Home' Greymouth Star : February 28th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, February 28, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1594 - Britain's Royal Physician Roger Loper
is arrested for alleged conspiracy to poison
1653 - English eet defeats Dutch o
1784 - John Wesley signs the "deed of
declaration" formalising the
establishment of the Wesleyan faith,
1916 - Death in England of
American novelist Henry James.
1931 - In Britain, Sir Oswald
Mosley forms the New Party which
later evolves into the British Union
1943 - Nine Nor wegian commandos
sabotage German heavy water installations
near Ryukan in Nor way.
1948 - e last British troops leave India.
1970 - Nine Australians are killed and 29
wounded in incidents at Long Hai hills during
1996 - Calling it the saddest day of her life,
Britain's Princess Diana agrees to divorce her
estranged husband Prince Charles.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Raphael, Italian artist (1483-1520); Michael
Montaigne, French essayist (1533-1592);
Vladimir Nijinski, Russian dancer (1890-
1950); Linus Pauling, US chemist
(1901-1994); Vincente Minnelli, US
lm director (1913-1986); Svetlana
Alliluyeva, daughter of Russian
leader Josef Stalin (1926-2011);
Tommy Tune, US actor-entertainer
(1939-); Mario Andretti, Italian
racing car driver (1940-); Bernadette
Peters, US actress-singer (1948-); John
Turturro, US actor (1957-); Cindy Wilson, US
singer of B52s fame (1957-).
"Judge a man by his questions rather than
by his answers." --- Voltaire, French author-
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of
the Heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus."
--- (Philippians 3:14
e president of the
West Coast Master
Mr A Mooney,
does not agree that home building costs in
Greymouth are on a par with those in Nelson.
"I don't know how they arrived at their costs,"
he said, in commenting on an analysis of home
building costs announced this week by the
statistical bureau of the New Zealand Institute
"Our building costs are far better than they
are in Nelson --- and they don't have our
weather to contend with," Mr Mooney said.
He added that building costs on the West
Coast are actually too low in comparison with
costs in other parts of the South Island.
What was described as the most severe
electrical storm ever seen in Hokitika blacked
out the town for 47 minutes last night and
caused considerable damage to the New
Zealand Electricity Department's substation at
Arahura. At the height of the storm between
8.30 amd 9.30pm the town was deluged by
three-quarters of an inch of rain. Damage
in Hokitika itself was relatively slight, being
con ned to about 30 subscribers' telephones.
e storm had little e ect in the northern
part of the West Coast and was moving out to
sea as it passed Greymouth.
A national competition has been won by the
Hokitika Young Farmers' Club. It was based on
a thesis on lime usage organised by the New
Zealand Limemillers' Association.
For its winning e ort the Hokitika Young
Farmers' Club will get a prize of £100. It will
be presented at a function in Hokitika on
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
Alcohol and politicians
are sad but inevitable
"Beware," warned Rob
Muldoon, Prime Minister
and Minister of Finance,
while addressing a group of new National
members of Parliament, "for by the end
of your rst term in Parliament you'll be
drinking three times as much as you do
He was right. e pressures to meet
with every interest group in Wellington,
inevitably with booze and meal provided;
the collegiality of the place, when we
would sit in someone's o ce at the end
of each sitting day, emptying another
bottle and the sheer challenge of life
experienced, all made it so.
For me it was akin to being back to my
years at sea; mainly a male-dominated
experience, with grinding responsibilities
and a need to relax with those around you.
You did this while holding a glass.
Rob Muldoon was an old military type
binge drinker, not a habitual boozer,
but every ursday night a group of old
soldiers in the house threw away the cork
and emptied the bottle before trying to
nd their way home to their right beds.
One can envisage Rob, the former
corporal, together with two former
brigadiers, Duncan McIntyre and David
ompson, sitting up on the ninth oor
of the Beehive, planning their next moves.
A former private, Colin McLachlan, lled
the glasses and fetched more water.
It is amazing how former corporals mix
it with history. From Napoleon to Adolf
Hitler to Idi Amin to Robert David
Muldoon; all have played interesting roles.
It was on one of these ursday nights
when Rob proved to those he had lectured
about excess consumption the dangers of
too much booze.
e House was in "urgency", to enable it
to pass the Finance Bill through its third
reading. is bill contained the Budget.
Sixteen days of debate had passed,
perusing every item, since budget day
when Rob Muldoon had moved its rst
reading. In those times "urgency" meant
that the house sat until all the required
bills were passed; no knocking o at
midnight, but a slog to the end.
After helping to dispatch the rst bottle,
Rob decided to see what his caucus
members could o er. He was on the
prowl. I kept a bottle with only a couple
of nips in it for such visitors; not all my
colleagues were as cautious.
As a whip, I was designated to keep an
eye on our leader as he would be required
to move the third reading in the debating
chamber when the time came.
At 2am Rob rolled into the chamber,
obviously high as a kite and took his seat.
e Opposition could see the state he
was in. "Rob, we're over here!" called out
an exuberant and waving David Lange.
He knew that things were turning his
way and this latest event was only
one sign that his opponent was in
ere was byplay, with Rob returning
the waves; his caucus colleagues looked
on with concern. e Opposition could
not believe their luck and the press gallery
e time came when Rob was required
to move the third reading. He stood and
was recognised by the Speaker; " e
Right Honourable Robert Muldoon,"
he called thrice, only to be met with a
It was obvious to us whips that Rob
could either stand or he could speak,
but he could not do both at once. After
several attempts we made another senior
minister sit with him to distract him in
his attempts to put the nal touches to a
While he was so distracted we made
the Associate Minister of Finance,
John Falloon, stand and move the third
ere was sadness too that night. If
one looked past the pathos, the humour
and pantomime, it could be clearly seen
that the end of Muldoonism was fast
His fortress economy with controls on
wages, interest rates, prices and dividends,
was collapsing in a large heap.
e Budget nally passed contained
a de cit of 6% of GDP, the biggest in
Eight months after that drunken night
he nally called an early election. Behind
the scenes he was struggling to get his
next Budget to a de cit of less than 10%
When Marilyn Waring resigned from
the National caucus, he grabbed his
opportunity, and called a snap election.
Marilyn's letter of resignation arrived on
my desk and I delivered it to Rob who
told me to check with every marginal
member to see if they were ready
to face the electorate.
is was about three in the afternoon,
and the drinking began --- brandy was
the tipple. He had nished the bottle and
at 10.30pm announced to the media and
caucus that he would hold an election
on Bastille Day. We stood behind him,
ready to catch him should he stumble.
At that time National was up in the polls
by 8%, but when, probably with an awful
hangover, he blamed Marilyn for this
sudden event, his credibility and our lead
collapsed. e rest is history.
I always thought Tom Scott's cartoon
summed up that day. He had Rob sitting
up in his bed in Vogel House, with an ice
pack on his head.
" ea (his wife)," he said, "I dreamt that
I called a snap election!"
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Robert Muldoon, left, with Governor-General Sir David Beattie on the night he called the snap election in 1984.
The night Muldoonism got bottled
Ex-Prime Minister, Rob Muldoon, warned politicians of dangers of drink --- and then disregarded his own
advice, to disastrous e ect, as former National MP MICHAEL COX tells the New Zealand Herald.
Huge o shore wind farms can protect
vulnerable coastal cities against devastating
cyclones like Katrina and Sandy by
tempering winds and ocean surges before
they reach land, a study says.
Had such installations existed at the
time, Hurricane Katrina, which ravaged
New Orleans in 2005, and Sandy, which
smashed the coastlines of New York and
New Jersey in 2012, would have been
reduced to strong but not devastating
winds, it said.
" e little turbines can ght back the
beast," said Cristina Archer, an associate
professor of Earth sciences at the
University of Delaware.
e study, published in the journal Nature
Climate Change, is the rst to demonstrate
that wind farms, deployed on a grand
scale, can bu er violent hurricanes, the
e team simulated the impact from
farms of tens of thousands of turbines,
placed kilometres o shore and along the
coast of cyclone-vulnerable cities.
"We found that when wind turbines are
present, they slow down the outer rotation
winds of a hurricane," said Mark Jacobson,
a professor of civil and environmental
engineering at Stanford University in
" is feeds back to decrease wave height,
which reduces movement of air toward
the centre of the hurricane, increasing the
central pressure --- which in turn slows the
winds of the entire hurricane and dissipates
In the case of Hurricane Katrina, sustained
peak wind speed would have been reduced
by as much as 44m a second (158kph).
e storm blew maximum gusts, but not
sustained peaks, of about 282kph,
according to the National
Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration, a United States
Katrina's storm surge --- waves
whipped up by the exceptional
winds --- would have abated by
up to 79%, said the study.
In the case of Sandy, the model
projected a drop of up to 140kph
in sustained peak wind speed and
a 34% decrease in storm surge.
Wind farms can tame cyclones --- scientists
Often on my walks in Cobden I have
watched two young children struggling to
carry their heavy loads of Messengers and
pamphlets in all weathers.
I have felt such empathy for them and
often stopped and o ered to lighten their
loads, which I would estimate at about
60kg. I believe that these children are
being exploited and run the risk of back
injury. How about lightening the load. If
the shoe was on the other foot you would
not like it.
Frances Mary Stewart
We agree. e Messenger leaves our premises
with no more than two inserts; the numerous
pamphlets that are stu ed inside are not
ours --- they come from the distributor's
contractors. We have reminded them to desist,
as the delivery of our newspaper is to be
separate from the delivery of other 'mail'.
1080 killing birds
Somebody must reply to the trite bird
densities in association with 1080 use, as
expounded by Bruce Stuart-Menteath in
Wednesday's Greymouth Star.
People of green persuasion and the ilk
should engage their brains before they
make other wise wincing environmental
pronouncements which are demonstrably
untrue. It is a specious technique designed
to confuse with apparent expertise based
on casuistry and sophism. Quite common
Mr Stuart-Menteath makes his case
for a proliferation of both native and
exotic bird species in his area of interest
as, "I have had personal experience of
the e ectiveness of 1080 poison used in
bait stations for possum control on our
property near Punakaiki".
Yes, I could not agree more, but the
operative phrase is "used in bait stations",
which is a quite responsible use for
this broad spectrum deadly poison,
which literally kills every oxygen-using
invertebrate, warm and cold-blooded
animal it comes in contact with.
No. I recently spent four days and
nights below Cascade in an area which
is regularly 1080 air-dropped, the once
massive dawn chorus was reduced to a
solitary bellbird instead of the thousands I
remember 30 odd years ago.
Kea and other iconic avifauna species
will be virtually extinct in but a few years
and I only hope that I can obser ve this so
that I can at least have the bitter last word
of saying, "I told you so''.
Party pills or alcohol?
Tony Kokshoorn's view on 'psycho-active'
drugs is totally awed (Greymouth Star,
He says that retailers are forced to keep
cigarettes out of sight. Well, quite right as
they are highly addictive and kill people
by the thousands every year. He claims
that psycho-active drugs are lethal when
mixed with alcohol, which I believe is total
rubbish. However, note that he does not,
therefore, advocate the ban of alcohol.
With regard to his comment on New
Zealand hospitals, he also needs to know
that every hospital has also noticed
the e ects of alcohol in its A and E
departments for years, but again Mr
Kokshoorn does not call for a local alcohol
e fact that this man is a Mayor and
leader of his community is astounding.
e fact that he can make persuasive
submissions to Government, along with
like-minded ignorant individuals is
disturbing and I wish they would not.
Perhaps he prefers the violence-inducing
psychoactive drug alcohol instead because,
yes, alcohol is a psychoactive drug, so let's
ban that, too.
e big marketing mistake that party
pill manufacturers made was selling the
product in pill form. Perhaps if it had
been made into a fruit avoured zzy
drink poured over ice with a straw in
it . . . it would have gone mainstream
and the breweries would really have had
something to worry about.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
responds: "If cigarettes are out of sight,
so should synthetic drugs and psychoactive
substances. Alcohol is the legal choice of New
Zealanders so why add drugs that add to
the problems that hospitals have to cope
with? Alcohol and psychoactive drugs can be
lethal when mixed. Ask a doctor at your local
hospital to con rm that.
Fifty-eight per cent of New Zealand mayors
support the call to ban the sale of these drugs.
To those who say a ban will only send the
sales underground I say that drugs have
always been underground.
Legal high shops create a prominent
positional marketing tool to attract more
vulnerable people into a web of addictive
substances. Legal high shops increase the sale
of drugs and create a gateway and roadmap
to more harmful psychoactive substances,
especially for our vulnerable youth. Believe
me, these drug retailers do not give a damn
about our youth so let's make a stand."
Clearly, the only people on the
current West Coast DHB board asking
signi cant questions are the two new
members. ose members remaining
from the previous board, plus a former
board member, seems to me to have
their feet comfortably under the table
and are not going to rock the political/
Several interesting points emerge from
last Friday's meeting. Regarding DHB
loans being made via the Reserve Bank
at a fraction of the prevailing interest
cost, the chairman merely wa ed about
" nancial modelling" and "servicing the
loan" (Greymouth Star, February 24). If
Dr McCormack does not understand the
Reser ve Bank option I would be happy to
explain it to him.
Secrecy is obviously still the name of the
game, with a letter naming board members
sent to the DHB not being made available.
If, as he claims, Dr McCormack really
believes in "transparency and openness",
that letter would have been in the meeting
papers regardless of the opinion of the
DHB's programme director.
While on the subject of transparency and
openness, it is good to see one of the new
board members raising the outrageous
longstanding extent of in-committee (i.e.
secret) business at meetings. "Openness
and Transparency", Mr Chairman?
en there is the position of board
members concerning the re-starting of
maternity ser vices in Buller (Greymouth
Star, February 25). Again, it is the two
new board members supporting that
service, with even an elected Westport
representative, John Vaile, siding with
When I rst became involved in rural
health issues in 1991, many small rural
hospitals provided excellent maternity
services and did so with minimal
bureaucracy. Why not now?
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
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