Home' Greymouth Star : November 7th 2014 Contents Brendon McMahon
Whitebaiters at the mouth of the New
River are angry at repeated flushes of dirty
water from upstream.
Bob Harding contacted the Greymouth
Star on Wednesday, frustrated at repeated
surges of silt laden water down the river
over the previous five days.
The river was “crystal clear” at 6.30am on
Wednesday, but within an hour it was a
“mud pile,” Mr Harding said.
Dirty flows down the river had occurred
over the past three weeks, with the West
Coast Regional Council repeatedly telling
Mr Harding it was “getting on to it ”.
“ Today, we’ve actually got diesel scum on
the screen ... (on Tuesday) morning it was
The dirty water ordinarily left a thick
muddy build-up on nets and screens.
“The other day we could have pulled up
the screen here and put seeds in it and
grown a garden. ”
With several goldmining operations
upriver it was not unreasonable to question
mine discharge, he said.
“Council is paid to do a job and they ’re
not doing it. If they are doing it, they can’t
be seen doing it. ”
Several other whitebaiters, including Mr
Harding’s brother Henry, had reported the
Regional council consents and
compliance manager Jackie Adams said
today his staff were actively monitoring the
river for contamination.
A staff member had walked the first
10km of the river from the mouth, since
The three consented mining operations
had been ruled out but the probable
contamination had been found.
Someone had been stripping back soil
from the riverbank, about 2km above the
Notown Road bridge near the confluence
of Maori Creek with New River.
“The river came through and took the
soil out. We’re not sure who was in there
working, but it was on DOC land,” Mr
The earthworks appeared to be an
attempt to make a ramp down to the river,
possibly to extract gravel. No consents had
been issued but the soil had been stripped
back into a large stockpile on the edge.
Birchfields Mining had since assisted the
regional council by removing the stockpile,
Mr Adams said.
2 - Friday, November 7, 2014
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Friday 6pm until
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Ph 768 0250
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Dr Amber Bone
1080 poison, tea
Conser vation Minister Maggie
Barry was asked in Parliament
yesterday if she would eat a 1080
poison bait. “Given her statement
that ‘there is more 1080 in a cup
of tea’, will the minister give the
House an assurance that she is just
as happy and willing to eat a 1080
poison bait as she is to drink a cup
of tea; if not, why not?” United
Future’s Richard Prosser asked.
Mrs Barry replied: “I used the cup
of tea example to really try to
make that apparent to the member
of your party who asked me this
question a few weeks ago. Let us
be very clear on this. The fact is
that 1080 breaks down very
quickly when exposed to water.
Five hundred water samples
have been taken from 1080 aerial
operations over the past five years.
No trace of 1080 has been found
in the samples taken from
drinking-water catchments ...
So if the member wants to call
for a moratorium on 1080, perhaps
the member might also like to
call for a moratorium on cups of
Police on trail of
Greymouth police have a strong
lead on a vehicle reported doing
burnouts in the vicinity of Blackball.
Acting senior sergeant Brent Cook
said the dark coloured vehicle had
been “an annoyance” to residents
around Blackball for the past couple
of days, doing skids and wheelies
on the open road. Police appealed
for further witnesses to back up the
reported “bad driving” although
they did have an alleged perpetrator
in sight. “ We’re following a strong
line of inquiry, and the person may
be receiving a visit from the police,”
Mr Cook said.
The Westport Volunteer Fire
Brigade was called to a scrub fire
north of the town early today. Fire
chief Pat O’Dea said the 1.30am
call was to the fire back off State
highway 67 at Fairdown, about 5km
north of Westport. From the road
the fire appeared to be threatening
a nearby house, but the burn was
easily put out. “It was a permitted
burn but they shouldn’t have been
burning at night ... whoever put
the call in did the right thing,” Mr
A Reefton group charged
with looking at the future of
health ser vices in the area has
had its first meeting. West Coast
District Health Board programme
director Michael Frampton said
the meeting had been “very
New house consents
Only five consents were issued
for new homes on the West Coast
during September, the joint lowest
figure in a year. The last time the
figure dipped so low was in June.
December was the best month, with
Greymouth Bridge Club results. —
Wednesday : Sue Holt and Allison
Palmer 1, 58%; Mary Whitehead
and Alison Dayne, Gerard Bardell
and Ian Anderson 2 equal, 50%.
Thursday : Brian Rowlands and
Stuart Oliver 1, 57%; Michele
Gunn and Ash Hamilton, Ian
Anderson and Gerard Bardell 2
equal, 53%; Sue Glue and Mary
Whitehead 4, 50%.
Arrivals: Jay Elaine, Lady
Sarah. Departures: Galatea II,
two Greymouth vessels. In port:
Jay Elaine, Lady Sarah, 18 other
vessels. Expected departures:
Jay Elaine, November 8.
Expected arrivals: Cook Canyon,
Pact West Coast staff and clients met in Greymouth yesterday to enjoy a celebratory
lunch to mark the group’s 15-year anniversary on the Coast. Pact West Coast general
manager Glenn Murtagh said they had come a long way since 1999. “In some ways, the
ser vice is barely recognisable to what started here 15 years ago. We still provide residential
ser vices, but the focus is much more on getting people to be part of their local community,
developing natural supports and setting and achieving challenging goals,” Mr Murtagh
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Coast Pact celebrates 15 years
Greymouth High School student
Lara Thomas won the top prize at
the West Coast Trades Academy
graduations, on Tuesday night.
She was awarded the academy ’s
training scholarship for 2015 to study
travel and tourism (level 3), and food
and beverage (level 3).
Buller High School’s Ariel Coleman
was also awarded a scholarship, to
study outdoor education (level 4).
Greymouth High School students
William Brand, Levi Maskill and
Jess Baker were the students of the
year for their studies of mechanical
engineering, building and construction
(year 2), and cookery respectively.
Arden Young was top of his year for
automotive engineering (year 1), while
Cameron Lawton was top for building
and construction (year 1).
Reefton Area School students
Cordell O’Malley (year 1) and Ben
Swindlehurst (year 2) were the
students of the year for automotive
engineering, while Gracie Miller was
top of her year for customer services,
and Jazmine McCreath for business
Westland High School students
Paige McCallion, who studied early
childhood education, and Sheldan
Bainbridge, who studied cookery,
finished top of their years.
Karamea Area School’s Asha-Marie
Eggers was the student of the year on
the early childhood education course
in Westport, and Buller High School’s
Shae Brunning student of the year on
the engineering course.
Completion certificates, Greymouth
National certificate in hospitality,
introductory cookery, level 2:
Brydie Smith, Ryan Climo, Cally
Dowling (Greymouth High School).
Introductory cookery, level 2:
Sheldan Bainbridge, Caine Hodson,
Cory Morgan, Jacob Worthington
(Westland High School). National
certificate in early childhood education
and care, level 3: Amber Griggs
(Greymouth High School), Paige
McCallion (Westland High School).
National certificate in building,
construction and allied trades, level
2: Jacob Jackson (Westland High
School), Mattison Lord, Zachary
Colligan ( John Paul II High School),
Sean Kearns, Dylan Wells (Reefton
Area School), Beau Tronson, Eli
Cutbush, Jake Bell, Cade Wilson-
Russ, Levi Maskill, Luke Murcott,
Callum Hamilton (Greymouth High
National certificate in motor
industry, level 2: Ben Swindlehurst
(Reefton Area School).
National certificate in retail, level
2: Katie Robinson (Westland High
School), Lara Thomas, Sacha Watson,
Samantha Greer (Greymouth
High School), Ashana Johnson-Te
Huia, Gracie Miller (Reefton Area
Completion certificates, Westport
National certificate in hospitality,
level 2: Drew Donaldson, Halie
Ricketts, Pheobe Smith-Mahon, Zoe
Hunter (Buller High School).
PICTURE: Stewart Nimmo
West Coast Trades Academy students of the year: Cordell O’Malley, top left, Ben Swindlehurst,
Samantha Hislop, Ariel Coleman, William Brand, Gracie Miller, Jazmine McCreath, Paige McCallion,
Sheldan Bainbridge, Levi Maskill and Jess Baker.
Trades Academy honours
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
New River whitebaiter Henry Harding lifts an oil laden net, on Wednesday morning.
Conservation will be holding
a Cobden Island whitebait
habitat tour and weed-bust
this weekend as part of
Biodiversity ranger Henk
Stengs has had a key role in the
Cobden Island restoration and
will lead the tour, explaining
the work done in restoring the
traditional whitebait habitat.
He will set fish traps and
identify the various inanga
“Increasing the habitat
for inanga to spawn will
help increase the number of
whitebait for future seasons,”
Mr Stengs said.
The Cobden Island project
began in 2011 and has included
channels to increase native fish
habitat and planting over 6000
flax and other native plants.
The weed bust involves
hand pulling gorse and broom
seedlings from around the
plantings as the weeds must be
controlled for the native plants
to succeed. People planning to
attend should bring gumboots
and gear appropriate for the
weather on the day.
The department has also
organised a ‘nature awareness
scavenger hunt ’ on Sunday, in
Paroa, and a sound immersion
experience with Marianne
Vetterli, near Punakaiki on
The scavenger hunt, in
conjunction with the West
Coastal Pathway Inc, starts at
11am at the Scout Hall, Karoro
Families will then head along
the cycle trail (with a parent
or guardian) and answer the
questions on the entry form
while observing nature.
The “treasure” is in the
natural environment around
the cycleway. “ This event is a
great opportunity to get out,
meet others and experience
the pathway from a different
Pathway spokeswoman Rosie
People can find out more
about Conser vation Week
events by visiting the DOC
The Cobden Island events
starts at 2pm on Saturday at
the floodwall end of Cardwell
Tour of Cobden whitebait habitat
The latest addition to an ‘Art in
the Hospital project, a painting
called ‘Powellaphata Dream’, by
Greymouth artist Marg Sexton,
about to be installed in Grey Base
Hospital by Marj Allan, left, and
West Coast Cancer Society
manager Jenny Kenning. The
project aims to fill the hospital
with about 100 artworks. Ms
Allan, who had been involved with
palliative care on the Coast for
some time, said she had been
visiting a friend in hospital and
got the idea to put up artwork
throughout the facility to brighten
things up for patients.
The New Zealand Transport Agency
says it will consult the public about what
to do to with the ever present risk of
flooding from the rising Waiho River, at
Franz Josef Glacier.
The agency said it was seeking a long-
term solution to prevent the glacier-fed
river from flooding into Franz Josef.
In mid-October, the braided river burst
through the northern bank, overflowing
and flooding an 80m section of State
highway 6 to a depth of 150mm. The
highway did not close but had a speed
restriction of 30kph.
An emergency stopbank was built along
a 212m area of the riverbank, measuring
up to 2.5m high and 15m wide.
“There will be ongoing maintenance
work to the stopbank while the transport
agency works with the West Coast
Regional Council and other partners on
a long-term solution that will protect
the highway from future flooding and
damage,” performance manager Pete
Connors said today.
“It is important a solution is found
that enables us to maintain 24-7 access
through the area and which also has
a minimal effect on the river’s natural
course,” Mr Connors said.
Mr Connors said the section NZTA
wanted to address was just north of the
town, on the north side of the river.
Franz Josef Glacier residents were
told in September that the Waiho River
bed had risen 1m in just two years,
heightening the risk of floodwaters
breaching the stopbank and flowing into
Gravel build-up meant the stopbanks
protecting the town were less effective.
The regional council discussed raising
the stopbank with residents, but noted
that even adding 2m might only give four
years’ protection at the rate the gravel
was continuing to build up. A large flood
could go over the top even sooner.
In September, the last Franz Josef
Glacier business left on the precarious
south bank of the Waiho River announced
it was also preparing to vacate.
Glacier Gateway Motel owners were
given consent by the council to shift
their premises away from the danger
of flash flooding and the Alpine Fault
Public to be
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
New art to
girl Anna Robinson
will appear on tv on the
show tomorrow with her
Robinson, who attended
St Patrick’s Primary
School prior to 2010,
formed the group with
her fellow Garin College
student Olivia Nott.
ELAE — pronounced as
initials of Liv and Anna.
The pair made it to the
finals, which were held in
The rockquest show airs
at 5.30pm on Four.
Greymouth girl on tv
The guiding company at Fox Glacier has
applied to increase flight numbers as foot
access has become too dangerous.
Currently, there is no guiding on foot from
the valley on to the ice. Instead, everyone has
to be flown on, similar to neighbouring Franz
Alpine Guides at Fox Glacier has asked to
increase flight numbers, and this is currently
being considered by the Department of
Chief executive Rob Jewell said they already
had a heli-hike package, but wanted to increase
the frequency of those flights.
“It ’s exactly the same as what happened in
Franz (a few years ago),” Mr Jewell said.
“Mother nature’s in control.”
He said it was hard to predict what would
happen, and there was a chance foot access
could again become possible in the future.
DOC spokeswoman Jose Watson said an
application had been received to conduct
helicopter landings on to the glacier when foot
access was not possible due to glacier changes.
The application was being processed, so
there was no information yet about how long
a concession would be granted for, if it was
Previously, the Westland National Park plan
allowed for 25 heli hikes a day.
Ms Watson said the plan was recently
amended to allow for additional aircraft
landings when there was no foot access on
to the Fox Glacier in association with Alpine
The extra flights could keep flying provided
that the increased aircraft activity does not
result in 25% or more of visitors on the glacier
floor valley walks reporting annoyance with
“Monitoring will continue to occur over the
summer period to ensure this is the case,” she
The number of flights to Franz Josef Glacier
have already increased, after a 70m ice collapse
at the front of the glacier.
Dangerous glacier conditions prompt more flights
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