Home' Greymouth Star : January 26th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
wins granddad’s cup
Hokitika police have appealed for
witnesses after someone took the
majority of signs erected by a visiting
rug merchant. Acting sergeant Paul
Watson said the rug merchant had
erected about 70 plastic laminated
signs around the town directing the
public to the Boys Brigade Hall,
where he was selling the carpets
over the weekend. Most of the signs,
each worth $40 to $50, disappeared
overnight on Saturday. A man of
European descent with swept back
blond hair and aged 40-50 was seen
taking down the signs. He was seen
wearing a black t-shirt with green
shoulder patches and was driving a
black truck with a white cab.
Toy fire not funny
A toy tied to a give-way sign in
Runanga was set alight on Saturday
night. The burning snake-like
polyester toy was attached to a sign
in Mills Street. It melted on to the
ground and ignited bamboo growing
nearby. The bamboo flared up until
the arrival of the Runanga Volunteer
Fire Brigade, which extinguished
the fire. “ This foolish act had the
potential to quickly spread and
endanger nearby houses if not for the
quick response by the Fire Service,”
a police spokesman said. Police want
to hear from witnesses or anyone
with information about the fire.
crashes at Awatuna
A southbound driver apparently
fell asleep at the wheel and drifted
off the road before overcorrecting
and rolling their vehicle several
times on the Awatuna straight, on
State highway 6, early yesterday
morning. Police said the driver, a
Hokitika resident, was taken to
hospital with minor injuries.
Mainly fine, light winds
Britain’s most expensive one-bed
flat a L ondon apartment has gone
on sale for £10 million — 56 times
the price of an average house. The
luxury flat at One Hyde Park has
been dubbed the ultimate ‘pied-a-
terre’ and is so expensive that a waste
bin takes up £6300 worth of space.
There will be little room for guests
at the property, which is regarded as
the finest one-bedroom home in the
world’s priciest apartment block. The
same amount of money could buy
its owner a whole street of 47 homes
in Manchester — where the average
house price is £211,000.
— The Daily Mail
Freedom camping infringements
have more than halved for the
Christmas and New Year period,
but some cheapskate tourists are
still trying to sneak showers and are
leaving their rubbish behind.
Grey District Council compliance
team manager Kevin Hebberd said
it had been a relatively quiet period,
and their infringement officer had
noticed that more people were
staying in campgrounds.
“January is usually the busy period.
Christmas and New Year are often
relatively quiet. February normally
starts to drop off a bit,” Mr Hebberd
infringements had been issued,
whereas for the same period last
season the council had issued 130
freedom camping infringements.
“It’s quite a drop, but last year there
were a lot more rental vans, we are
mainly getting private vehicles now.”
Mr Hebberd said the rental
companies were getting on board.
“They are giving better information
and there are more of the vehicles
getting certified. What the campers
are doing has changed ... It’s changed
“ Tourists have found it is often
cheaper to buy a vehicle and sell
it when they leave than hire a
However, they were also the ones
more inclined to leave rubbish or
defecate in the bushes.
“They are more likely because their
vehicles have so much less in the way
of facilities,” Mr Hebberd said.
Those campers were also looking to
reduce costs over their whole trip.
“ People have commented that a
$200 infringement, that is two weeks
of living ... We’ve had that comment
two or three times this summer.
“ But then there are ones right
through the whole range, big
campervans, that will leave behind
waste. It is not entirely confined to
the lower end of the market.
“There are still cases of people going
to the toilet in the bushes, but you’re
never going to wipe that out entirely.
I think it is improving overall.”
Greymouth Kiwi Holiday Park
and Motels owner Linda Goodson
said they had a “major problem” with
freedom camping prior to the bylaw
being put in place.
“ We get two or three sneaking in to
use the place but it’s not as bad as it
has been,” Ms Goodson said.
The nearby Jacks Road, near the
beach, had been a particular trouble
spot with freedom camping.
“They would park up on the road
and on the beach, use our stuff
(without paying) and leave.”
She had noticed more non-self
contained vehicles visiting the
campground to avoid fines, however
the camper vans with facilities could
camp in designated free sites.
“There is more in the park, but it is
a different demographic of guest.”
Ms Goodson said some people
would still ignore signs but generally
she believed the word was getting
“ I think it is great. You don’t have to
have big campaigns or big fines, it’s
word of mouth through the travellers
is how things get sent down the line.
When people get to the Grey district,
they know they can’t just park up.”
Freedom camping ‘improving’ this summer
Witnesses watched in horror on Saturday
as a small boat with four people on board —
including a two-year-old boy and with no one
wearing lifejackets — lost power and drifted on
to rocks at the Grey River mouth.
A woman, two men, and the toddler, all
from Greymouth, were left scrambling at the
Cobden tiphead after the engine of the Elamac
failed about 4pm, leaving the occupants at the
mercy of the swift outgoing tide.
The boat was launched about 3.45pm, police
The engine had apparently seized a short
while later, leaving the boat drifting for over 30
Inevitably, the tide pulled the Elamac towards
the Cobden tiphead, where police helped the
occupants to climb off safely at 4.30pm — just
before the boat was smashed against the rocks.
Barbara Levick watched the drama unfold
from the opposite tiphead, at Blaketown.
“ You could see they were in trouble from
the start. The first thing I noticed was no
lifejackets,” Mrs Levick said.
At that point the boat was in the middle of
the river but drifting towards the mouth.
Mrs Levick said the occupants of the boat
appeared desperate and were trying to paddle
away with either a piece of wood or stiff
cardboard as the boat drifted nearer to the bar.
“I said, ‘they ’re in trouble’ ... the next thing,
the girl was waving.”
What followed was a frustrating few minutes.
Someone dialled 111 and attempted to make
the operator understand the gravity of the
situation and the locality. An attempt to contact
Greymouth police directly, was met only with
an answerphone message.
“They just had no chance because the tide was
going out and it was taking them towards the
bar,” Mrs Levick said.
One of the two men on board tried several
times to jump from the boat on to the rocks,
but by that stage it was being thrown around in
the ebb of the tide.
“One of the occupants managed to get on
to shore — by then the police had arrived. If
they hadn’t got them off at that moment they
wouldn’t have survived.”
Mrs Levick said she was “very angry ” at what
she had witnessed — particularly the way the
occupants had risked the life of the child on
“ It was very frightening.
“ In that time, all I could think of was that
baby on that boat. The way it was going against
the rocks at that time, the baby wouldn’t have
stood a chance.”
Senior sergeant Phil Barker, of Greymouth
police, said today the incident was still under
The boat was a complete write-off and was
Police were making inquiries about why no
one had been wearing lifejackets.
Charges were possible, Mr Barker said.
PICTURE: John Bisset
It was a foggy early morning start at the Woodstock Domain at the weekend for the 1200 bikers who pitched their tents for the 13th
West Coast Touring Motorcycle Club Rally. Motorbike enthusiasts from around New Zealand gathered at the domain and took part
in various activities, including a poker run that went as far south as Ross, live music and a fireworks display.
1200 bikers ride on
‘Discovery centre’ funding move
Funding has been sought for a
feasibility study into a ‘discovery
centre’ concept that could bring
the museum, library and more
under the one roof in Greymouth.
The suggestion was made as
part of the central business
district renewal project.
Boundary Street, behind the
Duncan Hardie Building, or the
freehold land in Richmond Quay,
now owned by Development
The concept is far from defined
but might include History
House museum, which is
currently out of the main part
of town and away from foot
traffic, in an earthquake prone
building. The library, also in a
quake prone building, has also
been mentioned. Other ideas in
the mix include using ultrafast
broadband to introduce cutting
According to those behind the
CBD renewal project, the idea
of a discovery centre is to keep
tourists in town for another
night. It would also be used to
showcase the region to newly-
Although lots of ideas have
been bandied around, nothing
has been defined.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said
areas inside the complex could be
rented to others to promote their
area, For example, an exhibition
on the historic coalmining town
of Denniston could sit alongside
information on visiting the site.
“The concept is still being
thought through, it ’s early days,”
Mr Kokshoorn said.
“The goal is to showcase the
West Coast, and increase the
By siting it close to the
floodwall, it would be part of a
larger plan to get tourists to stray
off Mackay Street and visit the
river area, too.
The Grey District Council has
applied for a Lotteries grant for
a feasibility study and business
Mr Kokshoorn said the
proposal could be a public-
private funding hybrid.
If it stacked up, fundraising
would shift from the sports
stadium, now under way, to the
discovery centre, but he noted it
would require ratepayer input.
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