Home' Greymouth Star : June 22nd 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
on cycle trail
reports trickle in
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MONDAY, JUNE 22, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
A 60-year-old man was not
injured when he crashed his utility
when he hit ice on Taylor ville Road
this morning. Greymouth chief
fire officer Lee Swinburn said the
crash happened at the top of the
hill, past the Greymouth pumping
station. Greymouth and Cobden fire
brigades attended as did St John.
Mr Swinburn said the vehicle ended
up in a ditch.
A car fire in Clifford Street,
Blackball, on Saturday night is
being treated as suspicious by police.
Senior constable Mike Tinnelly
of the Greymouth police said the
vehicle, which was not operational,
caught fire about 9pm. It is being
A number of domestic incidents
kept Westport police busy over
the weekend. On Saturday police
were called to two domestics. At
2pm a couple in their 50s were
separated and a police safety order
was ser ved on the man. He was
ordered to keep his distance for
24 hours. Then at 5.30pm police
attended a Mill Street address after
receiving reports of another rowing
couple. Westport police community
constable Paul Sampson said the
man had left the property when the
police arrived. Yesterday police were
called to yet another domestic. The
couple involved were having a verbal
disagreement. Mr Sampson said
alcohol was a factor in the disputes.
Fine, with morning frosts.
Stuck in a plastic tube with a
dumbfounded look on its face, this
baby seems completely bewildered
by what is going on. Unsurprisingly,
it has also baffled people on the
internet. The image of the unnamed
youngster, with wide eyes and arms
aloft while stuck in a clear container,
was actually taken during an x-ray
for the child. The machine is called a
Pigg O Stat, and has been produced
for the medical field since the
1960s. It is designed for positioning
infants and young children for an
West Coast police numbers are “well
above” approved staffing levels and
the entire operation will be reviewed,
according to Tasman police district
Superintendent Karyn Malthus.
A wide review of staffing and the
structure of policing across the region
was announced in a memo circulated
among all police in the region recently.
It follows moves to change the entire
West Coast police management team,
with the top three officers all on long-
term leave and under pressure to resign,
prompting criticism of a “witch-hunt ”.
The Police Association says it is
supporting Inspector John Canning,
and senior sergeants Allyson Ealam
and Phil Barker as they consider their
options to fight back.
Ms Malthus confirmed to the
Greymouth Star 10 days ago that the
review was in motion, although she had
yet to roll it out to the wider community.
She did not reply to a question about
staff allocation numbers on the West
Coast for each of the past five years, but
noted that the region was currently 2.9
The review comes in the wake of a
statement by Ms Malthus on June 1
which said that West Coast police
management needed to be “aligned ”
with “the standards and practice
expected ” by police nationally.
Ms Malthus said she had initiated
the review of policing “demand and
structure” on the Coast so the ser vice
delivery model would meet the needs of
the West Coast community.
All staff would be involved in the
Asked what the West Coast police
area allocation currently was, Ms
Malthus replied the area had to work
within the overall police “resource
As of last Friday the West Coast
police had a resource allocation target
of 64.5 staff, but actual strength of 67.4 .
“The district is currently overstaffed
by 2.9 full-time equivalent positions.”
Ms Malthus said they would discuss
the review with community leaders.
“Any wider community engagement is
yet to be determined and will naturally
be driven in part by the findings of the
Ms Malthus did not say if it would
determine the closure of police stations
such as Ross — in line with
recent announcement nationally that
police are reviewing the future of some
“It would be premature to envisage
any change that may or may not arise
as a result.”
A Blackball man whose car was swept off
the road and into a ditch during the flood on
Friday, had to escape out the window then
start walking home.
Craig Stevenson was heading from
Blackball to Greymouth when he saw water
on the road about 7.30am.
He saw a little sign warning of flooding.
The Scotsman thought “och well, I’ll give
it a go”.
Half way in he realised “nope”. Things were
not going to plan.
His red Honda Civic floated into a ditch,
then he could not open the car door.
He had to climb out the driver’s window,
after taking his gumboots off.
“My feet didn’t touch the ground” initially,
He then had to tempt his dog Cleo
out, trying to remain calm so as not to
frighten the dog, as he hung off the side
of the car. Once out, he discovered no one
was about and started to walk home,
making it 5 or 6km before a woman offered
him a lift.
When asked how wet he got, he laughed:
“ I just about drowned”.
Mr Stevenson does not have insurance, but
noted with a laugh Cleo was his 13th rescue
PICTURE: Amanda Paton
Blackball man Craig Stevenson’s car is just visible
in the middle of the photo.
“I just about drowned”
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
The state of emergency in
Hokitika following flooding on
Thursday and Friday has now been
lifted and the town is officially in
Hokitika had 211mm of rain on
Thursday, with a deluge of 74mm
between about 8pm and 11pm.
Westland Mayor Mike Havill
spent Friday visiting residents
and liasing with council staff,
emergency services, civil defence,
and Government agencies to assist
with the aftermath.
Up to 20 houses and about 40
residents were evacuated from
about 11.30pm on Thursday night
after a sudden surge of stormwater
flooded properties. Alongside this,
45 evacuated elderly rest home
residents from the Allen Bryant
Lifecare facility were temporarily
housed in Hannan Ward and a
number of other rest homes in
Mr Havill said the first question
he had on Friday was if the town’s
storm water pumping system was
“The answer I got was that it was
working to what it ’s designed to do.
There’s been no suggestion that the
council system failed — it ’s just
that there was more water than the
system was designed to (handle).”
This was backed by the town’s fire
chief Harry Collett who said today
the pumps are designed to switch
on automatically — although
one pump had issues due to back
pressure from the rising Hokitika
River. From yesterday afternoon,
Red Cross volunteers visited
186 residences with 39 of those
identified as needing ongoing help.
Mr Havill said he requested
the Hokitika rubbish dump be
opened free of charge on Friday so
residents could dump wet carpet
Council contractors were called in
to assist residents with rubbish pick
up from the clean-up.
“Everyone did a fantastic job in
the town’s hour of need.”
There had been a “nervous wait ”
on Friday afternoon for high tide to
impact on the Hokitika River, but
Emergency response staff kept
a watch throughout the weekend
and the Westland District Council
would continue to help residents
“ We’re putting in the resources
for as long as it takes for the
recovery,” Mr Havill said.
Mr Collett said the last time
Hokitika had seen a similar flood
was in 1991.
Prior to 1975, when the town’s
sewer system was rebuilt, floods
in the centre of town were not
Much of the flooding on Thursday
night was from a “torrent ” from
higher ground above Fitzherbert
Street channelled into the lower
town via the railway line, which
acted like a flume.
“There was no way that the pumps
would keep up,” Mr Collett said.
A Greymouth man wielding a
tomahawk in Coates Street had to be
tasered by police on Saturday night.
Senior constable Mike Tinnelly of the
Greymouth police said that man was
angry because of the noise coming from
a party at his neighbours.
Mr Tinnelly said the 44-year-old, who
had been drinking, headed over to his
neighbour’s property and confronted
them with a tomahawk and complained
about the loud party they were having.
“He was upset about the party and
drunk as well,” Mr Tinnelly said.
“ When police arrived the offender
was belligerent and angry and waving
his tomahawk around and had to be
Mr Tinnelly said once the man was
subdued he was loaded in to the police
van and taken into custody.
He was released later in the night
when he had calmed down, Mr Tinnelly
Police taser man
Another load of large rocks arrive at the washout site at Acre Creek near Serpentine Hill, south of Kumara Junction, on the Hokitika railway line
this morning. The railway lines to both Hokitika and from Stillwater through the Grey Valley remain closed as Kiwi Rail staff worked to repair damage
caused by the weather at the end of last week. Kiwi Rail said “multiple areas” along the Hokitika Line were still being repaired today. The Hokitika
line should be reopened by tomorrow morning. Flood waters had also eroded the abutment of a rail bridge on the Stillwater Line. Repairs have been
under way over the weekend and Kiwi Rail hoped to reopen that line by this afternoon. The Midland Line is open, and all services including the Tranz
Alpine are operating.
Flood pain continues for 85 Hokitika residents
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