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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2015
One good turn
leads to another...
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
wash up in Japan
of the Otago Daily Times
Greymouth will next week host
a Christmas night market with
buskers, street food, music and
shopping. Lower Tainui Street,
between Mackay Street and
Mawhera Quay, will be closed to
traffic on Friday, December 11,
for the market from 5pm to 8pm.
The market is being co-ordinated
by the Left Bank Art Gallery,
Rotary, the Grey District Youth
Trust and Greymouth Business and
Westport faux pas
Eight months after ditching
Westport as a destination, Air New
Zealand is offering complimentary
wi-fi access for frequent flyers in the
Koru Lounge — with the password
‘ Westport’. The password is changed
each month to an Air New Zealand
internal destination, or in this case
a former destination. Aucklander
Peter Shepherd noticed the faux pas
when he was in the Koru Lounge
at Auckland International Airport
yesterday. “ This month’s password
is Westport — a little insensitive,
I think, given (Air NZ) rudely
dropped Westport as a destination
months ago,” Mr Shepherd said. He
said the blooper was probably due
to someone forgetting to remove
Westport from the list of monthly
passwords, but it showed that Air
New Zealand was insensitive. “ The
passwords are in Air New Zealand
Koru Lounges worldwide and are
the same one for a month. I believe
it is a poke in the eye for Westport.”
Rain with heavy falls, easing
More than 11,500 Nor wegians
have registered for licences to
hunt wolves despite there only
being around 30 animals left in
the country. The trigger-happy
nation has a proud tradition of
hunting, with up to 200,000 people
registered to receive automatic
notifications once licences are
issued. This year, wolves have
emerged as the favourite target for
hunters, with 11,571 registering
to kill just 16 animals — a ratio of
723 to one. Second on the list is
the Nor wegian brown bear, with
10,930 registered licence holders
seeking to kill 18 of the species this
season, which runs from October
1 to March 31. Some 10,820
Nor wegians have also applied
to hunt down 141 wolverines,
according to the country’s register.
— Daily Mail
Christmas in the Park dropped
Christmas in the Park has been
canned this year after entertaining
young and old people from around
the West Coast for the past 11 years.
The popular day out at Dixon Park
had been run by The Hits radio station
but has this year been replaced by a
‘Big Night Out ’, next Friday.
Greymouth radio station manager
Anna Marie Thompson said today
there would still be plenty of
“Christmas cheer” at the new event.
Santa would be at the Regent
Theatre to meet the children, with
a choir of selected school children
singing Christmas carols, followed
by a screening of the movie The
Polar Express, which was selected
after a public vote on the radio, and
finally a bus trip around Greymouth
for a select group to look at houses
entered in the Light Up West Coast
“All we will be asking for is a gold
coin donation, and all of the proceeds
will be going to Foster Hope,” Mrs
The decision to forgo Christmas in
the Park was prompted after it was
forced indoors to the Regent last year
because of the wet weather.
“ It was not the same — Christmas
in the Park needs to be held in the
park. We decided to try something
new, special and different.”
She was “very excited” about the new
event, and suggested there was still a
chance that Christmas in the Park
could return next year.
Thousands of people have attended
the Dixon Park celebrations which
have treated the masses to local
talent, with carols and a lot of crowd
The 10th anniversary Christmas in
the Park in 2013 was held at Rugby
Park and featured X-Factor winner,
Greymouth’s Jackie Thomas, along
with other X-Factor competitors Tom
Batchelor and Cassie Henderson,
who has been a regular at Christmas
in the Park.
The helicopter swept in over Lake
Hayes, landing gently in front of
hundreds of mourners.
The tears, hugs and shock on the faces
of Queenstown helicopter pilot Mitchell
Gameren’s friends, family and colleagues
said it all — they did not think they
should be there.
The words came, mixing sorrow with
joy, and tears with laughter, remembering
a young man who died too early.
A rifle and cricket bat were placed
on his coffin, against which leaned a
snowboard — all within sight of the
helicopter on the grass outside.
Parting words of “rest in peace” were
interspersed with “fly high”.
Mr Gameren, 28, was at the controls of
the Alpine Adventures AS350 Squirrel
helicopter which crashed on Fox Glacier
on November 21, killing all seven people
Bad weather hampered the recovery of
At yesterday ’s funeral ser vice at Lake
Hayes Pavilion, Mr Gameren was
remembered as a lover of people, animals
and the outdoors, with a passion for
Brother Brett, who is also a helicopter
pilot, broke into tears while recalling
flying with his younger brother just three
“ I was so impressed with his knowledge
and how he loved showing his passengers
the best time on the ice. He was smiling
the whole flight.
“After the flight, I wrapped my arms
around him and told him I was proud of
Father Paul said his son’s own words
had helped him deal with his death.
“ He said, “ You’ve got to live it full,
dad — it ’s a privilege, not a right’. And
I think Mitch lived the motto to the
Family friend Grant Butson said the
family painted a portrait of a man who
“ knew much, loved much and had a zest
for life, with a twinkling personality”.
The family thanked police, rescue teams
and Fox Glacier community — with
special thanks to the recovery crews.
“ To the families and friends worldwide
affected by this terrible tragedy, they
share in their pain and extend their
deepest sympathies,” Mr Butson said.
On his return from working in Africa,
Mr Gameren walked taller and had
grown in confidence.
His father said he noticed the change.
“ He wanted to progress in the aviation
industry and he had such a passion for
Mr Gameren was remembered for his
support and attentiveness, including
surprising friends during a boys’ trip to
the United States.
He was cheeky and adventurous. While
flying, Mr Gameren was living his dream.
Also killed in the Fox Glacier crash
were English tourists Andrew Virco,
50, Katharine Walker, 51, Nigel Edwin
Charlton, 66, and his wife Cynthia, 70,
and Australians Sovannmony Leang, 27,
and Josephine Gibson, 29.
The Transport Accident Investigation
Commission’s investigation into the
crash is expected to take 18 months.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Lifeguards Jimmy Cory, left, and John Hughes on patrol while Kole and Kaine Darling enjoy the 24degC heat of the Runanga Spring Creek swim-
ming pool yesterday. There was a good turnout at the weekend for the opening of the new swimming season. A sausage sizzle, ice-cream and givea-
ways added to the celebration. “Opening day was certainly well supported, with up to 80-90 people attending,” lifeguard pool manager Jimmy Cory
said. “ We are looking for ward to a busy season.” The Runanga pool has four lifeguards on the roster and is open from 3.30pm to 6pm weekdays, with
extended hours at the weekend, from 1.30pm to 7pm. “ We have lane swimming for adults on Tuesday and Thursday, which I think will be popular,”
Mr Cory said.
Runanga pool warms up
Truck clips historic bridge
The old wooden rail bridge across
Clough Road at Paroa was struck by
another truck this morning.
Kiwi Rail confirmed that “a bridge
strike” occurred when a large truck
attempted to drive under the bridge
after turning off Main South Road.
Greymouth-Hokitika railway line
was closed while the bridge was
“At this stage we don’t know the
full extent of the damage,” she said.
The wooden truss bridge is
under height for a road, at 3.4m.
The regulation is 4.5m, with the
nearby Rutherglen Road underpass
providing alternative access for
oversized vehicles driving into
Grey District Council assets
and engineering manager Mel
Sutherland said finding a solution
to heavy vehicles was “a work in
The council was discussing with
Kiwi Rail ways of reducing the risk
of heavy vehicles striking the bridge,
following a number of incidents.
Options included video sur veillance
at the approaches, installing an
overhead gantry to restrict over
height vehicles before they got to
the bridge, and height activated
Mr Sutherland said Heritage
New Zealand was also involved
because the bridge, built about 1893
when the railway line first opened,
had a class 1 protection status and
that made finding a solution more
Tourists fall taking selfie
photos at blowholes
The Department of Conser vation is
spending several thousand dollars on
a new barrier at the Pancake Rocks to
stop visitors from falling off the track
while taking selfies.
Buller conser vation ser vices manager
Bob Dickson said they had millions of
visitors over the years without incident,
but recently there had been two, both of
them while tourists were photographing
“It’s very unusual.”
Mr Dickson said the problem area
was about 30m from the start of the
track leading to the blowholes, on a flat
section of track, not the actual Pancake
Rocks or blowholes, which were securely
Most recently, a woman stumbled off
the pathway after walking backwards
while taking a ‘selfie’ photo. DOC was
responding by erecting a barrier in the
area, costing up to $6000.
“It will be a simple barrier along the
edge,” he said, noting it should prevent
people from falling backwards.
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 0822
Sales A/H: Alastair Hamilton 768 7300
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