Home' Greymouth Star : September 20th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
WEST COAST FEATURE
50 years since Blackball Mine
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
brighten up town
The centre of Greymouth is set
to become a vibrant art scene next
month in celebration of the town’s
150th anniversary. West Coast
artists will breathe new life into the
town centre with colourful artwork,
the Grey District Council said in a
statement yesterday. As part of the
Real Stories campaign, the council
called for artists to collaborate
in sharing the stories, places and
history of the community. The
artwork will include colourful
banners around street poles and the
Clock Tower. In a move to brighten
up vacant shop frontages, historical
photographs will be displayed
showing Greymouth through the
decades. The artwork will remain in
place during the town’s month-long
anniversary festival, from September
27 to October 26.
Rates relief for
The Grey District Council has
agreed to provide rates relief for 17
Greymouth residents who suffered
serious property damage in Cyclone
Ita, at Easter. It will remit a total
of $7896 in rates. In June, a group
of residents wrote to the council
seeking relief for those whose
homes were left uninhabitable by
the windstorm. The council agreed
to offer assistance from the citizens
emergency relief fund.
The Department of Conser vation
says it will use contractors to
help implement native logging
monitoring of wind-throw timber
on the conser vation estate. With
the first commercial logging only
weeks away, DOC said it would use
qualified contractors to “monitor
operations to ensure they are carried
out within any approved plans”.
Fine, showers later
In the dead of the night, a man
is awoken from his slumber after
hearing noises, and panics as he sees
a shadow moving in his bedroom.
Careful not to worry his wife, he
phones the police to report a burglar
— a nd they rush to the scene. The
caller waits ner vously, but when
officers arrive they uncover an
uncomfortable truth: the supposed
thief was actually his wife’s secret
lover. It is not a plot from a film, it is
real life. So it is not surprising then,
that when the blunder was realised
in Pisa, Italy, both men ended up in
a bit of a scrap. — Metro
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Grey District Council office staff, left, donned their brightest and boldest shirts yesterday as part of Loud Shirt Day, with an added incentive — a challenge with their counterparts at the Westland District Council, right. Loud Shirt Day is
the annual appeal of The Hearing House and the Southern Cochlear Implant Paediatric Programme. The theme this year was florals and flares. Hokitika police judged the Westland council — their next door neighbour — as the loudest.
Hokitika ‘louder’ than Greymouth
Two Reefton women who were caught
in the bush as 1080 poison rained from
the sky last summer are now both
reporting ill health.
An official investigation into the
incident has been reopened.
Sisters Gwen Gardner and Kathleen
Bartlett were on Maori Gully Road,
near Kokiri, having a picnic after
checking out a property for sale, when a
helicopter with a monsoon bucket flew
overhead and dropped poisoned pellets
around their vehicle. They were close by
at the time.
The sisters say they felt ill within
40 minutes of the drop, but did not
associate it with 1080 poisoning.
They remained in the area for several
hours as they did not think it could
have been 1080, partly because they say
a sign was outdated, and the helicopter
was following the line of a creek.
However, medical tests by the Reefton
GP now show Mrs Bartlett ’s liver is
not functioning as it should, she suffers
from nausea and tiredness, and coughs
A trained singer, she says she knows
her breathing is not right.
Mrs Gardner, who spent 15 years with
St John, suffers B12 deficiency, nausea
After going public about the poison
drop, Tb Free said the pair were on
private land and should not have been
However, the sisters said they later
discovered that the photos they took of
pellets lying around the vehicle actually
recorded their GPS location — and
proves they were on a public road at the
They say that after going public, they
were ridiculed for allegedly being in the
Mrs Bartlett, who describes herself
as a “private, non-confrontational
person”, has not been named until now.
However, she said this week she wanted
to tell her story.
“ We were two innocent people
picnicking up a creek, and it was covered
in 1080. For that, we are really unwell,”
her sister said.
The women say some warning signs
out further have been updated, but not
the one on Maori Gully Road.
Their GP, a locum new to the country,
knew nothing of 1080 poison until they
turned up for their regular tests. They
say the doctor Googled the poison and
demanded an investigation.
The sisters say they want to see more
information made available for medical
They were “shocked” the case had
been closed at the time as they were
still waiting to hear back from medical
and council staff. Th ey are pleased the
investigation has been reopened.
“ We thought there was an investigation
going on (all along),” Mrs Bartlett said.
West Coast medical officer of health
Dr Cheryl Brunton said she had received
some “more updated information” this
week and as a result they were going to
“revisit some things”.
“It’s still in process of investigation.”
Tb Free northern South Island
programme manager Matt Hickson
said they were awaiting the outcome of
Dr Brunton’s report.
to relive Otira
The integrated family health
centre to adjoin the new
Greymouth Hospital could house
about 100 staff, documents show.
Ministry of Health papers,
under the Official
Information Act, show that the
$68 million hospital will get
under way next year, probably
immediately north of the current
The documents show that the
new emergency department will
operate all day and night, while
the integrated family health centre
will open between 8am and 8pm.
The family health centre will
house GPs and nurses, as well as
day chemotherapy, Maori clinics,
midwives, Allied Health, mental
health and visiting specialist teams
everything from dermatology to
cardiac and surgery.
A single reception will double as
the main hospital reception.
Appointments and referrals will
be made on the spot.
The documents say that while
staff numbers for the family health
centre have not been worked out,
a rough guide shows 100 could be
A short-stay unit will take
patients who need to be at hospital
for more than four hours, but less
than 24 hours.
A core part of the new hospital
and attached family health centre
are ‘chill out ’ spaces, such as
gardens, lounges and cafes.
Light, bright and colourful, they
will reduce boredom, fear and
anxiety, the papers say.
The hospital itself will have
single or double rooms, each with
an en suite. Paediatrics, currently
run from Parfitt Ward, will be co-
located within the family health
centre, and pathology (blood test
collection etc) will also be moved
into the centre.
The new hospital plans also
provide for a secure parking area
The new proprietor of the
old Otira Hotel hopes to find
someone who rode in a stagecoach
over the treacherous Otira zig-zag
as a child, so they can be one of
the first on board when he brings
horses back to the historic pub.
Lester Rowntree moved from
Motueka after buying the business
in May with aspirations of restoring
it to its heyday as a staging post for
coaches, and has since rebranded it
as the Otira Stagecoach Hotel to
reflect that heritage.
“O ver the years, since 1865
there have been thousands of
stagecoaches leave from this hotel,”
Mr Rowntree said.
Horse-drawn coaches continued
to ply the alpine route between
Otira and Arthur’s Pass until the
rail tunnel opened in 1923.
He was aware of one elderly
woman who travelled the route in
a stagecoach and he hoped to have
her come and take a ride when he
got his horse and carriage set up.
Coaches had not used the route
for 91 years and he estimated there
were only 10 or 20 people in the
country still alive who had gone
over the zig-zag in a coach.
“The zig-zag was one of the most
dangerous places for stagecoaches,
they got a hell of a ride when they
went over,” Mr Rowntree said.
He plans to start coach rides
from the hotel up to the mouth
of the tunnel from this summer,
and hopes to have about 14 horses
based there eventually, including
Health centre to house 100
Sisters caught in aerial poison drop
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