Say hello to Ugly River, our newest official name

Browsing the NZ Gazette, the government’s official newspaper, last week I came across a parcel of new official geographic names being approved and one or two discontinued.

This happens fairly often as it turns out and this Land Information New Zealand page is a good place to get a heads-up.  There’s plenty of detail too on the naming process, including a checklist for proposing a name and a flowchart describing the process.

All the names of all the New Zealand places (as in mountains and lakes but not as in street names) are held in the:

New Zealand Gazetteer of Official Geographic Names

Official names are approved, discontinued or altered by the New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB).

Among the 66 freshly approved geographic names announced in the gazette last week were:

Burial Point                                      Point
Ligar Bay                                           Bay
Limestone Bay                                 Bay
Takapou                                            Locality
Tata Islands                                     Island
Deception Creek                             River


Blue Shirt Creek                              Stream
Bluffy Creek                                     Stream
Caldervale                                         Locality
Deception Creek                              Stream
Gunner River                                   Stream
Heaphy Bluff                                    Cliff
Horrible Creek                               Stream


Last but not least was Ugly River, a Stream. Welcome, Ugly River!


The board has opened another 18 name change proposals – some of which relate to the area around Miranda Hot Springs – for consultation:




Assign a new name:

  • Pūkorokoro Hot Springs – to an unnamed feature known as ‘Miranda Hot Springs’;

Alter existing official or recorded names:

  • Pūkorokoro Hill – from ‘Pukorokoro’ (recorded);
  • Pūkorokoro / Miranda (locality) – from ‘Miranda’ (recorded);
  • Pūkorokoro Stream – from ‘Pukorokoro Stream’ (recorded);
  • Waiotahe (locality) – from ‘Waiotahi’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Beach – from ‘Waiotahi Beach’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Beach (locality) – from ‘Waiotahi Beach’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Estuary Scenic Reserve – from ‘Waiotahi Estuary Scenic Reserve’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Forest – from ‘Waiotahi Forest’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Knoll – from ‘Waiotahi Knoll’ (undersea recorded);
  • Waiotahe River – from ‘Waiotahi River’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Rock – from ‘Waiotahi Rock’ (undersea recorded);
  • Waiotahe Scenic Reserve – from ‘Waiotahi Scenic Reserve’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Spit Historic Reserve – from ‘Waiotahi Spit Historic Reserve’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Spit Scenic Reserve – from ‘Waiotahi Spit Scenic Reserve’ (official);
  • Waiotahe Valley (locality) – from ‘Waiotahi Valley’ (official);
  • Te Ramaroa / Mackays Crossing (locality) – from ‘Mackays Crossing’ (recorded).

Discontinue names:

  • Miranda Hot Springs (locality) – for a locality that does not exist.

Any member of the public can make a submission either in support of, or objecting to, these proposals.

Submissions can be made in writing to the Secretary for the New Zealand Geographic Board, via the online forms, or to

The deadline for submissions is 28 November 2014. Add to GCal or iCal from here.


“If you can’t protect it, don’t collect it”

The recent theft of the personal data of 4.5 million patients of a US hospital chain prompted Bloomberg to look at the Top 10 Data Breaches of all time. In their story, they wrote:

The recent attack has gained notoriety for its methods, rather than its size — the hacking group has been prolific in attacking U.S. medical-device companies and drug makers. The chart below shows how the Chinese breach compares with others.

The ranking provides little solace if you’re one of the people whose personal information was stolen and used for identity theft. Yet, with security-software maker Symantec calling this the era of the “mega-breach” and some attacks hitting the nine digits, it’s worth remembering that hackers have many, many other ways to obtain personal information.

Bloomberg included an interactive graphic showing the top 10 data breaches and who did the breaching, which is worth a look. The top three offenders are Malicious Outsider, Accidental Data Loss, and Physical Loss.

Excerpt from Bloomberg’s Data Breaches Over Time interactive graphic

Daniel Solove, Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School and founder of TeachPrivacy, pulled together a few takeaways from the story including:

  • The leading causes of data breaches often involve the workforce mistakes. Malicious outsiders often get in because they trick people through phishing and social engineering.
  • Organizations are collecting and using data faster than they are able to keep it secure.
  • Educate the workforce! Train them once, train them twice, train them thrice. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • Read the rest of Daniel Solove’s comments here

The point that most struck home for me was this one:


Here in New Zealand, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has released a guide for app developers designed to help developers think about what personal details they really need to capture from their users.


The office says:

When apps don’t convey basic information about what the business is collecting personal information for, it’s hard for people to feel confident that their information is being looked after. But when an app developer finds a way to be clear about what is happening, people notice. It’s a way to convey to users that you’re trustworthy, that you know the value of their information and you’ll treat it with respect.

There’s a downloadable pdf of the NEED TO KNOW OR NICE TO HAVE guide, or you can get the gist from the topic page on

Bookmarks for August 30, 2014

Bookmarks for August 29, 2014


New Zealand statistics to be released in September 2014

Here are the releases Statistics NZ has planned for September (2014) – in case you want to diary anything of interest.

Subscribe to media email alerts from Statistics NZ

  • 1 Sep 14

    Overseas Trade Indexes (Prices): June 2014 quarter (provisional) – M

  • 1 Sep 14

    Overseas Trade Indexes (Volumes): June 2014 quarter (provisional) – M

  • 2 Sep 14


  • 3 Sep 14

    Value of Building Work Put in Place: June 2014 quarter – M

  • 4 Sep 14


  • 5 Sep 14

    Wholesale Trade Survey: June 2014 quarter

  • 8 Sep 14

    Economic Survey of Manufacturing: June 2014 quarter – M

  • 9 Sep 14

    Electronic Card Transactions: August 2014 – M

  • 9 Sep 14

    2013 Census QuickStats about income

  • 10 Sep 14

    Accommodation Survey: July 2014

  • 11 Sep 14


  • 12 Sep 14

    Food Price Index: August 2014

  • 15 Sep 14


  • 16 Sep 14

    Local Authority Statistics: June 2014 quarter – tables

  • 17 Sep 14

    Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: June 2014 quarter – M

  • 18 Sep 14

    Gross Domestic Product: June 2014 quarter – M

  • 19 Sep 14

    International Travel and Migration: August 2014 – M

  • 22 Sep 14

    Christchurch Retail Trade Indicator: June 2014 quarter

  • 23 Sep 14

    International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand: August 2014 – report

  • 23 Sep 14

    Child and youth prosecution statistics: Year ended June 2014 – tables

  • 23 Sep 14

    Criminal conviction and sentencing statistics: Year ended June 2014 – tables

  • 24 Sep 14

    Overseas Merchandise Trade: August 2014 – M

  • 25 Sep 14

    Balance of Payments and International Investment Position: Year ended 31 March 2014

  • 26 Sep 14


  • 29 Sep 14


  • 30 Sep 14

    Building Consents Issued: August 2014 – M

– M means there’s a media conference

There are 19 registered political parties in NZ, 15 are contesting election 2014

1. There are 19 registered political parties in New Zealand (as at Tuesday August 26, 2014)

Yep, 19 (Mana and Internet are in there twice – once for each individual party and once for combined Internet Mana Party). The full Register of Political Parties is on In no particular order (and with links to policies pages), they are:

Maori, National, Green, Labour, NZ First, Act, Internet Mana, Internet, Mana Movement, Alliance, Conservative, United Future, Democrats for Social Credit, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis, Focus NZ, NZ Independent Coalition, The Civilian, Ban1080, 1Law4All.

15 of these parties are contesting the election this year (September 20, 2014). They are:

  1. ACT New Zealand
  2. Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party
  3. Ban1080
  4. Conservative
  5. Democrats for Social Credit
  6. Focus New Zealand
  7. Green Party
  8. Internet MANA
  9. Labour Party
  10. Māori Party
  11. National Party
  12. New Zealand First Party
  13. NZ Independent Coalition
  14. The Civilian Party
  15. United Future

Electoral Commission releases party and candidate lists for 2014 election (August 27, 2014)

♣ What’s involved in registering a political party

2. The election is on Saturday September 20, 2014; polling booths will be open from 9am to 7pm

Don’t forget! ♣ Add it to iCal  ♣ View it on a calendar and grab link to Google Calendar

You can see who’s standing in your electorate and where your nearest polling stations are on

3. You can enrol to vote any time between now and September 19 (September 18 if you want to use Telephone Dictation Voting)

If you haven’t enrolled to vote yet, or can’t remember, you can check/enrol fairly painlessly on

Vote by telephone dictation

If you are blind, partially blind or have another physical disability that prevents you from marking your ballot paper without assistance, you are eligible to vote by telephone dictation. You can register by calling 0800 028 028.

When you call, you will be asked to choose a secret question and answer that only you know. You will then be given a personal registration number. Your registration number and secret question are used to confirm that you’re already registered when you call back to vote.  It means you do not have to give your name to the electoral official.

♣ More information on telephone dictation voting

This video explains how telephone dictation voting is designed to let people who are blind or partially blind vote in private (ie without having to ask a friend to mark their ballot paper for them). Key points start kicking in at 2:50 but the whole video is worth a watch.

Be on the unpublished electoral roll

If you don’t want your personal address published on the electoral roll, you can request to go on the unpublished roll.

You will need to give your full name, address, date of birth, contact telephone number and produce evidence of your personal circumstances, such as:

  • a copy of a protection order that is in force under the Domestic Violence Act 1995, or
  • a copy of a restraining order that is in force under the Harassment Act 1997, or
  • a statutory declaration from a constable to the effect that he or she believes that your personal safety, or that of your families, could be prejudiced by the publication of your name and details, or a letter from either a Barrister or Solicitor, your employer, a Justice of the Peace, or the like, supporting your application on the grounds that your personal safety, or that of your families, could be prejudiced by the publication of your name and details.

Everything you need to know about the unpublished roll (+ application form)

4. Timeline of key election dates published by

Monday 25 August, Noon Bulk Nominations Deadline for registered political parties to bulk nominate their electorate candidates to the Electoral Commission.
Tuesday 26 August, Noon Nominations close Deadline for political parties to submit list candidates to the Electoral Commission.Deadline for individual nominations of electorate candidates to Returning Officers.
Wednesday 3 September Advance and Overseas Voting starts
Friday 19 September Advance Voting ends Last day to enrol for the election.
Friday 19 September Midnight Regulated period ends All election advertising must end and election signs must be taken down
Saturday 20 September Election Day Polling places open from 9.00am to 7.00pm. Election Night Preliminary results released progressively from 7.00pm on
Saturday 4 October Official results for general election declared (including special declaration votes)

5. What happens if disaster interrupts voting on election day

From the: Electoral Commission Plans for Managing Adjournment of Polling in an Emergency

3. Under the Electoral Act 1993 (“the Act”) where polling is affected by an emergency of any kind, the range of options is:

a)   If the area affected is local, the Commission can revoke and amend particular polling places and continue with the conduct of the general election in the rest of the affected electorate and nationwide;

b)   If the event has wider effect, the Commission can adjourn polling in particular polling places, continue with the conduct of the general election elsewhere in the country and either:

(i) publish the preliminary results in the usual way despite voters in the adjourned poll knowing the preliminary results in the general election when they vote; or

(ii) not publish the preliminary results in the general election until the adjourned poll can occur.

4. Under MMP, if polling has to be adjourned in even a single polling place, the election of all members of Parliament and, therefore, the formation of Government is delayed for the period of the adjournment. For this reason, wherever possible the Commission will revoke and amend polling places and make alternative arrangements for voters rather than adjourning polling.


Bookmarks for August 14, 2014

The growing pay gap between journalism and public relations | Pew Research Center The salary gap between public relations specialists and news reporters has widened over the past decade – to almost $20,000 a year, according to 2013 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data analyzed by the Pew Research Center.

All the myths that are fit to print: Why your news feels familiar | Jack Shafer Few readers would confess to myth-seeking in their media choices, yet Lule makes the undeniable case that audiences prefer news when it is fashioned into something more eternal than pure information.

“Statue Selfies” Are the Next Great Internet Art Trend The “Statue Selfies” trend began on Reddit, where a user posted images of statues that appeared to be taking photos of themselves.

Seeing Like a Network — The Message — Medium  Nice Plain-English piece about how to understand the networks we are using and where the threats lie.

Loan scheme to knock out ‘loan sharks’ – National – NZ Herald News Almost 1 million families will be eligible for low- and no-interest loans under a new Government-backed scheme aimed at saving low-income families from loan sharks. – New Zealand Herald

At-risk persons flown to NZ, figures reveal – National – NZ Herald News  International airlines flew more than 1000 at-risk or ineligible people into New Zealand in a year, Immigration New Zealand figures reveal. – New Zealand Herald

An alternate reality for America’s struggling newspapers exists, but it’s in South Africa – Quartz Naspers paid just $34 million for a 46.5% stake in Tencent, which owns, among other properties, the highly successful WeChat messaging platform. Today its stake in the business is worth more than $50 billion.

World’s oldest eel dies in Swedish well – The Local The world’s oldest European eel just died in its home, a well in a southern Swedish fishing town, aged 155.

NZ-based equity crowdfunding platform set to go live – Computerworld New Zealand Snowball Effect, an online equity crowdfunding platform, will go live to the public on Wednesday after being granted its licence by the Financial Markets Authority.

Robotic suit gives shipyard workers super strength – health – 04 August 2014 – New Scientist Workers building the world’s biggest ships could soon don robotic exoskeletons to lug around 100-kilogram hunks of metal as if they’re nothing

Student eye checks after shock tests – Education – NZ Herald News A global charity will test children’s eyes in 16 low-income parts of New Zealand after an initial test found that 63 per cent of children at a West Auckland primary school needed full – New Zealand HeraldThe free-range egg scam: 2.47m eggs really from caged hens – National – NZ Herald News An egg farmer who admitted duping consumers by passing off 2.47 million eggs from caged hens as free-range has claimed the practice is widespread. – New Zealand Herald

Russian Hackers Amass over a Billion Internet Passwords | The hacked records, discovered by a Milwaukee-based security firm, include username and password combinations and more than 500 million email addresses.

Climate change will leave wine lovers drunker and poorer – Quartz This post has been corrected. On Jul. 17, Australia scrapped its carbon tax—hardly a surprising move given that the country’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, once called evidence of climate change “absolute…

Q&A: Can Airlifting Rhinos Out of South Africa Save the Species? Conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert are taking drastic steps in the face of rampant rhino poaching in South Africa.

IoT World – Duane Benson – The IOT Meets the Endangered Species Act  Monitoring wildlife can help protect them without imposing undue inconvenience on human visitors to the wild.