Home' Greymouth Star : April 28th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 3
An 18-year-old man who had
been previously forbidden to drive
by Westport police had his car
impounded when he was caught
behind the wheel on Friday night.
He will appear in the Westport
District Court on Thursday.
Meanwhile, police say alcohol was
a factor in a domestic incident
involving a man and a woman in
Westport on Thursday. The woman
was issued with a police safety order
for 12 hours.
Three Westport motorists were
caught drink-driving at the weekend.
Early on Sunday morning a 55-year-
old man blew 471mg when he
was stopped in Peel Street. His
vehicle was impounded and he was
summoned to appear in court in
June. On Saturday, a 22-year-old
man was issued with an infringement
notice when he blew 341mg, and
on Friday night a 28-year-old man
blew 400mg when he was stopped in
Boys taken home
Two boys found wandering around
Palmerston Street, Westport, early
on Sunday morning were taken
home to their parents by police. A
police spokesman said the parents
of the boys, aged 10 and 12, were
unaware the boys were not tucked up
in their beds.
The Grey District Council will
collect rubbish from Blaketown and
Cobden today and tomorrow, after
some people did not realise they had
to put their rubbish out yesterday.
The council said many people had
been caught out yesterday, when
the collection went ahead on the
public holiday, Anzac Day obser ved.
Contractors will repeat Monday’s
normal collection route later today
and tomorrow. The council says it
will be reviewing its procedures
before the next ‘Mondayised’
Patient transfers up
There was a significant increase in
the number of patients transferred
from Buller to Grey Base in
February, up from 13 in January to
22. The majority were for general
medical and orthopaedic patients.
Nine patient transfers took place
from Reefton to Grey Base Hospital,
an increase from three in January
2015. The majority were general
Greymouth Bridge Club results. —
Wednesday: Bijaya Mishra and Ian
Anderson 69% 1, Alison Dayne and
Mary Whitehead 61% 2. Thursday:
Glen Balloch and Stuart Oliver
58.3% 1, Judy Parkinson and Joy
Willman, Ian Anderson and Sue
Glue 55% 2 equal.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Moon Shadow II. Departures:
Nil. In port: Cook Canyon, Moon
Shadow II, Achernar, Brid Voyager,
Calypso, Christina, Jay Penelope,
Lady Sarah, Okarito, Sovereign,
Strike Force, Tenacity, Tantramar,
Tui, Thelma C, 26 other vessels.
Expected departures: Moon Shadow
II, Cook Canyon, tomorrow.
Expected arrivals: Jay Elaine,
Thursday; Ocean Odyssey, Friday.
One of the smallest towns on the West Coast
could be the first to introduce free wifi in its
Karamea is currently getting a new cellphone
tower, which Buller District Mayor Garry
Howard is hoping will be commisoned over the
next few days.
The council and community want to take it one
step further and introduce a free wifi zone.
If the plans go ahead, Karamea will become the
first town on the West Coast to have free wifi.
Mr Howard said a discussion will take place
after the cellphone tower is finished and he
believes the results of a free wifi area would be
Wifi would help communication in and out of
Karamea and aid businesses in advertising.
Mr Howard said funding would hopefully
come from the government as part of the rural
There is also talk of a joint application between
all West Coast councils to bring cellphone
coverage and ultra fast broadband everywhere.
In 2006 Karamea Area School was the first on
the West Coast to get broadband, however it will
be one of the last to get ultra fast broadband.
Total rates for Buller ratepayers
will drop by 0.6% next year, but
according to the Buller District
Council’s 10-year plan, announced
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said the
rates reduction had been achieved by
holding down the costs of operating the
“ While there are increases in later
years of this 10-year plan, the rate
of increase is modest and below the
expected local government inflation
index,” Mr Howard said.
The cost of running the council
was expected to reduce from $24.6
million in the 2013-14 financial year
to $22.4 million in the next financial
year. However, the cost would escalate
above $24.6m in the 2019-20
The council had also committed
$3.8m to upgrading water supplies
in Westport and the surrounding
communities. Once it had rationalised
its building stock it would be looking at
modernising the Westport town centre
between 2018 and 2021.
“Our district is well placed, with
many of our key infrastructure upgrades
complete, or nearing completion.
Our council manages $379m of
infrastructure assets and over the
next 10 years we will invest $62.2m
in upgrading and improving our
core infrastructure assets,” Mr Howard
A consultation document to the plan
will be released for public consideration
on April 28. The document and the
long-term plan will be available on the
council website. The consultation period
closes on May 29.
Public information meetings will be
held across the district between May 11
and May 20.
The site of the old Kopara Sawmill echoed to the sound of chatter and laughter on Sunday as former sawmillers got together for a reunion. Lindsay Arthur,
who used to stay on site during the course of his work in the Forest Ser vice, said about 40 people got back together, in the restored hall on site. They discussed
everything from how they used to mill wood, chop down trees and catch fish while working at the mill. Canterbur y couple Richard and Heather Currie recently
bought the old mill town and helped host the day’s events. A tree was planted by Daniel Wylde, the great grandson of mill manager Jack Wylde.
Old sawmillers back for Kopara reunion
A 30-year-old former school bus is
currently touring the West Coast, and it is
one of the most high-tech things on four
Known as Dora — which stands for
‘digital on road access’ — the 1985 Isuzu
was decommissioned as a school bus after
26 years but has since been given a new
lease on life.
WestREAP currently has Dora on a four-
month loan from Christchurch and is now
visiting West Coast communities to teach
WestREAP ace co-ordinator Cheryl
Smeaton said the 2020 Communications
Trust, which created Dora in 2012, was
looking for its next project.
“ We’d like that to be the West Coast,” Ms
They had four months to build a business
plan and “what we would do with a bus if
we had one”.
“The possibilities are endless. We are
asking these communities what they
would use (the bus) for if we had one here
The primary purpose of such a bus on the
West Coast would be for education, though
other groups or events would be able to
The bus uses Farmside satellite and 3G,
and a mast re-broadcast a signal that can
be used by others. It is powered by four
solar panels, as well as a back-up generator,
which powers five cycle sealed batteries
that everything in the bus runs off and two
which run the bus itself.
The bus was in Greymouth last week and
will soon travel south as far as Haast and
then back up to Karamea.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
WestREAP computers in homes tutor Sarah Ellison and ACE co-ordinator Cheryl
Smeaton, inside the Dora bus as it travels around the West Coast.
Dora bus a boost for
education on Coast
Virginia Pawsey says she still
thinks about this day 20-years-ago,
as the one that changed everything
Her son, Kit Pawsey was one
of 14 people who died when a
poorly constructed Department of
Conser vation viewing platform gave
way in the Paparoa National Park on
the West Coast.
Since then, her family has been a
catalyst for change, organising the
fight for compensation from the
Government and making sure what
happened at 11.30am, April 28,
1995, never happens again.
Today, she said, was a day to
remember her son, and reflect on the
passage of time.
“ I’ve been thinking about it a
lot lately. Friends talk about their
children, about marriages, birthdays
and things like that. Sometimes
if I reflect I think we only have
anniversaries ... and it’s the
anniversary of a death,” Ms Pawsey
“It’s times like this in the 20th year
that it really hits home.”
Only four people survived the fall.
Sam Lucas was one of them, but he
does not recall any of the accident.
“ Which means I’m not haunted as
such by the event itself ... and so it
was sort of waking up and coming to
terms with what had happened but
having no recollection of it,” he said.
Today, at his new home he shares
with his partner and children in
the United Kingdom, he will take a
quiet moment to reflect.
“I’ll sit and find some space around
the time of the accident and think
about the people that were with me
at that time, and the families that
have been involved.”
The tragedy has also had a lasting
impact on officials who attended the
Senior constable Al Hendrickson,
who was the second officer to arrive,
said the Cave Creek disaster was
among the worst he’d seen in his 32
years on the force.
“It was like something you’d see
out of a St John training exercise,
in that there were people seriously
injured, but bodies as well.”
A memorial service was held from
11am this morning, with family
members of the victims, Department
of Conservation officials, and
representatives from Tai Poutini
Cave Creek families
remember lost loved ones
The last remnants of the former Greymouth High School hostel buildings in Tasman Street, latterly occupied by the Focus Trust,
became history this morning, when the remaining building on the site was demolished. Last week a former school house was loaded on
to the back of a trailer and transported to Barrytown, to be used by a private tenant.
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
Old school hostel comes down
Greymouth police dealt with
several incidents of disorderly
behaviour and assault over
the long weekend, with eight
The trouble started on Friday
night with the arrest of a
27-year-old man for disorderly
evening a 35-year-old man was
arrested for wilful damage, and a
39-year-old man was arrested for
contravening a protection order.
On Anzac Day, a Greymouth
man aged 19 was arrested for
failing to appear in court the
previous week. Another 19-year-
old was arrested for the same
reason on Sunday.
Early on Sunday morning a
26-year-old Greymouth man
was taken in and charged for
assaulting a woman. At 10.55pm
a 29-year-old woman was
arrested for disorderly behaviour,
and last night a 19-year-old man
was arrested for contravening a
Senior constable Mike Tinnelly
said inquiries were continuing
after police were called to an
incident of an alleged assault
between two men at an Alexander
Street address in Greymouth
early on Anzac Day, at 1.50am.
A “very drunk abusive” man
was also seen off by police from
Revingtons Hotel at 10.40pm on
Someone keyed the paintwork
on a parked vehicle in Monro
Street, Cobden, over the
weekend. The owner of the Ford
Ranger vehicle went out to the
car on Saturday to find extensive
damage to the paintwork along
the left side. Inquiries are
continuing but anyone who
can help police track down the
offender is urged to contact the
Greymouth Police Station.
Eight arrests over weekend keep police busy
Free wifi for Karamea mooted
West Coasters extracting gravel could be
charged for the privilege, while whitebaiters
are set for a 50% increase in the cost of having
their stands monitored.
Both proposals are included in the West
Coast Regional Council draft long-term plan,
which was released for public consultation
yesterday. Public submissions close on May 25.
The plan includes a proposal to charge
for monitoring gravel extraction to ensure
it complies with resource consents, starting
in July next year. The charge will be based
on amount of gravel that is projected to be
extracted under the terms of each consent.
Compliance and consents manager Jackie
Adams said the West Coast was the only
South Island council that did not charge
for monitoring gravel extraction, despite it
being an activity which generated a “lot of
“ With gravel you can afford five, six, seven
contractors working on the same area,” Mr
When there was a complaint, “everyone
points the finger at everyone else”.
“For us to do enforcement action we have to
be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt they
have committed the offence.”
Chief executive Chris Ingle said the council
was almost always unable to recover costs from
complaints. The extent of cost recovery from
compliance and enforcement would hopefully
“come out in the wash” at between 70% to
There was also a proposal to introduce an
annual administration fee of $55 for each
resource consent, to cover the ongoing costs of
compiling and monitoring accounts, general
inquiries and maintaining consents and
compliance databases. The cost of dairy farm
inspections rises was also projected to rise
from $250 to $300 a year.
Council chairman Andrew Robb said the
council currently monitored the water quality
at 46 river and lake sites across the region. The
council was planning to move from quarterly
to monthly water monitoring.
In the draft plan the council said there was
no planned capital expenditure for the next
30 years, aside from the second stage upgrade
of the Greymouth floodwall, which would
protect the town from a one in 150-year flood
Work in Westport on flood protection from
the Buller River was in the initial scoping
stage, while work was ongoing to identify
“possible solutions” for flood protection at
Franz Josef Glacier.
Whitebait stand monitoring fee
could increase by 50%
of the Westport News
Solid Energy shelled
out $4 million for
July and December last
year, mostly for workers
from the Stockton open-
Solid Energy put off
135 Stockton workers
last year. A further 50
jobs went among mine
Solid Energy’s written
answers to questions
from Parliament ’s
finance and expenditure
committee reveal the
company made 149
in the six months to
December 31, the period
when the Stockton
The highest payment
was between $160,000
and $170,000. More
than 100 redundant
between $10,000 and
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