Home' Greymouth Star : March 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
of the Westport News
A unique device has been installed at
a Birchfield house, north of Westport,
helping keep it off the electrical grid.
The 22m-high winch was specially
designed to elevate a wind turbine on
Graham Livermore’s property.
Engineer Glen Palmer, of B W Palmer
Engineering, installed the turbine winch
at Mr Livermore’s house about a month
ago. It was the first he had designed and
manufactured. Mr Livermore supplied
the wind turbine.
“Because it ’s so high, it ’s a lot more
efficient. Down at ground level you
would lose 20% of the power,” Mr
“Also being up high, the wind’s a lot
smoother, the noise is less too ... It ’s
Mr Palmer said he had looked at a
few designs before coming up with
something he thought would be suitable.
“There’s nothing like it in New Zealand
so I thought I would design something
up myself. It ’s self-erecting (and) he’s
got a wee winch there so he can raise
and lower it himself, (it) doesn’t need a
Mr Palmer said he had not promoted
the turbine winch, but a lot of people
were interested in it, including the
company Able Solar, which supplied the
“There’s obviously a lot of people who
are off the grid ... If they ’ve got a good
supply of wind there’s quite a big market
for it. A lot of people are using solar
electric power but it doesn’t work at
night, whereas this works 24-7 .”
Semi-retired Mr Livermore said his
previous wind turbine was damaged by
Cyclone Ita last April. His insurance
company agreed to pay for the
replacement and upgrade.
Safety was an important feature of the
“(It has) stainless steel cables to stop
corrosion,” Mr Livermore said.
“It ’s able to tolerate up to 150kph wind
With the winch, Mr Livermore took
about 10 minutes to lower the turbine
and about 30 minutes to raise it.
Mr Livermore said the turbine required
a minimum of 11kph winds to activate
and start generating power.
He has been living off the grid since
2005. His house is powered entirely
by the wind turbine, except for his hot
water, which is powered by solar panels.
He also has a back-up generator.
Mr Livermore encouraged anyone
thinking about alternative energy to
“start small”, adding that solar panels
nowadays cost $350 each.
“Add a couple more every year as you
can afford it,” he said.
2 - Thursday, March 5, 2015
Police visit ends in
A visit by police to a Hokitika
address about 3pm yesterday to speak
with a man about a driving issue ended
in a cannabis raid. Police returned with
a search and sur veillance warrent due
to the “strong smell” of cannabis during
their initial visit. A small amount of
cannabis along with cannabis related
utensils were found, and the man will
face charges. Meanwhile, at 4.40pm
another Hokitika man had his car
impounded after he was caught driving
while suspended due to excess demerit
Heavy rain warning
The Metser vice has issued a heavy
rain warning with falls of up to 180mm
within a nine to 12-hour period about
Westland and the Southern Alps from
tomorrow morning. There is also the
possibility of severe thunderstorms
or a tornado in Buller before dawn
tomorrow. Another northerly shifting
front is expected to hit Westland
towards the end of tomorrow.
Dog to be destroyed
A dog that attacked a horse on
Sunday at Cobden beach will be
destroyed, the Grey District Council
says. A council spokesman said the
owner had co-operated and voluntarily
handed the dog over. It will be
destroyed and the owner fined.
Westport fire not
The fire that gutted the uninsured
house of a Buller district councillor
on February 22 was not suspicious.
Westport Volunteer Fire Brigade
fire chief Alan Kennedy said an
investigation by a fire safety officer
had established the fire was due to an
electrical wiring fault. The wooden
property, owned by Greg Hart,
was substantially damaged. It has
subsequently emerged that Mr Hart
had let his insurance lapse.
Moana smash and grab
Inquiries are continuing into the
cigarettes smash and grab at the Lake
Brunner Ser vice Station in Moana
last month although no one has been
arrested yet. Burglars smashed the
front door of the shop in the early
hours of February 17 and made off
with over $4000 worth of tobacco.
date for Art
in the Park
Art in the Park will have a
change of date next year to avoid
clashing with the Gypsy Fair
and Children’s Day — instead
clashing with the Hokitika
Art in the Park deputy
chairwoman Barbara McQ uarrie
said the organising committee
had discussed possible changes
to the event, which was normally
held in the first weekend of
“A lot of people have talked
about the fact that it is on
Children’s Day and Gypsy Fair
weekend, and it had been quite
evident that people want that
changed,” Mrs McQ uarrie said.
They decided to move the
show a week later in 2016, and
although that clashed with
Wildfoods they were not worried.
“ We think it will probably work
quite well. The people who come
from away might like to go to
Wildfoods on Saturday and Art
in the Park on the Sunday.”
Art in the Park would still be
held over two days and remain at
Shantytown, on March 12-13.
It was not held this year because
too many of the organising
committee were away.
Mrs McQuarrie said they
needed to fit the event in with
hoped the public would support
the new date and turn out when
it returned next year.
With a new date confirmed,
the organisers were looking for
sponsors, artists and performers.
“ We are looking for interested
artists who want to take part and
performers for the entertainment
side of it. Volunteers would be
gratefully accepted, too.”
Art in the Park began in 2007
at Dixon Park and relocated to
Shantytown in 2009 after a wet
A new State highway bridge
across the Ahaura River could
cost up to $10 million, but
the New Zealand Transport
Agency says replacing the
85-year-old wooden bridge is
still at least five years away.
The current single-lane bridge
has just undergone $200,000 of
Though a new bridge is on
the cards, NZTA regional
performance manager Pete
Connors said it would not be in
the immediate future.
“As replacement of the
structure is not expected for the
next five to 10 years, work has
yet to begin on the design and
plans for a replacement bridge,”
Mr Connors said.
The cost would depend on
what work was required.
“At this stage, it is likely a
replacement bridge would cost
$8 to $10m, depending on the
extent of work needed on the
bridge approaches. ”
Specifications for a new
bridge were yet to be
considered, however he said it
would probably be two lanes.
A new bridge would be
funded through the National
Land Transport Programme
but it was not even on the
programme and therefore had
no priority ranking.
Bridge work involving
overnight closures was
completed this week. Short
daytime closures will follow to
complete sealing and clean-up
Ahaura bridge replacement cost up to $10m
Jazz musician Midge McCleary will perform an
intimate acoustic set in Greymouth next week.
Having recently toured Thailand, Cambodia and
Vietnam, McCleary is now touring to play his
new album Sugar. He will perform a solo show at
Ferrari’s Lounge Bar on March 12. Over the past
10 years he has released four albums and averages
200 shows a year, crafting a blend of blues funk folk
jazz. McCleary says he uses a “big stompbox groove,
overlays jazzy vocals and guitar featuring alternate
tunings, slapping bass lines and chord progressions”.
Solo jazz musician to enter tain
PICTURE: Westport News
Graham Livermore and Glen
Palmer with the wind turbine winch
designed by Mr Palmer.
Wind turbine keeps
house off the grid
The Warehouse Greymouth co-ordinator Joni Carter, front, with children, parents, staff and volunteers
raising money for Plunket. Warehouse staff were raising funds for the group yesterday morning by
running an in store pedal-a -thon. As well as busy pedalling, staff also ran a barbecue for the local
society. “ The Warehouse is running a nationwide pedal-a -thon and money will go to local Plunket,” Ms
Carter said. “Money collected is from donations, the barbecue and through the till. We have just started
pedalling and so far Kelly Jones is now taking it up to 32km.”
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Pedalling for Plunket
A contract to adapt Greymouth High School
for students with impaired vision is currently
out to tender, while a contract to earthquake
strengthen part of the school has been
Principal Andy England said they already
had a student with impaired vision, and
another was set to join the school.
“It’s quite extensive work when you
have a school full of staircases and posts for
roofs that are not coloured that need to be
more obvious. It’s quite a big job,” Mr England
The tender includes constructing accessible
ramps with handrails, re-laying existing paving
and laying new paving, applying high-contrast
edging to steps and other edging, and replacing
some existing doors.
Tenders close tomorrow.
Meanwhile, a contract for earthquake
strengthening work on Coxan Hall, the old
gymnasium and the old boilerhouse has
been awarded to a Nelson company, IMB
“There are no buildings being demolished, it’s
just fixings to existing buildings,” Mr England
Because that work was likely to cause a
“reasonable amount of noise” they were
assessing when they could carry out the work
to minimise disruption to students, usually in
the school holidays.
High school improvements
A bioblitz at Okarito in
late January identified 32
of Conser vation
Cornelia Ver voorn, who
organised the weekend
recording species, said 62
obser vations were made,
comprising 32 separate
“This is only a fraction
of what is out there at
Okarito, so we’d love to
have the chance to re-run
the bioblitz and get more
people out there making
obser vations. Everyone
obser ved a cicada, I think
— they were singing so
loudly it was hard to hear
yourself think. ”
The most unusual
obser vation was a tawaki
— Fiordland crested
penguin — Eudyptes
identifies 32 species
West Coast police
have joined in calls for
people to be “patient ”
with visiting motorist
behaviour and to think
carefully about the
possible consequences of
It follows another
high profile incident on
Monday when a tourist
was abused in Otago for
simply stopping to take a
West Coast police
strategic traffic unit
officer in charge,
sergeant Dave Cross,
said police took
“seriously” all reported
instances of clear danger
to other motorists caused
by bad driving.
But he urged patience,
visitors who also had the
right to stop and enjoy
Mr Cross said police
followed up every bad
received from the public
and he urged caution
around people taking
“matters into their own
hands” from a safety and
a legal point of view.
This follows several
incidents where tourist
drivers have had their
keys taken by other
motorists, including on
the West Coast.
“ It’s about patience. It
shouldn’t involve getting
into a stoush,” Mr Cross
driving a little slowly
were not necessarily
bad given they could
be displaying a healthy
degree of caution. But
police always wanted to
hear about “serious road
safety issues” involving
other motorists. This
could be done either
via the *555 reporting
system or details of
vehicle registration and
incidents passed on.
complaints continued to
flow in, Mr Cross said.
“ I don’t want to
discourage people from
calling the police. We
will endeavour to get on
to those complaints and
speak with the drivers
Will be in Greymouth
027 411 2921 to book
Thursday March 5
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
HANNAH, Jimmy. —
October 5, 1941 - March
Two years ago today we
lost a wonderful family
Remembered with love
Gail, Kim, Lisa,
Stuart and families.
The average value of a residential house
in Buller district fell to just $192,995 last
month, the lowest since early 2011.
According to figures released by QV,
the average value was 7.5% less than in
February last year, and 4.5% less than
three months ago.
Buller has been hard hit by Solid
Energy redundancies and uncertainty
for the future.
The district continues to have the
lowest average residential house value on
the West Coast.
In Grey district, the average value last
month was $219,885 — a 2.2% increase
on February 2014 but a 0.4% decrease
compared to three months ago.
In Westland, the average value was
$231,494. The average house value there
was 0.8% higher than in February 2014,
and 1.3% higher than three months ago.
— Westport News
Buller house value lowest
since early 2011
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