Home' Greymouth Star : May 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, May 5, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1646 - British forces under King Charles I
surrender to Scots at Newark, England.
1821 - France’s Napoleon Bonaparte dies in
exile on the island of St Helena.
1911 - New Zealand pilot J J Hammond
makes first flight over Sydney.
1965 - First large US military
units arrive in Vietnam.
1978 - Red Brigades in Italy
announce they are carrying out
death sentence against former
Italian prime minister Aldo Moro,
whose body is found two days later.
1980 - SAS troops storm the Iranian
Embassy in London, killing four of the five
gunmen who take over the building and seize
1981 - Bobby Sands becomes the first of the
10 IRA hunger strikers to die in the Maze
prison, Northern Ireland.
2011 - Claude Stanley Choules, the last
sur viving combatant from World War One,
dies in Perth, aged 110.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Karl Marx, German socialist (1818-1883);
Empress Eugenie of France (1826-1920); Nellie
Bly, US pioneer of investigative journalism
(1867-1922); Sir Douglas Mawson, British-
born explorer (1882-1958); Spencer
Tracy, US actor (1900-1967); Tyrone
Power, US actor (1913-1958);
Lance Henriksen, US actor (1940-
); Tammy Wynette, US country
singer (1942-1998); Michael Palin,
British actor-traveller (1943-); John
Rhys-Davies, British actor (1944-);
Richard E Grant, Swaziland-born actor (1957-);
Adele, English singer (1988-) .
“The future masters of technology will
have to be lighthearted and intelligent. The
machine easily masters the grim and the
dumb. ” — Marshall McLuhan, Canadian
communications theorist (1911-1980).
“Therefore He is able to save completely
those who come to God through Him, because
He always lives to intercede for them.”
— (Hebrews 7:25).
A report from the
that Greymouth still
has more strontium-90 fallout in rain and milk
than any other town or city in New Zealand.
There has been a decided increase in the fallout
here. The report stated that the average fallout
in rain and water has shown a general increase
throughout New Zealand.
But the average of strontium-90 in milk
level was still only about one fortieth of the
permissable level recommended by the British
Medical Research Council, says the report.
The Guardian Cement Company ’s new bulk
cement carrier, Guardian Carrier, is expected
in Westport on Monday on her delivery voyage
from Britain, the company ’s general manager
Mr L G Larsen said today. The 1538-ton ship
will have a capacity for up to 1600 tons of bulk
cement and will trade out of Westport to other
parts of New Zealand, particularly the North
The ship was recently converted at the
Great Yarmouth shipyards into a bulk carrier.
Cement is loaded into worm conveyors which
distribute it within the holds. For unloading,
chain conveyors feed the cement into vertical
screws which lift it up to deck level. Special
pumps then blow the cement ashore through
discharge pipes at the rate of 100 tons per hour
There will be strange goings on at Rathbun’s
Hall later this month. A haunted house will be
there, lights will be dimmed and weird things
The occasion is the Greymouth Repertory
Society’s forthcoming production of Laughter
in the Dark, a “ghostly comedy”.
uFood for thought
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Sisters of Mercy
Your profile on these two wonderful
ladies was heart-warming to read
(Greymouth Star, April 15).
Their Christian devotion and selflessness
towards so many people in our district is
Our Greymouth area is so very fortunate
to have two such educated, but ever so
humble, ladies devoting their lives to our
people. Individuals like Anne and Theresa
are quite unique in these times and we are
so very privileged to have had them caring
for so many West Coasters over many
Fox River baches
Congratulations to Matthew Morgan,
of Greymouth, for standing up on behalf
of the public (Greymouth Star, April 30).
The issue at stake is the attempt by bach
owners at Fox River to freehold a precious
piece of public land. The land on which
the baches rest is unformed public road,
which gives all of us free access to the
beach and a very special cave at the mouth
of the river.
I am told the Buller District Council
has decided to ‘not allow ’ Mr Morgan’s
objection to the freeholding, but he is
defending the public good, and every fair-
minded Coaster should support him.
Port future in fishing
There is no sense of strategic vision in
the Mayor’s response to my letter of April
28. He is basically saying that we can not
help ourselves, and that only coal can
make our port viable.
We need a wider based economy to
smooth out the fluctuations of low
value added industries like coal. Fishing
has a sustainable future, particularly if
it is managed sustainably, and we are
geographically well positioned to take
advantage of this.
Fishing could be to Greymouth what
dairying is to Hokitika. The potential
is there to add value to catches, to
ser vice vessels and provide sustainable
employment. For that to happen, we have
to stop penny-pinching and recognise that
port spending is an economic development
The $9 million in reser ves that the
Mayor speaks of, aside from being
inadequately small, are not really reser ves
at all. This is money that should have been
spent on things like the port, deferred
maintenance, infrastructure and economic
The reason it has not been spent is
because we have no reser ves. This is money
that has been held back from necessary
work to give the impression of a reser ve.
Bringing the port up to scratch alone
would easily take half of that money.
The mining boom was an opportunity for
wider economic development, but a lack
of strategic vision and the politics of low
rates for re-election have squandered this
opportunity. However, on the positive side,
it is never too late to start getting it right.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
responds: “Council has addressed all
deferred inf rastructure requirements over
the past 10 years and at the same time kept
the rates under the New Zealand average.
The port without the coal and timber trade
of 40 years ago runs at an annual loss. We
have worked with Talley’s and Westfleet to
substantially expand the fishing industry here
In November of this year, our efforts will be
rewarded with the opening of the $12 million
state of the art Westfleet fish processing facility
at the port. The planning or vision of the past
will start to pay off for our economy, with
more jobs for Coasters.
The $9m cash reser ves are adequate and
earmarked for many future projects, which is
$9m more than some councils have in reser ve.
Mr Morgan is of the old school, who thinks
council can just throw money at ever ything
in hope that higher rating will solve our
problems. The port competes against rail
and road transport in a highly competitive
The council is continually looking for new
opportunities. Spending money without
any proper business plan that delivered a
return on the investment is unwise and
will only make rates charged by the council
unsustainable as this has happened to many
councils throughout New Zealand.
Mr Morgan keeps suggesting that we need
much higher rates in the Grey district. We do
not need higher rates, in fact we are in a good
position with $9m of reser ves.
The council is working with private
enterprise who are investing large amounts
of capital to create jobs and economic spin-offs
for the wider community.”
I am most grateful to Mr Ryall for
acting so quickly to reassure us that the
report in the Greymouth Star (on April
29), regarding the new hospital was based
on incorrect information released by the
National Health Board.
However, if the NHB cannot manage a
simple task such as releasing the correct
information to your newspaper, how on
earth can we be confident that they can
manage what is, I presume, the rather
more complex task of designing and
building a new hospital?
Regent over the
Left Bank Galler y
Once again the West Coast Theatre
Trust has received funding distributed
by the Grey District Council. Nobody
could begrudge this worthy establishment
financial assistance. The theatre is a much
valued service in Greymouth.
But I would like to know if the council
called for submissions for the distribution
of the $25,000 kindly gifted to the
community by the NBS. I am sure the
NBS felt confident that this fund would
find its way into areas of the community
where it is most needed. They, like most
of us, trust that the local council does not
The Left Bank Gallery is currently
attempting to create part-time
employment opportunities since
reopening, as well as providing an outlet
for local artists and crafts people to
sell and exhibit their work. The gallery
was closed down by the Grey District
Council for repairs, namely, tying back
the parapets. The gallery was closed
from late 2012 until February 2014. The
parapet maintenance was completed in
January this year.
The gallery relies on the goodwill of
volunteers and the larger community
to operate. All income earned by the
framing business and ‘shoppette’ is
invested back into the gallery. This, along
with funding, enabled it to continue to
ser ve the community. While closed, the
West Coast Society of Arts continued to
struggle on. They had no funding and no
income, and our supporters moved on,
but creative people are resilient and loyal
and the gallery is back. The locals say they
are pleased to have us open again. The
tourists say great things about us.
I suggest this $25,000 from the
NBS could have been shared around
the community to support those
organisations who are trying to keep
Greymouth an interesting and vital place
to live in and visit.
Yes, I am biased toward creative
occupations, especially those that
represent the cultural heritage of the
West Coast. We have a tradition of
expressing ourselves on canvas and
any local materials, stone, carved coal,
pounamu, flax, clay to name but a few.
Great to see culture enacted in theatre
but to touch, to see the arts is beyond
Maybe more West Coast Society of
Arts people should play golf ? I have
heard through the grapevine that it is the
way to get to talk to the folk who make
things happen here. But that may just be
rumour — although most rumours are
considered to contain an element of fact.
In the Greymouth Star several weeks
back Mr Kokshoorn stated that the
quality of our water was not up to
standard. This is nothing new, and
while our water supply continues to be
sourced from a sump system located at
the bottom of the Grey River nothing
will change. Furthermore because our
riverbeds are constantly on the move
the quality of our water will never be
Food for thought. Dr Stephen Barclay a
keen trout fisherman, concluded that the
Arnold River right through to the Grey
River contained trout that he obser ved
had heart disease (hardening of the
arteries). His comment was that if fish
could contract this condition, what was
it doing to human beings? This article,
of which I have a copy, made front page
news in the Greymouth Star many years
Given the form of pollutants that have
infiltrated our drinking-water to this
day it is no surprise whatsoever that our
water supply is not up to standard. And
the effects this has had on human health
is not a topic to be ignored.
It is very interesting that in 1954 Jack
Fairmaid, an engineer for the Greymouth
Borough Council, concluded that our
drinking-water was unfit for human
consumption. Mr Fairmaid proposed that
water be taken from the Roaring Meg
River, near Moonlight. This method was
to be gravity fed and supply fresh water
starting from Blackball right through
to Greymouth and surrounding
He also believed that the use of
approximately five generators set into the
pipelines for power be installed, which
would offset the cost of his primary
proposal. Sur veys were undertaken and
plans drawn up but what could have been
a very effective proposal never came to
fruition. Not long after, Mr Fairmaid
retired along with his vision.
The conclusion is that the quality of
our drinking-water supply cannot be
rectified while those in charge continue
to look at the problem with short-term
short-sightedness. Had Mr Fairmaid’s
plan been adopted by the powers that be,
concerns over health and what our rates
were/are being used for could have been
avoided. Unfortunately, not all ratepayers
are on the rich list.
Kevin George Curtis
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
responds: “Mr Curtis will be enriched to
know that the Greymouth drinking-water is
of high standard. New government standards
for drinking-water that the council will
adopt in this year’s annual plan will deliver
drinking-water safety standards to as high
as anywhere in New Zealand but it comes
at a cost of $1.2 million for Greymouth,
$650,000 for Runanga and $1.2 million for
Taylor ville, Dobson and Stillwater. There
costs are included in the average 3.8% general
rate rise, or 4.3% overall rate take increase in
this year’s budget.”
To whom it may concern. This is
happening too often — this is about the
fifth time that flowers have been taken
from our dad’s grave that our mum,
Noeline, has lovingly had to buy out of her
Stealing from the dead is not good
Gale Smith (nee Erskine)
Your paper May 1 re the front page
heading, ‘UFO’ lands in Greymouth. Who
would believe that? A more believable
heading would have been, ‘Putting the lid
on the stink’. Then you could have used the
same heading on the Q uick Read article on
p2 instead of DHB recruitment success. If
the seven corporate staff were substituted
for seven maintenance staff we would all
know we were on the home stretch.
he brand behind many
of New Zealand ’s most
iconic and loved biscuits
is celebrating 150 years of
loving baking this month
From humble beginnings
as a cocoa and flour miller in 1864, to
baking close to one billion biscuits every
year including Gingernuts, Toffee Pops,
Cookie Bear Hundreds and Thousands,
Shrewsbury and Mallow Puffs, Griffin’s is a
New Zealand success story.
“Griffin’s is part of New Zealand ’s DNA,”
Griffin’s general manager of sales and
marketing Josette Prince, says.
“From playing an important role during
wartime in the 1940s making army ration
biscuits for the troops, through to baking
nine of the 10 top selling biscuits in the
country today, the brand has a special
place in the hearts of generations of New
And there is no denying that New
Zealand is a biscuit loving nation. New
Zealanders chomp their way through nearly
50 million packets of Griffin’s biscuits each
year, contributing to the country’s position
as the second largest consumer of biscuits
in the world per capita, after the United
Over the last 150 years Griffin’s has
changed the face of biscuit making in New
“There have been many firsts like
introducing automated ovens that baked
biscuits around-the-clock, to replacing bulk
tins with packets which revolutionised the
way biscuits were sold in the late 1950s,”
“Of course, Griffin’s can also lay claim to
introducing the original and now iconic
Gingernut, which New Zealanders eat 203
of every minute!”
As well as enduring favourites, a more
recent milestone in Griffin’s 150 year
history was the way in which a Facebook
petition, spearheaded by an Upper Hutt
mum, led to the return of an 1980s
favourite, Griffin’s Choco-ade.
Today Griffin’s Facebook fanbase of more
than 175,000 people plays a big role in the
way in which Griffin’s brings products to
market. From lobbying for the return of
biscuits, submitting ideas for new biscuits
and variants to being involved in taste
testing during the trial phase — it is a far
cry from the early days.
Griffin’s was born in 1864, the same
year as the American Civil War, or closer to
home the year Hamilton was settled, The
Timaru Herald published its first issue, the
Australian Magpie is introduced to New
Zealand and miners discover 25,000 ounces
of gold in Marlborough.
Close to a billion Griffin’s biscuits are
baked every year. While many of these head
overseas, 918 million are eaten by New
Zealanders — that is 206 for every New
Zealander! It’s probably not surprising then
that New Zealanders are the second biggest
consumers of biscuits in the world (second
only to the United Kingdom).
Griffin’s bakes nine of the 10 top-
selling biscuits in New Zealand. Gingernuts
take the title as best selling biscuit while
To ff ee Pops, Super Wine and Cookie Bear
Chocolate Chippies all feature in the top
If we placed all the Griffin’s biscuits
eaten every year side-by-side, they would
encircle the earth one and a quarter times
at the equator.
Gingernuts, one of Griffin’s oldest
biscuits, is also the most popular. New
Zealanders dunk, nibble and chomp their
way through 107 million Gingernuts every
year. That is 293,000 every day, 203 every
minute and more than three Gingernuts
eaten in New Zealand every second.
If all the Griffin’s Gingernuts eaten
each year were stacked flat, one on top of
each other, the height of the stack would be
equivalent to almost 3000 Auckland Sky
Towers (the Sky Tower is 328m high) or
257 Mt Cooks (Mt Cook is 3745m high).
140 tonnes of chocolate chips are used
every year to make Griffin’s Chocolate
Chippies — that is the equivalent weight of
20 large, male African elephants!
Griffin’s used to produce Jaffas,
Minties, Jet Planes and Pebbles before its
confectionary business was sold to Cadbury
in exchange for Cadbury’s Hudson Biscuit
At its peak, 25% of all New Zealand
children aged 12 and under belonged to the
Cookie Bear club. They would now be aged
Griffin’s Lower Hutt factory operated
24 hours a day during World War Two to
produce special army ration biscuits for
New Zealand and United States troops.
The biscuits for the New Zealanders were
described as thick and hard, not dissimilar
to dog biscuits and needed a good dunk in
the tea. The well nourished US troops on
the other hand were the lucky recipients of
Griffin’s chocolate biscuits.
Griffin’s most popular ads over the
years include the 1989 “Griffin’s Gingernuts
are so spicy ” commercial with the Jamaican
drummer singing the catchy “Ask for
Griffin’s Gingernuts by name” song.
Other famous ads include the 1998
commercial for Toffee Pops, which featured
a bare chested All Black, Carlos Spencer.
Sixteen years later and Griffin’s still gets
requests for the footage.
Griffin’s relaunch of the 1980s biscuit
Choco-ade, the result of an on-line
petition spearheaded by Upper Hutt mum
Amber Johnson, smashed all previous sales
records for the most successful launch into
supermarkets, selling 1 million packs in the
first 12 weeks.
Griffin’s has a Facebook community of
over 175,000 fans and its Facebook
post announcing it was relaunching
Choco-ade biscuits set a new Facebook
record in New Zealand for most number
of ‘likes’ for a single page post, receiving
more than 28,500.
Griffin’s biscuits are enjoyed by biscuit
lovers in 21 offshore markets — everywhere
from Brunei to Papua New Guinea and
Taiwan to Tahiti.
Griffin’s celebrates 150 years
Staff outside the Griffin’s factory in 1954.
Employees packing confectionary in 1962.
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