Home' Greymouth Star : December 23rd 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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Drunken taxi row
ends in arrest
A 49-year-old man was arrested
in Greymouth early yesterday
morning after he was found drunk
and disorderly in the centre of town.
Sergeant Andy Lyes said the arrest
followed a complaint from a taxi
driver earlier in the night. The drunk
man had apparently called a taxi
and then created a scene when the
driver refused to take the man’s two
very large dogs. The alleged offender
was also subject to an outstanding
arrest warrant and was held in
custody until today when he was due
to appear before a registrar in the
Greymouth District Court.
Rural crime spree
Westport police have appealed for
witnesses after a spate of crime in
the rural area just north of the town
late on Sunday and early yesterday.
Acting sergeant Mark Watson said a
shed was broken into at the Orowaiti
Cemetery and fuel containers stolen,
sometime overnight on Sunday.
During the night, two cars were
broken into nearby, at a property
on the intersection of Power House
Road and State highway 67. A
mountainbike was stolen from
one of the vehicles and the fuel
siphoned from both cars, Mr Watson
said. A few hours later and a few
kilometres further north, police
and firefighters were called to a fire
at a shed on a rural property near
Waimangaroa about 4am. “ This blaze
is thought to be suspicious and an
investigation is being carried out by
The Grey District Council advises
that rubbish and recycling which
is normally collected on Thursday,
will instead be collected tomorrow,
Christmas Eve. Collection that
falls due on New Year’s Day will be
moved a day earlier, on Wednesday,
January 31. All other collection days
remain the same over the holiday
The ultimate party girl gift: Pills
that make you poop rainbow glitter.
What to get your good friend
who loves to party and always
covers herself in glitter? Well, in
the messed up world that is the
internet, you can now purchase
rainbow glitter pills. Now, in the
item’s description it does not specify
that you are supposed to eat the
things, but the whole ‘pill’ name
does imply a product intended for
oral consumption. And the glitter is
described as non-toxic.
— UK Metro
Cobden school bus fare reprieve
A compromise has been reached
over Greymouth High School
students from Cobden who were
going to be charged $200 a term to
catch the bus to school, with the fare
School principal Andy England
announced at the weekend that
an agreement had been reached
with Ritchies and the Ministry of
Education, giving the families some
About seven months ago, 46
students lost their entitlement to
free travel on the school bus after
Ritchies picked up on a Ministry
of Education policy which excluded
students living within a certain
distance of the school.
Back then, the national bus
company proposed charging each
ineligible family $100 per student,
per term, but then later ratcheted
up the charge to $200 each, with the
extra requirement that the fares be
paid in full at the start of each term.
Mr England said that would
“create significant problems for many
However, he has welcomed the
about-turn, which will see the
Ministry of Education contribute
a $100 subsidy for each family.
Students will also be able to purchase
10-trip tickets from the school.
Cobden mother Lynne Rodrique,
who will have two children at
Greymouth High School next year,
paid tribute to Mr England for
pushing for a solution.
Mrs Rodrique has had children
catch the Cobden school bus in past
years and never had to pay, and she is
still at a loss as to why her children
are now ineligible for the free ser vice.
“ What Ritchies have done is taken
the quicker route from our place to
the school, which puts us just out of
range,” she said.
She welcomed the ministry review
of the system.
Mr England said the changes came
after he made direct contact with the
secretary for education Peter Hughes
and Ritchies owner Andrew Ritchie.
The changes — subject to
Greymouth office — include:
Cobden students ineligible for
free transport will need to buy their
tickets from the Greymouth High
School office at $10 for 10 trips, or
$1 a trip.
Students will need to use a ticket,
as no cash will be taken on the buses.
The Ministry of Education will
subsidise the difference directly with
The ministry will review its
system for buses in 2015.
Police in Reefton and Greymouth
both report the new drink-driving limit
is hitting home.
Constable Andrew Palmer, of Reefton
police, said today that since the new
lower infringement limits came
into force on December 1 police in
Inangahua had yet to issue a ticket.
“ We actually haven’t had one. It’s
definitely the talk of the town,”
Mr Palmer said.
The drink-driving tolerance was
slashed from 400mg to 250mg. A driver
who falls within the new limit will be
fined $200 and 50 demerit points. If a
driver gets 200 demerit points within
two years they face a three-month
suspension of their driving licence.
Drivers blowing 400mg and above
still face criminal conviction through
the court system.
Mr Palmer said police visiting
licensed premises around Reefton were
regularly being asked about the new
drink-driving regime and it was clearly
affecting driver behaviour.
Police in the Reefton area had not
encountered anyone breaching the
400mg limit either.
In Greymouth, sergeant Andy Lyes
said there have been few infringements
so far, suggesting that people
were thinking ahead and making
arrangements for alternative transport
if they intended to drink alcohol while
“The public have been pretty good,
so it seems like the message is getting
through,” Mr Lyes said.
Police would continue to reinforce the
message about the different capacity
and effect of alcohol consumption
person by person.
A combination of tiredness and no
food meant that it took very little for
some people to find themselves over the
new limit, he said.
The message which people would have
to get used to from now on was “just
don’t drink and drive at all”.
The draft Opus plan for the Greymouth
central business district is out for public
feedback and the Greymouth Star, in
conjunction with the Grey District
Council, is running a daily question.
Today we look the skatepark connection.
“The second highest priority that came
through the sur veys was to better utilise
the Greymouth CBD as a recreational
space,” council economic development
officer Erin McGoldrick said.
Already established as a key recreation
area is the skatepark.
“This proposed project aims to better
integrate the skatepark into the CBD
and its surrounding environment. The
outcomes of which might be connection
through planting and streetscape
materials and improvements to the
seating area with shelter and open space
for events, competitions and spectating.”
Today ’s question is: The skatepark
could be a great recreational and visitor
drawcard, how could we better utilise it
and connect it to the CBD?
You can e-mail your response to erin.
firstname.lastname@example.org or do the
entire sur vey on-line at
Question of the day
When Keith Wright started at the
Greymouth Evening Star 50 years
ago he was paid in pounds, shillings
and pence, and had to bike to work
from Runanga on Saturdays when
there was no bus.
A linotype-printer, he worked
through the Inangahua earthquake
of 1968 and the two Greymouth
floods of 1988, when they had to
shovel silt from the floor of the
In the 148-year history of this
newspaper, only one other person
has managed the same feat —
Aubrey Weaver, who started in 1912
and finished in 1963, a year before
Mr Wright started.
His first day on the job was
Monday, December 14, 1964, as a
fresh-faced school leaver. He had
previously considered becoming a
Instead he was apprenticed as a
linotype operator (fortnightly pay:
£14), setting the hot metal type used
in the printing process for over 100
Compared to today, it was a
cumbersome operation, he said.
“If the type fell out you had to start
all over again.”
Mr Wright was working the day of
the Inangahua earthquake and the
newspaper was published as usual.
But that was not the case in 1988.
When he finally left work after the
second flood, the water was chest
deep in the printing section.
“The manhole was off in the back
street, it was lucky no one went
When the floodwaters subsided, a
thick layer of mud and silt had to be
shovelled before the presses could
resume printing a few days later.
In 50 years’ service, his longest
break from work was six weeks, only
a few years ago when he caught his
finger in the printing press.
For the past decade he has started
at 4.30am to print the Hokitika
Guardian. He enjoys the early
morning shift as it leaves his
He has witnessed plenty of
changes since 1964: “ When I started
we thought linos would be around
But eventually the industry did
change, from hot metal type to ‘cold
type’ with the advent of computers,
meaning the pages were etch
photographed on to printing plates
rather than being printed directly
from the metal type. Nowadays,
the newspaper runs a ‘computer to
plate’ system, whereby the pages are
sent straight from the sub-editing
computers to the press.
The old Cossar press he started on
used to take an hour and a quarter
to print the paper; now with the
modern Goss press it takes 20
He has worked under six managers
(Tony Negri was the longest
ser ving) and four editors (Russell
Nelson, the longest), and worked
with three Watson brothers, also
For now, it is business as usual,
although longer term the keen
bowler and his wife Kathy plan
to retire to Blenheim, where their
daughter now lives.
Mr Wright said it was mostly the
people who had kept him in the one
workplace for his entire working
life: “I’ve enjoyed my time here.”
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Keith Wright has worked at the Greymouth Star for 50 years.
Newspaper veteran marks 50 years
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