Home' Greymouth Star : October 25th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, October 25, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1586 - Death sentence is pronounced against
Mary Queen of Scots.
1616 - D utch mariner Dirk Hartog discovers
1874 - Britain annexes Fiji islands.
1909 - Murder of Japan’s Prince Ito by
Korean activists leads to Japanese dictatorship
1922 - Fascists march on Rome. Italian king
nominates Benito Mussolini Prime Minister.
1936 - Germany and Italy form Rome-Berlin
1941 - Germany’s first offensive against
Moscow in World War Two fails.
1961 - Private Eye, the British
satirical magazine, is published for
the first time.
1966 - Indonesia’s former Foreign
Minister Subandrio is sentenced to
1971 - United Nations seats China
and expels Nationalist Chinese.
1974 - Foreign ministers of 19 Arab
countries meet in Rabat, Morocco, and vote
strong support for Palestinian Liberation
1990 - Evander Holyfield knocks out Buster
Douglas in the third round in Las Vegas to
become the undisputed heavyweight boxing
1993 - Israel begins freeing Palestinian
prisoners under deal with Palestinian
1994 - Twelve killed in Q ueensland’s worst
bus crash, on Brisbane’s Gateway Arterial
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Georges Bizet, French composer (1838-
1875); Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist
(1881-1973); Helen Reddy,
Australian singer (1941-); Christina
Amphlett, lead vocalist of the
Divinyls (1960-2013); Chad Smith,
US rock musician of Red Hot Chili
Peppers (1961-); Matt Shirvington,
Australian athlete and television
personality (1978-); Bat for Lashes,
British singer (1979-); Katy Perry,
American singer (1984-) .
“ It is an undoubted truth that the less one
has to do, the less time one finds to do it
in. ” — L ord Chesterfield, English author and
“ Keep yourselves in the love of God; look
for ward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
that leads to eternal life. ” — Jude 1:21
A Greymouth mine
trucker staged a one
against the British
on Saturday night. From the footpath he
hurled a rock through the window of the
Greymouth police Station, and a few minutes
later the constable on duty, after recovering
from the “near miss”, provided the man with
accommodation for the night.
“ Taking into account your hatred for the
British, we can not allow you to go around
throwing stones through windows,” Messrs
D H Copeland and R W Clarke, JPs, told the
defendant in the Greymouth Police Court this
morning. He pleaded guilty to wilful damage
and was fined $40 with $3 costs and ordered to
make restitution of $8.50.
Sergeant D Duff said that when the
defendant was inter viewed and admitted
throwing the stone his only explanation was
that he “hated the British”. He was in an
“advanced state of intoxication at the time”,
sergeant Duff added.
Mrs Jessie Ellen Kent, the wife of a former
MP for Westland Mr J B Kent, died at her
residence at Kaiata yesterday. Mrs Kent was
born at Granville in the Totara Flat area 73
years ago. She spent most of her life on the
West Coast with a few years in Wellington.
Active in local affairs, Mrs Kent was one of the
oldest members of the Kaiata Indoor Bowls
Club and the RSA Women’s Bowling Club,
and also a keen gardener..
Mrs Kent is sur vived by her husband; two
sons Leslie (Kaiata) and Kevin (London);
and one daughter Jessie (Mrs Stewart, Stokes
Valley). There are four grandchildren, Bruce,
Ann, Ian and Lynn.
uFood for thought
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
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It is pleasing to see the town square
development moving closer to
completion. Hopefully the road-stopping
will also become a permanent feature.
If we truly want to advance this
combined area as a social and cultural
hub of distinction a defining point of
difference could start with the name.
What about Mawhera Square?
We have a latent opportunity here to
focus on the town’s historical roots, as
well as a potential site to add story boards
about local Maori as well as Pakeha
history. Visitors will then have something
more than just a cycle trail beside the
river to remember about this town.
I note in Greymouth Star the council
reply to my previous letter re the diesel
spill. Mr Pretorius has replied at some
length but I am quite unimpressed with
I was sort of hoping/expecting to see
some answers along the lines of what the
spill investigations actually took and what
might be addressed from those actions. So
at this point no one in the public
arena knows if anyone was actually
accountable. And there are many
So I am still asking of the council how
the investigation was completed and what
actions have been put in place for the
1. Did the diesel spill come from the
fishing basin or up town?
2. Did the investigation involve looking
at company/vessel refuelling records?
3. Are vessels in port required to keep
4. Were any persons actually questioned?
5. Were the port authorities involved/
6. What actions were actually taken to
clean up the spill?
7. Does the council/port have an
emergency response plan?
8. If so, does it have emergency spill kits?
9. Has there been any training for spill
10. What was the West Coast Regional
Council’s response to these major spills
and will they be prosecuting?
11. Will the council make public any
findings from this investigations?
As for the sewage spill, Mr Pretorius
responded that it was human error, and I
totally accept that these things can and do
happen. The ordinary person going about
their daily business can sometimes be
just too casual in leaving their car parked
in the town a little too long, and there is
not much leeway given by the parking
So I expect that there must have
been some serious reprimanding of the
employee who inadvertently opened the
Finally and very importantly, Mr
Pretorius has not even mentioned in his
reply about assuring the public that actions
have been taken so that this should not
ever happen again,
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius responds: “ While the diesel
spill was evident in the port, the port is
uncertain whether it originated from a
vessel or whether it came down a stormwater
channel. The high wind blew it against the
rocks and the port ’s investigation could not
determine its origin or even whether it had
It reported the incident to the West Coast
Regional Council. Questions as to associated
investigations and findings should be put to
my colleague at the regional council, Mike
The port staff are trained in oil spills and
an oil spill management plan is in place. This
involves close co-operation with the regional
council. It is efficient as reactive containment
As stated, a council contractor rather than
an employee was involved in the sewerage
spill. It forms part of contract per formance
management and the contractor is well
aware of the implications of the sewage
spill and the need to maintain checks and
balances to avoid it happening again. As
earlier confirmed, it was reported to the West
Coast Regional Council as the enforcement
Obviously, events like these are of concern
and we try to be proactive by enforcing a
consistent anti-spill message.”
A few weeks ago I turned 70. There are
some who consider this to be extremely
selfish but it is my life and I cling to it.
As the ad reads, when pain persists see
your health professional.
My wife made an appointment for one
week later at 10.45am, Thursday, October
19 at the Greymouth Medical Centre
in Tainui Street, Greymouth. On the
due date I entered the medical centre at
10.45am, waiting for several minutes in
line to report my arrival and receiving an
appointment slip. I was told to take a seat
in the waiting room.
Soon my name was called out by a
female doctor, who ushered me into
the consulting room. She then began
to berate me for arriving late for my
appointment and instructed me to phone
ahead next time if I was going to be late
I then became aware I was not being
attended to by Cinderella, instead
by her step-sister. ‘ Doctor Doolittle’
then informed me she had another
appointment at 11am and I would have
to leave before then. I asked for three
obser vations, one being the reading of my
blood pressure as that has been of major
concern for the past three years since
my strokes. She then informed me that
there was not enough time to take my
blood pressure, so that was not going to
happen. I did not understand the reason
for her waspish attitude, but who am I to
judge or complain. Maybe some dirty dog
removed all the straw from her sleeping
quarters and she had an uncomfortable
She then said she would get the door
for me to leave, and in hindsight I
missed my chance to quote Mrs Brown’s
comment, ‘ That ’s nice!’
I queued up and paid the standard fee,
left and was back in my vehicle before
11am. My wife commented on how quick
this appointment had been. I replied that
‘Doctor Doolittle’ was actually ‘Doctor
Do Nothing ’.
My experience with doctors in the past
had been very good. I have noticed in
recent years the turnover in doctors at
the Greymouth Medical Centre has been
high, which could possibly explain the
calibre of the unprofessional types who
are sometimes employed. I now think it is
time for me to change to another health
service centre as I will normally have at
least seven days to travel there.
West Coast District Health Board
quality and patient safety manager Paul
Norton responds: ”The West Coast DHB
is happy to discuss with any person their
concerns about ser vices we deliver (including
general practice ser vices). The letter writer is
welcome to contact our quality patient health
and adverse events facilitator by ringing (03)
769 7400. We welcome all and any feedback
directly to the DHB, which will help us
improve the health services we deliver.”
of the New Zealand Herald
wo of New Zealand ’s
greatest Olympians have
questioned the bodies that
run sport in this country,
highlighting the imbalance
between what they receive
in funding and what administrators are
Mahe Drysdale and Jo Aleh, who have
five Olympic medals between them,
including three golds, want a change to
the way sport is funded in New Zealand,
with an emphasis on athlete-coach
funding, not system funding.
A third legend of the black singlet,
Valerie Adams, has also weighed into
what is shaping as a fierce debate, saying
her personal example offers a way forward.
Despite a record haul of 18 medals
at the Rio Games, the NZ Herald has
learned several high-profile athletes are
tired of feeling like “second-class citizens”
and like they are the only ones held truly
accountable for performance.
“More funding needs to go to the
athlete and coach,” Drysdale said.
“Every dollar spent should come with
the questions: ‘Does this help the athlete
win? Will it help improve results?’ Those
are the areas the money should be going
Drysdale, Aleh and Adams want to sit
down with country’s sports chiefs and
start a dialogue about the way forward for
Top of the agenda is a structure that saw
85 employees of Sport New Zealand and
High Performance Sport New Zealand,
on salaries of more than $100,000 in
In simple terms Sport NZ is in charge
of sports participation, including
recreation and grassroots, and controls
government funding while HPSNZ is
charged with helping sportsmen, women
and teams win on the world stage.
Forty-one of those six-figure salaried
employees work at HPSNZ.
HPSNZ chief executive Alex Baumann
earned $420,000-$430,000 in 2015, a
figure that puts him just below the Prime
Minister’s salary. Peter Miskimmin earned
between $380,000-$390,000 as chief
executive of Sport New Zealand.
Athletes receive performance
enhancement grants (PEGs), which are
taxed, ranging from $60,000 for a gold
medallist, to $55,000 for a medallist to
$25,000 if you are top 12 in the world.
Athletes also have access to coaches,
sports science, sports psychology,
medicine, nutrition and physiotherapy.
Some high-profile athletes like Drysdale
are able to secure endorsement deals to
top up their income, but most prospective
Olympians are faced with the reality of
working while training.
The disparity between what our best
athletes receive from the taxpayer and our
chief administrators receive, is stark.
Aleh, who along with Polly Powrie won
a remarkable silver in Rio despite two
race disqualifications to back up gold in
London, said the key word for her was
“ We (the athletes) need to see how the
money is spent. That clarity is not pushed
from the top. If it was more open and
transparent perhaps we’d come to the
conclusion that they ’re doing a good job.
“ We’re not doing this for money. If that
was why we wanted to compete, we’d be
in it for the wrong reason. We all want
the same thing. They want medals, we
want a medal. It ’s how we can better work
Drysdale said the last time sports
funding was reviewed he “was waiting for
a call” that never came. He says it is vital
that athletes start to have a say in how
the money is spent.
Baumann described the issue of funding
as a delicate “balancing act ”.
Of the $56m spent each year, $34.5m
went to national sporting organisations
to run programmes, while $7.3m went
directly to athletes in the form of PEGs.
A further $4.25m was split between
394 athletes on Prime Minister’s
“There should be transparency.
I’m happy to explain where the
money goes and that is an issue of
better communication,” Baumann
Both Aleh and Drysdale said they were
appreciative of what they received now
given they started coming through the
system more than a decade ago when
athlete grants were either non-existent or
far less than they are today.
Adams, whose glittering career has
seen her win two golds and get within
centimetres of a third, has had the luxury
of being able to car ve out a tailored
programme to suit her specific needs,
largely free of interference.
She said in a statement from Rarotonga
that hers was a model that could be
applied to more athletes across a range of
“I have a set-up through Athletics
New Zealand that works well for me
but it wasn’t always like that. In 2008
I identified that we had to make major
“High Performance Sport could look at
some of the learning we developed from
the changes we made in 2008 and this
model could possibly be set up for other
athletes that may work better for them.”
The athletes point to a “bureaucracy ”
that sucked up a lot of money that could
be better spent elsewhere.
“Obviously I’d like to see more money
directed to athletes and coaches, not
systems, but it’s not a bad thing that
support staff get paid well. You want the
best people and the best people tend to
cost more,” Aleh said.
Baumann said: “ We could give
everything to the athletes but we wouldn’t
get the results like we did in Rio.
“ We have a pretty progressive system,”
he said, referencing the fact there is no
means testing on athletes as there is in
Several athletes in addition to the
medallists highlighted here have
instructed their representatives and
the Athletes’ Federation to push hard
for change, believing New Zealand’s
taxpayer-funded high-performance spend
is going to the wrong people and the
“There’s a big difference between being
on a salary and on a PEG,” chairman of
the Athletes’ Federation Rob Nichol
“It is a fundamentally different
proposition because your income can
“You can’t go to a bank and get a
mortgage based on PEGs,” he said.
Baumann said PEGs were never
designed to act as a salary, but were a
critical part of the high-performance
system as they gave selected athletes more
flexibility to be able to train fulltime.
“They are not employees of High
Performance Sport New Zealand,” he
said. “P EGs are not salaries, but they ’re a
To the criticism that an athlete can
see their PEGs drop dramatically due
to one bad performance: “ You can’t get
away from performance accountability,”
“Sometimes it seems harsh but I’m a
strong believer in that.”
Blue hue tarnishes golden push
Olympians treated like ‘second class citizens’
Valerie Adams, left, Mahe Drysdale and Jo Aleh.
The vitamin and supplement industry
makes billions of dollars each year telling
us that we will live longer, healthier lives
by popping their pills.
But what is the best science on how
helpful these products really are?
We need vitamins in our diet to be
healthy. If you are severely deficient in
vitamin C, you can get scur vy. If you have
too little vitamin D as a child, you can get
bowed legs — a condition called rickets.
And not enough Vitamin A? That could
make you go blind.
In the 1920s and 1930s, when scientists
started discovering these seemingly
magical vitamins, people were so excited
about them that they added them to food,
like flour and dairy products. Fortifying
milk with vitamin D helped lead to an
almost complete eradication of rickets
in the United States. Soon, companies
started turning vitamins into little pills
and bottling them. And they were an
But, the messaging around vitamins
quickly shifted. Vitamins were no longer
just protecting you from scur vy or rickets,
but preventing chronic diseases like
dementia and heart disease, and helping
you live your best life. The big question is:
do vitamins have that power?
To fi nd out, scientists track large groups
of people to see if taking vitamins reduces
the risk of getting certain diseases.
When vitamin B supplements are put
under the microscope researchers find
“no evidence” that they prevent heart
disease, strokes or cancer. Vitamin B also
“does not appear to improve cognitive
function” in healthy people, or those who
are starting to go a little dotty. As for
helping people with depression? It was
not particularly useful for that either.
But when it came to improving
depression, or dementia the researchers
say more work is needed.
There is evidence that taking vitamin C
and zinc lozenges could help you get over
your cold a bit faster. “ The evidence for
zinc lozenges is very strong,” says Harri
HemilÃ¤ at the University of Helsinki in
Finland. But, there is not good evidence
these supplements will keep you from
getting sick in the first place.
And maybe you have heard we are
experiencing a pandemic of vitamin D
deficiency. Even the US Rapper, Ludacris
is worried about it. But, the story with
vitamin D is complicated.
To know if we are low on vitamin D,
scientists would have to agree on one
thing — exactly how much vitamin D we
need. And perhaps surprisingly, scientists
are still debating this. “ There is a lot of
animated discussion right now,” said
Professor Katherine Tucker, a nutritional
epidemiologist at the University of
Massachusetts in Lowell.
Part of the debate is that it’s unclear
what vitamin D is beneficial for. A team
brought together by the Institute of
Medicine in the US several years ago
wrote that vitamin D was important
for bone health. But, they said, other
conditions, like diabetes, depression or
cancer, could not be “linked reliably or
consistently” to vitamin D. Yet, other
What about vitamin E? “The new
evidence says, no, don’t take it,” Prof
Tucker said. A decade ago there was a big
push for people to take vitamin E, but
then scientists realised it actually was not
that helpful and might even increase your
risk of some kinds of cancers.
Finally, we know that eating a diet full
of fruits and vegies packed with different
nutrients can help us live longer and
prevent heart disease. But what happens
when you extract those vitamins into one
big multi-vitamin? “There’s been some
big studies that show they did not really
have major effect,” Prof Tucker said.
One large study recruited 14,000 older
men, and gave half multi-vitamins
while the other half were given a
placebo. The men were tracked
for more than a decade. And, after
all that work? There was no
difference in rates of heart attacks
and heart disease between the two
Curiously, the men who took the
multi-vitamins had a slightly reduced
risk of cancer. But the researchers
said we should not get too excited,
because other large studies have been
But Prof Tucker was not ready to
throw out the multi-vitamins just yet
as she said a few large studies into
multi-vitamins have been done in
doctors and they might have better
diets than your average Joe. So, for
people who are not eating so well, “it
doesn’t hurt to take a multi-vitamin
for insurance,” she said,
Overall, it does not look like
vitamins in a pill do all that much.
But studying the benefit of taking
vitamins in large groups of people is
really tricky, and all the research we
have can not really tell us whether
you, personally, should be taking
vitamins or not.
— New Zealand Herald
Which vitamins to buy and which ones to avoid
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