Home' Greymouth Star : July 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, July 5, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1776 The Declaration of Independence is first
printed by John D unlop in Philadelphia.
1806 A Spanish army repels the British
during their attempt to retake Buenos Aires,
1814 United States troops under
Jacob Brown defeat a superior
British force at Chippewa, Canada.
1832 The German government
begins curtailing freedom of the
press after German Democrats
advocate a revolt against Austrian
1839 British naval forces bombard
Dingai on Zhoushan Island in China and
1892 Andrew Beard is issued a patent for the
1940 Marshal Henri Petain’s Vichy
government breaks off diplomatic relations
with Great Britain.
1941 German troops reach the Dnieper River
in the Soviet Union.
1943 The Battle of Kursk, the largest tank
battle in history, begins.
1950 American forces engage the North
Koreans for the first time at Osan, South
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
1709, Etienne de Silhouette, French minister
of finance, artist; 1755, Sarah Siddons, Welsh
actress; 1801 David Farragut, US
admiral during the American
Civil War; 1810, P T Barnum,
American showman.; 1867, Andrew
Ellicott Douglass, astronomer and
archaeologist; 1889, Jean Cocteau,
French artist, writer and actor;
George Pompidou, Prime Minister
of France (1968).
“ To the man who only has a hammer,
everything he encounters begins to look like a
nail.” — Abraham Maslow
“A poor widow came and put in two small
copper coins, which are worth a penny. ”
— (Mark 12:42).
two projects under
discussion and which one will be adopted as
the town’s centennial project will be decided
at a meeting next week. The two projects are a
new band room and sound shell (cost £7000)
and a new £5000 annexe to the West Coast
historical museum in Hokitika.
Rejected proposals include provision of
changing and showering facilities at Cass
Sqaure; a Centennial Avenue in Stafford
Street; and beautification of Cass Square. This
was left over as the council is to appoint a
Haast may be Westland’s youngest “ghost
town”. The South Westland township
comprised mainly of Ministry of Works
buildings seems doomed to die. But to
compensate for the loss of one, two new
townships will be established in the area.
At a special meeting of the Westland County
Council yesterday it was decided to establish
a township at Greenstone and another near
Jackson Bay. At one time it was thought Haast
would be further developed, and at another
time it was thought the site could be shifted.
However, the decision to establish two new
townships seems to spell doom for Haast
“ I think the mammoth Golden Kiwi will be a
bigger bonanza than its lucrative founder,” said
a Greymouth tobacconist yesterday. The tickets
for the lottery with a £60,000 first prize go on
sale here on Monday, but already most ticket
sellers in the Greymouth area have growing
reser vation lists.
People have been quick to get their names
down on a list with local sellers to ensure they
get a ticket.
uFood for thought
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“The oppositions in
Hong Kong should
understand and accept
that Hong Kong is not
an independent country.
They should not think
that they have the
ability to turn Hong
Kong into Ukraine or
Thailand,” warned the
Global Times, the most
aggressively nationalistic of China’s State-
run newspapers. Clearly, some important
people in the Communist regime are very
unhappy about the “civil referendum” on
democracy that has just ended in Hong
In Ukraine, a democratic revolution
was followed by foreign annexation of
part of the country (Crimea), a mini-
civil war in the east, and the threat of a
Russian invasion. In Thailand, the voters’
persistence in voting for the “wrong” party
led to a military coup. It is ridiculous to
suggest that Hong Kong’s referendum
might lead to anything like that, but
they are very frightened of democracy in
The referendum, which has no official
standing, was organised by pro-democracy
activists in response to a white paper
published by the Chinese government in
mid-June that made it clear there could be
no full democracy in Hong Kong. News
about the referendum was completely
censored in China, but almost 800,000
people in Hong Kong voted in it. They all
said yes to democracy.
The referendum was really a tactical
move by Hong Kong’s pro-democracy
camp in a long-running tug-of-war
with Beijing over how the “special
administrative region” should be governed.
The voters were asked to choose between
three different options for choosing Hong
Kong’s chief executive — and all of those
methods involved popular participation.
That is to say, democracy.
That is not how the chief executive
is chosen now. He is elected by a
1200-person election committee, most of
whose members are directly or indirectly
chosen by the Chinese Communist
authorities in Beijing and their local
representatives. That is hardly democratic,
but it is written into the “ basic law ” that
was negotiated between London and
Beijing before Britain handed the colony
back in 1997.
The whole negotiation was a series
of compromises between the British
view that Hong Kong’s inhabitants
should enjoy democratic rights, and
the Chinese regime’s determination to
have ultimate control of the city. One of
those compromises was a promise that
by 2017, 20 years after the handover, the
chief executive would be chosen by direct
So democracy was raising its ugly
head again, and Beijing sought to head
off the danger by publishing its recent
white paper. There would indeed by
direct elections in 2017, it said, but all
the candidates would be selected by a
nominating committee whose members
would still be chosen, directly or indirectly,
by Beijing — and all the candidates would
have to be patriotic. In China, as in most
dictatorships, patriotic means loyal to the
The instant response in Hong Kong
was the civil referendum, in which about
800,000 of Hong Kong’s 3.5 million
registered voters have cast a vote in polling
stations, on-line, or on a phone app.
Every one of those voters was voting for
full democracy, since the referendum asked
them to choose between three proposed
methods for nominating candidates for
chief executive, all of which involved
direct public participation. While 800,000
people is only a quarter of the adult
population, it is almost half the number
of people (1.8 million) who actually voted
in the last elections for Hong Kong’s
The Global Times has denounced the
referendum as an illegal farce and a joke.
Hong Kong’s current chief executive,
Leung Chun-Ying, has loyally echoed
Beijing’s view that nobody should place
Hong Kong people in confrontation
with mainland Chinese citizens. After
all, mainland Chinese citizens have
no democratic rights at all, and the
Communist regime wants to keep it that
confrontation. As part of the one country,
two systems deal that was negotiated
with Britain 20 years ago, Beijing has
already accepted that Hong Kong would
enjoy a high degree of autonomy, except
in foreign and defence affairs for the next
50 years. That includes the rule of law
and civil rights like freedom of speech,
freedom of assembly, free media and so
Mainland Chinese citizens do not
have those rights, and the example
of Hong Kong has not so far incited
them to demand them. So why should
a democratically-elected chief executive
in Hong Kong drive those 1.3 billion
mainland Chinese citizens to demand
Maybe the Chinese people will demand
democracy eventually, but that is far more
likely to come about as a result of a severe
recession that destroys the Communist
regime’s reputation for fostering high-
speed economic growth, which is its sole
remaining claim on their loyalty. It will
not come from some desire to emulate
Hong Kong. So there is room for a
deal between Beijing and Hong Kong
that gives the latter more freedom, if
everybody stays calm.
There are probably even people inside
the Communist regime in Beijing who
would welcome a demonstration in Hong
Kong that a little more democracy for
Chinese people does not necessarily lead
to chaos, civil war and secession. (Which
is, of course, what their hard-line rivals
constantly predict would be the inevitable
result of diluting the dictatorship).
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles on world affairs
are published in 45 countries.
The Hong Kong referendum
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
PICTURE: Getty Images
Police officers arrest protesters after the annual pro-democracy protest, in Hong Kong.
unting is a safer activity
than tramping or snow
sports, says the Deer
pointing to ACC
statistics and its hard
line on safety.
Most years since 2005 there have
been three hunting-related deaths, with
injury claims to ACC running about
1300 a year. But with up to 150,000
New Zealanders taking part in all forms
of hunting, the accident rate is lower
than in many other outdoor sports, says
association vice-president Bill O’Leary.
“There’s no soft line on hunting safety,”
he says. “Following recent tragedies
we’ve redoubled efforts to get the safety
Mr O’Leary points out that sports
hunting maintains ecological balance.
Unchecked, deer, pigs and feral goats
disrupt forest regeneration, cause erosion
and deplete native bird habitat. Deer are
also blamed for spreading tuberculosis to
possums, which pass it to cattle, though
the association questions the extent of
First released more than 160 years ago,
seven species of deer are well established,
probably totalling more than 250,000.
But populations once kept in check
by professional culling and helicopter
recovery are now expanding.
DOC culls where deer have been
released illegally or are damaging
particularly fragile ecosystems. Sports
hunters now account for most deer shot
annually, well over 50,000.
Department of Conservation issues free
permits to sports hunters and licences
commercial operators to har vest export
venison. But due to reduced profits the
latter no longer make a major impact.
The newly appointed Game Animal
Council will work with DOC to manage
the sometimes conflicting needs of
hunters and the environment.
But the sport of hunting has some big
questions to answer. A recent tragedy,
which involved the death of a young
father, is still fresh in the minds of many
Gun-safety advocate Wayne Edgerton,
56, of Tuatapere was sentenced in
Invercargill District Court last month
after accidentally shooting Southland
hunter Adam Hill, in western Southland,
on April 13.
Mr Hill, 25, was wearing an orange vest
when Edgerton fired after mistaking him
for a deer. Mr Hill died instantly.
After pleading guilty to a charge of
carelessly using a firearm and causing
death, Edgerton was sentenced to
seven months home detention, ordered
to complete 400 hours of community
service, had to forfeit his gun and
pay $10,000 in emotional harm
reparation to Mr Hill’s partner, Christine
The verdict caused uproar, including
among those who had shown support by
wearing flouro vests to court.
Edgerton had failed to identify his
Such accidents are relatively rare. Most
hunters do pause to identify their target,
and if this turns out to be not what they
first assumed, they refrain from pulling
the trigger. So what makes the difference?
In my view one clue comes from
looking at how hunting is done out in
the New Zealand Heartland, where the
whole attitude to hunting seems more
measured than in town.
Unlike some hunters I have met, rural
hunters do not seem to possess a hint of
swagger or “attitude”. I have met dozens
of hunters in places such as Taumarunui,
Taihape, Rotorua and Wellsford. In such
communities hunting often begins at a
young age. It is seen as a useful source of
food and a chosen lifestyle.
Guns are owned and generally
stored out of sight. The politics of gun
ownership do not seem to be a big topic
of conversation. It seems to me that,
while some hunters wear the gun caps
and t-shirts and generally talk-up their
sport, those in rural communities quietly
go out and get the deer.
Of course, not all rural hunters are well
adjusted, but most seem to be.
Russell Turner, 58, has shot many
hundreds of deer, both as a sports hunter
and from helicopters.
“The key is to take your time. Young
fellas who might only get out once a year
are in a hurry but most of us learn that
hunting is a slow sport — you just don’t
need to rush it,” he told me in Taupo last
Old injuries now limit his hunting
trips to a few a year, but he is profoundly
grateful for the positive memories and
friendships the sport has provided him.
His network extends from the deep
south to Northland. Turner points out
that hunting is quite unlike tramping.
Rather than carrying heavy equipment
“to create a home away from home”,
hunters travel light. They sleep in huts if
possible, or sometimes (as Turner does)
under an overhanging cave, or on longer
hunts under a lean-to, using a piece of
“Forget the fancy equipment, all you
must have is good clothing; boots, good
hunting pants, a couple of shirts and a
hunting jacket. You’ ll only spend a couple
of hundred dollars if you shop around.
“If I take somebody out, I tell them
not to worry so much about a gun. One
gun is enough, they can use mine. I’ll
find the stag for them, stand with them
and show them how to take the shot.
I’ve seen the delight of so many people
when they get their first deer. Hunting is
wonderful — it ’s the birthright of every
But with ever increasing newcomers
to hunting, and great mobility due to
widespread car ownership among the
young, he also sees problems.
These days he rarely hunts during “the
roar”, the period during March and April
when stags become aggressive and roar to
Unless he is on private property and
knows no other hunters will be around,
he would rather stay home.
Hunters mimic the stag’s roar so
effectively that even with 43 years’
experience, Turner admits that at times
he finds it difficult to differentiate at
It’s easy for things to go wrong during
the roar. Once, while hunting near his
old home in Taihape, he inadvertently
“roared up” another hunter, thinking he
was a stag.
“I could hear the stag coming up the
ridge smashing through trees. These
animals really do get wild and throw their
antlers around (during the roar) because
they know they ’re going to fight another
“Then everything went quiet, which
happens too. A stag often stops to take
a look before coming out of the bush,
checking to see how big the other stag is,
who he is going to fight.
“I was sitting there, sort of behind a tree
waiting, then I heard the bolt close on a
“I yelled out ‘Oi’ and (the other hunter)
he yelled back, “hey it’s me”. It was
another a guy from Taihape, somebody
I’d previously hunted with, a man still
hunting today. We met and caught up.
He’d shut his bolt thinking ‘if it’s a stag
it ’s going to run, but if it’s a hunter he’s
going to yell out ’.”
It’s easy to conclude that, had they
been standing in these men’s shoes, more
volatile types may have got themselves
into a lot of trouble.
Turner learned firearms safety and
hunting ethics from a young age.
His own father was a trout fisherman,
not a hunter. But from age 15, he began
hunting regularly with a friend whose
dad taught them both.
The values passed to him he has instilled
into the next generation, mentoring many
younger or less experienced hunters.
He never shoots more than he can
carry out, “if you take a deer’s life I think
you should also eat the animal you have
Turner is disgusted and disturbed when
coming across remains of animals, where
only the best cuts of meat have been
He does not drop litter, or take alcohol
on hunting expeditions.
When he comes across freshly discarded
rubbish he usually takes it as a warning
sign and leaves the area, “if they don’t
respect the bush, that ’s a bad sign”.
He and a friend once knocked-off
hunting and went home (with the two
deer they had shot) after meeting a
party of young men, one of whom was
drinking beer as he walked through the
“ What if they got drunk and started
firing? A bullet goes a long way.”
He has passed his hunting values on to
his son and daughters (one a bow hunter).
As a former rural postie and tourist
operator, he has enjoyed a wide circle of
friends and acquaintances, many of whom
he introduced to hunting.
They have included visitors from the
city, overseas tourists, tourist bus drivers
and even at-risk youth.
Most rural hunters are like Turner
— who cherishes the relationships he
has with owners of large properties and
stations, many of whom allow hunting
when approached by somebody they
know and trust. The outcome of all this
is that, with a growing population of
deer, experienced hunters like him are
extremely successful. Turner and his
friends expect to take deer when they go
out, “if we don’t, we consider ourselves
— New Zealand Herald
Bus driver Kane Moulder is clearly delighted after shooting his first deer, guided by veteran hunter Russell Turner.
Hunting a birthright
Hunter Russell Turner
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