Home' Greymouth Star : May 31st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, May 31, 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 Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly.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
1043 - Lady Godiva rides naked through the
market square in Coventry, England.
1902 - Peace of Vereeniging ends Boer War,
in which British casualties numbered 5774
killed and 16,000 deaths from
disease, against 4000 Boers killed in
1911 - In Belfast in Northern
Ireland, the Titanic is launched as
one of the largest vessels afloat. It
sank on its maiden voyage.
1915 - German Zeppelins bomb
London for the first time.
1916 - British and German fleets fight Battle
of Jutland off Denmark in World War One.
1942 - Three Japanese midget submarines
enter Sydney Harbour; ferry Kuttabul is sunk
but all three subs are captured.
1962 - Adolf Eichmann, World War Two
Nazi Gestapo chief, is executed by hanging
after Israeli court rejects appeal.
2005 - The Washington Post revealed
that “Deep Throat ”, the legendary source
who leaked Watergate scandal secrets to its
reporters, was former FBI deputy director
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Walt Whitman, US writer (1819-1892); Don
Ameche, US actor (1908-1993);
Prince Rainier of Monaco (1923-
2005); Clint Eastwood, US actor
(1930-); Terry Waite, Anglican
Church envoy (1939-); John
Bonham, L ed Zeppelin drummer
(1948-1980); Gregory Harrison, US
actor (1950-); Tommy Emmanuel,
Australian guitarist (1955-); Lea Thompson,
US actress (1961-); Brooke Shields, US actress
(1965-); Colin Farrell, Irish actor (1976-) .
“Love is enough, though the world be
a-waning.” — William Morris, English poet
and artist (1834-1896).
“But I am lowly and in pain; let Your salvation,
O God, protect me.” — (Psalms 69:29).
Two men who
ser ved a combined
total of at least
94 years on the
Greymouth Waterfront Workers’ Union were
farewelled yesterday. The two men, Messrs
Albert Panther and John A Jackson have now
Mr Jackson was a union member for at least
42 years. He has been prominent in official
capacities, being secretary for many years. Mr
Jackson’s affiliation with the union has been for
at least 54 years.
A book on the glaciers of the Westland
National Park is now entering its final stages of
preparation. Its author is Mr W A Sara who is
in charge of the Geological Sur vey division of
the DSIR in Greymouth.
The book will contain the history and
development of the Fox and Franz Josef
glaciers and will also touch on some of the
better known of the other 56 glaciers in the
park. Some 30 photographs and about six maps
will also be included.
One of the obser vations which Mr Sara
makes in the book is that since the Bell sur vey
of the Franz Josef Glacier in 1910 until 1965,
about 700 million tons of ice have worked their
way down to the sea.
A dispute over safety equipment at the
Liverpool State mine has idled the colliery
for the third successive day today. The miners
turned up for work this morning but returned
home soon after when no settlement of the
dispute was reached.
The miners have claimed that safety
equipment in the working place of a pair of
miners is inadequate. The management has
ruled that everything is in order. Almost 200
miners are employed at Liverpool.
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
want to kill all of you. ”
That was the terrifying
threat uttered by six-year-
old Samantha (not her real
name), leaving her parents
shocked and in a state of
After being caught trying to strangle her
sister in the back seat of the family’s car,
Samantha — adopted in to the family —
was sat down for a stern talking to. Her
mother explained to her that she could
have killed her sister.
“I know,” Samantha said blankly. Then
she told them that was her plan. She
wanted to kill them all.
Samantha had grown up with a desire
to inflict pain on others, according to
reporters who spoke to the family as part
of a story featured in The Atlantic this
She practised killing by using her toys
and drew disturbing pictures depicting
murder weapons, including a plastic
bag for suffocating and chemicals for
She urinated on a child at daycare even
though she was toilet trained and would
break open her sister’s piggy bank and tear
up her money.
She would also smile when her siblings
cried and push and pinch them. She did
not outgrow the behaviour.
Now 11, Samantha spends her time in a
treatment facility south of Austin, Texas,
trying to control her violent behaviour.
She has been diagnosed with what experts
call “conduct disorder with callous or
“S he had all the characteristics of a
budding psychopath,” The Atlantic reports.
There are a number of chilling stories
of children who have acted on dangerous
One of the most horrific cases of child
killers involved two-year-old James Bulger,
who was savagely murdered by two boys
aged just 11 and 10.
James was in a British shopping centre
when two boys, Robert Thompson and Jon
Venables, grabbed the trusting two-year-
old and led him away.
They sadistically tortured and beat James
to death and rested his broken body on
The boys were found guilty of abduction
and murder in 1993 and were jailed.
Venables was released in 2001 after
ser ving eight years. Thompson was
protected by draconian rules and it is
believed he has a new identity.
Senior clinical psychologist and director
at the READ Clinic, Heather Irvine,
said the first year of a child’s life plays a
significant role in determining how they
“Psychopaths don’t suddenly come out
of nowhere, you need to look at their early
history and what ’s gone on with that child
from when they ’ve been born,” she said.
According to Irvine, most children who
have psychopathic traits have experienced
some sort of abuse, likely in the first six
months of their life.
“In terms of how a brain develops, if
they ’ve been abused, the emotional system
starts to shut down as the rest of the brain
is developing. The brain ends up being
incredibly impacted because of experiences
with abuse, neglect or lack of empathy. ”
Irvine said if a child had grown up in a
nurturing environment but then began
suffering from abuse after they turned five,
it would be much harder for that child to
develop sociopathic or psychopathic traits
because the brain had already developed a
sense of empathy.
“In the first six months of your life if
you cried and nobody came, you needed
to be fed and nobody fed you, you were
alone and nobody helped you, your brain is
saying your feelings don’t matter, you don’t
matter. The rest of the brain structures
start forming around that concept and
neurons develop around that concept,” she
Irvine said callous and unemotional traits
in children was very uncommon, with it
affecting only 1% of the population.
“The point is that everything’s on a scale,
it’s not really a case of really good children
and really bad children,” she said.
“The more severe the abuse, the
more likely a child is to have severe
psychopathic or sociopathic behaviours. ”
Irvine said there were specific
behavioural issues children with
psychopathic traits had.
“Generally tends to involve damaged
property, damage to others or damage to
self,” she said.
“ You see children starting to harm
animals, punch holes in walls, urinate over
furniture or smear poo over toilets. They
will inflict significant harm on another
human being, usually smaller than them.
“They are trying to understand
connections, usually through harm rather
A child’s brain could start developing
callous and unemotional traits from birth.
While many psychologists work to help
children control their violent tendencies,
some can grow up to make poor life
choices. Others grow up to be killers,
“ You always have hope a child will
not grow up to be a killer, but without
significant intervention we would predict
poor outcomes,” Irvine said.
“They find it hard to succeed in school
or make friends and are more likely to
engage in a whole range of anti-social
behaviours to gain attention or find some
kind of place in this world.
“They ’re therefore likely to engage in
substance abuse and spiral downhill
unless there is significant inter vention.”
Irvine said if there were any concerns a
child wanted to inflict harm on another
person, on animals, or damage property,
they needed to see a GP, paediatrician or
psychologist for early inter vention.
“A child will hit, poke or punch but that
doesn’t indicate a sociopath. It’s really
important parents understand persistent
behaviours that show a complete
disregard for other people’s feelings,” she
Irvine said continuously inflicting pain
on others, disregarding property, and
being unable to repair relationships were
also causes for concern.
Irvine said parents needed show their
children repetitive love and care to rewire
“Parents need to be prepared to do the
hard work. Children don’t need therapists
and hours of therapy, they need a loving
home,” she said.
— New Zealand Herald
Robert Thompson, left, and Jon Venables, aged 11 and 10 at the time, were found guilty in 1993 of killing two-year-old James Bulger.
Child psychopathic traits
A memo to employers ..
How about a little courtesy guys? When
you receive job applications (mostly
by e-mail these days) could you please
fire off a quick reply to say you actually
Do you realise how annoying it is to
send off a job application, check the
computer every day for a reply and find
out a couple of weeks later that the
e-mailed application was never received,
due to computer hiccups or whatever?
As reported in the local newspapers on
May 29, a Kumara Junction group has
been denied their share of the Westland
District Councl (WDC) ‘township
development ’ fund, which is funded from
their own rates.
While myself and others were
questioning the use of the Kumara
endowment fund, unbeknown to most
residents WDC had entered into a
contract with the Kumara Residents
Trust (KRT) to distribute the township
development fund, but no one told
ratepayers about this arrangement.
And distribute the fund they have. Since
(and including) the 2013-14 funding
period, KRT has received $16,100 per
year, with the majority of the first three
years funding, approximately $36,000,
paid into their favourite project, the KRT
Chinese garden — and it is still a hole in
So, if you live in the Kumara rating
district, from Wainihinihi in the east
through to Kumara Junction in the west,
you have made a major contribution to the
KRT through your rates, even if you did
not know about it.
It appears KRT receives ‘special’
treatment with this arrangement, as the
WDC chief executive told me I would
have to pay to have that information
released under an Official Information Act
request, and Mayor Bruce Smith refuses
to give information as well. Again, a very
questionable process and I wonder why?
Good luck, Kumara Junction residents.
Westland District Council acting chief
executive Robin Reeves responds: “Mr
McGrath appears to be confusing the use
of the Kumara endowment fund, and the
Kumara community rate. The Kumara
endowment fund was established following
the amalgamation of the old Kumara
Borough Council and the Westland County
Council. Its funding source is the sale of
Kumara endowment land. This fund can
only be used on council-owned land
within the boundaries of the old Kumara
The Kumara community rate is levied on
all rateable land in the Kumara community
rate zone, which includes Otira in the east
to Kumara Junction in the west. This rate
is used to contribute towards roading, the
Kumara township development fund,
and parks and reser ves. Council recognises
the Kumara Residents Trust as the
organisation to represent Kumara in making
application for funding any community
Health care ser vices
In recent media comments, the Labour
Party has joined the call for increased
funding as a solution for health care
problems. However, many of the serious
incidents from the West Coast show
diagnostic delays had increased the
burden of illness and the cost of care.
Many show the concerns of the patient
or the family were discounted without
appropriate investigation. Funding
increases or writing letters of apology
three years later is unlikely to solve the
problem. A change of culture, adequate
systems of follow up and better education
may have helped.
In New Zealand, formal complaints
about medical errors constitute a small
proportion of the total. The exact
extent of contribution, of diagnostic or
treatment errors, to health workload
and costs is unknown. On one occasion,
problems were identified in six out of
six patients, randomly selected by DHB
specialists, with “complex” problems.
To give an example of the type of errors,
one of the patients with a collection of
reversible neurological side effects, due to
a combination of drugs, was sent home
with a diagnosis of dementia, without
follow up. He was able to return to
normal function after discontinuation
of the offending drugs — until the next
More services in primary care appear
to ignore few facts. There are over
40 medical specialties. Specialists in
larger hospitals often have to further
sub-specialise within these specialties.
Specialists in smaller hospitals often
have to gain experience in several
sub-specialties, and have individualised
continuing education programmes,
designed to fill the gaps within a team, to
be better able to ser ve the local needs.
It is not possible for an individual to
develop or maintain expertise, to provide
a level of care, appropriate for a secondary
care hospital, without a team with varied
Currently there is a huge gap in services
and workforce training for patients
outside the expertise of the GP, but does
not need elective surgery and not sick
enough to attend A and E. Some may
add to the mental health workload.
Death and Taxe$
Midwinter theatre restaurant
Union Hotel Copper Room
June 1-3, and 8-10
$45 for dinner and show
From the moment Tiffany, the ditzy,
loud and inept Destiny Life Insurance
receptionist bursts out of the office lift and
on to the stage the audience will know
that they are in for a rip-roaring evening of
Death and Taxe$ is a ridiculous farce set
in a small town New Zealand insurance
office where a typical variety of office
workers grapple with their clients, sales
targets, Kiwisaver and each other. As
described by playwright April Phillips on
her website, “It ’s a crime story. It ’s a ghost
story. It ’s a hilarious comedy featuring
dodgy deals, a potty psychic, a fishy tax
inspector, a nutty cop, murder, mayhem and
a hairy Yak!”
The Greymouth Operatic Society’s
production is in your face from the moment
the office lift (a wonderful piece of set
construction) opens on a new Monday
At last Sunday ’s dress rehearsal, I
laughed out loud and squirmed in
awkward embarrassment throughout the
performance. Both reactions are entirely
the intention of the director. The one-liners;
the abundant facial expressions of the cast;
the absurdly physical romps on stage get
funnier as an ever-thickening plot unfolds.
I never wanted Jamie Mosher, playing
the receptionist Tiffany, to leave the stage,
and fortunately she hardly ever did. She
consumes the stage with her exuberance
and never drops out of character. Paul
Cockfield, with his hugely expressive
eyes and face, plays the sleazy office
senior, Gareth Burke, to a tee and he
made me want to jump up and slap him
across the face several times. Jenny
Barrow is exquisitely officious as the
ever-proper, PC, middle-aged insurance
senior Lucille Potts. But there is more to
her character than meets the eye and
Jenny effortlessly switches into Lucille’s
No office is complete without a millennial
male. Sam Gibbens portrays Bob Green,
the naive, worried about
his sexuality, scooter riding executive junior
with realistic conviction. My
heart went out to Bob, until the costume
change. Then I just wanted to hug
I have never seen Allan Wilson perform
in a role that required him to be so
unanimated and droll, but he is perfect as
Doug Graves; possibly the worst business
development manager any organisation
Nancy Guilliland plays sleazy Burke’s
shopaholic wife. On stage she ably switches
between frustrated rage to uncontrollable
lust for another.
One of the most complex characters in
the script is that of the weirdly psychotic
police inspector. Emily Urban pulls off
a truly physically demanding role. And
I must not forget poor Mrs Battersay,
Destiny Insurance’s only on-stage actual
client who just wants some service . . .
Good on you, Deb Hogan, it would make
me cry, too!
This is a one-set play which means
that the whole experience depends on
the lines and the delivery. I congratulate the
director Cary Lancaster and the
whole team for their hard work over the
past few months to deliver such a fast
moving script on to the stage with
Life is short, have a laugh, take the whole
office — you will not regret it.
Reviewed by Helen Wilson
Greymouth theatre restaurant a rip-roaring laugh
Links Archive May 30th 2017 June 1st 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page