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The dirty truth
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FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
of the Westport News
DWC on the move
Development West Coast is
relocating its offices to the first floor
of Brunner House, the former
St James Theatre, in central
Greymouth. Chief executive Joseph
Thomas said the move from Mackay
Street to the new premises would
be completed by July 1. “ This is a
great new location and premises for
DWC. Relocating to new premises
with a new office layout will provide
us with an opportunity to improve
how we work as a team. It’s also a
good time to review internal systems
and processes which can provide for
greater efficiencies.” DWC’s lease on
the current offices above Work and
Income ends on June 30. It has been
there for the 13 years of its existence.
Two vehicles suffered moderate
damage last night in an overtaking
manoeuvre gone wrong at the
Lake Mahinapua turnoff, o n
State highway 6. Hokitika police
said the 10pm crash occurred as
a northbound vehicle driven by a
tourist was grazed by a following
vehicle which pulled out to pass at
the same time. No one from either
car — one carrying Germans and the
other Americans — was injured.
The first night closure of the
Taramakau Bridge will close the
State highway 6 link between
Greymouth and Hokitika from 8
o’clock tomorrow night until
8 o’clock on Sunday morning. NZTA
said sports teams travelling to either
town on Saturday for matches should
make plans to return home earlier
than they normally would to avoid
being stuck overnight.
Showers, heavy at times
A man in Shanghai has filed
a lawsuit over the way a famous
Chinese actress stared at him while
he was watching her on television.
Rules making it easier to file lawsuits
in China have led to a new concern
over frivolous claims, such as one
in which the man says actress Zhao
Wei stared at him too intensely
through his tv set. Reports say the
lawsuit filed by the Shanghai man
involves the primetime tv show Tiger
Mum which debuted last month
and centres on a couple’s differing
approach to raising their daughter.
Zhao plays the big-eyed mother who
relentlessly pushes her daughter’s
development, while the father wants
his child to have more freedom. The
Legal Daily said the plaintiff was
alleging Zhao’s stare caused him
“spiritual damage”. — AP
12 train jobs on the line
Falling coal volumes at the Stockton
Mine have put 12 Kiwi Rail jobs on
the West Coast under threat.
Kiwi Rail group general manager
operations Iain Hill said today the
company had been in discussion with
Solid Energy after its decision to cut
the amount of coal being extracted
“Solid Energy have confirmed
with Kiwi Rail their revised forecast
volumes of coal needing to be
transported by rail and there is a
significant reduction in volumes,
which will unfortunately mean a
reduced number of staff required to
ser vice the volumes coming out of
the West Coast,” Mr Hill said.
“Around 12 employees, mainly
locomotive engineers, are affected by
the volume reductions.”
Mr Hill said the rail operator was
looking at a “number of options for
the train plan required to ser vice the
Those plans would be reviewed by
staff at its three West Coast locations
Westport, Greymouth and Otira
— o ver the next few weeks.
The locations of the job losses would
not be known until the review had
been completed, he said, although
the Greymouth Star understands
staff were told most would be in
Currently, Kiwi Rail employs 11
drivers in Westport, 18 in Greymouth
and five in Otira.
Mr Hill said the company was
looking at options for re-deploying
the affected staff to other locations
in the South Island. It would also
be open to other suggestions by staff
and the Rail and Maritime Transport
Union general secretary Wayne
Butson said there had been “rumours”
about job losses, but “no written
confirmation to that effect ”.
Mr Butson said the proposed
redundancies were not unexpected,
given less coal coming out of the
ground at Stockton.
“ It’s not surprising, if there’s fewer
people digging it out of the ground,
there’s going to be a lot less coal on
He emphasised that there was a
“ lot more current doubt” about the
long-term future of the Midland
Line between the West Coast and
“The Tranz Alpine and what ’s
coming out of Hokitika won’t
be enough to justify the capital
expenditure on that line,” he said.
Kiwi Rail was still in negotiations
with Solid Energy about the amount
of coal which would be transported
along the Midland Line.
He did not want to see a knee-jerk
reaction to the lower coal volumes.
The proposed rail redundancies are
the latest job losses to hit the region.
In mid-May, Solid Energy
announced it was cutting 113 jobs
from its Stockton Mine, while in late
May, Sicon Ferguson announced that
50 jobs on the Coast, 40 of them in
Greymouth, were set to go when it
closed its regional operations at the
end of August.
Boy pulls knife in
PICTURE: Andy England
Greymouth High School teacher Karen Schwabe shares her knowledge about the ‘growth mindset, where people get smarter by training their brain and
working harder, helped by fellow teacher Paddy Brand, during a teacher only day today. Principal Andy England said achievement was often praised in school,
“ but by focusing on hard work and persistence we can lift achievement higher for more people”.
School without students
Elderly woman ‘intimidated’
by home salesman — police
West Coast police have warned people
not to just let sales people into their
homes after an incident in Hokitika
this week in which an elderly resident
was intimidated and had to shout at the
man to leave.
Police said it underlined the need
for residents to get clear identification
from sales people or organisation
representatives showing up on the
If unsure, they should not invite
The Hokitika resident received a
phone call from a woman on Wednesday
whom she believed was from the
Arthritis Society in Greymouth. The
caller then made an appointment for
a “sales representative” to visit that
A man turned up for the appointment
and once he gained entry he attempted
to sell the homeowner a $14,000 piece
When the woman declined and asked
the man to leave he tried to obtain a
$50 deposit from her and asked her for
a list of her medications.
The Hokitika resident told police she
had to shout at the salesman to make
“The salesman did not provide any
identification. He was described as tall,
good looking and wearing a navy blue
suit,” police staff said.
Hokitika police had since been talking
to Arthritis New Zealand who said
they were aware of a company selling
arthritis equipment, however the
company had no links with Arthritis
Police said anyone who received
similar calls from someone purporting
to be selling arthritis aids needed to
make sure they had a family member
or friend present for any appointment.
“Always check they have ID and if
still unsure, shut the door while you
ring the organisation they claim to be
representing,” the spokesman said.
The West Coast District Health
Board plans to close both its
Westport aged residential care
No government funding was
available to rebuild or upgrade
either Kynnersley Home or
Dunsford Ward, DHB chief
executive David Meates told a
public meeting attended by over
100 people in Westport yesterday
“It’s not viable to maintain
Kynnersley Home or Dunsford
Ward and we’re proposing to
close them,” Mr Meates said.
There is no provision for aged
residential care in Westport ’s
proposed 10-bed integrated
family health centre, which will
replace Buller Hospital.
Mr Meates said Kynnersley
would close by the end of this
year. Dunsford would remain
open until Westport ’s trust-
owned O’Conor Home expanded.
The DHB facilities provided 45
beds but were only 56% occupied,
Mr Meates said.
Kynnersley had 27 beds but only
11 residents. Dunsford provides
18 beds and is understood to have
about 13 patients.
Mr Meates said O’Conor Home
had 53 beds — five of which are
vacant — and was planning
to provide 15 more by the end
of next year. Unlike the DHB
facilities, it provided a full range
of aged residential care from rest
home care to hospital level and
dementia care. Some Kynnersley
residents could go to O’Conor
Home and others might go into
Dunsford Ward until O’Conor
Home expanded, Mr Meates said.
The DHB would be discussing
the options with their families.
He promised that Dunsford
would not close until O’Conor
Home provided the beds
Westport needed. He also
promised Westport people would
not be shunted out of the town
for aged care.
rest homes close
A knife-wielding boy who
threatened another youngster
at rugby league training in
Greymouth late last week was
taken into police custody.
The Grey Main School board
of trustees is investigating the
Board chairman Mark Bolland
said in a statement yesterday the
Marist Rugby League Club used
the school grounds for practice.
“Last Thursday evening a child
presently enrolled at Grey Main
student and the incident is
being investigated by the board.
We wish to reassure our school
family that our learners’ safety is
paramount and incidents like this
are taken very seriously.”
The Greymouth Star was alerted
to the incident by the victim’s
grandmother, who was concerned
for her grandson’s safety and
worried the board was not going
to address the incident.
The grandmother said the boys
had clashed previously at the
Police confirmed they had
attended an incident in which a
young boy had threatened other
children with a knife and a rock.
A spokeswoman said the
offender was taken into custody
for his and the other children’s
understands the boy is now in the
care of Child, Youth and Family
TOUGH DEALS, NO JOKE.
THAT’S THE GRILL
OF MY DREAMS
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