Home' Greymouth Star : March 10th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, March 10, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1788: French explorer Jean-Francois de
Galaup, comte de Laperouse, sails from Sydney
and is never seen again. The wrecks of his two
ships are later found in the Solomon Islands.
1814 - Napoleon Bonaparte is forced to
withdraw at Battle of Laon, France.
1862 - The US government issues
its first paper money.
1876 - US inventor Alexander
Graham Bell makes the first
telephone call, telling his assistant
in an adjoining room: “Mr Watson,
come here. I want you.”
1914 - Suffragette Mary Richardson
slashes Velazquez’s Rokeby Venus painting at
London’s National Gallery in protest at the
British government ’s treatment of Emmeline
1919 - The Australian Government offers a
£10,000 prize for the first flight by Australians
from England to Australia before December 31.
1945 - Three hundred US B-29 bombers
devastate Japan’s capital in what becomes
known as the Great Tokyo Air Raid. The
resulting firestorm kills 100,000 people.
1946 - Twenty-five people die in the crash of
a Douglas DC3 aircraft at Hobart.
1949 - Twenty-one people die when a
Lockheed aircraft crashes at Coolangatta,
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Friedrich Schlegel, German poet (1772-
1829); Pablo Sarasate (Martin Meliton),
Spanish violinist (1844-1908); Chuck Norris,
US actor (1940-); Dean Torrence, US singer of
Jan and Dean fame (1940-); David Rabe, US
playwright (1940-); Morgan Tsvangirai, former
prime minister of Zimbabwe (1952-); Osama
bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda
(1957-2011); Sharon Stone, US
actress (1958-); Jeff Ament, US rock
musician of Pearl Jam fame (1963-);
Rick Rubin, US rock producer
(1963-); Prince Edward of England
(1964-); Edie Brickell, US singer
(1966-); Eva Herzigova, Czech model
(1973-); Shannon Miller, US gymnast (1977-);
Carrie Under wood, American singer-songwriter
(1983-); Olivia Wilde, American actress (1984-);
Emeli Sande, British singer (1987-).
“ What one Christian does is his own
responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown
back at all Jews.” — Anne Frank, concentration
camp victim (1929-1945).
“Those who wait for the Lord shall renew
their strength, they shall mount up with wings
like eagles, they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.” — Isaiah 40:31
Next year, the
Cobden State Primary
School will be 100
years old. A three-day
celebration will begin on January 26, 1968,
and at least 1000 past pupils are expected to
attend. “ We will have a very full programme,”
commented Mr F H Hayes, a member of the
publicity committee. Dominion-wide publicity
inviting past pupils of the school to attend is
also planned, he said.
“One of the oldest associates who will
probably attend is Mr Harry Barrett who was
headmaster at the school for 34 years,” Mr
Ten years ago, the school celebrated its 90th
jubilee and over 400 past pupils attended.
About 40 middle-aged and older people
attended a driver refresher course in Greymouth
last night. The course, the first of three. was
run by traffic officer T G Whittaker of the
Transport Department with the co-operation of
the Greymouth Borough Council. Last night’s
session took the form of lectures on driving
techniques and rules of the road.
Mr Whittaker said he was disappointed
with the response from younger drivers and he
hopes that more will come for ward for the next
The ricketty old Taramakau bridge, situated
on the Mitchells Road, is to receive a “ little
doctoring” to lift its lifespan by some five years.
Its four main truss spans are to be renewed and
already materials have been delivered to the site
for work to commence soon.
Cost of the operation is estimated at about
£500. Grey County engineer Mr D G Forrest
received the ‘green light ’ to go ahead when he
reported the serious decay of the trusses.
uFood for thought
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Once again, gross stupidity and knee-
jerk reactionaries are coming to force in
I see there is a proposal to put traffic
lights at Mackay-Tainui. Why, oh why?
It is not, never has been and never will
be a problem area that requires any
inter vention other than in the mind
of educated dickheads, chest-puffing
dignatories and other non-Planet Earth
We do not need the lights. They tried
years ago and did not get them. I had a
hand in stopping that lot.
Remember, with the town square, Tainui
Street from Mackay Street to Mawhera
Quay will be virtually closed off and the
intersection will basically be a T one.
It would be beneficial to see the crash
statistics for that intersection over the
past 10 years and its rating of problem in
this town. Also, if one was to look at the
cost-benefit analysis I bet it just does not
Imagine on those winter Barber
mornings waiting for the ‘cross now ’ light
sure we will be pleased. Not!
Spend $350,000 upgrading the roads and
footpaths — that is more needed than silly
bloody traffic lights.
I am concerned about the council’s draft
plan to install traffic lights in central
Greymouth, as depicted in your headlines
of March 9.
While not detailed, I am assuming the
consultant ’s main concern is the combined
volume of traffic and pedestrians at peak
I recognise there are issues with
the intersection. Traffic stopping for
pedestrians on the crossings can cause
cars to come to a complete stop in the
centre of the intersection, and pedestrians
are at risk of being hit by turning traffic.
From my perspective as both a driver and
a pedestrian in Greymouth, however, I do
not believe that it will be made safer by
the installation of lights.
Due to the on-off nature of traffic lights,
traffic may back up through side streets
and the level crossing and roundabout on
Tainui Street. In my obser vation even at
the busiest times traffic flows reasonably
well through the Mackay-Tainui street
intersection, and lights seem unnecessary.
I am also concerned that when traffic
is light (any time from 5.30pm to 9am,
and often on weekends) motorists will
become frustrated and ignore orange
and red signals, increasing the danger for
A better solution in my opinion, is to
move the pedestrian crossings further
down the streets and lengthen the
pedestrian bollards/barriers immediately
around the intersection. While this will
not resolve the problem completely, it will
increase pedestrian visibility to motorists.
All this comes at significantly less cost,
and money saved could perhaps be put
towards the much needed roundabout
on the Marlborough-High Street corner,
where countless accidents have actually
As Coasters, we are proud of the fact
that the West Coast towns are traffic-light
free. The bollards in town, and the absence
of traffic lights make the town attractive
to visitors and locals alike. I vote to keep it
Recent conjecture has History House
taking on a new guise, becoming housed
in either dislocated venues around the
district, entering the hard-sell commercial
marketplace at the vacant Dick Smith’s
building in Mackay Street (at a cost
to ratepayers of $50,000 per year), or
remaining in mothballs until the fabled
‘Discovery Centre’ rises from the dust.
This concept in turn would involve a
high rental, with the attendant concerns of
space allocation. With the recent closure
of History House due to health and safety
concerns for staff and public, it is now
‘crunch time’ for the Grey District Council
to decide: (a) a compromise and continued
relegation for the town’s attractions, or (b)
a unique standalone iconic position with
appropriate signs to point the way.
What is History House? It is the
repository in the Grey district for all
of our heritage records, people’s stories,
events of catastrophe or sporting
achievements, and it will continue to grow
into the future, as ‘that which occurs today
is our history tomorrow ’.
We are the owners of this collection and
the council is responsible for administering
to its requirements with staff and a
suitable location, where it can be accessed
by all for enjoyment and research, and
presented to the public (tourists and locals
alike) in a suitable environment that will
meet the requirements of our archives.
The museum function, other than the
outstanding photograph collection, is
nominally just a front as our archives are
where the importance lies. We are the
youngest of New Zealand’s provinces but
we have the greatest history.
So, the dilemma of the moment where
some astronomical pricing for the repairs/
upgrade to the current location in Gresson
Street has initiated panic. But there are
now surfacing formalised figures which
indicate that the immediate burden of
cost to ratepayers is not so mind-boggling,
and to continue to house History
House in the present (freehold) location
would be advantageous. This venue will
accommodate the growth of our archival
collection with subsequent expansion of
premises way into the future.
The history of our province is unique and
should be granted ‘pride of place’.
Our advertised trip last Saturday around
Ryall Road and the Inland Pack Track
near Punakaiki gave some more people an
opportunity to look at the options for the
Pike 29 ‘great walk’.
Present were local bach owners, Coast
Road, Punakaiki and Greymouth residents
and members of the West Coast Alpine
Club. Unfortunately, none of the people
who seem to be planning or making
decisions about the track were present.
The notice given for the trip was a little
too short and I apologise for that, but our
offer still stands and the locals are keen
and happy to take anyone round the two
tracks for them to see the situation for
We have shown a lot of people around
this area over recent months and have yet
to find anyone who is not shocked with
what is being proposed for the Inland
Pack Track. They have no problem seeing
the logic of using Ryall Road rather than
the Inland Pack Track for the cycle egress
from the ‘great walk’.
If only from a health and safety
perspective, Ryall Road would also
provide a flood-free route out of the
valley for cyclists as well as for walkers in
an emergency. The proposed track in the
lower Pororari is prone to flooding, and
flood debris from the January floods is still
present on the proposed track below the
Pororari River-Cave Creek confluence.
Is it too much to ask that the people
responsible for changing and modifying a
significant part of one of the oldest tracks
on the West Coast could explain their
actions to the public?
The recent DHB media release, about the
proposed future integrated family health
ser vice in Reefton stated that the current
hospital has an accident and emergency
department. An A and E department in
New Zealand usually require a doctor to
be available immediately, appropriately
trained nursing staff and facilities for
x-rays and blood tests. I believe stating
that Reefton Hospital has an A and E
department can be misleading to visitors,
newly recruited staff, and support staff
elsewhere unfamiliar with the region.
Reefton health ser vices should include a
medical ser vice capable of providing initial
care for urgent medical needs and dealing
with minor trauma. However, to be able to
provide this ser vice, there should be degree
of stability in nursing staff. Th ere should
also be a sufficient number nurses with
experience in trauma management and
an understanding of the local needs and
resources, as well as good back-up support
from the base hospital.
As the media release stated, ‘health
ser vices delivered to the patients will not
be affected’. The public should question
whether there is stability of ser vices such
as the rural nurses and availability of
nursing staff with trauma experience at the
The use of the term ‘accident and
emergency department ’ at Reefton
Hospital should be a timely reminder
of an incident in Christchurch nearly
a decade ago. A Christchurch Urgent
Medical Centre with a GP, without
on-site specialist support, used to be
advertised as an A and E. Parents of
an eight-year-old girl who had become
unconscious with a serious infection,
took their child to the urgent medical
centre, instead of the public hospital a
few minutes from the medical centre.
Instead of the appropriate diagnosis and
early intensive care support, the child was
labelled as a victim of attempted murder.
When the child died, the police medical
adviser was unable to find a New Zealand
doctor willing to testify, due to fear of
bullying. The grieving father of the child
was accused of murder.
Auckland and other
I have just spent a few days in Auckland.
Actually, when I arrived I thought Air NZ
had dropped me off in the wrong country.
Well, I suppose you could say it was, as
Auckland is Auckland — the rest of us are
in little old, little cared for New Zealand.
Although we do speak English, I do
wonder if Mr Little, or anyone else for
that matter, cares. I read a news release
that says one of our bright academics
for a high-profile agency is saying the
Government should not worry about
the rest of dying New Zealand. Nothing
should be done about places like the
North Island’s East Coast, or the South
Island’s West Coast.
Mind you, that high-paid guy and his
agency should not be in their jobs as they
should know no government has ever
worried about us other than paying lip
But back to the Auckland situation.
Their mayor has been a member of
government. He wants tens of thousands
more houses built in Auckland. I believe
OSH — that occupational safety and
health out-of-control creature — must
step in and stop any more homes being
In fact, they should have the whole area
evacuated as other bright sparks from
another bright agency are predicting the
dozens of volcanoes ringing Auckland
are due to erupt, spewing molten lava and
deadly gases and creating earthquakes,
But we do not have to worry about
Auckland or rural New Zealand dying.
The Government have, again, greater
things to worry about.
Hell, the super age is going up in 2040.
We have to worry about that and if
another government will change that to
Talk about distractions, fishy smells and
Wouldn’t it be nice if, in this election
year, we could get people and policies that
benefit New Zealand and all its people?
One-off super cars
When rare is just not exclusive enough . . .
uper cars are famed for
their exclusivity, but they
do not get much rarer than
the 800-horsepower SCG
0003S being shown off by
American Ferrari collector Jim
Glickenhaus at the Geneva car show this
year. Only 10 will be built.
The 66-year-old is one of a new breed
of automotive entrepreneurs to take
advantage of advances in software and
computing power to start his own car
brand, using virtual engineering and
And he is addressing a growing market,
with members of the super-rich from
industrialists and financiers to rock stars
increasingly looking for customised
designs that give their cars the ultimate
“Software allows me to indulge in
ideas, like the shape of the headlight, or
an air conditioning vent. In the past the
manufacturing costs of making just one
or two components would have been
prohibitive,” Glickenhaus said, pointing to
the front of his white carbon-fibre car on
display in Hall 1 of Geneva’s exhibition
His company, Scuderia Cameron
Glickenhaus, works with Maniffatura
Automobili Torino (MAT), a boutique
engineering and design company set up in
2013 to design, develop and manufacture
one-off racing and luxury cars.
“Some of the racing cars today, they
look like robots. I wondered if you could
make a car which was aerodynamic and
beautiful. So we built this,” Glickenhaus
MAT has its stand next to other
boutique car design companies including
Pininfarina, Touring Superleggera,
and David Brown Automotive in what
amounts to a renaissance for so-called
custom coachbuilding, spurred by software
and new manufacturing techniques.
The SCG 0003S was made for
Glickenhaus to race, but customers who
want one of the few being built can get it
for $1.8 million.
“I ’m not making a profit on the cars, but
the money helps fund the evolution of the
next version,” Glickenhaus explained.
Using a fortune amassed from running
the family Wall Street firm, he worked
with Paolo Garella, the chief executive of
MAT to build his car from scratch.
The tailor-made car industry took off
in 2006 after Pininfarina built a one-off
Ferrari, the P4/5, for Glickenhaus. Garella
worked at Pininfarina at the time, before
starting up MAT.
Other examples followed, including a
modern version of the Lancia Stratos
which Pininfarina made for Michael
Stoschek, chairman of German auto
supplier Brose Group, and the Ferrari
SP12 EC, which was made for rock
guitarist Eric Clapton.
Since then, Glickenhaus has become
more ambitious. Rather than focusing on
unique design, he wants his SCG 0003S
racecar to set lap records on the northern
loop of Germany’s Nuerburgring, a holy
grail among speed freaks.
“It ’s a different emotional experience if
you are standing in the rain watching a car
that you built compete against Mercedes
and Porsche,” Glickenhaus said.
Computers allow designers and
engineers to develop a project virtually
with only a handful of experts. Pre-digital
age, car design often entailed hundreds of
workers involved in sculpting clay, making
components out of metal and then testing
the parts for rigidity and reliability.
“There was often a fight between
designers and the workshop that built
the car. The life-sized drawings rarely
translated into something engineers were
able to reproduce,” Garella said.
Designers would have to wait for the
workshop to come up with something that
was feasible from a manufacturing point of
view, before pursuing further development
— a nd often had to take a step backwards
because the vehicle body was now
interfering with something it should not.
“ Today ’s design and engineering software
work in harmony, allowing us to design
and engineer simultaneously,” Garella said.
Custom coachbuilding has experienced a
revival in the past decade, revolutionising
an industry which traces its roots to an
era when owners of horse-drawn coaches
commissioned a body to go on top of an
In the 1980s and 1990s, the market
suffered as mainstream car makers started
to make niche models in-house, and after
new safety regulations all but ruled out
extensive modifications without requiring
new crash testing.
Software has changed that.
“ You can show a regulator via software
that the car meets minimum crash test
requirements. That helped to make my car
road legal in New York,” Glickenhaus said
with a smile. — Reuters
American Ferrari collector Jim Glickenhaus poses beside a 800-horsepower SCG 0003S racing car during the 87th International Motor Show at Palexpo in Geneva,
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