Home' Greymouth Star : January 8th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Coast girls’ ride from hell
with new WOF
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 8, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Alpine Fault drillers
shut down — twice
A stereo and a speaker system
were seized from a Hokitika home
early this morning after neighbours
complained about a noisy party.
Police were called out at 1 o’clock
and found five men having a party
and enjoying some loud tunes.
Officers seized their stereo to hush
the group, but just over an hour later
police responded to more complaints
about loud music at the property,
and returned to find the men had
cranked up another stereo. This time
police removed the speaker system
and the street fell silent.
Two decent aftershocks, the first in
more than 24 hours, were recorded
near Arthur’s Pass overnight. The
first, a magnitude 4, was at 11.25pm
and the second, a 3.7 at 3.57am.
Both were located 30km south-west
of the village, putting them also in
the headwaters of the Wilberforce
Today we introduce our new
monthly gardening correspondent.
Gillian Vine is a D unedin-based
writer, the Otago Daily Times’
gardening editor and a regular
contributor to the national magazine
Weekend Gardener. Ms Vine
replaces our long-time gardening
correspondent Liz Gray, who has
decided to spend more time with her
family after about 15 years writing
for the Greymouth Star.
In the Garden, p5.
Fine after morning cloud
A teenager was rescued after
running out of toilet paper on board
a Virgin train after he tweeted the
company for help. In a day and age
where social networking seems to
provide an answer to everything,
16-year-old Adam Greenwood was
saved in the nick of time in a toilet
cubicle on the Euston to Glasgow
train last month. After reaching out
for the loo roll, to his horror Adam
realised it had not been replaced, and
so he decided to tweet his despair
to his followers, while copying in
the Virgin Trains account. Within
two minutes Virgin had responded
by asking the stricken teen from
Lancaster which carriage he was in.
After peering out of the toilet almost
stealth-like, he bolted back in and
tweeted back that he was in coach
J, followed by a polite knock at the
door as a man wearing a black suit
appeared at the cubicle, and handed
an embarrassed Adam some paper.
— Daily Mail
Police and fire safety officers are
investigating a suspicious fire that razed
a derelict Mokihinui house early this
The property was in the spotlight late
last year when the Granity police officer
discovered a pregnant woman was living
there, and expressed concern it was unfit
Constable Greg Sherie wrote to the
Buller District Council to say the house
was in poor condition, structurally
unsound, had no running water or
electricity and did not appear to have any
functioning bathroom or toilet facilities.
Initially, the council said it had no role
to play about the state of the property, but
later changed its tune and investigated
the complaint, speaking to those who
were living in the house on and off.
It has since been abandoned.
Granity Volunteer Fire Brigade chief
officer Murray Watson said they were
called to the property just after 4am.
“ When we arrived the fire was well
involved and we worked to stop it
spreading to nearby bushes. The house
was burned to the ground,” Mr Watson
The fire was being treated as suspicious
because of the recent controversy
surrounding the house and the fact it did
not have electricity.
The house was also adjacent to another
property targeted in an arson attack a
couple of weeks ago. The Buller woman
charged with torching that property, a
bach, is now in mental health care.
The woman’s case was called in the
Christchurch District Court yesterday
but she was not present because she was
now in care, The Press reported.
A Canterbury District Health Board
clinician sent a letter to the court
outlining the woman’s situation.
Judge Alistair Garland granted interim
name suppression at the request of
defence counsel Paul Johnson. The judge
remanded the 33-year-old woman in
custody until January 21 for a report
under the Criminal Procedures (Mentally
Impaired Persons) Act.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Kumara Racing Club president Patrick Meates, left, and committee member Les Guenole on track this morning. Club members and volunteers
were putting the final touches to the course and facilities ready for the annual Gold Nuggets meeting, on Saturday. “ The track is in great order, the
marquees and tents are rolling in, the paint brushes are busy and the grass has been cut,” Mr Meates said. “Everything is right on track for Saturday
— and above all, the weather will be perfect.”
Arthur’s Pass mice plague eases
The Arthur’s Pass mice plague has abated, with
one resident saying he is relieved to be catching
just nine or 10 a day, rather than 30 or 40 at the
height of the plague.
By November, the alpine village was in the grips
of a full-on plague, thanks to an unusually heavy
fruiting (mast) in the surrounding beech forests.
Motorists on State highway 73 reported seeing
hundreds of mice scurrying across the road, while
in the village residents resorted to putting up
whitebait net metal gauze to keep them out of their
homes, and unattended baches were colonised.
John Charles said yesterday that between
December 8 and 30, he had caught 1509 mice.
However, the new year rain had dampened
“They are still there — I’m getting somewhere
about nine or 10 a day. It was up between 30 and
40 some days,” Mr Charles said.
He thought the rain might have flooded the
forest floor and drowned a lot of the pests.
“At Klondyke Corner, up in the beech forest, the
forest floor was so dry you could see little holes
The last time the area experienced a mice plague,
in the mid-1990s, it was also a flood that brought
it to an end.
“Numbers are definitely down since the rain. But
there’s not been quite enough rain. It ’s dried out
again,” he said.
The beech forest seed this year also led to an
increase in rat numbers, and the Department of
Conser vation recently estimated it had killed
800,000 rats in a 1080 poison drop at Maruia.
The mice plague has also led to some supersized
trout in some West Coast rivers as the fish feed on
One of Greymouth’s grandest buildings
is for sale.
The Speights Ale House building in
the former Custom House on Mawhera
Quay, was earthquake strengthened in
Shortly after wards, Speights moved in
downstairs, and the West Coast Primary
Health Organisation upstairs.
It was built in 1909 and has a category
one heritage protection.
The building is being marketed by
Greg Daly real estate, and sits on
The agents were not available today to
give the asking price, but the valuation
listed with the council is $1.25 million.
Greymouth landmark for sale
PICTURE: Westport News
Next door bach also torched
Kumara preened for 129th races
The West Coast District Health Board looks set
to be one of the big losers in the 2015-16 funding
round, Labour’s health spokeswoman Annette
The board has reduced its deficit from
$9.4 million to $1.1 million over the past three
It also will shortly embark on a $67m
redevelopment of Greymouth Hospital, all of
which will have to be borrowed.
Treasury has now advised the Government that
district health boards need to trim almost $200m
from their 2015-16 budgets.
“DH Bs need an extra $400m next year just to
break even. Cabinet papers, however, warn they
can expect between $250m and $320m,” Mrs
“ While the average increase across the country
would be 2.8%, West Coast, which is already
facing severe financial pressure, will get 1.89%
extra. Talk about a happy new year; that is a band
aid not a fix.”
Mrs King said services were already stretched to
the limit and even Treasury noted that the financial
strain DHBs were facing was considerable.
“At the same time, staff are under increased
pressure and more New Zealanders are going
without health care, even though they need it.
“Hospitals are facing massive challenges while
dealing with an ever tighter budget and rising
“It is time the Government reassessed the way
funding is allocated and our health services are
adequately resourced so they can continue to
deliver the best possible patient care,” Mrs King
Coast DHB faces funding squeeze — Labour
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Office: 03 768 7145
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Annual street party 7/12/2014
Enjoy a brand new home for the new year!
Enjoy a brand new home for the new year!
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