Home' Greymouth Star : May 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 5
TSS Earnslaw ’s slipway on
Kelvin Peninsula is nearly ready
for the vintage steamship’s annual
With an eye on the tourist
attraction’s long-term future,
owner Real Journeys will haul
the 330-tonne, 51m-long vessel
ashore tomorrow morning for six
weeks of routine maintenance
Chief executive Richard Lauder
said the company was focused on
future-proofing the vessel.
“She’s weathered the last 100
years really well, but we want to
ensure she lasts another 100 years.’’
A section of TSS Earnslaw ’s
hull plating and framing around
the propeller area would be
replaced, as would the piston
cylinders and rings on both main
Consultants from Christchurch
would carry out spot testing on
its hull and framing, along with
sonar scans of any areas requiring
The 102-year-old steamship is
not the only piece of kit needing
care and attention. The slipway
has been in use since 1922, while
the engine used to winch the
vessel ashore is 122 years old.
Project engineer Drew Bryant
said about 40% of the slipway ’s
rotting timber supports had been
replaced with concrete and steel,
with the remainder to be replaced
in the next few years.
About 20 wilding pine trees
around the slipway and engine
shed were felled earlier this year
to minimise fire risk.
TSS Earnslaw will leave its
berth at Steamer Wharf about
8am tomorrow. Under the
guidance of two other vessels,
three divers and about 20 staff,
it will be winched up the 150m
slipway from about 10am.
Other Real Journeys vessels will
continue to take visitors to Walter
Peak until TSS Earnslaw returns
to ser vice on June 29.
— Otago Daily Times
Queenstown vintage slipway upgraded
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Real Journeys project engineer Drew Bryant oversees a project to upgrade the century-old Kelvin
Peninsula slipway before the TSS Earnslaw ’s annual sur vey tomorrow.
An official cash rate of 3.5%,
which would have been base
camp in previous cycles, is now
being seen as the highest it will
climb this time.
ANZ and Westpac yesterday
joined ASB in predicting that the
next move in the official cash rate
will be lower.
ANZ chief economist Cameron
Bagrie expects the Reser ve Bank to cut
the OCR 25 basis points to 3.25% next
month and follow up with another cut
Westpac chief economist Dominick
Stephens puts a 40% probability on an
OCR cut this year but thinks it more
likely the Reser ve Bank will wait until
the rampant housing market has cooled
and the economy has slowed before
cutting the OCR.
“By the time inflation returns to the
middle of the bank’s target band (2%),
the economy will be running out of
steam, meaning that it will not have
to raise rates at all.” What has pushed
Bagrie over the line to calling a rate cut
is ANZ’s monthly inflation gauge, which
is an indicator of where non-tradeables
or domestic inflation is heading. It is
now pointing sideways.
The underlying measure, which
excludes government charges and
housing-related items like construction
costs and rents, has risen just 0.1% in the
three months to April.
Combined with a high New Zealand
dollar, which depresses tradeables
prices, a squeeze on dairy incomes —
ANZ has revised down its forecast for
next season’s payout to between $5 and
$5.25 a kilogram of milk solids — and
the expectation of regulatory moves by
the Reser ve Bank to curb the housing
market, the weak inflation gauge has
convinced Bagrie that cutting the OCR
is low-cost insurance against emerging
“ We see little point waiting until the
second half of the year to exercise this
optionality,” he said.
Meanwhile, Westpac ’s latest
quarterly forecasts have strong
growth in private consumption
this year and next year — 4.4 and
3.7% respectively — underpinning
gross domestic product growth of
3% in both years.
New Zealand had benefited
reinforced by a strong exchange rate, so
that even though nominal wage rises had
been weak, in real terms wage growth in
the year to March 2015 was the highest
for a decade, Stephens said.
The gains in household wealth from
rising house prices, low mortgage
rates and a migration-fuelled surge
in population were all adding to the
strength in household spending.
“Inflation will certainly pop higher
when this year ’s fall in petrol prices
and ACC levy cuts drop out of annual
calculations,” he said.
“ While we do expect inflation
expectations to remain soft, the strong
economy will increasingly boost non-
tradeables inflation. In addition, the
outlook is for a flat to falling trade-
weighted exchange rate, which will
boost tradeables inflation.
“This combination of conditions
will push overall inflation to 2.4% by
2017. Beyond that point, however, we
expect economic growth to slow as
the Canterbury rebuild winds down.”
The strong economy would run out of
steam before inflation became a noxious
Of the big four banks only the BNZ
remains outside the camp calling OCR
“It’s not as though the bulk of New
Zealand’s economic news is going soft.
Far from it,” said BNZ economist Craig
The Treasury yesterday reported a tax
take nine months through the current
fiscal year 8.3% up on the same period
last year, and a deficit less than a third of
what it had forecast.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
cash rate fall
The Government has rebooted
a scheme which pays farmers and
other landowners $1300 a hectare
for planting trees on their land.
Associate Primary Industries
Minister Jo Goodhew said that
next week’s budget would allocate
$3.75 million a year for the
afforestation grant scheme (AGS),
over a period of six years.
The funding would cover up to
15,000ha of new forest. Applicants
had to plant new forests of between
5ha and 300ha, and landowners who
planned to address environmental
issues such as erosion would be
“ Farmers and landowners can . . .
use the AGS to make better use of
marginal land and increase farming
diversification,” Ms Goodhew said.
Under the previous scheme,
12,000ha of forest was planted
between 2008 and 2013.
Much of this was on erosion-
prone land and helped to improve
water quality and reduce the impact
of flooding, the minister said.
In return for the grants, recipients
would have to forfeit their carbon
credits to the Crown for up to a
National promised to restart the
scheme if it was re-elected.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Government rekindles tree-planting scheme
Meridian Energy wants up to $500,000
slashed from its Waitaki District Council
rates bill, a drop of more than half.
The electricity giant is targeting councils
across the country where it has generation
assets to lower rates.
“Meridian would prefer not to litigate,’’
Meridian planning strategy manager
Andrew Feierabend told the district
council yesterday when asked how
resolute the company was to get rates
Mr Feierabend was making verbal
submissions on Waitaki’s long-term plan
at a council hearing.
Waitaki is the first council Meridian
has challenged in the South Island after
a nationwide review of 10-year long-term
Also in its sights are Environment
Canterbury and Environment Southland
and the Waimate, Mackenzie and
Southland district councils.
The company had identified what
seemed to be “a mighty difference’’
between what it was being asked to pay
compared with others, Mr Feierabend
It was “open to discussions’’ about how
the council might reduce the company ’s
Cr June Slee, whose Ahuriri ward
has the generation assets, said she was
“horrified’’ by the submissions.
“Meridian owes the people of the
Waitaki Valley a lot, forever,’’ she said.
The company will pay Waitaki $937,000
rates this coming financial year for its five
Waitaki power stations.
It wants that reduced substantially.
Some of what Meridian contributes
goes back to an agreement in the early
1990s between what was then the
Electricity Corporation of New Zealand
and the council, to avoid costly High
Court litigation in which other councils
Now, Meridian wants the Waitaki
council to reduce the rates it pays for
lakes camping grounds, roading and civil
It pays 5% of the district ’s total roading
rate and wants that cut to 1%.
Meridian also wants to scrap paying
$151,309 rates for the lakes’ camping
grounds. The figure is 70% of the total
rate for the grounds.
It wants the 25% share of the total civil
defence rate, amounting to $37,000 a
year, reduced to 11% or less.
Meridian posted an underlying after tax
profit of $194.6m for its full-year result
to June last year. — Otago Daily Times
Meridian wants rates bill slashed
The operator of ‘The Sizzler’ fair ride
has been convicted and fined after a
grandmother fell off and broke both legs.
Details of the case emerged at
Christchurch District Court yesterday.
The court was told that a 65-year-old
library assistant attended the Canterbury
A and P Show in Christchurch with
her daughter and two grandchildren on
November 14, 2013.
The grandmother paid $6 to ride
The Sizzler with her eight-year-old
After the ride, the attendants lifted
all of the safety bars so the rider-goers
could get off.
The grandmother decided that it was
too high to jump and so tried to climb
However, she fell from a step on to
the asphalt below and suffered horrific
Court documents state that she
fractured her left femur, right fibula, and
shattered her pelvis in three places.
She was rushed to hospital where she
would spend the next three months.
The ride’s operator was Russell Gordon
Harris, a 77-year-old Christchurch
pensioner, operating as Joy Rides.
He was charged by Work Safe New
Zealand with failing to notify an
inspector and the local authority within
48 hours of the serious accident and
failing to take all practicable steps to
ensure that any hazards of the ride did
not harm its users.
In the Christchurch District Court
yesterday, Judge Gary MacAskill cleared
Harris of the allegation that he failed to
protect the ride users from hazards.
Harris earlier pleaded guilty to a
charge of failing to notify authorities of
the accident within 48 hours.
Judge MacAskill convicted Harris and
fined him $750.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Ride operator fined $750 after
grandmother breaks both legs in fall
The world’s most famous military
tattoo is coming to New Zealand next
Wellington will host a rare outing of the
Edinburgh Military Tattoo in February.
John Key and local political and
military leaders announced the arrival
of the event at a ceremony in Westpac
Stadium, Wellington today.
The Tattoo last came to New Zealand
Edinburgh Military Tattoo coming to Wellington
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