Home' Greymouth Star : May 21st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Thursday, May 21, 2015
A call from NZ First leader Winston Peters
to greatly increase the number of refugees
who are allowed to settle here has been
echoed by Race Relations Commissioner
Dame Susan Devoy.
Mr Peters, who is well known for his
opposition to current immigration levels,
believes New Zealand’s refugee quota should
be increased by at least a third.
There is currently an annual limit of around
750 places for refugees on United Nations
“There’s no reason, in my view, that we
couldn’t go to 1000 easily, and do it in a
responsible way,” Mr Peters said yesterday, in
answer to a question from a first year politics
class at Victoria University of Wellington.
Dame Susan said raising the refugee quota
would be “humanity in action”.
“ New Zealand hasn’t raised our refugee
quota since David Lange was Prime
Minister, Mr Peters was his party’s race
relations spokesperson and I was the world
squash champion — times have changed a
lot since 1987, it’s time to raise the quota,”
Dame Susan said.
“ We have millions of displaced people in the
world — most of them children. This is New
Zealand’s opportunity to lead by example as a
Security Council member: We must play our
part as a responsible, humane global citizen.
“ For a country that ’s renowned for punching
above our weight on the world stage: when
it comes to taking in refugees we lag behind
the rest of the world.” Mr Peters made his
comments after strongly criticising levels
of immigration that occurred under both
Labour and National-led Governments.
He was asked by a student whether he
differentiated between immigrants and
“Refugees are totally different to
immigration, and I think there is just
cause for saying we should revisit our UN
commitment of 750,” he said.
“But if you are going to run that alongside
wholesale immigration, then I am really
concerned ... look after our own people first.
Immigration is being massively abused in
this country.” Prime Minister John Key has
recently defended New Zealand’s refugee
quota, after Amnesty International lobbied
for numbers to be doubled.
Mr Key said considerable efforts and
resources ensured refugees were well settled
and supported after arriving here, and that
“ intensive wrap-around ser vice” was the
focus, rather than numbers.
Family reunifications were also allowed, Mr
Key said, which meant the quota was actually
much greater than 750.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Peters calls for increase
in refugee numbers
An O utrageous Fortune star has
had to bail his daughter out after she
ripped off a marketing company for
Kirk Torrance, who played detective
sergeant Wayne Judd in the hit west
Auckland drama, stumped up a cheque
for $10,000 on behalf of his 28-year-
old daughter Alix Ashby, which was
presented to the bosses of her former
employer Brand Spanking at Auckland
District Court yesterday.
However, after the court hearing the
victims said the cheque was not from
Torrance but ‘Chris Ashby Holdings’.
The court heard how commercial
property owned by a family trust was
being sold to cover the balance of the
Ashby previously pleaded guilty to a
count of accessing a computer system
for a dishonest purpose but sentencing
was repeatedly adjourned to give her
the chance to pay back the company.
Yesterday, Judge David Har vey
sentenced her to 10 months’ home
detention and 275 hours’ community
“There was a very, very significant
breach of trust,” he said.
“ What you did was not just stick
your hand into the till and put the
money in your pocket. It was an
elaborate, sophisticated, well-thought-
out process to channel money into
your own bank account. ”
Ashby — who was referred to as
‘ Torrance’ in court — worked as a
talent booker from May 2011 to July
Only weeks into the job, she began
siphoning money into her own
accounts, making it look as though she
was paying contractors on behalf of the
By the time she suddenly stopped
turning up for work more than a year
later, she had stolen $24,610.
Brand Spanking director Vivian
Bryant told the court the theft
had caused “a number of stressful
situations” and one staff member
was made redundant because of the
“There’s an emotional attachment
to us was well because we felt so
betrayed,” she said.
In an inter view with probation,
Ashby said she had been “in a bad
place” at the time of offending, in the
grip of methamphetamine addiction.
Judge Har vey accepted that as an
explanation but said it was “far in the
“ You had the opportunity to access
your employer’s computer system and
you took those opportunities for your
own selfish circumstances,” he said.
The Sentencing Act directs judges to
impose the least restrictive outcome,
balanced against the seriousness of the
offending, and if that is less than two
years’ imprisonment a community-
based sentence can be considered.
“ If it wasn’t for that provision in
the Sentencing Act you’d be heading
out that door down to the cells, no
question,” the judge said.
Ashby will spend the next 10 months
at her Sandringham address and was
ordered not to consume drugs or
More than $14,000 she owes Brand
Spanking must be paid within three
months. — NZ ME
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Alix Ashby’s family paid a $10,000 bail bond to keep her out of jail after she
ripped off a marketing firm.
star bails daughter out
Dunedin Railways has been
billed about $66,000 by the
Otago Rural Fire Authority
for a series of fires between
Oamaru and Maheno in January
started by a steam train it was
The Taieri Gorge railway
and excursion trains operator
also faces additional bills from
property owners who suffered
damage from 21 fires started
alongside a 12km section of
Fire brigades, rural fire forces,
property owners and public
volunteers all helped fight the
fires, which also briefly closed
State Highway 1 just north of
Maheno, because of smoke from
Dunedin Railways operations
manager Grant Craig would
not sayyesterday how much the
extra bills were for, but said all
would be covered by insurance.
While D unedin Railways had
investigated the fires, he did
not want to comment on what
caused them while the claims
were with its insurer and until
they had been settled.
A fire mitigation plan had been
put in place for the excursion
trip to Oamaru on January 24
using a coal-fired locomotive
and carriages with about 400
passengers on board. Because
of drought conditions in the
area, the fire authority had been
consulted about the trip.
“It was disappointing the plan
went belly up,’’ he said yesterday.
Fire authority chief executive
Stephanie Rotarangi said its
investigation into the steam
train fires had been completed.
The cost of putting out the fire
came to $66,145.07 (including
GST) and the authority was
“seeking full recovery from
She did not want to comment
further, but it was confirmed
Dunedin Railways had been
sent the bill.
The authority has the right
to recover the costs of the fire
from whoever was responsible.
At the time of the fires, the
Otago Daily Times was told by
passengers they had overheard
crew say an ash door or ash
tray had been left open at
However, D unedin Railways
said while that was one angle of
its investigation, other factors
could also have contributed to
— Otago Daily Times
Dunedin Railways get large bill for train fires
New Zealand First MP Ron
Mark has apologised after he
was caught swearing on a live
microphone in Parliament ’s
Mr Mark was heard saying
“S hut the f*** up” under his
breath during an exchange
with the Speaker David
Carter yesterday afternoon,
after he had been repeatedly
The comment was barely
noticed at the time, but Leader
of the House Gerry Brownlee
read tweets about it and raised it
in the House.
The swearing was also picked
up by Parliament tv ’s sign
happened to be appearing as part
of Sign Language Awareness
Mr Mark then apologised,
saying the comments “could
have brought the House into
Leaving the House, Mr Mark
at first claimed he had only
mouthed the words. When
told it had been picked up by
microphones, he admitted it was
out of order.
The MP said he had been
referring to a “group of MPs
that were behaving the way they
Mr Brownlee said the swearing
was inappropriate but Mr Mark
had now apologised.
New Zealand First leader
Winston Peters would not
comment because he did not
hear the original remark.
whether he had
“dropped the f-bomb” in the
House, he said: “ Well look, not
so that you heard it.”
Mark apologises for swearing in Parliamant
Murray Edge died from drowning after
falling into water while unconscious, his
widow Marilyn Edge said yesterday.
Mrs Edge, of D unedin, received her
husband’s autopsy results yesterday, and
said she was disclosing them promptly
to allay ‘vicious’ rumours.
“ We wanted to put it out there as
fast as possible to let people know that
no, there was no-one to blame. This is
just the circumstances.’’ Mr Edge was
hunting with a friend when the pair
were separated on April 19. His body
was found about 40 minutes inland
from Timaru on Monday morning.
“They said he’d fallen unconscious into
water and drowned.’’ Mrs Edge said
there was no evidence to suggest he had
suffered a medical event.
“ We still think he fell over the cliff
and he’s hit his head on the way down
and he’s landed at the bottom in the
The family plan to hold two funeral
services, in D unedin on May 30 and in
Fairlie on June 1, two days before Mr
Edge’s 65th birthday.
Both services, at the Baha’i Centre
in Dunedin and Fairlie Community
Theatre, were open to the public.
— Otago Daily Times
Hunter died from drowning, says widow
You might be surprised to learn that Tourism is
the largest employer here on the West Coast and
visitors spend over $309m with us every year –
money that flows directly and indirectly back into
the local economy and community.
Tourism is right now in a really strong growth
phase – a touch shy of 3m overseas visitors to NZ
Big numbers indeed but often when we think
of tourism we tend to think only of direct tourism
(such as the dollar an out of town visitor might
spend for a night or two in a local hotel or motel).
These businesses are really only tourism dollar
“collection points.” It is what then happens to the
dollars that are spent- that is often overlooked.
I wonder if your local appliance store realises
it is in tourism?! The money flows back and those
who benefit are found, in the form of wages paid
out, purchases made in local retail, food and
beverages enjoyed, spending in the local corner
store or supermarket, and fuel purchased to travel
up and down the Coast – to name but a few areas
If you think about it most of us benefit in some
way or another from tourism on the Coast - but to
be frank we rarely stop to think about it.
The role of Tourism West Coast, as your
Regional Tourism Organisation, is to promote the
whole West Coast as a great place to visit, stay
longer and spend more.
However, most out of town visitors really have
lots of choice these days about where to visit
in New Zealand, how long to stay and where to
spend their hard earned holiday dollars.
The team at Tourism West Coast (3 people)
works extremely hard to encourage more
visitors to choose the West Coast as their travel
destination – from Karamea through to Haast -
but we honestly compete with 29 other very well
funded regions around the country who are all
trying to achieve much the same.
Exciting but very challenging times ahead
Comparative annual funding for
Regional Tourism Organisations
Benchmark Survey by Destination
Planning Ltd 2014
Lake Wanaka $845,000
Nelson Tasman $1,045,000
Hawkes Bay $1,260,000
These are examples of regional tourism
organisations of a similar size.
Tourism West Coast has 3 staff while the rest
range from 5 staff to 8 staff.
Where was the visitor $$ spent
on the West Coast?
Food & Beverage
Passenger Transport $59 million
Activities & Attractions $12 million
Fuel & Automotive
Retail & Supermarkets $55 million*
N.B. Fuel & Automotive and Retail are two of the
biggest recipients of the visitor spend.
These figures do not include cash,
direct billing or China Union Pay
Credit Cards so are very conservative.
Source 2014 MBIE Regional Tourism Expenditure
RTE’s based on credit card and EFTPOS usage.
Tourism West Coast has a simple objective-
“More people, more often, staying longer,
Our task is to market the West Coast
from Karamea to Haast to both
domestic and international visitors.
These visitors may be on holiday, visiting friends
& relatives, participating in an event, holding
a conference or doing business on the Coast-
they are all visitors who come from outside the
West Coast and spend money in our region.
Tourism West Coast-
Maintains an extensive photographic library
for media and travel agents
We produce a video of things to see and do
on the Coast
We attend travel shows in New Zealand and
overseas to promote the Coast
With ad agencies we create advertisements to
promote the coast in various media
Tourism West Coast hosts visits from travel
agents and travel media
TWC liaises with councils and promotions
groups right along the Coast
We develop relationships with Inbound Tour
agents and conference organisers
Our website www.westcoast.co.nz is
maintained & optimised by us
A 112 page visitor guide is produced each
year and distributed nationally
TWC provides advice and support for tourism
businesses plus a lot more
A trade manual is produced each year for
international and domestic agents
Promote existing events and attract new
events throughout the year
Run 2 major domestic advertising campaigns
with packages and call to action
Attract more conferences and meetings
Hold more domestic promotions in shopping
malls, at A & P Shows and trade events
Do more market research on domestic travel
motivations and market segments
The number of Chinese visitors
to the West Coast has been
phenomenal as this graph
demonstrates. Many West Coast
Tourism businesses have employed
Mandarin speaking staff, have
installed China Union Pay Credit
facilities and have websites and
brochures translated into simplified
Chinese. This growth is predicted to
continue with many Chinese guest
nights spread throughout the Coast.
What do we do?
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO DO WITH MORE RESOURCES
Facts about the financial & job contributions
Tourism provides the West Coast.
“Did you know that visitors spent a
conservative $309,000,000 on the West
Coast last year?” An increase of $24 million
in 1 year! MBIE Regional Tourism Expenditure
Statistics 2014 (RTEs)
“Did you know that the tourism and
hospitality businesses employ 2,371 FTEs
making it the biggest employer on the
West Coast?” BERL Economic Report 2013.
- R ichard Benton, Chairman,
Tourism West Coast
- John gregory, executive director,
pan pacific travel
Thought of the day “Opportunities and challenges for West Coast Tourism.”
“ The visitor industry can be the
economic ‘gap filler’ for the West
Coast in the short and medium term.”
Ian Collier, Regional Affairs Manager, Air New
“Grand Pacific Tours itineraries all visit the
West Coast of the South Island to ensure we
give our travellers every opportunity to witness
the hidden wonders including lush rainforests,
spectacular scenery and extraordinary glaciers.
A trip to New Zealand would not be complete
without a visit to the beautiful West Coast”.
Peter Harding, Managing Director, Grand Pacific Tours,
“ The growth of the visitor industry on the West
Coast in the last 12 months has been outstanding
with particular reference to the Chinese market
who have discovered the Coast and they love
it! Our business and region will continue
to perform well due to the increased visitor
traffic and we are confident about the future.”
Rob Jewell, CEO, Fox Glacier Guiding & Chairman of the
Glacier Country Tourism Group
Visitor growth from all international countries
is now back to pre-Christchurch earthquake
numbers and will continue to grow.
Supplied by Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment. MBIE, Regional Tourism Index.
Out of 30 regional tourism areas within New
Zealand the West Coast is:
The 1st biggest region for National &
World Heritage parks. (Dept Conservation)
The 3rd biggest region for motorhome
and camper van visits. (THL Research)
The 4th biggest region for adventure
activities. (Tourism New Zealand)
The 5th biggest region for international holiday
guest nights at 737,800. (Dept Statistics)
The 7th biggest region for domestic &
international guest nights at 1,254,494 (Dept
“ The West Coast of the South Island is one
of New Zealand’s most important tourism
destinations. We consider the Coast an
iconic ‘must see’ region which we include on
the itinerary of thousands of international
visitors from around the globe. Pan Pacific
Travel is one of New Zealand’s leading
Inbound Tour Operators working with
travel agents from many markets like North
America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South
Africa, India, China and South East Asia.”
Tourism West Coast is marketing the West Coast Wilderness Trail throughout New Zealand and overseas.
West Coast expenditure figures MBIE all countries
Chinese expenditure MBIE RTI figures 2008 to 2015
COMMENTS FROM THE
TOURISM INDUSTRY LEADERS
Jim Little, CEO, Tourism West Coast on the
Tourism New Zealand stand, discussing an
itinerary for the Coast at a South East Asia Travel
show in Bangkok, March 2015. The customer
purchased a 10 day visit to the South Island
which included 3 nights on the Coast. 760,000
people attended the show over 5 days!
During the year tourism West Coast hosts many
agent and media visits. Here is LeeAnne Scott
with a group from Singapore having a Glacier
Domestic promotions through shopping malls
Jim Little, CEO, at a South East Asia Travel show in Bangkok
TWC’s LeeAnne Scott with travel agents on Glacier experience.
Domestic promotions through shopping malls and supermarkets
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