Home' Greymouth Star : October 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Wednesday, October 8, 2014
A woman believed to be New
Zealand’s oldest resident has
home north of Wellington.
Peg Griffin had been a resident
at Kapiti Rest Home for the last
five years, manager Karin Hall
She said Mrs Griffin died
yesterday after suffering from a
stroke last Thursday.
She had spent the weekend
with family and friends by her
Ms Hall said Mrs Griffin’s
grandson was with her when she
died early on Monday.
According to a biography
prepared for Mrs Griffin’s 110th
birthday, she was born on May
25, 1904, in Wellington, Ms Hall
Born Eleanor, she got her
nickname Peg after the musical,
Peg of my Heart.
Mrs Griffin and her sister
Margaret College, where they
were boarders, and were soon
joined by their other two sisters.
Their brother attended Scots
Once she finished studying,
Mrs Griffin spent time working
on a farm before becoming one
of the first Karitane nurses in
She then moved to England
where she was married in 1935
and had three children, she
returned to New Zealand in
1948 where she raised her three
children on her own.
Over her life Mrs Griffin had
an interest in photography and
Mrs Griffin’s sister Betty
turned 105 last month at a rest
home in Blenheim. She made
the trip up last year for her
sister’s 109th birthday, Ms Hall
She said Mrs Griffin had been
walking until she was 108 but
in the last two years was using a
“S he never went for an
afternoon nap or anything, she
was a bit of a late sleeper so she
would get up late in the morning.
But she would spend the rest of
the day up, in the lounge taking
part in all the activities, she was a
big part of everything here.”
Mrs Griffin was also the
country’s oldest voter in this
year’s election, Ms Hall said.
supporter, she got the chance
to meet the Prime Minister
John Key at Coastlands in
Paraparaumu earlier this year,
Ms Hall said.
“S he was definitely a vocal
Ms Hall said Mrs Griffin,
who was full of character, would
be sorely missed by staff and
residents of the home. — APNZ
NZ’s oldest resident dies at 110
Vector and Transpower will audit vital
equipment at power substations in a bid
to identify other potentially vulnerable
or problem areas within Auckland’s
beleaguered electricity network.
They are also investigating if an earlier
fault at the Remuera substation is linked
to the fire at the Penrose site which
caused sweeping blackouts for 85,000
This comes as the Government requests
an Electricity Authority review into the
mass outage which has cost businesses
millions of dollars in lost revenue and
disrupted the lives of thousands of
Vector’s cables at Transpower’s Penrose
substation caught fire about 2am on
Sunday. It has been learned that cables
damaged in the fire supplied power to
20,000 homes and businesses. However,
Vector cut power to all 85,000 customers
ser viced by the Penrose site at the request
of the Fire Ser vice.
Power was restored to all remaining
customers last night, but Vector warned
there could be some “isolated incidents”
as work continued.
The company also said hot water usage
in parts of Auckland would be limited to
prevent an overloaded network.
Vector spokeswoman Sandy Hodge
said once Sunday morning’s fire was
extinguished, 65,000 customers had their
electricity returned “relatively quickly”.
“ We had to check each cable and
restore with safety in mind,” she said.
“This left 20,000 customers affected by
the damaged cables.”
Vector and Transpower met yesterday
to begin a joint investigation into the
fire’s cause. Transpower chief executive
Alison Andrew said the investigation
was in its early stages. “O ur focus will
be to work through the investigation to
find out what happened and what we can
Ms Hodge said a power outage in
the Ellerslie area hours before the fire
was not thought to be connected, but it
would be investigated thoroughly before
it was ruled out.
A number of homes lost power about
11.30pm on Saturday after a fault with an
11KV feeder at the Remuera substation.
Ms Hodge said the feeder was isolated
and switched to restore power to those
The investigation would also include
an audit of assets at the substation by
both Vector and Transpower, to identify
any other areas that were vulnerable
and where failure could result in similar
Compensation for affected residents
and business owners would be considered
“once we have ascertained the cause”, Ms
Ms Andrew said it was “too early” to
comment on compensation. She said
Transpower had a comprehensive risk
management system that included a
risk register for assets like those within
Responding to claims that fire
prevention measures were inadequate
at the Penrose substation, Ms Andrew
said the agency also had a strong fire
Auckland Fire Ser vice assistant area
manager Mike Shaw could not comment
on the substation’s fire prevention
methods while the investigation was
Energy and Resources Minister Simon
Bridges said the “significant event ” had
disrupted thousands of businesses and
“ It ’s important there is a full inquiry
to give the public confidence that risks
to power supply are being adequately
managed,” he said.
The Auckland Energy Consumer
Trust, which owns 75% of Vector, said
late last night it had been briefed by the
Trust chairman William Cairns said:
“The trustees are satisfied that all that
could be done was done to restore power
as safely and as quickly as possible,
without fatality or injury. ”
Insurance companies yesterday were
gathering information and figures on
power outage-related claims. Tower
and AA had received a small number of
claims. — APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Packaged carrots and lettuce are being blamed
for a painful epidemic of food poisoning
sweeping through New Zealand.
Nationwide, more than 100 people have been
reported as suffering from symptoms mimicking
Toi Te Ora has recorded five people
from the Bay of Plenty suffering from the
stomach bug, caused by the bacteria yersinia
The bacteria causes painful stomach cramps
with diarrhoea resulting on rare occasions and
can be extremely unpleasant for the sufferer.
Chief medical officer of health Phil Shoemack
said Toi Te Ora recorded four cases in the lakes
district and one from the coastal bay region.
“This is an unusual cause of food poisoning.
That ’s why it sticks out — to have more than
100 cases around the country within two weeks
is most unusual,” he said.
“It appears to be related to consumption
around carrots and packaged lettuces but we
haven’t managed to track an actual suspect yet.”
Dr Shoemack said Toi Te Ora was working
collaboratively with Wellington health officials
in finding the exact cause behind the outbreak
but there was still a lot of information not
“ We’ve spoken to each of the cases about what
food they consumed in the days prior to getting
ill and it appears the most likely risk factors are
the carrots and lettuces which are pre-packaged.
“It appears loose fruit and vegetables are not
“It’s very much a day by day investigation and
hopefully we are getting closer to nailing what
Dr Shoemack said the issue was probably
a batch problem, and if so it should dissipate
For now, he reminded people to take extra
care with personal hygiene when preparing and
consuming food. Plus washing any raw fruit and
If anyone finds themselves suffering from
similar symptoms, Dr Shoemack recommended
they contact their GP straight away.
pseudotuberculosis include abdominal pain
(often on the lower right), which may mimic
appendicitis; fever; and sometimes diarrhoea.
About one to three weeks later, patients may
get a rash and joint pain. The joint pain can last
up to six months.
In rare cases yersinia pseudotuberculosis
infection can lead to sepsis (infection in the
blood). This is more common in people with
weakened immune systems.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
said at this stage it was still trying to determine
what caused the outbreak.
MPI said it was too early to be certain about
the source of the pathogen and as a result direct
people away from foods that have no proven
risk for consumers.
However, MPI said there was a credible link
that food was the likely source.
pseudotuberculosis had been linked to
contaminated fresh vegetables and fruit,
contaminated water and animal contact.
MPI said it was investigating a range of foods.
— APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
Woman wins compo for cut hours
A woman has been awarded nearly $17,000
after her hours were cut at a hotel where she
worked in Timaru.
However, the hotel said her hours were
reduced because she refused to work during
the breakfast shift, the Employment Relations
Lynley Carrington had worked for the
Benvenue Hotel in Timaru for about two years
and in the second year of her employment,
Tayside Springs Ltd took over as owner.
When the new owner took over she was no
longer given night porter duties but did not
complain because she was still getting sufficient
number of hours, Ms Carrington said.
She told the authority that she began to
become unhappy with her hours in July or
August 2012, when she started getting fewer
hours, but noticed new staff members received
Manav Soni, from Tayside Springs Ltd, said
Ms Carrington’s hours were cut because she did
not want to work during the breakfast shift, and
if she did she would have been able to make up
In February 2013, Ms Carrington saw an
advertisement in the Timaru Herald for her
position as restaurant manager at the hotel, the
Mr Soni said the advertisement had been
advertised in the wrong paper and was meant
for a Christchurch paper, as he was seeking a
restaurant manager in his Christchurch hotel
and the authority said they accepted Mr Soni’s
evidence in that respect.
Ms Carrington said she became increasingly
unhappy as a result of her employment at the
hotel and eventually resigned, the authority said.
Ms Carrington claimed she was unjustifiably
constructively dismissed from her position at
the hotel, as her hours were reduced until her
income was too low to live off, and also claimed
an unjustified disadvantage in relation to the
reduction in hours.
Authority member David Appleton said he
believed Ms Carrington was not offered enough
work by management at the Benvenue Hotel.
“Although Mr Soni said she refused to work
the breakfast shift, I believe that she would have
agreed to do so if the offer had been made to her
in clear and unambiguous terms.”
Ms Carrington was awarded over $9200 in
lost wages and $7500 for compensation for
humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to her
feelings. — APNZ
The Otago Rural Fire Authority is seeking
to recover all costs associated with fighting
the major blaze near Waldronville at the
Hundreds of people watched two
helicopters with monsoon buckets and five
fire appliances fight the raging vegetation
fire which burned about 5ha of scrub next to
the Otago Pistol Club’s shooting range on
The fire was believed to have started in tyres
but the cause has yet to be determined.
Otago Rural Fire investigator Graeme Still
could not give a precise cost at this stage, but
said it could be in the thousands of dollars.
“ We had two helicopters on site and
numerous firefighters. It’s expensive.”
Firefighters battled a large scrub fire near
the pistol club in November last year.
Rural fire investigators believed that blaze
was caused by a group of teenagers with
fireworks, and have pursued them for costs
associated with fighting the fire.
He could not say how much the rural fire
authority sought because it was still before
the Dunedin District Court.
Mr Still spent yesterday scanning the
scorched remains of the scrub land for a cause
of Sunday ’s blaze but said it was too early to
say what caused the fire. He believed a clearer
picture would emerge later this week.
Many people still had to be inter viewed, he
“I can’t predetermine things. I have to have
a good look.
“It’s probably started by human influence, to
be fair, but it is a possibility it could have been
started by a lightning strike.
“ What we do is eliminate the possible
causes — that ’s how we come to an answer.
“It’s suspicious and we’re looking into it.
That’s all I can say.” — Otago Daily Times
Firefighting costs sought
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Otago Rural firefighter Daniel Marsh
packs up equipment yesterday following a
large scrub fire near the Otago Pistol Club
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