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THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
opens in Whataroa
Work under way
on new band hall
Ground work for a new
Greymouth Municipal Band
Hall on a new site has begun
at Blaketown with Westroads
excavating the building’s footprint
and associated car park yesterday.
The former hall, beside the
Blaketown Bowling Club, was
totally destroyed during Cyclone
Ita on April 17 last year — with
the band also losing much valuable
equipment including new sheet
music. Band secretary-treasurer
Helen Russell said the new building
will be of Lockwood construction
and more compact than the original.
All going to plan, building would
be under way straight after Queen’s
Birthday. Mrs Russell said the Grey
District Council had given the new
site and an insurance payout would
cover some of the new building’s
cost — although the band still
needs to raise over $50,000.
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Greymouth Star On-line
Cornered by dozens of policemen,
a helicopter, 20 squad vehicles and
six snipers, the villain had nowhere
left to run. And with a single shot to
the head the dramatic cross-country
chase in England came to a deadly
conclusion. But the target in the
police riflemen’s sights was not an
escaped killer — it was Bessie the
cow. And locals are so upset at her
unhappy end that they are planning
a candlelit vigil to remember her
with 7000 people signing up to the
event on Facebook. Onlookers say
‘trigger-happy’ police should have
tranquilised the animal instead,
claiming it was peacefully chewing
the cud when it was gunned down.
Bessie was among three cows to
bolt from a country park after being
spooked by a dog.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Coastguard West Coast president Franco Horridge, middle, and volunteers Kaye Andrews and Dave Gunter with some of the 300 rubber ducks to be launched
for the annnual duck race this Saturday.
Coastguard West Coast is staging an
open day in Greymouth this Saturday,
complete with boat rides and a duck
It will be both an opportunity for the
general public to be better informed
of the Coastguard’s role and to gain
insight into the types of equipment it
deploys — with the chance to have a
ride in one of the rescue boats.
Coastguard West Coast president
Franco Horridge said proceedings,
weather permitting, would be
centred on the marine rescue shed at
Blaketown Lagoon from 12pm and
would conclude with a duck race on
Sawyers Creek, at 4pm.
Rides on the Ivan Talley Rescue boat
and the smaller inflatable rescue boats
would be available, possibly across the
Grey River bar and out to sea if the
weather was right, Mr Horridge
A sausage sizzle, soup and rolls
would be available throughout the
afternoon for a donation and plastic
floating ducks would be available to
purchase for those wanting to
have a bit of racing fun on Sawyers
By today sales of the ducks were
going well and up to 300 were
expected for the race.
Mr Horridge said the Coastguard
always needed more volunteers and
this Saturday was about raising
awareness and providing the
opportunity to find out what was
“ We’re always looking for new
volunteers ... anyone can be involved.”
Coastguard needed a range of
volunteer skills to mount rescue
operations and it did not necessarily
have to involve frontline duty on the
water, he said.
Ducks in a row for open day
Rumble strips between Hari
Hari and Haast will be the sole
improvements in a project designed
to improve safety for tourists on West
State highway 6 between Hari Hari
and Haast will receive a total of 50km
of rumble strip as part of the Visiting
Drivers Project, to which the West
Coast was a late inclusion.
Otago and Southland will receive
50km of rumble strips as well as
140km of no-passing markings and
200km of highway marked with keep
NZ Transport Agency regional
performance manager Pete Connors,
said a total of 50km of centre line
rumble strips would be marked at
various sites on State highway 6.
Sites at Mt Hercules and McDonalds
Creek have been completed, while
work is currently under way on the
Fox Hills and will continue south
from there. Progress would depend
on the weather. The budget for work
It appears the West Coast would
not be getting no-passing markings
or keep left arrows in the immediate
“This particular tranche of work will
be carried out on key visitor driver
routes in Otago and Southland such
as the highway between Q ueenstown
and Milford Sound.
“However, this type of work may
be carried out on State highway 6
at some point in the future as part
of further work associated with the
Visiting Drivers Project.”
Mr Connors said other sections of
the Coast highway network would be
analysed to prioritise areas that would
benefit the most from further rumble
strip installation work.
However, Haast woman Sheri
Wright said that rumble strips alone
were not enough.
“The West Coast, with its isolation,
needs everything they can throw at it.
Central Otago has double the number
of police officers and cellphone
“There is a huge blackspot between
Fox and Wanaka where a lot of these
incidents are happening. You can’t call
555, you’ve got to take it into your
In February, she took the car keys off
a tourist who was driving erratically
between Hari Hari and Te Taho.
Since then she had seen about 13
other incidents of people crossing the
“ I am terrified driving on our roads
and driving out of town. I fall right
below the speed limit. I’m petrified
they are going to do something stupid.
And then there are people coming the
other way too.”
The number of drivers on the road
had dropped since summer, but she
still saw drivers crossing lanes.
“There are fewer vehicles but the
ones on the road are still doing it.”
Tourist driver ‘rumble strips’ go in
A Cobden man who bit a
chunk out of another man’s ear
was convicted in the Greymouth
District Court this week of assault
with intent to injure.
Anthony William Hopkins, 26,
received a concurrent sentence
of 130 hours and 40 hours
of community work after he
admitted that and other offences.
Lawyer Richard Bodle said the
victims of the offending were
Hopkins’ former partner and her
Mr Bodle said Hopkins had had
to put up with being goaded and
insulted by his ex-girlfriend’s new
partner every time he saw him.
After a drinking session with
work colleagues he called her to
discuss why he was getting so
much grief. She agreed for him
to come round to the property,
letting himself in.
However, once inside he saw
the other man walking towards
him, and, thinking it was an act of
aggression, a fight ensued, during
which Hopkins bit off part of the
On his way out of the house
Hopkins also put his fist through
a window, badly cutting his hand
in the process.
Hopkins said he had bitten the
man’s ear, an injury which required
several stitches to repair, as a way
of ending the confrontation with
the other man.
He had since paid for the repairs
to the window and had undertake
a domestic violence course.
he was trying
to end fight
The West Coast economy
performed better in the last
quarter, new data prepared
before the latest job losses at
the Stockton and Spring Creek
Coast economic activity lifted
2.7% in March, following a
decline in the December quarter.
Regional exports led the way
for the West Coast this quarter,
lifting 8% to be 27.9% stronger
than they were 12 months ago.
Guest nights picked up 3% on
last quarter and are 12% stronger
than March 2014.
The quarter’s increase was the
second highest of the regions
throughout New Zealand.
“The West Coast is another
region that experiences big swings
in momentum from quarter to
quarter, which in part can be put
down to statistical noise but also
to the region’s small size,” ANZ
Bank said in its report.
trend shows the region has
underperformed the national
average for an extended period,
and ructions in the coal industry
mean this is unlikely to change
any time soon. ”
The increase in general activity
across the West Coast in the
March quarter was largely due to
a pick-up in commercial activity,
which is also reflected in a rise in
A net 19.7% of West Coast
firms are upbeat about general
Fifty-six houses sold and 17
sections. It now takes an average
139 days to sell a house
However, there were weaker
retail sales in the March quarter
(down 0.7%), employment fell
0.6% and internet job ads have
declined 21%, with ANZ noting
the regional labour market data
could be quite volatile.
Coast economy perks
up in March quarter
Ultra-fast broadband is beginning to
take off in Greymouth, with 91 homes,
schools, businesses and medical centres
now signed up.
Chorus figures show that 2524
Greymouth homes and businesses
are now able to connect to the UFB
However, the uptake rate is still slow
as of March 31 it is 3.6%, compared
with 12.8% nationally.
Ninety-one have hooked up, compared
with only 23 six months ago.
Westport is now pushing for access to
Adams said nationally more than
618,000 homes, workplaces and schools
were able to connect and 85,000 had
“The private-public partnership of
the UFB initiative is progressing well
and deployment is significantly ahead
of build targets, with close to 46% of
the infrastructure now complete,” Ms
UFB delivered higher definition video
streaming, among other things.
“This gives businesses a competitive
advantage and enables students to
securely share their learning with
friends, teachers, and their families.
“Schools are a top priority for the
“The programme target for schools is
now 93% complete with more than 2300
schools across New Zealand with high-
speed broadband ready for ser vice.”
More Greymouth homes connect to ultra-fast broadband
Offers available on new cars sold by June 30 2015 or
while stocks lasts. Not available with any other offers.
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