Home' Greymouth Star : June 16th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Bad crash closes
A serious crash closed State
highway 6 through the Lower
Buller Gorge near Westport late
this morning. The crash between
two vehicles was reported about
11.15am, closing the highway
between Inangahua and Westport.
The road was not expected to
reopen until mid-afternoon. The
Greymouth Star understands four
people were injured and at least one
had to be cut from the wreckage.
A Hokitika man handed himself
in to police yesterday afternoon,
confessing to smashing the window
of a truck at the weekend. A police
spokesman said the man in his early
20s got “an attack of the guilts,
coming to the station to fess-up”.
The offender said he had been
drunk and angry at the time. Police
have yet to receive a complaint
from the truck owner, who they are
attempting to track down.
Car stolen from
Police are on the lookout for
a Subaru Legacy car which was
stolen from the driveway of an
Eva Street home, in Greymouth,
overnight. The car was locked. It
was stolen between 10.30pm and
5am today. The registration number
Becoming cloudy, drizzle at times
Parents have blasted an English
primary school after its head
teacher banned children from doing
cartwheels and handstands at break
times over safety fears. Pupils at
Old Priory Junior Academy in
Plympton, Devon, were told they
could not perform ‘gymnastic
movements’ in the playground after
a number of children had been
left with injuries. Emma Hermon-
Wright, the school’s interim head,
said she introduced the break-time
ban because the children were
attempting moves “beyond their
capability”. But angry parents have
criticised the school’s decision. One
mother said: “Are we to wrap them
up in cotton wool every morning
before sending them in to school?
What happened to kids being kids?
‘Climbing, running, jumping and
indeed cartwheels are all part of
childhood. When I was at school,
coming home with a grazed knee
and bruised shins meant that you’d
had a good day.” — Daily Mail
bid may escape
The proposed offshore prospecting permit area, from Karamea to Ross.
The Minister for the Environment has
been urged to rule on a “cunning” bid to
prospect and possibly mine a vast area
of seabed directly off the West Coast.
Trans-Tasman Resources, which spent
$65 million in a failed bid to mine
ironsands from the South Taranaki
seabed, has shifted focus to now apply
for a prospecting permit here.
But because the permit area falls
within the 12-mile nautical limit, it
will not need a marine consent from
the Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) if it proceeds to the mining stage.
The EPA has previously rejected two
applications for seabed mining within
the exclusive economic zone, one
from Trans-Tasman and another from
Chatham Rock Phosphate.
By coming in under the 12-mile
limit, Trans-Tasman would only need
resource consent from the West Coast
For now, Trans-Tasman is in the initial
stage of getting the exploration permit.
“They are being cunning by only
applying for an area within 12 nautical
miles (limit), which is within West
Coast Regional Council jurisdiction
under the RMA,” Green Party mining
spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said today.
The Minister for Environment could
rule and have it dealt with by the EPA
“given (the regional council’s) lack of
expertise and the EPA’s much greater
expertise on the impacts of the proposal
and its high risk,” Ms Sage said.
EPA spokeswoman Tanya Piejus
confirmed the authority was responsible
for managing the effects of specified
restricted activities on the environment
in the exclusive economic zone and
continental shelf. That started at the 12
nautical mile mark and extended to 200
nautical miles offshore.
The prospecting permit Trans Tasman
has applied for covers 4436 square
kilometres, extending from Karamea to
Ross, from 1km offshore.
Trans-Tasman said in a statement it
would focus on developing offshore
mineable resources of iron rich mineral
sands known to host ilmenite, zircon,
garnets and gold. Ilmenite can be used
for paint, and garnets for sandblasting.
Andrew Stewart, from Tran-Tasman,
said they were in the very early stages of
Getting the prospecting permit
would allow them to undertake
activities for the purpose of identifying
areas likely to contain deposits of heavy
minerals and potentially precious
“As such, it is impossible to say at this
stage what the potential type and scale
of operations and economic outcomes
(including jobs) could be.”
Prospecting would be undertaken over
a two-year period and include activities
such as collating relevant information,
geological modelling and potentially
conducting surveys such as sampling
and geophysics sur veys.
“As such, these prospecting activities
would have almost no impact on the
environment,” Mr Stewart said.
Beyond the 12 nautical mile mark, the
water was too deep anyway.
The company would “actively work
with West Coast Regional Council
and other key stakeholders prior to the
commencement of any field work,” Mr
Blackball pair in court for cultivating cannabis, native bird trapping
Two Blackball men charged after a
one-legged kiwi was found near two
dead weka in gin traps by a remote
cannabis plot, made a brief appearance
in the Greymouth District Court this
Eric Peter Vegneris, 52, and Barry
Reece William Alexander, 42, were
charged with killing and wounding
native birds, possession of cannabis
and cultivation of cannabis.
They were arrested as a result of a
police investigation launched when
the emaciated great spotted kiwi was
found hobbling around on one leg,
with its severed foot still in a trap. The
injured bird had to be put down.
Appearing before a court registrar
this morning, Alexander pleaded
guilty to cultivating cannabis but
denied a separate charge of possessing
and using a prohibited trap.
Vegneris denied all offences.
They were both remanded to
reappear on June 30.
During their first court appearance
Conser vation ranger Glen Newton
said “thoughtless” trapping could
undo years of work undertaken by
volunteers who worked hard in the
area to protect native species.
Under the Animal Welfare Act,
failure to comply with trapping
regulations can lead to 12 months in
jail and-or a fine of up to $50,000.
Ironsands prospecting Karamea to Ross
Marine reserves extended
Three new marine protected areas
off the West Coast were announced
today, extending existing reser ves
further out to sea.
Former conser vation minister
Nick Smith officially opened
the region’s first five reser ves
ina ceremony at Punakaiki last
Today, Primary Industries
Conser vation Minister Maggie
Barry said the Hautai (Gorge
River) and two Punakaiki reser ves
had now been extended out to sea.
“These new (marine protected
areas) will add 9557ha to New
Zealand’s protected area network
and be a major boost to protecting
biodiversity,” Mr Guy said.
“ I want to acknowledge the key
role that local communities have
played in this process. This is the
culmination of years of effort on
the part of the West Coast Marine
Protection Forum. ”
Ms Barry said the new areas
complemented the five existing
marine reser ves.
“These areas will protect marine
life without significantly impacting
fishers and other marine users. It ’s a
The Fisheries (Challenger Area
Commercial Fishing) Regulations
1986 will be amended to prohibit
the use of mobile, bottom-
impacting commercial fishing
methods in the areas which border
the Hautai and Punakaiki marine
The regulations will protect
benthic (seabed) habitats in these
areas, while still allowing some
(non-damaging) fishing methods
to continue. All fishing activity
is prohibited within the adjacent
marine reser ves.
The five West Coast marine
Punakaiki, Waiau Glacier Coast,
Tauparikaka (Ship Creek, north of
Haast) and Hautai (Gorge River,
south of Jackson Bay).
trenches into the central section
of the Alpine Fault as they take a
closer look at earthquakes in the
GNS geologist Rob Langridge
will lead the two-year project to
reassess the timing and size of
rupture of the last few quakes in
that section of the fault.
Recent research has indicated
that the Alpine Fault has a 30%
probability of rupturing in the
next 50 years in a magnitude 8
complicated by the fact that the
fault is divided into several distinct
earthquake sections, such as the
southern and central sections in
Fiordland and Westland.
But what is not well understood
is how do ‘central section’ ruptures
terminate in the Hokitika-
Greymouth area and if they can
trigger ruptures of the ‘northern
Development West Coast has purchased
a 95ha property near the sprawling
Cranley Farms it helped finance four
years ago, at Kawhaka, and is set to spend
more to help the struggling multi-million
DWC took up its 43.5% share in
Cranley in 2011 when milk prices were
better, and has already invested more than
$5 million. The farms employ about 10
After a tip-off from the public, the
Greymouth Star asked for information
about an additional land purchase
associated with Cranley, located on the
Old Christchurch Road, inland from
The Companies Office records show
West Coast Development Holdings
(100% owned by Development West
Coast) purchased the 95.1720ha property
on June 2.
DWC chief financial officer Mark
Dawson said in response to questions
from the newspaper that the new property
was to be joined up with the existing
With milk prices now at a five-year low,
DWC had also agreed to provide further
financial support to Cranley.
Mr Dawson said the new land was
largely developed, with 7ha still to be
grassed by the vendor. The cost of that
was included in the purchase price and no
further development was required.
However, it will need a stock underpass
beneath the Old Christchurch Road to
reach the main farm.
The purchase price was “commercially
sensitive” and DWC would not be
commenting, Mr Dawson said.
Asked if Cranley will buy the extra
property later on, he responded only
that it would “form part of the Cranley
“Like many dairy farms facing the
current downturn in payout, Cranley will
require additional facilities to support
cash flow. Trustees have agreed to provide
that financial support.”
Cranley Farms has four directors,
including DWC trustee and former
chairman Frank Dooley. Another DWC
trustee Mark Lockington is a minor
shareholder in Cranley.
Mr Dooley is also on the Westland
Milk Products board of directors, while
DWC trustee Hugh Little spent 47 years
with Westland Milk Products, and Mr
Lockington is Westland Milk’s company
Asked about the conflicts of interest,
Mr Dawson said all conflicts declared had
been “managed accordingly”.
The Westland Milk Product ties were
not considered a conflict, although two
of the three trustees were conflicted for
other reasons, he said.
Cranley Farms runs about 1750 cows.
It has four directors — Frank Dooley
and David Milne, from Westport,
Gordon Kelly, from Whataroa, and
former Westland Milk chairman Ian
Robb, now of Christchurch.
It has a number of shareholders, the
largest being DWC’s subsidiary.
DWC expands farm investment
Central Alpine Fault in focus
34 TAINUI ST, GREYMOUTH PH 768 7470
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