Home' Greymouth Star : September 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, September 17, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1631- A Swedish-Saxon army under Gustav
II Adolf of Sweden destroys a Catholic army
at Breitenfeld, Germany, marking the rise of
Sweden as amajor power.
1665- The great bubonic plague breaks out in
1787- The US constitution is signed.
1796- President George Washington delivers
his farewell address to the
American people. He had been
president since 1789.
1871- The Mont Cenis Tunnel,
the first of the great tunnels
through the Alps to be completed,
1941- New Zealand abolishes the
death penalty for murder. It is replaced by life
imprisonment with hard labour. Sentences of
flogging and whipping are also ended.
1952 - New Zealand’s population passes
two million. The populations of the four main
centres at the time were: Auckland 337,100,
Wellington 135,300, Christchurch 178,500 and
1963 - Malaysia breaks off diplomatic relations
with Indonesia because of what it describes as
President Sukarno’s increased hostility.
1967 - A riot during a football game in Turkey
kills 42 people and injures 600 others.
1970 - Open warfare erupts in Jordan between
King Hussein’s army and Palestinian guerrillas,
precipitating a world crisis.
1980 - Exiled Nicaraguan leader Anastasio
Somoza is assassinated in an explosion that
wrecks his car in Asuncion, Paraguay.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Marie-Jean Caritat, French
philosopher (1743-1794); Sir
Francis Chichester, British sailor
(1901-1972); Dolores Costello, US
actress (1903-1979; Jerry Colonna,
US comedian-singer (1904-1986);
Hank Williams, US musician
(1923-1953); Anne Bancroft, US
actress (1931-2005); Ken Kesey, US author
(1935-2001); Bruce Spence, New Zealand
actor (1945-); John Ritter, US actor (1948-
2003); BeBe Winans, US singer (1962-)
“There is no grief which time does not lessen
Cicero, Roman scholar (106-
“ Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in
their synagogues and proclaiming the good
news of the kingdom and curing every disease
and every sickness among the people.”
“I want a pet
hospital, a pet
ambulance and a
pet cemetery, and I
am going to see those things in Greymouth
before I die.” This is the forthright statement
of Mr Ray Anderson — animal lover, dog
breeder and one of the three men conducting
the new Greymouth first-aid animal clinic. At
present all his energies, with those of his two
colleagues, Mr C Sutherland and Mr J Dekker,
are bent towards running the new clinic which
is open on Saturday mornings and Wednesday
evenings from seven till eight.
It did not take Greymouth animal owners
long to recognise the benefits of the new
ser vice. Last Saturday 12 hours were spent on
repairing damaged pets and the following day
another 11 hours were put in.
The road with four names was all but
officially christened at last night’s meeting
of the Runanga Borough Council. The road
is the main highway linking Greymouth and
Westport. The Runanga council is faced with
problem of having road signs ready for the
final signwriting designating this road but
does not know what to call it. The four names
at least semi-officially favoured on maps are
Coast Road, Seven Mile Road, Main Road and
naming. “Ask the first three people you meet
what it’s called and call it that,” he said.
This met with the council’s approval. It was
generally recognised that most popular name
and that in most use was Seven Mile.
To the Transport Department at least, the
road has an official, if unspectacular name —
State highway 6.
uFood for thought
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outcome of this
shape of Europe
is changing as power ebbs away from
old nation States, sparking a backlash in
If Scots vote Yes to splitting from
England after 307 years of union, it will
cause a political earthquake and whet
appetites for self-rule from Catalonia to
If they vote No, the British government
has promised to decentralise more powers
to Edinburgh, with likely knock-on
effects in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Either way, the precedent of a plebiscite
on self-determination will reverberate
around the continent.
The Spanish government may find it
hard to withstand public pressure in
Catalonia to allow that prosperous north-
eastern region of 7.4 million people
— bigger than a dozen European Union
States — a vote on sovereignty.
Hundreds of thousands of Catalans
packed the streets of Barcelona last week
to demand the right to choose. What the
Catalans do is bound to influence Spain’s
Basques, who already have broader
The Cold War froze the map of Europe
for a generation. But since the fall of the
Berlin Wall, new States have appeared,
old ones have reappeared — bloodily
in the Balkans, largely peacefully in the
Baltics. In many European countries,
regions have gained more power at the
expense of central government.
That happened in Spain in the late
1970s after the end of General Francisco
Franco’s fascist rule.
Globalisation and European Union
integration are partly responsible for
unleashing a struggle between centrifugal
and centripetal forces that is far from
States that fought each other for
centuries now share a currency, an area of
passport-free travel, a single market with
free movement of citizens, capital, goods
and ser vices, and a raft of jointly adopted
norms and standards.
Nationalists find that hard to swallow,
as the big vote for anti-EU parties
in Britain, France, Austria and the
Netherlands in this year’s European
Parliament elections showed.
A former imperial power like Britain
which boasted in patriotic song of ruling
the waves now has to negotiate
its fishing catch in late-night
European countries have become
what former British and EU
diplomat Robert Cooper calls
“post-modern States”, freely
pooling part of their sovereignty.
“The European Union is a
highly developed system for
mutual interference in each others’
domestic affairs, right down to
beer and sausages,” Cooper wrote
in his 2003 book The Breaking of
That has made national borders
less important and raised
demands from citizens for more
democratic control at a sub-
The EU has been the catalyst
for many of these changes but not
always the solution.
A European Committee of the
Regions created in the 1990s to
give local and regional elected
officials a say in Brussels merely
added another expensive talking-
shop to the bloc’s institutions,
without any real power.
“The Committee of the Regions
is a total failure. If you are not a
state, you cannot get your issues
onto the EU’s agenda,” a former
representative of one of Europe’s
regions said, speaking on
condition of anonymity.
The big European regions such
as Germany ’s Laender maintain
offices the size of embassies in
Brussels to promote their
interests, secure EU investment
funds and lobby on legislation.
The Scottish and Catalan independence
movements see European unity as a
way of escaping the yoke of national
governments. They want their own seat at
the EU table, cutting out the middle-men
in London and Madrid.
The economic crisis that began in
2008 has accelerated the twin forces of
centralisation and regionalism in Europe.
It has sharpened resource conflicts
between rich and poorer regions such as
Dutch-speaking Flanders and French-
speaking Wallonia in Belgium, but also in
Italy and Germany.
Wealthy Bavaria and Hesse no
longer want to subsidise poorer north
and east German federal States and
have challenged the country’s fiscal
equalisation system in court. Prosperous
northern Italy, sick of paying for the
southern Mezzogiorno, has imposed a
system of fiscal federalism to limit the
Voters in Scotland and Catalonia have
turned to separatists in greater numbers
partly in protest against austerity policies
imposed by national political elites
depicted as out of touch with ordinary
Scottish nationalist leader Alex
Salmond is a master at tapping
resentment against the London
He joked last week that if he had
known the leaders of all three British
political parties were coming to Scotland
to campaign for a No vote, he would have
paid their bus fare.
The crisis has also fuelled nationalist
forces such as the UK Independence
Party, France’s National Front and the
Austrian and D utch Freedom parties that
want to withdraw from the EU and re-
erect national borders against immigrants
“It is unlikely that the European Union,
as it is at the start of the 21st century, has
reached its final resting place,” Cooper
wrote a decade ago.
“For the long run the most important
question is whether integration can
remain a largely apolitical process.”
A further fragmentation of nation
States would increase the strain on the
EU’s decision-making system, risking
It is hard enough to get 28 member
States to ratify treaties unanimously,
some by referendum. With six more
States in the western Balkans seeking
to join and the possibility of existing
members breaking up, some experts fear
the EU could become unmanageable.
Nicolas Levrat, an international law
specialist at the Institute of Global
Studies at Geneva University, sees a
proliferation of micro-States driving the
bloc to reform its governance.
“This multiplication of new states will
force the EU to change the way states are
represented in the EU,” he said. “ What
started for six (countries) and more or
less works for 28 will definitely not work
for 100.” — Reuters
The letter from Kevin George Curtis
(September 14) is a re-run (for the
umpteenth time) of a tired, worn out and
rambling story of twisted so-called facts
with the aim to achieve only one goal —
to avoid the paying of what every other
property owner and leaseholder pays, that
is, due rates and leases.
None of us enjoys the paying of rates,
leases and the like, but accept that we
‘all’ benefit from the improvements and
services that our council provides.
The avoidance of paying these dues is
doing nothing more than delaying the
inevitable and is unnecessarily adding
further costs to those of us who abide by
the rules. As one who grew up in Preston
Road in much harsher times, and on a
harbour board lease, I feel qualified to
comment on this issue.
I can only assume that I am not the
only one who is heartily sick and tired of
reading letter upon letter of the same old
tired and misconstrued ditties.
My advice is ‘get a life’.
Conser vatives pro-
life and democracy
In response to J Costello (‘Vote for life’,
Greymouth Star, September 15). I would
like it noted that the Conser vative Party
is very-much ‘pro-life’ (as I am, your
We have strong policies against
euthanasia and abortion, and against
other issues such as legal highs and
alcohol abuse. Legislation that has been
previously pushed through by this and
past governments, such as the redefinition
of marriage and anti-smacking, may not
have been passed if binding referenda on
government was in force — one of the
Conser vative Party’s core policies.
When an issue so important to New
Zealanders is voted for or against by the
required two-thirds majority, then the
Government would have to bow to the
voters’ wishes, and that is true democracy.
In fact, if binding referenda had already
been in place, our policies for repealing
the anti-smacking law, tougher penalties
for criminals, decreasing the size of
government, increasing the drinking age
and stopping the sale of State-owned
assets would have already been legislated,
because the majority of the country
have already voted for these in previous
referenda — which have been totally
ignored by government. We need to
change how government adheres to the
wishes of (the majority of ) its people.
Elected politicians influence your family,
so before you vote check out Family
First ’s ‘value your vote’ on-line: how MPs
have already voted on important issues
that affect you and your family, and where
candidates (including myself ) and party
leaders stand on these issues now. And
look carefully at the Conservative Party’s
policies — we are for democracy, and we
do value life.
West Coast-Tasman candidate
Conser vative Party
Politics of 1080
At the end of this week around
49% of the voting population will be
disappointed. They will feel for the next
three years they will have to live with the
party or parties that gained power and
their vote never made a difference.
Whether you vote for a party or the
candidate, some time over the next three
years you are going to feel that frustration
because during election time budding
politicians will spout forth their policies,
knowing full well that some of them will
have to be cast aside in the bun fight to
get into power.
Having spent the past month on the
road with fellow West Coast-Tasman
candidates, I have learned a lot about
their policies and about the people sent
out to sell them. It is a pity that with the
political system we have today, we cannot
use the good policies from all parties into
making New Zealand a better place to
live. National is obsessed with growth
but has forgotten about the quality of life.
Labour talks about the quality of life but
expects someone else to pay for it.
The Greens are about as green as a 1080
pellet, and the Conser vative’s policies are
untried on the New Zealand public. And
what about our party?
The Ban 1080 Party is standing in
this election with just one policy — to
rid New Zealand of this addiction to
1080 poison and begin a new chapter in
conser ving our environment for future
How can a party with just one policy
have an impact on New Zealand? Well
you would be surprised how 1080 affects
so many aspects of New Zealand ’s way of
life. It divides communities.
We are dropping poison in our biggest
resource — clean, pure water. We are
endangering people’s health. Poison is
not healthy. We are driving many of our
native bird species towards extinction in
the effort to save them.
We are blowing our ‘100% pure New
Zealand’ image out of the water in the
eyes of overseas travellers. We have
created the biggest threat to our export
industry by risking 1080 turning up in
product destined for overseas.
We are denying employment to our
young people who, like the deercullers
and rabbit board, were employed in our
outdoors controlling pests. The candidates
for the Ban 1080 Party are all outdoors
people. No one wants to go to Wellington
for three years, but will if that is what
it takes to make a difference. Avoid the
frustration, treat this election day as a
referendum — tick the Ban 1080 Party
West Coast-Tasman candidate
Ban 1080 Party
What a storm in a teacup? What an
absolutely grubby attempt to discredit an
opposition political party.
I refer, of course, to Kim Dotcom’s
orchestrated expose of the Prime
Minister’s alleged involvement
in internet ‘spying’ upon private
computer correspondence and other
Like many other millionaire mega-
moguls who seem solely possessed
with high finances and manipulations
in cyber-space matters far beyond the
ken of the average person, Mr Dotcom
appears to know little or nothing about
history. A subject where the riches to be
gained by an intimate knowledge of the
past appears to be overshadowed by the
more tangible riches to be garnered from
the pockets of people more interested in
the illusive ephemera of ever-changing
Since recorded history began, dynasties
of kings and queens, emperors and popes,
despots and dictators have always spied
upon their subject peoples as well as
potential threats from other nations. Was
it Machievelli, that prince of espionage
and sur veillance, who once said, ‘Keep
your enemies close and your friends
Over the years, with some of my
more questionable liberal and radical
correspondents both here and overseas,
I have long suspected that some of my
e-mails have had circuitous journeys to
their destinations, but not to worry.
I personally fully support ‘big brothers
and sisters’ keeping a watchful eye on
the hoi-polloi and some of the grubbier
elements in our societies today.
Yes, even here in little old New Zealand,
where we have unacceptable levels
of drugs, serious crime and perhaps
even anarchy far beyond the normal
expectations of 4.3 million people.
So remember to smile for the cameras
in garage forecourts, corner dairies and
supermarkets, they are actually there for a
very good reason. Think about it?
Dangers of video
I see another article promoting video
link medicine for the Coast. Clinical
information that can be gathered
from video can not replace on-site
examination. If follow up can be done
with a video link, then it can be done just
as well over the phone.
However, renumeration for the provider
is probably greater with a video link.
Video medicine can compromise care
when it replaces an existing system with
experienced clinicians on-site and should
be properly monitored.
The introduction of digital x-rays and
scans nearly a decade ago did improve
quality. A competent clinical evaluation is
I recall an incident from 2009, I was
called to see a patient in critical care unit
close to midnight.
The patient had been admitted with an
abdominal complaint and had surgery
earlier in the day and had deteriorated
after surgery. The patient developed
low blood pressure and oxygen and
was transferred to critical care without
investigation of the cause.
The anaesthetist and the surgeon had
left the hospital and left the medical
care to the nurses and a junior resident
doctor. The actual diagnosis was a
surgical emergency and the diagnosis was
provided by a radiologist in Christchurch,
who interpreted the CT scan. However,
the radiologist ’s opinion was ignored and
the patient died.
Investigations were conducted by the
Health and Disability Commissioner and
As I could not find the reports in
the public domain, I contacted the
coroner. The Chief Coroner sent a report
addressed to me at Grey Base Hospital
from 2011. It seems to have got lost in
the internal mail. The finding suggested
the coroner, Health and Disability
Commissioner and the family had not
been provided with all the relevant
information. This questions the integrity
of the quality assurance process.
The fleeting visit to the Coast by the
Labour Party’s Mr Parker can only be
perceived as a desperate move to try to
prop up a slowly dying party.
For Messrs Parker and O’Connor to
suggest that the National candidate, Mrs
Pugh, left the Westland District Council
in debt is not telling the whole story.
As I recall, when she resigned from the
mayoralty, Westland District Council
was in debt all right, but not as much
as Greymouth or Buller councils. This
was caused by the economic times that
When Mrs Pugh was a councillor,
hers was the sole voice of reason and
sensibility that put a stop to the debacle
that was the Hokitika plastics factory
The then council had already put
$600,000 of ratepayer money into the
scam and were about to build a factory
for a further $2.2 million.
The only reason those F T roasters came
here was because there was easy money
and a gullible council administration.
The only way they could have got
further from their market would have
been to take it to South Georgia, but
there would not have been easy money
In support of Mrs Pugh, who I believe
would be a fine MP for the West Coast-
Tasman electorate, I have the following
to state: I have worked with Mrs Pugh on
various committees and I have watched
her in action. She does not miss a word
anyone says and she analyses every
Mrs Pugh is a woman of high
intelligence, fair mind, has a woman’s
intuitiveness and would be hard-working
for her electorate.
A vote for National and Mrs Pugh
would take us for ward into the future. A
vote for any other party would take us
into the political doldrums.
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