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WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, AUGUST 1, 2015
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A bid to mine conser vation land
in the Grey Valley will probably
be publicly notified, according to
the Department of Conser vation.
Birchfield Holdings Ltd has applied
for an access arrangement to
conduct an alluvial gold operation
on 12ha of public conser vation land
at Boatmans Creek, a tributary of
Lake Haupiri. DOC said today an
assessment of the significance of
the proposal had determined that
the application met the criteria for
in DOC sights
The Department of Conser vation
and West Coast Regional Council
are looking at how to protect
lagoons in the region. The council
is reviewing its coastal plan and will
notify the review later this year. One
of the issues is lagoons. DOC said
today it had provided the council
with written comments in advance
of the consultation process.
Eleven new homes were consented
on the West Coast last month,
Statistics New Zealand said. That
is slightly up on the nine consented
in May, and the best figure since
January. Nationally, 2042 new
dwellings were consented, up 2% on
June 2014. However, in seasonally
adjusted terms, the overall number
was down 4.1% from May.
An amazing new video shows 10
incredibly bright spheres lighting
up the daytime sky in the middle
of Japanese city Osaka. The lights
seem to dance around from one
side of the skyline to the other in
the video that lasts more than two
minutes. It has been posted by a
number of Japanese tv channels
and has now been viewed by nearly
180,000 people wondering what
the lights could possibly be. In the
description, it says that the balls are
‘quick moving’ and ‘dance around’.
It also claims that what was spotted
was similar to a sighting above
London’s Hyde Park in June. But
while the lights looked similar, they
lasted just a few seconds during
the June sighting, which makes the
comparison difficult. — Daily Mail
Three years after Solid Energy bought
the moribund Pike River coalmine for
$7.5 million, its saleable assets have been
valued at just $1.48 million.
At the time of the 2010 mine disaster,
the privately-owned Pike River Coal
Company had spent about $290m
developing the underground prospect,
and was facing potentially $50m more in
Two years after the fatal explosions,
Solid Energy bought the assets for
Over the past few months, equipment
has been auctioned off as Solid Energy
prepares to hand the site back to the
Department of Conser vation.
The assets include a full coal preparation
plant, extensive pumping systems and
coal loadout facility at the Ikamatua rail
siding, and a large quantity of spare parts
at the mine site, behind Atarau.
The Greymouth Star asked under the
Official Information Act how much had
been raised from those sales.
Solid Energy legal ser vices manager
Rob Page declined to give the amount
because the auction was ongoing.
However, he said that in December an
independent valuation put the value of
the assets available for sale at $1.48m.
Mr Page said the amount it actually
received depended on the response
received from the marketplace “and
whether all items could be sold”.
Solid Energy began offering the assets
for sale by tender in May. By June 30,
the most expensive thing sold was a
Sale proceeds go to Pike River (2012)
Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Solid
The site is expected to be handed back
to DOC later this year, and will never be
Money invested: $290m
Sold to Solid Energy for: $7.5m
Current assets: $1.5m
Ambulance at the top of the cliff
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Dr Tom Mulholland and his special Chevy V8 ambulance, in Greymouth yesterday before heading to Franz Josef Glacier.
A roving doctor with his own
ambulance rolled out of Greymouth
yesterday on a mission to be the
‘ambulance at the top of the cliff ’.
Dr Tom Mulholland works all
over New Zealand, including regular
stints at Auckland Hospital and a
stint at Grey Base Hospital.
A motivational speaker and star
of the TV2 show Dr Tom: The
Attitude Doctor, he often gets a fee
for speaking and has trained the
likes of Google and Microsoft staff.
Used to dealing with sick people,
he takes regular time out to try to
help people stay healthy.
With an old Chevy V8 St John
ambulance from Whanganui, he
tours the country talking partly
about the power of healthy thinking,
and a good attitude as he tries to
prevent heart disease, diabetes and
After six months of funding it
himself, sponsors came aboard. As
he travels, he also raises money
generally for St John.
He was meant to be on holiday
on the Coast this week, but agreed
to work at the High Street Medical
Centre. Tonight, he is giving a free
health talk at Franz Josef.
Dr Mulholland said he used to
think that as people had to get a
warrant for their car, why would
they not also get a health warrant
for their body?
“Then I realised there are a lot of
unwarranted, unregistered cars in
New Zealand. There are a lot more
unwarranted, unregistered males,”
He offers blood tests from his
ambulance, with almost instant
results, and has an ultrasound to
detect things such as aneurysms.
He also wants people to know their
numbers — cholesterol ratio below
four; HBA1C (diabetes) below 40;
and blood pressure below 140.
“GPs spend time dealing with
sickness, not health, with the
pressure of (sick) people coming
in the door. Doing preventative
thinking takes time.”
His free speech at Franz Josef
tonight starts at 5 o’clock at Flowing
West. He will return to the West
Coast next year for the next Agfest,
For more information, go to
carving a niche
Increasing numbers of West Coast
shoppers are turning away from
supermarkets and returning to the
traditional butcher for their daily meat.
A longstanding butcher from Hari
Hari and another who recently
reopened a former butchery at Kaniere,
both report an increase in custom as
people vote with their feet.
There is also speculation that a
standalone butchery is planned for
Jason Whyte recently reopened the
former Kaniere Butchery at Hokitika,
rebranded as the Butchers Block.
“The response has been over whelming.
We are open three days a week and are
shortly going to five days a week to keep
up with the demand,” Mr Whyte said.
A butchers shop had definite
advantages over a supermarket, he said.
“They can come and get whatever
they want — if they want two chops,
one sausage or two sausages, whatever
“ I have got a lot of customers coming
down from Greymouth now ... and they
are coming up from down south now as
Pubs and cafes were also starting to
stock their meat, Mr Whyte said
In Hari Hari, Thomson’s Butchery
owner Neville Thomson said he was
seeing more and more people phoning
“ We take phone orders for people ...
a lot from Hokitika but there’s the odd
one from Greymouth,” Mr Thomson
“ We have noticed it more in the
summer when the barbecue weather is
out — our customers want the better
Supermarkets were constrained by the
meat they were supplied, he said.
“That ’s the quality of meat they have
got, they can only deal with what
they are given, but as an independent
butcher, if we don’t get good quality
meat we can send it back.”
Shirley Grant, part-owner of the
Fitzherbert Street Four Square
supermarket in Hokitika said they had
started selling meat, sourced from the
Hari Hari butchery, because it appealed
Mrs Grant said they had chosen a
butcher as a supplier because they
wanted to “stay with local suppliers,
we like to get as much stuff as we can
from local suppliers”.
Work ‘ongoing’ after death of teen
The West Coast District Health
Board says work is “ongoing”
following the death of Greymouth
teenager Matt Gunter after having
his appendix removed at Grey Base
The 15-year-old died in November
2012 from a brain injury caused by a
lack of blood flow and oxygen while
he was recovering from emergency
The report from the Health and
Disability Commissioner’s office
set a three-month deadline from
the release of its report in April for
certain actions to be taken by the
It also said the night nurse had
been referred to his prosecutor for
a decision on whether to charge her
with professional misconduct.
The Greymouth Star asked the
commissioner’s office this week if
the nurse was to be charged.
It responded: “If a referral
within a decision has been made
to the director of proceedings, an
addendum will be added to that
decision once a decision is made.”
DHB chief executive David
Meates said the board accepted
all the findings from the Health
investigation and had implemented
all of the recommendations.
The health board continued to
monitor and audit on an ongoing
basis, compliance against these
implemented recommendations, Mr
“Some of these activities will
continue to be ongoing, such as the
training around critical thinking,
documentation and resuscitation
as part of our continual quality
Most of the remaining native
timber blown down on the West
Coast last April in Cyclone Ita will
probably not be worth har vesting
beyond the coming summer, the
Department of Conser vation says.
Special legislation was passed after
the cyclone to allow the flattened
trees to be har vested off conser vation
In a report to the West Coast
Conser vation Board yesterday, DOC
acting director conser vation ser vices
Roy Grose, of Hokitika, said 13
sites from Karamea in the north to
the Waitaha Valley in the south had
been worked, or would be worked by
timber millers under special licence.
A further 11 sites had been
identified by operators and they
would probably be authorised in the
next six to 12 months.
By July 1, about 2800 cubic metres
had been salvaged with an estimated
total har vest of 6500 cubic metres
of mainly rimu, netting DOC about
Mr Grose said the bulk of the small
to medium logs would need to be
extracted by this spring.
They would be losing value and
would probably not be worth
extracting past summer, although
some larger diameter wood with
a majority of heart content would
still be worth extracting in early
“The need to break these larger
logs down in forest (to halves,
flitches or planks) to a safe weight for
heli-lift may slow production and
increase costs to operators. ”
Mr Grose said the project was
proceeding well, with high operating
standards, and a good health and
safety process had been implemented.
Time running out to log native timber
Corner of Tainui
and Guinness Streets
Phone 03 768 4075
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