Home' Greymouth Star : April 4th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, April 4, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1581 - Francis Drake arrives back in England
after circumnavigating the globe and is
knighted by Queen Elizabeth I on board his
ship, e Golden Hind.
1844 - Germany occupies South-West Africa,
Togoland and Cameroons.
1883 - State Premier omas McIlwraith
claims British New Guinea as a Queensland
possession; the claim is later disallowed by
Britain. e British ag is raised at Port
Moresby, by ursday Island's police magistrate,
Henry Chester, on behalf of the Queensland
1902 - British nancier Cecil
Rhodes leaves $US10 million in
his will to provide scholarships for
Americans at Oxford University.
1933 - US Navy dirigible Akron
falls into Atlantic Ocean o New
Jersey, taking 73 lives.
1949 - Nato is founded when the North
Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington by
foreign ministers of United States, Britain, France,
Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Denmark,
Iceland, Nor way and Canada for mutual
assistance against aggression in North Atlantic.
1975 - Some 155 children die when a US
Air Force transport plane carrying Vietnamese
orphans crashes on takeo from Saigon.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Grinling Gibbons, English sculptor (1648-
1721); Nicola Antonio Zingarelli, Italian
composer (1752-1837); Edith Soedergran,
Finnish poet (1892-1923); Frances Langford,
US singer (1914-2005); Marguerite Duras,
French writer (1914-1996); Elmer
Bernstein, US composer (1922-
2004); Anthony Perkins, US actor
(1932-1992); Kitty Kelley, US
biographer (1942-); Craig T Nelson,
US actor (1944-); Christine Lahti,
US actress (1950-); Hugo Weaving,
Australian actor (1960-); Graham
Norton, Irish talk show host (1963-);
Robert Downey Jnr, US actor (1965-); Nancy
McKeon, US actress (1966-); Heath Ledger,
Australian actor (1979-2008); Grumpy Cat,
US internet-celebrity feline (2012-).
"You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea."
--- Medgar Evers, murdered American civil
rights activist (1926-1963).
" erefore, since we are justi ed by faith, we
have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ." --- Romans 5.1
cupboard was the
cause of a turnout
by the Greymouth
Fire Brigade last night. e alarm was given
following an outbreak of re at the home of
Mr G Veale, 17 Blake Street, Blaketown.
A surge of water from the boiling cylinder
woke Mr Veale who found the cupboard well
alight. Clothing in the cupboard was destroyed
but damage otherwise was not severe.
A discussion on hospital visiting and an
appeal for more volunteers to help carry on this
valuable work in the future were highlights of
a recent meeting of the Greymouth branch of
the Red Cross.
As a result of a packing afternoon having
been held, ve cases of clothing were
dispatched to Hong Kong, it was reported.
Another appeal will be made soon for more
good used clothing.
e novel sight --- for the West Coast --- of
wheat being harvested has stopped a number of
motorists on the road between Greymouth and
Reefton this week. Some 45 bushels of wheat
have been harvested at the Mai Mai property
of Mr A McElwee and sons. e header being
used is owned by Mr J Baynes of Hukarere.
e yield is stated to have been a good one
and can be compared most favourably with
yields in other parts of New Zealand.
e death of Mr William Absalom, of
Winnie Street, occurred at his residence on
ursday. Mr Absalom was born at Reefton 73
years ago. As a young man he was employed in
the stamp mills at Crushington and later with
the Hukawai battery on Snowy Creek, near
Mr Absalom was not married and is survived
by one sister and one brother.
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
Hollyford: a road
When the Arawhata-Hollyford road
link was rst envisaged and sur veyed
around 1880, it was because of the
need for road communication to a then
isolated, remote province. Not so today,
the West Coast is adequately serviced by
three alpine passes and the Buller Gorge
road to Nelson.
e current push by private business
interests to open up this alternative road
link as a toll-concession is, I believe,
based on greed under the guise of tourism
We hear the excuse of road time being
saved and the 'opening up' of further scenic
vistas, but I would maintain that tourists
in vehicles travelling strange country are
not overly worried about time and further,
if you have not had your ll of bush,
mountains and lakes by the time you have
travelled most of the length of the West
Coast you are possibly su ering from an
ennui of scenic saturation, where it all
starts to be repetitive and meaningless.
Apart from some rather dramatic views
of Red Mountain and Mounts Tutoko
and Madelaine, vistas which become but
part of the already tourist overpowering
viewing experience, the proposed new
visitor route o ers little extra stimulation
to be experienced on any other route into
the West Coast.
e Olivine Wilderness Area and
mountain block which this area adjoins
and is an integral part of, is one of the
last really dramatic, relatively untouched
regions saturated in early New Zealand
history. It has been the inhospitable
domain of great prospectors like
Barrington, Durward, Simonin, Caples,
Douglas and O'Leary. Tens of thousands
of keen hunters, climbers and trampers
have slogged into this wilderness and
come away enriched by the rewards of
battling the topography, weather and
remoteness which is so character-building
in such terrain.
No! It is not the place for venal
commercial interests to try and capitalise
on State-administered properties which
are part of the public domain. And
knowing this country as intimately as I do,
they are dreaming at their estimated cost
of some $230 million. e going around
Lakes Wilmot and Alabaster would be
similar to the almost bottomless swamp
experienced around Paringa in the 1950s.
We own the building at 102 Mackay
Street, previously the Smelting House
Cafe, and were upset to learn from the
headline in last night's Greymouth Star of
the unfortunate accident to Mrs Van Dyk
due to the new shape of the footpath. We
extend our heartfelt best wishes to Alison
and wish her a speedy recovery.
When earthquake strengthening work
was undertaken the change to the footpath
was required to allow for a ramp to be
installed inside and the steps removed
to allow disabled access. A consent was
obtained before work started on the
footpath and the nished result, which we
had reser vations about, was inspected and
approved by the Grey District Council.
We are very surprised that neither the
Greymouth Star nor the council noti ed
us that this accident had occurred, but
relieved that remedial work is to be started
Brian and Margaret Weston
John Ludbeck, nancial adviser to
JCP, the potential Chinese investors
for the proposed Hollyford-Haast road
(Greymouth Star, March 27), completely
misses the point about wilderness.
Does he not realise that by putting a road
through the South Westland wilderness,
he immediately destroys the very thing
he wished to promote? A wilderness is an
area of land 'in its natural state' (IUCN
de nition). A road through a wilderness so
that tourists can view it, means the area is
no longer a wilderness.
When Arthur Dudley Dobson stood
on Arthur's Pass in 1864 he was certainly
standing in a wilderness area. We can
readily agree that the modern highway
over the pass is useful in many ways. But
there is no way that the area between
Arthur's Pass township and Otira can now
be described as wilderness.
e comments of those opposed to the
construction of the Haast-Hollyford Road
make interesting reading.
It does not seem so long ago that the
Haast Pass opened, despite the inevitable
opposition from the green brigade. Back
then, the road from Hokitika stopped at
Paringa and the only way south from there
was via the Paringa-Haast Cattle Track.
e decision was duly made, again with
opposition from the greens, to continue
the road to Haast. I nd it somewhat
ironic that of all the people to bene t
from the construction of this section
of road is none other than Dr Gerry
McSweeney, who happens to be one of the
chief opponents of the proposed Haast-
Hollyford link. One would have thought
that a man of his principles would not
have gone anywhere near the place.
Digital tv ruse
When digital tv was rst mentioned
I thought 'good, better picture, more
channels'. But then I discover that
Freeveiw is owned by Sky, and I thought
to myself 'how long before Freeveiw
starts to go wrong so that people go over
to Sky?'. Lo and behold, look what is
happening --- programmes being moved
around and put on late at night. ere
are that many cooking programmes it
makes you sick, and as for that funeral
programme that is on forever, that must
be costing a huge amount of money. Who
do you think is paying for that? e silly
people who put their hard earned money
in it. How long will it take for Coasters to
realise they are being conned?
Messenger Park: a
Messenger Park, formerly Erua Moana
Lagoon, is classi ed as wetland and sits
on seven titles, none of which come under
private ownership. e Grey District
Council, however, have guardianship of
lots 1 and 2 --- approximately half the
e Erua Moana Lagoon once served a
useful purpose in as much that it was an
estuary that allowed water from the lagoon
to ow through to the Fishermen's Wharf
lagoon and to the mouth of the Grey
River at a rate of about 100,000 square
metres per tide. is helped considerably
with any silt build up in the lagoon
and on the bar. Since the Erua Moana
Lagoon was lled in it serves no purpose
whatsoever, other than perhaps a breeding
ground for mosquitos.
Filling in the lagoon was a costly project.
e army were involved in carting sand
to compact the surface. Drainlayers were
on site to try to drain water o the park,
but to no avail. ere were sur veyors from
Cowan and Holmes who surveyed Lots 1
and 2, in 2004. Fairhall Contractors were
employed to remove stones and lay grass.
Two consultant specialists were employed,
one from Hokitika the other from
It de es belief that what was once a
lagoon with an environmental purpose was
then turned in to an un-environmental
e circus used the park several years ago
but never came back a second time. It was
said that the ground was so wet that the
elephant started sinking.
Now the council are looking at dredging
at a cost of about $700.000, and only three
years after it was done last. As with lling
in the lagoon, dredging will fall back on
the good old ratepayer. Why is it that
the council can make decisions without
consulting the ratepayer? ey certainly
have had no problem consulting anyone
else when it comes to ratepayers' money.
Perhaps the council should think about
apologising to the ratepayers for lack of
consultation and mismanagement of their
Interestingly, the West Coast Regional
Council handed lots 1 and 2 over to the
Grey District Council in 2004 but the
nal consent notice was not gazetted
until 2007. Obviously, the West Coast
Regional Council could see that the land
was good for nothing. When I recently
approached them about this they were
not interested but were shocked that
the topic was being brought to their
I would like to know how much funding
for Messenger Park came from the
ratepayers? And the overall cost of lling
in the lagoon. Finally, how can the council
keep crying poor mouth when they are
often the cause of their own nancial
problems? And Greymouth's latest
economic downturn can not be used as an
excuse either, as the lagoon/park debacle
was years ago.
Kevin George Curtis
Youth suicide and
Recently I had occasion to re ect on
youth suicide and self-harming as a
consequence rst of being asked to visit
a former student who had indicated that
she would trust me and, second, discussing
this topic locally in Greymouth with a
father whose teenage daughter harmed
Re ecting on both the above mentioned
situations and undertaking some brief
research, I am concerned at the lack
of inter ventions that remain in our
community, outside visits to general
practitioners and some voluntary agencies.
In my view, this is not enough.
I would like the Greymouth Star to ask
candidates from all parties what they may
o er parents, families and potentially
suicidal young people beyond the status
quo. I would also be interested to learn if
this is a problem here in Westland or not,
and if so what present day parents would
like done about it.
My own view as that a return to short-
stay residential interventions may be
needed but my main purpose here is to ask
others what they think.
D J N Schumaher
Our voluntary group CARE
(Community Alternative Resources for
the Elderly) hosted a movie for 61 over-
65yrs old people in our district. At the
end of the movie the committee members
supplied a free mu n/Devonshire
tea lunch that everyone who attended
As there are major renovations being
undertaken at the theatre, the builders
kindly ceased work for a few hours. Sue
kindly organised the chairs and crockery,
and allowed us to use the theatre kitchen
(with Elle doing our dishes for us).
Our organisation wishes to thank Sue
and Elle for the support shown toward
our group, thus enabling us to cater for
so many people (in what were trying
conditions for the two sta ).
A big 'thank you' to our wonderful and
dedicated committee for the amazing
baking they supplied, and also to our
wonderful volunteers for transporting
people to the venue. Many thanks to
With the death of all the kiwi under the
care of the Department of Conservation,
the despicable poisoning of kea via 1080
and the death of powelliphanta snails
under their care at Hokitika it makes you
wonder if these animals would be better
o on their own, like they have been for
millions of years.
If you spread 1080 over the vast tracts
of forest and kill all the rats and mice, of
course the ferrets and stoats will move
on to birds. Do they think they will just
Grey Hospital nurses
e Bridging of Enrolled Nurses to
Registered Nurse class of 1994, including
sta past and present of McBrearty Ward,
wish to have a 20-year reunion.
Queries: Julie Lucas 769 7400 (ext 2593)
or 021 276 2377. E-mail: julielucas@
Hokitika telephone exchange
'Number please?' '603-S' --- 'through' ...
June 24, 2014 marks the 25th
anniversary of the closing of the Hokitika
Telephone Exchange. All ex-operators
and technicians interested in having a
few lemonades on Saturday, June 21, to
celebrate, please contact Gaynor on
755 6566 before 6pm.
The Malaysian authorities
have insisted that
"someone on the plane"
was responsible for
the disappearance of
Flight MH370, saying
investigators still believed that the
disabling of its communications and the
westward turn above the Gulf of ailand
Two o cial sources, who are close to
the investigation but not authorised to
comment publicly, said there were three
main reasons investigators believe the
plane's manoeuvres before it vanished on
March 8 were intentional.
e plane's communications were
disabled during the handover between
Malaysian and Vietnamese air tra c
controllers, the moment at which its
disappearance from radar was least likely
to be noticed. " at is the precise moment
to disappear an aircraft --- that was what
was exploited," a source said.
A second clue was that MH370's
unusual ight path appears to have been
e source also said investigators
know of no precedent "where the sat-
com (satellite communications) and the
transponder have been knocked out and
the plane continued to y".
A police investigation may never
determine the reason why the Malaysia
Airlines airliner disappeared, and search
planes scouring the Indian Ocean for any
sign of its wreckage are not certain to nd
anything either, o cials said.
e assessment by Malaysian and
Australian o cials underscored the lack
of knowledge authorities have about what
happened on Flight 370. It also points to
a scenario that becomes more likely with
every passing day --- that the fate of the
Boeing 777 and the 239 people on board
might remain a mystery forever.
e plane disappeared March 8 on a
ight to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur after
its transponders, which make the plane
visible to commercial radar, were shut
o . Military radar picked up the jet just
under an hour later, on the other side of
the Malay Peninsula. Authorities say that
until then its "movements were consistent
with deliberate action by someone on the
plane," but have not ruled out anything,
including mechanical error.
Police are investigating the pilots and
crew for any evidence suggesting they
may have hijacked or sabotaged the
plane. e backgrounds of the passengers,
two-thirds of whom were Chinese, have
been checked by local and international
investigators and nothing suspicious has
"Investigations may go on and on and
on. We have to clear every little thing,"
Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar told
reporters. "At the end of the investigations,
we may not even know the real cause. We
may not even know the reason for this
Police are also investigating the cargo
and the food served on the plane to
eliminate possible poisoning of passengers
and crew, he said.
e search for the plane began over the
Gulf of ailand and South China Sea,
where the plane's last communications
were, and then shifted west to the Strait
of Malacca, where it was last spotted by
military radar. Experts then analysed
hourly satellite "handshakes" between the
plane and a satellite and now believe it
crashed somewhere in the southern Indian
A search there began just over two weeks
ago, and now involves at least nine ships
and nine planes.
e British government said a nuclear-
powered submarine with advanced
underwater search capability had arrived
in the southern Indian Ocean.
e current search area is a
221,000-square kilometre patch of sea
roughly a two and a half-hour ight from
Angus Houston, the head of a joint
agency co-ordinating the multinational
search e ort out of Australia, said no time
frame had been set for the search to end,
but that a new approach would be needed
if nothing showed up.
"Over time, if we don't nd anything on
the surface, we're going to have to think
about what we do next, because clearly
it's vitally important for the families, it's
vitally important for the governments
involved that we nd this aeroplane," he
told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.
Flight lieutenant Dave O'Brien,
captain of an Australian P-3 Orion that
arrived back after dark on Wednesday
at base Pearce near Perth, said it was
another fruitless day of searching despite
favourable weather and sea conditions.
"We didn't see anything at all of interest,"
he said. "So a fairly quiet day for us out
there. However, we are back out tomorrow
to try it all again."
With no other data available indicating
where the plane went down, spotting
wreckage is key to narrowing down the
search area and ultimately nding the
plane's ight data recorders, which would
provide a wealth of information about
the condition the plane was ying under
and the communications or sounds in the
e data recorders emit a "ping" that
can be detected by special equipment
towed by a ship in the immediate vicinity.
But the battery-powered recorders stop
transmitting the pings about 30 days
after a crash. Locating the data recorders
and wreckage after that is possible, but it
becomes an even more daunting task.
Malaysia has been criticised by the
relatives of some Chinese passengers on
board, who accuse it of not providing
enough information or even lying about
what it knows about the nal movements
of the plane. In the early days of the crisis,
the Chinese government itself expressed
irritation at the speed of the probe and the
lack of information.
Yesterday China's ambassador to
Malaysia sought to distance the
government from the more strident
criticism, perhaps concerned about any
lasting damage to ties between Beijing and
"I wish to responsibly point out that
these extreme and even somewhat
irresponsible views are not representative
of the overall group of Chinese relatives
and even more so not representative of the
Chinese government's attitude," Huang
Huikang told reporters.
Scores of relatives are staying in hotels
in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, courtesy of
Authorities organised a closed-door
brie ng in Malaysia for the families with
o cials and experts involved in the hunt,
including the chief of the Malaysian air
It was relayed by video conferencing
technologies to the relatives in Beijing.
Malaysia's civil aviation chief, Azharuddin
Abdul Rahman, said o cials answered
all the questions raised by the relatives
and that they had "a very good meeting".
Several relatives interviewed after the
session said o cials showed them more
satellite and other data, but that they were
still not satis ed.
" e fact is they didn't give us any
convincing information," said Steve Wang,
a representative of some of the Chinese
families in Beijing. " ey said themselves
that there are many di erent possibilities,
but they are judging on the basis of just
one of them."
Malaysian o cials have on occasion
given con icting accounts and
contradictory information over the last
three weeks. ey maintain they are doing
their best in what it is an unprecedented
situation, and stress they want the same
thing as the families, namely to locate the
plane as quickly as possible. --- AP
Malaysian police: 777 mystery may never be solved
Media line the tarmac as a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion returns to Pearce air base near Perth, Australia, from a search
mission for possible MH370 debris.
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