Home' Greymouth Star : January 8th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
West Coast/New Zealand
2 - Thursday, January 8, 2015
Police want help to locate two
surfboards stolen from the roof of
a car parked along North Beach
Road, Cobden, on December 22. A
Greymouth police spokesman said
the boards, one orange and the other
blue and grey, were taken sometime
between 3pm and 3.30pm.
DHB reliant on locums
The West Coast District Health
Board is still relying heavily
on locums. Late last year, 65
clinicians from the West Coast and
Canterbury met to discuss future
ser vices. A presentation to that
meeting, released under the Official
Information Act, shows the West
Coast DHB is using locums for one-
third of the hospital senior doctor
positions and GP roles, and a quarter
of allied health roles.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals: Jay
Elaine. Departures: Four Greymouth
vessels. In port: Jay Elaine, 16 other
vessels. Expected departures: Jay
Elaine, Sunday. Expected arrivals:
Ocean Odyssey, tomorrow; Cook
Canyon, Galatea II, Sunday.
pair denied bail
The two teens accused of murdering
a man at an Auckland motel have been
Leonard Nattrass-Berquist and Beauen
Daniel George Wallace-Loretz, both 17,
appeared in the High Court at Auckland
yesterday over the death of 54-year-old
Ihaia Gillman-Harris on December 27
at the Ascot Epsom Motel.
The bail applications for the pair were
unsuccessful but there is another hearing
scheduled to be heard on January 20 to
consider electronically-monitored bail.
Nattrass-Berquist and Wallace-Loretz
went to police on New Year’s Eve after
their names had been released to the
public. Two days later, they were charged
with murder and made a brief court
appearance in the Auckland District
At their next appearance the following
week, two further charges were laid
against each of the youths.
They are also accused of robbing Mr
Gillman-Harris of cash, a cellphone and
bank card as well as unlawfully taking his
$15,000 Range Rover.
The teens will have to plead next
month. — NZME
Thursday January 8
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Thinking of you Mum as
the first sad year with-
out you passes.
We miss your lovely
smile and sense of
humour, and remember
how kind and hard-
working you were.
We hope you are now at
Your loving family.
Willem. — Passed away
peacefully at Grey Base
Hospital, Greymouth on
December 22, 2014.
Messages to 7 Kilgour
Street, Runanga 7803.
As per Willem's wishes
a private cremation
service has taken place.
Services Ltd. FDANZ.
Phone (03) 768 0250.
Harold. — Passed away
suddenly at Kumara on
Tuesday January 6,
2015, in his 79th year.
Dearly loved father of
Vicki, loved granddad of
Tash and Tracey, Josh
and Amber, and Stacey
and Brendan, loved
Bailey, Lara, Cleveland,
Adam, Shelby, and
Kenzie, loved brother
and brother-in-law of
Neil and Dulcie, Hoy
and Betty, Joyce and
Noel Wafer, and Doug
and Jan, and a loved
uncle. He will be sadly
missed by his many
friends. Messages to 127
Kumara, Westland 7832.
A graveside service for
Rowan will be held at
the Karoro Lawn Ceme-
tery tomorrow (Friday)
at 11am. Resting in the
care of Anisy Funeral
Passed away peacefully
in the loving care of
family at Granger House
on January 8, 2015, in
her 85th year. Dearly
loved wife of the late
Darcy, loved Mum and
mother-in-law of Kevin
(deceased) and Pam,
Des and Sue, Stephen
(deceased), and Gary
and Adele, loved grand-
ma of Angela, Mark,
Brent and Amelia, loved
great-grandma of Ash,
Cleo and Alegra, loved
sister, aunty, cousin and
friend of many. Mess-
ages to C/- PO Box 417,
Greymouth 7840. A
funeral service to cele-
brate Fran's life will be
held in Reefton on
Saturday at 2pm. Venue
to be confirmed. Fran
will then be laid to rest
with her husband at
Burkes Creek Cemetery.
Services Ltd. FDANZ.
Phone (03) 768 0250.
of the Westport News
Four Westport teenagers who drove a
vehicle about 700km from Westport to
Queenstown discovered it had faulty brakes
just four days after receiving a warrant of
Vehicle owner Charlie Elley said he had
sought the warrant of fitness to ensure the
vehicle was safe for his daughter, his niece
and their two female friends to travel to
Queenstown for New Year.
The 17 and 18-year-olds had headed
south on the two-day trip in his four-
wheel-drive Mazda Mar vie on December
28, four days after the WOF inspection, he
The brakes began causing problems on
the Crown Range, between Wanaka and
Queenstown. The highest main road in
New Zealand, it reaches an altitude of
Mr Elley said the driver, his 18-year-old
niece, had to take “extreme care” to cross
Queenstown, they rang to tell him the
vehicle was making a “horrendous noise”
in the front.
“ I assumed it was a stone in the brakes,
because I thought the brakes would have
been in good working condition.”
They took the vehicle to a Queenstown
ser vice station, which found it had
“absolutely no brake pads on the front
brakes, that it was metal to metal and that
the brakes had basically been damaged”,
Mr Elley said.
The $400 repair included replacement
brake pads. The ser vice station believed the
brakes had been faulty for some time.
He was upset the WOF had been issued
without finding the fault.
“ If you get a vehicle warranted, you
assume the purpose of the warrant is the
vehicle is fit and safe for use.”
Mr Elley said he seldom used the
vehicle, which was another reason he had
taken it for a WOF before a warrant was
The Q ueenstown ser vice station told him
the fault should have been picked up. It
told him that if the vehicle had crashed, the
WOF provider could have faced criminal
When he asked the WOF provider for
an explanation he was told the brakes had
passed the standard WOF brake test, he
He declined to name the WOF provider.
The New Zealand Transport Agency said
it could not comment on whether the faulty
brakes should have been picked up during
the WOF without seeing the vehicle in
“Part of a WOF check is to inspect the
vehicle’s brake pads if they are visible and
complete a performance test to ensure the
brakes are working,” a spokesman said.
“The performance testing is done as
a road test or by using a roller brake
“The WOF provider’s liability would be
determined by the courts, if charges were
The spokesman encouraged anyone
with concerns about a WOF inspection
to contact the agency directly so it could
Teens’ risky trip after new WOF
Faulty brakes found after 700km journey
The ‘Hokitika Beach’ sign, taken down
amid a public uproar three years ago, may be
reinstated further back on Weld Lane.
Enterprise Hokitika has been working on
the proposal and says it has the support of
most businesses to have the sign — fashioned
out of metal but based on the ‘Hokitika’
driftwood sign — put back as a drawcard to
A social media page entitled ‘Reinstate the
Hokitika Beach Access Sign’ appeared at
the weekend to gauge public opinion. The
page says that both Enterprise Hokitika and
Hokitika Lions back its return.
The sign was originally designed by a
Westland District Council engineer and
erected on wooden posts at the entrance to
Weld Lane, between Postie and the NZ Post
It was taken down a few weeks later after
a storm of controversy that culminated in a
public petition, and has been in storage since.
A lot of the opposition at the time was
concerned with the site, right on the
footpath, with suggestions there would be
more support if it were moved further back
in the lane.
Cr Latham Martin, who helped set up the
webpage at the weekend, said the council
made an open ended resolution to revisit
placement of the sign at some point.
“ I guess it ’s always going to be
controversial,” he said.
Enterprise Hokitika co-chairwoman Jenny
Keogan said the business group was definitely
reviewing the repositioning of the sign, and a
sur vey of business owners prior to Christmas
indicated “a consensus from the majority” to
look at it again.
“They would like to see it back up, not
back in the previous position, but maybe
back a little bit further out,” Ms Keogan
Enterprise Hokitika was keen to gauge
opinion and would continue to work with the
Westland District Council on any initiative to
improve the town, she said.
“The council are for bringing the sign back
Enterprise co-chairwoman Jacquie Grant
said the group had been talking informally
with council staff about the sign for some
time, but there was no timeline for its return.
Council district assets manager Vivek Goel
said his department had yet to receive a
“ I’m aware that there is one particular group
that are advocating that the sign should go
back,” Mr Goel said.
While a previous council resolution stood
there was as yet “no identified process” to
reinstate the sign.
“ If the proposal comes to us, we will go and
look into it.”
New move on beach sign
The sign being removed.
A passenger plane travelling from Fiji
to New Zealand was forced to turn
around when its cabin filled with fumes
and an oil smell early yesterday.
The airline, Fiji Airways, said yesterday
the Boeing 737-800 was on its way to
Auckland from Nadi.
on one of our B737-800s due to fumes
and oil smell reported in the cabin,” Fiji
Airways managing director and chief
executive Stefan Pichler said.
One person was seen by a doctor when
the flight landed.
“The aircraft landed safely without
incident. The aircraft is currently in
the hangar and our engineers are
investigating what may have caused the
defect,” he said.
Passengers were booked on the next
available flight, Mr Pichler said.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
A state-of-the-art laboratory
beside the Whataroa River is being
packed up after an ambitious drilling
operation came to a premature end
before scientists could bore through
the high-risk Alpine Fault.
However, the researchers overseeing
the multinational effort say the
work has already delivered crucial
insights into what is potentially New
Zealand’s biggest earthquake threat.
Drilling, which began last year, came
to a halt last month after equipment
became damaged at a depth of 893m
about 400m shy of the target
depth and probably 100m-200m
away from the fault itself.
More than 60 New Zealand
and international researchers and
specialists have been based at the
site at Whataroa, where monitoring
equipment was supposed to be
inserted into the fault so small
earthquakes, temperature, pressure
and chemical conditions could be
The project, involving more than
120 scientists altogether, is one of the
first attempts to probe the inside of
a major fault before it ruptures, with
the aim of revealing the chemical and
physical changes occurring at various
depths inside the fault zone.
Despite the setback, Otago
University geologist Dr Virginia Toy
said the drilling had already gathered
a mass of invaluable data and samples.
Her colleagues had been surprised
at the temperatures of rock and fluid
far below ground which had reached
80degC by a depth of about 500m.
It was expected that at the
borehole base the scientists had tried
unsuccessfully to reach — 1 .3km
down — the temperature could be
This temperature is considered
fundamental in rock mechanics,
as such high temperatures exist in
the lower half of the Earth’s brittle
crust where important earthquake
Further down, at 8-10km below
the Southern Alps, earthquakes stop
occurring because rock at that depth
no longer fractures.
Dr Toy said it was hoped the lessons
learned in the drilling would allow
the team to reach their target depths
the next time around.
Further drilling could perhaps take
place at a second borehole at the same
location, she said, but she did not see
this happening until at least next year.
The team were also intrigued to find
among the rock samples an abundant
amount of graphite — a slippery
mineral which could play a role in the
strength of the fault.
But the early end to the drilling had
left some key questions unanswered,
including whether there are major
changes in fluid pressure across the
fault, and how the rock sequence
changed very close to the fault.
Dr Toy said the facility set up near
the banks of the Whataroa River,
just upstream of the State highway
bridge, had been “world class”.
It had included a mass spectrometer
and gas chromatograph used to
provide continuous measurements of
It also boasted a core scanner that
produces high-resolution images
of core samples, and a facility to
make microscopic slides of the rock
gathered within only a few hours of
its recovery from far below.
She hoped it could eventually be
replicated into a mobile hub that
could be shifted between future drill
Along with further drilling at
Whataroa, Dr Toy believed an ideal
location would be south of Haast, at
the southern end of the Alpine Fault,
where geological conditions were
comparable with parts of California’s
San Andreas Fault.
“If there’s anywhere that ’s got
potential to have a big influence on
our seismic hazard predictions, I
think the behaviour of that southern
section of fault does.”
The Alpine Fault
Is the on-land boundary between
the Pacific and Australian tectonic
It moves about 27m horizontally
every 1000 years, in three or four
separate large ruptures.
Scientists have evidence that it
has ruptured 24 times in the past
8000 years, with the average inter val
period about 330 years.
Th e fault last ruptured in 1717,
or 297 years ago, and has a 28%
probability of rupturing in the next
50 years, which is high by global
According to GNS Science, this
rupture would produce “one of the
biggest earthquakes since European
settlement of New Zealand” with “a
major impact on the lives of many
people”. — NZME
Manawatu police are seeking information
about a vehicle linked to the fatal shooting
of Pahiatua man James Poto Whatuira, 49, in
Woodville on Sunday.
Whatuira, known to most as Poto, was found
dead in an Ormond Street house on Sunday and
police want to hear of any sightings of a 2005,
silver Ford Falcon XR6 saloon, registration
CRL12, found at the Woodville property.
Police involved are not prepared to discuss
who the vehicle belongs to at this stage.
“This is a vehicle of interest to our
investigation and was located at the Ormond
Street property when officers attended last
Sunday, January 4,” detective senior sergeant
Simon Harrison, of Palmerston North, said.
“ It is believed Mr Whatuira travelled to the
property in this vehicle sometime on the
“ Piecing together this vehicle’s movements is
a crucial part of our investigation and we appeal
to anyone who saw the vehicle in the Pahiatua
and Woodville areas between 7am and 3pm on
the Sunday to contact police.
“The sightings will also help establish if
anyone else was in the vehicle at the time.”
Meanwhile, Woodville residents have said life
in the town is continuing as normal, albeit with
a large police presence.
“These things don’t usually happen in
Woodville,” a former police officer who lives in
the town said. “ But we’ve had some notoriety
lately because a shooting is quite sensational
and of course we had the drug dominatrix case
here last year.”
Dominatrix Jolene Rose, 37, a mother of
three, was last year sentenced to 20 years in
jail after police busted her multimillion-dollar
methamphetamine business. She also forfeit
the $764,830 cash she had hidden around her
property. — NZ ME -Hawke’s Bay Today
Drillers abandon Whataroa fault drilling project
The site of the Alpine Fault drilling project near Whataroa.
December was a month of two halves
on the West Coast — the region shivered
and soaked, and then basked in sunshine
for the rest of the month.
The National Institute of Water
and Atmospheric Research (Niwa)
yesterday released its official figures for
While parts of Canterbury received
less than 15mm of rain, wetter than
normal soils were evident over parts of
the upper West Coast.
The temperature started to change
after December 16.
The mean air temperature in Hokitika
until then was 13.7degC, down
0.7degC. But after that date it jumped
to 15.6degC, up 1.2degC.
The weather recovered enough for
Reefton to record its fourth highest
mean air temperature since 1960 —
17.5degC, up 2.1degC. The maximum
mean of 23.3degC was also its fourth
warmest since 1960.
When it reached 31.2degC on
December 16, it was the second highest
Haast managed a mean of 16.9degC,
its third best since 1949, and Westport
15.5degC (fourth best since 1966).
“ December 2014 was characterised
by higher than normal pressure centred
near the Chatham Islands and extending
over New Zealand with lower than
normal pressures over the Tasman Sea
and eastern Australia,” Niwa said.
“This pressure pattern resulted in an
anomalous north-easterly airflow over
the country. In terms of temperature, the
month of December was a month with
two halves, with below average or well-
below average temperatures dominating
most of New Zealand through the first
half of the month.
“Thereafter, however, the remainder
of the month featured much warmer
temperatures which compensated for
the unusually cool start.”
December month of
Three 15-year-olds were among new
mothers on the West Coast in the past
The Greymouth Star requested the
West Coast figures after a 13-year-old
girl gave birth last year in the Bay of
The DHB holds figures for births at
Greymouth and Buller hospitals, but not
Births between mid-2009 and mid-
2014 included three mothers aged just
West Coast medical officer of health
Dr Cheryl Brunton said sexual health
advice was provided a number of ways.
Greymouth had a family planning
clinic and all West Coast GP surgeries
offered free contraception and sexual
health checks for young people up to the
age of 22
West Coast pharmacies also provided
access to the emergency ‘morning after
pill’. Condom packs with information
about sexual health and ser vices
available, were provided free at a variety
of youth-friendly venues throughout the
Information resources on sexual health
for young people and their parents are
available free from the Community
Health Information Centre and the
When asked if the figures were average,
outgoing West Coast DHB programme
director Michael Frampton said that
with such small numbers any variation
or average was unlikely to be significant.
Three Coast girls
mums at 15
A central Whanganui house that
burned down after being hit twice in a
few months by suspected arsonists has
The Gloucester Street building first
caught fire in November while the
owner, who wanted to be known only
as Tony, and flatmate Reg slept inside.
Tony was woken by the cracking and
banging of the flames in his carport,
where the fire started.
Just after midnight on Saturday, the
house was gutted by a second fire and
had to be torn down. Police believe both
fires to be suspicious.
The 44-year-old has been living in a
tent at a caravan park since the first fire
took his car and belongings. He did not
have car or contents insurance, though
the house was insured.
Tony had bought and moved into the
house two weeks before the first fire,
with plans to do it up. He estimates the
house was nearing 100 years old. He had
intended to fix the initial fire damage but
the second fire destroyed those hopes.
— NZ ME-Wanganui Chronicle
Five Coast scholarships awarded
Five West Coast school leavers have
been awarded a Dennis Moore Memorial
Scholarship, totalling $10,000.
They were awarded by Presbyterian Support
Upper South Island with assistance from the
Uniting Church Council.
One was awarded to Greymouth woman
Georgia Davison to study towards a bachelor of
The other recipients are Taylor Russell of
Hokitika (BA in psychology), Jade Finkle of
Punakaiki (bachelor of music), Mairin Borlase
of Westport (bachelor of veterinary science)
and Libby Martin of Westport (bachelor of
The Reverend Dennis Moore was a
Presbyterian minister who served in the
parish of Ross for many years. He showed
a keen interest in people, especially those in
When he died in 1999, he left a bequest to
Presbyterian Support. A fund was set up to
permanently enable West Coast youngsters to
gain a scholarship.
The awards committee is made up of Andrew
Johnston, a relative of Dennis Moore and
Presbyterian Support board member, chief
executive Vaughan Miller, and West Coast
residents and Uniting Church representatives
Rev John Drylie and Thelma Efford.
Homicide probe focus on car
Arson-hit house torn down
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