Home' Greymouth Star : May 14th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, May 14, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1936 - Death of Edmund Allenby, Viscount,
British military commander who directed the
Palestine campaign in World War One.
1940 - German bombers in destroy two thirds
of the D utch city Rotterdam, killing almost
1943 - A Japanese submarine sinks
the Australian hospital ship Centaur
off the Q ueensland coast. Only 64 of
the 333 on board survive.
1948 - British mandate in Palestine
ends, and an independent state of
Israel is formed.
1955 - Warsaw Pact defence treaty
formed by Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia,
East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and
the Soviet Union.
1987 - Armed troops under Lieutenant-
Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka storm Fiji Parliament,
declaring military government after kidnapping
prime minister Dr Timoci Bavadra; Death of
actress Rita Hayworth, aged 68.
1998 - Death in L os Angeles of Frank Sinatra
at the age of 82.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Gabriel D Fahrenheit, German physicist
(1686-1736); Eric Morecombe, English
comedian (1926-1984); George Lucas, US
film director and producer (1944-);
David Byrne, Scottish-born pop
singer (1952-); Tim Roth, US actor
(1961-); Cate Blanchett, Australian
actress (1969-); Danny Wood, US
pop singer (1969-); Sofia Coppola,
US film director (1971-); Natalie
Appleton, British singer (All Saints)
(1973-); Mark Zuckerberg, American internet
entrepreneur, co-founder of Facebook (1984-) .
“Act well at the moment, and you have
performed a good action to all eternity.” —
Johann Kaspar Lavater, Swiss theologian
“ Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they
will come to an end; as for tongues, they will
cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.”
— (1 Corinthians 13.8).
The Grey Hospital
the four boards of the West Coast. It is the
only one of the four to come out in complete
agreement with the Minister of Health, Mr
McKay, in his proposals for a merger of the
Coast ’s hospital medical ser vices.
In a statement released today by Grey board
chairman Mrs D M Parfitt, the board lists nine
major reasons why the West Coast would be
better ser ved under amalgamation. The major
points are: The region would be as nearly
self-sufficient medically as possible. Existing
uneconomic training schools cannot continue
unchanged. There will be further prospects of
obtaining and keeping good specialist staff. It
would be fatal to have any one of the boards
‘split off ’ and try to work with another area.
There will be a saving in capital costs.
Last evening, a Greymouth housewife looked
from the headlines of the conflict in Vietnam
to her 20-year-old son. What were his personal
chances of having to fight on the Mekong
River if New Zealand became militarily
involved in Vietnam? Should he be asked to
fight? “If the boys have to go it should be on a
volunteer basis — no conscription,” she said.
Asked today in a Greymouth Evening Star
sur vey, West Coast people presented a variety
of opinions on whether or not New Zealand
should send fighting men to Vietnam. Here,
there have been no picketings or public protest
meetings either in support of or condemning
New Zealand involvement. But Coast
people are just as concerned as people in the
uFood for thought
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Who is Peter Goodfellow? Most New
Zealanders would not have a clue. That
is as it should be. Generally speaking,
people recognise the name of a political
party’s president only when that party
is in trouble. Or, as was the case with
National’s Sir George Chapman, when
they have played a decisive role in their
party’s political victories. National’s
current president, the aforementioned
Mr Goodfellow, enjoys the well-earned
anonymity of success.
Alas, the same cannot be said of the
Labour Party’s governing body, which
last week presented a submission to
Parliament ’s justice and electoral select
committee raising the possibility of
“making enrolment to vote a pre-
condition to receipt of various forms of
State support ”. In other words: If you
are not enrolled, you will not get your
benefit. There are, Labour submitted,
“advantages and potential disadvantages
to the approach” and, since it had already
been adopted in other countries, “it is
incumbent on us to examine all options to
see if they are feasible in our context ”.
Where to begin with this curious
proposal? Perhaps by pointing out that
section 82 of the Electoral Act 1993
already provides for the compulsory
registration of electors — on pain of a
$100 fine for the first conviction, and
a $200 fine for the second and any
If the New Zealand Council of the
Labour Party was unaware of this, then
it should not have been. If it was aware,
then why did it consider some further
inducement to enrolment necessary?
It is possible that the Labour Party
is simply attempting to put some
legislative flesh on the bones of its new
“communitarian” ideology. At the heart of
communitarianism lies the assertion that
for every “inalienable right” enjoyed by
the citizen, there is a corresponding, and
equally inalienable, responsibility.
Much of Labour’s current
policy platform is permeated with
communitarian ideas — especially in
the area of social welfare. Beneficiaries
in receipt of public support are expected
to reciprocate by doing all within their
power to return to the workforce. If they
have entitlements, Labour argues, then so
By what right does any citizen not
enrolled to vote lay claim to the support
of his or her fellow citizens? If such
people refuse to fulfil what is both a legal
requirement and a civic duty, then is not
society entitled to withhold its duty of
care until those responsibilities are met?
Putting it bluntly: without the pro quo,
nobody gets a quid.
The other explanation for Labour’s
curious submission is considerably less
Despite enormous effort by scores of
tireless volunteers, tens of thousands of
probable Labour voters failed to enrol
in time for last year’s election. Though
technically in breach of the Electoral
Act, these citizens will probably not be
prosecuted. Receiving no disincentive
to repeating the offence, there is every
chance their names will not appear on the
roll again in 2017.
If, however, tens of thousands of social
welfare beneficiaries — people who, most
experts agree, are much more inclined to
vote for political parties of the left than
the right — were required (ably assisted
by Work and Income staff ) to fulfil
their legal obligations as electors before
receiving their benefits, then the Labour
Party would be saved a huge amount of
hard political slog.
Getting people to the polling booths is
one thing, but if they are there discovered
to be not on the roll, then the bureaucratic
hurdles placed before them can be
formidable. Frequently, the sheer volume
of paperwork proves too daunting for
these often poorly educated and/or non-
English-speaking citizens to attempt, and
the potential Labour vote is lost.
When viewed from this perspective,
Labour’s submission not only appears
organisationally self-serving, but it could
also be construed as a subtle thrust against
the emerging strategic preference (among
Andrew Little’s principal advisers) for
Labour’s effort to be directed at ‘soft ’
National Party voters. Many on the left of
the Labour Party are convinced that the
tens of thousands of unregistered voters
constitute a more wholesome electoral
target than some 21st century version of
That Labour’s submission ended
up attracting so much (presumably
unwanted) media attention more than
bears out the obser vation with which this
discussion began. That one of the best
ways of telling whether or not things are
going well for a political party is how
invisible its organisational wing is willing
to become, and how anonymous its
Chris Trotter is a left-wing political
Linking benefits to votes: What is Labour up to?
Keith Coffman and Daniel Wallis
obbing questions on topics
ranging from loading
ammo clips to booby-
trapping apartments and
the chemistry of gunshot
residue, jurors have waded
into the thick of the Colorado movie
massacre trial as they weigh the fate of
gunman James Holmes.
Taking full advantage of unusual State
rules that require the judge to let them
question witnesses, the jury of 19 women
and five men have asked probing follow-
ups on issues including crime scene
forensics and Holmes’ behaviour before
the rampage. They have also made more
Admonished by Arapahoe County
District Court Judge Carlos Samour
several times a day not to discuss the case
with each other or anyone else, inside
Courtroom 201 they have taken to their
role with energy.
The jurors will first decide if Holmes is
guilty of killing 12 people and wounding
70 more, and then whether he is to be
executed. At the trial, they pass written
questions to Samour, who reviews and
reads them to witnesses.
Colorado is one of only three United
States states, along with Arizona and
Indiana, where jurors have a mandated
right to question witnesses in both
criminal and civil trials. It is much rarer
in other states, where it is at the judge’s
There are many signs the jurors are
seriously heeding Samour’s instructions
about their importance in the life-or-
Following testimony from Colorado
Bureau of Investigation forensic analyst
Carol Crowe about gunshot residue,
several submitted questions asking how
long the chemicals remain on objects.
Addressing Crowe, public defender
Daniel King noted that lawyerss from
both sides had neglected that obvious
question during their direct and cross
“ You know, ma’am, when four jurors ask
the same question, it may be a teaching
moment for the lawyers,” King said.
Jurors have also asked expert witnesses
whether ammunition clips come pre-
loaded; if not, how long they take to load,
and how long it would take an FBI special
agent to set up the bombs Holmes used to
booby-trap his apartment.
They also asked whether the devices at
the apartment appeared intended to harm,
or just to intimidate.
Holmes, 27, has pleaded not guilty
by reason of insanity to multiple counts of
murder, attempted murder and explosives
charges. Prosecutors have said they will
seek the death penalty for the Southern
California native if he is convicted.
Longtime Colorado criminal defence
lawyer Mark Johnson said that when the
State began allowing jurors to question
witnesses in 2004, he opposed the policy.
But he said the insight it gives lawyers
won him over.
“ You can really get a sense of the issues
jurors are considering by getting a glimpse
into their thinking,” Johnson said.
Some queries from the jury box have
been more mundane. One juror said a
model of the theatre in the centre of the
courtroom blocked their view of Holmes,
and they wanted it moved to see his
demeanour during testimony.
Neither side’s lawyers objected, so the
mock-up was carried away.
Two jurors told the judge separately that
they personally knew sur vivors who gave
harrowing testimony about the massacre.
One juror said he did business with a
witness. The other juror said a victim’s son
goes to the school where she works. Both
were allowed to remain on the panel after
telling the judge the relationships would
not affect their impartiality.
Twelve of the jurors are alternates and
will only have to deliberate if others drop
out. But only Samour and the lawyers
know who they are, and all 24 have been
told they must pay close attention.
One juror wrote to the judge suggesting
a fix to make life easier for witnesses, who
have to leave the stand and use a hand-
held microphone and makeshift pointer
when asked to indicate parts of images
shown on a large courtroom television.
Samour read the note aloud, which
proposed attaching a second mouse to a
computer on the stand and enlarging the
pointer on the screen, allowing the witness
to stay seated while testifying.
“ It ’s a good suggestion; I thought about
it, your honour, but I thought it was too
complicated for us to handle,” prosecutor
Rich Orman told the judge, to laughter
from the court.
Samour drew more chuckles when he
replied: “ We’re going to build a suggestion
box.” — Reuters
Judge and jury
James Holmes and his defence lawyer Daniel King, in court.
An 8.72-carat pink diamond ring
believed part of a collection once owned
by Princess Mathilde Bonaparte sold at
auction for $15.9 million, according to
The auction house said “The Historic
Pink Diamond” only recently resurfaced
after sitting in a bank vault since the
1940s. A buyer was not disclosed by
The vibrant cushion-cut diamond is
considered extremely rare. It was sold as
part of the auction house’s Magnificent
Jewels and Noble Jewels sale this week.
The princess was the niece of
Napoleon I and a relative of King
George II and the tsar of Russia. She
amassed a collection of pearls, diamonds
and other jewellery considered second
only to the collection of Empress
Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III,
Mathilde died in 1904. The pink
diamond was believed among her jewels
auctioned in Paris in June 1904 and
later acquired by William Andrews
Clark Sr, a United States senator,
industrialist and entrepreneur who died
After his death, the stone passed to a
daughter, Hugette Marcelle Clark, who
died in 2011.
The diamond is also considered prized
for its cut, a classic, non-modified
version of the cushion, Sotheby’s said.
The auction house considers the
market for coloured diamonds and
other precious gemstones strong and
pink diamonds among the rarest. In
October, Sotheby’s sold another pink
diamond for $17.8 million. — AP
Diamond fit for a princess
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