mayor, Gary Kircher, or his challenger whose name escapes me.

The mayor is generally considered to have worked well in his first term so I’ll be voting to give him a second one.


Filed under: politics Tagged: Gary Kircher, Statistics NZ, Suffrage Day, Waitaki District ...

10:00

Rural round-up Homepaddock

Officials crack down on dairy farmers for breaching employment obligations – Gerard Hutching:

Officials have discovered that half of the 28 dairy farms they visited in the last two months in Waikato were in breach of their employment obligations and have fined some farmers $2000 each.

The Labour Inspectorate has promised a nationwide crackdown on employers who fail to keep written employment agreements or time records. Maximum fines can reach $20,000 for serious breaches.

Federated Farmers dairy spokesman Andrew Hoggard said he could not defend the farmers.

“There are no excuses. Employment agreements have been around since 1991 so they can’t say they don’t know,” Hoggard  said. . .

Tenacity and vision mark tenure – Guy Williams:

One of Queenstown’s most respected community servants has hung up his chainsaw. Peter Willsman, the driving force behind the region’s ground-breaking wilding tree control group, has stepped down as co-chairman. Queenstown reporter Guy Williams asks him why, and looks at his legacy.

Wilding trees throughout the Wakatipu — and probably in the rest of the country as well — may well be standing a little taller this week.

That is because one of their biggest scourges, Peter Willsman, has called time on his leadership role in the Wakatipu Wilding Conifer Control Group (WCG).

Co-chairman since the group’s formation in 2009, he announced his resignation at its annual “reporting night” last week. . . 

100 farmers dump milk following silo collapse – Vaughan Elder:

About 100 farmers in Otago and Southland were forced to dump milk over the weekend in  the aftermath of the milk silo collapse at Fonterra’s Edendale site.

Fonterra has called in engineers from around New Zealand and the world to try to get the plant fully operational again after the silo collapsed  on Friday, bringing down an overhead gantry carrying large steam pipes.

Neighbours reported hearing a  loud boom about 1.50pm, followed by the  sound of steam escaping from the ruptured pipes, a noise which continued for about 30 minutes.

One said it sounded like a Boeing 747 flying low overhead. . . 

Farm trends shut yards – Neal Wallace:

The South Island’s largest sale yards at Temuka in South Canterbury are benefiting from competitors closing but could not take anything for granted, Temuka Saleyards Company chairman Ian Bowan says.  

The company has spent more than $100,000 on electronic ear tag readers and was planning a new effluent disposal system.  “We’ve kept up with everything. We haven’t got behind,” he said.  

News the Tinwald yards in Ashburton would close later this year confirmed a trend of consolidation of sale yards around the country, some closing and others holding fewer sales.  

Closures in recent years included Cromwell, Matamau near Dannevirke and Studholme and Holme Stat...

09:44

Changing times, same old Your NZ

That was posted by  ‏@GeorgeTakei I lived through all of this, only to see it rise again. When will we ever learn? More of the same old: It’s different but similar on a smaller and less overt scale in New Zealand, and it has been for a long time.

09:32

English admits Kermadec stuff up Your NZ

Acting Prime Minister Bill English has conceded – sort of – that they way the Government handled to Kermadec sanctuary proposal was deficient. he said “”I think if you did it again you might do it a bit differently”. RNZ: English admits Kermadec sanctuary could have been handled better If the government had its time […]

09:24

Why men shouldn’t vote Homepaddock

It’s the 123rd anniversary of New Zealand women gaining the right to vote.

Apropos of this, Alice Duer Miller wrote in 1915:

Why we oppose votes for men:

1: Because man’s place is in the army.

2. Because no  really manly man  wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.

3. Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to the,.

4. Because men will lose their charms if they step out of the natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms and drums.

5. Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct in baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them particularly unfit for the task of government.


Filed under: politics, satire Tagged: Alice Duer Miller, women's suffrage

08:01

Kids Clean Beach Kapiti Independent

Waikanae School children take to sands to help environment By Peter Corlett Waikanae Beach was a hive of activity, with a swarm of children, when Waikanae School organised a major beach clean-up recently. The Year Seven and Eight children filled the equivalent of a large wheelie bin with rubbish. Variety of rubbish During the clean-up, […]

07:56

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The Passing of a Friend Kapiti Independent

We’ve had so many happy years and what’s to come must hold no fears You’d not want me to suffer, so … when the time comes, please let me go. Pet’s poem Priceless friendship By Roger Childs A couple of weeks ago I met some friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. After the […]

07:03

Photo of the Week Kapiti Independent

The Hoop Club is the junior section of the wonderful Kapiti Basketball Association, coordinated by local sporting legend, Angelo Robinson. He is assisted by enthusiastic families and talented coaches.   The photo by Joy Cowle, shows the folk involved with the recent highly competitive Fathers’ Day matches.    

06:32

Cash jobs = tax evasion Your NZ

Inland Revenue are having another crack at discouraging cash jobs. Avoiding paying GST and income tax is blatant tax evasion, but there has been a general acceptance of it as fair game by many. It’s not fair on businesses who do things by the book and can’t compete on price. And it’s not fair on […]

06:13

Unfortunate experiment watch The Dim-Post

National’s grand plan to unleash the power of the market and remove the dead hand of the state from social housing reaches its absurd endgame:

Housing New Zealand has bought a South Auckland motel to help meet the area’s housing shortage – but ironically the existing residents will have to move out to make room for the homeless.

A spokesman said the agency bought the 10-unit Cimarron Motel in Waterview Rd, Takanini, as “part of our work to make more housing available in Auckland for those who require it urgently”.

But the motel was already being used for long-stay accommodation, and former resident Roland Stehlin said he was worried about what would happen to the remaining residents.

“There’s an elderly couple there who have been there 11 years, they have nowhere to go,” he said.

“We’ve got a family that’s in the house [formerly the manager’s house]. Their kids are all going to the school there. The last I heard was apparently they are going out to Pukekohe, now they have to find some way of getting their kids into school there.”

 


05:49

Military style camps not making a difference Lindsay Mitchell

MSD released two reports last week which you can find here. I have simply extracted the recidivism rates but there is additional data about the type of offending, gender, age etc. if you are interested

"This report describes changes in the offending outcomes observed for 79 young people who between October 2010 and December 2013 graduated from 11 Military-style Activity Camps (MACs) held at Te Puna Wai ō Tuhinapo youth justice residence in Christchurch. All of these young people had a post-MAC follow-up period of at least 12 months so their follow-up offending could be observed."



"The reoffending outcomes ...for MAC graduates appear very similar to those seen for all young people who have received SwR orders.  However caution must be taken with such a comparison, as measuring the impact of the MAC relative to SwR would require a robust statistical approach such as a matched comparison analysis. This could usefully be undertaken in the future."

Another report looks at the recidivism rate for those who went through the Youth Court and received supervision orders:


"Records for a total of 552 young people  who received a stand-alone Supervision (SUP) order between 1 October 2010 and 31 March 2013 were examined."



A final report looks at recidivism rate among those who went through a Family Group Conference process. The outcomes are slightly better but these are probably the less serious offenders. 



Based on these graphs the Military style camps had the least success.

On a brighter note, according to the summary:

Offending by children aged 10-13 years has dropped in the last five years for both genders, across all ethnic groups and age...

05:20

Māori versus the environmental lobby Your NZ

More on the lack of consultation with Māori, who have existing rights granted under a Treaty of Waitangi settlement, over the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, and the reality that environmental groups are willing to put their own ambitions ahead of Māori rights. And opposition parties. Stephanie Rodgers has posted on the environmental lobby at Boots […]

05:00

Quote of the day Homepaddock

The journey of life is like a man riding a bicycle. We know he got on the bicycle and started to move. We know that at some point he will stop and get off. We know that if he stops moving and does not get off he will fall off.  Sir William Golding who was born on this day in 1911.

He also said:

My yesterdays walk with me. They keep step, they are gray faces that peer over my shoulder.

And:

Language fits over experience like a straight-jacket.

And:

Novelists do not write as birds sing, by the push of nature. It is part of the job that there should be much routine and some daily stuff on the level of carpentry.


Filed under: quotes Tagged: Sir William Golding

04:22

Bombing balls up during ‘ceasefire’ Your NZ

Two questions – why did the US bomb Syrian troops, and why were they bombing at all during a ceasefire? Bombing and killing the the wrong people (62 reported to be dead) may have been a genuine mistake, shit happens during wars. But why where they bombing at all when there was supposed to be […]

03:58

Tame Barry versus Henry Henry Henry Your NZ

This morning TV One will have a new look as far as presenters go, with Hilary Barry and Jack Tame taking over. A while ago Barry was newsreading on Newshub and trying to soften Paul Henry’s look on TV3’s morning programme. I don’t watch ‘the Henry show with a bit of news’ unless there’s something […]

03:39

Social chat – Monday Your NZ

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here. The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

03:38

Media watch – Monday Your NZ

19 September 2016 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general […]

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Sunday, 18 September

22:01

September 19 in history Homepaddock

335  Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.

1356  In the Battle of Poitiers, the English defeated the French.

1676 Jamestown was burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.

1692 Giles Corey was pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.

1777  First Battle of Saratoga/Battle of Freeman’s Farm/Battle of Bemis Heights.

1796 George Washington’s farewell address was printed across America as an open letter to the public.

 

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Luka – Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeated a Confederate force commanded by General Sterling Price.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris began.

1881 President James A. Garfield died of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting.

1882 Christopher Stone, first disc jockey in the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1965).

1889 – Sarah Louise Delany, American physician and author, was born (d. 1999).

1893 The Governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Women's suffrage day

1911 Sir William Golding, English writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1993).

1927 Nick Massi, American singer and guitarist (The Four Seasons), was born (d. 2000).

1930 – Derek Nimmo, English actor, was born (d. 1999).

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor, was born.

1934 Brian Epstein, English musical group manager (The Beatles) (d. 1967).

1934  – Austin Mitchell, English academic and politician, was born.

1940 – Zandra Rhodes, English fashion designer, founded the Fashion and Textile Museum, was born.

1940...

18:00

366 days of gratitude Homepaddock

It won’t work, there aren’t enough people to support it, it will be too cold in winter  . . .

These are just three of the many reactions the nay-sayers had when the idea of a farmers’ market was mooted for Oamaru.

The people promoting it didn’t listen to them and five years-on it is still going strong.

A visit to the market has become a regular part of Sunday morning when I’m home.

It’s a good place to meet people and to buy plants, fresh produce, bacon, baked goods . . .

Today I’m grateful for the market, the people who got it up and running and those who keep it going.

 


Filed under: food, gratitude Tagged: Oamaru Farmers' Market

17:28

NZ Andrew Buckley - Fluoridation and democracy "IndyWatch Feed Europe"

It’s not about water fluoridation, it’s about democracy and following a proper process.

As a member of the Waikato District Health Board I believe it is my job to ask hard questions and hold our system to account. Board members, both elected and appointed, are there to ensure a good process is followed so that the best decisions can be made. At our DHB, and apparently at others around New Zealand, I believe that we have lost sight of the right process and therefore decisions are being made without having all of the relevant facts in hand.

During September 2016 we saw media reports of allegations of bullying and intimidation at Nelson and Marlborough DHB against a board member who raised legitimate concerns about the safety and value of water fluoridation. Another report related to a board member’s concerns at Canterbury DHB about their “gagging policy” and lack of transparency. Please refer to the links at the bottom of this article to read more about these cases..........................

Is this the real enemy?

In July last year, Nelson and Marlborough DHB Principal Dental Officer, Dr. Rob Beaglehole, delivered one of his many attacks on national consumption of sugary drinks and junk food. (see link below). He presented a number of disturbing statistics:
  • Each year 35,000 NZ children under 12 have rotten teeth extracted because of excessively sugary diets, mainly due to sugary drinks and other junk foods.
  • New Zealand is the 11th largest consumer of soft drinks.
  • New Zealanders, on average, consume about 54kg of sugar each year, equivalent to 37 teaspoons of sugar per person, per day.
  • In 2014 New Zealanders drank 518.3 million litres of soft drinks.
To quote Dr. Beaglehole, “Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are the leading cause of dental caries. It’s not lack of fluoride, it’s SSBs”
Dental caries in children, along with type 2 diabetes and obesity, are manifestations of the underlying problem: high sugar and saturated fat consumption along with lack of sufficient physical exercise. So, with regard to the global health crisis that faces us, let’s turn our attention, energy and resources toward the “too hard basket” of lifestyle practices that are the real issue.
...

16:37

Bombs in New York and Syria Your NZ

John Key could be heading for a very tense United General Assembly and also a Security Council special debate on Syria that he is due to chair next week. Bombs have gone off recently in New York and New jersey. Injuries have been reported but as yet no deaths have been confirmed. Stuff: New York […]

14:30

Word of the day Homepaddock

Peristeronic –  of or relating to pigeons. pigeon-fancying.


Filed under: language Tagged: peristeronic

13:57

Kapiti Travellers Warned Kapiti Independent

Council urges drivers to take care on rain-drenched roads By Alan Tristram Kāpiti Coast District Council is urging motorists to take care on Kāpiti’s rain-drenched roads as darkness falls. Infrastructure Services Group Manager Sean Mallon says Kāpiti had managed fairly well so far, although there had been large areas of surface flooding and some minor […]

12:09

Three more bronzes Homepaddock

Two New Zealand paralympians have won three bronze medals to bring the country’s total to 21.

William Stedman has won bronze in the 400 metre sprint and 800m.

Emma Foy and her pilot Laura Thompson won their second medal in the Rio Paralympics with a bronze in the women’s road race.

New Zealand is now 12th in the medal tally with nine gold, five silver and seven bronze.


Filed under: sport Tagged: Emma Foy, Laura Thompson, Rio Paralympics, William Stedman

10:08

The racist truth about crime No Pride In Prisons

The racist truth about crime:

An informative article on the institutional racism, colonialism and classism of the Aotearoa/New Zealand criminal injustice system (http://ift.tt/2cG2hgi):

“Maori make up the majority of prisoners. Think about that for a second because it’s a statistic which is thrown around so much so that sociologist Dr Tracey McIntosh of Auckland University says it’s "the most commonly-known social statistic”……

Contemplate, then, what it means: although Maori are only 15 per cent of the population, Maori inmates make up 51 per cent of the of the sentenced prisoners. It’s even higher in remand prisons (56 per cent).

But it’s not just in prisons where the disproportion exists: Maori are prosecuted and convicted at a higher rate than anyone else; and five years after being released from prison 81 per cent of Maori inmates will have another conviction, compared to 68 per cent of Pakeha…..

Last week, we put to him a figure that showed in 2015, the rate at which Maori were handed down sentences of imprisonment was eight times higher than it was for Pakeha. Fisher paused and said this: “I don’t have those statistics but yes Maori are more likely to be imprisoned than non-Maori, more likely to be prosecuted, more likely to be convicted than non-Maori…..

Take cannabis offences where police and the courts exercise discretion all the time - about who to arrest, who to charge, who to convict, who to sentence to jail.

From 2010-2014, police and justice figures show Maori made up 51 per cent of prison sentences, 40 per cent of prosecutions and convictions.

And yet, over the same period, Maori made up only 30 per cent of those who received pre-charge warnings - in other words, were let off - compared to 57 per cent of Pakeha.

In other words, if you’re caught with cannabis and you’re Pakeha, you’re more likely to receive a pre-charge warning or get diversion. If you’re Maori, you’re more likely to be convicted and sent to jail…..

Within two years of coming out of prison, 63 per cent of Maori inmates will have another conviction. Within five years it’s 81 per cent. And within five years, more than half will have been re-imprisoned.

But to find change, McIntosh believes, we need to look beyond prisons. And it’s in small town New Zealand where she believes much of the focus has to be.

Maori, especially young men and women, are often from small towns or rural communities, places where educational opportunities are limited, unemployment is high and gangs are pervasive.

And when you look at the figures for prison sentences handed down in areas outside of the main cities, you can see the disproportion of Maori imprisonment is extraordinary.

In Northland, three out of every four prison sentences last year were handed down to Maori. In the Central North Island, it’s even worse - four out of every five. Yes, more Maori live in those areas, but 75 per cent and 80 per cent?

Why does it happen? There are no easy answers.

McIntosh talks about over-policing of certain communities, and of institutional racism which she explains can be "racism without racists”.

“You don’t have to have individual racist actions if the system itself produces outcomes of judicial racism, of institutional racism.”

She also thinks you can’t have a conversation about institutional racism without having a conversation about colonisation - especially when you consider that high imprisonment of indigenous people is also a feature of Australia, Canada and other “settler states”.

“For many, they think Maori...

10:00

Ordinary Life Homepaddock

ordinary life StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life. – Ordinary Life ©2016 Brian Andreas –  posted with permission.

You can sign up for a daily email delivering a dose of whimsy like this at Story People.


Filed under: whimsy Tagged: Brian Andreas, Story People

08:26

Ashes Rule Supported Kapiti Independent

Council’s new rules on human ashes supported by leading funeral director By Andrew Malcolm (M/D, Kapiti Coast Funeral Home; chair, Independent Funeral Homes group) More rules, but why do we need more rules, and for such a personal things as scattering human ashes. As the owner of the largest Funeral Home on the Kapiti Coast, […]

07:19

The UN should mind its own business Lindsay Mitchell

It incenses me when the UN sticks its nose into New Zealand's social and political affairs. Anne Tolley has apparently been challenged in Geneva over child poverty and naming the new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children. According to RNZ:

"...Unicef NZ executive director Vivien Maidaborn, who was part of the delegation, said the panel had expressed concern about the new ministry.
"The comment that was made was, 'I don't understand why you would call a Ministry the Ministry of Vulnerable Children when it could just have been the Ministry of Children. You're in danger of overtargeting towards vulnerable children at the expense of rights to all New Zealand children.'"

This is bullshit.

Most New Zealand children do not need the government in their lives. They do not need a Ministry. Their parents give birth to them, care for and feed them, raise them and send them into the world without any help from a government agency that concerns itself with the care and protection of children. Sure they might receive some tax subsidy and use public education and health services but that is the nature of the beast right now.

Around 3-5 percent of children are in circumstances that even a libertarian would acknowledge  (in the absence of private charities) require state intervention. The argument is about the nature and timing of that intervention.

Seriously, how can genuinely vulnerable children at risk of abuse, neglect, and failure to develop, be 'over-targeted'?

New Zealand has every right to tackle its own problems in the way it believes will work best. I know what I would have said to the UN.


07:07

Latta on what our politicians do Your NZ

Nigel Latta has had a look at what our politicians (and media and lobbyists and activists) do. Stuff: Nigel Latta: What Do Our Politicians Actually Do? We decided to go and look at Parliament because whenever you’re looking at how to solve the nation’s problems, it always comes back to Parliament.  Politicians are despised but […]

07:00

Quote of the day Homepaddock

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.  – Samuel Johnson who was born on this day in 1709.

He also said:

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.

The future is purchased by the present.

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.


Filed under: quotes Tagged: Samuel Johnson

06:23

More on family violence proposals Your NZ

During the week the Government announced proposals aimed at addressing and reducing family violence – see The Government’s most important policy – family violence. Yesterday Justice Minister Amy Adams was interviewed on The Nation about it. Justice Minister Amy Adams speaks to Lisa Owen about her family violence law reform – does it go far enough?  […]

05:02

Trumped by his own lies? Your NZ

Will Donald Trump end up being trumped by his own lies? There’s plenty of scope for it if voters thinks honesty matters. Paul Krugman at New York Times: A Lie Too Far? I suspect Donald Trump is feeling a bit sandbagged right now, or will be when he wakes up. All along he has treated […]

05:00

Sunday soapbox Homepaddock

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, text and outdoor

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King.


Filed under: soapbox Tagged: Martin Luther King

04:56

The KIN Mid-Week Quiz 37 Answers Kapiti Independent

If you would still like a go at the latest challenge, scroll down to September 14. Remember that no correspondence, computers or cell phones may be entered into! Answers below.     1    In which Olympic event did “Eddie the Eagle” take part in? (ski jumping)   2    The film Sully is based on a […]

04:13

Chiefs’ bus driver Your NZ

The Chief’s 70 year old bus driver has admitted he touched and licked the stripper at their ‘Mad Monday’ event. I don’t know the legalities of what happened, and there is dispute over consent or perceptions of consent, but how anyone could be involved in doing or encouraging this baffles me – including stripping at […]

03:40

On the Process of Awakening "IndyWatch Feed Economics"

There is a tremendous amount of pain in our society. There are many sources of this pain: the emotional desertification of dysfunctional families, the knowledge that we don’t fit in and never will, a widening disconnect between the narratives we’re told are true and our experience, and a social and economic structure that tosses many of us on the trash heap.

The lifestyle we’re told we need to be happy is unattainable to many, and disconcertingly unsatisfactory to the top 10% who reach it.

We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.

The process of awakening has many paths. For some, the path starts with the incoherence of official explanations and narratives. For others, it’s the inner search for truth via psychotherapy or spiritual practice.

For some, it’s an investigation into the way our economic and political hierarchy function. For others, art is the starting point: a film, a novel, a comic, a song.

For many of us, it begins with this simple but devastating realization: I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in, have never fit in and never will fit in. I play along because it’s easier on me and everyone I interact with to do so, and I value my independence which means I have to find a way to support myself. That is difficult, as what I like to do has little to no value in our economy.

What interests me is how the epidemic of pain and alienation that characterizes our society is the direct result of how our economy and social order is structured. Incoherence, self-destruction, pain and alienation are the only possible outputs of the system we inhabit.

I recently had an amazing free-form 1:50 hour conversation on these topics with New Zealand talk-show host Vinny Eastwood. Any conversation that stretches from the erosion of community to loneliness to Daniel Ellsberg to Marx to Taoism to alienation to Michelangelo Antonioni and on to the process of awakening is amazing in my view.

Here’s Vinny’s page with listening/viewing/downloading options, and the program on Youtube (please ignore my goofy expressions): The magic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (1:49:54)

My conclusion may strike many as radical, but to me it is self-evident: the primary source of the rot, insecurity, inequality and alienation of our society is the way we create and distribute money, which is the conduit for creating and distributing political power.

I explain why this is so in my books A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.

If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we change nothing. Money = power. If we don’t devise a form of money that is beyond the reach of central banks and states, all “reform” is just window-dressing, simulacra of “change” that simply solidifi...

On the Process of Awakening "IndyWatch Feed World"

By Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

There is a tremendous amount of pain in our society. There are many sources of this pain: the emotional desertification of dysfunctional families, the knowledge that we don’t fit in and never will, a widening disconnect between the narratives we’re told are true and our experience, and a social and economic structure that tosses many of us on the trash heap.

The lifestyle we’re told we need to be happy is unattainable to many, and disconcertingly unsatisfactory to the top 10% who reach it.

We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.

The process of awakening has many paths. For some, the path starts with the incoherence of official explanations and narratives. For others, it’s the inner search for truth via psychotherapy or spiritual practice.

For some, it’s an investigation into the way our economic and political hierarchy function. For others, art is the starting point: a film, a novel, a comic, a song.

For many of us, it begins with this simple but devastating realization: I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in, have never fit in and never will fit in. I play along because it’s easier on me and everyone I interact with to do so, and I value my independence which means I have to find a way to support myself. That is difficult, as what I like to do has little to no value in our economy.

What interests me is how the epidemic of pain and alienation that characterizes our society is the direct result of how our economy and social order is structured. Incoherence, self-destruction, pain and alienation are the only possible outputs of the system we inhabit.

I recently had an amazing free-form 1:50 hour conversation on these topics with New Zealand talk-show host Vinny Eastwood. Any conversation that stretches from the erosion of community to loneliness to Daniel Ellsberg to Marx to Taoism to alienation to Michelangelo Antonioni and on to the process of awakening is amazing in my view.

Here’s Vinny’s page with listening/viewing/downloading options, and the program on Youtube (please ignore my goofy expressions): The magic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (1:49:54)

My conclusion may strike many as radical, but to me it is self-evident: the primary source of the rot, insecurity, inequality and alienation of our society is the way we create and distribute money, which is the conduit for creating and distributing political power.

I explain why this is so in my books A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.

If we don’t change the way money is created and di...

03:32

Social chat – Sunday Your NZ

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here. The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

03:18

25 Curious Cases of The Power of The Mind "IndyWatch Feed World"

By Phoenix

power-of-mind-header

By Chris Hammond

Everybody knows about the power of the mind.

It should be completely obvious that the human mind is amazing!

Right?

Well, maybe not. Just what the hell is the ‘power of your mind’ anyway?

Just why exactly is the human mind so damn amazing?

The point of this article is to inspire you with 25 examples of just what the human mind is capable of and how vastly it separates us from other animals of this planet.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.

The Power Of The Human Mind

#1 – The Power Of Voodoo

You probably never gave much thought to voodoo before.

Like me, you probably regarded it as hogwash – if you even considered it at all.

But the shocking truth is that voodoo is real! There are many documented cases throughout history of people dying from “curses” placed on them.

Take for example the 1942 case of a Maori girl who died within a day of eating a piece of fruit – after she was told it came from a ‘taboo place’, directly forbidden by her tribal chief!

It’s not so hard to believe – when you think about it.

All these cases are due to the “nocebo” effect. This is essentially the evil cousin of the placebo effect. That is, inert substances invoking negative reactions through the power of suggestion and expectation.

So it’s quite possible for somebody to die just from being told that they’ve taken a deadly poison. Or in this case, told that they’ve been cursed. There’s been a fair bit of investigation into the nocebo effect in recent years. In fact, this study concluded with the sage words:

Words are the most powerful tool a doctor possesses, but words, like a two-edged sword, can maim as well as heal.“ – Bernard Lown

#2 – Tibetan Monk Power!

Everybody loves a decent Tibetan monk.

Romanticized by western cinema for their mind-boggling superhuman powers, the truth of the matter is that these exaggerations are actually rooted in reality!

The Power of Monk's MindsIn fact, the power of these monks’ minds is so honed – their awareness so great – that they can increase the temperature of their bodies by their minds alone! Documented evidence exists of monks being placed into a 4 degree room (pretty damn cold), wearing nothing except sopping wet, cold blankets and being able to increase their body temperature to 38.3 degrees (a moderate fever)!

They do this via a little known practice called Tummo – or Inner Fire Meditation.

Some scientifically minded souls have claimed that the temperature increase is partially a function of the ‘forceful breathing’ that the monks perform during the exercise.

Nevertheless, in no way does this detract from the achievement! We don’t see guinea pigs wearing freezing cold wet blankets and doing forceful breathing to train their minds, do we?

[More…]

...

02:58

Media watch – Sunday Your NZ

18 September 2016 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general […]

02:56

Open Forum – Sunday Your NZ

18 September 2016 Facebook: NZ politics/media+ This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you.  If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to […]

Saturday, 17 September

22:01

September 18 in history Homepaddock

96  Nerva was proclaimed Roman Emperor after Domitian was assassinated.

324 Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine’s sole control over the Roman Empire.

1180  Philip Augustus became king of France.

1454  In the Battle of Chojnice, the Polish army was defeated by the Teutonic army during the Thirteen Years’ War.

1709 Samuel Johnson, English writer and lexicographer, was born (d. 1784).

1739  The Treaty of Belgrade was signed, ceding Belgrade to the Ottoman Empire.

1793  The first cornerstone of the Capitol building was laid by George Washington.

1809 The Royal Opera House in London opened.

1810  First Government Junta in Chile.

1812  The 1812 Fire of Moscow died down after destroying more than three quarters of the city. Napoleon returned from the Petrovsky Palace to the Moscow Kremlin, which was spared from the fire.

1837  Tiffany and Co. (first named Tiffany & Young) was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City.

1838 The Anti-Corn Law League was established by Richard Cobden.

1850  The U.S. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

1851  First publication of The New-York Daily Times, which later becameThe New York Times.

1858 – Kate Booth, English Salvation Army, officer was born (d. 1955).

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870  Old Faithful Geyser was observed and named by Henry D. Washburnduring the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition to Yellowstone.

1872 King Oscar II acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway.

1873  The Panic of 1873 began.

1876 James Scullin, 9th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1953).

1879 The Blackpool Illuminations were switched on for the first time.

1882 The Pacific Stock Exchange opened.

1888 – Grey Owl, English-Canadian environmentalist and author was born (d. 1938).

1889...

19:38

ACC refuses to release Serco investment information No Pride In Prisons

ACC refuses to release Serco investment information:

An example of the ACC circumventing it’s investment restrictions in order to make a profit from the prison system of Aotearoa/New Zealand and its inherent misery (http://ift.tt/2cDQ23C):

“Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is refusing to release information detailing the risks of its joint venture with Serco to build and run Wiri prison.

ACC invested in a partnership, Secure Future Wiri], in 2011 with Serco Group and two others to build the Auckland South Corrections Facility, known as Wiri Prison.

This was despite ACC, not being allowed to buy shares in Serco because of its links to nuclear weapons. Serco had been on ACC’s exclusion list since 2008.

Documents released under the Official Information Act showed ACC’s investment committee decided a partnership with Serco complied with its ethical investment policy.

But the government agency, which runs a $33 billion investment fund to help pay for the medical treatment it provides, withheld four pages of the report that detailed what it perceived to be investment risks.

Both the Labour Party and Green Party said the public had a right to know what those risks were.

"If there are risks to the investment and the investment’s being done with public money then ACC should be prepared to make to make that information public, it is after all the public’s money that’s being invested,” Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney said.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw agreed and said the amount invested by ACC should also be made public.

“Because ACC is a public fund designed to look after all our health and welfare, the public does have a right to know how much is co-invested with Serco,” he said.

The documents showed ACC managers were aware that doing business with Serco could be seen as more “intimate” than owning shares in the company, but it disagreed with this view.

“Holding an equity investment implies a level of ownership. Therefore the equity-holder becomes somewhat responsible for the actions of the company. The important issue is ownership and control, not intimacy,” it said in the report.

The 2011 report also noted that the Department of Corrections appointed Serco to run the remand prison at Mt Eden a year earlier.

“While the actions of government departments are not determinative for ACC’s ethical investment policy, it does suggest that there is little risk of prejudicing New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community,” it added.

Serco was stripped of its contract to run Mt Eden in July last year following allegations of assaults and organised fight clubs.

It was no longer a shareholder in Secure Future Wiri, but it still held the contract to run the prison until 2040.“

19:15

NZ web series tackles racism in education "IndyWatch Feed Politics.us"

I, Too, Am Auckland is a student initiative dedicated to the collaboration of Pacific Islander and Maori students & the wider University of Auckland community. This series of Youtube videos focuses on racism in education and how it affects ethnic minorities. In this particular video entitled Decolonising Education, school childern are used to address how Maori […]

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

18:53

366 days of gratitude Homepaddock

Friends from the North Island came to stay with us yesterday.

We took them to dine at Fleurs Place last night where we experienced the usual warm and efficient service, delicious food and a magical sunset.

fleurs-evening

 

This morning we wandered round Oamaru’s historic precinct, taking in a visit to Steampunk HQ  which now features an infinity portal.

infinity-portal

Oamaru used to be the town you had to crawl through on State Highway 1 on the way from somewhere to somewhere else. Now it’s a destination.

Seven Sharp made it New Zealand’s sharpest town, Lonely Planet dubbed it the coolest town in the country a view echoed by travel writers with gems like Pen-y-bryn which featured on Kiwi Living this week.

Seeing the town through the eyes of visitors today reawakened us to its charms for all of which I’m grateful.


Filed under: gratitude, North Otago Tagged: Fleurs Place, Oamaru, Pen-y-bryn, Steampunk HQ

16:05

Nick Smith blamed for Kermadec cock up Your NZ

It’s not surprising to see Environment Minister Nick Smith being blamed for the mess over the lack of consultation with Maori over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary. This week the Government was forced to put plans on hold while they try to repair the damage. This is a shame because there is wide approval for the […]

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