Home' Greymouth Star : December 4th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Friday, December 4, 2015
Conser vation board
gives advice on
Waitaha hydro scheme
The West Coast Conser vation
Board has given its advice on the
Westpower application for a hydro
power scheme on the Waitaha River.
Chairman Mike Legge said the
Department of Conser vation staff
report remained confidential for now,
but the board had given its feedback.
Sport NZ letter after
bolts left in cliffs
The West Coast Conser vation
Board is to write to Sport NZ
after climbers left bolts embedded
in limestone cliffs in the Paparoa
National Park, at Bullock Creek. The
expedition was funded by Sport NZ.
People of 37 nationalities
work for Coast DHB
People of 37 different nationalities
now work for the West Coast District
Health Board. The board’s annual
report shows New Zealand Europeans
number 358, and Maori 32. There are
four from the United States, and nine
Australians. There are 29 Britons, four
Chinese, five Filipino and 23 Indians.
There are three from the Middle East,
four listed their ethnicity as ‘other
African’, four as ‘other Asian, six as
‘other European’, four Pacific and four
South African. The biggest group —
637 — did not know, or state, their
ethnicity. Most staff (85%) are female.
The board employs a total of 1129
Cobden Island weed
The Department of Conser vation
is carrying out weed control work,
including removing gorse on Cobden
Island. Annual willow control is also
scheduled to get under way around
Lake Brunner. Aerial work is planned
to tackle pampas weeds over the
Waimea, Mahinapua and Kaniere
forests, in conjunction with forestry
operator P F Olsen Ltd. Aerial gorse
work in the Taramakau and Taipo is
also planned, mostly in the New Year.
Jail for failing to pay tax
An Auckland sales manager who
failed to pay tax and dishonestly
claimed refunds has been sentenced
to three years’ jail. Inland Revenue
has just released a statement saying
Paul Thomas Staples was sentenced
in the Auckland District Court
yesterday on a range of tax offences,
related to three different companies.
The offences, totalling $328,740,
occurred between September
2008 and August 2011. Staples
filed 28 fraudulent documents
including income tax returns and
GST returns over the three years.
These documents related to three
companies, STH Investments,
380 Express and Voltage Security,
previously known as First Response
Security Ser vices. — NZ ME
Arrivals: Jay Elaine. Departures:
Cook Canyon, Galatea II. In port:
Jay Elaine, 18 Greymouth vessels.
Expected departures: Jay Elaine,
tomorrow. Expected arrivals: Moon
Shadow II, tomorrow.
Calves’ mistreatment prompts
calls from Westland suppliers
Of 26 dairy-related animal welfare
complaints to the Ministry of Primary
Industries (MPI) this year in Westland, just
two were related to the treatment of calves.
However, Westland Milk Products says
it is “appalled” at footage shown early this
week of the mistreatment of bobby calves
and it has had a reaction from its own
suppliers as a result.
“ We’ve received a number of calls from
shareholders and suppliers assuring us that
this practice is not undertaken on their
farms,” Westland Milk chief executive Rod
Quin said yesterday.
“I’ve also spoken with my team and
reiterated the unacceptability of any animal
cruelty, whether it be on our suppliers’ farms
or any other,” Mr Quin said.
The media coverage early this week was a
result of covert filming of bobby calves by an
animal rights group.
It showed days old calves nearly dead from
dehydration after being left at farm gates
while awaiting transport for slaughter, and
young animals being brutally treated.
Farmers dispatching bobby calves for
slaughter are required to feed them for four
days after birth and the calves are supposed
to be standing and in a fit state for transport
when they leave the farm.
The ministry yesterday released to the
Greymouth Star dairy related complaint
data for the province of Westland for the
past three years,
MPI said it had received 26 complaints
to date this year for Westland — with
two of those complaints related to the
mistreatment of calves.
It received 25 complaints in 2014 and
21 complaints in 2013, but none involved
An MPI spokesman said none of the calf
complaints received this year related to
animals being held in crates, such as shown
on television last weekend. However, one
of the Westland cases involved a complaint
about the transport of calves for slaughter.
The other involved the use of “blunt force
trauma” to kill young animals on a farm.
The practice of dispatching with unwanted
calves — mostly males — by hitting them
over the head, has been outlawed recently,
except in “emergency situations”. This
method was often used to kill premature
calves following inductions — a practice
now frowned upon by the dairy industry
and no longer allowed.
MPI said the West Coast blunt force
trauma case was on a property where half-
dead calves had been found after they were
not properly knocked on the head.
Westland Milk Products, the second
largest dairy co-operative in New Zealand,
said yesterday there was “no excuse” for
animal cruelty, particularly the ill treatment
“The cruel mistreatment of bobby calves
exposed in a video recorded by animal
rights organisations has no place in the New
Zealand dairy industry,” Mr Quin said.
Farmers along with the public “are
appalled ” at the cruelty recorded and there
was “simply no excuse”.
Mr Quin said Westland’s own code of
practice, written into supplier agreements
with farmers, and the co-operative’s
farm excellence (Farm Ex) programme
reinforced the dairy cattle code of welfare
“as a minimum”.
Westland suppliers risked having their
milk pick-ups cut off if they were found to
be in breach of the code.
“O ur experience is that the vast
majority of farmers treat all of their stock
humanely and meet or exceed the
requirements of the code and animal
Mr Quin said the company worked hard
with farmers to prevent incidents of cruelty
and to uphold animal welfare.
“ We also have penalty provisions
stipulated in our supply agreements that
can be applied if we find such senseless
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Road crews are still cleaning up after a deluge of rain in South
Westland yesterday. The West Coast Regional Council rain gauge
recorded 173mm of rain at the Waiho (Waiau) River in Franz Josef
Glacier in the past 24 hours, 177mm at Whataroa and 146mm
at Roaring Billy in the Haast Pass. The New Zealand Transport
Agency said the clean-up would continue today, with slips being
tidied up and other areas being checked for damage, particularly
the rivers as flood levels drop.
A landslip at Nikau, north of Westport.
Road crews clean up after deluge
of the Westport News
The Buller District Council has
taken its first steps to appoint a
The council confirmed in
September that it would not roll
over the contract of current chief
executive Paul Wylie, whose five-
year contract expires on December
5 next year.
It is understood Mr Wylie had
sought a two-year extension.
The council discussed the
recruitment process in-committee
at its monthly meeting last week.
Mayor Garry Howard said
recruitment would start, at the
latest, in January next year. The
council would be using a different
recruiter to last time it sought a
new chief executive, he said.
By law, the council has to make
an appointment six months before
the current contract ends.
Mr Wylie is the highest-paid
council chief executive on the
West Coast, earning about
$244,000 a year. He is the only
council boss who does not live in
the region. Ratepayers foot the
bill for him to commute weekly
Buller council to appoint new CEO
The number of ‘serious adverse events’
at West Coast hospitals has more than
halved this year, with two maternity
incidents, including a woman who
needed to be resuscitated.
The number of incidents has fallen from
15 to five. They were:
Baby diagnosed with hypoxic
ischaemic encephalopathy (brain damage
caused by oxygen loss). The review found
a failure to respond to an abnormal
foetal heartbeat but noted the outcome
may not have been different even it if
was. Recommendations were generally
around staff training.
Post-birth haemorrhage required
resuscitation and transfer to Canterbury
for intensive care. The normal process for
emergency admissions was not following
and there were ‘gaps in care delivery
A patient fall resulting in a fractured
femur. Changes include using lowered
beds for patients at risk of a fall, and
replacing flooring in high risk areas.
Hip fracture in fall — the door lip,
patient ’s poor eyesight, medication and
the fact they were carrying two cups and
a handbag were all factors.
Surgical complication resulting in
harm to patient.
Two other cases still being reviewed
include ‘ lack of inter-agency awareness
and communication in a patient ’s care
resulting in harm’ and ‘physically unwell
patient, escalating condition resulting ...
(in) cardiac arrest ”.
Board chief executive David Meates
welcomed the reduction in incidents.
“ We believe an increase in the reporting
of minor and moderate events and the
associated quality improvement is having
a positive effect ...”
The DHB has introduced a new
electronic safety system which makes it
easier for staff to report events.
“It is extremely important for West
Coast DHB staff to continue to be open
and transparent when a patient is harmed
while receiving care in our health system.
These events have huge impacts on our
patients, their families and on staff.”
The report can be viewed at www.
Coast hospital ‘serious adverse events’ halved
Just under 80 people turned out for
the December CARE (Community
Resources for the Elderly) lunch at the
Union Hotel in Greymouth yesterday.
CARE co-ordinator Pam Sutherland
said numbers were slightly down for the
second formal CARE lunch function of
the year, but those who attended enjoyed
a meal accompanied by entertainment
from Greymouth musician Peter Henry.
CARE facilitates five social functions
a year in Greymouth. Volunteers also
provide an ongoing ser vice to older
people who live at home but need
assistance and company in attending
appointments, shopping, or going out.
“ We’re absolutely unique. There’s no
other organisation like this in the New
Zealand,” Mrs Sutherland said.
Yesterday alone CARE volunteers
collected 26 people who had booked
to attend the lunch, “which is pretty
amazing because they wouldn’t get there
The group currently supported about
50 clients in Greymouth, with about
130 people regularly attending its
social functions. These include two
formal lunches a year, two social events
sponsored by McDonald’s, and a movie
lunch at the Regent Theatre.
However, the most important part
of CARE was its volunteers and the
organisation was always looking for
more, Mrs Sutherland said.
“ Without the volunteers we couldn’t
have the group. The whole group
depends on the volunteers.”
Mrs Sutherland was keen to hear from
prospective new volunteers, who could
phone her or call in to the CARE office
in Albert Street.
Nearly 80 attend CARE lunch
The West Coast Top of the South
region for the 2016 New Zealand Dairy
Awards has bucked the national trend
and attracted 35 entrants this year, two
more than last year.
Entries to the annual awards closed
on Sunday night and nationally entries
to the awards are the lowest since
A total of 452 entries have been
received for 2016 compared with 539
for the 2015 awards, held early this
Awards general manager Chris
Keeping said the number of entrants for
2016 was still “a pleasing result” given
the economic climate in the industry.
Another factor was significant change
introduced for the 2016 awards,
with entry criteria changing for
all three competitions and two
of the competitions sporting new
“Given this, we are really happy with
the result and we are pleased with
the balance of entries across the three
competitions,” Mrs Keeping said.
For the West Coast Top of the South
there are 13 in the dairy trainee of
the year competition, 13 in the dairy
manager of the year, and nine in the
share farmer of the year.
Entrants will first compete in regional
competitions being during in February
and March, with the 33 winners of
those competitions to progress to the
national finals in May.
The first event for the West Coast
Top of the South events will be held
on February 5 in Westport, followed
by preliminary judging during
February and finals judging in March.
The regional awards will be held at
Shantytown in April.
Westport will host the United
Fire Brigade Association 2015
South Island Combat Challenge
Known as the “toughest two
minutes in sport,” up to 70
individuals, pairs and relay teams will
deck themselves in full firefighting
kit and breathing apparatus and
haul firefighting equipment up a
temporary six-storey tower to be
erected for the challenge.
Wesport Volunteer Fire Brigade
senior officer Graham Heaphy said
work to erect the tower adjacent to
the fire station and Solid Energy
Centre will be under way todayand
will be complete in time for the
challenge at 8.30am tomorrow.
Mr Heaphy said spectators
were welcome to watch, with the
challenge to run continuously
throughout the day, until about
Westport to host SI fire brigade combat challenge
Coast dairy awards attract 35
The Department of Conser vation
plans to close 86ha of land to the
public for a year, after historic mine
contamination at Waiuta was found to
be more widespread than first thought.
The $3.1 million project to clean
up the contaminated Prohibition and
Alexander mine sites at Waiuta —
officially one of the most contaminated
sites in the world — was put on hold in
Arsenic levels at the mine sites are
among the highest recorded in the world
at 400,000 parts per million on land, or
500 times the safe level.
DOC now wants to extend the Waiuta
closure boundary — currently around
the footprint of the site — to just over
86ha, for public safety reasons.
It is notifying a submission to close part
of the Waiuta amenity area and Victoria
Forest Park. They would remain closed
until the completion of the remediation
operations director Mark Davies said
recent investigations had revealed the
contamination had a wider footprint
than initially thought.
However, it still believed the risk of any
contamination leaching into the wider
environment is low.
“ We are committed to more
investigative work to better understand
the extent and nature of the
contamination at the site,” Mr Davies
“ We expect that by March, we’ll have
all the information we need to update
the remediation plan.”
The closure is for 12 months from
December 8, to December 2016.
The project will either contain or
remove the contamination on site.
DOC to close 86ha at Waiuta
over historic mine contamination
The rail bridge at Clough Road at
Paroa was not seriously damaged after
being struck by a truck on Wednesday
Kiwi Rail said part of the Hokitika
Industrial Line was closed while staff
inspected the bridge and re-positioned
the beam which had been hit by the
truck, about 8.30am.
“ Fortunately the driver had not been
going that fast, or hit the bridge with
great force, because they could have
potentially weakened the structure and
caused misalignment of the tracks,”
Kiwi Rail media spokeswoman Julie
Previous bridge strikes had disrupted
Kiwi Rail ser vices and often help up the
public as well.
“This is another reminder that drivers
of trucks and heavy vehicles should
check the height of their vehicle or load.”
Signs gave plenty of warning of the low
bridge and there was an alternative route
for over height vehicles.
Ms Buchanan said anyone involved
in a bridge strike could be liable for the
cost of repairing damage, as could their
“All strikes should be reported to
Kiwi Rail on 0800 808 400, or to
police immediately so the bridge can
be inspected and any necessary repairs
Damage not serious after
truck strikes Paroa rail bridge
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