Home' Greymouth Star : February 2nd 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Monday, February 2, 2015
A Runanga resident had his
permitted fire extinguished by the
Runanga Volunteer Fire Brigade late
yesterday. Fire chief Gavin Gibbens
said the brigade visited a Plunket
Street address twice yesterday. The
first time, the property resident
was found to have a permit but the
brigade returned later in the evening.
Mr Gibbens said the rubbish fire was
of no particular threat to property
— although the resident just had
a garden hose on standby — the
deciding factor for the brigade to
extinguish it was the smoke nuisance
Two teenagers were arrested about
3am yesterday for fighting outside
the Greymouth Taxis stand, in
Two readers will get to enjoy the
sounds of big band on Wednesday,
courtesy of Operatunity and the
Greymouth Star. G Perrie of Kaiata,
and S Rooney of Blaketown each
receive a double pass to the latest
show Big Band Era, at the Regent
Theatre on Wednesday. They also
receive an Operatunity book and
The upcoming 50 Shades of Grey
movie has caused quite a stir among
Greymouth’s women, according to
the Regent Theatre. Manager Patrick
McBride said the movie adaptation
of the novel was “going crazy” with
inquiries and bookings. “ They are in
a real frenzy and a day would not go
by without the phone ringing hot
and e-mails being sent.” The movie
will be released on February 12 and
the theatre had brought the on-line
bookings for ward so people could
book in advance. “ We have even had
complete cinema book-outs with
groups of women,” Mr McBride said.
The cinema would be having one day
screening and two night screenings
for the first three weeks to cope with
demand “... guess the odd guy will be
going, but they will be outnumbered.”
A new year has brought a wave
of new mining applications on the
West Coast, including a United
States company. Whitesails
Minerals, whose directors are United
States-based, have applied for three
exploration permits, the largest
covering 1806ha north of Hokitika.
Frosty Creek Ltd, a New Zealand
company, has applied for a 23.97
square kilometre exploration permit
in an area south of Gillespies Beach
and past Jacobs River. Its director is
Duncan Hardie. Dingo Mining has
had its exploration permits approved,
for an area around the Little Totara
River, north of Charleston.
Arrivals: Galatea II, Latitude,
Tenacity, Okarito, Calypso, one
Greymouth vessel. Departures: Stella
Marie, Ki Lin. In port: Galatea
II, Latitude, Tenacity, Achernar,
Okarito, Sea Legend, Calypso,
Annie, Sovereign, 22 other vessels.
Expected departures: Galatea II,
Latitude, tomorrow. Expected
arrivals: Moon Shadow II, tomorrow;
Cook Canyon, Wednesday.
No 1080 detected in Blackball water supply
Artists can now apply for a grant
of up to $10,000 to create public art
or sign, part of plans to rejuvenate
central Greymouth and the wider
The Grey District Council has
made $80,000 available for the 2015
funding round. People can get between
$5000 and $10,000, but must match
it with private money. That means up
to $160,000 could be invested in the
public arts project.
Signs, ‘wayfinding’ and interpretation
or public art projects must be developed
They have to meet a set criteria. For
example, they must adhere to the Grey
district brand and style.
Organisers want to ensure projects
undertaken will have relevant content,
fit in with the other projects and make
the best use of the investment. The idea
is that they will add to the stories of the
In a statement, the council said its
role was to oversee and provide the
guidelines, as well as play a curatorship
However, it wants the projects to be
initiated and led by the community.
The council has committed to ongoing
funding of $10,000 a year from 2016 to
ensure the implementation and success
of the project.
The concept stems from the Real
Stories campaign, run last year, which
identified the places most important to
the community after extensive public
Locations ranked were Ahaura,
Brunner Mine, Cobden, Coast Road,
central Greymouth, the waterfront,
High Street, Karoro, Lake Brunner,
Nelson Creek, Paroa, Point Elizabeth,
Taramakau-Camerons and Woods
Copies of the ‘signage, interpretation
and public art framework’ and
application forms are available on
the council website www.greydc.
govt.nz, and from the council offices.
The funding round closes on February
Tests have confirmed no 1080 poison was
detected in Blackball water supply after the
aerial drop before Christmas, Tb Free NZ
It said today it had completed extensive
testing of the town water supply after 1080
bait was dropped over much of the water
supply catchment in October.
Tb Fee northern South Island programme
manager Matt Hickson said that to
alleviate concerns raised by the Blackball
Residents Association Trust, management
of the water supply was discussed with the
Grey District Council.
As a result of these discussions a
“robust, independent water testing and
management schedule” was implemented.
“All seven samples taken from the
Blackball water supply following the
possum control operation returned clear
test results. No 1080 residue was detectable
in any samples”
“Thousands of water testing results
from similar operations in the past have
shown no evidence of any contamination
of drinking-water supplies,” Mr Hickson
After the Blackball drop, a father went
public, saying his six-year-old and a
20-year-old had been sick. The hospital
told him at the time it was probably a virus.
Mr Hickson said possum control
operations played an important role
in preventing the spread of bovine Tb
from possums to farmed cattle and deer
Monday February 2
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Okarito kayak tours were fully booked
at the weekend to mark World Wetlands
Day, with the paddlers treated to the rare
site of a tawaki (Fiordland crested penguin)
swimming in the lagoon.
The Department of Conser vation said
every seat was booked on the tours offered
by Okarito Nature Tours and Glacier
Country Kayaks, and on the boat tours
with Okarito Boat Tours.
“The highlight of Sunday was the
sighting of a tawaki (Fiordland Crested
Penguin) swimming in the Okarito
Lagoon,” organiser and DOC partnerships
ranger Cornelia Ver voorn said.
Swade Finch, of Okarito Boat Tours, said
it was the first time he had seen a penguin
in the lagoon. They normally live further
south, near Haast.
Run at the same time as Wetlands Day
was a bioblitz in an effort to record all the
species in the wetland.
Mr Ver voorn said sightings were still
being uploaded, and she would encourage
anyone who was on the kayak or boat tours
to upload their photos to www.inaturalist.
org when they got a chance.
“The weekend’s events demonstrated what
a valuable community resource wetlands
are: a safe place to kayak and cruise on a
boat, and a wonderfully diverse place for
wildlife and living things of all kinds. They
are also do vital things like filtering water,
and reducing the seriousness of floods,
not to mention storing water for long dry
of the Hokitika Guardian
It is ‘game on’ in the Westland District
Council by-election, after former West
Coast-Tasman National Party electorate
chairman Andy Thompson threw his hat
in the ring with Hokitika businesswoman
The Awatuna dairy farmer and host of the
radio show Rural Lifestyle added his name on
Friday, nominated by West Coast Regional
Council member Peter MacDonnell and
Council electoral officer Richard Simpson
said the second nomination officially struck
election,” Mr Simpson said.
Mr Thompson, who ser ved four years in
the National Party role, said this was his first
foray into local government.
“ I’ve been asked several times (to stand) and
thought about it at the previous election ...
but I was unsure about how the cards were
going to fall. ”
The current council was one he would be
happy to be involved in, he said.
As a co-owner and organiser of Ag Fest
he said he had gained an insight into how
positive Westland was — “and I look for ward
to contributing to Westland’s continuing
success in the future”.
“ I believe elected councillors and the council
executive team must work with the people of
Westland to ensure the fair distribution of
both costs and benefits to all residents.”
Nominations for the northern ward vacancy,
created with Anthea Keenan’s resignation in
December, close next Thursday.
A postal ballot vote will close on
By-election sparks up
PICTURE: Department of Conser vation
Eugenia Puntillo and Mark Nicholson of Franz Josef Glacier on the Okarito Lagoon.
Okarito tours fully booked for World Wetlands Day
After well over 20 years of
dedicated ser vice in restaurants
and bakeries, Lesley Foster has
finally called it a day.
Latterly of Maggie’s Kitchen,
in Greymouth, Mrs Foster was
presented with an apron made of
cleaning cloths by owner Allan
Tempo upon her retirement on
“Lesley always had a cloth in
her hand and we began to collect
them with the idea of making an
apron for her,” Mr Tempo said.
“S he has worked for me
for five years and prior to that
was working at Jeannie’s
Kitchen and spent time at
Phil’s Hot Bread Shop and
Mrs Foster said it was time
to “hang up her cloth” and she
wanted take time out to start
smelling the roses.
“I want to quit while I’m ahead,
I want to have a retirement,”
“I’ve really enjoyed my time and
have never called in for a sick day.
I liked meeting all the people and
chatting to all the customers over
the years. I’ve certainly enjoyed my
time working with very good staff,
it ’s been great.”
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Lesley Foster with staff from Maggie’s Kitchen, wears the cleaning rag
apron presented to her on her retirement, on Friday.
Apron for dedicated ser vice
of the Hokitika Guardian
Managerial staff at
the Westland District
Council took home
more than $1 million
collectively last year.
Salaries and other
$921,000 are shown
for key management
in the recently-adopted
benefits of $28,000 and
termination benefits of
$67,000 also contributed
to the total.
The $1,106,000 is
slightly more than the
$1,009,000 paid in
However, it differs with
The total salary pool for
2013 was $862,000.
The report, signed
off by councillors on
Thursday, also discloses
that chief executive
Tanya Winter had
a take-home pay of
$199,746 last year.
breakdown listed in the
report shows only one
out of 43 employees is
paid in the top bracket
Half of all council
staff were paid less
than $60,000, while
15 collected between
$60,000 and $80,000
for the year, and six were
paid up to $180,000.
There were six
additional employees in
2013, most of them in
the lowest pay threshold.
elected representatives is
also disclosed, although
it only covers part of the
last financial year, from
Behind Mayor Mike
Havill, at $53,431,
deputy mayor Pauline
Cox and executive
Mark Dawson were the
best paid councillors, at
$15,873 and $13,691
figures also include
which put Haast-
based councillor Greg
Hope at $19,262 and
student Latham Martin
at $12,021. Crs Jim
Montagu and Kees van
Beek received an average
Meanwhile, the annual
report also shows two
severance payments were
made in the year, one of
$18,522 and another of
enthusiasts on an epic
2100km slow drive will
head to the West Coast next
month to raise money for
The convoy will depart
Invercargill for the West
Coast and return down the
east coast, driving veteran
tractors at an average speed
of 25kph with a support
crew of 20.
They plan to raise $100,000
for the Westpac Chopper
Appeal over the 16 days they
are on the road.
The Southern Tractor
Trekker group decided on
the fundraiser as most of
them live in rural areas, and a
number are rural firefighters.
Along the way, Westpac
branches will be supporting
the group as they arrive in
the main towns, stopping at
The convoy will be leaving
Invercargill on March 12
and reach Hokitika at 3pm
on March 16, arriving in
Greymouth at 9am on
March 17 and Westport
3pm that day.
The group of 45 are
paying for all travel and
Funds can also be donated
on-line or at any Westpac
of the Westport News
The Reefton community now has
a fourth option to consider for its
earthquake-prone community hall
and theatre and more time to do it.
A group of Reefton locals, led by
Paul Thomas, beseeched Buller district
councillors on Thursday night for more
time to consider the three earthquake
They also stressed the importance of
choosing an option that would protect
the heritage aspect of the building.
Reefton man Gordon Storer
introduced a fourth option — building
an all-new multi sports complex.
A sports complex could be highly
feasible if it was decided not to
rebuild or earthquake strengthen the
community hall, he said.
He believed Reefton needed new
facilities that a number of sports clubs
could call home. Sporting codes that
would use a new facility included
rugby, netball, soccer, basketball,
boxing and cricket.
The complex would be built on land
gifted to the Reefton community by
the Reefton Sports Park committee,
Mr Storer said.
The existing facilities on the land
were co-owned by the Reefton
Rugby Club, the trotting club and
galloping club. They too were due to
be earthquake tested.
“ We don’t want to earthquake test
yet as if we fail, we might be shut down
and have nothing until something else
is built,” Mr Storer said.
Only one changing room at the sports
park was up to national standards, and
the bar area was too small for some
functions. Some elderly and disabled
people also had great difficulty getting
to it. The kitchen was also outdated
and could only serve basic foods.
Two years ago, Mr Storer began a
feasibility study into the merits of a
new sports complex in Reefton. At
that time he was able to generate
$1.2 million worth of verbal funding
agreements, based on his initial project
A similar complex built in Murchison
cost about $3.2m including netball
and basketball courts.
Considering the discussion over
the community hall, it was time for
council to assess what kind of building
the community really needed, he said.
He was in the process of getting
designs for a new sports complex
drawn up by a friend in Christchurch.
Mr Thomas welcomed another
option and reiterated the need for
more time to consider it among the
The other three options for the
building are: Strengthening up to
67% of code; strengthening the hall,
but demolishing the theatre to make
way for a new ‘boutique’ theatre;
strengthening the building so it just
passes the new standards — this is the
lowest-cost option and would require
little or no local fundraising.
The Buller District Council agreed
that the Reefton community and the
Inangahua Community Board needed
more time to make a decision than
council chief executive Paul Wylie had
proposed. He had wanted a decision
by March 31.
They also agreed it was too soon to
decide the level of local fundraising
required. They agreed to provide the
basic funding for any option, and to
seek community support for any other
optional refurbishment, subject to
Deputy Mayor Graeme Neylon
said people were not happy with the
process. They felt they were being
rushed into making an important
Those who favoured building a new
theatre rather than strengthening it
might want to make a submission, he
said. They needed ample time to do so.
Mayor Garry Howard was concerned
about the safety of the building in the
meantime. In addition to earthquake
strengthening, it also needed a new
fire alarm system, he said.
Mr Wylie said that work could not
be done until an option was chosen,
hence the need for urgency.
The Reefton community now has
until September 1 to decide what
option it prefers. The community
board will also have to make a decision
Four options for quake-prone
It was a dry January in Greymouth
and Reefton, with rain on just eight
Figures from weather observer
Phil Forest show that just 60.1mm
of rain, well down on the 160.8mm
in January last year.
Almost one-third of that rain fell
on one day, January 16.
There were 236.1 hours of
sunshine, up from 174.2 hours last
The warmest day was on January
29, when it reached 27degC, and
the coolest was January 21, when it
fell to 8.5degC.
Dew was recorded on 11 days.
Reefton weather obser ver Tony
Fortune said January there was
almost a record setter.
The 58mm of rain was the lowest
January rainfall since 1981, when
only 38.4mm fell. The monthly
January average is 168.8mm.
Rain fell on just seven days.
humidity were high for a prolonged
period during the month.
“These conditions were a marked
contrast to January 2014, when
conditions were much cooler,” Mr
The heaviest fall was on New
Year’s Day, with 37mm. The highest
temperature was 32.5degC on
January 27, well up on the 28degC
recorded last January.
The lowest temperature was
just 6degC on January 21. The
average maximum of 25.5degC was
significantly up on the 20.2degC of
Tractor convoy heads to Coast
Dry January for
Greymouth and Reefton
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Harris dropped out of school in Year 11 and admits he had got into
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