Home' Greymouth Star : November 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, November 26, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1095 - Pope Urban urges the faithful to wrest
the Holy Land from the Muslims, heralding
start of Crusades.
1648 - Pope Innocent X condemns Peace of
Westphalia, which ended 30 Years War one
1789 - A day of Thanksgiving is
set aside by US President George
Washington to obser ve the
adoption of America’s Constitution.
1939 - Stalin attacks Finland
leading to 105-day Winter War.
1940 - Half-million Jews of
Warsaw, Poland, are ordered to live within a
1965 - France launches its first satellite,
sending a 41kg capsule into orbit.
1979 - The International Olympic
Committee votes to re-admit China after an
absence of 21 years.
1986 - Iranian missile slams into crowded
residential district of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 48
civilians and wounding 52.
1992 - Q ueen Elizabeth II announces she
will start paying taxes on her personal income
and take her children off the national payroll.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
William Cowper, English poet (1731-1800);
Eugene Ionesco, Romanian-born French
dramatist (1909-1994); Robert Goulet, US
singer (1933-2007); Tina Turner,
US pop singer (1939-); Bruce
Paltrow, US director-producer
(1943-2002); John McVie, of rock
group Fleetwood Mac (1945-);
Jacki MacDonald, Hey Hey It ’s
Saturday personality (1953-); Dave
Hughes, Australian comedian
(1970-); Anna Millward, Australian cyclist
(1971-); Chris Hughes, American co-founder
of Facebook (1983-); Louis Ducruet, son of
Princess Stephanie of Monaco (1992-).
“Love your neighbours, but don’t pull down
the fence.” — Chinese proverb.
“A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a
gossip separates close friends.” — Proverbs 16:28.
and intrigue were the
ingredients of Agatha
Christie’s book, They
Do it with Mirrors. Currently planning to
“do it with mirrors” is the Ministry of Works,
Greymouth. There is no sinister tie in its plan,
Nearing completion in a Greymouth
workshop are three mirrors which shortly will
be transported to the Weheka Hills area on
the Haast Pass road. The mirrors will be place
at three dangerous one-way corners so that
negotiating motorists will, by looking into the
mirror, catch a glimpse of any oncoming traffic
approaching the corner.
Though relatively new for New Zealand roads,
mirrors are used fairly extensively overseas,
especially in some of the smaller continental
countries where roads traverse mountain peaks.
They have proved their worth, eliminating many
Tsunamis rolling out from the volcanic
eruptions which have torn tiny Raoul Island this
week should hold no terror for West Coasters.
It is “most unlikely” that any great surges in
the waters of the Tasman will be seen here as a
sequel to the disturbances in the South Pacific,
north-east of New Zealand.
This prediction comes from the Greymouth
branch of the Geological Survey. But the
representative making it did not entirely rule
out the possibility of some abnormal sea
movements locally. Research shows that tidal
waves from volcanic trouble, whether localised
or distant, have never caused damage to any
degree along the Coast. Early this afternoon, the
harbourmaster said no unusual tidal activity had
been found at the port.
uFood for thought
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The metallic clank and screech of cult
German industrial band Einstuerzende
Neubauten’s homemade instruments are
chillingly appropriate for Lament, their
idiosyncratic performance for the 100th
anniversary of the start of World War
Since bursting on to the Berlin punk
scene in the early 1980s blending guitar
feedback, road drills and lumps of
metal, the band — whose name means
“collapsing new buildings” — has become
increasingly highbrow, winning a five-
star review for the album of Lament in
Britain’s Financial Times.
Alternatively loud and lyrical, using a
dulcimer strung with barbed wire and
crutches played like a cello as well as a
string quartet, Lament portrays the horror
of the 1914-18 war without patriotism or
nostalgia. Somehow, the show — now in
the middle of a 17-city European tour —
also manages to be entertaining.
“I want to tell a horrible story beautifully.
I don’t think it would be justifiable to do
a whole performance about World War
One with a completely depressing ending,”
Neubauten’s front man and creative
director Blixa Bargeld said in Berlin.
It is an eclectic mix, from the deafening
Kriegsmaschinerie (“ war machines”) that
open the show to an electro rendition of
telegrams between Kaiser Wilhelm and
Russia’s Czar Nicholas. On Patrol in No
Man’s Land was once played by the band
of the all-black US regiment nicknamed
the Harlem Hellfighters.
A 16th-century Dutch composition
blends with ghostly early recordings of
prisoners of war, while Pete Seeger’s folk
song Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
is revived, partly in German, in the version
made famous by Marlene Dietrich in the
But the most uplifting moment is when
Bargeld, once a skinny punk in leather
trousers and now a dapper figure in a black
suit and bare feet, brings his song How
Did I Die? to the haunting conclusion:
“ We didn’t die/We’re just singing a
Lament and new works by former
Velvet Underground member John Cale
and British band Tindersticks were
commissioned for anniversary events in
2014 and 2015 by the Belgian city of
Diksmuide in Flanders, which was totally
destroyed in the war.
Germany’s approach to this year’s 100th
anniversary of World War One and the
75th anniversary of the start of World War
Two — German defeat in the first bearing
the seeds of the second, in historians’ view
— has been low key and reflective.
Bargeld said he tried to keep a distance
from the “horrific” subject matter but the
process was inevitably painful.
“ When you write about death you are
always writing about your own death,” the
55-year-old German musician said.
Metallic Lament for World War One centenary
German industrial band Einstuerzende Neubauten perform in Berlin earlier this month.
What is DWC’s
I was included in negotiating the
West Coast Accord, then fighting the
government through the courts because
they ratted on the agreement by stopping
the sustained management logging of our
forests. Because we won these court battles
for the West Coast, the government had to
pass legislation to null the accord.
The government offered what they called
an ‘adjustment package’ of about
$60 million. Coast mayors and the
chairman of the West Coast Regional
Council declined this and negotiated what
we called a ‘compensation package’ of
$120 million — $7 million went to each
Coast council and $92 million was used to
set up the West Coast Development Trust
(now Development West Coast). This was
intended to help develop opportunities for
Little has been achieved and it seems
more wasted failures than employment
successes have resulted.
I consider more effort should be seen
to be actioned than appears so far.
Doctors, dentists, airline ser vices and
tourism promotion are but some of the
opportunities that have been pursued.
If this Development West Coast board
cannot come up with options then a change
is needed. Just sitting on over $100m and
letting it fester, growing interest, is not
what we fought for. Westland, Grey, and
Buller deserve more.
All our areas have had kicks in the guts.
Let ’s kick back to ensure we, our children
and grandchildren, get better opportunities
Westland, Grey, and Buller are great areas.
We must keep them great.
Stoats and 1080
My son used to trap stoats for DOC.
They use eggs for bait, not poisoned rats.
Stoats are clever killers which will also eat
fresh roadkill, I believe, because they know
how it died, i.e. there is blood.
Yet, DOC keep saying that stoats ‘will’ eat
poisoned rats. I do not believe that.
They have been 1080 poisoning our bush
for many decades, killing the mice and rats.
This leaves the stoats with only the birds,
their young and eggs for food. This is why
the bush goes quiet after 1080.
This year it is worse, DOC have tried to
poison more than half our bush in more
areas. ‘ Battle for Our Birds’? Yeah, right.
Of course, DOC will vehemently deny
this and keep saying stoats will eat poisoned
carcases, just lying there with no obvious
cause of death. They forgot to tell the stoats.
But I believe I am right and it is DOC
that are responsible for the decimation of
our birds. Their pet word is ‘biodiversity’, I
call it ‘biodestruction’.
Yours in disgust.
In January 2014, I had an injury to my
limb. Referred to ACC, no tests done,
no x-rays done, no referrals to hospital
orthopaedic doctor as costs not covered
until six months later. Six months later, an
ultrasound scan shows a visible injury that
can be fixed.
ACC, get back to the basics. Send the
patient to the hospital straight away; get
a diagnosis; get a referral to the medical
doctors; get the patient fixed; then
rehabilitate them after the surgeon gives
the medical condition of the patient.
Do not waste taxpayers’ time, money, or
their jobs by trying to re-train them into
new careers by sending them to different
doctors for second opinions and no medical
diagnosis or tests are done.
I strongly suggest if other people are
going through this horrible experience, go
to your local MP and complain. It has got
Your recent article following the public
coroner’s hearing of Mr Mehrtens
(Greymouth Star, November 19), stated
that the DHB top doctor apologised for
what happened. However, is a simple
apology without acknowledgement of
One issue was surgical mesh where the
delay in treatment was acknowledged but
reasons for the delay were not explained.
There was also no acknowledgement of
the fact that Mr Mehrtens was admitted to
hospital with pneumonia under a surgical
team, due to misdiagnosis. No one had
read the chest x-ray report showing the
evidence of pneumonia. The severity of
the pneumonia suggested he could have
been managed at home and if he needed
admission, it should have been under a
medical team and not the general surgical
Mr Mehrtens reacted to the antibiotics,
which were inappropriate for the indication,
but the antibiotics were continued for four
days after a rash.
There was no acknowledgement of the
fact that he was given intravenous fluids
without monitoring and accumulated
10kg of fluid without anyone appreciating
the extent of the fluid overload. After
accumulating 7kg there was evidence of
congestive heart failure when an increased
diuretic dose was indicated. However, he
was given more fluids and went into acute
This is a medical emergency warranting
initiation of treatment within minutes, yet
he was not treated at all before transfer to
Christchurch. By this time drug treatment
was unlikely to work, but effective
treatment of dialysis was delayed by a
further three days.
No explanations are given for the errors,
delays or how these were missed in the
Health and Disability Commissioner
investigation taking three years.
Maori cultural values
The Westland District Council’s proposed
‘significance something’ caught my eye via a
recent Westland District Council mailout,
that of a ‘significance and engagement
I would lead the council to this phrase
and question in the draft, ‘is there a likely
impact on Maori cultural values and their
relationship to land and water?’.
Does or do the writer(s) of this draft
feel that other races of mankind are so
different to not have people that have the
same cultural values? You see, I know I and
others of different races have.
This type of phrase has come along in
different guises through general New
Zealand governmental script from time
to time. Generalisations like this, in my
opinion, have no benefit to a true society.
They are not helpful to warmly weld a
community at all.
Hokitika Dramatic Society’s ‘Hacienda
del Toro’ — what a brilliant show last
Everyone did their bit perfectly — not
to forget the tasty meal of soup with main
course, plus dessert, which went down
a treat. I am amazed at what talent and
passion Hokitika and surrounding areas
have — and the Old L odge Theatre is just
the place to have a shindig, in more ways
Lastly, Vince was the best — right up to
Gloriavale and international standards. A
jolly good show with many a laugh had by
of the New Zealand Herald
hile a government
Collins of any
involvement in a
campaign to undermine the head of the
Serious Fraud Office, the saga is still left
with several unanswered questions.
Ms Collins had resigned her ministerial
warrants during the election campaign after
an e-mail emerged from blogger Cameron
Slater suggested she was “gunning for”
Adam Feeley, the
then-director of the Serious Fraud Office.
High Court Judge L ester Chisholm
concluded Slater’s comments were
“ unreliable” and not supported by evidence,
but had restricted his investigation to
narrow terms of reference.
Who did the inquiry not hear from?
The Chisholm inquiry talked with 13
people — but contained some notable
omissions. Of the five people party to the
e-mail that led to Ms Collins’ resignation,
only two — Slater and public relations
practitioner Carrick Graham — were
Hong Kong-based blogger Cathy Odgers,
ruled by Chisholm to have been part of a
campaign to undermine Adam Feeley, was
allowed to provide a “very detailed” written
declaration in lieu of interview.
And former Hanover boss Mark Hotchin,
despite his offer to talk from overseas via
video link, was also not interviewed.
At the time of the e-mail the SFO
was investigating Hanover, and the
investigation was eventually dropped with
no charges laid.
“ While in an indirect sense Mr Hotchin’s
brief led to Mr Slater and Ms Odgers (and
to a lesser extend Mr Graham) becoming
involved in an attack upon Mr Feeley, the
evidence does not justify the conclusion
that Mr Hotchin was actively involved,”
Chisholm said in his report. Mr Hotchin’s
employee Kerry Finnigan was similarly
(Disclosure: This reporter, who broke the
story leading to Ms Collins’ resignation,
was also not inter viewed for the inquiry.)
What information was not considered?
While Ms Collins allowed clones to be
made of her laptop, phones and an iPad and
the data assessed by KPMG, these were
found to contain “very little in the way of
relevant or potentially relevant material”,
Justice Chisholm said.
Ms Collins was also unable to provide
the inquiry access to her Facebook
communications, as she said her account
had been deleted in 2013. Parliamentary
Services landline data was also not
And while Ms Collins’ cellphone records
showed a number of calls to Slater, they
showed none from Slater to her.
“The absence of telephone records for
Mr Slater’s calls is surprising given that
both Ms Collins and Mr Slater confirmed
that they phoned each other often,” Justice
Who was Slater working for?
Slater told the inquiry he first began
working for Mr Hotchin to set up a
website, but over time his role evolved into
public relations defending the embattled
“The value that we got is that we managed
to shunt (Hotchin) off the front pages of
the papers,” Slater told Justice Chisholm of
Odgers told the inquiry she was recruited
by Graham, then-spokesman for the former
Hanover boss, in February 2011 to “provide
on-line media support for Mr Hotchin
and to advise on a strategy to counter his
treatment in the media”.
Graham said he “engaged ” the pair to try
“telling Mr Hotchin’s side of the story”.
Both Slater and Odgers said their work
for Mr Hotchin had ceased by mid-2012.
E-mails obtained by the hacker Rawshark
appear to show both Odgers and Slater
were paid for their work for Mr Hotchin.
What happened to the police
In the aftermath of Ms Collins’
resignation, then-Labour Party deputy
leader David Parker wrote to police
requesting, amongst other complains about
the Dirty Politics saga, an investigation
into the possibility that the public relations
campaign on behalf of Mr Hotchin
amounted to per verting the course of
When the Chisholm inquiry began
summoning witnesses, Slater, Odgers and
Graham tried using Mr Parker’s complaint
to suspend the inquiry, arguing the probe
into Ms Collins could prejudice any police
But police confirmed on October 15, mid-
way through the inquiry, that the matter
had been shelved “subject to the reser vation
that the matter might be reconsidered if
any substantive evidence was subsequently
A key e-mail underpinning Mr Parker’s
complaint — an e-mail from Graham
appearing to show Hotchin instructed
Slater and Odgers to smear a possible
witness in the SFO investigation — was
ruled by Chisholm as “beyond the scope of
the inquiry” and not considered.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Judith Collins at her resignation in August.
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