Home' Greymouth Star : November 24th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Death leaves just three
white rhinos in world
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Kumara Gala in photos
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Tyres set on fire
Old tyres piled up alongside the
Westland Lawnmower Ser vices
building in Newcastle Street,
Cobden, were set alight just before
midnight. Senior sergeant Phil
Barker, of Greymouth police, said
the fire was suspicious. Neighbours
raised the alarm. The fire was
quickly put out but the building was
Government agencies claiming
that 1080 poison pellets found in
waterways and creeks on the West
Coast pose ‘no risk’ should prove it
by eating the whitebait people had
been forced to throw away, New
Zealand First spokesman for outdoor
recreation Richard Prosser said today.
The Greymouth Star reported 10
days ago that Kiwi Rail workers
had stumbled upon more than 100
of the bright green poison baits in
Kapitea Creek, near State highway 6,
following the aerial 1080 drop, which
was allowed under the terms of
the consent. Some people who had
been whitebaiting downstream of
that subsequently threw away their
catches. “Resource consent for Ospri
(Tb Free) poison drop was approved
by the West Coast Regional Council,
the Department of Conser vation
and the Ministry of Health. Surely
then, they should be willing to prove
the safety of 1080-contaminated
water by eating the whitebait and
fish from the creek and nearby
streams,” Mr Prosser said. “ The rules
to avoid waterways are not being
taken seriously. The rule makers must
explain to the public why they ’re not
worried about baits ending up in
creeks that supply drinking-water. “
A dog has
an army of
up in funny
outfits. Oliver the Goldendoodle
— a poodle and golden retriever
cross — has more than 52,000
Instagram followers. The two-and-
a-half-year-old canine lived with
owner Breanna Wright in the Great
Smoky Mountains in Bryson City,
North Carolina, who is responsible
for dressing him in kooky get-ups.
And as well as his fashion forward
ensembles, Oliver also has some
fun with fancy dress. The pooch
has posed with Kermit the Frog
as Muppet character Fozzie Bear,
and wore a fake snout when it
transformed into 1980s sitcom star
Alf the alien. — Daily Mail
Occasional rain, northerly breezes
three bodies and evidence of the
helicopter crash that killed seven
at Fox Glacier on Saturday is a
race against time, weather and
ice that is moving up to 1m a day,
West Coast area commander
Inspector John Canning said the
glacier was not static but a large
mass of ice and constantly on the
“It ’s moving as a frozen river,”
Mr Canning said.
At the point where the Alpine
Adventures wreckage lies, about
760m above sea level, the ice was
moving by “at least a metre a day ”.
Mr Canning said that made the
recovery a race against nature, in
an environment where crevasses
open and close, swallowing up
objects on the glacier surface.
“My experts, who are the local
guides, say that at that point the
glacier is moving about a metre
a day, which is quite alarmingly
quick,” he said.
That meant safe recovery was
entirely dependent on working
to the elements, including the
vagaries of ice movement and the
weather, Mr Canning said.
Rain since Sunday has kept the
recovery teams off the ice, and
there has also been fresh snowfall
in the crash area.
“ We’re not going to let the
pressures of that (weather and ice)
exert on us any unsafe process.
It ’s reliant on the conditions.
“My hope is we recover every
body for their families — but
nature is the one that determines
Bad weather continued to
hamper recovery today and it
would be tomorrow at least
before anything further could be
done, Mr Canning said.
A heavy rain warning is in force
for the Westland ranges south
of Otira today, although that is
expected to ease this evening.
Yesterday, Fox Glacier guide and
search and rescue co-ordinator
Marius Bron described the
glacier surface as like “walking on
Mr Canning said a weather
break of at least two hours
was required to progress the
recovery. Alpine cliff rescue
and victim identification teams
were on standby as soon as that
examinations were taking place
this morning in Christchurch on
the remains of the four victims
recovered so far.
Overnight, police revised the
body count of those recovered on
Sunday afternoon, from three to
Mr Canning said the recovery
of those remains was made
possible by a “brief window ” in
the weather, when rescue team
members were able to be winched
down from the West Coast
NZCC Rescue Helicopter to the
remaining bodies would be
complex, given the nature of the
Mr Canning said it was a case
of “wait and see”. Work to set
up a staging post on the side of
the glacier, and to cut tracks in
the ice to enable recovery teams
to recover the rest of the bodies,
might happen today.
Meanwhile, police were in
contact with the families of the
victims — the Q ueenstown
pilot, two Australians and four
Britons — but nothing had been
confirmed yet as to when some
relatives might travel to New
About 50 police recovery and
alpine rescue volunteers, along
with support staff, were on the
ground at Fox Glacier today.
Some would be given a break
today and swapped out with other
personnel, as day five approached,
Mr Canning said.
“ We will look at that again once
we’ve recovered the other three
The Police and the Transport
Accident Investigation Comm-
ission are conducting a joint
inquiry at this stage.
Mr Canning said gathering
physical evidence from the crash
was dependent on progress
around the more urgent body
recovery. Mapping the scene was
being done at the same time as
gathering the evidence.
Grotto blessed for Catholic devotion
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
With visiting clergy standing by, Monsignor Gerry O’Connor, centre, blesses the new grotto honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary on Sunday morning, unveiled
to mark the 150th anniversary of St Patrick’s Catholic Parish, in Greymouth. The grotto sits beside St Patrick’s Church in High Street and incorporates local
stone and a new statue modelled on Our Lady of Lourdes, imported from Australia.
A veteran Fox Glacier tourist operator
says the operators do a tremendous job
at the glaciers, and the ratio of accidents
to flights is very small.
The Department of Conser vation
yesterday confirmed it allows 21,000
scenic snow landings a year in the
Westland National Park, mostly at Franz
Josef and Fox glaciers. That figure does
not include flyovers, when a helicopter
or plane does not land.
Former Hokitika Airport chairman
Bruce Smith said flyovers would take
the total of glacier flights to more than
60,000 a year.
The Franz Josef heliport, owned by
Hokitika Airport Ltd, is the busiest in
the country and last year flew 55,000
Alpine Guides founder Mike Browne,
who started in the industry in 1974,
said the number of glacier flights was
substantial and the ratio of crashes was
“I personally think it will bounce back,”
Mr Browne said of tourism at Fox.
“ We have had situations before, and it
seems to have a very short-term effect.
There’s no doubt it will have an effect
(though),” he said.
Apart from the 2010 skydiving plane
accident, which killed nine people, there
had been relatively few major accidents
for some years.
One of the last serious crashes was at
Franz Josef in 1987, when a helicopter
carrying police involved in a fun run
went down, killing three.
Fox crash mars 60,000 glacier flights
The head of Karoro Learning has
written to employers around Greymouth
in the hope of finding jobs for 10 staff
about to lose their jobs with the sale of
the adult learning facility.
Karoro L earning currently employs 18
staff members, 10 of whom will be looking
for work from December 22, when the
sale from Greymouth High School to
Invercargill education consultancy Front-
Line Training Ltd takes effect.
In an upbeat letter, Karoro director
Russell Nimmo has written to local
employers asking they consider taking on
his displaced staff.
Half the staff members have been with
Karoro Learning for more than a decade
and Mr Nimmo himself has been at the
helm since it began, in 1994.
Other staff bring skills in sales,
mechanics, computers and IT, office
administration, adult education and
cleaning, while others have experience as
a career coach and caretaker.
One of their most experienced staff
members has “nearly every driving
endorsement under the sun,” Mr Nimmo
Several of the existing staff had
tentatively accepted jobs with the new
Front-Line managing director Pauline
Steedman said last week there were fewer
roles because some current staff had
decided not to carry on.
She also said that a private sector firm
such as Front Line “probably runs a
Karoro Learning seeks jobs for 10 staff
Chinese lay claim to relics from ‘coffin ship’
Descendants of a ‘coffin’ ship which
sank off New Zealand 103-years ago,
with the remains of 173 West Coast
Chinese miners on board, have come
for ward to claim ownership of items
recently salvaged from the shipwreck.
The SS Ventnor sank off New Zealand
on the way to China in 1902, carrying
the remains of Chinese exhumed from
graves around the country. Culturally, it
is essential for Chinese people to have
their graves tended by their family to
ensure a good afterlife for the deceased,
and prosperity for their descendants,
and this can only be done if the person
is buried where their family live, usually
in their home village.
On October 13, 1902, the ship Rimu
left Greymouth with remains exhumed
from the Greymouth, Hokitika, Reefton
and Ross cemeteries. It carried on to
Dunedin to collect more and then sailed
for Wellington, where the remains were
transferred to the Ventnor.
The Ventnor sank off Taranaki with
499 coffins on board.
Its location had remain a mystery until
late 2012, when documentary film-
maker John Albert discovered the wreck
21km west of Hokianga Harbour, in
150m of water.
Last November, Mr Albert and his
team recovered a number of artefacts —
including a small bell, lantern, porthole,
and navigational objects.
The disturbing of the ship’s items
outraged the New Zealand Chinese
Association, which wanted the wreck to
be left untouched.
As a result, the Ministry for Culture
and Heritage invited interested parties
to submit claims for ‘ownership and-or
possession’ to the recovered items.
The ministry said yesterday it had
a strong response from Chinese
descendants throughout New Zealand
and from overseas. People from
Auckland to D unedin and Oamaru,
to China, Hong Kong, Singapore and
Australia had all made contact.
10 Boundary Street Greymouth
Ph 03 768 5720
fax 03 768 0907
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