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A Greymouth school teacher and
breast cancer sur vivor who had surgery
to remove her cer vix four years ago
has complained to the Health and
Disability Commissioner after making
the horrifying discovery that part of it
was there all along.
The West Coast District Health
Board this week apologised in writing
to Bernie Hines, and says the doctor
who performed her initial surgery at
Grey Base Hospital was “mistaken in
his belief that your cer vix was removed
in its entirety”.
Mrs Hines has now joined forces
with another Grey Hospital medical
misadventure victim — internal burns
victim Jo Partridge — and is offering a
new support and advocacy ser vice.
Both women were treated by the
same obstetrician-g ynaecologist.
Four years ago, Mrs Hines had a
routine hysterectomy at Greymouth.
According to paper work, the cer vix
was then sent to Christchurch, and
the histology even records its size —
‘60x30x27mm’, and the cer vical as
15mm. A post-surgical follow up did
not include an internal examination,
Mrs Hines said.
Mid-last year she again suffered
getting radiation for breast cancer, it
got worse and medical records state a
“ high suspicion of cancer”.
This year she had her first smear test
in four years.
Her medical records from the
specialist show he was trying to work
out what a gynaecological “mass” was.
“This has been a very traumatic
experience; (the doctor) kept referring
to a mass, as did the radiographer. I
thought I had cancer again.”
Mrs Hines turned up for a July
appointment, and found a different
specialist, Dr Steven Roth, at the
After considering her symptoms,
Dr Roth said he believed she still had
her cervix intact, and after an internal
examination he also saw the cervix.
Mrs Hines said the nurse with him
at the time did, too.
Medical notes from that point state
it was “obvious the cer vix was not
In September, she had surgery to
remove the cer vix, or what was left.
Medical records show a cer vix was,
indeed, found and removed. Her
notes read, “cer vix was very apparent ”.
Histology notes also say a cer vix was
Just days before that last operation,
Mrs Hines — who by then had
complained to the Health and
Disability Commissioner — was
called to see the hospital’s head of
the department of obstetrics and
gynaecology Dr Vicki Robertson,
who was less convinced there was a
full cer vix, and thought perhaps it had
been only partly there.
Since the surgery Mrs Hines said she
had been feeling better, and her breast
cancer was in remission.
DHB programme director Mark
Newsome said in his letter of apology
that the initial surgeon had been
“misled” by the original pathology
report, which did not suggest part of
the cer vix may still be in place.
He said there was a “high degree of
certainty” the first cer vix removed was
hers, and not someone else’s, but DNA
testing was being conducted to be sure.
“I apologise for the distress that this
has caused and wish to apologise to
you on behalf of West Coast DHB,”
Mr Newsome said.
The board’s response to the Health
and Disability Commissioner says
the first sample of the cer vix was
“compromised” and was received in
However, the original report did not
explicitly state that not all the cervix
Dr Roth told the commissioner
“the majority of the cer vix had been
left in situ, however we are awaiting
interpretation of the original histology
report was that the cervix had been
completely removed. He expressed his
best wishes for Mrs Hines.
Mr Newsome said in summary, part
of the cer vix was not removed and
the surgeon had been mistaken in his
belief it had been.
That surgeon had since resigned
from the West Coast DHB.
The website set up by Mrs Hines
and Mrs Partridge is mawestcoastnz.
The Greymouth Star first contacted
the DHB on October 14. Several days
later, the DHB declined to comment,
referring the paper to Mrs Hines who
then released the DHB’s own report.
Mrs Hines only received the report
The vacant Blaketown Playcentre
building, under repair following
Cyclone Ita, has fallen victim again,
this time with the theft of building
materials. Building supplies which
were delivered to the centre on
Monday had been stolen by the
time builders got there to do the
work, on Wednesday, Greymouth
constable Mike Tinnelly said today.
The stolen materials include rolls
of building paper, two large rolls
of roofing underlay, a roll of wire,
a large box of joinery studs, and 18
Rowi kiwi release
The Department of Conser vation
(DOC) was today releasing 53 rare
rowi kiwi in the Okarito forest in
their largest ever homecoming.
DOC senior ranger Jim Livingstone
said when the recovery project
started, it was estimated that there
were less than 200 rowi. Now it
is just less than 400. “By 2018, we
aim to have the population at 600. ”
The birds returned today were
removed from the forest while still
in their egg, hatched at the West
Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz
Josef Glacier and then raised on
predator-free Motuara Island in
the Marlborough Sounds. The
young kiwi are now large enough
to defend themselves against stoats.
The biggest release before now was
Cloudy increasing, patchy drizzle
Greymouth Star On-line
A burglary victim who went the
bank to report the theft of his
deposit books met the thief who was
trying to clean him out.The victim
arrived at the bank in Shangrao
in China’s eastern Jianxi province
the morning after his home had
been ransacked. As the man was
reporting the theft, a clerk noticed
that he had the exact same name
as another man trying to withdraw
$2000 from an account. Bank clerk
Ye Lu said: ‘I asked him to fill in the
appropriate paper work at another
desk. Another man walked in and
he wanted to withdraw money with
two deposit books. Once I looked
at the first deposit book I felt a
bit weird as the printed name is
exactly the same as the one who just
reported loss. ” — Daily Mail
Post surger y trauma
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Bernie Hines at home with her dog, Barklay.
The Office of the Auditor General says it is
“ unlikely” it would look into the West Coast
Regional Council’s $1.9 million investment
into a 1080-bait factory in Rolleston, noting
its audit of the council was “clean”.
The investment was only revealed last week
after questioning by the Greymouth Star. The
council’s reports never linked money invested
with 1080 or pest control.
Yesterday a 170-strong protest was held
outside the council, and a public meeting is
being held in Rolleston next week.
The Star has been contacted by people
concerned about a possible conflict of
interest, as the council enforces 1080 resource
consents, its business unit VCS applies 1080,
and now it may manufacture the poison baits.
The chairman of the council Andrew Robb
was previously on the Tb Free committee.
Office of the Auditor General spokeswoman
Tamar McKewen, said it had not received
“ We’d be unlikely to look into these specific
The spending was in the 2012/13 financial
year and was covered in the council’s financial
statements and Annual Report for that year.
“The auditors provided a “clean” opinion,
which means that they concluded that the
financial statements had been properly
In May 2014, the office published its sector
report and noted “West Coast Regional
Council had significantly more capital
expenditure than budgeted (spending was
156% of the budget). This was because
of the unbudgeted purchase of land and
construction of a building.
“Again, this shows how having one or two
proportionally large projects affects a small
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Primary
Industries has confirmed it must approve the
factory before it can sell 1080 baits.
Manufacturers were audited by MPI to
ensure they complied with its standards.
A quest for Greymouth to
produce the world’s largest
whitebait pattie this weekend
has hit “a glitch”.
The grand plan hatched
by Greymouth Lions, with
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, to
better Hokitika at a world
record pattie was to be held
this weekend to book end the
Greymouth 150 celebrations
during the street races.
“ We’ve got a bit of a glitch.
We’re calling it off for the time
being,” Mr Kokshoorn said.
Greymouth attempt had blown
out to $2000.
The Lions had procured
14kgs of whitebait but the
attempt would probably now
be early in the New Year, Mr
Former Wildfoods Festival
co-ordinator Mike Keenan
needed to verify Hokitika’s
record attempt, apparently
made in the late 1990s.
“ To get to the required claim
by Mike Keenan, we had to do
a 31kg pattie. Incidentally, we
would like to see a photograph
of Hokitika’s pattie,”
Hokitika’s claim to fame
needed to be quantified as
“experts”, Mr Kokshoorn said
the Greymouth attempt would
need the equivalent area of two
large sheets of gib-board to
take the record.
Hokitika Goldrush 150
committee member Mike
Keenan said Hokitika might
well ensure it still becomes the
first entrant in the Guinness
Book of Records for the
world’s largest whitebait pattie,
if Greymouth was really up for
“But they’re not up to it,”
Mr Keenan joked. “He’s got to
come south of the Taramakau
Bridge for records.”
Hokitika attempted the
‘ largest ’ whitebait pattie in
the late 1990s, although it
was not officially recorded as
the Guiness Book of Records
criteria did not arrive in time.
Then owner of Millies in
sent the massive 30kg pattie
through his pie oven.
Mr Keenan said cooking the
pattie right through was the
main obstacle, with the massive
Hokitika pattie having to be
“flipped” and sent through
the oven for a second time.
Once baked, the pattie was cut
into squares and sold off for
Whitebait pattie record
attempt hits snag
Auditor General ‘unlikely’ to investigate regional council
Work to improve one of the most
treacherous sections of State highway 73
at Mingha Bluff, just east of Arthur’s Pass
village, will be under way this financial year,
the New Zealand Transport Agency says.
Planning and investment manager Ian
McCabe told the West Coast Regional Land
Transport Committee this week the contract
for the $20-25 million project had already
been drafted and was about to go to tender.
Mr McCabe said some consenting work
was still required, with agreements with Kiwi
Rail and the Department of Conser vation
still to be signed off.
“If they haven’t been signed off already they
are close to being signed.”
Mr McCabe said work on the project might
be able to begin without the consents being
finally signed off.
Transport planning manager Michael
Blyleven said previous work on the bluff had
been “nip and tuck”.
The project would be a “next level” of
investment to create a safer road width
through that section of road.
Treacherous section of SH73 to be improved
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