Home' Greymouth Star : July 2nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, July 2, 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 Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly.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
1566 - French astrologer, physician and
prophet Nostradamus dies in Salon.
1819 - The Factory Act is passed in Britain,
prohibiting employment of children under nine
in textile factories.
1853 - Russian army invades Turkey and
beginning the Crimean War.
1881 - US President James
Garfield is shot by Charles J Guiteau
in Washington and dies two months
1937 - US aviator Amelia Earhart
and navigator Fred Noonan
disappear during an attempt to cross
1947 - An object crashes near Roswell,
New Mexico. Eyewitness accounts give rise
to speculation it might have been an alien
1961 - American novelist Ernest Hemingway
shoots himself dead.
1964 - US President Lyndon B Johnson
signs the Civil Rights Act against racial
1966 - France explodes atomic bomb at a
Pacific atoll in first of six tests.
1973 - Death of Betty Grable, US actress,
singer and World War Two pin-up girl.
1997 - Oscar winning US actor James Stewart
dies in California, at age 89.
2004 - Marlon Brando, the reclusive
Oscar-winning star, dies aged 80.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Alec Douglas-Home, British Prime
Minister (1903-1995); Imelda
Marcos, former Philippines first lady
(1929-); Ron Silver, US actor (1946-
2009); Roy Bittan, US musician
(1949-); Jerry Hall, US model-
actress (1956-); Jimmy McNichol,
US actor (1961-); Lindsay Lohan,
US actress (1986-).
“The soul has more diseases than the body.”
— Henry Wheeler Shaw, US author
“ Worship the Lord with gladness; come into
His presence with singing.” — (Psalm 100.2)
closing roads in
privately-owned land there back to the Crown
will soon be made. It sounds like the epitaph
for the once-thriving goldtown. The casual
passer-by will see derelict buildings, a boarded-
up school and every sign that Charleston will
soon be no more.
Next month, however, electricity will bring a
new breath of life. Off the main road and along
the beachfront on Constant Bay there are now
many holiday baches which with the coming
of power next month may be the nucleus of a
new town. When the area is hooked up to the
electricity supply in a few weeks the bay will
become more firmly established as a holiday
An interesting paradox has appeared from
the preparation of the list for jury ser vice here.
The first West Coast woman to put her name
down for jury ser vice in the province will not
now be able to sit in the Greymouth Court
because she is ineligible under new legislation.
She is Karoro’s Mrs Ruby Jones, who has been
ruled out because she is engaged as a full-time
A firm believer that women should be in the
forefront of town work, and one with a fine
record of civic activity, Mrs Jones put her name
down for a jury list a few years ago — the first
Greymouth and West Coast woman to do so.
In the recent ballot of all persons living in the
Greymouth jury district, Mrs Jones’ name was
drawn and she received a notice.
However, because she is now a full-time
teacher at the Greymouth High School, she is
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
A doctor, former MP and now
Equal Employment Opportunities
Commissioner, Jackie Blue appears to be
someone in control of her life. So it was
a surprise when she welcomed Sir Owen
Glenn’s report on family violence last week
“as someone who has sur vived domestic
“If I think about the leafy suburbs of
Herne Bay and Remuera and St Heliers,
there is domestic violence happening right
here and right now,” she said.
This week’s annual report of the Family
Violence Death Review Committee shows
that people are most likely to die from
family violence in the poorest areas, but
that some die right across the decile scale.
Dr Blue’s experience began 31 years ago,
when she was 27. She had just graduated
and was working as a locum in Auckland
She had had to repeat two years of her
medical degree, partly because she had
taken up bridge and was busy playing in
“I felt I was the dumbest doctor in New
Zealand,” she said. “ I had low self-esteem,
and I was probably over weight too, and I
didn’t think I was attractive. ”
She met a small business owner, nine
years older, who “totally charmed me”.
“He made me feel quite special, put me
on a pedestal,” she said. “ I had never really
had a long-term boyfriend at that stage.
He was my boyfriend and I could say that,
and he was reasonably presentable and
reasonably sociable to the outside world,
so you know, it was a good match.”
He gave her jewellery and other gifts. He
moved into her home and gave her a blue
sapphire engagement ring.
But his business was struggling.
“If anything, I supported him,” Dr Blue
said. “I paid the groceries and things like
that. He didn’t pay any rent.”
He took bridge lessons, but he didn’t
like it and he made her stop playing too.
“So I moved away from the bridge
circle of friends that I had,” she said. “His
friends became my friends.”
After a few months they visited Napier
to stay with Dr Blue’s sister and her
husband, a doctor. “ They had one of those
really big old homes,” Dr Blue said. “ They
had a lot of antique furniture, really nice
stuff, so the place looked really opulent.
“We were in bed on one of those
evenings and I was talking, and he just
bashed me on the side of the head for no
reason. He clearly felt really threatened
by the surroundings.”
It was the first time he had hit her. “I
didn’t say anything, I was in shock,” she
He never apologised. “I didn’t even
bring it up. I think I was pretending it
It happened again “a handful of times,
it wasn’t every day or every week”. There
were bruises, but they were hidden, and
there was never any need for medical
He pushed a pillow into her face, but
backed off before smothering her.
He started putting her down with
comments like: “You’re fat and ugly and
you’ ll never have children.” They tried
briefly to have children before Dr Blue
realised things were souring and went
quickly back on the pill.
“I would say six months into the
relationship I knew things weren’t right,
even though I wasn’t admitting it,” she
said. “By a year I knew that I had to
get out because he’s actually physically
here (in her home)?” She told no one.
“It was shame, ashamed of myself,” she
said. “Here I was a professional woman,
helping other people, but couldn’t help
He became jealous of her favourite
Persian kitten, Harry. “He used to have
a bow and arrow and I remember him
stalking around the property saying, ‘I’m
going to kill Harry’.”
The breaking point was a barbecue
where people asked Dr Blue about her
job. “ They were just asking about the
work I did and they were quite interested,
interested in me,” she said.
“On the way home we were driving
into the carport, he picked a fight, I was
driving, and he just bashed me on the side
of my face quite a few times.
“I walked in and told him to clear out,
bugger off. I phoned the police.”
He left. Police came promptly, but she
decided not to lay charges. “ I just wanted
the whole thing finished.”
He tried to revive it, ringing her and
sending flowers to the Herne Bay surgery
where she had become a partner. But he
got nowhere and eventually moved to
Just weeks after the relationship ended,
Dr Blue met the man who is now
her husband. For almost 30 years she
hardly spoke to anyone about what had
happened. “ I was just so angry with myself
for letting it happen.”
She told her story to a women’s magazine
three years ago to help Shine promote its
new domestic violence helpline, and felt
free at last.
“ It was liberating,” she said. “ I had kept
it to myself and I thought: ‘Let it go now,
absolutely let it go’.”
— New Zealand Herald
Dr Jackie Blue
Story of family violence
New Zealand has always held a place
in our hearts, and a recent experience has
endeared it to us even more.
Our son went missing last week when
he was trekking in South Westland on
the Copland Track. He was four days late
when we were horrified to discover that a
flood had closed the track on the day he
was to have descended the trail.
Luckily for our family, everything turned
We were heartened by the response we
received as we pursued an inquiry into our
son’s whereabouts. We are so very grateful
for the work of sergeant Sean Judd of
search and rescue, and constable Sharon
MacPherson, of the Greymouth police.
We deeply appreciate those who were
involved in the search on the Copland
Track and to the people and other
resources that were deployed to help. We
are especially thankful to all of the people
who came for ward with information.
This crisis for our family was alleviated
by the incredible help and concern that
we received from many New Zealanders.
Molly and David Mohseni
The National Party may well herald what
she is calling the ‘Pugh plan’. It has to be
said, however, that this idea was mooted
long ago by others, including myself.
Political hopefuls always seem to take
command of other people’s ideas. The
big trouble is that they normally lack the
imagination, drive, logic and direction to
Considering the Westland District
Council and the state of its books while
under Mrs Pugh’s leadership, I am at a loss
to understand what she hopes to achieve
under the National Party banner.
O’Connor vs Pugh
For the record, our Labour MP Damien
O’Connor ensured the independent
establishment of Westland Milk Products
when the dairy industry was deregulated.
He successfully fought for the Oceana
Gold Mine in Reefton, the recapitalisation
of Spring Creek Mine, the expansion of
the Stockton Mine and the $120 million
capital fund for the West Coast, and so
The Westland District Council cannot
find $8 million, and the ratepayers face a
12% rate increase.
The record of the last Labour-led
government speaks for itself.
In reply to the letters from the two ex-
Westland mayors — Maureen Pugh and
Durham Havill — their crocodile tears
over waste timber does not wash away the
reality of close to 1000 jobs lost from the
Solid Energy mines and the impact this
will have on our West Coast communities.
Their National Party mates pushed up
debt and dividend demands on a mining
company, which is idiotic governance
for a company mining and trading
In contrast, the West Coast enjoyed the
highest and longest period of economic
growth under the last Labour-led
government. This included the opening of
more mines and the growth of dairying,
unlike the job losses we have suffered
under the National Government.
Forest and Bird on
our forests and birds
Recent editorials by Royal Forest and
Bird give the impression to most West
Coast-born and bred people that Kevin
Hackwell, advocacy manager, is an overall
authority on matters of conser vation in
our lowland and alpine forests and the
bird and animal life living in these areas.
Kevin also appears an authority on
matters of local West Coast economic
traditions and present day problems
associated with the struggling situation
confronting most, if not all, West Coast
towns and their families who remain on
the Coast and have not joined the friends
and neighbours who departed many years
ago for greener pastures, most of whom
have not returned.
The little settlements that I knew as a
youngster, from Hari Hari to Hector, have
taken on the rundown look of declining
care and attention, with no paint on the
buildings — if you can find where they
used to stand in the gorse and the many
species of coprosma that now grow there.
As an ex-Forest Ser vice member I
distinctly recall a visit to Hokitika by
the then Minister of Forests, Duncan
MacIntyre, at a departmental get-together
in the original Hotel Westland. And over
a few beers and much talking, as was the
custom in Hokitika, a parting shot from
our astute minister as he and his wife were
leaving the bar to retire for the night: “Oh,
and by the way lads, where do you West
Coasters get that lovely brown paint that
you use on your house roofs?” Of course,
that was back in the 1960s.
We know that we are not the most
vibrant and wealthy communities in New
Zealand with our ‘sunset ’ industries, as
the green brigade have described our
traditional industries, and we also know
that our region is the national conscience
for the mistakes made in North Island
indigenous forests in the distant past.
I count six national parks on our
boundaries, plus numerous reser ves,
most of them put in place for perpetuity
by earlier generations of people who
understood the true meaning of
conser vation — i .e. the wise use of
resources. We have only the remaining 13-
14% of our area to eke out an existence.
I see that Kevin Hackwell has given his
opinion on the possible logging of the
recent windblown rimu, matai and other
species of value mooted by the cash-
strapped Department of Conser vation.
This is a sound idea from my experience
as a forest officer who was fully involved
with land preparation, i.e. clearfelling of
residual stands of indigenous bush left
over from coppicing in the eastern forests
of Greymouth and the Nemona and
Hokitika’s Blue Spur range to establish
exotic forestry for the local sawmilling
Kevin Hackwell’s other statements,
both on the logging and the Bathurst
compliance costs etc, are in negative mode
to say the least. What I wish to know is,
what are his credentials and where does he
Maternity ser vices
It is good to see the board members
questioning the standard of health ser vices
being proposed for the West Coast, in the
article published in the Greymouth Star
on June 28.
While birthing is a natural process
within the expertise of the midwives
most of the time, it is a very different
state of affairs in case of an emergency.
The expertise required in supporting the
midwives is considerably greater than
what the average doctor is trained to deal
with. In a large hospital like Christchurch
they have paediatricians and nursing staff
who specialise in newborns, supported by
anaesthetists specialising in paediatrics
as well as those specialising in maternity
anaesthetics. While telephone support
from Christchurch has been a crucial part
of the ser vices over the years, the level of
on-site expertise is still important.
A hospital like Greymouth needs to
be staffed not only to cope with needs
of Greymouth patients but also with
a capacity to support the peripheral
hospitals and rural nurses. The lack of
highly specialised specialists can be
compensated for by midwives and nurses
with local knowledge and resident and
senior doctors with a broader clinical
experience working as a team.
The Greymouth Star article of May 1
quoted that 12 nursing and eight senior
medical officers were recruited. This is a
very high staff turnover, considering two
years ago another article stated over 20
new doctors were recruited. Honest and
competent investigations should have
identified causes of high staff turnover,
needs specifics to the cases as well as
Bank loans to
pay for hospital
West Coast DHB chairman Peter
Ballantyne’s statement that plans for
the Greymouth and Westport health
facilities, ‘are really starting to move’
(Greymouth Star, June 28) should cause
the less gullible among us to ask, ‘Really?’
After the ludicrously drawn-out, costly
and politically manipulated history of
these matters, seeing is believing.
But even if we are to accept that it
is ‘really’ going to happen this time
the public should be in no doubt as to
the enormous government-concealed
costs involved, if the proposed loan via
the commercial banks goes ahead for
Nor should they be in doubt that
the similarly details-concealed private
funding agenda for Westport flies in
the face of disastrous private funding
involvement in hospitals overseas
including in the United Kingdom,
Australia and elsewhere. Surely Mr
Ballantyne is aware of these matters,
which were extensively detailed in the
media last year and can be viewed by
anyone who cares to do a little research
on the internet.
While the DHB boards were set
up (and ‘set up’ is a very appropriate
description) by the Labour government
in 2001 to install a thin (very) veneer
of democracy and local representation,
there is nothing to stop locally elected
members from publicly raising the
questions as to why the West Coast
is having these stupid agendas of
unnecessarily high interest loans
and, adding insult to possible DHB
bankruptcy, the imposition of a private
funding model which has caused chaos
While the four government-appointed
members of the board, including the
chairman and deputy chairman, may feel
obliged to bend the knee to their political
masters in Wellington, surely some of
the less intimidated among the seven
elected members are prepared to publicly
question these outrageous agendas?
The Government is not going to sack
DHB board members and risk losing
votes at this time. With a general election
imminent there is no better time to ask
politicians why they remain silent when
low cost Reser ve Bank funding can be
applied at the direction of the health and/
or finance ministers?
NZ Democrats for Social Credit
The West Coast Regional Council runs
and allows 1080-poisoning malpractices
that cannot be brought into line with
public safety-protecting resource consents.
Six basic steps should ensure that this
1. The council’s monitors avoid to find
1080 in the water when it is there.
2. Goalpost shifting new resource
consents that allow reduction of safety
margins, drinking-water continuation
etc, until enough people die of 1080 with
certified proofs that are against policy.
3. Appointing a former policemen as
consent compliance manager, who forces
science and regulations with consent
4. PR, which never mentions proven
accumulating effects of 1080 (and
fluorides), like calcification of urinary
intestines including kidney stones, de-
calcification of brittle bones, and more.
5. Distributing fluorides via toothpastes
and drinking-water, so that this ‘natural
background radiation’ disables detection of
those fluorides into which sub-lethal 1080
6. Giving 1080 poisoners misleading
names like Animal Health Board that
make wild animals fatally unhealthy, then
Tb Free NZ that targets residents who do
not get Tb in their short life, and which
I believe is used to excuse increase of
1080 malpractices that temporarily cause
multiplication of rodents. You can’t win,
The sinister old-boys’ brotherhood
knows the 1080 effects from chemical
warfare research by the Nazis, but do not
waste your time asking these government
Through your column I would like to say
a big ‘thank you’ to the street collectors
who gave their time to help Ronald
McDonald House South Island in their
recent appeal, and to the schools that held
mufti days to raise money.
Our efforts in Greymouth raised $3124
— a great effort in hard times. Thank you.
Ronald McDonald House South Island
The Chambers family from Foxton
would like to locate anyone connected
with Trevor McKenzie. Some known
names are Heather, Laurie, Trevor, Francis,
Marcia, Aunty Gladys, Bobby.
Please contact me by e-mail vititaylor@
Bring back the moa
Re the moa resurrection, who was the
dodo who dreamed this up? Mallard? He
must be quackers.
As the original big bird I must protest.
Yours, Elephant bird of Madagascar.
Links Archive July 1st 2014 July 3rd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page