Home' Greymouth Star : April 30th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, April 30, 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.
Letters may be submitted by post, fax or e-mail and
must include your name, address, phone number
and - except for e-mails - your signature. Noms de
plume are not accepted.
Please keep your letters honest, respectful and
within 300 words. Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly. The Editor
reserves the right to edit or not publish letters,
especially those that are offensive or too long.
Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
email to email@example.com
uLetters to the editor
1804 - Shrapnel, named after the British
soldier Henry Shrapnel, is used for the first
time in warfare by the British.
1900 - Legendary American railway engineer
Casey Jones dies saving passengers just before
the crash of the Cannonball Express.
1945 - Adolf Hitler commits
suicide in his Berlin bunker with
his wife Eva Braun: Russian troops
penetrate Berlin, capturing the
Reichstag and other government.
1975 - Vietnamese Communist
troops take over Saigon, ending the
1986 - Soviet government announces that
197 people were hospitalised in the Chernobyl
nuclear power plant disaster and that the plant ’s
reactor has been shut down.
1993 - Tennis star Monica Seles, the world’s
No 1 player, is stabbed with a kitchen knife
courtside in Germany by a German supporter
of her rival Steffi Graf.
2008 - DNA tests carried out by a US
laboratory prove that remains exhumed belong
to two children of Czar Nicholas II, Crown
Prince Alexei and his sister, Maria.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Carl Friedrich Gauss, German
mathematician (1777-1855); Franz Lehar,
Hungarian composer (1870-1948);
Willie Nelson, US singer (1933-);
Bobby Vee, US singer (1943-); Jill
Clayburgh, US actress (1944-2010);
Jane Campion, New Zealand film
director (1954-); Paul Gross, US
actor (1959-); Ian Healy, Australian
cricketer (1964-); Kirsten Dunst,
US actress (1982-).
“ To die for a religion is easier than to live it
absolutely.” — Jorge Louis Borges, Argentine
“ We also constantly give thanks to God for
this, that when you received the word of God
that you heard from us, you accepted it not as
a human word but as what it really is, God’s
Word, which is also at work in you believers.”
— (1 Thessalonians 2.13).
Six major proposals
were advanced by a
small but enthusiastic
group of district
whitebait fishermen in Greymouth last night.
Their ideas, aimed at the conser vation of
the popular small fish, covered the field: the
enforcement of old regulations and protection
of breeding areas; the complete closing of
several streams; the possible premature ending
of the current season; a broad idea for the
removal of such predators as herring, trout and
eels; limiting the use of agricultural pesticides;
and some reduction of fishing pressures.
The proposals were advanced to three officers
of the Marine Department at a special meeting
on the question.
John Henry Hardy, of Coakley Street,
Blaketown, died as a result of injuries received
when he was struck by a fall of stone in the
Dobson State mine today. The tragedy occurred
while Mr Hardy was working in a section of
the colliery known as Four and a Half West.
It is understood that Mr Hardy was hit on the
head by a large lump of stone and was killed
The mishap was the most serious of two falls
in the mine this week. On Monday morning
another Dobson underground worker, Mr Ian
Wilson, of Herbert Street, was buried up to
his neck in a fall of stone and it took three-
quarters of an hour to dig him out, but he
escaped with little more than a series of bruises.
Mr Hardy, an Englishman aged 45, had spent
the last 18 years in Greymouth working as a
miner. He was married to Joyce, a member
of the Inwood family, and father of Alan,
Margaret, Karen and Janis.
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
Greymouth Evening Star Co Limited
3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
768 6205 (fax)
03 769 7913
03 755 8422
May I comment on your recent headline
articles regarding the rebuild of Grey Base
Hospital? (Greymouth Star, April 28, 29).
First of all, the suggestion that the
funding for the rebuild should come from
the private sector is a piece of ideologically
driven nonsense. The experience of private
funding initiative (PFI) hospitals in
England has been universally bad. O verall
costs are much greater — the government
can raise money at lower interest rates,
and the result of the lease agreements
(which include maintenance, cleaning
etc) has been loss of clinical ser vices and
redundancies for nurses. Dr Ruth Spearing
wrote an excellent article about this in The
Press last year exposing this ideological
As usual, our politicians select the
most catastrophic part of overseas health
systems to introduce into New Zealand.
Is there a special level of incompetence
required to become a Cabinet minister?
It is deeply disturbing that the report
released by the National Health Board
(NHB) implies that all the work done
by the staff of Grey Base Hospital in
February and March has been ignored,
and the NHB is still recommending to
the Government the drastically reduced
ser vices which you reported in January.
Are Mr Ryall’s assurances worth
nothing? If this is what he is going to
propose for Greymouth, how can anyone
in this country ever trust the promises of a
National Party politician again?
Dr Paul Holt
— time up
Attending the council meeting last
Thursday I heard arguments for and
against retaining the Runanga Miners’
The severe wind and associated rain
damage prior to Easter and since, has
certainly further compromised the
integrity of the existing structure and I feel
that weather event is the game changer
for the future of the hall — not forgetting
for one moment the ballooning cost of
any long-term restoration dream care of
fundraising. There is an old saying about a
It is time to take stock and weigh up the
merits of the options, without emotion, on
what was proposed and outlined by Mayor
Kokshoorn at that meeting.
His ‘retain the facade’ and build anew
behind it, is a concept that has considerable
merit. The Mayor mentioned the
Moonlight Hall as an example of what he
was thinking about.
Having more than a passing interest
in our colourful mining history myself,
I would certainly have liked to see the
building retained as it largely was, but
nothing stands still; things change for
To retain the present building facade
and constructing a ‘Moonlight-like hall’
behind it, is I believe, the best and most
cost-effective way for ward to ensure that
a modern and functioning all-purpose
facility will meet the needs of the
surrounding community in the decades
head. That surrounding community
includes Rapahoe — our hall is only fit
for the dozer after its latest battering.
Let ’s look at the facts — the current
Runanga hall replaced the original
one destroyed by fire in January 1937.
The present facility was constructed
many years after the energetic mining
community put up the original that was
referred to as the ‘Mecca of Socialism’,
prior to World War One.
The fact regarding any ‘historic
argument ’ is this — it is the site that
is historic in the sense of the Labour
movement, not the hall itself.
The present hall even faces the opposite
way to what the original did, so there
went an important fact associated with
the original when its replacement was put
The present facade and its message is
certainly worth saving and restoring, and I
for one now support the Mayor’s proposal
as outlined at that meeting.
The facade needs an urgent revamp to
avoid further deterioration, and he did
offer to fund this some years ago. The
offer, though, was never taken up for some
unexplained reason, and that is perhaps
an unfortunate reflection on those now
wishing to retain the hall.
As much as I would like to see
Runanga’s hall retained the reality is,
unfortunately, it is well past its use-by
date. Even the likes of Bob Semple
would concede that. He would, I am sure,
welcome such an improvement for his old
Semple would be the first to advance
better prospects and facilities for Runanga
and its wider community of interest.
We cannot save everything, nor should
we even attempt to, but if Runanga wants
to advance its prospects and cut its cloth
to suit its residents’ resources, it must
replace what is rapidly degrading. Sticking
plasters do not cut it, it just further delays
The reality is that old buildings have
always given way to newer, better
equipped ones that rise to replace them.
Saving the hall
I am just writing to clear up some
of the points that were in your article
in Monday’s paper. My “resistance” in
opening the Runanga Miners’ Hall was
out of concern for public safety; if anyone
was to go in, warnings of what visitors
were likely to expect and hazards had to be
explained before I opened it up.
This happened a week after the event
and apart from visitors from the council to
look at the situation and effect remedies
as best they could, no qualified persons
like engineers or others have examined the
Runanga Miners’ Hall after the storm.
I was inside when the roof came off,
the noise was deafening. The sarking and
purlins stayed mostly intact. Nothing
inside collapsed, and thankfully no one got
Much progress has been made by the
Runanga Area Association in the quest
for restoration. A conser vation architect ’s
report and a full engineer’s report were
commissioned, both of which the council
have copies of or access to. I have engaged
with experts as part of a professional
approach to our project.
There are tremendous community
benefits for Runanga if it can be saved,
and restore it to earthquake standards. We
could have user groups back, it could even
be a civil defence centre if we are cut off
from Greymouth. It is spacious enough for
Because of the hall, new business has
been coming to McGowan Street and a
new shop has opened. Working for our
community and taking an initiative to
help with economic growth here, we were
making real progress in providing a visitor
We are all volunteers, and stretched
enough. We have done our best to handle
the situation responsibly. We have saved
the important historic photos, documents
President, Runanga Area Association Inc
Hospital just fine
I have just come home from two days in
our hospital and I for the life of me cannot
see what all the fuss is about in even
needing to build a new hospital.
Yes, there is a lot of repair work etc to
be carried out, but most of this is the
fault of the hospital board in not keeping
up to date with the repair needs, with
the result that they now pay hundreds of
thousands of dollars to contractors, when
it is not many years ago the hospital had
the necessary staff to cope. Let ’s hope a
viable solution can be reached as soon as
possible for the well-being of the people
of Westland, and not filling the pockets
of all the government departments etc
wrangling over the cost.
In conclusion, may I mention that my
stay in hospital was made all the more
enjoyable by the staff and their attitude
to patients under what must be difficult
conditions, and always with a cheery smile
for us all.
A caring hospital
In an era when health ser vices and other
government ser vices are under extreme
scrutiny and often, criticism by the media
and others, the dedication, care and
commitment of the people working ‘at the
coalface’ are often overlooked.
In early March this year, my wife’s
brother Albert (73 years) and his wife
Margaret came up from Invercargill to
stay with us for a couple of weeks. A long
time sufferer of arthritis and osteoporosis,
Albert was also a sur vivor of countless
joint replacement operations and a
number of spinal operations.
On March 20, the day before they were
due to return to Invercargill, Albert was
admitted to Grey Base Hospital with
chest and back pains. The care and concern
of the accident and emergency staff was
evident from the outset and he was quickly
assessed and admitted to Morice Ward
with a diagnosed cracked rib and some
fluid on his lung.
Two days later he had not improved and
we were summoned that evening to be
told his condition had deteriorated and a
scan had revealed further complications
with a terminal outcome. He was not
expected to sur vive more than a few hours,
but the tough old boy lasted a further
eight days before dying.
During that whole period he received
the best of care and treatment and his
condition was thoroughly reassessed after
a brief rallying. The genuine kindness,
consideration, professionalism, dedication,
care and commitment shown to Albert
(and us) by the doctors, nurses and
medical staff of Morice Ward, and the
PHO health navigator co-ordinator and
administration staff of Grey Hospital were
truly outstanding and hugely appreciated
The Coast is very fortunate to have such
a great hospital with the very best of staff.
Hari Hari nursing
As a member of the Hari Hari
community I would like to make known
my disappointment that a minority of
residents continue to make life difficult for
our prime nurse.
There are a few things that they perhaps
should keep in mind:
1. The prime nurse is not responsible
for the instigation of the appointment
booking system. She is, however, expected
by her employers to adhere to the rules
that patients must have made a prior
booking unless it is an emergency.
Appointments can be made by ringing the
Franz Josef Medical Centre.
2. If people have problems with making
an appointment using this method it
is not the fault of the Hari Hari prime.
Any issues should be taken up with the
DHB, as we were assured at a community
association meeting some time ago that
communication/booking system problems
would be addressed.
3. The fact that the Hari Hari prime
chooses to reside outside the area has, as
far as I am aware, had no impact on the
level of patient care within the community.
I am tremendously grateful for the
exceedingly prompt arrival of both the
prime and the doctor to an emergency that
occurred at our home.
4. The Hari Hari prime, like most other
employees, is accountable to her employer
for the way she fills her work hours. Sadly,
due to what I assume must be funding
issues, the Hari Hari prime appears to be
not just a nurse looking after the health
and well-being of her patients, but also a
clerk, accountant and receptionist.
Our prime nurse is a very valuable
member of our community, and it saddens
me greatly that the community spirit of
old, when we made these newcomers
welcome, seems to be fading into the past.
Being a prime nurse in a rural area cannot
be an easy job. Appreciate her willingness
to commit to this community and be
thankful that she cares about our
On Monday night the Life Education
Trust and Plunket were the recipients
of a very generous donation from the
Soroptimists of Westland.
These dedicated, hardworking ladies
were able to source a personal stylist,
Lisa O’Neil, who, with a one-person
show, captivated the full Regent Theatre
audience. The evening was a hilarious, not-
to-be-missed, fun-packed event.
As a community, we tend to
underestimate the amount of work that
these ser vice groups undertake for the
benefit of others.
Life Education Trust admires the effort
that this group of Westland women put in
to generate our trust some much needed
We would also like to take the
opportunity to thank the Department
of Corrections for supplying kindling
wood for our members to sell. Again, any
funding sources are much appreciated.
Life Education Trust
60 years of Elvis
hey look pretty insignificant. If you
saw one blow across the footpath, you
would hardly take notice. But the two
pieces of brown paper are payroll stubs,
and when you realise their history, you
can only smile.
They belonged to Elvis Presley when he was
making deliveries — at $1 hour — around Memphis,
Tennessee, for the Crown Electric Co.
The stubs are dated July 24 and July 30, 1954, around
the time Presley reshaped music and American culture.
They are among the items that are part of a new
display at Presley ’s home, Graceland, in Memphis.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of his first
official recording — That ’s All Right on July 5,
1954 — and Graceland and Memphis are using the
occasion to celebrate the king, rock ‘n’ roll and the city
“(The stubs) show Elvis Presley is like the rest
of us,” said Kevin Kern, Graceland ’s director of
communications. “He filled out a pay stub and got
paid every week.”
If you are impressed by the pay stubs, you will be all
shook up by the 45rpm record — Elvis’s personal copy
— of That ’s All Right, which is also in the show.
The exhibit includes 150 to 200 artefacts, with dates
ranging from 1954 to today, covering his career and
There is also his script from 1957’s Jailhouse Rock,
before it had a name. It is referred to as Untitled
Presley Story on the cover. Another film represented
in the exhibit is 1964’s Viva Las Vegas, in which Elvis
wore a red shirt.
“If you see the final scene, Elvis comes through this
western-style door, and he is wearing this (shirt) with
a black jacket over it, and he sings the title song.” The
exhibit opened on February 24 and is part of a series of
events in the city for 2014. For more information, go
to graceland.com. — MCT
Links Archive April 29th 2014 01-May-2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page