Home' Greymouth Star : October 29th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, October 29, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
439 - Vandals under Genseric occupy
1787 - First performance of Mozart’s Don
Giovanni takes place in Prague.
1814 - First steam-powered warship, the USS
Fulton, launched in New York.
1911 - US newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer dies
in South Carolina.
1929 - Prices crash on the New
York Stock Exchange on what
becomes known as Black Tuesday,
heralding the Great Depression of
1942 - Germans massacre 16,000
Jews in Pinsk, Russia.
1998 - John Glenn, the first
American in space 36 years earlier, rides a US
space shuttle into orbit at age 77.
2006 - A Nigerian airliner crashes after
taking off from the airport in Abuja, killing 96
2011 - A Taliban suicide bomber rams a
vehicle loaded with explosives into an armoured
bus on a busy thoroughfare in Kabul, killing 17.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Edmund Halley, English astronomer
(1656-1742); James Boswell, Scottish lawyer-
biographer (1740-1795); Frank Sedgman,
Australian tennis champion
(1927-); Richard Dreyfuss, US
actor (1947-); Kate Jackson, US
actress (1948-); Randy Jackson, US
singer (1961-); Eddie McGuire,
Australian media personality
(1964-); Jackie Pereira, Australian
Olympic hockey player (1964-);
Yasmin Le Bon, UK model (1964-); Toby
Smith, UK songwriter for Jamiroquai (1970-);
Matthew Hayden, Australian cricketer (1971-);
Winona Ryder, US actress (1971-).
“Good taste is the worst vice ever invented.”
— Dame Edith Sitwell, English poet (1887-1964).
“I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart
from Me there is no God. I will strengthen
you, though you have not acknowledged Me, so
that from the rising of the sun to the place of
its setting men may know there is none besides
Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other.”
— Isaiah 45:5-6.
lights are causing some
concern to Greymouth
Committee member Mr A Batey. At last night ’s
meeting of the committee, he said that on the
previous Tuesday the Greymouth Amateur
Cycling Club had conducted track races, and
after the races a party of 12 was returning home
in the direction of Cobden. “Eleven out of the
12 did not have lights,” said Mr Batey. “ When
you ask them where their lights are, you do not
meet with a very favourable reply,” he stated.
Chief traffic officer T R Hoskin said that he
had noticed some of the riders had portabel
electric lights which were “conveniently
switched on” when a Transport Department
patrol car loomed into sight. However, he
suggested that the cyclists wear athletic
singlets outside their jerseys so they could be
distinguished more easily. Most of them, he said,
wore black tracksuits.
The Westland regional committee of the
New Zealand Historic Places Trust is to hold a
plaque ceremony in Hokitika on December 20,
as part of the town’s centennial celebrations. The
plaque marks the foundation of Hokitika —
government agent W H Revell laid out the first
streets there on December 20, 1864, just after
Hudson and Price had set up the first store.
The committee is also investigating setting up
two other suitable monuments. They are looking
for the southernmost point in the Westland
exploration of Thomas Brunner. The second
in view is the Hari Hari swamp where Guy
Menzies put his plane down after his famous
solo flight across the Tasman.
uFood for thought
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In a response to a letter to your
newspaper (October 22), the CEO of the
West Coast Regional Council, Chris Ingle,
makes the comment that the $1.9 million
spent on a 1080 factory was not ratepayers’
It is my understanding that all money
handled by Mr Ingle, in his role of CEO
of this council, is in fact to be used as per
the council’s mission statement, which is
indeed ratepayer or public money. I believe
that Mr Ingle has to either admit that the
$1.9m is public money or they are, in fact,
running a business enterprise within the
council for their own gains. He cannot
have it both ways.
His continued attempts at misleading
the public has become very obvious and it
is also obvious to me that he should resign.
I do not believe anyone can trust him to
carry out this council’s mission statement.
If Mr Ingle does the decent thing and
resigns, I would suggest that all those
councillors who voted (if, in fact, there was
ever a vote) in favour of this 1080 factory
purchase, should do likewise.
The people on the West Coast of the
South Island, deser ve far better than
Mr Ingle is able to supply.
Open letter to
This is a copy of the letter I sent to the
regional council with my unpaid rates.
Dear council, enclosed are my rates
notices. I will be withholding payments
now until the West Coast Regional
Council ceases to be involved in 1080
poisoning. The recent news of the council’s
investment in a 1080 factory has forced
me to take a stand.
1080 is an extremely cruel poison, taking
hours, sometimes days of agony to kill. To
use it is completely unjustifiable, in my
view. These horrific deaths take place
far from the eyes of the general public,
but for those unlucky enough to witness
them they cause lasting trauma and
Furthermore, it is an undisputed fact
that every time there is a drop many native
birds die; notably kea, tomtits, robins, owls
and weka, to name a few. We have driven
the kea to the brink of extinction. DOC’s
own research shows approximately 25%
of kea and 30% of tomtits are killed every
The long-term effect of repeated
poisonings has increased the mouse and
rat populations. We have been doing this
for 15 years and it is not helping either the
Tb rates or the native bird population.
To invest in a factory producing this
poison means that the West Coast
Regional Council has a vested interest in
continuing to use it long into the future.
Whether or not the money comes from
ratepayers (and if it does not, please
explain where it does come from), many of
us consider it immoral to profit
from the suffering it causes.
I suggest that anyone in the council
who supports the use of 1080 view the
Graf brothers’ documentary and read
The Third Wave: Poisoning the Land by
W F Benfield.
West Coast Regional Council chief
executive Chris Ingles responds: “The
correspondent wishes to know where the
council investment fund has come f rom, if not
from ratepayers. The four West Coast Councils
were each given $7 million in the year 2000
when the Government decided to cease native
timber har vest on the West Coast. Since then
the regional council has grown this $7 million
to $12 million by investing the money.
Council uses 50% of that investment income
to support its environmental programmes
(offsetting the need for rates rises), and the
other 50% goes back in, to grow the fund
further. Growing the investment fund enables
council to offset general rates, to the benefit of
all West Coasters.”
Can we please get some basic science
and reason back into the current debate
on 1080? Mr Gurden’s imagined
‘terrorism’ scenario of mass human death
(Greymouth Star, October 22) would
require large numbers of people to go
bush, seek out, and consume several fresh
baits each, within days of a drop. Seems
He claims that ‘in the event of a heavy
rainfall, a large amount will be directly
flushed into our water ways’. Not so; a
certain amount would be leached out of
the bait and into the soil, where it would
be broken down by soil microbes. Only
a very small amount, diluted by ground
water, would actually make it into the
water ways, where it would rapidly be
diluted much further, to near undetectable
levels — as we know from repeated
monitoring in the past.
As for the naturally occurring levels of
fluoride in soil and water as supposed
‘concrete proof ’ of the effects of previous
drops, that ignores the fact that fluoride
minerals occur in significant amounts in
several parts of our geological environment
here on the Coast — check out Cascade
Creek in Buller for some beautiful fluorite
(calcium fluoride) specimens (kilograms
at a time, and perhaps tonnes per hectare
in places), to give just one example among
Though largely insoluble, with
weathering such mineralisation would
certainly contribute to naturally occurring
levels and have nothing whatsoever
to do with air-dropped sodium
monofluoroacetate. Coalmining and coal
burning are also well-known as processes
that release fluoride into the environment.
We do not support the use of our
money (paid to the West Coast Regional
Council) to be used in the proposed 1080
poison factory in Rolleston.
Therefore, we will no longer be paying
their rates and we strongly urge other
Coasters to follow suit. Who in their right
mind would pay for some idiots to poison
Why is it that so many people do not
seem to care what the consequences of this
poison are? Open your eyes, people.
Sharon and Murray Jordan
Sorr y, whose
money is that?
Is it my imagination that the chief
executive of the West Coast Regional
Council stated on TV3 that no ratepayers’
funds were involved in their purchase
of the new poison factory at Rolleston?
Excuse me? Does he need reminding who
he works for?
I would suggest a short, sharp
withholding of the same amount of rates
divided by the 93% of ratepayers who
indicated they were against 1080.
Arrogance is a word I do not use lightly.
devious or stupid?
The Greymouth Star’s recent revelation
(October 16) that the West Coast
Regional Council has secretly invested
public money in the disgusting 1080
business raises the question as to whether
they are driven more by deviousness — or
Either way, and having been found out,
their immediate resignation en masse is
the obvious course of action — but then
that would require a degree of integrity
clearly beyond their understanding.
Which, not for the first time, recalls
my old dad’s thoughts on the naming
of racehorses (all things are connected).
Having told me that he recalled a
racehorse named Integrity he paused and
then added, ‘They wouldn’t name a horse
Integrity now because no one would know
what it means’. I think he was being overly
pessimistic but I suspect many readers will
appreciate the point he was making.
Are the West Coast Regional Council
unaware of the huge public feeling on the
Coast — and all around New Zealand —
against the indiscriminate bombardment
with this deadly poison?
Are they unaware that it is banned in
most countries and that New Zealand
alone uses it in substantial quantities?
Are they also blissfully unaware of
DOC’s recent warning to anglers not to
eat the fish they catch in areas that have
Can they not see the perfidious way that
DOC operate as regards 1080 when, given
their current warning about not eating
1080-affected fish, their previous boss,
Alistair Morrison, once stated publicly
that the effect of 1080 was no more than
the effect of the salt in a packet of chips?
And are they unaware of the huge
conflict of interests in being involved in
1080 from manufacture to participation in
dropping the stuff hither and yon?
Finally, regarding the West Coast
Regional Council’s ludicrous claim that
they did not tell anyone about their
sneaky 1080 investment because it is
“commercially sensitive”, even my dog Jack
fell about with laughter when I read that
to him. Of all the mindless phrases in the
bureaucrats’ (and politicians’) handbook,
“commercially sensitive” is the most over-
used — and the most ridiculous. If they
are going to talk rubbish they might at
least think up some original rubbish.
My thanks to Mr Gurden for organising
the protest last Thursday. This gave many
people the opportunity to express their
disgust at the regional council.
Mr Gurden read out the mission
statement of the council: ‘ To work
with the people of the West Coast to
sustainably manage the environment for
the social, cultural and economic well-
being of present and future generations’.
This encouraged me to review the DOC
mission statement: ‘To ensure for the
people of New Zealand, that the richness
of New Zealand’s natural and cultural
heritage is valued, restored, maintained,
and cared for by all, in order to enhance
our environment and quality of life’.
Also on Thursday, DOC, as members of
the poison fraternity, had bin liners and
flat decks to start the killing in the Lake
Moeraki-Abbey Rocks area.
Overflying the main highway in
the middle of the tourist season,
shows complete arrogance and lack of
consideration for people.
Which organisation actually adheres to
its mission statement? Neither, and in the
public eye, West Coast regional councillors
who signed off on their part in the poison
war, a factory to make the stuff, should all
fall on their swords, and those remaining
should instruct their investment advisers
that ‘ethical investment ’ is what the world
and New Zealand is heading towards —
ethical and moral investment.
It is essential that West Coasters instruct
their councillors on how they expect them
to represent the people and protect our
environment for the well-being of present
and future generations, also to instruct
the Government on how the Department
of Conser vation should establish and
maintain a vibrant environment and
quality of life instead of killing our native
species to save them.
This absolute nonsense has gone far
enough, been happening for far too long
and an investment in common sense is
Farmers Against Ten Eighty
Possums and Tb
The cows, sheep and deer in this
country that are all behind wire are
tagged recorded on-line. In a range of
programmes we know where they are and
the exact number.
Example: malaria from the mosquito,
they found a vaccine to inoculate those
other animals, as in people, yes some work
on the swamps to kill the bugs.
Same with the possum etc. They do not
have a clue what the numbers are and they
will not rid the lot and still after all this
years of poisoning — 1080,
cyanide, trapping, road kills and shooting
— the numbers are still high.
Why not or don’t they redirect this
money spent on 1080 into animal health
protection from the Tb disease, in what
some have asked into finding alternatives?
Would one think be more in line for
what the funds are for unlike 1080 with
no other side effects on the invertebrates,
birds and alike. With various agencies
having different ideas could be queried as
if it is misappropriation of funds.
Those who are unsure, let ’s go to the
courts and get a legal ruling, noting to date
in any of those for or against there has
not been a full line-up of scientific experts
from both sides of the argument matching
apples with apples.
It has been Joe Public and practical
persons versus the so-called professionals,
who are employed by the very agencies
who sow this 1080, namely DOC and the
Animal Health Board, either government
or rates funded.
The whole debate/dispute has been no
more than a war of words and photos
in the newspapers, some protests in few
areas and a few public meetings. The other
issues some refer to as to crop damage,
plant destruction and garden wrecking etc
should note other countries have bigger
and wilder animals to deal with, and in
most cases do not use 1080.
New Zealanders are well known for
innovation and new quick-thinking ideas
but this whole 1080 saga for almost 50
years, which would seem to little effect
and many other issues creating a huge
range of views of ongoing environmental
possibilities or problems on the possum
just is not working, and most likely has
not won the day against an animal deemed
to have no brains and is stupid.
With the W100 commemorations upon
us, it is understandable that many in our
communities think about loved ones who
ser ved, and in some cases, did not return
from the First World War.
I am researching underage soldiers in the
First World War and invite your readers
to contact me if they have stories of family
members who went to war.
This includes those who tried to enlist
but for some reason did not not depart. I
know of over 500 and I am very sure there
are a lot more. The intention is to bring
as many of these stories together, so that
this aspect of New Zealand’s history can
2 Rowllings Cres
West Coast erosion
I am writing about the Quick-Read in
the Greymouth Star, Saturday, October 11,
‘Expert help sought for Punakaiki erosion’.
Seven years ago there were problems to
do with erosion within the coastline of the
whole of the West Coast environment, not
just Punakaiki erosion. I was then doing
global environmental studies to work
towards a bachelors in applied science.
I can now see those problems back then
were only addressed with a $600,000 wall
to try to combat these environmental
problems which scientists from Niwa,
Buller District Council, even the West
Coast Regional Council knew about all
those years ago.
But seven years on, this global problem
is no easy fix with the way global warming
For years people who live on these
coastlines have studied the continuing
protection of our oceans (e.g. Niwa), but
they do not live here on the West Coast of
the South Island.
As a real Coaster myself, I have learned
from my past experiences in what I have
seen in my 36 years of living around the
coastline, both north and south of this
beautiful mecca of Punakaiki, and the
whole coastline of the wild West Coast.
There is a relationship between the
ecological, economic and environmental
problems we as West Coasters now face.
Quote ‘about 20 households currently fund
the $600,000 wall and its maintenance’.
Wake up to the real problems of erosion
before it is too late. We need systems and
strategies, real methods to protect our
Natural resources may not be enough.
I have seen first-hand the power of the
vil, armed clowns sow terror
as part of an eerie trend that
spreads from city to city —
while this may sound like
Hollywood’s latest horror
blockbuster, it is real and
happening in France.
Police have jailed or arrested more than
a dozen teenagers across the country in
recent weeks after they dressed up as the
pranksters and wreaked havoc on the
streets, at times armed with pistols, knives
or baseball bats, sometimes beating people
The phenomenon in France has even
prompted anti-clown vigilantism, forcing
police to step in to try and quell growing
But why clowns? And could the
approach of Halloween have something to
do with it?
From Batman’s Joker to Stephen King’s
child-killer in It or Twisty the Clown in
US series American Horror Story, the
colourful buffoon who is supposed to
make children laugh has often morphed
into pure evil in films or books.
“For 30 years now, the malevolent clown
is a character that has been exploited by
popular culture with films, books that have
gradually built up a theme ... that everyone
knows,” anthropologist Veronique
Campion-Vincent, an expert on rumour,
“Urban legends are based on the idea
that we are in a world where things are
not what they seem. That ’s the case for
this apparently amusing being who makes
children laugh, but who is actually really
nasty. The clown could even be seen as a
victim, someone who is awkward, who
takes his revenge.”
Whether these fictional characters
have been inspired by or contributed
to coulrophobia — a fear of clowns —
remains to be seen.
While little is understood about the
cause of this phobia, it is thought to result
from not knowing what lies behind the
excessive make-up, red nose and hair
Like many other fears such as
arachnophobia, authors and filmmakers
have been inspired by coulrophobia for
their books or movies.
And it is not just fiction that has fuelled
a fear of clowns.
US serial killer and rapist John Wayne
Gacy, who was executed in 1994 for
torturing and murdering 33 people,
became known as the Killer Clown as
he would dress up as the prankster for
In France, where Halloween never used
to be celebrated but is gradually becoming
more popular, the phenomenon of terror-
inducing clowns appeared earlier this
month in the north.
According to police, people increasingly
reported spotting clowns “outside schools,
but also on public roads, in bushes, in a
“Their targets are often young children or
teenagers, but also adults,” a police source
in northern France said.
Last week, a 19-year-old got a six-
month suspended jail term for threatening
passers-by while dressed as a clown in the
town of Bethune.
And the phenomenon has spread across
Police on Sunday arrested 14 teenagers
dressed as clowns and carrying weapons in
the Mediterranean port town of Agde.
Not far away in Montpellier, a fake
clown chased a man down a street and
beat him with an iron bar, prompting a
court to jail him for four months.
The man admitted yesterday that he
had been drunk and just wanted to scare
a passer-by, as is the fashion on YouTube
where prank videos involving fake clowns
One such video that sees a man dressed
as a clown pretend to club people to death
in front of terrified passers-by has had
almost 30 million hits.
“ Police detected this phenomenon born
on social networks relatively early on,” a
police source said yesterday.
“Some delinquents took advantage
of it this weekend. But while it is not
insignificant, it’s still quite limited. It’s part
of these short-term fads that live on as
long as media talk about them. ”
But according to Aurore Van de Winkel,
a Belgian researcher into urban myths, this
age-old phenomenon of horrific stories
being circulated as true “is being created
under our very eyes”.
She said that apart from the YouTube
videos, the pre-Halloween period is
traditionally conducive to the creation of
urban legends, which could explain the
proliferation of these aggressive clowns.
Campion-Vincent warned there was a
risk that this “game” would spiral out of
control, particularly if real-life and the
imaginary worlds merge into one.
She cited the example of two 12-year-
old girls who stabbed their friend almost
to death this year in the United States to
please Slender Man, a fictional villain that
originated as a video game. — AFP
Evil clown epidemic
A still from a bank robbery scene in the film The Dark Knight. France has had to
deal with a spate of incidents involving people wearing clown masks.
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