Home' Greymouth Star : July 18th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
WEST COAST FEATURE
Charles Douglas’ maps unearthed
into street hobo
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SATURDAY, JULY 18, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
The Grey District Council is
waiting to hear back from the
Mawhera Incorporation on getting
an extension for the Civic Centre
ground lease. The council plans
to vacate the building once the
Westland Recreation Centre is
completed in the middle of next
year. The ground lease expires on
January 1, 2016. The council hopes
to get a 12-month extension, with
an option of a further 12 months.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the
council had asked for the extension.
“ It ’s just a matter of them getting
back to us.” The council was still
weighing up what to do with the
Civic Centre after that.
Mayor gives pay
rise to charity
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn says he will donate
his $3300 pay rise to charity.
The increase was set by the
Remuneration Authority and would
have seen Mr Kokshoorn’s pay rise
to $78,750. Mr Kokshoorn said the
increase was in excess of inflation.
“As mayors, we are there to ser ve
the public and lead by example.
The West Coast has been through
tough times over the last five years.”
He did not have a specific charity
in mind but assured he would
give it out where required in the
A Greymouth woman, wondering
what was causing the loud ‘thump,
thump, thump’ in the clothes drier,
received the fright of her life when
an equally terrified moggy flew
from the machine as soon as the
door was opened. Minutes earlier
the woman had opened the door
to check whether its contents
were dry. Somehow the ageing cat,
probably lured by the warmth on
a cold winter’s day, slipped into
the machine while the woman was
distracted and, when the machine
was switched on again, took half
a dozen tumbles before it was
released. Fortunately, the cat was
none the worse for the experience.
Fine and cold
Greymouth Star On-line
A Greymouth-based trucking
company says proposals to steer heavy
traffic out of the central business
district, including Mawhera Quay,
will simply create traffic bottlenecks
Addressing the Grey District
Council meeting this week, Aratuna
Freighters director Durham Havill
complimented the council on its
efforts to enhance the town, but
was concerned at making Mawhera
Quay one way.
In the past five years Aratuna
Freighters has built a large new
trucking base in Arney Street, and
bulk fertiliser depot near the wharf.
“ We have a lot of truck movements
north. If we can’t go both ways
(including the quay), I’m not sure
where we come back into town,” Mr
The suggested alternative of
Brewery Hill was too hard on the
truck gears, and it was difficult for a
truck and trailer to get across Tainui
“ We avoid Brewery Hill ... it is
exactly the same on Raleigh Street.
Raleigh Street at some times is a
Truck drivers could not “just rush
out ” into the traffic stream.
“They ’ve got to be pretty careful,
that is a difficult intersection from a
truck driver’s point of view.
“ I spoke to our truck drivers (about
the proposed traffic changes) and
they weren’t thrilled. Basically, they
thought it was a dumb idea,” Mr
He had also looked at using Lord
Street, but that would not work with
the development in Brunner House,
and the street and roundabout were
not configured well for a truck.
Mr Havill maintained that Mawhera
Quay was wide enough to handle
two-way traffic, and he was happy for
pedestrian crossings to be put along
it to help people reach the floodwall
“I don’t see that as an impediment.”
Cr Tony Coll asked Mr Havill, if
the quay were to be one way, which
direction he would prefer. Mr Havill
said heading east would suit best.
Greymouth residents also expressed
concerns over the suggested road
Graham Ford said Brewery Hill
was “a bottleneck at the best of times,”
while Anne Chapman pointed out
that a one-way system on Mawhera
Quay would cause problems for
accessing Kingsgate Hotel.
“Think now of the Asian tourists
trying to get into the Kingsgate
Hotel. They have to go right into
town to sign in, then right around
the town to park,” Mrs Chapman
She opposed having traffic lights at
the Brewery Hill intersection, noting
the location of Westland Funeral
Ser vices: “Most people respect a
funeral procession, but traffic lights
do not. ”
Army investigating new sites
Greymouth sites shortlisted for
a new base for the New Zealand
Defence Force are currently being
The Army Hall and offices in
Gresson Street were closed in March
due to earthquake concerns.
Defence Force property planning
manager Guy Simpson said at the
time the current hall was earthquake
prone, and was also located in an
area that was prone to flooding.
The army has since operated
out of temporary premises in the
former New Life Centre church in
Mr Simpson said they had been
looking at “various options” to
replace the Gresson Street hall,
including whether to replace the
current hall or relocate to a suitable
building elsewhere in Greymouth.
A Defence Force spokesman said
this week a shortlist of sites had been
“ We have now shortlisted our
options and are working with the
owners of the sites to see how our
requirements can be best met. It
may be another two to three months
before we are in a position to provide
further details on the preferred site
and the facility itself.”
No decision had yet been made
about what would happen with the
“Until such time as a new site is
selected, redevelopment of Gresson
Street is still an option, but not
preferred because of its possible
flooding and seismic constraints,”
the spokesman said.
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
The Greymouth Army Hall and offices in Gresson Street — mothballed since March.
Possums ‘found with Tb’
A West Coast survey of possums
infected with bovine tuberculosis was
carried out to counter allegations from
an MP that no animals were infected.
Operational Solutions for Primary
Industries (Ospri) group manager
Dr Stu Hutchings told the West Coast
Regional Council meeting that four
possums, all infected with the disease,
had been found in the Taramakau
valley, after a sur vey of the area.
The sur vey was in response to
comments last month from New
Zealand First MP Richard Prosser, who
challenged aerial 1080 possum control
programmes by citing data that of the
9838 possums killed across the country
last year, none was infected with the
“This sur vey was done specifically in
response to that,” Dr Hutchings said.
As some of the possums found
where “quite close” to their operational
boundary, it would now do some “aerial
work” to control numbers.
“The fact that we are not finding any
possums with disease is what we expect,
because they are the only ones we are
Ospri had since met with Mr Prosser,
whom Dr Hutchings described as
having a clear “anti-1080 agenda”.
Dr Hutchings also said that deer
recovered from the Wanganui River,
and at Hari Hari, had been found to be
infected with Tb.
Ospri would now carry out DNA
analysis on the animals to see whether
it potentially matched an infection
found in Canterbury.
Operational Solutions for Primary
Industries (Ospri, Tb Free) says
the use of 1080 poison on possums
is the key to its goal of wiping out
bovine tuberculosis (Tb) within the
next 40 years.
It outlined its eradication plans to
the West Coast Regional Council
meeting this week.
The regional council owns a 50%
shareholding in a 1080 pellet factory
at Rolleston, in Canterbury.
The review involves setting a target
of zero infections by 2026, ensuring
that possums are free of the disease
by 2040, and completely wiping it
out by 2055.
Ospri group manager Dr Stu
Hutchings said Tb would only be
wiped out by controlling the possum
“ What we need to try and achieve,
and what the overall objective is, is
the eradication of bovine Tb, and we
achieve that through the reduction
in possum population to a level
where that disease can’t survive.
“If we are going to tackle Tb we
are going to have to suppress the
possum population really low,” Dr
A key part of its approach was to get
control of “previously uncontrolled
areas”, such as the Paparoa and
Kahurangi national parks.
“The Kahurangi has been
something to date that ’s been
almost out of our grasp, because its
However, the Department of
‘ Battle for
Our Birds’ last year had helped
in “breaking the back” of getting
possum numbers under control.
Dr Hutchings said Ospri was going
to have to get a lot of the possum
eradication done early using 1080,
“while we still have it as a tool”.
“It’s a really necessary tool if we are
going to achieve it in some of these
really deep, gnarly bush areas.”
He said there was a lot of evidence
stacking up behind the use of 1080,
and he believed that the “degree of
feeling against 1080” had reduced.
Where it was “economical and
feasible” Ospri would look at using
alternative means of possum control.
Tb-free target set for 2055
A convicted fraudster from Hokitika
was sent to jail yesterday for his failure to
make “concrete arrangements” for paying
reparation to the victims of his crimes.
Former property developer and
accountant Lindsay Beckett Smith had
previously accepted his guilt to one
representative charge of using a forged
document between May 23, 2001,
and November 17, 2012, accepting an
indicated sentence of 27 months in
That charge was representative of six
charges of using a document to gain
pecuniary advantage, two of causing a
loss by deception, and one of obtaining a
document by deception.
A discount of 15% had been given
by the judge, from a starting sentence
of four and a half years, upon the
payment of reparation. However, Judge
Paul Kellar warned Smith at his last
court appearance that by the time he
next appeared he needed to have made
“concrete arrangements for the payment
“ If concrete arrangements are made,
bail will be reviewed. If not, he will be in
custody from that date to the date of his
At the hearing yesterday afternoon,
Smith’s lawyer, Marcus Zintl said he had
filed documents on Thursday night to
satisfy the reparation arrangements, and
to show they would be made at Smith’s
sentencing, scheduled for October 5.
Prosecutor Pip Currie said although
the Crown had not had time to “check
the veracity” of the offers of reparation,
as they came from third parties, “he
(Smith) can use a telephone in prison ...
no concrete arrangements have been put
“Given your express indication, that
concrete arrangements had to be made,
he really doesn’t need to be out on bail to
continue liaising with these third parties
to provide reparation on his behalf,” Ms
Judge Kellar, speaking by audio visual
link from Christchurch, said: “I made it
very clear, if reparation was not arranged
and in place he would be remanded in
custody. It was an express factor when
he was remanded last time. This has been
going on for so long.”
Smith’s offending included causing
losses of $222,250 to Michael and Lillian
Ross by deception, an act which caused
the Ross’s to lose their home and all of
their retirement savings, and by deception
obtaining control of a $264,000 loan.
Judge Kellar also said the payment of
reparation had been a “significant factor”
in the sentencing indication, which
Smith had accepted at his previous
He was remanded in custody at
Christchurch Men’s Prison until his
sentencing on October 5.
throughout, but he quickly took his seat
soon after being told he was going to jail.
A police officer remained next to him
until he was led away to the Greymouth
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