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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
in Buller River
Westport Harbour staff were
this afternoon keeping a close eye
on a yacht that was believed to
have slipped its moorings. A port
spokesman said they had received
a report that a vessel was dragging
its anchor and drifting about 500m
from the mouth of the Buller River.
The spokesman said it had been
anchored at Marrs Beach and had
since drifted to Shingles Beach. “ We
are not sure if anyone is aboard, but
we are watching it closely.”
to the rescue
An off-duty firefighter was in the
right place at the right time today,
dousing a car that caught fire north
of the Parkers Creek bridge, at Te
Taho, near Whataroa. The Ross
fireman was driving south when
he came across the fire. He flagged
down a passing bus, grabbed the
fire extinguisher off it and put the
fire out. Whataroa Volunteer Fire
Brigade fire chief Ian Phillips said
all of the occupants of the burning
vehicle got out safely.
Crash put down
Greymouth police say inattention
caused a motorist travelling
along Alexander Street yesterday
afternoon to crash into a parked
car. No one was injured in the 2pm
crash. Meanwhile, a 19-year-old
Greymouth man spent the night in
the police cells after he was arrested
in Hokitika as a result of a domestic
Mainly fine, coastal showers, cold
Jailed broadcaster Rolf Harris has
been banned from painting behind
bars because his oils pose a fire risk.
The disgraced entertainer is said to
be in much demand from fellow
inmates to sketch them at HMP
Bullingdon, where he is ser ving
a five-year, nine-month sentence.
However, in place of his favourite
oil paints, he has had to resort to
pencils after prison bosses decided
flammable oil paints were a risk
to health and safety. Harris, who
is planning an appeal against his
conviction, was said to be regularly
asked by fellow inmates queuing
outside his cell to capture their
likeness. But without his oils, the
best he can do for them is a quick
pencil sketch. — Daily Mail
Two historic features of Catholic
education in Greymouth — the
two-storey brick building that
was once the core of the former
St Mary’s High School, and the
entire former Marist Brothers High
School across the road — are to be
The old St Columba Hall, now
used as the John Paul II High
School gymnasium, also has a cloud
hanging over it.
The demolition is part of
a multimillion dollar staged
redevelopment of John Paul II,
the only Catholic high school
remaining on the West Coast.
The old St Mary’s block has been
assessed as an earthquake risk and
will come down over the Christmas
John Paul II High School
principal Kieran Stone said they
were holding on until the end of
the year for the work to begin as the
building housed the school’s main
computer ser ver room, as well as the
main electricity switchboard.
“Wedo nothaveafirm date set
yet but it will be close to when
our school closes for the year on
Tuesday, December 9,” Mr Stone
It had been decided to also
demolish the old Marist block,
although the finances of that
project were still to be worked out,
and the school was looking closely
at the former St Columba Hall,
now used as the gymnasium
“The classrooms from the Marist
block, once it goes, will be replaced
by a new block on the site of the
old demolished two-storey block.”
Mr Stone said St Columba Hall
would either be strengthened or
demolished and a replacement built,
as it had been given a low rating in
an engineering assessment.
“I would suspect that the the gym
will be worked on before the Marist
block as its rating was lower. ”
A first stage of the school
redevelopment — five new
classrooms to house the home
economics and computer studies
classes — opened on July 21.
The next stage hinged on the
demolition of the St Mary’s block.
Once it was gone the area would
be planted in grass initially, until
rebuilding commenced when the
Marist block came down.
Mr Stone said the redevelopment
of the site would be carried out over
PICTURE: John Bisset
The familiar face of John Paul II High School is set to change forever, with the old St Mary’s block, middle, and Marist block, right, both to be
demolished, and possibly also the former St Columba Hall in the foreground.
The region that helped give birth
to the New Zealand Labour Party
has been denied the chance to host a
meeting with party faithful to decide
the upcoming leadership contest.
Labour’s New Zealand Council
announced 14 meetings to give
members the chance to meet leadership
candidates, currently former leader
David Cunliffe and Wellington Central
MP Grant Robertson.
The closest meeting to the West Coast
will be held in Nelson on October 28.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor said he was not upset about
“ I am not disappointed, the last thing
we need is another leadership meeting
on the West Coast. The sooner we can
get on with this and get this completed
the better the Labour Party will be. I
don’t think the West Coast will be
missing out by not having one of these
meetings,” Mr O’Connor said.
He said party members he had spoken
on the Coast were jaded. “ They are all a
bit gutted we are having to go through
He found it “disturbing” the party was
conducting a leadership campaign while
simultaneously conducting a review.
“ We should be doing a comprehensive
review of all parts of the campaign
and party structure ... the cart’s before
the horse, but we have to try to be a
comprehensive and effective opposition
for the next three years.”
However, former Buller mayor Pat
O’Dea, a Labour stalwart, said he was
sure fellow long-time party supporters
would be upset by the snub.
“I am sure the Labour loyalists would
be quite perturbed about that.
“If Labour want to succeed at anything
they need to ensure Labour support, if
they are going to leave out places like
the West Coast, they are heading in the
wrong direction for a start,” Mr O’Dea
He agreed with criticism levelled
at the party in the wake of its worst
election result since 1922, that Labour
had lost touch with the party faithful.
Labour had lost touch with its
grassroots a while back, by stopping
native logging on the Coast and by the
message its potential relationship with
the Green Party sent, Mr O’Dea said.
The dip in the global dairy market is
not necessarily all “doom and gloom”
for Westland farmers.
Chartered accountant Peter Cuff,
of Hokitika, said that while the dip
in the Global Dairy Trade auction
was pronounced, the price in the
same auction for the Westland Milk
Products mainstays of casein and skim
milk powder had been less significant.
The dip in the whole milk powder
price has had the biggest impact on
New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra.
“The latest auction saw much smaller
drops for skim milk powder, which was
only down 2.7%,” Mr Cuff said.
This was in contrast to the 10% drop
in the price of whole milk powder at
the GDT auction on Wednesday.
Mr Cuff said the other big product
for Westland, casein, was down just
1.4% in the same auction.
Coupled with a decline in the New
Zealand dollar this week,the lower price
drops for Westland ’s key commodities
meant West Coast farmers would be
less profoundly affected than those in
other parts of the country. “ This latest
reduction is probably not doom and
gloom in Westland because a couple
of the key products ...have been more
than offset by the exchange rate drop.”
Despite some farmer pessimism,
those price adjustments were probably
not going to make a “major difference”
to the Coast economy at this stage, Mr
“ Westland farmers may not suffer
from this decline as much as Fonterra.”
Westland dairy farmers carried less
overall debt than newer dairying areas
because of a long history of established
dairy farming on the Coast, Mr Cuff
Last night, Lincoln University farm
management and agronomist professor
Keith Woodford told Radio NZ that
the broad fallout from the GDT
auction was serious but “not necessarily
a disaster” for the economy.
However, he cautioned against
Westland Milk Products being reliant
on its market for casein and skim milk
powder into Russia, given the volatile
political situation with its neighbours
and the international trade sanctions.
Prof Woodford said the rural ser vice
sector was more likely to feel any
effects in the short term as farmers cut
back on their discretionary spending.
In Greymouth, Gordon Handy
Machinery said there there had been
a gradual tightening of spending by
Coast farmers in the past six months.
Matthew Mills said farmers were still
spending, but in a more considered
way — away from more spontaneous
purchases, to retaining existing
equipment through diligent ser vicing.
Westland farmers cushioned from worst of slump
The scene of a head-on collision
yesterday afternoon in the Lower
Buller Gorge that claimed the life
of a 66-year-old Seddonville woman
was described as “horrific” by the
Westport fire chief.
The dead woman was today named
as Marie Evelyn Johnstone.
Police said Mrs Johnstone was
driving a van that collided with
another vehicle on the two-lane
Omanu Bridge, near the Buller
Adventure Tours tourist attraction
“The scene was horrific,” Westport
chief fire officer Pat O’Dea said.
One person had to be cut from one
of the vehicles.
Mr O’Dea praised the work
undertaken at the scene by police, St
John and volunteer firefighters, who
“did all they could ”.
A 54-year-old man, a passenger in
the van, was flown to Christchurch
Hospital with serious head injuries.
The driver of the other car, a
suffered only minor injuries,
including a broken arm, while
a 10-year-old boy who was a
passenger in the car escaped
State highway 6, the main link
between the West Coast and Nelson,
was closed and did not reopen until
about 9 o’clock last night.
Investigators from the Nelson
police serious crash unit are
currently at the crash scene.
Mr O’Dea said the weather
conditions at the time of the crash
were not too bad.
Woman, 66, dies in ‘horrific’ Buller crash Mrs Pugh waits nervously
National Party list MP Maureen Pugh
will know tomorrow whether she will
stay or be tipped out with the counting
of 300,000 special votes.
Mrs Pugh, who was defeated by
Labour’s Damien O’Connor for the
West Coast-Tasman seat in the general
election on September 20, scraped in
anyway as the bottom ranked member
on the National Party list.
She has been in Wellington for the
past two weeks undergoing the routine
induction of new MPs, although a
National Party spokesman said at the
time it was unclear whether she would
In the election, Mr O’Connor widened
the winning margin that he had over Mrs
Pugh’s predecessor, Chris Auchinvole,
and she bombed in the traditional
National stronghold of Hokitika, where
there was a backlash over her nine-year
reign as mayor, which ended only last
year. Mrs Pugh did not return calls.
Old school coming down
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Please send your CV to:
PO Box 598, Greymouth 7840
Supervisor career opportunities available
at McDonald’s Greymouth
You will need to have open availability
and be willing to do open and closing
shifts during your 30–40 hours per week.
Very attractive package on offer, including
bonus and benefits for working with
locally owned business.
Hospitality qualifications would be
an advantage but not essential, as
fully funded NZQA/HSI Accredited
courses are available.
If you are looking for part-time work and
have open availability you may also apply.
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