Sunday, December 27, 2009

Helen clark spending her holiday in NZ...

Helen Clark spending holiday in NZ...

Former prime minister Helen Clark is spending her holiday back home in New Zealand.

She says she is enjoying time out from her busy job as head of the United Nations Development Programme.

Helen Clark will spend time at the beach and in the countryside, and hopes to do some hiking as well before returning to New York City in the new year.

Come back Helen - your country needs you!

Acknowledgements:- NEWSTALK ZB

Friday, December 25, 2009

Blogger Whaleoil to be prosecuted...

"The man who writes Whaleoil, one of the country's best known blogs, is being prosecuted for what police say is breach of court suppression orders.

Cameron Slater is the first New Zealand blogger to be taken to court instead of just warned.

He has removed the items from his website after advice that if he didn't, he could be fined $5000 a day.

It is a tricky name and shame campaign which has landed the right wing blogger, known as Whaleoil, in hot water with the law.

Slater says he is being prosecuted for naming two celebrities on his blog.

“I've allegedly named two celebrities or so called celebrities on my blog - that’s what the police have alleged,” he says.

But it wasn't words that Slater posted on his blog; it was a series of pictures which the police say reveals the identities of two high profile people with name suppression for separate sexual offences.

“They've got form - they've got history - ones been in the slammer before so I couldn't see a reason why they should have name suppression,” he says.

Slater says he hasn't named anyone - just posted a series of random pictures, but media expert Martin Hirst believes that is enough to get him busted.

“Perhaps he was thinking that this was a clever way to get around the whole legal problem he's now facing, obviously the prosecutors had a different idea,” he says.

Posting the pictures was a protest by Slater at the way suppression orders are granted.

Although the internet has become a popular place for publishing suppressed material this is the first time a blogger will be brought before the courts.

Slater will be appearing at the Auckland District Court on January 5, he says he will fight any charges and that pictures will form part of his defence."

So what does this mean for other bloggers? Well, in my opinion there are two issues here. Whaleoil has broken a specific suppression order and law: Firstly,he released informed suppressed by the courts. He hasn't been denied the opportunity to release general information in his blog. New Zealand is not Fiji, China, Iran or Zimbabwe in this respect. Secondly, his opinion about the suppression law is a different issue, and I'm inclined to support him to some degree: Some people have their names suppressed during court trials for pretty flimsy reasons at times. So for the latter: Go for it Whaleoil!

Acknowledgements: Rebecca Wright, 3 News

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Astronomical Knowledge of the Maori, Genuine and Emperical Origin of the heavenly Bodies...

The Astronomical Knowledge of the Maori, Genuine and Empirical
Origin of the Heavenly Bodies:

Origin of the Heavenly Bodies:

The mythopoetical Maori, when explaining the origin of the heavenly bodies, put his ideas on the subject into the form of an allegory. He derived them from certain mythical beings, many of whom appear to be personifications of some form of light. Thus the Awa folk of the Bay of Plenty explain that Tangotango and Wainui, two of the offspring of the Sky Parent and the Earth Mother, produced the sun, moon, and stars. Wainui is the personified form of the ocean. This myth is given in the form of a genealogical table:—

This Tangotango is said to have been the origin of day and night, the alternation of light and darkness. Among some tribes he is termed Tongatonga, and another of his names was Turangi. Some East Coast authorities say that Turangi mated with Moe-ahuru, and that they produced Tama-nui-te-ra and the Marama-i-whanake. The former is the personified form of the sun, and the latter a honorific name for the moon. After these they produced the stars, who are spoken of as the younger members of the family. Another version makes Rona (the woman in the moon) a member of this family. Turangi and his wife Moe-ahuru are said to have dwelt on Maunga-nui, their abode being known as Mairehau, while that of the sun on the same mountain was called Mairekura, an exceedingly tapu place. Rona dwelt with her parents in Mairehau, as also did the moon. They were ever on the move and kept roaming about, their plaza being known as Te One i Oroku (The Strand at Oroku). Here the Children of Light (sun, page break moon, stars) and Rona were found by Tongatonga and Te Heremaro, who placed them under shelter. The saying of te pukai mata kirikiri a Turangi (the small-eyed assembly of Turangi) is applied to the Shining Ones.

The female being, Moe-te-ahuru, mother of the Whanau Marama, also appears as Hine-te-ahuru. Thus we have in one version—

In this version the male parent of the heavenly bodies appears as the offspring of Darkness, and Te Ikaroa (The Milky Way) is not included among the Star Children, but is said to have been a younger brother of Whiro, and that is why the Galaxy was placed in charge of the stars. One version seems to show that Te Ikaroa and Te Ikanui were the parents of the stars, but does not explain who or what Te Ikanui was.

Another version endows Uru-te-ngangana with two wives, Hine-te-ahuru and Hine-turama, the former being the mother of the sun and moon, and the latter the origin of stars. This Uru-te-ngangana (Uru the Red, or Gleaming One) was one of the offspring of the primal parents Heaven and Earth, and seems to personify some form of light. Hine-turama may be rendered as the “Light-giving Maid.”

These are honorific names for the sun and moon.

Nepia Pohuhu, a Wairarapa adept, who gave the above version, stated that Matariki (the Pleiades) was a young brother of Tongatonga, and that Matariki was conveyed to the Paeroa o Whanui (another name for the Milky Way) to take care of the whanau punga (stars), lest they be jostled by their elders and so caused to fall. This peculiar name for the Milky Way is not clear. Whanui is the star Vega, and paeroa means “a range”; but why should the Galaxy be termed “the Range of Vega”?

Here we may refer to an explanation made by the learned man Te Matorohanga, who said that Turangi was an ordinary or unimportant name of Uru-te-ngangana, and that Moe-ahuru and Te Ahuru are names applied to the one being. This name Turangi might be rendered as meaning “sky standing,” or “placed in the sky,” or “set in the sky.” There are two statements in John White's works to the effect that Turangi was the owner or caretaker of the moon, or that it originated with him. They are as follows: “Na Turangi te marama,” and “I a Turangi te marama, i a Tunuku te ra.” We now see that Uru-te-ngangana, page break Turangi, Tangotango, and Tongatonga are all names for one being, evidently a personification, and that he mated with Moeahuru, or Hine-te-Ahuru, to produce the heavenly bodies. The peculiar names of the “mother of stars,” or mother of the Whanau Marama, denote “sheltered sleep” or “comfort, as of a haven,” and the “Shelter Maid” or “Haven Maid.” The calm haven in which reposes the unborn child is termed the ahuru mowai, and it bears that meaning. Thus Uru the Gleaming One, the Sky Stander, looks very much like the personified form of one of the heavenly bodies. As Tangotango he changes day into night and night into day. He was the first-born of the godlike offspring of the Sky Father and Earth Mother. He first abode with Whiro (Darkness), then joined Tane (Light); his offspring are the Whanau Marama, the Children of Light. As his name may be rendered as “the gleaming west,” it night be thought that he represents the setting sun, were not other evidence against it. In a list of star-names given by Hamiora Pio, of Te Teko, Tangotango is mentioned. Elsewhere he remarks, “Tangotango is the object seen stretched across the heavens at night, surrounded by his star children.” This looks like the Milky Way, the position of which was the sign of approaching dawn to the Maori; and Tangotango is said to turn night into day. In Babylonia Uruk was the moon, and was deemed of greater importance than the sun, and existed before the latter.

An uncorroborated version from a Takitumu source makes one Ahu-matonga the progenitor of the heavenly bodies. He is said to have been the child of Roiho, who was one of the offspring of the primal parents. It was Roiho who gave warning of the coming of Light, in these words: “Light is coming in the form of Tama-nui-te-ra (sun) and the Marama-taiahoaho.” This last name denotes the full moon.

In his Maori Religion and Mythology Shortland gives an old myth that makes Kohu (mist) take Te Ikaroa (Milky Way) and produce the stars.

Another singular concept is the following:—

Here Raro, who seems to personify the underworld, or the earth, takes Summer to wife, and begets Rigel, Sirius, and the Pleiades. This does not bear the aspect of what we may term the higher Maori teaching, but looks like one of the many popular unorthodox myths so common among the natives.

A collective name for the heavenly bodies is Te Apa Whatu a Te Ahuru, apparently denoting the “eye-like company of Te Ahuru,” for they appear like a number of eyes in the heavens, and stars are said, in popular myth, to consist of eyes only—they have no bodies. Te Ahuru is the Hine-te-Ahuru already referred to, the Star Mother. The term whanau atua, or “supernatural family or offspring,” is also applied to the heavenly bodies.

page break
Te Ikaroa (Milky Way) and Tama-rereti were both placed in charge of the ra ririki (little suns = stars), or whanau riki, as they were also called. Even so, some wilful younger members of the family sometimes stray away among their elders, and are struck by them and so fall. These stricken ones are termed mata-kokiri, “the Darting Ones” (meteors).

Dr. Shortland, in his Maori Religion and Mythology, has yet another version of the origin of the heavenly luminaries. Rangi took one Hine-ahupapa to wife, her offspring being Tunuku, Turangi, Tama-i-Koropau, and Haronga. Haronga took Tangotango, their offspring being the sun and moon. Kohu (mist) and the Milky Way produced the stars.

A version recorded by Taylor puts it that Rangi (the sky) took to wife the Glowing Dawn, and begat the moon. Again he took to wife Rays, or Radiance, and begat the sun, and so light came into the world.

In yet another Takitumu version Uru-te-ngangana takes one Iriiri-pua to wife, and their offspring are Te Au-matangi, Tongatonga, and Tama-rereti. The last-named we shall hear more of anon, but Te Au-matangi is not explained. The name probably represents a personification. Tongatonga was also known as Rama-whiti-tua, which name conveys the sense of light radiating to a distance. One version makes her the daughter of Whiro, who represents darkness. We are told that Uru sojourned a while with Whiro, and then joined Tane, who represents light. A change of sex is noted in different versions of this myth, as in the case of Tangotango or Tongatonga.

In Tahitian myth Atea (space) was taken to wife by one Ruatupua-nui, and produced the sun, moon, stars, and comets.

Acknowledgements: © 2008 Victoria University of Wellington

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My 14 year old grandson signed up by the Melbourne Storm NRL...

My 14 year old grandson signed up by the Melbourne Storm NRL...

We just heard some fantastic news; our 14 year old grandson, Pride, who featured in an earlier post after being nominated for an athletic award here in Wellington, and just this week awarded the top athlete and sportsman of the year for his secondary school in Upper Hutt (Upper Hutt College), here in the Hutt Valley, has been signed up after a boot-camp by the champion NRL club in Australian rugby league, the Melbourne Storm, and will be flown over for a trial with the club in April,2010. He was among the three final selections after 125 were trialled here. Two of the players, including Pride, play for the same Upper Hutt Tigers club.

Pride Petterson-Robati has always been a rugby league prodigy, making Wellington representative teams from an early age.

We all had high hopes for the boy, but not as early as this, at 14 years of age. If he is succesful at the trial he could be offered a scholarship which would probably include schooling in Melbourne, Australia, and selection in a junior side. He played against boys three or four years older than he in his school side which recently won the rugby league championship in Wellington.

His genetic abilities come from a great grandfather who was a NZ Maori rugby union representative, and his pakeha great grandmother, a champion runner in her teens who missed out on selection to the Empire Games through injury.

Melbourne Storm NRL

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Factory dairy farming proposal in NZ condemned by the Greens...

Factory dairy farming proposal in New Zealand condemned by the Greens...

From THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment:

New Zealand is on the brink of introducing factory farming of dairy cows, the NZ Green Party said today: The party condemns the proposal.

Consent applications were recently lodged with Environment Canterbury for factory-style dairy farms in the Mackenzie Basin.

Three companies plan to establish 16 new farms with nearly 18,000 cows in the area. According to the applications, all 18,000 cows will be housed in 'cubicle stables' 24 hours a day for eight months of the year, and 12 hours a day for the remaining four months.

"This is factory farming, pure and simple," Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

"Proposals to keep cows in cubicles that they don't leave for eight months of the year are a radical departure from our tradition of farming stock outside and on pasture, and could do immense harm to our clean, green international brand and image.

"Once word gets out to overseas consumers that New Zealand butter comes from factory farms, there goes our competitive advantage.

"Fonterra counters 'food-miles' arguments from our European competitors by saying that our milk products are more environmentally friendly than factory-farmed milk. This proposal flies in the face of that strategy.

"It's also a chilling prospect from an animal welfare perspective."

However the proposals are still being considered and are not necessarily a faite accompli.

Read more

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Two black specks in a pie told a tale on him...

Two black specks in a pie told a tale on him...

Two black specks in a pie led to a $500.00 fine for a Wellington takeaway bar - $250.00 for each speck of mouse dropping baked into the bottom of one of his pies.

Nearly a year after the rodent infestation shut down his lunch bar for two days, owner Guang Liu from China is quite happy at the outcome.

At the Wellington district Court this week he said "it was a good lesson for us to keep our eyes open." He's right, and an expensive reminder to do so. He was actually found guilty of selling a pie with mouse droppings in it.

However, if I am in the Rongotai Road area of Wellington City, I know where I will never buy a pie in the future!