Home' Greymouth Star : August 29th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
lights up Coast sky
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Mystery over Maori
chief ’s shotgun
Tourism grows to
20% of Coast GDP
Westland district has the most
tourism jobs on the West Coast,
accounting for almost one in
nine (11.2%) jobs, according to
new figures released today by the
Tourism Industry Association New
Zealand. In Buller, the figure is
9% and in Grey 8.1% . The $288
million a year that international and
domestic visitors spend on the West
Coast is equivalent to 20.4% of the
region’s gross domestic product —
second only to Otago.
An Australian mining company
is back trying to recruit ex-miners
on the West Coast. Although some
Australian miners are scaling back,
others are committed to huge
projects which are in the pipeline.
Mastermyne started advertising
today for a number of posts
including operators, mine drivers,
fitters and electricians, stipulating
that underground development
experience is required.
Hokitika’s 150th committee says
its up to Greymouth to break the
Hokitika record for the world’s
biggest whitebait patty, not the other
way round. On August 18, Grey
District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said a whitebait cooking event
named the ‘Celebrity Debait ’ would
be held later this year as part of the
Greymouth 150th, in an attempt
to get into the Guinness Book for
World Records. He laid down the
gauntlet to Hokitika to see if it could
match the patty yet to be cooked
by Greymouth. However, Hokitika
Goldrush 150 member Mike Keenan
said the challenge was actually the
other way around. “ While it ’s not
the record in the Guinness Book of
World Records, the record we had
was for a 30kg whitebait patty, that
was in the late 1990s.”
Fine, light winds
A Russian bank has come up with
an unusual strategy to get clients
to buy their mortgage products:
they are throwing in a cat with
each purchase. Sberbank, one of
the country’s largest banks, lets its
clients choose from one of 10 breeds
of feline that will be delivered to
their new home in time for the
housewarming party. The bad news
for customers (but the good news
for the cats) is that they will not be
able to keep the animals, which are
only intended to enter the property
before the owner — a Russian
symbol of good luck. — Metro
Greymouth publicans are livid with
Monteith’s Brewery bosses, saying
they have reneged on a ‘gentleman’s
agreement ’ over opening hours and
booze sales at the boutique brewery.
When DB Breweries closed down the
original brewery and opened a boutique
brewery for tourists in 2012, then chief
executive Brian Blake and Monteith’s
boss Nick Rogers assured hoteliers that
the new operation, tailored for tourists,
would only sell Monteiths’ products
and would not operate later than
7pm, encouraging visitors to enjoy the
hospitality of the local pubs.
However, the Auckland-owned brewer
has recently made subtle changes,
which have not gone unnoticed by pub
The opening hours have quietly been
stretched an extra hour — last drinks
are now at 8pm — the menu has been
extended from simple platters, and now
wine is also being served.
Railway Hotel owner Grant Olsen
said they were promised the brewery
would never sell products other than
their own — Monteith’s beers and
cider — and they would close at 7pm,
pushing their patrons on to other hotels
and restaurants for meals.
Mr Olsen said the menu was now
“quite extensive” and included a dessert
“ It won’t be long before they begin
selling spirits and RTDs and running
as a hotel,” Mr Olsen said.
“ I’m disgusted they have started doing
this. I was promised this would never
happen. What is going on there flies in
the face of what it was purpose-built for
— a brewery. Now it is basically a hotel.
They need to stick to their own line of
The Railway Hotel has been solely
DB for the past 14 years, and he found
it galling that the same brewery was
now going in direct competition.
“They may as well put in some pokies,
pool tables and become a real hotel,”
Mr Olsen said.
Australasian Hotel owner Peter Low,
a former long-ser ving worker at the old
brewery, said he was also disappointed
with the changes.
“There are other publicans in town
who are trying to make a living and the
brewery is taking custom away from
Mr Low said he was “not anti” the
brewery but annoyed with the changes
that had been quietly introduced.
Monteith’s also now hosted private
more business away from the likes of
Shantytown, he said.
At the Union Hotel, just a couple
of blocks away from Monteith’s,
publican Mike Toal said he predicted
this happening two years ago, which is
why he took all DB products off tap in
protest against the brewery.
communications adviser Simon Smith
denied the brewery was tempting
custom away from local hotels with
extended hours and by offering wine.
“ We have extended our hours to cater
for tourists, who arrive later to town
during the summer months, something
we also did last year,” Mr Smith said.
While they now ser ved wine as well
as beers, less than 5% of patrons, mainly
women, asked for it.
“ We do not advertise the fact we sell
wine, but if it is requested, we ser ve it.”
Wine was introduced at the start
of August and sales so far had been
minimal, “as we are pushing our own
products, which are beers and ciders”.
Once visitors had finished up at the
brewery experience, they were still
being directed to other establishments
in town, Mr Smith said.
“ We are not trying to steal any patrons
from local hotels.”
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Runanga School maths whizzes Kole Darling and Leah Stewart spent 24 hours solving equations during the New Zealand Mathletics challenge.
They were joined by classmates Zach Outram, Tyler Burrows, Cohan Blyth, Jameila Kitchin and Jamie Burrows, starting the on-line challenge at 7am
on Wednesday and continuing non-stop until 7am yesterday. Teacher Kerry Aitken said 1000 schools involving thousands of students took part in the
challenge. Kole, who correctly answered at least 7268 maths questions in the 24 hours, was third overall in New Zealand, while Leah was the top girl
in New Zealand and fifth overall. The Runanga class is currently in 10th place in the top class contest, which finishes on Monday morning.
Maths marathoners in top three
Judgment has been reser ved over
whether the owner of a Rotomanu
farm will stand trial relating to the
star vation and deaths of hundreds of
David Ham faced charges in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday
of animal cruelty and failing to keep
stock adequately fed, on a farm leased
to Jeremy William Usher and his
father, Robert William Usher.
The Ushers will be tried early next
year, but Judge Raoul Neave yesterday
reser ved his judgment on whether
Ham would also go to trial.
Jeremy Usher leased from Ham
300 cows, which he combined with
animals belonging to both him and
his father, taking the total number of
stock on the farm to more than 900.
However, some time after taking over
the farm Usher junior went overseas,
leaving his wheelchair-bound father
to run it.
A neighbouring farmer, Katie Milne,
who is also the Federated Farmers
West Coast chairwoman, flew over
the farm in July 2012 and reported
seeing dead cattle lying on a stock
Miss Milne left a voicemail message
on the Ushers’ phone, but got no
response. When she flew over again
the following month and saw a similar
situation, she contacted Ham, who
told her the Ushers were in financial
Miss Milne then reported the farm
to the Ministry of Primary Industries
(MPI). An MPI inspection of the
farm on August 28 found that of the
926 cows on the farm, 636 were in
“ very poor condition”, having suffered
from star vation for three to four
Of those, 128 animals had to be
immediately sent for slaughter while a
further 152 had to be shot on the spot.
The rest of the herd was distributed to
neighbouring farms to recover, leaving
just 50 animals on the Usher farm.
The Ushers jointly faced six charges
of animal cruelty and one of failing
to ensure the stock were adequately
watered and fed.
Lawyer Michael Smith said MPI
had failed to prove that Ham had
owned any of the animals on the farm,
and asked for the charges against his
client to be dismissed.
MPI prosecutor Anselm Williams
said Ham had a contractual obligation
to provide for the cattle he had leased
to the Ushers, but had omitted to do
He was therefore guilty of omitting
to provide the proper care.
Mr Williams said Ham would have
been able to tell that the situation on
the farm was worsening because over
time the milk payout the Ushers paid
to him from the farm had reduced.
Usher had admitted that the farm
was making just enough money to pay
Ham, leaving nothing else to invest
back into the farm.
Mr Williams said Ham had been
dairy farming for 35 years, long
enough to know that something was
wrong at the Ushers’ farm.
He also said that during the MPI
inspection, some of the animals had
been in such bad condition they were
falling over during the walk back to
the stock sheds.
Judge Neave said that regardless of
any contractual obligations, Ham had
“overriding duties” to the animals if
there was evidence that some of the
cattle were owned by him.
A decade-long running battle
against obstinate Blaketown lease-
holders that has already cost the Grey
District Council $600,000 is set to
drag on into next year before a Court
of Appeal hearing is held.
The council won its legal fight with
Christine and Doug Banks in June
The Banks, who live on former
Greymouth Harbour Board leasehold
land, disputed large increases in the
annual rental, arguing the increases
were invalid because a previous
owner of the property had not been
properly informed when seven-year
rent reviews were added to the lease
Mrs Banks said this week they were
“still on track” despite the ongoing
“ It ’s been a long drawn out process
this one,” Mrs Banks said.
The couple filed with the Court of
Appeal in January and the council
had filed a case on appeal on top of
She said the process was “ridiculous”
and could have been sorted well
before it got to this stage.
“ I wrote to the council asking to
have a sit down behind closed doors,
but we were not given the chance. ”
She remained confident of their
success, claiming that the land
registers could not be interfered with.
“ We will just keep going, we have
got the land register on our side.”
The Banks had also taken their case
to the Ombudsman and expected to
hear back within the next month.
Council chief executive Paul
Pretorius said the appeals were yet to
be dealt with by the Court of Appeal
and he did not have anything to add
at this point.
Meanwhile, the council’s other
long-running legal dispute over
the Grey District Aquatic Centre
sagging beams is also ongoing.
Mr Pretorius said formal claims had
been filed, but he could not comment
further on the issue.
636 cows left to starve on Rotomanu farm, court hears
Blaketown legal fight rolls on another year
12 Herbert Street, Greymouth | Phone: 768 0822
Sales A/hrs: Alastair Hamilton 768 7300 | www.coast.toyota.co.nz
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Quoted figures are weekly over
60 months at 12.9% with $350
booking fee. Toyota Finance
Credit conditions apply.
Most likely the lowest vehicle finance rates in town with easy approval
2010 • Toyota Hilux SR5
2009 • Toyota Hilux SR5
2005 • Toyota Hilux SR5
2001 • Toyota Hilux SR5
2005 • TOYOTA HILUX
2005 • TOYOTA HILUX SR5
2009 • TOYOTA HILUX SR5
2008 • TOYOTA HILUX SR5
3.0L turbo diesel d/cab 4x4 leather
trim nudge bar canopy
3.0L turbo diesel d/cab tuff deck,
3.0L turbo diesel 5 speed 4x4
3.0L turbo diesel bull bar, tuff deck 3.0L turbo diesel s/cab, flatdeck,
3.0L turbo diesel d/cab 4x4 replace-
ment front bar
3.0L turbo diesel d/cab 4x4 canopy,
3.0L turbo diesel d/cab 4x4 auto
E: johnny.fyall@A1homes.co .nz
Links Archive August 28th 2014 August 30th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page