Home' Greymouth Star : July 17th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, July 17, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1821 - Spain cedes Florida to the United
1841 - The humorous magazine Punch is first
published in London.
1903 - US -born artist James
Whistler, noted for the famous
portrait of his mother, dies.
1917 - The British royal family
drops its previous name of Saxe-
Coburg-Gotha and adopts the name
1936 - The Spanish Civil War
starts as General Francisco Franco leads army
forces in a revolt against the government.
1955 - Disneyland, the first Disney
amusement park, opens its gates in Anaheim,
1959 - Death of US blues and jazz singer
1964 - Briton Donald Campbell breaks world
land speed record, recording 648kph on the dry
bed of Lake Eyre, South Australia.
1976 - President Suharto annexes East
Timor, declaring it Indonesia’s 27th province,
in a unilateral act not recognised by the UN.
1990 - German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
says all major obstacles to united Germany
have been swept away and announces elections
for a united German parliament.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Isaac Watts, English churchman (1674-
1748); James Cagney, US actor
(1899-1986); Phyllis Diller, US
comedian (1917-2012); Donald
Sutherland, Canadian actor (1935-);
Diahann Carroll, US actress-singer
(1935-); Camilla, Duchess of
Cornwall, British Royal (Camilla
Parker Bowles) (1947-); David
Hasselhoff, US actor (1952-); Angela
Merkel, German Chancellor (1954-); Julie
Bishop, Australian politician (1956-) .
“ Every soul is a melody which needs
renewing. ” — Stephane Mallarme, French
essayist and poet (1842-1898)
“ Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put
things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with
one another, live in peace; and the God of love
and peace will be with you. ”
— 2 Corinthians 13:11
uFood for thought
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Shuttle ser vice
I was intrigued by Mrs Trounson’s
comments (Greymouth Star, July 12)
regarding cancellation of their shuttle
to Christchurch last Wednesday and
saying they no longer had the option of
travelling via the Lewis Pass.
I understand that their regular ser vice
is $55 from Greymouth to Christchurch,
yet on Wednesday they did actually
provide a bus to Christchurch going via
the Lewis Pass, but charged $180 per
It is understood that the driver would
have had to overnight in Christchurch,
but to charge tourists and locals over
three times the regular fare smacks of
price gouging to me. It is their business
so I guess they can charge what they like
— fare play to them, or not playing fair?
West Coast Shuttles co-owner Marlene
Trounson responds: “We certainly were not
price gouging. We responded to a situation
as best we could, which meant that when the
train was cancelled, passengers were not left
stranded in Greymouth.
On Wednesday, we cancelled ahead of time
due to the forecast. Lewis Pass is not an
option unless we know it is open or will open
by mid-morning. Last Wednesday, Lewis
Pass opened around midday. At 1.30pm I
had a tour company ring, desperate to get
people back to Christchurch and willing to
charter our van and they asked if the rate
would be cheaper if we got more people. I
let the Gremouth iSite know we had some
seats available. As we got more than the van
limit I said I could put on a bus. When I had
the numbers we worked out a charter rate.
This rate included our driver overnighting
in Christchurch and coming back empty the
We could not have covered the costs of
running the bus at $55 per head on a return
trip through Lewis Pass, with the numbers
we took. As the weather was bad also on
Thursday we gave the afternoon passengers
the option of coming back on this bus via
Lewis Pass earlier, which a number took up,
at no extra cost to them. Our regular bus,
which did not get to Christchurch until 2pm,
brought the balance back. This was still only
It adds two hours on to the return trip
coming through Lewis but we do not charge
anyone extra on our normal run; we cover
these extra costs.”
Kumara Hall call-up
An AGM called for the Kumara
Memorial Hall Inc on June 27 was
adjourned on the basis the society needs
to regularise its membership base in
order for it to go for ward on a good
This is particularly important after
several years of difficulty to find and
retain suitable office holders to effectively
administer the hall, for Kumara and
The hall needs to have a properly
constituted membership so it can meet its
obligations as an incorporated society.
A signed up membership is also an
obvious accountability base for the
society so it can legitimately act on
behalf of the community by applying for,
claiming and being accountable for public
funds to both secure and improve the hall
as an asset and to further the aims of the
Since it was formed in 1945 the aims
have essentially been to provide a social
meeting place and to promote social
cohesiveness of Kumara as a community,
through organised activities.
The society’s aims have never been more
It is heartening that over 50
applications have been uplifted recently
by Kumara residents seeking to apply for
ordinary membership. Under the society’s
rules this means those people will be
eligible to be elected committee or office
I encourage all members of the
community to attend the reconvened
AGM tomorrow, Tuesday, July 18, at
Please note, the time of that meeting
was incorrectly advertised elsewhere. It is
Kumara Memorial Hall Inc
Trapping better than
Congratulations to the Paparoa Wildlife
Trust as supreme winners of the Grey
District Trustpower Community Awards
and to all the other groups involved in
The trapping of predators rather than
1080 control is a major preference from
the indiscriminate carpet bombing
adopted by our so-called ‘save our birds’
programme advocates and the volunteers
are to be commended.
For those who are unfamiliar with the
difference between stoats and weasels,
the first is ‘weasely’ recognised, while the
other is ‘stoatily’ different, which most of
us can ‘ferret ’ out for ourselves.
Incidentally, ferrets are far more
common in New Zealand than weasels so
there could be some ID issues there.
Work for free
As a socially conscious citizen I insist on
real solutions that address crime in New
Zealand. While the justice system works
tirelessly to clean up the mess created by
this fundamentally sick
society, the sickness remains untreated.
The mere use of money promotes a society
driven by competition, greed and scarcity.
As a result of this false value system
there are winners and losers. Can
there be a world without losers? Has it
been considered that we can create
a world without money, trade or barter?
What I am advocating is a resource
based economy as proposed by the Money
Free Party in which all work will be
voluntary, all goods and ser vices freely
available. Crime driven by monetary or
material gain are effectively ruled out. In a
society that is driven by givers as opposed
to takers there is no limitations to what we
can achieve. Are we as a nation ready to
step away from this world of conflict?
uring his 82 years,
Mark Dunajtschik has
been imprisoned in a
walked through the night
as a refugee, developed
a thriving property business, and now
dedicated $50 million to build a children’s
hospital in Wellington. But his work
is never done, and nor is the fun.The
property developer and investor is heading
to Chile to go skiing in a few weeks —
he needs a break from deer stalking and
running a business full-time.
Dunajtschik is among this country’s
most successful property developers and
investors, although he only started in the
industry as a “hobby” at the age of 57 and
has no staff.
His only professional partner is also his
life partner, Dorothy Spotswood, who
describes herself as the “ behind the scenes”
side of the business — an operation run by
a very behind-the-scenes kind of man.
Despite the many charitable causes
Dunajtschik has championed over the
years, including financing the helicopter
rescue ser vice now known as the Life
Flight Trust, it was his latest gesture
that was too big to let him keep slipping
beneath the radar.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman
this week described his commitment as
“extraordinary” and “unparalleled”. So
Dunajtschik felt he had no choice but to
allow his warm and cheerful nature to be
shown to the country through numerous
media inter views.
Dunajtschik was born in the former
Yugoslavia in 1935, but is of German
ethnicity, something which weighed in
his favour when German troops occupied
the country in 1941. However, things
changed after German forces retreated
from Yugoslavia in 1944. D unajtschik
was imprisoned by Yugoslav forces in a
concentration camp at Knicanin, along the
Danube River, together with thousands of
other ethnically-German Yugoslavs.
Many died of star vation or disease,
including Dunajtschik’s grandmother.
“That ’s where I spent over three years,”
he says. “Eventually I escaped with my
mother and ... as refugees we moved at
night; through Yugoslavia, then Hungary
and Austria and eventually ended up in
the Black Forest in Germany.”
Asked about his time in the camp, he
says there would not be space in this
article to describe it.
“Let’s put it this way. When you see
today the suffering of refugees in the
world, that was exactly what happened
then. That is simply a fact of life when
countries are at war and one wins and one
Dunajtschik arrived in Germany around
1950, with very little education and in
a country rebuilding from the war. He
managed to find an apprenticeship as a
toolmaker, and during his training lived in
a home for disabled people. That, plus his
wartime experiences, has made him think
of those less fortunate than himself.
“There I learned to appreciate how lucky
I was to have a healthy body and mind
and the others who didn’t. Because I was
given the opportunity to live in that home,
which was founded by an industrialist in
the 1880s, now that I am in a position that
I can also do something, naturally I want
to do it,” he says.
After completing his training in 1954,
he spent about five years travelling the
world, looking for somewhere he could
apply his new skills while also indulging
his passion for the outdoors. New Zealand
fitted those criteria and he settled here in
the late 1950s.
“ It was a lot quieter than it is now but
that was what appealed to me,” he says.
He quickly found work for a company, but
after only a few months on New Zealand
soil decided to establish a tool-making
business of his own — Precision Grinders,
which still operates in Wellington as PG
“The business was very lucrative for
about 25 years and then in 1987 I decided
to retire and sold out to my nephew,” he
says. Yet he was still relatively young, so
decided to dabble in the property market,
his first investment being through Sir Bob
“ I took up property investment and
development more or less as a hobby and
I’m still in it,” he says.
He started accumulating and adding
value to commercial and residential
property around central Wellington,
realising he had the nous for the business.
“ I could tell that with the passage of
time the value of properties go up. I am
absolutely convinced that time is the
hardest worker for property investment,”
he says. “In fact, quite some time ago Bob
Jones said that ... all property developers
go broke and the only exception he knows
is that bugger Mark Dunajtschik and the
reason he doesn’t go broke is because he
keeps his property.”
His background aside,
Dunajtschik has a few other
characteristics that distinguish
him from your typical property
developer or investor — his
lack of staff being just one.
“ I only operate buildings
in Wellington between the
Basin Reser ve and the railway
station. The reason for that is I
maintain and run the buildings
myself and if they are in a
concentrated area it ’s easier to
move from one building to the
other,” he says.
Dunajtschik gets involved
personally in everything
from electrical, plumbing and
carpentry work, to ensuring
lifts and doors are working
properly, to negotiating with
potential tenants and agents.
He will not disclose how
successful his property venture
has been, but his minimalist
approach has paid off. When
the chairman of the Wellington
Hospital Foundation, Bill
Day, asked if he was willing to
contribute to a new children’s
hospital, D unajtschik thought
his background and experience
could allow him to do more
“After a conversation between
my business partner and my life
partner we decided, why not
build it? Because, by utilising
my expertise as a developer
we would be able to produce
more real estate than if we
were to just write out a cheque
and leave the bureaucrats to
build it.” That ’s when he made
the offer to fund and arrange to build the
Dunajtschik, who does not have any
children himself, hastens to add that the
Capital and Coast District Health Board
will design the building and specify exactly
what would be required of it. Dunajtschik
and the DHB are still going through the
resource and building
consent process, but he hopes to start
turning soil early next year, with the
construction process expected to take
about 18 months.
Meanwhile, the 82-year-old’s adventures
continue as he prepares for another skiing
trip to South America.
“Certain things I can’t do as well as I
used to but I still very actively have two
skiing seasons a year. In a few weeks’ time
I go to Chile and in our summertime I
go to the Northern Hemisphere: I go and
Ski in Utah, California and Colorado and
the likes,” he says.
“ Deer stalking has been my hobby all
my life and I still do that. I used to play
tennis a lot but I’ve got artificial knees
now and they don’t allow me to play
Dunajtschik is emphatic that he would
not be in the position he is in today, nor
would he be able to fund and build a
hospital, without his partner of nearly
half a century. Dorothy Spotswood was
reluctant to say too much to the media
and wants to make it clear that neither
she nor Dunajtschik are seeking any
praise or publicity.
The 79-year-old, who is from New
Zealand, says she continues to do all the
books for Dunajtschik, but when asked
if she was due some credit for getting
the children’s hospital built, she just said
“no” — nine times. “Mark’s the man who
works hard and all that ... I’m just behind
the scenes,” she says. “He is just a person
who likes to create and at night-time feel
he’s done a day ’s work. He will never stop
working, that ’s for sure, simply because if
he can do it, he will do it.”
— New Zealand Herald
Camp survivor’s $50m gi
Eating tomatoes each day could save the
lives of skin cancer patients, new research
Compounds responsible for the
Mediterranean fruit ’s bright red colour
may protect against deadly damage from
the sun’s rays.
A trial on mice showed those fed a daily
diet of tomato powder, available in a range
of supermarkets, had their tumours shrink,
reports Daily Mail.
When skin cancer spreads in humans,
genetically similar to mice, it can become
fatal by proving hard to treat.
Ohio State University scientists fed mice
a tomato powder-heavy diet for 35 weeks,
while keeping a control group.
All of the rodents were then exposed to
ultraviolet light, a confirmed trigger of
skin cancer in humans.
They also discovered those who
consumed the tomato powder had 50%
less deadly tumours.
The latest study showed only red
tomatoes, full of carotenoids, had any
significant effect, helping to shrink
However, the findings were only true for
male mice, as no differences between the
groups were discovered in females.
The researchers said male mice develop
tumours earlier after UV exposure and
that their tumours are larger and more
Lead author Professor Tatiana
Oberyszyn said: “ The study showed us
that we do need to consider sex when
exploring different preventative strategies.
“ What works in men may not always
work equally well in women and vice
Study co-author Dr Jessica Cooperstone
added: “Foods are not drugs, but they can
possibly, over the lifetime of consumption,
alter the development of certain diseases. ”
Non-melanoma skin cancers are one
of the most common of all cancers, with
100,000 cases diagnosed each year in the
The findings, published in Scientific
Reports, are not the first to show the
cancer-fighting properties of carotenoids.
Found in peppers, carrots and sweet
potatoes, a 15-year study of 15,000 women
noted the compound to reduce the risk of
cer vical cancer.
While regularly eating the brightly-
coloured vegetables also appears to reduce
the risk of prostate cancer by almost a
As well as fighting tumours, previous
clinical trials suggest that carotenoids can
also dampen sunburn.
These antioxidant compounds,
specifically lycopene, are deposited in the
skin of humans after eating.
Dr Rachel Abbott, British Skin
Foundation spokesperson, said: “ This is
an interesting laboratory study in mice,
however further research is needed to
determine whether the same effect is
applicable to humans.
“Most skin cancers are caused by sun
exposure and so I would advise taking care
in the sun, especially if you fair skinned,
rather than eating more
Tomatoes can slow
down stomach cancer,
according to a study
published in May.
inhibits cell growth
when eaten in its
This finding could
pave the way for studies
focusing on preventing
the condition, as
well as using diet to
research suggesting that
just one chemical found
in tomatoes, lycopene, has cancer-fighting
benefits.Scientists at the Oncology
Research Centre of Mercogliano in Italy
were behind the study.
— New Zealand Herald
Eating tomatoes could be a cure for skin cancer
on Thursday and
Friday of last week
was described as “very successful” by the
Department of Agriculture’s farm advisory
officer Mr M D Gould today. The conference
was organised by the department and West
Coast Federated Farmers.
Mr Gould said the number of farmers who
attended was pleasing and he felt sure those
who participated had benefited from the papers
presented. He said the sucess of the conference
could be gauged from the number of questions
which farmers put to the speakers who were
leaders in their field in New Zealand.
It is now planned to hold a similar conference
here every three years.
Regular West Coast rugby representative
halfback B W Johnson has gone into
temporary “retirement ”. The 23-year-old
Hokitika butcher — star of West Coast-
Buller’s mighty effort against the Springboks
two years ago — said today that he had
decided to make himself unavailable for
representative play for the rest of the season.
He declined to give the reasons for this
decision, but did say that he and West Coast ’s
sole selector Mr P T Hurren had failed to
agree on a certain point. Johnson has played
in all five representative matches this season,
filling a crucial berth in the star West Coast
inside back combination along with K J Beams
and F P O’Donnell.
Musical instruments valued at $1000 were
destroyed by fire which also caused damage
estimated at $1600 to the front of the Hokitika
Aero Club’s rooms.
The aero club will be a heavy loser as fittings
and furniture were also destroyed.
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