Home' Greymouth Star : November 14th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, November 14, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1533 - Spanish conquistadors take Cusco, the
capital of the Inca empire.
1832 - World’s first tram, a horse-drawn
vehicle named John Mason, goes into
operation in New York City.
1851 - Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick
is first published in the United
1922 - BBC begins domestic
radio ser vice.
1963 - New island called Surtsey
is created off the Icelandic coast by
an undersea volcanic eruption.
1969 - Apollo 12 blasts off for the
1991 - Prince Norodom Sihanouk returns to
Cambodia after 20 years.
1992 - A Unionist gunman kills two people
and wounds 13 in a Belfast bookmaker’s shop.
1999 - The United Nations imposes sanctions
on Afghanistan and demands the arrest of
suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.
2008 - A lunar probe from India lands
successfully on the moon.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Claude Monet, French artist (1840-1926);
Arthur Hoey Davis (Steele Rudd), Australian
author (1868-1935); Harold Lar wood,
English cricketer (1904-1996);
Joseph McCarthy, US senator and
anti-communist crusader (1908-
1957); Boutros Boutros-Ghali,
former United Nations secretary-
general (1922-); Bart Cummings,
Australian horse trainer (1927-);
Ellis Marsalis, US jazz musician
(1934-); Prince Charles (1948-);
Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of
State (1954-); Nic Dalton, US rock musician
(1964-); Adam Gilchrist, former Australian
“Comfort, opportunity, number and size are
not synonymous with civilisation. ”
— Abraham Flexner, American educator and
“ Blessed are those who are persecuted because
of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of
Heaven.” — Matthew 5:10.
A recent strong
oil seep found in
the workings of a
coalmine was intriguing, but the discovery has
now been classified as nothing more than a
curiosity. It has no economic significance for
the Greymouth district.
The oil was noted in mid-September in the
workings of Spark and Party colliery. Forming
an eighth of an inch thickness over a large pool
of water in a drive it had come up through the
floor — an unusual point for other oil seeps in
the area had dripped out of side strata. This was
taken as an indication that there might be an
oil dome underneath.
A representative from the Greymouth branch
of the Geological Sur vey Department drew
off a gallon for analysis. “But this test is purely
a routine move for the discovery adds up to
nothing which is of major value. It is just a
curiosity — that ’s all it amounts to,” he added.
The geologist said the sandstone nature of the
colliery area meant that it was highly unlikely a
big deposit of oil exists there. “ The stone is not
porous enough — it is too dense to hold oil,”
As part of the town’s centennial celebrations,
the businessmen of Hokitika are sponsoring a
£500 open golf tournament, on January 22 and
23 next year.
This will be the first open tournament ever
held on the Coast and it is believed this is
the first time businessmen of a town have
sponsored such a tournament.
Invitations are to be extended to leading
amateurs in the country and many Freyberg
Rosebowl players are expected to participate.
uFood for thought
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Did Danny Morrison and his team-
mates inadvertently fuel the fire for
Sachin Tendulkar to become one of the
world’s best ever batsmen?
Such a conclusion could be made based
on the evidence available in Tendulkar’s
newly-released autobiography, Playing It
Among a number of unflattering
references to New Zealand, Tendulkar
recounted the story of his first innings
outside of the sub-continent, as a
precocious 17-year-old in Christchurch
Playing in his fifth career test, the
youngster came in at No 6 and, facing
Morrsion, was promptly sent packing
for a golden duck, caught behind by Ian
“It was a good delivery, but the send-
off was interesting, to say the least,”
Tendulkar wrote. “I could hear most of
the New Zealand players calling me a
schoolboy, with plenty of F-words thrown
in. They kindly advised me to go back to
playing cricket with my school chums,
suggesting that I wasn’t fit to compete
at international level. I kept my mouth
Tendulkar made 24 in the second
innings as New Zealand won the match
by 10 wickets but it was not long until
the Little Master would begin to take
revenge on New Zealand attacks.
In the second test of the same tour, in
Napier, Tendulkar came agonisingly close
to his maiden test century before being
dismissed, once again by Morrsion, for
“I was heartbroken. As I walked back to
the pavilion I couldn’t control my tears.
Why on Earth did I play that shot when
I was just 12 runs short?”
The recently-retired great went on to
score four test centuries against New
Zealand in his career, including a top
score of 217, while compiling an average
of 46.91 . That mark was down on his
career average of 53.78, and Tendulkar
explained the numerous difficulties faced
with touring this country.
“New Zealand has always been a very
difficult tour for an Indian cricketer,”
Tendulkar wrote. “It’s often windy and
chilly and that, coupled with the short
boundaries in most of the grounds, makes
it very different from conditions back
home in India.”
If Tendulkar found the windy
conditions unwelcoming, it would be
no surprise to hear his thoughts on the
Basin Reserve in Wellington, where
he described the conditions as almost
“Batsmen have to be able to make
subtle adjustments to adapt to conditions
like these. One problem with looking
into strong winds is that you can’t keep
your eyes open for too long at a stretch.
Also, when facing someone bowling
with the wind, your bat speed has to be
slight faster than normal because the ball
hurries on quicker than expected.”
Tendulkar’s qualms extended beyond
the sledging and conditions, taking
issue with even the Kiwi accent. He
remembered team-mate Manoj Prabhakar
particularly struggling, receiving more
than he bargained for after requesting a
power adapter from hotel housekeeping.
“The accent of the locals there was very
strange to our ears,” Tendulkar wrote.
“In a few minutes there was a knock on
(Prabhakar’s) door and he opened it to
find a doctor standing there.
“The staff had heard ‘doctor’ for ‘dapter’
(partly because they pronounced ‘doctor’
as ‘dactor’) and had sent the resident
physician to Prabhakar’s room.”
It wasn’t all doom and gloom when
it came to New Zealand, though, with
Tendulkar calling Richard Hadlee “one
of the finest ever exponents of swing
bowling”. — NZME
Tendulkar voices his problems with NZ
Milton Road quer y
Through your paper could I please ask
the Grey District Council when our street,
Milton Road, will be repaired?
I have heard a comment that repairs may
not be done until 2016. Residents in our
road have been very patient in this matter
but I feel time is up. This has been going
on for far too long, this needs to be done
Pedestrians are pushing baby strollers
down the middle of the road as this is by
far smoother than the footpath, which has
had no maintenance for years. This just
adds another obstruction to dodge while
trying to avoid the large undulations when
driving down our road. Please act soon.
Grey District Council assets manager
Mel Sutherland responds: “Firstly, the
patience of residents is appreciated. We intend
to get repair work done on the footpaths and
smooth out the roads before this Christmas,
weather and other circumstances permitting.
Close circuit tv cameras were on site early
this week and have now completed their work
in helping to identify the location of faults
in the underground pipework. We are now
about to pressure test the identified areas to
pin-point the actual faulty pipes and repair
We have also held off on repairs to the
footpaths to allow the ultra-fast broadband
work to be completed in these areas.”
Air NZ cutbacks
The cutbacks from Air New Zealand
were inevitable as losses in some sectors
could not continue.
Hokitika Airport Ltd’s decision to invest
heavily four years ago into certifying the
Hokitika Airport operation allowing for
the introduction of the Q300 50-seat
aircraft was timely.
The cost of running the 50-seat Q300 is
less than the cost to run a Beechcraft 19-
seat aircraft so the changeover was always
going to happen.
Planning for the next step is very
important as Hokitika is well placed to
take the next move, which will be for larger
aircraft than the 50-seat Q300. The type
may well be an 82-seat or larger.
Airports like Westport will become
feeder airports with new third-level
operators providing a ser vice into Hokitika
or Nelson to link with Air Nelson or Eagle
Hokitika Airport remains the only viable
option for international charter flights,
which will at some time become a reality,
and at that time tourism numbers will
We have a perfectly located and well run
airport and something that gives Westland
a huge advantage.
Let ’s ensure we keep looking five to 10
years ahead and be proud of the service we
enjoy from Air New Zealand.
I was reminded the other day, while
discussing dog deaths caused by 1080 with
yet another distraught ex-dog owner, of
a mystery as yet unsolved of several dog
deaths in the Jacks Road-Mill Creek area
at South Beach not so long ago.
I believe water testing was done at the
time and a pig farm further up Mill Creek
was the scapegoat, as faecal coliforms from
it were blamed as a possible cause for these
‘mystery’ dog deaths, which coincided,
I believe, with an incident at Vector
Control’s storage shed in Jacks Road a
short time earlier.
I understand the shed used to store 1080
was flooded and then hastily cleaned
up, residues were washed directly into
a stormwater ditch at the front of the
building and that in turn was flushed
directly into Mill Creek.
I was first made aware of this by a chance
meeting with an elderly resident who
watched the clean-up from their nearby
property, then on further investigation
found two employees from a neighbouring
business who also witnessed part of this
clean-up. This prompted me to do some
further investigation, so I asked a staff
member at Vector, who acknowledged the
incident but was unhelpful about providing
I then talked with two of the poisoned
dog’s owners to ascertain their movements,
everything seemed to fall into place so
I rang Jackie Adams at the West Coast
Regional Council. He confirmed the
incident, told me that Vector Control had
indeed obtained a resource consent for the
clean-up and told me that water tests were
carried out after wards and came up clean.
He also was quick to assure me that only
non-toxic pre-feed baits were stored in the
shed at the time. This information (and my
sceptical side) has prompted me to publicly
ask Mr Adams some further questions to
clarify a few things that do not add up.
1. lf the baits stored in the shed were
indeed non-toxic, where were the toxic
baits being used at the time for ground
control operation being stored?
2. lf the baits were non-toxic then why
the need for a resource consent, or indeed
3. Non-toxic baits are a tan or a light
brown colour, so why would three different
witnesses all categorically state that sludge
and waters being washed away were
4. Why was there no mention of this
incident by the West Coast Regional
Council at the time of the investigation
into the suspicious deaths of these dogs?
(surely they were not trying to hide
anything from the public?)
5. To my knowledge, there were no
warnings given to surrounding residents
or businesses about the possibility of 1080
residues in or around Mill Creek, and
no warning signs were erected to inform
recreational users of the area either. Why
West Coast Regional Council chief
executive Chris Ingle responds: “It is
regrettable that Mr Gurden has risked
creating unnecessary public alarm through the
presentation of a letter so filled with factual
errors that it lacks any credibility.
The documented facts are as follows.
The flood event in Mill Creek occurred in
July 2009. The VCS poison store building was
unaffected by that flood. No water has ever
entered that building.
The dog death was in January 2014. Mr
Gurden’s attempt to link these two events is
wrong and could be construed as deliberate
The piggery discharge event was never cited
as the cause of the dog death. In fact, Jackie
Adams was quoted in the Greymouth Star on
April 9, 2014 saying that the e.coli from the
piggery discharge would not have poisoned the
The claim that a resource consent was
required for a clean-up at the VCS facility
has no basis in fact. There has never been a
resource consent issued for a clean-up at VCS.
Mr Adams did not make the other comments
Mr Gurden has attributed to him.
In summary, there has never been any
discharge of 1080 from the VCS depot. This
purpose-built storage shed is closely regulated
by the Environmental Protection Authority
and its operation is governed by strict
hazardous substances regulations. Because of
the way the material is securely stored, it is
virtually impossible for such a discharge to
It is absolutely incorrect to attempt to link
the January 2014 dog death to the VCS
Pike re-entry fund
Please do not let this Government use
the Pike River Mine re-entry fund to
ensure that the mine is not re-enterable. I
would say that would be the objective.
It must be left accessible in case a change
in government or technology allows it to
be possible in the future.
It would not be in the Government ’s
interest for any bodies to be recovered.
Imagine the fallout from such an
So what is the truth with all of Pike
River’s history? In New Zealand, you can
open up an underground mine and have
your permits for this activity issued by a
council. You can build a building which
is issued a permit if it measures up to a
standard under the Building Act. But your
high gas mine has to have permits issued
‘ with no consideration for greenhouse gas
No council in New Zealand has any
District Plan rule to protect workers
when they issue any development permit
including buildings, as is in the CTV
building. Then again, no council can be
proscuted for issuing permits on behalf
of the Government, which delegates
its powers under any Act that the
On a visit to Barrytown at Labour
Weekend my wife endured an excruciating
and sudden pain in her head and neck.
Our Coast friends were extremely
concerned, obtained advice from a local
doctor, who advised us to go to Grey Base
The staff there were expecting us and on
arrival were sympathetic, very professional
and prompt in giving her comfort and
Various tests were conducted, including a
brain scan, and the problem was found and
Through your paper, we would like to
thank all the medical staff involved and
assure Coasters their medical problems are
in safe and capable hands.
John and Nadene Moore
An open letter to the West Coast
Thank for your letter dated November 10
regarding non-payment of my rates.
This is deliberate on my part.
I am extremely concerned about the
West Coast Regional Council’s actions of
late, in particular the revelation that the
council secretly invested in a 1080 factory,
on top of extremely concerning attempts
via the long-term plan to extend its
powers beyond what it is legally mandated
My key concerns are as follows:
Apparent lack of concern for carrying
out its legal responsibilities within what is
mandated under the RMA.
Lack of interest and responsiveness to
ratepayer concerns about 1080.
Secrecy around investing a large
amount of ratepayers’ money in a business
which many ratepayers do not support and
rightly have real concerns about.
Apparent lack of comprehension of
the democratic and conflict of interest
issues around this.
In summary, the regional council can
interpret my non-payment of rates as an
expression of my lack of confidence in
the council to fulfil its functions under
the RMA with competence, transparency,
integrity and with due regard to
I will happily pay rates, if and when,
I am satisfied that my concerns have
been addressed and that the West Coast
Regional Council is performing its
responsibilities as it should.
Until such time as I am satisfied that
these issues have been addressed, I do
not wish to financially support the
West Coast Regional Council chief
executive Chris Ingle responds: “I can
assure the correspondent that the West Coast
Regional Council absolutely does carry out
its legal responsibilities under the Resource
Also, the council clearly does understand the
perception of conflict of interest around the
recent investment in Pest Control Research,
as this week the council made a decision to
stop making any further RMA 1080 resource
consent decisions in-house. An RMA qualified
independent commissioner f rom outside the
region will make these decisions f rom now on.”
hen the lights change at
the Shibuya crossing in
Japan’s capital, one of the
world’s busiest pedestrian
of people with their eyes glued to
smartphones pick their way over the road.
Despite being engrossed in the latest
instalment of Candy Crush or busy
chatting with their friends on messaging
app Line, most manage to weave around
cyclists, skateboarders and fellow Tokyoites.
But the growing ranks of these phone
addicts are turning cities including Tokyo,
London, New York and Hong Kong into
increasingly hazardous hotspots, where
zombified shoppers appear to be part of
vast games of human pinball.
“Hey, watch it!” barks a middle-aged
salary man as a hipster typing on his
smartphone slams into him during one
recent Friday evening crush hour.
Tetsuya Yamamoto, a senior official
at Tokyo Fire Department ’s disaster
prevention and safety section, said incidents
involving people walking or on bicycles
account for 41% of phone-related accidents.
“If people continue walking around
looking at their phones, I think we could
see more accidents happening,” he said.
It goes beyond being an innocuous
inconvenience where both people apologise
before continuing on their merry way.
Tokyo Fire Department, which runs the
ambulance ser vice in the megalopolis, says
that in the four years to 2013, 122 people
had to be rushed to hospital after accidents
caused by pedestrians using phones.
As well as the vaguely comedic incidents
of businessmen smacking into lamp-
posts or tripping over dogs, this total also
included a middle-aged man who died
after straying onto a railway crossing while
looking at his phone.
More than half of Japanese now own a
smartphone and the proportion is rising
fast, including children who customarily
walk to and from school.
Research by Japanese mobile giant NTT
Docomo estimates a pedestrian’s average
field of vision while staring down at a
smartphone is just 5% of what our eyes take
“Children wouldn’t be safe in that
situation,” Hiroshi Suzuki, manager of
corporate social responsibility at the
company, said. “It ’s dangerous and it ’s our
job to make sure it doesn’t actually happen.”
The company ran a computer simulation
of what could occur in Shibuya if everyone
crossing the intersection was looking at
The results, based on a fairly average 1500
people swarming over the road at any one
time, were alarming — 446 collisions, 103
knockdowns and 21 dropped phones.
Only about a third get to the other side
That 82 of the 103 who fell to the ground
managed to cling on to their precious
phones tells its own story.
Japanese media reported that around half
of the 56 bodies recovered from the peak
of a volcano after a recent eruption were
found clutching mobile phones with photos
of the deadly lava and ash on them.
Apparently, they had thought it more
important to be able to show their social
media friends what was happening than to
try to save themselves.
Suzuki travels to schools across Japan
teaching children how to be responsible
with smartphones through the use of
“ We use the story of the tortoise and the
hare,” he said.
“The hare shoots off tapping away on his
smartphone, and then falls down a hole. We
want the children to know they could be
Tokyo is just one of the places struggling
to cope with this very 21st century menace.
In China, an amusement park in the
south-western megacity of Chongqing has
divided a pavement within its grounds into
two lanes — one signposted “no mobile
phones” and the other “mobile phone use
permitted but all consequences are your
responsibility”. — AFP
Japanese phone users have been creating problems at street crossings.
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