Home' Greymouth Star : November 16th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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Old movies benefit
Runanga Hall project
massive air strike on IS
Firefighters had to wade through
water at the Greymouth SPCA
office yesterday morning, to help
clean up after a flood. Greymouth
Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief
fire officer Graeme O’Dea said they
were called to the Preston Road site
at 11.25am after a plumbing problem
flooded the building. Fire volunteers
helped the SPCA volunteers clean
up the excess water. Mr O’Dea said
the flood might have been caused
by someone inadvertently leaving a
blamed on speed
The driver and two passengers of
a car which crashed and rolled over
near Hokitika on Saturday night
escaped without serious injury. The
Hokitika Volunteer Fire Brigade
was called at 10.30pm after a car
failed to take the Lake Kaniere
junction, and rolled over several
times. Fire chief Harry Collett said
none of the three people in the
car — all locals — suffered serious
injury. He thought speed was
probably a factor in the crash.
Two bikers hurt
A motorcyclist who suffered leg
injuries in a crash at Ikamatua on
Saturday morning was airlifted
to Grey Base Hospital aboard the
NZCC Rescue Helicopter. It was
soon up in the air for a second time
when a cyclist in the Coast Road
Cycle Challenge crashed at Ten Mile
Creek, also suffering leg injuries.
Cloudy with a few showers
The Tranz Alpine passenger train
to the West Coast was cancelled
today after a serious crash with
a vehicle at a level crossing at
Rolleston. Kiwi Rail said the crash
was south of the township.
Track dedicated to Pike 29
A new $10 million ‘great walk’
from Blackball to Punakaiki will be
constructed in memory of the Pike
River 29, and promoted overseas, the
Government announced yesterday.
The 45km-long walk and mountainbike
track will traverse the Paparoa Range.
It will also lead to a 3971ha addition
to the Paparoa National Park to include
the Pike River Mine area as a permanent
memorial to the men killed in the 2010
mining disaster — five years ago this
The ‘Pike 29 Memorial Track’ will
cover part of the existing Croesus and
Pororari River tracks, and feature an
8km side track to the Pike River Mine
site, with an information centre at the
amenities area and a discreet memorial
at the mine portal. It will open in 2018.
The new track will be built to ‘great
walk’ standards, include two new 20-bed
huts on the Moonlight Range and in
the Pororari Valley, and will be open to
walkers and mountainbikers. Additional
funding has been provided to the
Department of Conser vation.
“It will bring tourism and economic
development to the West Coast,
permanently protect an area of high
conser vation values, and ensure the
final resting place of the 29 miners
is accessible but properly respected,”
Environment Minister Nick Smith said
at the announcement.
The extension to the national
park includes the catchment of the
Pike Stream from the top of the
Paparoa Range and includes all of the
conser vation area used by the Pike River
Dr Smith said the proposal by the
families for the addition was supported
by the New Zealand Conser vation
Authority, the West Coast Tai Poutini
Conser vation Board and Ngai Tahu.
The proposal has already been approved
by Cabinet and will take effect this
The next step for the new track will
be the detailed design and seeking
private sector contractor partners for its
“This new Pike 29 Memorial Track will
bring new investment and jobs to the
West Coast through the construction
phase and long-term through tourism.
These will be welcomed in a region
that has had more than its fair share of
knocks,” Dr Smith said.
Pike River families committee
spokesman Bernie Monk said they had
worked closely with the Department
of Conser vation and Government
development of the track project.
“The committee is very supportive of
the enduring memorial that the project
provides for the families who lost loved
ones in the mining disaster and the
economic benefit it will provide to the
West Coast community,” Mr Monk said.
However, not all families are happy
with the plans. Sonya Rockhouse said
eight families were opposed.
Ngahere widow Anna Osborne said
she and “quite a few other” families, were
against the walk.
“I find it quite distasteful. They are
going to make it into a great walk where
our men still lie, especially when no one
has even attempted to go in and recover
the remains,” Mrs Osborne said.
“The Government promised so much
. .. but they are going to seal and walk
away and do a ‘great walk’. It ’s easier
than incriminating a government
department,” she said, referring to
Department of Labour failures to ensure
the mine was safe.”
The walk was “not going to shut me
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said the land being added to the national
park was already in DOC stewardship,
and could not have been touched anyway.
“A gesture has been made, we would
not oppose that. The track itself is great
news, and the added cycleway is a real
bonus,” Mr Kokshoorn said.
Motorbikes roar in tribute
PICTURE: Paul McBride
At least 140 bikers set off from Blackball on Saturday morning for the annual Tribute 29 memorial run, held to remember the 29 men who lost their
lives at the Pike River Mine five years ago this week. The bike run draws people from all over New Zealand. “ We start at Blackball and head to the
memorial at Atarau and lay a wreath, then head up to Reefton,” says organiser Paul Allum, who worked as an underground fitter at the mine. “ We ride
up through the Buller Gorge and stop for lunch in Westport before coming down the Coast Road and back to Blackball — basically a 300km circuit of
Funding delays Cobden flood works
The West Coast Regional Council
is reluctant to spend money on more
flood protection for low-lying parts
of Cobden while its legal bill over
problems with the last extension
to the main Greymouth floodwall
approaches the $300,000 mark.
Floodwall Joint Committee last
week agreed to get prices for
protective bunds for the suburb.
Palmerston North-based company
Good Earth Matters was contracted
to design the last floodwall extension
and supervise its construction.
Work to raise the height of the
wall was completed in late 2010 at
a cost of $285,000. In June 2011,
the council was alerted to “visual
cracking around the joints on the
concrete floodwall at Blaketown
The case is expected to go to
mediation in February.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn wants something done
soon to alleviate flooding in lower
parts of Cobden, but the regional
council signalled it did not want
to run up more costs while its legal
bills were “just under $300,000”.
Cobden resident Rob Harrison,
for the Cobden Aromohana
Sanctuary and Recreational Areas
Inc, told the meeting residents felt
“disadvantaged,” noting the regular
flooding in low-lying areas.
He said there was no point digging
out the dog exercise area and turning
it into a soak pit, as the council had
He presented the meeting with
calculations that he said showed it
would only have one hour’s storage
anyway. Residents did not want
a “semi-saturated ” muddy area at
the entry to the eco-sanctuary, and
instead asked for a pumping station.
However, that option would cost
Mr Kokshoorn said the water had
come pretty close to houses, and he
Regional council planning and
Meehan said the most cost-effective
option was to build a bund around
the dog park, at a tenth of the price
of a pumping station.
Regional council chief executive
Chris Ingle said the deficit for the
floodwall fund was already large.
“ We are trying to get a refund
on money for a poor job,” he
said referring to the Greymouth
floodwall court case.
He questioned why they would
commit to more capital work when
“ we are carrying a huge deficit”.
Mr Kokshoorn replied: “Are we
going to penalise the residents of
lower Cobden for a problem with
floodwall concrete? We’ve protected
everyone else in Greymouth.”
Andrew Robb said the ratepayers
would have to pay for the work,
which was “not something we have
Since the main floodwall was built
in 1990, the houses had not had
water through them.
Mr Ingle said the court case may
be settled in six months’ time, and
they may then be able to pay for the
bund from existing budgets.
The meeting agreed to get prices
for the bund and reconvene.
The proposed bunds, in blue, in low-lying parts of Cobden.
A transgender man who thought
he was out of shape discovered
he was actually pregnant. Kayden
Coleman, 29, of F lorida, has been
taking male hormones for years.
He grew facial hair and was due to
have a double mastectomy when he
noticed he had put on weight. But
Kayden had fallen pregnant with
his husband Elijah, 27, because he
had taken a break from hormones
in the lead up to his operation.
He gave birth to Azaelia, now 22
months old, and the couple could
not be happier. Kayden said: “ This
woman in a shop said to me, ‘honey,
you look like you’re pregnant ’. I just
laughed and said, ‘I am pregnant!’
— she didn’t believe me. ” — Metro
Families split on $10m proposal
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