Home' Greymouth Star : August 31st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, August 31, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1290 - Jews are exiled from England by
proclamation of King Edward I.
1886 - In one of America’s worst disasters,
110 people are killed when an earthquake rocks
Charleston, South Carolina.
1888 - Mary Ann Nicholls is found murdered
in London’s East End. She is the first victim of
Jack the Ripper.
1900 - British forces under Frederick Roberts
occupy Johannesburg, South Africa.
1918 - Bolshevik troops attack British
Embassy in Petrograd, Russia.
1935 - US President Franklin D Roosevelt
signs an act prohibiting the export of US arms
1942 - German General Erwin
Rommel renews offensive against
British at Alam Halfa in North
Africa in World War Two.
1957 - Malaysia gains independence
as Federation of Malaya.
1962 - Trinidad and Tobago
become independent nation within British
1971 - Cuba terminates the airlift that had
brought 246,000, Cuban refugees from Havana
to Florida since December 1965.
1980 - Polish labour leaders sign agreements
with Communist government establishing for
first time in a Soviet-bloc nation the rights to
strike and to establish free trade unions.
1990 - After Armenian Republic’s Parliament
declares a state of emergency, 250 militant
nationalists give up their weapons.
1994 - Irish Republican Army declares an
open-ended ceasefire in its 24-year campaign
against British rule of Northern Ireland.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Theophile Gautier, French author (1811-
1872); Maria Montessori, Italian
doctor and educator (1870-1952);
William Saroyan, US writer
(1908-1981); Buddy Hackett, US
actor/comedian (1924-2003); Van
Morrison, Irish singer (1945—);
Itzhak Perlman, Israeli violinist
(1945—); Richard Gere, US actor
“S how me the country in which there are
no strikes and I’ll show you that country in
which there is no liberty.” — Emma Goldman,
American anarchist (1869-1940).
“ Look, He is coming with the clouds, and
every eye will see Him, even those who pierced
Him; and all the peoples of the earth will
mourn because of Him. So shall it be. Amen. ”
— Revelation 1:7
When their car
smashed into a tree
stump two miles north
of Haast in the early
hours of Sunday morning, a young man was
killed and another injured. The name of the
dead man is Wesley Hopkinson, aged 22, of
Temuka. The man hurt was Noki Barrett, also
of Temuka. This morning his condition was
described by the Westland Hospital as “fairly
Mr Hopkinson was formerly employed by the
Ministry of Works on the Haast road project,
but both he and Mr Barrett are currently
employed by a private contractor in the area.
The car is believed to have left the road
and smashed headlong into a roadside tree
stump. The occupants were found by a South
Westland farmer late yesterday morning.
Sixty creek and river crossings in four
miles — these construction problems on the
last stretch of the Haast Pass highway, from
the Whakapohai River to Breccia Creek —
highlight the difficulties of road building in the
rugged South Westland terrain. Culverts on
this section of the road range from pipes 2ft in
diameter to the 25ft giant which carries Grave
Almost as big as the Lyttelton road traffic
tunnel, about 985 cubic yards of concrete and
nearly 50 tons of reinforcing steel were needed
for the culvert. Another 170ft long culvert
of similar dimensions will be built at Breccia
Creek by the same methods.
Contractors are not required to finish the
culvert by November 6, official opening day,
and the traffic then will use a temporary Bailey
bridge on the upstream side.
uFood for thought
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Turning around the
Without wanting to appear negative,
I remain sceptical regarding the
appointment of a regional economic
I cannot help feeling that someone
trained in conventional management
wisdom and neo-liberal economics will
not do much better than the succession
of CEOs at Development West Coast —
good at spin, but not much action.
And the actions proposed seem locked
in an old ideology. The Economic
Development Group’s Action Plan for
2015 has five out of 11 actions that
coincide with Mineral West Coast ’s
strategy. It boils down to ‘red carpet ’
planning, gaining political support for
mineral development, and lobbying for a
regional tax — plus the wishful thought
that the mining industry cease operating
in ‘boom and bust cycles’ and ‘promotes
long-term community sustainability and
well-being’. Good luck, but history and
global capitalism both point in another
The other actions are either
unremarkable, such as upgrading the
Taramakau Bridge and Arthur’s Pass; or
vague. In the vague category is the active
encouragement of people (e.g. migrants)
to locate here, instead of to the cities —
which I would imagine to be a complex
task. Similarly, ‘developing better ways
to promote the region and encourage
business location’ is complex, with possible
conflict between the different economic
players. Lifestylers do not want a goldmine
over their back fence. Modern business
growth is often digital-reliant, virtual and
green in outlook.
The project to rebrand and enhance the
Mawhera/Greymouth central business
district has produced a very positive
result and was driven by a community
development process. Should we not be
appointing someone who operates from
a grassroots perspective (they are usually
cheaper as well), rather than within a
CEO club; someone who is devious
enough to move outside the neo-liberal
paradigm and also capable of pushing the
gatekeepers into the future?
Sth Westland health:
One of the most common characteristics
of bureaucrats in the post-1993
corporatised health management fiasco
is their apparent belief that because
they have said something then, however
unlikely it may be, it must be gospel.
Take, for example, the West Coast
District Health Board’s current claims
to be ‘going through feedback’ from the
South Westland community on health
ser vice changes for the region, this being
claimed by the DHB’s Mark Newsome
(Greymouth Star, August 20).
In answer to my recent question, ‘have
you had any response from the DHB to
anything you have suggested?’, one leading
community health activist in South
Westland replied, ‘Nothing, and there is
no consultation with locals’.
Another replied to a similar question
with: ‘Anyone watching the government
health saga would surely understand that
health does not rate. It is very alarming
and disconcerting that health ser vices have
been seriously downgraded throughout
New Zealand, while bureaucracy has
blossomed. Just taking the whole system
back to the late 1970s would actually be
serious progress. What does that tell you?
The ugly greed and the ladder-climbing
has to stop. If we want a sophisticated,
appropriately responsive health system,
we have to get rid of the greedy corporate
mentality parasites within the system
and get back to basic care. Care — does
anyone understand the concept?’
These are just two of many such
comments I have received concerning
so-called community consultation on
the West Coast. So just who in South
Westland believes their feedback has
been taken into account in the current
round? Or is it just the chosen few who
have access to management who get a
say — and whose qualification for doing
so is that they always go along with what
management and Wellington decree —
just as the DHB board do?
As Dr Alistair Scott said many years ago
when corporate clap-trap was replacing
experience and appropriate background
in hospital management: ‘ The new
consultation — listening without hearing,
talking without understanding’.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
The recent Greymouth Star article
(August 27) on the large number of
patients being sent back to the GP
demonstrates some of the consequences
of reduced basic ser vices in Greymouth.
Reduced surgical ser vices is only a part of
the plan for the new hospital.
The article stated the orthopaedic
ser vices were changed in 2012 followed
by the bogus excuse of locum costs
necessitating the changes. Prior to that
time, several orthopaedic surgeons had
been providing regular orthopaedic locum
ser vices. In 2012 they commented in
the media. They were working as locums
because the DHB had refused to provide
them with long-term contracts.
This suggests the expensive locum
scenario was created in order to justify a
reduction of ser vices in preparation for the
new hospital. Many other ser vices were
disrupted in different ways to increase
locum costs and conceal the plans from
the public with ever-changing staff.
The number of patients needing transfer
to Christchurch for in-patient care can
give an idea of changes over time. As
the plans and actions for downgrading
West Coast health ser vices started about
a decade ago, patient transfer numbers
going back to 2004 may be needed to
see meaningful trends. Many of the
cases covered up in internal and external
investigations show the consequences
of health treatment without adequate
training or super vision.
Most people do not complain after
mishaps. Early discharge and no follow up
means the extent of the problem remains
undocumented. Misleading, coronial and
Health and Disability Commissioner
investigations in the processes, I believe is
outside the law of the land.
John Caygill wrote a letter in
Wednesday ’s Greymouth Star that pointed
out the regional policy statement does
influence resource consent processes, and
he is absolutely correct. I can only assume
the last line of the article he was referring
to (August 19, Greymouth Star) was a
typo, or perhaps the reporter misheard me,
but certainly policies and objectives in the
regional policy statement are had regard to
during consenting processes.
West Coast Regional Council
‘conceded to iwi’
It is outrageous; the Government
appears to have conceded management
rights of our freshwater to iwi without
being transparent to other New
Zealanders. Recently, National passed the
unconstitutional Marine and Coastal Area
Act, enabling iwi corporations to claim the
foreshore and seabed.
They are now working with iwi leaders to
facilitate tribal control of New Zealand’s
freshwater management — without
alarming the public. With no public
consultation, local authorities are doing
secret deals with iwi leaders. This is in
spite of the over whelming opposition
of the New Zealand people to separate
Maori representation on local authorities.
Local Government New Zealand signed
a memorandum with the iwi chairs
forum to ‘support and encourage strong
relationships and collaboration between
councils and iwi’.
Residents and ratepayers have not been
consulted. They want to avoid the crisis
following the decision on foreshore and
Maori leaders claim: ‘ We want input
into the governance, management of
water. Permanent iwi representation
alongside councils. It is critical that iwi
and Maori have influence both in local
and central government if we are going
to continue to move forward as Treaty
The Treaty is being used to seize half the
country. This must stop. Protest to your
Looking for ward
on the Coast
I have tried to stay out of the debate
about the West Coast future and
development plans as I am not qualified
or experienced to speak on such topics.
However, I feel the need to have a say
The tourism and dairying industries
can be quite volatile as we all know with
markets and exchange rates. It seems we
need some very radical and costly ideas,
like expanding the Hokitika Airport or
opening up the Coast at either end, or
better still both ends, to get more people
and products to and from the Coast
I wish, over the years I heard about it,
we had got our deep-sea port at Point
Elizabeth. I am well aware that what I
propose is problematic as far as costs,
planning consent (RMA) and getting it
past the greenies etc, just to name a few of
the many possible issues.
But it seems we need to come up with
something now or never as the Coast is
going more backwards than for wards like
Best president ever!
How Trump’s love of hyperbole could backfire
estate lawyer John
the summer day a
decade ago when
Donald Trump gave
him a tour of a vacant retail space inside
the Trump Tower on a glittering stretch of
Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
Mechanic was representing Gucci,
and the luxury retailer was already sold
on opening a flagship store in what was
unquestionably a prime location. But the
salesman in Trump still could not resist
pumping it up in his sales pitch. “ He said
it was the best retail space, in the best
retail building, on the best corner, in the
best city in the world,” Mechanic recalled.
Mechanic still has a copy of Trump’s
book, The Art of the Deal, which the
billionaire inscribed during the visit: “ To
the greatest real estate lawyer in the world,
best wishes, Donald.” Anyone who has
witnessed Trump’s meteoric surge to the
top of the 2016 Republican presidential
field is familiar with that style of Trump
talk — a mix of bullish optimism and
hyperbole. It may in part explain his rise
in the polls. While his competitors gravely
list the country’s ills, Trump tells voters
how fantastic everything is going to be
once he is president.
He has pledged to be “the greatest
jobs president God ever created,” to be
“ better on women’s health issues” than
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton,
to seize Iran’s oil reser ves, to beat up on
China while making “them like us,” to
force Mexico to pay for a new 3219km
wall along its border with the United
States, and to round up and deport 11
million undocumented immigrants.
But campaigning for the White House
is different than hawking commercial real
estate. Trump’s penchant for exaggeration
could backfire — he risks promising voters
more than he can deliver.
Trump himself has recognised this risk,
calling out in The Art of the Deal former
presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald
Reagan for overpromising. More recently,
this week on Twitter, Trump referenced
former President George H W Bush’s
infamous “Read my lips: no new taxes”
In a recent inter view with The
Hollywood Reporter, Trump indicated
he understood he would have to tone
things down over the long haul of the
presidential campaign, saying he would
have to be a “ little more selective” in the
things he says.
Nevertheless, Trump’s over-the-top style
has its admirers.
For Vincent DeVito, a lawyer who
has worked on Republican presidential
campaigns, Trump’s campaign slogan,
Make America Great Again, says it all.
DeVito said Trump was trying to address
a feeling of malaise in the country. He
dismissed the idea that the billionaire was
overhyping his abilities.
Those trying to gauge how Trump’s
hyperbole could help or hurt his chances
of winning the White House could look at
his business record.
Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen said
Trump’s record of success was “proof
positive of Mr Trump’s character and
Optimistic exaggeration, which Trump
called “truthful hyperbole” in The Art of
the Deal, is a hallmark of the cut-throat
New York real estate world where many
developers, accustomed to ramming their
way into deals, puff up their portfolios.
“A little hyperbole never hurts,” he wrote.
“ People want to believe that something
is the biggest and the greatest and the
most spectacular. It’s an innocent form of
exaggeration — and a very effective form
For Trump, exaggerating has always
been a frequent impulse, especially
when the value of his Trump brand is
disputed. In some instances, braggadocio
has ser ved him well; in other cases it has
In the early 1990s, when a recession
swept away large portions of his New
York real estate empire, Trump fought
with creditors and their lawyers to hold
on to his interest in properties like the
Plaza Hotel, financed by loans he’d had to
In one boardroom packed with bankers
and lawyers, according to three people
familiar with the scene, Trump tried
to argue that his name — which was
attached to several buildings that lenders
were threatening to possess — was worth
more than they were acknowledging.
Many multiples, he said.
A lawyer for one of the creditors shot
back: The cash flow estimates on the
properties were demonstrably negative.
So, many multiples of a negative number
would make a larger negative number, the
three sources recounted.
Ultimately, Trump’s creditors eventually
decided not to repossess some of his
properties because they were not worth
the costs associated with the repossession,
one of the sources said.
“Every successful individual throughout
history has had at one point in their lives
a downturn,” Trump’s lawyer Cohen said.
“ Mr Trump’s was the result of a down
market in real estate during the 1990s. The
true test of a man’s capability is how he
deals with that adversity and where he is
Since the 1990s, some investors in
Trump projects have complained the
developer overpromised investors on their
Investors who bought junk bonds to
help finance the Trump Castle casino
in Atlantic City, New Jersey, filed a
class action suit accusing Trump and his
company of misrepresenting its financial
health when the value of the bonds
Trump denied any liability, arguing that
the investors were fully informed of the
risk involved. The suit later settled for an
More recently, pending suits by condo
owners in the Trump Toronto Hotel and
retirees who spent thousands to attend
courses offered by the now-defunct Trump
University accuse Trump and his business
partners of promising far more than they
In the case of the Toronto property,
investors in condos complained they
were given overly optimistic projections
of what they could earn and were not
informed that they would have to pay
commercial taxes on the property. Trump
University customers said in a suit
they were promised appearances and
instruction by Trump but encountered
only a cardboard cutout of the real estate
mogul during weekend sessions on
business success in a hotel ballroom. In
both cases, Reuters obtained and reviewed
copies of the lawsuits and subsequent
Trump and his lawyers have said the
pending suit over Trump University is
baseless. His lawyer Alan Garten called it
“totally lacking in any merit”.
A judge dismissed Trump from
liability in the Toronto suit, saying it
was his Canadian partners who had
overestimated potential earnings on the
property and that Trump had merely
licensed his name, but lawyers for the
plaintiffs say they plan to reintroduce the
claim in an appeal.
Washington of course is no stranger to
President Barack Obama was criticised
for telling voters they would be able to
keep their insurance plans intact under his
health care overhaul, Obamacare, when
in fact they could not. Republicans in
the House and Senate have yet to fulfill
their promise to swiftly repeal the very
same healthcare legislation once they took
control of Congress, which they did in the
2014 mid-term elections.
Anger over those failures is partly what ’s
driving Republican voters toward Trump:
In sur veys, many respondents say they no
longer trust elected officials. But Trump’s
sweeping pledges could also be setting him
up for a fall.
Trump may be promising too much, said
Michael Wissot, a Republican strategist
and lecturer at the University of Southern
“Convincing Mexico to pay for a fence
along our border is unrealistic,” he said.
“ Deporting 11 million undocumented
immigrants is a logistical nightmare.
These are examples of putting himself in
a very precarious position even if he were
successful,” he said.
Recently Trump has been talking up his
similarities to Reagan. Both were once
Democrats. More important, both spent
years in front of the camera, honing their
But almost 30 years ago, Trump viewed
Reagan with a more jaundiced eye.
“ He is so smooth and so effective a
performer that he completely won over
the American people,” Trump wrote of
Reagan in The Art of the Deal. “Only
now, nearly seven years later, are people
beginning to question whether there’s
anything behind that smile.” — Reuters
PICTURE: Getty Images
A golf fan takes a “selfie” with presidential candidate Donald Trump during the final round of The Barclays at Plainfield Country
Club in Edison, New Jersey.
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