Home' Greymouth Star : January 30th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, January 30, 2017
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 Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly.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
1606 - Sir Everard Digby, Thomas Winter,
John Grant and Thomas Bates, conspirators
in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the British
Houses of Parliament, are executed.
1649 - Britain’s King Charles I is beheaded.
1917 - First jazz record is cut in the US.
1933 - Adolf Hitler is named
1942 - Australia’s ‘Gull Force’,
along with 2600 Netherlands East
Indies troops, fight in defence of
Ambon but are unable to defeat the
Japanese invasion of the island.
1948 - Mahatma Gandhi is
assassinated by a Hindu nationalist in New
1966 - Prince Charles arrives in Australia to
attend Geelong Grammar School.
1972 - Thirteen civil rights marchers are shot
dead by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on
what becomes known as ‘Bloody Sunday ’.
1973 - Gordon Liddy and James McCord
are convicted of burglary, wire-tapping
and attempted bugging of the Democratic
headquarters at the Watergate building.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Franklin D Roosevelt, US president (1882-
1945); Dorothy Malone, US actress
(1925-); Olof Palme, Swedish
prime minister (1927-1986); Gene
Hackman, US actor (1930-); Shirley
Hazzard, Australian author (1931-
2016); Vanessa Redgrave, English
actress (1937-); Dick Cheney, former
US vice-president (1941-); Phil
Collins, English pop singer (1951-);
Christian Bale, British-born actor (1974-).
“ It is the tragedy of the world that no one
knows what he doesn’t know — and the less a
man knows, the more sure he is that he knows
— Joyce Cary, English author (1888-1957).
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.”
— (Hebrews 11:1).
was drowned in
the Buller River at
Westport yesterday afternoon. He was Ronald
McDonald, son of Mr and Mrs J R McDonald
of Greymouth. Mr McDonald is an insurance
agent in Greymouth, having recently been
transferred here from Westport.
The boy was on holiday at Westport with
his parents. He was playing in the water with
two girls when he suddenly went under. The
girls alerted some boys who were swimming
further along the river. One boy swam out and
recoverd the body and brought it ashore.
Attempts at resuscitation by police and
ambulance men were unsuccessful.
Greymouth radio announcer Mr John
Pike had his car badly damaged when he
was involved in a collision with a truck at
the intersection of Smith and Shiel streets,
Reefton, on Saturday night. The truck, driven
by Selwyn George Topp, of Reefton, hit the car
in its centre, pushing in much of the bodywork.
No one was hurt in the accident.
Running a marathon in 2hr 16min 2sec is
easy! At least it seemed so when D unollie’s
remarkable Dave McKenzie breasted the tape
at Christchurch’s Rugby Park on Saturday
to clinch his thrid successive Canterbury
marathon title with the fastest time ever
recorded in this country.
After finishing the race in an apparent
canter, the diminutive Coaster continued to
run another lap. It all seemed unbelievable
—- like a training run at 90% effort. However,
cautious McKenzie was quick to offer a word
of warning to enthusiasts. “I will probably get
my bad days and blow up.”
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
Council admin costs
The Greymouth Star on Friday shows
local council chief executive costs
— Buller $255,000, regional council
$239,000, Grey $227,000, Westland
$228,000 — a total of nearly $950,000 in
chief executive costs.
Administration costs near $20m for
our four councils . . . for what? Then
for DOC and Development West
Coast administration as well. How long
can we continue to pay governmental
organisations for duplicating, triplicating
policies, plans, and causing unnecessary
work and cost?
Our Kaniere rates have climbed 70%
since 2012, yet property values decreased
by $25,000. I write in concern for other
residents who are also faced with other
increased overhead costs. West Coast
median incomes are around just $30,000.
With IT equipment and ultrafast
broadband there are better options,
and such costs as above should reduce.
Ratepayers can see Local Government
Commission information and read
our original application on the Local
Government Commission website. What
are your thoughts for more efficient
cost-effective council/s and government
entities on the West Coast where we have
a population of 32,000? The sooner the
commission can gain traction the better, in
In response to the opinion piece by
Winston Peters (Greymouth Star, January
25 ‘Power to the people of Westpower’).
The costs that Westpower has to meet
to be linked to the national grid via
the Transpower network come in two
Firstly, there is the transmission charge
that is apportioned to the West Coast and
pays our share of the costs of the national
grid. Secondly, under the existing regime
Westpower consumers have paid avoided
cost of transmission charges (ACoT) to
the generators such as Trustpower.
The Electricity Authority is proposing
changes to future transmission charges
that will change the first of these charges,
but at the same time they have decided to
remove the second charge (ACoT) .
The first charge will increase, however
the effect of the increase will be reduced
by the removal of ACoT.
It is the removal of the ACoT charges
under the new regime that has been
overlooked in Mr Peters’ article. I am
satisfied that the net effect of these
changes will result in a benefit to West
Home help cut at 91
Recently I was assessed for home help
that I receive. Within four days I got the
results of the assessment — the West Coast
DHB will cease to provide funding services
from April 17, 2017.
I will get one hour per week for a month
and then one hour per fortnight until that
I was shocked at this news as I have had
home help for 11 years. I am 91 and one’s
body deteriorates as we get older — it does
not get stronger.
The assessor hinted that we the clients
should pay for our help, so for two days I
have been trying to contact the manager
of the home-based service support. He is
either in a meeting or out of the building
and has not got in touch with me.
Is paying for our home help a New
Zealand-wide idea or just the West Coast
I use my walker all the time. I cannot
vacuum, wet mop my kitchen and
bathroom areas, clean the shower or change
the linen on my bed.
Just because I have always been
independent and still like to do as much
as possible, such as showering, doing the
washing and hanging it out, and cooking
most of my meals, am I being punished?
I keep myself busy and look on the bright
side of life by knitting for charity, doing
crosswords and reading.
The assessor could see how difficult it was
for me to get about. I told him of the tasks
I was unable to do, but he still advised that
my home help be discontinued unless I pay
for it. It makes me wonder if everyone he
assesses is taken off the paid home help list.
I know of others.
Lyla J Dunn
Police overkill at
I do not want what I am about to say seen
in any way as a criticism of the police at all.
It seems rather strange how Solid Energy
called upon the police under the guise of
safety and intimidation concerns owing
to the protest and blockade on the road
leading to the Pike River Mine.
My point is, having the police there made
no difference, as has been proven by the
fact the Solid Energy staff still go to the
mine site and there have been no incidents
without the police being there.
The police were never needed as it was
overkill to have had them there to escort
the Solid Energy staff through the picket
I am pleased the police can make better
use of their time elsewhere and if anything
this has de-escalated the tension, in my
I say that not because the police were in
any way heavy-handed or unpleasant, that
I am aware of. But rather it is seen as the
State police looking after a State-owned
enterprise rather than their public. Again
that is a perception, not a criticism of the
police just doing their jobs.
It seems whenever there are any protests
against the State the police are their first
port of call, needed or not. So they are
used as a pawn to try to put people off
protesting, even if inadvertently on their
We would like to express our heartfelt
thanks to Rose Green and the committee
for organising such a wonderful weekend.
It has helped us, and we hope others, bring
closure to such a significant event in our
Tony, Mary, Agnes and Mary
Hugh O’Donnell Family
Coast DHB cutbacks
The West Coast DHB’s latest chief spin
doctor Phil Wheble (Greymouth Star,
January 24) has bureaucrat-speak down to
a fine art.
In response to numerous reported cases
of cuts to elderly people’s home help he
is quoted as saying, “there had been no
cutbacks but changes were being made
as staff were ‘transitioned ’ from casual to
So if we are to believe Mr Wheble, the
rascally elderly folks raising these concerns
are making them up, with the equally
rascally Star newspaper giving them a voice.
But wait, there is more. Having stated,
“there had been no cutbacks â€¦”, in the
same paper Mr Wheble states, “â€¦we have
worked hard to provide our clients and
their families with as much information as
possible and ensured the service is reduced
over time, rather than immediately”.
He cannot have it both ways — ‘no
cutbacks’ but the service to be ‘reduced
over time’. Don’t they proof-read their own
statements before issuing them?
Then there is the term ‘transitioned ’. This
is a common bureaucrat-speak tactic to
distract people from the matter in hand by
using a mysterious expression regarding
staff contracts when ‘changed’ would have
been a clearer and less pretentious word.
Not content with all this we then read
that old bureaucratic/political red herring
of digressing onto how much the DHB
is spending. This is clearly intended to (a)
distract from the matter in hand, i.e. that
elderly folk are having their home care cut,
and (b) to make the elderly feel they are a
burden on the taxpayers when they are the
generations which have built this region —
and New Zealand overall — and therefore
surely deserve to spend their retirement
years without being hassled by, as my father
once observed of bureaucrats, ‘upstarts who
don’t know any better’.
But in any case, why mention the cost of
home help when it is generally recognised
that keeping folk in their own homes saves
money in DHB budgets?
It is highly revealing of the management
mindset to compare 84-year-old Eleanor
Adamson’s loss of her one hour home
help per week with the reckless spending
of Canterbury-West Coast DHB chief
executive David Meates, whereby tens of
thousands of taxpayer dollars were gleefully
squandered on sending Mr Meates not
once, not twice, but three times on jolly
jaunts to France supposedly for the purpose
of attending courses to teach him how to
do his job — when he has been in health
management for several decades.
The Australian politicians’ greedy
exploitation of travel expenses is coming
under close examination. It is high time the
same happened in New Zealand, and while
that is happening similar inquiries need to
be made about DHB spending priorities.
Democrats for Social Credit
story started making the
rounds last week about
French energy regulators
asking companies to cut
back on e-mail in order
to save energy. It sort of
sounds like a satirical piece — it did, in
fact, end up in Reddit ’s ‘Not the onion’
sub-section — but the suggestion really
does come from the French regulator,
Which got us thinking: How do our
tech habits affect how much power we use
and the environment? Finding an answer
is harder than you may think.
After all, the energy you use at your
desk writing a typical e-mail is not all
the energy that an e-mail uses. As the
French warning indicates, there is a whole
infrastructure behind every message,
which includes not only the electricity you
use but also the energy it takes to store
and transmit that information through
Many researchers have looked into
the carbon footprint of these types of
technology — meaning the amount of
greenhouse gas produced to support the
activity — to measure the impact they
have on the environment.
This is commonly expressed in the
volume of carbon dioxide. Using
more energy tends to produce a larger
greenhouse gas emission, but using
alternative forms of energy that do not
burn greenhouse gasses can also reduce a
technology ’s carbon footprint.
The carbon footprint of activities depend
heavily on which companies you use, as
different companies source their energy in
Greenpeace and other environmental
activists have long encouraged consumers
to think about the environmental effects
of their tech use.
Working off these and other sources, we
were able to come up with some rough
estimates about how your tech habits
affect the environment.
Your ultimate impact will, of course,
depend on the way you power your own
home — solar, wind, etc.
E-mail: The average spam e-mail has
a footprint equivalent to 0.3g of carbon
dioxide emissions (CO2e), according to
carbon footprint expert Mike Berners-
Lee’s 2010 book How Bad are Bananas:
The Carbon Footprint of Everything.
A normal e-mail, according to that book,
has a footprint of 4g of CO2e, which
accounts for the power data centres and
computers spend sending, filtering and
reading messages. An e-mail with a “long
and tiresome attachment ” can have a
carbon footprint of 50g CO2e.
Berners-Lee estimates that a typical
year of incoming mail adds 136kg of
emissions to a person’s carbon footprint,
or the equivalent of “driving 321km in an
On a larger scale, he says that the
world’s data centres in 2010 accounted for
130 million tons of CO2e, or a quarter
of a percent of the world’s global total.
Berners-L ee projected that the world’s
data centres will produce 250 to 340
million tons CO2e by 2020.
An hour of streaming video: Netflix
itself said that, in 2014, that the average
customer had a carbon footprint of 300g
per year. Though, it must be said, that
did not factor in the power consumed by
devices — just the energy used delivering
the service itself.
Netflix has since made its service
carbon neutral, including the power it
uses through Amazon Web Services
and its own Open Connect programme.
Greenpeace did give Netflix a D in
its annual report of tech companies
The report that the firm has attained
some of its carbon neutrality by buying
offsets rather than encouraging its cloud
providers to switch to cleaner energy
source. That includes Amazon Web
Ser vices, which earned a C in the same
report. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey
P Bezos is the owner of The Washington
* Watching television: The power
consumption, and therefore the carbon
footprint, of your television obviously
depends quite a bit on what kind of
television you have. If you want to find
your own television’s consumption, try
heading to the Energy Star website,
which will let you find products that have
been certified as energy-efficient and give
you their consumption information.
Again referring to Berner-Lee’s book, an
hour of television viewing on an old 32in
CRT television was rated at 84g CO2e
for an hour’s worth of watching television,
while a 15in LCD television generated
37g. A 42in plasma television, however,
generate the most with 240g CO2e.
Playing video games: Game consoles
can be power hogs, at least according to a
2014 report from the Natural Resources
Defense Council. As the NRDC put it:
“As of January 18, 2014, just two months
after their release, 8 million PS4 and
Xbox One consoles had already been sold
Just these two months’ worth of sales
will consume 8000 gigawatt-hours of
electricity and be responsible for the
emissions of 3 million metric tons of CO2
over the life of the consoles.”
Game consoles are often put into a
standby mode instead of being completely
turned off, which contributes to the power
they draw. Overall, the NRDC estimated
at the time that game consoles drew as
much electricity each year as the city of
Houston. The study has not been repeated
with the newest consoles each company
has announced last year. Since the study,
however, Microsoft introduced a new
power-saving mode designed to reduce
how much power it guzzles.
Streaming music: Here, again,
the numbers are fuzzy — so fuzzy, in
fact, that numbers were hard to come
by at all. But a 2013 article cited in
The Washington Post estimated that
streaming an album 27 times used up the
same amount of energy as producing and
shipping a CD. So if you are wondering
whether streaming a song is better for the
environment than buying it on CD, the
devil is in the details.
In all cases, the question of how harmful
any given activity’s energy use may
depend in part on the company you’re
using. Several companies, including
Apple, Google and Netflix, have all
committed to using clean sources of
energy for their data centres — and, in
many cases, are increasing the percentage
of clean energy they are using for their
services each year.
If you are worried about your energy
bill, then paying attention to consumption
alone is probably what you need to
pay attention to the most. If you are
concerned about your carbon footprint,
then researching how the companies you
use source energy is also worth a look.
— New Zealand Herald
Is e-mail bad for the environment?
Links Archive January 28th 2017 January 31st 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page