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TUESDAY, MARCH 24, 2015
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wins Le Race
sought at Kumara
Witnesses to a dangerous driving
incident near Kumara yesterday
evening have been urged to phone
the Hokitika police to assist with
an investigation. At 7.40pm a man
driving on Greenstone Road was
forced to take evasive action when
faced with a black utility driving
towards him on his side of the
road. Police said the motorist, who
had to swerve to avoid a head-on,
believed the utility was local to the
Kumara area but he was unable
to see the registration number.
Meanwhile, a motorist did “a great
job” yesterday in reporting a car
driving across the centre line on
the Coast Road. A woman phoned
police to report a north-bound
silver hatchback driving erratically
across the centre line on State
highway 6. The caller followed the
hatchback at a safe distance before
it stopped at Punakaiki. Police
caught up with the hatchback
driver and issued them with an
infringement notice for failing to
stay in the correct lane. A passenger
took control of the driving after
Police were today beginning
inquiries into a burglary of the
Department of Conser vation
information centre at Franz Josef
Glacier overnight. Hokitika police
had few details this morning.
A diner tried to get out of paying
for his £7.25 Valentine’s Day buffet
meal for one by releasing his pet
rat into the restaurant. Christopher
Baker, 28, ordered the meal from
the Borneo Bistro in Sunderland,
England and sat down to eat alone,
before pulling the pet rodent from
his pocket, releasing it on to the
floor and demanding a refund.
Embarrassed waiters apologised
and handed over the £7.25 but
when pest control examined the
creature they found it had the
appearance of a domestic pet,
and had recently “had a haircut ”.
Bistro owner Kevin Smith then
checked the restaurant ’s CCTV
and spotted Baker producing the
rat and putting it on the floor.
Baker, of Houghton, Sunderland
later admitted fraud by false
representation, and was ordered to
pay the restaurant the £7.25 back
in compensation, as well as a £60
— Daily Mail
Cloudy, light rain at times
Work Safe NZ and the operator of
the underground coalmine museum
and train at Denniston — one of the
premium tourist drawcards in Buller
— n eed to work together to get it open
again, West Coast leaders say.
“ If they can’t sort out the problem
I’d be drastically disappointed,” West
Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor
On Friday, the Department of
Conser vation cut power to the winch,
which pulls the train underground, after
Work Safe indicated concerns over it,
and the risk of fire from the locomotives
A prohibition notice will remain in
place until the winch system is made
compliant, a competent person is
trained to operate the system, and a fire
risk assessment is carried out.
The multi-million dollar underground
museum draws tourists north of
Concessionaire John Gurney said
yesterday that walking visitors into
the mine, which was steep and wet,
was dangerous so they had closed the
Buller Mayor Garry Howard was
away yesterday, and getting up to speed
on the issue this morning.
“It’s a stunning tourist attraction,” Mr
Tourism West Coast chief executive
Jim Little said the dispute was between
the operators and the Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment
Tourism West Coast would support
the Denniston Experience in any way
“At the end of the day, they have got to
sort it out with MBIE.”
The underground tourist train was
“something different, unique in New
Zealand,” Mr Little said.
manager Bob Dickson said they had
been talking to Mr Gurney about
options for continuing tours inside the
improving the walking surface for better
walking access,” Mr Dickson said.
DOC was also talking with its
partners in the Denniston Heritage
Charitable Trust on potential mine tour
options. The train could still be safely
used to carry passengers as far as the
mine entrance, he said.
1am intruder chased from house
A Westport couple chased off an
intruder after being awoken shortly
Westport community constable
Paul Sampson said the middle-aged
couple were sound asleep when the
rear door of their Queen Street home,
near the Henley Street intersection,
was broken by the intruder.
They described to police a youth
aged 15 to 18 years with a “very pale”
complexion and light coloured hair.
Sampson said that by the time police
arrived the intruder had “bolted ”
without a trace into the darkness.
He was apparently wearing a dark
coloured t-shirt and pants.
“One of the occupants chased him
out ... they thought he was affected by
drugs of some sort, and believe he was
on foot,” Mr Sampson said.
It was disturbing that someone had
broken in while the homeowners were
asleep in their beds. It was hard to tell
if the intruder’s motive was burglary
or something else: “I suggest he’s not
in there for tea and scones. It could
have led to something more serious,”
Mr Sampson said.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
St Patrick’s Primary School pupils were split in their allegiances today as the Black Caps prepared to meet South Africa in a Cricket World Cup
semi-final. The school had a mufti day today in which children could dress up to support the teams. The school got into the spirit of the competition
by holding a ‘world cup’ of its own in which all pupils from Year 4-8 could participate.
Camerons farmers cream of crop
Camerons dairy farmers Kelvin and Heather
McKay took out the 2015 West Coast-Top of
the South sharemilker-equity farmer of the
year title in the regional New Zealand dairy
awards last night.
It was third time lucky but a natural
progression for the couple, who were runners-
up last year and third in the 2013 finals. The
McKays took home $7100 in prizes.
The other big winners were young Reefton
couple Thomas and Hannah Oats, who were
named farm managers of the year.
Mr McKay said today the kudos of winning
had been worth the effort.
The process of entering and opening up
their business over many months to expert
scrutiny had been “a big learning process”.
But it brought with it the bonus of new
insight into their farming operation and it
was an opportunity too good to miss.
“It ’s a good way of critiquing your business,”
Mr McKay said.
The other main benefit was the opportunity
for “networking” within the wider dairy sector.
“It has made us focus more on what it is
we want to achieve and identify areas of our
farming operation which we can improve.”
The McKays have been milking 185 cows
for New River Farming at Camerons for
nearly three years.
Mr McKay, originally from Golden Bay
but on the West Coast since 2006, said they
were in dairying for the long haul, with the
aim of full farm ownership within 10 years.
Mrs McKay currently works off-farm for
Westland Milk Products, but is involved in
the financial and planning aspects of the
Murchison 50/50 sharemilkers Jon and
Vickie Nicholls were placed second in the
sharemilker-equity farmer category followed
by Westport sharemilkers Damian Kohrs and
The McKays will host a field day on their
Camerons farm next month before going to
the national finals week in Auckland, in early
For farm managers of the year, Thomas and
Hannah Oats, notching up a win only the
second time after entering the awards and
at the tender ages of 22 and 20, was a great
success. The couple contract milk 350 cows
for Mr Oats’ parents, Richard and Wendy
Oats, and aim to be 50-50 sharemilking
within two years.
Blackball contract milkers Stephane and
Sophie Rossignol finished second in the farm
West Coast-Top of the South sharemilker-equity
farmers of the year Kelvin and Heather McKay, at the
regional awards held at Shantytown last night.
Cricket fans at fever pitch
Bathurst boss goes
Bathurst Resources chief executive
Hamish Bohannan has resigned
in a further blow to the unfulfilled
Denniston mining project.
In a statement to the NZX today,
the former Australian company said
the ongoing business efficiency review
had resulted in restructuring.
In line with this process, and with
the full scale development of the
flagship Escarpment mine project
being put on hold at Denniston, Mr
Bohannan had decided “to seek a
He joined Bathurst in 2008.
Chief operating officer Richard
Tacon will take over the chief
executive role. Mr Tacon’s first job in
the industry was at the old Liverpool
State Mine, at Rewanui.
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