Home' Greymouth Star : January 17th 2018 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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uLetters to the editor
1377 - Pope Gregory XI restores the Papal
See to Rome after it was removed from
1773 - Captain James Cook’s Resolution
becomes the first ship to cross the Antarctic
1874 - Death of the original
Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng,
born in Thailand of Chinese parents
and joined at the chest.
1893 - Hawaii’s monarchy
is overthrown as a group of
white businessmen force Queen
Liliuokalani to abdicate.
1912 - Captain Robert Scott and his
expedition reach the South Pole.
1929 - Popeye makes his first appearance as a
character in a comic strip.
1936 - Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph
Goebbels tells Germany: “ We can manage
without butter but not without guns.”
2017 - The search is called off for Malaysia
Airlines flight 370 nearly three years after the
plane went missing with 239 people on board.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Leonhard Fuchs, German physician and
botanist (1501-1566); Benjamin Franklin, US
statesman (1706-1790); May Gibbs, Australian
writer and illustrator of Snugglepot and
Cuddlepie fame (1877-1969); Al
Capone, US gangster (1899-1947);
Betty White, US actress (1922-);
Eartha Kitt, singer-actress (1927-
2008); James Earl Jones, US actor
(1931-); Muhammad Ali, US boxer
(1942-2016); Steve Earle, American
musician (1955-); Jim Carrey,
Canadian actor (1962-); Michelle Obama, US
First Lady (1964-).
“ I am always ready to learn, but I do
not always like to be taught.” — Winston
Churchill, British statesman (1874-1965).
“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world
and proclaim the Good News to the whole
creation’.” — (Mark 16:15).
police received an
call about 8.50pm
last night and were told that a bomb had
been placed in a Road Ser vices bus. Police
immediately went to the Road Ser vices depot
and, with Road Ser vices officials, combed all
the buses parked there.
No bomb was found. Police said today that it
would appear someone was playing a joke and
that nothing further could be done about it.
The unemployment figure for the West Coast
from Karamea to Haast is now 135. In the past
month the number of unemployed persons
registered at the Greymouth branch of the
Labour Department soared by 30 — all males.
The Greymouth branch of the Social
Security Department has 43 persons claiming
unemployment benefits. Of this figure 25 are
males and 18 females. There are now three
school leavers claiming the benefit.
An Upper Hutt man Colin Drake and his
three teenage sons recently completed a tour
of the South island on bicycles. The tour
covered 1125 miles and the four had only five
punctures but had to replace one tyre. The
estiamted cost of the tour was about $100.
The Drake family found the ride through
Central Otago to Haast Pass the toughest, but
they agreed the scenery in the the Hasst Pass
was well worth the energy expended. They
were also delighted with the scenery on the
West Coast in general, but they had their share
of problems with bad weather and sandflies
“ which would not give up”.
“ You wouldn’t believe how barren the West
Coast is. The shops are about 50 miles apart,”
said Mr Drake.
uFood for thought
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say they have been set back
30 years by tough new
English language tests that
have forced the closure of all
dedicated Pacific preschool
The last students in AUT University’s
bachelor of education (Pasifika early
childhood teaching) graduated last month,
and entry to Auckland University’s
bachelor of education (teaching) Pasifika
early childhood pathway has been
suspended this year.
Other Pacific courses run by
polytechnics, teachers’ colleges and the NZ
Childcare Association, and a course for
teachers in a’oga amata (Samoan language
nests) dating back to 1987, have all closed
since the entry requirement for all teacher
training was raised to level 7 on the
International English Language Testing
System (IELTS) in 2011.
For comparison, Auckland University
and AUT require IELTS levels of only
6 for other undergraduate courses and
6.5 for postgraduates including doctoral
The head of AUT’s education school,
Lyn Lewis, said the level 7 hurdle “has
decimated the number of students who
were eligible for teacher education’’.
A’oga Amata national president
Pafitimai Sala Dr Fa’asaulala Tagoilelagi-
Leota said the course closures left her
“ We are back to square one when the
training started in 1987,’’ she said.
Ironically, the Pacific courses
have closed just as the new Labour
Government has promised to declare
Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Maori,
Niuean and Tokelauan as “official
community languages’’ and to “enhance’’
their use in the education system.
About a quarter of the 15,000 Pasifika
children in New Zealand preschools learn
in Pacific languages at least half the time
in 106 childcare centres, including 61 in
Samoan, 31 in Tongan, seven in Cook
Islands Maori, four in Niuean and one
each in Tokelauan, Fijian and Pukapukan.
But the new English language
requirement has blocked most mature
Pasifika people, who have the strongest
Pasifika language skills and cultural
knowledge, from teaching preschoolers.
Tagoilelagi-Leota, a former head of the
Pasifika programme at AUT, said she
used to get more than 300 applicants a
year, but the numbers being admitted
dropped to 20 to 25 a year after 2011.
“ We have lots of trained teachers from
Samoa who came through the Samoan
(immigration) quota. They have high-
quality Samoan, which is what our
Samoan early childhood centres want, but
they have to sit the IELTS even if they
are qualified,’’ she said.
The Associate Dean Pasifika in Auckland
University’s education faculty, Dr Rae
Si’ilata, said her faculty turned away more
than 30 applicants for its Pasifika early
childhood pathway in 2016 because they
failed the IELTS test.
Professor Graeme Aitken, who was
then dean of the faculty, announced the
suspension of the pathway last October
because there were then only eight
applicants for this year’s course.
But Si’ilata said she and other Pasifika
staff would lobby to reinstate the course
next year, especially in view of Labour’s
She said research showed that children
who learned to speak, read and write
in their heritage languages as well as in
English, did better academically than
those who learned only in a second
language, and were likely to have better
Residents of the Cook Islands, Niue and
Tokelau were also NZ citizens and there
were more than four times as many Cook
Islanders, Niueans and Tokelauans in New
Zealand than on their home islands.
“ New Zealand has a constitutional
responsibility to the users of those
languages,’’ Si’ilata said.
However, Education Council deputy
chief executive Lesley Hoskin said all
teachers had to have good English and/or
Maori, New Zealand’s official languages,
because teacher registration allowed them
to teach anywhere, not just in Pacific-
She said the Nursing Council also
required nurses to achieve level 7 on
IELTS, and the Medical Council required
doctors to reach 7.5 in listening and
speaking and level 7 in reading and
All Australian states require teachers to
have level 8 in listening and speaking and
level 7 in reading and writing.
“ It is possible that we could consider
raising the attainment level in the future,
but we would not consider lowering it,’’
But she added: “If the status of the three
official languages change, then clearly the
council would consider what changes to its
requirements would be needed. ’’
National education spokeswoman Nikki
Kaye said her proposal for a national
languages policy would ensure long-term
planning to recruit and train language
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Samoan Language Nest Society president Dr Sals Fa’asaulala Tagoilelagi-Leota discusses the intake for courses.
Pacific-language preschools setback
In sandstone next to the high tide mark
at the edge of Bass Strait in south-eastern
Australia, scientists have unearthed fossils
of a two-legged, turkey-sized, plant-eating
dinosaur apparently swept away in a large,
powerful ancient river.
Paleontologists last week said the partial
skeleton of the previously unknown
beastie, named Diluvicursor pickeringi,
that lived about 113 million years
ago provides insight into the array of
dinosaurs that inhabited Australia during
the Cretaceous Period when it was still
connected to Antarctica.
“S keletons of dinosaurs from Australia
are very rare,” said University of
Queensland paleontologist Matthew
Herne, noting that Diluvicursor brings
to only 19 the number of Australian
dinosaurs that have been named to date.
Diluvicursor’s remains were found
amongst a jumbled collection of large
fossilised tree trunks also apparently swept
down the river during a flood. The site is
on the south coast of the state of Victoria,
about 170km from Melbourne.
Diluvicursor was about 2.3m long.
Herne said it was “comparable to a large
domesticated turkey in weight, but of
course much longer than a turkey because
of its tail. ” The fossils included an almost
complete tail, the lower part of the right
leg and most of the right foot.
It lived alongside meat-eating dinosaurs
about 6m long, as well as armoured
dinosaurs, turtles, shrew-sized mammals
and flying reptiles called pterosaurs. Herne
said Diluvicursor, a member of a dinosaur
group called ornithopods, was similar to
another small, two-legged herbivorous
dinosaur called Leaellynasaura that lived
at about the same time and whose remains
were unearthed about 15km away.
The two may have occupied different
ecological niches and eaten different
plants. Leaellynasaura was more lightly
built, had a longer tail and may have been
a more agile runner.
“An analogy can be seen in the kind
of diversity seen in the kangaroos and
wallabies in present-day Australia who
occupy very different niches, from open
plains to dense forest habitats,” Herne
Diluvicursor roamed a forested broad rift
valley floodplain between Australia and
Antarctica, which remained connected
until about 45 million years ago.
“The jury’s out on the climate,” Herne
said. “Some believe that the climate
was cold with winter ice, while others
suggest the climate was warmer or more
Its genus name, Diluvicursor, means
“flood runner.” Its species name,
pickeringi, honours the late paleontologist
The research was published in the
scientific journal PeerJ. — Reuters
Artist ’s impression of two Diluvicursor pickeringi foraging on the bank of a high-energy river within the Australian-Antarctic
Australian two-legged plant-eating dinosaur found
Mining a wealth of untapped health data
could reveal new insights into how we
age — and help tackle one of the biggest
killers of older New Zealanders.
A new study, led by medical specialist and
Otago University researcher Dr Hamish
Jamieson, will trawl through a sprawling
national health database to look for clues
to combating heart failure.
Heart failure was the most common
cause of hospital admission in older New
Half of those who suffered it died within
“Multiple studies have shown that
outcomes for patients with heart failure
are difficult to predict — particularly in
older people who frequently have multiple
Jamieson will turn to Inter Rai, a
universal assessment of elderly living in the
community who need home ser vices or are
being considered for entry into care.
The Ministry of Health-led programme
involved a one-and-a-half-hour assessment
covering all aspects of an older person’s
life, canvassing their ethnicity, living
circumstances, social support, and physical,
psychological and cognitive health.
Records were collected on some 100,000
people each year.
“This is a well-organised, well-structured
database that can be used to better
understand health in New Zealand — and
very few countries have it,” Jamieson said.
His four-year project, recently granted
a $500,000 grant by the Health Research
Council, will pull different Inter Rai
datasets together to create a new statistical
model to predict outcomes for older people
with heart failure.
“This research will be novel as it will link
large datasets related to ageing that have
not been linked before.”
Jamieson expected the new model would
be used by clinicians in patient care, as well
as by researchers and policymakers.
“It will give us a bird’s-eye picture of
trajectories of ageing to predict outcomes
and to answer many questions.”
The new study comes after Jamieson and
colleagues recently used Inter Rai data to
investigate loneliness in 72,000 older New
They found more than 15,000 frail
elderly identified as being lonely —
equating to one in five older people
— with Asians being the most affected
With New Zealand’s ageing population,
better understanding the health challenges
facing older New Zealanders was crucial,
The number of older people was
expected to rise significantly over the
next decade, and, by 2039, the number of
superannuitants was projected to balloon
from 730,000 today to 1.3 million.
— New Zealand Herald
How big data could help combat heart failure
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