Home' Greymouth Star : October 9th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, October 9, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1000 - Viking explorer Leif Ericson sights
“ Vinland”, possibly Newfoundland.
1470 - Henry VI is restored to the English
throne after being deposed in 1461.
1562 - Death of Gabriel Fallopius, Italian
anatomist who researched the ear and
1776 - A group of Spanish missionaries
settles in present-day San Francisco.
1788 - Australia’s first bridge, over the Tank
Stream in Sydney, opens.
1803 - Lieutenant-Governor David Collins
brings 476 people to form a short-lived
settlement at Port Phillip in Melbourne.
1804 - Hobart, Tasmania, is founded.
1914 - German troops take Antwerp in
World War One.
1915 - Austrian and German forces
1930 - Laura Ingalls becomes the
first woman to fly across the United
States as she completes a nine-stop
journey from Roosevelt Field in New
York to Glendale, California.
1945 - Pierre Laval is sentenced
to death for World War Two collaboration in
1958 - Pope Pius XII dies, 19 years after he
was elevated to the papacy.
1962 - Uganda becomes independent after
nearly 70 years of British rule.
1967 -British police begin using the first
portable breathalyser to measure alcohol
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Miguel de Cer vantes, Spanish author (1547-
1616); Karl Wilhelm, Duke of Brunswick
(Germany) (1735-1806); Jacques Tati, French
film director and actor (1908-1982); John
Lennon, British pop singer (1940-1980); John
Entwistle, English rock musician of The Who
(1944-2002); Jackson Browne, US
singer (1948-); Sharon Osbourne,
English music manager and wife
of Ozzy Osbourne (1952-); Scott
Bakula, US actor (1954-); Adam
Cullen, Australian artist (1965-2012);
David Cameron, former British prime
minister (1966-); PJ Har vey, English
singer (1969-); Sean Lennon, US singer
(1975-); Mark Viduka, Australian soccer player
(1975-); Todd Kelly, Australian racing driver
(1979-); Chris O’Dowd, Irish actor (1979-).
“All generalisations are dangerous, even this
one. ” — attributed to the son of Alexandre
Dumas, French author (1824-1895).
“But our citizenship is in Heaven, and it is
from there that we are expecting a Saviour, the
Lord Jesus Christ.” — Philippians 3:20
When 6 o’clock
closing came in
50 years ago on
December 1, the price
of liquor went up. Apart from a fear that the
price of his beer may go up now 10 o’clock
closing is in, tonight ’s changeover is unlikely to
affect the even tenor of the West Coast ’s way
Tonight, when the rest of New Zealand
“ lets its hair down” to more liberal drinking
hours, the West Coast will have nothing to
celebrate. Least concerned about the change
on the Coast (with 99 hotels, 18 of them in
Greymouth) are the police, the publicans and
the Transport Department. This morning the
police had not even thought about any extra
patrols and the Transport Department said its
watch would be “just normal”.
“Only difference I can see is that the public
bar might be a bit more draughty with the
front door open,” one publican said.
Two people were admitted to the Inangahua
Hospital yesterday afternoon following two
separate accidents on the main highway
between Inangahua and Murchison. Two
cars collided just north of the Lyell and Mrs
Gibbens, a passenger in one car received a
broken ankle. Both cars were badly damaged.
Following another accident early in the
afternoon, Miss Fay Marks was admitted to
the Nelson Hospital with a leg injury. She was
a passenger in a car which rolled about three
miles from Inangahua Junction.
The first mission for four years is to be
held in St Patrick’s Parish Greymouth from
November 5 to 12. Three Redemptorist priests
will conduct the mission. Similar missions will
occur at Cobden and Moana-Poerua.
uFood for thought
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Huge profits on black market
Warning on synthetic drugs’ potency
he importation of synthetic
drugs into New Zealand
has never been easier or
cheaper, according to a
former synthetics importer.
An anonymous source
has spoken with the Drug and Alcohol
Practitioners’ Association of Aotearoa
New Zealand (Dapaanz) and warned
that a recent spate of deaths linked to
synthetic drugs is just the tip of the
Dapaanz executive director Sue Paton
said the organisation had received credible
intelligence which indicated that potent
synthetic drugs, like AMB-Fubinaca, are
being sourced in bulk on-line to sell for
“Internet technologies are driving the
rapid globalisation of a psychoactive
substance black market with profits of up
to 2000%,” she said.
The source told Dapaanz that the
wholesale price of one gram of AMB-
Fubinaca can be as low as $US1. This
compound can then be used to make four
ounces of synthetic product with a street
value of up to $2000.
According to the source, elements of the
industry have reverted to on-line operations
outside of New Zealand because the
psychoactive industry is unable to prove
synthetic compounds are safe without
animal testing, and thus legal for sale.
“Research chemical companies based
in either China or the EU are providing
product worldwide for the synthetic black
market utilising either the internet or
crypto-market transactions through the
dark web,” he said.
“These companies employ effective
concealment methods of either powders
or liquids and guarantee importers
refund of money in the event of border
The source told Nathan Frost, special
projects adviser for NZ Society on
Alcohol and Drug Dependence, that
importers are bringing the product in
using a reflective material and fake vaping
“It’s sent in Mylar — a material used
to bounce back light to reflect x-rays.
If it’s packaged right and in a box with
something else in the side of the box you
won’t see it because the Mylar will deflect
the x-ray,” he said.
“Now that people vape everyone is
importing vape juice and people get the
research chemical powders broken down
into liquid form, either in solvents or
water, and then baked back off once it
arrives at its destination.
“Basically any substance that can be
concealed as a powder or liquefied, can be
easily smuggled into New Zealand,” he
Ms Paton said it is not just the
compounds linked to synthetic cannabis
that the public should be worried about.
According to the source, synthetics that
mimic the effects of opiate, psychedelic
and stimulant drugs have been developed
and many of these substances have never
been subjected to any form of testing.
The source said the drugs have an
extremely fine overdose threshold and that
shoddy application methods were behind
the recent spate of deaths.
“I think the deaths have been caused by
backyard chemists mixing ABM-Fubinaca
or MMB-Chminaca at a high dose before
putting it in a spray bottle and randomly
spraying it on the plant material unevenly,”
“ Because of the strength of the
compounds uneven distribution can mean
the difference between a dose that gets you
high and a dose that kills you. ”
He said the more synthetic compounds
dissolved into a solution, the more potent
it would be.
“ Each synthetic cannabinoid has a
different hit to it; from mild relaxation to
extreme hallucinations to a couch sloth
“ It ’s like mixing heroin with crack
cocaine and methamphetamine all in
one and smoking that. You’re going to
go up, you’re going to go down, you’re
going to go sideways. You’re going to get
“Those receptors you’re hitting are going
to get overloaded and send your brain
into a catatonic state and you’re going
be useless sitting there with your mouth
Ms Paton said these drugs are being
“aggressively marketed” because of their
strength, cheapness and enormous profits
She believes any strategies to reduce
drug-related harm, such as the
methamphetamine plan that is currently
being revised, need to incorporate other
harmful products that are being imported
“The ease with which synthetic drugs
can be imported into the country means
a prohibitionist approach to control is
unlikely to have any lasting impact,” Ms
“ When one substance is given
prominence and considered in isolation, it
just makes room for other substances —
some even more harmful, to fly under the
Ms Paton said a “robust and
comprehensive approach” that has recovery
for individuals and families affected by
substances at its core is necessary.
“So far, those most affected by the spate
of deaths have been young people, those
living rough, those suffering from mental
illness and other marginalised groups.
“ We need to act before we see more
deaths and suffering.” — NZME
Industry prepares for immigration concessions
New Zealand First is in the box seat to help form the next government and, in exchange,
will be looking to exact key policy concessions. SHANE COWLISHAW of Newsroom
explores how one of its pillars, cutting immigration, could affect industries reliant on
foreign labour and what businesses are doing to prepare for any changes.
As the nation waits to see who will
form the next government, industries are
holding their breath about the potential
effects of resulting changes to migration
There has been plenty of crystal ball
gazing from the media about which way
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters
may swing, and plenty about his many
“ bottom line” policy demands.
The reality is no one is any the wiser
about whether he will side with National
or Labour (or sit on the cross benches) or
what particular policies he will demand.
However, the bread-and-butter of
New Zealand First has always been
immigration, so there is a good chance
that reducing net immigration (currently
at 72,000) will be high on that list.
Chopping down the number of people
entering the country sits easier with
Labour, whose own policy is to reduce
immigration through tweaks to student
and work visas, but National is also likely
to make concessions in the area if it means
remaining in government.
Industry lobby groups spoken to
said they had already started, or were
about to start, planning for the changes
and sending their message through to
The groups said they were not opposed
to a reduction of low-skilled migrants
in exchange for high-skilled, but were
worried about how certain occupations
were classified and greatly concerned that
immediately turning off the tap would
damage the economy.
Employing New Zealanders before
migrants is one of NZ First ’s rallying cries,
but with unemployment at a low 4.8%
many businesses say it is simply impossible
to find locals to do the work.
Mr Peters has said he would like to
see net migration fall to about 10,000 to
15,000, a drastic cut which would have
serious impacts for industries that are
heavily reliant on migrant labour.
How drastic those impacts would be,
and how to prepare for those changes,
are questions being asked as the country
prepares for political change.
The aged care sector is facing trying
With a swelling older population
the industry is growing, but finding it
increasingly difficult to find staff.
About 30% of the 22,000 people
employed in aged care are migrants, some
on longer-term visas but many on short-
term work visas.
Aged Care Association chief executive
Simon Wallace said after the equal pay
settlement that raised wage bills across
the board, migration was the biggest issue
facing the industry.
There had been ongoing, fierce lobbying
on behalf of their members but changes
earlier this year by the Government to
migration settings had been a setback.
In April, Immigration Minister Michael
Woodhouse revealed the introduction
of salary bands for both skilled migrants
applying for residency and people
applying for temporary essential skills
People who did not meet the threshold
could still get a visa, but could only stay
for a maximum of three years before being
subject to a one year stand-down period
outside the country.
For caregivers the salary threshold
was moot, as under the Australian and
New Zealand standard classification
of occupations (ANZCO) they were
classified as low-skilled.
Mr Wallace said the reality was most
workers would head somewhere else rather
than return to New Zealand after being
forced to leave.
“It ’s a big issue for us because we are
facing over the next 10 years a real spike in
the ageing demographic and estimations
from the work that we’ve done . . . is that
we’ll need 1000 extra workers a year
between now and 2027.”
Regarding any changes that may be
demanded by NZ First, Mr Wallace said
he had spoken to several party members
about the issue but had not come away any
clearer on what their policies were.
The notion that the industry could just
hire New Zealanders to fill the positions
was unrealistic, as caregiving was now a
much more highly-skilled position and
there were simply not enough locals
willing to do the work.
“(Winston Peters) says that but we just
can’t get the Kiwis to do the jobs, you only
have to talk to our members and we just
can’t find 1000 right Kiwis.
“ We do rely on migrants and the
government would probably say we’re
over-reliant on migrants. Michael
Woodhouse has told us that, but we just
can’t find them.”
A review of the ANZCO system was
a priority, something that the current
Government has already indicated it is
looking to do, but regardless of who is in
power there would be some hard lobbying
ahead, Mr Wallace said.
Out of the major industries that rely
heavily on migrant labour, horticulture
may be breathing the easiest about any
potential immigration changes.
For its seasonal work, growers employ
backpackers alongside locals to pick
kiwifruit, grapes, and fruit.
They are also reliant on the Regional
Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, a
10-year-old initiative that provides 10,500
temporary work visas to people from the
Pacific to work in the industry during the
Horticulture New Zealand chief
executive Mike Chapman said that after
discussions with NZ First he understood
they were supportive of the RSE scheme
and its importance to both New Zealand
businesses and the islands.
One of the main staffing problems facing
the horticulture industry was getting
people in high-skilled positions to work in
the regions, something that NZ First had
indicated was a priority.
“ I’m not picking the NZ First policies
will be particularly difficult for us in that
area, we do have some growing around
cities but we’d say to them we’re focusing
on skilled immigrants where we haven’t
got enough and we are trying to train
Horticulture NZ had been planning for
the change in government and would be
lobbying for enhancements to the RSE
scheme, alongside attracting more skilled
Mr Chapman said the notion of simply
hiring more local workers to fill the gaps
filled by migrants was not possible.
In many parts of the country such as
Central Otago there was basically no one
to hire, apart from those who had valid
reasons for not being able to work, he said.
“ I know down there there are growers
that have land available, water available,
and if they had certainty of labour they
would be expanding.”
Reliability was also a big issue, he said,
with RSE workers boasting participation
rates in the high 90% while local workers
hovered at about 50%.
While the horticulture industry says
migrant workers are essential, they may
have some explaining to do to Mr Peters
around concerns regarding exploitation.
Mr Peters has been vocal in his criticism
of employers caught ripping off workers
by underpaying or forcing them to
work long hours, stating they should
face deportation and New Zealand was
becoming a country with Third World
Restaurant owners have often grabbed
the headlines in this area, but media
reports about widespread exploitation in
the kiwifruit industry have been raising
eyebrows, with a Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment sting finding
more than half of the targeted employers
in the Bay of Plenty did not meet
In Mr Peters’s many speeches on
migration, reducing the number of
students is often mentioned.
He has argued that in the quest for the
international student dollar, New Zealand
has allowed sub-par institutions to flourish
and made it too easy for those studying to
stay on in New Zealand after they finish.
“ When our export education and our
education system began to falter against
international competition, we offered the
incentivisation to try and keep it going
of being allowed to stay,” he told the AM
Show in April.
“That wasn’t to help our economy;
that was to help what you might call
appallingly second-rate, third-rate
education institutions to carry on their
business so people are coming out with a
diploma and can’t fry an egg.”
The international education market has
exploded in New Zealand, with a report
by Education New Zealand estimating the
total contribution to GDP in 2014-15 at
Excluding primary and secondary pupils,
almost 100,000 students were paying a
total of $886m in fees, with the bulk of
students living in Auckland.
Many of those students go on to work
visas when their studying finishes, while
one in five go on to acquire residency.
But many end up working in low-income
jobs, while even skilled migrants earn less
than their New Zealand counterparts.
With the international education sector
becoming such a cash cow, issues of
exploitation and sub-par teaching have
also become a problem.
In September NZQA shut down
a Christchurch business school after
repeated infringements regarding over-
Concerns have also been raised about
immigration fraud, particularly in the
Indian student market where commissions
are paid to recruiters.
Terry McGrath, acting president of the
International Education Association of
New Zealand, said there was already a
move away from low-level courses which
had been associated with fraud.
With so much money involved there
would always be people trying to take
advantage and it was important both the
authorities and the industry were vigilant,
“At the end of the day if people want to
make money they will do anything they
can to make money if that ’s their primary
reason for being in business.”
The education industry would be
watching closely to see what changes
might be made, but Mr McGrath was
confident any new government would not
hamstring the growing sector.
“The reality is we need to import people,
but we need to import the right people
some of what NZ First saying is about
that and I don’t think they want to shoot
New Zealand in the foot.”
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