Home' Greymouth Star : March 20th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, March 20, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1616 - Sir Walter Raleigh is released from
Tower of London to seek gold in Guiana.
1727 - Death of Sir Isaac Newton, British
scientist and mathematician.
1780 - The company of James
Watt and Co is formed for the
manufacture of the first duplicating
machines, invented by Watt.
1815 - Napoleon arrives back in
Paris from Elba to reclaim power
at the start of ‘The Hundred Days’
before defeat at Waterloo.
1849 - Second Sikh War between Sikhs and
Britain begins in India.
1850 - Another Anglo-Kaffir war breaks out
in South Africa.
1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery
novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, is first published in
1928 - Death of Ferdinand Foch, Marshal of
France and commander of Allied forces during
World War One.
1933 - First concentration camp is opened in
Germany, at Dachau.
1974 - Unsuccessful attempt made to kidnap
Princess Anne in The Mall, London.
1976 - US newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst
is found guilty of armed robbery.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Dame Vera Lynn, British singer (1917-);
David Malouf, Australian author
(1934-); Jerry Reed, US singer
(1937-2008); Brian Mulroney,
Canadian politician (1939-); William
Hurt, US actor (1950-); Jimmie
Vaughan, US guitarist (1951-);
Theresa Russell, US actress (1957-);
Spike Lee, US filmmaker (1957-);
Holly Hunter, US actor (1958-).
“Spring has no language but a cry.” —
Thomas Wolfe, American author (1900-1938).
“ For if you forgive others their trespasses,
your Heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
— (Matthew 6.14).
grant will be required
for the Moana
This was the decision of last night’s meeting
of the Grey County Council on hearing a
report on the subject from the county clerk
Mr J M Panckhurst. Mr Panckhurst informed
councillors that the Moana ratepayers held
a well-attended meeting on February 20 to
discuss proposals for reticulating the township
for sewage disposal.
He added that the meeting resolved that
a request be made to the council to assist in
paying the annual charges on a loan to carry
out the work. The county clerk said that if
the anticipated development of the township
followed the sewerage installation, there was
reasonable grounds to believe that a further
50 sections would be made available by
subdivision; these would increase the rateable
improved value of the area by an estimated
A deep sea harbour at Point Elizabeth, with
Japanese interest developing in obtaining
10 million tons of West Coast coal, was
considered again this month. The Minister
of Marine, Mr Scott has announced this in
replying to the Mayor of Westport
Mr J Watson who this week sent him a
telegram expressing concern at the delay on
the Westport improvement scheme and the
deterioration in the port now.
A Japanese concern has shown an interest in
buying about 10 million tons of West Coast
coal and also in building a port at the Seven
This harbour project was advocated more
than 50 years ago and was actually designed on
plans but failed to go beyond that stage.
uFood for thought
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wo weeks after the Anzacs
scrambled ashore at
Gallipoli on April 25, 1915,
Australia received its first
detailed report of the story
that became its greatest
It appeared on the front page of
every daily newspaper in the country,
proclaiming the landings “the finest feat of
the war”, describing those who performed
it as “a cheerful, quiet, confident, ner veless
race of athletes” who waded ashore
through a hail of bullets, scaled cliffs and
got stuck into the enemy with bare hands
This initial, breathless gush came from
the pen, and the imagination, of the
British war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-
Bartlett who obser ved the landings at
Anzac Cove from the bridge of a British
destroyer a couple of kilometres off the
It ignited the Anzac legend, and
probably did as much to inflate it as
Ashmead-Bartlett was no jingoistic,
tabloid man. He had been to seven wars
before this, participating in one and
chronicling them all.
With the benefit of this experience,
and perhaps of mere common sense,
Ashmead-Bartlett predicted the folly of
the landings the night before they took
place, along with the greater disaster to
come at Gallipoli.
He also did more than any other
reporter, general or statesman to
expose the mismanagement and bloody
incompetence that beset the campaign
before it began and continued for the next
It was thanks to reports such as
Ashmead-Bartlett ’s and Australia’s most
prominent war correspondent, Charles
Bean, that in the weeks immediately
following the landing at Anzac Cove
young Australians flocked in greater
numbers than ever before to enlist.
In those early days of the Gallipoli
campaign, little was known at home of the
massive losses or the dreadful futility of a
campaign perceived as a great adventure.
At the time of that first report,
newspapers would run a photograph
alongside a soldier’s obituary at a rate of
around half a dozen each day. They soon
abandoned the practice as the numbers of
the dead left no room for photos.
But the legend sur vived and grew.
Bean, who reported the war for The
Sydney Morning Herald and later became
Australia’s official war historian, wrote
romantically of the Anzac as a superior
individual, a warrior at home on the back
of a horse and one who “differed very little
from the Australian who at home rides the
All of it contributed to the legend ... or
to the myth.
Of the almost 417,000 Australians who
enlisted during World War One, only
around 57,000 had addresses outside a
capital city and 30% of them had been
born in Britain.
Another popular piece of Anzac wisdom
is that the Australian Imperial Force was
the only volunteer army on the Allied side.
It was not.
What the Anzacs achieved, and even the
way in which they failed to achieve, during
the Gallipoli campaign was undoubtedly
There need be no argument that by
and large they were good-natured, stoic,
resourceful, laconic and refreshingly
irreverent. Or perhaps naive.
But the notion that this unmitigated
human catastrophe led to Australia staking
its claim for international recognition is
increasingly seen as a politically motivated
myth based on misinformation and
“The emphasis on Gallipoli has really
been a part of our political culture. It is
not part of history,” says professor Joan
Beaumont of the Australian National
The nationhood view has always
appealed to politicians who love to sound
profound, adopting and reinforcing it at
The approach of the 100th anniversary of
the war in which the Gallipoli campaign
was fought has led to further cross-
examination of the facts.
Professor Peter Stanley, a former
principal historian at the Australian War
Memorial and president of the group
Honest History, questions the widely
accepted wisdom attached to the Anzac
“ I’ve never understood how a nation can
be born on a particular day on the other
side of the world,” prof Stanley says.
“That idea was a view fostered in the
aftermath of the war, partly to justify
Australia’s losses and the waste and
expense by the prime minister of the time,
“ We don’t have to believe it any more
. . . this metaphorical birth on the cliffs of
Opponents of “Anzackery” prefer to go
back 14 years to Federation as a greater
“1901 is an amazing story ... disparate
convict colonies coming together to form
a nation,” says author and historian Paul
A similar view has been put for ward by
the author Thomas Keneally in discussion
of the coming centenary.
“ I hope no one says Australia was born at
Gallipoli,” Keneally said.
“Australia was born in 1901, and there
needs to be a certain amount of de-
mythologising. Let ’s hope the historians
win out over the politicians, who strike me
as fairly jingoistic. ”
Consideration of the costs borne by
other nations can also be instructional.
Gallipoli claimed 8709 Australian lives, a
human tragedy, but far from the worst.
Turkish casualties ran to more than
250,000, including 86,692 dead; Britain
lost 21,255 with another 52,235 wounded;
and France lost more than 10,000.
Perhaps another measure of the
Australian attitude to its role in the
Anzac story can be made by comparison
to the contribution of the other half of
the acronym and the dreadful losses it
From a population of just over one
million in 1918, 16,697 New Zealand lives
were lost in World War One.
Historian Richard Stowers, in his 2005
book Bloody Gallipoli, calculated 2779
New Zealand soldiers died at Gallipoli
— on e out of every five who fought there.
Legend ques oned
Soldiers in action at Gallipoli
Folly of flat roofs
With reference to the letter from J Flood
in your paper on March 18.
When I first started work as a carpenter
over 60 years ago I was told by my boss,
there is one thing to learn from the start:
You never build a home or any other
building on the Coast with a flat roof.
How right he was, as we all have seen over
I agree with J Flood (Greymouth Star,
March 18) and his concerns re flat roofs
or near-flat roofs, particularly on the new
I worked as a cleaner, porter, then nurse
in the previous hospital — before the
current hospital was built. Even before
the current hospital was finished the roof
leaked and the mortar leaked lime because
the building was not suitable for West
Coast conditions of high rain, high salt
content and high winds.
At the presentation on the new hospital
before the hospital board meeting of
February 15, 2015 and at a committee
meeting last week, I made my concerns
very clear. I believe the gable or angle
of the new roof is far too low, and if
traditional corrugated iron is not used
then it is guaranteed that the roof will
Corrugated iron has been developed over
many years so that water will not pool or
travel uphill by capillary action. Modern
geometric or art deco designs cause leaks
on low gable roofs. I know this from my
own experience and the experience of
On my garage roof I have had to seal
every nail or screw hole as well as some
flashings because the garage has a low
gable. On the house, the same geometric
Coloursteel is used but the roof is very
steep, hence no leaks. I was advised in
this by other people who had spent years
trying to fix leaks in new roofs.
Once upon a time, 60 years ago, building
inspectors were recruited from the ranks
of experienced carpenters, who inspected
every stage of the building construction
before the next phase was completed.
Now ‘engineers’ and architects design and
rubber-stamp leaky buildings that are
slapped up in five minutes.
Well, I am glad that someone has had
the common sense to realise that when a
disaster happens, i.e. earthquake, violent
storms or large waves, we on the Coast
will lose not only the hospital but the
St John headquarters and the rescue
We in Dobson will be cut off from
all these facilities. I think the people of
Dobson should be jumping up and down
to get their own surgery back in operation
again. We do not want to have to go into
town to a mass community centre, and
have sick people coughing and spluttering
all over us — what a stupid idea that is.
I think it is time for the revolution.
Coasters need to forget about ‘she’ll be
right’ and do something for themselves.
Living the life
This past week saw me spend four days
at Gloriavale Christian Community for
some R and R. I had stayed overnight
before after a concert but asked recently
if folk could come and stay for a few days.
This was perfectly acceptable, they said, as
a lot of folk stay.
I know there will be many people
who will say, ‘How do you know about
Gloriavale? You were only there for four
days.’ True, but what I saw was folk living
a simple godly way of life. In particular,
they love their children, who are a delight.
I became part of the community as
well as enjoying R and R, so I spent time
with quite a few folk and was pleasantly
surprised. Their teaching and whole way
of life is based on the Bible and Christ ’s
teachings. In fact, their whole lives aim to
However, they are no ‘slugs’. Everyone
works together in love and harmony. They
travel, are aware of worldly affairs and
take an interest in society at large. The
community is well organised and runs
smoothly, and overall it was a real pleasure
to be there.
I am aware they have received some bad
press, but I did not see any evidence of
anything untoward, and I would like to
thank them for having me and allowing
me to see their lifestyle for myself.
1080 too close
One wonders at the mentality of a
Government that withholds information
about so deadly a threat of contaminating
baby milk powder with 1080. Hushing
it over until every milk tanker of milk
was tested and even being unable to do
testing until they had developed a test
to do it. With the 3800 tonnes of 1080
distributed annually via ground and aerial
control, there would be a contamination
threat anyway and dairy products should
always have been tested.
Let ’s not forget that 1080 is a World
Health Organisation class A poison —
an extremely hazardous substance that is
manufactured for controlled use only. It is
a joke, isn’t it? New Zealand drops it out
of a helicopter, close to communities and
private rural properties, into public and
private water catchments and generating
dust that can spread up to 3km.
The women in Reefton who were dusted
at Kokiri in May 2014 should have been
a wake-up call. There should have been
an immediate cessation and an inquiry
into the use of this toxin. For a report
from the medical officer of health to take
nearly a year when these women were
very unwell and still are very unwell, is
simply not acceptable.
City dwellers have no idea about how
close, how much and how consistently
aerial operations are carried out by
Tb Free Ospri. Even that the possum
numbers are now so low as to only
warrant ground control (which itself
is bad enough) they still use the same
tonnage of 1080. There has never been
any mention of how dangerous and how
much dust is generated from one of these
aerial operations. There does not seem to
be any health authority that takes
the dangers of sub-lethal doses
After the 2008 Kapitea-Kumara aerial
operation several people in Kumara got
very sick. The day they dispersed the 1080
was very windy and you could see the
dust clearly. The Iroquois helicopter was
on the outskirts of Kumara, very close to
the residential areas.
What kind of respect is shown to
communities, that supposedly have
an input, clearly showing that 98% of
residents petitioned were opposed to
aerial operations. Now, this same area has
cyclists on the cycle trail and walkers on
the many tracks, residents walking dogs
and taking their children as well, all in
the proposed Waimea-Kawhaka-Kumara
aerial operation 2015. We have requested
a 5km buffer zone and so far this
request has been ignored by Tb Free
In the words of an American opponent
of 1080 in the 1970s: ‘If I had 1080 on
my finger and licked it, I would die of a
heart attack immediately, but everyone
would just think I died of a heart attack’.
Kumara Environmental Action
Like most people, I was shocked when I
heard of the threat to add 1080 poison to
dairy products and infant formula.
I cannot see the point really as 1080
poison will eventually be found in our
meat and dairy products on its own, as the
ruthless practice of dumping this deadly
poison over our forests and into waterways
will have deadly consequences.
John Key has called the person or persons
responsible for the threat ‘eco-terrorists’.
Well, we have been treated with total
disregard by the real eco- terrorists for
many years now. Maybe when they are
found they could be given a job with the
Animal Health Board or DOC, as they
would be in good company.
The denial of mass destruction to our bird
and wildlife and environment is an absolute
disgrace, and our war veterans, who gave
their lives for our freedom in this country,
would turn over in their graves if they knew
the truth of this level of corruption.
As a supplier of Westland Milk Products,
I am still very concerned about the
arrogant and dismissive approach of their
management regarding the use of a 1080
poisoned water supply to manufacture
export and local products.
In 2001-02 a shipment of export
venison was returned to New Zealand
from Germany after 1080 poison residues
were discovered in the meat. This put
an immediate stop to the wild venison
I cannot believe so many New Zealanders
cannot see the truth behind the propaganda
produced by the 1080 poison user-groups
and the medical officer of health.
1080 kills everything — birds, animals
and export markets.
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