Home' Greymouth Star : October 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, October 5, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1930 - British airship R101 crashes on its
first flight near Beauvais, France, killing 48 of
its 54 passengers.
1962 - The Beatles’ first hit, Love Me Do, is
released in the United Kingdom.
1964 - Fifty-seven East German
refugees shelter in West Berlin after
tunnelling under the Berlin Wall.
1969 - Monty Python’s F lying
Circus makes its debut on BBC-TV.
1974 - Five people are killed
and 35 injured by Irish nationalist
guerrilla bombs in two bars in Guildford,
1983 - Lech Walesa, leader of Poland’s
Solidarity labour movement, is named winner
of Nobel Peace Prize.
1994 - Forty-eight bodies are found in two
locations in Switzerland after a cult’s mass
1999 - Two packed commuter trains collide
near London’s Paddington Station during the
height of the morning peak hour, killing 31
people and injuring 244.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Robert Goddard, US inventor of the modern
rocket (1882-1945); Donald Pleasance, British
actor (1919-1995); Glynis Johns, South
African-born actress (1923-); Vaclav
Havel, Czech politician, playwright
and former dissident (1936-2011);
Brian Johnson, AC/DC singer
(1947-); Bob Geldof, Irish rock
musician and humanitarian (1951-);
Guy Pearce, Australian actor (1967-);
Kate Winslet, British actress (1975-);
Nicky Hilton, American heiress (1983-).
“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in
insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-
meaning but without understanding.”
— Justice Louis D Brandeis (1856-1941).
“For I was hungry and you gave me
something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me
something to drink, I was a stranger and you
invited me in.” — (Matthew 25:35).
All the mines in
the Grey coalfield
returned to normal
working this morning
after s series of stoppages which plagued
the mines — particularly at Rewanui. Both
Liverpool No 2 and No 3 mines have been idle
since last Thursday when all Runanga union
members were called together for a special
The week before there had been a stoppage
at the Rewanui mines because of a dispute.
Yesterday the mines were all scheduled to
resume, but two power breakdowns, one at
Rewanui and another at Dobson, prevented a
resumption of work.
Heavy seas, continuous rain and swirling
muddy rivers have not contributed to a very
successful whitebait season on the West Coast
with already a month gone by. Though more
consistent catches have been recorded at the
Hokitika River, they have not been big ones
and Greymouth fishermen generally have had a
lean time of it.
Some fishermen have operated from the best
spots practically every day since the season
commenced, yet one reported that the biggest
catch he had recorded to date was a mere six
pints which, however, is considerably more
substantial than that won by most.
Misfortune struck shunting operations
at Hokitika late yesterday afternoon. The
locomotive on the Ross to Greymouth goods
train was derailed in shunting operations in the
Hokitika yards about 4pm.
A second locomotive which was sent to
continue the journey had reached Arahura
when a rail broke on a loop line and six
wagons, carrying butter and lime were derailed.
There was no damage to wagons or produce.
uFood for thought
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Council to blame for
Tanya Winter stated in the Greymouth
Star on Friday that the Kumara
‘community’ had approached her with
the idea of using $398,000 from the
endowment fund to develop the proposed
I beg to differ with Ms Winter. That was
the Kumara Residents Trust (KRT) that
she spoke to, not the ‘community’ at all.
According to the dictionary a ‘community’
is ‘a body of people with something in
common, joint ownership, agreement, the
Thanks to those Westland district
councillors who tried to make this a
democratic decision, I believe there were
one or two. To Mayor Mike Havill and
Ms Winter, and the councillors who voted
in favour of this decision, shame on you.
There are approximately 40 people who
are registered in the KRT. There are many
more than 40 in this ‘community’. Each
and every one should have been consulted
about this issue.
The council have an obligation to
consult everyone in a ‘community’
where such a large amount of money
is concerned? Why did they rule out
After all, the council are meant to be
working for us and with us. If the council
had done its job properly, this ugly
situation would not have arisen.
The so-called meeting last Tuesday
evening was disgraceful. The only opinion
allowed to be heard was that of the KRT.
Not my idea of a meeting.
It never fails to amaze me the way people
in positions of authority seem to believe
their own propaganda and look down on
the rest of us as uninformed peasants.
West Coast Regional Council chairman
Andrew Robb appears to be on a different
planet to the rest of us. His letter to
the editor on September 28 is full of
hypocrisies. To state that, ‘a regional
councillor’s role is to hear views of the
whole community and make decisions on
their behalf ’, is a joke. Then to go on to
say ‘under his leadership this council does
consult with the community, as we have
always done’, shows that life on ‘Planet
Robb’ is in a different orbit, to those who
live on the West Coast.
Was it not under Mr Robb’s leadership
that the West Coast Regional Council
invested in a factory to produce 1080
poison, in Rolleston, and was it not under
his leadership that this was then kept
secret for 17 months from the rest of the
community that he says he is so eager to
Mr Robb should be aware that these
underhand dealings will continue to come
back to haunt him and his council, and
are part of the catalyst to rid the Coast of
out-of-control organisations like his and
replace them with one unitary council that
we can trust.
I refer to the ‘Coasters Say ’ column in
the West Coast Messenger last week
regarding cellphone coverage on the
As an ex-telephone technician on the
West Coast, I understand the frustration
of the people of our great land, as I too
had to drive to certain areas just to get
reception so I could do my job correctly.
But as for people saying that Spark,
Vodafone or Development West Coast
should build towers is just silly talk.
No company is going to spend that kind
of money for such a minimum return.
Quite frankly, it is all getting a bit chewy
1. The phone is not classed as an essential
ser vice by the government. If it was then
we would be paying for every person on a
benefit to have a phone line.
2. People who live in these outlying
areas and buy cellphones know they do
not have coverage in their area before they
buy the bloody phone, so do not jump on
the bandwagon as soon as something goes
pear shaped when having a phone ‘may ’
3. The more money these companies
spend with the lack of return means that
the phone bills will have to rise, and no
one wants that, so let ’s leave it at that.
The recently announced shift of the
palliative care unit at Buller Hospital to
the acute medical ward, has potential
benefits to the patient.
A palliative care ward can be useful at
many stages of a patient ’s illness, needing
palliative care. What many people do
not realise is that the illness causing
distress, disability or deterioration is not
always due to the disease which leads to
a palliative approach to treatment. Even
in a patient with an incurable cancer, the
debility is sometimes due to an alternative
illness. Having one disease often increases
the risk of having another which may
respond to treatment. In people with
chronic lung disease the disability or
deterioration may be due to an infection
or heart disease. In people with chronic
heart disease, disability may simply be due
to inadequate treatment or an additional
I once saw a patient with a treated
tumour who had been given ‘six weeks
to live’ and saw her four years later. The
disability was due to adverse effects of
some of the 14 different medications and
supplements she had been prescribed.
When a patient has multiple problems
or unusual symptoms due to a common
problem, it may be difficult to diagnose
even for someone who has advance
specialist training in general medicine.
Sometimes input from different doctors
and nurses and a period of close
obser vation is helpful. The palliative care
funding model can sometimes interfere
with optimum care.
Once the decision is made to draw the
funds, I believe a set number of GP visits
and six months of funding is provided.
Medical specialist ser vices are often
forgotten as they can be provided by
ser vices using general funding and does
not draw additional funding. Having
palliative care close to acute medical
ser vices has the potential to improved
access to other wise neglected ser vices.
Raquel Castillo and Sonya Dowsett
elvin Heredia dropped out
of school aged 16 during
the heady days of Spain’s
real estate boom to take up
well-paid work as a window
Now, a decade later, Heredia is
unemployed and without qualifications,
a plight that highlights two intractable
problems holding back Spain’s economy
— the highest youth unemployment
rate in the European Union, a ranking it
reclaimed from Greece in June, and the
highest school drop-out rate.
“ Ten years ago you could get a job
without qualifications and without
experience. It was enough just to want to
work,” said Heredia, 27, who as a teenager
used to earn nearly as much as his parents
but whose income has since shrunk by
Youth unemployment remains a big
headache for Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy’s centre-right government as it
prepares for what promises to be a closely-
fought national election on December 20.
Spain’s economy is expected to grow
by 3.3% this year, one of the strongest
rates in the Euro Zone, but almost one
in two young Spaniards remains without
a job — the same level as when Rajoy
came to power in 2011 calling youth
unemployment “a national disgrace”.
Overall, unemployment in Spain stands
Despite seven overhauls in the past four
decades, Spain’s education system still fails
to adequately prepare students for the job
market, academics and businesses say.
The mismatch between education and
employment was masked during Spain’s
decade-long construction boom when
young people dropped out of school to get
well-paid work on building sites.
When boom turned to bust, these jobs
dried up, leaving thousands of young
unskilled people on State benefits. Since
then, even those with university degrees
have struggled to find work or end up
taking jobs for which they are over-
In 2014, only 35% of recent Spanish
graduates from social science and law
programmes were working in jobs
requiring university credentials, according
to a report from the Organisation for Co-
operation and Development in Europe
Such shortcomings weigh on
productivity, burden the social security
system and have also prompted tens of
thousands of young people to emigrate to
northern Europe in search of work.
Spain must provide more high-quality
vocational training for skilled manual
work, academics and businesses say, rather
than churn out university graduates for
jobs that don’t exist.
In 2012, the government introduced a
vocational study programme split between
classroom and work experience aimed
at 16 to 24-year-olds in an attempt to
emulate the high-quality apprenticeships
of Germany and Switzerland, where
unemployment rates are among the lowest
The qualification is popular — the
number of pupils enrolled in the
course has more than tripled since its
introduction three years ago to more than
16,000 and the number of companies
taking part has increased 10 fold.
But Spain has a long way to go to catch
up with its European peers in offering
high-quality apprenticeship schemes.
Only one percent of Spanish students
as of 2012 were enrolled in such
programmes, where on-the-job learning
accounts for at least a third of training,
compared to 42% in Germany and
a European Union average of 14%,
according to a report by business school
In Spain, big international companies
such as Siemens and Nestle have launched
ambitious programmes linked to the new
Siemens has built a training laboratory
on site at its factory on the outskirts of
Madrid, complete with mock airport
suitcase conveyor belt to teach students
systems maintenance, and has two full-
time staff working as tutors.
The factory has worked closely with
its German parent company to develop
the programme, adding another year to
the course to bring it into line with the
German equivalent and tweaking the
government model so the student follows
up short blocks of study with time on the
“ You finish studying something and then
straight away you’re getting hands-on
practice,” said Eduardo Hernandez, 22,
a graduate from the 2014 apprenticeship
scheme. He and five others out of 11
graduates ended up getting a job with
He assembles components for x-ray
machines that are exported around the
world and gets paid $2608 a month, a
good starting salary in Spain.
Yet small and medium-sized companies,
struggling to emerge from a brutal
recession which bankrupted record
amounts of businesses, are less able to
dedicate resources and staff to training
students, teachers and businesses say.
Bringing on board small companies
employing nine people or fewer — a
sector which makes up nearly 90% of
Spain’s corporate landscape — is essential
for the success of the scheme, the OECD
“ In Germany, apprenticeship schemes
are mostly based in the work place, but
Spain does not have the industrial capacity
to absorb these students,” said Cecilia
Salazar, the education representative for
leftist newcomer party Podemos, which
is currently polling third behind Rajoy’s
party and the Socialists.
Some small Spanish companies have
grouped together to share training, such as
a group of car part makers in Cantabria in
northern Spain which offers internships
and training courses linked to the new
Academics stress the importance of
adapting a system tailored to the needs
of Germany ’s manufacturing-led
economy to the very different demands
of Spain’s ser vices-based economy, where
tourism accounts for more than 10% of
“The training programmes must adapt to
business needs, not the other way round,”
said Jose Ramon Pin, a professor at the
business school IESE. “ There’s no point
churning out lathe operators if there are
no jobs for them.”
Back in Madrid, Heredia has returned to
adult education and is taking a course in
His earnings have gone from around
$2600 per month 10 years ago to around
$869 now in unemployment benefits and
handouts from his parents and in-laws.
“ Education to me now is essential,” he
said. — Reuters
Youth unemployment solutions
Apprentice Eduardo Hernandez, 22, poses in front of an x-ray machine at a Siemens factory outside Madrid, Spain.
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