Home' Greymouth Star : May 13th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, May 13, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1927 - Black Friday occurs in Germany,
signalling the collapse of its economic structure.
1930 - Death of Fridtjof Nansen, Nor wegian
Arctic explorer and diplomat.
1940 - In his first speech as prime minister of
Britain, Winston Churchill tells the House of
Commons, “I have nothing to offer but blood,
toil, tears and sweat ”.
1961 - Death aged 60 of US film
actor Gary Cooper, who won Oscars
for his roles in the films Sergeant
York and High Noon.
1962 - Gunman tries to assassinate
Indonesia’s President Sukarno, who
is not hurt.
1968 - Eleven Australians are
killed and 25 wounded when North Vietnamese
attack Australian fire support base.
1981 - Pope John Paul II is shot and seriously
wounded in Rome by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turk.
1999 - Gene Sarazen, one of only a handful
of players to win each of golf ’s four major
professional tournaments, dies aged 97.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Arthur Sullivan, English composer (1842-
1900); Daphne du Maurier, British
novelist (1907-1989); Joe Louis,
US former heavyweight boxing
champion (1914-1981); Jim Jones,
US-born cult leader (1931-1978);
Ritchie Valens, US pop singer
(1941-1959); Stevie Wonder (born
Steveland Judkins Morris), US pop
singer (1950-); Dennis Rodman, US
basketball player (1961-); Darius Rucker, US
musician (1966-); Robert Pattinson, English
actor (1986-); Lena Dunham, American
actress, writer, and director (1986-).
“A nation is a society united by a delusion
about its ancestry and by a common hatred of
its neighbours.” — William Ralph Inge, English
religious leader and author (1860-1954).
“ May mercy, peace, and love be yours in
abundance.” — ( Jude 1.2).
The first of 200
crates of ‘Coast-
Ply’ were swung
aboard the Anchor
Company ’s cargo ship Totara on the
Greymouth wharf yesterday afternoon. This
is the first shipment, £2500 worth, to leave
the Gladstone plywood factory of Fletcher
Industries. In the West Coast economic history
this was an important moment as the crates of
ply were loaded for distribution in and around
History-making though it may have been,
there was little to disturb the sunny calm of
the wharf apart from the whirr of the harbour
board’s electric cranes. The onlookers were as
placid as the weather.
Technician to the Grey Valley Televiewers’
Society, Mr M Farrell emphasised last night
that it was impossible to guarantee that
televison sets in the area covered by the
Cobden Hill translator would have ‘completely
snow-free reception at all times”.
He was quoted in Greymouth last week
saying that was his opinion based on his
calculations from an American VHF authority.
He felt certain that squabbling over the
proposed translator would have the effect of
delaying the NZBC approval of the licence for
A Greymouth youth, Donald Roderick Inglis
made “screaming turns” around the clock
tower and around the streets of Hokitika,
the prosecution alleged in the Hokitika
Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Inglis faced a
charge of reckless driving, and was convicted
and fined £20, costs 30s.
Inglis’s licence was cancelled for one year and
endorsed for three, and his application for a
restricted licence was refused by the magistrate.
uFood for thought
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ero Ilievski Street looked this
week like it had been struck
by a tsunami, cobblestones
torn up and walls crushed
by armoured vehicles of a
special anti-terrorist unit of
the Macedonian police.
Ethnic Albanian residents of this north
Macedonian town stepped gingerly
through shattered glass and roof tiles,
crushed cars and dirt smeared with
blood — damage wrought by a weekend
operation that left 22 people dead and
heralds a new phase of uncertainty in a
country deep in crisis.
Details about the raid remain hazy, but
the conservative government of Nikola
Gruevski faced immediate calls from
Nato and the European Union for a
‘transparent investigation’ of what went
Gruevski’s credibility with the west
has already been called into question
by months of opposition allegations of
illegal wire-tapping and widespread abuse
of power, leaving his government on
the ropes with an opposition mass rally
planned for May 17.
The Albanian residents of Pero Ilievski
Street in ethnically-mixed Kumanovo,
as well as Gruevski’s political opponents,
accused the government of trying to
create a diversion and blunt the bid to
“The timing is too suspicious to not
consider a connection,” said Florian
Bieber, a Balkans expert at the University
of Graz, Austria. “ This does not mean that
it was not a terrorist attack, but it suggests
that the government might have had a
hand. The only obvious beneficiary of the
violence is the ruling party.”
The tiny, impoverished ex-Yugoslav
republic, where ethnic Albanians account
for 30% of the two million-strong
population, flirted with all-out civil
war in 2001 when ethnic Albanian
guerrillas fought with government
security forces before Nato brokered a
Integration has been piecemeal,
but western diplomats say that while
grievances remain, Macedonia is not on
the brink of ethnic conflict. A bigger
threat to stability lies in the political
stand-off over Gruevski’s nine-year-rule,
fed by frustration among Macedonians
and Albanians alike over poverty, high
unemployment, pervasive corruption and
a stalled progress of integration with the
“Several distinct problems are joining
up into a perfect storm,” Balkan analyst
Marko Prelec wrote on his Facebook page.
Gruevski said police had wiped out ‘one
of the most dangerous terrorist groups
in the Balkans’, led by ethnic Albanians
from neighbouring Kosovo and bent on
attacking police stations, shopping malls
and sports events.
Authorities said 14 ‘terrorists’ were dead,
dozens arrested and eight police officers
killed. Ethnic Albanian detainees were
hauled before judges in handcuffs and
The destruction on Pero Ilievski Street
spoke to the ferocity of the violence.
“I don’t know what the purpose of this
was,” said Ramadan Baftiu, sitting on the
toppled front wall of his two-storey home,
gutted by fire and strafed with bullets.
Baftiu said he and his family had
spent 12 hours in their basement before
escaping during a lull in the fighting.
“The house has to be demolished,” he
He and his neighbours said they had
seen no gunmen in the area, an assertion
that was impossible to verify in a climate
of claim and counter-claim, intrigue and
manipulation in Macedonia.
Apart from the police dead, the other
casualties have not been named.
Despite the bloodshed, western
envoys to Macedonia pulled no punches
following talks with Gruevski this
week, questioning his government ’s
‘commitment ’ to democracy and European
values given its failure to investigate
‘many allegations of government
wrongdoing’ arising from a flurry of
leaked wire taps.
Zoran Zaev, leader of the main
Macedonian opposition party, the
Social Democrats, says he has a
treasure-trove of audiotapes, leaked to
him by a whistleblower and exposing
tight government control over judges,
journalists and the conduct of elections.
Protesters have already clashed once
with police, and the scandal has added
to a wider political malaise rooted in
Macedonia’s failure to join the European
Union and Nato, its bids blocked by a
long-running dispute with neighbouring
Greece over the country’s name.
This week, hundreds turned out for
the latest in days of small protests in
front of the government, this time laying
flowers and candles for the weekend’s
dead. “ The citizens of Macedonia are
coming together,” said protester Jasmina
Golubovska, “instead of giving in to the
propaganda working to pull us apart.”
Macedonia’s perfect storm
People stand beside a burned out vehicle and a destroyed house in Kumanovo, Macedonia.
If you want the answer to our continued
community strength for the next 50
years then we must complete our roading
network and become an accessible
international visitor destination. It is
that simple. In order to do that the
Government must take the initiative now.
I have been asked by many people what
the answer is to the problem that we have
on the Coast that has been caused by the
dramatic downturn in world coal and
dairy prices. Buller and Grey districts are
in trouble and action needs to happen
now to ensure our community’s retain
The first thing you have to remember is
we have seen it all before and it is a cycle.
At some stage it will come back however
that does not address our collective
futures on the Coast especially where
sunset industries like coal mining are
Tourism must play a significant part of
our future on the Coast. It is an industry
which is sustainable and it creates
jobs. Other business will continue to
contribute to the wealth and strength
of our communities; dairying, timber,
fishing, technology, and manufacturing
are all part of the package.
The reality is if you want to be
successful in tourism you need to have
tourists who can arrive by sea, by road, by
air or by train.
The other essential ingredient is your
must have attractions and the Coast has
abundant attractions from Karamea to
the Haast. We get the big tick here.
Sustainable tourism cannot occur
without a good roading network and it
certainly will not work if you are at the
end of a road like Westport and further
north to Karamea. I can confidently say
that there is not a tourist attraction in
New Zealand where roading is not the
The Haast to Hollyford highway project
will create 1500 jobs, it will create access
to some of the 80 bus movements per day
that at present visit Milford Sound. It
will create investment in infrastructure,
hotels, motels and attractions.
This project will do more for investment
and development on the West Coast and
in Southland on a long term basis than
any other project I know of. It is another
step in continuing to grow the West
Coast as a premier tourism destination
for New Zealand. And it is not just that,
the road provides an alternative access
when there are problems with existing
roads, there is a saving of 355km for the
round trip. It saves five hours of travel
time. It is a completely new product
for the South Island that will benefit
the tourism industry and provide a
product for the increasing numbers that
are coming from China, Indonesia and
India. It has a real benefit in reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. It creates
a conser vation journey, a requirement
of the Conser vation Act, and it allows
access for the average New Zealander to
this World Heritage area.
As a toll road the marketing will have a
dual impact, it will attract people to use
the road and to do this it will promote
heavily Te Anau, Milford and the West
Southland, like the West Coast, will
be a real winner and that is why the
Southland District Mayor Gary Tong
has come out firmly in favour of the
road, along with our West Coast
Buller needs an immediate answer
and it cannot go for ward as a tourism
destination when it is at the end of the
road, it needs to be part of the loop.
To bring Buller into the South
Island roading network it requires the
completion of the 50 km of roading up
the Little Wanganui at Karamea across to
Tapawera. The old bush roads exist within
a few kilometres of both sides of the
island and it would change forever the
reliance Buller has on minerals. Karamea
would boom and Westport tourism
would attract significant further
You wanted my view and it is pretty
straightfor ward — build these two roads,
have the people in the community get
behind their leaders and if, like during
the West Coast Accord fight, the only
way to get the Government to listen is to
take to the streets, then so be it.
Whether the roads are funded like
the Haast to Hollyford road by tolls
or funded by government makes no
difference. What does need to happen
is our leaders need to fight for our
communities and take it straight to
Wellington and seek an urgent decision
to call the road in as a road of national
significance. That is the only way endless
court battles like Bathurst suffered from
can be avoided.
It is okay for the Government to say
Buller will sur vive on ultrafast broadband,
but where will Buller be in five years
when every town in New Zealand has
ultrafast broadband, as the Government
has already promised?
It is time for Development West Coast
to stand up alongside our mayors to
support both roads and we need to take
this to the Government.
Finally, I call upon all of the people
of the West Coast to stand up and be
counted and realise that we cannot rely
on commodities to create a sustainable
Durham Havill is chairman of
Haast-Hollyford Highway Ltd.
New Coast roads ‘key to tourism’
The ‘ West Coast
It would seem to me that Development
West Coast is being narrow minded
in its thinking. Am I right that it is
more interested in expanding its own
capital base, than providing economic
investment for the West Coast? The
Kingston Flyer is a case in point.
It is stated that it will require about
$6 million to get the train up and
running on the West Coast. A
considerable sum indeed. And not the
sort of money the Kingston Flyer can
be expected to be able to pay back from
ticket sales on the train, therefore not
‘commercially viable’. Hmm ... !
The trouble is that DWC will not
release its economical assessment as to
the viability of the train because that is
‘commercially sensitive’, so we do not
actually have the facts.
Now, it seems unlikely the train could
pay back DWC $6m from ticket sales on
the train. But would the projected ticket
sales be sufficient to pay all the running
costs of the Flyer?
DWC made a profit (before community
funding) of over $6m last year. If the
DWC ‘donated’ this sum to the ‘ West
Coast Flyer’, perhaps we could have a real
functioning business on the Coast, our
own West Coast Flyer providing a few
jobs and a useful ser vice into perpetuity
— a service that DWC could be proud
And the capital base of DWC would
remain intact at its current level.
If they supported projects like this every
year, there would be real progress in jobs
on the Coast.
And new sound businesses which are
unlikely other wise to happen.
Measuring its accumulated capital is not
the best way of measuring the success of
This is a cry from the heart. The aged
and less nimble residents of lower
Cobden (those who have paid more taxes
than anyone else) are finding that Bright
Street, from Hall Street to Pitt Street, is
becoming increasingly more difficult to
negotiate on foot.
On the east side of the street the
footpath (such as it is) is disappearing
before the onslaught of rampant
vegetation. Concrete, where visible, is
uneven, broken, just high enough to catch
the toe of the traveller, who is hacking
his/her way through the jungle.
And then there is the ever present
surface water. This may be due to that
unfenced child killer, Range Creek, but
not that alone; the run-off from adjacent
paddocks does its share.
To deviate from the path, to allow other
walkers to pass, is hazardous, unless one
is equipped with high and waterproof
I almost said ‘please get it sorted ’ but
changed my mind. Get it sorted!
Michael J Millar
shrinking ser vices
The recent article in the Greymouth
Star has revealed some of proposed
changes to West Coast health services,
explaining the smaller bed numbers in
the proposed new hospital.
The reasons for the proposed changes
are reasonably clear. Many will know that
the West Coast as a rural region gets a
higher allocation of funds per population
than a larger city.
However, what is usually not revealed to
the public is that some of the funds are
handed over to the larger hospitals for
ser vices provided. These services include
complex procedures and clinics outside
the scope of local resources. Disruption of
regional ser vices allows more of the funds
to be transferred elsewhere. However, this
can comprise the ser vices in both regions.
If the regional ser vices are improved,
less funds are removed from the regions
but has the potential to improve health
ser vices nationally. A properly staffed
regional hospital can perform a greater
number of less complex procedures. With
a better organised support services for
surgeons, more complex procedures can
be performed locally. This allows more
efficient use of tertiary hospitals.
It is also important realise that public
health funds contributes to the local
economy, an indirect contribution to the
health of the community.
Whether the proposed changes are in
accordance with New Zealand laws is
also questionable. New Zealand Public
Health and Disability Act 2000, section
22, on DHB obligations: ‘ To seek the
optimum arrangement for the most
effective and efficient delivery of health
ser vices in order to meet local, regional,
and national needs’ â€¦ ‘foster community
participation in health improvement,
and in planning for the provision of
services and for significant changes to the
provision of ser vices’.
Perhaps the public should question
their elected members of the system of
Ivan should not be offended (Greymouth
Star, May 11) but whereas I am a
responsible driver and take his point,
I wonder if his merry crew had the
permission of the landowner to poke
and pry and (perhaps) harass innocent
(perhaps) shoppers on private land?
Michael J Millar
In your edition of May 4 under the
heading ‘Blaketown deals to Grey Valley,’
in the rugby report between Marist and
Kiwi, reference is made that ‘Kiwi then
stretched the lead to 17-7 when wing
Arnold Wilson latched on to a Dan
Tauwhare grubber kick and dashed 40m
to score under the post...’
This report should have read Horano
Wilson, my grandson, who scored that
try, and further there is no Arnold Wilson
playing senior rugby for the Kiwi Rugby
Hamilton Caledonian 90th jubilee
The 90th jubilee of the Hamilton
Caledonian Society and Pipe Band will
be celebrated during the weekend of
November 7, 2015, and the organisers
would be grateful to anyone who can
supply contact details of any former
members and supporters, especially e-mail
and postal addresses.
Registrations will be open until October
26 but ‘early birds’ who register before
August 26, as well as those who supply
contact details before that date, will
go into a draw for a free ticket or cash
For further information or to register,
contact Trevor Andrews at twandrews@
vodafone.co.nz or at PO Box 493,
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