Map of the Day

Working for New Zealand


via The Telegraph


While chatting about trade with the Indian PM today, John Key is scheduled to do the same with the French Premier tomorrow.

The first visit to New Zealand by a French prime minister in 25 years is about to begin.

Manuel Valls is due to arrive in Auckland on Sunday and departs on Monday.

Prime Minister John Key has said it’ll be a short but important visit. Read more »

Politics of the 21st century: pulling hair and making faces


You’d expect this on The Onion or another satire site, but sadly this is real

United Nations officials have rubbished claims that United States soldiers are provoking North Korean troops by pulling faces at them.

Pyongyang has alleged American personnel have been pulling “disgusting” facial expressions while making strange noises and pointing fingers, Sky News has reported. Read more »


Your identity is more valuable than money


Cyber theft has long replaced the ‘traditional’ concept of bank robberies. A much more sophisticated method of attack that has been in use for years has accelerated of late as a slew of hacks across the world has proven.

Recent international targets, including the US Federal Reserve, the Central Bank of the Philippines and Qatar National Bank (QNB) in Doha, have all been subject to notable security breaches.

What’s striking, however, is the fact that in some instances, no money is being stolen. In QNB’s case it was a robbery of data – hundreds of customers account details, including their passwords, their social media profiles, were posted onto a whistleblower website. No one really knows what’s behind it, but it proved that data is alomost more valuable that money these days. Read more »

Photo Of The Day




Life on the Norfolk Broads

Idyllic Images of the Waterways of Eastern England

Peter Henry Emerson promoted photography as an independent art form, rather than one that is dependent on the tradition of painting. He developed a theory of naturalistic photography’ and took photographs of working figures in natural settings, particularly in East Anglia.

Peter Henry Emerson was born Pedro Enrique Emerson in Casa Grande, La Palma, Cuba, on 13 May 1856, to a British mother and an American father of significant means. Following a brief period in the United States, the family went to England, where Peter Henry was sent to Cranleigh, a public school in Surrey. After a short time at King’s College, London (1874), he studied Medicine at Clare College, Cambridge (1874-79), and, embarking then on a career as a gentleman of letters, first bought a camera at the age of 26 to aid him with one of his hobbies, ornithology. However, he became completely devoted to photography, and rose to become one of the most influential photographers in nineteenth-century Britain.

Although Emerson essentially remained an amateur, he did publish eight books during his lifetime such as Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads (1886) and Pictures of East Anglian Life (1888), and exhibited regularly until 1900. Much of his work focused on the rural life of East Anglia, and should be seen as a life- long anthropological study of the region’s people and traditions. This scientific approach to his photography tallies with his reputation as an academic with a fearsome intellect, and he became a well-known, somewhat notorious figure in the photographic circles at the end of the 1880s.

One of the notable characteristics of Emerson’s work was its simple technique and brutal honesty it was this that caused ruptures in the photographic industry at the time. British photography had long been trying to achieve an equal academic reputation to painting and in Emerson’s eyes, through the work of pictorialist photographers such as Henry Peach Robinson, had grown complex, derivative, and over-produced – some of Robinson’s images were compilations of up to 20 negatives. Upon his election to the Council of the Photographic Society in 1886, Emerson began a series of public lectures denouncing this method. His book Naturalistic Photography (1889) further expounded his views, celebrating a simpler, one-shot technique that celebrated the photograph for what it was. The effect of the book was described at the time as like dropping a bomb shell at a tea party’ Emerson was advocating a completely new approach to photography.

The honesty behind Emerson’s work was also reflected in subject matter that featured real, working people rather than staged models in costumes.

Read more »

ERO can’t fault three new Charter Schools, what will Chris Hipkins spin this as?

Chris Hipkins is going to find this hard to spin his way.

Three new Charter Schools got a good grade from the Education Review Office.

Radio NZ’s John Gerritson obviously didn’t get the union memo.

Three new charter schools have made a good start, according to the Education Review Office.

The reports covered two of the publicly-funded private schools in Auckland, Te Kura Māori o Waatea and Pacific Advance Senior School, and one in Whangarei, Te Kāpehu Whetū -Teina.

The reviews were generally positive, but identified problems such as the need to increase enrolments or develop curriculums.

The report for Pacific Advance Senior School said it had 105 students in Years 11 and 12 at the start of this year and the school had done a good job of engaging them in their learning.

It said many students started at the school well below achievement expectations for their age level and to get students confident and able to complete Level 1 NCEA qualification was a significant success for the school.

It said 36 students were awarded Level 1 NCEA, which was 57 percent of the student body.   Read more »

John Key writes to Mark Weldon about the Barry decision


Beehive Letters @BeehiveLetters John Key to Mark Weldon Re: Hilary Barry #nzpol #satire / Twitter

Turns out the anti-racist student behind the Rhodes Must Fall campaign is in fact a racist himself

A massive campaign against statues of Cecil Rhodes was instigated in the UK. Lazy journalists here mimicked the story and went looking for statutes of our own horrible people so they could be tipped over.

But it turns out that the student behind the campaign is an awful racist himself.

A student who helped lead the campaign to tear down a ‘racist’ statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford has boasted about refusing to tip a waitress because she was white.

Ntokozo Qwabe bragged online that he and a friend made the woman cry ‘typical white tears’ after writing on the bill ‘we will give tip when you return the land’.

The incident, in a café in South Africa, provoked a fierce backlash from critics who branded him a ‘hypocrite’.

Mr Qwabe, 24, is one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, which campaigned to remove a statue of the 19th Century imperialist from Oriel College.

Although he is a Rhodes scholar himself and received money from the Rhodes’ estate to study at Oxford, Qwabe and other activists claimed forcing ethnic minority students to walk past the statue amounted to ‘violence’.

On Thursday, he wrote on Facebook about an altercation with a waitress during a visit to a restaurant called Obz Café in the Western Cape, South Africa.

He said the incident had left him ‘unable to stop smiling because something so black, wonderful & LIT just happened!’

He wrote that he had eaten there with a friend, described as a ‘radical non-binary trans black activist’, but that the pair had refused to pay the ‘white woman’ waitress a tip.

He said: ‘They take a pen & slip in a note where the gratuity/tip amount is supposed to be entered.

‘The note reads in bold: “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND”.   Read more »

Intriguing plan to deliver better outcomes for kids who are off the rails

I don’t think any of this will be earth-shatteringly new, but it’s interesting to have some numbers put against it.


The National Urban Maori Authority (AUMA) conducted the research and chief executive, Lance Norman, told The Nation programme the cost of failing a struggling child was $145,000 per year.

This compares to $28,000 per child each year in up-front investments that Mr Norman says, if put into the right programmes, could stop children going off the rails.

The AUMA processed data from the Ministry of Justice and says savings could potentially be as high as $50 million a year.

The AUMA is proposing a social bond which is where investors make a profit from the Government if a social service agency meets certain targets. This means the Government pays for outcomes rather than just providing services.

Sounds too good to be true.  Maori wanting to be paid on results?     Read more »

Why people think Ted Cruz’s last name starts with C and ends with T

Ted Cruz is not well liked inside the Republican party nor in wider Washington. He is widely acknowledged as being somewhat of an asshole.

That is why the establishment hasn’t really fallen in behind him, and only will if they absolutely have had to in order to attempt to choke off Donald Trump.

But now that he can’t possibly win the required delegates prior to the convention people are starting to recall why he is an asshole…and he’s helping them remember.

In the space of just seven minutes here Thursday, Ted Cruz reminded fellow Republicans that he has few friends in the party.

First he tangled with former House speaker John A. Boehner, a longtime foe who so dislikes Cruz that he labeled him “Lucifer in the flesh.” Then Cruz undercut another Republican, fellow presidential candidate John Kasich, who had entered into an alliance with him to stop GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“There is no alliance,” Cruz told reporters on Thursday, acting as if a pact announced by his own campaign days before had never happened.

Minutes later, Kasich strategist John Weaver dispatched a cryptic tweet: “I can’t stand liars.”

For Cruz, it was just another day of brawling with leading figures from his own party — a role that has formed the cornerstone of his short political career. But for many Republicans, it crystallized an overriding problem for Cruz’s campaign: Many people simply don’t like him.

Read more »