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FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Google mum on
driverless car crashes
Possums still to blame
for bovine Tb, says Ospri
Landmark Greymouth pub
Revingtons Hotel faces scrutiny
after an alleged breach of its alcohol
licence. West Coast police alcohol
enforcement officer sergeant Sean
Judd said today he could give
few details but confirmed that
enforcement action had been taken
and the case would go before the
Alcohol Regulatory Licensing
Authority, in Greymouth on
Wednesday. He expected to hear
a decision from the authority next
week. Revingtons proprietor Manav
Soni, of Christchurch, did not
respond when contacted today.
Safety orders cool
Westport police issued two-day
police safety orders to two men
as a result of separate domestic
arguments in the town last night.
Police attended verbal disputes at
different private residences at 6pm
and 6.30pm involving men who
are separated from their female
partners. In both cases no charges
were required but safety orders were
Ross thefts abate
A spate of fuel thefts in Ross
over the past few weeks has
died down, police said today.
Siphoning of petrol and diesel
from vehicles and heavy machinery
around the township emerged as
a problem early last week after it
transpired there had been a spate
of thefts over the previous 10 days.
Hokitika community constable
John Armstrong said the thief
appeared to have gone to ground.
The publicity had either “pricked
the conscience” of the person
responsible or they had since moved
on from Ross, Mr Armstrong said.
Cloud increasing, few showers
English single mother Robyn
was once so exasperated by her
son Billy’s naughty behaviour she
was sure a medical condition must
be to blame. The three-year-old
from Monmouthshire, was prone
to violent temper tantrums and his
mother struggled to control him —
particularly at bedtime. But despite
her suspicions, the real cause of the
problem turned out to be something
else altogether — the family dog
pinching the child’s pillow each
night. The truth was discovered
when a tv show put a camera in his
bedroom to try to get to the bottom
of things. — Daily Mail
The New Zealand Flying Doctor
Ser vice flew from Greymouth
Hospital 177 times in the past
year, mainly to Christchurch.
Despite problems with the
weather, and the restrictive Twelve
Apostles range behind Cobden,
just seven flights had to go to the
regional airport at Hokitika.
Garden City group general
manager Simon Duncan said
the Flying Doctor ser vice was a
‘ lifeline’ for the sick and seriously
injured from the West Coast.
Most of the 177 fixed-wing
flights went to Christchurch, 14
of them at night.
Mr Duncan said the planes
were able to fly out of Greymouth
at night, when the conditions
allowed a take-off to the south,
but rarely flew in at night as the
aerodrome sometimes did not
suit landings for the turbo-prop
planes of the size, weight and
speed used at night.
Taking off to the north from
Greymouth presented challenges
for the flight crews because of the
hills in front of them and losing
an engine on take-off, or having
to abort a landing combined with
the need to make a sharp turn,
presented serious challenges for
the crew, at night.
Sometimes the pilots deemed it
safer to take someone by road to
Hokitika, then fly out from there.
“It is always the pilot ’s decision
when and where they choose
to land and/or take-off from,
and they assess that prior to the
flight proceeding, because it could
involve an ambulance transfer
from Greymouth to Hokitika,
which takes time to arrange. ”
Referring to the Sounds Air
flights, which recently replaced
the Air New Zealand passenger
flights from Westport, Mr
Duncan said Sounds Air did
not have a contract for medical
transfers, their aircraft and crew
were not certified to the NZ
Air Ambulance Air Search and
Rescue standard, and they had no
flight trained medical crew, or life
“ It ’s not just simply about the
plane, which the standard states
must be twin-engine, which
also counts them out using a
PC12 in New Zealand for air
ambulance transfers. PC12s are
used in Australia on medivacs,
but then Australia doesn’t have
the Southern Alps plonked in the
way,” he said.
Most Westport patients were
referred to Greymouth in the first
instance, and it was rare for the
Flying Doctor ser vice to call into
“There is nothing wrong with
the existing ser vice provided by
(Flying Doctors) — we have
never not delivered a ser vice to
Westport when asked to do so,
Last year, the ser vice conducted
just eight inter-hospital transfers
from Westport by plane — “ hardly
a business case for dedicated air
ambulance just for Westport”.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Sam Bother way, left, and Dion Currie, from the Flying Doctor Ser vice, flew the King Air B200 with the specialist ‘cargo’ door for medivac flights, into Greymouth
Stalls replace Kumara Coast to Coast banquet
After more than 30 years, the Coast to
Coast pre-race banquet will no longer be
ser ved up in the Kumara Memorial Hall.
Since the race started in 1983, local
volunteers have ser ved meals to the
athletes on the eve of their race.
In its heyday, 1200 meals were dished
up at the Kumara banquet; last year it was
down to just 550.
With overall competitor numbers
falling, competitor Richard Ussher took
over the Coast to Coast business from
the founding race director Robin Judkins,
and is now revamping the endurance
He said today they were now moving
away from a buffet at the hall, to food
stalls at the Kumara Racecourse, where
many competitors camped out before the
“The Kumara community are going to
cater for the athletes via food stalls at
the Kumara Racecourse instead ... This
was discussed and agreed on by both the
Kumara community representatives and
the Coast to Coast, based on feedback
from the event this year,” Mr Ussher said
in a statement today.
The move was designed to give the
Kumara community “more control over
the supply of meals, while keeping costs
Mr Ussher said they hoped it would
lead to more funds for the community.
In 2008, Coast to Coast competitors ate
their way through 15kg of bacon, 90kg of
beef, 120 chickens, 24 bunches of celery,
and a ‘bath full’ of fruit salad.
Westport rest homes future reviewed
The future of older people’s health
ser vices in Westport will be outlined at a
public meeting next week.
“O ur facilities at Kynnersley and
Dunsford (at Buller Hospital) are in
a poor state of repair and there is no
further funding available for fixing them
or building new aged residential care
facilities,” West Coast District Health
chief executive David Meates said today.
Priorities identified by the community
and where the board was headed would
be outlined at the meeting.
Mr Meates said several months of
“conversations” with the public, staff and
a stakeholder group had helped identify
opportunities and priorities.
Housing, transport, and social isolation
were all discussed.
“Also identified was the need for better
co-ordination of and information about
ser vices for older people. ”
Most older people said they wanted to
live at home, and the DHB was working
hard to support them to do so for as long
as was possible and appropriate, he said.
For the small percentage who at some
stage needed aged residential care, the
DHB had to plan ahead.
The public meeting will be held at the
NBS Theatre, in Westport, on Thursday,
June 11 from 1-2pm.
A Kaiata woman was bitten yesterday
when she tried to intervene in a fight
between her dog and a pitbull terrier
which had wandered from a nearby
Police said the pitbull owner had
been fined $200 and warned by Grey
District Council dog control officers.
The woman required medical
attention after she tried to break up
the dog fight, which occurred on her
Dog control officer Murray Malloch
said the woman put her hand down to
try to separate the two dogs and was
bitten, suffering puncture wounds.
“S he doesn’t know which dog bit
her,” Mr Malloch said.
Dog control had spoken with both
Mr Malloch said the dog owners
were co-operative and the incident was
unusual given the history of both dogs.
“ We don’t know what attracted the
dog (pitbull) to go outside its property.”
The pitbull owner had been fined for
having an uncontrolled dog.
However, Mr Malloch said the
incident highlighted the complexity
around dog behaviour and the
inherent dangers. He cited an incident
on Tuesday in which a man suffered
“quite graphic” bite injuries from his
The man had signed over his own
dog to be destroyed.
“ We don’t know what triggered the
incident, but he sustained bad, bad
wounds and had to go to hospital,” Mr
Pitbull owner fined after woman bitten
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