Home' Greymouth Star : February 7th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, February 7, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1554 - Troops under Sir omas Wyatt
march on London.
1863 - HMS Orpheus is wrecked near New
Zealand, killing 190 people.
1878 - Death of Pope Pius IX,
whose ponti cate of 31 years, 236
days was the longest in history.
1894 - Death of Adolphe Sax,
Belgian inventor of the saxophone.
1947 - British proposal for
dividing Palestine into Arab and
Jewish zones with administration as
trusteeship is rejected by Arabs and Jews.
1962 - Coalmine explosion in Saarbruecken,
Germany, kills 298 miners.
1964 - e Beatles begin their rst
American tour, greeted at New York's John F
Kennedy International Airport by thousands
of screaming fans; US heavyweight boxing
champion Cassius Clay changes his name to
Muhammad Ali after becoming a Muslim.
1971 - Women in Switzerland win the right
1999 - King Hussein dies of cancer after
nearly half a century on the throne of Jordan.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir omas More, English Lord Chancellor
and writer (1478-1535); Charles Dickens,
English novelist (1812-1870); Alfred Adler,
Austrian psychoanalyst (1870-
1937); Sinclair Lewis, US writer
(1885-1951); Aisingyoro Henry
Puyi, last emperor of China (1906-
1967); James Spader, US actor
(1960-); Garth Brooks, US country
singer (1962-); David Bryan, US
rock musician of Bon Jovi fame
(1962-); Chris Rock, US comedian
and actor (1966-); Ashton Kutcher, US actor
" ere are only two classes of mankind in the
world --- doctors and patients." --- Rudyard
Kipling, English author and poet (1865-1936).
"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful
for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for
training in righteousness." --- (2 Timothy 3).
15 years as a
councillor, and a former mayor of Brunner,
Mr Francis Frederick Boustridge died this
morning in Blenheim. Aged 69, Mr Boustridge
had been living in retirement in Picton.
A Justice of the Peace, Mr Boustridge had
a distinguished record in public life and local
body service on the West Coast. He was
born at Brunnerton in 1895 and reached his
69th birthday on Tuesday. He served overseas
during World War One and was wounded at
Passchendaele in 1917, after which he was
invalided home. In 1919 he entered a Brunner
aerated waters business, and in 1925 in a
partnership bought Blackmore's cordial factory
at Greymouth and remained associated with
that enterprise until recent times.
In 1922, Mr Boustridge began local body
service which was to extend over 40 years. He
began as a member of the Brunner Borough
Council and in 1924-25 was mayor. Following
his move to Greymouth he joined the Grey
Hospital Board in 1932 and was elected to the
Greymouth Borough Council that same year.
Besides his wife Doris, Mr Boustridge is
survived by a daughter, Laurel (Mrs Hulston,
Christchurch) and a son, Asa (Greymouth).
Two Grey district hotels have ben sold and
are to change hands within the next month or
so. At Stillwater the Junction Hotel, owned by
Mrs M Moore, has been sold to a Christchurch
man, Mr K Prattley.
e Cobden Hotel, run by Mr G H
Stanbridge for the past 10 years, has also been
sold. e new licensee is Mr J Rubbo, currently
a barman at the Australasian Hotel.
uToday s birthdays
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (o ce)
769 7913 (editorial)
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Sports Editor Tui Bromley
Chief Reporter Laura Mills
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
About 4000 State house
tenants who are paying
market rents will probably
be the rst required to
leave when Housing New
Zealand's "house for life"
policy ends on April 14.
Tenants are also bracing for an onslaught
of other changes as the agency reshu es
more than a third of its 68,634 homes
into the places they are needed most, and
removes or demolishes some of its oldest
estates to make room for new mixed-
On top of that, the Government plans
to start within months transferring State
houses to Maori groups and charities.
e changes are driven by the same
idea that has led to similar changes in the
welfare system --- that just giving people
money and a "house for life", without
conditions and wraparound support, is a
huge waste of human lives and taxpayers'
An advisory group in 2010 said taxpayers
could not a ord to throw more money
into State housing, so it recommended
leveraging public funds by fostering
community groups that could bring in
other philanthropic funding and borrow,
and at the same time provide the necessary
hand-up support for tenants.
From April 14, community housing
groups will get the same subsidies as
Housing NZ for new low-income tenants.
Anyone needing housing assistance will
have to go to Work and Income instead of
Housing NZ's rst step in preparing for
these changes was to axe social support
for its own tenants. From August 2011,
its sta were told to "stop delivering social
services that should be delivered by other
In April 2012, the corporation closed its
doors to anyone without an appointment.
ese changes have been partially
reversed. New chief executive Glen Sowry,
a former round the world yachtsman,
quietly reopened the o ces for walk-ins a
month after he took o ce a year ago.
"I believe that where someone has
language di culties, or for whatever
reason can't contact us by phone, I felt it
important that they had the ability to be
able to come up to the front door of our
local o ce," he says.
Sta numbers, which dropped from 1142
in June 2010 to 987 in June 2012, crept
back up to 1043 by last June. Tenancy
managers have been told to look out
for social needs and develop "very close
relationships" with local agencies such as
budgeters and women's refuges.
From April 14, the Ministry of Social
Development (MSD) will take over all
applications for social housing, allocate
qualifying tenants to Housing NZ or
community providers, determine income-
related rent subsidies and investigate
whether tenants remain entitled to social
housing in both State and community
Housing NZ will lose a net 77 sta .
Forty will move to MSD and the
corporation has budgeted for $795,000 in
redundancy pay for the others.
Surprisingly, the change will increase
the number of bureaucrats because MSD
is creating 168.6 new jobs, including 64
call-centre jobs and 37 technical jobs to
calculate income-related rents in a new
e ministry says all frontline sta at
Work and Income, Seniors and Study
Link will screen people for housing needs
when they come in for bene ts or other
help. People will also be able to apply for
housing help through the call centre or
any MSD o ce.
Housing Minister Nick Smith says he
will issue a direction to MSD on April
14 on how to decide who is eligible for
He says criteria will be broadly
similar to Housing NZ's ve tests: the
a ordability, adequacy and suitability of
applicants' existing housing; accessibility,
including discrimination issues and
the cost of bonds and furniture;
and sustainability, taking account of
the applicant's social and nancial
Points will still be awarded on each
criteria and those eligible will go on a
waiting list. MSD will then ask Housing
NZ and any other local housing providers
whether they can house each person.
Dr Smith says applicants' preferences
for house and landlord will be considered
along with other factors such as matching
size, cost, parents' work and children's
schools. Providers will also have a choice
about which tenants they accept.
In principle, all social tenancies from
April 14 will be reviewable. But the
Cabinet has not yet decided how often
MSD will review tenancies, or whether to
exempt any groups such as the elderly and
Last year Dr Smith forecast that 1000
State tenants would be moved out in
2015-16, and 2000 in the following year.
He says those estimates were based on
the 4006 Housing NZ tenants (6.2%)
who already pay market rents because
their incomes are too high to qualify for
e new system will give State tenants
on market rents a nancial incentive to
get out voluntarily. ey will be eligible
for MSD's accommodation supplement
if they move into either private or
A further 15.6% of State tenants are
working but still on incomes low enough
to qualify for partial rent subsidies.
ey might be worse o if forced
into the private sector, even with the
accommodation supplement, and Dr
Smith gives them some reassurance.
" e robust needs assessment that is
part of the tenancy review process will
identify, among other things, whether
tenants are able to access and a ord
alternative housing," he says.
"If they are not able to do so, ministers
do not expect that they will be moved
Experts believe community housing
providers might be able to build about
100 new homes in the next year that
would qualify for income-related rental
subsidies. But ministers want to lift
community housing from 6% of all social
housing to 20% within ve years, partly
by transferring some state houses directly
to community providers.
Dr Smith says this will start within
months. Housing NZ is already talking to
"specialist providers" in major cities such
as IHC's subsidiary Accessible Properties.
"In smaller provincial towns in
New Zealand, it's more likely to be a
community-based iwi or other provider."
He says transfers will be modelled on
experience in Australia, where states have
taken di erent paths.
"Some have chosen sale, some have
chosen discounted sale, some have chosen
leasing a portfolio, some have chosen
management contracts," he says.
e price of any sales is a major barrier.
Community Housing Aotearoa argues for
sales at a "restricted cash ow" valuation
based on future rental income, including
the income-related rent subsidy.
But that would value State houses at
much less than their $16.4 billion in
Housing NZ accounts, which is based on
Writing down the valuation in one hit
would be a big negative for the whole
State balance sheet.
Community Housing Aotearoa has
suggested writing down blocks of houses
gradually at $100 million a year, starting
with those targeted for sale. " ose," Dr
Smith says, "are very real issues that the
Government is working its way through."
--- New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
e idea of moving from om Street in New Lynn does not appeal to Henry Laveaina, 15, left, Melina Laveaina, 13, Hine Laveaina, Mafa Laveaina, Junior Laveaina, 14,
Vai Sefo (with Christian, 18 months) and Fenika Sefo who share a Housing NZ home.
No more 'house for life'
Healy s view
e most distasteful aspect of
contemporary political journalism is its
utter disdain for politics and politicians.
at political leaders deliberately lie to
the voters is never disputed. at political
parties rely exclusively upon focus groups
to tell them what they stand for is deemed
unremarkable and represented as sound
politics. at politicians in general are, in
roughly equal measure, both venal and
stupid is regarded as axiomatic.
e journalist who attempted to argue
that most political leaders actually strive to
be honest; that political parties frequently
cleave to principle even though it costs
them votes; and that the majority of
politicians are good people doing their best
to make the world a better place; would be
laughed out of the press gallery.
is prevailing disposition towards
professional cynicism is dangerously
corrosive, not only of good journalism
but also of the entire political process. If
politics is presented as a dirty business, with
which no respectable person would seek the
slightest association, then we should not
be surprised when it starts attracting the
very sort of people our journalists describe,
doing exactly the sort of things they decry.
e great advantage of likening politics to
a dodgy tramp steamer, under whose ags
of political convenience whole cargoes of
deceit, treachery and naked self-interest
are regularly permitted to evade electoral
duties, is that it excuses journalists from
examining and explaining to their readers
the ideas and ideals that really do motivate
e New Zealand politician who has
su ered the most at the hands of journalists
who (to employ Oscar Wilde's wonderful
quip) "know the price of everything and the
value of nothing" is Winston Peters.
For the best part of a quarter-of-a-
century political journalists have sneered
at, belittled and defamed this remarkable
politician, whose career, when viewed from
a less hostile perspective, is distinguished by
innate political skill, indisputable personal
courage and considerable programmatic
success. Not every Maori boy born into
rural poverty ends up on the speed dial
of the American Secretary of State. Not
every National Party politician is capable
of successfully defying his party. Not every
New Zealander possesses the ability and
charisma to build a political movement
strong enough to make its leader New
Zealand's rst (and so far only) "Treasurer".
Twenty years ago, I asked Mr Peters to
assist the readers of NZ Political Review to
understand more clearly what he (among
other political leaders) meant when
he de ned his politics as 'centrist'. He
concluded his response with the following
"When one walks down the centre of the
road, one foot falls slightly to the right, the
other to the left, but the head and the heart
remain in the centre."
Mr Peters is by no means the rst
politician to turn the human body into
a metaphor for the State --- the fables
of Aesop did something similar two
thousand years ago. Its organic character
does, however, contrast sharply with the
crudely mechanistic political language of
neoliberalism. His conception of politics
is as something intrinsically human
--- with all the messy contradictions to
which human esh is prey. For Mr Peters,
societies and economies are not the sort of
instruments you wind up and set in motion
--- they are the sort of instruments you play.
It came as no surprise when I discovered
in 2005 that Mr Peters' favourite movie is
Casablanca. at he sees the New Zealand
Parliament as something akin to that
contested wartime city cannot be doubted.
Nor that he sees himself ducking and
weaving between National and Labour in
much the same way as Casablanca's hero,
Rick, steers his jagged course between the
forces of Vichy France and Nazi Germany.
Casablanca's theme, that in a dangerous
and deeply awed universe our hearts will
almost always prove a better guide than
our heads, and that sometimes (as both
Rick and Mr Peters learned the hard way)
playing by the rules is exactly the wrong
thing to do. Especially if your enemies are
If New Zealand's political journalists
could only learn to see past their kneejerk
tabloid moralising they would recognise
in Mr Peters a politician of extraordinary
complexity and powerful conviction. ey
would also understand that in resolving
which political leader to put on board the
plane to electoral victory, his heart will play
no lesser role than his head.
Chris Trotter is an independent left-
wing political commentator.
More than the usual suspects
Consuming too many sugary
sweets, desserts and drinks can
triple your chances of dying from
Scientists in the United States
have found a striking association
between the proportion of daily
calories supplied by sugar-laden
foods and heart disease death rates.
One sugar-sweetened beverage a
day is enough to increase the risk of
dying from cardiovascular disease
(CVD) a ecting the heart and
For people obtaining a quarter of
their calories from added sugar, the
risk tripled compared with those
whose sugar contribution was less
Sugar consumption in the top
fth of the range studied doubled
the likelihood of death from heart
e researchers speci cally
focused on added sugar in the
diet --- that is, sugar added in the
processing or preparing of food,
rather than natural sources.
Dietary guidelines from the
World Health Organisation
recommend that added sugar
should make up less than 10% of
total calorie intake.
Yet many processed foods and
beverages are packed with sugar.
A single can of zzy drink, for
instance, may contain 35g of sugar
providing 140 calories.
e new study, led by Dr Quanhe
Yang, from the Centres for Disease
Control and Prevention in Atlanta,
used US national health survey
data to determine how much added
sugar people were consuming.
Writing in the journal JAMA
Internal Medicine, the authors
concluded: "Our ndings indicate
that most US adults consume more
added sugar than is recommended
for a healthy diet.
"A higher percentage of calories
from added sugar is associated with
signi cantly increased risk of CVD
Professor Naveed Satta, from the
British Heart Foundation Glasgow
Cardiovascular Research Centre
at the University of Glasgow, said:
"We have known for years about
the dangers of excess saturated fat
intake, an observation which led the
food industry to replace unhealthy
fats with presumed 'healthier' sugars
in many food products.
"However, the present study,
perhaps more strongly than
previous ones, suggests that those
whose diet is high in added sugars
may also have an increased risk of
heart attack. Of course, sugar per
se is not harmful --- we need it
for the body's energy needs --- but
when consumed in excess it will
contribute to weight gain and, in
turn, may accelerate heart disease.
"Helping individuals cut not only
their excessive fat intake, but also
re ned sugar intake, could have
major health bene ts including
lessening obesity and heart attacks.
e rst target, now taken up by an
increasing number of countries, is
to tax sugar-rich drinks."
--- New Zealand Herald
Sweet snacks triple heart disease threat
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