Home' Greymouth Star : October 20th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 5
MP fears service level could slip
A document revealing
the next step in the
Dunedin Hospital clinical
ser vices rebuild is “deeply”
concerning, and shows
there is no guarantee the
city will retain the same
level of hospital, D unedin
North MP Dr David Clark
Official Information Act,
terms of reference for
the political appointees
tasked with leading the $300 million
redevelopment did not say, even in the
broadest sense, what kind of building
was expected or when construction
would start, Dr Clark said.
No timeframe is given beyond the
strategic assessment, the first stage of the
business case. It will be submitted to the
Government in late 2016.
“It’s part of a process where time frames
are slipping and weasel words are being
used to make progress sound significant,
when a lot of it is wheels spinning.
“There is no description of the nature of
the rebuild required, not even references
to a tertiary hospital. Does the minister
have a completely open mind?
“There’s nothing in the document that
shows a Government commitment to
maintaining the current level of ser vice
in D unedin.
The group was appointed following
delays in the project, during which the
time frame for the first business case
slipped from 2015 to 2016.
“I would have hoped there would have
been a guaranteed minimum standard
(of hospital), and I’m suspicious that this
is the reason the terms of reference were
not released at the time the partnership
group was announced, as this would
have been the much more newsworthy
story,” Dr Clark said.
The political appointees are not
permitted to make “material financial
decisions” about later stages of the
business case without approval to move
to the next stage.
The strategic assessment involves.—
A report looking at whether the
existing building could be refurbished.
A full asset age and
A strategic ser vices
A detailed plan for
Dunedin Hospital ser vices.
Developing a financial
model for ser vices.
Some of the work has
already been carried out
by the Southern District
Health Board, such as a
strategic ser vices plan.
The board has been preparing for the
rebuild for at least the past 16 months.
Last year the board said the project
was likely to be a new build, rather than
refurbishment, but that has never been
Yesterday, Health Minister Dr Jonathan
Coleman referred questions about the
process to the Ministry of Health, which
said the partnership group would draw
on the pre-existing planning work.
Initial funding of $200,000 has been
allocated to the group.
Chairman Andrew Blair would receive
$1000 for every day he works on the
project, and group members would
receive $800 per day.
Three members of the group are from
the North Island, and the only local
member is Southern District Health
Board deputy commissioner Richard
“It’s nice work if you can get it, isn’t it?”
sacked Southern District Health Board
member Dr John Chambers said when
“This looks like a talk fest for a year. ”
Dr Chambers said Dunedin appeared
to be at the “ bottom of the pile” in health.
“It’s just being fobbed off.
“It’s all a bit of a sham process. That ’s
what seems to be obvious to me, and to
most other people.
“In the meantime all these people
will get paid nice expenses for going to
A specialist in the emergency
department, Dr Chambers said it was
unclear how his department could last
the distance before the rebuild.
— Otago Daily Times
It was Groundhog Day in
Auckland yesterday as Alice the
giant boring machine punched
out of the ground to complete
the second of two long motor way
The breakthrough, into a deep
trench in O wairaka’s Alan Wood
Reser ve at 11.50am, was greeted
with cheers from Transport
Minister Simon Bridges among
guests perched on a temporary
grandstand and hundreds of
workers watching video feed from
a nearby marquee.
That followed more than two
hours of high- and low-pitched
grinding as the machine’s
14.45m cutting wheel chewed
through a concrete wall after
kicking back into life at 10am
from an overnight rest in which
extra sharp tungsten blades were
One man among dozens of
Transport Agency guests from
industry and the local community
likened it to the deep ocean call
of a whale.
Mr Bridges admitted on
arriving in the trench overlooking
a massive iron circle delineating
where the machine was due to
burst forth that he was even more
excited than he had expected.
“This is pretty cool — this is
some pretty serious engineering,”
Yesterday was the machine’s
second breakthrough. It has put
Alice back next to where it began
a 4.8km subterranean journey to
Water view and back just under two
years ago Although the Transport
Agency ’s Well-Connected Alliance
of contractors still has another 18
months of work ahead to complete
the $1.4 billion Water view
Connection project, the $55
million machine will be dismantled
almost immediately and returned
to its German manufacturer under
a buyback deal.
Although the 2800-tonne
groundhog has had a top speed of
8cm a minute — about the pace
of a ravenous snail — yesterday ’s
operation was particularly delicate
as it eased its way through the
final concrete barrier under
precise laser guidance. The
challenge was for its operator to
keep its potential pushing force
of 300,000 tonnes under tight
Then, after being put into
neutral for several minutes, the
monster began its final grind to
send huge chunks of concrete
tumbling to the bottom of the
tunnels’ approach trench in a
cloud of dust and a massive crash.
The pile of rocks was covered
in foam which gushed from the
tunnelling machine, making it
look like a snowy outcrop.
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
Alice makes boring job exciting
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Alice, the boring machine, breaks into Alan Wood Reser ve in Owairaka, Auckland, after completing
the second of the Water view motor way tunnels.
Former All Black Mils Muliaina
has spoken of his relief that a
prosecution against him for groping
a young woman at a Welsh night
club has been thrown out.
A sexual assault charge against
the 100-test international was
dropped last night when the Crown
conceded there was not enough
evidence to provide a realistic
prospect of conviction.
After the charge was withdrawn at
the Cardiff Crown Court, Muliaina
told reporters he had had a tough
seven months since being arrested.
He thanked his friends, family and
strangers for supporting him.
“ I’m looking for ward to getting
back to New Zealand next week,”
“ Not being able to comment
publicly has been very frustrating.
While I understand the police have
a job to do, the manner in which
I was arrested I find difficult to
“I can still hold my head up high
and, as the judge said, this is no
stain on my character.
“I don’t even know the woman
and I don’t know what happened,
but I wasn’t the person who had
done what she said had happened. ”
Muliaina, 35, was alleged to have
touched a 19-year-old woman “on
the bottom over her trousers” on a
busy nightclub dance floor.
It was alleged the incident took
place in the Welsh capital of Cardiff
on March 7, hours after Muliaina
played for Irish side Connacht in an
away game against Cardiff Blues.
He was arrested by police after a
subsequent match. — NZ ME
Muliaina sex charge dropped
A woman at the centre of a notorious
Australian child abuse case is about to be
deported to New Zealand, according to
The woman, who was identified by
the pseudonym “Betty Colt” during
court proceedings, will be deported
imminently, despite moving to Australia
as a child, the Sydney Morning Herald
Colt was part of a 40-strong group that
lived in squalid conditions near Canberra.
In 2012, authorities took away 12
children from the group and later testing
revealed that only one had parents who
were not related.
The children, who were underfed,
hardly went to school and lacked basic
skills such as how to shower and clean
their teeth, later told of suffering sexual
The case was described as one of the
worst instances of child abuse seen in
Australia, and news of it made headlines
around the world.
Colt’s apparent deportation comes only
two days after Prime Minister John Key
met his Australian counterpart Malcolm
Turnbull in Auckland to protest such
He was told that factors for
consideration in deportation decisions
included the person’s ties to Australia
and length of time in Australia.
Mr Turnbull said Australia was “very,
very, very empathetic ” with concerns
expressed about the deportations and
Asked about the case at his post-
cabinet press conference yesterday
afternoon, Mr Key said he was unaware
of it and had not been briefed.
A spokeswoman for Immigration
Minister Michael Woodhouse referred
questions to police, who have been
contacted for comment.
After authorities discovered the
family’s conditions, a judge ordered
Colt’s five children under 16 to be put in
foster care. He noted the case appeared
to be one of inter-generational incest
and Colt may well have been a victim of
In 2013, Colt smuggled a phone to one
of her sons, aged 15, to help her abduct
his brother from his foster mother, but
police foiled the plot.
As a result, in November last year she
was sentenced to one year in jail. No one
in the family has faced any incest-related
Meanwhile, a one-off grant has been
given to an organisation that helps
former prisoners reintegrate into society
and was buckling under the strain of
helping deportees from Australia.
A grant of $100,000 would be given
to Auckland-based PARS, Corrections
chief executive Ray Smith said yesterday.
The ser vice had received funding only
to help reintegrate domestic prisoners,
but had still helped deportees sent from
That had been manageable until
recently — it helped about 32 newly-
arrived Australian deportees in the past
three months, compared to about 60 in
the 12 months before that.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Woman in child
abuse case faces
Staff who stayed away from
varsity in shooting threat to pay
University of Otago staff who avoided
campus on the day of a gun threat will
pay for their caution with a day of
The Tertiary Education Union has
condemned the move.
“ It’s a really mean-spirited decision
(that) disregards the stressful impact the
threat had on many of its staff,” TEU
organiser Shaun Scott said.
“ People are quite upset by it.”
An e-mail sent five days after the day
of the threat, said the order came from
the “vice-chancellor’s advisory group”.
“ It was agreed that staff in D unedin
who did not attend work on Wednesday,
October 7, 2015, need to record this as
annual leave,” the e-mail read.
“This approach ensures overall fairness
for those staff who did attend work and
for those who did not.”
The threat in question was posted
alongside a picture of a gun on on-line
messaging board 4chan.
The anonymous post warned against
going to Otago’s campus on October 7.
A shooter who killed 10 people at
a United States university earlier this
month used 4chan to warn of his plans.
The police said they were taking the
threat seriously, and the university
encouraged lecturers to put course
information on-line, to accommodate
students who chose to stay home.
— Otago Daily Times
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