Home' Greymouth Star : October 21st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Prime Minister John Key said
New Zealand helping to train Iraqi
troops was among the options the
Government would consider when
ruling on its contribution to the
fight against Islamic State (IS).
But the range of options went from
New Zealanders physically fighting
to New Zealanders doing nothing.
Mr Key was commenting after
Australia finalised an agreement
with the Iraq Government for
Australia special forces to support
“ Training is definitely a potential
option that we might consider,” he
It reiterated what US President
Barack Obama had been saying —
to aim to develop Iraq’s national
forces so it could defend itself
against the IS group.
Mr Key said the Government
would decide on its contribution to
Iraq in two to four weeks.
Mr Key said he had spoken to
the Australian Prime Minister
last Friday about Iraq after Tony
Abbott had called to congratulate
New Zealand on its election to the
United Nations Security Council.
“ He didn’t actively encourage or
discourage us,” Mr Key said.
“ But I think it would go without
saying that Australia, as our
closest neighbour, would obviously
welcome any involvement from
Meanwhile, Chief of Defence
Force Lieutenant General Tim
Keating has briefed new Defence
Minister Gerry Brownlee about
his meeting last week near
Washington, billed as a meeting
of the coalition against IS.
Yesterday, Mr Key said General
Keating had not known Mr
Obama would attend until he
universities to raise their fees,
an organisation that represents
universities says. But students say
there is a limit to what they can pay
for tertiary education.
For the past four years, universities
had increased fees by the maximum
of 4% each year, Radio New
Associations (NZUSA) said
Auckland was the latest to raise its
fees, joining Victoria, Otago, AUT,
Lincoln and Massey.
Union president Daniel Haines
said they expected Waikato and
Canterbury would also vote for the
Universities New Zealand
director Chris Whelan told RNZ
universities had little choice but to
raise the the fees.
“The problem is that costs are
rising faster than the fees, so over
the last 10 years the government
funding per student ’s risen by 27%,
fees themselves have increased by
36% and at the same time university
operating expenditure’s gone up by
Universities have to cover their
Mr Haines told RNZ students’
fees had been steadily rising while
government funding was static or
increasing very slowly.
“Students are paying more and
getting less and that ’s very obvious
if you’re looking at the QS or Times
Higher Education rankings.
“All of our universities are
dropping in the rankings which
show that for the hard measures
such as class size and contact time
and resources for tutorials, all of
those things mean that we are
decreasing in quality and students
are getting less for what they ’re
paying.” — APNZ
Relatives of a man who broke his neck
riding his bike into a Waihi sink-hole
fear he will remain a paraplegic with a
slim chance of much rehabilitation.
“ He’s got no movement from the neck
down — it does not appear too promising
that they ’ll be able to rehabilitate him
very much,” David Keys’ elder brother
Ian said yesterday.
“ It ’s that particular point in his neck he
has knocked around.”
He believed the stricken man, a
52-year-old weed-sprayer who he feared
had been close to death when found by
a council rubbish collector seven hours
after falling into the hole in a park last
Wednesday night, was likely to remain
in Middlemore Hospital’s intensive care
unit for some time.
His brother cycled each night to
exercise his dog Bailey, who attracted
the worker’s attention at about 4.15am
the next day by staying loyally beside
him during his ordeal, in which he lay
face-down in the hole.
Although there were no longer fears
for his life, Mr Keys said: “His condition
is not looking too good.”
But he said his brother was taking
his predicament remarkably well, even
though he could speak only in short
bursts while a ventilator was removed
from his face.
“I’m surprised how well he’s coping
with it really. ”
He said his brother was the youngest
of four siblings, and father of an adult
daughter who was travelling up and
down from Hamilton to keep an eye on
him in hospital.
Meanwhile, the family had received
offers of support from many people
and organisations including churches,
the Hauraki District Council and the
Newmont Mining Company, which
runs a major gold producing operation
Although the site of the accident in
Waihi East ’s Morgan Park is only about
200m from a larger sink-hole above
underground mine workings into which
a house slumped in 2001, the council is
confident mining it is not to blame.
Old mine records are understood to
indicate a small tunnel about 300m
underground but not directly beneath
the latest sinkhole, which council chief
executive Langley Cavers says is a
Mr Cavers said council engineers
were on site yesterday to inspect the
hole, which they had been unaware of
before the accident but which is now
coned off, and would conduct a field
investigation tomorrow to determine
what may have caused the collapse.
— New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: Getty Images
Military transgenders share stories
Transgender Major Alexandra Larsson of the Swedish Armed Forces, left,
speaks alongside fellow transgender sergeant Lucy Jordan, of the New
Zealand Air Force, during a conference entitled Perspectives on
Transgender Military Service from Around the Globe, organised by the
American Civil Liberties Union and the Palm Centre in Washington.
Members of militaries from across the globe were brought together for the
conference to share their stories on ser ving their countries as transgender
Police are investigating a huffing
incident in South Auckland after
two people were hurt when a gas
bottle exploded last night.
Senior sergeant Duncan Hall
said the pair had been with
two other people at a Kerry
Place address in Papakura when
the explosion occurred about
“It was a group of four people
sniffing LPG and one of them has
lit a cigarette,” Mr Hall said.
Police were alerted to the incident
when two members of the group
turned up at the Papakura police
station with burns, and another
call regarding a fire in a shed at
the Kerry Place property — about
2km away from the station — was
made to 111.
The group of men and women
who had been at the property
were believed to be aged in their
late teens and early 20s, Mr Hall
One person had been taken to
Middlemore Hospital from the
Papakura police station for further
treatment. “Local units are making
further inquiries to see whether
anyone will face any charges,” Mr
A Fire Service spokeswoman said
when staff arrived at the Kerry
Place address, the owner of the
property had already extinguished
the fire. — New Zealand Herald
Rowing legend Fred
Strachan’s confidence has
been dented, but age was
not a factor in Sunday ’s
“freak accident ”, he says.
The Otago Boys’ High
School Rowing Club
head coach lost control
of a powerboat which
then collided with a
rowing eight skiff in
Otago Harbour, landing
three pupils in hospital.
Mr Strachan, 91, said
yesterday he was upset by the incident,
which resulted in the boat propeller
seriously injuring one boy and damaging
He said what happened was an accident
— his first in more than seven decades of
involvement in the sport.
“ I don’t believe my age or physical
condition had anything to do with it.”
Mr Strachan was taken to D unedin
Hospital for a “routine check” following
the incident and he was “fine”.
When asked if his confidence had been
affected, he said: “ Yes it has, naturally —
whether I’m 21 or 91.”
He was more concerned for the junior
rowers in the boat.
He had spoken to many of those
involved and they had given their
support, he said.
He was yet to speak to the most
seriously injured boy, a 12-year-old.
The boy was transferred to Christchurch
Hospital for specialist care yesterday.
A Canterbury District Health
Board spokeswoman said he was in a
comfortable condition in
a children’s ward at the
The boy, who has
represented Otago at
age-grade level in other
specialist surgery, which
could include bone
Otago Boys’ High
School rector Clive
Rennie said no-one
involved in the incident
was attributing blame
and there was a lot of support for Mr
“They (the boys) are really supportive
and so are the parents,” he said.
“There’s an acceptance that this was an
Mr Rennie said the school had offered
both in-school and out-of-school
support to the year-9 pupils involved
and also to senior pupils who went to
the stricken crew ’s aid.
“ We had a meeting today with all the
boys,” Mr Rennie said.
“They are pretty good. It will take the
boys a day or two to work through it,
particularly those who were close to it,
but I’m satisfied at the moment that we
have got everything in check. ”
A Maritime New Zealand
spokeswoman said an investigation into
the incident was at the inquiry stage,
and it was too early to speculate when it
would be completed.
“ We need to find out what ’s happened
first,” she said.
— Otago Daily Times
Sink-hole crash recovery fears
dented by boat smash
Huffing suspected in gas explosion
NZ could train
University fees on the rise
Three hunters whose vehicle got stuck
in snow in the Lammerlaw Range
yesterday have been airlifted to safety
The Dunedin men, in their late teens
and early 20s, had been trying to leave
the area — inland of Clarks Junction
when their vehicle became stuck in
snow about 1pm. A search and rescue
operation was launched but teams were
unable to reach the men because of poor
weather conditions. However, conditions
improved overnight and a helicopter
crew was able to reach the men about
2am, senior sergeant Dave Scott said
The men were suffering from mild
hypothermia but were other wise fine, he
said. — APNZ
Stranded hunters rescued from snow
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