Home' Greymouth Star : October 14th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
The Grey District Council was
last night given an explanation —
behind closed doors — for the cost
and time of repairs to the aquatic
centre spa pool. Montgomery
Watson engineer John Strange
spoke to councillors in the in-
committee section of the monthly
meeting. Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said today the consultant gave them
an over view as to why the repairs
had taken 15 months and cost the
council $187,000. Montgomery
Watson were brought in to project
manage the repair due to a conflict
of interest with one of the council
The Grey District Council last
night agreed to spare the blushes
of chief executive Paul Pretorius
after learning that a decision from
nearly five years ago was never
processed. In December 2009, the
council approved the application
to purchase and close Rata Street,
Karoro, to through traffic. The
motion was proposed by Cr Peter
Haddock and seconded by former
councillor Karen Hamilton.
The next step would have been
public consultation. However, an
administrative error meant the
decision was not fully executed.
Last night, the council confirmed
its original decision. Mr Pretorius
apologised for the error and said he
would also apologise to the original
applicants for the oversight.
Rain eases to drizzle
After nearly 150 years, everyone
crossing the Grey River Bar will be
legally required to wear a lifejacket in
Meeting last night, the Grey District
Council approved a port bylaw for
immediate implementation. The main
addition includes the requirement for
all crew of any vessel crossing the bar to
wear a “well-fitting type 401 open water
The vests must be worn at least 200m
before and after crossing the bar, at the
responsibility of the boat master.
West Coast sea kayaker Paul Caffyn
made a submission to the council in
favour of the bylaw, and brought in three
lifejackets to demonstrate at the council
Submissions were also received from
Eric Simpson of Water Safety NZ,
and Nicole Bother way of the Waikato
The new rule will be policed by council
staff, though chief executive Paul
Pretorius said he would need to provide
them with the necessary powers to
The bylaw will apply to all vessels, “even
Councillors noted in making their
decision, the coroner’s findings in the
death of Greymouth skipper Nicholas
Eklund, who died after the Lady Anna
fishing boat overturned while crossing
the bar in April 2013.
Also under the bylaw, the council
amended its policy on stationary vessels
as a result of what Mr Pretorius described
as the “most constructive meeting we
have have had” with port users.
It was agreed that if a boat is deemed
in poor condition that presents a risk to
the port, the owner will be given 21 days
to provide a report from an engineer, and
if they do not deem it a risk they must
state for how long. If a vessel owner fails
a report, the council can insist that all
fuel and other potential pollutants be
removed within 14 days, or the vessel be
put on dry land within two months and
removed from the port within three.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Staff at the High Street Medical Centre got into the spirit of the Greymouth 150th anniversary by dressing in period costume for work today.
Practice manager Tracey Ilton said all 15 staff members joined in the “team building” exercise to mark the ongoing celebration this month of the
town’s sesquicentennial. Shantytown assisted by providing some of the period costumes, as well as mounting a small display of vintage medical
instruments at the practice, and the Greymouth Operatic Society also provided some of the ensembles worn by staff.
Surgery steps back in time
Punakaiki beekeeper Roy Arbon has
sold up and moved his main hives to the
North Island because of 1080 poison on
the West Coast.
The organic beekeeper had based his
bee operation just north of Barrytown
for the past 22 years, but was concerned
the use of the toxin by the Animal
Health Board and Department of
Conser vation was affecting his bees.
“The 1080 is dropped in the
wintertime and the bees pick up the
residue on the rata vine and take it back
to the hive. No chemical company will
test for it — the only people that will
test for it is Landcare,’’ Mr Arbon told
Mr Arbon has moved most of his
hives to Ruatoria, on the East Coast,
where he can ensure the bees are in a
“ It is one of the few 1080-free areas
left in the country,” he said.
The Paparoa Bee Co produces organic
comb honey, cream honey, pollen and
beeswax for the New Zealand market
and exports about 10 tonnes of honey
to the United States annually.
“I am the only person able to export
the organic honey to the US under
manuka,’’ Mr Arbon said.
Despite his move, he was positive
about organic beekeeping in New
“Prospects for New Zealand organic
beekeeping are good, but the time is
not right for natural beekeeping until
we get another incursion of EFB
(European foulbrood) or hive beetle.
‘“ It’s not about the money, it’s about
the environment. Our grandchildren
won’t know bees without man’s input
because of all the chemicals and not
doing it naturally,” he said. — O DT
1080 drives out
US psychologist sacked under 90-day law
The West Coast Primary Health
Organisation is not saying how much
it cost to bring a new staff member
over from the United States, only
to dismiss him after less than two
months in the job.
Psychologist Dr Jonathan Ames was
recruited to the PHO in Greymouth
from Berkeley, California.
Dr Ames said he was fired under
the 90-day termination law “after
less than two months (August 6 to
September 24)”. D uring his time
on the West Coast he had worked
with GP offices in Greymouth
and Hokitika as a primary mental
health provider. Under provisions
of the 90-day termination trial law,
he said he was not provided with a
specific reason for his dismissal, other
than “general incompatibility”. Dr
Ames has taken a complaint to the
Employment Relations Authority.
PHO executive officer Helen
Reriti said yesterday : “Mr Ames
was dismissed from our employ and
has initiated proceedings with the
Employment Relations Authority”.
She did not answer a question on
what the relocation had cost.
Mayor fails to win support
for cut-price wharf sale
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn was left stranded by his
councillors last night as he tried to
let Westfleet buy a “useless strip of
land” on the wharf far cheaper than
the council had previously agreed.
In August the council agreed to sell
the sliver of land on the river side of
the new Westfleet building for $70 a
However, Westfleet managing
director Craig Boot responded that
he would not buy at that price as he
had a valuation at $50 a metre.
Mr Kokshoorn was last night
prepared to concede and sell the 1790
square metres for $89,500, but when
he asked for a seconder to his motion
he was met with stony silence.
Cr Peter Haddock argued that
under standing orders the meeting
should move on to the next issue, but
he was overruled by the Mayor.
Cr Cliff Sandrey said the council
had been “reasonably generous” in
negotiations with Westfleet and he
did not appreciate them acting like
Mr Kokshoorn said the council
should accept the money for a “ little
strip of land that is useless for us”.
“ No one else will buy that piece
of land off us. Let’s throw it in with
the rest and get on with economic
Cr Kevin Brown said their
responsibility was to the ratepayers:
“ We have got to make a decision that
is fair to the ratepayers.”
The council had agreed to a value
of the $50 a metre for the land
which had already been sold, and Mr
Kokshoorn argued that the council
would have given this section to
Westfleet for the same cost had it
asked for it then.
Cr Brown disagreed: “ That is
history, as far as I am concerned.”
Mr Kokshoorn said Mr Boot had
“ in no uncertain terms” told them he
would not pay more for the land.
“At the end of the day, we could get
$90,000 that we could pay off our
debt with ... it could be a win-win,
but we are cutting off our nose to
spite our face.”
He appealed for support once more,
but again he was on his own.
Chief executive Paul Pretorius said
that with no decision the item would
have to be left. “ It hangs in the air
New bylaw immediate
A pet parrot that spoke with a
British accent when it disappeared
from its home four years ago has
been reunited with its owner —
and the bird now speaks Spanish.
Southern California veterinarian
Teresa Micco tracked Nigel’s
microchip to Darren Chick, a Brit
who lives in Torrance, California. “ I
introduced myself and said, ‘Have
you lost a bird?’” Micco told the
newspaper. “ He initially said, ‘No.’
But he thought I meant recently.”
When she verified Chick’s name
and said she had his African grey
parrot, “He looked at me like I
was crazy.” He said his bird went
missing four years earlier. Little is
known about Nigel’s whereabouts
the past four years, but Chick says
the bird’s British accent is gone, and
it now chatters in Spanish.
— Star Tribune
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