Home' Greymouth Star : October 1st 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
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Two Greymouth people won
$87,272 each in the final Big
Wednesday Lotto draw yesterday.
Nationally, some 209 winners shared
the $15 million jackpot, including
two who bought their tickets at
Greymouth Countdown. It was the
largest number of players to share a
first division lottery jackpot in New
Zealand. Because there were no first
division winners the entire jackpot
rolled down to the third division.
Fish caught in slip
The large rock slip that blocked
the Otira Gorge yesterday has
delayed the planned junior fishing
day which was to be held on
Saturday at Coal Creek after the
truck carrying the became stuck
on the wrong side of the slip. West
Coast Fish and Game spokesman
Dean Kelly said the 300 salmon,
each weighing 1kg, were on their
way to Greymouth in a water
tanker when the driver learned the
road was closed. The fish had to be
taken back to Christchurch as they
would not have sur vived the long
detour through the Lewis Pass. “ The
biggest problem when transporting
live fish is the waste product, which
causes a build-up of ammonia and
can kill the fish,” Mr Kelly said.
“A trip of three to four hours is
about the maximum for the fish,
any longer and they may die.” Mr
Kelly said a few of the fish would
not have sur vived the long drive
yesterday anyway, but the majority
had been returned safely to a pond
in Christchurch to settle down. They
expect to try again next Tuesday or
Rain, heavy falls in morning easing
Greymouth Star On-line
A ‘spooky’ shadow of a hanged
man has been creeping out residents
of a small town. The illusion is
seen at a spot called Dead Man’s
Cross in Dartmouth, Devon, where
criminals were hanged in the 13th
century. Pictures of the shadow at
a crossroads between Milton Lane
and Waterpool Road have gone
viral after being shared on social
media. Incredibly, the angle of the
sun seems to create what appears to
be the image of a figure suspended
from a gallows with their hands tied
behind their back.
The slip covering State highway 73 at the Otira Gorge.
Coast to coast traffic should be
prepared for 30 minute delays
today as contractors continue to
clear the Otira Gorge slip that
closed State highway 73 for most
The road was cleared by about 6
o’clock last night, but traffic was
reduced to one lane.
The New Zealand Transport
Agency put up traffic lights at
Candys Bend and Windy Point.
Regional performance manager
Pete Connors said it may take
some time to restore both lanes so
motorists should be prepared for
delays in coming days.
They were “trying hard” this
morning but could not say when it
would go back to two lanes, as they
had to get the guardrail back up.
There was no need to extend the
nearby rock shelter over the road,
which was built in a place where
the rock slope was unstable much
Yesterday ’s slip was now stable.
Mr Connors said it may have
been caused when vegetation got
too big, bringing the rock down.
The fall damaged 40m of
guardrail, and contractors were
using some of the slip material as
short term edge protection.
About 200 cubic metres of rock
fell on to the road early yesterday,
knocking out the guardrail.
Geotechnical experts inspected
the site yesterday morning by
helicopter, and were able to sluice
the site to clear remaining loose
For the latest information go to
Asking prices in the West Coast
property market are down 3.5% and
houses are taking an average of almost
two years to sell — the longest in
New Zealand, according to a national
However, local agents say some are
selling within four weeks and they are
expecting the market to improve.
It takes an average of 98 weeks to sell
on the Coast, according to realestate.
co.nz. Northland and Coromandel are
the next slowest to sell, but take just an
average of 39 weeks. Auckland is the
fastest, taking just 10 weeks.
The number of houses for sale on the
Coast is also up, with 76 listed for sale
Realestate.co.nz said there were now
fewer residential properties listed for
sale nationwide than at any time since
at least 2006.
Property Brokers Greymouth staff
looked at the figures this morning, and
collectively put out a statement.
They said they found the current
market lively with activity in both the
higher and lower ends of the market.
“ Yes, some properties are taking 98
weeks across the whole of the West
Coast, but we have a number of examples
lately of properties meeting the market
and selling within four to 24 weeks.”
There were buyers waiting for the right
property to be listed. There were also
first home buyers back in the market and
families from other regions wanting to
swap to a quality lifestyle in our part of
“ With all the positivity in the region
we are expecting a solid and improving
market over time to come.”
Website chief executive Brendon
Skipper said the average asking prices in
many regions had dropped since August.
However, the longer term trend
nationally showed strong increases in
“ We use a metric we call ‘inventory’,
a measure of supply and demand that
indicates how long it would take, in
theory, for all the current properties on
the market to be sold at the average
rate of sales. In September, inventory
nationally dropped to its lowest level
since we’ve started keeping records,” Mr
Grey District Council finance manager
Ian Young said the three-yearly property
valuations were being done “as we speak”.
The new valuations would be posted to
ratepayers in December, Mr Young said.
Other agents were either not available
or declined to comment.
A Whataroa man was yesterday
sent to prison after snubbing a last-
minute reprieve to help sort himself
In the Greymouth District Court,
Brian Patrick McBride, 51, was
sentenced to 12 months in prison,
with strict super vision for six months
on his release including to undergo
It followed McBride’s conviction
on one count of assault with intent
to injure, assaulting a female, and two
charges of statutory assault.
The convictions arose out of an
incident at the Blue Ice Cafe in Franz
Josef Glacier, on November 8, 2013.
McBride later defended the
charges, although part way through
he pleaded guilty to the most serious
charge, assault with intent to injure.
During the trial, Crown prosecutor
Deidre Orchard described the
incident as an “unprovoked and
unpleasant assault ” on two members
of staff at the cafe, husband and wife
Nathan and Lisa Hendy.
Yesterday, McBride represented
himself, after previously dismissing
Judge Alistair Garland suppressed
media publication of details of
statements made by McBride
yesterday, following a request from
Opening for the Crown, Mrs
Orchard said the sentencing starting
point of two years in prison was
seen as “too high” for offending
which was “probably impulsive”.
However, McBride’s more recent
conviction for criminal harassment
now figured and it seemed he was
“too ready” to resort to violence or
“ harassing behaviour”.
Mrs Orchard noted McBride’s
late guilty plea for aggravated assault
at the trial might have suggested
“Regrettably, looking at the pre-
sentence report, the defendant is far
from remorseful for his actions, and
to address his need to change,” Mrs
Judge Garland noted that McBride
was neither contrite nor remorseful,
and had not come up with a suitable
address, as requested, to make him
eligible for home detention.
“ You’ve painted the court into a
corner for sentencing options,” the
judge said. Later, the judge adjourned
sentencing for more than an hour
so McBride could seek help from
a duty lawyer, sort a suitable address
for home detention to enable
electronic sur veillance, and look at
professional help for personal issues.
When sentencing was reconvened,
the court was told McBride was
still unwilling to accept help or
move to an address eligible for home
However, Judge Garland granted
him leave to apply to have his prison
sentence cancelled if he secured a
suitable home address, but “only if
you have changed your attitude to
Whataroa man who snubs help, jailed
The West Coast Regional Council is
considering enforcement action after
a Grey Valley engineering company
was sandblasting without consent,
sending dust on to the neighbour’s
Ikamatua resident Kate Knowles
said she ended up in Grey Base
Hospital at the weekend with sore
eyes and respiratory trouble.
Council environment manager
Mike Meehan said a staff member
was sent to Ikamatua to investigate on
Monday and found that the company
had been sandblasting an old screen
using a silicone and glass mix.
“ With the dry weather” there was
some “drift ” on to Mrs Knowles’s
property, Mr Meehan said.
The operation should have had
resource consent, and if the operator
had one it would likely have breached
it with the drift, he said.
“They have stopped and council
is looking at what we do regarding
enforcement action. The main thing is
Mrs Knowles said that as well as
causing her ill health, her son’s car was
“ We’ve had glass dust going down
out throats.” She initially thought the
company was waterblasting next door.
Once she knew it was sandblasting,
she became concerned clothes hung
out to dry had been contaminated.
She is also worried about what
happens when the rain stops, and dust
is “again airborne”.
Darryl Lawson, from Lawson
Engineering, said this morning the
regional council had dealt with the
matter, and he declined to comment.
West Coast medical officer of
health Dr Cheryl Brunton said her
staff had sent information about Mrs
Knowles’s health complaint to the
council and also Work Safe, as it was
not an area in which she had statutory
Hospital trip after sandblasting
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