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Greymouth luxury home
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MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Ron Hibbs dies
QSM died in
at the weekend
after a long battle
Mr Hibbs served
in the police for a number of years
and was elected to the Grey District
Council in 1989, initially ser ving the
Moana-Paroa ward. He was deputy
mayor when Dr Barry Dallas died in
1991, and was subsequently elected
mayor in his own right, serving until
the 1998 election when he handed
over the mayoral chain to his deputy,
Kevin Brown. Grey District Council
chief executive Paul Pretorius said:
“Ron was a remarkable guy and
was among the very best mayors I
worked with over a 40-year period.
He was clear where he wanted to go,
a statesman and a strong leader.”
A 22-year-old Greymouth woman
who gave false details to police early
yesterday morning was arrested,
along with her boyfriend. Police
said the woman had given false
details around her identity while
being spoken to for drinking in a
public place, in contravention of
the Greymouth liquor ban, about
1.30am. Her 22-year-old boyfriend
became involved while police were
trying to inter view the woman and
he was arrested for obstruction.
Fuel spill on bridge
A fuel spill on the Cobden Bridge
and trailing towards Runanga was
thought to have happened some time
on Saturday, Greymouth Volunteer
Fire Brigade chief Lee Swinburn
said today. The brigade was called
out yesterday afternoon to deal with
the spill after the road became greasy
with the rain. Mr Swinburn said
there was not a lot the brigade could
do although grit was later spread
on the spill, which was noticeable
the entire length of the bridge and
towards the Coal Creek overbridge.
Cloudy, occasional showers
Elsa Harris said it is “ridiculous”
that she was pulled over and fined
£100 for peeling and eating a
banana while behind the wheel in
gridlocked traffic in Christchurch,
Dorset. She was handed the fine
and given the choice of either
three penalty points or completing
a driver awareness course after
admitting taking her hands off
the wheel momentarily to peel the
— Daily Mail
A year after 1080 poison rained from
the sky as Reefton sisters were enjoying
a picnic near Kokiri, both are still
experiencing ill health and have lodged
a claim with ACC.
The official public health report into
the incident has still not been released.
Gwen Gardner and her sister Kathleen
Bartlett were picnicking on Maori Gully
Road in June 2014 while checking out
a property for sale, when a helicopter
overhead opened a monsoon bucket and
dropped poison pellets, some of which
fell around their vehicle. The women
were close by at the time.
They remained in the area for several
hours as they did not think it could have
been 1080, partly because they say a sign
The sisters say they felt ill within 40
minutes of the aerial drop, but did not
immediately associate it with 1080
poisoning. Medical tests undertaken
afterwards by the locum Reefton GP
showed Mrs Bartlett ’s liver was not
functioning as it should.
After a year, they are still experiencing
ongoing health problems and have ACC
assessing a claim from them — the first
relating to 1080 in a decade.
They are still being monitored by the
Mrs Bartlett was recently referred to
an ear, nose and throat specialist. She
says he told her that her tongue was
still swollen and her nose irritated, and
she had “definitely been exposed to
Blood tests on their livers and thyroids
show they are still well outside the
normal range. An optician has told Mrs
Bartlett that her optical ner ve is thinner.
Mrs Bartlett has gone from 73kg to
57kg, partly because of ongoing nausea
and digestive problems.
As part of their ACC claim, the women
had to undergo a lengthy assessment,
carried out by an occupational therapist.
Questions included their marital status,
how many children they had, and their
qualifications. Their application is still
They are also asking why the
Community and Public Health report
has still not been released after so long.
Medical officer of health Cheryl
Brunton said nobody was happy to see
the report drag on, but it had to be done
Most of it was completed, but a matter
raised by the women themselves, not
directly connected with Dr Brunton’s
investigation, had “complicated” things.
Dr Brunton said she would be able to
give Mrs Gardner and Mrs Bartlett an
information, but said in these types of
claims an occupational physician would
undertake a comprehensive assessment
of the client ’s current medical conditions.
“From there it would likely proceed to
an external toxicology panel to issue an
Police have no explanation for
the high level of family violence in
Buller district has the highest rate
of male assaults female incidents
in the past five years, per head of
population, compared to Grey and
Between 2010 and 2014 police
logged 90 incidents in Buller,
compared to 68 in Grey and 39
in Westland, according to figures
released to the Westport News.
Recently, police have been reporting
multiple incidents a day — against a
backdrop of economic uncertainty
in Buller marked by the wind-back
of Stockton Mine and the looming
demise of the Westport cement
However, according to the West
Coast District Health Board the
stress of job insecurity has yet to be
clearly identified in Buller people
fronting up to health ser vices in the
“O ur information is that there
have been no significant changes in
statistics,” DHB communications
adviser Lee Harris said.
Westport community constable
Paul Sampson agreed that it was hard
to pinpoint a single cause, such as job
“ We’ve discussed that ... and
wondered if (job insecurity) was a
factor. In my experience it hasn’t been
the reason,” Mr Sampson said. “I’m
not really seeing patterns here.”
The bigger picture was that a more
“aware” public was increasingly
reporting verbal arguments to police
and that early intervention helped
“nip things in the bud ” through
liaison and referral to other agencies.
A lot of ‘domestic’ incidents
attended by police were repeatedly
the same households or individuals,
Mr Sampson said.
“There’s a couple of factors. There
are repeat scenarios where we’re
called very early in the piece.”
A common factor was of ex-
partners unable to “move on” which
accounted for a large percentage of
calls. Alcohol use was another factor:
“Logic goes out the window.”
Westport police had issued a
significant number of safety orders,
effectively ordering people to take
‘time out ’ to remove the heat from
West Coast police family violence
co-ordinator sergeant Paul Watson
said the overall rate of police work in
this area was steady.
“I know that Westport has had a
fair share. I don’t know there is any
one thing you can pinpoint it down
to,” Mr Watson said.
“ We have our regular people who we
deal with every day. There’s all sorts
of pressures out there at the moment
that are impacting on people.”
Common themes were financial
worry, employment issues, and
alcohol; neighbourly disputes were
The recent closure of Relationships
Aotearoa had made the “more
complex” with alternatives yet to
Police stumped by Westport spike in domestics
Against the backdrop of hundreds of job losses
and more redundancies yet to come, a host of
organisations are hoping to map out a bright
future for the Westport economy at a meeting
The meeting, titled ‘The Future of Buller —
celebrating what the region has to offer’, would
assure people of the work that was currently
under way to create more jobs in the district,
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said.
About 120 jobs are set to go when Holcim
Cement closes its Cape Foulwind plant next
year, while more than 100 recent job losses at the
Stockton coalmine joined more than 500 others
made redundant there in the past three years. A
further 200 jobs are set to go when Oceana Gold
mothballs its Globe Progress Mine near Reefton
later this year.
“ We are very positive about the work that is
going on, this is an opportunity to let people
know as much as we can do,” Mr Howard said.
“ It ’s quite reassuring the major amount of
work going in to creating more employment.
There are a number of people coming along
who want to express some of their ideas —
things are happening and going on that are very
positive for the community,” Mr Howard said.
“ We are going to have to get through some
challenges, but there’s a reasonable amount of
light at the end of the tunnel.”
Westland Milk Products, the Department
of Conser vation, Development West Coast,
Tai Poutini Polytechnic, Tourism West Coast
and Advance Northern West Coast will all
present their ideas on the potential future
economic direction of the district.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor
said the Westport meeting would be an
opportunity to “talk positively about the future of
A family dog that became lost in the West
Coast bush three weeks ago has been reunited
with its Greymouth owners, skinny but glad to
Diesel, a four-year-old boxer/hunterway-
cross, went missing while owner Clint
Bourke was collecting firewood in the Lake
A Grey District Council dog trap was set and
eventually paid dividends.
“Somebody from the Gloriavale Christian
Community called to tell us (Diesel) had been
seen in the dog trap,” Mrs Bourke said today.
“He is very skinny but okay.”
However, in a downside to the happy reunion
the aluminium dog trap was stolen soon after
Diesel had been retrieved.
“A friend went to collect the trap for us but
when he got there it was gone.
“It belongs to the council and is free to use
by anyone who needs it, and we were really
grateful to have it on loan.”
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Diesel, reunited with owner Megan Bourke, after the dog spent three weeks lost in the West Coast bush.
Buller looks beyond mass job losses
Report awaited 12 months on
Dog home after three weeks lost
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