Home' Greymouth Star : September 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Friday, September 26, 2014
Shantytown is starting to find its
feet financially after some tough years,
but now needs to address its ageing
buildings, the annual general meeting
heard on Wednesday.
West Coast Historical and Mechanical
Society chairman Dave McMillan said
it continued to keep costs under control.
“Financially, we continued to improve,
finished ahead of budget and have happy
bankers,” Mr McMillan said.
They had concentrated on “smart
marketing” and a “ better spend and
experience” for visitors, both through
functions or visiting the heritage park.
Mr McMillan said they faced the “usual
challenges” of road access issues with
tourists and some ageing infrastructure.
“ With tourist numbers to New
Zealand on the rise and Christchurch
slowly developing, our challenge is to
turn that into getting more visitors who
spend more time at Shantytown. ”
Chief executive Andrea Forrest said
there were positive signs as the recession
and Christchurch earthquakes were put
in the rear view mirror.
“Reflecting on the 2013-14 year,
the board, society members, staff and
the community should be proud of
how Shantytown continues to grow
and perform in ways that distances
the organisation from the situation
financially and operationally experienced
several years ago,” Ms Forrest said.
However, she acknowledged that
infrastructure continued to be a battle,
with aged buildings in constant need of
The bulk of Shantytown was built in
“Several buildings have required roof
repairs or replacement, rail track work is
ongoing and must be addressed for safety
reasons, and several IT components have
Shantytown received $17,094 for the
preparation of conser vation reports for
the Ross Coronation Hall and the No
Town Church. Both buildings are to be
restored and the reports highlighted the
value and significance of each building,
and outlined a process for restoration.
The Lion Foundation gave $4950 to
assist with materials for the 10-year boiler
sur vey for the Kaitangata steam train, and
the West Coast Community Trust gave
$5100 to assist with wage costs for work
undertaken on the boiler sur veys for the
Kaitangata and the L steam engines.
There were no changes to the board,
but they will vote in the chairman and
deputy at the next monthly meeting, on
Reefton honours Great War dead
Kath O’Sullivan, left, and Stella Hudson, secretary and
president of the Reefton RSA women’s section, pass a wreath
with 62 poppies — one for each of the men from the Reefton
district who lost their lives World War One — to RSA president
Ray Chandler. As part of preparations to mark the centenar y of
the outbreak of the war, the women’s section has been knitting
poppies for a memorial wreath that will be on display in the
Reefton Workingmen’s RSA Clubrooms.
Positive signs for Shantytown
Solid Energy says there is evidence of a
more recent rockfall in the main drift at
the Pike River Mine.
Chief executive Dan Clifford yesterday
issued a detailed statement defending
the lack of progress with the re-entry of
the mine, and confirmed that the lack of
a second escapeway was one factor.
He also said he had heard people say
the drift, or main tunnel, was “ just a big
tunnel built in strong rock”, but that was
“ We know that the roof has already
fallen at the top end and we suspect
there has been a more recent fall further
out. We know that it has been subject to
enormous stress, with four explosions.
We know that in the last 300m it is not
strong rock,” Mr Clifford said.
“It passes through a major geological
fault where all the surrounding material
is fractured . . . (and) passes through a
coal seam. You look at all that, and it
would be just foolhardy to say this is a
simple rock tunnel.”
Another complexity was the gassy
coalmine at the far end. The seal in front
of the workings, even with a perfect
placement, would still leak.
Making sure no methane leaked into
the area where people would be working
and no oxygen got back into the old
mine workings would be “incredibly
complex,” he said.
They would have to use an inert gas to
create a barrier between the oxygen and
“So far we are looking at more than
600 controls being in place and all of
them working correctly even before
anyone starts into that drift.
“ You can’t just say, ‘She’ll be right, we’ll
deal with it when we get there’.”
Meanwhile, a separate paper released
by Solid Energy under the Official
Information Act shows work was still
happening on site almost into mid-
August. Nitrogen was inserted through
the seal for two hours. Under future work
planned, it said “commence re-entry”.
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Bid to change Coast
A bid to change the West Coast
Whitebait Fishing Regulations is about
to crank up.
In August, shortly before the election,
Conser vation Minister Nick Smith
said he wanted officials to investigate
extending the West Coast whitebait
season after pressure from local
The West Coast season opens two
weeks later than the rest of the country.
However, the West Coast Whitebaiters’
Association says the local fishing season
could instead be used as a template for
the rest of New Zealand.
President Des McEnaney said the
association had suggested a working
party, which could prepare a paper for
“It’s a big piece of work,” Mr McEnaney
Asked if the review was under
way, Department of Conser vation
spokeswoman Trish Grant said:
“ We are aware that the West Coast
Whitebaiters’ Association has made a
formal request for a review of the West
Coast whitebait regulations and that
matter is currently with the Minister of
Dr Smith said last month the current
shorter West Coast season was “ by
regulation” rather than being enshrined
by specific legislation.
Apparently, the difference in the
fishing seasons pre-dates the creation
of the Department of Conser vation in
A Grey Valley mother who suffered horrific
burns during surgery at Grey Base Hospital
fronted the West Coast District Health
Board in person today
Jo Partridge went into Grey Base Hospital
in 2012 for day surgery, and came out so
badly burned she had to spend seven weeks
in the burns unit of Christchurch Hospital,
have 35 surgeries and has been left unable to
live a normal life.
The DHB apologised for a “catastrophic
equipment failure” and the Health and
Disability Commissioner launched an
Mrs Partridge initially had day surgery for
a thermal ablation, but just four minutes
into the procedure the intrauterine balloon
containing saline heated to 86degC burst
inside her. The hot liquid spilled under
pressure inside her and over her genitals and
She says not one medically trained person
in theatre at Grey Hospital that day treated
her for burns.
Today, Mrs Partridge was given 15
minutes to speak at the DHB meeting in
Greymouth. As her complaint is still under
investigation by the Health and Disability
Commissioner, her submission was met
with little comment.
“I am a wife, mother, a sister, a daughter
and an aunty — not just a uterus, vagina or
cer vix!” she said.
“I am not here to be a nuisance to the West
Coast DHB. I am passionate about the truth
being known and making your processes
better for the next patient of the West Coast
Mrs Partridge said she had lost her dignity
and happiness, now suffered chronic pain
daily, and some days she was bedridden.
She said the board had been “evasive”, even
almost two and a half years and still the DHB
are not righting the wrongs.”
They were “hiding” behind the Health and
Disability Commissioner investigation by
refusing to comment, she said.
Instead, they should be trying to find
out what caused the balloon to burst, and
passing information on to the suppliers
Mrs Partridge listed what she said were
inconsistencies: one report said 3ml to 5ml of
liquid burst, but an e-mail said the surgeon’s
gown was soaked.
“One day this could be your wife, your
mother, your sister or your daughter.
“Clearly the only people suffering throughout
all of this are myself and my family.
“I am innocent in this, I have done nothing
wrong. I trusted our DHB to provide quality
care and when something goes wrong, I
trusted our DHB to follow there own vision
and value statement.
“All I ask for is honesty -- transparency,
communication and treatment when things
In a letter to Mrs Partridge ahead of the
meeting, board chairman Peter Ballantyne
said the DHB had the draft Health and
Disability Commissioner’s report and would
“comply with any and all recommendations
made by the commissioner”.
As that commissioner’s process had not
been completed it was “ important that the
board hears what you have to say, but does not
provide comments pending the conclusion of
the process,” Mr Ballantyne said.
In a statement after ward, DHB chief
executive David Meates acknowledged that
“this tragic event has had a substantial impact
on Mrs Partridge and her family”.
“ As is appropriate, the West Coast District
Health Board has investigated what went
wrong and has implemented changes to
prevent a similar occurrence happening in the
future,” Mr Meates said.
The commissioner’s investigation was
drawing upon independent expert opinions
from clinicians not involved in the care
provided to Mrs Partridge.
The investigation was yet to be competed.
Burns victim’s plea
Woman challenges DHB to take responsibility
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