Home' Greymouth Star : August 29th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
The tumult and
shouting are nearly
over. The joys and the
tears of Greymouth’s
50th Competitions Festival reach their climax
tonight in the demonstration concert in the
St Columba Hall.
For anxious mothers (and some dads) the
competitions arrive after weeks and sometimes
months of preparation. Especially for the
dancers’ mothers they have been involved in
their own personal sewing marathons.
Not everyone can win, and every festival with
its background of ner ves, temperament and
stage fright has its share of tears. Competitions
are often hotbeds of behind-the-scenes
wrangling. Gossip often floods the foyers, there
is sarcasm in the wings and jealousy in the
Happily — and this is something of a
compliment to Coasters — the outside judges
said this festival just concluding was remarkably
free from all forms of backbiting.
Steve Bridges, from Columbus, Indiana,
USA, Rotary Foundation Fellow now visiting
the West Coast, is most impressed with New
Zealand girls. Steve is 23 and he has noted the
ability of the typical New Zealand girl to sew,
cook, knit, besides sporting interests.
He recalls being invited to dinner in an
American home where the young lady of the
house prepared the meal. All three courses,
known as a tv dinner, were bought from a
supermarket in a frozen state. All that was
required was to place it in the oven and cook it.
His host forgot to remove the outer wrappings
and the dinner was burned to a cinder.
He said the average American girl did not
sew, knit or cook.
4 - Friday, August 29, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and - except for e-mails - your signature. Noms de
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Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
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reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1792 - At least 900 die when the British
warship Royal George sinks at Spithead while
repairs are being carried out just below the
1842 - Anglo-Chinese war ends with Treaty
of Nanking, confirming the ceding of Hong
Kong to Britain.
1874 - French performer Blondin walks
tightrope across Sydney Harbour.
1882 - English cricketers lose to Australia
on English soil for the first time — a mock
obituary in the Sporting Times then declares
the death of English cricket, saying its ashes
will be taken to Australia, the origin of the
1885 - First motorcycle, built by Gottlied
Daimler in Germany, is patented.
1943 - Danish warships are scuttled at
Copenhagen in World War Two uprising
1944 - Fifteen thousand American
troops march down the Champs-
Elysees as Paris continues to
celebrate its liberation.
1964 - Roy Orbison releases the
song Pretty Woman.
1966 - Beatles play their last live
concert to a crowd of 25,000 at
Candlestick Park, San Francisco.
1975 - Death of Eamon de Valera, three
times Ireland’s prime minister and president
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Locke, English philosopher (1632-
1704); Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres,
French painter (1780-1867); Andrew Fisher,
Australian prime minister (1862-1928);
Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (1915-1982);
George Montgomery, US actor (1916-2000);
Charlie “Bird” Parker, American
jazz musician (1920-1955); Richard
Attenborough, British actor-director
(1923-2014); William Friedkin, US
film director (1935-); John McCain,
American presidential candidate
(1936-); Elliott Gould, US actor
(1938-); Sir Julius Chan, PNG
politician (1939-); Michael Jackson, US pop
star (1958-2009); Rebecca De Mornay, US
actress (1959-) .
“ Whom the gods would destroy they first
make mad.” — Euripides, Greek poet (480
“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on
earth about anything you ask, it will be done
for you by My Father in Heaven.”
— (Matthew 18:19).
uFood for thought
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o who is going to lead the West Coast out of
the terrible recession that has already blighted
so many lives?
The tally of job losses makes dismal reading:
Pike River Mine 180; Spring Creek Mine 400;
Stockton open-cast Mine 700; Oceana Gold 51 (with up
to 200 more to go next year when the Reefton mine is
mothballed); and 100 job losses pending at the Westport
Shops are empty, the real estate market stagnant and
dairy prices are down. Where to turn?
In Buller, which has been hardest hit, the Mayor pleaded
with the Government for regional development help.
Instead, the reply from Primary Industries Minister
Nathan Guy was simple: ‘Help yourself ’.
“I am sure that you will find a way through the recent
setbacks for employment opportunities,” the minister
said. Cold comfort for those with families to feed and
mortgages to pay — and no job.
But wait, there is still Development West Coast, isn’t
there? Set up in 2001 as compensation for lost sawmilling
jobs when the government called an end to native logging,
it was originally a kind of venture capital fund.
That has changed and in the year to March — through
the worst economic recession in living memory and at a
time when the Coast needed it most — DWC made just
two business loans with a combined value of $800,000.
Nowadays it prefers to help existing businesses stabilise
and grow, adding to their bottom line, filling a new role
as ‘enabler’ rather than funder. Fair enough, but how is
that going to help a generation of young men to find work
when the jobs are disappearing before their eyes?
That leaves the councils. The West Coast Regional
Council took the lead before Christmas with its plan to
stimulate economic development by rewriting the regional
policy statement, which guides the approval or otherwise
of resource consents.
Well-intentioned, albeit at the expense of the
environment, it nonetheless still lacks a firm way forward
beyond the fuzzy words. For example, one goal is “to work
together to develop better ways to promote the region and
encourage businesses to locate here”.
Four of the regional councillors are full-time farmers and
miners; if you were a young man looking to leave school
and enter the workforce later this year you would hardly
want to pin your hopes and dreams on them.
DWC chief executive Joseph Thomas, when asked this
week after the trust ’s one and only public accountability
meeting of the year, who should lead the Coast out of
recession, replied: “It’s ever yone’s issue and problem.
Everyone has to step up and take responsibility.”
It may be everyone’s responsibility, but who has
$120 million in the bank and a mandate to stimulate new
jobs and growth? We expect more than simply referrals,
over-cautious decision making and over-protection of the
It is time for some real leadership. Who is going to step
forward? Or, to quote the West Coast catchcry from the
1970s battle with conser vation, can the last one out please
turn off the lights?
Travelling the road between Greymouth
and Christchurch, one can not help
but notice there are many more signs
supporting the National Party than there
are supporting the Labour Party.
Many more Labour signs have been
vandalised than National ones. Most
Labour signs have been covered in
swastikas, demonstrating the vandal is
ignorant of history and politics — must be
a National supporter.
Yes to hydro, no to
Some of your readers may have
bothered to read the latest Maureen Pugh
advertisement in which she details what
will happen if National gets re-elected.
One of them states that ‘Hydro generators
will slow down the rivers on their way to
the sea’. Wow! That will be exciting. We
can all go down to the Buller Bridge and
watch the water flowing slowly by.
But that is not all. The kayakers who
flock to Murchison each year will be able
to shoot the rapids more slowly, so they
will get a longer ride for their money ...
and nice shallow water to paddle in.
Another of her statements reads, ‘Fallen
timber will be har vested’. Of course,
this will be done without involving local
workers, so no injuries to worry about
Finally, ‘New roads will be built ’ —
probably across the Heaphy Track, so we
do not have to walk either.
Way to go, Mo!
Through your paper I would like to point
out to DOC that the public notifications
for two aerial 1080 operations (Maruia
Valley rodent control and Kahurangi
National Park rat and possum control) fail
to give the toxic loading of the 1080 baits
to be used. I think this is a legal obligation
for aerial 1080 notifications.
The normal loading for possum control
work is 0.15%, however I suspect that the
powers that be would like to lower this to
about 0.04% in the misguided hope that
rats will be unable to detect the 1080 in
The spin doctors for the very lucrative
1080 industry inform us that 1080
is ‘moderately humane’. People who
have watched their pets die from 1080
poisoning know just how false that
In the early days of West Coast aerial
1080 operations (late 1959 to about 1980)
a toxic loading of between 0.06 and 0.08
was used. These low loadings caused
terribly cruel deaths, that took up to four
days to kill possums. (I know because I
was there, right at the start)
With this in mind I will request that
DOC re-advertise both these applications,
giving the toxic loading. This before the
applications commence, please.
In 1986, there was a 1080 aerial
application in the Maruia River valley,
this almost exterminated all South Island
native robins in the area. When will they
National Party and
National’s West Coast-Tasman
candidate Maureen Pugh’s expressed
hope (Greymouth Star, August 23) of
influencing her party’s 1080-everywhere
policy is either very naive, or is simply
another case of hoping to pick up votes on
this issue, regardless of the reality that her
party completely ignore West Coast —
and New Zealand-wide — 1080 concerns.
I am not questioning Mrs Pugh’s
personal concern regarding 1080, but
when National’s Conser vation Minister
Nick Smith has recently attacked
conser vation groups for calling for
cleaner water ways, it is obvious that this
Government has a view of conser vation
which is quite different from the views
of people who have a genuine concern
for the land and the innumerable life
forms — human beings included — that
depend on it being protected from such
lunatic actions as dropping vast quantities
of poison willy-nilly across huge areas and
polluting water ways.
I also wonder why Mrs Pugh and, to be
fair, all three current West Coast MPs,
are silent on so many hugely important
local issues, not least being the outrageous
experiment which National are conducting
regarding the funding of the Greymouth
and Buller hospital rebuilds. O utrageous
and unnecessary interest on the proposed
Greymouth loan — and no government
funding whatsoever for Westport but the
same public/private funding partnership
model which has caused huge delays and
cost overruns overseas.
Then there is the widening rich-poor
gap in New Zealand society, massive
government borrowing, selling off prime
land and important strategic assets, and
promoting the overseas takeover of New
Zealand businesses. The list goes on.
Wouldn’t it be great if candidates —
including MPs — campaigned on these
and many others issues which affect New
Zealanders’ everyday lives.
Finally, regarding 1080, I quote from the
Democrats’ environment policy: “Stopping
the use of aerial 1080 poison drops in
favour of less environmentally destructive
pest management tools”. You will not
find that in National, or any other, party’s
Democrats for Social Credit
John Key outshines
On September 22, 2011, Prime Minister
John Key met with the families of the Pike
River Mine men who died in the mine in
November 2010. At that meeting he gave
an absolute assurance that he would “get
their boys out ”.
Before his visit to Greymouth on August
26, the families had expected a decision
to be announced regarding re-entry to
recover the bodies of their men. However,
a meeting with the families was not
included on his itinerary.
Mr Key instead advised the families
that any decision regarding re-entry of
the mine was entirely in the hands of
Government-owned Solid Energy. He has
obviously wiped his hands of the issue and
“passed the buck”.
This may not have been an election
issue up until now but I feel confident
that it has now become just that. It will
give me great pleasure to write to the
board of Solid Energy, under the Official
Information Act, asking them what
measures they will be taking to fulfil the
wishes of the families to have the men
returned to them.
Do you want this man to run your
country for another three years? Do not
take it personally, John, but you won’t be
getting my vote.
Thanks to the Green Party and the
Department of Conser vation, the
township of Greymouth is slowly but
surely becoming a ghost town.
The new Greymouth sewerage plant
estimated at $35 million, an initiative of
both the Greens and conservationists,
has one wondering what benefit it really
ser ves for such an exorbitant amount
of money and no doubt funded by the
Until recently, human waste was pumped
directly into the Grey River and then out
to sea, and to my knowledge no one got
sick or died as a result.
Human waste ser ves an ecological
purpose in our oceans as the salt within is
a natural purifier. What is the difference
between human waste and the fact that
just one whale in its lifetime absorbs
65,000 tonnes of food which is then
eliminated as body waste back into the
This is a similar situation to coal. The
sulphur in coal is a natural purifier,
which helps remove bacteria from the
atmosphere. It is interesting that in New
Zealand our cancer rates have risen by
10%, while in Australia, which has a much
higher density of mines despite being
greater in size, has a 10% lower cancer
In 1338, with the arrival of the black
plague in England, sulphur was used to
help purify the blood and stave off the
deadly symptoms of this horrendous
disease. From this point on sulphur has
been used to help elevate low levels of
naturally occurring sulphur in the human
body and for general good health.
In summary, the Green Party and the
conser vationists have been instrumental
in locking us out from common sense
Kevin George Curtis
Why is such hostility shown by so few to
the Ban 1080 Party? Is it from people who
think their jobs are on the line if this party
gains the traction it deser ves?
Do these people realise that they are
in the minority in South Westland?
Hari Hari polling showed 96% of village
residents oppose the continued use of
1080. The wider farming area polled at
75% opposed to the continued use of
I hope that those who think they
are clever by destroying other people’s
property and attacking the majority view
in this area, think again. If they are the
users of this poison, as I believe they are,
then they are infringing our rights to
oppose, to have a political party which
opposes 1080 and which wants to do
conser vation a different way.
They should think again. Their work is
not trashed and yet their poison and their
views are not smashed, yet they continue
They should think about the damage
they are doing to New Zealand’s clean,
green brand. They should think about
the cost to New Zealand and our
environment. And remember, we are
forced to pay levies and rates for these
people to poison, so can they please leave
our election signs alone. Vigilante sign
destruction should cease. Let the people
Farmers Against Ten Eighty
Peanut peril cut
new method for
from peanuts means
help could soon be
on the way for the
roughly 2.8 million
Americans with a potentially life-
threatening allergy to the popular
food, the United States Department
of Agriculture said this week.
In a blog post, the agency said
researchers at North Carolina
Agricultural and Technical State
University have found a way to
reduce peanut allergens by 98%
to 100% by focusing on certain
proteins that can trigger food-
related anaphylaxis, a severe,
whole-body allergic reaction.
“ We found that treating peanuts
with protein-breaking enzymes
reduced allergenic proteins,” Dr
Jianmai Yu, a food and nutrition
researcher at North Carolina
A and T’s School of Agriculture and
Environmental Sciences, said.
The university has signed
an agreement with Xemerge,
a Toronto-based firm that
technologies in food and
agriculture, to research
the marketing potential of
hypoallergenic peanut products.
“This is one of the best
technologies in the food and
nutrition space we have seen,”
Johnny Rodrigues, chief
commercialisation officer of
Xemerge, said on the university’s
website. “It checks all the boxes:
non-GMO, patented, human
clinical data, does not change
physical characteristics of the
peanut.” “GMO” stands for
“genetically modified organism.”
The treatment is effective whether
peanuts are whole, broken into
pieces or ground into flour, the
USDA said. It has also shown
promise in wheat, one of the top
eight food allergens in the United
States, and tree nuts.
The USDA’s National Institute
of Food and Agriculture supported
the research with funding through
an agriculture and food research
The process consists of pre-
treating shelled and skinless
peanuts with a food-grade enzyme.
This post-har vest process does
not change the peanut ’s shape
or cause lipid oxidation — a key
consideration when determining a
product ’s shelf life.
Researchers at the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s
School of Medicine performed
skin-prick tests to validate the
research results on human test
subjects, the USDA said.
“Peanuts are increasingly used
in food products, which make it
difficult for the allergic individuals
to avoid accidental exposure.
Therefore, it is very important for us
to find a way to make peanuts less
or non-allergenic,” Yu said.
Peanuts cause serious allergic
reactions in about 0.9% of the US
population, including about 400,000
Anaphylaxis symptoms can
include difficulty breathing, low
blood pressure, swelling of the
tongue, eyes or face; stomach pain,
nausea and vomiting; skin rashes,
blisters, itching, inflammation, and
pain; and in some cases death.
The average US consumer eats
more than two and a half kilos of
peanuts and peanut products each
year, according to the USDA, with
more than half of that in the form
of peanut butter. Peanuts consumed
in candy and as snacks are also
The amount of peanut butter eaten
in the United States each year could
wrap the Earth in a ribbon of half-
kilo jars one and one-third times,
according to the National Peanut
Board. — Reuters
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