Home' Greymouth Star : May 9th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Building a safer Greymouth
WEST COAST FEATURE
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
SATURDAY, MAY 9, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Police are no closer to finding
the thieves who broke into the
Denniston Museum and stole
valuable and historic mining
memorabilia, according to Friends
of Denniston chairman Gary James.
The artefacts were stolen over the
course of a weekend in early April.
“The fingerprints were put in to
the (police) database, they haven’t
revealed anything, we just hope
something crops up in the next few
years,” Mr James said. A lot of the
stolen items were glassware. “It was
just quirky stuff, some glass vessels
they used to melt the coal, to see
what gases they bring off ... and
they took things out of the cabinet
and left other things — they knew
what they were after. They left what
I would have thought was valuable,
a brass detonator.” Mr James said it
was not the first time the museum
had been the victim of thefts.
“ We’re at Denniston, if you’re not
around, things move.” The museum
was open again, but it was now by
Runanga residents will have to
keep boiling their water over the
weekend. Grey District Council
utilities engineer Kurtis Perrin-
Smith said yesterday that after
reviewing the sampling results to
date, the ‘boil water’ notice would
need to stay in place. Sampling and
monitoring would continue over
the weekend and the council would
review it again on Monday.
Highly anticipated slides said to
show off a humanoid alien found
near Roswell in a crashed spacecraft
in 1947 have been released. UFO
enthusiasts had been awaiting the
unveiling of the so-called ‘Roswell
Slides’ for months — hoping to
finally know the truth of the ‘Area
51â€2 crash. Many UFO enthusiasts
believe that the US government
found a crashed alien vehicle at
the site in 1947. The slides — on
Kodachrome film — were revealed
by a team headed by Dr Edgar
Mitchell, an astronaut who walked
on the moon. UFO sites such as
Inquisitr describe the ‘Roswell
Slides’ images as a ‘smoking gun’
which proves that aliens exist
but others suggest they are a
hoax. The pictures were supposedly
found in an envelope in an attic.
PICTURES: Paul McBride
An interior view looking towards the altar and sanctury of St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Kumara. Inset: The church, built in 1876.
Old church needs strengthening
The historic St Patrick’s Catholic
Church at Kumara, built in 1876, may
have to be strengthened to meet higher
earthquake building code standards.
A recent meeting of Kumara residents
was told that the nearly 140-year-old
church — as old as Kumara itself —
met just 14% of the new Building Code,
following an assessment by engineering
consultants Opus on behalf of the
Christchurch Catholic diocese.
The report included four other
churches within the Greymouth
Catholic parish area — Ngahere,
Runanga, Cobden and Greymouth
and was presented to the parish at a
closed door meeting late last year.
Greymouth parish priest Fr Peter
Costello said he could make little
further comment yet, despite wider
speculation about the future of the
However, the report from the diocese,
which was managing all earthquake
strengthening and repair work, must
have implications for the parish,
Fr Costello said. He confirmed the
Kumara church engineering assessment
sat outside the other churches in
the report because it was within the
Westland District Council area.
A Kumara parishioner said the report
focused on the state of the supporting
wooden abutments on the eastern wall
of St Patrick’s, which had been there for
much of its history.
“It ’s on a slight lean (but) it has been
there for 140 years and it hasn’t moved
yet,” the parishioner said.
Lifelong Kumara parishioner Jack
Meates said the report was confidential
but any suggestion the church was
about to be closed was untrue.
Kumara community development
worker Mike Keenan said that with
declining parishioners it might be
inevitable the wider community would
have to secure the church at some point.
“I’d hate to think, from Kumara’s
point of view, that it would be stopped,
because it is quite an attraction,” Mr
Keenan said. The church was a tangible
link to the goldfields heritage of the
town — to be highlighted in new
promotion associated with the West
Coast Wilderness Trail, which passed
through Kumara, he said.
In early 2013, the Christchurch
diocese received an insurance claim
worth well over $100 million in
the aftermath of the Canterbury
Since then all church buildings in
the diocese — including those on the
West Coast, despite being outside the
claim area — have been subject to
assessment and collective management.
Those assessments saw Hokitika
Catholics shut out of their church, St
Mary’s, over two years ago when the
building was found to be critically
unsafe, although the diocese recently
confirmed the goal posts had changed
and it may reopen by December.
The Grey District Council is
considering buying its own dredge
again as a means of keeping
the Blaketown lagoon clear for
Greymouth last had its own port
dredge about 40 years ago, but sold
it to the Westport Harbour Board.
Councillors recently went behind
closed doors to discuss the future of
the port. Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said after wards the council would
trial a dredge from Canterbury in
the near future.
“If it works to our expectations we
will purchase it,” Mr Kokshoorn
Alternatively, the council also
looked at a suction system. That
group made a presentation to
councillors at a closed workshop
before the public council meeting.
Mr Kokshoorn said he could not
disclose how much the council
would pay for the dredge.
“Under the offer the owner wants
to keep it confidential, but we are
getting it at a good price.”
The cost would have to be
disclosed if the council bought it.
The council had set aside $10,000
for the three-day trial, although
Mr Kokshoorn only expected it
to cost $7400. That would include
dredging the entrance to the
lagoon, and along the Grey River
wharf to a depth of 4m at low tide.
The lagoon was last dredged by a
visiting dredge about five years ago
and cost the council $700,000.
“If we do buy this, it means we
have a permanent fixture here that
we own and can continually dredge
when needed,” the Mayor said.
It was “uneconomic” and the
council was looking for a “much
cheaper way” to keep the lagoon to
the right depth.
Purchasing a dredge presented
“substantial savings” compared to
Mr Kokshoorn said sediment
from the river continually filled up
the wharf area, to the point that the
lagoon was fast nearing the point
of needing to be dredged again.
“It is starting to look like having
to be dredged. If we did it in one
hit we’d have to do it every six to
A buoy sits in the lagoon entrance
to show the depth and it is slowly
moving further over as material
accumulates on the Blaketown
Mr Kokshoorn said the council
had “serious doubts” about whether
it would retain a channel all the
way to the slipway, at the head of
“There are question marks on
that. I’m not saying we’re not going
to do it but there are question
marks on that area. It comes
down to economics — supply and
The dredge can go to a depth
of 4m and connects to a hose on
Packers Q uay and pumps sand out
to the river about in line with the
Blaketown Rugby Club clubrooms.
The river then sluices the sand out
The dredge could also be used for
clearing out the sewerage ponds:
“ It is not often but it is expensive
when you need to do it.”
Mr Kokshoorn said the council
did not hold the gold licence for
the lagoon, and had not received
“ We don’t see it as economic from
a gold extraction point of view as
no one has made an offer.”
The Holcim cement plant at
Cape Foulwind is on track to close
in the second half of 2016.
The company announced in 2013
that it would stop making cement
in New Zealand and instead build
two new cement import terminals,
at Timaru and Waitemata.
Holcim capital projects manager
Ken Cowie said the timeframe
remained, and the Westport plant
would close later next year. The
exact date had yet to be set.
One of the reasons Holcim
picked Timaru was because the
company may build an estimated
$400 million cement plant near
For now, it has been constructing
a 33m-high inflatable dome on
the Timaru waterfront, the first
of its kind in New Zealand. A
reinforced concrete layer will be
added on top. Once the import
terminals are up and running, all
120 jobs will go at the Westport
plant. Engineering, Printing and
Manufacturing Union organiser
Garth Elliott said redundancy
packages would be in place when
the plant closed.
The idea has been floated in
Westport of converting the
Cape Foulwind site into an eco-
industrial plant that turns waste
Holcim closure on track
More West Coast health ser vices will
be joined up with Canterbury, as the
district health board pushes ahead with
changes ahead of the new Greymouth
Papers released under the Official
Information Act give an insight
into the closed door February 24
meeting in Greymouth with the
Partnership Group, appointed by
the Government to fast-track the
$67 million hospital rebuild.
Parts of the documents have been
blacked out. However, they give an
update on how the board is getting
ready for the move to the new hospital.
They also outline a vast expansion
of the ‘ Trans Alpine ser vice’, which
generally involves Canterbury doctors
holding regular clinics and performing
surgery on the West Coast, or sending
Coast patients to Christchurch.
One of the next on the list is general
surgery. They say there should be
“improved transport and transfer
ser vices between the sites”, possibly
referring to criticism that patients
treated in Christchurch often have to
make their own way home.
The papers say the development
of a Trans Alpine obstetrics and
gynaecological ser vice is already under
way, and another for anaesthetics.
The clinical leadership of the West
Coast laboratory is already under
Canterbury control, and radiology was
being finalised when the report was
A Trans Alpine orthopaedic ser vice is
being further refined. Upcoming ser vices
to change include general medicine and
mental health, the papers show.
The deadline for many of the changes
is given as December 2016. The board
will make staff appointments that
support the Trans Alpine approach.
Telemedicine is to be expanded to
include obstetrics and gynaecology,
laboratory, radiology and emergency
department ser vices.
Outlying areas in the Grey district will probably have
to wait a few years for recycling wheelie bins, without a
single submission on the proposal received by the Grey
In March, the council called for submissions on the
proposal to extend the kerbside ser vice to every town
except Moana, which was excluded due to the number
of holiday homes.
Chief executive Paul Pretorius said this week it was
now up to the council how it progressed the matter after
no submissions were received by the April 13 deadline.
He noted there would be a cost to the new ser vice and
the areas affected must agree to it.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn had previously stated that
recycling would add a further $90 a year to rates for the
He was not surprised that the outlying areas had not
pushed for the option.
“I put that down to the $90 per ratepayer, on top of
a lot of drinking-water and sewerage increases. I think
people are reluctant to push ahead with recycling,” Mr
In March, he had said his preference was to leave
recycling for two years to ease into it, noting that
recycling for the whole district should be the goal.
“A lack of submission means there is no interest at
the moment, which means council will probably not
include it in the long-term plan. But it can be included
in future years if sufficient demand is received from the
Mr Kokshoorn said recycled material was currently
being stockpiled at the McLeans Pit landfill due to a
downturn in commodities.
“Next to nothing” was being purchased, he said.
Wheelie bin rollout delayed
More Canterbury ties ahead of hospital rebuild
Excludes fragrance, skincare, gift sets,
packs and promotional activities
Links Archive May 8th 2015 May 11th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page