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Injury ends ex-Coaster’s
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TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2015
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A pump and alarm fault meant
Runanga residents were left
without water overnight. Grey
District Council assets manager
Mel Sutherland said a pump fault
occurred, compounded by the
alarm warning system not going
off, leaving the reser voir to run dry.
Mr Sutherland said the issue was
brought to the council’s attention
about 5.30pm yesterday. There did
not appear to be a break and the
pump had been fixed. Supply was
restored late this morning and the
alarm system was being reviewed.
Back injur y leads
to air rescue
A man with a bad back was
airlifted from the headwaters of
the Waiatoto River south of Haast
yesterday evening. He was with
a party of six in the valley, a well
known deer hunting area, when
his personal locator beacon alerted
West Coast police at 4pm that
someone was in trouble. A police
rescue for the man, who was nursing
an old back injury, was mounted
from Q ueenstown. The rest of his
party stayed behind when he was
airlifted to hospital in Q ueenstown.
The withdrawal of a daily
ser vice has left the Greymouth Star
with a gap in delivery of newspapers
up the Coast Road. We are looking
for someone who can deliver the
newspaper Monday to Friday. If you
can help, please phone the Editor,
Fine, light winds
A paramedic rushed to save the
life of a woman who had collapsed
— only to discover that it was
actually just a poorly pigeon that
needed treatment. Rachel Lack
sped to the scene in Southall, West
London, and found that a crowd
had gathered around a dying pigeon.
“ When I arrived I saw three men
and a woman standing around a
pigeon,” she said. “I asked if they
had called an ambulance for the
pigeon and they said they had.
They were surprised to learn that
the ambulance is for humans, not
animals.” It later became clear that a
language barrier had resulted in the
call handler mistakenly believing
that a woman was in need of help,
and not a pigeon. — Metro
Lawyer warns on road support
Forest and Bird lawyers have thrown
legal doubt on the Westland District
Council’s support for the Haast
Hollyford road, warning that the
council could now be liable for up to
$100,000 in costs.
In a 10-minute extraordinary
meeting on Christmas Eve, the
council declared the disputed route a
The Forest and Bird letter says the
council had relied on the legal advice
of only the promoters of the road
link, and some of the decisions cited
were subsequently appealed. “It is our
position that the council’s resolution
is legally meaningless, as the council
has no jurisdiction to declare what is
not a legal road, a legal one, through
simple resolution,” Forest and Bird
lawyer Peter Anderson wrote.
By passing the resolution on
Christmas Eve, the council had
effectively “assumed the cost of any
litigation regarding the legality of the
“Prior to the resolution being
passed, any litigation regarding the
road, would have identified (Haast-
Hollyford Highway Ltd) as the
defendant,” Mr Anderson said.
Costs could be as much as $100,000
as well as the risk of costs being
“Given this potential risk to the
council, we are very surprised that the
council simply relied on the (road’s
promoter’s lawyer’s) opinion, without
requiring an independent evaluation.”
Mr Anderson said case law showed
it was not enough for the ‘road’ to be
‘ laid out ’ on sur vey maps and public
records. There must also be a physical
laying out, which required that the
boundaries of the road were fixed.
“The test becomes whether a ‘careful
and intelligent obser ver’ could have
determined the road boundaries
through the use of his or her eyes
immediately after the road had been
“There is no evidence that the
Haast-Hollyford ‘road’ was physically
The council had before it the
road promoter’s legal advice from
Tavendale and Partners, which cited
the Court of Appeal from another
case, which said it was enough that
the road was recorded on sur vey plans.
But Forest and Bird points out
that Court of Appeal decision was
subsequently appealed to the Privy
Council, which found that ‘laid out ’
meant ‘laid out on the ground’.
The conser vation lobby urged the
council to reconsider its resolution.
However, Westland Mayor Mike
Havill said today the resolution had
“nothing to do with Forest and Bird”.
“The road belongs to the Westland
District Council, it ’s up to us to
decide,” Mr Havill said.
The council would not revisit the
resolution, and had considered the
“At the end of the day, we have
conser ved what ’s always been there
and known — the road belongs to the
Westland District Council. It’s not
their (Forest and Bird) property.”
Iwi to draw on
Ngai Tahu weight
in opposing road
West Coast iwi Te Runanga o
Makaawhio says it will draw on the might
of Ngai Tahu if necessary to fight the
proposed Haast-Hollyford road proposal
all the way.
The iwi revealed yesterday that after
consultation with its membership, it was
vigorously opposed to the road.
Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd
chairman D urham Havill said yesterday
afternoon his company had approached
Makaawhio last year seeking to update
them and asking them to confirm their
“This will be brought up with Ngai
Tahu as discussions continue,” Mr Havill
But Makaawhio tumuaki (general
manager) Susan Wallace said today Mr
Havill appeared to have misunderstood
the structure of Ngai Tahu.
Local issues were referred back to the
runanga: “It’s our rohe (legal territory).”
Te Runanga o Makaawhio represents a
sub-tribe of Ngai Tahu, and is one of 18
legal and autonomous regional runanga.
Ms Wallace did not want to pre-empt
what may happen, but said the runanga
would oppose the resource consent
vigorously. It would follow the process
through, and that could involve legal
Ngai Tahu had a whole section that dealt
with resource consents and when needed,
the local runanga had been able to draw
on that department ’s expertise, she said.
“I don’t imagine it will be any different ” if
the Hollyford proposal progressed to the
consent process, she said.
Yesterday ’s announcement means three
groups now officially oppose the road
Makaawhio, Forest and Bird and
Federated Mountain Clubs.
The Westland District Council is
supportive. The other three West Coast
councils have also written letters of
support. Land Information NZ has
previously said the dispute over whether
the ‘paper’ road is legal, should be decided
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Brunner Mine disaster historian and author Brian Wood is interviewed this morning for a television documentary on the role mining and oil
industries have played in building the infrastructure of New Zealand. A Top Shelf Productions independent trio of director Kathleen Mantel, camera
operator Swami Hansa and sound man Ben van der Poel, were at Brunner today conducting interviews for the history documentary, to air on
Prime TV. They were due in Blackball this afternoon. “Last year we made the first series about the building of New Zealand’s infrastructure, and
following the successful ratings of the previous series, we are now shifting the focus to the industries that sprang up in the early days and formed the
foundation of New Zealand’s economy,” Ms Mantel said. “ The West Coast has a definite input into the documentary. Tomorrow we will be in
Denniston and will also be filming up at the Strongman Mine site, as well as History House.”
Tv doco explores Coast mining
clock to fix bumpy
The Grey District Council has two
contractors working to accelerate road
surface repairs around Shakespeare Street
before winter sets in.
Assets manager Mel Sutherland told
the monthly council meeting last night
they had been “chased out by the weather”
recently but had completed Masters
Street and Milton Road. Most of Joyce
Crescent had also been done, including
the Marlborough Street intersection.
Mr Sutherland said the council now
had two contractors working on the roads
“to accelerate progress”.
Sicon Ferguson had started at the
southern end of Shakespeare Street and
would be moving towards Greymouth
High School, while Westroads was
concentrating on Joyce Crescent and
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn stressed the
importance of getting the work done
now: “It is so crucial because winter is
four weeks away.”
Cr Kevin Brown noted that Milton
Road, which he had previously described
as a “bomb site,” had seen a “big
The roads were all left with bumps after
the pipe laying and surface reinstatement
Apart from Milton Road, the affected
streets will have to be dug up again to
repair faulty pipes.
Civic Centre future in limbo
The Grey District Council will
try to negotiate an extension on
the Civic Centre ground lease,
which expires six months before the
Westland Recreation Centre is due
The Civic Centre’s
Mawhera Incorporation lease runs
out on January 1, 2016, but the
replacement stadium — under
construction now next to the aquatic
centre — is not expected to be
completed until July 2016.
A council staff report last night
acknowledged the number of sports
that would be without a facility if a
stadium was unavailable.
The Civic Centre holds indoor
sports, including a rock climbing
wall, as well as the offices of Sport
Canterbury West Coast. The council
also uses the car park.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic, which
owns the climbing wall, declined an
offer to buy the building from the
The staff report suggested offering
the building to Sport Canterbury
West Coast, or another trust.
The council has also opened
discussions with an unnamed welfare
organisation to take over the lease.
If none of those options were taken
up, the council would have to either
demolish the centre, leave it with
the Mawhera Incorporation or offer
it for sale. The building is valued at
the council is
negotiating a temporary lease, but
this is not guaranteed.
The issue was brought to the
attention of councillors last night.
Property portfolio councillor Tony
Coll wanted the council to go for a
12-month extension with the option
of another 12 months in case of
unforeseen delays with the recreation
Cr Cliff Sandrey said the council
had recognised the freehold nature
of the Recreation Ground site as a
“plus,” and could not continue to pay
the lease at the Civic Centre.
“ We need to stick to our guns.”
Cr Kevin Brown said he hoped the
Civic Centre could be kept on in
“It would be a shame for it not
to be used. Whatever we can do
to help keep it there would be well
worthwhile,” Cr Brown said.
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