Home' Greymouth Star : September 15th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, September 15, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1830 - The first train accident: British states-
man William Huskisson is fatally injured at
the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester
1938 - British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain visits Germany ’s Adolf Hitler at
Berchtesgaden where Hitler states his determi-
nation to annex Sudetenland on
principle of self-determination.
1963 - Four children are killed
when a bomb explodes during
Sunday ser vices at a black Baptist
church in Birmingham, Alabama.
1972 - Two former White House
aides, Howard Hunt and
Gordon Liddy, are added to the five men
already charged with the break-in at the Wa-
1988 - Convictions of Michael and Lindy
Chamberlain over the death of their baby
Azaria at Uluru are quashed.
2003 - A fire at Saudi Arabia’s largest prison,
al-Hair, in Riyadh, kills 67 inmates and
wounds 23. The blaze is the deadliest prison
fire in Saudi history.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
William Howard Taft, US president (1857-
1930); Joseph Lyons, Australian prime minister
(1879-1939); Agatha Christie, British author
(1890-1976); Jean Renoir, French
film director (1894-1979); Brian
Henderson, Australian television
personality (1931-); Fred Nile,
NSW politician (1934-); Sara
Henderson, Australian pastoralist
and author (1936-2005); Jessye
Norman, US soprano (1945-);
Oliver Stone, US filmmaker
(1946-); Tommy Lee Jones, US actor (1946-);
Terry Lamb, Australian rugby league footballer
(1961-); Princess Letizia of Spain (1972-);
Tom Hardy, British actor (1977-); Sophie
Dahl, British author and model (1979-); Prince
Harry (1984-) .
“In every real man a child is hidden that wants
to play” — Friedrich Nietzsche, German
“The Lord looks down from Heaven on
humankind to see if there are any who are wise,
who seek after God.”
— (Psalms 14:2).
Barrowman was an
adventurer, a gambler,
a bullock team driver,
a gold digger, a lover — and more prosaically
in later life — a Public Works engineer.
He crammed into his 78 years (1845-1923)
enough experience for a saga of a dozen
The Greymouth Star, through the good
offices of the pioneer’s son, Cobden’s Mr
RA Barrowman, has obtained two journals
written by Fergus Barrowman, A Few Years
of Colonial Life Literally True, and Bound by
an Oath, on his early life on the Coast. They
cover a period in the life of the Coast when it
was not only the goldmine of New Zealand but
a mine of picturesque history in the annals of
this country’s past.
Fergus Barrowman was born at Newton, near
Glasgow in 1845. He arrived in New Zealand
in February 1864 — a 19-year-old youth
prepared to go anywhere and do anything. The
ship that brought this early Coaster was the
620-ton vessel Paria.
The breeding grounds of the Westland black
petrel, one of New Zealand’s rarer birds, will
be protected by making a scenic reser ve of
269 acres of Crown land near Barrytown, the
Minister of Lands Mr Gerard said today.
“ Worldwide interest was aroused in 1945 by
the discovery of this hitherto unknown species,
resembling other New Zealand petrels in some
characteristics but differing in habitat, size and
appearance,” Mr Gerard said.
The Westland black petrel lives only in
the broken, bushclad country at the back of
Barrytown, near the Punakaiki River.
uFood for thought
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Vote for life
Your readers have no doubt noticed that
the pro-life issues have been noticeable
by their absence in the debate leading
up to our 2014 parliamentary election.
Important issues like euthanasia and
abortion do not seem to be on anyone’s
At our last election the country’s
marriage laws were not mentioned either,
but as soon as the election was out of the
way the country’s definition of marriage
was redefined without any mandate
from the electorate, who were cast aside
and ignored. It is rumoured that similar
moves are under way to change our
laws on euthanasia and abortion, but
where is the debate? A bill to change the
euthanasia laws was even withdrawn from
the ballot in Parliament recently as it
was stated ‘that it would be divisive in an
election year’. That does not sound very
We are extremely lucky to live in a
democratic country but we have to
treasure and protect our democracy. Any
major changes to our laws on euthanasia
or abortion should be signalled well in
advance of an election so we can talk
to candidates about their views on such
issues and vote accordingly. Both these
issues are extremely important. In fact,
they are matters of life and death for
most of us. Family First has an excellent
website www.value your vote.org.nz that
gives you some idea of what most party
leaders think on these issues and also the
voting record of MPs on moral issues
over the past two sessions of Parliament.
Congratulations are due to our present
electorate MP on his voting record on
You have two precious votes. Use them
Who to vote for?
Everyone is wanting my party vote
come September 20 — what to do?
I look at the history and the huge
success of partial coal levies returned
to mining districts like in Australia
and elsewhere, where amenities and
community ser vices flourish for decades
and in some cases, when some of it has
been salted away, those communities
thrive long after the pit lamps have been
The National Party have ruled out any
return to the West Coast of the coal
levies — its candidate Mrs Pugh thinks
it is a new tax when it is not. Geez.
It is simply a re-allocation of an
existing one if Mrs Pugh had done her
homework; the Greens are in the same
camp, it is a ‘no’ from them; Labour is yet
again saying it is a another ‘maybe’, but
they have had plenty of opportunities in
the past to address the issue and never
did. Winston Peters has made a clear
statement on the issue and with his rise
in the polls it is perhaps the closest the
region will get to ever seeing it happen.
On one issue that could have averted
the situation the region now finds itself
in, the mining boom and bust cycle, guess
who gets my tick? Good on ya, Winne.
To hell with the others.
Regarding the people who oppose the
Haast-Hollyford road proposal with such
I have often wondered (and I doubt
very much that I am alone in doing so)
if the said people, while driving over our
scenic alpine passes or any other scenic
highways of New Zealand for that matter,
ever suffer a mild dose of hypocritical
This is simply because, if these people
lived by their principles they would not
be driving far in any direction.
If these people had been the decision-
makers back in the days of the
construction of some of these amazing
highways, then none of us would be
going very far today.
Moving on, I would just like to say to
Durham Havill and his team that there
are many people out there who really
appreciate their collective determination.
Let us hope that one supporting
prospective politician is the real deal.
I would also mention the great efforts
of the late Bernie Radomski and all the
other dedicated people who came before
him, including the people who gave their
stories and photos to the Greymouth Star
and Messenger, reminding the general
public that the construction of the Haast-
Hollyford road was actually under way in
the late 1930s, and was only stopped by
World War Two.
To conclude with a suggestion, when
the new road is opened, maybe. As the
travellers purchase their toll tickets
they could be treated with a photo to
remember the Hollyford experience.
Who knows, they may include a photo
or two of some of those people who
wanted nothing to do with the project.
If so, I hope they enjoy the experience.
Every now and then the old Coast needs
a lift. Can anyone deny this is one of
those times? Also, I know it has been
said before, but this scenery should not
be just for the fit and able but for anyone,
including the disabled, to appreciate and
Our leases were originally set at 21
years with the right of renewal every 21
These leases were perpetual leases,
meaning never ending or changing.
Similar to the Treaty of Waitangi
document, which cannot be changed,
these leases were set in place by the
Crown and can only be changed by the
The Grey District Council took it upon
themselves to change the 21-year lease
agreement with the right of renewal to a
seven-year lease agreement with no right
of renewal, which was illegal.
I wonder how the council and their
lawyers would get on if they tried to
change the treaty.
Local lawyers were retained by the
council to draw up this illegal lease
The lawyers in question were acting
on behalf of both the council and
leaseholder, which, in my view, was a
conflict of interest, and were also reaping
financial gain by representing both the
council and leaseholder.
Throughout this process the leaseholder
was not consulted by the council. The
leaseholder was run rough shod over and
unwittingly duped into signing a lease
agreement that was not in their best
interest but was, I believe, illegal and
fraudulent, and therefore null and void.
The role of the council should be to act
in the best interest of the people, they
being the ones who vote them in and pay
Furthermore, because the land is
Crown-owned it should come under the
control of the regional council not the
The Grey District Council can
complain all they like about legal costs
but they have done it to themselves.
Any ratepayer-leaseholder has a right to
defend their rights and if in doing so it
comes at a cost to the council, so be it.
Is it not the ratepayer-leaseholder
who pays for the council’s legal costs
through paying their rates and leases?
The council have been very fortunate
that other leaseholders have not as yet
requested a refund on their leases as the
lease agreement they signed was illegal,
and null and void. Talk about done like a
Kevin George Curtis
Labour as opposition
David Cunliffe’s refusal to confirm
that he would rather go into opposition
than accept the Maori Party does not
wash. He says that he will not answer
hypothetical questions, but excuse me,
isn’t the whole question hypothetical?
It is completely hypothetical that Mr
Cunliffe will be in a position to even
think about forming a government, so if
it is okay to make statements on the one
hand, why not on the other?
Does Mr Cunliffe seriously expect
people to believe that he would go into
opposition rather than deal with the
Maori Party? Does Mr Cunliffe seriously
expect that in such a situation, his
colleagues and members would even let
him get away with it?
While Mr Cunliffe might be happy to
sit in opposition for the next three years,
that does not mean the rest of his party
Now we hear they did not even know
about it. Policy on the fly, perhaps?
Reading the local newspapers voters
must think there is only one candidate
campaigning in this election.
I have been working recently with
Maureen (the National Party candidate),
she is doing the long hours, huge amount
of travelling and bringing on to the Coast
a number of ministers and MPs to listen
to what our people have to say, discuss
issues and communicate policy.
Maureen already has the ear of Cabinet
ministers, she will be able to achieve
more for the Coast working within a
National-led government than Damien
will on the outside.
Maureen has enthusiasm, passion,
energy and is determined to make a
I have confidence in Maureen, she is the
right person to represent the West Coast
with the challenges ahead.
ust how scared is the watch
industry of Apple’s new
When the tech giant unveiled
the Apple Watch last week,
its sleek, futuristic timepiece
selling for $US349 early next
year, it roared into a sleepy
smartwatch industry dominated
by niche devices, most of which had
Although late to the party, Apple
has already proven it can upend entire
industries: Look what its iPhones and
iPads did for cellphones and tablets. Now
watchers of the big watchmakers are
beginning to worry that the good times for
“dumb” watches are running out.
Shares of major watchmakers Fossil,
Movado and Swatch tumbled after Apple’s
debut. Since January, Swatch has lost
nearly 17% of its value, or about $US5.9
billion, as investors worried over its once-
legendary Swiss brand.
And analysts for Fossil, which owns
brands such as Burberry, DKNY and
Michael Kors, said they have grown
“ increasingly concerned” over the
avalanche of Apple’s gadget hype.
“ We cannot overlook what is increasingly
becoming a major disruption to the entire
watch industry,” Barclays analysts wrote
in a Wednesday note titled “Fossil, Inc.:
Watch Out. ” “Future innovation at Fossil
. . . will largely be challenged by hype and
innovative offerings from deep pocket
technology-credible competitors such as
Apple, Samsung and Motorola. ”
Market analysts believe Apple could
sell anywhere from 10 million to 60
million smartwatches, which, according
to estimates from Piper Jaffray analyst
Gene Munster, would virtually steamroll
the 3 million smartwatches companies
such as Google and Pebble have sold
so far. Forrester Research analyst James
McQ uivey predicted it would be one
of Apple’s “most important and brand-
reinforcing launches in years. ”
Apple has already begun to take a bit of
a victory lap, believing itself firmly ahead
of the competition: In a subtle Easter
egg, promotional photos show the Apple
Watch set to one minute before 10:10,
the industry standard time watchmakers
set their device to in ads. (The hour and
minute hands frame the logo, and look a
bit like a smiley face.)
Watchmakers have so far waved off the
threat, saying buyers will continue to turn
to their timepieces as jewellery, accessories
or status symbols. Speaking in Zurich
on Wednesday, Swatch chief executive
Nick Hayek said he was “not ner vous,”
according to Tages Anzeiger, a Swiss
newspaper. Bulova president Gregory
Thumm told Market Watch, “ Wearing a
wristwatch is much less about timekeeping
than it is a cultural phenomenon.”
The death of the wristwatch has been
predicted before, when cellphones first
became ubiquitous, but the industry
has proven surprisingly hard to quash.
Watches are selling better in the United
States than they have in years, having
climbed back from the recession with
several years of rapid growth, research firm
Euromonitor International said.
And mechanical watches, which are
often less accurate but more stylish than
their quartz counterparts, accounted for
a growing chunk of the $8.2b in watches
sold in the United States last year.
Yet those steady results haven’t proven
strong enough to keep investors from
jumping ship. Fossil logged $3.2b in global
sales last year, more than double what it
sold in 2009, and booms in Europe and
Asia have helped sales grow 11% through
the first half of the year. But investors
have responded mostly by fleeing, sending
Fossil shares sliding 13% since the year
It’s not just Apple’s new addition that ’s
causing the concern. Smartwatches are
quickly evolving past the chunky nerd
infamy that blocked them from gaining
The software that powers the watches,
such as Google’s Android Wear, is
becoming sleeker and easier to use, and
the hardware is improving with more
fashionable builds, smoother response time
and features like pedometers and heart-
rate monitors. When Motorola launched
its $250 Moto 360 last week, the round-
faced smartwatch — the first to actually
look like, well, a watch — sold out in less
than a day.
Fossil tried to stem the tide last
week by announcing, ahead of
Apple’s unveiling, that it would
launch a partnership with Intel to
“develop the next innovation in
the emerging wearable technology
But others have argued Apple’s
push will draw in more new-tech
adopters than the upper crust.
Analysts at Euromonitor said
smartwatches would compete
less with the established fashion
brands and more with cheap
digital watches, already one of the
“smallest and slowest-growing”
type of watches on the market.
Luxury watch makers have
enjoyed decades as a mostly
unchecked status symbol for the
affluent, allowing them the ability
to charge ever-increasing prices
for pretty much the same watch.
Rolex’s emblematic Submariner, a
diving watch that sold in the 1950s
for $150, now sells for $7500 —
six times more than it would have if it had
followed inflation trends.
But as smartwatches become better
at doing more and more, analysts say
it might not just be watchmakers who
should worry. The Apple Watch “should
help the entire industry grow, but that
doesn’t mean there’s zero cannibalisation,”
said Erinn Murphy, a senior research
analyst with Piper Jaffray Investment
“ Does it cannibalise sales of (GPS
maker) Garmin? Sales of early Samsung
watches? Some of the tech-oriented
watches that are tracking fitness? Does it
cannibalise an iPad? The functionality level
evolves, so could this replace something
else that ’s more tech-oriented — even
more than just a watch?” — AP
For six terrible months, Adam Steenkamp
has been forced to watch, wait and pray as
the trial of the man who killed his sister
ground to its agonising conclusion.
Yet the verdict that Oscar Pistorius
was guilty of culpable homicide — the
equivalent of manslaughter — has
brought no relief to his distress.
Today, in an inter view with The Mail on
Sunday, Adam says his whole family has
been left heartbroken and betrayed by the
South African court.
He brands Pistorius an outright killer
who should have been found guilty of
deliberate murder after blasting gunshots
through the door of the toilet where
his girlfriend Reeva was cowering. And
he condemns the athlete”s courtroom
histrionics as a “grotesque pantomime”.
“In my heart I know he has got away
with it. He has got away with murder,” says
Adam, who is now based in Britain with
his wife and children.
“I don’t understand the logic of acquitting
someone of murder who fires four rounds
into a very small toilet cubicle. It is not the
action of someone not intending to kill.”
The life of his sister had been taken,
he said, and Pistorius was responsible.
Speaking from his home in Suffolk, Adam,
a 39-year-old IT consultant, said he was
struggling to contain his emotions in the
face of such trauma.
scream and shout at the world.
“ You want to fight against something to
make things right. But your head says that
is not the way to go about it, that is not
going to change anything. That would be
reciprocating, fuelling a circle of terrible
violence. It wouldn’t make things any
He described talking to his father about
Pistorius, and said how it was strange that
they were not angry or full of hate. “ You
try not to be too angry because that seems
the wrong thing to do,” he said. “ We are
looking for the positives and what can
come out of this and make things better
instead of worse. “ This case in a very
strange way has opened a window into
people’s lives in South Africa, the way they
feel they need to defend themselves with
extreme force. People need to think about
this.”He said if he could see or speak to
Pistorius, he would ask:
“ What happened? How on earth could
you have such a failing, and a capacity to do
something like this?
“There can only be two reasons: absolute
intent or a bad mistake. It is very hard to
speak your mind when there is a judge
up there — and the judge is there for
a reason. I wouldn’t argue that the law
hasn’t been applied but maybe the law is
out of touch with reality, especially in that
Adam said he was sure that Pistorius was
a broken man. He felt that he had come
across as a terrible witness, caring more
about his own circumstances and self-
“The world was watching,” he said. “ We
were not fooled. The man was scared and
that is understandable. I am sure what was
on his mind was that he was going away for
the most useful years of his life.”
But he said it was almost impossible to
stomach the “grotesque pantomime” of
Pistorius’ actions in court. “ When I saw
him vomiting and crying I just thought,
“Man up. Man up.”
“O ur tears are a lot more real, they are
heavier. Crying about his lot wasn’t going
to change anything. He is a man and it was
time for him to stand up and take it on the
“It was disappointing to see him not
do that. It looked like he was acting. The
very least one could accept is the verdict
of culpable homicide. It would have been
crazy if he had walked free having killed
Adam described the terrible loss of his
sister. “S he was absolutely lovely,” he said.
“ We had a wonderful connection and
missed each other incredibly in the times
between seeing each other.”
He said his two young children had been
looking forward to seeing Reeva last year
when she planned a trip to England.
“S he used to go to the shops and buy little
bits for them as their auntie. Reeva wanted
to strengthen the link between us and she”d
send the kids presents with loving letters.
“She bought some little Wellington boots
and wrote a note saying ‘just like you and
I used to wear when we were little’. Reeva
and I grew up on the farm and we used
to run around together in our shorts and
gumboots. I can see her thinking the same
about my little boy.”
Adam said he last spoke to his sister a
few months before she was killed, and they
regularly exchanged texts and e-mails.
“ We were desperate to meet up and for
her to meet the kids for the first time.
“ We also tried to help sort out my Dad
with Skype so he could be introduced
to the world of video messaging. We
were trying to work things out, to bring
our family closer together.”Adam said
he admired the way Reeva was on the
cusp of doing a lot of things, making a
difference to her world. “She was a very
clever woman and had her head screwed
on. She was always the calm settler in the
family, the one who would always listen and
“S he did her law degree and she had a
life plan there and also had a bit of fun
modelling. The opportunities presented to
her opened her eyes as to how she could
bring about changes and contribute to
society. It is very sad because all her family
can see how she would have brought people
“Her persona in the media gave her a
voice and, when you match that with her
sharp brain, she would have been a force for
good. We have all lost something.” Adam
said he had spoken to his father, Barry, on
Friday after the verdict. “He was still in
Pretoria surrounded by friends and family.
I asked him how he was and he just said,
“I ’m okay ”.
“He is such a strong man, he can hold up.
But it has broken quite a large part of his
Adam recalled being asked to take Reeva’s
ashes and scatter them into the Indian
Ocean after the funeral.
“Becoming tearful, he said: “It was very
humbling. I didn’t ask to. It was given to me
to do and in a way I felt I was supporting
my dad and June (his father’s second wife
and Reeva’s mother).
“They were so distraught and I was very
touched and quietly supporting them.
When I scattered the ashes into the sea I
was thinking, “See you again, Reeva.”
Adam’s parents divorced when he was
three and he moved to England in his
New Zealand Herald
Pistorius trial a ‘grotesque pantomime’
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