Home' Greymouth Star : September 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, September 5, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1698 - New East India Company is granted
charter by King William III of England. Peter
the Great executes the Streltzy rebels in Russia
and imposes tax on beards.
1800 - Malta is surrendered to the British
under Admiral Nelson after they blockade
French troops occupying the island.
1939 - President Franklin Roosevelt declares
United States neutrality at the start of World
War Two in Europe. Australia calls for
volunteers to create a second fighting force.
1972 - D uring the Olympic games, Arab
terrorists of the Black September movement
attack an Israeli dormitory in the Olympic
village at Munich, killing two members of the
Israeli Olympic team. Nine Israelis,
five terrorists and a West German
policeman later die in a shootout at
1975 - In Sacramento, Lynette
“Squeaky” Fromme, a follower of the
cult leader Charles Manson, attempts
to assassinate US President Gerald
1982 - Death of British pilot Sir Douglas
Bader, who despite losing both legs in a flying
accident, led his squadron to victory in the
Battle of Britain.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Louis XIV, the “Sun King” of France (1638-
1715); Johann Christian Bach, German
composer and son of Johann Sebastian Bach
(1735-1782); Caspar David Friedrich, German
painter (1774-1840); Giacomo Meyerbeer,
German composer (1791-1864); Jesse James,
US outlaw (1847-1882); Paul Bourget,
French author (1852-1935); Daryl F Zanuck,
US film producer (1902-1979); Arthur
Koestler, Hungarian-born British
writer (1905-1983); John Cage, US
composer (1912-1992); George
Lazenby, Australian actor (1939-);
Raquel Welch, US actress (1940-);
Werner Herzog, German director
(1942-); Freddie Mercury, British
singer, Queen (1946-1991); Frank
Farina, Australian footballer (1964-
); Paddy Considine, English actor (1973-)
Matt Geyer, Australian rugby league footballer
(1975-); Pierre Casiraghi, son of princess
Caroline of Monaco (1987-); Alicia Banit,
Australian actress (1990-).
“ It is only the poor who are forbidden to beg. ”
— Anatole France, French author and critic
“ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today
and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8
The Fletcher plant
will constitute the West Coast ’s first plywood
factory, costing approximately £500,000, is
reaching the blossoming stage. Today, the
men at the plant were preparing for a major
operation scheduled to begin this afternoon
and involving the lifting of a 60ft chimney into
position alongside the boiler room.
The chimney which was fabricated by the
Dispatch Foundry has lain at the plant site for
about two months. It is a steel structure with a
width of about seven feet at the base. The top
The industrial expansion in Greymouth’s
southern area is not confined to the big
Fletcher project at Gladstone. Another
example closer to the main town area is the
depot layout for the Ministry of Works at
South Beach. Started in April of last year, the
project is now 80% completed.
General finishing-up operations remain to
be carried out but these should not take long.
Department officials are hoping the depot will
be ready by the end of this month.
Severely burned when he fell on to a heater
on Tuesday night, an elderly Greymouth man
died this morning. He was John Coadwell, 75,
of Marlborough Street.
Mr Coadwell’s pyjamas were set alight when
he toppled and fell on a heater. Hearing her
husband’s cries, his wife Mrs Louisa Coadwell
rushed to give aid and managed to subdue
the flames with a mat. Mr Coadwell had been
in a critical condition in Grey Hospital since
uFood for thought
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The tensions of heritage
s a historian I have
always been confused by
the concept of heritage,
with its derivation
from inheritance — the
passing on of goods and
money after the death of a close relative.
Accordingly, we speak of ‘our’ heritage,
whereas we seldom speak of ‘our’ history.
And it did seem to me, when listening to
the discussions on Greymouth-Mawhera
heritage after the recent performances of
the play, Ted, Poppy and World War Two,
that this confusion is more widespread and
that there are serious tensions associated
with the field.
In order to seek some clarity, I turned
to a recently published book to which
I contributed an essay, ‘Heritage,
labour and working classes’, and was
immediately struck by an introductory
comment, ‘Heritage has largely become an
instrument that defines the disturbances,
irregularities and uncertainties of the
present much more than it truly represents
The editors’ definition of heritage was
also useful: Heritage is ‘not only tangible
artefacts, buildings, places, sites and
monuments, but also intangible traditions,
commemorations, festivals, artwork, song
However, there were also moments of
great clarity during the discussions, and I
would like to list these.
Th ere was a clear consensus that the
natural environment of the Coast is our
greatest heritage. The ongoing tension, and
a tension that is part of our heritage, is the
need for economic activity that provides
a living for the population, without
destroying this heritage.
Th e Maori view is that heritage is at
the core of life. The gods, the natural world
and the human world are a continuity of
heritage: Tane is the tree which becomes
the waka which carries the iwi which is
the whakapapa which is the person. This
continuity is at the centre of life. Stewart
Nimmo revealed a Pakeha version of this
when he revealed that his house contains
objects saved from heritage buildings
which have been demolished. At the other
end of this spectrum is the capitalist view
that everything is a commodity to be
bought and sold.
Th ere was a consensus that stories are
a vital part of our heritage, and that these
stories should be democratically available
rather than controlled by establishments.
The Facebook page West Coast History
was given as an example of this grassroots
Some physical heritage is important
in that it provides an anchor for stories
and traditions. Richard Arlidge pointed
out that the goods shed and adjacent
wharf and cranes had been the hub of the
prosperous period of Greymouth (1920s
to 1950s), with all the supplies coming
into the goods shed to be sorted, and with
the coal going out through the port. Such
a hub, symbol of a previous good time,
could have provided a centre of emotional
rejuvenation. Instead, it was pulled down.
Gary Hopkinson pointed out that the
cluster of buildings around the railway
station is of importance. Similarly, the
Runanga Miners’ Hall represents an era of
working class confidence and prosperity.
Stewart Nimmo brought along a map of
heritage buildings which past represented
social relations and which have been lost.
Heritage is not just for tourists, but
must speak to residents, both born and
bred and newcomers.
Th e tension is that old buildings
become run down and no longer meet
modern expectations in terms of energy
efficiency and comfort and are often not fit
for purpose as galleries, museums etc. Can
they be simply preser ved digitally and we
move on? But there is a difference between
a digital representation and physically
restoring something that represents a
previous time, and then finding a new
function. The latter act preser ves a
seamless continuity between past and
present. But it is often expensive.
To hold these tensions in equilibrium
and to enable progress within this
equilibrium requires sophisticated
processes, which council have not yet put
into place. Too often the consultation
with experts is hidden and things happen
almost by sleight of hand.
As I skimmed the book again, and
it draws on many examples of mining
towns in the United Kingdom hit by pit
closure and faced with grief and loss and
emotional degeneration, I was struck by
the concept of ‘dark heritage’, a heritage of
victimisation, loss and death. Greymouth-
Mawhera has its fair share of dark heritage
with its original tale of expulsion of
tangata whenua, its mining disasters, pit
closures, floods, shipwrecks, drownings
and so on.
While acknowledging this dark heritage,
it is important for a community to
emotionally regenerate — in the words
of one town campaign: Don’t mourn,
It is clear that art processes can be
important, for they are processes which
are complex enough to hold the above
tensions in equilibrium and they are not
extravagant in terms of cost. It is here,
that for me, opportunities are being lost.
If instead of another memorial to dark
heritage, council had negotiated with the
Pike River families to spend the $250,000
on 10 sculptures (by local artists using
local materials) representing life, to be
placed along the riverside walk, what an
amazing walkway we would have had.
Similarly, there was a wasted opportunity
in the conceptualising of the shelter at the
beginning of the cycle trail.
Given the difficulty of a small rating
base and the reluctance of ratepayers to
shoulder the burdens of heritage provision,
and a diminishing body of local corporate
sponsors, it is essential that what money
there is, is spent wisely and creatively.
Council is currently in the middle of
a necessary campaign to save the CBD,
to overcome the dark heritage factor,
and rejuvenate the town emotionally.
It has wisely sought grassroots input.
I would hope that the next stage
involves a dialogue between those with
interpretative and creative skills and the
grassroots contributors — relatively free of
Blackball playwright PAUL MAUNDER has just completed a successful season with
his latest thought-provoking play, Ted, Poppy and World War Two presented to good-
sized crowds at the Regent Theatre last week. After each performance the audience was
involved in a group discussion. Here, he summarises those views.
Marine reser ve
On the West Coast, as well as
nationwide, an illusion is being spun: that
the National Party are helping our marine
Nick Smith’s upcoming visit to
Punakaiki this Sunday is an electioneering
stunt designed to green-wash a party that
consistently places short-term economic
gain before environmental sustainability.
DOC has hailed the marine reser ves result
as an “excellent example of a collaborative
process”, despite political and commercial
interests commandeering the process.
We have a set of reser ves that do not
touch mid or deep-water habitats, and
cover only 1.3% of our region’s inshore
waters. Given the initial working
aim of the forum was 10%, this is a
The Ship Creek reserve is a short strip of
beach that reaches a mere 200m out into
the churning waves, not exactly a hotspot
for marine diversity, nor are there currently
any real threats to what resides there. It is
no surprise that the Minister of Primary
Industries had no problem with the
proposal, as it effectively calls for almost
no change to commercial fishing practices.
While the reser ves were meant to
embrace a range of marine habitats, the
result is some protection for one type:
‘shallow (less than 30m) sub-tidal sand’.
Dr Smith would have us believe that
penguins, dolphins and seals will benefit,
but studies show that penguins feed
many kilometres offshore, and fur seals
target mid-deep water fish, with dives
deeper than 240m recorded on the West
Coast. These reser ves fall shallow when
it comes to benefiting marine mammals
and seabirds, let alone what they feed on.
The Marine Protection Forum had the
potential to create a meaningful range
of reser ves, but the Government has
chosen to disregard the science of marine
protection and listen to only a few voices.
Travelling home, I heard on Coast FM
the question — ‘If an out-of-control bus
was heading towards a dog or a foreign
tourist, which one would you push aside?
We will give you the answers tomorrow!’
What sort of sick mind could come up
with a poll like that?
Any advertisers supporting a radio
station with that mindset will not be
getting my business.
Tourism we need, crap like that — no!
‘No’ to the road
It would be nice if Mr Havill would
just listen to the will of the people and
stop using council funds to try to force
the Haast-Hollyford road upon us. Many
times we have said ‘no’. The environmental
impact is too great and giving us a road we
cannot afford to use is ludicrous.
Though he has foreign interests to
placate, he works for us and we do not
want it. How many times do we have to
Perhaps more focus on our growing debt
might be a better focus for an ex-mayor
than a private road deal. Enough, already.
Support needed for
I am delighted to advise that distribution
of the Haast-Hollyford Highway Ltd
leaflet seeking your support should have
arrived in your mailbox by now.
The leaflet seeks your support for the
proposed Haast-Hollyford toll road. A
road that will double tourism numbers
on the Coast, a road that will create
approximately 1500 new jobs, a road that
is only 128km long, of which 30km is
already formed. It is a road built at no
cost to the government or our councils.
Its economic development at its very best.
And that is just the start.
Three of the candidates for the election
on September 20 have stated their
positions on the proposed road: Haig
(Greens) against; O’Connor (Labour)
against; Pugh (National) for.
In meeting with Government ministers
it has been made very clear that we need
visible community support for the road,
hence this letter and the leaflet and your
support will be very important as we go
for ward. It has also been made clear that
if the Coast votes in a National candidate
that person will likely be around the table
of the party in power and will be able
to work in the interests of the Coast to
promote this project.
It is now over 50 years since the opening
of the Haast road and what a boost that
was for the West Coast. This Haast-
Hollyford toll highway will do as much or
more than the opening of the Haast Pass
road, with the benefits being spread from
Haast to Karemea.
On the Coast, we are in the perfect
storm with commodities all trending
downwards together and we need a
significant boost just to stand still, and this
project is just that. Its jobs, its investment
in accommodation and its investment
in added experiences and its logical and
finishes of a project started off by a very
different Labour Party in 1935.
No matter who you have voted for in the
past, it is clear to me that a Green-Labour
government will kill this important
I am asking Coasters to consider how
you vote with this project in mind, as
if you are not around the table of the
government in power you may as well be
at home mowing the lawns or biking to
your next appointment.
We need development on the Coast, and
a Green-Labour team in power would
mean I will have to pack my bags as I will
be out of a job, and the best thing that
could ever happen to the Coast simply
Haast-Hollyford Road Ltd
It has come to my notice from various
sources that material at the McLeans
Pit recycling plant is in fact not being
processed but being put into the landfill.
As a person into zero waste and outside
the collection area I ask whether my
energy, time and petrol costs in taking
recycling material to McLeans Pit is in
vain. I was under the understanding that
the Grey District Council was trying to
reduce the amount of material that was
going into the landfill.
Would someone from the council advise
as to the current position as to recycling?
Grey District Council assets manager
Mel Sutherland responds: “Firstly, the
council would like to thank Mr Smithson
for his efforts. The council has reduced the
amount of material to landfill and there
has been an overall increase in recyclables.
Notwithstanding this, the council is aware
that there has been a reduction in the levels
for some recyclable products and is working
to address these in consultation with the
There as costs involved in transporting
recycled products to Christchurch and the
product has to be of acceptable condition and
quality to be accepted by the recycling markets.
Market trends (just like what happens with
coal and milk) can also influence tonnages
sold. The council is intending to construct a
dry storage area this financial year to improve
the quality of the paper and cardboard
product and to reduce the transported weight.”
Over the weekend, news broke of the
most damaging revelations so far in an
ongoing political scandal. It filled the
Naturally, on Monday, one would have
expected a front page, big headline article
on the minister’s resignation and the
reasons for it, including suggestions of
interference with the Serious Fraud Office
investigations of a failed finance company.
Astoundingly, there was no such article
in our paper. On page 3, in a smallish
article about the former SFO chief, one
line simply states, ‘She resigned from the
post on Saturday ’. I could hardly believe
what my eyes were seeing — or not seeing.
I suppose some people are sick of it all.
Well, they do not have to read it. Others
want to know how low those involved
We have a right to know; and we have a
right to have the details in printed form so
that we can think about it and refer to it at
leisure. And we pay for that facility.
Abridged. By the time our paper was
published on Monday, the ‘news’ of Judith
Collins’ resignation was three days old and
the stor y had moved on somewhat, hence we
published the updated stor y to keep up with
the news of the day.
Poverty in NZ
I grew up at a similar time in
Christchurch to John Key. And like him, I
had the benefit of State support as a child
of a solo mother.
I have gone on to become a qualified
lawyer, have six highly achieving children,
and have ser ved the community in a
number of ways over the years.
I wonder what would have become of
me, and John Key if we were children of
solo mums growing up today, in post-
earthquake Christchurch, or for that
matter anywhere in New Zealand?
Poor housing, not necessarily enough
to eat, inadequate clothing, not enough
money to play sport, mum being forced to
find a non-existent part-time job.
And I wonder if the class mobility that
we have always valued, that allowed me to
become a lawyer, and John Key to become
Prime Minister would be very likely any
We have an opportunity at election day
to change the lives of the 285,000 New
Zealand children who live in poverty. But
only if we use our party vote to elect a
The 140th reunion of the arrival of the
Lester family in 1875 in Nelson is to be
held in Murchison in March 2015.
Over the years, contact has been lost
with two branches of this family. The two
brothers, William and Fredrick, settled in
the Matakitaki Valley out of Murchison,
the two sisters who arrived, Sophia
and Caroline, married in Greymouth.
Sophia married Patrick McGrath, the
sole policeman in Greymouth in 1876.
Caroline married John McCallum in 1884.
As time has gone on we have lost contact
with these two branches of our family and
with the 140th anniversary coming up it is
vital that we are able to contact the present
generations members on the Coast.
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