Home' Greymouth Star : February 25th 2015 Contents Giant salmon
West Coast All Blacks
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TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
A tandem trailer load of dressed
timber was scattered across the
Hokitika River bridge on State
highway 6, about 200m from the
south bank this morning. Hokitika
police acting officer in charge
sergeant Andrew Lyes said the
heavily laden trailer had apparently
fish-tailed and hit the side of the
bridge before overturning, shortly
before 10am. “ There would have
been a fair bit of weight on it (the
trailer) and it ’s probably lifted up the
back of the vehicle,” Mr Lyes said.
The bridge was closed for up to 20
minutes; traffic was diverted through
Arthurstown Road and Kaniere. Mr
Lyes said the trailer was put back on
its wheels and the load reinstated
relatively quickly before being
driven clear of the bridge.
Hokitika police received
“numerous” complaints of poor driver
behaviour on the roads yesterday.
Police station watch house staff said
a steady stream of over 10 complaints
poured in yesterday. Among the
incidents reported was of a tourist
driving on the wrong side of the
road through the Kaniere Road
S-bend. Meanwhile, a non-injury
crash involving a tourist occurred
at Donegals, at the intersection
of State Highway 73 and the
Old Christchurch Road. A police
spokesman said tourists using GPS
often found themselves sent over the
Old Christchurch Road — a gravel
route that was last used as the main
road early last century — because it
was the shortest route. Unfortunately,
the narrow winding road proved too
much for the driving skills of some.
Motorists driving through Dubai
could not believe their eyes when it
started raining money in the middle
of the UAE city. Thousands of 500
UAE Dirham notes — worth around
£88 — flew through the oil-rich
city on a busy afternoon earlier
this month, and officials have yet
to give an explanation as to why, or
reveal a source of the cash. Drivers
abandoned their cars in order to get
their hands on the notes blowing
down the road, and were filmed
holding handfuls of notes. It is
estimated that notes valued between
two and three million Dirham were
loose — meaning up to £500,000
was blowing in the wind.
— Daily Mail
Few showers, persistent in morning
Drastic action by a person who
flagged down a tourist driving
on the wrong side of the road
and confiscated the car keys, near
Franz Josef Glacier yesterday, is
being investigated by police.
The incident comes as worry
escalates about overseas drivers
endangering other road users.
It has emerged that the West
Coast has the worst record of
New Zealand regions for the
number of serious road incidents
involving foreign drivers in the
past five years — 37% between
2009 and 2013.
West Coast police traffic
unit officer in charge, sergeant
Dave Cross said they were still
investigating the Franz incident.
happened is that somebody has
obser ved some pretty poor driving
by a tourist on the wrong side of
the road for some time,” Mr Cross
The following driver then
flagged down the offending driver
and seized their car keys, which
were subsequently handed to
Franz Josef police.
Mr Cross said police did not
condone other motorists forcing
people to stop because of the risk
of it going wrong, but they were
always conscious of the safety of
“all people” on the road.
“Unfortunately, it has happened
previously and the person
responsible was cautioned about
their behaviour, because of course
the public don’t necessarily have
that right. ”
Mr Cross said the issue of
foreign drivers was “getting
He urged “a little patience”
and for people to record the bad
driving, and report it to police.
available through cellphones it
was relatively easy.
“ You can’t afford to do anything
somebody is watching. ”
He said police used that
evidence to confront drivers who
“ with stunned silence” were often
unaware of their wrongdoing.
West Coast police acting area
commander, Detective Inspector
Paul Burrell, told the Greymouth
Star last week that increasing
complaints of tourist driving did
not necessarily equate with all
driving behaviour on the Coast.
However, he agreed that tourists
“tend to stand out,” compounded
by the challenging driving
conditions on the Coast.
Currently rental companies
are not legally obliged to inform
overseas drivers of the local
The Ministry of Transport
also does not know if licences
presented to car rental companies
correlate with actual driving
experience, or if licences are in
fact legitimate in their country of
“ Issue date on a licence cannot
necessarily be relied upon to
determine/guarantee how long
someone has held a licence or their
of Transport communications
adviser Felicity Connell said last
Senior constable Mike Tinnelly,
of Greymouth police, said the
spectacle of motorists reading
their GPS while driving, and
erratic stopping in the middle of
the street, were recurring themes
getting calls in all the time,” Mr
stopping to take photos was also
“Also, we’re finding now they ’ll
go in groups of two or three and
have walkie-talkies to talk to each
other. A lot of instances people
just stop in the middle of the
Constable Bill Parker, of Franz
Josef Glacier police, said from
what he had seen some drivers
were looking at their GPS rather
than the road.
He said that could explain the
delayed reaction of vehicles as
they entered cur ves.
“They never admit it but when
you follow them, they come to
a corner, and turn at the last
minute,” Mr Parker said.
Greymouth High School announced
yesterday it plans to sell its tertiary
education provider, Karoro Learning.
School board of trustees chairman Mel
Sutherland said “no final decision” had
been made, and would “not be until staff
responses have been discussed by the
Karoro Learning has operated as a
subsidiary of Greymouth High School
since 1994, and provides a range of
tertiary courses on the West Coast,
and to students around the country
through distance learning. It has 19 staff
Mr Sutherland said the decision to
“potentially sell” was based on the board’s
wish to focus fully on the achievement
and well-being of Greymouth High
“As a school, our core business is the
achievement of our enrolled students.”
The school only last year emerged from
under the control of a commissioner
appointed by the Ministry of Education,
after a disastrous Education Review
Office report several years ago. The
former board resigned and a new board
was elected late last year.
“The sale of the tertiary enterprise
offers Karoro Learning an opportunity
for further development and greater
support than can be offered by a
secondary school board, while allowing
the board and principal to focus fully
on the students of the school,” Mr
School principal Andy England said
yesterday he was are that “rumours are
abounding” about the future of the
facility, but he denied that it was going
In January, Mr England said the
education provider was a “substantial
business” arm of the high school.
He said that through the review,
the school wanted to make sure the
relationship was “mutually beneficial
and the school is looking after the
interests of the school”.
If the sale was confirmed, a notice of
intent to sell would be published, he said.
Mr England said he hoped that all
current contracts would be retained
“Karoro Learning is an attractive
business for the right purchaser.”
The West Coast Trades Academy,
currently housed at Karoro Learning,
would be retained by the high school, “as
the West Coast schools prefer to keep us
as lead provider,” he said.
The Mawhera Ser vices Academy, also
based at the Karoro Learning campus
(formerly Greymouth Intermediate
School) in Tainui Street, will be shifted
back to the school.
Karoro currently supports alternative
education for school-age students.
“This is actually a (Greymouth) high
school contract which we subcontract to
Karoro Learning, and we would be keen
to be able to continue this relationship
with any potential new owner,” Mr
Karoro Learning for sale
The latest concept drawings of the
new $67 million Greymouth Hospital
reveal an upmarket three-storey
building facing Water Walk Road.
Last May, then health minister Tony
Ryall said the new hospital would
include new wards, a bigger maternity
unit, four older person rehabilitation
cottages, an emergency department,
intensive care unit, and three operating
“ Everything is going along at great
speed and making progress,” West
Coast District Health Board chairman
Peter Ballantyne said today.
The group developing the plans,
called the partnership group, met in
Greymouth a week and a half ago
and left “with a sure knowledge of
expectations around the board”.
Tenders for a main contractor to
build the new hospital close tomorrow.
The advertisement on the Ministry of
Health website calls for an established
contractor “from New Zealand or
internationally” to also build the
integrated family health centre, on the
inland side and attached to the new
The board has not released any current
details, including the floor space, which
is expected to be substantially smaller
than the present hospital.
Bed numbers at Grey Base Hospital
were reduced a couple of years ago from
102 to 73, and with the new hospital
will reduce further to 56, plus four
The Greymouth Star has requested
the latest plans from the ministry under
the Official Information Act.
In December, the board said a key
difference would be the absence of
the long corridors characteristic of the
current hospital. It will include three
operating theatres; outpatients, GP,
and primary health facilities, and new
mental health facilities within the next
Commissioning is estimated for the
beginning of 2017, with an opening
early that year.
Board chief executive David Meates
said today the pictures released were the
latest “preliminary” design drawings.
“There may be further changes to
the building elements through the
developed and detailed design stages.”
The integrated family health centre, adjoining the hospital, on the site of the former nurses hostel, and at right, the same site today.
The new Greymouth Hospital as viewed from Water Walk Road.
New hospital plans take shape
West Coast has worst record
for foreign driver crashes
& Masons Healthcare Reefton
Phone 768 7470
0508 462 766 (0508 4MASON)
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