Home' Greymouth Star : December 27th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Inchbonnie glory days
WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
The Inangahua Times has been
digitised and added to the Papers
Past website. The newspaper was
published in Reefton from 1875
until it ceased publication in
1942, under pressure of wartime
restrictions. Initially it was issued
three times a week, by 1891 it
came out daily. By 1888 there were
three daily newspapers in Reefton
although the town had a population
of only 2000 at its peak. Its first
edition covered the Crushington
election, and even had some letters
to the editor. Papers Past has
digitised the years 1877 to 1919.
A few months ago, the Charleston
Argus was added to the free website,
along with the Lyell Times. The
other West Coast papers on-line
are: the Grey River Argus, West
Coast Times and Westport Times.
No relief for
The Blaketown whitebaiter who
was pinged with a $200 fine, for
‘freedom camping’ while taking
claim a spot on the Grey River, did
not have his ticket wiped in the
end. Grey District Council chief
executive Paul Pretorius said at
the time Mick Farlane was able
to appeal the fine. Compliance
team manager Kevin Hebberd said
the whitebaiter did not have his
ticket revoked. “At the time, the
whitebaiter concerned was asleep
in his car, below a sign that stated
that freedom camping was not
allowed,” Mr Hebberd said.
An English footballer woke from
a coma after a horrific car crash
thinking he was Hollywood actor
Matthew McConaughey and
speaking fluent French — despite
only having a basic grasp from
school. Rory Curtis, 25, suffered a
serious brain injury and a broken
pelvis after his van flipped over
on the M42 near Tamworth,
Staffordshire, and five vehicles
ploughed into it in August 2012.
He was placed in an induced coma
for six days and when he finally
came round he started chatting
to nurses in fluent French even
though he had not spoken the
language in 12 years. The former
semi-professional footballer for
Stourport Swifts FC also said he
did not recognise himself in the
mirror as he was convinced he was
Oscar-winning actor Matthew
Rain, some heavy falls
The slumping State highway near
Knights Point has dropped a further
5mm in two weeks, and one nearby
tourist operator is ner vously hoping it
will not become another Diana Falls.
A 50m-long of section of the
highway, close to the massive Knights
Point slip, has slumped by 20mm
since the start of December. The slip
leaving a 300m vertical drop below
the road — occurred at Epitaph
Cutting in October 2012.
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
owner Gerry McSweeney said he
drove the road on Monday and rocks
were still tumbling down.
The latest slumping was concerning.
“ When you drive it, it is uneven
in the feel, which tells you there is
something,” Dr McSweeney said.
He hoped it would not get worse
during the summer tourist season.
“The real fear is — 2012-13 was
the Wanganui Bridge (Hari Hari),
2013-14 was Diana Falls. We wouldn’t
want to make it 2014-15 as Epitaph
That was especially so when this
tourist season was shaping up to be
the best for five or six years.
The disruption of Diana Falls had
only added to an overall “reputation
problem” on the West Coast, he said.
“ You live with the unpredictable
in South Westland, like the Waiho
Bridge (at Franz Josef ) it is just one
of the things you have to live with.”
Dr McSweeney said they were “in
the hands of the engineers.”
Haast resident Bob Stuart said he
still travelled “very quickly through
that area” when he drove the hilly
coastal section by the slip and the
“ It is obviously safe. They are
keeping an eye on it, but it is moving,”
Mr Stuart said.
Haast fisherman Kerry Eggeling
said he worked under the slip from his
boat and believed the main slip had
settled, and most of what had fallen
had washed away.
The slip site was even starting to
grow bush again, Mr Eggeling said.
He was confident that NZTA was
keeping a close eye on the slip.
“They have a pretty good handle on
what is going on. ”
NZ Transport Agency regional
performance manager Pete Connors
said there had been a further drop of
“At this stage we do not know what
has caused the slumping along the
highway and we have no plans to
carry out any physical works until we
have a better understanding of the
cause,” Mr Connors said.
NZTA was monitoring the slump by
using benchmarked pins to measure
any movement. He expected on-site
drilling to begin on January 5, which
would help them understand the
geology of the area and determine if
any preventative work was necessary.
“There has been similar slumping in
the area in the past, such as at Breccia
Creek, about 1km to the south of the
existing site, where slumping was
monitored in the 1970s, and there was
no catastrophic failure,” Mr Connors
All eyes on slumping highway
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Bob Stanger looks over his father’s wartime photo collection.
Previously unseen photos taken during World
War Two have come to light after Greymouth
man Bob Stanger checked through a
collection of images held by his late father.
Private Basil Upton Stanger, of Oamaru, was
a driver in Petrol Company Division of the New
Zealand Army serving in Greece, Crete, Tobruk
and West Eygpt at Mersa Matra. While in Crete
he took possession of a box brownie camera
from a captured German soldier.
Years after the war Basil Stanger’s son Bob had
the photos developed, along with photos his
father had taken during the war.
“My father went away on the first echelon,
leaving on the first boat which left to go over
seas in 1939,” Mr Stanger said.
“He returned in 1943 and carried the scars of
war for the rest of his life.”
One of the photos, right, from the German
camera, is of Adolf Hitler and Hermann
Goering talking to German troops during a
Hitler photo found
war time camera
The 85-year-old Ahaura Bridge has undergone
decking repairs for the third time in four months,
with more work tipped for next month.
State highway 7 traffic faced delays of up to
20 minutes twice last week while contractors
again resurfaced areas of the timber bridge deck
to “improve the ride,” New Zealand Transport
Agency regional performance manager Pete
The bridge was subject to “urgent repairs”
in September and that was followed by more
“ urgent repairs” last month. The seal repairs had
to be re-done last month after vehicles pushed
out loose material from the repaired potholes
before it had set.
Mr Connors said they had spent some time
over the past few months trying to find a
solution to repair the deck, with previous repairs
having not adhered well because of persistent
“The repairs are designed to improve the
surface of the deck until we can replace some
deck planks and resurface the entire deck early
next month. Much of this work will be done
with night-time closures. ”
As part of the most recent work, contractors
did some preparatory work, stripping off the old
timber deck to provide a clean and dry surface
for the work to be completed.
Mr Connors said the work was programmed
and delays for the single lane bridge had been
“O ur contractor was also advising motorists at
both Ikamatua and Stillwater of possible delays
and providing them with the option of taking a
In September, NZTA said they had no short
or medium-term plans for replacing the bridge,
but acknowledged that it had five to 10 years life
left, without significant structural refurbishment
Last month, Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn wrote to NZTA to implore them
to urgently review a replacement of the Ahaura
Westland District Mayor Mike Havill,
speaking as an Ahaura resident and farmer,
previously questioned the cost of continually
working on what he called an “an appalling piece
of State highway infrastructure”.
The cold, wet spring that beset the West Coast,
accompanied by unseasonal snow flurries in the
Southern Alps, was not enough to replenish the
South Westland glaciers, scientists say.
Since 2004, scientists from Otago University
have been measuring the Brewster Glacier
carefully and sending the measurements to the
World Glacier Monitoring Ser vice.
The small glacier, near Haast Pass, is regarded
as a barometer for glacier research in New
Glaciologist Brian Anderson, of Ross, said
they recently visited Brewster to measure winter
snowfall, and found that the snow was between
1.5m and 9m deep on the glacier.
“That sounds a lot but, totalled over the glacier,
it is very close to the average for the last 10
years,” Dr Anderson said.
Until 2008, the glacier gained snow and ice
mass, but since then it had lost mass, or there
had been close to no change.
The worst year was 2011, when it lost about 2m
of ice, averaged over the glacier area.
Those measurements corresponded closely
with what was happening at Fox and Franz Josef
glaciers, he said.
It was also 2008 when Franz Josef stopped
advancing, and 2011 was when it lost 70m of ice
thickness near the terminus.
The lack of snow during winter at Brewster
Glacier meant that, despite the cold, wet and
snowy spring, the amount of snow on the glacier
was close to average for this time of year.
Whether it turned out to be a good year or a
bad year for the glaciers now depended on what
happened this summer, he said.
The snow thickness averaged over the glacier
surface this winter was 2.3m, but summer melt
had varied in the past between 1.1m and 4.1m
depending on how warm this summer turned
“ While El Nino has still not been officially
declared, the cold south-westerly weather of late
spring is consistent with what we expect from
“If these conditions continue and give us a cool
summer, the glaciers could gain mass this year.
Of course, any actual advance of the terminus
needs a few years of mass gain, not just one.”
It was the longest record of snow and ice gain
and loss in New Zealand, and one of relatively
few in the Southern Hemisphere.
Brewster Glacier was chosen for monitoring
because it was one of a few glaciers in the
Southern Alps that were easily accessible.
In contrast, Fox and Franz, which people were
generally more interested in, were spectacularly
steep, which meant they were very crevassed in
places and there were limited parts of the glacier
which could be accessed safely, he said.
At Brewster Glacier the experts measure the
mass balance — how much snow falls each
winter and how much snow and ice melts each
Dr Anderson’s partner in the research was
Nicolas Cullen, from Otago University.
Ahaura Bridge: third time lucky?
Wet spring not enough
to replenish glaciers
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