Home' Greymouth Star : June 28th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1880 - Australian bushranger, Ned Kelly, is
wounded and captured at Glenrowan, Victoria.
1914 - A Serbian nationalist assassinates the
heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke
Francis Ferdinand, and his wife in Sarajevo —
an incident widely considered to have sparked
World War One.
1935 - US President Franklin
Roosevelt orders a Federal gold vault
to be built at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
1939 - The first regular trans-
Atlantic commercial air service is
undertaken by the Dixie Clipper of
Pan American Airways, from New
1997 - Evander Holyfield retains the WBA
heavyweight boxing crown after Mike Tyson is
disqualified for biting Holyfield’s ear.
1997 - Forensic experts uncover six skeletons
near the Bolivian town of Vallegrande. It is later
determined one is the remains of guerilla leader
Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
1998 - Serb war crimes suspect Slavko
Dokmanovic hangs himself at a detention centre
outside The Hague.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Alexander the Great, king of Macedon (356
BC-323 BC); Henry VIII, king of England
(1491-1547); Peter Paul Rubens, F lemish artist
(1577-1640); Eric Ambler, British novelist-
screenwriter (1909-1998); Mel
Brooks, US actor-director (1926-);
Hans Blix, Swedish diplomat and
politician (1928-); Pat Morita,
American actor (1932-2005); Kathy
Bates, US actor (1948-); AA Gill
(1954-2016); John Cusack, US actor
(1966-); Tamara Ecclestone, English
socialite and television presenter (1984-).
“I don’t know whether war is an interlude
during peace, or peace an interlude during war.”
— Georges Clemenceau, French statesman
“By His great mercy He has given us a
new birth into a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
(1 Peter 1:3).
The first official
match to be played
on the new Suburbs
rugby league ground
at Karoro on the weekend, was the ninth
grade match between Suburbs and Cobden-
Kohinoor. Suburbs won 27-9 .
“Rugby league is a hard contact sport and
players should be prepared to take the knocks,”
said the president of the West Coast Rugby
League Board of Control Mr R Lee. This
statement followed the ordering off of four
players last Sunday at Wingham Park during a
match between Marist and Cobden-Kohinoor.
The four, M Greaney, L Brown (Marist), G
Rutledge and E Findlay (Cobden-Kohinoor),
were suspended from playing for one Sunday.
Mr Lee added that all players were given
a warning that if they appeared before the
board again, a more severe penalty would be
administered. He issued a general warning to
all rugby league clubs on rough play.
Only 300 people registered their vehicles at
the Greymouth Post Office yesterday. There are
still 1200 to be done, a Post Office official said
this morning. “ We are plodding along. No one
seems to be really concerned that there are only
two and a half days left to register,” he said.
However, he felt that Friday would be the day
when the rush would start.
At June 22, the Strongman Disaster
Fund had paid out well over £5000 to the
dependants of the men killed in the January
19 explosion. This morning the fund’s secretary
Mr W Curragh said that a “rough estimate”
of other payments which the committee has
authorised would amount to about £2100.
uFood for thought
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Re Miners’ Hall restoration
(Greymouth Star, June 24). Good to
hear that tenders are about to go out for
the restoration work for a hall that the
majority of Runanga residents did not
Interesting to hear that now that
vote was overridden, they are looking
at a commercial kitchen, cafe, catering
and bar. Runanga is struggling, as is
most of the West Coast, and an overall
investment of $2.725 million in this hall
is a joke. With 6000 visitors a year — ya
This trust now wants to compete with
the few businesses left in Runanga
struggling to sur vive — a cafe right next
door to a dairy; a bar-function centre
500m from the workingmen’s club (where
has this trust been holding its meetings
All the events that Michael Knapp
suggests “could ” be held at the Miners’
Hall could also be held anywhere. It is
ridiculous to suggest all these things are
going to magically appear in Runanga
because of this hall.
Invest $2m into Runanga School. I am
sure they will then be able to provide ‘size
and a flat floor’! Wake up Runanga — we
are being had again.
In response to the article in the
Greymouth Star on Saturday, June 24
regarding the dredge owned by the Port
I have recently taken over the role of
port team leader and have inherited
all aspects of the running of the port.
I accept that the lagoon is currently
shallow in places and vessels can be
restricted in their movement depending
on the tide. However, we carry out
regular depth soundings to ensure the
port remains safely accessible.
Since its arrival, modifications have
been made to the dredge to make it
suitable for our purpose. It is in the final
stages of becoming operational and will
be fully capable of maintaining safe
depths within the lagoon and lagoon
I have been in direct contact with
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), who
know the current situation with both the
dredge and the tug vessel. The tug Kohatu
II remains in ser vice and MNZ are fully
aware that any necessary paper work is in
the process of being completed to ensure
her continued ser vice to the port.
I can assure all port users that I am in
regular contact with Westfleet, Talley’s,
MNZ and all appropriate authorities and
users to enable me to work out how best
to move for ward. I encourage all port
users to contact me directly should they
have any queries or concerns.
Port team leader
Grey District Council
Last night I attended the AGM for the
Kumara Memorial Hall Inc. Owing to
breaches in the hall’s constitution around
the quorum, the chairman proposed
adjourning the meeting for 20 days
in order to allow for the AGM to be
This proposal was met with considerable
dismay by some of those attending. A
group representing the Kumara Residents
Trust (KRT) had stacked the meeting
with the stated purpose of ‘rolling’
the chairman and taking over the hall
committee. Forces set in motion in
Kumara by the KRT were clearly evident
and they were not about to be stalled by
a simple matter such as a legally binding
All Kumara residents should take note.
If you support this type of bullying
tactic, fine, but if not you must become a
member of the hall society. Registration
forms are available at the dairy. The
timeframe is short. Then turn up and
have your vote at the rescheduled AGM
at 7.30pm on July 18.
The alternative is to sit back and do
nothing. That is not how the KRT
Inland Pack Track
Would someone from DOC like to
explain the need for two extra bridges
if they were to choose the Ryall Road
option for the Paparoa Track cycle
The bridge they are going to build takes
them to a point on the south bank of the
Pororari River, just above the confluence
with Cave Creek. From there the trail
could either turn west to join with the
Inland Pack Track, or it could turn east
and join with the Ryall Road. No need
for any other bridges if it joins to the
The Inland Pack Track goes over a hill
too steep for bikes so the track will have
to zig-zag all over it to make it a suitable
gradient for bikes. This will be immensely
destructive and expensive. The Ryall
Road is already a suitable gradient and
needs very little work to make it suitable
for bikes — less destructive and less
The New Zealand Health Strategy
national strategic themes include use
of smart systems and smart use of data.
After the latest disruptive funding debacle
perhaps the Ministry of Health should
invest in a new abacus.
What will it now cost for Deloitte’s to
review the health allocation sums and
what administrative funding pool will
this come out of ? The health budget is
already missing $2.3 billion because it
failed to account for a growing and ageing
population as well as inflation.
What strategic action will the ministry
be taking to get their calculations right in
future to address the health needs of real
people in real time?
It is with regret, but absolutely no
surprise, that I read that the Ministry of
Health has cut $780,000 from the funding
allocated to the West Coast District
Health Board in this year’s budget, due to
an ‘error’ in the ministry’s arithmetic.
In March 2015, the director general of
health Chai Chuah and his ministry were
found to have committed “serious financial
mismanagement ” by Treasury over an
$18 million overspend on a $6 million
refurbishment of the Ministry of Health.
Treasury had ‘no confidence’ that these
errors would not be repeated. Well, the
Ministry of Health has again stuffed up
Surely the Minister of Health should
now sack his director general of health?
Treasury predicted further stuff-ups would
happen. This loss of funding to the South
Island DHBs (not simply West Coast
DHB is affected), is totally unacceptable.
How much embarrassment can a Minister
of Health tolerate before he dismisses an
official who is clearly not up to the job for
which he is employed?
Dr Hulme research
I am currently conducting research
into Dr Henry Rainsford Hulme (1908-
1991), who was the first full-time rector
at Canterbury University College, now
University of Canterbury, between 1948
and 1954. I am wondering if there are
people out there who may have known
Dr Hulme, had contact with him or knew
of him, whether that was at CUC or
outside of the university, or whether you
may have documents, letters, photographs,
newspaper clippings, stories, memories,
etc, which relate to Dr Hulme.
I would like to thank anyone who may
contact me, whatever the amount of
information that you may have or the help
that you can offer me. Any help offered
will be gratefully received.
I can be contacted at stephen.shaw@
The Green Party wants to bring into New
Zealand over 4000 refugees at an estimated
cost in excess of $350 million a year.
It seems to me not only do we have
our own problems in New Zealand with
housing and associated matters that should
be addressed but there are hundreds of
millions of men, women and children
worldwide star ving or on the verge of
With wars, natural disasters and global
warming affecting food production and
other problems I believe New Zealand
should look not to spend money on
basically a few immigrants like that $350m
proposed by the Greens.
Likewise, we should not send monetary
aid overseas that probably ends up in
some cases going to buy guns, bombs or
The New Zealand Government should be
proactive in producing food, clothing, tents
and other essentials.
We should produce more milk powder or
think outside the square, like turning the
Dunedin Cadbury factory into producing
energy chocolate or such and look for other
avenues to produce aid but at the same time
provide local employment that could save
millions in social welfare payments.
Sending aid, I believe, would be more
humanitarian than the ‘feel good’ of
bringing in a few refugees.
History has shown us that governments
and politicians are the cause of wars and
human suffering. It would be nice to
change things for the better.
In today ’s fractured and mixed up
world, it is evident there is reaction for
every action. When people are treated
unfairly (decisions made without full
of proper information), it will no doubt
cause controversy. It is evident there is
a need for proper consultation means
(even democracy reset). A fair way, not a
manipulative means to avoid full and fair
consultation as we experience several times
I am particularly interested now in
families who have had to deal with police
and Oranga Tamariki (Child Youth and
Family), even IRD with Family Support
unfair calculative means. Grandparents
rights . . . what has happened to values? As
we endure more experiences we gain more
knowledge, also faults within processes,
systems, we see further manipulative
Anyone else with the same concerns,
your thoughts please so that matters
of issues/facts can be shared with MP
Damien O’Connor and senior ministers,
Ministry of Health and families, Social
Welfare, Department of Internal Affairs
and the like.
Keep trying for a better society
— grandparents’ rights.
Killing kea with 1080
Re ‘1080 buffers queried ’ (Greymouth
Star, June 1). Buffer zones are put in
place to protect drinking-water supplies,
human health and domestic animals. It
is all questionable anyway because 1080
dust has no barriers.
“ While the death of native birds from
eating 1080 poisoned pellets was often
raised as a concern,” Dr Wright said,
“ it was a much bigger issue in the past
when carrot baits were sown in high
density. Kea do sometimes peck at 1080
baits and now a number are radio-tagged
so they can be monitored during 1080
Kea do not just peck at baits,
commissioner, they eat them and die.
These birds have been radio monitored
before over several aerial operations, and
between 12% to 37% died as a result of
ingesting pellets and poisoned carcases.
Superimpose this over the general kea
population of unmonitored birds and the
mortality rate is, of course, much higher.
Without doubt, compound 1080 is
responsible for the demise of kea in the
past 25 years. These aerial operations
were mainly done by AHB, Tb Free/
Ospri repeatedly ‘treating’ forests to cull
possums to protect the dairy industry
from Tb infection. Yet, statistically, the
Tb rate in possums is less than 1%.
Thanks to commissioner for the
environment Jan Wright, Ospri is now
joined by DOC in the ‘Battle for the
Birds’, and so there are more aerial 1080
operations. A double dosing is planned
in the Jackson Bay-Arawhata area near
Haast, using 1080 at 4kg a hectare,
monitoring and, if there are any sur vivors,
repeating it. Since when was there ever
resource consent for 8kg a hectare?
“If it does work, this is the place to roll
the solution out,” Albert Bramley, Zip
chief executive said. Haven’t we heard
this ‘solution’ before? Yes, ‘solution’ was
what Hitler did to the Jews.
Kumara Environmental Action
Thai slum dwellers struggle
n Phrom Samrit, a squatter
settlement along a major canal
in Bangkok, most of the 300
households live cheek by jowl and
have become used to floods after
living next to water all their lives.
Now their resilience is being chipped away,
says Adirak Sangnut, the slum’s elected
“Before, it started flooding after raining
for three days. But now, it floods after just
three hours of rain,” the 47-year-old said.
“After a while, if nothing is done, it’ ll be
less than an hour before it starts flooding.”
As Thailand’s rainy season gets under
way, residents in and around Bangkok say
they are experiencing more intense and
frequent seasonal floods since 2011, when
the capital was hit by its worst flooding in
half a century.
That flood disaster — caused by factors
including an unusually heavy monsoon,
building on flood plains and changes in
water management — affected millions of
people and caused $45.7 billion in losses.
Experts do not expect floods of that
magnitude again any time soon but say
the city’s low-lying location, continued
urbanisation and extreme weather linked
to climate change are raising Bangkok’s
vulnerability to floods.
The Bangkok Metropolitan
Administration (BMA) is planning 28
flood protection projects worth nearly 26
billion baht ($765.6 million).
They include dredging and expanding
canals, and constructing flood barriers and
water retention areas to drain and divert
floodwater to Thailand’s main conduit, the
Chao Phraya River.
The budget for four projects to build
embankments along canals has already
been approved, and an extra two billion
baht from the military government is
being used to car ve out giant underground
tunnels, Vallop Suwandee, chairman of an
advisory group to the Bangkok governor,
The city also issued a resilience strategy
earlier this year that includes improved
weather forecasts and drainage systems.
Yet not everyone approves of the BMA’s
plans. Adirak says nearly half of his
neighbours, who live near Don Muang
airport, disagree with the canal works,
fearing they will lose their homes.
Experts have criticised the plans for
focusing too much on hard infrastructure
solutions which they say are costly and will
never be adequate.
Barriers such as flood walls could trap
rainwater, worsening flash floods, and
create a two-tier system where some areas
are protected at the expense of others,
usually the urban poor and those in
neighbouring provinces, they add.
But Vallop said climate change makes it
imperative for Bangkok to prepare.
“ It’s necessary for Bangkok and Thailand
to invest in infrastructure. If we do not do
it now, the damage may cost a lot more in
the future,” he told the Thomson Reuters
The city government has warned
investors and home-owners whose
properties are on major floodways -
spillover channels for floodwater - but they
have built there anyway, he added.
Deputy government spokesman
Sukhondhapatipak said Bangkok lacks
effective infrastructure to handle
Problems include inadequate town
planning, construction blocking waterways
and littering of drainage systems, he said
by email. “ Effective flood management
requires genuine co-operation from all
sides,” he added.
In the aftermath of the 2011 floods, the
government unveiled a much-criticised
$11-billion flood prevention plan, which
was scrapped after the military coup of
Despite Thailand’s frequent cycle of
floods and droughts, its approach to water
management has always been piecemeal,
Nipon Poapongsakorn, of the Thailand
Development Research Institute (TDRI),
Whenever a disaster hits, committees
are set up, but they soon disappear, leaving
no institutional memory. The absence of a
single water agency and a national water
law are other major challenges, he added.
In Siriwan Klai-iam’s neighbourhood of
Bang Bua Thong market in Nonthaburi, a
province to the north of Bangkok, flooding
has become more common since 2011.
Then water reached chest height, and her
home and workplace were submerged for
nearly three months.
“It’s happening every monsoon,” said the
39-year-old, pointing at the road outside
that was flooded again in early June. “ The
government helps sometimes . . . but
mostly after the floods.”
Danny Marks, a researcher on urban
climate resilience in Southeast Asia
at the University of Toronto, said
neighbourhoods like Siriwan’s could be
adversely affected by the BMA’s plans.
The main government response has
been to construct more and higher flood
walls and other infrastructure rather than
significantly improve water management,
data collection and land-use planning,
Marks, whose doctoral thesis examined the
authorities’ handling of the 2011 floods,
Flood walls create uneven exposure
to future flooding, he added, with
urban economic areas protected while
marginalised groups such as farmers,
fishermen and rural communities are
exposed to losses and damage.
The TDRI’s Nipon said Bangkok needs
to become a “sponge city” — a concept
promoted by China where infrastructure,
including pavements and green roofs, is
designed to absorb water.
When Bangkok became Thailand’s
capital in 1782, it was a backwater village
crisscrossed by canals known as the
“ Venice of the East ”. But many were filled
in to make way for cars, while squatter
settlements have encroached on others.
With that, Bangkok lost much of its
“It ’s easier to fill canals instead of
appropriating land, but now we are
paying a very high price,” Apichart
Anukularmphai, president of the Thailand
Water Resources Association, said.
Many also blame slum residents for
throwing trash into the canals and
blocking the water ways, calling for them to
There are hundreds of such communities
in Bangkok and they cannot all be
dismantled, Thipparat Noppaladarom,
adviser to the Community Organisations
Development Institute (CODI), a
government agency that upgrades slums,
CODI is currently working with
residents along a major canal that is being
expanded. They will be relocated to higher
ground but still live in the same area — a
“ win-win” situation, Thipparat said.
The complexity of acquiring land
for infrastructure projects is a familiar
challenge to Thongchai Roachanakanan, an
urban planning expert at the Department
of Town and Country Planning.
He designed a floodway after 2011, but
almost all the governors he met rejected
the plan because much of the land was
owned by the rich and powerful.
Meanwhile, Bangkok is becoming more
vulnerable each year, he added.
Thongchai is particularly concerned about
flood walls to the east of the ancient capital
Ayutthaya, north of Bangkok. Built after
2011, these walls — some as high as 6m —
could cause problems should a major storm
hit central Thailand, he said.
If that happens, the water could flow
south fast, threatening Bangkok’s two
international airports, he warned.
Heavy rains caused flash flooding in downtown Bangkok in May this year.
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