Third container ship aground off Tauranga

In an unprecedented trilogy of maritime accidents in the Bay of Plenty, a third Flag of Convenience container vessel has run aground just outside Tauranga Harbour. The Liberian registered MV National Party, rumoured to be carrying yellowcake uranium ore, grounded at 5.15pm this afternoon.

Maritime New Zealand has advised that it may be able to begin overseeing a salvage operation sometime in late 2014.

Transport Minister Stephen Joyce was unavailable for comment due to commitments to his other role as National Party Campaign Director. However, a spokesperson for the Minister released this statement on Mr Joyce’s behalf:

The ship’s on fire, she’s sinking fast,
There’s one man standing on the mast,
His arms are spread in the flames around his head
He’d better jump before the blast,
PM John Key is standing on the quay
He’s taking colour photographs.

A new national flag for New Zealand?

My choice:

The Silver Fern flag







John Key’s choice:

The Liberian flag






This must be one of the few things I agree with David Farrar on (sort of).

Update: Actually, I much prefer this one:

Those pesky predictions

Harold Camping:

Thus we can be sure that the whole world, with the exception of those who are presently saved (the elect), are under the judgment of God, and will be annihilated together with the whole physical world on October 21, 2011, on the last day of the present five months period. On that day the true believers (the elect) will be raptured.

Maritime New Zealand:

Maritime New Zealand maintains a response capability of sufficient size to counter an oil spill of 3,500 tonnes, which is deemed to be a ‘one in a hundred year’ event.

Parliamentary quote of the year


Parliament, 12 April, 2011

David Clendon: Does the Minister expect that a team of 400 New Zealanders will be able to cope with a catastrophic oil leak or spill, when 7,000 US Coast Guard personnel and over 40,000 other emergency personnel were not able to contain the Deepwater Horizon leak for some 86 days?

Hon HEKIA PARATA: Maritime New Zealand is responsible for ensuring New Zealand is prepared for, and able to respond to, marine oil spills. The Marine Pollution Response Service consists of internationally respected experts who manage and train a team of around 400 local government and Maritime New Zealand responders. New Zealand has equipment and other stores strategically located around New Zealand. In addition, the Marine Pollution Response Service assists regional councils with exercise and oil spill equipment. The plan is responsive and is regularly evaluated to ensure it meets changing risk profiles. Should the pattern of oil exploration—