Home' Greymouth Star : December 2nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, December 2, 2015
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and — except for e-mails — your signature. Noms
de plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
e-mail to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1848- Austria’s Emperor Ferdinand I abdicates
in favour of Franz Josef I.
1928- Commander Richard Byrd departs Port
Chalmers with the ships City of New York and
Eleanor Bolling to map the South Pole.
1954 - US Senator Joseph
McCarthy is censured by the Senate
for browbeating army personnel with
his communist witch-hunts.
1966 - The first Trekka is produced
in New Zealand. It is the only motor
vehicle to be designed and mass-
produced in New Zealand.
1971 - Britain terminates all treaties with
the Trucial States in the Gulf, leading to the
formation of the United Arab Emirates. 1972 -
Otago hardman Keith Murdoch scores the only
try in the All Blacks’ 19-16 victory over Wales,
but less than 48 hours later is sent home for
allegedly punching a Welsh security guard.
1987-Ken Graham’s surgical team performs
New Zealand’s first heart transplant at
Auckland’s Green Lane Hospital.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Georges Seurat, French artist (1859-1891);
George Richards Minot, US physician/Nobel
laureate (1885-1950); Otto Dix, German
artist (1891-1969); Maria Callas, US opera
singer (1923-1977); David Munden,
English musician (1943-); Cathy
Lee Crosby, US actress (1944-);
Gianni Versace, Italian fashion
designer (1946-1997); Lucy Liu,
US actress (1968-); Monica Seles,
Yugoslav tennis player (1973-);
Britney Spears, US pop singer
(1981-); Alfred Enoch, English actor (1988-);
Cassie Steele, Canadian actress (1989-).
“ When we cannot find contentment
inourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere. ”
— (Francois, Duc de la Rochefoucauld, French
“Keep yourselves in the love of God.”
— ( Jude 21).
A schoolboy has died
in Buller Hospital
as a result of injuries
he received when he
collided with a coal truck at Waimangaroa
yesterday afternoon. He was 11-year-old
Stuart Stevenson who was riding his bicycle
at 3.30 yesterday afternoon when the accident
occurred. He was rushed to Buller Hospital
with severe head injuries. He died without
The boy rode his bicycle out of a side street
into the path of a truck laden with coal coming
from the Denniston State mines. He was
thrown about 20ft.
A magnificent wooden sculptured replica of
the Corpus Christi (body of Jesus Christ) will
hang from a crucifix on the corridor wall of the
primary section of the Marist Brothers’ school,
Greymouth. The body has been car ved by an
Italian and it is the nearest resemblance to the
actual human form of Christ for the features
are copied from the imprints of the shroud
which covered his body after it had been taken
down from the cross.
The car ving, for which the necessary amount
of approximately £80 was raised by Marist
school pupils last Lent, stands 3ft 6in in height
and is believed to be possibly the first of its
kind in New Zealand.
A large crowd witnessed a full and exciting
programme of cycling when the Greymouth
Amateur Cycling Club held its track meeting
at Victoria Park last night. Kerry Keating, just
back for the three-day tour of Southland, was
in excellent form and was top rider on the
Young Ray Parkinson was winner of the
three-mile race in a time of seven minutes.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
I recently watched the TV One
programme Sunday, on November 29.
I watched with interest the section on
cruelty to calves and how animal welfare
organisations are making a great song and
dance about everything bad that happens
to these poor young animals, and how
they are going global and what a reaction
this will cause in the dairy industry.
Then I got to thinking, is this any worse
than what has been going on for the past
40 years, at least, and which can also be
partly attributed to the dairy industry,
and is not only condoned but praised
as being a great thing? I am talking, of
course, about the ‘wonder poison’ 1080,
whereby many hundreds of thousands
of animals and birds (many native)
have died the most inhumane deaths
imaginable and been left to rot in the
I may not have had a college education,
but could someone please explain to me
the difference in these two scenarios.
Helen Clark and
Now retired, I have become a frequent
visitor to the local library. Recently I
browsed some of the newspapers on
display and was shocked to read in one
of your publications that Helen Clark
has accepted an invitation to become
associated with the restoration of the
Runanga Miners’ Hall.
In my view, Ms Clark’s politics and
philosophy have no similarity to those
of the outstanding leaders, many of
those involved in Runanga’s history,
or the historical Labour Party. Those
who invited her involvement must be
incredibly naive or historically ignorant.
Webb, Semple, Savage, Armstrong,
Ayrton, et al must be turning in their
Certainly no one could describe Ms
Clark’s behaviour as ‘Christianity in
action’. Have those involved forgotten her
On arriving home I was handed your
paper (Greymouth Star, November 16).
In it was the article ‘Funding delays
Cobden flood works’. Apart from
highlighting the stupidity of hiring a
company who have already let the council
down, it highlights the quality of those
who are in control.
If an electric motor was attached to
the winding shaft of the existing gate on
the ‘hole in the wall’ (culvert), then you
hired an engineer or electrician to install
a switching system activated by the water
level, you would eliminate the flooding of
lower Cobden at a very minor cost.
That mature lady who stands on her
front porch watching the flood coming
up to her door, trying to make up her
mind should she go to her friend’s home
for the night, or has the flood reached its
peak, will be able to go to bed with peace
of mind, the same as those in Greymouth.
I do not prefer this way of eliminating
the flooding because it does not address
the problem of the floodwater flowing
out through the floodwall, beneath the
culvert. This will destroy the wall at a
later date if not repaired. The floodwall
should not be a dam. I believe it was
illegal to destroy the floodwall by placing
a hole in it in the first place.
rotten in the
state of Denmark
I am wary of Steven Joyce’s economic
study. First of all, there is hypocrisy
involved. If the market is the truth and
the government cannot intervene, then
the market has clearly stated that the
regions should lose population and
economic infrastructure because the
cities are where it is at. So, what is this
government inter vention about, other
than to save face politically?
Scanning the already completed East
Coast study, based on already existing
information (they do not leave their
desks), the usual conclusions are drawn:
losing population, losing young people,
lack of skills, isolation, transport issues
— n ot exactly news. A neo-liberal
government will not actually do anything,
such as decentralise government
departments, or start anything, or protect
anything. Instead it seeks to identify
investment prospects and suggests
‘clearing bureaucratic blockages’ and
‘removing road blocks’; curiously similar
to the ‘red carpet, not red tape’ language
of the West Coast Regional Council’s
new overarching plan. Who has been
whispering in whose ear? The East Coast
study concludes by praying for successful
gas and oil exploration — for that would
‘transform the economy ’.
Do we have here, not actually a
programme for diversification, but a
yearning to return to extraction, yet again,
as the miracle solution: outside investors
coming and taking away whatever they
can find to take away and creating some
temporary well-paid jobs for a temporary
workforce, and do not let the RMA get
in the way.
Would it not be useful to study where
the money leaks out? Who will be
paid to do this study and where do
they live? How much of the hospital
rebuild money will stay on the Coast
to circulate? Will the hospital catering,
laundry and maintenance be provided for
locally? Why has the Government cut
back on DOC funding and stressed the
department? Was it useful to decapitate
locally-owned bus companies? To what
extent is a proposed per capita funding
for emergency ser vice providers like St
John going to penalise rural areas? What
portion of the tourist spent dollar stays
here? Et cetera.
Once upon a time we made our own
clothes and shoes and there was a sewing
factory in each Coast town, local potters
made our mugs and plates, there were
local milk suppliers and locally owned
electricity companies — until global
investors decided their profit margins
were not large enough and persuaded
national and local governments to bend
to their will.
As Hamlet said, There is something
rotten in the state of Denmark. Until that
source of rottenness is identified, we will
hunt in vain for solutions.
My reason to express a view on the
proposed Kumara Chinese garden is
due to my Kumara grandfather, Stephen
John A’Court’s gold claim in Greenstone,
being among the Chinese claimants
(photo from William F Heinz book, NZ ’
s Last Gold Rush). This is copied on the
printed board at the Chinese garden site.
In William F Heinz’s book Bright Fine
Gold he states the great many Chinese
gold workers were in the Greenstone,
Kumara area, and as Kumara is the main
entrance to the West Coast, I believe it is
fitting to have this memorial on such an
appropriate site. Also, the Ross planned
garden as a memory to the large working
Chinese community in that area.
In my opinion, the major objection to
this incredibly outstanding initiative is
not so much the extensive plans to create
this bold venture, but that such a small
community, in conjunction with the
Westland District Council, seems to be
trying to gain funding on their own.
As Julia Bradshaw ’s book Golden
Prospects states, with the wide area of
the West Coast that the Chinese worked,
it must surely be the full Coast financial
support which needs to be gained, as it
is of benefit to all Coasters. If Tourism
NZ and other like organisations are to
reap the rewards of what will be a tourist
attraction, surely recognition for the
venture on this site must be applauded
and supported. This would then relieve
the pressure on this small community
whose dedicated individuals of all
Kumara may be alleviated.
I propose this challenge to all councils:
to offer their support at such an iconic
site, as New Zealand and overseas tourists
will see the Coast acknowledges the
debt to all who helped build Westland.
So many other nationalities began here
to make New Zealand thrive, and as the
Chinese are represented here, maybe the
Irish, Dalmatians, Jewish, Scandinavians,
Scottish, Italians and others can be
remembered fittingly in other ways and
areas throughout Westland.
Westport child rapist
The strong reaction from the Westport
community to the import of a convicted
child rapist is not a new phenomenon.
Offenders who commit crimes against
children are loathed in our community.
And for good reason. An article in the
Greymouth Star (November 12) stated
that Corrections “carry out a thorough
assessment of the intended address, that
includes checking the property itself,
shared driveways, a ‘visual’ check of
neighbouring properties, proximity of the
house to schools, kindergartens ... and
other places frequented by children”.
If family with children moved into the
area, Corrections stated they would assess
the situation and work with all parties
involved to ensure their safety.
So how did this particular sex offender
come to be living next door to a family
with children, within three blocks of a
preschool and 700m from the primary
school? And how do Corrections find out
when a family has moved into the area?
There appear to be too many gaps in this
process. How on earth did this placement
get approval? I understand that placing
an offender of this type is incredibly
difficult, but there needs to be safer
options. Our children have the right to
be safe from known child sex offenders,
and yet our communities are expected to
allow offenders to live among us. Stewart
Murray Wilson, child sex offender, ended
up living on prison grounds, perhaps this
needs to be explored as an alternative
for offenders that no one wants in their
I was delighted to read about the newly
available ramp in the Regent Theatre.
However, I would like to clarify a point
about the source of some of the funding.
A successful application was made to the
Lend a Hand Foundation, which
is a joint venture between Trustpower
and the three West Coast Rotary clubs,
so credit should go to the trust not just
West Coast Rotary, as in the news
I am one of the foundation’s trustees,
representing the Greymouth Rotary
Club. Funding for the foundation is
provided by annual donations from each
club, with Trustpower matching the
total from the clubs. Applications for
funding are welcomed from individuals or
organisations needing a hand up to assist
their own efforts to meet a specific need.
Summer pest hints
As summer approaches, perhaps the
following tips would help people ...
1. Flies loathe citronella. Put a small
quantity on a piece of rag near a window
ledge, where flies zoom through. They
will not like it.
2. A quantity of fresh mint in a small
container at the ledge of the kitchen
window will deter flies. They loathe mint.
Peppermint essence will also deter mice.
3. A small saucer containing 1 teaspoon
of neat Dettol placed on a window ledge
will suffice to repel flies and other pests.
Wasps: Make a wasp trap by cutting
a large plastic fizz bottle in half and
inverting top half into the base. Fill base
with water, or weak beer or a drop of
sugar etc. Wasps will drown as they
crawl drunkenly about up into the top
half of the bottle. Check these traps every
Do not encourage children to touch the
traps. Empty carefully the wasps etc and
wrap in thick newspaper. Burn if possible.
If wasps become intolerable, ring the
council and ask them to locate the nest.
They have to burn the wasps, dig the
nest out and dispose of the nest. This is a
For sandflies, midges etc, bushman’s
Dettol, vegetable oil to mix, plus a
quarter cup of citronella oil. Shake well.
Apply to exposed skin. Sandflies etc will
Health and Disability
A recent article in NZ Doctor (a
magazine for GPs), described one of
the factors contributing to problems
of retention of high quality staff in the
West Coast and New Zealand. The
article described how two conscientious
Greymouth GPs were traumatised by the
unjustified findings of “shoddy” Health
and Disability Commission (HDC)
The investigation had faulted the GPs,
but not the hospital doctors. Targeting
clinicians who are considered vulnerable
is typical of many HDC investigations.
A doctor who was a GP trainee at
the time had left the practice by the
time she was inappropriately censured
by the HDC process. Such practices
not only traumatse the individual but
compromises education, teamwork and
Errors can happen due to not
knowing any better or forgetfulness.
Harm can be prevented by having a
support system with ease of access
for patients or clinicians with any
concerns of untoward effects. Identifying
problems and finding solutions to
prevent harm requires input from all
involved parties. Secrecy as it happens
is counterproductive. Any necessary
education should occur immediately as
anything else is negligence. Harm can
happen due to recognised complication,
uncorrected error, negligence or clinicians
unnecessarily acting outside their scope
of expertise. The latter two seems to be
selectively omitted from HDC reports.
The current processes of the HDC and
DHB internal investigations is likely to
be a factor in the increasing the number
of complaints to HDC.
There were insufficient details in the
article to figure out what “shoddy” meant.
It could have meant the process was
incompetent or corrupt or a combination
of the two. In case of any corruption,
the individual cases, should be a matter
for police to investigation. The current
HDC process has allowed serious
cases to be unreported and be used to
intimidate clinicians, to corrupt existing
ser vices. The West Coast has two MPs
with obligations or responsibility for the
region. The question is, why they will not
or can not do anything?
While Lasantha Martinus, Chris
Coomber and others continue to
highlight the increasing flaws in the West
Coast public health system (Greymouth
Star, November 27), the Minister of
Health Jonathan Coleman continues to
look the other way as to the realities of
what governments of either colour have
done, and continue to do, with a service
which was once the envy of far more
Like his predecessor, Tony Ryall, Dr
Coleman maintains the stance that it is
“not appropriate” for the Health Minister
to become involved in the running of
DHBs — which raises the question
as to just what is the point of having a
Minister of Health?
While anyone with the interests of
West Coast health services at heart can
see the problems, Dr Coleman issues
such fatuous statements as that headed,
‘ Health target results show steady
progress’ (Greymouth Star, November
27), followed by trivial details of alleged
successes involving tiddly statistics. It is
rather like a builder saying, ‘Never mind
that that your house is falling down, I
have re-painted your front fence’.
Then the minister boasts, ‘the West
Coast board had received a $22 million
funding increase over the past seven
years’, conveniently ignoring that the
proposed loans for the new hospital/
triage centre will cost more in interest
than the $68 million to build it, thereby
at least doubling the cost out of West
Coast health funds.
To give another analogy, it is like your
bank manager saying, ‘ We’re giving you
a Christmas bonus but next year we are
going to transfer all your deposits to our
management holiday fund ’.
To complete the madness it is now
decreed — by shadowy figures plotting
behind closed doors — that the West
Coast ’s ‘new ’ hospital will not be able to
cope with a major disaster because it will
not be built to the maximum earthquake
The politicians and bureaucrats running
the New Zealand public health system
remind me of Winston Churchill’s
comment about a political rival: ‘He
occasionally stumbled over the truth, but
hastily picked himself up and hurried on
as if nothing had happened ’.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
Kumara Gala Day
On behalf of the Kumara Residents
Trust, a big ‘thank you’ to the Kumara
community members who donated
items for raffles, stall and auction and-or
donated their time. This combined effort is
appreciated and made the gala a successful
and enjoyable day.
The funds raised have been allocated
to the Kumara Memorial Hall (50%),
and the balance evenly shared between
a speed warning sign for the eastern
entrance of Kumara, youth group/project,
Kapitea Dam development and general
administration for the trust.
You are invited to next year’s gala
on November 26, 2016. It will the
fifth annual gala for Kumara and will
coincide with the Seddon 150th weekend
celebrations. Pencil in this date in your
new calendar. Thanks for your support, it is
Kumara Residents Trust
It is the part-Maori radicals who are
calling the tune on our water rights. As we
found in every war, it is the radicals who
gain the power — the moderates appease
This is now the time for all New
Zealanders to end their apathy and
understand what is being done, in the
name of the ‘Treaty’, to our rights,
resources, heritage and prospects by the
increasing power of a newly-created ‘tribal
elite’ that is systematically undermining
our institutions and sovereignty.
The Maori people who ceded sovereignty
to Queen Victoria in 1840 no longer exist.
Their descendants are one of numerous
ethnic groups in modern New Zealand
society with rights based on citizenship,
In such a society no single group should
be entitled to rights, privileges and special
funding that is not available to others.
The benefits of colonisation for Maori,
lifting them out of a violent Stone Age
existence, far outweighed any negative
The Waitangi Tribunal should be
abolished in the interests of the nation
and its future as, by either gross error
or deliberate lie, this body is driving a
sword through the nation’s unity and
It is time to acknowledge the truth that
there is neither ‘partnership’ nor ‘principles’
in the Treaty.
These fictions were invented 150 years
later after the event by self-interested
parties so as to give superior rights to part-
Maori which the words of the Treaty do
It is time to take a stand for democracy
and equality of citizenship and to face
down all demands for racial preference
and co-governance agreements.
of f West Coast
Interesting story on the Japanese
squid boats (Greymouth Star Saturday
Afternoon, November 28). From Ten
Mile or Twelve Mile bluff (at night) it
looked like there really was a massive
city out at sea. At the time (late 1960s
through to the 1980s), as a surfcaster
and also publicly as local spokesman for
Campaign against Foreign Control in
Aotearoa, I believed it was the beginning
of the total destruction of the local
Many recreational fishermen noticed
that there was a sharp fall of catches from
the beach. Once upon a time you could
easily catch shark (many species), cod,
snapper, gurnard, kahawai, skates/rays,
and the odd conger eel on a surfcasting
rod. In my opinion, the fishery is now, 40
years later, recovering.
On December 27, 1840 the barque
Blenheim arrived in Wellington Harbour
with over 200 Scottish settlers and landed
them at Kaiwharawhara. They founded
the ‘Scotch village’ of ‘Kaiwarra’, built
the roads from Wellington to Petone and
Porirua, and brought their traditions and
culture to a new land.
To celebrate the 175th anniversary of
the arrival there is going to be a picnic on
December 27, 2015 at Onslow College,
Johnsonville. All are welcome: entry is
free. People are invited to bring their
picnic, wear their tartan, enjoy Scottish
dancing and music, join in traditional
children’s games, and view the displays.
Events will kick off at 11am with
a welcome and opening ceremony,
including a march of the Blenheim
families and a haggis ceremony.
Entertainment will include a display
of Highland dancing, performances by
members of the City of Wellington Pipe
Band, children’s sports — running and
novelty races, and (modified) tossing the
caber and the sheaf toss, gumboot throw
and haggis throw.
The related website is at www.
blenheim175.wordpress.com and the
Facebook page is https://www.facebook.
Eventfinda at http://www.eventfinda.
For further information contact: Hugh
McPhail firstname.lastname@example.org phone
(04) 970 9851 or 021 705 817.
Links Archive December 1st 2015 December 3rd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page