Home' Greymouth Star : September 15th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Dairy factory staff
face nervous wait
The man behind
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Two Reefton work vehicles
suffered punctures after ‘z’ nails were
found deliberately buried in the
ground. Police were called to Kelly
Street yesterday after contractors
reported that nails had been placed
under their wheels some time
overnight. A police spokesman said
they had no suspects at this stage
but inquiries were continuing.
The Westport Volunteer Fire
Brigade was called to a fire that was
not a fire last night. The brigade
responded to a bonfire on the beach
about 7.30pm, where someone had
tried to set some rubbish alight.
However, the brigade arrived to
find a pile of rubbish, but no fire.
Fire chief Alan Kennedy said he
suspected the culprit lit the fire,
scampered — and then it went out.
The driver escaped injury when
their car rolled east of Greymouth
yesterday. St John was called to the
crash, about 3km into the Arorangi
scenic reser ve, about 2.15pm.
Rain with heavy falls
You can always tell how classy an
establishment is by checking out
the toilets. If they have classic music
playing and fluffy hand-towels, it is
probably quite dapper. If they have
a toilet especially for vomiting, such
as this one found in a Prague club,
it is probably a little less dapper.
Raised to chest height to spare your
knees, the ‘puking toilet ’ even has a
handrail to steady yourself while you
regurgitate those shots of tequila.
While the design is flawless and the
effort taken to ensure their guests
are comfortable, even when puking,
is commendable ... who would want
to be using that urinal to the left
while some punter is making use of
the ‘puking toilet ’? — Metro
Reopening options assessed
Viv Logie and Laura Mills
There is a “50-50 chance” the
Railway Hotel will be trading
again by the weekend, after its
owner was put into liquidation in
the High Court in Greymouth
a partner with Deloitte’s in
Wellington, said today the
reopening would depend on the
pub’s financial viability.
“It is not our expectation at this
point and time that the hotel will
be open again in the next day or
two, and it is very likely it will be
advertised for sale,” Mr Vance
AGO Investments, owned by
the Olsen family, was placed
into liquidation at the request of
Inland Revenue, with tax debts
of $267,000. Mr Vance said his
preferred option was to reopen it
and sell it as a going concern.
However, he put paid to
rumours that the Railway had
already been sold: “It hasn’t.”
The closure has put 16 people
out of work, and is a body blow
options in Greymouth, coming
on top of the sudden closure of
Revingtons Hotel. That leaves
just the workingmen’s c lub and
three boutique bars — Speight’s
Ale House, Kingsgate and
Ferrari’s Lounge Bar — but
nowhere for a young audience.
Deloitte’s were sending a staff
member to Greymouth today
to meet the company directors,
accountant, lawyer and possibly
staff to discuss the best options.
“ We need to talk with Grant
(Olsen), the owner of the hotel,
to evaluate every option available
to us,” Mr Vance said. “ Until we
have met with everyone we will
not attempt to reopen the hotel.
“We need to have a feel for
the place also and have to find
the appropriate people to run
the place, if we are looking at
Reopening was not solely the
liquidator’s decision, he said.
“Everyone who supplies goods
and ser vices to the hotel, staff,
management, the brewery, food
suppliers will all be involved.”
If it was to reopen in the short-
term, the two options were to
appoint someone to run the
business in a “sharemilking” type
operation, or the liquidators
taking control of it.
He gave it a 50-50 chance
of being back in business for
the weekend trade. That would
depend on whether someone
stood up and offered to run it
under their own management.
If that person had a history in
the hospitality industry and
had established accounts it
would be easy, but much harder
for someone with no industry
history and financial backing.
If the decision was made to
trade on, the staff would be
offered employment but on a
day-to-day or week-to-week
All staff had been paid prior
to the liquidation and no one
was owed wages. However, it
was unclear at this stage if they
had received all benefits, such as
holiday pay, he said.
Greymouth may face the
weekend without a youth venue.
West Coast police area
commander Inspector John
Canning said one scenario was
that young people would drink at
home and then head to parties,
rather than into town.
“It could go that way. We’ ll
have to wait and see,” Mr
Since the recession hit, the
town centre had been a lot
quieter at weekends. Public place
violence figures were down 20%.
“ To be quite frank, that ’s
because there are less intoxicated
people around. ”
Mr Canning said the trend
towards ‘pre-loading’ — drinking
at home before heading into
town — started about 20 years
ago, because alcohol was cheaper
to buy elsewhere.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
The normally busy Railway Hotel has been shuttered since yesterday.
Litany of pub closures ....
Greymouth pubs that have closed in the past
15 years or so include:
Golden Eagle Hotel and Wine Bar
Duke of Edinburgh Hotel (part-year)
An increase in levies has left Greymouth
St John scrambling to find an extra $49,600 a
Area committee chairwoman Therese Gibbens
last night appealed to the Grey District Council
for $6750 to cover their rental costs on the
headquarters site on the edge of the Greymouth
Mrs Gibbens said levies had gone up from
$1.33 a person to $5, meaning the committee had
to find $67,500, instead of $17,900.
The numbers were based on the 2012 census.
“It has left St John in a critical condition, worse
than critical. I just don’t know where we are going
to get that money from.”
St John had also recently committed $9000
to run the health shuttle between Hokitika and
Mrs Gibbens said it cost $100,000 a year to run
St John in the Grey district.
She noted the council had previously put money
towards the building rental: “ Will you help us
again? I’m really begging, to be frank.
“No one can say they are never going to need us.
No one can know when they are going to need
Cr Tony Coll’s resolution was to remit the full
$6750. “I don’t think we need to be reminded of
the strong commitment of this organisation,” Cr
St John in ‘critical condition’
Polytechnic rejects safety claims
Tai Poutini Polytechnic has
rejected as baseless allegations
that its advanced rope course is
Labour Party tertiary education
spokesman David Cunliffe
picked up on accusations from
the Search and Rescue Institute
of New Zealand, on Friday, and
he yesterday called for the police
and Land Search and Rescue
NZ to investigate whether public
safety has been compromised by
shortcuts on the Greymouth
Mr Cunliffe said “conclusive
evidence” was being provided
from multiple sources that a
54-credit, 540-hour advanced
rope course that used to take 11
months to complete, was now
being delivered by Tai Poutini
Polytechnic in just one week.
“I would not want to be
hanging from a cliff by a rope
tied by someone who had been
rushed through the course, just
so a provider can make bigger
profits,” he said.
On Friday, the polytechnic
dismissed the complaint from
the Search and Rescue Institute
as sour grapes from a disgruntled
former sub-contractor, and today
chief executive Allan Sargison
said the allegations from Mr
Cunliffe were “baseless”.
“The advanced ropes course has
never been required to run over
11 months. The course involves
distance learning work and a
seven-day intensive practical
component,” Mr Sargison said.
The Search and Rescue
Institute was a private training
company, which previously had a
commercial relationship with the
polytechnic. That ended in 2013
when the polytechnic started
delivering the training directly.
“O ver the years, the Tertiary
Education Commission and
New Zealand Qualifications
Authority have independently
complaints from (the Search and
Rescue Institute) against (Tai
Poutini Polytechnic), and found
them to have no foundation.”
He said the polytechnic worked
with New Zealand Search and
Rescue — the national co-
ordinating body for the sector
to ensure that all training
delivered was appropriate and
enhanced the safety of the sector.
Mr Cunliffe also said “concrete
evidence” of tutors being
enrolled as students to inflate
course numbers had not been
Mr Sargison responded that a
“small number” of polytechnic
staff members were also search
and rescue volunteers in their
“These volunteers — less than
five equivalent full-time students
have received training, which
New Zealand Search and Rescue
requests of all its volunteers, in
Greymouth retailers cry foul
Greymouth retailers have voiced
their concerns over out-of-town
traders taking money out of the
Business owners took their
concerns to the Grey District
Council meeting last night asking
for something to be done about
Y Furniture owner Carol Elley
said the visiting traders took large
amounts of money out of the
“They set up, they trade and
they leave,” Mrs Elley said.
Local businesses did not want
anything more than an even
playing field, she said.
Promotions Association vice-
chairman Clark Ellery said
shopkeepers had to pay an
economic development levy,
which itinerant traders did not.
“They should pay what we have
to,” Mr Ellery said.
Shopkeepers were not allowed
to put out extra signs on the
footpath, whereas traders often
had signs all along the State
However, council chief executive
Paul Pretorius said the council
could not be anti-competitive and
could only regulate public land.
He had written to every other
local authority in New Zealand
about the issue, but none of them
had a “silver bullet ”.
Mr Ellery disputed that, saying
he had found information on
council websites which showed
there were policies in place.
He pointed out that the State
highway was governed by the
New Zealand Transport Agency
and was not the jurisdiction of
Mr Pretorius said the council
would look to the Ministry
of Business, Innovation and
Employment for help.
In the meantime, he suggested
that businesses could call on the
venues that did host itinerant
traders and ask them to not
Mrs Elley asked the council for
“ With the downturn in the
economy we are seen as easy
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said
he believed there was “room
to manoeuvre” on the current
itinerant traders fee.
►Both downtown pubs closed
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