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SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
WEST COAST FEATURE
A draft report on the Westpower
bid for a hydro power scheme on
the Waitaha River south of Ross
is almost finished. The scheme
would generate enough power for
12,000 homes. The Department
of Conser vation assessment report
should be completed late this month
or next, then for warded to the West
Coast Conser vation Board.
GPs hard to
Staff are proving hard to come by
at some West Coast GP surgeries.
The West Coast District Health
Board said this week it was working
through the recruitment process
for vacancies at its Buller and
Greymouth Medical Centres.
“Unfortunately, we are struggling
to source locum cover for both
Buller and Greymouth, which is
an ongoing issue and new ways
of tackling this problem are being
to put your
for ward one
going to bed
Cloud increasing, light rain
Greymouth Star On-line
People have tumbled down the
steps of the Taj Mahal, fallen off
bridges and been electrocuted in an
effort to take the perfect selfie. In
fact, there have been more selfie-
related deaths this year than there
have have been deaths from shark
attacks. At least 12 people have
been killed taking selfies while only
eight have died in shark attacks.
Some governments have introduced
measures to reduce the risk of
accident. In Australia, a 16-storey
rock that resembles a wedding
cake has been cordoned off because
despite warnings it could collapse at
any time, people continued to take
photos on it.
Kiwi Rail proposes building a new
treatment system for the coal dust
it hoses off the inside of the Otira
It has lodged an application for a
raft of resource consents with the
West Coast Regional Council.
The rail tunnel suffers a build-up of
dust from open coal wagons.
The ballast also contains sand and
sand fines from grit.
Until now, the ballast has been
cleaned once a year using high
pressure hoses, discharged into the
But an assessment in June 2013
found the existing settling ponds were
performing poorly, and that meant
high levels of dust were being flushed
straight into the river.
A new ‘wash water treatment system’
is proposed on Kiwi Rail land opposite
the tunnel entrance.
A pipe from the tunnel will be
attached to bridge No 50.
The water will then go through a
treatment system, and the solids then
put in large, special bags.
The bags would de-water into an
infiltration pond, into the adjacent
A 170m-long bund would stop the
river washing the plant away.
Kiwi Rail expects to remove 1800
cubic metres of sediment in the
upcoming tunnel cleaning.
The existing settling ponds will
remain only as a contingency.
Construction of the new system will
take three to six months.
Vegetation will need to be cleared
from a 7000 square metre area,
including about 4750ha of native
The application reveals Kiwi Rail
had been looking at covering coal
wagons, but the cost would have been
too much for Solid Energy.
It is now looking at whether a
polymer veneer could be sprayed on
top of the coal, to reduce the need to
clean the tunnel.
Because water will be taken from
one stream and discharged to another,
the impacts on Maori values are also
Kiwi Rail says the nearest neighbours
are over 2km away.
Coal dust plan for Otira Tunnel
Kumara School students Julie Lesimae, eight, Oliver Slade, nine, and Carlos Syme, nine, learn how to print images the old-fashioned way, at a workshop run by
Artist Kate Buckley, from West Reap, at the school on Wednesday.
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
The ar t of printing
Options to get rid of building
rubble when earthquake-prone
buildings are demolished are
being explored by the Grey
Council assets manager Mel
Sutherland said the council
was in the very early stage of
investigating and identifying
potential sites and existing dump
capacity within the district.
One possibility could be at
the existing McLeans Pit site
although it was too early to say,
Mr Sutherland said.
“It may be in the same area or
the same site. We’ll probably firm
up options over the next financial
The need for a dedicated dump
was the major reason for the
exploration of dumping options.
Mr Sutherland said the council
also needed to account for the
future, particularly around an
and what would happen in the
“It’s more of a contingency
thing ... There’s at least two
private sector dump sites that
we’re aware of,” he said.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said the primary
objective was to facilitate the
renewal of the Greymouth CBD
by assisting property owners to
meet their obligations under the
new building code.
“ We’re doing this to help people
make the transition to the new
earthquake standards, making
it as easy on building owners in
town as we can,” Mr Kokshoorn
Relics from Reefton’s glorious
mining past will be displayed in a
garden when the Oceana Gold mine
goes into care and maintenance next
As Oceana Gold dug down, they
found old mining relics from the
The old underground mine on site
was called Globe Hill.
The Department of Conser vation
said items were found in a number of
places on the site.
“There are a large number of
items, representing both industrial
and domestic activities. The items
were mainly from the 1900s era,”
spokeswoman Jose Watson said.
Most of the items will stay on site at
the relics garden.
Other avenues had been explored but
the likes of the Blacks Point Museum
only had so much room.
Most are run of the mill mining
relics, but the portable boiler remains
were interesting and had been the
subject of some research.
Mine manager Dale Oram said the
old explosives magazine from Globe
Hill remained, from the underground
mine back in the early 1900s.
There used to be a town at Globe
Hill — the wider area has been
mined since 1866, when work started
at Devils Creek.
The Dellaca family, who more
recently had Postie Plus, had a shoe
repair shop there.
PICTURE: Dwayne Detlaff
Some of the relics from the early days of mining at Globe Hill.
Gold mine’s rich past on show
Conser vation says the giant
snails living in fridges at the
will need managing once Solid
Energy funding runs out.
funding for the snail chamber
ends next year.
Close to 6000 Powelliphanta
augustus giant snails were moved
off their ancient home — above
a $400 million coal seam — in
2006, after Solid Energy won
permission to mine Mount
Augustus, at Stockton.
They are now held in
temperature controlled cool
chambers in Hokitika. Releases
back into the wild are made
regularly to another area on the
DOC conser vation ser vices
manager Ian McClure said in a
report to the conser vation board
meeting they were developing
management of the species
Powelliphanta snails grow very
slowly, taking at least eight years
to reach breeding age, and are
vulnerable to predation.
That means the populations will
need conser vation management
beyond 2016 to ensure they are
“Solid Energy has been
undertaking measures to remedy
and mitigate effects on the species
from the loss of the snail’s habitat
from the opencast mining,” Mr
The West Coast Conser vation
Board inspected the snail
chamber last week during its
to keep going
Corner of Tainui and Guinness Streets Phone 03 768 4075
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