Home' Greymouth Star : October 20th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
best of 2014
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
MONDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Arrest in 7yr
NZ cold case
Boys, 17, in
Two 17-year-old schoolboys were
involved in a firearms incident in
the Taylor ville area late on Saturday
evening. A local resident reported
hearing a shot being fired on Kaiata
Road, along the Dobson straight,
managing to take down vehicle
registration details at the same
time. Constable Mary Cawley, of
Greymouth police, said the boys
admitted their part, explaining they
were out spotlighting for deer. “ Their
story is they thought they saw some
deer eyes,” Ms Cawley said. Both
boys apparently held a firearms
licence, the driver pulling over to
allow his passenger to take a shot.
Police say the collapse of a
young Kumara woman early on
Saturday after an emergency call-
out at 7am appears to be entirely
medical related. Firefighters
were administering CPR to the
woman who was having difficulty
breathing, when it emerged she
had been drinking alcohol earlier
and there was suspicion her drinks
may have been spiked with drugs.
Police cordoned off the property
and the woman was taken to Grey
Base Hospital. A subsequent
investigation turned up a small
amount of cannabis at the property.
It is the world’s most aggressive and
venomous spider, normally confined
to the tropical forests of South
America. But one family was left
‘deeply traumatised’ when a Brazilian
wandering spider was delivered to
their South London home — by
Waitrose. The lethal arachnid had
been hiding in bananas when drivers
dropped off the on-line groceries.
And although dad Tim managed to
trap the beast, it ripped off its own
leg to escape, sparking a tense hunt
as the couple and their two sons,
aged seven and eight, fled the house.
They were so terrified they could
not even spend the night in their
own home once the spider had been
captured. And when the Waitrose
worker lifted up the bananas, they
spotted a sac containing hundreds of
spider eggs. — Daily Mail
Fine with light winds
Greymouth Star On-line
After a five-year battle and $300,000
in legal fees, the Grey District Council
has settled the saga of the sagging
beams at the Greymouth aquatic centre
and will have new beams installed next
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn today
announced that the long-running
dispute had been settled out of court
for an undisclosed fee.
“ We have had a settlement, it is
substantial. We are extremely pleased
with it. It enables us to completely
replace the five beams. All in all, council
is extremely satisfied. Now we can move
on from the longstanding problem.” Mr
Without disclosing the figure, he
said the council had been compensated
“in every aspect ” and already had the
money in the bank.
However, the settlement did not
include legal fees of $300,000
incurred over the five years since the
problem emerged. Despite not getting
recompense for the legal fees, the
council was still pleased, the Mayor
“ We were told by council lawyers that
we could expect to pay up to $800,000
if this continued.”
Mr Kokshoorn said the council was
one of several parties involved in the
dispute, and not all of them wanted the
figures released. However, under the
Local Government Act the council was
obliged to release the figures.
“ Under the law, local government has
to report all of these financial figures.
(The other parties) have to accept
we are a public entity and we have to
divulge these figures.”
The information would be revealed in
the annual report, which was due to be
approved by the council on October 30.
“From the time (the beams) were put
up, they started sagging straight away.”
Mr Kokshoorn said they remained
safe, but aesthetically they were “not
“They were always safe, but it didn’t
look right. They were allowed to sag
90mm and ended up sagging 190mm.
We don’t want 50 years of that.”
The current 600mm beams would
be replaced with beams of 900mm.
Replacing the beams was a “complex
but quite feasible” task.
“The preferred way to replace them
is to remove the sheets of iron above
the beam. With a crane they remove
each sagging beam and the new beam
is pushed in under the roof and re-
established ... under that system we
keep the roof intact.”
Work would not start until early next
year and would take about six weeks
to complete. D uring that time the
pool would have to close, though the
settlement package includes the loss of
income for that time.
The sagging beams will be another
aquatic centre issue remedied, following
the spa pool re-tiling which was
completed in August after 15 months.
The council is seeking restitution on the
spa work and that issue is still before
Most recently, floor coverings have
started lifting in localised areas.
Runanga slip ‘biggest in decades’
PICTURE: Adam Ewen
The Twelve Apostles Range, north of Greymouth, did its best to become eleven about 8.30am on Saturday, when a massive wedge of the high eastern
escarpment facing Rapahoe collapsed, sweeping everything in its path back to bedrock before coming to a halt in heavy bush. The volume of the slip was
estimated at several thousand tonnes, and is believed to be one of the largest failures seen on the high cliffs in many decades. Runanga township can be
seen in the upper left distance.
With a roar that sounded
like jet planes, a huge landslide
crashed down the Twelve Apostles
Range near Runanga on Saturday
Tom Griffin said they heard the
roar about 8.30am.
“I was talking to my neighbour
and the next thing he said, ‘look at
that ’. I looked over and the face was
coming down,” Mr Griffin said.
“For a start I thought it was a
couple of jet fighters screaming
through. The echoing around the
hills didn’t help.”
A couple of smaller slips came
down yesterday, too, he said.
Looking through binoculars, he
said he could see a “great block
sitting up there” waiting to go.
Neal Martin also heard a roar
“ like a large wind”, while Rose
Murcott said they initially
wondered if it could be thunder.
“Then we thought it might be
a tornado. We knew it wasn’t an
earthquake because nothing shook,”
Mrs Murcott said.
With the slip obscured from
their house, it was only when her
husband went for a drive that they
realised what had happened.
Mary Trayes heard a rumble but
thought it was just a truck: “I heard
all about it when I went out to
She reported the “big rock fall
avalanche” to the West Coast
Regional Council, which keeps
records of such things, and the
Department of Conser vation
which manages the Rapahoe Range
Scenic Reser ve.
Neighbours told her the rocks
bouncing down the hillside could
be heard smashing the trees on the
“There have been many other
rockfalls along that face between
the Cobden end through to Point
Elizabeth — you can see traces of
them still — but this is the biggest
I have seen in 35 years living here,”
Ms Trayes said.
Council faces protest over 1080 factory
by news the West Coast Regional
Council has invested in a 1080
poison plant at Rolleston, have issued
a rallying call for people to turn out
en masse for a protest on Thursday.
It will be held outside the regional
council offices at Paroa from noon to
Organiser Alan Gurden was already
working on a protest over a pending
Blackball aerial poison drop when
news emerged about the factory.
“ Very strong feelings are getting
even stronger in light of the latest
acquisition. I would like to think we
can get 500, but previous attempts
have shown a feeble turnout,” Mr
“ We are demonstrating the effect
it does have on the community by
getting as many to turn out as we
can. We are concerned and affected.”
Ban 1080 Party candidate Peter
Salter said banning the toxin
nationally would be difficult.
“But this (Rolleston factory) is one
we can do something about,” Mr
Salter said. “ With the power of the
people, we can get it reversed.”
Past protests had been about
dropping the poison, but now it
was about the council buying into a
factory with ratepayers’ funds, which
was a “different kettle of fish”.
Kumara activist Nicki Calcott said
the biggest protest was several years
ago in Hokitika, when 300 people
turned out for a street march.
“ People are angrier since the
council revealed their investment in
the Rolleston pest control factory.
(The council) have total disregard for
the people, who are their ratepayers,”
Ms Calcott said.
A public meeting is also planned.
Drugs, alcohol, and firearms all featured
in a busy weekend for Greymouth police.
Eight arrests were made, with others
Constable Mary Cawley said the result
showed the benefit of having police on
the beat during weekends to apprehend
On Friday afternoon a 21-year-old
Greymouth man was arrested for breach
of bail, and that night a 36-year-old
Omoto man was charged with possession
of cannabis, utensils and manufacturing
A 29-year-old Greymouth man was
arrested on Saturday and charged with
assault and possession of cannabis, while
a 21-year-old woman associated with
him was also taken in and charged with
possession of cannabis.
Early yesterday, six arrests were made
in two separate incidents. Two 19-year-
old men were charged with fighting in a
public place at a Greymouth hotel, and
about 6am four men in their early to
mid-20s were spotted interfering with a
commercial vehicle parked on a property
in the central business district.
Police dogs successfully tracked down
the quartet, all of whom were charged
with being unlawfully on private
Eight weekend arrests
Runanga, D unollie and Rapahoe
residents will be back to their regular
water pressure tomorrow after the
town reservoir burst, spilling an
estimated 630,000 litres of water.
Grey District Council utilities
engineer Kurtis Perrin-Smith said
one of the water pipes broke early on
Saturday morning, and while it had
since been fixed, residents had been
asked to conserve water all weekend.
The reservoir held 900,000 litres of
water and estimated it would have
been about 70% full when the pipe
Most residents had water but those
in higher properties ran out.
Prior to the pipe bursting the low
water level alarm did not activate
and the council would check why it
had not gone off. Th e alarms were
checked each week.
At the council meeting last week
the budget for earthquake burst
valves was carried over from last
year, with Runanga as one of three
supplies still to have valves installed.
Assets manager Mel Sutherland
said the burst valve had not been
installed yet because they also
needed to replace the pipeline to the
The valves were designed to come
into effect during an earthquake to
hold the water so the reser voirs did
not drain out.
Mr Sutherland said they had
been progressively working through
the outlying reser voirs over the
years and had already completed
Blackball, Stillwater, Dobson and
However, they were still to install
valves at Runanga, Omoto and
Mr Perrin-Smith said the valve
may have stopped the water from
being lost at the weekend.
Water levels were currently
building back up and the council
expected it would be back to normal
by midday tomorrow with the help
of water pumped from the Sids
Runanga taps run dry as reservoir bursts
We’ve got solutions at
Think Water West Coast
We stock a large range of drip irrigation products
to suit all your home gardening needs, including
filters, fittings and differrent sizes to ensure you
finish the job.
Think Water West Coast specialise in the supply
and servicing of pumping systems, irrigation
systems, swimming pools and spa pools, water
treatment and water filtration systems.
Think Water West Coast is locally owned and
operated and based in Greymouth but travel up
and down the entire length of the West Coast.
We are a member of a group of more than 45
irrigation and general water solutions businesses
operating in New Zealand and Australia.
Drop on in today, you won’t believe the range
of products we have for water!
THINK WATER WEST COAST
59 Guinness St, Greymouth P. 03 768 6993 F. 03 768 6964 E. email@example.com
Links Archive October 18th 2014 October 21st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page