Home' Greymouth Star : May 6th 2015 Contents $1 (Home Delivery 75c)
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
More work on
on flood watch
Rivers were rising and roads were
being closely monitored throughout
South Westland late this morning
as a north-west front continued to
lash the district. Westland District
Council emergency manager Vern
Morris said at 11.20am the Hokitika
River was rising, although Wadeson
Island was only partly covered. Field
inspections officer John Bainbridge,
speaking from Franz Josef Glacier,
said the Waiho (Waiau) River had
passed the stage three flood warning
but the floodbanks were continuing
to hold. By 11.30am Franz Josef
Glacier had copped 245mm of rain
in about 20 hours. State highway
6 remained open although there
were a few minor slips on Mount
Hercules and the Fox Hills and
drivers should be cautious. West
Coast Regional Council hydrologist
Stefan Beaumont said the front
was expected to pass through
north Westland fairly quickly this
afternoon. A heavy rain warning
remained in place as an active
trough continued to move towards
land, with further periods of heavy
rain possible into the weekend, the
Metser vice said. Meanwhile, the
New Zealand Transport Agency
was advising care was required by
the drivers of campervans, caravans,
high sided vehicles and motorbikes
between Arthur’s Pass and Otira.
Rain, heavy and thundery
Greymouth Star On-line
A council has banned a new
takeaway from opening — because
its residents are already too fat.
Officials at Plymouth City Council
have rejected plans for a fast food
outlet because some of its population
have an ‘excess weight’ issue.
Businessman Mohammed Rafic
had applied to open a takeaway
selling fish and chips, kebabs and
fried chicken in the St Budeaux area.
About 60% of adults in Plymouth
have been classed as over weight or
obese, according to Public Health
England. But that is still below the
national average. Now the council
has taken the decision to block a new
takeaway close to the couple’s home
to avoid others ending up like them.
It ruled if the proposed takeaway had
been given the green light it would
have meant that 20% of businesses in
the area were takeaways.
— Daily Mail
DWC: ‘No concrete ideas’
West Coast leaders are not offering
any bold new ideas for jobs outside of
coalmining, and Development West
Coast seems more concerned with
preser ving its capital than creating
jobs, former Green Party leader
Jeanette Fitzsimons says.
Since 2010, at least 1000 mining
jobs have disappeared on the
West Coast, including 180 at Pike
River, 400 at Spring Creek, 650
at Stockton and 60 at Oceana
Gold, with more to go later this
year as the Reefton mine winds
workers will learn the future of
their troubled mine tomorrow
afternoon in the latest Solid Energy
A May Day forum in Blackball
at the weekend debated whether a
sustainable economy was a dream or
possibility for the West Coast.
Ms Fitzsimons, representing the
Coal Action Network, said the public
was ready for new, bold ideas but
generally their elected leaders were
not offering them.
Development West Coast did
not address sustainability “and put
for ward no concrete ideas”.
“They seem mainly concerned to
preserve the value of the capital
they have — the $92 million given
to the Coast to help with economic
development in 2000 when the
logging of old growth indigenous
forests was stopped.”
DWC ran some training and
business development programmes,
but she noted that administration
costs were $2 to $3m.
“ Everyone we talked to who had
ideas and projects complained that
you can’t get money from DWC for
innovative ideas that would create
jobs,” Ms Fitzsimons said.
An exception was Buller Mayor
Garry Howard, who was trying
a number of projects to provide
alternatives for his community.
Grey District Mayor
Kokshoorn said a sustainable future
should be based on expanded
coalmining, she said.
The regional council did not address
sustainability but its regional policy
statement was being revised.
Ms Fitzsimons said there was a
lot of support on the West Coast
for developing a new economy that
relied on clean energy and jobs that
were locally owned.
“There are also those who cannot
accept that coalmining will not
return and are just hunkering down
waiting for the price to rise, but I
sense their numbers are waning.
“ We are extremely concerned about
the future of a region that has been
left to drift by a coal industry that
clearly isn’t going to lift a finger to
Development West Coast chief
executive Joseph Thomas declined to
“They seem mainly concerned to preserve the value of the capital.” — Jeanette Fitzsimons
Green Party list MP Kevin
Hague wants Development West
Coast to release the economic
business case it used to dismiss
suggestions of buying the
Kingston Flyer, to see if Coast
residents can come up with
possible ways to make it happen.
DWC, which made a $6.99
million profit in the first six
months of the current year,
yesterday gave a resounding ‘no’ to
buying the train — to run between
Hokitika and Greymouth, and
possibly Reefton — partly due to
the $6 million price tag.
In a statement, it said it was not
economic and could become a
But Mr Hague said DWC
should publicly share the
economic analysis it said it had
undertaken so the public could
assess whether or not they had
made the right decision, and also
think about possible solutions to
any funding gap.
“From (DWC chairman) John
Sturgeon’s comments it seems like
the biggest problem is shifting it
up and set-up costs. Well that ’s a
less fatal problem than ongoing
un-viability, so it ’s at least worth
more heads applying themselves
to trying to solve it,” Mr Hague
Tourism West Coast chief
executive Jim Little said the
steam train could have been a
good attraction for the region.
Mr Little said DWC’s refusal had
met with some disappointment in
the tourist sector.
However, his understanding was
there would have been some big
up-front costs to surmount.
DWC chief executive Joseph
Thomas said today they could
not make the analysis public as
they had received the information
under a non-disclosure with the
parties selling the train.
The analysis also contained
commercially sensitive inform-
He emphasised that the cost
of purchasing the rolling stock
was “very different ” from the
ongoing costs. “ It’s not just about
volunteers, it’s not that simple,”
Mr Thomas said.
He noted that DWC was
looking into the purchase before
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn had publicly raised
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Karoro School pupils Wil Pattinson, left, Mele Langi, Fern Richards, Jayden Topliss and Kieran De Klerk sort through the school’s rubbish as they learn how
to reduce waste. Enviro Schools regional co-ordinator Zoe Watson brought the exercise to Karoro this morning, but she said it was the children who would take
action and decide what needed to be done to sort the rubbish from recycling. “ They decide how they can improve not just their school, but their community.”
Ms Watson said about 90% of school waste could be diverted from landfills. Most of that was either paper or was compostable — “two really easy targetable things
that schools can work on”.
Karoro waste busters
A Paringa man whose jetboat
struck a log on Monday evening
had a lucky escape despite being
“shot forward” into the bow of
the boat and breaking his leg.
The man, aged in his early 60s,
dragged himself from inside the
bow and drove the boat back to
Lake Paringa to call for help.
Apparently he ordinarily used
the boat to gain access to his
isolated home, on the coastal side
of Lake Paringa.
NZCC Rescue Helicopter pilot
Angus Taylor said the man was
boating on the Hall River, the
outfall from Lake Paringa, when
the bow of his jetboat struck a
log that was probably submerged
just under the surface of the
“He hit the tree with enough
force that he went right down
into the bow ... and then managed
to drag himself out with a broken
femur,” Mr Taylor said.
Luckily the boat was still
operable after striking the
submerged tree and he was able
to go back upstream to the lake
to call for help.
“He was extracted from the
boat after managing to make his
way back to the slipway.”
Mr Taylor airlifted the patient
to Grey Base Hospital and he
was subsequently transferred
by helicopter to Christchurch
afternoon to undergo surgery.
Leg broken in boat crash
Laura Mills and Westport News
Stockton Mine workers will find out
tomorrow how many of their jobs are
to go in the latest restructure.
Solid Energy has called them to a
meeting at 3.30pm to tell them how it
proposes to restructure the mine.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor said miners would not be
surprised at the latest restructure, but
any more job losses would be a shock
for West Coast communities.
The Coast would sur vive, as it had in
the past, but the immediate impact on
many young local families would be
The Government must provide
support to the workers, Mr O’Connor
“I have my fingers crossed that any
job losses will be minimal but the harsh
reality is the National Government
allowed Solid Energy to run riot with
its operations and costs.
“Now the reality of a slump in the coal
price will hit the miners as it has too
often throughout history.
“However, we have been working as
a community and preparing for such
an announcement to create alternative
ideas and job opportunities, particularly
in the Buller region,” Mr O’Connor
Stockton Mine manager Michael
Harrison told workers yesterday
he would give a short presentation
tomorrow, then information on the
proposed restructure and associated
documents would be distributed.
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said the
community expected jobs would go,
but he did not want to speculate on
“I just want to wait for those facts to
come out. It’s been long and drawn-
out for both the company and the
community,” Mr Howard said.
Stockton miners in nervous wait
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