Home' Greymouth Star : May 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s international
strategy has been called in to question
by a member its own council.
At the polytechnic council meeting
last week, chairman Graeme McNally
said senior management had recently
visited two of its international partners
in China, signing a memorandum
of understanding with the Chengdu
Technician College and had visited
another of its international partners,
the Guilin Institute of Tourism.
However, council member John Mote
questioned whether the partnerships
were worth it.
“It seems to me that we are putting
in quite a lot of effort and energy and
money into developing a whole raft of
stuff ... and if I was putting my sceptics
hat on, I would be saying, ‘well you
haven’t convinced me its worth the
effort, for a whole range of reasons,’”
Mr Mote, a former Greymouth High
School principal, said.
“ We must be at a crunch point pretty
soon where we are saying, ‘well we have
flogged this horse enough and we are
not going to get any more out of it, so
going to start seeing the revenue flows
that accrue from it.”
Mr McNally said an update on the
its partnerships in China, would be
reported in the next couple of months.
“My own view is that the track we
are taking will be less in term of scale,
but also less in terms of risk than a
number of polytechnics are taking,” Mr
“Bringing large numbers of students
into New Zealand is quite a risky
strategy, every country, whether it’s
India or China is growing its capability
Mr McNally said Tai Poutini
Polytechnic’s investments were akin to
buying a hotel: “ The first couple or three
years investing in a hotel you make no
money, you just hope you can still make
the bank debt, and then if you have got
a good proposition it goes ahead. We
are just coming out of that cur ve.”
A “comprehensive discussion” was
planned within the next couple of
months to lay out where the polytechnic
had got to and where it wanted to
“ We are all conscious of the fact that
there is an investment required, and we
have got to see a pay off from it.”
Chief executive Allan Sargison said
the international strategy had been
discussed with the polytechnic council
in January, and management had “not
just elected to act ”.
in to question
A Reefton nurse who helped run
clinics in Nepal last year has appealed
for people to donate to a health charity
that works in rural communities.
Rural nurse specialist Nikki Mason,
pictured, spent three weeks there late
last year with Karamea nurse Jenny
Roumieu, through the Karma Thalo
As staff pay for their own trips, 100%
of donations go to the people who
Ms Mason said they worked in
Lisankhu, a town of about 5000, where
they held clinics and stayed in tents.
Some people walked two or three days
to get there.
Getting information out since the
quake has been hard, but there are
reports the school where they held the
clinics had partially collapsed.
“As far as we know, there have been
Having got to know the people, Ms
Mason said she found news of the
To donate go to http://www.
Nepal health charity appeal
After three years, more than 40,000
sea miles and exploring quite a few
countries along the way, Hokitika’s
Mark Mellsop-Melssen has sailed
his catamaran from France back to
port at Greymouth.
Mr Mellsop-Melssen, the founder
of Franz Josef Glacier Guides and
now living in Hokitika, launched the
boat from France nearly three years
“Wedidn’t doit allinonehit,we
did a lot of cruising along the way,”
For sections of the trip Mr
Mellsop-Melssen was joined by his
wife Lilian, and for one school term
his daughter Phoebe Wilson.
After leaving France they visited
Italy, Spain, Morroco, Cuba, Panama
and spent a year in Australia.
From Australia back to New
Zealand they made journey up
the West Coast as they headed to
Nelson to comply with Customs.
“ It was just the way the wind blew,”
Mr Mellsop-Melssen quipped.
Last month he finally brought the
boat home, to Greymouth.
Mr Mellsop-Melssen said he had
studied the Grey River bar before
crossing it, however “once you are
down there it is a lot different.”
After all the travelling they were
happy to be back on the West Coast.
“Wehad aballbutit’s good to be
The trip was largely smooth sailing.
With two hulls, the boat only travels
1m below the water and keeps stable
“ If you follow the tradewind routes
it ’s pretty straightfor ward,” he said.
Mr Mellsop-Melssen has had a
long association with sailing: “I have
always sailed catamarans, ever since I
was a kid.”
At 14m long and 7.5m wide,
anyone could be excused for
thinking life on board would be a bit
cramped. However, it actually has
four double beds and has held seven
The couple have a super king bed
on board — “it’s more room than we
have at home,” Ms Mellsop-Melssen
joked. “It ’s like a little world of its
Mr Mellsop-Melssen plans to hold
an open day for the public to view
The next trip is up to Auckland
for a boat show in September, and
returning after Christmas.
Catamarans were a rare sight
around Greymouth, as Port
of Greymouth super visor Ian
Haussmann attested to: “One came
in 25 years ago, that ’s the last one I
Crossing the Greymouth bar.
Hokitika catamaran returns to Coast after voyage
West Coast children will soon have
the opportunity to learn how to code
The West Coast Technology
Education Trust and Code Club
Aotearoa will open a new coding
hub at Tech Space, in Greymouth,
on May 12.
The Code Club will give school
children access to the facilities
and resources to do free lessons on
Code Club Aotearoa president
Michael Trengrove said it was
important to give young people the
opportunity to learn coding.
“As well as being a key skill for
the growing number of technology
careers, these sessions will also
strengthen problem solving skills,
“Coding was just an extension of
the Kiwi inclination to be ‘makers
and creators,’” Mr Trengrove said.
West Coast Technology Education
Trust chairman and Tech Space
facilitator Eric Martini said the
technology industry would create
more jobs than any other by 2020.
“Code Club provides important
resources for young people across
New Zealand to learn these sought-
after digital skills,” Mr Martini
“ We’re in a digital era where
coding is not only an enjoyable
hobby but a skill that is quickly
becoming a necessary requisite for
many technology careers. The chance
to learn this skill should be open to
Code Club Aotearoa is a
nationwide network of volunteer-
led after school coding clubs for
children aged eight to 12 years. The
group has opened 80 coding hubs
across New Zealand since October
More information is available at
New computer coding hub set to open in Greymouth
A water subsidy scheme that has
helped pay for new drinking-water
schemes Coastwide is to be wound up.
Communities from Hannahs Clearing
at Haast, to Ross and Westport, have all
benefited in the 10 years the fund has
run. Greymouth, Runanga, Dobson,
Taylor ville and Kaiata have also received
However, Labour’s health spokeswoman
Annette King said Health Minister
Jonathan Coleman had confirmed
the scheme was to be wound up in
“ In three months’ time all water
suppliers that ser vice a population
between 101 to 500 people are expected
to have ‘taken all practicable steps’ to
meet legislative clean-water standards.
Currently just 20.7% of them receive
water that ’s up to scratch,” Ms King said.
“Cabinet papers also reveal the
Ministry of Health is expecting some
38 applications to be made for a slice of
the last $10 million annual funding pool.
So far 15 requests for help have been
received for a total $15 million.”
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said the towns still on tank water had
already ruled out a town supply.
In Moana, it would cost $2m and
Kaiata residents, who have just voted,
also said ‘no’.
“ New Zealanders like to think we have
a clean, green country. When many are
still having to boil drinking water to
avoid getting some ghastly stomach
bug, something is dreadfully wrong. The
Government needs to keep the scheme
going,” Ms King said.
Two hundred West Coast
patients were declined a specialist
orthopaedic appointment last year
and sent back to their GP, the
Labour Party says.
That was 189 more than the
Coleman said last week West Coast
DHB patients were receiving their
first surgical assessments faster
than they were 10 years ago.
Last year 5042 West Coast
patients received their first surgical
specialist assessment, compared to
4710 in 2009.
“That ’s an increase of 7%,” Mr
But Labour’s health spokeswoman
and former health minister Annette
King said the minister had been
“crowing” about patients receiving
more first surgical assessments but
had failed to mention an increase in
the number of people of who were
not even getting a first specialist
assessment and were being sent
back to their GP.
“ He failed to tell people that in
the Bay of Plenty over the past
three years, there has been a 396%
increase in the number of letters
of decline for an orthopaedic first
specialist assessment,” Mrs King
“A similar situation is happening
in West Coast, with their region’s
district health board sending out
200 letters of decline for orthopaedic
first specialist assessments in 2013-
14, up from 11 in 2011-12. ”
Mrs King said she had received
reports of people who were not even
examined by a specialist but were
instead sent a letter saying they
did not qualify for
“This is postcode health care —
where you live determining whether
you get to see a specialist or not.”
Last year the Greymouth Star
published figures which showed
that in 2011, 70 Coast patients were
sent to Canterbury for orthopaedic
(bone) surgery, rising to 105 in
2012, and then 227 last year. The
board changes it orthopaedic
service in 2012.
of the Westport News
Sounds Air is pleased with
passenger loadings for the few days
of its Westport to Wellington ser vice,
despite one empty flight.
Sounds Air began the new ser vice
on Tuesday, replacing Air New
Zealand’s 19-seater Beech 1900D
with nine-seater Pilatus PC12s.
“ We’ve got a 61% load factor for
the first week. I’m more than happy,”
managing director Andrew Crawford
said. “All it can do is build. Passengers
are loving it — they can’t believe how
good the plane is. There’s been some
very positive feedback.”
The 61% loading equates to 5.4
seats per flight. Air New Zealand
averaged a 63% loading — 12 seats
Sounds Air provides 26 flights
a week — six more than Air New
Zealand — but fewer seats (234
compared to 380).
Mr Crawford said the number of
seats sold per flight so far had varied
from nine to this morning’s 7.30am
return flight from Wellington which
That flight time would change
to 8.15am from next Monday.
Feedback from House of Travel and
some business customers indicated
people coming to Westport from
Christchurch and Auckland could
not make Wellington early enough to
catch the 7.30am flight.
The 6.15am departure time for the
flight from Westport to Wellington
would remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, the Westport Airport
Authority says Buller ratepayers will
not have to top-up Sounds Air’s new
ser vice unless the average number of
seats sold per flight over a year falls
The airline has a six-year deal,
including a seat guarantee, with
the Buller District Council which
operates Westport Airport.
Asked for details of the guarantee,
Westport Airport Authority chief
executive Sonia Cresswell said it
was a “robust legal agreement which
safeguarded the council and exposed
it to minimum risk”.
“As long as the average of three seats
per flight is met then there will never
be any need to enact the guarantee.
The average is worked out over a year.
“ We don’t anticipate having to
enact the guarantee given our history
of seat averages on flights over several
years being 12. ”
The amount had not been
budgeted for but had been noted as a
contingency, she said.
“ It is now up to the community to
show evidence of their support in
the form of passengers on flights. I
look for ward to welcoming people
and putting on extra flights to meet
Westport flight passenger loadings 61% in first week
200 Coast orthopaedic patients
referred back to their GP
Water subsidy scheme wound up
Book mum an appointment for a
stunning new look by calling Leigh
at Fusion Hair Extensions today.
Mother’s Day Menu
$38 per head
(From the kitchen)
Cream of tomato soup with
mascarpone and herb splash,
chorizo crumble and toasted ciabatta
Winter Vegetable soup
(From the buffet)
Roast chicken thighs with a
red currant capsicum glaze
Slow roast pork belly, apple cider
and thyme reduction
New potatoes and mint butter, Seasonal vegetables
House salad with aioli
(From the buffet)
Passion fruit cheesecake
Warm apple and fruit puff pastry tartlet
with espresso butterscotch
Dark chocolate brownie cake
with Monteiths dark and liquorice ganache
Champagne crème patisserie sauce
Kids $17 per head
Mothers get a special gift
Bookings are essential Ph 768 7023
Redeem this coupon on
Mother’s Day evening and receive a
movie and house wine
for only $16
Bookings essential Ph 768 5154
From 5.30pm Sunday May 10
Treat Mum to the popular buffet at one of the
West Coast’s finest restaurants.
All Mothers receive a
$40 adult, $20 child, under 5s FREE
Mother’s Day Special
9ct Rose Gold Morganite
and Diamond Ring
9ct Rose Gold Morganite
and Diamond Pendant
Greymouth Showcase Jewellers
88 Mackay St, Greymouth • Phone (03) 768 6949
THIS MOTHER’S DAY
$30 Per head
$12.50 Children 12 and under
call 762 6860
Also taking bookings for
dinner so you can spoil Mum
that evening too!
May 10, 2015
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