Home' Greymouth Star : March 29th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, March 29, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1788 - Death of Charles Wesley, founder of
Methodism with his brother John.
1891 - Death of French post-Impressionist
painter Georges Seurat.
1912 - English Antarctic explorer Robert
Falcon Scott dies as his expedition
attempts to return after reaching the
1951 - Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
are convicted in the US of passing
atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
They are later executed; The Rodgers
and Hammerstein musical The King
and I, starring Yul Brynner, opens on Broadway.
1971 - US Army Lieutenant William Calley is
convicted of murdering at least 22 Vietnamese
civilians in the My Lai massacre; A Los Angeles
jury recommends the death penalty for Charles
Manson and three female followers for the 1969
Tate-La Bianca murders.
1972 - Death of British filmmaker J Arthur
1973 - Last American troops leave South
2015 - Australia defeats New Zealand in the
ICC Cricket World Cup final.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Major, former British prime minister
(1943-); Eric Idle, British comedian and
songwriter (1943-); William Richard
“Billy” Thorpe, lead singer of Billy
Thorpe and the Aztecs (1946-2007);
Perry Farrell, US singer and founder
of the Lollapalooza festival (1959-);
Elle Macpherson, Australian model
(1963-); Lucy Lawless, New Zealand
actress (1968-); Jennifer Capriati, US
tennis player (1976-) .
“ Personally I am always ready to learn,
although I do not always like being taught.”
— Winston Churchill, British prime minister
“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus
and your love toward all the Saints.”
— (Ephesians 1:15).
sessions are to be
slashed by about one
third. In future the
St James — modern replacement for the old
Opera House — will screen only on Friday,
Saturday and Sunday nights, with a matinee
on Saturday afternoons. All mid-week shows
will be cut unless a statutory holiday occurs on
“The decision to close the St James during
the week is deeply regretted by all concerned,”
said manager of both theatres Mr R A Kay in
making the announcement today. “ However, it
has been forced upon us by circumstanes. ”
Never has he seen such a colossal pack of ice
on the upper fall of the Franz Josef Glacier as
that which currently exist, said Mr Bill Heinz,
a former West Coaster, who paid a visit to the
southern phenomenon last week.
A man who visited the glacier regularly in his
younger days, Mr Heinz was very impressed
with its progress and believes the march
for ward will continue.
The highest flood for which the Westland
Catchment Board has records occurred
two weeks ago when all rivers south of the
Grey rose. Serious flooding and scouring of
protection works occurred at Waiho, and the
Hokitika River reached levels higher than
those recorded in 1958.
The Big Grey River reached a peak of 7ft
at Ikamatua and the Ahaura River peaked at
a record level of 24.7ft. A flood warning was
issued for the Grey River as it was thought the
river may overflow into Greymouth town.
“ In fact it did not, although it was only about
1ft lower than the wharf decking,” said board
chief engineer Mr H E Clarke.
uFood for thought
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Dangerous le overs
In reply to Mayor Tony Kokshoorn’s
news media statements (Greymouth Star,
March 18) relating to the aerodrome field
and Wikitoria (original name) Park and
the loss of the park for large events when
the Greymouth Trotting Club folded.
Since then a Gypsy Fair was held at the
park, contractors use the park and part of
the park is used by the Labour Weekend
motorcycle race organisers.
The park is available for any organisation,
group or person who wants a venue for
their activities by contacting the Mawhera
James Mason Russell
After reading the article about Peter
Neame (Greymouth Star, March 27) my
hope is that the other publicly-elected
district health board members will support
You never know, even some of the
government appointees might as well but
I think that is too much of a hard call.
What ’s that saying about biting the hand
that appoints/feeds you â€¦? LOL.
I would like to see all the publicly-
elected members write in to the newspaper
and declare their support for Peter Neame
as some of them do not seem to say a lot.
Only around DHB board elections are
their names mentioned or do they speak.
Come on, support one of your own put
there by the people for the people to ser ve
the community. Given the community
voted you in, how about you now show
that was not a wasted vote.
Or have DHB elections become a
popularity contest rather than putting
people in who will stand up for the
community at large? Peter Neame is a
shining example of what it means to be
elected and then work for the community
in return. ‘ Thank you’, Peter.
Peter Neame a ‘hero’
If the West Coast DHB board — and
the entire New Zealand DHB board
system — retained any lingering shred
of credibility, the outrageous attack on
Greymouth elected board member Peter
Neame by board chairwoman Jenny
Black (Greymouth Star, March 27) has
destroyed that last trace of credibility
once and for all. Add the pathetic weasel
words of board chief executive David
Meates about mental health issues and the
whole performance shows the depths to
which these apologists for dogma-driven
government policies will sink.
How dare they belittle the views of
someone with the vast experience of
mental health — and the wider nursing
field — that Mr Neame possesses. Yet
these ill-informed government stooges
suggest that by speaking out concerning
alarming trends in West Coast mental
health care, Mr Neame has brought the
board into “disrepute”.
I believe that Coasters who know the
tragic history of the politically-driven
dismantling of a once-excellent Coast
mental health ser vice will recognise who is
bringing the board into “disrepute” — and
it is certainly not Mr Neame.
At least Jenny Black, as a resident
from afar, can plead ignorance of these
matters, albeit that certainly does not in
the slightest justify her arrogance in this
matter, but David Meates’ long familiarity
with Canterbury-West Coast health issues
should make him know better than to
claim, ‘You bet ’ to his own question, ‘Have
we come a long way?’ — unless of course,
he means a long way backwards.
When I first became involved with
West Coast health issues many years ago,
Seaview Psychiatric Hospital provided a
ser vice whereby many ex-patients told me,
‘the Seaview staff saved my life’. Not only
was the hospital dismantled but so too
were precious decades of staff experience,
teamwork and compassion.
Even the management claims that
the buildings were beyond economic
maintenance was a lie — as shown by
one of the villas bought by a tourism
operator and renovated to a top tourism
accommodation standard. I know because
I was taken through it. According to this
operator many of the other villas were also
suitable for renovating.
The extent of the misinformation
concerning Seaview was later
demonstrated by another Coast chief
executive Kevin Hague when he
responded to my question about the
confining of former patients to a virtual
lock-up situation in the Greymouth
Hospital grounds, where the outdoors
exercise space was about the size of a
large room. Mr Hague’s response that it
was bigger than the equivalent at Seaview
suggested either he was totally ignorant
of the far greater freedom patients had
at Seaview ’s extensive grounds — or
he was simply spouting the politically-
driven mantra dictated from Wellington
with little regard for the reality of such
But let not this shameful history of
deceit and misguided agendas distract
from Peter Neame’s highly-principled and
deeply knowledgeable stand. His voice
may be a lone one on the other wise faint-
hearted board, but he speaks for mental
health patients and his community. He
should be advising the board — and the
Government — on these matters instead
of being pilloried by those who have not a
tiny particle of his understanding.
I hope that those who care will deluge
this newspaper with their support for him.
Democrats for Social Credit,
Re Greymouth CBD sewerage. Thanks
to Mr Pretorius for his reply, but it was a
bit of a political answer.
Now, we are all getting old and forgetful
but my wife owned a cafe in Mackay
Street from 2005 for four and a half years
and I can not remember the street being
dug up. I have asked a lot of people the
same question and they can not either.
I remember Mawhera Quay being dug
up by Westroads. They did a lot of it at
night-time. Those pipes, I think, are for
Dobson, Kaiata and Cobden. Also Coastal
Constructors did some pipework around
the Greyford area.
So, if the town is on the new sewerage
scheme, is the old scheme somehow
hooked up to it? Maybe Mr Pretorius
could give us some sort of a plan of it,
Now, the traffic lights fiasco. I did
not think much of the list of why we
need them. How much did it cost for a
consultant to think them up? I might not
be the greatest businessman around but I
have built a couple of good ones from the
ground up and I think the council is pretty
good at wasting our ratepayers’ money. All
these consultants they use for every little
thing is unreal. Those people certainly
know how to charge. They write their
accounts out with pitchforks.
Did not the council spend around $1
million in a year on consultants a few years
back? Why doesn’t the council employ
its own consultant and lawyer? A non-
established lawyer would cost around
$60,000 to $100,000 a year (I know that
for a fact because my nephew is a lawyer).
A consultant maybe costs $100,000. Even
$250,000 a year between the two certainly
looks a helluva lot better.
Just think, over the past few years with
the buildings on the Recreation Ground,
the town square and all other works
carried out, and the Banks saga, how
much money was spent on them hiring all
outside consultants and lawyers.
N J Thomson
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius responds: “I confirm my
earlier advice namely that the Greymouth
CBD had been connected to the new sewerage
scheme. I have asked Mel Sutherland, council ’s
assets manager to for ward Mr Thomson a
copy of council ’s mapping system with the
ser vices indicated on it.
His views as to the traffic lights on the
Tainui Street-Mackay Street intersection
as being consulted on, are duly noted. May I
ask that he put in a submission as part of the
consultation undertaken please? Council ’s
CBD renewal initiatives impact on traffic
(vehicular and pedestrian) and the council ’s
actions in having this analysed are merely
prudent. The firm having undertaken the
planning for the CBD renewal undertook the
traffic impact study.
I can assure your correspondent that
we use consultants only where absolutely
necessary. Both engineering and law as
fields of expertise have become progressively
specialised and it is necessary to seek assistance
from the relevant specialisation. The council,
for instance, has a number of staff with
engineering qualifications. Such qualifications
are in the traditional municipal engineering
disciplines like roading and utility ser vices,
but this does not make them available to,
say, design ser vices to an entire subdivision.
Similarly, in law, solicitors specialise in
specific disciplines, i.e. contract, health and
safety, employment and, while you find
practitioners with a knowledge of different
disciplines, it is best to use a person with a
specialist knowledge in the relevant fields. As
to the day-to-day issues of law, engineering,
spatial planning etc, we do it in-house, even
though there is some risk involved.
As to his view that the council is wasting
ratepayers’ money, I remind him of the
* Audit New Zealand undertakes an annual
audit of the council and an efficiency audit
forms part of this. They are most satisfied with
the council ’s per formance and have indicated
to the mayor that our administrative
per formance rivals that of much bigger
* The council ’s rates are the lowest on the
Coast and sit under the average for New
* The council ’s staff expenditure at 18% of
total expenditure is appreciably lower than
the New Zealand local government average
of 22% to 24%.
I would be happy to sit with Mr Thomson
and discuss any unresolved issues that he may
Loss of senior
In an article about the closure of the
Greymouth rest home (Greymouth Star,
March 24), the DHB chief executive
stated help had been offered for “a long
time”. This suggests the closure had been
planned for “a long time”.
When help was offered, this led to the
resignation of the manager from Granger
House. As the nature of the help offered
has not been disclosed, this leads to
speculation whether it is the same kind of
help which led to the resignation of senior
staff from the mental health unit last year
and more recently senior nursing staff
from A and E department. Before long
there will be no one who knows what the
capabilities of the hospital were, when
it functioned as a base hospital for the
The loss of senior staff, including the
recently appointed manager from Granger
House with clinical expertise beyond ‘age
care’ and loss of palliative care beds raises
questions about motives of the changes to
West Coast health services. Many of the
changes can allow abuse of the funding
system to go undetected and unreported.
Many may not know that palliative care
funding is time limited. The patient is
expected to die within that timeframe,
or the additional palliative care funding
The potential for abuse was
demonstrated in a case referred to the
Health and Disability Commissioner. A
resident doctor asked telephone palliative
care advice for a morphine infusion for
a patient in severe pain. The patient died
shortly after wards. A distressed nurse
later reported the patient had been in pain
since a fall two days earlier, but no one
had assessed the injuries.
Numerous other cases had been reported
at internal meetings, where patients had
received escalating doses of narcotics,
without assessment of the cause of the
pain, which was often treatable with
The DHB contract with rest home caters
for GP visits but access to secondary care
specialists is restricted. Without lack of
on-site expertise, such errors are unlikely
to be undetected.
Here are some information about
Antarctica that you might find interesting.
1939-45 German submarines head to
Antarctica, 1945 German submarines
surrender to Argentina. 1946-47 Admiral
Richard Byrd heads to Antarctica with
5000 men, an aircraft carrier and over
60 planes and boats called Operation
Highjump. 2002 A California film
crew disappears in Antarctica after they
discovered and filmed an ancient city
under 2km of ice. American military said
they found the tape but not the film crew,
and they would block any attempt to air
the tape footage.
Also in 2002, American military starts
2016 John Kerry secretary of state,
President Obama, Prince Harry and Buzz
Aldrin all visited Antarctica in late
2016 ... why? You may well ask.
ating leftover rice can
make you sick with
food poisoning if it is
not stored properly,
experts have warned.
This is because
cooking rice does not always kill all
the pathogens living on it.
This risk of getting food poisoning
from rice is raised when it is left at
Dr Benjamin Chapman, a food
safety specialist from North
Carolina State University, told
Lifehacker: “One pathogen, Bacillus
cereus, is quite prevalent in dried
rice (some sources say ubiquitous),
likely as spores.”
Bacillus cereus is a bacteria
commonly found in soil and food,
but some strains are harmful to
humans and can cause foodborne
Food poisoning caused by these
bacteria occurs due to the sur vival
of bacterial spores.
Dr Chapman explained that these
spores may sur vive cooking and if
the rice is kept at room temperature
after it is cooked, the spores can
germinate and multiply.
This is because the environment of
cooked rice provides the spores with
water and nutrients to grow.
When the spores grow, they
release toxins, including one that is
It is not clear how many cases
of food-poisoning Bacillus cereus
causes, but a report by the CDC
sates it’s responsible for 2% of
However, putting leftover rice in
the fridge soon after it is cooked
could help eliminate this risk.
According to a study published
in the journal Epidemiology and
Infection, boiled rice should “either
be kept hot (above 63degC) or
cooled quickly and transferred to
a refrigerator within two hours of
“Boiled or fried rice must not
be stored under warm conditions
especially in the range 15-50degC.”
In this room temperature
range, the bacteria have the ideal
conditions to multiply.
Because of this, it is advisable to
be careful where you eat.
Dr Donald Shaffner, a food
scientist at Rutgers University, said
that some restaurants ‘cook up a
large batch of rice, hold it at room
temperature all day ’ and use it when
needed, which can lead to food
However, sushi rice contains
vinegar which makes the rice more
acidic, meaning it can be kept safely
at room temperature.
The best way to prevent this type
of food poisoning is to refrigerate
rice leftovers within two hours of
What not to reheat in the
Celery, Spinach and Beets:
Reheating these vegetables can turn
the nitrate within them toxic, which
Mushrooms: The proteins in
mushrooms can break down
immediately after they are cut. If
prepared mushrooms are stored
in the fridge for no more than
24 hours, it is safe to eat them
after they are reheated to a high
Chicken: The protein in chicken
changes when cold chicken
is reheated, which can lead to
digestive problems unless it is
reheated to a very hot temperature.
Potatoes: Potatoes can host
a bacteria called Clostridium
botulinum, which can cause
botulism, if they are not refrigerated
soon after they are cooked.
Botulism is a rare illness that can
lead to paralysis.
Boiled eggs: If eggs are not heated
for long enough, they can cause
food poisoning. Cooked eggs should
never be left out of the refrigerator
for more than two hours because
illness causing bacteria can grow on
them. — New Zealand Herald
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