Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Word Nerd Speaks: Daily Dose of Venom

Word Nerd Speaks: Daily Dose of Venom: "One quick bite by the aggressive Black Mamba snake and you’ve got a 50/50 chance of dying. Those suckers are nasty. And while you’ll probabl..."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

These shoes were made for walking - or were they?

The main hall (check-in areas) in Auckland Int...Image via WikipediaThese shoes were made for walking - or were they?

These shoes were made for walking - or were they?

A ten person tourist party from Malaysia, who turned out to be the largest number of drug couriers ever caught in a single incident at New Zealand's border, literally walked their way into Auckland airport with up to ten kilos of crystal methamphetaimine in their specially designed  shoes.

The street value of the drug, known as "P" in New Zealand, is approximately worth a $1 million per kilo here, customs officers said.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

German paratrops over Crete in WW2...

German paratroops over Crete in WW2...

It began just after dawn on 20 May 1941. Many of the 7700 New Zealand soldiers stationed on Crete were finishing breakfast when hundreds of German transport aircraft – some towing gliders – rumbled in over the Mediterranean island. The air above was suddenly filled with parachutes as thousands of elite German paratroops began to descend from the sky.

This was the start of what is known as the Battle for Crete. For 12 dramatic days New Zealanders, British, Australian and Greek troops, assisted by Cretan civilians, tried to repel a huge airborne assault by the Germans. They almost succeeded.

Many New Zealanders made it off Crete, but thousands were left behind: more than 2000 were taken prisoner; 671 died. Among those evacuated were Charles Upham and Alfred Hulme, both of whom won the Victoria Cross (VC) for their actions on Crete. A few New Zealanders took to the hills, sheltered by the Cretans who, to this day, remember New Zealand's role in this key battle in the Second World War

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Anzacs - homecoming from Gallipoli...

The Anzacs - Homecoming from Gallipoli...

The word Anzac is part of the culture of New Zealanders and Australians. People talk about the 'spirit of Anzac'; there are Anzac biscuits, and rugby or rugby league teams from the two countries play an Anzac Day test. The word conjures up a shared heritage of two nations, but it also has a specific meaning.

Anzac is the acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This corps was created early in the Great War of 1914–18. In December 1914 the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force stationed in Egypt were placed under the command of Lieutenant General William Birdwood. Initially the term Australasian Corps was suggested, but Australians and New Zealanders were reluctant to lose their separate identities completely.

No one knows who came up with the term Anzac. It is likely that Sergeant K.M. Little, a clerk at Birdwood's headquarters, thought of it for use on a rubber stamp: 'ANZAC' was convenient shorthand. Later the corps used it as their telegraph code word.

The Anzacs first saw action at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. The small cove where the Australian and New Zealand troops landed was quickly dubbed Anzac Cove. Soon the word was being used to describe all Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Eventually, it came to mean any Australian or New Zealand soldier.

After Gallipoli

There were two Anzac corps on the Western Front from 1916, with the New Zealand Division serving in II Australian and New Zealand Army Corps until early 1918. During the Sinai–Palestine campaign the combined Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division was more commonly called the Anzac Mounted Division.

The term continued into other wars. A new Anzac corps was briefly formed during the campaign in Greece in 1941. During the Vietnam War, New Zealand and Australian infantry companies combined to form the Anzac Battalion.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Daylight saving signaled the coming winter ski and mountain season in NZ...

Queenstown village...

Daylight saving signaled the coming winter ski and mountain season in New Zealand...

By Peter Petterson

First published at Qondio:

Its quite appropriate that daylight saving has just finished last Sunday in New Zealand.Down here it is a signal that winter is on its way. Brrrrrr!

However it is being celebrated down in the South Island's world renowned winter resort town of Queenstown. The upside being another edition of the Southern Hemisphere's biggest winter party - the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival.

From June 24 to July 3 this year, 2011, there will be ten days of snow fun,coupled with mountain action, fun and games, glamour, street parties, parades, fireworks, live concerts, comedy and theatre, and will rock the pants off this beautiful little southern ski town.

Got some holidays due? Jump on a plane and come on over to New Zealand in June-July for the winter festival.


Monday, April 18, 2011

"Violence is a virtue". Why the Urewera 17 were a genuine threat...

"Violence is a virtue". Why the Urewera 17 were a genuine threat...

“Violence is a virtue”: Why the Urewera 17 were a genuine threat

(This article originally appeared in SOLO.)

Acknowledgements Below:

On the 15th of October 2007, several hundred armed police officers executed search warrants around New Zealand. They cordoned off Ruatoki, a small Maori village south of Whakatane, seized a number of firearms, and arrested 17 people. The police claimed that the raids, carried out under post 9/11 anti-terror legislation, were in the interests of public safety. What was revealed shocked New Zealand. Dozens of Maori, anarchist and environmental activists had been training in a series of camps in the Ruatoki area, which the police considered ‘terrorist training camps’. Intercepted conversations revealed in court had the arrestees talking about declaring war on New Zealand and planning to kill white people.

In response, the activist networks which had had members arrested sprang into action [1]. Newsletters, press releases, worldwide protests and a march on Parliament called for the 17 “political prisoners” to be released. By endless repetition of the same unproven stories – accusing police officers of searching a school bus, leaving children without food or water, trashing houses, and so on – these activists have successfully diverted attention from the very real threat which the Police neutralised. The image of police overreaction against peaceful protesters fits comfortably with media discourse. This was augmented by the fact that it was impossible for the Solicitor-General to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act – not because there was no threat, he pointed out, but because the Act was so poorly drafted.

The result is an injustice against the New Zealand Police, who took control of the situation without any shots being fired and with no casualties. This article, drawing on leaked police evidence, will attempt to restore public confidence in the police by demonstrating why the alleged terrorists posed an objective threat to New Zealand’s security.

Historical precedents

The main reason why the raids shocked New Zealand was because of the pervasive idea that New Zealand is free of terrorism. This is not the case, and the plans of the Urewera plotters are not without precedent. Just to cite a few examples:

•The Tuhoe tribe was semi-independent until the early 20th century. The last instance of violent rebellion was during a 1916 police raid on Maungapohatu, which left three Maori separatists dead.

•Supporters of striking waterfront workers in Wellington in 1913 engaged in sabotage and attempted bombings.

•During the Vietnam War, a group of students bombed military depots and other targets which they identified as right-wing – even the NZ Rugby Union [2].

•In 1969 and 1973, Molotov cocktails and bombs were thrown at US diplomatic targets.

•In 1982, New Zealand’s only suicide bombing involved anarchist Neil Roberts blowing himself up in the Police Computer Centre foyer in Wanganui, causing minor damage.

•In 1987, a gang of Rastafarians in Ruatoria began an armed insurgency. Like the 2007 plotters, their leader declared war on New Zealand and talked about killing white people and driving farmers from their land. Their reign of terror involved capturing armed police at gunpoint, accusations of police brutality, and the arson of more than 60 buildings, including the courthouse and the police station. The rebellion only stopped when the Rasta leader, Chris Campbell, was shot dead by a local farmer in self-defence [3].

The network

The plot involved a large number of people around New Zealand, although most were based in Auckland, Wellington and Ruatoki. More than 50 suspects were identified by the Police, but up to 200 may have passed through the camps. Several camp attendees could not be identified, and most of those identified were not arrested. This is a testament to the security of the network – attendees used masks and code names to conceal their identities. Members were recruited through tribal and family links at first, but in 2007 they were joined by like-minded political activists. These included members of Peace Action Wellington (an anarchist front) and the Save Happy Valley Campaign, a ‘direct-action’ environmentalist group. The attendees of the training camps included the leadership of many well-known organizations.

The weapons

The network had an arsenal of rifles, shotguns and pistols, including military-style semiautomatics, and used high-capacity magazines and silencers. A grenade launcher was obtained, and Molotov cocktails were used at the camps. Attendees carried weapons at all times, firing off hundreds of rounds and carrying out ambush drills under the instruction of at least one Vietnam veteran and an ex-Territorial soldier.

Tuhoe activists have repeated the lie that only 4 weapons and 230 rounds of ammunition were seized so often that the media have taken it as fact. One Ruatoki suspect had two .22 calibre rifles and a 7.62 mm Saiga (a hunting rifle based on the AK-47) while another suspect had one rifle seized. However, many other weapons were found as well, according to Detective Inspector Bruce Good, who claimed that 20 weapons were seized including “AK-47 assault rifles, shotguns, rifles and pistols, plus silencers, scopes, ammunition and firearms parts.” [4]

Most of the firearms were purchased legally through one of the Auckland arrestees – one of the few members of the network with a firearms license. He bought rifles online through TradeMe, from Gun City in Christchurch, from two Auckland gun shops, and from a North Shore arms collector. The same North Shore dealer cut down a shotgun for him, offered to sell him “fireworks” and gave him an imported Chinese grenade launcher in exchange for a website. The suspect bought so much ammo – thousands of rounds – that he resorted to buying an ammunition-making machine, which he was paying off when he was arrested. He also modified a replica Glock starter pistol to fire live rounds, which he suggested could be used for an “execution-style” shooting.

Some of these weapons were transferred to anarchists and “peace activists”. This included an SKS (Russian predecessor of the AK-47) in Auckland, and a silenced .22 calibre firearm – possibly a pistol – given to a Wellington arrestee. Media reports suggest that no weapons were seized in Wellington, so these weapons may still be available to the suspects, who are all out on bail.

Gang links

Unsurprisingly given the popularity of gangs in the Ruatoki area, many of the suspects have gang connections. Two of them attempted to buy firearms from gang members. A Christchurch-based suspect was a former Black Power member, while a Hamilton arrestee had links to Mongrel Mob members. Of the 50 or so identified suspects, over half have criminal records. The most serious charges include aggravated robbery, burglary, assault, domestic violence, and injuring with intent using a firearm. Another arrestee was involved in an armed standoff with police in Ruatoki last year after assaulting his partner.

It appears that violent criminals were deliberately recruited – when one of the leaders asked a friend in Wairoa to recommend new recruits, the reply was that some men he knew were too violent for the camps. The reply was “Chur bro, violence is a virtue”.

The Tuhoe tribe has long been associated with the Mongrel Mob. These gang links could have given the plotters access to illegal firearms and a network of safe houses across New Zealand. It is a common trend for the boundary between street gangs and insurgency to be blurred in modern warfare. This is certainly the case in Northern Ireland and Iraq, the two conflicts which most influenced the Urewera plotters.

International links

Many of the activists who were arrested had links to the Zapatista movement in Mexico, which staged a violent rebellion in 1994 against NAFTA, and has extensive international links with anarchist and indigenous-rights movements. At least one had travelled to Chiapas to meet Zapatista leaders recently.

The leader of the Urewera plotters visited Fiji last year, but was deported because of his support for the indigenous coup leaders in Fji’s attempted coup in 2000.

More ominously, he also visited Iran, known internationally as the worst state sponsor of terrorism [5]. This was reportedly to arrange a business deal, although this story is discredited by the police transcripts, which reveal a discussion between the other leaders as to whether he would gain better contacts in Iraq or Iran. It is nor hard to imagine Islamic terrorists finding it cost-effective to “outsource” their desired attacks on New Zealand to local groups, although this is pure speculation.


So what did the plotters actually plan to do? The absence of specific plans was one of the main reasons why terror charges could not be laid against them. However, they did have several ideas. A priority for the group was developing the capacity to defend an independent Tuhoe nation in the Ureweras, while also having the ability to strike at the heart of the New Zealand government in Wellington. This was the motivation behind the recruitment of the Wellington “peace activists”. Specifically, attacking Parliament and assassinating John Key after the 2008 election were discussed. The Wellington group wanted to blow up power stations, gas plants, telecommunications and Waihopai signals intelligence base. One Auckland anarchist suggested that bombings would cause the public to think it was Al-Qaeda, and that they would lose public support. He was told that the strategy was to “divide Aotearoa”, and that public support, except amongst Tuhoe, was irrelevant.

In the Tuhoe area itself, the plotters planned to drive farmers from their land and resist an expected counterattack from the Police Special Tactics Group, using armour-piercing rounds to penetrate body armour. The leaders also discussed having recruits prove themselves by carrying out an armed robbery, and killing white people for “practice” to get them used to the idea of killing.


Ultimately, though, the Urewera plotters were dangerous not because of their guns or their anti-government plans, but because of their irrational, anti-life philosophy. It has been reported that the camps attendees were a disparate collection of activists, all with different ideologies. As New Zeal blogger Trevor Loudon has proven, however, they all had one ideology. Their ideal for New Zealand is unrestricted tribalism, no government, no rule of law, no industry, and no private property rights. Whether their focus is on indigenous rights, the environment, anarchism or “peace”, their activist organizations were linked. One over-arching organization which Loudon has identified is People’s Global Action, a Zapatista-inspired network which many of the arrestees were involved in [6].

It would be beyond the scope of this article to explain exactly why this philosophy is irrational and anti-life. However it can be shown that those arrested are the enemies of Western civilization, technological progress, capitalism, free trade and human industry. See Not PC’s posts “The litmus test for ‘social justice’” and “Another named” for examples [7].


The police were fully justified in their actions. Aside from the Dominion Post and the Christchurch Press, the media appear to have swallowed the stories of Tuhoe activists hook, line and sinker, resulting in myths such as the police search of a schoolbus (which never happened) and only four weapons being seized (it was 20) being repeated without question. It was the poorly drafted Terrorism Suppression Act which has left New Zealand almost defenceless, legally speaking, against a serious internal threat by well-armed, well-organized extremists, including many violent criminals, who sought ties with the terrorist state sponsor Iran, and who planned to kill people for practice. In short, the enemies of Western civilization itself. Congratulations to the New Zealand Police for their skilled and professional response, and shame on the media, politicians and activists who have attempted to minimize a very real threat to our security.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in my previous posts “Violence in New Zealand’s Future,” “Anzac Anarchists” and “India’s Red Menace” which all discuss the threat of violent leftist extremism. “Anzac Anarchists” specifically discusses activist Valerie Morse, one of the ‘Urewera 17′ arrestees.


1.A press release on the 23rd October 2007 by newly formed organization “Friends of Wellington Terror Arrestees” listed 18 separate groups which the four people arrested in Wellington were involved in.

2.Tim Shadbolt, Bullshit and Jellybeans, 1971, pp. 127-9.

3.Ray van Beynen, Zero-Alpha: The NZ Police Armed Offenders Squad official history, HATM Productions, Auckland 1998, p. 108.

4.Associated Press, “Raid on Maori village opens old wound,” December 16 2007.

5.Trevor Loudon, “Iti Visited Iran?” November 18, 2007.

6.Trevor Loudon, “‘Smoking Gun’-Proof That ‘Urewera 17′ Were Linked To International Anarchist Network,” January 6 2008.

Trevor Loudon, “Origins of the Anarchist/Maori Radical Alliance 5 (Final),” January 11 2008.

7.Peter Cresswell, Not PC, “Another named”, October 23 and “Litmus test for ‘social justice’”, November 15, 2007
Acknowledgements to the authors of Pacific Empire

KR says:

I have no political affiliation with the authors of this article, but I believe the contents to be factual, and the suspects will get their day in court before a judge, not a jury. How could they have a jury of their peers?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Canterbury Television (CTV) returns to air today following earthquake...

Canterbury Television (CTV) returns to air today following Feb 22 earthquake in Christchurch...

 Photo: The Press Day of grief: The CTV building after the February earthquake.

 Emotions will be running high at Canterbury Television (CTV) today as it returns to the air for the first time since the February 22 quake claimed its headquarters and 16 of its staff.

The long-running regional television station has managed to secure itself new premises in the Mainland Press building and has rapidly fitted out a studio.

CTV presenter Rob Cope-Williams told the Sunday Star-Times it had taken a mammoth effort to get the station back up and running, but for the surviving staff there was no better way to honour the colleagues who lost their lives when the six-storey CTV building collapsed in the magnitude 6.3 quake.

"We had to do it for them," said Cope-Williams, who has been with the station for nearly 20 years and was out filming when the quake struck.

"Everyone is buckling in and working their hearts out to make things happen. I'm exceedingly proud of everyone involved. While they might have been doing two or three jobs in the old CTV, they're doing six or seven now. It's absolutely brilliant."

Cope-Williams said the entire Canterbury community had rallied behind the station since the quake and much of the equipment needed to resume broadcasting had been donated.

"We've gone to different companies for equipment and when the equipment arrives there's an invoice which says no payment due. The support has just been brilliant."

Former CTV staff had also come forward to help get the station back on air.

For example, Christchurch city councillor Sue Wells, who hosted the station's original shopping programme Susan Sells before she became involved in local politics, had volunteered to resurrect the popular show. "She is saying 'hey listen, I don't want any wages. I'm just here to help you guys get up and running'. That's the kind of tremendous support we're getting.

"It's very humbling that so many people are helping and it's also very exciting because we're doing something using the old pioneering spirit and that in itself is an absolute buzz. It's also very emotional."

Broadcasting resumes today with a news bulletin at 5.30pm.

In addition to its traditional programming line-up, CTV plans to roll out new programming based on the recovery of Christchurch.

Next month it will also screen a tribute to those employees who lost their lives in February.

CTV will be broadcast on the local analogue frequency 24 hours a day and will also be aired nationally on Maori TV from 8am to 10am and 1pm to 3pm daily.

Acknowledgements: - Sunday Star Times

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Interest already in Avalon studios...

Television New ZealandImage via Wikipedia
Interest already in Avalon Studios...

There's already interest in TVNZ's state of the art Avalon studios in Lower Hutt.

The state broadcaster is moving its Good Morning programme from Avalon to Auckland next year with the loss of 12 jobs, with the intention of quitting and selling the studios by June 2013.

Former Good Morning producer Debra Kelleher says because the studios are so superior, they're attractive to overseas investors.

"I know there are some big internationals that are looking at it currently," she told Newstalk ZB. "I'm working with one of the in particular so sometimes out of these sort of decisions come exciting new relationships."

Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace says TVNZ operating from Avalon Studios has been a barrier for potential new businesses but moving its operations out of Avalon opens up new economic opportunities for the city.

"Given that New Zealand is now becoming quite a popular destination for filming, we have an opportunity now to look at new industries coming in from overseas," he told Newstalk ZB. "In fact just yesterday I met with a Bollywood director talking about opportunities of filming here in Lower Hutt."

Mr Wallace says Avalon is an attractive proposition for overseas companies.

TVNZ says it's in early discussions with local and international interests. TVNZ CEO Rick Ellis says TVNZ's need for such large facilities has steadily decreased over the years due to outsourcing of programmes and the declining profitability of big-budget local shows.

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Valley Action to hold meeting in Petone, Lower Hutt - NZ not for sale...

Valley Action to hold public meeting in Lower Hutt...

'VAN' – Valley Action Network, in conjunction with the Hutt South Green Party, is proud to host a public meeting in Petone, Lower Hutt, as part of the NZ Not For Sale Campaign (

The meeting, featuring visiting speaker Murray Horton, is at 7.45pm on April 19, at the Petone Community House, 6 Britannia St. There are also meetings in other North Island centres this month (details at:

Murray is the spokesperson for the Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA). He will be talking about:

* The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the dangers it poses to the NZ economy and to our democracy.
* Privatisation of our public assets.
* The takeover of NZ businesses and land by transnational corporations.
* The re-absorption of NZ into the US Empire.
* And, most, importantly, how the New Zealand people can fight back; it’s too important to be left up to the politicians.

Come along! This issue affects us all.

NZ Not For Sale

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NZ History - Julius Vogel

Julius VogelImage via Wikipedia
NZ History - Julius Vogel...

Juius Vogel:

Premier: 8 Apr 1873–6 Jul 1875; 15 Feb–1 Sept 1876

Age on becoming premier: 38

Electorate: Auckland City East

Although he spent just 18 years here, journalist, businessman and politician Julius (Sir Julius from 1874) Vogel dominated our politics. The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography describes our first Jewish premier as ‘vastly ambitious’ and ‘clever, impulsive, generous, strong-willed to the point of being domineering.’ Contemporaries might have been less polite.

A lifelong gambler and speculator, Vogel followed the gold rushes, learning journalism in Victoria in the 1850s. In 1861 he fetched up in Dunedin, where he edited our first daily, the Otago Daily Times. Print, politics and profits were his watchwords.

In Otago, Vogel entered politics. Dunedin knew him as a staunch provincialist, but he switched horses while colonial treasurer for most of the 1869-76 period, appalled by the cost of the New Zealand Wars and the lack of a master plan for developing the colony.

Vogel’s great plan was to borrow heavily to build infrastructure (railways, ports and telegraphs) and to lure migrants. It was controversial, and ended in a recession, but the money and migrants stimulated the economy and created a viable consumer market for producers. Historians still talk about the ‘Vogel era’.

The rapid and cheap acquisition of Maori land was a key part of this policy, and dramatically speeded up the Crown purchase of land. Vogel and his supporters were certain that Maori and settlers would reconcile when the former, and their land, became fully integrated in the European economy.

Vogel, whose love of society, food and wine ruined his health, served as agent-general in London from 1876 to 1880 when he had to resign for spending too much time on his private interests. There was always a whiff of scandal about him, not always attributable to anti-Semitic slurs.

Vogel returned to New Zealand in 1884 and was the heavyweight – literally and metaphorically – in the two Stout-Vogel ministries.

Vogel returned to England in 1888. There he wrote the novel Anno Domini 2000: or Woman’s Destiny, in which women dominated government and poverty had vanished. It enjoyed a brief revival around the turn of the 21st century when women held the positions of sovereign, governor-general, prime minister and leader of the opposition.

Written by Gavin McLean


Biography of Julius Vogel:

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