Home' Greymouth Star : November 6th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, November 6, 2015 - 9
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uLetters to the editor
1429 - Henry VI is crowned king of England,
seven years after acceding to the throne at the
age of eight months.
1860 - Abraham Lincoln is elected
president of the United States.
1861 - Jefferson Davis is elected to
a six-year term as president of the
1917 - In World War One, third
battle of Ypres ends after five
months when Australians and
Canadians take Passchendaele. The advance
was just 8 km at a cost of at least 240,000 men.
1928 - Jacob Schick obtains a patent for his
“shaving implement ”, the first electric razor.
Herbert Hoover is elected US president.
1942 - Tidal wave kills 10,000 people in
1976 - Guerrilla warfare in Rhodesia is
endorsed by leaders of neighbouring black
countries at meeting in Dar es Salaam,
1977 - Dam collapse drowns at least 38
people as wall of water submerges trailer camp
outside Toccoa in US state of Georgia.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Adolphe Sax, Belgian inventor of the
saxophone (1814-1894); John Philip Sousa, US
composer (1854-1937); Ignace Jan Paderewski,
Polish pianist-statesman (1860-1941); James
A Naismith, Canadian credited with inventing
basketball (1861-1939); John Alcock, British
aviator (1892-1919); James Jones, US novelist
(1921-1977); Stonewall Jackson, US country
singer (1932-); Jean Shrimpton, English
model (1942-); Sally Field, US actress (1946-);
Glenn Frey, founding member of
The Eagles (1948-); Maria Shriver,
US news correspondent (1955-);
Graeme Wood, Australian cricketer
(1956-); Kelly Rutherford, US
actress (1968-); Ethan Hawke, US
actor (1970-); Rebecca Romijn, US
supermodel-actress (1972-); British-
Zambian actress Thandie Newton
“A diplomatic peace is not yet the real peace.
It is an essential step in the peace process
leading towards a real peace” — Yitzhak Rabin,
Israeli Prime Minister. On November 6, 1995,
Israel buried Rabin, assassinated by a fellow
Jew who opposed peace with the Palestinians.
“For ‘in Him we live and move and have our
being’; as even some of your own poets have said,
‘For we too are His offspring’. ” — Acts 17:28
This week is a most
momentous one for
the West Coast, Mr
Mark Wallace told
80 delegates and their wives at the opening
of the two-day South Island Local Bodies’
Association annual conference at Hokitika
yesterday. Mr Wallace backed up his statement
Wednesday: The SILBA sits at conference at
Hokitika for the first time.
Thursday : Opening day for the multi-
thousand pound tourist hotel at Franz Josef.
Friday: “My birthday!”
Saturday: Opening of the Haast Pass road by
the Prime Minister.
There was a traffic ‘ jam’ in the true sense on
the Cobden Bridge late yesterday afternoon.
A tractor was heading towards Cobden across
the bridge, while a light truck was coming the
All was fine until the vehicles went to pass
on the narrow bridgeway. The tractor had dual
wheels on the back and as they came equal
with the truck they jammed hard against the
base board and both vehicles became stuck as
a result. It was right at the peak hour of traffic,
at 5pm, and cars and trucks backed up on each
The Transport Department was called in
and an officer went on points duty at the
intersection of Mawhera Quay and the bridge
approach, controlling traffic for about 10
minutes until the two vehicles were finally
Eight nurses in training at the Greymouth
Hospital have completed their three-months
preliminary training under tutor sister
H Norcliffe. They are: nurses J Turner,
K Wicks, L Parkin, P Melrose, M Vincent,
D McLean, K Allen and M Hoskins.
uFood for thought
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‘New Turkey’ to bear Erdogan’s stamp
urkey ’s new cabinet will
bear the firm stamp of
President Tayyip Erdogan
with a slew of loyal
advisers set for ministerial
posts, senior officials say,
suggesting his grip will tighten as the AK
Party returns to govern alone.
The AKP’s dramatic electoral comeback
on Sunday, clawing back a majority lost
only five months earlier, was a personal
victory for Erdogan, whose ambition for
stronger presidential powers rests on the
party he founded controlling parliament.
Opponents fear the result, which dashed
any hopes of a coalition government that
might soothe deep social divisions, will
exacerbate his authoritarian instincts.
There are already signs that a crackdown
on dissent is intensifying.
Authorities detained dozens of people,
including senior police officers and
bureaucrats, on suspicion of links to
Fethullah Gulen, a United States-based
Muslim cleric Erdogan accuses of plotting
to overthrow him with bogus corruption
The offices of a left-leaning news
magazine were raided over a cover
suggesting the election result could trigger
Security forces backed by helicopters
imposed a curfew in parts of a town in the
largely Kurdish south-east, while Turkish
aircraft pounded Kurdish militants in
northern Iraq, suggesting no let-up in a
military campaign there.
“It has been a key element of politics
since Machiavelli, the ability to
manipulate fear. But Mr Tayyip has
proved to be a real master,” wrote Ali
Sirmen, a columnist in the opposition
Officials in Ankara said the new cabinet,
likely to be announced late next week
at the earliest, would include several
top Erdogan advisers, although Prime
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was likely to
keep control of the economic team.
“Not everybody close to Erdogan can be
in the cabinet because there aren’t enough
ministries,” one senior AKP official said,
but added those who were would take key
“ We’ ll see an important part of his
advisers and those who work with him in
the next cabinet,” the official said.
They would be drawn from the so-called
“shadow cabinet ”, a coterie of powerful
advisers he established to maintain sway
when he won Turkey ’s first popular
presidential election in August 2014 after
more than a decade as prime minister.
Those tipped for cabinet posts include
staunch ally and former transport minister
Binali Yildirim, former interior minister
Efkan Ala, former justice minister Bekir
Bozdag and former customs minister
Nurettin Canikli, two officials said.
Former energy minister Taner Yildiz was
also likely to make a return to his old job.
Sunday ’s poll deepened Turkey ’s
polarisation, with the 50% who did not
vote AKP in shock: from liberal secularists
suspicious of Erdogan’s Islamist ideals to
left-leaning Kurds who blame him for the
resurgent violence in the south-east.
Erdogan cast it as a vote for stability
after months of uncertainty following
an inconclusive election in June, and as a
mandate to press ahead in forging what
he has called a “new Turkey ” growing in
economic and international clout.
Financial markets initially staged a
sharp relief rally, although it petered out
on Tuesday as minds turned to longer-
term concerns about structural reforms
and who would be in charge of the new
government ’s economic team.
AKP officials said Davutoglu, who as
party leader has struggled to emerge from
Erdogan’s shadow, was determined to
keep Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek
and former Deputy Prime Minister Ali
Babacan, who largely have the confidence
of foreign investors, in key posts.
“ We all know Erdogan’s style . . . but it
is not right to expect Erdogan’s choice on
every post,” one senior party official close
to Davutoglu said.
“ I’m sure Davutoglu will be insistent on
keeping some successful names. Holding
on to Babacan and Simsek is one of his
priorities, because they send a positive
In their first decade in power, Erdogan
and the AKP built their reputation largely
on growing Turkey’s wealth, overseeing
a sharp rise in incomes and providing
new roads, hospitals and airports across
a country long seen as an economic
But as that growth story slows, Erdogan
has increasingly resorted to economic
populism, casting bankers and foreign
investors as living off the fat of the land.
Erdogan has lobbied for interest rate
cuts despite rising inflation, equating high
borrowing costs with treason. His weeks
of stinging criticism of the central bank
earlier this year for failing to slash rates,
unner ved financial markets and sent the
lira to record lows.
Rumours of division in the AKP,
a monolithic organisation that has
dominated Turkish politics since sweeping
to power in 2002, have long been rife.
But party officials have always insisted
that while the combative Erdogan and
academic Davutoglu may differ in style,
they are united in vision.
As Turkey enters what could be a second
decade of AKP rule after Sunday ’s vote
left the opposition in disarray, there
appears little doubt as to who will be
shaping its direction.
“The only question up for discussion
here is whether the victory points will
go to Mr Tayyip or to Davutoglu,” wrote
Cumhuriyet ’s Sirmen. “ Everything we’ve
seen until now suggests Mr Tayyip’s
dominant personality will always prevail. ”
PICTURE: Getty Images
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters.
Plea for road repairs
I would like to see the section of Arnold
Valley Road between Mallinson Creek
and Johnny Grant ’s property upgraded.
The reason being there have been eight to
10 accidents in the past two years, and one
fatal accident at the weekend.
I know there will be more accidents if
nothing is done to this part of the Arnold
to Moana road.
Prior to November 2015, I personally
asked the correct council roading people to
groove or other wise improve the surface,
thereby to lessen the chances of more
I have been watching the continued
arguments for and against the proposed
Chinese garden in Kumara, with a sense of
Unfortunately, due to work
commitments, I have been unable to
attend any of the meetings, but have
voiced my opinion in the recent sur vey.
While initially, I had no objection to the
Chinese garden proposal, the cost blowout
since the idea was originally mooted, has
gone beyond the pale. No one in their
right mind, would sanction the spending
of $1.5 million for a project of this nature
in such a tiny town. And then to expect
the Kumara endowment fund to pony up
with $398,000 is even more insane.
None of the many residents I have
spoken to are in agreement with this
spending, and the argument is causing a
very real division in this town.
I believe the Westland District Council
needs to start listening to all of the
residents, and not just a few with a
I see no benefit whatsoever that this
proposed garden will bring to the Kumara
township; perhaps one or two businesses
may benefit, but the townspeople
generally, will not. While I agree Kumara
needs to progress, I do not believe that
progress lies in a garden, and certainly not
at the costs proposed.
This issue is not going away, we will
stand and fight and we will not allow a
very small minority to ride roughshod over
the feelings and wishes of the majority.
Conf licts of interest
Is anyone independent at the Westland
Cr Van Beek attended the original
Kumara Residents Trust (KRT) meeting,
lives outside Kumara but voted to take
money from the endowment fund. He
then voted at the council meeting granting
KRT the sum of $398,000 from that fund.
He stated he knew the “unanimous”
application letter from Kerrie Fitzgibbon
was flawed because he voted for a lesser
amount. He informed the council and
wrote to Kerrie Fitzgibbon to query the
letter but when she did not reply, he just
“ let it go”.
Cr Martin has pictures of the KRT
people on his personal Facebook page
praising the work they are doing. He
seems very satisfied that the council “does
not approve any further consultation with
the Kumara community” which he posted
after the meeting where he made the
resolution and then voted for it.
Cr Andy Thompson has been to KRT
meetings and was present when a letter
questioning the dubious “unanimous vote”
was read. I believe he made a statement
that the letter was “slanderous”. He was
very vocal at the last council meeting
in support of the KRT, and then called
me “disingenuous” at the end of my
Mayor Havill goes to meetings with the
KRT prior to any formal council meeting.
They seem to have a cosy relationship. In
a letter written by the KRT chairwoman
(the only formal introduction on the letter
was the date, then, ‘Hi Mike’) and goes
on to thank him for his attendance and
for his assurance that he would put both
Kumara sections into parks and reser ves,
and that the council would be prepared to
waive the internal and consent cost on the
memorial garden construction.
So, the mayor makes decisions and
promises on his own and obviously has
enough power over councillors to get those
promises through at future meetings?
The chief executive and mayor directed
me and others to a KRT meeting in
Kumara so we could voice our concerns
about the KRT, and we know that did
not happen. The chairwoman Fiona
Pollard stands in front of the council
on September 29 and makes a further
presentation, glosses over the Kumara
meeting, and no one questions her as to
why residents were not allowed to speak or
ask questions at that meeting.
I would suggest to Cr Andy Thompson
the word “disingenuous” would be the
correct word when speaking about the
decisions made by the council, where you
are paid by ratepayers but do not seem to
have the ability to perform to the expected
level. You are supposed to be working for
the community, and you are supposed to
reflect the community’s best interests.
Westland District Council does the
opposite, hands over community funds
without a business or financial plan
and no due diligence. Well done for
being consistent and earning the title
Regarding the recent article on the
Sallies leaders (Greymouth Star, October
23). No one else will defend their good
name, so I will. I always found the Sallies
leaders cheerful, helpful, honest and
friendly, and when the accusations were
made it would have broken their trust in
the community and their spirits.
Now their names are damaged and
reputations ruined because of one person’s
actions. I am feeling angry myself that
this has happened to good people in the
community, the leaders, and so sad they
People ought to get their facts right first
and give people the benefit of the doubt,
think rationally instead of pointing the
finger. I am appalled and angry at the
lengths people go to, to discriminate.
A stor y of toxins
To about three million people in this
country the following will read like a fairy
story. The other million plus, however will
find it all too true.
Many years ago my returned ser viceman
uncle gave me some words of advice. His
words were, ‘ Where there is a Bush, there
is a war’. Happenings in later years had
prompted me to research his warning.
This showed me that both America
and England have a long history of
warmongering. This is to ensure that in
times of economic downturns there is
enough money to keep their leaders on the
This is a very simple operation. First,
create a threat. Then spend some money
on instilling fear into the people. When
this fear turns to fever-pitch declare war
on the supposed enemy (America’s ‘war
on terror’ springs to mind.) Suddenly,
the economy picks up with all war-
related industries doubling, then trebling
production and the money once again
pours into the warmongers’ coffers.
In our own country, strange, unnatural
things have been happening. Apparently
we have developed a very serious
threat. Both our Labour and National
government have, over the years spent up
large to educate the public that a number
of predator species are destroying our
‘Kill them, kill them’ shout three million
people, so the poisoners crank up full
production in their toxin factories, build
a few new ones, so we can deal to other
countries’ threats as well (offshore islands),
then dump these deadly poisons all over
Meanwhile, the money pours into the
poisoners’ coffers. Yes, we have a war, it is
called the ‘Battle for Our Birds’. Do you
want a toxin-free environment with jobs
for our young people? Trappings the caper.
In a town where the standard reply to
any comment or question seems to be
‘ ignore it and it will go away ’, be assured
Development West Coast that this one
will not go away.
Recently, an executive member of this
organisation left his position unexpectedly.
This newspaper was provided with what I
call a ‘terse, one-sentence explanation’ for
As the DWC controls over $100 million
of West Coasters’ money, I would like
an explanation as to the circumstances
involved in this person’s departure.
I am sure that the reply to this request
will not contravene any personal
information that is not normally available
to the investors.
We can assure the correspondent that the
departure of chief executive Joseph Thomas
was a personal decision and he left without
any blemish whatsoever.
A recent Greymouth Star article
commented about the effect on families of
delays in release of Health and Disability
Commission investigation findings and
the Ombudsman’s response. I can add that
the length of time taken is not the only
problem. Maybe the public perception
and the expected role of the Health and
Disability Commissioner by the system of
governance in New Zealand are different.
Anyone with competency in quality
assurance patient case reviews knows
such delays and inappropriate privacy
compromises quality assurance and justice
in many different ways. The internal DHB
investigation usually involves interrogating
c linicians individually and stating the
matters discussed must remain private.
This compromises the teamwork often
required to identify and solve problems.
Limiting accessibility to key information
compromises the education of clinicians,
causes repetition of errors and allows
individuals to be targeted for blame.
Investigations lacking competence and
inappropriate privacy allow misleading
c laims that effective action has been
taken. It also compromises the process of
‘ informed consent ’.
The extent of problems related to surgical
mesh is an example. Experts in the field
had to use media to raise concerns about
use of mesh with specific procedures. No
one is allowed to admit that complications
can be reduced by better technique and
use of mesh made with ‘absorbable’
A section of the New Zealand Crimes
Act questions whether the Ombudsman
is the appropriate authority to investigate
safety compromising processes in the
health care system: “Everyone who
undertakes (except in case of necessity) to
administer surgical or medical treatment,
or to do any other lawful act the doing
of which is or may be dangerous to life,
is under a legal duty to have and to use
reasonable knowledge, skill, and care
in doing any such act, and is criminally
responsible for the consequences of
omitting without lawful excuse to
discharge that duty.”
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