Home' Greymouth Star : December 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, December 17, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1531 - Pope Clement VII introduces the
Inquisition to Portugal.
1538 - Pope Paul III excommunicates
England’s King Henry VIII.
1830 - South American patriot
Simon Bolivar dies in Colombia.
1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright
make first successful airplane flight
in history, soaring over sand dunes
near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1948 - The D utch attack Indonesia
and arrest President Sukarno and other leaders.
1957 - The US successfully test-fires the Atlas
intercontinental ballistic missile for the first
1975 - Lynette Fromme is sentenced in federal
court in California to life in prison for her
attempt on the life of President Ford.
1986 - Davina Thompson makes medical
history by having the first heart, lung and
liver transplant — at Papworth Hospital in
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Domenico Cimarosa, Italian composer
(1749-1801); Sir Humphry Davy, British
inventor of miners’ safety lamp (1778-1829);
Robert Guccione, US publisher (1930-2010);
Tommy Steele, British singer-actor
(1936-); Kerry Packer, Australian
media magnate (1937-2005); Art
Neville, US musician (1937-); Peter
Snell, New Zealand athlete (1938-
); Michael Edgley, Australian
entrepreneur (1943-); Eugene Levy,
US comedian (1946-); Bill Pullman, US actor
(1953-); Sara Dallin, British pop singer of
Bananarama fame (1961-); Giovanni Ribisi,
American actor (1974-); Milla Jovovich, US
“ You have no idea how big the other fellow ’s
troubles are.” — Bertie Charles Forbes,
Scottish journalist (1880-1954).
“ If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son
of God, God lives in him and he in God.”
— 1 John 4:15,
Kay Panckhurst, a
daughter of Mr and
Mrs J Panckhurst,
Kowhai Street, Karoro,
and a pupil of Karoro School, was yesterday
presented with the Seddon Medal by Mr P
Blanchfield MP, himself a previous medal
Kay who has just turned 13, is the first Karoro
School pupil to win the medal. Mr Blanchfield
won the medal about 1924.
The lucky chance of the new Dobson doctor,
Dr A J Singh having just transferred to the
coalmining community has possibly averted a
situation which threatened the Runanga mines
last year. The circumstances during the last
Christmas holiday period were almost repeated
this year. While the mines will not actually
be working over the holiday period there is a
certain amount of maintenance work to be done
at all of them.
The mine workers do not work if there is not
a doctor located in the district, and this year
Runanga has faced the problem of resident
doctor Dr Murray taking his holidays. Luckily
this year, Dr Singh, the wife of the newly-
appointed resident medical practitioner at
Dobson, has agreed to be locum at Runanga
during Dr Murray ’s absence.
The Ministry of Works and the Audit
Department had been asked for reports on
the possible merger of several West Coast
local bodies, Cr P J O’Regan told yesterday ’s
meeting of the Inangahua County Council. He
commented that it would be a long time before
“any banns would be read, though”.
Chirped a councillor: Perhaps it will be a
Cr J E Etheredge pointed out that while
Inangahua was represented it did not support
uFood for thought
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Tori Johnson, 34, started as manager at
the Lindt cafe in October 2012.
He was well known in the local
hospitality industry, having worked at
restaurants and cafes around Sydney since
Yesterday his parents, Rowena and Ken
Johnson, issued a statement, saying they
were “so proud of our beautiful boy ”.
They described him as “the most amazing
life partner, son and brother we could ever
Lindt Australia also issued a statement
about Mr Johnson.
“He was a great ambassador for our
company and the store that he managed,
which he cared about passionately,” the
“He was a dedicated professional who
always built a great rapport with his
customers and was much loved by the
“By nature he was a perfectionist and he
had a genuine passion for the hospitality
industry and people. He was a really
important part of our management team in
Australia and his loss is absolutely tragic.”
Former colleague Tony Manno told ABC
news Mr Johnson was “a great guy, a good
guy to be around ”.
“He got on really well with all the staff,”
On his LinkedIn profile Mr Johnson said
he worked for three years in the US and
the Maldives before returning to Australia
He studied hospitality business
management at Washington State
University in 2002 and 2003, and
completed a diploma of hotel management.
Another former colleague, Peter
Manettas, said Mr Johnson “always put
everyone else first ”.
“He was a leader. He was a very selfless
person, he always put his staff before
He said Mr Johnson’s family were “very,
very important to Tori”.
“A day wouldn’t go by while he was
working with us that he would not mention
Mother-of-three Katrina Dawson had a
shining legal career ahead of her.
The 38-year-old was described as a rising
star at her law firm, which was near the
The Australian reported that a morning
coffee at the cafe was part of Ms Dawson’s
daily routine and when news of the siege
became public, her family contacted her
via text message to find out if she was okay.
When she did not reply, they contacted her
chambers only to find her absent.
She was apparently shot in a firefight
while protecting pregnant friend and
colleague Julie Taylor, whom she had been
meeting for a coffee.
Ms Dawson worked as a barrister at Eight
Selbourne in Sydney ’s CBD, specialising
in banking and insolvency, bankruptcy,
commercial, consumer, equity and property
She studied law at Sydney University
and completed her clerkship at Mallesons,
where she met her husband Paul Smith,
now a partner at the firm.
The couple have three children aged three,
five and eight.
Her law firm said she was a rising star.
“Katrina was on her way to becoming one
of the leading barristers at the bar. She was
also a dear friend to all of us and will be
deeply missed,” a statement read.
NSW Bar Association president Jane
Needham said: “Katrina was one of our best
and brightest barristers who will be greatly
missed by her colleagues and friends. She
was a devoted mother of three children and
a valued member of our bar community.”
Ms Dawson is the sister of high-profile
Sydney media barrister Sandy Dawson.
He was supporting Mr Smith and the
wider family and told the Australian he was
A 32-year-old Indian national, Mr
Ankireddy lives in Sydney and works
for Infosys, according to his Facebook
page. News Ltd reported he was living in
Sydney with his wife and young daughter,
and had worked at a couple of IT firms
in Hyderabad before being employed by
His father, Ankireddy Eswara Reddy, told
News Ltd his daughter-in-law sent him
a text saying Viswakanth was safe after
seeing him escape on television.
A Greek-Australian lawyer, Mr Balafoutis
was one of five hostages who escaped on
Monday afternoon. The Australian reported
the husband and father-of-three worked
at Selborne Wentworth Chambers, near
the Lindt cafe. He joined the bar in 2002,
focusing on commercial law, and regularly
acted for the Australian Securities and
Investments Commission, seeking to
recover damages on behalf of shareholders.
A 22-year-old barista and student, Ms
Chen was one of five hostages to escape on
Monday afternoon, fleeing into the waiting
arms of police officers. She had started her
job at the Lindt cafe only last week, the
Jan Van der Weide, who knew Ms Chen
from her time as a student at Presbyterian
Ladies College in Sydney, described her as
an “absolute high achiever”. She graduated
from the University of New South Wales
less than a month ago with a bachelor of
commerce degree, the Australian reported.
The 30-year-old Sunshine Coast woman
ran from the cafe with five other hostages
just before police launched their assault,
the Daily Telegraph reported. Her father
Robert told the newspaper that his family
had watched the events on television.
They had spoken to Harriette and she
said was “okay ”. “She’s tired, she’s relieved
and she’s distressed that her friend the duty
manager didn’t make it through.”
An Indian national, Mr Ghosh was
confirmed as one of the hostages by Indian
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj,
who said he had been released safely.
On his Facebook page, Mr Ghosh said he
enjoyed diving, long walks and drives.
Jarrod Morton Hoffman
Mr Hoffman, 19, is from Bondi and is
studying at the University of Technology in
Sydney, according to his Facebook page.
He was among those who contacted
media outlets with the gunman’s demands
as the siege continued, and spoke to the
2GB radio station, the Australian reported.
A student at the University of
Queensland, Ms Ma is set to graduate in
2018, according to her Facebook page.
Ms Ma reportedly posted on her
Facebook page during the siege: “I’m
getting your messages everyone!! Thank
you, you beautiful souls.”
Barrister Ms Taylor was taken from the
scene on a stretcher yesterday morning.
She worked at Eight Selborne Chambers
in Phillip Street with Katrina Dawson,
who died in the siege, the Daily Mail
Ms Taylor was one of four women who
appeared in a video made by the gunman.
Selina Win Pe
Ms Win Pe made phone calls to the Daily
Telegraph newspaper while being held
hostage over the 16-hour ordeal.
She was the second hostage to contact the
Panic could be heard in her voice as
she read out demands from the gunman,
whom she referred to as “the brother”, the
The retired 83-year-old Sydney man was
the first person to escape from the Lindt
cafe on Monday afternoon, News Ltd
reported. His granddaughter Izzy Perkins
said despite his age, he was an enthusiastic
tennis player. “He’s okay now. A little
shaken, but we are just so happy to have
him home,” she said.
A Westpac executive and bodybuilder,
Ms Mikhael, 42, escaped the siege after
being forced to post the gunman’s demands
to her Facebook page. She was reportedly
awaiting surgery at Royal North Shore
Hospital after suffering a gunshot wound
to the leg.
Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly
said it was with relief she could confirm
four Westpac staff members held
hostage — including two from one of
the bank’s technology partners — were
safe and accounted for. The bank’s Sydney
headquarters is opposite the cafe.
— New Zealand Herald
The identities of some of those held at gunpoint in the Sydney siege emerged yesterday. Here are those who have been named.
Faces of a siege
The risk of 1080
Re the mouse plague (Greymouth Star,
December 15). The trout fishery on the
Coast is recognised as one of the best in the
world. The largest trout are caught in the
estuaries. A quick check of the Greymouth
Star over the past 30 years will reveal
people fishing off the wharf catching trout
from 15lb to 30lb.
Millions more tourist dollars than is ever
made public are earned from the West
Coast trout fishery, and I believe that is
put in jeopardy by DOC’s mass poisoning
I do not have a religious view against the
use of 1080 but I am totally against mass
poisoning programmes that have never and
can never work.
The Royal Forest and Bird Society and
Federated Farmers would do well to
consider what will happen to our export
sector when — not if — traces of 1080 are
found in our exports.
Recently, two Frenchman came to our
door asking if they could stay in our
driveway as they did not have enough
money for accommodation and our council
would not let them stay in their car on the
I asked them what would happen if I
parked outside their parents’ house in
France and did the same thing? I told them
to part with the money at the motorcamp.
One wonders if Customs check to see if
these tourists have enough money prior
to being allowed to enter New Zealand. I
felt terrible telling them this but this was
balanced by having another feeling that
they had perhaps enough money to come to
New Zealand, therefore enough to shell out
If you are wondering why you are
facing increasing rates, look at the fact
that your small council can not afford its
infrastructure, i.e. CEO, administration
staff, mayor and councillors, vehicles and
It is time to wake up to the fact that we
cannot afford four councils on the West
Coast. The parochial district feeling was
fine when people used to have to go to
town on a horse and cart, but these days we
are all one district as people shop and bank
in the big centres.
Why do you think big business set up in
places like Greymouth?
The Warehouse, Smiths City, Noel
Leeming etc all chose the place that is
central to the West Coast. Why not the
council? Buller’s CEO travels down from
Nelson, Westland ’s Mayor lives in the Grey
There is a petition circulating at the
moment calling for a change. If you want to
continue feeding your hard-earned money
to prop up your small local council, do not
moan when the next rate increase occurs.
If you are happy to see the regional council
invest ratepayers’ money in a toxic death
factory in Canterbury or fly over your farm
acting like an aerial sheriff in a helicopter
costing $2000 an hour, have a merry
In the recent article about the new
hospital plans, it was interesting to see
the comment ‘50 clinicians were actively
involved and engaged in the project
After attending the recent coroner’s
inquest of Mr Mehrtens, it makes me
wonder how the clinicians are chosen for
Mr Mehrtens died as a result of
multiple organ failure resulting from a
combination of inappropriate medical
interventions and accidental medication
Each of the inappropriate inter ventions
leading to death were clearly documented
in the notes.
Among multiple reports used for the
internal and Health and Disability
Commissioner investigations, clinicians
had identified only one of the multitude of
inappropriate inter ventions contributing to
It became apparent to me at the coroner’s
hearing that those providing reports on
behalf of the hospital had not read the
notes carefully, had not looked at the
temperature chart, intravenous fluid or
drug administration charts or results of the
It also became apparent the reports from
key essential experts were not provided to
When you cannot gather a group of
clinicians to look after one patient or figure
out how he died by reading his hospital
notes from one admission, how do you
manage to co-ordinate a group of clinicians
to plan a hospital?
This new flag meets the criteria for
flag design: it is simple, striking, mostly
symmetrical, reversible, recognisable,
unique, visible (from a distance),
understandable, balanced with matching
relevant colours and in standard flag
It is a fresh design that removes any
confusion with the Australian flag.
The kiwi has been suggested before but
research shows that most overseas people
think it is a lamb chop.
The design: The fern is our national
emblem, used since the 1880s in military
campaigns and sporting events.
The tricolour (three vertical bands)
is a traditional European flag design
representing the majority of New
The 16 fern fronds represent the 16
regions of New Zealand. The fern has
similarities to the movement of a waka,
with the red stem symbolising the travels of
our ancestors to New Zealand.
The fern end resembles a quill as used to
sign our founding document. Each frond is
similar in shape to the overall fern design.
Colours: The new flag includes the
traditional red, white and blue of the old
flag. The colours represent New Zealand
as a pacific nation, with a multicultural
The three background colours (blue,
white, green) represent New Zealand’s
Pacific location (blue sky and water, white
for the land of the long white cloud, green
for earth and our traditional agriculture
The red and black are traditional Maori
colours and represent our Maori heritage.
The silver is the silver fern (the underside of
our native plant leaf ).
Pike River arrogance
As I was finishing reading Tragedy at
Pike River Mine, by Rebecca Macfie, it
occurred to me there was a fundamental
aspect of the Pike River Coal Ltd mining
project which was similar to the Enron Inc
experience from the 1990s in the USA.
Enron Inc was an energy company which
expanded rapidly, showing huge profits
before it suddenly collapsed in a heap. The
main appeal of Enron to the stockmarket
and to ratings agencies (Moodys, Standard
and Poors, and Fitch) was that Enron
executives were so enthusiastic, so positive
of success. The actual state of finances of
Enron, including exposure to levels of high
risk in the billions of dollars, was missed or
viewed as being of lesser importance. Enron
had been rated ‘investment grade’ as close
as four days before bankruptcy (December,
2001). Similarly, Pike River Coal had from
the beginning claimed it was a modern
company, which ‘will have the advantage
of not only being a greenfield site, but a
greenfield organisation’. This meant they
thought it was an advantage that the
company did not have mining experience;
they could develop something new and
better, appropriate for Pike River.
Although in following years there were
continuing problems with production
estimates not being met and safety plans
not implemented, that would have to be
ignored when making public statements
because their new ‘reality’ was characterised
by an Enron-like optimistic glow springing
from a disengaged world view.
Jarrod Morton Hoffman
Selina Win Pe
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