Monday, January 30, 2012

Zion Wildlife Park sold - big cats future preserved...

Zion Wildlife Gardens
Image via Wikipedia

The troubled Zion Wildlife Gardens have been sold and the Whangarei park's 36 big cats will be staying put.
The park's receivers, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, confirmed the sale of Zion and its assets on Tuesday.
The park has been bought by Zion Wildlife Kingdom Ltd.
It is understood the buyers have sought the help of Craig Busch, the son of the park's former operator Patricia Busch, to run the park.
Receiver Colin McCloy said the offer from Zion Wildlife Kingdom provided good value and was the best option to preserve the operation of the park and protect the animals.
"The welfare of the wildlife at Zion has always been a priority for the receivers and we're pleased to announce the completion of the sale and purchase agreement which enables the wildlife to remain at the park," Mr McCloy said.
Earlier this month, PriceWaterhouseCoopers launched court action over the future of the park's 36 big cats, but this was dropped.
It had been feared the cats would have to be euthanased if they weren't removed from the park.
The receivers would not make any further comment on the sale and purchase agreement, or the new owners, because of commercial sensitivity.
Zion Wildlife Gardens became famous through the television series The Lion Man, featuring Mr Busch.
The park subsequently got into financial trouble and there was a falling-out between Craig and Patricia Busch, which resulted in Mr Busch leaving the park in 2008 after an employment battle.
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Could be 2015 before Pike River mine bodies are recovered...


Could be 2015 before the 29 Pike River mine bodies are recovered...


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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ngai Tahu guardians of NZ greenstone or pounamu...

Image by Broken Piggy Bank via Flickr
Pounamu. Free UK Delivery on Amazon Orders

Ngāi Tahu are an indigenous Māori people of New Zealand's South Island
Ngāi Tahu are the kaitiaki (guardians) of New Zealand greenstone or jade, which is found in Te Waipounamu (South Island of New Zealand). Ngāi Tahu people refer to New Zealand greenstone as pounamu. In 1997 the New Zealand government returned to the Ngāi Tahu elected tribal council – Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, ownership of all naturally occurring pounamu within their tribal area.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Its a small world after all...

Green Hell
Image by Nathan Wind as Cochese via Flickr
For some silly reason I found myself humming this today, oh what the heck, thought I'd post the lyrics :) kindest, Boris

"it's a world of laughter, a world or tears
its a world of hopes, its a world of fear
theres so much that we share
... that its time we're aware
its a small world after all

its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It's a small small world"
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Monday, January 23, 2012

Investigate the Kim Dotcom controversy, says Winston Peters...

While Winston Peters has called for an investigation, John Key has defended the decision to allow Kim Dotcom (who lived at the above property) into the country. Photo / Natalie Slade

While Winston Peters has called for an investigation, John Key has defended the decision to allow Kim Dotcom (who lived at the above property) into the country. Photo / Natalie Slade

Prime Minister John Key is defending the Government's decision to allow Kim Dotcom into the country.
His comments come after New Zealand First leader Winston Peters called for an "immediate inquiry" into the decision to grant Mr Dotcom - previous Kim Schmitz - residency.
The native German was granted residency in 2010 under the "high-investment category", after putting $10 million into government bonds and making a large donation to the Christchurch earthquake fund.
However Mr Peters said it is hard to understand how Mr Dotcom passed the "good character" requirements for New Zealand residency, given he had previous convictions.
Mr Dotcom told the Herald on Sunday last year he was convicted for "hacking" under juvenile law and for insider trading because of ignorance about a share-trading law. Both convictions were more than 10 years ago and had been wiped by Germany's clean-slate law, he said.
"The prime minister should order an immediate inquiry by a qualified person to see who was involved in this immigration scandal and ensure that it doesn't happen again," Mr Peters said.
Mr Key defended the decision to allow Mr Dotcom into the country.
"He had a clean slate because those convictions happened many years earlier under German law, so the New Zealand officials contacted the German police, they confirmed that I guess on the balance they decided to let him in without reference to the ministers," he told Newstalk ZB's Susan Wood.
Mr Key said the fact that he declared them, meant he passed the test of good character.
"I think because they deemed under the clean slate legislation he effectively didn't have a record and he wasn't trying to hide anything, those convictions were a long time ago, so they let him through," he said.
Mr Key said this case does not necessarily mean the law needs to be changed.
Dotcom and three others appear again in the North Shore District Court today, fighting a bid by the FBI to extradite them.
Acknowledgements and thanks - Newstalk ZB, Herald Online

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Anzac rugby players preparing for 2012 season...

B)With their Christmas break behind them, rugby footballers on both sides of the Tasman are finishing their last weeks of training - preparing for pre-season or early season games, whether rugby union or rugby league.


Super 15 squad members in both NZ and Australia will be playing amongst their own franchises, while NRL players will be playing in special games in Australia - the All Stars v the All Legends. The new concept is very well conceived, very popular and well supported.

Rugby in NZ will be different in future years with the bogeyman of the RWC gone from their collective shoulders.The AB's have joined the Australian Wallabies and South African Springboks as dual winners of the RWC. While England won one RWC through a Jonny Wilkinson drop goal in the final in Australia, it seems inconceivable that the talented, skilful and ever-emotional French have never won a final. Two runners-up medals in NZ in both 1987 and 2011. Anybody can win in 2015, but it won't be England. Just a reminder - NZ beat France 8-7 in the final at Eden Park in Auckland. Four more years for Les Blues!

The Crusaders must be licking their lips in anticipation of two super-fit icons - skipper and No 7 Richie McCaw (who played most of the RWC campaign on one leg) and playmaker No 10 Dan Carter invalided out of the finals because of serious groin injuries. Last year's winners the Queensland Reds will be thinking just a little more and longer when they meet in a couple of months or so. I predict the Crusaders will make the top four playoffs again. They will be playing at their new home-ground at Rugby League Park in Christchurch within a few weeks of the start of the season.

I'll also predict that the Melbourne Storm and the NZ Warriors have a great chance of making the play-offs again in 2012. Crusaders Queensland Reds
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Story of Hemp in New Zealand...

Deutsch: Hanflabyrinth (aus Nutzhanf) auf dem ...
Image via Wikipedia
English: An outdoor hemp plantation in the UK....
Image via Wikipedia
English: Leaf of Cannabis עברית: עלה של קנביס
Image via Wikipedia

Hemp is the fibre of the cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). Cannabis varieties grown legally in New Zealand for their fibre are known as industrial hemp and have a much lower narcotic content than the illicit varieties (which are about 75 times as strong). More potent varieties are cultivated illegally for drug use.
Hemp fibres are very long, making them desirable for manufacturing rope, fabric and other products. The seed oil contains essential fatty acids, and has similar health-giving properties to fish and flax-seed oils.

History of use

In the 1900s hemp-seed oil was a common ingredient in imported patent medicines, being prescribed for ailments such as gastric illnesses, rheumatism, headaches, and menstrual cramps. In the 1890s, the nun and nurse Suzanne Aubert reputedly grew hemp up the Whanganui River at Jerusalem and made her own remedies. Hemp was also recommended for natural insect control in orchards, but it was never grown intensively as a crop in New Zealand. Confusingly, native flax (Phormium tenax) was sometimes also called hemp.
In 1941 the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research planted 1 hectare of hemp as a trial crop, and the fibre was cut for processing into rope. Towards the end of the war the Ministry of Agriculture planted 4 hectares at Foxton. Then, in 1948, the question was raised about what the ministry was growing. The trials ceased soon after when they realised that cannabis had narcotic properties.


Around the First World War, hemp was stigmatised as a moral and physical danger, and the Dangerous Drugs Act 1927 brought it under strict control. During and after the Second World War, cannabis was associated – in the official mind particularly – with the jazz scene and, later, the bodgie and widgie youth culture of the 1950s.
Cannabis use and cultivation attracted much more attention from the late 1960s. Most cannabis was imported until the 1970s, when illegal growing expanded. The underground and alternative press of the early 1970s included advice on growing the plant, and legalisation was debated.
It is impossible to assess the extent of illegal cultivation of cannabis, but in the early 2000s it was undoubtedly widespread, and a major part of the unofficial economy and culture in some regions, such as Northland, Golden Bay, the East Coast and the Coromandel. In annual cannabis recovery operations in the 1990s, the police regularly seized over 200,000 plants. Cannabis is the third most commonly used recreational drug in New Zealand (after alcohol and tobacco) and the most commonly used illegal drug. A 1990s survey found that 43% of respondents had used cannabis at least once, though only 3% were regular users.

Industrial hemp

From the late 1990s, a small but vocal lobby promoted the cultivation of non-narcotic industrial hemp, emphasising that it could be grown without pesticides or sprays. Undoubtedly, many of the crop’s advocates have also campaigned for decriminalisation of the more potent variety. However, the New Zealand Hemp Association, which represents industrial hemp growers, has stated that it has no interest in the cannabis drug use debate, except where it impedes development of the hemp industry.


From 2001 the government allowed trial plantings of industrial hemp, and in 2006 the cultivation of industrial hemp was permitted under licence. Only specified low-narcotic types of the plant were allowed. Industrial hemp varieties have such low concentrations of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) that they are of no use as a recreational drug. In the United Kingdom and Canada, trials of industrial hemp have led to the establishment of successful hemp industries.

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