Home' Greymouth Star : December 2nd 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Tourists have started flocking
back to the West Coast, new visitor
centre figures show. Department
of Conser vation figures show a 9%
increase from July to October 31
at Punakaiki and 9.9% increase at
Franz Josef Glacier, rising to 16.25%
at Haast and 35% at Reefton.
to three arrests
The three arrests made in
Greymouth over the weekend all
involved silly behaviour and alcohol.
Senior constable Mike Tinnelly, of
Greymouth police, said a 30-year-
old man was taken into custody
early on Sunday morning when
he was found drunk in the yard of
a local business. He was charged
with unlawfully being in a yard, and
spent a couple of hours sobering
up in the police cells. A couple of
hours later two teenagers, aged 17
and 18, were arrested for disorderly
behaviour in central Greymouth.
A Thifty rental van was left
undriveable after it smacked into
the side of the Saltwater Creek
bridge, near Shantytown, about 1pm
yesterday. Greymouth police said no
one was injured but the vehicle had
to be towed away from the crash site
on Rutherglen Road.
Fine at first, cloud developing
Vanilla sugar for Christmas
biscuits trickling from an envelope
has sparked a bioterrorism scare
at a German mail distribution
centre. Police, paramedics and a
fire brigade team in full protective
suits swarmed the facility yesterday
after staff spotted the white powder
and an employee complained
of itching, apparently fearing
it was a dangerous chemical or
biological agent. Testing quickly
determined that the material was
not dangerous, police said after the
incident in the town of Pinneberg
near the northern city of Hamburg.
Further investigation found that
the material was home-made
vanilla-flavoured sugar which a
40-year-old woman had mailed to
her mother, who was planning to
bake traditional Christmas biscuits
for the family. — AFP
Meteorologists say the West Coast
weather is looking ‘El Nino-esque’, but
fed-up farmers note it is still nowhere
near the great wet of 1997-98 .
Renewed talk of a late El Nino, which
generally means the West Coast gets
drenched while the east coast bakes,
began about a month ago.
In the 1997-98 El Nino, cows sank up
to their bellies in mud in some places,
wool rotted and the government had to
send in aid to the West Coast.
Whataroa dairy farmer Terry McBride
said today the past couple of months
had been “pretty rubbish”.
“It ’s been wet. But probably the biggest
hassle has been the cold. There’s snow
on the hills now,” Mr McBride said.
Even the paddocks were “off colour”,
due to the lack of sunshine.
Dairy NZ West Coast farm consultant
Ross Bishop, of Greymouth, said the
weather was not making it any easier for
farmers in an already poor dairy payout
“If we can get through to the end of
December into January, and it not get
any worse, we might just muddle our
way through,” Mr Bishop said.
Farmers were struggling to get on to
the paddocks to harvest because the
ground was too soft.
“I ’d like to think it doesn’t get any more
significant than it does at the moment.”
In the Grey Valley, Andrew Mirfin was
stoic. He said it was a “bit of a battle”
with the continually wet weather, but
nothing compared to the last El Nino.
“It was a lot wetter then, definitely,”
Mr Mirfin said.
With a bit of sunshine “we’ ll be all
right in a week”.
Atarau farmer Paul Berry said the
weather was a “heck of a nuisance” but,
again, it was nowhere near 1997-98
“ We don’t know what ’s coming up. I’d
like to think it ’s going to get better,” Mr
Unseasonal snow on the hills had
kept things “pretty nippy for this time
of year” but there was still time to sow
winter crops for next year, although
some more fine days would help.
“I think we’ve had enough of it.”
It had been frustrating for people
unable to get their silage off, and
paddocks growing again.
The weather figures for November
are in for Reefton, which recorded
235mm of rain compared to just 71mm
in November 2013 and a November
average of 177mm.
National Institute of Water and
forecaster Chris Brandolino said Coast
rainfall figures for the month were
For an El Nino to be declared, certain
atmospheric conditions had to occur for
three straight months and that had not
“On the east coast, the past 30 days
have been very El Nino-like,” Mr
However, the subtropics, for example,
did not seem like an El Nino.
Metser vice meteorologist Georgina
Griffiths said a drier than usual
December was forecast for most regions
of the country.
“The exceptions are the western
South Island, also Nelson, Taranaki
and Northland, where closer to normal
December rainfall is more likely,” Ms
There had been four months of low
rainfall in the north and east of the
South Island, and Nelson and Blenheim
had experienced their fourth driest
spring on record, in observations
starting in 1941.
The latest figure from the Climate
Prediction Centre is a 58% chance of
El Nino during the Northern
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Archdeacon Tim Mora, of the Cobden-Runanga Anglican Church, checks the sound system at the Regent Theatre for the annual combined
Churches Christmas carol service tomorrow evening. All churches will be participating, and Mr Mora is expecting a great turnout for the popular
show. “It is very popular and for all ages, young and old. We put it on for the whole community and my advice to everyone is come early to get a seat.
It was packed last year and tomorrow evening it will be the same.” It will feature all the familiar carols, a children’s choir, Christmas play and
celebrations. “ We will also have glow sticks for everyone, too. The evening is a time for getting everyone in the mood for Christmas — it will be a
great night of Christmas entertainment.” The concert gets under way at 7 o’clock tomorrow night.
Mayor’s rates set to jump 120%
One of the architects of Buller’s
radical rates revamp, Buller Mayor
Garry Howard, would himself face
a huge rate rise if the plans go
The rates on his $1.4 million Kew
Road home, in Westport, would rise
120%, from $2111 to $4662, under
the new capital-rating scheme.
“O ur residence is an extreme case
and it is very difficult to have a
system that continues the principle
of being fair to such properties,” Mr
There was no perfect rating system
where council could apply its eight
rating principles to all properties, he
Mr Howard and his wife Joanne
also own a $175,000 residential
property at Birchfield, where rates
would rise 47%, from $800 to $1183.
They have one-third of a
partnership in Mountain View
subdivision, in Easton’s Road-
Kawatiri Place, where rates would
rise 43% from $935 to $1340.
The Howards also own Heritage
land and buildings and the NBS
property, both on Palmerston Street.
Rates are set to fall $2247 (28%) on
the Heritage property and $1498
(31%) at NBS.
However, the Howards would gain
no financial benefit because the
tenants pay the rates.
Mr Howard said he had
deliberately avoided looking at the
impact of the rates revamp on his
own properties. Instead, he had
considered a broad band of sample
properties that represented at least
80% of Buller’s typical rates.
“Comparing current rates to
possible rates, given the proposal
we have gone to the public with,
is understandable, but it is wrong,
as it is comparing what I believe is
a fairer system to a current system
which is simply wrong.”
The chairwoman of the council’s
rating review committee would also
face a big rate rise.
The rates on Lynn Brooks home
at Waimangaroa would rise 47%, to
Calls by the West Coast
Whitebaiters’ Association to have
the whitebait fishing regulations
reviewed have been thrown back into
the “too hard basket ”.
At a recent post-season meeting,
McEnaney said new Conser vation
Maggie Barry had
indicated that her Department of
Conser vation advisers had informed
her of the need for the review, but
said the work was complex and a
Ms Barry said DOC currently had
a full works programme but would
consider including the review in
“Such a response is not new.
“ We have heard it from previous
ministers, obviously stemming from
the same bureaucrats — the too hard
basket is not full yet,” Mr McEnaney
The proposal put for ward by the
association had outlined a working
party approach to ease the workload
and complexity involved.
“ Despite the growing concerns
being publicised by DOC and
scientists about the danger of
extinction of the whitebait species,
and a host of issues relating to
outdated regulations, ministerial
advisers give no priority to addressing
Mr McEnaney said the whitebaiters’
group would not let the matter lie.
Whitebait rules review ‘too hard’
Christmas time at Regent
Conditions ‘El Nino-esque’
of the Westport News
& Masons Healthcare Reefton
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