Home' Greymouth Star : December 3rd 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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Glazed ham for
Fight puts woman
A Westport woman in her 50s was
admitted to hospital early yesterday
afternoon after a fight with her
partner at their Westport home.
Police said no weapons were used
but the woman suffered “moderate”
injuries. Both the man and woman
involved had been drinking prior
to the incident and police were
investigating further today.
A woman in her 60s was airlifted
to Grey Base Hospital yesterday after
a motorcycle crash at Knights Point.
Senior constable Robin Manera,
of Haast police, said the injured
woman was a pillion passenger on
a motorbike which ran off the road
about midday. No other vehicles were
involved. By the time police arrived
the injured woman and the bike
rider had been picked up and taken
to Fox Glacier for medical attention.
The bike rider was uninjured but
his passenger suffered a suspected
spinal injury and was airlifted from
Fox Glacier by the NZCC Rescue
Helicopter and taken to hospital.
A cyclist crashed into a culvert
on Arnold Valley Road early last
evening after losing control on a
downhill run. The man suffered
moderate injuries and was airlifted
to Grey Base Hospital by the
NZCC Rescue Helicopter. The
helicopter was called out to pick up
another cyclist about 7pm, when a
Westport man collapsed while out
cycling. He was flown to Grey Base
Rain spreading north
Police have come under fire after
using one of their official riot vans to
give Father Christmas a lift as part
of a festive parade. Crowds looked
on in disbelief when Santa climbed
inside the police van in Aberdare
town centre, Cynon Valley, United
Kingdom, rather than taking his
sleigh. Police used the vehicle to
give him a taxi ride away from the
event in what has been described as
an ‘ill-judged’ stunt. At one point
children were left in tears and feared
they would not get any presents after
seeing Father Christmas taken away.
In a video posted on-line, the crowd
can be heard laughing before a voice
shouts “Santa’s being arrested”. Police
said Santa had not been arrested and
simply needed a ride home as he has
a busy few weeks ahead.
— Daily Mail
A memorial walk linking two
West Coast disaster sites on
opposite sides of the Paparoa
Range — Cave Creek and Pike
River Mine — could be on the
Next April marks the 20th
anniversary of the Cave Creek
disaster, when 14 people died
after the viewing platform they
were standing on plunged into a
chasm near Punakaiki.
Across the mountain range, 29
men died four years ago when the
Pike River Mine exploded.
Although a long way apart by
road, they are only about 23km
distant as the crow flies, and are
separated by some of the most
beautiful scenery on the West
Solid Energy announced on
November 6 it was abandoning
the mine re-entry plans, and
would return the site, in the
Atarau, to the Department of
The Pike River families
will meet next week with the
minister responsible for the site,
Nick Smith, to discuss ideas
for the mine site, where the 29
victims remain entombed 2km
Spokesman for some of the Pike
River families, Bernie Monk,
confirmed today a walk was on
Families had been sent a
questionnaire to make suggestions
of what to do with the site, and
ideas would then be discussed
with Dr Smith.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said a memorial walk
linking the two disaster sites was
an excellent idea.
Rather than a “walk to nowhere”,
trampers could be dropped off in
one area and walk to the other. It
would link the Grey Valley with
The forest was pristine, with
“ incredible” views from the
plateau behind the mine.
“It would really need to be
done through the Department of
Conservation, and would need a
hut on the top,” Mr Kokshoorn
The mine area received 5m of
rainfall a year, so DOC would
need to maintain the gravel road
leading up to the mine, rather
than Grey district ratepayers.
Mr Kokshoorn said he would
like to see part of the coal seam
well away from the current
mine site where the bodies lie —
mined by open-cast.
Asked if that would ruin the
potential walk, he said: “You
would put the walk away from it.”
Funds are already in place to
turn the mine site into a place
of remembrance and possibly
an education facility for health
and safety, with $2 million left
over from the mine re-entry
efforts to be made available. The
Government has indicated that
more could be released if required.
Twenty-eight years after the New
Zealand Forest Service was disbanded,
the memories are still fresh for a gang
of forestry workers who got together
again at the weekend.
The 13 former workmates were
reunited at the Nelson Creek Hotel to
share a drink and a few memories.
Former leading hand Gary Hutchison
said they decided to limit the reunion
just to their gang to make it more
“It was a great crew. You wanted to
go to work ... Each gang had its own
camaraderie and each gang thought
they were better than the others,” Mr
They missed the opportunity for a
25th reunion, held in Hokitika, so
decided to have a 28th instead.
“ Time flies away,” he said, while
noting that the camaraderie was as
strong as always.
The Totara Flat conser vancy group
— known as Totara 3 — worked the
Mawhera, Granville, Paparoa and
While some of the crew have since
moved away to Nelson or Invercargill,
many stayed and found work elsewhere
on the West Coast.
“A lot got quietly absorbed into
what was going on in the place,” Mr
Former forest hand Eric Smith
recalled the clearfelling days: “ There
were some scary times in those big
“ You had to hold a shovel in front
of your face because it was so hot ... I
remember the noise of those fires, the
wind behind you just got blown in.”
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Former NZ Forest Service forest hand Eric Smith, left, and former leading hand Gary Hutchison look over some old memories during a reunion at the
Nelson Creek Hotel, on Saturday.
The West Coast Whitebaiters’
Association is at loggerheads with the
West Coast Regional Council over
suggestions that fishermen might be
forced to remove all stands and huts
from riverbanks at the season’s end.
McEnaney said a regional council
representative indicated at an end-
of-season meeting recently that
proposed changes to the Whitebait
Management Plan for 2017 would
include a requirement for whitebaiters
to clear all gear from riverbanks every
year — including stands and huts.
Council consents and compliance
manager Jackie Adams, who was not at
the meeting, told the Greymouth Star
there was no such plans to rejig the
However, Mr McEnaney was
adamant it was discussed at the
meeting, and had double-checked
with the minute secretary and vice-
president to ensure he had not got the
wrong end of the stick.
“They both confirmed there was
discussion about the proposed
management plan changes,”
He said he understood the council’s
emphasis was on ensuring rivers were
left in a presentable state.
“ We support them in this. But there
is need for balance, and a level of
tolerance in enforcement.”
fishermen were unable to remove
their stands, because flooding made it
dangerous to do so.
The association was deeply concerned
that an “evangelistic” approach may be
adopted to force the removal of all
huts, and lift up stands.
“ We have
enforcement of the removal of rubbish,
or untidy unstable structures, but
there is an iconic traditional lifestyle
that also needs to be preser ved. The
traditional huts and stands are a part of
that — they are a tourist attraction in
their own right.”
The structures cost a lot of money
and the council had always recognised
the importance of whitebaiting as
an industry and lifestyle on the West
“ We will be looking for a co-operative
approach to any changes, and expect
that the association will be consulted
before any major decisions are made.”
Mr McEnaney said he planned to
meet with Mr Adams to “get to the
bottom” of the matter.
Whitebaiters may be forced to remove huts
Digital classrooms are the way of
the future and more are set to start in
Greymouth schools in the coming years.
Grey Main School’s first year with two
fully digital classrooms has been declared
a success, as the school aims to be fully
digital by 2016.
This year the school had two classrooms
trialling one-to-one devices to pupils.
Principal Mandy O’Sullivan said it was
a “huge success”.
“It is very much the way education is
going. Students are engaging with people
all over the world,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.
The school was not ready to launch into
fully digital next year and would aim for
2016. “From Year 5 and up, every child
will have their own device.”
Mrs O’Sullivan said they had needed
to make sure it was “equitable” and that
every child would have access to their
own device and internet access at home.
Waiting until 2016 would also ensure
that teachers had the necessary skills.
This year, one class had used laptops
and the other chromebooks. The school
would stick to chromebooks because they
used a ‘cloud’ system and did not require
Other classes were not far off, with one
device for every two to three children.
“One-to-one is where we are going.”
St Patrick’s Primary School principal
Caron Olivier said they would add a
second fully digital classroom next year
and see what the needs were for more in
“ We will see further down the track. It
is very exciting. We need to see the needs
of the children,” Ms Olivier said.
Pupils used technology “from the time
they walk in”, although she expected
most children used some technology
before they arrived at school.
“This is the way learning is going.”
At Karoro School, the senior classroom
is currently the only fully digital one but
the school will look to add more later.
Principal Maureen Truman said they
would work on professional development
of teachers next year.
They would also look at what type of
device to use and how to fund them. That
would put them in a better position for
2016 when they hoped to have two or
three more digital classrooms.
Currently senior pupils use MacBook
Airs, and others used laptops and iPads.
Coast schools look to digital future
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