Home' Greymouth Star : September 24th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
VW chief quits
off to nationals
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
funding in doubt
The Ministry of Education
says it will make a decision by
year end on whether to continue
millions of dollars of funding for
the Gloriavale pre-school. A new
nationwide scheme introduced this
year allocates students a number,
which allows staff to identify a child
without having to refer to names or
addresses. Gloriavale has not joined
up because it disagrees with the use
of numbers for its children. Ministry
head of sector of enablement and
support Katrina Casey, said a
representative visited Gloriavale
last year and again in July to
discuss concerns, and was working
through the issues Gloriavale
raised. “ We expect to make a final
decision before the end of the year.”
Gloriavale has three early childhood
centres with 152 children enrolled.
Between July 2014 and June 2015 it
received funding of $2,403,844. If
they do net adopt the scheme, that
funding could be withdrawn.
An investigation is under way
following a scrub fire which
may have been deliberately lit at
Westport’s North Beach yesterday.
Westport fire chief Alan Kennedy
said the brigade was called to the
blaze off the end of Derby Street
about 4pm. The fire missed the
new Kawatiri Walkway by about
100m. “ There was a good sea
breeze blowing, and once the gorse
got started it just headed off,” Mr
Kennedy said. Two fire crews took
about 45 minutes to get it under
control, after it spread through
about 200m of mainly gorse. At the
same time the brigade was called
to a suspected scrub fire along the
coast at Carter’s Beach. However,
it turned out to be smoke from the
North Beach fire.
Mainly fine, south-easterlies
A ghostly sound of an air raid
siren has been waking people in
hundreds of homes in a British city
that was heavily bombed by the
Nazis 75 years ago. Noise abatement
officials launched an investigation
into the mysterious noise which has
been heard more frequently across
Swansea, south Wales, in recent
months, but admit it cannot be
traced. Reports of the wailing sound
have stretched back for more than a
year, with many residents in the area
of Townhill comparing it to a ‘war
or old factory siren’. One mother,
Debbie Leyshon, said: “Everyone
around here has heard it around
dawn and into the early morning”.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Grey Base Hospital operations manager Hamish Brown about to buy a bottle of water from the hospital cafeteria fridge this morning.
Grey Base Hospital is joining
hospitals throughout the country
in removing all soft drinks from its
The Ministry of Health told health
boards a few weeks ago they must
get rid of sugary drinks for sale on
their sites by the end of this month.
Dr Rob Beaglehole, principal
dental officer at Nelson
Marlborough District Health
Board, said he pushed for a ban after
seeing a Coca-Cola van parked on
the property immediately after he
had extracted 56 rotten teeth from
four children.He said 860 children
in Auckland were waiting to be seen
by a dentist to have rotten teeth
removed under general anaesthetic.
Few people realised that a can of
Coke contained three times the
recommended daily intake of sugar
for a child, he said.
There was also worrying evidence
emerging about diet drinks, and
their link to obesity and other
problems. The West Coast board
supplied the Greymouth Star with
the following information on sugar
content in drinks:
300ml of flavoured milk
seven teaspoons of sugar
750ml flavoured water — five
600ml of iced coffee — 13
500ml sparking fruit drink
powered fruit drink sachet
Soft drinks go from hospital
Reefton residents got their wish last
night when the Buller District Council
agreed they needed a larger theatre,
and backed away from tentative talk of
demolishing the community centre.
After consultation, the townspeople
believed they were on the path to having
plans drawn up to improve and quake-
strengthen their existing theatre.
Hoiwever, when the council agenda
came out this week, chief executive Paul
Wylie put three options on the table,
including only a small 32-seat boutique
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor waded into the debate
yesterday, saying in a letter to Mayor
Garry Howard that a previous poll of
residents supported the larger theatre.
“ What seems significant in this issue is
that the council appears to be unwilling
to listen to the will of the community.
“I have also taken note of comments
from people who feel that Westport has
done well out of its large-scale facilities
and feel that Reefton has suffered in
Mr Howard said at last night’s
monthly meeting the council realised
supported option two — a theatre with
an additional smaller boutique cinema.
This, however, had not been followed
through by the architect as an option, he
“Cr (David) Hawes, the Inangahua
representative, supplied two plans” which
could be progressed, he said, aligned
with the community’s preferred option.
The council would progress with that.
Reefton businessman Paul Thomas,
who lobbied the council this week to
back a full theatre, was delighted this
“ It ’s just fantastic. We need to work
though the detail, and make sure the
building is treated appropriately,” he
said, a reference to the current cladding
which he feels is good and fits with the
town’s heritage character.
He said the theatre was more than that
it was the town hall.
Hokitika dog thieves arrested in Nelson
The application for a new coalmine
near Westport is currently on hold, the
Department of Conservation says.
Stevenson Group subsidiary Stevenson
Mining has applied for concessions for
a multi-million dollar opencast mine
at Te Kuha, about 10km south-east of
Westport on the north side of the Buller
River towards the Buller Gorge.
About 14ha is on public conservation
The plan is to employ about 40 people,
and produce about 250,000 tonnes of coal
a year to be railed directly from Westport
to Lyttelton for export.
A report to the West Coast
Conser vation Board meeting last week
says the applications are currently on hold,
while Stevenson provides comments on
the draft significance report, and general
The report says a timetable is hard to
advise as it is “wholly dependent on the
applicant submitting their feedback on
the significance assessment ... and the
additional information.” The concession
also covers the haul road.
Meanwhile, DOC has drafted a report
on Birchfield Holdings application
for alluvial goldmining on 12ha of
conservation land near Lake Haupiri, at
The draft report is with the company for
PICTURE: Hokitika Guardian
SPCA staff members Irene Ritchie, right, with
Kiri, and Louise Royal, with Suki and Katie. Kiri
and another pup Winston were stolen over the
weekend, then returned.
Two Hokitika men wanted
by the police after they broke
into the SPCA in the town
last weekend and stole two
11-week-old bull mastiff
puppies were arrested in
Nelson yesterday following an
alleged firearms incident.
Greymouth police said that
a 34-year-old man and a
19-year-old man were due to
appear in the Nelson District
Court today to face firearms
related charges, following an
alleged incident involving
the presentation of a firearm
at the Richmond Mall mid-
The police inquiry into the
incident was still ongoing
It is alleged the men broke
into the Hokitika SPCA
compound on Gibson Q uay,
overnight on Friday, stealing
the young puppies.
Greymouth senior sergeant
Allyson Ealam said the pair
were likely to be brought
back to Greymouth to appear
on separate burglary and
receiving charges related to
the incident at Hokitika.
The break-in and puppy theft
was discovered on Saturday by
A $1000 reward and a social
media campaign by the SPCA
over the weekend successfully
netted a result with police
recovering the puppies from
a Hokitika address and
returning them on Sunday
“ We had 65,000 hits on
the whole post. It was also
shared more than 1200 times,”
Hokitika SPCA manager
Louise Royal said on Monday.
This morning Mrs Royal was
very pleased to hear of the
She still had no idea what
the men intended to do with
“ It’s good that they ’ve been
arrested. The best news for
us of course was we got the
puppies back. I can’t believe
the power of social media in
this,” Mrs Royal said.
Coalmine on hold
Police said today they had concerns for the
welfare of a Greymouth man who has been
reported missing. Lawrence Campbell Farish,
62, has been missing since the early hours of
yesterday morning. He was last seen wearing
dark coloured track pants, a grey sweatshirt,
black sneakers, dark coloured gloves and a cap
or hat. He walks with a limp. Police believe he
may be walking north and ask that anyone who
has seen someone fitting this description to
contact the Greymouth police.
Greymouth man missing
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