Home' Greymouth Star : October 30th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, October 30, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1865 - New Zealand’s Native Lands Act
becomes law. It establishes the Native Land
1905 - The Workers’ D wellings Act becomes
law, allowing the start of New Zealand’s first
State housing scheme. Thirty-five designs for
homes suitable to be leased to low-income
workers were selected.
1908 - The steamer Hawea is
wrecked near Greymouth.
1911 - Five-year-old Emperor Pu
Yi of China is granted a constitution
as well as a new cabinet, ending
the three-century-long Manchu
domination of China.
1913 - Wellington waterfront strikers clash
with mounted special constables, who are
quickly called ‘’Massey ’s cossacks’’.
1928 - The experimental transmission of still
photographs by television begins in Britain.
1929 - The first rocket-powered aircraft,
invented by Fritz von Opel, is test flown.
1938 - A radio dramatisation of H G Wells’s
novel War of the Worlds causes mass panic in
the United States.
1963 - Lynn Mall opens in Auckland. It is
New Zealand’s first American-style mall.
1972 - In Canada, Pierre Trudeau and his
Liberal Party narrowly win the general election.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Adams, second US president (1735-
1826); Ezra Pound, US poet (1885-1972); Ruth
Gordon, US actress (1896-1985);
Henry Winkler, US actor (1945-);
Harry Hamlin, US actor (1951-
); Diego Maradona, Argentinian
football legend (1960-); Nia L ong,
US actress (1970-); Maria Thay e r,
US actress (1975-); Sarah Carter,
Canadian actress (1980-); Ivana
Trump, US businesswoman (1981-) .
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that
we can. ” — (Nikos Kazantzakis).
“After this he said to him, “Follow Me. ”
— ( John 21:19).
Rewanui is nothing
much more than a
tiny railway station
but its platform has
been trod by thousands of men who have hewn
the near four million tons of this country’s best
gas-making coal from the Liverpool No 2 State
coalmine which closed down last week. The
mine really had its beginnings in 1909 when
development work began on what was the No
1 mine but it was not till 1922 that the now
closed colliery began producing.
New Zealand’s first Governor-General was
the Rt Hon Earl of Liverpool, and it was after
him the Grey colliery was named. A rough
average of the number of men employed in
the colliery in its heyday was 300, though this
was subject to the usual mine employment
Mr and Mrs R G Avery celebrated their
50th wedding anniversary last Saturday. They
were married in Reefton in 1915 and were
well known in that district and also Waiuta
where they live for many years before moving
to Greymouth during the early part of the last
“ Well, it ’s a cheap office girl anyway.” This
was how Mr Jack Stanton, principal of Stanton
Bros described his firm’s recently-acquired
answerphone this morning. The answerphone,
the first of its kind on the West Coast, both
transmits and receives messages at any time of
the day or night.
Although the components of the machine are
complicated, it is very simple to operate. The
telephone rings five times before the recorder
automatically comes on, so if someone is in the
office at the time, he or she can answer the call.
uFood for thought
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n the 62 years since James
Bond first appeared in print,
there is no doubt he has helped
boost the reputations of his
real-life counterparts in British
Now, Daniel Craig — the truest to
author Ian Fleming’s original vision since
Sean Connery, if not ever — is back on
screen in Spectre. The franchise is as
strong as ever.
In reality, however, the decades since
Fleming first penned Casino Royale have
been distinctly mixed for the United
Kingdom and its spies.
For sure, the Secret Intelligence Ser vice
— traditionally known to its members
as SIS and to the rest of the world as
MI6 — and its sister ser vice MI5 retain a
world-class reputation. They are in good
company. The reach and skill set of those
two agencies — responsible for foreign
and domestic intelligence, respectively
— are more than equalled by signals
intelligence specialists Government
Communications Headquarters. Britain’s
special forces — the Army ’s Special Air
Ser vice and Royal Marines’ Special Boat
Ser vice are also legendary.
They have, however, been far from
infallible. Even as Fleming wrote of their
prowess in the early 1950s, some stellar
Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s,
Whitehall (one-word shorthand for the
UK’s version of the State Department, the
Pentagon and CIA and FBI headquarters)
was torn apart by slow-burning scandal as
news emerged that some of Britain’s most
trusted intelligence officials had in fact
been spying for the Soviet Union. More
recently, there have been controversies
over officials’ complicity in torture and
rendition, as well is the small matter
of their intelligence-gathering related
to Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass
Bond and his fellow fictional British
operatives, however, allow UK intelligence
to project an image that goes well beyond
the niggling issues of reality.
It might have only the most tangential
relationship to what really happens, but it
still has real-world impact.
A couple of years ago at a drinks
reception in Washington, a former CIA
official told me he believed neither he
nor anyone else in the United States
government would ever turn down a
briefing from British intelligence. It was
not just about the quality of the material,
he said — good though it often was.
Even the phrase “British intelligence,”
he said, had a mystique, glamour and
style that was intrinsically fascinating. He
suspected British officials were well aware
of it, he added, and deliberately styled
Whether that is genuinely the case — at
least more than sub-consciously — I have
never been able to confirm.
One thing is definitely true — British
intelligence officials and agencies are much
better than their trans-Atlantic cousins at
keeping secret what they actually do. And
therefore — either by accident or design
— their fictional alter egos end up filling
the most visible example. There is George
Smiley and the other ever-depressed,
dogged and morally compromised spies of
John le Carre. Then there are the works of
Frederick Forsyth, Erskine Childers and
John Buchan — the latter going back well
before Bond to the years before World
Even some of the more obscure British
spy fiction is unmistakably first-c lass. My
personal pick would be the 1978-1980
ITV series The Sandbaggers, described by
the New York Times a quarter of a century
later as “the best spy series in television
For anyone who has ever worked in any
kind of bureaucracy — or, for that matter,
been around conflict and violence — the
show simply feels real.
The reason, of course, is that all of
these books and shows were written
by individuals either employed by or
closely exposed to British intelligence.
John le Carre spent decades claiming to
have been former British Foreign Office
before admitting he was SIS. Forsyth —
author of The Day of the Jackal among
others works — this year revealed he had
performed tasks for SIS while working as
a reporter behind the Iron Curtain. The
Sandbaggers writer Ian Mackintosh was
a former Royal Navy officer who worked
in intelligence, and whose death in a
plane crash has never been satisfactorily
With the British government much
more reluctant than the Americans to
give former officials permission to write
their memoirs, fiction by well-informed
insiders has for years been almost the only
But it is fiction — and that is important
to remember. Fictional narratives, the
truism says, must make sense in a way that
reality seldom does. Narratives also tend
to feature heroes — or at the very least,
compelling protagonists — in a way that
real life does not always echo, either.
That of course, is particularly true of
Bond. His creator, Fleming, started life
as a Reuters reporter before discovering
that the job did not pay for the lifestyle
he wanted. (Although crucially, he later
conceded, it did teach him how to write.).
World War Two offered an escape from
his second career in banking — but again,
his time in naval intelligence (like Bond,
he held the rank of commander) seems to
have been less exciting than hoped.
What it did give him, however, was the
material to create Bond and his world.
He would later model his fictional secret
ser vice chief “M” on his wartime boss and
Director of Naval Intelligence, Rear-
Admiral John Godfrey. (The real chief
of SIS is always referred to as “C,” and
has been since its first leader, Mansfield
Smith-Cumming, who always initialled
documents “C ” in green ink.)
Fleming had worked with some of the
more colourful characters at the heart of
World War Two espionage, including Alan
Turing, the technical genius who broke
Germany’s Enigma codes, and William
“ Wild Bill” Donovan, a US official who
went on to start the CIA. Several well-
bred (and quite possibly long-suffering)
Whitehall secretaries helped provide the
model for Miss Moneypenny.
Fleming’s time on the more glamorous
side of life in London and overseas —
including covering Stalin’s 1930s show
trials in Moscow for Reuters — gave him
the experience to inject other realistic
From the start, though, what really
made the James Bond series work was the
fantasy: the lone agent with the “ licence
to kill,” the femme fatales, the over-the-
top evil masterminds with unnecessarily
complex plans. And, of course, the conceit
that Britain’s top agent might repeatedly
save the world. It was a reassuring — if
not always plausible — pitch for an era in
which Britain’s empire was disappearing,
and with it much of its global influence.
In the corridors of power in Whitehall,
such worries — particularly over the
importance of Britain to the United
States — are on the rise again. The end
of the Afghan war, declining UK defence
budgets and the 2013 vote to avoid
entanglement in Syria — as well as an
upcoming European Union membership
referendum — all risk making the country
appear irrelevant, officials and pundits
Somewhere out there, though, I can
not help but suspect, at least a handful
of SIS officers are gleefully exploiting
their ongoing mystique to win sources,
access and — maybe, just maybe-achieve
Or alternatively, of course, seduction and
sex. — Reuters
Britain’s intelligence asset
Daniel Craig as James Bond.
Throughout this saga the general concern
has been that the Kumara community
endowment fund is being used for a
‘commercial tourism venture’ and only
a select group of businesses will get any
benefit from the proposed visitors to the
In response to a presentation to the
Westland District Council yesterday by
Christine Fahey, Cr Andy Thompson
confirmed exactly that, and stated to
Christine that it was “disingenuous” for
her to say only existing businesses will
benefit, as anyone can start a business.
Nothing about the benefit to the Kumara
Mayor Mike Havill then went on to say
that “he” will continue to only deal with
the Kumara Residents Trust (KRT), even
though it was pointed out to him that a
recent sur vey showed 137 of 141 Kumara
residents do not want the KRT acting on
their behalf. Also, 133 of those stated they
only want the interest from the endowment
Kumara is in a unique position where, if
the fund was managed property and only
the interest used, Kumara would have to
do little, or no fundraising for community
The council and the KRT seem to have
a very cosy relationship. The council have
not once asked for any evidence to verify
anything the KRT say or present. The
arrogance of both groups is unbelievable.
Why are they hell-bent on using this
community money for a commercial
venture in one fell swoop? The KRT state
they are only a small voluntary group with
the best interest of the community in mind.
Fox Glacier air
It is an unfortunate feature of today ’s
society how often people, who are
supposedly well-educated, defend reports
that are clearly sloppy and amateurish in
their compilation. The Transport Accident
Investigation Commission’s report into the
Fox Glacier air crash and its investigation
into it, was clearly poor and what is
astounding now is chief commissioner
Helen Cull’s response to the suggestion
families are deserving of an apology for the
significant faults of that investigation.
Families should receive an apology and
any spokesperson worth their salt would
see that with such a second-rate report.
Spokespeople at the very least should
demonstrate tact with any comments on it.
Accordingly, one does have to wonder
how some obtain letters after their name.
In Ms Cull’s case, her reaction is a sorry
reflection on her peers who, in the main,
speak and act professionally when facts
speak for themselves. Most would give due
consideration to giving what is clearly the
right and proper thing to do — an apology
— and refrain from speaking arrant
nonsense. Ms Cull failed on all counts so
she should reconsider her position.
And how often of late has the excuse of
‘a lack of resources’ resulted in harm and
death in the workplace or in adventure
tourism? Same old, and the same party
is responsible for that, too. Well done
Yesterday, my wallet was sharing a trolley
ride back to the car alongside a crabapple
tree, a punnet of basil and a bag of compost
just purchased from The Warehouse. While
in transit I stopped to talk to friends, which
must have been when my wallet ditched the
trolley for the car park.
Social chat over I proceeded to the car
to unload ... no wallet. I looked all over,
checked with The Warehouse staff who said
‘yes,’ they did have a wallet. My relief was
short-lived — it was not mine, but I was
glad for the owner. I retraced my trolley
route, to no avail.
Driving home I felt a sense of dread
followed by a sense of hope that an honest
person had found my wallet. On arrival
home I started the phone business of
cancelling my cards etc. It was at this
time while talking to the police getting
a reference number for my lost driver’s
licence that Mad Max the chihuahua, who
thinks he is a great dane, took off yapping.
A blue ute was parked in the driveway and
a man with Mad Max nipping at his heels
was walking towards me asking for Mary
Anne. My heart skipped a beat ... an honest
person had indeed found my wallet and was
delivering it back to me.
So this summer, when savouring the taste
of my tomatoes enhanced by the flavour of
the companion planting from the basil and
then in springtime when my crabapple will
be adorned with beautiful blossom, I will be
reminded of an honest person called Glen
from Mines Rescue. ‘ Thank you,’ Glen.
The mayor and councillors from the
Westland District Council suggest that
the majority of the Kumara community
(those who disagree with the council’s
decision) work with the Kumara Residents
Trust (KRT) to resolve the debacle over
the entire endowment fund being used.
There is almost $400,000 involved here —
a huge amount for just one project.
I disagree strongly with the mayor’s
suggestion. Why should the ‘community’
have to fight against the self-appointed
KRT to fix an issue that the council
created by only consulting with this
The mayor and councillors were voted
into their positions by the ratepayers,
the KRT were not, being a group of
volunteers, as quoted in the Greymouth
Why are the council ignoring the wishes
of the majority of our town?
Why did the mayor not do the
democratic thing in the first place and ask
the opinion of everyone?
Why is the KRT being allowed to speak
for the entire Kumara community?
The community support for the Ross
gardens is to be admired. The vision for
their gardens: Simplistic, tranquil, and
within a realistic budget. Sounds like good
feng shui. Well done Ross.
Feng shui: ‘A Chinese philosophical
system of harmonising everyone with the
surrounding environment ’.
Not much harmony in Kumara these
Oh well, perhaps I will apply for
membership to the ‘Kumara Visionaries
Association’. I thought the president, and
sole member, had a wonderful solution to
Kumara’s woes. If only that vision could
It is a shame to see dissension in the
ranks of good citizens during peacetime.
Facts speak louder than emotive ramblings,
so with regard to the question of how a
portion of Kumara’s very specifically tagged
endowment fund could be spent, here are
some interesting facts.
The following are not council reser ves and
cannot utilise any of Kumara’s endowment
fund monies monitored by the Westland
District Council: 1. The Kumara Memorial
Hall Incorporated (it is freehold land
owned by the Kumara community). 2 . The
Kumara Sports Complex (it could become
a reserve via a council process). 3. The Lions
Park playground (it is on a freehold title).
4. The R J Seddon Reser ve (it is a Heritage
NZ historic reserve). 5. The Kumara
School (it is a Ministry of Education
reserve). 6. Unformed legal roads. 7 . Taylors
Hill walking track (a Department of
Conser vation reserve).
So where are all the council reserves? The
Kumara Cemetery is one, but is looked
after by the council and Westroads, not
requiring endowment funds. The old
disused sports ground on Greenstone Road
is one, but its ownership is questionable.
The tiny old tennis court section beside the
main road is one. The section at the rear of
the controversial Chinese Miners Memorial
Reserve is one, and the front section is 75%
processed towards becoming one.
So, will the endowment monies ever be
channelled towards a Chinese Miners
Memorial Reser ve project? People can
either do a project on an existing council
reserve, or create a council reserve to do a
project on — that is the only way to access
the endowment fund.
It is interesting to know that the Kumara
Residents Trust (KRT) now has over 65
members who may democratically elect
their board, and then get on with their
projects — great to see progress in Kumara.
‘This sordid saga’
It appears to me the only people
benefiting from the Chinese garden saga
are the self-appointed Kumara Residents
Trust. To use the community’s money
solely for their own selfish reasons is both
cunning and appalling. Maybe this sordid
saga should be fully investigated by the
As a visitor to Greymouth and reading
the in your Friday paper about the
Salvation Army leaders having to resign,
would not it be fitting if the identity of the
other party be published as well? Natural
justice would be seen to be done if you did
Sounds like the Sallies leaders have had
a rough deal.
The committee of our local committee
(Greymouth and Reefton) met last week
and it was moved that we express our
thanks to our businesses that give discount
to our members (now totalling 522).
We encourage our members to shop
locally and it is sometimes these discounts
and ser vices that encourage that.
We would specially like to make mention
of Stan and his staff at Health 2000 who
for years have acted as our collection
point for subs and information, also to
Challenge Ser vice Centre who not only
offer the 8c a litre discount to members
but have been actively promoting Grey
Power membership within their store.
As the largest senior group here in our
district we are very appreciative of of the
ser vices and discount our businesses offer
Cynicism has been known to be present
in the relations among peoples and states.
Yet, events of recent days have shown that
it has no limit, especially in issues relating
to the Middle East.
Although we in Israel have grown
accustomed to the springing of some
sinister surprises, the latest ploy conceived
in the minds of our adversaries has taken
the bar to new lows.
The decision in the executive board of
UNESCO, which aims to erase Jewish
connection to the Western Wall, is in my
view nothing less than an open and blatant
attack against history, monotheistic faith
and above all, common decency.
Unfortunately, it seems that the march of
those who wish to rewrite human history
keeps rolling on. Theirs is an attempt,
congruent with the denial of the existence
of the Jewish nation, to deny the eternal
link between the Jewish people and their
The ongoing effort is nothing short of a
policy copied out of George Orwell’s 1984
and Josef Goebbels’ propaganda textbooks:
If you repeat a lie often enough, at the end
people will believe it.
Here and now it shall not succeed.
Resolutions will be passed, but their fate is
to be eventually forgotten. The unbroken
chain that unites the Jewish people to its
cradle will not come apart.
This new sinister chapter will only
unmask the true face of those who wrote it.
Israel Ambassador to New Zealand
Embassy of Israel
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