Home' Greymouth Star : June 3rd 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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spree with stolen
A Taylorville man was convicted
in the Greymouth District Court
yesterday after admitting nine
charges of using a document (stolen
credit card) to gain a pecuniary
advantage, and two charges of
possessing utensils for drug use.
Thomas O’Brien admitted to owning
the utensils found during a search
of his bedroom on April 22. He
said he used them for smoking
methamphetamine and cannabis.
Police prosecutor sergeant Graeme
Eden said O’Brien used the credit
card, which had a Paywave feature,
to buy cigarettes from BP, Mobil and
Z ser vice stations in Greymouth.
He also got his hands on the
replacement card and purchased
goods from Challenge in Greymouth
and the Dobson All But One. On
both occasions O’Brien told them
he found the card and “took the
opportunity to use it ”. He will be
sentenced on August 13.
Forget flannel pyjamas and slinky
nighties — wearing nothing at all
in bed could boost your health, one
doctor says. One in three adults
sleeps in the nude, according to an
international study by the United
States National Sleep Foundation.
And now, Dr Sarah Brewer, a GP
and nutritionist based in Guernsey,
says it has been shown to have all
sorts of benefits. “Sleeping naked can
regulate your temperature, helping
you get the best night’s sleep,” she
said. This is because people tend to fall
asleep more quickly, and have better
quality sleep when the temperature
is lower, she said. Men who go
commando in between the sheets are
not as prone to fungal infections in
their groin — also known as the Jock
Strap Itch. And sleeping naked helps
couples bond and increases intimacy, Dr
Brewer said — Daily Mail
Long fine spells
Denniston tourist train closed
Laura Mills and Brendon McMahon
The underground tourist train and
coalmine museum at Denniston will
close at the end of the month.
The Department of Conser vation
says it will put the Denniston
Experience into ‘temporary care and
Tours stopped temporarily in
March when DOC cut power to
the winch used to run the train,
after concerns raised by government
regulator Work Safe NZ.
Tours resumed but with the
underground part of the mine tour
However, the operators said
yesterday they would close on June
30 “with much regret ” as the trip was
no longer viable.
New mining standards imposed on
the tourist mine had resulted in the
closure of the winch, they said.
Forcing tourists to walk meant a
large proportion of clients, especially
senior citizens and those with limited
fitness, were no longer able to do the
tour because they were required to
negotiate a slippery, uneven, uphill
walk with limited lighting.
“They no longer get to enter by the
original Banbury Mine portal or see
many of the static displays in the
main drive,” general manager John
Gurney said in a statement.
The experience needed to be
completely re-marketed, and all
printed and web-based media needed
to be reprinted.
“ Tour operators visiting regularly
have already expressed that they are
no longer interested in the changed
product,” Mr Gurney said.
The High Hazards Unit now
required weekly certified checks,
as required in a working coalmine,
rather than two-monthly, and that
had increased the already high
DOC, as owner of the mine and
all the equipment, had said it was
not prepared to upgrade the winch
or locomotive, or to pay for any
additional ongoing mine or electrical
certification, he said.
“Buller District Council’s recent
decision to pull support for attracting
tourism to the area, closure of the
Murchison i-Site and uncertainty
of the Westport i-Site have all
contributed to the final decision
to cease operation made by the
concessionaire, John Gurney of
ser vices manager Bob Dickson said it
would have cost $120,000 to replace
He said the mine would be put into
‘care and maintenance’ while DOC
looked for another operator to be
ready for the next tourist season.
An assessment from the High
Hazards Unit had just arrived and
Mr Dickson said the work required
did not look too onerous.
A statement from Work Safe NZ
high hazards and specialist ser vices
general manager Brett Murray today
backed that up.
Mr Murray said it was the
operator’s responsibility to make the
locomotive and winch system safe,
and Work Safe had set out to ensure
this “created minimal interference” to
“There was no restriction imposed
on Mr Gurney by Work Safe on
where or how to conduct pedestrians
over the additional 140m travel
distance involved in walking rather
than riding,” Mr Murray said.
Work Safe was “well aware” of
the importance of the Denniston
Experience to the area and despite
working with the operator for some
time there could be no exceptions.
It was the responsibility of every
business operator to make their site
safe and healthy for staff and visitors,
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
The Z ser vice station in Greymouth has closed for a $1 million upgrade, which will see it out of commission for the next nine weeks. Work began yesterday on
replacing the four underground tanks at the Smith Street site. A Z Energy spokeswoman said the fuel tanks had a lifespan of 30 years, and the current tanks had
reached that. They would be dug up and replaced with three new ones, and the shop upgraded at the same time, she said.
$1m upgrade begins
Flag opinions split
The 40 people who attended
the Flag Consideration Project
Roadshow public meeting in
Greymouth last night had mixed
emotions about changing the New
Zealand flag. Flag panel member
Malcolm Mulholland said the
Greymouth crowd — the second
best turnout so far in the South
Island — was split down the middle
in their opinions. “Half didn’t
want to see it changed and the
other half were open to change,”
Mr Mulholland said. He noted
that only Invercargill had a bigger
turnout in the South Island.
The Runanga Miners’ Hall
restoration project has received
a $400,000 boost from Lotteries,
allowing work to get under way
on replacing the foundations.
Hall trust chairman Paul
Thomas was today elated with
the funding decision.
“This grant allows us to forge
ahead with the next stage of
structural repair — significantly,
replacing the ageing foundations
and the damaged floor.
“ We now have full funding
to cover the cost of re-roofing
(which has been completed),
re-piling, replacing floorboards,
some repairs as needed to
the building framework, and
necessary site preparations.”
Mr Thomas said the Lotteries
funding would complement the
sum provided by the insurance
cover, which is still to be finalised,
arising from the Cyclone Ita
damage, and together would
contribute a substantial amount
to the overall project.
“This application wouldn’t
have been successful without the
huge collaborative effort of the
Runanga Miners’ Hall trustees
and project team, our contractors
and our wider advisers and
supporters,” Mr Thomas said.
He said the grant money was
outside funding that would be
used wherever possible to pay
suppliers and designers.
Currently, the project group is
in the middle of a community
consultation phase, aimed at
getting feedback from the
community to support the
interior design of the building.
“If we know what people want
to use the hall for, we can build in
the facilities they need.”
Westport is selling itself as a
retirement haven in the latest initiative
to plug the area’s economic woes.
announced today it has initiated a
campaign in Christchurch aimed at
getting retirees to cash up their high
value properties and move to Westport.
The council is working with Westport
real estate agents to promote the idea.
One of the first steps will involve
erecting a large billboard on one of the
busiest roads in Christchurch.
It outlines the advantage of cashing
up in Canterbury and buying similar
properties in Westport for a lot less.
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said the
high profile Blenheim Road billboard
location would get at least 26,000 views
“By moving to our wonderful district
they would be getting at least as nice a
house, cash in the bank, and an amazing
lifestyle to enjoy their retirement,” Mr
The billboard is accompanied by
a new website with video clips of
recently relocated retirees to Westport
expounding the virtues of their move.
The website movetowestport.co.nz
also has an interactive ‘ living well’
guide with information on health
care, services, and things to do in the
northern West Coast.
Westport tries to woo ChCh retirees
The Warehouse has confirmed the
temperature at its Greymouth store is
controlled from Auckland — and it has
now turned the heating up.
The Greymouth Star asked head
office for comment after customers
complained the store was too cold.
Others mentioned that some staff were
wearing layers of thermals.
Julia Morton said the store energy
management systems nationwide were
managed from head office in Auckland.
“O ur energy management system is
actually highly innovative and energy
efficient, and includes an award winning
software program that automatically
controls lighting, heating and air
conditioning,” Ms Morton said.
When the temperature or lighting
needed to be altered, individual store
managers got in touch with the energy
management team and they altered the
“Earlier today, we increased the store’s
temperature to 19degC after customers
mentioned they were cold, and we’re
going to keep monitoring things with
the store’s team in case it needs to be
changed again,” she said on Friday.
Auckland computer warms up Greymouth Warehouse
A shed blaze in Hokitika early
this morning is being treated as
Hokitika Volunteer Fire Brigade
fire chief Harry Collett said the
old corrugated iron garage behind
a Sale Street property was well
involved when two fire appliances
arrived just after 4am.
Firefighters had to use breathing
apparatus to get near but the fire
itself was quickly contained.
The scene was now in the hands
of fire investigators and the police.
Mr Collett said the burning shed
was “very close” to the adjoining
house and also neighbouring
houses, where residents were
asleep at the time.
“Luckily we had the right wind
blowing the right way.”
Hokitika police sergeant in
charge Andrew Lyes said it was
The scene was sealed until
the CIB could complete an
examination and gather forensic
evidence for tests. It was yet
unclear if some kind of accelerant
had been used.
“There was no one in the shed
but we’re pretty confident that it
was arson and not an electrical
fault. There’s no doubt about it —
it is suspicious,” Mr Lyes said.
Police were not aware yet if the
shed had contained anything of
any value, “but clearly any arson is
a real concern”.
Mr Lyes appealed for witness
accounts or other information of
suspicious sounds or sightings of
people walking in the Sale Street
area early today.
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