Home' Greymouth Star : December 22nd 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
150 years in style
Vandals out for
Hokitika police were annoyed by
a rash of “senseless vandalism” on
Friday night, the eve of the town’s
big 150th anniversary celebrations.
The flowering hanging baskets
recently donated and installed
around the central business district
by Enterprise Hokitika were trashed.
“It was obviously people out on
break-up night. The behaviour was
needless,” a police spokesman said.
A Hanmer man tramping in the
Haupiri area was airlifted to safety
yesterday morning after flooded
rivers in the area slowed him up.
NZCC Rescue Helicopter pilot
Angus Taylor said the tramper set
off his emergency locater beacon
because he was struggling to get
out of the hills by the due date as
the rivers were swollen. He was not
injured, just overdue.
144kph speed due
to ‘heavy boots’
An Ashburton man had to find an
alternative way home at the weekend
after he was clocked driving 144kph
along the Kumara Straight. He lost
his licence on the spot for 28 days. A
Hokitika police spokesman said the
motorist blamed his work boots for
his excessive speed. “He said that his
boot was stuck under the accelerator.”
However, the spokesman said the
speedster had no trouble slowing
down when he spotted the police car.
Fine with light winds
Seven girls aged between 13 and
14 have fallen pregnant after going
on a school trip in Bosnia. Furious
parents are demanding to know
why there was such a lack of teacher
supervision when the girls, from the
town of Banja Luka, returned from
a five-day trip to the capital city.
The school had taken 28 girls on the
educational outing to Sarajevo to
visit museums and other historical
sites, but since returning the girls
have now reportedly dropped out of
lessons. . — Daily Mail
A Mastagard rubbish truck stolen
from Christchurch at the weekend
was found on Saturday, parked up
at the William Stewart Bridge over
the Taramakau River, near Kumara.
A police spokesman said the empty
truck had been thoughtfully locked,
but the lights were left on.
The supposed festive season
of goodwill has already sparked
up with a sharp rise in family
violence on the West Coast.
Police attended 10 incidents of
domestic violence at the weekend.
“This is a shocking figure in
relation to the population,” West
Coast police area commander
Inspector John Canning said
“Unfortunately, family violence
is big this time of the year and the
two big drivers of it are a mix of
alcohol and stress,” Mr Canning
There were two ways for police
to deal with domestic-related
incidents — they could make an
arrest or place a safety order on
one of the parties, which banned
them from the property for five
days, giving both parties a break.
Two safety orders had been
issued on the Coast in recent days.
“The other sad thing which
comes from this type of offending,
is that, more often than not,
children are standing watching.”
Mr Canning said that the
holiday period was challenging
for some families, and the reality
was that while many people
looked for ward to this time of
the year, others just did not cope
because of the stress.
About half of the police call-
outs were to regular offenders of
“There are a lot of good agencies
out there to help these people, but
the problem is trying to get the
two together. ”
responsible for domestic violence
were a bit like alcoholics: “ They
have to admit they have a problem
before they can or will get help.”
Otira relives stagecoach era
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
A stagecoach returned to Otira yesterday for the first time in 91 years since the last horse-drawn coach rode the famous Otira Gorge zig-zag. Locals and visitors
enjoyed the rare chance to hop aboard for a brief ride up and down the road. Otira Hotel owner Lester Rowntree brought Clydesdale horses to the former
stagecoach town — the last in New Zealand — as part of his celebration of 200 years of horses in New Zealand.
The draft Opus plan for the Greymouth
central business district is out for public
The Greymouth Star, in conjunction
with the Grey District Council, is
running a daily question.
Today we look at the Albert Mall.
Sur veys and library user data suggest
that library and surrounding area is an
important and valued public space.
“This proposed project might revitalise
the Albert Mall area to create a more
inviting and comfortable public space
which is capable of supporting a
greater range of activities than it does
presently,” council community economic
development adviser Erin McGoldrick
The project outcomes might include:
de-cluttering the existing space, removing
the large central planter in order to free
up more usable space and even utilising
a large overhead canopy to create a space
which provides protection for the wind
and rain. “ This project would involve
working with surrounding business and
the library to identify opportunities for
activation of this space including outdoor
dining or an outdoor reading room.
There is great potential to integrate a wifi
hotspot to complement the library and
the civic nature of this space.”
Today’s question is: Do you spend
time in Albert Mall? How might we
improve this public space?
You can e-mail your response to
or do the entire survey on-line at
Greymouth renewal: Question of the day
Laura Mills and New Zealand
People swimming off Hokitika
beach have a more than 10%
chance of getting sick, according
to a new Government website.
The ratings, based on an overall
measure over three years of data,
are revealed in a newly expanded
website to give a comprehensive
picture of water quality in New
Hokitika is the worst of the
monitored beaches on the West
Coast, earning a caution.
The West Coast Regional
Council has been trying to work
out the source of the pollution
Cobden is next with a 5 to
10% risk of illness, while at
Blaketown, Karoro and Rapahoe
the risk drops to 1 to 5%.
The best on the Coast is Carters
Beach, near Westport.
Sixty-four per cent of New
Zealand beaches had risk ratings
of low or very low, while the
Environment Minister Dr
Nick Smith, who launched the
expanded website, described
the country’s beach water as
“generally very good”.
“ We’ve got 64% of beaches
where the risk of getting unwell
is incredibly low, and 22% on
top of that have an acceptable
standard,” he said.
“It really is only 14% where we
do have a problem.”
However, Labour’s environment
spokeswoman Megan Woods
said it was disturbing that some
of New Zealand ’s favourite
beaches were now classified as
“This will come as a shock to the
generations of New Zealanders
who have holidayed at places like
Coopers Beach and Opononi,”
Ms Woods said.
“It isn’t good enough. The
Government needs to be doing
more to ensure that these high-
risk beaches are cleaned up.”
The website, which also contains
complex freshwater data for the
Coast, is at www.lawa.org.nz .
Hokitika beach pollution
The proposed roundabout at the
intersection of High and Marlborough
streets in Greymouth — rated at the
start of the year as one of the highest
roading safety priorities for the West
Coast — has now sunk to the bottom of
the priority list.
New Zealand Transport Agency
senior asset manager Mark Pinner said
in January the roundabout, near New
World, was “one of the NZ Transport
Agency ’s highest safety priorities for the
West Coast ”.
There had been “a number of minor
crashes at the intersection in recent
years” and subject to funding, he hoped
the roundabout would be built in the
second half of 2014. However, the cost
of the project meant it has had to battle
nationally for funding.
NZTA highway manager Colin
Knaggs said last week the design for the
Greymouth roundabout was completed
in January but would not be finalised
until funding was available.
“ We had hoped to build the roundabout
this year under the minor improvements
programme up to $250,000,” Mr Knaggs
“However, as the project is expected
to cost about $500,000, it must now
compete for funding on a national basis,
which will also require a business case to
Mr Knaggs said that funding was
allocated based on the assessed greatest
risk. The Greymouth intersection was
rated as a ‘medium’ risk, meaning that on
a national basis it has a low priority.
Because of that, he said NZTA could
not provide any timing for construction
of the roundabout.
Greymouth roundabout slips off list
Kayak group Whitewater NZ has met
with Department of Conser vation staff
evaluating whether to grant a concession
for a Westpower hydro scheme on the
Westpower says the proposed scheme
has the potential to make much of
Westland self-sufficient in electricity.
The West Coast-owned power
company first signalled in late 2008
that it was considering building a hydro
power scheme in the upper Waitaha
Valley, south of Ross. It applied for a
concession in winter this year.
DOC staff have been seeking technical
advice and assessing the application.
In its latest newsletter, released last
week, Whitewater NZ described the
Waitaha as the “Aoraki-Mount Cook”
of New Zealand rivers. It lists the issue
as one of its first battles for 2015.
“ Whitewater NZ and expert West
Coast kayakers have recently met with
key DOC staff preparing a report
on recreation values on the Waitaha
River. The report is to be included in
the material DOC is preparing and
evaluating as part of its process to
decide on the granting (or not) of the
concession Westpower are seeking.”
Kayakers gear up for Waitaha hydro battle
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