Home' Greymouth Star : July 31st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, July 31, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1912 - The world’s first film censorship law
is passed in the US, preventing the interstate
transportation of films showing prize
1919 - The Weimar Constitution
is adopted in post-World War One
Germany, establishing a republic.
1928 - MGM’s Leo the Lion roars
for the first time, in the company’s
first talking motion picture, White
Shadows in the South Seas.
1941 - Herman Goering gives a written
directive to police chief Reinhard Heydrich to
draft a plan for the elimination of European
Jews, the “Final Solution”.
1944 - US troops break through the German
lines around the Normandy beachhead.
1954 - Mount Godwin-Austen (K2) in
the Himalayas is first climbed by an Italian
expedition led by Ardito Desio.
1988 - Pier jammed with thousands of
festival travellers collapses at ferry terminal in
north-west Malaysia, killing at least 30 people
and injuring about 370.
1990 - US government panel approves use of
gene therapy in treatment of human disease.
2007 - Deployment of British troops to
support Northern Ireland police, code- named
Operation Banner, officially ends after 38 years.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
John Ericsson, Swedish-born
inventor (1803-1889); Don Murray,
US actor (1929-); France Nuyen,
French-born actress (1939-);
Heather McKay, Australian squash
champion (1941-); Russell Morris,
Australian singer (1948-); Evonne
Goolagong Cawley, Australian tennis
champion (1951-); Wesley Snipes,
US actor (1962-); Fatboy Slim, aka Norman
Cook, British musician (1963-); J K Rowling,
British author of Harry Potter books (1965-
); Dean Cain, US actor (1966-); Victoria
Azarenka, Belarusian tennis player (1989-).
“Equal opportunity means everyone will have
a fair chance at being incompetent.”
— Laurence J Peter, US writer (1919-1990).
“But she came and knelt before him, saying,
‘Lord, help me’.” — Matthew 15:25
uFood for thought
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ou Te Keeti’s favourite place
in the world is his urupa
It is on the hill overlooking
his house and the Wairoa
River. He walks there every
morning “to relax, talk to my loved ones
and think about things. I always come
He is even looking for ward to the day
he does not come back. He is not afraid of
death. He has had “a good life”.
With four children and seven mokopuna,
he has, at times, been “poor as”, and lives
modestly. With good budgeting, he and
wife Val have managed to get by.
“There were no luxuries, but we always
had a roof and we always had kai, which
we’ve been grateful for, as it is more than
many people have. ”
Since the Tauranga kaumatua scooped
$10.3m in Lotto Powerball on July 8, he
still walks to the urupa each morning.
resting place so soon. “ I hope I will be
blessed with a few more years on the earth
to use the money to do some good things.”
What would you do if you won $10m in
It ’s a question that most New Zealanders
have asked themselves. Lotto lures players
with the fairytale scenario of deser ving
people winning big.
From Wilson the dog, who takes a
winning ticket to a homeless man, and
orphaned children who find gold buried in
the back garden, Lotto’s marketers urge us
What would you do? Would you go
public? What would you buy? How much
would you give away? Who would you
give it to?
It has only been a week since Te Keeti
revealed his identity to NZME.
He has already given $300,000 away to
local charities — Waipuna Hospice, the
Heart Foundation and Diabetes Help
He has set up trusts to help his whanau
“ be comfortable for the rest of their lives”.
He has already had contractors in to look
at tarsealing the rugged stone road to the
He’s bought a new 12-seater minibus
for the kaumatua of the marae to travel
together comfortably “wherever they need
He has a “fighting fund” to reopen Treaty
negotiations for his family’s wai claim.
He has had hundreds of messages from
wellwishers from all around the world.
He’s had requests for money from people
he’s never met.
He’s had a flat white with Gareth
Morgan, and been involved in his first
Now, Tauranga’s newest millionaire
reflects on the week that was since he went
public about his win.
“The question I get asked most is why
I told everyone about my win. At first I
was sure I would keep it anonymous but,
anyone who knows Tauranga, knows how
word travels in this town. I started to
notice people winking at me in the street. ”
At a Tauranga Moana Iwi protest march
against Hauraki’s claims in the region, the
rumour mill was running hot about who
the winner was.
“I thought ‘Wow this is Tauranga’s
worst-kept secret ’. I decided there was
so much I wanted to do for my people
with the money that there was no point
in hiding my face. It ’s not about elevating
myself, not at all. This is not about me, it’s
about what the win can do for my people.”
If people were winking at him before,
now they are openly smiling and coming
up to shake his hand.
He has had good wishes from the
Bay ’s movers and shakers — from heads
of industry, lawyers, chief executives,
politicians, philanthropists and fellow
“And the odd joker, too, telling me a sob
The dedicated kaumatua and beloved
koro, who has had a double hip
replacement, and who this month was
rushed to hospital with a heart “flutter” on
the day he saw the millions hit his bank
account, is showing no signs of slowing
He is busier than ever. His phone rings
non-stop. He has spent the week rushing
from one meeting to the next with an
ever-growing to-do list.
It is a new pace that is worrying his
cousin; a fellow kaumatua and kuia on
Sitting on the paepae (shaded bench),
cousin Maxine Ngaronoa Rewiti-Ngata,
70, calls herself his “minder”.
“I as the woman kuia, should not be
telling a kaumatua koroua what to do. Lou
is Lou and he’s the big kahuna. I respect
that. But that is not going to stop me
reining him in as he needs to slow down.”
Rewiti-Ngata said she was “shocked”
when Te Keeti came to visit her with the
news that he had just won $10.3m.
“I was shocked. Lou was so calm. I
would be swinging from the trees, but here
was L ou all organised with his big list,
telling me who was getting what, plans
for the marae, plans for the whanau and
She said the whole hapu was happy for
Since the win, repairs to the much-loved
but well-worn marae, kohanga reo and the
social club, all on Ngati Kahu land, were
already under way.
“ We have been blessed. We are a very
humble people and a small hapu on just
300 acres. The rest of the land was taken. It
has been a struggle for some of our people
eking out a living.”
Lou Te Keeti always had moemoea
(dreams), says Reweti-Ngata. “He’s
moving so fast because he’s been dreaming
of doing these things for his hapu for a
long time, but never had the money to do
“ He had it all mapped out in his head for
years before the win. It ’s a sign of who he
is that he thinks beyond himself, and even
beyond his hapu to do what he can for
Maori people with the money.”
She takes her “minder” role seriously.
Although she refers to herself and Lou as
the “younger elders”, she says she has to
remind him to slow down.
“ We need Lou to take care of Lou too,
and not rush too much. Try telling him
that though,” she laughs.
Te Keeti’s busy schedule since the win is
something that is also worrying wife Val,
who is still “over whelmed” by the win. She
is putting her foot down that he “takes a
breather” next week, and spends time with
his wife and family at home.
Te Keeti agrees. “ If anything Val has
told me she feels a little bit isolated, a bit
lonely. It is because she has seen less of me
“ I am extremely conscious of what she is
feeling and, for myself, I am thinking that
next week I am going to devote to her.”
Even with his new-found wealth and
demands, Te Keeti has not changed his
He rises every day at 6.30am to catch up
on e-mails and watch the news. He wakes
Val at 8am bringing her a coffee.
“S he wouldn’t be happy about it if I woke
her up at 6.30am.”
He then goes outside for his morning
walk up the hill to the urupa, and
completes his “morning tasks” which
include checking on and feeding the
animals on his farmlet — sheep, ducks,
chooks and the horses.
It takes him an hour to get around all
the animals, followed by one or two of
the family dogs.
Later in the morning, he might drive
up the dirt roads across hapu land from
the marae eastwards, towards Bethlehem
and the Ngati Kahu housing village
which Te Keeti has been instrumental in
“ We’ve been able to house families in
six four-bed houses, and there’s six two-
bed houses for kaumatua. The idea is that
the elders keep an eye on younger people
and vice versa.”
He sits on the deck in the sun for
a while for a korero with his cousins,
Rewiti-Ngata, as well as Geraldine
Hinemoa Reweti, 91 and Nessie Anna
Kuka, 88, where the talk of the day is still
“ We’re still talking about it — we will
still be talking about it tomorrow,” says
Reweti, a former teacher who Te Keeti
says only retired at 88.
“Not that I have had much rest, there is
always work to be done, especially with
Rewiti-Ngata laughs that the women
always have to tell him to focus on one
thing at a time.
“ Woman can do lots of things at once,
but men need to be kept on track.”
Te Keeti does not rest long in the
sunshine. He is zooming back to the
marae for a meeting, and then on to
town. Some days Val does not see him
back until evening.
“ We try and have lunch together. At
3pm she will do her tasks. She lets the
chooks and the ducks out for a run
around until 5pm. She is always busy too
around the home.”
Val and Te Keeti have lived for decades
in their humble homestead just 150m
from their tupuna in the urupa.
“The kids won’t have far to visit me
when I’m gone.”
The cemetery is more than 100 years old
Te Keeti believes, with many unmarked
Te Keeti removes his cap and walks
among the newer headstones that have
been growing in number since the 1940s,
some holding people who lived a long
life, some who were “taken too soon”.
He wanders pensively among the graves
caressing the headstones and whispering
Some headstones have statues of angels
or guardians. A black saddle for a keen
horseman who died in his 40s.
A young father killed in a workplace
accident at just 24. An empty bottle of
brown ale. A skull. Insignia from the
Head Hunter motorbike gang and the
words “Respect ”. On another, a windmill
turning in the breeze.
When he walks back down from the
cemetery, Te Keeti puts his cap back on
and calls his horses. They canter towards
He and Val share a love of horses. They
have two brood mares, a Tavistock and a
Charge For ward.
“The Tavistock is booked in for breeding
soon with a stallion at Cambridge.”
He talks lovingly to the horse, patting
her and stroking her nose. “ You’re off to
see your boyfriend soon, see if you will
bring back a baby.”
One baby that the mare did produce, a
white foal, is still in the paddock. He was
due to be sold just before the Lotto win.
“I was really sad about it, Val and I had
become really attached. I fell in love with
him actually, but we needed to sell him to
raise some cash. I felt gutted about it.”
Since the win, Te Keeti said a little treat
for him and Val is keeping the foal in the
The foal is roaming out in the paddock
by the cemetery. Te Keeti has given him a
name. Midas. — Bay of Plenty Times
Lou Te Keeti and his wife Val share a love of horses.
Lo o winner’s Koha
“I tried counting
mine once, but I went
blind with exhaustion,”
tweeted one reader of
the BBC website after
it reported that sperm
counts were down by
half in the past 40 years
all over the developed
world. It is true: They
are hard to count. The
little buggers just will not stay still.
The report, published by Human
Reproduction Update on Tuesday, is
the work of Israeli, American, Danish,
Spanish and Brazilian researchers who
reviewed almost 200 studies done in
different places and times since 1973. It is
called “Temporal trends in sperm count:
a systematic review and meta-regression
analysis”, and the authors are working very
hard to get the world’s attention.
Dr Hagai Levine, the lead researcher,
told the BBC that if the trend continued
humans would become extinct. “If we will
not change the ways that we are living and
the environment and the chemicals that
we are exposed to, I am very worried about
what will happen in the future,” he said.
“ Eventually we may have a problem with
reproduction in general, and it may be the
extinction of the human species. ”
I think I have seen this movie a few
times already. There was Children of Men,
and then The Handmaid’s Tale, and I
was even in a sperm-count movie myself
30 years ago. (It was a would-be comedy
called The Last Straw, but happily it is not
Among the many varieties of end-of-
the-world stories we like to tell ourselves,
the infertility apocalypse is the least
violent, and therefore (in good hands) the
most interesting in human terms. But the
sperm crisis really is not here yet, or even
looming on the horizon.
What the scientists did in the meta-
regression analysis was very useful from a
general public health point of view. There
have been many estimates of what is
happening to sperm counts, but they are
conducted under different circumstances,
usually with fairly small groups of people,
and often in clinics that are treating
couples with infertility problems.
This big review of the existing research
did no new work, but it did extract rather
more reliable data from the many studies
that have been conducted by other groups,
and there definitely is something going on.
Compared to 1970s, sperm counts now
in the predominantly white developed
countries (North America, Europe,
Australia and New Zealand) are between
50% and 60% down now.
It has been a fairly steady decline in
those places, and it is continuing in the
present, but no such fall has been found
in the sperm counts in South America,
Africa and Asia. So maybe it is just whites
Probably not, though. Most people in
South America are white, but there has
been no fall in sperm counts there. There is
no separate data in the sur vey about what
is happening in the heavily industrialised
Asian consumer societies like Japan,
Korea, China and Taiwan, but one
suspects there have been declines in sperm
counts there. It is almost certainly an
environmental, dietary or lifestyle effect,
and therefore probably reversible.
As to which of these
possible causes it
might be, the jury is
still out, but a 2012
study by researchers
at the Universities of
Sheffield and Manchester
concluded that smoking,
recreational drug use
and obesity had little
or no effect on sperm
counts. Other reports,
however, have suggested
that eating saturated fats,
riding bicycles, watching
too much television and
wearing tight underpants
do adversely effect sperm
In any case, there is
no immediate cause
for panic, because all of
the studies showed that
sperm counts, though
lower than in the 1970s
in some parts of the
world, are not “sub-
fertile” anywhere. They
are still well within the
normal range, just lower
on average than they
used to be. There is no
shortage of human beings
at present, and there is
lots of time to sort this
It will almost certainly turn out, when
more research has been done, that the
main cause of reduced sperm counts is the
presence of various man-made chemicals
in the environment. Not just one or two
chemicals, but more likely a cocktail of
different ones that collectively impose
a burden on the normal functioning of
We are breathing and ingesting a lot
of toxins, and have been since shortly
after the rise of civilisation (lead-lined
water pipes, etc.). The sheer volume of
visible pollutants (particulate matter,
etc.) has probably peaked and begun to
decline in the most developed countries,
but the variety of new chemicals in the
environment continues to rise. Further
nasty surprises probably lie in wait for us.
Unfortunately, that is the way human
beings work: ignore the problem or put up
with it until it becomes unbearable, and
only then do something about it. It is a
strategy that has ser ved us well enough in
the past, but will do us increasing damage
as the problems become more complex. It
is very unlikely, however, that falling sperm
counts will be the one that finally gets us.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Doomsday theory — counting sperm
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
women had a damp
evening sleeping in
the bush last night
when they could not find their way down in the
heavily bushed area around Point Elizabeth.
The two women Misses Y Davison and
M Cambridge are both experienced trampers
and yesterday went into the bush at Point
Elizabeth with a party of Greymouth High
The party returned along the beach but the
women decided to return by another route and,
eventually, came out at Rapahoe at 10 o’clock
this morning. Both were safe but very very
A six-year-old Dillmanstown boy, Wayne
Phillpott was admitted to the Greymouth
Hospital yesterday with a suspected fractured
skull after he had fallen from a pick-up van
near his home. Wayne was in the back of the
van with some other youngsters when he stood
up, lost balance and fell out.
The vehicle was not travelling at speed as
the driver Mr D Cameron was about to turn
in to his drive. The hospital reported Wayne’s
condition today as satisfactory.
“An outstanding success in every way,” was
how the Vicar of Greymouth Canon K G
Aubrey today summed up the centennial
celebrations of Holy Trinity Church
Greymouth at the weekend. “Everything went
without a hitch. I am thrilled,” he said.
Big numbers attended all events, the banquet
at St Columba Hall on Saturday night
where there were about 450 people being the
highlight of the social side of the celebrations.
Holy Trinuty Church was crowded for all
ser vices yesterday. Former parishioners from
all parts of New Zealand gathered for the
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