Home' Greymouth Star : August 27th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1859 - Colonel Edwin L Drake creates the
first productive oil well in Pennsylvania.
1883 - The most powerful volcanic eruption
ever recorded continues to blow apart Mount
Krakatau in the Sunda Straits, Indonesia. Shock
waves travel around the earth and tidal waves
kill an estimated 36,000 people.
1900 - A devastating hurricane
hits Galveston in Texas, killing more
than 6000 people.
1919 - Death of Louis Botha,
South African Boer general,
statesman and first prime minister of
the Union, aged 56.
1939 - German pilot Erich Warshitz flies the
first jet plane, the Heinkel HE-178.
1954 - The first men cross the Arctic Circle’s
1967 - Brian Epstein, manager of the Beatles,
dies in his London flat from an overdose of
1975 - Haile Selassie, deposed emperor of
Ethiopia, dies in exile aged 83.
1979 - British war hero Lord Louis
Mountbatten is killed off the coast of
Ireland in a boat explosion. The IRA claims
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Charles Stewart Rolls, British motor
manufacturer-aviator, (1877-1910); Samuel
Goldwyn, US film producer (1882-1974);
C S Forester, English novelist (1899-1966);
Sir Donald Bradman, Australian cricketer
(1908-2001); Lyndon B Johnson,
US president (1908-1973); Mother
Teresa, Albanian nun and Nobel
peace prize winner (1910-1997);
Daryl Dragon, US musician (The
Captain and Tennille) (1942-);
Barbara Bach, US actress (1947-);
Paul Reubens, US actor (Pee-Wee
Herman) (1952-); Mark Webber, Australian
Formula One racer (1976-).
“ If you board the wrong train, it is no use
running along the corridor in the other
direction.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German
Jesus said, “If any want to become My
followers, let them deny themselves and take
up their cross and follow Me.”
— Matthew 8:34
labour force has been
augmented by 12 boys.
And each boy has set
himself a target — to earn £150 by October.
The money will be used to finance the boys on
a 1200 mile trip to Dandenong, in Australia,
the venue of the next Pan-Pacific scout
jamboree which will begin in January next year.
All 12 scouts have their fist class badges and
all have or are going for their Queen’s Scout
award.The boys selected are K G Baty, D P
Heinz, M J Williams, R Abbie, R R Thorn,
B W Ashby, M Webster, W L McGrane, R
Miller, B Hopkinson, A Emerson and J E
The death of Mr Frederick Charles Watts, a
well-known farmer of Rotokohu, occurred at
Reefton this morning, after a lengthy illness.
He was in his 69th year. Mr Watts was born in
Surrey, England, and came to New Zealand as
a young man. A year later at the age of 19, he
enlisted in the New Zealand Mounted Rifles
and in World War One went overseas to Egypt
with the Second Reinforcements. He later
ser ved in France and returned to New Zealand
after four years’ ser vice.
He was at Tokomaru Bay as a shepherd for
several years and came to the Coast during
the twenties. From Brunner he went farming
on the Inangahua River at Waitahu. In more
recent years he was farming at Rotokohu and
was the town milk supplier for Reefton.
Mr Watts is sur vived by his wife Annie, four
sons, Fred and James (Rotokohu), Sydney
(Greymouth) and Winstone (Oamaru); three
daughters, Irene (Mrs Seymour, Seddonville),
Lily (Mrs Schwass, Inangahua Junction) and
Rosy (Mrs J Blance, Maruia).
uFood for thought
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oachers slaughtering Africa’s
elephants and rhinos with
impunity are often shielded
from police by powerful
connections, but a group of
conservationists has turned to
the anonymity of tip-offs to try to stem the
The founders of Wildleaks — a sort of
Wikileaks for the environment — say it
is the first secure, on-line whistle-blowing
platform dedicated to wildlife and forest
While wildlife rangers face gun battles in
national parks with poachers carrying out
the slaughter, the on-line project hopes to
target the top-end traffickers who cream off
millions of dollars in profit.
“ We got, for example, a very interesting
leak on a very powerful individual in Kenya,
linked to the government, who is behind
the ivory trade,” founder Andrea Costa, a
former security consultant and long-time
conser vationist, said.
This kind of person “will never be taken
out from within. They ’re too powerful. You
need help from outside. So right now, we’re
trying to gather more evidence,” he said in
rapid-fire, Italian-accented English.
Poaching has risen sharply across Africa
in recent years fuelled by rising demand in
Asia for ivory and rhino horn, coveted as a
traditional medicine and a status symbol.
Inter viewed in the foyer of an upmarket
hotel in Tanzania’s main city Dar es
Salaam, Costa is fer vent in his belief the
on-line platform can be part of the war
Launched in February, Wildleaks received
its first tip within 24 hours.
Since then the project has got over 45 tips
and leaks, with at least 28 deemed to be
The information involved a range of
topics from around the world, including
tiger poaching in Sumatra, illegal logging
in eastern Russia and Mexico, and the
smuggling of wildlife products into the
Wildleaks passed on some tips to
law enforcement agencies, while others
were shared with trusted conser vation
organisations that specialise in the area.
Some were also investigated in house.
Two Wildleaks investigations have already
been launched, with another two set to start
Wildleaks uses encryption and anonymity
software to allow those with information
to send it safely to those who can do
something about it.
It is a new way to tackle a long-standing
problem, and other conser vationists have
offered a cautious welcome.
“It does appear to be a new approach
within the wildlife crime sector,” said
Richard Thomas from TRAFFIC, the
world’s leading wildlife trade monitoring
“It could prove its worth over time,
if useful information is received and
directed towards appropriate professional
enforcement agencies for follow-up action.”
Representatives from the Conser vation
Group of the Max Planck Institute for
Evolutionary Anthropology, which has
partnered with Wildleaks to fight the sale
of great apes in Central and West Africa,
are also positive about the project.
“I think that it’s a really smart idea,” said
Mimi Arandjelovic, a member of the group.
“There are also a lot of taboos that people
might feel about reporting these sorts of
things, so having an anonymous way of
reporting it can only be positive.”
But the problem with Wildleaks, Costa
admitted, is that for the project to be
successful, the public needs to know about
it — and trust the people who are involved.
Costa was in Dar es Salaam to meet
potential partners and spread the word
about his project.
Wildleaks has yet to receive a leak from
Tanzania, even though the east African
nation struggles with wildlife crime.
A third of all illegal ivory seized in Asia
has come through Tanzanian ports.
Costa, 45, has a background in both
business and security consulting, often
for governments and multi-national
In 2011, he said he self-funded an
18-month investigation, going undercover
to find sources and meet with traffickers.
His investigation led him to suggest
ivory was providing key funding for
Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab
While United Nations experts disputed
the findings, many would back Wildleaks’
message: stopping poaching requires action
against the wealthy and influential bosses of
often extremely well connected organised
“Unlike others operating in the field ...
we are not after small-time poachers or
traffickers, but the people above them,
including corrupt government officials,” he
No arrests have yet been made, but Costa
attributes this to the newness of
the project and the fact that it is aiming for
the bigger players in poaching networks.
The spike in poaching, with animals
slaughtered even inside heavily guarded
national parks or conservation areas, shows
that poachers have little fear of tough new
laws designed to end the killing.
“ You can’t just keep going out catching
and jailing poachers because there’s
an endless supply out there,” he said,
motioning towards the villages of rural
“That is not the solution.” — AFP
A policeman stands on seized elephant tusks at Makupa police station in Mombasa, Kenya.
Wildleaks targets poaching
While I appreciate that Mrs Pugh has
had the intestinal fortitude to retain her
anti-1080 stance publicly as a candidate for
the National Party, I am deeply concerned
that this may mislead the public to believe
that one member of this party, which is
promoting the largest use of 1080 ever, will
have any effect in stopping the use of this
poison any time soon.
1080 remains a cruel and unacceptable
poison which targets nothing and kills
potentially everything. It is not needed
in the battle to control bovine Tb, or in
the so-called hard sell to ‘save our native
birds’. You could save them from predators
by killing them with 1080, but that seems
There is no antidote for 1080 poisoning,
there is no way to protect our waterways
or our native species from 1080, and there
is no money in the public purse for testing
of those who may suffer or die after a 1080
drop, no money to test for the effect of
1080 on anyone living in or near a 1080
That is an indictment in itself, however
there is also a real threat to our farming
exports and tourism. Cattle and deer dying
‘at home’ while their paddock mates enter
the export food chain, milk contaminated
and our current testing woefully
inadequate, deliberately so. This will not
save us when those receiving our products
begin to understand what is happening.
I will be supporting the party that will
The Ban 1080 Party congratulates
Maureen Pugh on her stand against 1080
(Greymouth Star, August 23).
Unfortunately, the party she has become
involved in does not share her views and
is dropping more 1080 than ever. It is a
sad fact that personal beliefs do not count
when you join one of the larger parties.
What is needed is representatives of
a party whose sole goal is to rid New
Zealand’s environment of this obscene
toxin. People are tired of being promised
one thing in election year and having
to spend the next three years frustrated
because of deals and broken promises. We
have had the carpet-baggers around at the
last election who offered all for a vote but
gave nothing in return.
This frustration has led to the birth of
the Ban 1080 Party, which has no agenda
other than to remove this poison from our
The West Coast has suffered over the
years through the lack of employment
and opportunities for younger people.
We believe that a people-based pest
control system gives more benefits to the
community rather than aerial contractors,
who come from out of the region to drop
Areas where bovine Tb is an issue should
be targeted with continuous ground
control, but also farmers should be assisted
in controlling the disease rather than being
penalised for having it.
One of the biggest resources New
Zealand has is water. Other countries are
crying out for fresh, clean water and yet
under the current Government regime,
1080 poison is being dropped in water ways
and town catchment areas.
The risk to our export market is ever
present while aerial poison continues. It
is not a case of, if this poison turns up in
export products — it is a case of when.
West Coast-Tasman candidate
Ban 1080 Party
Aerial poison drops
Picture a big old matai tree in a
paddock. The tree is full of native birds
like kaka, falcon, bush robins and kea
etc. There is also a possum, a rat and a
stoat. A government worker notices these
introduced pests and asks a scientist what
to do. The scientist tells him to buy a rifle
and shoot the possum, stoat and the rat.
The worker tells his boss who says, ‘no,
we have a good source of cheap shotgun
ammo — use that instead’.
After the shoot the pests were dead
along with plenty of non-target species.
The operation was declared a success.
The problem with this picture is that the
tree does not belong to the government —
it belongs to us. the people. Should we not
have a say?
Aerial poison drops have had their day,
don’t you think?
DOC too powerful
Is DOC the Department of
Conser vation? Or is it a department with
too much responsibility and too much
jurisdiction over important conser vation
forests and natural areas that command
protection and not exploitation?
DOC has recently made joint
agreements with the Ministry of Energy
and Resources. Great! Simon Bridges
is now elbowing his way in to the
conser vation estate to gain ultimate access
to Crown minerals, for short-term gain
creating possible long-term environmental
DOC’s ‘Battle for Our Birds’ is using the
poison that killed them in the first place,
citing as their precedent ‘beech masts’ and
rat plagues of Biblical proportions that
will be imminent. To accuse the pests of
being wholly responsible for the demise
of the diverse birdlife we have is very
convenient. That they were all in good
condition until this toxic attack began
full-time in the 1990s by the AHB speaks
What kind of organisation uses a broad-
spectrum poison (1080) repeatedly and
refuses to accept there is a by-kill of native
birds, specifically carnivores, omnivores
and scavengers? To say that New Zealand
can use 1080 because we have only one
native mammal — the bat, long-tailed
and short-tailed — and we must use it
to protect them, shows no understanding
of the poison itself. It kills mammals and
then secondary deaths eventuate.
The latest Battle for Our Birds operation
in Fiordland, covering 60,000ha and using
approximately 1000 tonnes of 1080, will
cripple the bird population and massacre the
deer. It is nesting time and good old DOC
is out there with the helicopter killing rats
that are not there yet. But there will be a
plague after the first wave has been killed by
the poison and the stoats will eat the birds
because they like live food. And then the
rat plague that follows the 1080 drop, as it
always does, will feed the stoats up and they
will breed, and what next? Come back with
the poison again, and so it goes on.
Treatment should only be done when
there is evidence of high numbers of pests,
not in anticipation of an event that has not
After ‘Battle for our Birds’ there will not
be any kea left because DOC will have
So, what kind of Department of
Conser vation do we really have here?
Kumara Environmental Action
A National standard
The arrogance of the National
Government when it comes to education
is truly mind-boggling. When 93% of
teachers vote against the introduction of
a policy, any leader of sound mind would
think again. But no, the Government
will legislate to bring in its desired policy
of ‘Investment in Success’, which is, in
fact, part of its agenda to destroy New
Zealand’s world class education system.
Here is National’s record.
Cut the early childhood education
budget by $400 million and subsidised
private companies to set up in low decile
communities. Only half of the teachers in
these centres need qualifications;
Sacked most advisers and offered
a very limited range of professional
Introduced national standards
against advice, these standards being in
no way ‘national’, and standing in the
way of introducing an excellent national
curriculum forged from extensive
consultation. The result has been a
narrowing of the focus of education and
the condemning of many children to a
school life of perpetual failure;
Boosted funding to private schools
and closed special needs schools;
Cut the Ministry of Education budget
by $25m, removing many front-line
Introduced charter schools, which do
not require registered teachers and which
open the way to corporate takeover of
Failed to implement a payroll system
It is a sorry record indeed, and behind it
a narrow class interest. It is essential that
parents and the wider community support
the primary teachers in their struggle;
which hopefully, come the election, will
not be necessary.
The candidates meeting in Greymouth
certainly clarified things that will have a
huge impact on the West Coast and makes
voting on September 20 something that
could close down the Coast if we lose the
pro-development National Government.
The possibility of extending our roading
network to complete those two unfinished
sections at Haast and Karamea has been
given an emphatic ‘no’ by the Green-
Labour team. No Hollyford road.
Only one candidate, National’s Maureen
Pugh, stood up and fully supported the
Haast-Hollyford highway proposal being
driven by Durham Havill. The comments
made by the Green candidate about Mr
Havill should have led to an apology. It did
Coalmining will die if the Green policy of
no new mines becomes government policy,
and it looks clear that Labour will require
the Greens and Mana-Internet and maybe
others if it wants to govern. In reality, the
way they are polling, Labour would be a
The Green and Labour candidates made
it clear that sustainable logging would
not be considered, and both parties voted
against processing fallen trees blown over in
Cyclone Ita. Damien O’Connor could not
convince his party to support the legislation
so he crossed the floor, not for you and me
but for himself. Under the ‘Pugh legislation’
these logs are now being recovered.
Hydro development — well, that is a
goner with the Greens-Labour as well, and
the only candidate who has the experience
with power companies is once again
The sector with a huge amount to lose is
the rural sector and if any farmer, supplier
or processor does not give a double tick for
National he will not be able to complain
if water tax, increased personal tax and
God knows what else falls from a Green-
Labour-Mana-Internet etc team.
May I ask the general election hopefuls
a question please? Being an artist, a
manufacturer and retailer, I wondered
are any of the parties in this year’s
general election are prepared to remove
the backhanders that blight the tourist
industry in New Zealand?
It is my understanding that in Hong
Kong and Singapore the manipulative and
standover practices of controlling the free
movement of tourists have been outlawed.
We are supposed to be a place of
democracy, freedom of thought and action,
providing we do not affect others. My
experience of tours is that they dump their
internals in the toilet over the other side of
the road I live on, which leaves them light
on their feet for some time, they then rush
off to a paid for place not far up the road
where the driver, company and guide make
money. Hence my question.
I would like to thank Tru-Line Civil for
taking on board the public feedback about
the road closures they had planned, and for
making reasonable changes. Having one
lane open does seem to be working rather
well, and I must say they do a very tidy job.
I do have a question, more likely better
answered by the Grey District Council,
however, and that is, what happened
to pumping the sewage the other way
to Kaiata Park? I believe that was the
original plan and might have saved a lot
more hassles. The Omoto Road is prone
to slipping in areas so I just do not get
why they would risk it. Is going into town
rather than to Kaiata Park going to cost
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