Home' Greymouth Star : January 22nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1899 - Leaders of six Australian colonies meet
in Melbourne to discuss a federation bill.
1901 - Death of Queen Victoria at age 81,
after 63 years on the British throne.
1924 - Ramsay MacDonald
takes over from Stanley Baldwin as
Britain's rst Labour prime minister.
1941 - Australian forces claim the
Libyan port Tobruk.
1957 - Israeli forces complete
withdrawal from Sinai Peninsula, but
remain in Gaza Strip.
1973 - In its Roe vs Wade decision, the US
Supreme Court legalises abortions.
1980 - In the Soviet Union, dissident physicist
Dr Andrei Sakharov is arrested, stripped of his
honours and exiled to Gorky from Moscow.
1986 - ree Sikhs convicted of the 1984
assassination of India's Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi are sentenced to death.
1997 - e Russian parliament votes, without
legal force, to remove Boris Yeltsin as president.
1998 - eodore Kaczynski pleads guilty
in Sacramento, California, to being the
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Francis Bacon, English statesman and essayist
(1561-1626); George Lord Byron, English
poet (1788-1824); D W Gri th,
US lm director and producer
(1875-1948); U ant, Burmese
diplomat and secretary-general of
the United Nations (1909-1974);
Piper Laurie, US actress (1932-);
John Hurt, English actor (1940-
); Jim Jarmusch, US lm director
(1953-); Linda Blair, American actress (1959-);
Michael Hutchence, Australian singer (1960-
1997); Diane Lane, US actress (1965-).
"Praise undeserved is satire in disguise."
--- Henry Broadhurst, English politician
"I by My works will show you My faith."
--- ( James 2:18).
When strong winds
lifted half the roof o
a house at Rotomanu
this morning the
ying sheets of iron cut power lines and left
the Rotomanu-Inchbonnie area without power
for about four hours. Later in the morning
a brilliant ash of lightning hit Greymouth
and left most of the borough, including the
Greymouth Hospital, without power for
periods of up to an hour and a half.
is was, however, the only damage of any
consequence which occurred as a result of the
storm accompanied by high winds that lashed
the West Coast last night. e Greymouth
Borough Council and the Grey County
Council had trouble of only a very minor
Picnic season is here, but for the second
successive year the Brunner mining districts
of Dobson and Taylor ville will not organise a
picnic because of lack of support, the secretary
of the Brunner Picnic Committee, Mrs
L A Green, said today. e committee last
organised an outing in 1962, when the venue
was Lake Mahinapua.
e only Coast group to call on a special
train this year will be the Runanga Miners'
Union, which has organised an outing to
Lake Mahinapua on February 8. Some 550
passengers are expected to travel to the picnic
and 11 carriages have been set aside for the
e death occurred at Blackball this morning
of Mrs Ada Dodds, one of Blackball's senior
citizena. She was in her 85th year. Born at
Durham, England, she settled in Blackball
54 years ago and had lived the rest of her life
Mrs Dodds is survived by one son, John
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
Welcome to your
new home. Step
inside the exible
living space, which
converts into an
extra bedroom for
guests and a home o ce during the week.
e two bedrooms also morph into
multi-use spaces as needed --- an o ce, a
tv room, a studio or workroom. e walls
are double insulated against the sound of
the high-speed trains passing nearby, and
the big, north-facing windows provide
passive solar heating.
ere is no garage but you can hire a car
just down the street and park your bike in
at aroma? Your neighbours are ring
up a welcome barbecue down in the
communal courtyard. Grab a lettuce from
the rooftop garden for a salad and tuck in.
at is one vision for how we could be
living in 20 years. As demand grows for
scarce city land, the population grows and
property prices soar, it could well be a
It is not just a vision of our children's
future, either. It is already the urban way
of life in some parts of the world and has
been for generations.
In Auckland, in particular, the pressure is
on to nd space for up to one million extra
e case for accommodating them
in smaller, denser housing is strong ---
a ordability, better environmental and
health outcomes, less tra c congestion
and improved quality of life.
How much can moving to an apartment
improve your life? A University of Zurich
study on commuting found for a single
person, swapping a long drive to work
for a short walk had the same impact on
happiness as nding a new love.
Why, then, are New Zealanders still so
rmly attached to living big?
If you are building a new house today, it
is probably at least 50% bigger than what
your grandparents would have built.
On an international scale, New Zealand's
houses are huge, and keep getting bigger.
e average oor area for a new build last
year was 197 square metres --- in crowded
Auckland it was 203 square metres.
Nationally, that is up from 135 square
metres in 1990 --- equivalent to a couple
of extra bedrooms.
e size of new-builds was steadily
climbing until 2010, when a stutter in the
property market saw a drop. In Auckland,
it peaked at 217 square metres in 2010,
then dipped to 209 square metres in 2011
and to 203 square metres last year.
at is perhaps because the number of
apartments built in the region took a steep
upturn last year-from 616 in 2012 to 1059
in the year to November.
But even the apartments are roomy ---
the average size last year was 113 square
metres. Compare that to the 45 square
metres average dwelling size in Hong
Kong, 76 square metres in the United
Kingdom, or 95 square metres in Japan.
So when did the quarter-acre dream turn
into the ve-bedroom, two-bathroom,
double garage dream? Architect Richard
Goldie says perhaps it is human nature to
keep wanting more.
"I'm astonished by the nature of houses
that get built these days. We've got a little
bit silly about things," he says.
"A lot of people are living in houses that
are much bigger than they use."
Goldie, the New Zealand Institute of
Architects Auckland branch chairman,
says attitudes to apartment- living had
been soured by the early "terrible examples
of shoebox apartments".
But there are now better examples of
high-density housing. And as our society
changes, there is likely to be more demand
for small, low-maintenance living. "My
family and I live in a four-bedroom house
in the suburbs. If we could nd a four-
bedroom terraced house closer in with
all the amenities we have now, we'd do it
tomorrow," he says.
Dan Heyworth, chief executive of design
and-build company Box Living, is also
sceptical about whether those extra square
metres are really needed. He says there is a
temptation to go bigger with a new build
because it can look deceptively cheaper.
e most expensive parts of the home
are the kitchen and bathroom, so any extra
oor space after that increasingly brings
the total cost per square metre down.
Box Living specialises in architect-
designed homes with some xed
constraints that keep costs predictable.
eyare not all tiny but they do not do big
for the sake of it.
Heyworth is convinced 10 to 20% of
oor area could be designed out of most
houses without any loss in amenity. e
di erence is made up by e cient use
of space, plenty of light and getting the
Among their recent builds is a 140
square metres home for a family of ve.
" ere's very little wasted space, or dead
areas in the oor plan," he says.
A growing number of people returning
or immigrating are accustomed to living
in compact spaces, and want high-quality
"Smaller is hard to design, that's for sure.
If you can't design it well, design it big."
Not everyone wants to live in apartments
--- and not everyone wants them next
door, either. Submissions are open on
Auckland Council's proposed Unitary
Plan, the planning document that
replaces the region's 13 existing district
and regional plans. Much of the public
reaction has been opposition to medium
and high-density residential developments
in the suburbs.
Generation Zero, a youth-led
organisation focused on climate change,
found itself aligned with the Property
Council and developers in their support
for more intensive housing. " e current
housing stock does not re ect the
changing attitudes of young people in
terms of what housing they want," says
spokesman Carlos Chambers.
" ere's certainly a willingness to take
hits on things like having your own private
garden or section."
He says new housing models have
bene ts like healthier lifestyles, less
tra c congestion, people walking more
and feeling more connected to their
New Zealand Retail Property Group's
general manager, Campbell Barbour, says:
"I don't think anyone in the industry
would disagree that apartments need to
be done well, and arguably better than
they have done in the past, and I think
they will be. ere's a lot of people living
80 square metres apartments that are
Ingrained ideas may not be easy to
shift. Auckland University professor of
urban design Errol Haarho and lecturer
in urban planning Lee Beattie studied
developments in New Lynn, Onehunga
and Albany. Residents felt they were a
good place to live and raise children but
half still aimed to one day live in a stand-
alone house on a full section.
He says the key to creating quality
apartment developments is thinking
outside the home as much as in it: Where
are the shops, parks, schools and cafes?
Can you walk there?
"You've got to design viable
neighbourhoods and communities," he
Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the
landscape in Auckland is changing, and
there is a greater choice of homes being
provided. In an interview this week, he
points to the 76% increase in apartment
consents, year-on-year, as a sign the
market is responding to the need for a
variety of homes.
Ensuring quality developments is key,
and Brown points to examples such as
e Isaac in Grey Lynn as the kind of
intensi cation that should be encouraged.
Apartment life suits 28-year-old bank
worker Maulik Sutariya.
He and wife Namrata Umatia moved
into the 40 square metres one bedroom
apartment at Altitude Apartments in
Auckland's inner city two months ago.
With no balcony, the at would not
comply with the proposed Unitary Plan,
but Sutariya says large windows keep the
space airy and sunny.
Managing a compact space can be
challenging-but there is less time spent
cleaning, and you learn to not buy too
much stu , he says. "Every time you shop,
you always think of space."
Sutariya says he loves the city lifestyle,
and his 10-minute walk to work.
"Living in the city is an enjoyment in
itself formeas there is always some event
going on, and without waiting for long
hours in tra c. --- Herald on Sunday
Households are shrinking, property prices soaring and city land is running out --- so why do
our homes keep getting bigger? With Auckland set to house an extra million people in the next
30 years, HEATHER McCRACKEN looks at an emerging trend towards compact living.
Local papers, please
I spent some time in Greymouth, in
December, staying at the Ashley Hotel.
I requested the Greymouth Star and
was informed that we could have e
Christchurch Press free of charge. eir
policy is not to supply the local paper. I
think that all motels have the same policy.
As a tourist destination, visitors should
have access to the only source of local
information by way of the Coast's
own newspaper. I adore reading towns'
newspapers on holiday, they are gorgeous.
New hospital plans
e Ministry of Health is committed to
health services remaining in Greymouth
and services being maintained and
sustainable. ese principles underlie a
fresh look at the business case for the
redevelopment of Grey Base Hospital.
e fresh look at the facility options to
support the delivery of the model of care
contained within the business case was
prompted by a report last year showing
a signi cantly poorer condition of Grey
hospital buildings. is identi ed that
a brand new facility may be a lower risk
option compared to refurbishing existing
e partnership group established by the
Minister of Health was requested by the
Government to fully explore the option of
building a new hospital based on the same
model of care developed by clinical sta in
the May 2013 business case.
e Ministry of Health recognises
that the model of care contained in the
detailed business case, and as endorsed
by the partnership group, is supported by
clinicians on the Coast and in Canterbury.
It is the product of their work over
recent years. e ministry also recognises
that any new facility design needs to be
widely supported by sta and to work
within the planned budget. ere will be
wide consultation with sta before the
reworked facility design is completed.
at work is under way and no decisions
have yet been made by the partnership
group on a preferred design.
Regular reports on progress will be
provided to sta and the community by
the partnership group.
Acting national director
National Health Board
Ministry of Health
Police checks on
Contrary to the article about the
Christchurch Highway Patrol inspecting
buses heading to the Kumara Races
(Greymouth Star, January 15), the police
unit carrying out inspections was the
commercial vehicle investigation unit,
or CVIU. is specialist unit is charged
with ensuring heavy vehicles, including
buses and coaches, meet all current safety
standards. We are sure you will agree that
the worst road safety outcome imaginable
would be a serious crash involving a bus
loaded with passengers.
It is with passenger safety foremost in
our minds that CVIU carries out bus
inspections throughout New Zealand.
Although passengers experience some
delay, we are con dent the majority are
appreciative of NZ Police e orts to protect
For the past six years CVIU has
inspected buses heading to the Kumara
Races across the challenging Porters
and Arthur's alpine passes, and during
that time we have witnessed signi cant
improvement in vehicle and driver
In previous years we have found grossly
overloaded buses with serious defects,
including steering and brakes and fatigued
drivers without appropriate driver licences
committing work time o ences. Some
passengers told us they will not use 'party
buses' any more after previous crossings:
one bus caught re, and the other could
not make it up Porters Pass without some
of them walking that stretch of State
During the inspections on the morning
of the Kumara Races we were pleased
to nd standards were generally very
high, and most compliant buses were
delayed for 15 to 20 minutes. However, a
passenger from a bus that was overweight
later informed us their bus had unloaded
10 passengers, who were ferried past the
checkpoint in a di erent vehicle. Once
past the checkpoint these passengers were
put back on to the overloaded bus and
resumed the journey.
is behaviour demonstrates why safety
inspections are still needed, and why police
make no apologies for helping ensure our
bus eet o ers safe and reliable services to
Senior sergeant Warren Newbury
South Island manager
NZ Police commercial vehicle
I was astonished to read that Merv and
Kip's Milk Bar was to close due to tough
economic times (Greymouth Star, January
13). I can recall it since the 1980s or even
earlier. Another icon gone, another sad loss
for the community.
I would like to express my thanks to the
proprietor, Margaret Macdonald, and wish
her all the best for the future. I would also
like to see a write up on the history of
Merv and Kip's as we remember it when it
My heart also goes out to the sta who
lost their jobs.
e Greymouth Star ran a Saturday
Afternoon feature about the heyday of Merv's
Milk Bar, as it was known, on September 17,
I recently went to the Grey district dump
with polystyrene packaging to recycle. I was
told that my boot load would cost the same
as a trailer load of rubbish, regardless of
how much or how little there was, and that
this was 'council policy'.
Further investigation revealed that this
policy was intended to extend the life of
the dump cell and save ratepayers money
because this stu takes so much space. at
is, the high fee was intended to discourage
people from bringing polystyrene in for
e logic needs to be examined. Where
does this troublesome light, white stu go
if not to the dump? Our disgruntled dump
patron either chucks it over a bank, where
it will ultimately have to be cleaned up at
ratepayer expense, or they take it home and
put it in their general rubbish bin or tie bag
over a few weeks.
e polystyrene still ends up in the cell,
taking more space than if it had been
recycled or, at least, compacted before
dumping; exactly what the extra charge was
intended to avoid.
Polystyrene is very recyclable by de-
expanding it and moulding it into a variety
of hard plastic products, and it should be
transported to Christchurch where there
are processing facilities.
e only winner here is the waste disposal
contractor. e elected members of council
should be asking themselves, if they are
not recycling recyclable material because of
costs, was the tendered price too low to be
realistic in the rst place?
I am writing about a recent article in
your paper regarding plans by Chorus
to add more overhead cables to those
already straddling poles in many areas of
If the powers-that-be are trying to
make the town a better place to live and
more attractive to visitors, then allowing
this private company to dis gure the
environment with even more overhead
cables will not help.
In the pre-Rogernomics era, I lived in
the Kilgour Road-Perotti Street area of
Greymouth and I remember when the
West Coast Electric Power Board and
the Post and Telegraph Department (the
P and T) announced that they would be
working together to progressively place all
overhead cabling underground and that our
particular area had been chosen as the rst
place for such work to be carried out. Both
out ts worked well together, and what a
di erence it made to our surroundings and
Over the following years similar plans
followed for other areas of Greymouth and
more recently many telephone cables also
disappeared underground. In certain parts
of town, however, the unsightly electricity
cables and poles remain. ere are plenty of
areas around Greymouth where the bene ts
of underground cabling can be seen and
appreciated, and vice versa.
It seems now that if you live in certain
parts of Greymouth that the number of
cables will be increasing. Was anyone
consulted about this decision? With a little
bit of co-operation and planning it would
be an ideal time to put more overhead
cables underground rather than making
the situation worse. Such a move would
go a long way towards brightening up
Greymouth, making it more inviting and
becoming an even lovelier place to live.
What do you think?
Is there no end to the hypocrisy of
politicians? I refer to the cynical attempt by
Health Minister Tony Ryall (Greymouth
Star, January 16) to divert public
attention from the latest devious political/
bureaucratic conniving over the future of
Grey Base Hospital.
While I agree with Mr Ryall that the
previous government did nothing about the
future of Grey Hospital (hardly surprising,
since governments of both colours have had
a health service centralisation/anti-rural
agenda for many decades), his accusations
of Labour "politicking" will raise a hollow
laugh from those who know too well that
all the major parties put politicking ahead
of the public good in their all-consuming
craving for power.
If Mr Ryall was genuine in his concerns
for the Coast public he would have
immediately responded to Dr Holt's call
(Greymouth Star, January 11) for the
minister or ministry to allay fears at the
discovery that the bureaucrats and the
Christchurch-controlled West Coast DHB
are reneging on previous agreements with
Coast medical sta .
at is nothing new, since post-1993
local management have frequently
rejected the concerns of Coast medical
sta . Indeed, it seems a proven career
path for would-be politicians to dabble
incompetently in health management for a
few years --- and even sometimes become
a health spokesman in Parliament. Truly
Meanwhile, thanks to this newspaper's
determined inquiries --- Laura Mills,
take a bow --- the revelation that the
Christchurch-controlled DHB are up to
these tricks highlights the absurdity that
if the elected Coast board members (and
the Coast's three MPs) want to know
what is going on they have to wait for the
newspapers to inform them. And that is
nothing new either.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
I was shocked and appalled to learn of a
horri c and senseless ferocious assault on
two French hitch-hikers near Tauranga
last year by two local thugs, and also
to learn of another attack on a young
German couple who were holidaying near
Whakatane on Boxing Day.
e attack on the German couple
resulted in the young woman receiving a
broken arm and the man receiving broken
teeth, costing several thousand dollars to
e tourism industry in New Zealand is
vital to our economy and successful and
sustained economic growth. Furthermore,
the tourism industry relies on the one
industry concept and bad experiences an
overseas visitor to our country has here
can produce a ripple e ect throughout the
entire industry, such as a tourist leaving
the country early etc, and cancelling their
hotel or plane
New Zealand can not a ord to lose
much needed revenue from international
tourists due to the senseless acts of
violence by a minority of our population.
Furthermore, as the tourism industry
worldwide relies on word of mouth,
especially in places like Europe where
three are many closely knit countries such
as France and Germany, these criminals
through their senseless acts of violence
against overseas visitors to our country
are seriously damaging New Zealand's
reputation as a safe international tourist
destination. We can not a ord this.
It is so unfair that all New Zealanders will
su er due to the stupid actions of
ree people dead in Dunedin and the
fourth going through a living hell. A man
who is so angry that he will kill himself
to escape trial and punishment for the
crime he wants to commit, will not respect
protection orders. We need to go to the
Our problem is that we have sinned and
have lost the peace and love of Eden. Self
is now number one, and in this 'post-
Christian era' we have turned away from
the only one who can help us. Jesus taught
us to 'love one another' ( John 13:34)
including our enemies (Matthew 5:44),
but we say, 'be yourself,' 'do your own
thing' and this leads to all the
anti-social behaviour that is epidemic
today, from gra ti and shoplifting to
We need to get back to the teachings
of Jesus --- die to self (Luke 9:23) and be
born again ( John 3:3) with a heart lled
with His love.
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