Home' Greymouth Star : September 11th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, September 11, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1297 - Scottish rebels under William Wallace
slaughter a larger English force at the Battle of
1649 - Oliver Cromwell besieges Drogheda in
Ireland and massacres most of the inhabitants.
1777 - The British defeat the
Americans, led by General George
Washington, at the Battle of
Brandywine Creek in the American
War of Independence.
1855 - The Siege of Sevastopol,
the major operation of the Crimean
War, ends when British, French and
Peidmontese troops finally capture the main
naval base of the Russian Black Sea fleet.
2001 - Terrorists crash two hijacked
aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre in New
York City, bringing down the twin 110-storey
towers, killing almost 2800 people. Another
hijacked plane slams into the Pentagon in
Washington DC, killing at least 189 people.
A fourth hijacked plane crashes in rural
southern Pennsylvania, killing 44 people
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
O Henry (William Sydney Porter), US writer
(1862-1910); D H Lawrence, English author
(1885-1930); Ferdinand Marcos, Philippine
president (1917-1989); Barry
Sheene, British motorcycle racer
(1950-2003); Brian De Palma, US
film director (1940-); Mickey Hart,
US rock musician (The Grateful
Dead) (1943-); Kristy McNichol,
US actress (1962-); Moby, US DJ-
musician (1965-); Princess Akishino,
Japanese Imperial Family (1966-); Harry
Connick Jr, US actor-singer (1967-); Ariana
Richards, US actress (1979-) .
“There is nothing so powerful as the truth,
and nothing so strange.” — Daniel Webster,
US statesman (1782-1852).
“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He
cares for you.” — (1 Peter 5:7).
The Grey River
Argus is the last
newspaper in New
Zealand affiliated to
the Labour Party. It is almost 100 years old and
will celebrate its centenary in little more than
Like other Labour newspapers before it, it
has suffered chronic financial troubles. Troubles
such as these put the metropolitan Labour
daily, the Southern Cross out of circulation in
1951 and more recently, the weekly newspaper,
the Standard suffered a similar fate.
Placed in receivership a year ago, the
Argus has since had its position examined
by representatives of a major New Zealand
firm. Negotiations later began to form a new
company. Spokesman for the proposed new
company, Mr O H Jackson, a well-known
Greymouth personality and at present
employed in the machine room of the Argus,
announced last night that some of Buller and
Westland’s most prominent citizens are in the
course of forming a public company.
Mr Jackson said a report on the newspaper’s
policy would be released in the near future.
A party of 69 children from Grey district
schools in two buses were taken on a
100-mile trip through forestry country on the
West Coast by the Greymouth Rotary Club
yesterday. Organised by the community ser vice
committee of the club, the party was shown the
Nemona Forest, watched logging operations
at Ogilvie’s mill, saw the planting of seedling
trees on the Kaniere dredge tailings, and
inspected the Mahinapua forest and Ruatapu.
It was an all-day drive, the party being
accompanied by Rotarians and their wives and
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
of the New Zealand Herald
girl has been hospitalised
after an attempt to harm
herself in what her family
say was a reaction to
vicious cyber bullying.
The teen was released in good health,
but her mother says more needs to be
done to ensure children are kept safe
from the kind of hurtful messages she
found on her daughter’s phone.
Advocates backed that stance, saying
now is the time for bystanders who
witness such bullying to “take a stand”
and encourage teens to confide in a
trusted adult. The most serious cases,
such as this one, are now able to be
prosecuted under the Harmful Digital
Communications Act which some hope
will send a message to stubborn offenders
“ We need to shift to a culture of
being kind to each other,” said Netsafe’s
education specialist, Lee Chisholm
“It’s not okay to tell people to harm
themselves. In fact, it’s now law that you
can’t. But on-line tools have created a
disconnect between what we write and
what happens at the other end.”
Ms Chisholm said the worst thing to
do was to “like” a harmful comment, or
even to ignore it. The best action to take
was to talk to the victim face-to-face and
get them to speak with their parents or
school or counsellor. Adults needed to
support the child, and take care not to
make the situation more difficult.
Patrick Walsh, from the On-line Safety
Advisory Group, said because teenagers
were loath to dob in their peer group,
parents needed to make sure they knew
what children were doing on-line, and
create an atmosphere of “no secrets”.
Mr Walsh said what the bullies were
doing was criminal. “ That ’s why we
supported the introduction of the new
law. We’ve tried the carrot approach, but
sometimes you need a stick,” he said.
The child’s mother said she only found
out about the bullying, which began
earlier this year, when she came home
one day to find a truancy officer at the
house. The girl had been wagging school
after being picked on.
Her child had changed classes and
was seeing the school counsellor, but
the bullying had carried on. It was both
verbal — at the school — and on-line,
although the mother does not believe her
child told anyone about the worst of the
“I got her phone after she was in
hospital and was reading everything. It
was awful,” she said. Many of the abusers
had deleted their pages after the incident,
At first, the mother said she did not
want anyone to know about the incident,
but another family member had posted
about it on-line and received huge
support. “ That showed it’s not just us.
I want to make it known that this is a
The family had not yet decided what to
do about the bullying, but did not want
further inter vention to make the situation
worse for the teen.
Exactly how a prosecution could work
under the new act was yet to be decided,
Mr Walsh said. Options included schools
acting as the prosecutor — as in truancy
cases — or a new system being created.
The school involved, which the Herald
has decided not to name in the girl’s
interests, said it had followed its processes
correctly. Senior constable Garry Boles,
the Counties Manukau police district
prevention officer, said victims needed to
be encouraged to come for ward.
“Going to court would be pretty
extreme, but depending on the bully’s age
they may have a youth aid file created and
get a warning letter — and that might be
enough to get them to stop,” he said.
“That will show them it can go from
cyber bullying in the bedroom where no
one can see you, to police knocking at the
An Auckland couple who built a global
$200 million travel booking business are
now ploughing a slice of their earnings
into a social media support project for
depressed young people.
Jen and Mike Ballantyne, who founded
On-line Republic with Mike’s late
brother Paul Ballantyne, have become key
funders of Live for Tomorrow, which has
13,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter,
Tumblr and Instagram.
“The overall aim and mission is to
encourage young people to believe in
the possibility of tomorrow,” says Elliot
Taylor, who manages the project through
the youth agency Zeal.
“Research says that one in four young
people are constantly on-line,” he says.
“And young people at risk of self-harm
and suicide actually spend more time on-
line than others.”
Live For Tomorrow sends out a simple
message of hope or inspiration to all its
followers every day.
“Often it’s a little line or a moment of
encouragement, or to encourage them
to keep pressing on, or to demystify
something around mental health, or to
affirm their tenacity to get through what
they are struggling with,” Mr Taylor says.
The project also has a 10-day photo
challenge in which people post photos
each day on a theme such as “your happy
place” and “someone who inspires you”.
More than 1000 young people have
entered this year’s challenge which ended
yesterday, World Suicide Prevention Day,
with a “hand-over-heart selfie”.
The couple opened their home on
Wednesday night to musician Dave
Dobbyn and 75 guests to raise support
for the project.
Despite talk of crumbling and chilly
palaces and of Queen Elizabeth slipping
down several “rich lists”, Britain’s monarchy
is wealthier than ever now she is its longest
ser ving royal on the throne — 63 years.
A Reuters analysis of royal assets shows
that the British monarchy has had a
bumper few decades by benefiting from a
rise in house and land prices.
According to an estimate based on the
monarchy’s interests in its key investment
vehicle, royal estates and its trove of
treasures, the British monarchy has
nominal assets worth about £22.8 billion
That would not get the British monarchy
a spot in the top 10 global rich list headed
by Bill Gates. But it would place the family
in the top 20 globally, broadly comparable
to the fortunes Forbes has estimated are
controlled by Michael Bloomberg or
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
However, estimates of the monarchy’s
wealth are complicated since some of the
assets are privately owned while others,
such as the Crown Estate, a sprawling
investment vehicle which is the chief driver
in the rise of royal wealth, are owned on
behalf of the nation by the monarch for the
duration of their reign.
Buckingham Palace says the Crown
Estate, which invests in and runs the
monarchy’s property and whose capital
value has more than doubled to £11.5b
($28.16b) since 2005, does not belong to
the Q ueen.
But a Buckingham Palace spokesman
said the monarchy’s increased funding was
due to the Crown Estate’s higher returns
and this would be used to carry out repairs
on the Queen’s many palaces.
Other key sources of royal wealth are the
Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, two
vast private estates valued together at £1.3b
The Royal Collection, the monarchy’s
centuries-old store of treasures, is valued
at £10b ($24.8b) by Brand Finance,
a consultancy which said it put the
monarchy’s overall tangible assets at £20b
Both Reuters and Brand Finance’s
estimates exclude the unknown value
of splendid royal residences such as
Buckingham Palace, Windsor and
Separating what belongs to the current
individuals who make up the royal family
and the trappings accumulated by an
ancient institution over the last 1000 years
is not straight-for ward, a factor most
clearly demonstrated by the Crown Estate.
The commercial company owns a trove
of London property, including about half
of the buildings in the exclusive St James’s
area of central London, along with almost
the entire seabed in British waters
It is the property equivalent of the crown
jewels, says the Crown Estate’s website,
part of the national heritage and held by
the Queen as sovereign, but not available
for her private use.
“ You would be hiding behind
nomenclature and history to suggest that
the Crown Estate is in any way an asset of
the Q ueen’s,” the palace spokesman said.
The Queen’s public income — known as
the Sovereign Grant, although not funded
directly from the Crown Estate, is based on
a calculation of 15% of the Crown Estate’s
annual profit in the financial year two years
previously. All profit is first paid to the
The Sovereign Grant for 2015 was
£37.9m ($92.79), 22% more than two years
The Crown Estate’s net profit growth
was slow during the initial decades of the
Queen’s reign — profits in fact declined by
19% between 1962 and 1982 in real terms
— but it accelerated with the London
property boom of the late 1980s.
Since the 2007 global financial crisis, the
Crown Estate’s property value has more
than doubled to £11b ($26.9b), increasing
at an annualised rate of 9.3% at a time
when the rest of the British house market,
even in London, slowed.
“Over the last decade the business has
moved from being a traditional landed
estate to an active investor and developer,”
said a spokesman for the Crown Estate,
which posted a record net annual profit
this year of £285.1m ($698m).
Crown Estate land has swelled since the
early years of the Q ueen’s reign. Its archives
note that it now owns 24,281ha more than
the 113,311ha it owned in 1958.
Added to the land owned by the duchies
of Lancaster and Cornwall and the Queen’s
private Balmoral and Sandringham estates,
the monarchy has almost as much land as
Britain’s Ministry of Defence with about
The royal wealth is bolstered by the
Duchy of Lancaster and the Duchy of
Cornwall, two ancient private estates
which have been passed down over the
centuries between royal households.
The Duchy of Lancaster, an estate
of 18,433ha in England and Wales
established by King Henry III over
700 years ago, earned the Queen
£13.3m ($32.56m) in private income,
termed the privy purse, over the 2014
Its fortunes have been less dramatic than
the Crown Estate over the last decade,
but its capital value has kept pace with the
rise in farmland prices since 2000, more
than doubling over the period to a record
Prince Charles, the Q ueen’s 66-year-old
son and heir to the throne, draws his own
income from the Duchy of Cornwall, a
private estate given to the eldest son of the
monarch. Founded in 1337, the Duchy of
Cornwall valued its 21,606ha also at a high
point of £871m ($2,132,490) in March.
Neither the Duchy of Cornwall nor
Lancaster pays corporation tax as the
monarchy says they are private estates
not firms, however the Queen has paid
standard income tax since 1993.
The monarchy has also published annual
accounts since 2001 in a bid to make the
royal finances more transparent.
Despite that, the Queen’s private funds,
as opposed to the monarchy as a whole,
remain a subject of speculation.
“The Queen’s wealth is hidden in smoke
and mirrors,” said Philip Beresford, the
author of an annual rich list published
since 1989 by the Sunday Times
“ Where is the line drawn?”
This year the Q ueen fell out of the
Sunday Times rich list ’s top 300 richest
people in Britain with an estimated
Estimates of the Q ueen’s private wealth
typically include her private estates of
Balmoral and Sandringham and a £110m
investment portfolio, unearthed by the
Sunday Times 20 years ago, that was in
mostly blue-chip British companies.
Such estimates are stabs in the dark, said
Beresford, and the wealth of other royal
institutions is similarly murky.
The true worth of the Royal Collection,
which includes thousands of treasures by
artists such as Rembrandt, Poussin and
Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, is
Brand Finance marketing director Robert
Haigh said they used a rough average of
a collection of estimates by art experts
for their figure of £10b ($24.5b) but said
that without a market it was “effectively
The Crown Jewels, which compile the
treasures of past British monarchs and
form part of the Royal Collection, are
similarly priceless and boast the largest
flawless cut diamond in the world, the
530-carat First Star of Africa.
Despite all these riches Beresford said
the monarchy has no appetite for lavish
displays of wealth.
“The Queen is extraordinarily frugal as a
person,” he said. “ The most she’s into are a
few racehorses.” — Reuters
British monarchy worth billions
Sandringham House, one of the Queen’s private estates.
Following the community consultation
input process recently carried out by
the Grey District Council, community
members were given the opportunity
to submit to council their views on the
identified shortlisted ideas to beautify the
central business district, without a
$3 million budget being mentioned.
The Greymouth Business and
Promotions Association (BPA) — which
represents over half the businesses in the
CBD — believes that, while a town square
is a lovely idea to put into place in the
CBD, the funding of $3m would be better
spent developing the CBD into a more
vibrant and welcoming destination.
The BPA further submitted to a council
meeting to this effect, and moreover
promoted that retailers are constantly
hearing the fact that shoppers and
visitors in our town require a warm, drier
experience if they are to venture into
town (or walk from the railway station in
inclement or cold weather).
The BPA further in their submission
suggested roofing, in the first instance,
the Mackay Street area from the railway
station to the Tainui Street intersection. A
feasibility study should be carried out by
Imagine Greymouth as the town in New
Zealand that you can drive your car down
a roofed street.
Imagine wandering down the street
shopping, being warm and dry with music,
street dining, creating an atmosphere
for people to come to town. Retailers
and building owners would be more
encouraged to invest in their premises.
Instead, the council have apparently
ignored submissions (the majority who
addressed council wanted a warm, dry
shopping experience) and appear to be
heading down the track of spending $3m
on a roofed town square in the Tainui
Street area near the floodwall clock.
We have been told “access is the deciding
factor against roofing any parts of Tainui
and Mackay streets and could have
potentially high cost issues with form and
functional relationships with the historic
Has due diligence by suitably qualified
personnel been completed on this option,
or has it been simply ruled out to meet a
We do not know which buildings will be
staying. With this direction, we do know
we will have a town square with a roof,
and possibly not much around it.
The BPA absolutely supports the work
council have put into looking at improving
our town, we do believe common-
sense must prevail if we are to keep our
businesses operating in our district. We
want our retailers to be proud and invest
in their properties to spruce up the
shopping and visitor experience.
We ask the council to please re-think
the direction they are heading with this
project and to follow what the ratepayers/
submitters requested. We need to make
it more enjoyable to do business in our
CBD, we need to be warm, dry and
sheltered in our inclement weather
We need to listen to our customers
and ratepayers. We need something to
make the Greymouth CBD a shopping
Greymouth businesses: let’s roof Mackay Street
An open letter to the mayor and councillors from the Greymouth Business and Promotions Association.
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