Home' Greymouth Star : May 19th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, May 19, 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 Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly.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
1536 - Anne Boleyn, second wife of England’s
King Henry VIII, is beheaded.
1588 - The Spanish Armada sets sail for
1795 - Death of James Boswell, Scottish
diarist and biographer.
1849 - Irishman William Hamilton
is arrested after firing blank shots at
Queen Victoria in L ondon.
1898 - William Gladstone, four-
time British prime minister, dies.
1915 - John Simpson Kirkpatrick,
who with donkey Duffy saved many
lives at Gallipoli, is killed by a sniper’s bullet.
1935 - TE Lawrence, also known as Lawrence
of Arabia, dies in England.
1981 - Five British soldiers are killed in
ambush by Irish Republican Army men in
Newry, Northern Ireland.
1992 - Two doctors who performed an
autopsy on John F Kennedy, confirm the
president died from two bullets fired from
above and behind.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Dame Nellie Melba, Australian opera singer
(1861-1931); Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the
founder of modern Turkey (1881-1938); King
Faisal I, first king of independent
Iraq (1883-1933); Ho Chi Minh,
Vietnamese communist leader,
(1890-1969); Malcolm X, militant
US civil rights leader (1925-1965);
Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator (1925-
1998); James Fox, British actor
(1939-); Pete Townshend, British
rock singer-composer (The Who) (1945-);
Grace Jones, Jamaican-born singer-actress
(1952-); Jodi Picoult, American writer (1966-) .
“ Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds
on the heel that has crushed it. ”
— Mark Twain (1835-1910).
“ I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have
believed, and am persuaded that He is able to
keep that which I have committed unto Him
against that day.” — (2 Timothy 1:12).
Borough Council’s gas
department lost a key
man with the death at
the weekend of Mr George Bailey. Manager of
the local municipal undertaking, Mr Bailey had
not been in the best of health for some years
and died suddenly at home on Saturday.
In his 63rd year, Mr Bailey was a native of
Newport, Monmouthshire, Wales, and ser ved
in the gas industry all his life. He arrived in
New Zealand 16 years ago and worked for the
Christchurch Gas Company for three years
before shifting to Greymouth to take up the
managerial position at the local works.
Mr Bailey is sur vived by his wife Phyllis, one
son, Roger (Wellington) and one daughter,
The last remnant of Greymouth’s old
“Chinatown” is fast disappearing as workman
tear down a two-storeyed wooden building
in Gresson Street. Old Greymouth identities
could not recall today how old the building was
but they told a reporter of chidhood memories
of Chinese New Year celebrations in and
around this building.
There were other events to be celebrated as
well, each with their attendant noise from
firecrackers. Mrs W G McKay, whose father
Mr T Eldon Coates bought the building
about the turn of the century, said she could
only vaguely recall being taken along by her
grandmother to watch some of these festivities.
The building was at one time occupied by a
Chinese merchant, Mr Chou Fong, who ran a
shop and a storehouse.
“ It was a most colourful place,” Mrs McKay
recalled. “ There were some wonderful things in
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
Life before my eyes
It is strange seeing your life in a quick
replay that only lasts for a micro second, but
on Saturday, May 17, that is what happened
to me when I was driving back from
Runanga, with a car overtaking on yellow
lines, on a narrow bridge.
What can you do when you have a van
behind you, and the car on the wrong side
of the road coming straight for you? I did
the only thing I could and put my foot on
the brakes, put my handbrake on — and
The van behind me just stopped and but
the Mitsubishi that was coming toward me
just missed my by a metre or two.
To the idiot that overtook: you almost
killed my wife, my mother, my 16-month-
old son and myself. Get off the road until
you can drive safely. You are very lucky I did
not have time to get your number plate.
If anyone knows about this incident
please forward it to the police. My plate
is FKD322, a silver stationwagon. This
happened about 2.30pm on Saturday. For
anyone who helps, I thank you.
It is with quite a lot of surprise that I
read in Monday night’s Greymouth Star
that the decision has been made by our
councillors to put the future of the historic
Runanga Miners’ Hall into the hands of
the Runanga property owners.
Even more surprised was I to read
about the three options available to this
particular section of the Grey district
Option 1: Demolish the hall (who will
benefit from the insurance money?).
Option 2: Demolish the building but
keep the facade and build a smaller hall
behind (whose idea to keep the facade?),
using insurance payout and a fundraising
Option 3: Restore the hall with the
only money available being the $10,000
already in the bank and some unspecified
Should not option 3 read: ‘Restore the
hall using insurance payout money, the
$10,000 already available in the bank, and
Please note that in the past few years,
lottery funding has contributed over
$400,000 to the earthquake strengthening
of the Greymouth Regent Theatre and
over $72,000 to the restoration of the
railway signal box. No need to run sausage
sizzles and wait for 20 years.
I would appreciate clarification as to the
insurance payment our council is hoping
to secure for the Miners’ Hall and the now
defunct goods shed, with a guarantee that
the money will get spent on projects that
have the backing of a well informed Grey
Who pays for our
I am at a loss to understand something. I
gather the Greymouth Hospital rebuild is
not a gift but done off the back of a loan.
If that is correct then excuse me if I do not
sound so excited.
The West Coast has been raped and
pillaged for its resources for years, so I
do consider that we are owed a few basic
necessities and would hope a hospital might
be one of them.
The West Coast has suffered under
population-based funding so we are always
running at a loss already, I believe. If the
hospital was a gift and came debt free then
I would be ecstatic.
So, can one of the MPs out of the three
of them please explain to me what the deal
is and if it is really that good for the West
Coast, or are we just getting further into
debt which I do not see as the best way
for ward. If getting debt is the only hope
we have then I would hate to see what the
Scott Watson, police
A few days ago a detective senior sergeant
John Rae was reported as saying that Scott
Watson, the convicted murderer of Olivia
Hope and Ben Smart, was a psychopath,
‘and we certainly got that one right ’.
He was further reported as saying that
regarding the controversial ketch with
extensive rope-work and line of brass ports
seen in the area at the time, had been found
and the owner and occupier ‘had been
eliminated from their inquiries’.
Now, this statement is news to both
me and others who have followed this
case closely. We were all still under the
impression that the police in charge of
the investigation had discredited all the
evidence and eyewitness accounts and as
far as they were concerned, the mysterious
ketch did not exist. Yet, here we have the
second in charge of the investigation, 10
years later, telling the world that the owner
of a vessel which they said did not exist
had been interviewed and cleared of all
suspicion in the case?
We cannot have it all ways, and why
indeed should this senior officer make
an otherwise unnecessary statement, or
‘methinks, the lady doth protest too much?’
Or as the poet also said, ‘curiouser and
Mayor ‘in a hole’
What a hole the Mayor has dug for
himself by trying to attack me over the
matter of my resignation, rather than
debating the issues.
Release of the in-committee material
that I have asked for would also show
that he is quite wrong in accusing me of
public criticism of a council official while
It would take courage for the Mayor to
have this material released because it will
not reflect well on him. However, he does
have recourse to the defence that he was
not well advised, and I would accept that.
As it stands, on the issue of my
resignation, his credibility is now in
doubt. If he continues to snipe from the
cover of in-committee proceedings, rather
than debating the issues, his credibility
will be further eroded. He really has to
front up or move on now.
I think I can rest my case at this point.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
responds: “The bottom line is Mr Morgan
was elected as a councillor for a three-year
term and to everyone’s surprise he resigned
just six months after the election. The issue
was a confidential employment matter so Mr
Morgan, as the employer at that time, was
well aware of circumstances surrounding his
resignation. Nobody forced Mr Morgan to
For the record, the council chief
executive officer received a unanimous
vote of confidence f rom councillors at the
meeting held just hours after Mr Morgan’s
Employment law in New Zealand is
strict on employer-employee relationships.
All workers deserve correct procedures to be
established by their employer with regards
to disputes and mutual respect is extremely
In regards to Mr Hunt ’s letter on
behalf of the community in Cobden and
Greymouth (Greymouth Star, May 9), I
would like to thank him and all his family
for their service of delivering pamphlets in
all weather conditions.
Their loyalty and high standard of quality,
and long-standing dedication is much
appreciated by all who know the hard work
and effort that has gone into it.
I thank them for their acknowledgement
of those who supported them. I wish them
all the best for the future. They will be
bout a year ago Narendra
Modi sat down with some
of India’s best and brightest
to mount a “shock and awe”
election campaign that
a strategist likened to a
one-sided United States military operation
against Saddam Hussein’s forces in the
From an unmarked office in
Gandhinagar, the capital of Modi’s
home state of Gujarat, the young men
and women, some on sabbaticals from
firms like J P Morgan and Deutsche
Bank, worked on turning a fragmented
parliamentary election involving 543 seats
into a presidential-style referendum on
In doing so, Modi cut loose from the
traditional Delhi-based structure of his
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its
apparatchiks and adopted the language of
a youthful country eager for change, using
everything from holograms to Whats App.
The modern approach worked: just an
hour into the counting of votes on Friday,
it was clear that the 63-year-old Modi was
heading for a stunning victory with the
strongest mandate any Indian government
has enjoyed for 30 years.
By mid-afternoon, the BJP and its
allies were leading the count in 339
parliamentary seats, far ahead of the 272
majority required to rule. Even on its own,
the BJP had crossed the halfway mark.
So great appears to be the desire for
change, especially among India’s middle
class some 300 million strong, and so
firmly has Modi stayed on message, that a
dark chapter of violence against Muslims
on his watch has mattered less and less to
Modi, a Hindu nationalist, has long
faced allegations that he looked the other
way when Hindu mobs went on a rampage
of revenge against Muslims in Gujarat
after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was
torched in 2002.
He has denied the allegations and a
Supreme Court ordered inquiry absolved
him of responsibility.
Modi has refused calls for remorse for
the lives lost, most of them from the
sizeable Muslim minority of more than
150m people. Instead he has donned
the mantle of an economic moderniser,
building on Gujarat ’s mercantile
In recent years, the state Modi has
governed since 2001 has been compared
with Guangdong province, the spearhead
of China’s economic revival.
Since Modi took control, Gujarat
has led the nation in GDP growth. It
accounts for 16% of industrial output and
22% of exports, despite having 5% of its
Under his stewardship, farmers and
industry have been assured uninterrupted
power, albeit at high rates, and
bureaucratic controls slashed.
A central government-ordered study last
month said it had the best land acquisition
policies in place, among all of India’s 29
states in terms of ease of doing business.
Land, by far, has been the single biggest
hurdle around the country, holding up
90% of infrastructure projects.
Gujarat ’s highways are India’s fastest,
a far cry from the potholed roads in the
northern belt, and its ports are among the
But repeating that success nationally
presents significant challenges in a
country with a complex federal structure,
a bureaucracy more wedded to socialist
controls than reform and a growing gap
between rich and poor among its 1.2
India must create 10m jobs a year, four
times the pace of the last five years, to
absorb youth into the workforce.
And unlike China, India is not
centralised. Modi will have a fight on his
hands to gain full cooperation from many
state governments, which he needs to
implement his agenda nationwide.
Some have said the pace of development
in Gujarat has caused environmental
damage and threatened small communities,
and that crony capitalism flourished under
Modi’s unquestioned rule.
Critics also say it lags behind other states
in social indicators such as mortality rates.
But the criticisms have failed to stick.
“Modi has led from the front. None of
this would have been possible, but for
him,” said Rajnath Singh, the president of
the BJP and a close associate.
Modi, with his neatly-trimmed white
beard, was the only face of the campaign.
He has covered 300,000km since being
named the BJP’s prime ministerial
candidate in September, addressing 457
meetings. When he could not show up, he
appeared as a hologram.
“He has become a purveyor of dreams,”
said Sanjay Gupta, a former state
bureaucrat who quit to go into business
and start a chain of hotels. “Its hard to
see how he can meet all the pent-up
aspirations without re-engineering the
The son of a railway station tea-seller,
Modi has humble roots which he reminds
voters are in contrast to the privileged
upbringing of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty
and its scion Rahul Gandhi, who led the
campaign for the ruling Congress party.
Modi left home after school, virtually
cutting off all family ties as he found his
calling in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh, a right wing organisation that
ser ves as the ideological parent of Hindu
groups and the BJP.
Its members, who hold military-style
drills and indoctrination sessions at
grounds across the country each morning,
seek to make India a great power, militarily
strong and economically prosperous.
Kishore Makwana, a member of the RSS
who used to ride pillion on Modi’s scooter
during his days as a RSS propagandist,
said Modi would sometimes sleep on the
pavement because he had arrived too late
at a host ’s house and thought it impolite to
knock at that hour.
“He hasn’t forgotten those days. He is
firmly rooted,” Makwana said.
One thing Modi has never talked about
publicly is his failed marriage, which
reportedly took place when he was in his
teens and after the couple had been spoken
for by their parents in the tradition of that
Last month he disclosed for the first time
that he was married to Jashodaben in an
election declaration after leaving the form
vacant in two earlier elections he fought.
Modi, according to unofficial biographies,
did not accept the marriage and may have
left his home for that reason. Jashodaben
went back to her brother’s house where she
has lived and has not met her husband for
more than 40 years.
Modi, said to be a loner, has kept away
from his immediate family too, meeting
his mother and brothers only occasionally.
In an inter view he has said that his real
education took place in the RSS and that
he owed everything to the organisation.
To some, his background in the Hindu
group and his handling of the riots in
Gujarat remain a cause of concern. Critics
say the RSS is deeply opposed to Muslims
and that its objective of a Hindu India was
a challenge to India’s secular traditions.
The organisation says it only opposes
appeasement of any community.
“I find the idea of Narendra Modi as
the prime minister of this country deeply
repugnant. It is an assault on the idea
of India, because of what he represents
and what his track record has been,”
said former Congress federal minister
Mani Shankar Aiyar, one of Modi’s most
Within Gujarat itself, critics point to
the segregation that has taken place over
the last decade. For Muslims it is difficult
to buy property in areas dominated by
Hindus, forcing the community’s fast-
growing urban middle class to live in
cramped and decrepit corners of cities.
“Even though Modi has come to power
with an incredible majority, only around
10% of Muslims voted for him. That ’s like
Ronald Reagan in 1980, when only 10% of
African Americans voted for him,” Ruchir
Sharma, head of emerging markets at
Morgan Stanley in New York, told Reuters.
“Reagan managed later to raise his
approval ratings among African Americans
to 30%, and if Modi could achieve
something similar by the next election in
2019 that would be a great outcome.”
India on a promise
BJP leader Narendra Modi gestures while speaking to supporters after his landslide victory in elections, in Vadodara, India.
Links Archive May 17th 2014 May 20th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page