Home' Greymouth Star : January 31st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, January 31, 2014
We appreciate the value of the Letters to the Editor
column as a public forum for West Coasters and
welcome your opinion and suggestions.
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must include your name, address, phone number
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Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
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Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1606 - Guy Fawkes, chief plotter in the
attempt to blow up the British Houses of
Parliament, is executed.
1788 - Bonnie Prince Charlie, leader of the
failed Jacobite rebellion against the English,
dies in Rome.
1876 - e US government orders
all Native Americans to move to
reservations or be declared hostile.
1943 - German troops surrender at
Stalingrad in World War Two.
1949 - First tv daytime soap opera,
ese Are My Children, is broadcast
from the NBC station in Chicago.
1956 - Death of A A Milne, British children's
writer and author of the Winnie the Pooh
1968 - Nauru, jointly administered by Britain,
Australia and New Zealand since World War
One, becomes independent.
1974 - Death of US lm producer Samuel
2006 - Death of Coretta Scott King, who
came to the forefront of the ght for racial
equality in America after her husband Martin
Luther King Jr was murdered in 1968.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Japanese shogun (1543-
1616); Franz Schubert, German
composer (1797-1828); Anna
Pavlova, Russian ballerina (1881-
1931); Eddie Cantor, US singer
(1892-1964); Jackie Robinson,
US baseball player (1919-
1972); Mario Lanza, US singer
(1921-1959);Suzanne Pleshette, US
actress (1937-2008); KC, US singer-musician
(1951-); Minnie Driver, British actress (1970-);
Justin Timberlake, US singer (1981-).
"We live in a moment of history where change
is so speeded up that we begin to see the present
only when it is disappearing."
--- RD Laing, Scottish psychiatrist (1927-1989).
"Refresh my heart in Christ."
--- (Philemon 1:20).
A little instrument
possibilities is now
on the market and is
being tested by some of the bigger Greymouth
rms. It is a miniature radio-telephone
developed on the transistor system, which will
allow sta members to converse with each
other while miles apart.
e transistors have become popular in the
bigger centres and lend themselves to use by
sports organisers and such as deerstalkers for
maintaining contact. If they prove popular
they could lead to many innovations in general
working and domestic habits. It could even
be possible for a wife at home to maintain
constant vocal contact with her husband at his
workplace or elsewhere.
Whitebait from the West Coast will be
included among the dishes to be placed
before the doyen of the world's gourmets,
Andre Simon, of London, when he visits New
Zealand next month. Mr Simon, 86-year-
old founder of the worldwide food and wine
societies, will arrive in New Zealand next
Wednesday and before he leaves a fortnight
later he will have worked his way through a fair
sampling of New Zealand's nest foods.
French-born Mr Simon will visit New
Zealand as the guest of TEAL and of the
Wine and Food Society of Auckland. Before
leaving to return to Sydney he will have tasted
such dishes as smoked eel, muttonbird, oysters,
whitebait, venison, trout and lamb.
Ten blue n tuna were brought into
Wellington today by the shing vessel Olwyn,
chartered by the Marine Department for
research o the West Coast of the South
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
Coasters, stand up
for our hospital!
Firstly, I would like to thank Dr Paul
Holt for having the courage to speak out
publicly about what is really happening
with our hospital services.
It is far too late for the Health Minister,
Tony Ryall, to start shifting blame. He has
been the Health Minister for the past six
years and has control of the purse strings.
Now is the time for action. Further delays
will cost precious dollars for nothing.
All we ask is to have a safe, workable
facility designed to endure the West Coast
environment and to retain the same level
of health services we have at present.
Is the minister prepared to be a party to a
catastrophic disaster causing avoidable loss
of life by refusing to fund the necessary
resources for health and well-being, or is
saving money his top priority?
Downgrading our services will increase
the already di cult task of retaining
and recruiting highly skilled doctors
and nursing sta . Sta will be forced to
leave our district in order to retain their
practical and educational skills for their
practising certi cate, as required by law to
maintain safe practice.
I am sure our newly-elected members to
the West Coast District Health Board did
not put themselves forward to vote for less
health services for now or the future. I call
upon all West Coasters to get behind our
dedicated hospital sta to help retain all
our existing services.
Once lost, never regained.
Retired registered nurse
challenged on new
I am grati ed that the Minister of
Health has responded to the concerns
raised in my article, and in the open letter
which resulted from the meeting of West
Coast DHB clinical sta (Greymouth
Star, January 22). I am also pleased
that Mr Ryall acknowledges the unique
di culties of providing health care on the
However, his statement falls short of the
assurances sought by the recent meeting.
While he promises 'specialist obstetric
and gynaecological services' at Grey Base
Hospital, he does not guarantee that these
will be 24 hours a day, every day and will
be provided by specialists on the Coast.
is was the proposal in the option 3
model of care in the business plan, and is
the current situation. He also fails to give
assurances about other specialist services
proposed in the model of care, other than
in the most vague terms.
On behalf of my clinical colleagues,
both medical and nursing, here and in
Canterbury, I invite the minister to give
an unequivocal commitment that the
National Health Board will agree to
service provision in the new Grey Hospital
which will be broadly in line with the
model of care, option 3, contained in the
business plan submitted last year by the
West Coast DHB.
I can promise the minister that I will
keep asking him for these assurances until
they are given.
Physician, Grey Base Hospital
West Coast branch president Association
of Salaried Medical Specialists
Jim Keenan tribute
It was with great sadness that I learned
yesterday of the passing of Jim Keenan, a
wonderful West Coaster who embodied all
the ne qualities and traditions the Coast
He was a prince among men, hugely
respected by all who knew him or were
in uenced by him. Jim seemed to me to be
devoted to the creed that a good Christian
does good works which bene t others and
the community. It was also re ected in his
views about social justice, about a fair and
In my time as MP for the West Coast,
Jim became a friend, mentor and supporter.
My life has been a better one for having
known Jim Keenan. ere would be
hundreds of other West Coasters who have
also bene ted from their association with
this very ne man.
Sir Kerry Burke
Former MP for West Coast
Relief fund for
My name is Annie Hetherington and I
have organised a relief fund for Judd Hall's
As you will be aware of the tragic death
of young Judd last weekend and the grief
the family are su ering, not only with this
young son gone but also the three before
him, with one still down in Pike River.
ey are grieving so badly, as you can well
imagine, not only with his death but the
media hype that has followed. I do know
that nancially they are not prepared for a
funeral so I have set up this fund to try to at
least ease the nancial burden a little.
I have also arranged a concert with a
$20 donation to attend on February 22,
hopefully at the Runanga Miners' Hall
(just waiting on the okay for the hall) with
local musicians e Hetheringtons, and
also musicians from Christchurch, plus
some young musician friends of Judd's
later on in the night for some of their
I would really appreciate it if you could
spread the word and the account for
monies for this family. e account is
ANZ Greymouth Judd Hall Relief Fund
Cyclists on our roads
e never ending debate raises its head
again and again as to the safety, or lack of
it, for cyclists on our nation's roads.
Having been a motorist and a cyclist for
over 40 years, and a speeder for a few of
those, I feel decently quali ed to make a
call on the issue. Like the drinking age,
the Government needs to take a long hard
look at the capacity for performance in
our vehicle drivers. It is common to blame
tourists for bad driving habits.
Well, I am of the opinion New
Zealanders are every bit as guilty; our
driving can be very poor. Vehicle driving
has become more of a case of taking our
lounge with us instead of a realisation
that a vehicle can kill, maim or injure
without damage ourselves. e appearance
of pyjama-wearing people shopping in
supermarkets should show this mentality
in an understandable way. Yes, there
are half-awake drivers out there. Life
is not a tv, there are skills to learn and
understanding to achieve.
Not so long ago, at the end of Butlers
crossing near Ross, an approaching milk
tanker came over a hill toward me with
the driver reading a large map spread over
the steering wheel. Unusual? No. Had
that driver run his vehicle o the road and
killed himself, he would have been lauded
as going in the All Blacks some time soon,
ready to do nuclear physics at university,
going to the Paci c Islands for relief work
etc. Passing the buck, denial, is not an
option, there is only one thing we can do
--- be observant at all times.
ght legal fees
In response to J Richardson's call for
rebellion against paying rates (Greymouth
Star, January 15), is this not illegal and
If J Richardson was truly concerned
about the cost of the council's legal action,
where was he back in 2009 when lessees
started their repeated public calls for
meetings with the council and not legal
When the council repeatedly ignored
calls for common sense talks, where was J
By remaining silent, J Richardson gave
his silent agreement to council's expensive
legal action as democracy is by the
people, for the people, of the people and
J Richardson is part of it whether he likes
it or not. at he chose silence over such
a public matter was entirely his right but
this pretence of o ence now, is simply not
In response to J Richardson, Mr
Pretorius refers to these costs as an
"unfortunate result of a legal process".
What utter nonsense, the legal action
did not cause these signi cant costs, the
cause was a council determination to take
legal action rather than entering into
discussions with lessees.
How many private businesses would
spend $600,000 (the cost bandied about
by the council) to "recover" less than 3% of
that gure? No business could sustain such
poor nancial decision-making, especially
when an alternative was available and
would have saved ratepayers' money.
Lessees repeatedly warned the council of
the costs of legal action, therefore in my
opinion the council is totally and solely
responsible, not the Banks and not the
If it were now possible, we would still be
willing to sit down and sort this matter
out with the council but sadly, once the
council put this matter into the court
system, ratepayers were going to pay the
price as the courts will now determine this
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius responds: " e full details of
the matter will become public as soon as the
court has determined Mr and Mrs Banks'
appeals against the High Court decision. I
respectfully suggest that it will not sustain the
claims that Mrs Banks has made in her letter.
For the moment, I suggest that all concerned
respect the fact that the matter is before the
I have come to expect nothing that is
balanced or reasonable from Cameron
Slater, who seems to live in a virtual
world, one detached from reality. A
schoolyard bully, as Damien O'Connor
His remarks about the tragic loss of a
young Runanga man in a road accident
have been rather too politely described as
'o ensive' and 'insensitive'.
ey are, in fact, simply outrageous,
terribly insulting to Judd Hall's immediate
family and to all West Coasters.
Slater's actions must lead to greater
regulation of the blogosphere and some of
the IT cowboys who live there, seemingly
detached from the real world.
Mainstream media outlets have their
codes of conduct and remedies available
when lines are crossed. It is now time to
impose similar sets of rules for bloggers.
Sir Kerry Burke
DHB patient le
decision 'a cop-out'
Recent Greymouth Star articles
concerning the DHB withholding of
information relevant to surgery raises
crucial patients' rights issues. Many
people involved in cases of surgery going
dreadfully wrong, whether as patient, their
family, or their advocates, are aware that
numerous barriers exist, making it di cult
for patients to access their complete
Regarding this, it should be noted
that under the Health and Disability
Commissioner's Code of Consumer (i.e.
Patient) Rights, clause 2, right 5, speci es,
' e right to be fully informed'.
Inexplicably, when a patient seeks the
right to be fully informed they cannot
do this via the Health and Disability
Commissioner but must go through
the Privacy Commissioner. e good
news is that the Privacy Act speci es
under principle 6, 'Access to personal
information: (1) Where an agency holds
personal information in such a way that
it can readily be retrieved, the individual
concerned shall be entitled (a) to obtain
from the agency con rmation of whether
or not the agency holds such personal
information; and (b) to have access to that
e bad news is that DHBs use lawyers
to get around these rights.
Compounding patients' di culties
is that, as in the case featured in the
Greymouth Star, ( January 29), statements
made by the surgeon involved have been
deemed by the DHB to not be part of
the patient's medical les. is is patently
ridiculous since statements by surgeons
involved in an operation must be part of
a patient's les. Calling such information
'legally privileged' is a complete cop-out.
As someone observed, 'persistence is
everything'. I shall persist.
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
Dr Andrea Byrom, portfolio
leader: managing invasive
weeds, pests and diseases,
" ere is no doubt that
pest numbers --- particularly rats and
mice --- will explode this year (sometimes
called an 'irruption') in response to the
phenomenal mast (high seed production)
year we are likely to experience throughout
the South Island and parts of the North
In places that are not protected from
predators, many of our iconic native
birds, lizards, frogs, weta and snails will
continue to decline. With the pest control
plan outlined for the 35 sites around the
country, these species will have a chance.
In the short term, preventing the
irruption will enable these species to
successfully breed and thrive in the
absence of pests during the next breeding
season. In the long term, DOC's proposed
plan will prevent localised or even national
extinctions of taonga species like mohua in
e planned drops will be enough to
'hold the line' and get a 'pulse' of breeding
and recruitment through the coming year
for native species in the targeted areas.
After a 1080 drop, a few possums, rats,
stoats and mice will survive, and their
numbers will slowly begin to build up
again over the next few years. DOC will
very likely want to re-treat some areas
when the next mast year occurs (usually
3-5 years' time), again to prevent the pest
irruptions. e science on this is very
clear, although there are some di erences
between podocarp forests and beech
forests in the way these species interact,
which a ects the timing of their future
In non-targeted areas with no 1080,
there will be two kinds of impacts on
our native fauna. ere will be the direct
impact of predation on the species I
ere is also the indirect impact of
competition: the predators will chomp
their way through the seeds, fruits and
invertebrates that are food for native birds
and lizards. e net result is a 'step-wise'
decline in the areas that are not protected
Of course, there are a lot of passionate
keen people out there doing pest control
using ground-based methods, but these
tend to be smaller areas compared to the
larger areas that can be covered by aerial
Associate Professor Alex James, school
of mathematics and statistics, University
" is year is de nitely a mast year. Mast
years lead to large increases in predator
numbers, in particular mice and rats
which in turn lead to an increase in stoat
Stoats are one of the biggest threats to
native birds, for example a kiwi weighing
less than 1kg cannot defend itself against
a stoat. Without predators a mast year
should lead to an increase in native bird
numbers due to an increase in food. With
predators a mast year will lead to a drop
in bird numbers because the predator
numbers increase so rapidly. In the long
term, without intervention, native bird
numbers will decrease during mast
1080 aerial drops are our most e ective
control method so they will stop predator
numbers increasing in the areas where
they are being planned. e planned
drops will be enough to reduce predator
numbers enough to allow native species
to use the mast year for their own bene t
(just like it should be!).
e science is very clear --- the planned
1080 drops are the best way to manage
the predator outbreak that will follow this
year's mast event.
In areas without predator control we
can expect to see signi cant decreases in
native species numbers this year. Where
the populations are already small (which is
too many of our native species) the e ect
of this could be devastating."
e Government announced yesterday it was launching New Zealand's largest-ever species protection programme,
increasing the use of aerial 1080 poison to control pests and protect native wildlife. Conservation Minister Nick
Smith announced details of the 'Battle for Our Birds' programme, which will increase pest control in 35 forests to
protect 12 native species, largely using 1080. ese increases will see up to a further 500,000ha of Department of
Conservation land treated. e SCIENCE MEDIA CENTRE asked the experts what they thought.
Stoats are among the biggest threats to our native birdlife.
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