Home' Greymouth Star : June 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, June 18, 2015
Electricity line charges
The Green Party today called on the
Government to rule out huge increases
to electricity lines charges, in the wake
of a suggestion from the Electricity
Authority that some households could
be facing $500 increases to their yearly
electricity bills just because of where
they lived. West Coast bills could
rise 10% under one option. “Major
industrial power users like the Tiwai
Point aluminium smelter could stand
to save $50 million annually while
households in Northland, the West
Coast, and Auckland will face much
higher bills under the proposal,” Green
Party energy spokesman Gareth
Hughes said. West Coast households
would be stung by an extra $6.9 million.
Weekly euchre played at the Hokitika
Chartered Club was won by Trish
O’Regan and Colleen Freitas on 12
points. Isla Woodham was second with
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Resolution II, Corsair, Lady Sarah,
one Greymouth vessel. Departures:
Cook Canyon. Expected departures:
Resolution II, Corsair, today. Expected
arrivals: Galatea II, today.
ear, nose and
The West Coast District Health Board
is looking at trialling ear, nose and throat
surgery at Grey Base Hospital.
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman, in
signing off the board’s annual plan, said
commitments to save money which were
part of the business case for rebuilding
the hospital, were not in the new plan.
He emphasised the importance of
incorporating them into future plans.
The minister also noted that DHBs
had committed to progress shared
initiatives on food ser vices.
The West Coast DHB plan reveals it
plans to “trial the introduction of ENT
(ear, nose and throat) surgery at Grey
Base Hospital”, potentially saving many
patients a trip to Christchurch.
The use of telemedicine will again
increase, to reduce the number of
follow-up appointments requiring travel
to Greymouth or Christchurch.
Another proposal will introduce regular
reporting of alcohol-related admissions
to the emergency department, and talk
of a project focused on alcohol harm
It may look at mobile and youth clinics.
The board currently has a stock of
surplus assets, consisting of parcels of
land within Greymouth and Westport, a
number of which have existing leasehold
arrangements, and some may be sold.
It will continue working with
Canterbury doctors, with a focus on
obstetrics and gynaecology, general
The report notes that since July 2010,
executive ser vices for the West Coast
DHB have been shared with the
Canterbury DHB, with a joint chief
executive, a growing number of joint
appointments and shared corporate
divisions including: finance, human
public health and planning and funding
To move out of debt, projects include
improved management of DHB-owned
general practices in Greymouth, Reefton
In mental health, which is under
review, the board wants to implement
a community-based rapid response and
supported discharge ser vice.
It also wants to “support people in
the community and closer to their
own homes, rather than in hospital
The board plans to break even 2017-
18, which is later than expected after
the Government altered the funding
Thursday June 18
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Sadly left us one year
ago today. A so loved
husband and best mate
of Estelle and a very
caring dad and grand-
Is being with someone
precious and a place
where you feel uplifted,
warm, grateful and
Is seeing someone on the
skyline waving that you
start running towards.
We miss you so much
and love you dearly.
Estelle, Brian, Paul,
Robyn, the late Barry,
and families, and his
mate Holly the dog.
Rachel and Craig are
proud to announce the
safe arrival of Caleb
Joseph, on June 10,
2015, weighing 7lb
12ozs. A gorgeous wee
brother for Gemma, and
grandchild for Barbara
and Mary and Nino
Passuello. Thank you to
Mary McGrane and the
Grey District Council contractors have cleared a section of Raleigh Creek, in Runanga, in recent days, strengthening the banks of
the creek with rocks for flood protection and better water flow. It is the first stage of a larger project to prevent flooding.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Raleigh Creek flood work star ts
The incomplete West Coast
Wilderness Trail is in danger of
becoming an “also ran” and lacks
clear leadership, according to one
of the main cycle trail operators.
proprietor Chris Steel appealed
to the Westland District Council
to get a better handle on the
trail — eight years after it was
first mooted — and appoint a
Addressing the council long-
term plan hearing this week, Mr
Steel said the trail risked losing
faith with stakeholders and wider
He listed a number of failed
outcomes due to lack of dedicated
management of the $8.6 million
project since day one.
These included the trail still
being incomplete after three
years — with construction now
at “a standstill” due to lack of
for ward planning and resources.
Work had been suspended on
the Ross-Ruatapu section since
January and was awaiting bridge
That section was a case of
“ watch this space” to be officially
open by October, given the
council’s previous reluctance to
commit to deadlines.
Kaniere Tram residents had not
been approached by the council
for over a year and were annoyed
at the lack of consultation; that
section was due to open last
The Mahinapua Creek
alternative route, while agreed
last September, had been bogged
Mr Steel said a dedicated
project manager was needed
“right now ”.
It was not good enough for the
council to say trail issues should
be reported to iSites in Westland
and Greymouth because of a lack
Volunteer groups that had
offered to do the likes of planting
had not been engaged.
He had spent “hundreds of
volunteer hours” checking the
trail was passable and safe, not
just because of a vested interest
but because there was a gap
between reporting problems to
the council and fixing them.
Stop-start progress and lack
of a cohesive plan was fuelling
a wider perception, “that it is
becoming one of the also-ran
trails of New Zealand”.
Mr Steel noted that in the
draft long-term plan the trail
was expected to be sustainable
in the future, but he questioned
how realistic that was given the
impact of significant weather on
What was needed was a
“ joint approach” between the
council, trail operators, users and
community ‘guardians of the
He said the council had openly
admitted that a trail manager
should have been appointed.
“They cite lack of funding as a
However, that was not reflected
by other government funded
trials, which had applied a
percentage of funds with a
dedicated person to oversee all
construction and operation.
“Of all trails around New
Zealand we are one of only
two trails that did not employ a
project manager from day one.”
The other trail had since
Mr Steel said the council had
also stated that the cycle trail was
not a priority to the department
A meeting to discuss new national
environmental standard for plantation
forestry to simplify and standardise Resource
Management Act requirements will be held
in Hokitika next month.
The standard was proposed yesterday by
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith and
Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo
“The current system for environmental
regulation of forestry is complex and confusing
with thousands of different rules across New
Zealand’s 78 councils. This proposed standard
will simplify the rules and save the forestry
industry millions in compliance costs while
ensuring environmental issues like wilding
pines, protecting spawning fish and erosion
are better managed,” Dr Smith said.
Ms Goodhew said it would reduce costs for
the forestry industry.
Because forests often stretched across two or
more boundaries, the forestry industry had to
deal with unnecessary costs and uncertainty.
“Sometimes the differences between plans
are in response to local conditions, but often
the reason for the variation is not clear. These
proposals will make a huge difference to the
more than 18,000 people who work in the
The industry would be able to standardise
their systems. It will also save the forestry
industry from having to participate in
hundreds of local planning processes and
appeals across the many councils, she said.
The proposal introduces technical standards
for plantation forestry activities and includes
a draft set of rules for each of the eight
afforestation, pruning and thinning-to-waste,
earthworks, river crossings, forestry quarrying,
har vesting, mechanical land preparation, and
The final proposals will incorporate
feedback from submissions and, if progressed,
the national environmental standard would
come into effect in 2016.
The Hokitika meeting is on July 21 at the
Beachfront Hotel, Hokitika, at 5.30pm.
Meeting to discuss forestry environmental standard
Westland council criticised
over delays, leadership
of the Westport News
Four Westport schools facing
big funding cuts have had a
They now have until March-
April next year before the
Ministry of Education decides
whether their decile ratings
based on the socio economic
households — will change.
In the meantime the ministry
will reimburse each school with
cheques worth thousands of
A fortnight ago the ministry
told the four Westport schools
their appeal against their
The ministry confirmed Buller
High’s rating would increase
from three to five and the
ratings of the three primary
schools would rise from three to
That meant Buller High would
lose about $37,000 funding a
year and each primary school
would lose between $15,000 and
This week, the ministry did an
It told the schools it recognised
Buller was in a “unique situation
and maintaining the schools’
current funding may prove not
to be sufficient ”.
Reprieve for four Westport schools
facing funding cuts
A Ritchies bus driver
involved in an incident
near Hokitika, in which
a St Mary’s Primary
School pupil was caught
in a bus door and dragged
a short distance along
the road, was referred to
restorative justice when
he admitted a charge of
Shannon pleaded guilty
in the Greymouth
The incident happened
on March 19 during a
rural run ferrying pupils
home from Hokitika
schools. The boy, six, got
his head and arm trapped
inside the bus when
the door closed and the
driver took off.
The bus stopped after
moving 3-4m. The boy
suffered scrapes and
Shannon was remanded
to August 4 for the
restorative justice process
to take place.
Bus driver referred
It is early days, but the $10 million sewerage
treatment plant in Greymouth is not creating
After lobbying from neighbours in Preston
Road, the Grey District Council agreed to
spend a six-figure some adding a lid to the
It is currently running about 10% of capacity.
A community liaison forum met on site last
month, and members were happy with the
performance, according to the Grey District
Assets manager Mel Sutherland said he did
not expect any objectionable odours at the
Monitoring results had been “very
encouraging” when compared to compliance
Flow through the plant will increase as
more people separate their stormwater and
sewerage. As streets are dug up and the new
pipes put in, homeowners have two years to
make the connection.
Mr Sutherland said some homeowners were
already overdue with connecting.
“There will be a time we have to consider
Meanwhile, the Anzac Park pumping
station is now in operation, while the one
on Buccleugh Street has also been
New sewerage treatment plant not creating a stink
A private investigator is calling for an
independent inquiry into the police’s handling of
the Cissy Chen murder case.
Bruce Currie, who helped Jack Liu’s defence
team prepare for the trial over an 11-month
period, has made serious allegations about the
way police went about gathering evidence,
including that they cut corners and avoided
potential witnesses who might point to someone
other than Liu as the killer.
He also believes one nearby resident with
‘a bizarre interest ’ in Asian women was never
The claims come just a day after the 58-year-
old factory worker was acquitted of murder
following a seven-week trial in the High Court
“From the outset, I could see that there were
many lines of inquiry that simply were not
pursued and that worries me,” Mr Currie said.
In opening its case, the Crown said Ms Chen
had not gone for a walk on November 5, 2012,
the night she went missing.
Prosecutor Brian Dickey said it was most likely
she was killed in her Torbay home.
But Mr Currie, who spent 25 years in the force,
said one Waiau Street resident had told police
he had allegedly seen Ms Chen walking along
the street and another potential witness came
forward seemingly corroborating that statement.
“This sighting was completely ignored and the
informant to this day has never been formally
interviewed by the police,” he said.
Ms Chen’s body was found in the Trias Reserve
in Totaravale 16 months after she disappeared
and during the trial the Crown called a witness,
who lived near the reserve, said she remembered
seeing a man moving around a stationary vehicle
while she celebrated Guy Fawkes.
However, two of her family members said they
believed the party had been held at the weekend,
two nights earlier.
Despite speaking to police by phone, neither of
the family members were formally interviewed,
Mr Currie said.
Yesterday morning police released a statement
confirming they would not reinvestigate the
case and were not looking for anyone else in
connection with Ms Chen’s death.
In an exclusive interview, Mr Liu said he
wanted to see the file reopened and the killer
brought to justice.
“There are many leads the police can follow,”
Mr Currie said there was at least one other
suspect nominated by a North Shore resident
who lived ‘within the immediate vicinity’ who
had a penchant for Asian women, but police
did not interview him and only spoke to the
informant on the phone.
The private investigator’s allegations failed to
provoke any real response from the police.
After the issues were put to them Detective
Inspector Bruce Scott said there was nothing
further to add to the media release. — N ZM E
Call for independent inquiry
into Cissy Chen case
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