Home' Greymouth Star : December 14th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
MONDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Old Ghost Road
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Firefighters from Westport took
40 minutes to get the fire which
badly burned a vacant house on the
corner of Pakington and Queen
streets about 11.40pm yesterday,
under control. Westport chief fire
officer Alan Kennedy said two
Westport engines were backed up
by Waimangaroa. They were at the
property for about one and a half
hours and Mr Kennedy said the
house was empty as the tenants had
moved out a couple of weeks ago.
“ We have enlisted the help of the
fire safety from Greymouth to check
out the cause”.
Greymouth police made three
arrests over the weekend. A
26-year-old man was apprehended
for possession of cannabis and
threatening behaviour after an
incident on Saturday afternoon.
A 19-year-old man was arrested
on a warrant for failing to appear
in the Greymouth District Court,
and a 36-year-old Cobden woman
has been charged with assault.
Meanwhile in Westport, a 37-year-
old woman who was driving along
Orowaiti Road towards Granity
on Friday night was stopped and
breath-tested and blew 353mg,
which is over the 250mg limit.
A 31-year-old Greymouth woman
who was behaving badly at the
Recreation Hotel on Saturday night
was arrested and has been charged
with disorderly behaviour. Police
are also investigating the theft of a
small piece of jade from a Jamieson
Street property. Senior constable
Mike Tinnelly said the theft was
reported to police on Saturday.
Showers, south-west winds
Tokyo’s police force has introduced
an elite fleet of interceptor drones
designed to chase and catch
suspicious-looking drones in nets
flying over sensitive locations amid
concerns for the prime minister ’s
safety. Riot police will control the
camera-equipped interceptor drones
to chase after private drones they
feel may be spying on buildings,
including the Japanese prime
minister Shinzo Abe’s office, and
ensnare them in large nets before
returning to the ground.
Buller’s Mayor is trying to get the
wheels in motion for the road link
between Karamea and Tasman.
In a report to this week’s council
meeting, Mayor Garry Howard is
recommending that the council ask the
government for help in investigating a
potential road between Karamea and
Collingwood, via the Wangapeka Track.
Mr Howard said that for “well over 100
years” community representatives had
pushed for a road to connect northern
Buller to the Tasman district, with at
least five routes having been suggested.
“Most attention has been focused on
the route commonly referred to as the
Karamea to Collingwood highway,” Mr
Howard said in the report.
Over the years there had been
“considerable opposition”, because of
fears of its impact on the Heaphy Track.
The proposed route was now “well
removed” from any “perceived or real
conflict ” with the walking track.
It would “skirt inside” the Kahurangi
National Park. Mr Howard said while
area to the north of the Buller River
abounded in tourism opportunities,
it was seen as a ‘dead end’ destination
by tourists who were not prepared to
A northern link road to Tasman and
Nelson would invigorate the whole
The road would also help with the
“desperate need” to transition to “ life
after coal”, with the potential for the
economic sur vival of townships such
as Granity, Seddonville and Karamea
being “greatly enhanced by the
improved transport links and tourism
It would also almost halve the driving
distance between Karamea and Nelson
from the current 328km to 169km.
He is recommending the council ask
the government for help in investigating
the possibility of the road including an
environmental evaluation, a cost benefit
analysis, the potential tourism benefits of
the road along with the transport savings
and efficiencies, and the community,
and a social and environmental benefit
Blackball residents are up in
arms over recent valuations which
have taken up to $40,000 off the
value of their properties, and want
a meeting with valuers.
However, Quotable Value (QV)
says sales figures show houses in
the town are selling well under
their previous value.
Residential property land prices
in Greymouth and district have
slid by up to 17.5% in the latest
three-year property valuations.
Properties are revalued every
three years on behalf of the Grey
District Council. Residential
capital values are down 5.8%.
Blackball Residents’ Association
chairman Paul Maunder said with
the latest property valuations
from QV, Blackball had received a
“painful kick in the guts”.
People seemed to have lost
$30,000 to 40,000 from the value
of their properties.
“This puts us in a downward
spiral: it will be difficult for buyers
to get mortgages, it is pointless to
put money into renovation, and
values will therefore continue
to fall — until the only way to
realise equity is the traditional
one, which has left several empty
sections in the village.”
The association believed the
valuations, which take place
without looking at properties and
were based on the market, were
“deeply flawed when it comes to a
place the size of Blackball”.
“There are too few sales
to constitute a market, and
distortions easily occur if that
model is insisted upon. O ver the
last three years there have been
several rundown properties selling
for low prices and this is the
The association is inviting QV to
meet with the residents at an open
meeting and justify its model.
“Knowing that valuations have
fallen for most of the Coast, it also
wonders why the council is paying
good money for this organisation
to undermine the Coast ’s future.
“Surely there can be some other
model for setting rates and that
council needs to look outside neo-
liberal market-based ideology to
QV registered valuer David
Shaw said new values were based
on recent sales, as required by law.
Values had been audited and
approved by a third party, being
the Office of the Valuer-General.
It had been notified of nine
individual residential property
sales in Blackball this year. “Eight
of these sales were well below the
previous 2012 revaluation level
with five properties selling at least
40% below the previous value
“As sales clearly indicated a
lower than previous revaluation
level, values for most residential
properties have been reduced
for the recent revaluation. This is
consistent with many other small
townships in the district.”
The general revaluation for the
Grey district had been recently
released and property owners had
been advised of their values by
The Grey District Council said
last week that people have until
January 21 to object.
performed every three years and
the council uses these rating
valuations to calculate the rates on
A change in land value does not
automatically mean a change in
rates — the rateable land value
is used to determine how much
of the general rate people pay in
comparison to other properties in
The case of a Cobden woman whose
house was so filthy she was prosecuted
by Housing New Zealand highlighted
fragmentation in the health system, a
health board member said on Friday.
The woman appeared in court last
week after a 2011 inspection of her
home found soiled mattresses on
the floor of her lounge, and rubbish,
which had attracted flies, all over the
kitchen. A later inspection found
mattresses strewn across the lounge,
boxes piled up on beds and rubbish
around the kitchen.
A bedroom and bathroom window
had also both been smashed, and the
kitchen door was blocked with dirty
Board member Peter Neame said he
did not have all the facts, but recalled
a story in Buller when a disabled
woman had been left in her own
In the past 30 years, the health
system had been deregulated.
“This is a good example of someone
dumped in the community quite
incapable of looking after themselves.
“ I’ve spoken out for years about
things being deregulated
“ Housing Corp has to take a woman
to court . . . (It’s) totally unacceptable.”
Mr Neame said the temptation was
to believe the person was just lazy
when, in fact, they could not look after
Board member Elinor Stratford
said it was “not quite as simple” as Mr
Neame made out.
“People have the right to say they
want to live in their own home.
“It should never get to that level, but
you can see at times why it does.
“They have rights too.”
Mr Neame said the Mental Health
Act made provision for people ‘unable
to take care of themselves’.
Board chief executive David Meates,
said the act ’s threshold was very high.
The Coast was a good example of
the level of fragmentation.
“ We won’t bury our head in the sand
again,” he said, although noting he
was not talking specifically about the
“ It underpins the journey the Coast
Filthy home woman ‘ just dumped in the community’
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Goodwill in Cobden
Sisters Nancy Holman and Doris
Glanville were busy at the Sharing
Shed in Cobden this morning.
The secondhand clothing store was
giving away its wares. A good crowd of
people benefited from the gesture and
clothes and goods were well received,
co-ordinator Mrs Holman said. “ We
had a two week sale which ended
on Friday as we look to close for the
holidays,” she said. “ We decided to
have giveaways and it has been ver y
popular, but the only condition is if
you didn’t like it when you got home
you can’t bring it back. People are
really appreciating the giveaways. ”
Collingwood Road back on the cards
Pike River families spokesman Bernie
Monk was “shocked” to hear the names
of a number of victims of recent New
Zealand disasters had been used in on-
Mr Monk said authorities had alerted
him to the fact someone had stolen
the identities of a number of victims,
including those from the Pike River
Mine explosion on November 19, 2010.
“It took me by surprise, but I was
appreciative the police were on to it,” he
Chapman, of the Auckland City
district financial crime unit, said the
conman got the personal details of 29
identities in February 2012 from the A
Memory Tree website. The website is
the country’s largest death information
website, which allows people to set up
Mr Chapman said some of the stolen
identities belonged to people who died
in the Christchurch earthquake on
February 22, 2011, the Pike River Mine
explosion and the Carterton balloon
disaster on January 7, 2012.
He said the man used the names to
open on-line accounts with a Telco
provider and used the accounts to
order high-end smartphones that were
charged against the false accounts.
Mr Chapman said the fraud was
identified quickly and led to the accounts
being shut down.
The telco company made a complaint
to police in August 2012, but by then
the offender had left the country.
“The police investigation file is still
active. There is no information to suggest
the person in question has returned to
New Zealand since his departure in
Man steals names of Pike River victims
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