Home' Greymouth Star : July 28th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
The trouble with Greymouth
— an expat’s view
Family urges lessons from
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
John Paul II
morning after a
long illness. Mr
at the Greymouth Catholic school
in 1977 as a graphic design and
technical drawing teacher, before
ser ving as the deputy principal
under two principals, Peter Fava
and Chris England. In 2002 he was
promoted as principal, a post he
held for 10 years until his retirement
in April 2012. John Paul II teacher
Janet Webster said Mr Leask had
been a popular and well liked
teacher and principal. “As deputy
principal and then as principal,
Mr Leask strove to give students a
chance at making a success of their
lives. He worked with them as they
struggled through life, he helped
them develop and achieve their own
goals so that they leave John Paul
II with qualifications that establish
them for life,” Mrs Webster said.
in bike crash
A West Coast man killed in a
fatal crash near Christchurch on
Sunday evening has been named
as Shannon David Stewart, 40. Mr
Stewart grew up in Greymouth,
attended John Paul II High School,
played for Marist Rugby League
and worked underground at the
Spring Creek then Pike River mines
before moving to Christchurch. He
was killed when a van apparently
did a U-turn in front of his
motorbike on Pound Road near
Yaldhurst on the western edge of
Christchurch, shortly before 5pm
on Sunday. Detective sergeant Geoff
Rudduck, of Christchurch, said Mr
Stewart was apparently travelling
north along Pound Road when
his motorbike and a Toyota Hiace
van collided. The driver and sole
occupant of the van was not injured.
The five-star Merchant Hotel
in Belfast last week announced a
new dedicated water menu, with
the most expensive bottle costing
£26.45. The Northern Irish property
has also revealed plans to employ
‘water butlers’ in the move which
has been ridiculed on-line. However,
the hotel has reminded guests that
tap water will still be available
should guests prefer not to splash
— Daily Mail
Fine with south-easterlies
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Grey Main School Te Hiringa bilingual class pupils with teacher Michelle Gibson cut some harakeke (flax) in preparation for weaving on Friday. The Maori-
English class will be doing weaving with parents as part of Maori Language Week. The theme this year is “whangaihia te reo ki nga matua” or “nurture the lan-
guage in parents”.
A “major” El Nino weather
pattern is expected to bring one of
the wettest, coldest springs seen
on the West Coast in almost 20
years, and farmers are being told
to brace themselves.
The last El Nino which really
impacted on the Coast was in
1997-98, when it rained almost
every day in October and turned
paddocks to mud.
The Metser vice said today the
El Nino continued to intensify in
“We have a major El Nino in
play,” Metser vice meteorologist
Georgina Griffiths said. “ The
warmth in the Pacific Ocean has
now reached levels not seen since
the 1997-98 El Nino.”
The big wet of 1998 set rainfall
records on the West Coast. It
was one of the wettest years in
Hokitika since records began
in the goldrush days, with a
whopping 3598mm of rain that
year; the average is 2809mm.
October of that year had 501mm
“That ’s very, very wet,” Hokitika
weather obser ver Mark Crompton
El Ninos in Hokitika meant
colder, wetter, windier, stormier
conditions — “ basically, what
we’ve been having over the past
couple of months”.
The cold wintry weather may
extend into spring, and even
persist into summer, and then
winter would again be around the
corner, Mr Crompton said.
In October 1998, Reefton
recorded 28 days of rain with
569.5mm falling. In September it
rained from the 3rd to the 20th
every single day, weather obser ver
Tony Fortune said.
“Once we got to spring, it just
didn’t stop raining,” Mr Fortune
Taramakau Settlement farmer
Murray Stewart said it was so
wet in 1998 they had to use
helicopters to get fertiliser on the
The main lessons for farmers
were to keep putting nitrogen
on to grow grass, and to avoid
damaging the pasture, he said.
The wet meant more work, as
well as trudging around in wet
weather gear all the time.
Rotomanu dairy farmer Katie
Milne, also the adverse events
spokeswoman for Federated
Farmers, said farmers had known
an El Nino was likely for some
It would pay for farmers who
were new to the West Coast and
had not experienced an El Nino
here, to connect with those who
had been through one, Miss
It would mean a lot of extra
work, including standing cows
off paddocks to try to manage the
soil. Farmers should go through
their stocking rates and consider
how grass growth may be affected.
“ No one needs to panic,”
she said, but it was worth
thinking also about stocking
up on supplementary feed as
Canterbury may be in drought,
making it harder to obtain.
The Metser vice said a pool of
unusually warm water had upset
the normal balance of trade winds
and weather in the tropics.
During June and July, New
frequent southerly outbreaks than
usual — standard El Nino winter
Ms Griffiths said El Nino
would probably continue into
early 2016, and there was every
indication that it would remain
strong for the rest of 2015.
On the West Coast, it would be
wetter the further south you went,
and Hokitika would probably be
wetter than Westport, she said.
While every El Nino was
different, the odds were the West
Coast was in for a wet year.
Coal key to Coast rail future
The West Coast could lose up to 10
rail jobs as a result of dropping coal
production — and the future of the
entire line could hinge on Solid Energy.
Last month, the State-owned rail
operator said the Solid Energy cutbacks
could translate into 12 rail jobs.
The company met with staff in
Westport yesterday afternoon and
in Greymouth this morning to put a
proposal on future job numbers.
Rail Maritime Transport Union
organiser Todd Valster said the latest
proposal was for 10 jobs to go, although
that was subject to change.
Mr Valster said those would be mainly
train driver jobs, with some shunters to
go as well.
The union would be pushing for
relocation of the affected staff members
and was “ looking for any opportunities
beyond the Coast ”. Redundancy would
be the “last cab off the rank”.
Union general secretary Wayne Butson
said it was too early to tell if these
cuts were leaning towards a complete
shutdown of the West Coast rail link, as
suggested recently by Treasury.
“I think it will all hinge on Solid. If
Solid went west then Treasury may get
its way,” Mr Butson said today.
It was the result of wider failings.
“The true victim in all of this is the West
Coast and they have been badly ser ved
by this current Government and (the
lack of ) any form of strong alternative
regional development strategy. I am not
sure that a 30-point plan for immigrants
for 12 months is a regional development
plan of any substance,” he said.
Mr Valster said the rail cuts were the
direct result of falling coal production
“It is a distressing time, it is not
something that is within Kiwi Rail’s
control with the coal work .. our hearts
go out to all workers looking at a
somewhat bleak future. ”
Kiwi Rail did not respond in time for
Dairy farm numbers fall by 28
The number of farms supplying milk to
Westland Milk Products has dipped by
With the new dairy season about to
start, the Hokitika-based co-operative
will have 397 farms supplying milk
28 fewer than the
425 reported in the annual report to
September 30 last year.
A company spokesman said today
the dip was more likely to reflect
consolidation of existing farms through
ownership changes since last year than a
change in supplier numbers.
Supplier figures from the company
show shareholder numbers are consistent
with last year, at about 350.
Westland Milk Products shareholder
ser vices general manager Tony Wright
said two Canterbury milk suppliers had
left at the dawn of the 2015-16 dairy
However, they had also gained three
new farms on the West Coast.
“The two farms that have left Westland
in Canterbury is well within normal
season to season changes. O verall, the
number of supplier farms is up,” Mr
That meant Westland Milk had 397
farms supplying on the West Coast, and
34 farms in Canterbury.
However the actual number of
shareholders — as opposed to the
number of supplying farms — is virtually
unchanged for the new season.
“ With the growth in milk we expect
from our farmers both on the West Coast
and in Canterbury, and subject to weather
conditions, we expect the total amount of
milk processed to be approximately the
same as it is this season.”
A rough figure for the milk volume
total for the current 2014-15 season,
which officially ends on July 31, was not
Last year the Hokitika factory processed
753 million litres of milk, compared
to 621 million litres in 2013 and 587
million litres in 2012.
repeat of ‘98 Big Wet
34 TAINUI ST, GREYMOUTH PH 768 7470
YOUR FREE GIFT
products, one to be foundation and
receive a full size primer as your gift.
Terms and conditions apply
Ph 732 4111
Shop Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 9am-2pm
We have a large range
of Salami and
small goods available.
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