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WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, JULY 4, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
This lamb was born at the
weekend on Bob Stewart’s Coal
Creek farm — “signs spring is just
around the corner,” he said.
still elude DOC
Eight years into a hunt for tahr
the Department of Conser vation
believes were illegally released in
the Southern Alps foothills east
of Greymouth, three or four still
remain on the loose. The animals
are believed to have been owned by
Waikiti Downs farmer Bill Perry,
who sold the property about eight
years ago, and moved to the North
Island. The new owner agreed to
dispose of all the tahr, but a few
escaped into surrounding forests.
DOC Greymouth conser vation
services manager Shane Hall said
that from camera sur veillance and
air and ground inspections, DOC
thought three to four still remained
in the wild. Hunters had already shot
11 from the herd, and DOC was
still aiming for eradication. “ Tahr
are tough on alpine ecosystems and
we want to keep them out of this
area. They eat sensitive, slow growing
vegetation and trample the ground,”
Mr Hall said. When news first broke
that tahr were in the area, Mr Perry
said he had farmed them for hunting
since “way back”. Twenty or 30 were
kept in a fenced paddock, and none
had escaped. DOC knew he was
farming the animals and had even
inspected the fence every year, he
Police this week were searching
for a man in a wheelchair who is
suspected of robbing a New York
bank and rolling out of the building
with $US1200 cash to make a
clean getaway. The man, who wore
a grey hoodie and appeared to be
about 30 years old according to
sur veillance video, is accused of
passing a note to a Santander Bank
teller in the New York City borough
of Queens on Monday afternoon
and demanding money, a New York
Police Department spokesman said.
The Grey District Council is removing
free, all-day parking from Lord Street
after a landlord said he had a major ‘out
of town’ retailer interested in moving in,
subject to more parking.
Christchurch property developer Ben
Alexander, who owns Brunner House
— the former St James Theatre building
told the council meeting last month
about the retail interest, and asked for a
review of parking in Lord Street.
Mr Alexander said yesterday the
retailer had yet to confirm the move.
The ground floor is currently being
upgraded, while Development West
Coast has only this week taken up rental
office space above.
Lord Street is one of the few free, all-
day parking areas close to the central
business district and is popular with
people working in town. Council notices
were left on windscreens there this week
advising of the change.
Compliance team manager Kevin
Hebberd told the Greymouth Star the
only reason the council had decided to
put time limits on the 16 or so spaces
was to provide parking for a new retail
outlet in Brunner House.
“The sole reason, as far as I know, we
have made it time limited is for the
proposed retailer,” Mr Hebberd said.
In future, time limits would range from
30 minutes up to 120 minutes, and a few
of 60 minutes.
Mr Hebberd said that with other
parking options available, “ longer term,
it shouldn’t create any major problems,”
noting that a three-hour car park was
Meanwhile, Mr Alexander said Lord
Street had been used as a permanent car
park by some people.
“This is probably some of the closest
unrestricted parking in Greymouth.
Some people don’t like change, but
change is what happens.”
He had talked to a number of
Greymouth retailers who felt the same
way. It was also what shoppers wanted:
“They want to park their car where they
want to shop. ”
Town farewells ex-mayor
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Former Greymouth mayor Ron Hibbs was farewelled by the Greymouth community at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church yesterday afternoon. A
large cross-section of the community was present for the funeral ser vice, with police forming a guard of honour for the former Greymouth constable,
as Grey District Council staff, sports clubs and friends said their last goodbyes to a much loved West Coaster. Current Mayor Tony Kokshoorn spoke
on behalf of the council, conveying its sympathy to Mr Hibbs’ widow Alison, children and wider family, noting that the family’s loss is also the West
Coast ’s loss. Mr Hibbs, 68, died in Christchurch after a long battle with cancer.
on road by her hair
A Runanga man with a “history of
whacking women” was remanded on
bail in the Greymouth District Court
this week for assaulting a female, assault
with intent to injure and breach of
Manu Jason Harris was at a dairy in
Runanga on June 24 when he got into an
argument with the victim. She told him
to leave, so he grabbed her bag and said
that if he was going to leave, she would
have to leave with him.
Harris then grabbed the victim by the
hair and dragged her — by her hair —
across the road. He stood over her and
prevented her from going back across
the road. He also grabbed her by the
throat during the attack.
The victim denied to police that the
incident had occurred, and Harris said
he had grabbed the victim by her hood,
and she had fallen over and grazed her
On February 23, Harris was sentenced
to 150 hours of community work for
shoplifting, but he only completed 30
minutes of it.
Community Probation said Harris had
since completed 14 hours.
Lawyer George Linder said Harris did
appear to have an anger problem, and he
needed super vision.
Judge Noel Walsh said Harris had a
“ history of whacking women”, and had
ser ved a jail sentence for assaulting a
woman in February 2012.
However, the victim report showed
that she wanted Harris at home with her,
as she needed his “physical and financial
In court on Tuesday, the woman said
she knew that “she was to blame” for the
“ I’m not the most stable person all the
time, and I was drinking, not him,” she
Harris was remanded for sentence on
Council denies DWC conflict
The West Coast Regional Council
says the new economic development
agency it intends funding jointly
with Development West Coast will
not give councillors any influence
over DWC loans.
The agency was announced in May,
funded annually by $150,000 each
from the regional council and DWC.
Development West Coast said at
the time it was not, and never had
been, an economic development
The Greymouth Star asked the
regional council for details of who
voted to set up the new agency.
In 2008, Development West
Coast approved a business loan
to Birchfield Minerals Ltd of
$2.2 million. Its main shareholder is
Cr Allan Birchfield.
Cranley Farms has received more
than $5m from DWC. One of its
directors, Ian Robb, is the father of
council chairman Cr Andrew Robb.
Council chief executive Chris Ingle
said the funding being proposed for
the new economic development
position had been flagged in the
“That was voted on when the
council adopted the LTP for
consultation. That was a unanimous
vote,” Mr Ingle said.
He said he “struggled ” to see a
conflict of interest.
“The council is part-funding a
new position that reports to the
five chief executives. The funding of
the new position does not ‘ join up’
(the regional council) with DWC
in any functional sense. It certainly
does not give (the regional council)
elected members any decision
making ability over loans DWC may
The New Zealand Transport
Agency has applied to drill five
boreholes in the Taramakau River,
as it starts scoping out options for a
new road bridge.
If the bridge goes ahead the existing
bridge will be retained for trains only,
with a new road bridge to be built
NZTA has applied to the West
Coast Regional Council for the
drilling. It says an assessment was
done in 2002, also with the preferred
location downstream from the
NZTA is now tendering for the
design, management sur veillance
and quality assurance phase. Firstly,
it needs to carry out geotechnical
investigations within the bed of the
The number of boreholes, each up
to 35m deep, is likely to be limited
to between three and five. Each will
take two days to drill, with the work
set down for a total of 10 days and
outside the whitebait season.
Last year, Prime Minister John
Key announced $212 million from
the ‘Future Investment Fund’ for a
package of 14 regionally important
State highway projects, including
a new road bridge across the
Taramakau River “subject to the
usual investigations,” according to a
press release at the time.
“Construction would be expected
to begin within three years on each
of these projects.”
However, a letter from Transport
Minister Simon Bridges to West
Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor recently casts some doubt
on the project.
Mr Bridges said work would
proceed “should” investigations show
the project was worthwhile, and in
that case it would then need to have
Test drilling for new Taramakau Bridge
‘‘The sole reason ... is for the proposed retailer.”
Corner of Tainui
and Guinness Streets
Phone 03 768 4075
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