Home' Greymouth Star : August 1st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Friday, August 1, 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 Letter writers will generally not
be published more often than weekly.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
1797 - Crew of Australian convict ship Lady
Shaw mutinies and sails to South America.
1798 - British navy under Admiral Horatio
Nelson destroys French fleet in Battle of the
1831 - New London Bridge is opened by
King William IV.
1834 - Slavery is abolished
throughout the British Empire.
1902 - Australian magazine New
Idea is first published.
1914 - Germany declares war on
Russia at the start of World War
1932 - The first Mars bar, made in
Slough, England, goes on sale.
1936 - The Olympic Games open in Berlin
with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.
1944 - The people of Warsaw rise against the
1984 - South Africa closes its consulate in
Wellington after New Zealand prime minister
severs diplomatic ties in disapproval of South
Africa’s racial segregation.
2013 - Russia defies the US and grants
Edward Snowden temporary asylum
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Roman Emperor Claudius (10BC-54AD);
Herman Melville, US author (1819-1891);
Frank Worrell, former West Indian
cricket captain (1924-1967); Pierre
Bourdieu, French philosopher and
sociologist (1930-2002); Lionel Bart,
British composer (1932-1999); Dom
DeLuise, US actor (1933-2009); Yves
St Laurent, French fashion designer
(1936-2008); Jerry Garcia, US rock
musician (1942-1995); Chuck D, US
rapper (1960-); Coolio, US rapper (1963-); Sam
Mendes, British film director (1965-); Tempestt
Bledsoe, US actress (1973-) .
“As scarce as truth is, the supply is always
greater than the demand. ” — Josh Billings,
American author (1818-1885).
“ Now the serpent was more crafty than any
other wild animal that the Lord God had
made. He said to the woman, “Did God say,
‘ You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
— (Genesis 3:1)
Two men engaged
in operations in the
centennial fountain received a fright yesterday
afternoon. They were at their work when a girl
fell eight feet through the narrow opening on
the surface leading to the chamber entrance
passage. The cover had been left open while the
men were working below on the Tainui Street
The girl apparently strayed too close while
looking at the fountain and failed to notice
the opening. She is nine-year-old Margaret
Menzies, of Cadman Street, Runanga. She
received concussion in the unusual mishap and
was admitted to the Greymouth Hospital for
Three years ago and one year ago, the
relatively small communities south of
Greymouth, Camerons and Paroa, lost their
chief community centres, the halls which had
stood for long years in the school grounds.
Blows to community life the early morning
fires were, but steady efforts since have been
directed at raising modern substitiutes.
Tomorrow week will see the realisation
of years of toil of a handful of Camerons
residents. The township’s new hall will be
opened on that date. Final touch-ups are
being made and all will be ready for Mr P
Blanchfield MP to open the building and put
community activities on a sound basis again.
Yesterday saw the first step taken at Paroa
with the pouring of the foundations for the
new hall. Unlike Camerons residents however,
the Paroa people still have quite some work
to do and more finance is needed before their
ambitions are attained.
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
Shadows over murders
The ‘evil’ of 1080
Something very evil has crept into the
New Zealand conser vation world. O ver
the past 25 years a carefully planned
campaign has been activated to convince
the public that rats, stoats and possums are
responsible for the shocking loss of native
birdlife in our native forests.
I only realised just how serious this
problem was when I accidentally stumbled
on evidence that one of the key possum-
rat-bird predation photographic posters
used to convince the public, is in fact a
fraud. This photograph first surfaced in
January 2009 (DOC article, South Island
Fishing paper). This poster is still in use
Nick Smith’s ‘Battle for Our Birds’ is, I
am sure, part of this 25-year, very expensive
attempt to mislead the New Zealand
public. Recently, the Government have
been talking about the New Zealand 1080
industry. This multi-million dollar industry
is owned by the National Government.
Like every other industry, according to the
Government, you must grow your business.
Nick’s proposed Battle for Our Birds has
already successfully extracted $21 million
from the nearly empty pubic purse.
In 1964, it was recorded by the NZ
Forest Ser vice that five kea died and
tested positive for 1080 after an aerial
1080 operation in the Dobson River valley
(Ohau). Nick Smith’s proposed Battle for
Our Birds could well be the death knell
for kea in the wild in New Zealand, as well
as exterminating at least 50% of all South
Island robins in the 700,000ha of beech
forests to be ‘treated’. Other birds will
also die, and rats will not be exterminated
as DOC would like us to believe. No rat
aerial poisoning operations using 1080 has
ever been recorded as being successful, as
a large percentage of rats can detect 1080
in the baits by testing a very small amount
I refer to the article headlined ‘Grey
mayor takes issue with Pugh criticism’
(Greymouth Star, July 29). If the Grey
Mayor was informed that I had criticised
his council and its debt he has been ill
The Hokitika Guardian reporter who
called me made much of the debt that
Westland District Council carried at the
end of my tenure. When I asked him if he
knew what the debt of Grey and Buller
was, he confirmed he did not. On the basis
of this I said to him, ‘Are you going to ask
the mayors of Grey and Buller about their
I stand by my record, and the figures
support me. Westland’s low debt compared
to the other two councils was a result
of a deliberate policy to not increase
borrowings when Development West
Coast funding became available under
its MDI project. O ur cost of borrowing
was, like other councils, kept low because
many projects were funded from internal
Once again for the record, Westland
had $15,498,000 of borrowings at June
30, 2013, Grey $29,205,000 and Buller
Westland had 3.93% debt on its assets,
Grey 8.4% debt on its assets and Buller
8.06% debt on its assets.
All three councils have done well and
used debt to spread the costs of water,
sewerage and waste over the generations
that are the users. It was and is the right
thing to do. People need to remember that
your councils carried out these upgrades
based on central government imposed
National Party candidate
West Coast-Tasman electorate
Scouts’ good deed
Scouts did a good deed while at their
mini jam in Kumara. After RSA members
delivered a load of firewood to RSA
veteran Bob Watson, Tom Milne asked the
camp leader if they would stack the wood.
‘ No problem’ was the reply, and the job was
We are writing to thank the Mayor for
the lovely lunch we shared on the 150th
anniversary of Greymouth.
We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the
company. O ur special thanks to Mayor
Tony for informing us of the history of the
town and for his kind invitation and warm
welcome. It was a real treat for all the
senior citizens who attended.
Joan Shand and friends
Two stories in recent issues of the
Greymouth Star have me shaking my
Firstly, about Greymouth having
the cheapest rates on the West Coast,
congratulations. But before we go much
further with Mayor Tony Kokshoorn and
his councillors giving themselves a pat
on the back, haven’t they heard it is the
Mawhera Incorporation leases which are
ever-increasing and are crippling our town?
I suggest the Mayor and his team take a
walk around downtown Greymouth and
see how many empty buildings there are.
Pretty disgusting really, whereas Westport
and Hokitika are going ahead in leaps and
bounds without any lease worries.
Not until both residential and business
people have the opportunity to buy their
Mawhera Incorporation land leases
outright, will Greymouth really prosper.
Secondly, at the moment all the business
association suggests doing is lighting up
the Cobden Bridge and surrounds instead
of addressing the real issues which are
facing our township — filling all our
empty buildings in downtown Greymouth.
I feel really sorry for the nationwide
chain stores that have come to town, such
as Noel Leeming, Dick Smith, Smiths
City etc, and private local owners having to
deal with the ever-increasing lease bill.
Vote to end child
The child poverty monitor, a project of
the Commissioner for Children and Otago
University, found in 2013 that 265,000
New Zealand children (that is 25% of all
NZ children) live in poverty.
Past New Zealand leaders, no matter
their political hue — the late Norman
Kirk, Bill Rowling, Keith Holyoake, even
dare I say it Rob Muldoon — must be
turning in their graves.
September’s election gives us a chance
to say ‘no’, we do not accept child poverty
in New Zealand. For example, Labour is
promising ‘best start’ payments to babies
during their first year; extending paid
parental leave; more well child visits; a
healthy homes guarantee; smaller class
sizes; more free early childhood education;
lower power bills.
We owe it to our children to vote for
their benefit. I urge you to use your party
vote to help end child poverty, by party
voting for the party that prioritises ending
It is a breach of promise and a huge
disappointment to see that ‘our’
hospital is still under strict bureaucratic
If it was not for the pre-emptive work
of the Greymouth Star, the West Coast
community would be blissfully unaware
of what is going on behind DHB doors.
The only way information has been made
available to the public is through the
Greymouth Star applying for it under the
Official Information Act
The West Coast DHB/Canterbury
DHB stood up and condemned past
management for their secretive style; they
stated that from 2012 onwards the public
would be kept informed and consulted on
all health issues.
Information being released under the
OIA clearly shows that the secrets and
arrogance has not changed. I believe our
hospital is being designed without the
involvement of medical staff, ser vice users,
caregivers or the public. This should be of
huge concern to all West Coasters.
Why are people with no medical
qualifications designing and planning our
Who has defined ‘sustainable’? Who
decided ‘unsustainable’? When was this
Why have bed numbers been reduced
from 102 to 56?
Who decided on what ser vices and
Where is the transparency of the new
clinical board? Where are the feedbacks
from the new complaints ser vice run by
Why hasn’t the trans-alpine issue been
resolved before the business case model?
Michael Frampton says it is a complex
issue. The latest release states, ‘there will
be greater reliance on the Canterbury
DHB, and better transport options will be
developed’. Surely this should have been
done by now?
What is the business case model?
I believe the DHB is excluding staff
and the public from the crucial design
and planning stage. It is obvious to me
that little or no research has been done,
either in civil or health, nationally or
internationally. ‘ Primary health care is
the future’ — the DHB has forgotten the
meaning and the purpose.
The information released to the public
clearly shows a disaster unfolding where
common sense has been lost to 14 years of
Post Shop charges
In regards to Mr Hunt ’s letter
(Greymouth Star, july 23), as a community
paying our bills at Post Shop (Kiwi Bank)
it should be free, with no extra fee of $1.50
just to pay it manually.
‘Thank you’ to Mr Hunt for making
others aware in his letter to the editor. As
a customer, I had no idea until I read his
letter. I can say I am glad I am not with
Telecom, a penny pinching company.
omewhere in the Melbourne
under world lies the answer to
the mystery of who killed the
A $1 million reward,
thousands of hours of police
investigation, generous deals with
criminals and the passage of 10 years have
done little to shed light on the execution-
style killing of the couple in their own
Terence Hodson, 56, a police informer,
and his 55-year-old wife Christine were
found dead in the rear room of their Kew
home in May 2004. They had both been
shot to the head.
A nearly-completed inquest into the
murders has given insight into the
homicide investigation and a reminder of
the brutality of Melbourne’s gangland war,
but might fall short of determining who
exactly was responsible for the deaths.
All the while, the sinister shadows of the
underworld were never far from view.
Police say they interviewed 240 potential
suspects after the murder of the Hodsons
— a startlingly high figure based on Mr
Hodson’s lengthy list of potential enemies
after his informer reports were leaked and
shared among criminals.
Mr Hodson was to be the star witness in
a case against drug squad detectives Paul
Dale and David Miechel, who had been
accused of being involved in the robbery
of a drug stash house.
Mr Hodson was repeatedly offered the
chance to join the witness protection
programme with his family but declined,
saying he felt safe in his own house.
The home was equipped with window
grills, security doors and video cameras,
but police still had concerns about its
They warned Mr Hodson to keep out
of the rear television room, especially at
night, as it was isolated from the rest of
the house and left the couple susceptible
Sure enough, the Hodsons were found
dead in the television room.
There were no evidence of a struggle,
the couple’s dogs were locked away and
the tapes from the video cameras were
missing, leading police to suspect the
killer or killers either knew a great deal
about the house or had been let inside by
Detective senior sergeant Sol Solomon
said he did not think it likely that the
killer was a disgruntled crook who had
been locked up as a result of Mr Hodson’s
He said the crime was committed by
someone with “supreme proficiency in the
art of killing people”, and was beyond the
intestinal fortitude of most criminals.
Mr Dale was a notable absentee
from the inquest witness list, having
successfully fought an application to be
compelled to give evidence.
Also missing was evidence from Rodney
Charles Collins, a convicted hit man who,
alongside Mr Dale, was charged with
the couple’s murders in 2009 — charges
that were dropped when gangland killer
Carl Williams was beaten to death in
The inquest heard how Williams made
a deal with police and prosecutors that
meant he would be made eligible for the
$1 million reward, despite claiming that
Mr Dale had given him $150,000 to
organise the hit.
Williams was also told he would not
be pursued for the Hodson murders, and
that his father George’s $750,000 tax bill
would be forgiven.
For his part, Collins also offered to give
evidence if he was indemnified over the
murder of a couple in 1987 for which he
is now ser ving a life sentence, a demand
police regarded as “outrageous”.
Williams loomed large throughout
the inquest, in examinations of his
relationship with Mr Dale, what he
claimed to know about the Hodson
murders, and the lengths he went to to
eliminate his enemies.
At times, he was portrayed as a
homicidal drug dealer who had once
sought a rocket-launcher to blow up the
house of an enemy.
But his ex-wife Roberta Williams
maintained he was a family man, angrily
rejecting a suggestion from Mr Dale’s
barrister Geoffrey Steward that Carl was a
“Carl was a loving, caring, family man
that adored my three children,” Ms
“ You’re a disgraceful person to even
mention that about a man who is dead.”
When the inquest resumes in mid-
August, the Hodsons’ son Andrew will be
Andrew Hodson was initially viewed as
a suspect in the murders after he removed
his father’s gun from the scene, but Mr
Solomon said he no longer believed he
was directly responsible.
However, he said Andrew Hodson may
have accidentally leaked key information
about the security of his parents’ home to
the wrong people.
The inquest heard that Andrew Hodson
was a former associate of Tony Mokbel,
a drug kingpin who was also named as a
potential person of interest in the inquest.
A witness known only as M gave
evidence of a meeting in which Mokbel
paid $50,000 towards Mr Dale’s “medical
costs, if you know what I mean”, after
Collins had boasted of helping a cop get
rid of “brain tumours” — which Witness
M understood to mean killing the
Mr Solomon said the details of Witness
M’s story checked out, despite the glaring
inconsistencies with Carl Williams’
claims, which police also regard as
truthful, according to former detective
The secrecy surrounding the identity
of three witnesses only ser ved to
highlight the lingering tension within
the underworld for those who co-operate
Additionally, competing claims from
a number of criminals who received
favourable deals to testify make it hard
for police to sort fact from self-ser ving
But as Mr Davey pointed out, police
cannot choose their witnesses, and the
case remains inexorably within the
domain of the underworld.
And the solution seems incredibly
difficult to bring to the surface.
The scene of the murders. Inset, Terence Hodson and his wife, Christine.
Links Archive July 31st 2014 August 2nd 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page