Home' Greymouth Star : January 6th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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TUESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2015
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to race again
A dog that “nipped” a Greymouth
police constable on the ankle in
Otira yesterday was later taken away
by the Westland District Council
dog control officer. Senior sergeant
Phil Barker said the female officer
was attending a domestic argument
at Settlement Road, Otira, when
the dog attacked. “ No one has been
charged in relation to the domestic
and we will be following up the dog
bite incident,” Mr Barker said.
Threat to kill on
Two farm workers were locked up
for the night after an incident on a
Reefton farm. Senior sergeant Phil
Barker, of Greymouth police, said
a 19-year-old woman was charged
with assault and resisting arrest, and
a 30-year-old man faced charges
of assault, threatening to kill and
resisting arrest. A third person at
the property would be summonsed
on unrelated offences.
A German tourist who was
caught between a camper van and a
powerpole in Fox Glacier yesterday
was flown to Grey Base Hospital for
minor crush injuries. NZCC Rescue
Helicopter pilot Angus Taylor said
the tourist, a 27-year-old woman,
was trapped against a pole at the Fox
Glacier Holiday Park about 9.30am.
On Saturday, the rescue helicopter
flew to the Almer Hut on Franz
Josef Glacier after a 25-year-old man
suffered a suspected skull fracture
and broken arm from falling on the
ice. The injured man was a Canadian
living and working at Franz Josef.
Mainly fine with light winds
Where would you find a forgotten
husband, a prosthetic hand and
a pug dog called Dancer? Not to
mention a Coutts cheque book, keys
love letter written 40 years ago. The
answer is: at Travelodge’s lost and
found office. The United Kingdom
hotel chain has revealed some of the
interesting items left behind in its
500 properties across the country
during the past 12 months. Some of
the unusual items left behind include
a Krypton Digital Storm gaming
laptop worth £3000, a suitcase full
of pound coins to the value of £3000
and a 1m tall yellow duck. At the
Heathrow Terminal 5 hotel, there
must have been one very frustrated
passenger when they realised they
had left behind a one-way, first class
ticket to L os Angeles. — Daily Mail
West Coast police say they have
received “numerous” reports of bad
driving already this summer — many
relating to tourist cars and camper vans
and this year is shaping up as the
On December 30, two Korean
tourists died when their car plunged
off the Wanganui Bridge at Hari Hari
They had been in the country just
two days. Witnesses said the car had
just overtaken other vehicles at high
speed when it missed the approach to
the bridge and smashed through the
On December 3, Chinese driver Nana
Zheng drifted across State highway 73
just east of Dillmanstown, crashing
into a creek and killing one friend.
Central Otago and Queenstown
police reported today they had dealt
with 279 driver complaints in the past
five days alone and the majority of the
offenders were tourists to the area.
It is a similar story on the Coast.
“ We are getting a lot of driving
offences reported to us, it ’s worse
than ever,” West Coast police area
commander Inspector John Canning
“There’s an enormous lot of it. From
my obser vations — and it ’s maybe
peculiar to the Coast — a lot are rental
vehicles and probably tourists,” Mr
Some tourist drivers were doing as
well as they could but they were not up
to New Zealand standards, he said.
“They can’t handle 100kph. They
are all over the place looking at the
Police were dealing with a lot of
complaints, but were also running
short of resources to deal with them,
Common problems were drifting
out of the left-hand lane, inconsistent
driving and poor cornering.
City drivers who had never gone
more than 50kph “don’t have the
experience to handle it ”.
“It ’s all the highways ... 6, 7, 73.”
Bad driving was fairly common on
the Arthur’s Pass highway (73), he said,
but police had even had complaints on
the Arnold Valley Road, an alternative
route from State highway 73 to
Mr Canning encouraged people to
call *555 on their cellphones to report
bad driving: “ They could be stopping a
fatal motor accident ”.
West Coast Shuttle owner-operator
Cedric Trounson has also seen
bad driving on the Greymouth-
Christchurch route he travels every day,
but he is not convinced that tourists are
all to blame.
Mr Trounson had seen a few “crazy ”
passing manoeuvres lately, “but that ’s
not to say all of them are tourists”.
“It ’s easy to blame tourists,” he said,
noting the big increase in free and
independent drivers on the roads.
From his experience on State
highway 73, incidents of drivers on the
wrong side of the road were rare.
“I can count it one on hand.”
However, South Westland police have
previously reported many incidents on
State highway 6.
In October, coroner Richard McElrea
delivered recommendations on the
case of Mathias Mandleimer, who was
driving a camper van on the wrong side
of the road shortly before crashing into
a vehicle at Lake Moeraki, in South
Westland, three days after Christmas
The driver survived but his passenger
Kerstin Fromert, a 51-year-old
Bavarian, and the 82-year-old driver of
the other car, David Morris, died.
The coroner said New Zealand should
consider making all camper van and
other rental vehicle firms answerable
to a code of practice, through the
Rental Vehicle Association or a similar
He also said it was worth asking
if passenger airbags should be made
mandatory for all campervans and other
rental vehicles, and recommended that
signs around the dashboard such as
“keep left” should be compulsory for
all rental vehicles.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor, who travels 60,000km a
year and has seen a vehicle on the
wrong side of the road, said he was
“always mindful” of the risk.
He favours a technological solution
some sort of audio system, in the
driver’s own language, which regularly
reminds them to keep left. It would
‘talk’ every time the vehicle was started,
and every time it indicated.
Further story, p3.
Tourist driving errors ‘worse than ever’ — police
West Coast residents were
shaken and unner ved this
morning as Arthur’s Pass was
hit by a swarm of more than 40
Although there were few
reports of damage, the first
struck at 6.48am with a 6.0
30km west of Arthur’s Pass.
It was felt strongly in
Hokitika and Greymouth, and
sent some people scurrying for
It was followed by 39
aftershocks before midday,
ranging between 2.2 and 4.2,
mostly centred around Arthur’s
Pass, and then a sharp 4.7 at
Radio New Zealand was
contacted by an Arthur’s Pass
bach owner whose chimney
had fallen through the roof.
Long-time Arthur’s Pass
resident John Charles was on
his way to collect the paper
when the earth started to move.
“It was quite strange,
normally you get a sense that
something’s going to happen.
But it just struck out of the
blue. It was really violent,” Mr
Quakes in the alpine village
usually ended in a “snap”,
which was what sent things
tumbling off the shelves.
“But it just stopped. It lasted
about 30 seconds, the house
was creaking and lurching.
Stuff on the steel bench was
far gentler, unlike in past
earthquakes, he said.
“There are slight sensations,
like a ripple on a lake. You look
at the light, and there’s the
slightest bit of movement.”
Mr Charles was asked to
check on some baches, and
also walked to the town store,
but saw no damage. The goods
in the store were still on the
shelves, he said.
Peneamene was awoken by the
“ We felt the first handful. You
could hear them — it sounded
very similar to when the coal
train rumbles through,” Mr
“ We woke up to (the first
quake) and two minutes later
one hit that was pretty strong,
Geoff Keey said he thought
the rocking he felt was a larger
one centred elsewhere, until
he checked his phone and had
messages from people asking if
he was okay.
“Nothing fell off the walls. It
was quite a wobbly shake,” Mr
At the Bealey Hotel, Debby
Deaker said they felt a bit of
a shudder and thought ‘maybe
we should go outside’.
“ We stood there but nothing
much happened. We want our
money back,” she joked.
The numerous aftershocks
were not felt at Bealey.
Department of Conser vation
staff in Arthur’s Pass said
there had been no reports
of damage to tracks or other
DOC recreational facilities in
Geonet said the quake was
closer to the Porters Pass
faultline, although there were
others in the area.
Arthur’s Pass, so close to the
Alpine Fault, is no stranger to
earthquake. A 7.1 magnitude
struck in 1929,
reportedly shaking the village
for a horrifying four minutes,
and a 6.7 struck in 1994.
A landslip that temporarily dammed the
upper Arahura River this morning later
cleared itself, authorities reported.
Staff from the Westland District Council
and West Coast Regional Council flew
into the upper valley mid-morning after
reports that the river was murky and running
“There’s been a small slip up there, it was
temporarily blocked,” Westland district civil
defence co-ordinator John Bainbridge said.
“It’s cleared itself. We’ve been and checked
it (and) there are no significant hazards.”
The council was alerted by Milltown
landowner Russell Copland, in the upper
“He reported that there was low flow, and
the river got very dirty,” Mr Bainbridge said.
It was not clear if the slip was related to
the large earthquake that struck 30km west
of Arthur’s Pass, in the upper Wilberforce
River, which is just over the divide from the
Regional council planning and environment
manager Mike Meehan said a team had
flown about half an hour up the gorge.
He encouraged anyone to report a dirty or
“ We’d prefer to get up and have a look.
Anything like that, we want to hear about
The Tranz Alpine passenger train ser vice
was suspended today and replaced with buses,
while Kiwi Rail staff inspected the Midland
Line after the earthquake near Arthur’s Pass
A Kiwi Rail spokeswoman said numerousrail
lines in the South Island were inspected,
with closures along the Midland and
Stillwater, Oamaru and Christchurch,
and Oaro (south of Kaikoura) and
Freight ser vices on those lines had been
suspended, with bus replacements provided
for Tranz Alpine passengers.
Kiwi Rail staff drove along and physically
inspected the lines and infrastructure for any
The West Coast rail line was declared safe
and reopened at 12.30pm.
Rail services suspended as lines checked
PICTURE: West Coast Regional Council
A fresh landslip this morning partially blocked the upper reaches of the Arahura River.
Landslip blocks Arahura River
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