Home' Greymouth Star : August 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, August 26, 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 Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly.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
1346 - English archers defeat French knights
at Battle of Crecy in northern France.
1883 - The volcano Krakatoa erupts on the
island Krakatau, near Indonesia, creating
tsunami waves that killed more than 36,000
1920 - The 19th Amendment to
the US Constitution, guaranteeing
American women the right to vote,
is declared in effect.
1934 - Adolf Hitler demands that
France turn over the Saar region to
1945 - Japanese envoys board
US battleship Missouri to receive surrender
instructions at the end of World War Two.
1990 - Number of US soldiers, airmen and
sailors in the Gulf reaches 60,000.
1993 - Egyptian-born Sheik Omar Abdel-
Rahman and 14 others are charged in an attack
on New York’s World Trade Centre.
2009 - Edward “Ted” Kennedy dies at 77.
2011 - A car loaded with explosives crashes
into the main United Nations building in
Nigeria’s capital of Abuja and explodes, killing
at least 18 people. A radical Muslim sect claims
responsibility for the blast.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Robert Walpole, first prime minister
of Britain (1676-1745); Antoine
Laurent Lavoisier, French scientist
(1743-1794); Guillame Apollinaire,
French poet (1880-1918); Peggy
Guggenheim, US art collector
(1898-1979); Albert Sabin, Polish
microbiologist, developed oral polio
vaccine (1906-1993); Julio Cortazar,
Argentine writer (1914-1984); Branford
Marsalis, US jazz musician (1960—); Macaulay
Culkin, US actor (1980—) .
“ Nothing has really happened until it has
been recorded. ” — Virginia Woolf, English
author and critic (1882-1941).
“ Truly I tell you, unless you change and
become like children, you will never enter the
Kingdom of Heaven.” — (Matthew 18:3).
Faced by a financial
crisis, the Greymouth
Jockey Club last night
fought out the pros
and cons of disgarding two of the four days
allocated to it for the 1965-66 season. Finally it
was agreed to leave the decision in the hands of
the club executive after representatives of the
New Zealand Racing Conference come here in
Main reasons for the recommendation to last
night’s annual meeting that two days, those set
down for February, be discarded are that the
second meeting has every year been a disaster
from a financial viewpoint; and that there are
too many racing permits, 22, for the West
There was a strong feeling among the
members of the club that at least one, and
possibly both trotting races on each day ’s
racing programme should be abolished.
Fires leaped high around Mr A Gibson’s
Ngahere garage last night as a scrub fire roared
down ‘football hill’ and threatened houses in
the settlement. It was one of the many fires
which are continuing to race through the
almost tinder-dry West Coast as humidity
stays at a minimum and fine weather continues.
Two fires hit Ngahere and Blackball within
10 minutes of each other last night keeping
the Ngahere brigade and its Blackball auxiliary
busy. Both brigades, however, made splendid
saves with fires that could have done hundreds
of pounds worth of damage.
For several hours last night there was a huge
fire blazing on Chunn’s hill at the back of
Greymouth.The fire was still burning late last
night but was only smouldering this morning.
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
Euan Rocha, Nicole Mordant
and Jim Regan (Australia)
any of the world’s
junior miners are
laying down their
picks and shovels to
start new ventures
ranging from egg
exporting to medical marijuana farming,
as they as try to sur vive a crash in metals
prices by shifting away from exploration.
Prices for copper, gold, iron ore, coal and
almost every other metal have collapsed,
stalling exploration work and hitting early
stage miners particularly hard. These firms
typically find the deposits that larger
miners often leave, then go on to acquire
and develop into mines. But there is scant
demand for new sources of metal now.
Pivoting into other businesses has
happened during mining funks in the past,
including a spate of defections into the
tech sector during the dotcom boom in
the late 1990s. But now the concern is that
when prices eventually do rebound, there
will be fewer junior miners, and a reduced
pool of new mine prospects.
“No one has any interest in a grassroots
exploration project right now,” said Yari
Nieken, chief executive of Chlormet
Technologies, which has bought an
e-cigarette company and has a licence to
grow medical marijuana pending.
Canada made it legal to buy marijuana
from licensed producers with a doctor’s
prescription in 2014. Regulator Health
Canada estimates that the Canadian
medical marijuana industry will reach
$1.3 billion in a decade.
Canada’s Century Iron Mines, whose
mining projects are backed by two major
Chinese companies, Minmetals and
Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp (WISCO),
owns development stage iron ore assets in
eastern Canada. In July, Century started
a new independent venture to distribute
Australian eggs in Hong Kong, Macau,
and potentially mainland China.
Century aims to piggyback on Australia’s
move from a reliance on mineral exports
to shipping food and agricultural products
to a growing Asian middle class.
“D ue to the downturn in commodity
prices, Australia’s moving its focus from
mining to dining,” said Century chief
executive Sandy Chim. “ We’re just an
exploration company, but we have a solid
balance sheet, and we feel we can also do
“ We see a good opportunity to start a
small, but meaningful food distribution
business that can capitalise on our network
The shift to egg distribution will help
create a cash flow generating business until
iron ore prices recover, Chim said. While
Century is not turning its back on mining,
it is considering buying food production
assets, such as fisheries, while it waits for
the sector to rebound.
This business shift by miners is most
visible in Canada, home to the majority
of the world’s publicly-listed miners, but
is also seen in other mining centres like
Australia and Brazil.
Century may be able to ride out the
cycle, but some of its smaller peers both
in Canada and overseas have begun to
abandon the mining sector altogether, as
it becomes increasingly difficult to raise
In January, Brazil’s All Ore Minerals
decided to end its commodities operations
and enter the cosmetics and hair-care
markets by buying Sweet Distribuidora,
also known as SweetHair, in an all-share,
no-cash deal. The new company, renamed
Sweet Cosmeticos, hopes to sell beauty
products developed using biotechnology
In March, TSX Venture-listed Sabre
Graphite bought Draft Team, a website
offering fantasy sports games. It has since
changed its name to Draft Team Daily
Fantasy Sports Corp. Australia’s Erin
Resources, which was previously exploring
for gold in Senegal, has ventured into the
medical marijuana business.
Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc, formerly
a copper and gold explorer with projects in
western Canada, is also seeking a licence
to grow medical marijuana in Canada
and has bought a greenhouse facility in
“ With the downturn that the mining
industry has suffered, I think the smart
and innovative entrepreneurs in the sector
are looking for other asset types that
can rebuild businesses and restore lost
value for shareholders,” said John Fowler,
Supreme’s Chief Executive.
Goldfields, which is investing in medical
marijuana assets overseas, has seen more
trading activity in its stock since it moved
away from mining, according to director
David Tasker. The shares trade for less
than a cent each.
The company said its gold investment
in Brazil and joint venture in the United
States were offering limited value to its
“Also, the level of support we could
expect from the capital markets was very,
very minimal, if not all together non-
existent,” Tasker said. “Once that reality
dawned, it was incumbent on us to look
The hundreds of largely TSX Venture-
listed exploration companies have been
among the hardest hit in the current
downturn, as investors have fled the sector
due to prolonged decline in metal prices.
Those tough conditions also mean that,
cash-strapped larger rivals are not willing
to invest in new projects.
Some institutional and retail investors,
while dismayed by the collapse in
exploration company values, are sanguine
about the shift away from mining.
“ I didn’t buy this stock thinking I was
investing in the egg distribution, but
I’ve no problem with them doing other
things,” said Ian Morrison, a retail investor
who owns more than 500,000 shares in
Century, the iron ore miner turned egg
“ I look for ward to seeing what their next
move will be because I do not think they
are putting everything they have got into
Aussie eggs.” — Reuters
Miners start new ventures
A 2.8ha greenhouse facility run by Supreme Pharmaceuticals, formerly a copper exploration company, is seen as it prepares to
become a medical marijuana producer in Tiverton, Ontario.
What is going on in Kumara? Are the
residents being duped? Will the truth be
revealed by public debate?
Doing DWC’s job
I read with disgust in the Greymouth
Star that the West Coast Regional
Council, along with DWC, intend to
employ an economic manager at a mere
cost of $300,000 to develop and oversee
key projects that drive ‘diversification,
growth and advancement, promoting a
sustainable and independent future for the
West Coast ’.
Excuse me, but is this not the job DWC
was given some years ago and since then
have spent many of thousands of dollars
with no success. This means, of course,
that DWC will be able to reduce their
staff numbers to save any duplication or
overspending of our money.
Whichever way this plan comes to
fruition I hope he/she is not employed
on the ‘more you pay the better you get ’
basis and that they have at least some
knowledge of the West Coast, Coasters
and their real needs.
I read another economic stimulus
package is to be announced by
Development West Coast, the trust that
according to a number of statements is
not a ‘development trust ’, it is something
The loss of jobs when native logging
ceased in Buller and South Westland is
the reason the trust exists. It located in
Westport in 2002 and then headed for
Greymouth, with Reefton and Hokitika
next. Time to move it to Reefton, which I
think is an area that would benefit.
Greymouth did not have the job losses
created by the end of native logging but
it has successfully held the location and
the jobs of DWC. Perhaps at its annual
general meeting in Westport this week, as
DWC has no ideas it might consider.
The trust should have a finance
company that loans Coasters’ trust money
Small business makes up the biggest
part of the Coast business community.
Go to each business and help them grow
just one job using trust capital. There
would not be enough people to fill the
The trust should focus on bringing
young people into farming, tourism,
fishing and timber ownership. Back them
into a small business and have a managed
exit that allows them to own the business,
farm, boat or logging gang, and the
funds released to be used for the next
The trust, having wisely invested heavily
in the infrastructure of cycleways, ensure
the trust now invests in the development
of the business of cycleways. It will
cost but there are people out there
who will add real value to the current
infrastructure investment. To not invest
further would be like building a fun
park and not promoting or managing its
Let the Tai Poutini Polytechnic handle
the teaching across the Coast.
Government has some responsibility
with the non-performance of DWC as it
set up a governance structure that allowed
the organisation to be hijacked, diverting
its funds from business development
to non-business community structures
(councils) that dumps the costs on
ratepayers as an expense and away from
building a diverse economy on the Coast.
Keeping our flag
I have just seen a clip on Tv Auckland
about keeping our flag. I hope you are
successful in this endeavour. I agree with
Having this ridiculous ‘choose a flag
design’ to then be followed by the next
step to choose between our flag and this
new one is a complete waste of money.
I cannot believe the PM is so determined
to undermine our heritage and make a
name for himself by being the one to bring
dissension into our beautiful country. I
hope this campaign gains lots of support
to keep our flag and our national anthem.
Why is he wasting the taxpayers’ dollars?
Although I live in Queensland I am still
a Kiwi, so proud of our country and our
heritage. Keep up the good work.
Leave the flag alone
Good on you, Reefton, for your bold
stance regarding changing the New
Our current flag represents emotionally
and historically our past and our future.
It does not need changing, especially as
the cost involved is astronomical and
incomprehensible considering the state
of our national finances and bleak futures
faced by so many ordinary people.
God Save New Zealand — or is he
going to change that as well?
A subject that has been in the news
recently is the issue of changing the New
Zealand flag. With all due respect to
Prime Minister Key and the National
Party, I am astounded at the Government
proposal, mainly due to the astronomical
$26 million pricetag.
Having lived around New Zealand and
overseas in recent years I am very proud
to be a New Zealander, however at a time
of increasingly important social issues
such as rising unemployment, rental
housing shortage, a costly health ser vice
and increasing social poverty, I cannot
understand the extravagant financial cost
of changing the flag when there are other
more important issues?
Surely $26m would be better spent
towards solving our housing shortage or
in our health, employment or education
sectors. Should not the Government be
prioritising when it comes to spending as
we all need to do, especially in light of the
current economic climate?
Chris Ingle, chief executive of the
West Coast Regional Council, claims
that the new regional policy statement
‘wouldn’t affect a resource consent hearing’
(Greymouth Star, August 19). Yet, the first
page of the draft regional policy statement,
while acknowledging that the document
‘does not contain rules to regulate
activities’, also plainly notes that: ‘The
West Coast Regional Council and the
territorial authorities are required to ‘have
regard to’ relevant objectives and policies
in the regional policy statement when
considering an application for a resource
consent ’, as per the Resource Management
He will know what is in the draft policy
statement — so is he just having us on?
I cried for that poor cat, burned by that
pack of low-life, cowardly, barbaric b......s
(Greymouth Star, August 21).
So the ‘desperately ashamed’ Jason
Rowling claims he did not know what his
mates were planning? He is no better than
his brainless, scumbag ‘mates’. My hope is
that they all receive the same fate.
‘1080 to avoid cycleway ’ (Greymouth
Star, August 12). You have got to be
joking. Tb Free’s offer of a maximum
buffer zone of 100m around the cycle trail
at Kumara is disappointing, to say the
We actually requested a 5km buffer
zone, hoping for 3km. This is a very
reasonable request because a community
must have the right to expect that ground
control should always be used around
rural properties, towns and communities.
Ninety-eight per cent of the people in
Kumara do not want 1080 dispersed at all
and have supported ground control only.
Tb Free’s vague reference to monitoring
possum numbers in 2013 has recorded
three possums out of 100 chew cards. So
they will use 20 tonnes of 1080 to kill a
few possums that could be controlled by
the ground crew.
The turnout of people at the Kumara
Memorial Hall on May 12 was pretty
clear, the anxiety level of residents is
pretty high. The dust factor, disregarded
consistently by Tb Free, is a real concern.
few days later is still in the atmosphere.
The buffer zone does not protect residents
from the dust.
The question is a moral one. Permission
to use the toxin against the wishes of local
people is the choice of Tb Free. They do
You would think that human health and
safety would prevail, but New Zealand’s
current climate is one of ignorance and
complacency. Just look at the Health and
Safety Act, whitewashed by the old boys.
New Zealand workers have the right
to be safe in their workplace, and New
Zealand civilians have the right to be safe
in their home environment.
Kumara Environmental Action
Health and Disability
I thought I owe an explanation to
my critical letters about Health and
Disability Commissioner investigations.
Many of the local cases are instances
where the Health and Disability
Commissioner (HDC) has refused to
answer specific questions about a report.
In one case, when asked how a patient
who had walked in for an opinion, died
of multi-organ failure, the response was:
‘The commissioner advised it is not his
role to determine the cause of death â€¦
‘that is the matter for the coroner’.
In a recent letter to the editor a reader
stated that many of the departments are
understaffed, justifying delays of years.
I would like to state that in many of the
local cases, it only took me few hours
to gather the relevant information from
HDC reports and the available evidence.
In real life, in order to prevent harm,
a clinician has to gather the relevant
information in a few minutes. In most
instances, it is easier and quicker to
gather the information closer to the
Many medical students only spend a
few weeks in a ward. Trainees in some
specialties would have completed their
training by the time HDC reports are
released. Delaying findings makes the
environment unsuitable for training the
future workforce. If a hospital has the
necessary expertise to manage patients,
they should have experts necessary to
provide a verbal expert opinion within
days. It used to be done that way.
HDC investigations were not used to
compromise quality or safety of health
The delay of release of information
is cruel to victims and the staff under
investigation. It shows a lack of
responsibility for patients as well as staff.
Delayed and corrupt investigations are
one of the main factors contributing to
problems with retention of quality staff.
Your correspondent Albert Smithson
complains that Dr Lasantha Martinus,
‘ has no tact when it comes to repeatedly
writing about medical mishaps’
(Greymouth Star, August 19).
Well, isn’t that just too bad if Mr
Smithson finds those letters insufficiently
tactful — but if he had any idea of the
extent of medical misadventures in New
Zealand then he might realise that there
is no way of writing politely about such
As just one example, Mr Smithson
could look at the website of the group
Mesh Down Under who are fighting
to draw attention to the horrific — and
widespread — disasters involved in
the use of surgical mesh. Or he might
consider the ludicrous situation whereby
complaints about treatment taken to the
Health and Disability Commissioner
routinely take upwards of three years to
be investigated, by which time patients
or their families (in the case of patients
who have died) have been put through
hell by the cover-up — not follow-
up — system which is connived in by
politicians, DHBs and just about every
agency which supposedly exists to help
Of course, Mr Smithson is entitled
to write to this newspaper but if he
finds other correspondents’ writing too
blunt for his tastes then he is under no
compulsion to read their letters.
Meanwhile, I salute Dr Martinus for his
forthright and persistent efforts to inform
the public of what is going on with
alarming frequency behind the scenes in
the public health system.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
I am trying to contact any relatives of
Laurence Wilson (1911-81), who lived in
Laurence was first married to Mary
Josephine Ann (nee Keown) and
later married Patricia (nee unknown).
Laurence and Mary Josephine were
married at St Mary’s Church in Hokitika,
where they lived until Laurence moved
to the Auckland area when he married
Mary Josephine continued to live in
Hokitika, where I believe she passed away
in 1986. My research suggests
that Laurence and Mary had two
children and he had another child with
Laurence’s father, James Josiah and
my grandad Robert were brothers, they
were born in Patterdale, which is in Lake
District area of England.
If anyone could help me with my family
research could they please get in touch
via my e-mail addressdavewilson588@
Many thanks in anticipation.
Links Archive August 25th 2015 August 27th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page