Home' Greymouth Star : October 22nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1721 - Peter the Great takes title of Tsar of All
1773 - King of Tonga presents Captain James
Cook with a giant turtle, which dies in London
1859 - Spain declares war on Moors
1910 - British murderer Dr Hawley
Crippen is sentenced to death at the
Old Bailey in L ondon.
1947 - India and Pakistan begin a
war over Kashmir.
1962 - US President John
F Kennedy orders US air and naval forces to
quarantine Cuba after concluding that Soviet
missile bases are being built there.
1962 - South African black leader Nelson
Mandela pleads not guilty at the start of his
1974 - US and Iceland sign new lease
permitting continued operations of US military
bases in Iceland.
1994 - A Maltese oil tanker breaks apart
and sinks in the typhoon-churned South Sea,
leaving 17 people dead or missing.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Franz Liszt, Hungarian-born composer
(1811-1886); Sarah Bernhardt, French actress
(1844-1923); Joan Fontaine, Tokyo-born
actress (1917-); Derek Jacobi, British
actor (1938-); Annette Funicello, US
actress (1942-2013); Jeff Goldblum,
US actor (1952-); Clover Moore,
Sydney Lord Mayor (1945-); John
Howard, Australian actor (1952-);
Shaggy, Jamaican reggae rapper
(1968-); Spike Jonze, American
filmmaker/producer (1969-); Luke
O’Donnell, Australian NRL player (1980-);
Mark Renshaw, Australian cyclist (1982-);
Zac Hanson, pop musician (1985-).
“ Moral indignation is in most cases 4% moral,
46% indignation, and 50% envy.” — Vittorio
De Sica, Italian movie director (1901-1974).
“ Now before faith came, we were imprisoned
and guarded under the law until faith would be
revealed.” — Galatians 3:23.
If serpentine from
the West Coast
competes favourably in
price and quality with
imported stones, consideration will be given
to its use on public buildings. The Minister of
Works Mr Allen promises this
in a written reply to a question from
Mr P Blanchfield, MP for Westland.
Mr Blanchfield said there were moves afoot to
exploit the vast deposits of building serpentine
on the West Coast. He asked the minister to
ascertain the amount of overseas funds in recent
years for the importation of marble, granite or
similar building stone, and give assurance that,
providing the serpentine competes in price
and quality, it will be considered for use in the
erection of public buildings.
Mr Allen said that in recent years
approximately £40,000 of overseas funds has
been allocated per year for importing marble
and other stone. Only about half of the material
imported was used in the building industry,
the rest was used by monumental masons and
A man who has found the figure eight
significant throughout his career is to become
Greymouth’s new assistant town clerk and
accountant. He is D unollie resident Mr Bill
Eight has cropped up in every job he has held
and the latest is no exception. The 38-year-old
Runanga town clerk was one of eight applicants
for the Greymouth post. This month eight years
ago, Mr Curragh took over as Runanga’s main
officer. Before that he was clerk of the Runanga
Co-operative Society — also for an eight year
term. Prior to that he was with the Post Office
for eight years.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
he first torrential downpour
of an approaching winter
has already soaked the
Gaza Strip, compounding
the misery of thousands of
Palestinians who scrambled
to patch homes wrecked by the summer
war with Israel.
While Palestinian officials rejoiced at
$5.4 billion pledged at an international aid
conference last week toward reconstruction
and shoring up their budget, many in
Gaza fear that, as was the case after past
wars with Israel, not all the money will
No one disputes the need is urgent: the
United Nations says 18,000 dwellings
were destroyed or damaged in 50 days of
fighting between Israel and Palestinian
militants, and 108,000 people are homeless
in a long impoverished, isolated territory.
The flow of building material and other
aid will largely depend on whether the
Western-backed Palestinian Authority
(PA) that exercises limited self-rule in
the Israeli-occupied West Bank extends
its writ to Gaza, now run by the Hamas
Islamist group shunned by many countries
as a designated terrorist group.
But despite a Palestinian unity deal
in April, Hamas and its political rivals
still bicker. Local businessmen say a
mechanism agreed by the United Nations,
Israel and the Palestinians for construction
materials to move from the West Bank
across Israeli territory to Gaza remains
vague and plagued by red tape.
Any help could not come soon enough
for Samir Hassanein, 37. A gaping hole
in his damaged home exposes his sitting
room to the elements, despite desperate
efforts to shield it with plastic sheeting and
His neighbourhood of Shejaia was
shredded by Israeli artillery fire on July 20.
For almost two months, Hassanein and
his family have stayed on; he was eager not
to stray far and miss delegations from the
UN and charity organisations to register
his house for repair funds that have yet to
“They must build our houses for us - we
can’t live like this. They should have begun
building long ago. We’re not ready for
winter and now we’re drowning in the
rain,” he told Reuters.
Israel heavily bombarded and partially
invaded Gaza, a small coastal enclave with
a 1.8 million population, while Hamas
peppered Israeli cities with rocket fire
during seven weeks of combat. It killed
over 2000 Palestinians, mostly civilians,
and more than 70 Israelis, almost all of
Densely-populated border areas like
Shejaia were almost completely razed
when Israel took them over and destroyed
tunnels there which militants used to
attack into its territory.
Since the aid conference in the Egyptian
capital Cairo concluded on October 12,
only 75 truckloads of building materials
have entered Gaza through Israel — on
one day last week.
Gaza economic analyst Maher Al-Tabbaa
said the amount is under a fifth of the daily
import volume required if war damage is to
be repaired in three to five years.
Despite the formation of a Palestinian
unity government of technocrats in June,
an enduring schism between Hamas,
which led the Palestinian war effort, and
the moderate Fatah party in the West
Bank casts doubt on whether the traffic
flow will improve.
Hamas — which unlike Fatah rejects
negotiations to achieve a Palestinian state
in territories Israel captured in a 1967 war
— seized Gaza from the Fatah-led PA in
a brief civil war in 2007. Hamas had won a
Palestinian parliamentary election in 2006,
a year after Israel pulled its soldiers and
settlers out of Gaza.
Israel has imposed a strict blockade on
Gaza since the Hamas takeover, saying it
seeks to restrict goods that could be used
in weapons production and underground
tunnels. But this has worsened economic
hardship in the dilapidated, arid territory,
where more than half of the population
receive UN food aid.
An agreement last month for Hamas to
hand over control of border crossings to
its western-supported Palestinian rivals
might allay Israeli and donor fears that
the group could siphon off or profit from
“The money pledged represented a ray of
hope and if ... the crossings were opened
and there were an honest implementation
of the reconciliation between Fatah and
Hamas, international donors would be
encouraged to give more money because
what had been pledged was not enough,”
economic analyst Al-Tabbaa
Hamas blames the West
Bank-based unity government
for not assuming responsibility
for the two border crossings
yet and ferrying in building
But at the same time,
Hamas’s official magazine
boasted that fighters were
working “like bees in their
hives” to rebuild their tunnels,
a major consumer of concrete
Palestinian officials have put
the cost of physical rebuilding
at $4b. But donors allotted
only around $2.7b towards
it, and the other half of its
pledges for the
cash-strapped PA budget.
The economic picture in the
West Bank is also depressed.
Between 2007 and 2011,
growth soared at an annual
average 8%. But a steep drop
in donor support, especially
from Arab neighbours, and
the devastation in Gaza will
lead to a slump in 2014 to
0.5% in the West Bank and a
contraction of 15% in Gaza,
the World Bank forecast last
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami
Hamdallah said last week that while Gaza’s
need was immediate and plans were ready,
work could not begin in earnest on pledges
alone. “It was our previous experience in
Sharm el-Sheikh in 2009 that most of the
money did not come,” he said, referring
to an Egyptian-led conference after a
December 2008-January 2009 Gaza war.
Donors have backed Palestinian efforts to
build an economy capable of statehood in
the West Bank despite Israeli restrictions
on the free movement of goods and people
there, and hope the unity pact will help
buoy Gaza’s shattered fortunes.
“Until now this progress has been
limited more or less to the West Bank.
Now I think the time has come to extend
this work to Gaza. We are aware of the
obstacles, including political and economic
constraints, but this will not prevent us
from supporting the PA,” European Union
regional representative John Gatt-Rutter
said last week.
While the EU has remained one of the
PA’s most reliable donors, Palestinians may
face acute funding problems if they make
good on a pledge, given the breakdown in
peace talks in April, to seek full statehood
at the UN Security Council soon.
Palestinian sources say the United
States, has threatened to dock the roughly
$500m it gives annually to the West Bank
government ’s budget and security forces.
Israel would likely also withhold the
$100m in customs duties it shifts monthly
to the Palestinian Authority, a sum that
makes up about a third of the PA’s revenue.
Analysts and officials have also cast
doubt on the efficiency of a mechanism
to monitor and license Palestinian
construction companies agreed by the PA,
UN and Israel.
They say Gazans whose homes were
damaged or destroyed will register with the
United Nations, which will then transfer
their claims to Israel for approval of the
required amount of construction material.
The Palestinian private sector will then
apply to import the allotted building
materials, which if approved, will be
funded in installments.
Companies must also maintain round-
the-clock cameras on their storage to prove
militants have no access — a tall order
in Gaza, where there are only six hours
of electricity per day after Israeli shells
knocked out the main power plant.
Ibrahim Barhum, head of the Palestinian
Coordinating Council for the Private
Sector, attended the Cairo conference and
urged participants to cut back bureaucracy
in the way of aid.
“The people of Gaza are in a tragic
situation and winter has begun,” he said.
“ We’re talking three to ten years, and this is
something the people of Gaza won’t accept
and can’t bear.” — Reuters
Wharf land sale
I read with great interest the article in
last Thursday ’s paper with the headline
‘Mayor fails to win support for cut-price
This is in regard to the offer of Westfleet
to buy the ‘useless strip of land’’ on the
I would have thought due process would
require a valuation of that land or any
public land administered by the council
offered for sale to be tabled, regardless of
whether it is considered useless or not. It
may turn out that it is more worthless than
what has been offered.
1080 factor y
With the well known antipathy of most
West Coasters to the continuing use of
1080 poison, it would be difficult to think
of a more arrogant and contemptuous
act than that of the West Coast Regional
Council buying a 49% share in Pest
Control Services and their stated intention
to produce this controversial poison under
licence in Rolleston.
No, Mr Ingle, chief executive of the
West Coast Regional Council, the recently
admitted expenditure of $500,000 of
ratepayer funds in this blatantly unpopular
venture was not ‘commercially sensitive’
as he has mentioned — it was, under the
circumstances, both grossly and morally
If the council have this sort of money
to spend on white elephant enterprises,
regional council rates are too high and it is
obvious that large amounts of the expected
returns will be swallowed up by wages
and internal administration costs. Empire
building and nepotism.
Then there are the not inconsiderate
costs of setting up a high security poison
manufacturing facility in a populous
industrial area, ad infinitum.
Congratulations to the Greymouth
Star for informing us, the ratepayers, of
the secret investment by the West Coast
Regional Council to manufacture 1080
Unfortunately, withholding rates, as has
been suggested, will only lead to a larger
bill as they will just apply a penalty.
In my view, this investment is definitely a
conflict of interest.
Anyone can see that. How fortunate that
the council are able to write their own
conflict of interest policies, and that it was
only adopted last week.
This investment proves to me that this
council has no intention of ever eradicating
possums. To do so would mean they lose
their money. Poison drops equals profit.
Eradicate possums equals loss.
West Coast Regional Council chief executive
Chris Ingle responds: “Firstly, the conflict of
interest policy has been in place since 2012.
The recent amendment strengthened it
following a review of the policy this year by
Audit New Zealand.
Secondly, the investment in PCR did not use
any money sourced from regional ratepayers.
It was a diversification of the council ’s
A message for the West Coast Regional
Council ... ‘Only after the last tree has
been cut down. Only after the last river has
been poisoned. Only after the last fish has
been caught. Only then will you find that
money cannot be eaten.’
Shame on all the advocates of this cruel,
inhumane poison. They disgust me.
Your item on a beekeeper ‘driven out by
1080’ (Greymouth Star, October 14) does
not make sense to me.
How can there be a ‘residue’ on rata
vines, as claimed, when the 1080 is in bait
pellets or carrot chunks that end up on the
forest floor? The 1080 in baits not eaten,
ultimately breaks down in the leaf litter
If there was any transfer of 1080 from
bait to soil to rata vine, the actual amount
relative to the biomass of the rata vine
would surely be absolutely miniscule, if
detectable at all.Of more real concern
would be toxins produced within certain
plants such as tutu, getting picked up by
bees from the nectar or honeydew and
taken back to the hive — but that is an
entirely different situation.
Because of the continued suppression and
downplaying of the risks of 1080 poison
use and its true toxicity, I felt the need to
make some calculations of my own and
share them with our local communities.
The following calculations are based on
information supplied to me by Tb Free NZ
and Vector Control Ser vices.
The toxic loading of pellets used will be
0.15% w/w. The amount of pellets to be
spread is 5kg per hectare. Five kilograms
of bait will contain 7.5g of actual toxin.
If a human ate or drank just 120mg, it
would usually be a fatal dose. This means
on every hectare there would be enough
to kill 62.5 humans. Multiply this by the
number of hectares in the zone (22,000ha)
and one suddenly realises there will be
enough toxin to kill 1,375,000 humans
(at an average weight of 60kg). Madness,
stupidity or terrorism?
In the event of a heavy rainfall, a large
amount will be directly flushed into our
When it breaks down it will release
the attached fluoride molecule right into
our water catchments, causing a hyper-
fluoridation of our drinking-waters and,
diluted as it may be, I believe still poses a
risk to human health, one not considered
by those who monitor our drinking-water.
By the council’s own admission there will
be no testing for fluoride in reticulated
supplies and none at all on the Greymouth
supply for compound 1080, in spite of the
fact that the Atarau drop is only one of
many in the Grey Valley.
Fluoride has, in the March 2014 copy
of the medical journal The Lancet, been
declared a neurotoxin, and compound 1080
is a mutagenic toxin.
Studies on baby mice have shown fused
ribcages and changes in heart and testicular
structures when the mothers were exposed
to minute amounts of the toxin while
So, taking this and the utter cruelty and
agonising deaths inflicted on our native
birds and animals by 1080, why are they
still using this hideous poison, you ask?
Because we let them.
To use a well-known quote by Neil
Roberts, ‘ We have maintained a silence
closely resembling stupidity’.
Sadly, the Atarua drop is only one of
many planned and hundreds that have
To me, the so-called ‘naturally occurring
level of fluoride’ is nothing more than
concrete proof that previous drops have
had a toxic effect on the environment.
What will happen when toxic residues are
found in our export meat?
After many years battling against the
use of this deadly toxin, I feel I must be
forgiven for coming to the only conclusion
I can, that these pur veyors of death and
cruelty are nothing more than terrorists,
and that for some strange reason they
are protected by the police instead of
prosecuted by them.
Last Wednesday, we spent a wonderful
lunchtime at our local McDonald’s. As
members of CARE, everyone enjoyed a
plentiful meal, courteous and respectful
ser vice and all went home with a package
For all this we paid a small sum of money,
which management then donated to a local
charitable cause, so the food and work
involved in dealing with a large number of
senior citizens was given freely.
Although we did give our thanks to the
staff on the day, we feel the general public
should be made aware of this kind act, also.
Christine Bryce and Allison Collins
Caring for the elderly
I am writing to express a most
sincere ‘thank you’ to Vinay Chandra
from McDonald’s in Greymouth.On
Wednesday, October 15, 70 over-65-year-
old people were the guests of McDonald’s
for lunch. Everyone paid the nominal fee
of $5, but were given sandwiches, fries,
hamburgers, chicken McBites, soft serve,
tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juices —
incredible value for $5.
Vinay, Swasti and family are just
so generous towards the elderly of
Greymouth. Vinay even waits on our
tables, along with CARE committee
members, who also waitress on the day.
The amount collected was $350 and
once again Vinay doubles this amount,
and on this occasion the SPCA are going
to receive this very generous donation.
Everyone is given a doggie bag when they
depart from McDonald’s.Apparently,
McDonald’s here on the West Coast is the
only franchise in New Zealand that is so
generous and welcoming to the elderly.
Well done, Vinay and a huge thanks to
Trent and all of your staff at McDonald’s
— especially the young guy who had just
finished the night shift but stayed on to
help ser ve the excellent foodVinay is a
truly wonderful advocate for the older
person who normally would not experience
having lunch at his establishment. His
generosity is second to none. ‘ Thank you’
again from our CARE group.
Community Alternative for the Elderly
So many people to thank — volunteers,
members, businesses, mall owners and
donors in local communities across New
Zealand who helped make our recent
annual appeal a success.
Their contributions will help us to
help the 530,000 New Zealanders who
are living with arthritis, including 1000
We are still counting but hoping that the
$300,000 mark will be achieved.
As well as providing financial support,
this week also gives us the opportunity
to raise awareness of this chronic health
condition that is one of the leading causes
of disability in our country. There is no cure
for arthritis, but it can usually be managed,
and most people with arthritis can
continue to lead productive and fulfilling
We lead the way in providing awareness,
education, ser vices and advocacy for
arthritis in New Zealand.
We offer seminars, clinics, workshops,
and other ser vices throughout the country.
Advice is also available during business
hours by phoning 0800 663 463 toll free.
But we receive only 12% of our funding
from government agencies.
So, without the generosity of our donors
and volunteers, we would not be able
to help those who live with the pain of
arthritis every day.
If anyone missed our appeal, they can
donate $20 by phoning 0900 333 20. Or
they can donate through our website
Arthritis New Zealand
Parker family reunion
The Parker Family Reunion Committee
are endeavouring to contact all descendants
of David Henry Parker and Lilias Parker
(Borland), of Roxburgh. We would be
grateful for names and addresses of persons
Celebrations are planned for ‘Meet and
Greet ’ on Friday evening, February 6, 2015,
with activities and dinner (approximate
cost $25) on the Saturday.
The reunion takes place at the Roxburgh
Registrations at the cost of $5 close on
Please reply to Sheryl Catchpole by
post to: 6 Edward Street, Prebbleton,
Christchurch 7604, or e-mailcatchpole.
email@example.com or Helen Parker hjp@
PICTURE: Getty Images
A Palestinian worker rebuilds a house which was destroyed by the Israeli army
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