Home' Greymouth Star : November 12th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
a website hit
The Grey District Council’s
new website has been notching
up views — but the fourth most
viewed page for September is an
error message. A listing of pages
viewed in September shows the
home page led the way with 2128
views, while the ‘Oops-Error!’ page
was fourth, with 453 views. The
error message outranked the recent
agenda item about closing Heaphy
Road at Haupiri (335 views), the
Greymouth 150th celebrations (288
views) and the on-line library page
(293 views). The new website was
launched at the end of June.
Rural fuel thefts
Greymouth police today
cautioned rural residents in the
Arnold Valley area to be on the
lookout after the theft of diesel
from a Maori Gully Road property
this week. Acting senior sergeant
Brent Cook said the fuel was
stolen some time between Friday
and yesterday, when the theft was
reported to police. With previous
fuel thefts from rural properties in
the past two months it was obvious
that rural properties were a target,
Mr Cook said. Property owners
needed to keep an eye on their
fuel stocks and report possible
thefts and suspicious activity as
soon as possible to help police to
build up a pattern of offending
and ultimately track down the fuel
thief, he said.
From impersonating pets to
naming pigs, some parts of the
world have laws that may be
considered barking mad by many
people. Dogs are not allowed to
attend the opera in Chicago, Illinois
and pet lions cannot go to the
cinema in Baltimore, Maryland.
In the United Kingdom, it is
against the law to let a common
pet mate with an animal from the
royal household, such as one of the
Queen’s corgis. It is also illegal to
carry rabid dogs in a taxi, and to
incite a dog to bark in Lancashire.
Owners of pigs in France are
forbidden from calling them
Napoleon, out of respect for the
late military leader. When it comes
to walkies, residents of Lorinc,
Hungary, have to keep their cat on
a lead, while dog owners in Turin
are legally required to walk their pet
three times a day. — Daily Mail
Fine. Isolated showers well inland
Westport leaders were today scrambling
to find an alternative air service after Air
New Zealand announced it was canning
its Westport flights altogether.
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said
it was a “body blow” for the district,
which was already struggling to make
The loss of the air ser vice would make
it even harder to attract the businesses
and skills Buller desperately needed, Mr
“It seems to me, with central
government and regional development, it
lacks credibility. I listened to (Transport
Minister) Simon Bridges and he had
little regard for what it means for an
area like Westport,” he said.
Mr Howard said he was “absolutely
determined” to find an alternative
provider for Westport.
An approach to Greymouth-based
Air West Coast or someone like
Blenheim-based Sounds Air were clear
possibilities and needed to happen “as
soon as possible”.
The council’s management committee
was to discuss the next move today.
Mr Howard said the Air NZ flight out
of Westport typically carried about 12
passengers. In his experience, half were
business related travellers and the rest
local domestic passengers; tourism was
not really a factor.
He became aware some time ago
that the life of the aircraft flying into
Westport was limited, although Air
New Zealand had indicated that would
be more than two years away.
As a result, the announcement
yesterday came as a shock, Mr Howard
Air NZ had given an undertaking to
share information as it still wanted a
feeder service from Westport into its
Tagging Westport on to existing
Hokitika-based services had not
been canvassed although he said he
understood Air NZ was reluctant due
to the costs each time an aircraft had to
land and take-off.
“Every seat is $26 they ’ve just lost to
put someone on that plane. ”
Former Buller mayor of 21 years,
Pat O’Dea, described the decision as a
typical example of government agencies
“ kicking the s..t out of the regions”.
It demonstrated lack of vision and
leadership from the Government and
Air NZ around the regions.
“The government has no plans and no
real direction ... it’s time they thought
about the rest of New Zealand,” Mr
West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien
O’Connor described the decision as a
“ kick in the guts”.
Mr O’Connor was involved in getting
Air Nelson to return to Westport in the
1980s and so to have Air NZ pull the
plug was “hugely disappointing”.
“It’s a savage blow to a community
already squeezed by job losses at Solid
Energy and the proposed closure of the
Holcim cement works.”
West Coast Federated Farmers
provincial president Katie Milne
labelled the cut as another step in the
“quiet deterioration” of the regions.
“Once they are gone it ’s just so difficult
to turn around and get these provincial
services back again,” Miss Milne said.
While the Coast had the Hokitika
ser vice this was “often disrupted”
by bad weather. “Even at the best of
times it ’s the long way round to get to
Wellington,” Miss Milne said. Air New
Zealand chief executive Christopher
Luxon said the fleet of 19-seater aircraft
used on its regional routes had been
losing more than $1 million a month.
It had been “carrying these losses”
while working “with many regional
stakeholders” to improve service
“Despite best efforts, some routes are
simply not sustainable,” Mr Luxon said.
After 90 years on the same site,
Hannahs shoe shop is preparing to
vacate the Hannahs Buildings for a
move just across the road.
Hannahs Greymouth manager
Sue Beaufort said it was a big move.
The Hannahs Buildings, built on the
corner of Mackay and Tainui streets,
between 1924 and 1928 had a lot of
“ We are saying ‘goodbye’ to the
Hannahs home and moving to an
exciting new store,” Mrs Beaufort
said. As the current building
needs earthquake strengthening,
the business found new premises
directly opposite in Mawhera House,
in the office last occupied by the
National Bank until that building
was also vacated for earthquake
Mrs Beaufort said the new store
would be in line with big stores
elsewhere around the country.
“They have invested in our future
and secured our future here. It shows
(Hannahs) have confidence in the
Mrs Beaufort said the store’s last
day on the current site would be on
Saturday, November 22, reopening
across the road the following
Hannahs has its roots on the West
Coast. Robert Hannah opened his
first boot shop in Charleston in 1868
during the goldrushes. When the
rush ended he moved to Wellington
and in June 1874 announced the
opening on Lambton Q uay of
Robert Hannah and Co.
Mawhera House has been
strengthening work and currently sits
at 67%, although the Christchurch-
based owner plans to bring it up to
Grey District Council building
control team leader Phil Beck said
the second stage of work was on
hold as the government engineer
and building owner’s engineer still
needed to reach an agreement on
the existing reinforcement.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Hannahs Greymouth manager Sue Beaufort outside the Hannahs Buildings, which they are about to vacate for new premises across the road.
Hannahs vacating Hannahs
Hokitika f lights secured
Fifty-seat aircraft are set to become
the norm in Hokitika, as Air NZ exits
Westport altogether and retires its 19-
seat planes by August 2016.
At the moment, the 50-seat
Bombardier Q300 touches down
twice a week in Hokitika, on Mondays
The rest of the time, the smaller and
faster 19-seaters are used, about four
times a day.
Hokitika Airport manager Drew
Howat said today he was not sure
how things would pan out as a result
of changes announced yesterday by
Air NZ, or if there would be fewer
flights once capacity was increased.
The larger planes are owned by
Air NZ subsidiary Air Nelson,
while Eagle Air’s 19-seaters will be
The 50-seater has been flying into
Hokitika for several years, and has
noise suppression systems.
Mr Howat said because those planes
were larger, and a little slower, they
needed less landing strip than the
smaller and faster planes.
Hokitika had been fairly static since
the Christchurch earthquake, but
with the recovery starting ‘over the
hill’ he expected they would start
The Q300s came with an air hostess
and were more comfortable.
Mr Howat did not expect Hokitika
would pick up passengers used to
flying out of Westport to Wellington,
as they would probably head to
Nelson to catch a flight to the capital.
Air NZ said yesterday all regional
flying would move to either 50 or
68-seat aircraft by August 2016.
“On the 13 routes which will move
from 19-seat aircraft to more cost
effective 50-seat aircraft we expect to
deliver a 15% average fare reduction
to our customers,” chief executive
Christopher Luxon said.
“This is good news for the following
12 towns: Kerikeri, Whangarei,
Hokitika and Timaru. Each will
progressively move to 50-seat aircraft
and benefit from fare reductions.”
Frustrated Westport residents said
today the Greymouth-based Air West
Coast had operated a good ser vice to
Wellington, before Air NZ undercut
it, forcing it out of business.
Air West Coast, owned by the
Gloriavale Christian Community,
started flights out of Westport in
In February 2007, Air NZ began
twice daily ser vices to the town, and
16 months later Air West Coast
pulled the pin.
“Air New Zealand subsequently
duplicated this ser vice which could not
economically sustain two operators.
Accordingly, Air West Coast will
withdraw its Westport ser vice,” Air
West Coast ’s Fer vent Stedfast said at
It discontinued the Greymouth air
ser vice soon after.
Westport has suffered hundreds of
mining job losses since then, and the
Holcim cement plant is earmarked to
However, Air NZ’s decision —
which caught everyone off guard
has left a bad taste in people’s
Westport resident Bruce Hamilton
said Air NZ flights did not leave until
too late, at 9.20am, meaning people
arrived in Wellington too late for
meetings. As a result, people had been
driving to Nelson to catch a plane for
The previous flights by Air West
Coast at least gave them a decent day
in the capital, Mr Hamilton said.
“They (Air NZ) destroyed a perfectly
good ser vice.”
He suspected everyone would now
fly from Nelson, which was “taking
business out of the West Coast and
giving it to Nelson”.
Previous Gloriavale air service had served Buller well
Greymouth and Hokitika Stores
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