Home' Greymouth Star : February 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, February 26, 2015
of the Westport News
West Coast-based Department of
Conser vation staff had been working
on a proposal to log wind-throw native
timber on conser vation land more than
18 months before Cyclone Ita hit, says
Forest and Bird.
DOC staff wanted to allow logging
to boost the department ’s income,
according to documents released under
the Official Information Act to Forest
and Bird representative Kevin Hackwell.
The department was cash-strapped,
and income from the ‘ Timber for
Conser vation’ operation would have
covered basic conser vation work such as
invasive weed clearance, according to an
article in the Forest and Bird magazine.
The documents obtained by Mr
Hackwell showed some key sections
within DOC, notably the head office
policy section, was initially kept in the
dark about the proposal.
The Ministry for Primary Industries
(MPI), several West Coast sawmillers
and Landcare Research, were all involved
in the proposal six months before the
policy section knew of it, the article said.
The policy section and DOC’s legal
team dropped the proposal when it was
eventually put before them.
An e-mail from a member of the policy
section said the proposal contravened
the 1987 Conser vation Act, which was
put in place to put a stop to selective
logging in conser vation areas.
Mr Hackwell said he believed the
legislation to har vest timber felled by
Cyclone Ita would never have been
considered without the extra interest
and demand created by the Timber for
Conser vation proposal.
The consultation West Coast-based
DOC staff had had with timber
companies and the MPI had stoked
the belief that protections in the
Conser vation Act could be overturned
“All the preparation work had
been done (as part of the Timber for
Conser vation study) and the loggers on
the West Coast knew that some thinking
to change the legislation had been done,
so they put the pressure on after the
cyclone hit ... interest groups including
MPI had been primed and were ready to
go,” he said in the article.
He believed the plan contravened both
the spirit and the letter of DOC’s own
DOC western South Island acting
conser vation ser vices director Andy
Roberts said that DOC had initiated
the Timber for Conser vation feasibility
study in response to a number of requests
from West Coast timber companies for
access to wind-throw timber.
DOC had explored the opportunity
because of the potential value of
commercial partnerships to conser vation
— windfall events were common in New
However, under the Conser vation Act
framework, the opportunity could not be
progressed, Mr Roberts said.
Cyclone Ita hit the West Coast on
April 17, 2014, damaging 38,000ha of
forest on public conser vation land. The
legislation allowing the logging of wind-
blown timber on the West Coast was
passed in June.
A total of 14 logging companies
registered interest with DOC. Ten of
them met the criteria and were awarded
There are currently four loggers
operating at five sites across the West
Coast, with another two to four due to
begin in the next couple of weeks. —
Christchurch-based Chinese Consul General Jin Zhijian peruses the Chinese and Mandarin language resources, available at the
new resource centre based in the Tai Poutini Polytechnic library at the Greymouth campus. The centre is a joint venture between the
polytechnic and the Confucius Institute at University of Canterbury. A Mandarin language assistant will also be based on campus to
introduce community courses in the language and Chinese culture.
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
Polytechnic embraces Chinese culture
The High Court has ruled that
some notes relating to the Pike
River Mine disaster must remain
confidential, as family members
Sonya Rockhouse, Anna Osborne
and the Council or Trade Unions
push for a judicial review of the
decision not to prosecute mine
manager Peter Whittall.
Writing in newsletter The
president Helen Kelly said the
Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment was “fighting
hard to maintain the secrecy of the
deal that saw the Crown accept
money in exchange for a criminal
discharge for one of this country’s
worst cases of health and safety
“In our view it was an improper
offer and should not have been
considered but that will be for the
Court to consider shortly.”
It suffered a setback this week
when a written decision from the
High Court said the application
for disclosure of the file notes for
Crown solicitor Brent Stanaway,
who was prosecuting for Worksafe,
“The big point about (this week’s)
decision is the State continues to
fight all the way against the demand
for justice for these families.”
Ms Kelly said Prime Minister
John Key, when announcing the
mine re-entry would not go ahead,
told the families he would support
them with any legal action they
wanted to take.
A subsequent letter from Mr Key,
which the CTU released, said the
Government would fund a civil
case, but the costs of the current
judicial review attempt lay with the
CTU and the parties involved.
Ms Kelly also said that over a
year ago an initial application was
made to the Christchurch District
Court for the court file relating to
Crown Law said it had been
informed that parts of the District
Court file had been lost.
“Apparently efforts have been
made to locate it but they have not
Push for Whittall judicial
review suf fers setback
The Buller District Council proposes
scrapping its promotional tourist
brochure, the Buller District Guide.
Economic development working party
chairman Phil Rutherford said in a
report to the council another print run
may not be cost-effective.
He noted there were also moves to
publish one comprehensive West Coast
guide, which he said should include an
enlarged section dedicated to Buller.
There are 14,000 copies of the Buller
guide left which should last until at least
The council has set aside $59,816,
although this was not just for printing
the brochure. Mr Rutherford also
discussed the need for production and
If the council decided to keep the
Buller brochure the funding would have
to come from the advertising revenue via
local businesses, which may be reluctant
to stump up if the brochure had a limited
life, he said.
The council is expected to make a
decision at its meeting this week.
The government is urging motorists
not to take matters into their own
hands despite growing concerns over
On Monday a member of the public
flagged down a tourist driving on the
wrong side of the road in Franz Josef
Glacier, confiscated their keys and
reported them to the police.
But yesterday, Associate Transport
Minister Craig Foss said he was
concerned about members of the public
trying to police the roads despite a
recent spate of accidents involving
“I’ve seen those reports. I understand
people’s concerns, but please don’t take
the law into your own hands — call
*555,” he said.
He said while he was comfortable
with what the government was doing
so far, there was more that could be
done including rumble strips and
investigating how effective signs were.
“We’ve got to do all we can to make
sure all drivers and families are as safe
as possible,” Mr Foss said.
An on-line petition seeking law
reform on foreign drivers reached
35,000 signatures yesterday.
The petition was started by Sean
Canterbury whose father was killed in
an accident caused by a 20-year-old
student from China. — N ZN
Government urges caution
over foreign drivers
Buller council proposes cutting brochure
Three comedians from the 7
Days tv programme will leave
their desk behind to bring the
laughs to Greymouth next
Ben Hurley, Dai Henwood
and Vaughan King, as well
as a “ highly provocative”
mechanical bull, have hit the
road for the 2015 Fresh-up
Publicists say the trio will be
“spreading a unique form of
comedic love sauce” throughout
rural New Zealand during
March and April.
Hurley, Henwood, and King
are regulars on TV3’s 7 Days
The tour visits the Regent
Theatre Greymouth on March
20, and will also stop off at
Whangarei, Thames, Tauranga,
Kapiti Coast, Christchurch,
Ashburton, Queenstown and
The trio said anyone in those
towns had reason to rejoice,
“not only in the distance
you’ve achieved in avoiding
Aucklanders, but more
importantly, in the boasting
rights you’ ll gain by witnessing
the Fresh-up Comedy Tour live
for one night only”.
Tickets are on sale now at
Comedians Ben Hurley, left, Dai Henwood, Vaughan King
will perform in Greymouth in March.
7 Days comedians coming to Greymouth
The future of the earthquake prone
former St Columba Hall — now used
as the gymnasium at John Paul II High
School — remains up in the air.
The hall has stood on the Alexander
Street site since the 1920s, but has been
assessed at just 35% of the building
John Paul II High School principal
Kieran Stone said the Catholic diocese
wanted to bring the hall up to 66% of
While he hoped to see the building
strengthened, he noted there was still
the possibility of it being demolished
and rebuilt, depending on costs.
Work on the hall would not start until
funds were secured, which he expected
to be finalised soon.
The hall redevelopment is part of a
larger project to bring the entire school
up to 66% of code over the next few
years. The two-storey St Mary’s block
has already been demolished, and the
wooden Marist block across the street
is also earmarked for demolition.
Mr Stone said the renewal process
would take a few years so in the
meantime they planned to flatten the
site of the St Mary’s block and sow it
An obser ver from Heritage New
Zealand must be there to oversee
the work, to make sure no historical
objects were dug up or damaged, he
The school hopes to see the new field
grassed by the beginning of term two,
St Columba Hall
up in the air
Fox Glacier school has been given
a positive Education Review Office
report, with reviewers praising the
positive relationships and wider
The school has two teachers and a
stable roll of 24.
Most students were achieving
well in reading, writing and maths.
Programmes were well planned
and students had opportunities
to learn about Maori culture and
ERO also saw good teaching
practise, with students
supported by skilful teacher
Since the last review there
had been staffing changes and a
relieving principal was in place at
the time of the ERO visit, with the
board in the process of making an
The report said “students told
ERO that they appreciate and value
the extra support given”.
The community was supportive of
the school, with adults helping to
Maori pupils were equally
supported and were achieving well.
However, the board of the school
needed to alter its strategic plan
and self review to add in extra
points stated in the report.
Principal and teacher appraisals
also needed more rigour and proper
The board had identified two
financial challenges — resourcing
staff professional development and
the cost of providing a modern
The next report would take place
in three years time.
Positive ERO report for Fox Glacier School
The 2015 World Day of Prayer in
Greymouth will be hosted by St Patrick’s
Church on Friday, March 6.
In line with the tradition of the
international prayer day, it will be based
on a theme prepared by Christian
women from one of the participating
countries in the World Day of Prayer
The Bahamas have provided the theme
for 2015, which is “Jesus said to them,
‘ Do you know what I have done to you?’”
St Patrick’s parishioner Erin Williams
said the interdenominational time of
prayer at St Patrick’s Church was open
to all and would last about 40 minutes.
The ser vice would begin at 7pm and
participants were encouraged to make a
gold coin donation, with a cup of tea to
The World Day of Prayer movement
began in 1887 and has grown to
include over 180 countries and regions
In New Zealand, the first nationwide
World Day of Prayer was held in 1931
and more than 300 ser vices are held by
more than 1300 groups annually.
St Patrick’s to
Day of Prayer
Thursday February 26
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
CASE, Samuel James
(Sam). — February 26,
1999. 16 years have
gone by since you
We cannot bring the old
Your smile we cannot
We can only treasure the
Of the days that used to
Diane, Sarah and
Brent, Junita, Ravin,
Haylee and Jacob.
February 26, 1999.
Brian and Christine.
RAE, Ivan (Plus
Gone are the days we
used to share,
But in our hearts you
are always there.
Love from The
Arrivals: Jay Elaine,
Sovereign, Jay Penelope,
Joy Maree, Kathleen G,
Louisa, Sea Legend,
Jay Elaine today.
Expected arrivals: Cook
Canyon, Galatea II,
Sunday; Moon Shadow
disabilities will receive free hearing
tests and ear examinations when
the Special Olympics schools
programme swim meet is held on
the West Coast next week.
The swim event at the Grey
District Aquatic Centre, in
Greymouth on March 4, is
expected to attract about 30
secondary school students with
intellectual disabilities, all of
whom will receive free screenings
conducted by a team of clinical
Local ser vice providers have also
been invited to bring people along
for the screening.
“International studies show that
people with intellectual disabilities
have poorer health outcomes than
the general population,” Special
Olympics New Zealand health
representative Dr Jeanine Doherty
Special Olympics regional sports
co-ordinator Graeme Bain said it
was exciting to have the hearing
screenings available at the West
The screening will take place at
the aquatic centre from 11am to
1pm on Wednesday. The schools
programme event starts at 10am.
The hearing tests are part of the
Special Olympics New Zealand’s
‘Healthy Athletes’ initiative.
Free hearing tests at Special Olympics swim meet
conducting a major cannabis
growing operation in the town
have been busted by police after a
Community constable Paul
Sampson, of Westport police,
said a 19-year-old man and a
42-year-old woman were arrested
yesterday afternoon after police
found a ‘growing room’ containing
dozens of cannabis plants in what
appeared to be a well organised
illicit drug operation.
Police executed a search warrant at
the property during the afternoon
and initially arrested the man for
a recent burglary in Westport.
He was subsequently charged
with cultivation of cannabis and
possession of instruments for
cultivating the drug.
“A large number of cannabis
plants and equipment were found
in a growing room,” Mr Sampson
The concealed cannabis growing
area was at the rear of the property.
The woman arrested faces the
same cannabis-related charges.
Both are due to appear in the
Westport District Court on March
Meanwhile, Westport police
arrested a man in his 50s and his
son, in his 20s, at a Wakefield
Street address late this morning as
a result of a drugs search.
Mr Sampson said a “small
amount ” of cannabis leaf and
cannabis related instruments were
found during the raid. Charges
“This case is definitely one where
we’ve relied on information from
The public could be assured the
police would act on any information,
including anonymous tip-offs.
Tip-offs passed to Westport about
illicit drug growing had been
Granity cannabis growing
operation busted after tip-off
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Waitangi Day Picnic
West Coast Bowls 4s
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