Home' Greymouth Star : July 6th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
West Coast/New Zealand
2 - Monday, July 6, 2015
Monday July 6
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SKEATS, Mary Helen.
— July 6, 2014.
One year has passed.
Forever in our hearts,
Forever in our lives.
Your star will always
Darrell, Carolyn and
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SKEATS, Mary Helen.
In memory of a very
loved and treasured
Mum and Nana.
I can see you dancing
Always and forever
Daniel, Rachael and
George. — Passed away
peacefully on July 4,
2015 at Roseanne Rest-
home, Napier, aged 85.
Funeral details to
Trevor or messages to
his family can be left at
www.dunstalls.co .nz or
C/- PO Box 1055,
Napier 4140. Dunstall's
Funeral Services Ltd.
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(06) 835 7196.
SKEATS, Mary Helen.
One year has passed.
We miss you so much
Mum. Forever in our
May you continue to
To enter each day with a
To serve the call of
courage and love,
Until we see your
beautiful face again.
In that land where there
is no more separation,
Where all tears will be
wiped from our mind.
And where we will never
lose you again.
Brian, Kevin, Jennie,
Rebekah, Jemma and
John Paul II High School seniors Chelsea Kersten and Ben Whitmore were voted queen and king of
the ball at the school’s social event of the year, held at Shantytown on Saturday night.
PICTURE: Lydia Nimmo
King and queen of the ball
Catholics are being called
en-masse to attend Mass in Ross
to save the town’s last remaining
church from closure.
Christchurch Catholic Bishop
Barry Jones will lead Mass in the
149-year-old St Patrick’s Church
next month as part of a diocesan
visit to Westland.
Last year, parishioner numbers
fell to just three, raising concerns
for the future of the oldest church
on the West Coast.
Parishioner Biddy Manera said
the more people who could attend
August 9 Mass, the better to show
the significance of the church to
Ms Manera said while Mass
numbers were not high at Ross,
members of the Kokatahi-
Kowhitirangi congregation, as
well as visitors, often joined the
“ Visitors do use it and people
who come and stay in holiday
homes come too, even people
from other denominations
because it is the only church in
Ross — we don’t turn anyone
Located directly opposite the
Ross visitor centre, St Patrick’s
was also a tourist attraction.
Information centre manager
Kath Maitland said staff had
opened and closed the doors every
day on behalf of the church for
the past year.
It was a popular attraction for
“In the visitors book there’s a
lot of Europeans, including Irish,
look in. It’s a very nice, peaceful
spot. It would be sad to see it
closed,” Mrs Maitland said.
“It is the only church left in the
town and it also has significance
as the oldest wooden building on
St Patrick’s is the second oldest
church in the Christchurch
diocese, after Akaroa.
With declining numbers of
parishioners in the late 20th
century the Ross parish — which
originally extended from Rimu
in the north to Jackson Bay
n the south — was incorporated
into the Hokitika parish of
St Mary ’s and lost its resident
Hokitika parish priest Father
Francis Jolly said last year any
decision to close the Ross church
would come from the diocese.
The church was built in 1866,
within a year of the discovery of
gold at Ross. It is a category 2
listed building with Heritage New
Call goes out
to save Ross
It is 2pm on a busy Tuesday
afternoon, and cars are coming from
five directions. The flow seems endless.
Greymouth teenager Jake
Thompson, who is legally blind, is
trying to cross from McDonald ’s
to get into the central business
With him is Grey District Council
community economic development
adviser Erin McGoldrick, who is
shaping the downtown rejuvenation
and wants feedback from the disabled.
Jake has been losing his sight
over the past two years due to a
rare medical condition. He can see
contrasts, movements and shape, but
with no detail.
During his walkabout, as he stood
at two different pedestrian crossings
with a white stick, at least two cars
failed to stop.
Back at McDonald’s, he is listening
for cars coming from the roundabout,
the State highway, Chapel and Lord
streets. He has to wait for a much
larger break than those with full sight,
and the minutes pass.
Tr a ffi c lights would help greatly, he
As he crosses, marks show where
the road and footpath meet and he
feels them through his stick. Crossing
Guinness Street from Olsens
Pharmacy to the Just Incredible store,
a raised footpath catches his stick,
giving a kick back.
Chains, he points out, are strung
across all the intersection corners. As
they are raised, his stick cannot find
them and he risks walking smack into
As he walks, he explains that people
are also part of the problem. Many do
not show consideration, even with his
Across the road, the pounamu
boulder outside the Stewart Nimmo
Gallery is another obstacle. The
camber of the footpaths, which is
especially bumpy and steep outside
the old Smelting House Cafe next
door, also causes him problems.
His next task is to cross Mawhera
Quay to the clocktower. Ms
McGoldrick and the council have
received lots of feedback about
this, with many people finding it a
challenge. There are more troublesome
chains to negotiate, no pedestrian
crossing, and Jake cannot actually see
Ms McGoldrick said the Blind
Foundation had contacted the council
over the town renewal, noting that
one in four people in the South Island
are disabled, and 3% are visually
The rejuvenation project was not just
to make it look better, she said, but
easier for the disabled and elderly to
The council has been told simple
steps such as painting the steps up to
the floodwall would make it far easier
for those with sight problems and no
The council has also been told that
cyclists who get on the floodwall at
the railway station have no way to
get off in town, meaning they see
but have to bypass the cafes and Left
Submissions on the town renewal
project close on July 10.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Jake Thompson, who is legally blind, outside the Left Bank Art Gallery. Crossing to the clocktower was too hard for
Disabled feedback sought for downtown rejuvenation project
West Coast District Health Board
management have been told of “huge
concerns” with mental health ser vices
in the region, with board members
insisting on action.
Michelle Lomax, of Westport,
raised concerns at the board meeting
in Greymouth, backed by Elinor
She said problems with people aged
up to 19 accessing mental health
help had been “going on for a long
As the Buller High School board of
trustees chairwoman, she said they were
seeing students attending suspensory
meetings who were “clearly in need of
However, unless they were bad
enough to be admitted to a facility, they
were not getting help. If they could help
young people, they could help prevent a
lifetime of mental illness.
Ms Lomax cited DHB figures which
showed almost 40% of mental health
clients were not seen within three
weeks, and almost 20% were not seen
within eight weeks.
“By the time people are getting to the
point of seeking help from CAMHS
(community and adolescent mental
health ser vice) they are pretty dire. We
need a rapid response.”
Ms Stratford said Ms Lomax was
“absolutely right” and there were huge
concerns in the community.
DHB programme director Michael
Frampton said there had been a “series
of conversations with the mental health
He acknowledged that services
needed to be expanded in Buller and
Work was going on at the moment:
“There’s a range of issues we are
Member Peter Neame, a long-serving
psychiatric nurse at the former Seaview
Hospital and a published author on
mental health, said problems with
the mental health services were
“More money has to be spent on
mental health,” Mr Neame said.
Too often, there was a concern,
wrongly, that if the health ser vice
intervened early people would become
dependent on the system.
Mental health concerns aired at DHB meeting
The West Coast District Health Board
says it is not closing its two Westport
aged care facilities as a cost-cutting
The board announced on June 11 that
Kynnersley Home would be closed by the
end of this year, and D unsford Ward at
Buller Hospital once the privately-owned
O’Conor Home had been expanded.
Between them, Kynnersley and
Dunsford have over 70 beds.
The board says it wants to enable older
people to stay in their own homes for
DHB member Michelle Lomax said at
the board meeting recently there was a lot
of concern in the community about the
potential loss of ser vices.
“As I understand it, a petition may be
organised. There’s a lot of anxiety about
respite care,” Ms L omax said.
Chief executive David Meates said it
was “not a cost-cutting drive”.
“I can be crystal clear on that — there’s
no fiscal saving,” Mr Meates said.
Both buildings were old and run down,
he said, noting that elsewhere in New
Zealand aged care was generally provided
by the private sector.
He said changing what had been the
norm would always be challenging.
Member John Vaile said there were
some big concerns over bed numbers. He
understood 120 beds would be needed in
Buller, but Mr Meates said it was more
like 75 to 80.
Chairman Peter Ballantyne said the
concept designs for the new Westport
integrated family health centre — which
will replace the ageing Buller Hospital
and will not have any rest home beds —
were due by July 24.
Westport aged care facilities closure not cost-cutting, says DHB
The New Zealand Defence
Force (NZDF) will participate
in Australia’s largest war fighting
exercise for the first time.
The exercise, Exercise Talisman
Sabre 2015, kicks off today and is
conducted with the United States
military as well as 620 personnel
from the NZDF.
A Tiger helicopter and a
Bushmaster from the Australian
Army and US Marine Corps
military hardware are among those
on display during the public open
day being held simultaneously
today in Dar win in the Northern
Talisman Sabre will see almost
30,000 troops training in
multiple locations in Australia and
Most of the activity will be
held in the Shoalwater Bay
Military Training Area in Central
Queensland and Fog Bay in
Australia’s Northern Territory.
Highlights include a beach
landing at Fog Bay, an air drop
and the co-ordinated firing of
live ammunition and explosive
ordnance from small arms, artillery,
naval vessels and aircraft.
NZDF senior national officer
Colonel Glenn King said Australia
and the United States were “key
partners” for the NZDF.
“ By integrating our people and
assets into a large force led by
the Australians during training
exercises, we are actually enhancing
our ability to operate alongside
them,” he said.
“Our participation in the
exercise also demonstrates Anzac
co-operation, and reinforces the
close defence partnership between
Australia and New Zealand.”
The NZDF has deployed two
ships, four aircraft including two
helicopters, 22 light armoured
vehicles and 23 other military
vehicles for the exercise.
Around 200 combat soldiers
from the New Zealand Scots
Squadron, Queen Alexandra’s
Mounted Rifles will test their
mettle in warfighting, including
defending an urban area, while
operating as part of the Australian
Defence Force’s 7 Brigade.
the exercise “provides us the
opportunity to see how other
armies operate and to observe
the skills, drills and equipment
that they use.”
HMNZS Te Kaha will see
‘action’ off Darwin in Northern
Australia as part of the Opposing
The tanker HMNZS endeavour
will help refuel the 21 ships taking
part in the exercise.
NZ Defence Force to participate in
huge Australian-US war exercise
The sighting of a rare white
humpback whale in Cook Strait
has been called “once in a lifetime”
by the leader of the whale spotting
The Department of Conser vation
whale sur vey yesterday sighted a
white humpback whale just after
9am in Cook Strait.
Project leader Nadine Bott said
it was first spotted by an ex-
whaler from a lookout point at
the east head of the Tory Channel
A team on a boat followed the
pod including the white whale, but
the glare of the morning sun on
the water meant the team were
not aware of what they were
“They didn’t think the whale
was going to lift its tail (for an
identification snapshot), so the
boat pulled up parallel to it and
they realised it was a white whale,”
Mrs Bott said.
Mrs Bott was back at the lookout
and processed the pictures of the
white whale then looked it up
“ We realised it was adult size, and
there’s only four in the world.
“One’s in Nor way, and we knew
it wasn’t likely to be that one, and
there’s two calves, so we think it ’s
Migaloo from the East Coast of
Australia.” Mrs Bott said pictures
of the dorsal fin of the white
whale spotted in Cook Strait and
Migaloo were similar.
“ We’re 99.5% certain it’s
Migaloo.” Migaloo was once
thought to be the only whale of its
A biopsy sample was taken to
from the white whale, which would
confirm whether it was Migaloo,
Mrs Bott said.
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing,
that ’s for sure.” The whale sur vey is
into it ’s fourth week and concludes
“It’s been really successful. So far
we’ve seen 122 humpbacks with
four days to go. O ur best year
was 106 whales in 2012, so by all
accounts we’re breaking records,”
Mrs Bott said.
Humpback whales are on their
annual migration from Antarctic
waters to warmer waters in the
Pacific for breeding. — N ZM E
Rare whale seen in NZ waters
Falling dairy prices are not as
disastrous for the economy as they
seem and the country is not heading
for a recession, Finance Minister
Bill English says.
Mr English told TVNZ’s Q+A
that the dairy industry was “probably
a smaller part of[the economy than
most people think”.
“I think we’ve got to keep the dairy
industry in perspective,” he said.
“It ’s about 5 to 6% of the whole
economy. It ’s only 205 of our
exports. The other 805 will be
starting to enjoy the benefits of the
lower exchange rate, and the lower
exchange rate will help cushion the
impact on dairy of their lower prices.”
When asked by TVNZ’s Simon
Dallow whether he agreed with
Steven Bayliss of BNZ that New
Zealand had a “recipe” for recession
on its hands, with low dairy prices
coupled with a potential drought
and falling Christchurch house
prices, Mr English said he thought
the prediction was overstated.
“I think he’s stretching it a wee
bit here. I think there’s a bit more
resilience than that in the economy,”
“If you pick out all the bits that
are going badly, you can paint a bad
“Most of it ’s actually going
okay — migration numbers are
up, households will be pleased to
see interest rates dropping, our
exporters are all seeing a big drop in
the exchange rate.” Mr English was
so confident a recession was not on
the horizon he was able to say tax
cuts were likely in the near future.
Falling dairy prices ‘not disastrous’ — English
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