Home' Greymouth Star : September 15th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, September 15, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1916 - British Army uses tanks for first time
on Western Front in World War One.
1935 - Nuremberg laws outlaw Jews and make
the swastika the official flag of Germany.
1938 - British Prime Minister Neville
Chamberlain visits Germany ’s Adolf Hitler
at Berchtesgaden where Hitler
states his determination to annex
Sudetenland on principle of self-
1940 - D uring the Battle of Britain,
the tide turns as the Luftwaffe
sustains heavy losses inflicted by the
Royal Air Force.
1950 - United Nations forces, under US
command, land at Inchon, South Korean port
city, during Korean War.
1963 - Four children are killed when a bomb
explodes during Sunday services at a black
Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama.
1972 - Two former White House aides,
Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, are added to
the five men already charged with the break-in
at the Watergate building.
1988 - Convictions of Michael and Lindy
Chamberlain over the death of their baby
Azaria at Uluru are quashed.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Agatha Christie, British author (1890-1976);
Jean Renoir, French film director (1894-1979);
Brian Henderson, Australian
television personality (1931-); Sara
Henderson, Australian pastoralist
and author (1936-2005); Oliver
Stone, US film-maker (1946-);
Tommy Lee Jones, US actor
(1946-); Terry Lamb, Australian
rugby league footballer (1961-);
Queen Letizia of Spain (1972-);
Tom Hardy, British actor (1977-); Sophie
Dahl, British author and model (1979-);
Prince Harry of the UK (1984-) .
“In every real man a child is hidden that
wants to play.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, German
“Be angry but do not sin.” — (Ephesians 4:26).
Two large brown and
black alsatian dogs
attacked a man in
the Cobden primary
school grounds this morning. But nobody
worried because it was all part of a police dog
demonstration. The dogs, with their three
handlers arrived in Greymouth last night and
today gave three displays.
One was in the Cobden School grounds
where the dogs jumped over seven foot high
walls and lept through a flaming hoop. One
of the handlers tied a large pad to his arm and
acted the part of a burglar running away. The
dog caught him by the arm.
Over 600 people went through the police
recruitment display centre set up in the vacant
Duncan Hardie building in Mackay Street
during the first two days it was open. Today is
the last day of the display.
Every day the exhibition of police activities
and historical items has been opened,
screenings of an educational film Child
Molester have been held. It takes the viewer
step by step through a police investigation
of a case of child molestation and ends on a
“ It can happen to any child. All parents
should see this film,” sergeant J O’Driscoll of
the Greymouth police said this afternoon.
The Ngakawau coal briquette works will cease
production soon for the summer season but it
is expected the work will resume next March.
It appears that the Mines Department ’s action
in lowering briquette prices on the east coast
and in Wellington has created a demand.
This was encouraging and indicated that
stockpiles at Ngakawau and in city depots had
uFood for thought
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taff at a suburban Chicago
high school in the US called
16-year-old Corey Walgren to
the dean’s office to ask about
a video he made of himself
having sex with a classmate.
A few hours later, the teen committed
The suicide of the honour-roll student
underscored a dilemma for schools when
confronting students suspected of recording
and sharing sexual images: Should
school officials wait until parents arrive
to pose questions and search cellphones
for illicit photos or video? Or do they, as
de facto parents, have the authority to
investigate crimes that might include child
The issue also raises a high-stakes legal
question because many child porn laws
predate the phenomena of teens sharing
sexual images by cellphone. And neither
they nor their parents usually have any idea
that doing so can trigger serious penalties,
including being labelled a sex offender for
“It ’s not that big a deal until it happens
to your school,” Joshua Herman, a lawyer
who represents schools across Illinois, said.
“Then it ’s a nightmare.”
Police reports, court filings, witness
accounts, e-mails and other documents
obtained by Associated Press offer an inside
look at how Naper ville North High School
and police responded in the hours before
Walgren’s death in January.
His parents have sued the school, accusing
it in a federal lawsuit of unnecessarily
traumatising their son by warning him he
could be charged and forced to register as a
sex offender. They are seeking more than $5
million in damages.
“They scared the hell out of the kid, and
that ’s what drove Corey to kill himself,”
Maureen and Doug Walgren’s lawyer, Terry
In the documents, officials at the
2800-student school in an upper middle-
class suburb west of Chicago say they
conveyed to Walgren the seriousness of the
matter while also reassuring him that their
goal was to keep it out of court.
It all began around noon on January 11,
after the 16-year-old classmate with whom
Walgren had sex lodged a complaint at
She had learned of the video that day
from a friend and was upset Walgren made
it without her permission. At first, she said,
she was not sure the sex was consensual but
later stated clearly that it was.
The family never blamed the girl and said
she was right to report the video, Ekl said.
She later attended Walgren’s wake.
Facing discipline at school was a new
experience for Walgren. As he walked into
the office about 12.40pm, Dean Steve
Madden said he had never seen Walgren
under these circumstances because the teen
had never been in trouble.
Walgren quickly admitted what he had
done. When the two teens were in his car,
parked on a secluded street at night, he had
turned on the video-recording function and
dropped his cellphone by his leg after the
pair talked and shared some alcohol.
Neither teen was visible on the two
minutes of footage during their sexual
encounter. It was the audio Walgren played
for four friends, some at a school hockey
practice. He never texted or e-mailed it.
Also in the dean’s office was Brett Heun,
a Naperville police officer assigned to the
The recording was hidden on an app that
looked like a calculator. When Walgren
opened it for the officer, it revealed photos
of other partially nude girls, as well as the
Those images, which Walgren said were
sent to him by others, were among contents
downloaded by Naperville police. The
department and school district did not
respond to requests for comment.
The officer told Walgren the video
“concerned child pornography, which is
obviously illegal”. Walgren nodded.
Heun later said he wanted to impress
upon Walgren the matter was serious. But
if Walgren co-operated, Heun told him, the
matter could be kept out of court.
When sexual images are shared and
discovered, school officials are not in
complete agreement about best practices
for responding, but there is consensus that a
student ’s cellphone should immediately be
confiscated and police alerted.
Guidelines from the Illinois Association
of School Boards say not reporting explicit
images of youngsters can itself be a crime.
The family’s lawyer contends a recording
with no visible images of sex acts cannot
qualify as child pornography. Some legal
Either way, critics say, child pornography
laws should not be invoked to prosecute
youngsters who share sexual images with
When those laws were passed, lawmakers
could not have foreseen how teens, perhaps
acting on impulse or under peer pressure,
would be able to create or send explicit
images at the push of a button.
The laws were aimed at protecting
children from adults. Critics say it is a
misapplication to use them to prosecute
Although the issue can be politically
sensitive, at least 20 States have revised
their laws to provide alternatives to child
A 2015 Illinois law aimed at sexting
— when images are sent via text or other
electronic means — lets courts sentence
minors to super vision and community
Law enforcement retains discretion
about how to handle such matters. In
Walgren’s case, the fact the sex was
consensual and that he did not distribute
the recording would have counted in his
Walgren was inter viewed for at least 20
minutes before his parents were called.
When contacted, mum Maureen
Walgren said she could guarantee her son
would fulfil any requirements to keep the
matter out of court.
She also asked if the family should get a
lawyer. School officials told her that was
Madden asked Walgren if he understood
knew he made a mistake,” the dean said in
Walgren did not appear upset by the
questioning. “Corey was calm, co-operative
and respectful,” Madden said. The dean
also thanked him for being honest.
Walgren may not have shown it, but
what he heard must have caused him
“psychological distress . . . humiliation and
shame,” his parents’ lawsuit says.
The law has long recognised school
officials as stand-in parents during the
school day, with the power to investigate
reports of wrongdoing and to discipline
students without consulting parents.
The lawsuit accuses the school of
violating Walgren’s rights by not calling
his parents first. The school board
association instructs schools to call parents
but does not say if that should be the first
The custody issue is central to the civil
case. Students must be told they have
a right to remain silent only if they are
in custody. Walgren was never told he
was under arrest, but his parents’ lawsuit
argues he was in custody for all practical
purposes, including because he had been
told not to leave.
In January e-mails about Walgren
through an open-records request,
Naper ville deputy police chief Jason Arres
and a prosecutor discussed the issue.
They cite a 2012 Illinois appeals court
decision that said being in custody does
not necessarily mean a formal arrest but
may come down to whether a child at
school “felt he or she was not at liberty to
terminate the interrogation or leave”.
However, an internal police report
prepared later by Arres concluded that
Heun handled the matter correctly and
that Walgren had not been in custody
because, among other reasons, the dean
had initiated the questioning and because
Heun made it clear he “had no intention
of bringing criminal charges”.
In general, courts have not found schools
liable for student suicides that happen off
A Federal court in Florida in 2012
tossed out a lawsuit filed by parents of
13-year-old Hope Witsell. They said her
school could have prevented her from
hanging herself at home after taunts over
a revealing photo texted to a boy. The
court said schools have no duty to “ensure
against the grim but persistent prospect of
a student ’s suicide”.
After meeting school officials, Walgren
was told to wait at a student ser vices office
while his mother drove to the school. He
sat behind a secretary, and the two chatted
When she looked back minutes later, he
His mother was at the school after 3pm
when she was told a person who was
injured downtown might be her son.
As Heun drove her to a hospital,
Maureen Walgren asked about photos of
the injured person sent to Heun’s phone.
The picture quality was poor, he answered.
She insisted and he handed her his phone.
She knew instantly it was her son.
She did not see him until after doctors
pronounced him dead at 3.27pm.
Less than three hours had passed since
her son was summoned to the dean’s office.
PICTURE: Walgren family
Corey Walgren committed suicide less than three hours after being questioned by his school about a sex video.
School suicide dilemma
Could someone please explain why
the polling booth at Kumara has been
relocated from its traditional spot in the
Kumara Hall, to the Kumara School?
My mother is 94 years-old. She moved
to Dillmanstown in 1945. She says
that over all of those years voting has
taken place at the hall. People took the
opportunity to mix and mingle in this
public space before and after casting their
My mother refuses to vote at the school
and instead is having to be taken to vote
in Greymouth, and I know at least one
other elder of our community who feels
the same. We can only assume there is
some pretty strong rationale behind this
latest erosion of Kumara’s long and vibrant
With the general election looming we
are in the season of lies, false promises and
In tonight’s Greymouth Star (September
12) we have the IRD and the National
Party denying that they leaked the news
of an over-payment of superannuation for
Winston Peters; there is CYF ’s denying
that they put up an advert for a child on
the Countdown public notices; and there
was an assertion by Dr Jan Wright that
opposition to 1080 is declining. Do you
believe what has been stated?
We also read that young Andrew Field
denies being a hero for his daring rescue of
the young children stuck in Rough River.
He is a hero. It is only this last statement
that we can really believe.
As for the other statements, that is best
left to the cynical reader to decide.
Buller deputy mayor Graeme Neylon’s
statement in papers on September 12
could not be better quoted. This problem
with the Westport water tunnels has been
consistent for a number of years.
Some 13 or 14 years ago several
councillors, including myself, walked
through the full length of all the tunnels
to evaluate the ongoing trouble spots
in the tunnel that posed possible failure
danger. At that time I had some 30
years of underground hydro mining
experience, perhaps the only person with
qualifications to assess and put in plan
a sure all-time remedy for the trouble
spots. The majority of the tunnels were in
good repair therefore, in my opinion, the
introduction of large diameter what most
people call plastic pipe should be installed
in the danger areas while the tunnels were
I went to Mico Wakefield and got a
price for the 800mm diameter poly pipe
plus joiners required to once and for all
remove this constant threat to the water
supply for Westport. My plan, along with
the quote, was presented to the council.
Consultants along with council engineers
threw it out, quoting that in the event of
an earthquake it could be fractured and
then access would be denied. My response
to that was that they obviously did not
understand the extreme toughness of the
product and such an earthquake would
It is amazing now that this method is
seen as the all-time great. The installation
carried out then would have been less
than the cost to the council continually
repairing the trouble spots. There is on old
saying, ‘Consultants borrow your watch to
tell you the time’. How true.
Advertising for carers
I would like to thank the Greymouth
Star for covering the story on September
12, front page.
The response from the Ministry for
Vulnerable Children Oranga Tamariki
(MVCOT), formerly Child, Youth and
Family, was rather interesting.
The card in question on the supermarket
noticeboard was between the pets and
giveaways, and advertising a child under
‘ home for life’ (HFL) rather than looking
for caregivers per se. Well, that is how the
general public perceived the cards when
brought to their attention.
I note that it was stated “the ministry”
did not put it there, however one of their
staff could have, but not on behalf of the
ministry per se.
Perhaps the MVCOT staff are not
allowed to do such things as staff but what
if they act in their personal capacity as
private citizens during their break times
without the express instructions of the
ministry to do so?
Yes, that is a real excuse they have used
which I am going to have tested before the
Human Rights Review Tribunal.
The only ‘home for life’ provider is the
MVCOT so it is to no one else’s benefit to
advertise that but them.
I see they took the opportunity to point
out they were seeking more caregivers and
said they might advertise on noticeboards
in the future.
My only hope is the MVCOT look after
any new caregivers better than they used
to so they do not have the high turnover
The MVCOT also needs to better match
children more appropriately with their
caregivers so things do not fall apart so
Jacinda Ardern’s pronouncements on
RNZ Morning Report (September 12)
that neo-liberal policies have failed and
that we should return to using the Reser ve
Bank sounds great. Indeed, it mirrors,
in principle, the Democrats for Social
Credit approach to these matters, whereby
funding public works via minimal interest
from the Reser ve Bank would benefit all
As just one example, it would free up
well over $100 million a year interest that
DHBs currently hand over to the grasping
hands of the commercial banking sector.
That would buy a lot of health care.
But given that this about-face by Labour
has only appeared during the last weeks
of an election campaign, how much
credibility does it really have? While
any change from the current far-right
Government may be an improvement,
how long would Ms Ardern’s newly-
discovered economic policy ideas last
under a party with its own long history
of employing the neo-liberal policies so
beloved of Roger Douglas when he was
driving Labour’s economic direction?
Still, should Labour get in, at least those
who think about these matters will be
able to confront them with this election
“promise” thereby helping to highlight the
advantages of using the Reser ve Bank to
provide the funding for all public works at
vast savings to the taxpayers.
I wonder if Ms Ardern has ever
read the Democrats for Social Credit
economic policy? If she did she might
consider that if her new-found economic
pronouncements are genuine she would
find her true political home in Social
Democrats for Social Credit
Health care quality
Recently published findings of two
coronial investigations provide a glimpse
of the current state of the health care
system. Extensive delays in investigations
have compromised quality, safety and
planning. Investigations were initiated
by family and not the internal inpatient
quality assurance system. Home care and
telemedicine have less stringent oversight
One of the cases was from Middlemore
Hospital from 2012. The patient was in
hospital recovering from severe burns
when she died of a lethal overdose of
insulin. Insulin was not prescribed for
the patient. Staff described how the
patient had expressed suicidal ideas and
offered money to nursing staff to assist
her to commit suicide. Whether the
mental health staff were involved in the
management has not been disclosed. Who
administered the lethal dose of insulin
and removed the evidence is yet to be
The coroner described the case as
unique in New Zealand. However,
several West Coast cases, where families
were concerned about the suspicious
circumstances of death, were neglected.
The second case was from Christchurch
from 2013, regarding the death of a
47-year-old. He had been discharged after
spending two weeks in a medical ward.
He was discharged against his will, when
doctors believed his ongoing problems
were behavioural (mental health issues)
rather than deteriorating physical health.
After discharge, he spent six hours lying
on a footpath next to the hospital. A
concerned orderly brought him back
Mission without a medical assessment. He
continued to deteriorate and was sent back
the same day. He died two days later.
The patient had asked for inpatient help
to overcome a problem with alcoholism
two months earlier, and told a bed will not
be available till three months later. Many
involved in reducing hospital bed numbers
on the West Coast, should have known
about the problems in Christchurch.
An external report had recently praised
Canterbury DHB for “avoiding hospital
admission or enabling early discharge” and
I would like to respond to Joan
McGrath’s letter (Greymouth Star,
September 13). I for warded a submission
opposing the proposal, with 296
signatures. However, for some reason
it was not taken into consideration. So
my quest is on behalf of all those who
supported the right to keep the Dillmans
The earlier pioneers are being recognised,
this is why the reser voir is called Kapitea.
The earthworks were built on land
with other construction on it. When
the Dillmans Dam was finished water
was released from other sources to fill
the reser voir, which drowned what
came before it. Hence, in respect for
the earlier workers the new reser voir
holds the Kapitea name. Now the same
respect should be shown to the recent
I realise Joan McGrath was not here
during the construction. So memories
have probable faded as when young ones
always think things are bigger than they
really are. And her recent memories appear
to have clouded her judgment.
By retaining the Kapitea name for the
reser voir and Dillmans the earthworks
Dam is joining the dots.
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