Map of the Day

Moko’s other killer now appealing sentence

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A man jailed for 17 years over the death of three-year-old Taupo boy Moko Rangitoheriri is appealing his sentence.

David Haerewa, 43, filed papers with the Court of Appeal on Friday, following his co-convicted partner Tania Shailer’s appeal earlier last week.

Shailer, 26, and Haerewa were last month both jailed for 17 years after Moko died while in their care.

What a disgusting way to phrase that.

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Key denounces tactical voting

…and that’s totally irrelevant.  As the selection of the next UN SecGen isn’t up to the people of Australia, or any country for that matter.   That doesn’t stop John Key from continuing his cheer leading.

John Key has thrown shade on Kevin Rudd’s bid for leadership of the UN, saying “a hell of a lot of Australians” would prefer to have Helen Clark in charge.

The former Australian Prime Minister is making a late run for the Secretary-General. He hasn’t taken part in any of the debates yet, and wasn’t listed in the straw poll of Security Council members last week, which saw Ms Clark ranked middle of the pack.

Mr Rudd, who has twice led Australia, has a rather large hurdle to jump before he can get in the ring with the likes of Ms Clark, reported frontrunner Antonio Guterres of Portugal and Bulgaria’s Irina Bokova.

“If you’re going to be in the race you’ve got to get either your host country preferably or a country to nominate you. At the moment, he doesn’t have a country nominating him,” Mr Key told Paul Henry this morning. Read more »

Fortress ‘merka

If Trump truly implements his ideas, the US will become inward looking

In an interview with the New York Times last week, he suggested that as President he would not necessarily stand by the security guarantees the US provides for members of the Nato Alliance. Asked whether he would extend that to the small Baltic States if Russia attacked them, he said he would make that decision only after reviewing whether those states “have fulfilled their obligations to us”. There is only one obligation they owe the US under Nato and it is the same one that all alliance members, including the US, have accepted: to regard an attack on any one of them as an attack on them all.

Possibly Trump is not aware of that. He has not been well versed on the detail of many of the issues he has raised. But his precise meaning is less important than the instincts he reveals. No previous presidential candidate, especially from the Republican Party, would have left any doubt of his commitment to Nato partners. The slightest doubt where countries on the borders of Russia are concerned can only encourage the sort of adventurism Vladimir Putin has already displayed in Georgia, Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine, and put the Baltic States at greater risk.

Trump must be aware of that much. His prevarication on the Nato commitment appears deliberate and it is not an isolated remark; earlier this year he suggested the US role in the alliance should be scaled back and last week the Washington Post reported the Trump campaign had worked to soften the language of an American commitment to Ukraine, which is not in Nato but would like to be. Trump may just be ultra-cautious and keeping all his options open if he is in power next year, but there is reason to think he would bring a radical change in America’s foreign engagements. Read more »

Photo of the Day

Cynthia Ann Parker After Being Returned to the Parker Family. Portrait of Cynthia Ann Parker, 1861. Sixth plate tintype photograph, hand colored. Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library.

Cynthia Ann Parker After Being Returned to the Parker Family. Portrait of Cynthia Ann Parker, 1861. Sixth plate tintype photograph, hand colored. Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library.

Nocona’s Raid and Cynthia Ann Parker’s Recapture

Cynthia Ann Parker is the most famous Indian captive in American history. She was a member of one of Texas’s most prominent families, which included Texas Ranger captains, politicians, and Baptists who’d founded the state’s first Protestant church.

In August of 1833, Cynthia Ann Parker’s father, Silas M. Parker, took his family on a road trip.  He loaded his wife, five children and all their belongings into the wagons and headed south from Illinois to central Texas.

The wagon train consisted of 31 families including Parker’s grandparents, uncles and aunts.  It was a long journey and not without incident.  Parker’s brother James was killed when one wagon lost a wheel, and he was hit in the chest by a piece of wood.

The purpose of the trip was the great American Dream: to apply for a land grant.  Each head of household was awarded a “headright league” of over 4,000 acres, and the Parkers started calling Anderson County, Texas home.

The newly arrived settlers were well aware of the potential threat of the local Indians.  In 1834, Cynthia’s uncle, Daniel Parker, led the effort to build Fort Parker in Mexia, Texas, between Dallas and Houston.  Treaties were signed by the homesteaders and many neighboring chiefs leading to a peaceful coexistence, for a while.

In 1836, when Parker was nine years old, several hundred members of the Caddo, Comanche and Kiowa tribes attacked the fort.  One Indian approached with a white flag accompanied by enough others to indicate that this was a ruse.  Parker’s uncle, Benjamin, tried to negotiate with the attackers to buy time for the women and children to escape.  Those five minutes of diplomacy allowed most of them to flee into the wilderness.  But Uncle Benjamin, Parker’s father, grandfather and two other men were killed.  Parker, her younger brother, a baby and two women were captured by Comanche.

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Race for Auckland mayoralty: no candidate has a solution

In the council’s inaugural election in 2010, Len Brown conducted a winning campaign with a list of bold transport plans topped by the $2.5 billion City Rail Link.

The 2013 vote passed almost like a half-time election, with the council part-way through creating the development blueprint, the Unitary Plan and still working through bedding in a single rating system.

This year is different. Mr Brown has called it quits. The City Rail Link is under construction. The Unitary Plan will be in place.

In short, there’s a clear platform for the next visionary leap forward.

With 11 weeks to go however, there’s no sign of the next Big Idea.

There is no money left for a big idea.  Len Brown has mortgaged Auckland for decades.  Read more »

Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  BoomSlang

Credit: BoomSlang

Trevor Mallard’s last punch up

Richard Harman at Politik reports

Long serving MP Trevor Mallard is to give up his Labour seat of Hutt South and stand for the list only at the next election.

He says he is doing this because Labour will nominate him as Speaker and he told them he had come to the view that it is very hard to be both an effective electorate MP and chair the house in an unbiased manner.

And he says the move will help the party with its process of renewal by bringing in a new MP.

That means that he is not expecting Leader Andrew Little who does not have an electorate, to stand in the seat.

Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King appeared to confirm this last night when she told POLITIK that she did not expect Mr Little to stand in any seat.

But the move also opens the way for one of National’s young rising stars, Chris Bishop, to possibly win the seat.

It doesn’t just open the way, it makes it all but a certainty.  Bishop can now indicate that Mallard’s heart is no longer in the job, and Hutt South needs an enthusiastic new MP.  Read more »

Who should be responsible for ensuring that homes are affordable?

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The overwhelming majority of Whaleoil readers agree that no one is responsible for ensuring that homes are affordable. Market forces,  supply and demand, determine house prices.

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John Key not told about China’s trade retaliation issue

The Prime Minister’s department was aware Zespri in China was warned about trade implications against New Zealand companies.

However, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) did not brief Prime Minister John Key or his office, because it was judged the claims by a Chinese industry group were unsubstantiated.

Zespri last week confirmed that one of its representatives in Beijing was given “unsubstantiated information” by a Chinese industry body about the prospect of trade restrictions by China and had passed that on to Embassy officials.

Its confirmation came after media reports that China could take retaliatory action against dairy and kiwifruit exports from New Zealand if a formal investigation into alleged steel dumping by China is launched by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

MBIE is understood to have received two complaints from New Zealand steel producers about Chinese steel flooding the New Zealand market. Read more »