Home' Greymouth Star : June 30th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, June 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.
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Post to PO Box 3, Greymouth, fax to 768 6205 or
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uLetters to the editor
1520 - Montezuma II, the last Aztec
emperor, is killed.
1797 - The principal leaders of the Mutiny
at the Nore, which blocked trade on the River
Thames in London, are executed.
1894 - London’s Tower Bridge is officially
1908 - A huge explosion rocks eastern
Siberia. Believed to be an exploding meteorite,
the resulting earth tremor is felt as
far away as central Europe.
1934 - Nazi purge begins in
Germany with “the night of the
1938 - Superman comic strip is
published for the first time.
1976 - US spacecraft ’s
photographs of Mars shows that planet once
sustained abundant and rapidly flowing water.
1994 - The US Figure Skating Association
strips Tonya Harding of the 1994 national
championship and bans her from the
organisation for life for her involvement in an
attack on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan.
1997 - At the stroke of midnight, Hong
Kong is handed back to China after 156 years
of British rule.
2001 - Chet Atkins, the legendary country
guitarist, dies aged 77.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Lena Horne, US singer (1917-2010); Susan
Hayward, US actor (1919-1975); Nancy
Dussault, US actor (1936-); Stanley Clarke,
US jazz musician (1951-); Vincent
D’Onofrio, US actor (1959-);
Murray Cook, Australian musician
and children’s entertainer, Red
Wiggle (1960-); Rupert Graves,
British actor (1963-); Mike Tyson,
US boxer (1966-); Ralf Schumacher,
German race car driver (1975-);
Cheryl Cole, British singer (Girls
Aloud) (1983-); Michael Phelps, US Olympic
swimming champion (1985-).
“ I believe in the discipline of silence and can
talk for hours about it.” — George Bernard
Shaw, Irish-born playwright (1856-1950).
“ Honour your father and your mother: that
your days may be long on the land which the
Lord your God gives you.” — (Exodus 20:12).
fighting by members
of the audience,
provided the best entertainment at Saturday
night’s Beatles show in Christchurch. This
was the opinion of Miss Faye Mundy who
attended the show with her mother, sister Joyce
and Carol Langbein on the tickets won in the
Greymouth Lions Club raffle drawn last week.
Faye, who is a nurse on the staff of Princess
Margaret Hospital, Christchurch, said the
ecstasy of the crowd had to be seen to be
believed. Tears were rolling down the cheeks
of most of the girls, who really went berserk in
parts of the theatre when any member of the
Beatles shook his head and streamed his hair,
unshapely and unsightly, over his countenance.
“Three girls from our row of seats got up in
the aisle and started twisting. In the finish they
were slapping each other violently on the face,”
Mrs Mundy said.
A commercial radio station is to be
established in Greymouth to provide an
alternative breakfast session for the district.
Transmission will begin on Monday, August 17
and the new station, which will be called 3ZA,
will be on the air from 6am to 9am.
It seems that some lively Greymouth children
regard the Karoro lawn cemetery as little more
than a recreational area. The trouble with
chipped concrete surrounds of tombstones is
believed to have been caused by youngsters.
Apart from this they have been noticed cycling
through the section.
And further showing a disregard for the dead,
they have a set of goalposts up for football.
uFood for thought
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Sanity has prevailed and the windblown
trees on DOC land are going to be logged.
No doubt, Maureen and the National
Party will make a great fanfare about it,
with the election just around the comer.
She has already heralded it as the ‘Pugh
What a shame the National Party
did not agree with Labour’s Damien
O’Connor and have the logs milled here
on the Coast at our mills — thus creating
many much needed new jobs in both
Buller and the West Coast.
Well, as I said, the election is just around
M J Keating
I wonder if Damien O’Connor’s obvious
political frustration is not determined by
the Labour Party’s abandonment of the
West Coast? It seems sadly ironical to me
that the Labour Party, born on the West
Coast, has acquiesced to every campaign
to utterly stop tree felling, mining, and
damming of water, by the Green Party in
the leafy suburbs of Wellington and its
affiliates, the Forest and Bird crowd et al.
Log windfall, but
not for Coast?
It seems a pity that when Mrs Pugh
approached Nick Smith as Conser vation
Minister with her ‘plan’ for recovery of
the windblown trees on the West Coast,
as she tells us in her letter of June 25,
that she neglected to tell him that she
was advocating for employment for West
Coasters — “the implementation will
assist employment opportunities right
through our region from extraction,
milling, furniture making and for timber
that can be used in the Christchurch
But unfortunately, Dr Smith did not
get the message — in the same day Mrs
Pugh’s letter was published, he refused
in Parliament to insert amendments that
would see West Coast mills and timber
workers getting a chance at the timber. So
how are the communities to benefit?
I decided to listen to the debate on
Thursday afternoon and was soon so
outraged that I recorded some of the
views. Dr Smith said he understood that
“some Members believed that recovery
of this wood should be restricted or only
available to West Coast companies”. I have
not heard or read that — only that West
Coasters should be given fair access. He
went on to say, “he had heard some silly
ideas in my day — that one would have
to take the cake. Does the Member for
Gisborne (who interjected here) really
believe that in little New Zealand of four
and a half million, that we are going to
start setting up individual custom areas
for the West Coast where timber can’t be
Ah, yes, Dr Smith. It is called regional
So, when the helicopters from Rotorua
or Nelson move in and extract the logs,
and they are driven away on trucks from
Christchurch to be milled and processed
in Rotorua or Nelson or somewhere, we
will be grateful for the job opportunities
we did not get.
Gerry Brownlee followed up with what
was mostly a personal attack on our MP,
Damien O’Connor, who replied with an
extremely passionate speech of his own,
wherein he said that having been born in a
patch of native bush on the Coast gave him
a better insight into what he was talking
about, that he supported extraction of these
logs if the mills and townships on the West
Coast got the opportunity to recover them,
and that he had tabled several amendments
to that effect in the bill being considered.
slow to act
Congratulations to Maureen Pugh for
bringing back common sense to politics.
I see the way is clear to let us har vest our
windfall timber as a result of the recent
What I find appalling is that our current
MP had to wait till the last minute to
support this bill becoming an Act. I would
have thought that as representative of
West Coast-Tasman voters he would have
supported this bill from the outset as he
had witnessed first-hand the destruction
wrought by the cyclone. It makes me think
that party voting stops him from taking
opportunities for advancement of the
Coast as they arise.
One shudders to think of a Green-
Labour alliance cracking the party whips
in the future. I for one do not like the idea
of a locked up West Coast. Do you?
I have been surprised twice lately
to share the Regent Theatre’s award-
winning series of New York’s Met Opera
with only one other person viewing these
brilliant live recorded shows.
The present one is the comedic adult
version of Cinderella, and I would
recommend to anyone who loves great
music, singing, drama, acting, costume,
amazing set changing, passion and
storytelling to dismiss any ideas of high
class snobbery of opera to experience
the wonderful opportunity of class
On a wet day, what better enjoyment
to feel you have been to New York, and
you can order your coffee, wine or toasted
sammie at inter val? The only difficulty is
finding a four-hour car park, and having
the surprise to walk out to no skyscrapers,
honking horns and crowds of people.
Give it a go.
Out of curiosity, I googled ‘Haast-
Hollyford road ’ and found a site called
‘Friends of HHH’ (Haast-Hollyford
Highway), chief executive officer Durham
Obviously frustrated by the ‘strange
case of the missing paper road ’ which
had mysteriously vanished from all the
maps, Mr Havill, who was not getting
very far with his Official Information Act
requests to government agencies said,
and I quote: ‘I believe that there
is sufficient evidence now on hand to
claim considerable compensation from
the Crown for the delays caused by
On February 22, 2013, he then
said: ‘ WDP Ltd (Westland District
Properties) are fully mandated to build
the HHH at zero cost to the Westland
district ratepayer’. Well, Mr Havill
can not have it all ways. If he sues the
Crown for delay penalties and wins,
he would be paid by money which
originally came from the long-suffering
taxpayer, including the Westland district
ratepayers, unless they are curiously
It is all about money, and informed
sources who know the country in
question and wish to remain anonymous
have unanimously thought that the stated
estimate of $230 to $300 million is about
half of what would be needed in actuality.
The alleged Chinese backers have deep
pockets and will definitely have escalation
clauses in the loan document which,
if needed, would mean that the New
Zealand shareholders and backers will be
sadly out of pocket.
Of course, the Chinese are only too
happy to put their millions into this sort
of scheme — they cannot lose. Greedy
investors — and I do believe it is mainly
about money — are but minnows in
the international pool, which is full of
hungry, smiling predators.
Ross war veteran
I am looking for descendants/family
of Robert Hunt Currie. Ser ved in
South African campaign also — Private
7720/1899-1902; World War One, private
6/608, Canterbury Regiment NZEF.
Killed in action at Fisherman’s Hut, (near
Dardanelles) April 25 to May 1, 1915, aged
37. 74 Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli
Son of John Hunt Currie and Helen
Currie, of Ross, Westland. Brother,
William Currie lived in Shakespeare Street,
Greymouth. Sister, Agnes H Caulfield lived
in Northcote, Auckland.
Robert was a member of the Ross Rugby
Club 1904 to 1910. Also well known on
the Coast and Otago as a cricketer. Played
against Lord Hawke’s team which visited
New Zealand in 1902-03 . Currie made
31 for Westland out of a total of 111.
Remembered for his ‘unique’ cricketing
Information required for history of
serviceman who served, from Ross.
The West Coast has an amazing
opportunity to have more control over its
future in this coming election.
I have followed Maureen Pugh since
she advised in 2011 that she supported
the Haast-Hollyford highway project
and that she had put a team together to
progress the concept.
Most of us living in Te Anau who have
supported the project for years were
delighted, but a little sceptical. Maureen
Pugh brought in D urham Havill to drive
the project and every day it looks to me
more likely to happen.
While somewhat sceptical about her
ability to pull off the ‘Holy Grail’ of
common sense using windblown logs
from conservation land to generate a
conservation gain, it has happened, and
it is clear to me that she has driven the
charge and I congratulate her.
A big disappointment is the revelation
made by Durham Havill that the Labour
MP Damien O’Connor, in the past three
years, has not made one phone call or
approached anybody about the proposed
I can see that Mr O’Connor is keen
on cycling the Heaphy Track. He will
one day be like me and hundreds of
thousands of other New Zealanders and
be unable to bike or tramp everywhere.
Perhaps then the reality will sink in?
Our wilderness areas are not just for the
young and fit.
The proposed road will never happen if
we get a Green-Labour government, nor
will future access to minerals in Buller,
and farming will become an unattractive
option once again.
The new, ‘Maori new
I find it highly amusing that ‘Te Maori’
are all of a sudden making a big deal
about the supposed cyclical emergence of
Matariki, the stellar constellation known
worldwide as the ‘the Seven Sisters’,
a distant group of stars of no special
religious or cultural significance within
my — admittedly, perhaps — limited
association with the internet of no
interest whatsoever with any other native
With my huge uncurtained bedroom
window facing north, I am aware
perhaps more than most, of the northern
constellations and I can state quite
definitively, that the Plieades are indeed
visible from my bed through a large
window where, because I do not sleep as
well as I should, I spend hours obser ving
the night-time firmament. The Seven
Sisters of Matariki are there all year, at
least when cloud does not obscure the
heavens. Of course, I have binoculars,
which early Maori did not, but I must
still question this emergent invention,
which is apparently gaining some support
for national recognition.
Matt Robinson and Maja Zuvela
arajevo marked 100 years on
Saturday since the murder of
an Austrian prince lit the fuse
for World War One, with a
concert by Vienna’s premier
orchestra trying to send a
message of unity to a divided country and
a continent facing new faultlines.
The concert, carried live by dozens of
European broadcasters but attended by
only a select elite, recalled the days of
the Habsburg Empire, in the city that
hastened its demise with the assassination
of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by 19-year-
old Bosnian Serb Gavrilo Princip.
The murder set the Great Powers
marching to war; more than 10 million
soldiers died and empires crumbled,
sowing the seeds for World War Two
and much of the strife now wracking the
Sarajevo closed the century under siege
by Bosnian Serb forces during Yugoslavia’s
disintegration. Still dealing with the
aftermath, Bosnia’s former warring
communities greeted the centennial deeply
at odds over Princip’s motives and his
Leaders of Serbia and the Bosnian
Serbs, who consider the assassin a hero,
boycotted the Sarajevo events, angered
by what they say is an attempt to link the
wars that opened and closed the 20th
century, and to pin the blame on them.
They planned to re-enact the murder in
the eastern Drina river town of Visegrad,
seared into the memory of Muslim
Bosniaks for a wave of ethnic cleansing by
Bosnian Serbs early in the 1992-95 war.
In Sarajevo, Austrian President Heinz
Fischer was guest of honour at the concert
in the capital’s restored City Hall, known
as Vijecnica, where Ferdinand attended a
reception on June 28, 1914. The archduke
and his wife left in an open car, but the
driver took a wrong turn and Princip shot
them from a Browning pistol on the banks
of the river.
The Austrians attacked Serbia a month
later and the Great Powers, already
spoiling for a fight, piled in. The neo-
Moorish Vijecnica, which later became
the National Library, went up in flames
in 1992 under fire from Bosnian Serb
forces in the hills, almost 2 million books
perishing in the inferno.
The building bears
a plaque condemning
the “Serb criminals”
who fired the shells,
a reference Serbian
Aleksandar Vucic said
prevented him from
attending. He was in
“I am happy that we
can send to Europe
a message of peace
after the destruction
of two decades ago,”
Bakir Izetbegovic, the
of Bosnia’s tripartite
reporters after the
included the music
of Haydn, Schubert,
Berg and Brahms.
but their Serb
colleague did not.
said: “ Tonight we
want to send out an
appeal to Bosnian
citizens to put aside
their differences and
concentrate on a joint
goal, to bring the
country closer to the
Leaders of the
the centennial on Thursday in Ypres,
the Belgian city synonymous with the
slaughter of the war, papering over
divisions born of economic crisis and
growing support for the anti-EU right.
French philosopher Bernard Henri Levy
chose Sarajevo to premiere his play, “Hotel
Europe”, a monologue on crisis in Europe.
It ended on Friday with a petition calling
for Bosnia’s admission to the EU, a dream
held hostage to sectarian rifts.
Europe “is a place where populism and
nationalism are on the rise”, said Levy,
who lobbied for western inter vention to
end the war in Bosnia. Inter vention came
too late for the 100,000 who died. “ The
admission of Bosnia to the bloc means
fresh blood, fresh air and Europe’s second
chance for redemption.”
For visitors to the city, guides offered tours
of the key locations on the day Princip
killed Ferdinand. Technicians prepared a
midnight musical on the bridge near where
he fired the fatal shot.
The concert, however, competed with
World Cup football and Wimbledon tennis
for the attention of Sarajevans. Only a few
hundred, many of them tourists, gathered
in a park across the river from Vijecnica to
watch the concert on a big screen.
A few protesters unfurled banners
declaring, “ We are under occupation
again — by nationalism, capitalism,
the EU and international community.”
The protest alluded to the political and
economic inertia in Bosnia that inspired
unprecedented civil unrest in February.
“It ’s schizophrenic to mark the start
of any war, but here it ’s especially rude,”
said Aldin Arnautovic, who described
himself as a citizen of Sarajevo. “It’s not
the people in Bosnia who have problems
among themselves, but those in that
building,” he said, referring to the political
and diplomatic corps assembled in the
Serbs see Princip as a freedom fighter
not just for Orthodox Serbs but for many
of Bosnia’s Muslim Bosniaks and Catholic
Croats too, his shot bringing down the
curtain on centuries of imperial occupation
over the Balkans.
That was the official narrative for decades
under socialist Yugoslavia. But the collapse
of their joint state shattered perceptions of
Princip, whom many Bosniaks and Croats
regard as a Serb nationalist with the same
territorial ambitions as those behind much
of the ethnic cleansing of the 1990s.
Bosnia was divided into two autonomous
regions after the war, in a highly
decentralised system of ethnic quotas that
has stifled development and, critics say, only
“Gavrilo Princip’s shot was not a
shot against the heir of the Austro-
Hungarian throne, but a shot for
freedom, emancipation and liberation,”
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, who
frequently threatens Serb secession, said in
Visegrad. — Reuters
Photographed a few minutes before their deaths, the Archduke and Duchess leaving the town hall.
Murder that triggered war
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