Home' Greymouth Star : September 11th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, September 11, 2014
Scrub fire put out
A scrub fire along the Rapahoe
Straight was doused quickly by the
Runanga Volunteer Fire Brigade on
Tuesday afternoon. Chief fire officer
Gavin Gibbens said firefighters
dampened down the flames and
shovelled dirt on to it. The fire was
unattended and may have been
suspicious, he said.
Chemical leak training
The Westport Fire Brigade
undertook some training last
night with the scenario of leaking
chemicals. Chief fire officer Pat
O’Dea said the exercise went well.
“It is also a timely reminder for
anyone who has chemicals that are
no longer any use to them, to dispose
of them in the proper manner,” he
said. Mr O’Dea said that chemicals
should not be kept too long. “ People
wanting to know how to dispose of
chemicals should contact the West
Coast Regional Council or their
local fire brigade for advice.”
Caesarean births audit
All emergency Caesarean
sections undertaken at Grey Base
Hospital are now being recorded in
preparation for an audit, which will
be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary
team from the West Coast District
Health Board. The board also said
results from the maternity feedback
sur veys had been collated and a
summary would go to staff at the
maternity unit. Results indicated
that most West Coast women were
booking within their first trimester
and all women completing the
sur vey felt that their post-natal care
needs had been met.
West Coast District Health Board
chief executive David Meates and
Hokitika Grey Power president
Colleen Freitas will be among the
guests at Government House this
week for investiture ceremonies. Mr
Meates will be presented with the
MNZM for ser vices to health, and
Mrs Freitas the QSM for ser vices to
senior citizens and the community.
Health work placements
West Coast Maori students
interested in a career in health
will go into health placements this
month. The rangatahi/youth work
placement programme is being
organised by the Maori health
team at the West Coast District
Health Board with assistance from
Mokowhiti consultancy. This is
the first time the work placement
programme has been offered on the
West Coast and is available to Year
12-13 students who have expressed
an interest in health as a career. Up
to 12 places are available.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
One Greymouth vessel. Departures:
Two Greymouth vessels. In port:
Remus, Cook Canyon, 19 other
vessels. Expected departures: Cook
Canyon, tomorrow; Remus, Sunday.
Expected arrivals: Jay Elaine,
tomorrow; Anatoki, Sunday.
Heat on Pugh’s mayoral record
of the Hokitika Guardian
Labour has challenged National Party
candidate Maureen Pugh on her record as
Westland mayor, referring to the council’s
Deputy leader and finance spokesman
David Parker, in Hokitika yesterday, raised
the issue about the mess inherited by the
current council, when Mrs Pugh stepped
down from the mayoralty in 2013.
However, Mrs Pugh retaliated yesterday,
accusing Mr Parker of “dirty politics”.
Labour was now “sledging across the
bottom of the barrel with its dirty politics,”
Mr Parker said the dire finances of the
Westland District Council were “a matter of
Mrs Pugh needed to pass the same
test expected of every political candidate
or party seeking to represent the public
interest, he said.
He said it was mystifying why Mrs
Pugh had not yet fronted her mayoral
record, given that she was canvassing
to be a steward of taxpayers’ money in
“ Why won’t she talk about it? There’s
nothing secret there — she should be
willing to talk about her record as mayor. ”
Last month questions were put to Mrs
Pugh about the level of council debt and
the state of the finances, resulting in the
highest rate increases in New Zealand last
year, but she refused to answer, saying they
were “politically motivated” and she would
only answer questions that were put equally
to all candidates.
“ Why does the National candidate not
have to answer questions around her record
as mayor? It’s absolutely fundamental,” Mr
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor, who accompanied Mr Parker,
said local feedback was that rate increases
on the back of the legacy from Mrs Pugh’s
tenure at the council helm were really
Mr Parker cited the $10 million
Taramakau Bridge replacement, announced
by Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee
during the campaign and claimed by Mrs
Pugh as her initiative, as a sign that she and
her party lacked credibility when it came to
spending public money.
The election “ bribe” so soon after
spending $8m on fixing the existing
bridge, went to “the core” of National’s
It also indicated that the party offered
nothing real for regional development, Mr
Mrs Pugh responded by lashing out at Mr
O’Connor, not Mr Parker.
She said it was “no surprise” that as the
heat came on the “game” would “get dirty”
and Mr O’Connor would bring Mr Parker
in to “throw a bit of mud”.
She had no doubt the questions over her
mayoralty had been “promoted by the little
anti-council ratepayer group in Hokitika
that has O’Connor as a supporter”.
In her nine years as mayor, Westland
district had acheived the lowest rates per
ratepayer on the West Coast every year.
She compared Westland debt with the
other West Coast councils, despite the other
councils having a different baseline, saying
that Westland owed under half that of its
“ Westland under my term started with
$7m of debt and ended up with $15.4m of
debt,” Mrs Pugh said.
Claims of millions of dollars “missing” —
money borrowed by the council initially to
capitalise its companies — was nonsense
and “not worth replying to”.
Westland had contended with govern-
ment-imposed requirements across a
large district, where 87% of the land
was administered by the Department of
Her council “never shied away ” from
investing in water and waste disposal, and
each decision was voted by the full council,
Mrs Pugh said.
In the same period Westland had won
millions of dollars in subsidies and grants
for various projects.
“A lot of these improvements were funded
by debt, but we still held our debt at the
lowest on the Coast.”
Thursday September 11
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
family would like to
express their appreci-
ation to relatives, friends
and neighbours for the
cards, messages, flowers
and food and to those
service, following the
sad loss of Colleen. Also
thank you to Robin Hill.
Please accept this as our
ment. Colleen will be
forever in our hearts.
1955 to September 11,
2013. Missing you al-
Les, Rob and
Robert Joseph (Bob).
Passed away peace-
fully surrounded by his
Manor, Greymouth on
September 9, 2014, in
his 85th year. Dearly
loved husband for 59
years of Beryl, loved
and respected father and
father-in-law of Karen
Da Via (Kaz) and Rex
Barbara, Graeme and
Jude and Tony Smail,
Michelle, special mate
of Willy the dog, dearly
loved grandad of his 10
grandchildren and his
children, and a loved
uncle, cousin and friend.
“At Peace Now.” Mes-
sages to 186 Preston
Road, Blaketown 7805.
Flowers respectfully de-
clined, donations to St
John would be appreci-
ated and can be made at
the chapel or posted to
PO Box 508, Greymouth
7840. A funeral service
for Bob will be held in
the William Sampson
Memorial Chapel, 134
Tainui Street, Grey-
mouth on Monday at
2pm, followed by cre-
mation at the Westland
Funeral Services Ltd,
Phone (03) 768 0250,
HUNT, William (Bill).
Two years ago today
you left us. But we still
love you and all the
good times we had
together, memories we
shared. We all miss you
Suzanne, Diane and the
late Colin, grandchildren
Damien O’Connor (Labour):
do not support immediate
amalgamation of all councils but
believe more has to be done to share
administrative ser vices, planning and
resource management to reduce any
duplication in these areas.
“O ur region is the equivalent
distance of Auckland to Wellington
and there is the physical reality
of ser vicing a very large area that
requires separate ser vice bases in
each of the major towns. The unitary
council model that merges districts
with regions has yet to prove huge
beneficial in any region and local
democracy is still the best way of
keeping local government honest and
Kevin Hague (Green): “I ’m pretty
relaxed about that, and can genuinely
see both sides of the argument.
“I have previously expressed some
concerns that in some cases our
councillors are drawn from the very
industries they end up regulating
(mining and dairy at the regional
council level) and I think that makes
it very hard to avoid conflicts of
interest. Some level of amalgamation
might help avoid that problem,
and would mean we may be able
to draw on the very best people
from the entire Coast (a deeper
pool). Amalgamation would almost
certainly be more efficient too,
meaning potentially rates would be a
little bit cheaper.
On the other hand the issues vary
pretty widely up and down the Coast,
and I think most people in Buller or
South Westland would struggle to
feel they had proper representation in
an amalgamated council. Either way,
West Coasters should decide, not
central government. ”
Maureen Pugh (National): “Unless
compelling evidence is presented and
tested that proves the districts would
be better off, my answer is no. We have
seen other mergers that promised big
savings. Most have failed to deliver.
“The independence of each of
the districts is important. We are a
large and diverse region with many
“The most important aspect is to
work closely together to bring about
savings and the councils have been
working towards that for several
Claire Holley (Conservative):
“No. The roles of the regional council
should be seceded down to the district
councils, but wherever possible, not
duplicated along with the rates that
go with them.
incorporated approach, not parochial,
but determined and efficient. The
Conser vative Party are all for cutting
the waste (bureaucracy) and focusing
on core ser vices.
Peter Salter (Ban 1080): “It is
not the number of councils that
is the problem, it is the quality of
people who run them that cause the
problem. Good local governance
has definitely been lacking in some
West Coast candidates on the mat: councils
With the election now just nine days away, the Greymouth Star picked some hot topics to put to the candidates
standing in West Coast-Tasman. Today, they tackle the question: ‘Should the West Coast still have four councils?’
Greymouth High School students Taegan Bourke singing and Emily Urban rehearse their song and dance for the school’s annual
Variety Show, which opens tonight in the Coxon Hall and showcases the array of talented students at the school. Performances will
feature piano recitals, a violinist, singers and dancers. Tickets are $5 and there will be door sales.
Show highlights students’ talents
The West Coast
District Health Board
says more patients were
transferred over winter to
It recorded a rise in
the number of tertiary
transfers in June (42) and
The board said the
majority of the June
transfers were for
coronary, orthopaedic and
general surgical patients,
with the main reason that
the specialty care was not
available at Grey Base
July transfers were
for a broader range of
specialties, including for
specialty care and due to
severity of illness.
There were 16 transfers
from Westport to Grey
Base Hospital in June
2014, and 10 transfers
in July. Seven transfers
were made from Reefton
to Grey Base Hospital
in June 2014, and two in
More Coast patients
A 30-year-old Kowhitirangi man who
threatened to shoot himself during a
phone call to Inland Revenue on Tuesday
was remanded when he appeared in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday.
The man had called IRD around
midday after he had been sent a letter
about child maintenance. D uring the
conversation he said, “I might as well
shoot myself in the face”.
He was later located by police, who
found 14g of cannabis and a cannabis
pipe in his car. He was ordered to have no
contact with the IRD, and was remanded
until September 23.
A 22-year-old Greymouth man who
threatened to stab his neighbour and
stole from a bottle store was remanded
until September 23.
Connor John Prendergast stole two
$5.99 bottles of cider from Liquorland,
and also threatened to stab his neighbour.
When he confessed to the offending
at the Greymouth Police Station,
Prendergast said that had intended to
commit more crime until he ended up in
Electronet has been given consent to
build a 150m-long rock wall, and top up
the existing wall, on the Taramakau River
by the Dillmanstown power station.
A full inspection a year ago found
the powerline along the left bank, just
downstream of the powerhouse tail race,
was “under direct attack” from the river.
If left, the power pole could be lost. There
was also erosion downstream, where a
new pole had been placed.
Electronet asked to do “priority one”
works, including a new 150m section of
rockwall. About 3600 tonnes of rock will
be needed, costing $130,000.
It will also strengthen two existing spur
groynes, and top up some of the existing
Electronet had been told that some of
the rock already there had been poorly
placed and looked as though it was being
undercut by the river at the toe.
Both training walls leading from the
tail race to the Taramakau River needed
topping up with large rocks, consultants
The West Coast Regional Council
granted the consent this week.
Labour promises regional
of the Hokitika Guardian
Labour says it will incentivise
primary business investment on
the Coast to ensure the region
Labour deputy leader and
finance spokesman David Parker
underlined the need for more
focused Government economic
development, at the end of a two-
day visit to the West Coast.
Mr Parker cited the
announcement by National of
a new Taramakau Bridge as
evidence it had little economic
vision for the Coast beyond a
piece of infrastructure.
During his visit to the Coast
two weeks ago Prime Minister
John Key also told workers more
jobs and better pay were utterly
dependent on the vagaries of “the
Labour has outlined a plan
for the Coast which includes
reversing the conditions which
have caused the loss of hundreds
of jobs in the region over the past
Mr Parker said yesterday the
lack of economic detail being
peddled by National did not
answer pleas from primary export
industry players to make it easier
to invest in manufacturing to add
value to basic raw products like
National had “refused to
address” these kind of underlying
economic conditions, which
ensured the viability of the
Coast ’s core primary export
industries — forestry, mining,
agriculture, and fishing.
A change in monetary policy
under Labour away from a
“speculative economy ” would
fundamentally address this, he
Mr Cunliffe said a shift in
monetary policy would also
immediately benefit a company
like Westland Milk Products
whose $850 million turnover was
being inhibited by an over valued
currency, by 15%.
A change to that would
immediately increase that
company ’s turnover by $120
National had also offered little
detail on how it would ensure
economic benefit to every
contributor, he said.
Labour intended to double the
rate of depreciation, or tax break,
on new equipment investment
to boost primary goods
manufacturing, and ultimately
This kind of shift would directly
boost local employers in major
Westland players like forestry.
“ We export far too many
raw logs from New Zealand,
so we want to encourage more
production in New Zealand.”
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Labour deputy leader David Parker with West Coast Tasman MP
Damien O’Connor in Hokitika yesterday.
of the Westport News
Dairy farmers are feeling both the
negative and positive effects of the West
Coast ’s dry spell.
Westport has had 23 days so far
without rain. It is the second-longest dry
spell for both Westport and Hokitika
airports since their records began in
1944 and 1963 respectively.
Cape Foulwind farmer Oubaas
Pretorius said, as of yesterday, his farm
had gone 28 days without getting any
rain. “It’s getting tough.”
He said he had never experienced
anything like it in the Buller, especially
considering that it was the “rainy
He had enough feed to last through to
the beginning of October and welcomed
any rain to take some pressure of his feed
John Milne, who also farms at Cape
Foulwind, said the fine weather was
mostly a positive. “It’s good to have fine
weather during calving time.”
He said grass growth had been a bit
slower than usual but if the area got
some warm rain soon, growth would
pick up again.
Milk production was still healthy, in
part due to the efficient pasture use. The
paddocks were not bogged down with
mud like they tended to be at this time
of year, he said.
Te Kuha farmer Johnny Reedy junior
said he was also benefiting from the fine
It was quite a wet winter, so there was
still enough soil moisture in the ground
to last through the current dry spell, he
Cape Foulwind sharemilker Lauren
Jordan said it was very dry now but the
rain would come and probably would
not stop. The fine weather meant her
calves were thriving.
Mr Pretorius said the dry weather
was particularly concerning given this
season was looking to be a low payout
Late last month, Westland Milk
Products revised its forecast payout for
the 2014-15 season down to $5.40-$5.80
per kilogram of milk solids (KgMS).
Last season, the predicted payout
reached $7.50-$7.70 per KgMS.
Mr Pretorius said he had to put his
head down and carry on working. He
had no control over the payout, interest
rates or the weather.
“If I can sur vive this season, I think I
will sur vive the rest.”
He said insects — such as the porina
moth, the manuka beetle and the grass
grub, that laid their eggs in soil — were
causing more problems than the near-
He had sprayed three times already
this year to control the pests, and would
be in dire straits if he had not.
Despite the current situation, the West
Coast was still one of the better places to
farm in New Zealand, he said.
Metser vice has forecast the end of the
dry spell, with showers, rain or drizzle
expected on Friday and continuing for
at least a week.
A dry spell is defined as a period of 15
days or more with less than 1mm of rain
on any one day.
Good and bad for dairy
farmers in dry spell
A working group will be formed to
push the proposed Westport floodwall,
with members to report back to the
West Coast Regional Council by June
Greymouth already has a floodwall,
and now that Hokitika has a seawall,
attention has turned to the north.
Westport is particularly vulnerable
to flooding because it is on the flood
plain between the Buller River and the
Orowaiti River and estuary, leaving the
town an island at times.
Buller and West Coast regional
councillors met on August 27 to discuss
flood modelling work. The workshop
recommended a working group be
It will look at refining the plan,
engineering solutions and will produce
detailed flood hazard maps.
The membership will be drawn from
both councils, and consultants.
74 MACKAY STREET. GREYMOUTH. 03 768 0518.
NBS is not a registered bank.
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