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New theory in 1866
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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
The recent Greymouth central
business district working bee
identified problems with contractors
spray painting on footpaths and
not cleaning it off. A report to the
Grey District Council meeting
on Monday says the clean-up last
month had been a success and may
become annual or biannual. “It also
raised questions regarding other
infrastructure service providers who
have left unsightly markings all over
the footpaths, and were not required
to remove the markings as part of
their ser vice provision,” council staff
The Grey District Council says
it hopes to commission the new
sewerage scheme in the Kaiata
and Dobson ser vice areas by
Christmas. A staff report says the
last remaining critical connection,
the aerial crossing of the Grey
River from Taylor ville to Dobson, is
currently being designed.
Food bank drive
The annual police, fire, and
emergency ser vices food drive for
the Greymouth Salvation Army
foodbank will be held on December
17. Senior constable Mike Tinnelly
said the drive was always generously
supported and usually enabled the
foodbank to stockpile enough basic
items to last for a year. With sirens
wailing, the drive will last for 90
minutes and will encompass the
greater Greymouth area, from the
Taramakau Bridge north, including
Cobden, Runanga, Dobson and
Heavy rain easing
There are some strange goings-
on in the sleepy village of Earith,
Cambridgeshire. The ducks are
missing. The resident birds, which
are all aylesbury-type ducks, recently
began disappearing from a feeding
area that was specially-built to
allow children to feed them. Parish
councillor Hazel Lambert, who
says she fed the ducks every day, has
put up posters around the village
warning of the thefts. It turns
out Ms Lambert has a theory —
although she says she does not want
to ‘point the finger’. Earith lies in an
agricultural area where many migrant
workers are employed in the fields.
“I suspect they have been taken for
the pot, but their meat would be
quite tough as they are all elderly.”
More slow vehicle bays are among
the highest priority future road
projects for State highways on
the West Coast, in a new six-year
These and the
Taramakau Bridge are just some of
the projects included in the draft
West Coast Regional Land Transport
The Regional Transport Committee
ranked projects with a high, medium
or low regional priority rating.
All the projects slated to be worked
on between 2015 and 2018 were
given a high priority, while those
scheduled for between 2018 and
2021 are only medium priorities.
The Taramakau Bridge was the only
project to be given a priority of one.
Slow vehicle bays along State
highway 6 between Inangahua
Junction and State highway 67,
Franz Josef and Fox Glacier, and
State highway 7 between Springs
Junction and Reefton were given
a rating of two, and were also high
Slow vehicle bays along State
highway 73 between the Arthur’s
Pass monument and Jacksons,
and Jacksons and Kumara, and
the replacement of the number
one bridge at Slatey Creek, and
strengthening of the Arnold Bridge,
were all given a high priority rating
and ranking of two.
Road improvements to the Lake
Kaniere Road and the Whitcombe
Valley Road leading to the Hokitika
Gorge were the two Westland
projects given high priority, and a
ranking of three.
Projects such as the Moonlight
Creek bridge and Rough River
bridge replacements, and work on the
Stillwater bridge and Stoney Creek
bridge, among others, were given a
All the projects outlined in the
West Coast plan will have to compete
for funding with those outlined in
regional land transport plans from
other parts of New Zealand, under
the National Land Transport Fund.
Public submissions close on January
23, with the plan to be ratified in
West Coast high priority projects,
2015-18 (ranked for importance):
State highway 6, Inangahua
Junction to State Highway 67, slow
State Highway 7, Springs
Junction to Reefton, slow vehicle
State highway 6, Franz Josef to
Fox Glacier, slow vehicle bays.
State highway 73, the monument
to Jacksons, slow vehicle bays.
State highway 73, Jacksons to
Kumara, slow vehicle bays.
Slatey Creek, bridge replacement.
Arnold bridge strengthening.
Lake Kaniere Road.
Whitcombe Valley Road.
State Highway 6 resilience
project, design and construction.
Enhanced network resilience,
design and construction.
Passing bays proposed length of West Coast
As the 10th anniversary of smokefree
laws that banned lighting up in
pubs, restaurants and the workplace
approaches, lobbyists now have outdoor
dining areas in their sights.
Next Wednesday will mark 10 years
since the Smokefree Environments
Amendment Act 2003 came into force.
A number of West Coast pubs have
since closed, although other factors
could be responsible including tougher
drink-drive laws and the economic
recession. Those to have shut their doors
include Taylor ville, Dobson, Barrytown,
Club Hotel in Blackball and Empire
at Kumara, as well as Greymouth
establishments Cobden, the Richmond,
Coalface and the Royal.
“Smokefree bars and restaurants are
the new norm, and the move now is
to extend smokefree areas to include
other spaces such as outdoor dining,”
Greymouth health promoter Karen
Ms Hamilton said a 2005 report
published one year after the changes
came into place examined the impacts
of the move to smokefree bars and
restaurants. Despite predictions at the
time of the legislative change of dire
consequences for the industry, the report
found takings were up after 12 months.
The West Coast Tobacco Free
Coalition has been in touch with West
Coast councils regarding smokefree
pensioner housing and also to ask them
to think about extending smokefree
areas to the likes of outdoor dining areas
on council footpaths.
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius said Dixon Park had been
declared smokefree, and the council-
owned pensioner flats.
He expected the smokefree coalition
would return to the council next year
with another request.
Classes take to the water
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
Paroa School pupils Calder Low, left, Harry Robb, Kate Stanbridge and Riley Fairhall enjoy some end of year fun at the Grey District Aquatic
Centre yesterday. The entire school booked out the pool for part of the day for an end of term celebration.
Conservation board 1080 doubts
The West Coast Conser vation
Board has told the Government
some of its members have “strong
reser vations” about the use of 1080
In a briefing paper, the board said
it appreciated the Department of
Conservation’s commitment to the
Battle for Our Birds, which involved
large-scale pest control.
Legge said “reflective of the
wider community, however, some
members of the (West Coast) board
have strong reser vations about
the potential negative long-term
environment effects of the aerial
delivery of 1080 to the eco-systems
of our conser vation estate, and
consider that the department needs
to be funded to deliver cost-effective
higher levels of targeted pest control
on the ground where possible”.
Board members are appointed by
the Minister of Conser vation.
Board members were also aware
other species needed protection; for
example, there was concern about
the impact poor water could have
The board’s letter of expectation
also said the review of the Paparoa
National Park was overdue, and was
now urgent. The visitor centre at
Punakaiki received 180,000 visitors
a year. But it was “very dated”
and there were also issues with
pedestrian safety, as people crossed
the highway to the Pancake Rocks.
Dr Legge said a review of the
stewardship land on the West Coast
would be valuable, and noted that
while the board supported more
commercial partnerships with
DOC, it wondered what would
happen when the arrangements
He cited the example of the DOC-
Solid Energy snail partnership,
which is funded until 2016.
“ What will happen to this
facility, which has established
an international reputation for
Meanwhile, the board also
supported the creation of a new
national park suggested for deep
An engineer has completed a detailed
inspection of the Runanga Miners’ Hall
to support a community repair effort.
Runanga Miners’ Hall Trust chairman
Paul Thomas said the engineer, from
Wellington, dismantled sections of floor
and the walls to “have a really good look
at the building”.
He found that water had seeped
through the south wall, causing damage.
“That ’s what happens when you put
stucco (plaster) on a building,” Mr
He expected the new roof to go on next
week, weather dependent, replacing the
tarpaulins that had been draped over the
hall since after Cyclone Ita.
“ Putting on the roof will get the
integrity of the building back up to what
it was and stop water getting in.”
Opus engineers were also due to assess
the land, although Mr Thomas said the
hall had been built on a swamp.
“ We have to have a solution that allows
the building to sit where it is.”
The next projects on the horizon
would be removing the water damaged
materials and the stucco off the southern
wall to allow for repairs. Runanga
residents would carry out that work
in an effort Mr Thomas described as
“community helping community”.
The building was slapped with a
dangerous and unsanitary notice after
the cyclone, in April, ripped off half the
roof and rain leaked inside.
Hall to be re-roofed
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