Home' Greymouth Star : September 6th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
P5 WEST COAST FEATURE
West Coast marine
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
to carr y 1080
A Havelock business has refused
to transport the controversial
poison 1080 to a drop-off point.
The Marlborough Express reported
yesterday that Johnson’s Barge
Ser vices declined a Department of
Conser vation request to move the
poison before it was used on Pelorus
Sound. Director Peter Johnson said
he wanted to put the community
first. “ We don’t agree with 1080 and
a lot of our clients are opposed to
it. Emotions are heightened in the
community. We don’t want toxins in
our area, 1080 doesn’t just kill rats
and stoats,” Mr Johnson said.
Bringing a West Coast District
Health Board charter flight into
Greymouth could free up a surgeon
to spend at least one more hour
a day in theatre at Grey Base
Hospital. The DHB says it is
still looking into a Greymouth-
Canterbury air ser vice. Currently,
Canterbury specialists fly into
Hokitika Airport on Air New
Zealand and are not ready to
operate until 10.30am. The last
flight back to Christchurch leaves
at 5.30pm. “ You can see why this is
quite important,” DHB programme
director Michael Frampton told the
Greymouth Star. “It’s about making
the best use of resources.” A direct
flight to the hospital would probably
free up more than an hour of a
doctor’s time, without them actually
being away from Christchurch any
longer. “ We are still sorting through
the options,” Mr Frampton said. The
board has made it clear any new air
charter would not affect the existing
Flying Doctor ser vice.
Sock quantities should not be hard
to figure out; one on each foot and
zero in each stomach. Unfortunately
a three-year-old Great Dane
got confused and instead ate 43
of the things. The dog’s owners
took him to an animal hospital in
Portland, Oregon, after they found
him groaning and retching. The
hospital took x-rays and confirmed
the treasure chest of socks in the
animal’s stomach, which required
a two-hour operation to get them
all out. Dr Ashley Magee, from the
Dove Lewis Emergency Animal
Hospital, said: “ We opened up his
stomach and kept removing sock
after sock of all different shapes and
sizes. ” — Metro
Mostly fine, light winds
The Ahaura River bridge has only five
to 10 years left in it without major work
on the foundations, but there are no
plans to replace the “rickety old bridge”
— a key link on State highway 7.
The 83-year-old single-lane timber
bridge will be closed at nights
periodically for the next two weeks while
“ urgent repairs” are made to the deck.
New Zealand Transport Agency
regional performance manager Pete
Connors said yesterday it could last five
to 10 years without significant structural
refurbishment, which included deck and
The current work was maintenance
only and would not alter the life forecast
of the bridge, Mr Connors said.
Westland District Mayor Mike Havill,
speaking as an Ahaura resident and
farmer, was not impressed with the state
of the bridge.
“ It is an appalling piece of State
highway infrastructure,” Mr Havill said.
He was in favour of replacement,
especially since the bridge was regularly
“ I think a replacement is needed, it
can’t be economic to have repairs as
ongoing as they have been. ”
Meanwhile, the West Coast Regional
Council is in the process of developing a
new regional land transport programme,
which consists of roading projects it
wants to see done in the region.
The last one included a cycleway clip-
on for the Taramakau Bridge and major
realignment work at Klondyke Corner,
on State highway 73; both have now
Council chairman Andrew Robb
confirmed that the Ahaura Bridge had
been mentioned in meetings for the
Successful projects depended on
funding from NZTA.
However, Mr Robb expected funding
could become more contestable in future.
“ It might not be a given that you get
funding, they may prioritise depending
on the region and say ‘you have just had
two major projects. ’”
He described it as a “rickety old bridge”
but recognised that it saw a reasonable
amount of traffic coming down the Grey
“The trouble with the Ahaura Bridge
is there is another way around (via
NZTA Canterbury-West Coast
highway manager Colin Knaggs
said there were currently no short or
medium-term plans for a replacement.
A wide range of factors had to be
considered for a replacement, including
traffic volumes, how much structural life
the bridge had left and its crash history.
“All bridges on our highway network
are regularly checked to ensure they
meet the required safety standards,
including this one,” Mr Knaggs said.
He said work on the Taramakau Bridge
would have no bearing on the Ahaura
It will be last drinks for the Club
Hotel in Blackball later this month.
Owner Arnold Jansen will have
owned the bar for 17 years and
20 days when he closes the doors
on September 20, the day of the
“There are a lot of people who
spent their lives sitting in here,” Mr
A number of politicians have
frequented the hotel over its history.
In the birthplace of the Labour
Party, a picture of Michael Joseph
Savage still hangs on the wall.
Jim Anderton enjoyed a beer
at the Club when he became the
leader of the New Labour Party,
however current Labour leader
David Cunliffe did not have time
for much before he was kicked out
by Mr Jansen.
The decision to close was down to
the rising cost of liquor licence fees,
“It was bad enough when the fees
doubled, but the annual fee has
wiped us out. ”
The bar was stung again by also
running an off-licence, and with
falling numbers of patrons and a
“quadrupling” of insurance costs, it
had been too much for the small
“There are not enough people any
Mr Jansen said the charm of the
Club Hotel had been the “good-
hearted fun people” who filled it
over the years.
“There has been all sorts of things
go on here over the years.”
He hoped to “go out with a bang
on a Saturday night ” for his last
The bar would be mothballed in
the hope that he would be able
to reopen if economic fortunes
improved, Mr Jansen said.
He took over the bar after he “ran
away from Christchurch”. “ I came
here with a mate and on my third
trip here I bought the pub.”
The Club Hotel was originally on
the other side of the shop, where
the skatepark is now, but was rebuilt
on its current site in the 1930s after
the first one burned down.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Club Hotel owner Arnold Jansen remembers the good times as he prepares to close the bar on September 21.
Some West Coast councils are
spending longer meeting behind
closed doors, although one chief
executive says those private discussions
are “too boring” to be of much interest
to the public.
The Greymouth Star asked each
council how long it was spending in
‘workshops,’ which are closed to the
public and are not minuted, after the
Grey District Council was criticised
for going into ‘committee’ too often.
Earlier this year, the public session of
one monthly council meeting lasted
just 15 minutes, with barely a word
spoken by councillors.
However, chief executive Paul
Pretorius said workshops were “rather
rare” and no decisions were made or
“ We use workshops to provide
information to a higher level of detail
on a topical issue than would normally
be available in agenda items. Council
certainly does not workshop council
agendas,” Mr Pretorius said.
The agenda for the March meeting
was shorter than normal, mostly
because people were involved in
compiling the draft budget, he said.
“You will find that the number
of workshops will increase shortly
after every election as new council
members simply do not have the same
level of background knowledge as
longer ser ving members. I still suggest
that the number of workshops remain
Buller District Council chief
executive Paul Wylie said most, but
not all, workshops were closed to
the public. Workshops tended to
be detailed and designed to provide
information and background without
any decision making.
“As a result they are too boring to
be of much public interest. We do not
keep minutes because there are no
decisions,” Mr Wylie said.
He had no accurate record of time
spent in workshops, but thought
it had increased over the years as a
result of “endless new legislation and
additional compliance requirements”.
The first meeting of the newly-
elected Buller District Council last
year started at 5pm and finished after
Westland District Council chief
executive Tanya Winter said that
council had at least one workshop
a month, lasting two to four hours.
Again, no minutes were taken.
“I understand we are using
workshops more,” Ms Winter said.
She gave as two reasons, the greater
complexity of the issues, and a largely
West Coast Regional Council chief
executive Chris Ingle said that council
did not have regular workshops each
“I would estimate that over the
whole year we would spend no more
than two to three hours, in total, in
workshops with our councillors,” Mr
Those workshops were not open to
the public, no minutes were taken and
no decisions made.
The amount of time spent on
workshops over the past three years
had not changed.
“The main purpose of a workshop is
to enable councillors to get briefings
on topics to a greater level of detail
than would normally be possible at
normal council meetings,” he said.
Blackball pub calls ‘time’
Councils meet behind closed doors
20 Turumaha Street, Greymouth Phone 03 768 4952
Call us for any mechanical or WOF needs. We are the West
Coast’s only authorised Nissan and Hyundai service agent.
HYUNDAI SANTA FE
Excludes banded packs.
Offer valid 25th August - 21st September 2014
Because nature doesn’t
compromise on quality,
neither does Blackmores.
Links Archive September 5th 2014 September 8th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page