Home' Greymouth Star : June 24th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
New twist in
Westport P house
may be in clear
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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Food giant opens
Leading Australasian food
company Goodman Fielder has
opened a depot at the Kaiata Park
industrial subdivision, on the
northern outskirt of Greymouth.
Goodman Fielder corporate affairs
manager Ra Fletcher said the 1600
square metre site was part of its
commitment to the “long-term
servicing of the West Coast region”.
“ We have invested a substantial
amount in the site. The depot itself
is unmanned, but local vendors
and contractors use the depot,
distributing bread, milk and meat
products as far north as Westport
and as far south as Haast.” Mr
Fletcher said sustainable energy was
being used on site, with solar panels
installed on the roof and sensor
lights in both the cool and ambient
storage areas to reduce electricity
A 50-year-old man was arrested
as a result of a domestic row at a
Fairdown property, just outside
Westport, about 11pm. Police said
the man had been charged with
threatening behaviour against a
In their latest bizarre claim,
conspiracy theorists say they have
found a replica of one of Egypt’s
Great Pyramids on Mars. Citing
the ‘near-perfect design and shape’,
they argue the ‘pyramid’ is evidence
that an ancient civilisation once
lived on the red planet. While the
pyramid is believed to be ‘car-sized’,
alien-hunters say it may be just
the tip of a much larger structure
buried beneath. You Tube channel,
Paranormal Crucible, used video
footage taken by Nasa’s Curiosity
Rover on May 7 to back up its
claims. “ None of the Curiosity
Rover’s subsequent photos taken
at 20 to 30 sec inter vals in the
following few minutes and the
subsequent photos hours later,
included the object,” wrote UFO
site Exopolitics. — Daily Mail
Fine and frosty
West Coast mayors have been
asked to mobilise over the sceptre of
steep power price increases.
Power bills here could rise by 10%
about $500 a year per household
under Electricity Authority
proposals to make the region pay for
its own share of the national grid.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said the Coast was being
penalised for its isolation, and would
be doubly penalised if it developed
more hydro schemes.
In a letter to fellow West Coast
mayors and Development West
Coast, Mr Kokshoorn said it was
“time to make a stand”.
The Coast needed to work with
Transpower and the Government
in order to attract much needed
industry and business development.
Mr Kokshoorn said he was in the
process of undertaking an in-depth
investigation into power pricing.
He accepted the region was paying
a small premium for the losses
incurred in distributing electricity to
such a remote area.
“But I did not know the absolute
magnitude of this premium.”
He released figures showing that the
average power bill in Christchurch
varies from $2155 to $2740 a year,
depending on the energy retailer.
In Westland (Greymouth and
Hokitika) bills average from $2480
to $2855, while those in Buller vary
from $2425 to $3345.
Meridian Energy had withdrawn
plans for a hydro scheme on the
Mokihinui River in Buller, and
Trustpower had consent but had put
on hold its proposed Arnold River
“ Trustpower does not deem the
project a financial proposition at this
point given the national grid levy it
has to pay Transpower.
“Should the Arnold proceed, our
region will be a ‘point of source’
rather than the ‘remote area’ we are
now, and electricity charges will
decrease to below Christchurch
Mr Kokshoorn said it was not fair
that a region with such huge hydro
potential was excluded from hydro
development, and was then penalised
by the national grid operator
Transpower because it was isolated.
“In short, the West Coast is being
penalised if we develop hydro
electricity and also penalised with
excessive power charges by not
having local supply.”
Trustpower spokesman Graeme
Purches said that when it planned
the Arnold hydro scheme, Pike
River, Spring Creek, the Terrace
mines and the gold dredge were all
operating and drawing electricity.
Now, nationally, more electricity
was available than demand.
“No one else is building anything
new,” Mr Purches said.
Westpower, will meet in Greymouth
on July 2.
St John has launched a new patient
transfer service to take people to
Christchurch for appointments.
A long-liner Mercedes ambulance,
9m long, is being used. Nursing staff
accompany patients on transfers.
St John West Coast territory
manager Wendy Fekkes said the
scheduled seven-day service was
already under way.
It had capacity for three stretcher-
based patients, as well as seating for
two people in the back in addition
to front seating.
“Patient transfers are an important
part of St John’s work. We are
pleased to have a process that works
for all parties,” Mrs Fekkes said.
The initiative with the West Coast
District Health Board provided
surety to patients who needed to
be transported to Christchurch, she
West Coast DHB general manager
Grey-Westland Mark Newsome
said the board was pleased to
have a contracted daily ser vice
for in-patients who needed to be
transferred for routine, non-urgent
appointments in Christchurch.
“It provides certainty for patients
and staff and is much easier to
manage than previous ad hoc
transfers,” Mr Newsome said.
New coast to coast ser vice
The new St John ambulance, dedicated to patient transfers between Greymouth and Christchurch.
A bid to create a new ‘ West Coast
Rainforest Park’ — suggested for
deep South Westland as New
Zealand ’s 15th national park — is
slowly starting to generate interest.
The idea is for a 140,000ha
rainforest park between the Paringa
and Haast rivers. It was first
suggested in 1989.
Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge
owner Gerry McSweeney, a former
national director of Forest and Bird,
promoted the idea directly with
then-Conservation Minister Nick
Smith 18 months ago.
The West Coast Conservation
Board discussed the suggestion
at its recent meeting in Hokitika,
and chairman Mike Legge said
after wards the board had been
interested in the concept for some
It was still in the very early
information was needed regarding
ownership of the land. They needed
to clarify the impact the suggested
park would have on the South-west
New Zealand World Heritage Area,
which covers the entire area mooted
for the rainforest park.
However, given the Department
of Conservation’s limited resources
it was not a priority, Dr Legge said.
‘Rainforest park’ progresses
Corporate manslaughter law backed
Almost five years after the Pike
River Mine disaster, the Government
is backing laws to allow for corporate
No individual has been prosecuted
over the mine explosions that killed
29 men working underground at the
time. Some former managers still
hold senior mining jobs elsewhere in
Justice Minister Amy Adams
confirmed yesterday plans to insert
corporate manslaughter provisions
into the health and safety reform law
currently before Parliament.
The Engineering, Printing and
“absolutely” supported the law.
“ But it seems like a diversion when
the Government is delaying the
legislation which would stop many
workplace fatalities in the first place,”
union assistant national secretary
Ged O’Connell said.
The union had consistently called
for corporate manslaughter laws,
especially following the Pike River
tragedy. The Pike River Royal
Commission of Inquiry also found
that worker participation was a
significant factor in good workplace
health and safety.
“Giving workers a strong voice in
their own health and safety, with
independent elected health and safety
representatives who can step in when
the risk is too great, is the way to stop
workplace accidents,” Mr O’Connell
“The Prime Minister has argued
this might be ‘too onerous’ for some
“ It’s completely unacceptable to
put business profits ahead of workers’
safety, and it’s completely backwards
to focus on cracking down after
someone has been killed at work
rather than prevent their death from
happening in the first place,” Mr
Cobden Village Milk operator Jodie Cudmore has already met with
some resistance from customers who have been asked to record their daily
purchases of raw milk, under new rules from the Ministry of Primary
Industries (MPI). A new policy comes into force in March next year.
Mrs Cudmore said today there were pluses and minuses, which included
stamping out those who were selling raw milk illegally, but on the
downside they had to start recording daily sales, which raised issues of
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