Home' Greymouth Star : June 15th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Legal review of
Lisa Blakie murder
trolley full of goods
A thief sped away from The
Warehouse in Greymouth with a
trolley load of stolen goods. Police
said a woman had already loaded
one trolley load into her car and was
in the process of stealing a second
trolley load when she was stopped.
The thief abandoned the second
trolley and sped off in a red car.
for ‘roof romp’
A 21-year-old Christchurch
man who decided to climb on
to the roof of the Wild West
Adventures building in Whall Street,
Greymouth, at the weekend was later
charged with disorderly behaviour.
Police said the visitor was arrested at
Revingtons Hotel after his late night
“roof romp”. Meanwhile, an 18-year-
old Greymouth man was arrested
on Friday afternoon for throwing
objects but police could not elaborate
called next door
Greymouth firefighters raced next
door last night after the fire alarm
sounded at Dixon House. Chief fire
officer Lee Swinburn said the 11pm
call-out turned out to be a false
Fine, morning frosts
Greymouth Star On-line
We are not sure if this is romantic
or just plain weird. Mike Perrett
has revealed he proposed to his
wife Melita using an engagement
ring made of bone from his
amputated right leg. He lost the
limb in 2006 after falling off a
mountain while volunteering at
an Indian orphanage, according to
Buzzfeed. But instead of disposing
of it he apparently decided to keep
part of the leg, which seems to
have been a good decision. That
is because Mrs Perett loved the
special engagement ring, which was
designed by Ingle and Rhode and
included platinum and a diamond,
when she saw it for the first time
in 2011. “I guess why it’s so special
to me is because I think it shows
his bravely coming to terms with
something like that so positively
. .. which has to be a good attribute
for marriage,” she said. — Metro
The West Coast Conservation
Board has formally notified its
concerns about 1080 poison being
laid adjacent to riverbeds, and the
risks this could pose to dogs.
In letters to the Department of
Conser vation and Animal Health
Board (Ospri), board chairman Mike
Legge said it had been drawn to the
board’s attention that poisoned pellets
were being hand laid by riverbeds.
If correct, the board was concerned
the poison was being used in areas
that were used for public recreation,
such as fishing and walking dogs.
The board was aware of a dog being
poisoned by 1080 pellets close to the
water’s edge at the Taramakau River,
Dr Legge said.
It “strongly encouraged ” the use of
alternative poisons close to waterways.
The board also asked for more
current signs to be erected, with dates
on them. Posting information on the
internet was “not appropriate and
may not be accessible to users of the
The board was aware of the
relatively short life of 1080 pellets in
a wet environment. However, dogs
were particularly susceptible to 1080
and “appropriate measures must be
taken to ensure their safety as well
as any health and safety aspects to
Meanwhile, New Zealand First has
called on the Government to stop the
aerial use of 1080 poison, after 75%
of cattle that tested positive for Tb
turned out not to actually have it.
Cattle tested in Southland, the
Waikato, and the West Coast from
2003 to 2014 showed that of 4408
cattle returning positive reactor tests
for bovine Tb, only 1122 were found
to actually have the disease at post-
mortem, NZ First primary industries
spokesman Richard Prosser said.
“Our farmers are keen, and rightly
so, on getting rid of bovine Tb in
their herds but can’t trust the regime
when three-quarters of reactor tests
have proven to be false positives,” Mr
“The fact that almost 75% of cattle
which tested positive didn’t actually
have the disease throws further doubt
on one of the justifications given for
the continued aerial use of 1080.”
It was “absolutely ludicrous” that
New Zealand continued to use a test
which was so manifestly unreliable,
Mr Prosser said.
Cattle were being slaughtered
unnecessarily, financial hardship
imposed on farmers because of that,
and tonnes of 1080 dumped on the
forest and bush.
All necessary pest control could be
achieved through ground operations,
using traps and bait stations that did
not cause by-kill of native birds and
insects, or disrupt the food chain.
This, coupled with better testing of
cattle and a corresponding increase
in movement control, would have Tb
licked, he claimed.
“ Year after year, new and different
excuse after new and different excuse,
government agencies continue to pour
1080 poison over what is supposedly
clean, green New Zealand. This
manifestly unjustifiable poisoning of
our ecosystem is plain insanity. It has
to stop,” Mr Prosser said.
Ospri said today the sensitivity
of Tb testing was well-known and
factored into judgments made
about the programme’s design and
However, group manager new
business Peter Alsop said the use of
1080 for aerial operations was “quite
a separate issue” to the Tb testing of
Ospri’s ongoing research programme
had led to ongoing improvements in
the application and monitoring of the
For example, average sowing rates
had declined significantly over time,
from over 30kg a hectare of bait in
the 1950s to the low rates of about
1-2kg a hectare of bait used today.
“In terms of bait, of the 2kg applied
each hectare (about four pellets per
tennis court), the level of 1080 itself
per hectare is 3g (0.15% of the bait
pellets). This is an important point as
some people incorrectly assume, when
talking about bait, that the entire bait
pellet used is 1080 — it is not.
“It is also important to keep 1080
use in perspective to vector control
more generally, given that 1080 is
only used for operations covering
about 15% of the total land area being
controlled,” Mr Alsop said.
Conservation board, MP air 1080 concerns
The $1.5 million cost of a Chinese
memorial garden proposed for
Kumara has been questioned as
residents grapple with massive
The project was first mooted in
tandem with a garden at Ross in
December 2013, at a total cost of
By June last year, Kumara
residents heard their garden alone
could actually cost $1.5m.
A Kumara Residents Trust
meeting a year ago saw at least 42
residents back the project, with 25
Residents also voted at the time
on whether to draw $398,000 from
the $448,00 available in the local
endowment fund to help with
the project. The endowment fund
dates back to the former Kumara
The garden’s main promoter, trust
member and Theatre Royal Hotel
urged residents to hand over the
endowment money for the project.
“I am asking very little of you.
I am asking simply that you
allow us to use money that you
have personally never owned
yourself and to give it away,” Mrs
Fitzgibbon said at the time.
While 30 people voted to use
some endowment money for
the gardens, long-time Kumara
resident Des McGrath says
support for such a high cost
Chinese garden is not that clear
He has been encouraging
residents to make a submission
to the Westland District Council
long-term plan in the wake of
projected massive rates increases
for Kumara township. The issue
was raised at the start of plan
hearings in Hokitika today.
Mr McGrath describes the
garden project in his submission
as “a large commercial tourism
business” benefiting a couple
of local businesses but with the
prospect of the Kumara ratepayers
shouldering the burden
“This is not a small Chinese
garden, as claimed by the Kumara
Residents Trust, but a $1.5m
tourism venture,” Mr McGrath
Mrs Fitzgibbon is currently out
of the country and unavailable for
comment. However, Fiona Pollard,
on behalf of the residents trust,
wrote to assure the council that the
project had community support.
Ms Pollard said there had been
full public consultation to use the
Last week, Ms Pollard said the
$1.5m cost had always been “a
goal” rather than a firm cost.
“ It was just an estimate, a
guideline, a goal.”
There was “100% support” from
Kumara residents at the meeting
last year to access the endowment
However, Mr McGrath told
the Greymouth Star the support
claimed by the trust to use the
endowment was simply not there.
“I’ve been walking around town
and knocking on a few doors.
Everyone says, ‘I
money going towards the Kumara
supported the concept, people
were “stunned ” at the financial
scale of a $1.5m project, including
$398,000 of endowment funds.
Questions still had to be
answered about how much money
was in the endowment fund in the
first place and whether spending it
on the garden was the best use.
“They’re basically going to clean
the Kumara endowment fund
out in one sweep ... at the end of
the day, no one asked the people
of Kumara if they wanted the
Mr McGrath said the trust
claiming it had a mandate to
advance the garden project was
“questionable”, and he believed
there was a conflict of interest
within that group.
“There’s far from local support.
Most people are saying they don’t
want ratepayers’ money put into
it.” He believed Kumara people
would get behind the project if the
cost was more realistic.
The Ross Chinese garden cost
estimate remains at less than
$100,000, with no plans to apply
for external funding.
Bad weather was partly to blame
for a two-hour delay in reopening the
Taramakau Bridge yesterday after an
overnight shutdown, resulting in over
100 cars queuing up.
It was the first of two planned bridge
closures to allow rubber mats to be laid
in a $360,000 safety upgrade for cyclists
The first 12-hour closure started at
8 o’clock on Saturday night, with the
bridge scheduled to reopen at 8 o’clock
yesterday morning. However, it was still
shut at 10am.
The extended closure left traffic backed
up about 1km on the Camerons side, and
500m on the Kumara Junction side.
The overnight closure will be repeated
at the end of the month.
The New Zealand Transport Agency
said today bad weather had caused the
unexpected traffic hold ups.
Regional performance manager Pete
Connors said the reopening was delayed
by two hours due to trying weather
conditions and the work taking longer
“ We will be working closely with Kiwi
Rail to ensure the final closure needed
for this work, from 8pm Saturday, June
27 to 8am Sunday, June 28, doesn’t see a
repeat of these delays. ”
NZTA and Kiwi Rail apologised and
thanked road users for their patience.
Mr Connors said they still expected the
job to be completed as planned with the
next scheduled closure.
The mats being installed during the
closure are aimed at stopping motorbike
crashes. Between 2005 and 2014, there
were eight serious crashes involving
motorcyclists on or near the bridge.
The work requires the removal of a 50m
section of rail track at each end of the
bridge and replacing it with new track
and concrete sleepers.
Apology for late bridge opening
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Greymouth technician Andrew McRoberts is happy to be back on-line with his smartphone after it spent a week at the
bottom of Lake Brunner. The Samsung S3 fell into the water as he was jumping from a boat on to the jetty at Moana. “It
fell into 2m of dark murky water and initially I couldn’t find it, but I came back a week later, waded out and dived around
where I thought it was. When I pulled it out it was covered in lake mould. I dried it out and it ’s now working again.”
Cellphone sur vives lake dunking
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