Kiwi singer Lorde wins six more Tuis at 2017 Vodafone NZ Musical Awards

Kiwi singer Lorde wins six more Tuis at the 2017 Vodafone NZ Music Awards. She now has a total of eighteen Tuis…

Lorde at the NZ Music Awards

New Zealand’s most talented musicians recognised at the 2017 ceremony
Lorde continues her reign on top of New Zealand music by claiming six Tuis at tonight’s 52nd Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards at Spark Arena in Auckland.
The 21-year-old, who performed her hit ‘Green Light’ during the show, claimed the Godfrey Hirst Album of the Year for her second album Melodrama, Vodafone Single of the Year for ‘Green Light’, Three Best Solo Artist, and The Edge Best Pop Artist. Her global success was also recognised with the International Achievement Award – a record extending fourth time she has won this award.
Lorde also won the coveted Vodafone People’s Choice Award, with the New Zealand public voting for her as their favourite artist from the past year.
With tonight’s haul, Lorde now has 18 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards to add to her brimming trophy cabinet which already includes two Grammys.

Flash In The Pan…

The Uncommon Origins of Some Common Expressions:


A combat scene:


AN XIII Flintlock Pistol

Flintlock pistol:

The original flash in the pan occurred in the flintlock gun. This was the old unwieldy kind of musket used before the development of the percussion cap or cartridge. The charge that propelled the bullets, in those early days, was in the form of loose gunpowder, which was carefully measured and placed in the pan or flashpan of the gun, where it was ignited (or, all too often, failed to ignite) by a spark from the flint. If the gunpowder was insufficient, it might fizzle or flash rather than explode effectively.

The three related phrases are to hang fire damp squib, and  lock, stock and barrel.

To hang fire  is to delay, to put off one’s decision, to wait and see. Originally, a flintlock gun was said to hang  fire  if it took a long time for the charge to ignite.

damp sqib,  something that fails to live up to expectations, is, literally, a firecracker through being damp fails to generate the climactic bang.

As for lock, stock and barrel, these are the three main components of a musket or rifle: the barrel out in front, the stock – the heavy wooden handle or support – the mechanism designed to explode the ammunition charge – in the middle. So to buy up a business lock stock  and barrel, for instance, has come to mean to buy the whole thing. Or as Australians would say,  the whole kit and caboodle.


Acknowledgements: Readers Digest.




Agent Orange and chilling photos of the war-crime that the US got away with…


This Kiwi soldier and others who served in Vietnam died through the effects of Agent Orange?


Spraying from ground and air – Agent Orange contained one of the the most toxic chemicals ever – dioxin. This chemical was also manufactured in NZ to spray canefields in Fiji.

See some of the most horrible images connected with Agent Orange.

Ron Asher – In the Jaws of the Dragon: How China is taking over New Zealand and Australia


Ron Asher – In the Jaws of the Dragon: How China Is Taking Over New Zealand

Ron Asher is a New Zealand writer and commentator on current affairs. He lived in Hong Kong when it was a British colony and has become increasingly concerned at the way that China, through its state owned companies, is gaining enormous economic leverage over the New Zealand economy, aided and abetted by treacherous politicians who are well rewarded by the Communist regime after they retire from politics. Ron is the author of In the Jaws of the Dragon: How China Is Taking Over New Zealand.

Ron joins us for a conversation on China that is both fascinating and unsettling. To begin, Ron tells us about his book, In the Jaws of the Dragon. We learn that China has been systematically buying up land in New Zealand. Ron tells us about Confucius Institutes, which are used by the Chinese government for espionage and propaganda. We discuss how China, despite being Communist in name, is not Marxist in any meaningful sense. This leads to a discussion on the current state of China, which, as Ron explains, is corrupt, polluted, and has no rule of law. The first hour also touches on the recent increase in Chinese militarism, the difference between mainland Chinese and those in Hong Kong, and the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement.

In the members’ hour, we resume our discussion on China and New Zealand. Ron outlines how Chinese involvement in the New Zealand rail system has had disastrous results. We discuss Chinese tourism in New Zealand, with Ron explaining that Chinese tourists stick to Chinese-owned restaurants, tours companies, and other businesses, ensuring that their money remains in Chinese hands. Switching gears, we discuss how Chinese colonization is perfectly fine from a free market perspective, and why regulation is thus needed to ensure that New Zealand remains autonomous. The members’ hour also covers much more, including China’s abhorrent labor practices, and what we can learn from the British colonization of Fiji.

Get the Book Jaws of the Dragon

Peter Petterson: A most interesting book. I will try and get it from the local library some time. There is a lot of concern in New Zealand about Chinese interests buying houses,  properties,  businesses and rural land including farms in NZ and reports have come out of Australia of sales to Chinese interests of large outback properties. With a change to a left of centre government in NZ, I would expect reports to be released about this very subject in future. I read it has been very easy for Chinese nationals in recent years to get finance at low interest rates and purchase and sell properties and businesses overseas. This may well slow down in the future.

Wellington rail strike – end contracting out!

Contract should be cancelled.

International Socialists

Chris Morley Tramways Chris Morley from the Tramways Union speaks in solidarity with striking RMTU members yesterday. (Image credit: Sam Huggard, CTU)

By Martin Gregory

Privatisation, in the form of contracting out, lies behind the Wellington rail dispute between Rail and Maritime Transport Union members and their employers Transdev Wellington and its maintenance subcontractor Hyundai Rotem. Greater Wellington Regional Council contracted Transdev to operate the region’s passenger services from July 2016 for 15 years. Previously the service was run by Trans Metro, the regional arm of state-owned KiwiRail. The railway workers went over to Transdev and Hyundai Rotem on the conditions of their existing collective agreement. Lo and behold, at the first opportunity Transdev and Hyundai Rotem are attempting to cut conditions. The main attack is a pay cut. Transdev want to cut penalty rates: double-time down to time-and-a-half, and time-and-a-half down to time-and-a-quarter.

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Discover Christchurch City

Originally Published June 21st 2015  on Weekendnotes:

The theme on my local radio station tonight is Your Hometown. That is thought provoking for me. I miss my hometown and would love to be there this very weekend.

Like thousands of other New Zealanders and those from other countries around the world, I don’t reside in my home town. In my particular case I have been away for over 40 years, and return home occasionally. Unfortunately I have been back more for funerals and memorials than for leisure reasons.

Yes, poor old earthquake battered Christchurch City in Canterbury is my hometown. The most distinctive part of the city is ChristChurch Cathedral, Christchurch.

This wonderful old cathedral from the 19th century is now in the local idium “munted”, and is so badly damaged it needs replacing in part or rebuilt. There is now a campaign between the owners, the Anglican Church, and a restoration group with differing ideas. The Christchurch City Council finds itself in many ways torn between the interests of both – it wants to see the cathedral restored or rebuilt as soon as possible because it was a major tourist mecca as well. The costs could vary from $40 million to $100 million dollars.

About 75% of the CBD was destroyed or has had to be demolished. Throughout the east side of the city and the Port Hills in the southern part of the city there are areas ‘redzoned’, or unfit for restoration of houses, and buildings, private and commercial. Thousands of insurance claims have yet to be settled, and many people live in damaged houses not redzoned or in garages, sheds and cars – four and a half to five years after the major earthquakes and 12000 odd aftershocks. Many streets and infrastructure are still being repaired or restored in the East.

Of course a majority of Christchurch people may not still be directly affected directly, but tens of thousands are indirectly affected. Tourists still flock to the city, many on the way to the great tourist spots of the South Island like Queenstown, the lakes and the mountains, so well known outside of New Zealand as the Southern Alps.

Despite the damage caused to sporting and other leisure facilities, Canterbury people and others still flock to the largest city of the South Island for winter and summer sports. Christchurch will have a rugby test international this year at a rebuilt smaller stadium after the city’s main stadium was destroyed. The earthquakes prevented the city from having games at the last Rugby World Cup held in New Zealand in 2011. Christchurch an Canterbury people have and remain ‘sports mad’ – it’s all part of DNA – very much a New Zealand trait.

I have a daughter and her two sons who have lived in my hometown for a couple of years now and are becoming ‘Christchurch people’. I flew down for the younger boy’s eighth birthday in 2014. I was born and raised there and left for my domestic experience at the age of twenty years. I lived in Dunedin, Auckland and the Waikato for nearly three years, before arriving and staying permanently in the Hutt Valley area of Wellington, getting married and settling down.

Photograph by Greg O’Beirne
GFDL / Creative Commons