Home' Greymouth Star : September 19th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Last look at Oceana Gold Reefton
The Grey District Council hopes
to complete the refurbishment of
public toilets at Dixon Park and
Runanga before Christmas. The
projects were part of the council
carryovers of uncompleted projects
from 2014-15 totalling $51,483.
Assets manager Mel Sutherland
said they hoped to have toilets in
place at the Cobden Aromahana
Sanctuary in the same timeframe.
The Moonlight community will
be given the remaining $3804 from
its infrastructure fund to erect signs,
a shelter, interpretation panels
and buy tables and chairs. The
community asked the Grey District
Council to release the money,
which will cover the majority of the
estimated $4874 it will cost for the
project. Atarau resident and former
councillor Paul Berry said the
balance would be raised from the
annual Moonlight Biathlon. About
22% of the rateable community in
the area had shown their support for
the funds to be used and the council
accepted that, rather than spend
$400 from the fund for consultation.
Aliens may have landed on Earth
a million years ago, according to a
group that have apparently found
debris from a UFO. The ‘remains’
discovered last Wednesday came
in the form of a 4m stone disc.
We think it is just a big rock, but
it was found by alien enthusiast
groups UFOlogy and Kosmopoisk,
which were on an expedition near
Volgograd, Russia. “It looks to me
like the stone discs I’ve seen in Mars
Nasa photos, which leads me to
conclude that this UFO is a military
drone, but it was probably damaged
during the Mars attack and got off
course, crashing on Earth,” wrote
Scot Waring, from UFO Sightings
Daily. UFOlogists also claimed
the find could be aged about one
million years old.
Fine with morning frosts
Westport are paying higher rates
than those in Greymouth and
Hokitika, analysis of comparative
However, outside the centre of
the three main Coast towns it is
more of a mixed bag — Westland
is more expensive in upmarket
areas, and Grey in some rural
When the rates for 2015-16
were struck at the start of winter,
it was pretty much business as
usual in Grey district, with an
overall rate rise of 3.7%.
However, in Westland the
council moved from land-based
to capital-based rating in a bid to
even things out. The rate rise was
4.6% . It meant some Westland
ratepayers had a large jump, while
other rates bills went down.
The council watchdog group
sought legal advice and is
considering a judicial review.
The Greymouth Star asked
what homeowners in the centre
of Westport, Greymouth, and
Hokitika would pay this year in
The Star also asked for rural
rates in each district.
The main towns: Westport is
the most expensive.
A Westport house valued
about $200,000 will pay $2632
in rates. A central Greymouth
house with a capital valuation of
$270,000 will pay $2331, while a
central Hokitika house valued at
$235,000 will pay $2340.
Upmarket areas: Westland
is the most expensive. A Kaniere
homeowner with a house valued at
$410,000 will pay $2577. Karoro
(house worth $620,000) will pay
$2174, while on Utopia Road
or Carters Beach, at Westport,
a homeowner with a $400,000
property will pay just $1214.
Rural areas: a mixed bag.
Someone in Granity (house
worth $100,000) will pay just
$782; in Ross (house worth
$150,000) they will pay $1780
and Kumara ($200,000 house)
$1610; and in Blackball (house
worth $145,000) $1936, and
Ahaura ($250,000 house) $998.
Westland Mayor Mike Havill
said that before this year, the
Westland District Council had
19 rating differentials. People on
the sea side of Revell Street paid
between $3500 and $4000, while
directly across the road their
neighbours paid $2300.
He said Kaniere was currently
more expensive because it was on
town water and sewerage.
“Certainly the playing field did
The new system was fairer, Mr
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said it was hard to
compare apples with apples.
Blackball — an expensive rural
area — had water and sewerage,
With an overall rate rise of
3.7%, he was “extremely happy
where we are”.
“ We know we are the lowest
on the Coast,” Mr Kokshoorn
said, referring to an annual rating
sur vey. It has not been released for
this year yet.
“ We are maintaining our lowest
rates and to keep doing that.
“At the same time, we want to
increase our ser vices too. We don’t
want to go backwards. ”
Buller Mayor Garry Howard,
said urban Westport rates were
higher because it had just gone
through a 100-year replacement
programme for water and
His council is also looking into
the wider rating system, and
whether it needs to change.
“ We are looking at land and
capital, there’s no finite decision.
Modelling is being done on both.”
Ministers’ blessing on hospital chapel plans
Plans have been finalised for
a multi-faith chapel at the new
Greymouth Hospital, and have the
blessing of the Ministers’ Association.
West Coast District Health Board
general manager Grey-Westland,
Mark Newsome, said the non-
denominational space had been
included in the $67 million hospital
It will be situated in the central core
of the new building, near the cafe
and with a view across the internal
courtyard. A sliding door between
the 22 square metre room and the
adjoining larger meeting-seminar
room will enable both to be increased
in size, if needed.
“For example, if a larger ser vice was
to be provided the space could be
increased to suit,” Mr Newsome said.
Archdeacon Robin Kingston,
speaking on behalf of the Ministers’
Association, said it was a “brilliant
“ We are really happy with it. The
Ministers’ Association have looked
at the detailed plans and are very
comfortable with it,” Mr Kingston
The stained glass window from the
current chapel would be retained, and
reinstalled in the side of the seminar
room so people could see it as they
approached the chapel.
Most of the furniture would be
reused, though probably not the altar,
which was “too big, and not really in
Meanwhile, Mr Newsome said
a separate whanau room would be
located to the north of the main
“This room also views out into the
internal courtyard and is 20 square
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Archdeacon Robin Kingston outside the current hospital chapel.
Schools have defended chromebooks as
the best devices for children to be learning
on when the new Toki Pounamu Project
sees 10 West Coast schools nearly fully
digitised, despite criticism from some
Paroa, Karoro, St Patrick’s, Blaketown,
Awahono, Paparoa Range, Lake
Brunner, Kaniere, Greymouth High and
Grey Main schools have joined together
for the project, which will have senior
pupils in each school working on Google
chromebooks from next year.
The computers will be purchased
through the schools and parents will have
the option buying them outright or on a
rent to buy scheme of about $4 a week.
Schools will buy the devices in bulk to
ensure a cheaper price.
Grey Main School principal Mandy
O’Sullivan said parents were largely
“ Parents are supportive of what we are
doing, they know their children are going
to get a robust device,” Mrs O’Sullivan
Schools chose chromebooks because
that was what had been done in Auckland,
where Toki Pounamu was modelled, and
it also meant that all children were on
the same type of device, avoiding issues
“ Being able to do that makes the job of
the schools much easier,” Mrs O’Sullivan
Using chromebooks did not require
large infrastructure costs because
everything was cloud based, rather than
requiring ser vers.
The devices were fully tested in
Auckland, and came with an insurance
and a $50 excess, which she said would
be far better than they would other wise
They also had same day service, so
children would not be disadvantaged by
not having a device.
Karoro School principal Maureen
Truman said there had been a “very
positive response by parents” to the
A lot of research had gone into use of
chromebooks and they were going on the
advice of the Auckland project.
“They come with a warranty, they come
with insurance and they come with a
white glove programme, which means
they are ready to go.”
Repairs could also be done locally.
Mrs Truman also highlighted the need
to keep children on the same device.
“It makes it so much easier than having
teachers try to manage a range of devices.
We don’t want anything to distract from
the teaching or learning.”
Paroa School principal Judy Elvidge
said they would be informing parents
more about the project, noting they had
not received comments from parents
about the pricing of the devices.
Parents may have been used to buying
their own devices and now it was being
handled by the cluster of schools.
She said the project was a new way of
learning and would have a positive effect
The Toki Pounamu trust had its first
meeting on Tuesday.
Schools defend Google laptop deal
The West Coast District Health
Board says it has yet to decide which
ward names will be carried over to the
new Greymouth Hospital.
It has a long tradition of naming
wards after people.
The old hospital had Victoria Ward
(Queen Victoria), Seddon (prime
minister Richard Seddon), Petrie
( Joseph Petrie, former Greymouth
mayor), Saltzman (Samuel Saltzman,
tailor and benefactor), and O’Brien
( James O’Brien, Labour MP).
Wards that sur vived the rebuild in the
1970s include Hannan (Michael and
John Hannan, former board chairman)
McBrearty (Dr James McBrearty and
his son Dr J W McBrearty), and for a
Other wards include Parfitt (Dorothy
Parfitt, first female hospital board
chairwoman in New Zealand), Barclay
(Dr Barclay) and Couston.
DHB general manager Grey and
Westland, Mark Newsome, said the
new hospital would have flexible
working areas, with beds allocated for
different types of needs.
It would be moving away from
the ‘ward’ system. Staff in each area
would be flexible to meet the demands
throughout the hospital.
“ We will no longer be using the ward
system,” Mr Newsome said.
In-patient beds would be provided
for those needing hospitalised care,
whatever their needs.
“Our highly skilled nursing team
will be able to work across a range of
ser vices, depending on their specific
skill sets. Clinical areas will include:
maternity, emergency department, a
short-stay unit, an integrated unit for
in-patients (including critical care
patients), along with operating theatres
and associated ser vices.”
He said it was yet to be determined
if any of the old names, such as
McBrearty, would be carried through
to the new facility.
Departure from ward system in new hospital
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