Home' Greymouth Star : June 21st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, June 21, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1854 - Charles Davis Lucas, a 20-year-old
Irishman serving on Royal Navy frigate Fox in
the Crimean War, picks up a live shell that has
landed on the deck and hurls it into the sea. He
is later awarded the first Victoria
1964 - US civil rights workers
Michael Schwerner, Andrew
Goodman and James Chaney
disappear in Mississippi. Their buried
bodies were found six weeks later.
1975 - West Indies wins cricket ’s
first World Cup when they beat Australia.
1982 - A jury in Washington finds John
Hinckley not guilty of the attempted murder of
US President Ronald Reagan in 1981 by reason
1985 - Scientists announce that skeletal
remains exhumed from a graveyard in Brazil are
those of Nazi war criminal Dr Josef Mengele.
2003 - George Axelrod, who wrote the
screenplay for Breakfast At Tiffany ’s, dies aged
81; Leon Uris, best-selling American novelist
known for Exodus, dies aged 78.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and
writer (1905-1980); Jane Russell, US actor
(1921-2011); Ray Davies, British singer of The
Kinks fame (1944-); Ian McEwan,
English writer (1948-); Lionel Rose,
Australian boxer (1948-2011); John
Paul Young, Australian singer
(1950-); Benazir Bhutto, former
Pakistani prime minister (1953-
2007); Craig Lowndes, Australian
V8 Supercar racer (1974-); Prince
William, Duke of Cambridge (1982-); Rob
Mills, Australian singer (1982-); Lana Del Rey,
American singer-songwriter (1986-).
“ Let me have my way exactly in everything,
and you will find that a pleasanter creature
does not exist.” — Thomas Carlyle, Scottish
“ Prepare the way of the Lord.” — (Luke 3:4).
Three times the
number of people
who visited the
much publicised Mt
Cook National Park have travelled through
the Westland National Park. Latest figures
show that approximately 210,000 people have
inspected the Westland National Park over the
past 12 months, compared to 61,000 recorded
at Mt Cook.
“This is probably because it is located on
the Haast Pass highway route and is more
accessible to the straight-through traveller.
It is one of the most popular scenic attractions
in the South Island at the moment,” said the
acting chief ranger at the Fox Glacier
Mr J Taylor.
The West Coast had its first significant fall
of rain last night in 18 days, during which
water was carted to 25 homes. showers fell
throughout the night and early morning but it
remains to be seen whether this will bring total
relief to homes troubled by water shortages.
The water lorry is at present off the road
undergoing maintenance work and will not be
ready until tomorrow.
“There are far too many bludgers about,”
Mayor Mr C R Wylde told last night ’s
meeting of the Runanga Borough Council.
He was commenting on the announcement
by the chairman of the finance committee
Cr W S H Wick that a serious number of
ratepayers had not been paying their rates.
“ We are very concerned at the mounting sum
of money which is not paid to the borough,”
said Cr Wick. “ Without some improvement
we will not be able to live within our income.”
Town clerk Mr I Thompson said that about
20% had failed to pay their rates and this
represented a figure of about £2000.
uFood for thought
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rowing up most of us
probably did not think
twice about where our
seemingly endless supply
of water came from. In
our young minds, the tap
never ran dry.
But the world certainly does not have the
luxury to think like that.
Water is absolutely fundamental to
life, which makes the increasingly loud
warnings about water scarcity and
an impending global water crisis so
concerning for world leaders, News.com
If current patterns of consumption
continue unabated, two-thirds of the
world’s population will be facing water
shortages as a daily reality by 2025 and
global policymakers are scrambling to
“ What ’s happening bit by bit is that
water scarcity is becoming increasingly
common all around the world, no matter
where you look as country after country
hits the limit of what it can use,’’ says
Professor Mike Young.
“ Whether that ’s in Australia, California,
China, India, Pakistan, or right
throughout Africa.’’ Cities across the
world are becoming increasingly thirsty as
the demand for water grows and supply
dwindles. From Bangalore to California
scientists are offering up grim predictions.
Groundwater is being pumped so
aggressively that land is sinking. Some
neighbourhoods in Beijing (the world’s
fifth most water-stressed city) are sinking
at as much as 10cm a year.
The World Bank forecasts that water
availability in cities could decline by as
much as two thirds by 2050, according to
the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global
Prof Young is a specialist in water policy
reform and holds a research chair in water
and environmental policy at the University
of Adelaide. He regularly consults with
governments about how to best manage
their water resources and believes time is
of the essence for countries around the
world to transition to a new system of
water sharing agreements.
“That ’s a big transition that has to
happen everywhere,’’ he said.
While Earth may be covered in water,
freshwater — the kind we care about —
actually only represents 2.5% of that. And
almost 99% of fresh water it is trapped
in hard to reach places like glaciers and
snowfields. In the end, less than 1% of the
planet ’s water is actually available to fuel
and feed the world’s 7.5 billion people.
Scarcity has largely been driven by an
ever growing population and a greater
demand for water as the world has become
more affluent. To put that another way,
a bottle of wine takes over 400 bottles of
water to produce.
A secret report leaked by Wikileaks last
year highlighted the fears of executives at
food manufacturer Nestle about the world
“running out of fresh water’’ in part due to
a growth in meat consumption.
The report pointed out that a calorie of
meat requires 10 times as much water to
produce as a calorie of food crops. “As the
world’s growing middle classes eat more
meat, the earth’s water resources will be
dangerously squeezed,’’ it said.
There’s also the added complication
of increasingly extreme weather events
brought about by climate change.
“Climate change is talked about a lot
in terms of shifting where the water is
going be abundant and where it ’s going
to be scarce, but that ’s just one of the
many things that is going to have to be
managed,’’ Prof Young said.
The real challenge, he says, is a political
one: to establish robust sharing systems to
manage and share regional water resources
fairly, intelligently and carefully.
This month the United Nations
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
warned that by 2050 global demand for
fresh water is projected to grow by more
than 40% and at least a quarter of the
world’s population will live in countries
with a “chronic or recurrent ’’ lack of clean
He told the UN Security Council that
“strains on water access are already rising
in all regions’’ and it was causing tension
Bolivian President Evo Morales, whose
country currently holds the council
presidency, noted that since 1947, some
37 conflicts have taken place between
countries over water.
“O ur planet, the human family and life
in all its myriad forms on Earth are in the
throes of a water crisis that will only get
worse over the coming decades,’’ he said.
“If current patterns of consumption
continue unabated, two-thirds of the
world’s population will be facing water
shortages as a daily reality by 2025.’’ It ’s
an assessment Prof Young wholeheartedly
agrees with. He says it is a scenario that
if not managed properly will lead to food
shortages that will drive up prices.
Meanwhile there is certainly no shortage
of people heralding the potential stress
and turmoil to be caused by water
scarcity — and some of them are placing
bets on the increasing importance of the
commodity in the immediate future.
The resource has become a popular
commodity for investors who are looking
to profit from the growing value of water.
Most famously, Michael Burry — one
of the first people to predict the US
sub-prime mortgage bond market would
inflict the global financial crisis on the
world, and made famous by Michael
Lewis’ The Big Short — has been focusing
his investment strategy solely on the
importance of water. And he is far from
the only one.
Despite all the doom and gloom, Prof
Young is “extremely optimistic’’ that the
catastrophe of a true water crisis can be
“The theoretical modelling that ’s been
done suggests there is no problem if water
resources are well managed ... if we are
prepared to adjust where people live and
how they live,’’ he said.
And in many cases around the world it is
often farmers who are leading the charge.
“ Increasingly to my surprise it’s
becoming more and more the farming
communities who are becoming aware of
the fact,’’ he said.
“There’s a change in attitude as farmers
start to realise these problems have
to be resolved.’’ According to him an
appropriate management system for
countries sharing access to water would
mean “water rights are defined as shares
not guaranteed entitlements, and every
person is given a water account that looks
just like a bank account. As water becomes
available it’s credited to the account and
when it’s used it ’s debited,’’ he said. If you
want to transfer you just log onto your
account and transfer the water credits.
During his time consulting with
government he says they have shown a
growing interest to adopt such systems but
it “requires a lot of political will’’.
It’s an area where Australia is far ahead
of much of the world.
“Australia has one of the best water
sharing systems in the world, particularly as
a result of the reforms made in the last 20
years in Australia where we’ve redefined our
water rights as shares,’’ he said.
Good accounting systems, robust
catchment infrastructure and the
establishment of water markets in recent
decades has made it much easier to
allocate and trade water effectively.
“A market now boasting an annual
turnover of between $1billion and
$3 billion is allowing water to move to its
most economically productive uses,’’ the
Department of Agriculture website says.
“ Trading generates economic benefits
valued in hundreds of millions of dollars
Desalination and recycled water are
playing an increased role in meeting
our water needs in Australia. Cities like
Perth and Adelaide have relied heavily on
However at this point, due to the
financial cost of desalination it does have
“As a general rule, growing crops using
desalination, it doesn’t pay,’’ he said.
But innovation and new tech are
providing hope for improved water
management. In particular, the harnessing
of big data provides opportunity according
to IT expert Sharryn Napier, who is
the VP and regional director for Qlik
Australia and New Zealand.
“The current era of mass data streaming
and unprecedented data flow has no doubt
brought about vast untapped potential in
the management of global and Australian
water resources,’’ she wrote in The
Australian in 2015.
“ By making the shift away from static
documents or siloed collections, data
analysis can potentially play a significant
role in resolving the world’s water scarcity
issues.’’ — NZME-New Zealand Herald
Earth’s water crisis
Jarrod Cameron moved to Christchurch
this year to become a builder — just like
He moved from Rotorua in February
with six of his mates, some of the
many young Maori who have moved to
Christchurch since the earthquakes.
Canterbury already has the second-
fastest growing Maori population in the
country — something the Canterbury
District Health Board has described as an
“ unprecedented growth rate”.
Jarrod and his friends moved to be part
of the rebuild.
They met while studying at the New
Zealand Sports Academy, and while there
they heard about the Ara He Toki ki te
Rika Maori Trades Training programme.
Jarrod said his mum, Martha, had been a
builder before she had her children, and it
was a trade he always wanted to learn.
“I always wanted to be a builder, so when
our tutor told us about this we jumped on
it,” he said.
He said the sports opportunities
were another thing that drew them to
The Belfast Rugby Club had supported
Jarrod and his friends in the move, inviting
them to join the team and even helping
them find a flat where they could all live
After just a few months at the course,
one of the friends already had an
apprenticeship lined up, while the others
had work experience and potential
opportunities set up.
But it was not an easy transition.
“I thought I was in a different country at
first, it was seriously cold,” Jarrod said.
And although Christchurch’s Maori
population may be growing, he said he was
still surprised by how “white” it was.
“ You don’t really see many Maori here.
I don’t mind it, but you notice it. We did
a haka for the rugby club when we came
here, and some boys said it was the first
one they had ever seen,” he said.
But he said he loved the city, the Ara
course, and the people he had met, and
hoped to make Christchurch his home
He Waka Tapu chief executive Dallas
Hibbs said many Maori had moved to
Christchurch to help with the rebuild,
seeing it as “a great place for hard working
“The over whelming majority are making
positive contributions to the economy,
to their school community and sporting
teams, and quite literally to the building of
But that came with its own challenges.
He said demand for the whanau-based
ser vices his organisation provided, which
include health, counselling and family
support, had grown up to 300% over the
past five years — and funding for the
ser vices had not kept up.
He said extra funding was needed in a
lot of areas in Christchurch, including
mental health and addictions, domestic
violence, suicide prevention and Well
Health ser vices are also concerned
about how they will handle the growth in
demand for the ser vices, which include
interpreters working in the health system,
information and advice networks, and
ser vices targeting specific health problems
in parts of the community.
At the time of the last census in
2013, there were 31,800 people who
identified themselves as Maori living in
Christchurch, making up 9% of the city’s
Within 20 years, by 2038, Statistics NZ
predicts that will rise to 54,300 — 13% of
the city’s population.
The story is similar for people of
Asian heritage, who are set to be the
fastest growing ethnic group over the
next 20 years, rising to 19% of the city’s
population, from just 10% in 2013.
Christchurch Multicultural Council
president Surinder Tandon said a lot
of organisations supporting minority
communities in Christchurch were run
by volunteers, so growing numbers were a
challenge for them.
But the predicting how the population
might rise gave them an opportunity to
develop a solid plan for the future, he said.
“There is no shortage of ethnic leaders
and volunteers willing to provide
their time to provide ser vices to the
ethnic community, we just need closer
collaboration with these Government
organisations,” he said.
He said the minority communities were
not asking for more ser vices than other
Their main need was support to
understand what ser vices were available,
and how to access them, he said.
Potential issues as the populations
grow have been considered as part of the
Canterbury District Health Board’s 2016-
2020 statement of intent.
“ Like age, ethnicity is a strong indicator
of need for health ser vices and some
populations are more vulnerable to poor
health outcomes than others,” it said.
It specifically mentioned the Asian
population as an area where more focus
would be needed.
“ We need to carefully consider the
unique health needs of this large
population group, including the growing
number of refugee and migrant families
coming into Canterbury.”
But Community and Public Health
Committee chair woman Anna Crighton
said that with resources so tight since the
earthquakes, their top priority was keeping
essential hospital ser vices running as
smoothly as they could.
“ Naturally we keep statistics on the
growth in these communities and we
monitor everything, but at the end of the
day what we’re doing is providing a health
ser vice for everyone. If we can improve it,
it helps everyone,” she said
— C hristchurch Star-New Zealand
PICTURE: Christchurch Star
Jarrod Cameron, 20, moved to Christchurch from Rotorua to learn the building trade through the Ara He Toki ki te Rika Maori
Trades Training programme.
Rebuild factor in growth of Christchurch’s Maori population
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