Home' Greymouth Star : August 26th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2015
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moved at McLeans Pit
Police are on the lookout for a
couple who have been preying on the
goodwill of people in Greymouth
by selling stolen gift cards and
claiming hardship, saying they
needed money for petrol. “ These
cards were exchanged for cash and
when presented to the store, have
been declined as they were stolen
and not activated,” senior sergeant
David Cross said. Police would like
to hear from anyone who has been
approached or bought the gift cards.
A trip to McDonald’s to deal with
his hangover landed a Greymouth
teenager with a conviction for drink-
driving. Ethan Joseph Long, 19, was
convicted in the Greymouth District
Court yesterday of excess breath-
alcohol and banned from driving
for six months. D uring a roadside
breath-alcohol test on June 27, L ong
blew 747mg. He told police he had
been drinking, but had stopped
“ hours ago”. Lawyer Marcus Zintl
said Long had been drinking with
friends but had stopped drinking
at 2am and had gone to sleep.
However, the next morning he made
the “stupid decision” to drive to
McDonald ’s to try to deal with his
Cloudy periods, odd coastal shower
The Germans have been the
butt of light-hearted British
jests for years. But one gag has
helped a stand-up comic scoop
the prestigious award for telling
the funniest joke at this year’s
Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Darren
Walsh, 39, won the prize at the
Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his
one liner: “I just deleted all the
German names off my phone. It ’s
Hans free.” A panel of 10 judges,
consisting of the United Kingdom’s
foremost comedy critics, listened to
more than 7000 gags each during
the three-week event before they
nominated five of their favourites.
— Daily Mail
Thieves target gates
A pair of farm gates were stolen
from an Inchbonnie property over
the past few days and police say
other gates in the area have also
been tampered with. Police are
seeking information from anyone
who has seen suspicious activity in
the area. Meanwhile, a window at
the Westport aerodrome terminal
was forced open yesterday, although
the offenders were unable to get in.
DWC halves farm value
Development West Coast approved
nine loans in the past year with
a combined value of just under
$7 million, with its overall financial
result bolstered by a healthy bank
However, it also halved the value of
its heavy investment in the Kawhaka
dairy farm, Cranley Farms Ltd, from
$3.435m to $1.5m.
Reporting to the annual meeting
in Westport last night, DWC said
the trust had generated $13.5m in
income in the 2014-15 year and
increased total assets to $126.3m.
However, in light of the downturn in
dairy prices it was closely monitoring
its investment in Cranley Farms Ltd,
resulting in the writedown in the
value of the investment at the end of
the financial year on June 30.
DWC chief financial officer Mark
Dawson said today the final dairy
payout from Westland Milk Products
had not been set and details of any
further investment needed in Cranley
would not be made public.
The nine loans — including a
distribution to itself to buy buildings
in Richmond Quay in Greymouth —
are an increase on the previous year,
when $3m was approved over six
loans, and just two were uplifted.
“It’s just the climate at the moment,”
chairman John Sturgeon said. “ We
are on the job looking, and hoping,
and trying to help.”
Mr Sturgeon said the trust was
open to suggestions for using the
Richmond Quay sites, noting they
were waiting to see what the Grey
District Council did with its central
business district renewal project.
DWC no longer reveals details
of its commercial loans, but some
recipients have agreed to be named,
namely Sounds Air for the loan to
purchase a plane to fly into Westport,
and Putake, a Marlborough-based
honey company which has set up at
Mr Dawson said one loan helped
a business which had gone through
a rough patch, and it had just repaid
the last bit.
An announcement on another
recipient would come through in the
next few days.
about the economic
downturn on the West Coast and
the year ahead, Mr Sturgeon said
Development WC was working
with Buller Mayor Garry Howard
over Solid Energy’s mining licences,
expecting that the company would be
broken up and sold.
“(Solid Energy) had the whole
district tied up, to be honest. It made
it very difficult for other would-be
miners to come in,” Mr Sturgeon said.
Mr Dawson said DWC was keen for
people to come in and talk to them.
“The door’s open,” Mr Sturgeon
The recent launch of a $3m ‘district
economic stimulus fund ’ — which
released $1m to each of the three
district councils — would create
sustainable employment and generate
Mr Sturgeon said highlights for
the year included: a loan for the
purchase of an aircraft to deliver an
essential air ser vice out of Westport
(Sounds Air); funding to support
the enhancement and development
of ICT for schools; the purchase
of freehold property on Richmond
Quay; continued facilitation of the
West Coast Construction Alliance;
successful delivery of the regional
business programme; and continuity
of the leadership and governance
$240,000 fund cost
Development West Coast says
the $240,000 it spends a year on
fund managers is cheap.
Its investments performed well
this year and the trust now has
total assets of $126.7 million.
It paid $240,000 to J B Were
(NZ) and Bancorp Treasury
Ser vices Ltd for managing the
Asked why DWC did not do
the work in-house any more,
chief financial officer Mark
Dawson said the fund managers
had researchers working for them
who “dug into companies”, had
contacts overseas, and tapped into
strategic work happening around
They liaised with the stock
exchange and when DWC
bought things, they issued the
“ We couldn’t replicate that,” Mr
Just one staff member would
equate to the $240,000 it was
spending on fund managers, he
“ I think it ’s cheap.”
Previous DWC chief executive
Mike Trousselot did the fund
DWC does not publish a staff
wage bill. It currently employs 10
or 11 people, one fewer than last
list trustee remunerations of
$176,000 and trustee expenses of
It lists payment to suppliers,
trustees and employees as
Geotechnical investigations for the
proposed new Taramakau road bridge
are under way and the New Zealand
Transport Agency assures that drilling
will not affect the river, with whitebait
season just days away.
Senior project manager Geoff
Griffiths said a design contract for
the new bridge had been awarded to
consultancy Novare Design.
“Once the geotechnical information
has been collected and analysed, the
bridge design can begin,” Mr Griffiths
said. Discussions had also begun with
directly affected landowners and other
stakeholders, such as the West Coast
An NZTA spokeswoman said two
rigs had started drilling on either side of
the river to find hard ground.
“Drilling shouldn’t affect the
whitebait, whitebaiters, or the river,” the
They would not have a final cost for
the construction until they knew the
results of the geotechnical tests, so the
bridge could be built for the conditions.
Once the design was done, a business
case would have to be assembled to
assure the funding.
NZTA did not expect to have designs
for the bridge finalised until May or
June 2016, stressing that the bridge
would be “dependent on funding”.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
CW Drilling were yesterday testing the ground in the Taramakau River bed as part of geotechnical investigations on the site of the proposed new Taramakau
road bridge. Two rigs have been set up, with one on the Greymouth side of the bridge and the second in the riverbed on the Hokitika side.
Smiths City, which is selling its
flagship Colombo Street store in
Christchurch to repay debt, said
sales fell in the first four months of
the year after it closed unprofitable
outlets and spending dipped in rural
areas, including Greymouth.
Sales in the new financial year
started May 1 are down 2% on
the year earlier, chairman Craig
Boyce said in notes for delivery at
the company ’s annual meeting in
Christchurch today. Excluding the
impact of store changes, sales were
up 1%, he said.
The company said its sales and
margins have been under pressure
since Christmas and it is reviewing
its operations and costs to eke out
“Change must happen to be
profitable and successful in the
future,” Mr Boyce said. “Unprofitable
stores must have a business plan to be
profitable, or they close.”
A decline in dairy prices, New
Zealand ’s largest commodity export,
has prompted some economists to
revise down their expectations for
economic growth in the coming year,
and its impact on the country’s terms
of trade prompted the central bank to
start cutting interest rates in June.
“ We are seeing reduced spending
in rural centres like Ashburton,
Timaru, Oamaru, Greymouth and
Gore — but it is not a surprise and
we are confident we are holding
market share, particularly in the
higher margin furniture, flooring and
bedding markets,” Mr Boyce said.
— New Zealand Herald
Development West Coast now
says that it does do economic
In May, chief executive Joseph
Thomas told the Westport News
that DWC “ was not, and never
had been, the Coast ’s economic
Chief financial officer Mark
Dawson said today Mr Thomas
had been correctly quoted, but
he was referring specifically to
was a technical term.
Some people had since claimed
that Development West Coast did
not do economic development.
“ But we do do economic
development,” Mr Dawson said.
released yesterday, outlined five
strategic priorities: financial
sustainability of the trust fund;
prudent commercial loans; build
leadership in businesses; invest in
research and develop to develop
and diversify industries; improve
the profile and visibility of DWC.
Smiths City ‘not surprised’ at spending dip at Greymouth store
‘ We do economic
A Cobden woman who tucked into
chocolates and bought booze using
a gift card — both sent as presents
to an associate — was convicted and
discharged of theft.
Jenna Ann Dalzell, 27, was at a Cobden
address on June 3 when a tracked courier
bag, containing a box of chocolates, a gift
card and a birthday card was delivered.
The person it had been delivered to left
it in the lounge, and when she left the
property, Dalzell ripped open the bag,
ate the chocolates, tore up the birthday
card and bought $21 worth of booze
with the $30 gift card.
Lawyer Marcus Zintl said a planned
restorative justice hearing had not taken
place as the complainant had not wanted
to meet with Dalzell.
However, the lawyer applied for a
conviction and discharge as Dalzell had
no previous convictions for theft.
Mr Zintl said the theft had been from
someone who had been paying rent to
live in Dalzell’s house but was behind
with her payments. Dalzell had repaid
the money owed to the associate and
had written a letter of apology.
Thief intercepts birthday chocolates, booze
Probing the Taramakau
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