Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, January 12, 2015
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
uLetters to the editor
1799 - Matthew Flinders and George
Bass return to Sydney in sloop Norfolk
after circumnavigating Van Diemens Land
1872 - Tin discovered at Tenterfield, New
1879 - British-Zulu War begins in Africa.
1896 - Start of 13-day heat wave in Bourke,
NSW, with daily average temperature of
47degC; 47 people die.
1897 - Death of Sir Isaac Pitman, British
educator and inventor of the shorthand system.
1915 - The US House of Representatives
rejects a proposal to give women the right to
1945 - German forces retreat in disorder in
Battle of the Bulge in Belgium during World
1950 - A Swedish tanker strikes the British
submarine Truculent during the submarine’s
trials in the River Thames. Only 15 of 70 men
on the submarine sur vive.
1954 - Q ueen Elizabeth opens a
special session of the New Zealand
parliament — the first time the
Queen opens a Commonwealth
parliament outside the United
1970 - Breakaway Biafra
surrenders, ending 32-month-old
Nigerian civil war. Biafra leader
General Odumegwu Ojukwu flees with family.
1976 - Death of British author Dame Agatha
Christie, the creator of detectives Hercule
Poirot and Miss Marple.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Edmund Burke, Irish-born statesman (1729-
1797); Hermann Goering, German Nazi
leader (1893-1946); Paul Hermann Muller,
Swiss chemist and Nobel laureate,
discovered potency of DDT as
insecticide (1899-1965); Rush
Limbaugh, US radio commentator
(1951-); Howard Stern, US radio/
tv personality (1954-); Kirstie
Alley, US actress (1951-); Melanie
Chisholm, English pop singer
(1974-); Georgia May Jagger, English model
(1992-); Ella Henderson, English pop singer
“ Being young is a fault which improves daily.”
“. . . in order that you may proclaim the mighty
acts of Him who called you out of darkness into
His marvellous light.” — I Peter 2:9
Between the serious
business of competing
against rival groups at
the 10th Dominion
Sea Scouts regatta and camp being held at
Paremata, near Wellington, Greymouth’s
Tasman Sea Scouts group has time to develop
other arts, ones their mothers never suspected
they possessed, such as cooking.
And what ’s cooking? It must be something
good judging by the enthusiasm shown by the
three scouts around the cooking fire. It could
be whitebait, which one father dispatched
north at the weekend, following news that the
sailing team had won all its races and qualified
for the final.
The three boys are Paul Mitchell, Lloyd
Kettle and Murray Allen.
A 40-year-old mineworker, Noel James Ryan,
son of Mr and Mrs W Ryan, of Westport,
a married man, collapsed and died while
swimming at the Westport municipal baths
last night. Mr Ryan was carried from the pool
by his brother and artificial respiration was
applied without result. A police spokeman said
this morning that there were no suspicious
Mr Ryan was swimming with his brother in a
friendly race when he collapsed.
Running most economically throughout and
averaging 5min 20 sec per mile, Greymouth’s
Dave McKenzie slaughtered a class 22-man
field over 15 miles of road at Nelson on
Although such top rated athletes as Bill
Baillie, Dave Karl and Graham Morris were
present at the meeting, it was to McKenzie
that the Nelson crowd awarded the greatest
ovation. They cheered wildly throughout his
first circuit of the track and later when he
stepped on the dais.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
oman Jewell is grinding
nuts when he answers the
phone at the Fix and Fogg
factory in Wellington.
He spends his working
day up to his elbows in
peanut butter — but it has been a rapid
transition. For almost 10 years, Jewell was
a lawyer at a city firm. He began making
peanut butter as a hobby, but it turned
into an obsession, including forcing
friends to take part in countless taste tests
to hone the perfect recipe.
Jewell began to dream of turning his
hobby into a career. He sold his first jar at
a local market in August 2013 then took
a deep breath and plunged from legal
battles to a full-time career in the food
Today, his jars are stocked in 50 places
and he has started exporting to Australia.
“It has been really fast, furious growth,”
he says. “I’ve swapped one grind for
At this time of year people’s minds
wander into daydreams of a career and
Resolutions are made, a new direction
mapped, research is done and then ...
well, quite often nothing.
If being your own boss appeals to you,
you are not alone.
The latest small business sector report,
released by the Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment this year,
showed New Zealand had 460,000 small
businesses, of which almost 70% were
But does ditching your day job to follow
a dream really pay off ? And if you are
on the verge of taking the plunge, how
can you give yourself the best chance of
swimming, not sinking?
Jewell gave up his job teaching a
professional legal studies course, a
requirement for new lawyers seeking
admission to the Bar, at the end of last
He had previously been a commercial
litigator in Sydney.
Finally signing off from full-time
employment was a matter of a deep
breath and simply going for it, he says.
The tipping point was when
Wellington’s gourmet grocery firm Moore
Wilson’s picked up Fix and Fogg’s peanut
butter. To keep up with demand, Jewell
had to get serious about production. “I
went from doing weekend markets, half
a day on Saturday and trying to make
peanut butter at night, to being full-on
as of January 1. We could make it work
because my wife, Andrea, still had her
income but there was a period where we
were freefalling for a bit.”
Jewell also had to invest in machinery.
Andrea now works part time as a lawyer
and helps Fix and Fogg with office work,
tasting stalls at supermarkets, and at the
markets. “ It’s full-on for both of us.”
Lifestyle is one of the biggest
motivators for many wanting to be their
This year’s small business sector report
found a third of people listed that as their
main motivation. Julie Thomas, of Careers
NZ, estimates that as many as 10% of
people re-evaluating their careers are
considering starting their own business.
“Like any option, it requires research
and planning and in this case, serious
business planning as well.”
Do the career change maths and the
figures are daunting.
MBIE data shows a quarter of
enterprises with fewer than 20 employees
fail within three years.
Almost 70% of sole businesses launched
between 2001 and 2009 failed. Those
employing one to five people had a 51%
Even if you can sustain your business, it
does not mean a flood of easy money.
The number of small businesses
reporting profitability has increased,
but only from less than 30% in 2009 to
almost 35% today; small-to-medium
businesses reporting profitability
increased from 35% to 40%.
Thomas says it is important that people
have the skills to make their dream work.
“Make sure you talk to people and take
your rose-coloured glasses off. It’s easy
to say ‘I’ll work the hours I want and do
something I love’ but have you got the
capital to start up your own business?”
Leadership coach Suzi McAlpine does
not doubt the challenges — but says the
rewards are there for people in unhappy
careers and with realistic expectations. “I
coach people who have had the courage
to follow their dreams and almost every
time it’s ended up being positive.”
But it is important to give any move
a lot of thought before you jump.
McAlpine encourages clients to talk to
others in the field they want to get into
and to read as much as possible.
“People should use their heads as well
as their hearts. Once they ’ve made their
decision, most people seek information to
back that up and help them decide it was
the right one. So it’s important to play
devil’s advocate,” she says.
Also consider why you want to move.
“There’s a subtle difference between
running away from a job you don’t enjoy
and running towards something you do
McAlpine says it is worth thinking
about whether you can remain in your
existing field for a while to ease the
transition. But it will always be a scary
“People who do it don’t have a lack of
fear but they look at the fear head on and
think: ‘Is it guiding me or stopping me
from doing what I want to do?’ Often
they ’re scared but they do it anyway.”
Another consideration is a back-up
plan. The number of 40- to 49-year-olds
who left self-employment — the age
group with the highest rate doing so —
was almost 5000 in 2012.
The older you are, the greater the risk in
leaving an established career.
So, career coach Kaye Avery says if you
are going to leave, avoid the temptation
to tell the boss where to stick it and
carefully manage your exit.
“Remain performing even when you are
disengaging while looking for new work.”
She says it is harder for people who are
over 50 to get a job inter view.
“There is a prejudice against taking on
the older worker.
“The majority of recruiters are in their
20s and they ’re going to screen out older
workers, even if their CVs show years of
One of the biggest reasons people have
for wanting to leave their job is that
their managers do not recognise their
potential or give them opportunities for
Avery recommends people consider
which skills they have that are
transferable to their new field. “ If they ’re
too obscure, it’s not going to happen
A job that had meaning became more
important to people as they reached the
middle of their working lives.
“If you’re disillusioned, disheartened
and disengaged, and have a very good
idea about what you could be doing,
making a change could be a good thing.”
And then there is the stress to consider.
Avery says a major change of career is
not advisable if it will negatively affect
your family, or income when financial
commitments can’t be changed.
“The stress of reinventing one’s career
can be high and, for example, going into
business is a risk that needs to be taken
carefully and due diligence carried out
Jewell says the best advice is to take a
measured, strategic approach.
When he finished his job, he sat down
and drafted a strategy, looking at how
many clients the company needed and
which stockists would fit with the brand.
“A lot of small businesses, particularly
food businesses, are not profitable.
“ We looked hard at our expenses
and fixed costs and got them as low as
they could possibly be. Could we get a
cheaper jar? Or smaller premises? That
introspective look helped us.”
Asking for help has also been essential.
Fix and Fogg signed up with a mentoring
system that matched them with someone
who could offer advice.
“I’m a great lawyer but those skills don’t
necessarily translate. You need someone
with business skills to give advice on how
to do it.
“ We signed up four or five months
ago. I wish we had done it earlier as
they could have given me so much more
Today, the lifestyle is more than the
money. Jewell says he pays himself a
meagre wage and invests most of what
the company makes back into its growth.
But he is reaping other benefits.
Although working for himself means the
working day never really ends, there is a
lot more flexibility, which helps when it
comes to their 15-month-old son, Otto.
“If I want to start a bit later, I can. Otto
and I go to the pool every Tuesday —
that would have been a lot harder in my
old job. That ’s special time.”
Megan Sanders spent almost 20 years
in advertising agencies in New Zealand,
Singapore, Britain and Australia.
When her son, Jimmy, now three, was
born she was back at work by the time he
was three months old. But she started to
look at life differently.
“Being in a creative industry it’s quite
natural that one comes up with hare-
brained ideas. And I have come up with
a few in my time. I started looking at this
amazing world of ours with a different
Sanders, 43, says she discovered that
a lot of children’s hair and skin care
products were full of chemicals and the
natural alternatives were dull.
“Children don’t live in a black and white
“Their world is full of insane colour,
smell and laughter. That is when I
started to conceptualise the idea that is
The Auckland woman started the
company two years ago — and now
British supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has
accepted Pineapple Heads for a trial run
on its shelves.
Her work world is now more solitary
but there is more time for Jimmy.
She wakes before he does in the morning
to check the orders that have come
in overnight, and during the day will
meet buyers from supermarket chains,
do samplings at supermarkets, talk
packaging and fragrances with her team
and fulfil on-line orders.
Then she will pick him up from daycare
and spend time with him until he goes to
bed, before she picks up her work again.
It has not been easy: a high-paid job in
advertising has been replaced with worry
about earning enough.
“ It used to be ‘what shoes am I buying
this month?’ now it ’s ‘what food am I
“I started taking my iPhone into the
supermarket to calculate the cost of
what ’s going into the trolley. I’d never had
to do that before.
“But the change has huge benefits in
others ways. “It used to be that I was
dropping him (at daycare) at 7.30am
before the gate was even open and he was
often the last one picked up, then I’d have
conference calls, often until 8pm and he’d
be in front of the tv.
“It ’s a different pressure now but it’s a
nice one. I want to be the mum who picks
him up. That ’s the goal. Most mornings
I have to pinch myself that I am actually
living the dream.”
Time for a change? Stop and think
Think about what drives you. What are
your values, interests and passions? What
will make you excited to get out of bed
and go to work on Monday? Is how much
you earn important? Then consider what
makes you want a change. Do you really
have a burning desire to own a vineyard,
or is it just that you don’t want to work at
your current job a minute longer?
Will the reality live up to your
expectations? Talk to people already
in the field to make sure your dream is
realistic. They may be able to offer advice
on things they could have done better, or
introduce you to contacts.
A career adviser or coach can offer an
objective view and may be able to point
out transferable skills you didn’t realise
you had. A mentor is invaluable. Business
Mentors New Zealand offers a six-month
start-up programme for $300.
Before you do anything drastic, map
out how you will get from where you are
now to your dream career. Do you need
more qualifications or experience? Could
you take a short course or pick up some
volunteer work? Do you need to build
some new networks? Is there a way to
make the move in stages so you don’t
have to quit your current job completely?
Have a sur vival fund
Unless you are debt and dependent-free,
it is not a good idea to quit your job if
you do not have some income or savings.
Save six months of income as a back-up.
Lester Mahuika was respected by all who
knew him, a legend of West Coast rugby
league, a tireless timber worker and above
all a loving family man.
Lester was born in Whataroa when the
Mahuika family lived at Bruce Bay, and was
still a toddler when the family moved to
Nelson Creek. From an early age and from
that early footprint, the big man made the
Grey Valley his home.
He attended the Nelson Creek School,
leaving at age 13 to start work in what
became a lifelong career in the sawmilling
Lester worked at Tuck’s Sawmill for many
years and became well versed in all details
of the logging and timber industry.
When the local mill closed he moved to
Kopara with his wife Nancye and began
work at the Kopara Sawmill, and it was
here that they raised their family of three
Lester worked at the mill long-term
during which he set up home at Ngahere,
and when the Kopara mill eventually
closed he worked at Ngahere Processing in
Lester had a big reputation in rugby
league circles and was well respected on
and off the field — he was a true character
in every dimension of the 13-man game.
He played his football for the Ngahere
club and wore the blue and yellow hoops
with pride before becoming a tough,
uncompromising prop for ward in the
Waro-rakau pack for many years.
Lester played 50 games for West Coast
and was held in high esteem by all
followers of the game, and was given a wide
berth by provincial players who felt his
At the height of his career he was selected
to trial for the Kiwis but declined the
selection as a family celebration was far
more important than a chance to wear the
Lester often picked moss after work to
supplement the mill’s wages, and was also
a keen hunter and enjoyed his music as a
He knew the Grey Valley terrain like the
back of his hand and every deer, wild pig
and possum trembled when they knew this
‘gentle giant ’ was out hunting the tops.
Lester was a member of the Ngahere
Volunteer Fire Brigade for over 20 years
and was involved in his community, leading
working bees and fundraising activities.
“Lester was a great fellow, of great
character and a hell of a good family man,”
Paul (Porky) Donaldson, his former league
coach and friend said.
“He was an uncompromising player and
played the game as hard as he could.”
Lester Mahuika is survived by his wife
Nancye and their three sons Craig, Dean
Lester James Mahuika
1943 - 2015
Living the dream
Taking a big career jump is an intoxicating prospect and there is no better time than the beginning of a new year —
but it can be a tough journey best tackled without rose-coloured glasses, New Zealand Herald reporter,
SUSAN EDWARDS investigates.
Links Archive January 10th 2015 January 13th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page