Home' Greymouth Star : October 1st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, October 1, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1908 - Ford Motor Company introduces the
Model T, the first car to be mass-produced.
1914 - Turkey closes the Dardenelles to the
Allies in World War One.
1918 - Arab forces assisted by the British
under T E Lawrence — Lawrence of Arabia
— c apture Damascus from the Turks.
1923 - Southern Rhodesia
becomes a self-governing colony
within the British Commonwealth.
1927 - Russian-Persian non-
aggression pact is signed.
1935 - New Australian Labor
Party leader John Curtin takes over
as federal opposition leader.
1936 - General Francisco Franco
is named head of state in the part of Spain
under Nationalist control.
1938 - German troops cross into the
Sudetenland following an agreement between
Britain, France, Germany and Italy to avoid
war over Czechoslovakia.
1946 - International military tribunal in
Nuremberg, Germany, finds 22 top German
Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes, and 11 are
sentenced to death.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (1685-
1740); Annie Besant, British social reformer
(1847-1933); Paul Dates, French composer
(1865-1935); Vladimir Horowitz,
Russian-born pianist (1904-
1989); James Whitmore, US
actor (1921-2009); Jimmy Carter,
former US president (1924-);
Sir Richard Harris, Irish actor
(1930-2002); Julie Andrews,
(1935-); Andre Rieu, D utch
violinist, conductor and composer (1949-);
Randy Quaid, US actor (1950-); Gary Ablett
Sr, former AFL star (1961-) .
“Anything one man can imagine, other men
can make real.” — Jules Verne, French author
“ But what about you?” Jesus asked. “ Who do
you say I am?” Peter answered, “ You are the
Christ.” — Mark 8:29
The West Coast ’s
newest State mine,
Liverpool No 3,
has a certain strong
attraction for the visitor. In the true sense
of the phrase, it has a magnetic appeal. It is
the first Coast colliery to be equipped with a
magnetic system to keep the coal clean.
The magnet, a permanent type, is set in the
drumhead of a conveyor belt system which
transports the underground product out to the
bins. As the conveyor passes from one section
to another, any foreign metal objects will
be attracted to and will stick to the belt as a
result of the magnet ’s influence. They then go
underneath and fall to the ground.
Explaining the system today, mines engineer
Mr H Hutchinson said it is a method which is
quite common overseas.
Fishing is still a boy ’s game. The days of a
length of cotton and a bent pin may have given
way to the sophistication of nylon, rod and
reels, costing anything up to £40, but when the
trout fishing season starts tomorrow there will
still be more boys with licences than adults.
Of the 1400 or so people who will buy
licences this season from the West Coast
Acclimatisation Society all will be wondering
what their luck will be. A forecast is well nigh
impossible but one thing is certain. Nowhere
else in New Zealand is there such a fishing
paradise where a fisherman can still have a
stream to himself or at least miles of river.
Trout fishing is regarded as the quietest and
most contemplative of sports, but it requires
the concentration of chess and the craftiness of
uFood for thought
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hildren from outside
Auckland make up
nearly 16% of the
patients admitted to
Some come by ambulance but
some, the children suffering a
life-threatening injury or illness,
are flown by Starship’s national air
ambulance ser vice and cared for
on the journey by the hospital’s
own medical staff.
Patients from outside the
Auckland region comprised nearly
4000 of the 24,224 admissions to
the hospital last year.
This helps to explain Starship’s
overlapping roles as the children’s
hospital for central Auckland, for
the Auckland region, for New
Zealand and even, in a relatively
small number of cases, for the
It is a local hospital for routine
“secondary level” treatment, a
regional hospital for “tertiary”
care and a national — and
international — facility for the
most complex kinds of treatment.
This makes the public appeal
for help with fixing up Starship’s
old operating theatres a national
one, because although patients
from outside Auckland are the
minority, they are on average
more complex cases who stay in
hospital for longer.
It was complex care —
neurosurgery — that brought
Toby to Starship. Paediatric
neurosurgery is among about 40
departments and units run from
Starship or connected to ser vices
at the adjacent adults’ hospital.
Ser vices for which Starship
is the national children’s centre
include heart surgery and liver
transplants. It is the national
referral centre for children with
complex health needs who
may require spinal surgery. The
neurosurgery department covers
the upper half of the North
Starship’s former clinical leader
Dr Richard Aickin, a paediatric
emergency department specialist,
said many of its divisions, such
as respiratory ser vices and
gastroenterology had local as well
as national aspects. For instance,
paediatricians all over the country treated
epilepsy, but surgery for epilepsy that did
not respond to other therapies was only
done in Auckland.
Likewise with cancer, the more complex
tumour cases were managed from Starship.
Bone marrow transplants were meant to
be divided between Christchurch and
Auckland, but Auckland was doing a much
greater proportion of them than planned
because of the southern earthquakes.
The connecting link for many of these
complex cases, whether their surgery was
in Starship’s own theatres or in Auckland
City Hospital next door, is the paediatric
intensive care unit (PICU), where many
of the patients go after surgery. This is
a national ser vice for children requiring
intensive care for more than 24 hours
and a regional ser vice for those needing
intensive or high-dependency care. More
than half of its 1200 patients a year come
from outside the Auckland region.
“About 40% of the children admitted to
PICU come directly from the operating
theatres,” the unit’s clinical director,
Dr John Beca, said.
Most children who have heart surgery
go to PICU after wards, as do many
orthopaedic surgery patients, especially
those having spinal operations, and others
including many having airway, chest or
Dr Beca estimates that around 10% of
PICU patients go to theatre for various
kinds of procedures, such as having a
bronchoscope — a telescope plus internal
instruments — slid into their airway for
investigation or treatment in the lungs.
“Unfortunately, in New Zealand we have
a very high rate of skin and soft tissue
infections. Sometimes that gets into the
blood and bones. Children who come in
with an infection that ’s got into their bone
often go repeatedly back to the operating
room for surgery to clear the infection . . .
to have the infection cleaned out.
“There’s pus in the joints or bones. If it’s
in the joints they wash it out, if it ’s in the
bones they clean the infection out. ”
PICU is located on a “hot floor” — the
same level as the children’s emergency
department, the operating theatres, and the
corridor and link to the helipad on top of
a hospital carparking building. “ We run a
national retrieval ser vice to collect children
from around the country,”
Dr Beca said. “ They come by ambulance
or by air (helicopter or fixed-wing plane) if
they are from out of Auckland.”
The retrievals involve sending PICU staff
to stabilise the child and bringing them
back to Starship: more than 320 patients a
year. — New Zealand Herald
More than a hospital
PICTURE: Getty Images
Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland.
I see that the DHB’s funny job titles
department have come up with another
cracker with the former West Coast
programme director Michael Frampton
promoted (or is it demoted?) to become
the ‘people and capability manager ’ for the
West Coast and Canterbury (Greymouth
Star, September 29).
What an intriguing label. Which ‘people’
and what ‘capability’? Has Mr Frampton,
perhaps, been moved to the gardening
department with his new title, inspired by
the famous English landscape gardener
Capability Brown? Or is it that the DHB
have seen sense (hope springs eternal) and
decided to refer to staff as ‘people’ rather
than the existing label of human ‘resources’
— a designation which gives staff the
same nomenclature as inanimate resources
such medical supplies — or wheelbarrows.
Come on Mr Meates, let us in on the
secret. Here in Blackbutt, we are agog to
know — what on earth does a ‘people and
capability manager’ do?
Democrats for Social Credit
Hollyford Road —
just a bad dream
Lately I have been having a recurring
nightmare. As if a bloke has not already
got enough to worry about, like people
poisoning native birds to prevent them
being killed by predators and the fact
that a man can no longer look for ward
to a feed of trout in case it has been
contaminated by 1080.
My dream is like looking into a huge
cur ved television screen showing a one-
lane concrete bridge. A sign says Cascade
River. Two men with large scissors
are about to cut the red ribbon that is
stretched across the bridge.
From the back view, one looks like
Nick Smith and the other one could be
Durham Havill. Another figure enters the
picture, the face under the hoody looks
a bit like Simon Bridges. He is carrying
a placard that reads, ‘After this opening
ceremony the area between this bridge
and the Otago boundary will be open to
I wake up in a cold sweat to the echo
of my own voice shouting ‘we have been
ripped off again’.
Hang on a mo, there is a large white van
backing down my drive. Two men in white
coats are unloading a padded stretcher-
like thing with lots of straps on it.
If they think they are going to sell
me that thing they have another think
coming. Must go and sort them out.
Now that the election is over we can
return to matters of local government.
Firstly, I was delighted to see at least
one councillor had the guts to question an
With regard to the in-committee status
of council meetings, as a past councillor
(in Buller) I can assure the reader that a
combination of an in-committee meeting
attended by non-effective councillors can
be dangerous and lead to undemocratic
actions such as favouritism, incorrect
appointments of a pecuniary type and
misspending of funds, as I have accused
the Grey District Council of in the past.
Internal appointments are not subject to
general meetings, but it would seem that
all in the Grey District Council garden
does not smell of roses (perhaps it is
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius responds: “Mr Balloch can
rest assured that council activities in the
public excluded section of the agenda strictly
comply with the Local Government Official
Information and Meetings Act, as well as
the transparency provisions in the Local
Government Act. As such, we have very few
in-committee items and clearly list such items
in the agenda.
In the specific case he refers to, the matter
is before the court and as an ex-councillor he
will understand the need to not discuss the
matter or parts of it in public. As soon as the
litigation is concluded details will be made
public, insofar as the legal process allows.
Issues like legal advice, however, remain
As to council members questioning
expenditure, I respectfully suggest that all
council members take an active interest
and that costs are carefully scrutinised.
Appointment of contractors are normally done
by the tenders committee, or by the responsible
manager in smaller projects where, in most
cases, there will be a minimum of two
quotes involved. Other circumstances may
be involved but council ’s actions must at all
times meet the test of scrutiny.
The actions that Mr Balloch outline are
therefore dealt with in public or as part of a
public process. Council ’s actions are subject
to judicial review or subject to investigation
by the Minister of Local Government or
the Ombudsman, over and above annual
auditing where the auditors focus strongly on
member interest and conduct.
To show council ’s commitment to prudence
and transparency, Mr Balloch will find that
the Grey District Council is one of only a few
New Zealand councils, if not the only one,
that gets to see a list of all payments made
during a month and gets to ask questions on
Your correspondent Jan Fletcher’s
sentence in her letter in Friday ’s
Greymouth Star, ‘Mr Anisy, a National
supporter, texted me saying ‘boom — you
By its placement of commas, the
inference is that I sent her the text. Not so.
My suggestion to her is to hand her phone
in to the police for a forensic examination
to determine who sent the text she
claimed was from me.
In my earlier letter, challenging a
statement made by Damien O’Connor,
I quoted the now famous line Michael
Cullen used as a slap in the face to John
Key after Labour won the 2005 election:
‘ We won, you lost — eat that ’. That quote
is the reason why I believe Jan Fletcher
thinks I am the one who sent the text.
Again, I say ‘not me’. I have no idea of
her phone number, and advise she gives
her phone to the police.
in New Zealand
New Zealand has some of the best trout
fishing in the world. Every year thousands
of international visitors wade pristine
rivers in search of the freshwater game
Large brown trout abound some
backcountry streams, and feisty rainbows
reach weights of double figures in many
regions. But there is a problem facing New
Zealand fishing, and it is toxic, very toxic.
The Department of Conser vation is
using helicopters to aerially spread the
deadly pesticide 1080 poison across
large areas of New Zealand’s forests
and streams. The poison is targeted at
introduced possums, bush rats and mice,
but many other animals, birds and insects
are killed, including deer.
The poison contaminates the food
chain, and in a rare admission last week,
the Department of Conser vation is
warning fishermen to avoid eating their
catch, despite paying for the privilege. If
fishermen catch trout in poisoned areas,
and there are many, the department is
suggesting that the trout be released,
because of the risk of contamination.
Ban 1080 ready
To all those people who voted for me
and the Ban 1080 Party, through your
support we have made a statement and
begun a new front in the battle against
As a political party, we will only grow
stronger and if this insane form of
conser vation is still persisting in three
years’ time we will be more prepared to
go out to the people to have their voice
heard. This election we only had a month,
with no funding to get our message out
On the Coast, we polled more votes than
the Greens who had been campaigning all
year. Thanks for your support.
Already since the election we have
reports of people sick from being
poisoned, warnings come out telling
people not to eat trout from rivers where
1080 has been dropped, and our valued
whitetail deer herd in Otago suffering
losses because DOC was too tight to use
deer repellent, which is doubtful whether
it works anyway.
Another three years of this. Who knows
what new horror stories will emerge?
Te Kowhai School and district
Te Kowhai School and district are
holding a 125-year reunion from March
6-8, 2015 for all past pupils and residents
and current residents.
If you have been involved in the district
in any way, you are very welcome to
attend. You can download a registration
form from the school website www.
tekowhai.school.nz. Registrations close
on January 31. We can also be found on
We are looking for people’s memories
and if you wish to share these, please
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or
post to: 5 Gwendoline Place, Glenview,
Hamilton 3206 marked ‘Memories’.
If you have any photographs, please scan
and e-mail to the same address. If you
need to post photographs or if you have
any memorabilia that you might like to
share for the weekend, please either e-mail
or post to the address given. Please clearly
identify these so they can be returned.
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