Home' Greymouth Star : November 10th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Family in hiding
as murderer on loose
returns for 2015
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
The occupants of a Westport
address came home to a nasty
surprise on Saturday night when
they found a man robbing their
house. They ‘sprang’ a teenager
rifling through the drawers of the
Brougham Street home at 11.20pm.
A scuffle ensued between an occupier
and the intruder, who then ran away.
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old Westport
man was arrested last night for excess
breath-alcohol while driving in
Palmerston Street, Westport.
to face the music
A 25-year-old Cobden man will
appear in the D unedin District
Court this week for disorderly
behaviour after streaking the length
of the field during the Kiwis versus
England rugby league test, on
Saturday night. The red-headed,
red-faced, red-cheeked streaker,
who has a habit of discarding his
clothes in public, was set upon by
security guards soon after running
to score an imaginary try at Forsyth
Barr Stadium, in D unedin. The
man jumped the fence during the
altercation between New Zealand
scrumhalf Kieran Foran and English
fullback Sam Tomkins, with 12
minutes remaining in the match.
Dunedin police said apart from
the exhibitionist, the crowd was
well behaved. The offender has a
previous conviction for streaking,
having been charged with obscene
behaviour after stripping off at an
NRL match between the Warriors
and Canterbury Bulldogs, at the
Westpac Stadium, in Wellington.
One of Britain’s oldest cinemas has
been forced to replace all its seats
for the first time in almost 100 years
— because British bottoms keep
getting bigger. Malvern Cinema in
Worcestershire has removed all of
its 43cm-wide seats as customers
can no longer squeeze into the older
model. The historic cinema has been
forced to reduce its 380 capacity by
40 because of the change. British
women’s waist sizes are thought to
have increased by an average of 17cm
since 1951. — Daily Mail
Rain, thunder and hail
Some Greymouth High School
students could be left walking to school
from Cobden in all weathers after the
bus company decided to charge each
student $200 a term to catch the school
In March, 46 students lost their
entitlement to free bus travel after
Ritchies, the firm contracted to run
school bus services, picked up on a
Ministry of Education policy which
excluded some students from free travel.
Year 8 students living less than 3.2km
away from the school, and older students
living less than 4.8km, are not eligible
for free travel under ministry policy.
At the time, Ritchies proposed
charging students $100 a term, before
a compromise was reached with the
school, allowing students to ride the bus
on a pay-as-you-go basis at $1 a trip.
However, Greymouth High School
principal Andy England said Ritchies
had now decided to “significantly
increase” the cost of travel to $200 a
term, payable up front and in one lump
sum before it will allow the ‘ineligible’
students on the bus.
Mr England said he was both angry
and frustrated about the fare hike.
“It ’s going to create really significant
problems for many families .. we are
talking about a dry bus driving along
with students walking past who won’t
be able to afford to get on. The idea of
students struggling to get there ... with
the bus driving right past them makes
me so angry. It just seems a ridiculous
“It ’s not too bad for people who live
2-3km from school, but if they live
4.7km away it’s going to be a problem.”
The $200 a term bus fare would be
unaffordable for many families, while
others — many of them on lower
incomes — with more than one child
at high school, could be facing a bill of
between $400 and $800 a term.
“I am very concerned about the impact
on lower income families. I would be
struggling with that myself, and I am a
principal,” Mr England said.
A letter from Ritchies to the parents of
the students affected by the change said
that the higher cost of travel would come
into effect from the beginning of term
one 2015. Even with the new charge, it
said not all students who applied to use
the service were guaranteed a seat, or
even standing room, on the bus service.
Mr England said that when he
contacted Ritchies about the new
charges they had pointed out that it
was entirely legal. He also contacted
the Ministry of Education at a senior
level but was not hopeful of being able
to reverse the decision.
Ministry of Education acting head of
education infrastructure ser vice Jerome
Sheppard said it had no control over
what Ritchies charged students.
“ We’ve been in touch with the bus
operator to find out more about why
these charges are going up and they ’ve
told us they have valid reasons to put up
their charges. We don’t have the power
to tell a private company what charges
they can set,” Mr Sheppard said.
The ministry’s role was to provide
transport for students who lived outside
the distance criteria.
“If students live within those distances,
they are not eligible for school transport
assistance. If the caregivers want to
access a ministry funded service within
those distances and the bus operator
agrees to pick up the ineligible students,
then the bus company decides how
much they will charge and how tickets
are issued. This is a commercial decision
for the bus company,” Mr Sheppard
The West Coast Regional Council’s
$1.9 million investment in a
Christchurch factory making 1080
poison products has pushed the council
to remove itself from making future
consent decisions over the use of the
poison in the region.
Chairman Andrew Robb said in a
report to the council meeting today
that recent media attention had “drawn
attention to a perception council is
moving towards a conflict of interest
The Greymouth Star recently
exposed the council’s secret $500,000
investment in a 49% share in the
company Pest Control Research
(PCR), and $1.4m on land and
buildings at Rolleston for the new
factory. The investment and council’s
role in manufacturing, applying and
consenting 1080 poison was subject to
a public protest recently.
“I recommend that council addresses
this by excusing itself from having any
part in the granting of consents for
any future 1080 operations within our
region,” Cr Robb said.
The report said the council currently
used an external planning consultant to
prepare reports recommending 1080
consents, while the council consents
and compliance manager made the
final decision. “It is recommended that
council delegates this decision making
role to an external, RMA qualified
decision-maker. This will address any
perception that council has a conflict
of interest,” Cr Robb said.
Cr Neal Clementson asked for the
recommendation to include all pest
control products made by PCR, not
just 1080, a move that was accepted by
Cr Terry Archer said the public
reaction to the council investment,
was based on a perception of council
having a conflict of interest, rather than
an actual conflict. However, he felt that
given the public perception it was the
right decision for the council to step
away from the consenting process.
Regional council backs off 1080 consenting role
The Grey District Council will
tonight review its proposal to close
a public road through Gloriavale
land at Lake Haupiri, labelled by
opponents as an assault on their
right of access.
At the request of the Gloriavale
Christian Community, the council
has proposed closing part of Heaphy
Road where it runs through the
The road also provides public
access to the Haupiri Valley, Haupiri
River, hot pools and walking tracks.
However, users must cross Gloriavale
land to get there from the road.
Under the proposal, the road
would remain public only as far as
Gloriavale has a memorandum of
understanding with the Department
of Conser vation to facilitate public
access through the road and the
rest of their land, although the
Christian community reser ves the
right to decline entry to those with
“unacceptable” behaviour towards
their community members or land.
The road stopping proposal drew
10 submissions — all opposed.
A lawyer’s submission for West
Coast Fish and Game said the road
still ser ved a public purpose, which
was needed for future use. It also
stated that the need for stopping
should not be given priority over the
need for public use.
Public Access New Zealand
said the public’s
right ” to use public roads would be
“ undermined if the road is stopped”.
It said there were no community
benefits to stopping the road,
noting the council had not been
maintaining the road anyway.
Keith Baigent, of Nelson, said
his family used Haupiri Road
and intended to in future, and he
expressed concern that permission
might be “withdrawn at any time in
Pullman, of Geraldine, and Colin
Mereweather, of Christchurch,
expressed the same concerns.
Glenys Perkins, of Bell Hill, said
if the road was closed, unimpeded
public access should be provided.
Di Hooper, of Westport, said
permission to use the road in future
could be a “lottery ” and “puts too
much power in private hands”.
“It is a retrograde step in that it is
not in keeping with the push over
the last several years nationally, to
open up more areas for recreational
use in the South Island and free
them from private capture,” Ms
West Coast Alpine Club president
Jack Grinsted said they had over 200
members who enjoyed using areas
through the Haupiri Valley.
Morgan Williams, of Palmerston
North, called the move an
“inappropriate action by the
“I also think that your council
should not be influenced by a
community group that promotes
sexism and ... preach views that are
against our human rights laws.”
Gloriavale road closure opposed
PICTURE: John Bisset
Paroa, viewed from an unusual angle courtesy of a drone camera, sprawls out from Saltwater Creek and the Paroa Hotel, with the school and
playcentre at left, looking towards Greymouth and the Tasman View residential subdivision on the plateau.
West Coast from above
Campervan visitor robbed in Cobden
Greymouth was robbed in his
camper van after receiving a knock on
the door at midnight. Tasman police
communication manager Barbara
Dunn said the man was parked up
at Cobden, and when he answered a
knock at the door he was assaulted
by a man demanding money. The
victim handed over his wallet before
the perpetrator and a second person
left on foot. The wallet did not have
any money in it, but contained a
number of bank cards. Mrs D unn
said the victim was badly shaken by
the incident but otherwise unharmed.
Police have appealed for any
information from the public about the
incident, or want to hear if anyone has
picked up a man’s black wallet.
CBD working bee
The troops are rallying for a
huge working bee to clean up
the Greymouth central business
district next Tuesday, November
18. The evening working bee will
involve business and community
leaders, councillors and even the
Fire Ser vice. Contact the council to
register your interest.
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