Home' Greymouth Star : February 20th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Friday, February 20, 2015
Greens urge super fund’
to divest from fossil fuels
The Green Party has called on the
New Zealand Superannuation Fund
to divest from fossil fuels, starting
immediately with coal. The call was
accompanied with a new report,
‘Making money from a climate
catastrophe: The case for divesting
from fossil fuels’. The fund currently
has $676 million invested in fossil fuel
companies, accounting for about 2% of
the fund’s assets under management.
“The guardians are meant to be
investing for the long term, but by
investing over $676m into fossil
fuel companies they ’re hedging that
the world will take no action on the
climate — a world for our kids where
it’s not worth living to retirement age,”
co-party leader Dr Russel Norman
said. The world’s largest pension fund
— Nor way ’s $1.2 trillion Government
Pension Fund — began divesting from
fossil fuels this week, citing ‘elevated
levels of risk to our investments in the
Rev Victoria Askin, the new deacon for the Cobden-Runanga Anglican
parish, has found herself following in the footsteps of history when she
moved to Greymouth for her curacy. Ms Askin has moved to Greymouth
from Nelson to complete her two-year curacy and is living in the flat where
Greymouth’s first female Anglican minister, Ruby Jones, used to live,
appropriately located in Chapel Street. Ms Askin moved to Greymouth to
work under archdeacon Tim Mora as she works towards being ordained as a
minister. She had previously only visited Greymouth to play hockey but said
she was enjoying the move. “I’m enjoying it, the people are really friendly and
it ’s great getting to know people.”
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
New Anglican curate enjoying move
Author Robin Robilliard shares some funny moments form her best-selling new book, Hard Countr y, with an audience at the
Grey District Library on Wednesday afternoon. The former journalist has been touring libraries throughout the West Coast.
PICTURE: Grey District Library
Hard Country author shares book’s funny moments
of the Hokitika Guardian
Hokitika is on a roll with its lotteries
luck, with a further two windfalls totalling
$115,000 collected in the past fortnight.
Stafford Street Four Square sold a $75,000
Instant Kiwi and then a $40,000 scratchie.
Owners Jackie and Steve Reeves said both
wins had gone to deser ving long-time locals.
The $75,000 win was struck on Wednesday,
while the $40,000 ticket was scratched on
Those wins come on the heels of a massive
$6.5 million Lotto Powerball prize, which
was scooped by a Hokitika family syndicate.
Lotto New Zealand spokeswoman Sam
Parker said the $40,000 Instant Kiwi winner
was a regular player who was gifted two
tickets from her son every week.
“The winner’s son was out of town recently
when the winner decided to treat herself to
the two weekly tickets,” Mr Parker said.
The winner told Lotto NZ she had triple
checked the ticket before getting too excited.
“I kept looking at it thinking I couldn’t have
won, but it was in front of me, plain as day.
The first thing I thought about was the new
kitchen I was going to get, and the second
was telling my son we had hit the big one!”
The two major wins are the largest claimed
since the Stafford Street store installed a
Lotto counter two years ago.
Lucky Hokitika lotteries punters on a roll
Cellphone signals have
received a further boost
on the West Coast.
Vicky Gray said that
in the past few days it
had co-located on the
Kaniere celltower site,
just outside of Hokitika,
investing $175,000 to
improve mobile access
for residents in the area.
Over the past two
years Spark had invested
“ well over $800,000” in
co-locating in Blackball,
Kumara and Ross,
expanding coverage and
improving access to
mobile broadband, she
“ We also have plans to
co-locate on the RBI site
in Gladstone within the
next few months so that
customers in the area
can have better access to
mobile services so they
can do things on-line,
faster and easier.”
Other towns to have
benefited from Spark and
Vodafone towers in the
past few years include
Moana, Karoro and
However, a huge void
remains all the way from
Fox Glacier to Wanaka.
Ms Gray said Spark
had invested $158m
to purchase the largest
share of the 700MHz
radio spectrum, and
would use that to roll
out 4G mobile coverage
throughout New Zealand
over the next three years.
It was ideal for rural
areas “because it means
we can provide far
greater mobile coverage
from each cell site we
build (a 700MHz cell
site covers an area four-
to-six times greater than
an equivalent 1800MHz
“This makes it much
more economically viable
for us to extend coverage
signals given a
A police search which uncovered 53
cannabis plants at a Hector property last
year has been ruled unlawful and charges
against the grower have been dismissed.
His lawyer says the case shows “an
Englishman’s home is still his castle”.
Brian Barnes faced charges of cultivating
cannabis and possessing cannabis after
constable Greg Sherie searched his property
without a warrant last March.
A hearing was held in Westport District
Court in December to determine whether
the search was unlawful.
According to Judge Brian Callaghan’s
reserved judgment, Mr Sherie received
information from an anonymous source that
cannabis was growing at the property. He
looked over the fence and saw the plants.
He also saw a person at the property and
decided to carry out a warrantless search
to preser ve the evidence, rather than risk it
being destroyed or interfered with.
Accompanied by another officer, he found
the 53 grown plants, cannabis plant material
Defending, Doug Taffs argued police had
not established reasonable grounds existed
for Mr Sherie to believe the evidence might
be damaged or destroyed.
He also argued Mr Sherie could not have
seen the cannabis plants on the property
given the evidence and there were no
reasonable grounds for believing an offence
under the Misuse of Drugs Act had been
Police prosecutor Steven Greer submitted
Mr Sherie did see some of the cannabis
plants so had reasonable grounds for
believing the evidence might be destroyed.
Mr Sherie said he saw the man walking
from the house to the vehicle and assumed
since he had seen the man, the man had seen
Mr Greer said Mr Sherie had reasonable
grounds to believe the man might interfere
with the evidence.
Judge Callaghan said he was satisfied Mr
Sherie saw the cannabis plants and had
reasonable grounds for believing an offence
had been committed.
However, he doubted whether Mr Sherie
had reasonable grounds for believing the
evidence would have been destroyed or
interfered with if he had not carried out the
He did not think the time taken to obtain
a search warrant would have put at any
real risk the possible destruction of
He dismissed the charges against Barnes
of cultivation and possession of cannabis
Mr Taffs said the decision was a “ bloody
The case showed “an Englishman’s home
is still his castle” and police needed to be
extremely careful before exercising any
statutory power to go into a home. On this
occasion, the officer’s judgment had been
wrong. — Westport News
Police cannabis search ‘unlawful ’
of the Westport News
A Westport video shop manager says
competition from the Buller District
Council is threatening her struggling
Yvonne Scarlett, of Video Ezy, said
the council-owned Westport library
had increased its stock of DVDs and
hired them out at prices which undercut
She said the council had also taken
newsletter to advertise them. It had
claimed a range of titles were unique to the
library, when her store also stocked all but
one of them.
As the demand for books declined, the
library had sought another income stream,
Ms Scarlett said.
“It’s unfortunate it’s the same as mine. It
is hurting us.”
She charges $8 overnight hire for new
releases and $4 a week for other hires ($1
The library charges a flat rate of $3 a
week, regardless of age or number of
DVDs in a set, and also offers 16 free
DVDs such as the Westport cement plant ’s
“ I haven’t got ratepayers to subsidise me,”
Ms Scarlett said. “It’s a playing field (the
council) shouldn’t be on because there’s
an existing business here doing it. And it’s
not a level playing field. I can’t afford, like
they did, to put a message into everyone’s
letterbox with my titles, but the ratepayers
did it for them.”
She acknowledged competition from
Westport library was not the store’s only
problem. Video stores nationwide were
struggling, she said. Hokitika had lost its
store and Greymouth had lost one of its
Ms Scarlett said she had written to
Buller Mayor Garry Howard and spoken
to various councillors. All had agreed the
library should not be competing with her,
but the only response had been a more
aggressive attack on the market from the
Librarian Clenda Wockner said the
library had increased its DVD stock in
response to borrower demand.
Asked whether the library should be
competing with an existing local business,
she said it deliberately chose its DVDs to
provide a point of difference with Video
“ While we undoubtedly stock some titles
which Video Ezy has, our borrowers will
not find the majority of Video Ezy titles
on our shelves. A borrower who wishes
to keep up-to-date with movies is still
going to be much better ser ved by Video
The library had 1394 DVDs and would
continue to extend its DVD range, within
the limits of its space and budget, and
in response to borrower requests, Mrs
Claim library threatening
Westport video business
(Opposite Dixon Park)
Phone 768 0370
for 24 Hour Service.
Dr Marieke Verra
this weekend is
Phone 768 4075 (Shop)
768 4535 or 768 4930
No Friday or Sunday
Friday 6pm until
153 Tainui Street
Saturday and Sunday
Telephone: 769 9300
FDANZ Funeral Home
Ph 768 0250
Formally NZ qualified
National Dip. Embalming
Dedicated to the
maintenance of the highest
standards of professtional
conduct and ability
Ensuring you get Expertise
and Qualified Funeral
family would like to
thank everyone for their
support both to Doug
and the family over the
last few months. To all
those who sent messages
and cards, to those who
attended Doug's service,
we thank you most
sincerely. Special thanks
must go to Ollie and his
team at the Railway
Hotel, Dr Jenny Spring,
the drivers and staff
of Greymouth Taxi
Society, and the staff of
Granger House. Your
care and thoughtfulness
will never be forgotten.
Please accept this as a
ment as many addresses
Passed away peacefully
on Tuesday February 17,
2015 at Grey Hospital,
dearly loved wife of
Yorkie, much loved
mother of Daphne and
Peter, and Annette,
loved grandmother of
Rebecca, Nigel, Sarah,
Brendan and Emma,
loved great-nana Pat of
Macey and Lewis, loved
sister of Doreen, Iris,
Gladys (deceased) and
Jim, and loved sister-in-
law of Enid, Nelda and
Gordon. In her 82nd
year. Now at Rest.
Messages to 38 Packers
Quay, Blaketown, Grey-
mouth 7805. In accord-
ance with Pat's wishes
a private cremation
has been held. Anisy
Funeral Home, Grey-
SINGER, Bruce. —
We still cannot believe
that two years today you
left a hole in our hearts.
Know that we miss you
As time goes by the
We laugh, we talk, we
play our part.
But behind our smiles
are broken hearts.
Your loving family
Tina, Krystal, Jarrad and
The owner of the Rotomanu farm
where hundreds of starving cattle
had to be put out of their misery,
did little work on the property, the
Greymouth District Court was told
Robert Usher, who helped farm the
property leased from David Anthony
Ham, was being cross-examined in
the Ministry of Primary Industries
case against Ham, who has denied
charges of failing to meet the
physical health needs of 636 dairy
cows and the reckless ill-treatment
of 152 others.
A Greymouth veterinarian testified
at the start of the trial that what
he saw on Ham’s property was the
worst case of animal cruelty in his
Robert Usher was left to run the
Ham farm, and his own dairy farm
next door, after his son Jeremy, who
leased the Ham property, went on an
The Ushers have already pleaded
guilty to animal cruelty offences.
Their sentencing was adjourned in
the Christchurch District Court this
week. The pair will now be sentenced
on March 20.
On Tuesday, Usher told the court
that the combination of the cattle
star vation and having his farms at
Rotomanu and Rangiora put into
receivership, had left him suicidal at
Asked under cross-examination
why he did appear not realise how
bad things were on the leased
property, Usher said he did not really
“I couldn’t see it (the starvation)
it was when I wasn’t feeling
While Ham lived on the property
he was “not really involved in the
running of the farm from when
Jeremy (Usher) left and MPI came”,
Usher said that while people
would have seen his tractor out late
at night, he denied he was moving
dead animals to a burial pit.
“This was at the time when I was
having meetings in Christchurch
with the bank. I would feed out in
the morning between 4 o’clock and
9 o’clock, head to Christchurch after
that, then get home around 7pm and
feed out again.”
He did not recall Ham contacting
him after a neighbouring farmer,
Katie Milne, had flown over the
property and spotted dead cows in
He also denied that Ham had
asked himself or Jeremy for $70,000
that was owed to him.
Farm owner ‘couldn’t see’ cows were starving
Some mums and newborn babies are
being moved from the Grey Base Hospital
maternity ward, McBrearty, to Barclay Ward.
However, the West Coast District Health
Board says the new hospital will have more
In 2013, the size McBrearty Ward was
reduced during earthquake work.
Clinical midwife manager Chris Davey said
since then McBrearty had a reduced number
of beds. When the ward was at capacity and
another mother was admitted, those who
were nearly ready to go home were asked if
they would mind relocating to a single room
in Barclay Ward.
“The maternity team still provide care to
those who have moved.”
The new maternity facilities would provide
for a greater number of beds, Ms Davey said.
In 2013, bed numbers at McBrearty were
reduced from eight to five, and seven toilets
reduced to three. The limited space also meant
women’s partners could no longer sleep over.
The future of Hannan Ward is currently
Some mums and newborn babies being moved to Barclay Ward
Musical memories of the World
Wars One and Two are the inspiration
for the latest Operatunity showing, in
Greymouth next month.
‘Memories are Made of This’ will be
Operatunity’s tribute to the centenary
of Gallipoli and the 70th anniversary
of the end of World War Two.
The show will include music used
to inspire people, generate patriotism,
make people laugh and provide
comfort during the war effort.
The two milestones will be
commemorated with timeless classics
and famous war songs. War songs
in the programme include White
Cliffs of Dover, Kiss Me Goodnight
Sergeant Major, We’ll Meet Again,
Keep the Home Fires Burning and
famous melodies such as Wanting
You from New Moon and Bluebird
of Happiness, plus songs like the
Laughing Policeman and Why Am I
Always the Bridesmaid.
Operatunity promises “a variety
show to sing along to, to laugh and
most importantly to remember, lest
we forget ”.
The show will hit the stage at the
Regent Theatre on March 9.
The Greymouth Star has two
Operatunity prize packs to give away.
The pack includes a double pass to the
show ‘Memories are Made of This’,
plus an Operatunity CD.
Send your entries, with your name,
address and phone number, to:
C/- Greymouth Star
or e-mail us with Operatunity in the
subject line, to competitions@greystar.
One entry per household. Entries
close on February 26.
Operatunity performers Scot Hall, left, Susan Boland, Karl Perigo,
Tessa-May Brown and John Cameron will share songs made famous during
the era of both World Wars.
Musical war memories
There has been a good start to the year
for whale spotters, with an unusually
large group of blue whales creating a rare
spectacle, and two humpbacks seen off
the West Coast.
Department of Conser vation marine
expert Don Neale said the blue whales
were spotted in the week of January 19,
between Cape Foulwind and Karamea.
They were seen by a couple of DOC
workers who were offshore tuna fishing.
There were about 15 of the whales, 10
to 20km offshore.
Mr Neale said blue whales usually
gathered in larger groups in the Antarctic.
“There are not many places in the world
they get together like that.”
The last time he knew of was a few
years ago off Farewell Spit.
He said whales were often spotted in
the tuna fishing area, or the hoki fishery.
A week later, two humpback whales
were seen by a guest staying at the Lake
Moeraki Wilderness Lodge, north of
Mr Neale said though they were
occasionally seen here, when their
numbers were higher some centuries
ago, they migrated up the coast past
Fiordland then “took off into the Tasman
Sea and never came right up the West
Good start for whale spotters
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