Home' Greymouth Star : May 13th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2015
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‘can save Coast’
West Coast ’s
Tai Poutini Polytechnic will start
its first business degree course
almost full at the Greymouth
campus next Wednesday. Lead
business tutor Ian Hooker said there
had already been strong interest for
future programmes. The bachelors
degree in business and enterprise
was based on a similar course at
Scottish university Edinburgh
Napier. Mr Hooker said Tai Poutini
Polytechnic was delighted to bring
the course to the West Coast.
“ We wanted to offer local business
people and students the opportunity
to study toward a degree-level
business qualification here on the
Coast, while they worked. We all
understand the importance the
industry places on tertiary level
qualifications and it’s something
our certificate and diploma students
have been asking about for some
time.” The course will be open to
those who have completed the
diploma in business and want to
take their career to the next level.
The programme will cover business
creativity and enterprise, innovation,
growth issues and general business
Firefighters were called to a small
oven fire in Hokitka yesterday
afternoon but in the end were not
required to put it out. Hokitika
Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire
officer Harry Collett said they were
called to the Kaniere Road property
about 4.45pm, but arrived to find
the homeowner had the fire out.
A man who suffered a blocked
nose for over 40 years was
astounded to discover the cause was
part of a toy dart he played with
as a child. Steve Easton, 51, had
battled with blocked nasal passages
and headaches all his life — but
put his symptoms down to hay
fever. It was only a few weeks ago
that he realised the real cause —
after sneezing out the tip of a toy
dart. Mr Easton said the mildly
decomposed sucker had been lodged
in his nasal cavity since the 1970s.
— Daily Mail
Periods of rain, morning, evening
Greymouth Star On-line
Development West Coast does not
have enough money to be a “game-
changer” for the struggling West Coast
economy, the regional council chairman
DWC was set up in 2000 with a
$92 million fund to compensate for the
loss of the native timber industry. It now
has assets of $129 million.
Just two weeks ago, the regional council
and DWC announced a collaboration
whereby they will each contribute
$150,000 to set up a Coastwide
development agency to operate under
a West Coast Regional Economic
West Coast Regional Council chairman
Andrew Robb said at the council meeting
yesterday that although $100m was “a
lot of money”, it was not in terms of the
approach DWC was looking at taking.
“ I guess there’s a perception that $100m
but in terms of the West Coast economy
that ’s not a lot of money in a long-term
approach. It ’ll help but it’s never going to
be a huge game changer. A new industry
or something is what ’s required,” Cr
Cr Terry Archer said he was concerned
that “adverse letters to the editor” in
Westport about Development West
Coast ’s funding strategy would affect the
work the regional council was doing with
DWC over economic development.
Last week, DWC refused to foot
the $6m million price tag to bring
the Kingston Flyer steam train to the
region, after Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn put for ward a proposal to
run the train between Hokitika and
Greymouth, and possibly Reefton. DWC
said the proposal was not economic and
the train could become a long-term
Cr Robb said there had been an
“acceptance” of the decision by DWC
not to fund the train, because it could
potentially become a millstone for the
“I think there’s been an acceptance
generally, of facts and figures that have
been done, and when it all comes down
to it you can’t burden a community with
something that is not viable just because
it sounds like a good idea. They have to
do their due diligence and there’s a whole
lot of financial constraints there.”
Cr Archer and Cr Robb agreed that
the DWC deed of trust was “quite
restraining” in terms of what it allowed
them to do. On its website DWC said
it had to consider if a project promoted
“sustainable employment opportunities
or generates sustainable economic
benefit for the region”. All proposals
had to be “viable propositions that
aimed to achieve self-sufficiency and
Cr Robb said a “ little bit of tension”
arose between the Grey District Council
and Development West Coast over
the steam train proposal when it was
discussed at the mayors’ meeting on
Regional council chief executive
Chris Ingle said a memorandum of
understanding for the West Coast
Regional Economic Development Plan,
had been signed at the mayors’ meeting.
“It was passed around the table here,
and I didn’t see anyone hesitating to
sign up to it, so I don’t think there’s any
problems there. Whatever might be in
the local paper, the relationships are very
sound,” Mr Ingle said.
Wet outlook with El Nino
confirmed what many on the West
Coast had already suspected — we are
in the grips of another wet El Nino
El Ninos traditionally bring rain to
the west, and drought conditions to the
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology
yesterday confirmed the Pacific is in an
El Nino climate pattern.
Metservice meteorologist Georgina
Griffiths said seas were now more
than 2degC above normal near South
America, and more than one degree
above normal elsewhere along the
equator. However, seas around the New
Zealand coastline were already cooling
more rapidly than was normal at this
time of year.
“Spring (September to November) is
when El Nino really starts to flex its
muscle here,” she said.
Typically, El Nino produced a stormy,
windy spring, which was often extremely
cold. The chances of a wet spring were
increased during El Nino in the west
and south of the South Island, she said.
For years a visit to Shantytown
has meant not only stepping back
in time, but also out of cellphone
reception. Finally, the modern
world has arrived on the airwaves.
A new cell tower was erected
near the IPL plywood factory
at Gladstone in the past month,
extending coverage out to
Rutherglen and Shantytown.
“It is quite a phenomenon for
us now to see people walking
around while on their cellphones,”
Shantytown chief executive
Andrea Forrest said.
Having a cellphone signal would
especially help with conferences
hosted at Shantytown.
“It is an expectation at the time
of the conference that we are going
to be able to provide coverage,” Ms
However, being out of contact for
a period also had its benefits: “It
didn’t do conference attendees any
harm to not have their cellphones
for a bit.”
Ms Forrest said having cellphone
coverage now opened up
possibilities to use apps, QR codes
and more social media, and they
could start looking to move away
from pamphlets and signposts.
“It will make us a little bit more
modern,” she said.
As the major telecommunications
providers had signed on, the
signal had gradually improved
since the tower went up, although
she noted there could be some
interference in coverage on rough
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Marsden Valley Education Centre head educator Jayde Braxton shows how Shantytown is now connected with cellphone reception.
Technology catches up with Shantytown
Kumara gets 1080 concession
Former Westland mayor Maureen
Pugh, who took a stand against
1080 poison during her term, was
appointed independent chairwoman
at a public meeting in Kumara last
night ahead of a planned winter drop.
Ospri (Tb Free) plans an aerial
poison drop over 10,490ha this July
or August, from Goldsborough to
Under Mrs Pugh, the Westland
banned the aerial application of
1080 poison in water catchments.
Mrs Pugh also presented a petition
Ospri called the meeting last
night, attended by about 60 people,
including its own staff and the
One of those attending came from
Wellington and four from Buller.
Kumara anti-1080 protester Nicky
Calcott said the meeting lasted about
Questions raised during the
presentation were later put to Ospri
“There was no hostility (from
the crowd) and the questions were
intelligent,” Ms Calcott said.
Ospri officials said they would
consider educating children, and
temporarily closing part of the cycle
trail, she said.
“They also said it may be the last
drop (there), depending on Tb rates.”
Ms Calcott hoped they would put
in buffer zones, though she noted
the cost of aerial poisoning was far
cheaper than ground control.
Laurie Collins, who travelled from
Buller for the meeting, was less
happy with how it went.
“They told us clearly what they
were going to do,” Mr Collins said.
It was “ludicrous” to have reached
the point where children needed
educating about going out into their
own environment, he said.
Hari Hari dairy farmer Mary
Molloy, from Farmers Against Ten
Eighty, was also unimpressed.
She noted down comments from
Ospri’s Nick Hancox: ‘As far as we
are concerned it is business as usual.
We’re not responsible for other
people picking up baits after wards.’
Before the meeting, Kumara folk
had asked Ospri for a 5km exclusion
zone around walking and cycling
tracks, water races and homes.
The Metservice says it may have to
change its rain gauge at Haast because
it is “not responding well to periods of
If its figures are to believed, Haast
has recorded far less rain than
Greymouth or Hokitika this year.
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
owner Gerry McSweeney said he had
noticed a major anomaly in the figures
for the past six months, between
the rainfall figures the Metservice
provided for Haast and the data he
collected at Lake Moeraki, 30km
Lake Moeraki has been consistently
recording 60 to 75% more rain than
Dr McSweeney has run a Metser vice
weather station for 26 years and
believed his current data was reliable.
Historically, Lake Moeraki received
about 10% more rain than Haast.
He also operated the fully automated
rain gauge there for the National
Institute of Water and Atmospheric
He noted that the Metser vice records
published daily in the Greymouth
Star were, for the first time, showing
that Haast has been recording less
rain than Hokitika and Greymouth.
“I simply don’t believe this...”
Dr McSweeney said.
From April 24 to April 29, he
recorded 265mm of rain at Lake
Moeraki, whereas Haast had just
163.4mm. From May 6 to 10, Lake
Moeraki recorded 202.5mm of rain,
and Haast 114mm.
Dr McSweeney contacted the
Metser vice, which replied: “ We are
planning on changing the type of
rain gauge used at Haast. The feeling
is that the type currently used is not
responding well to periods of heavy
Metser vice meteorologist John Law
told the Greymouth Star today it
looked as if the Haast rain gauge was
under-reporting rainfall in the area.
“This may be due to a fault with the
instrument and the obser vation team
are currently investigating the device
and hope to have it operational again
very soon. We are grateful to the
obser ver at Lake Moeraki for sharing
his obser vations.”
Rain too much for Haast gauge
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