Home' Greymouth Star : August 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, August 5, 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.
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uLetters to the editor
1305 - Sir William Wallace, champion of
Scottish independence, is captured by the
English and later executed as a traitor.
1944 - More than 1000 Japanese
prisoners of war unsuccessfully
attempt to escape from camp in
Cowra, NSW: 234 are killed, 108
1962 - Anti-apartheid fighter
Nelson Mandela is arrested at a
police roadblock; US movie star
Marilyn Monroe is found dead in the bedroom
of her Los Angeles home.
1965 - Cook Islands in South Pacific granted
internal self-government by New Zealand
1984 - Richard Burton, British actor of stage
and screen, dies in a Geneva hospital, aged 58.
1995 - US and Vietnam declare an end
to decades of enmity, formally establishing
2000 - Sir Alec Guinness, revered as one of
Britain’s most versatile actors, dies at 86.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Huston, US film director (1906-1987);
Harold Holt, Australian prime minister (1908-
1967); Robert Taylor, US actor (1911-1969);
Neil Armstrong, US astronaut and
first man to set foot on the moon
(1930-2012); Sammi Smith, US
country singer (1943-2005); Loni
Anderson, US actress (1946-);
Jonathan Silverman, US actor
(1966-); Kajol, Indian Bollywood
actress (1974-); Jason Culina,
Australian soccer player (1980-).
“ I slept, and dreamed that life was beauty; I
woke, and found that life was duty. ” — Ellen
Sturgis Hooper, American poet (1816-1841).
“ Do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your minds, so
that you may discern what is the will of God
— what is good and acceptable and perfect.“
— (Romans 12:2).
A van “blew up”
while being driven
about half a mile
yesterday afternoon. Although he received a
burned forearm, the driver, Mr R Mountford,
of Blackball, managed to scramble out of the
vehicle before fire engulfed it completely. The
Blackball Fire Brigade was quickly on the
scene and had the blaze under control in smart
However, it was reported this morning that
the van was almost a write-off. Th e outbreak,
which is believed to have been caused by an
electrical fault, occurred at about 1.15pm. Mr
Mountford told police that the van blew up
from under his feet.
The call was one of the few the Blackball
brigade has answered since it was established
late last year.
There appears every likelihood that the West
Coast region will be used for future military
exercises by the New Zealand Army. When
asked this question while in Greymouth
yesterday afternoon, commander of the
Southern Military District Brigadier
T C Campbell replied no plans had been fixed
for the future.
“ However, we have eyes on this part of the
country because it offers so much for practice
in jungle warfare,” he said. The Coast region
offered an excellent training ground, with its
dense bush, steep rugged country and ideal
Mr Abraham Airns, aged 58, of D unollie, is
in a satisfactory condition in the Greymouth
Hospital this morning following an accident in
the Liverpool mine last night.
His injuries were bruising and lacerations
to the left thigh suffered in a minor accident
during back-shift operations.
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
The Marist Brothers regret to announce
the death of Brother Albert Kennedy,
FMS. He died on July 7, at Auckland, in
his 91st year.
Br Albert was born John Joseph
Kennedy on December 13, 1924, at
Greymouth, son of Francis John Kennedy
and Eileen Bridget (nee Molloy). As
a baby, he had been struck down with
infantile paralysis and spent 12 months
in hospital in Christchurch. However,
through the love and encouragement of
his family he never allowed his paralysed
arm to hold him back from all the
demanding and competitive activities of
school and sport.
The way he faced this challenge right
from the start of his life, with tremendous
courage and determination, was the
manner in which he then grew and
matured right through the following
decades of his life until his “ending”.
After completing his schooling at St
Joseph’s Marist High School, Greymouth,
Brother Albert became a cadet in the
Education Department in Wellington
but, sponsored by Brother Oswald, he
kept knocking on the door of the Marist
Brothers, asking to be accepted as a
Marist like his two brothers, Frank and
Eventually, the provincial finally
accepted him despite his disability.
In 1943 he was received into the
congregation and took his perpetual vows
Br Albert undertook a key role in the
formation of future Marist Brothers,
of juniors, then scholastics, and finally
novices. He came to love this work and he
was a strong Champagnat model for the
young men who were under his influence.
He worked at St John’s in Hamilton
from 1972 and 1974, and due to his
success he was then sent to Greymouth
to be principal of his old Marist High
School. Again, he was conscious of his
lack of professional preparedness for this
role, but he accepted the call in a deeply
spiritual way as the will of God and took
up the role for the next six years.
He helped prepare the two schools,
Marist and St Mary’s, for integration.
Having successfully completed his six
years there, he was then appointed
as principal of the Marist College in
Invercargill, where he also prepared the
school for integration with the State
From Invercargill, Br Albert moved
to Sacred Heart College to assist in the
office administration for the next 22
years and gave himself wholeheartedly to
the work of bursar until his eyes began
to fail. D uring those working years his
Marist presence and meticulous work won
him the warm admiration, affection and
appreciation of all the brothers and staff
of the college.
Although suffering from loss of hearing
and sight, Br Albert was still an active
member of his community and was
delighted to meet up with former John
Paul II High School principal, the late
Harold L eask and the school’s religious
education manager Janet Webster on
their trips to Sacred Heart for Marist
Champagnat Partnership meetings.
Reproduced courtesy of John Paul II
Brother Albert Kennedy
Brother Albert Kennedy
Family, past pupils, staff and
friends gathered in Greymouth
on Saturday to say their last
goodbyes to former John Paul
II High School principal
Harold grew up in
Greymouth and attended the
Grey Main and Greymouth
Technical High School
before ser ving his time in an
engineering apprenticeship as
a draughtsman at the Dispatch
However, he always had
an interest in education and
was soon attending Teachers
College, where he achieved
honours and began a long
career in teaching.
Harold taught at the
Greymouth Catholic school in
1977 as a woodwork, graphic
design and technical drawing
teacher, and served as deputy
principal until 2002 when he
was promoted as principal.
He was instrumental in
developing the student
leaders, mentor and mediator
programmes at the school.
He remained principal for
10 years until his retirement in
April 2012 and was regarded
as a guiding influence for the
students he taught, providing
them with both an academic
and lifeskills education.
While living in Christchurch,
Harold worked for Reofab Ltd,
a steel construction company,
drawings to practical plans
for the factory floor. He was
a talented craftsman who had
an affinity with timber and a
passion for renovating houses.
Harold Leask is survived by
his wife Rosann and children
Jason and Rebekah, Steven and
Michael, brothers Jim, Gordon
and Walter, and sisters Penny
In support of
I was more than a little disappointed to
read John Harnett ’s opinion ‘ The trouble
with Greymouth’ in the Greymouth Star
on July 28.
Reading the lead in to the article one
might have wrongly assumed that John
Harnett left Greymouth perhaps some
time in the past 20 years or so, and now
lives in Wellington, where he works for
the Dominion newspaper. The truth,
however, is that Mr Harnett is a retired
gentleman and has been for quite some
time, and he resides in Auckland, where
he has lived for many years. Rather
than the obser vations of a Dominion
newspaper reporter, they are merely the
ramblings of someone living in the past.
Yes, he is entitled to his opinion but
it is very sad to hear such drivel from
someone who was born and raised
here and purports to love the place. Mr
Harnett enjoyed the childhood and
upbringing that the Coast has to offer,
and then he left for greener pastures.
Work was abundant in his era, in fact
we know, courtesy of the article, that
he already had a job at the Greymouth
Star. I cannot help but wonder how
Mr Harnett has formed his opinion of
Greymouth today, when he spends so
little time here — a couple of days each
January, and not every January either, I
One might also assume that as Mr
Harnett is so concerned with business
in Greymouth, that when he is here he
stays in hotels or motels and eats out at
our restaurants, thereby single-handedly
throwing a lifeline to our struggling
economy. Alas no, he enjoys the
hospitality of the down-in-the-mouth
locals, as he refers to them. I know this,
because apparently I am one of them.
Then he has the audacity to suggest
that Greymouth should change its name.
The childish notion that the name makes
people think of the colour grey is not
held by locals or people who have visited
and enjoyed their time here. Changing
Greymouth’s name will not increase
global demand for coal or let us cut down
trees or increase the fish in the sea. We
are at the mouth of the Grey River — get
Mr Harnett seems to think there are no
professional people in Greymouth, they
have all left and he rubs shoulders with
them at fond get-togethers in Auckland,
where they reminisce and tut tut about
poor old Greymouth.
Actually Mr Harnett, we do have
lawyers, doctors, accountants, teachers,
trades people etc, and you will even find
pilots. Yes, people leave, we do not keep
people captive here, but many come back
as well, and others move here to start new
Those of us who choose to live here do
so because we want to, Greymouth is a
great little place and we support it by
living here and contributing to the local
Your backyard is Auckland Mr Harnett,
get yours right and keep your nose out of
I note that in a recent Greymouth Star
edition mention was made that many of
the Westland Milk suppliers had been
taken over by other farm owners.
Could I please ask this question of
the Westland Mayor, Mr Havill: Will
these farmers who have purchased
other farms, if any are in the Westland
district, be paying the rates they should
be paying given that if they can afford to
be purchasing other farms to add to their
own they seem to be well enough off to
contribute their fair share to the rate take?
Union view of health
and safety legislation
I respond to the explanation-come -
rationalisation of the proposed health and
safety legislation by Fergal O’Gara, which
appeared in your paper on July 31.
Informed by international best practice,
the unions’ and the families of dead
workers’ point of view has been simple.
In order to improve New Zealand’s
appalling health and safety record, the
workforce (bringing its knowledge from
the shop floor), must work in partnership
with management through a system
of elected and trained delegates who
focus on health and safety. Through this
partnership a health and safety culture will
be established in each workplace.
After initially accepting this model,
the Government has now muddied the
waters by exempting businesses with fewer
than 20 workers. Small workplaces are
not necessarily safer than large ones, nor
can good communication or relations of
partnership be assumed to exist.
The boss who works at the shop floor
level can create an unhealthy health and
safety culture — as the recent quarry death
revealed. No workplace is necessarily low
risk: sitting at a computer for eight hours
a day brings health and safety issues, as
does ser ving behind the counter of a dairy,
or bottle store or ser vice station. High
risk and low risk will only be judged by
workplace deaths and serious injury. This
becomes then a piece of legislation which
will ultimately be written in blood.
As for workers requesting representation,
given the intense lobbying by the business
sector against the original legislation,
we know how well that will be received,
and what avenues exist, in an age of
90-day trials and zero hour contracts, for
management to get rid of ‘troublemakers’.
It is a piece of cynicism.
This bill has become a cowardly response
to a very serious issue, and is driven by
the ideology that management must have
unilateral control of the workplace. At
the same time the same holders of this
ideology, via the TPPA, willingly give
away democratic control of national affairs.
We live in strange times.
Unions West Coast
As a regular reader of your newspaper, I
do not appreciate the contents of letters
from your correspondent, Lasantha
Over many months he has written
criticising the performance of our coroners
and also our Health and Disability
Commissioner. He is concerned with the
delay in them giving their reports. Surely
he can appreciate the difficulty of getting
information from various hospital staff
members, especially when there is a case of
negligence or misjudgment.
When you compare the number of
investigations with the number of coroners
in New Zealand or the small number of
staff members employed by the Health
and Disability Commissioner, I think you
will find they are doing a very good job. I
had dealings some years ago with former
commissioner Ron Paterson and his staff
and found them very helpful, and from
what I have read of his reports, I think
current commissioner Anthony Hill and
staff are doing a good job also.
Maybe Lasantha Martinus should return
to writing to national newspapers.
The cor respondent is also entitled to his
view, but with respect it is a bit rich for a
Nelson resident to suggest that a Greymouth
resident should express his views elsewhere.
Safety in health
A recent article stated that half of West
Coast senior doctors feel engaged with
the management. Few stories from the
past present can give an insight into those
who feel engaged and those who do not.
About 10 years ago, I was watching an
anaesthetist looking longingly out the
window. He explained that a surgeon had
operated on a patient and was leaving the
hospital without following up the patient.
The surgeon was working part-time and
the anaesthetist was working full-time.
The anaesthetist received an allowance for
being on-call and no pay for staying late
Those on part-time contracts would
have negotiated higher pay for being on
call. Conscientious full-time staff who
hold the place together have a different
view of management to others.
Many would be aware of the story
of a teenager who died after appendix
surgery. The public were not informed
that the teenager was under the care of
a lone nurse relying on a protocol. In
Christchurch, post-operative paediatric
patients are followed up by a surgical
registrar and a paediatric registrar. In
Greymouth, the consultant anaesthetist
and the surgeon had to play the role of
Those who got paid for arranging West
Coast health on the cheap and not get
mentioned in the Health and Disability
Commissioner’s findings are likely to
have a different view of the management
I recently reviewed an HDC report of
a patient with a perforated bowel which
was left undiagnosed for two and a half
days. The patient felt something ruptured
inside her and this was documented by
a nurse, a junior doctor questioned a
perforation, so the diagnosis should have
been easy. A hospital manager had given
an ‘expert medical opinion’ to the HDC
stating the disabling and life threatening
delay made no difference to the patient.
I just paid $6.20 for two litres of
Meadow Fresh trim milk at the local store.
Yet the farmer is getting the lowest payout
for milk for a number of years. Why then
are we, the consumer, still paying top
dollar? Somebody is making a killing at
I would like to ask Meadow Fresh why
the price is so high considering the global
Anyone who thinks that the sale of
our land to investors from completely
different cultures is acceptable or ‘she’ll be
right’, and who missed seeing the Sunday
programme on TV One last Sunday,
should definitely watch the replay next
Sunday morning at about 7am, or
It is an eye-opener.
Colin Craig’s truth
After 18 months of layer upon layer of
sustained and vitriolic attacks against him,
former Conser vative Party leader Colin
Craig has called out his protagonists in
Cameron Slater, Jordan Williams and
John Stringer, and offered them the
‘goldest ’ of golden opportunities to lay
meaningful evidence against their claims.
Enter the legal process of discovery,
a pre-trial procedure in a lawsuit in
which each party, through the law of
civil procedure, can obtain evidence from
the other party or parties by means of
discovery devices such as a request for
answers to interrogatories, request for
production of documents, request for
admissions, and depositions.
No longer will we, the public, have to
endure a verbal merry-go-round of ‘he
said, she said, they said’ in the matters
being raised against Colin Craig.
Truth will triumph, and for the loser/s in
this battle — oblivion.
Choice over abortion
Women considering an abortion have an
absolute right to be fully informed and have
a right to change their mind and choose life
for their baby.
The Abortion Supervisory Committee
has decided to withhold information from
women that could save the life of their
unborn child. The drug Utrogestan, if taken
within two days of taking Mifepristone
RU 486 for a medical abortion and prior to
taking the prostaglandin Misoprostol, has a
59% chance of saving the life of the unborn
Right to Life first made a submission to
the ASC in December 2014, requesting
that this important information be given
to all women seeking a medical abortion.
The ASC responded advising that the drug
Progesterone was not available in New
Right to Life responded, advising that
Pharmac’s website stated that the drug was
freely available in New Zealand under the
name Utrogestan. The ASC responded
stating that it was not available to prevent a
Right to Life responded that further
research revealed that it was available on
prescription and was standard practice to
use this drug for preventing a miscarriage
and therefore could be used to reverse a
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