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Early Catholic tragedy recalled
WEST COAST FEATURE
stays on Coast
Former Development West Coast
chief executive Joseph Thomas,
who resigned from the position
unexpectedly a month ago and
has left the region, has just been
appointed deputy chairman of the
West Coast District Health Board.
Mr Thomas was a ministerial
appointment on the board, and he
was this week confirmed as deputy,
replacing Peter Ballantyne, who
moved up to the chair following the
resignation of Dr Paul McCormack
last year. Warren Gilbertson,
another senior employee with
DWC, fills Dr McCormack’s
vacant seat. Health Minister Dr
Jonathan Coleman confirmed the
appointments this week.
Still no decision
on charges after
Nearly nine months after the
death of Cobden toddler Leith
Hutchison from apparent head
injuries, police have yet to lay
any charges. Detective senior
sergeant Dan Keno, of Greymouth,
confirmed that the investigation
was still “active and ongoing” into
the circumstances which led to the
15-month-old boy being brought
to Grey Base Hospital in April
suffering cardiac arrest. Leith was
transferred to Starship Hospital in
Auckland, where he died on April
23 from suspected head injuries. Mr
Keno said police were awaiting two
more specialist reports in relation
to medical information sought
during the investigation. “ Evidential
inquiries are mainly completed now
and they are being reviewed. No
determination has been made on
A coffee shop in East London has
provoked outrage after banning Ugg
boots and referring to them as slag
wellies. Brick Lane Coffee slated
the popular Australian brand on a
chalkboard outside its shop earlier
this week, with the message: ‘Sorry
no Uggs (slag wellies)’. Passers-by
took to Twitter to express their
anger and it is not the first time the
Goswell Road establishment has
caused controversy. Earlier this year
it prompted a similar response with
a sign saying ‘sorry, no poor people’
and another that read ‘please don’t
feed the crackies,’ referring to drug
addicts. — Daily Mail
Rain, heavy at times, easing later
Nurses say their concerns over
management plans to change the way
Grey Base Hospital is staffed are being
ignored, and some feel they are being
The West Coast District Health
Board says it has not received any
official complaints of bullying.
The board proposes updating
contracts, some dating back to the
1970s, when nurses were assigned to
particular wards including those that
no longer exist.
With the completion of the new
hospital, nurses will be expected to
work across the board, rather than be
assigned to individual wards.
A nurse wrote anonymously to the
Greymouth Star, saying nurses are
“currently very unhappy with this
(consultation) and the way in which
nurses are being treated in general by
senior management ”.
Nurses had been “ bullied” into
accompanying patient transfers to
Christchurch, including junior staff
who did not always feel safe doing so,
the nurse claimed, citing anonymity
for fear of retribution.
“At a recent meeting about these
change of contracts, management
had the ner ve to say we just say ‘no’ to
transfers without any consideration
for the patients and that ‘we need
to remember we are here to care for
patients’. A nurse (who) wants to go
home at the end of their eight-hour
shift does not mean they do not care
Nurses felt under valued, often
missed their breaks and were treated
like “utter rubbish”.
The letter was for warded to the
nurses’ union, the NZNO, which did
not disagree with it.
Organiser Lynda Boyd said a
significant number of nurses had made
submissions on the proposal to change
“The over whelming majority felt
their concerns were ignored or
disregarded,” Ms Boyd said.
All nurses cared passionately for the
West Coast community, she said.
“They are just asking for some respect
from the employer.”
The union was strongly supporting
staff on the issue.
The union was “aware of bullying
issues” and pressure to accept the
new contract, as well as pressure to
do patient transfers they may not feel
The union had expressed its concerns
verbally and was now formalising that,
Ms Boyd said.
West Coast DHB general manager
Grey-Westland Mark Newsome said
the concept of the generalist nurse was
at the core of West Coast nursing, and
An example was the general surgical
ward, where nurses provided care for
all types of surgery, from orthopaedics
In a larger hospital, one ward would
be used for only one type of surgery,
such as orthopaedics.
“The West Coast nursing workforce
is integral to excellent care and ser vice
provision, and it is important to
maintain the mix of nurses to support
The amount of care required by
patients was reviewed daily by the
nursing leadership team, and assistance
given to busy areas, from quieter areas.
“This flexibility supports safety for
patients and nurses.”
The proposal to amend nursing
contracts was intended to update some
outdated contracts to reflect changes
“as we prepare for the new facilities
and providing ser vices closer to home”.
Meanwhile, Mr Newsome said the
board had a zero tolerance of bullying.
“ We have a complaints process and
encourage staff to use it if they believe
that they have been the subject of
unacceptable behaviour. As yet, we
have not been formally notified of any
such complaints from our staff.”
‘(Many) felt their concerns were
ignored or disregarded.’ — Union
Recreation, old and new
PICTURE: Laura Mills
The roof is going on the new Westland Recreation Centre, behind the 100-year-old Makura Croquet Club pavilion on the Recreation Ground,
Greymouth. The $12 million stadium is on track for opening in mid-2016.
The West Coast whitebait season will be
done and dusted at 9 o’clock tonight and
from many accounts it has been a bit of a
West Coast Whitebaiters Association
president Des McEnaney said yesterday
that “unless something miraculous happens
(today), it was a fizzer”.
Overall it was the “poorest” for a few
Despite that, he had heard of some recent
good catches on a handful of rivers.
“On the south side of the Hokitika River
some whitebaiters have done quite well, the
north side fisherman not so well.”
Taramakau fishermen had “one or two
good days” but were generally disappointed.
“In South Westland, catches were also
poor, with many whitebaiters lifting
their gear early and heading home —
something which is usually unheard of,” Mr
He said on both the Grey and Buller
Rivers catches were patchy.
Apart from some pre-season poaching,
only minor breaches were encountered.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
There was little activity on the Taramakau River yesterday.
Whitebaiters bemoan ‘fizzer’ of a season
Coasters switch off Trustpower
West Coast residents are deserting Trustpower in
their droves, although the Tauranga-based energy
company has gained the most nationally.
On the Coast, the number of people switching
power providers has more than quadrupled in just
four months. Several providers have been actively
touting for business on the Coast and that is
starting to make inroads into Trustpower’s former
Electricity Authority figures show that in April,
167 switched, rising to 236 the next month, then
279, July 353, August 568 and by September, 695.
Mercury is the big winner, newcomer Globug is
getting a foothold, and Trustpower is the biggest
Since January, Mercury has gained more than 700
West Coast customers; Trustpower has lost that
Electricity Authority chief executive Carl Hansen
said West Coast residents last year had the lowest
switching rates in the country, but high savings
were available in the region.
“This year, Globug has entered the West Coast
market, creating even more competition between
retailers. Globug is a prepay electricity ser vice
a new option to
consumers on the
West Coast,” Mr
The big increase
in switching rates
for 2015 was a great
sign of competitive
retailers were being
forced to work hard
to attract and retain
“ We’d encourage
all West Coast
consumers to shop
around for their
as good savings are available.”
He encouraged people to go to
www.whatsmynumber.org.nz to see what options
and savings were available.
Trustpower spokesman Graham Purches said
Mercury had been heavily discounting in some
South Island regions to try to regain market share
nationally, and “possibly in retaliation for our
activity in their Auckland market ”.
He noted that Trustpower employed 10 staff on
the Coast in meter reading and generation, and the
company had contributed hundreds of thousands
of dollars to the West Coast community through
the Lend a Hand Foundation in partnership with
Rotary, and 15 years of community awards.
Overall nationally, Trustpower had made the
biggest gains adding about 17,400 contracts.
GRAPHIC: Electricity Authority
Corner of Tainui and Guinness Streets Phone 03 768 4075
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