Home' Greymouth Star : December 22nd 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
carnival at Paroa
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Griffen and Smith gives
away car for 150th
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2015
A 21-year-old Greymouth man
has been arrested for shoplifting
in Christchurch. Greymouth
police interviewed and charged
the man yesterday after he was
identified during inquiries relating
to an incident at a city outlet of The
Warehouse. Another Greymouth
man wanted by police on a number
of charges handed himself in
yesterday. The 26-year-old presented
himself to the Greymouth Police
Station counter after earlier inquiries
had tried to locate him. He was
charged with burglary, assault with
intent to injure and wilful damage.
Gold claim raided
A gold thief has been operating
in the Marsden area. A Greymouth
police spokesman said a gold
claim operator yesterday reported
that wash material and mats had
been stolen off the gold tables at a
Maori Creek Road mine overnight
on Sunday. The miner estimated
the mats would have contained
between two and six ounces of gold.
Meanwhile, a quantity of diesel was
stolen from a tractor left parked in a
paddock near Woodstock. The owner
estimated between 20 and 40 litres
of fuel had been siphoned overnight
Traf fic lights
The New Zealand Transport
Agency wants travellers between
the West Coast and Canterbury
to expect some speed restrictions
on State highway 73 over the
Christmas period. Most roadworks
have already stopped and will not
restart until January 6. However,
speed restrictions and traffic lights
will remain in place, such as at
Mingha Bluff to Rough Creek.
Mainly fine, showers inland
The Swedish branch of charity
Action Aid has acknowledged the
pain we all feel when someone plays
Michael Buble’s Christmas album
for the umpteenth time — and made
one sung by goats. The aptly titled
All I Want for Christmas is a Goat
is a new album where the sounds
of domestic critters have been used
to make sweet music. The holiday
album consists of eight Christmas
classics, including Jingle Bells,
Silent Night and White Christmas.
“The Christmas album is of course
something we’re doing in a jokey
way, while at the same time wanting
to show how important a goat can
be for people living in poverty,” says
Miriam Isaksson, head of fundraising
for Action Aid Sweden.
A proposed open-cast coalmine
at Westport will create more than
60 jobs — but it will also take the
top off a ridgeline clearly visible
from the town and Buller Gorge.
Ltd, which includes Stevenson
Mining, has applied for access to
mine 12ha of public conser vation
land on Mount Te Kuha, behind
The land is part of the Mount
Rochfort conser vation area, held
as stewardship land.
The total footprint of the mine
would be about 109ha, according
to a Department of Conser vation
report released today. DOC land
makes up 11% of the proposed
DOC said it was publicly
notifying the access application
for the “significant ” mining
The proposed mine would
employ 64 staff and pump
$20 million annually into
the West Coast economy.
Construction costs alone would
be $40 million.
The high quality coal could be
used for specialist applications,
and there is a possibility of
an activated carbon plant in
The applicant has proposed a
The DOC report says there is
a larger proposal from Rangitira-
Stevenson Group Ltd to mine
the adjacent water conservation
area (about 97ha), and an access
arrangement application for that
area has been lodged with the
Buller District Council.
The area includes exposed
unmodified vegetation including
manuka, yellow silver pine
and rimu. One plant species
is threatened with extinction
(euphrasia wettsteiniana). It is
also home to the West Coast
The conservation land covers
an area of ridgeline visible from
State highway 6 through the
gorge, and Westport township.
The report says the net impact
would be a loss of exposed
sandstone pavement, bluffs,
scarps and tors, and a disturbance
of the ridgeline visible from
several points around Westport.
DOC said the application
was deemed “significant mining
activities by the Minister of
The significance assessment
report was posted on the DOC
website at midday.
The 12ha access application
forms part of a larger mining
proposal, however the Minister
of Conservation can only
consider the activities and effects
occurring within the 12ha.
Other land is council-owned,
privately-owned, or Westport
vested in the council for water
Submissions close with the
Department of Conser vation on
For more information go to:
The Te Kuha mine site, as viewed from Victoria Square.
New coalmine in sight of Westport
Greymouth rubbish collection and
recycling workers were due to go on strike
early this afternoon, leaving rubbish piled on
The workers are employed by Australian-
based Subloos, which contracts waste
management services to the Grey District
First Union, which represents some of
the Subloos workers, surprised the council
by announcing late this morning a picket
outside the council chambers at 2.30pm.
Union organiser Rachel Boyack said waste
collection would be “put on hold” while
workers struck over their employer’s refusal
to settle a collective agreement.
“A majority of workers at Subloos in
Greymouth are union members, yet the
company is still refusing to settle a date for
bargaining,” Ms Boyack said.
Subloos staff in Greymouth deser ved “the
security that a collective agreement offers”
and the council should urge Subloos to the
bargaining table to settle with the workers,
“The company has even gone so far as to say
that it doesn’t recognise the role of unions.
The company appears not to know that the
West Coast is the birthplace of unionism in
Ms Boyack said the crux of the matter was
a bullying culture, and “they don’t know the
Problems between Subloos and its workers
have been bubbling away for over a month.
A tip off to the Greymouth Star on
November 10 said the company was operating
unroadworthy vehicles in Greymouth, with
workers feeling compromised in having to
The next day the council posted on its
website that the contractor had “mechanical
problems” with its trucks, which had forced
them off the road, and there would be
rubbish collection delays for the rest of that
The council asked for an investigation and
the contractors had to use a trailer to empty
bins around Greymouth and to pick up some
Two weeks later it emerged that Subloos
workers were days late being paid and there
was an issue between local management and
workers over union membership and the
right to negotiate a collective contract.
Subloos was selected by the council in 2012
as its rubbish contractor when Greymouth
At the time, it was reported the company
had won a $6 million, six-year contract from
locally-owned Westroads, which previously
ran the McLeans Pit landfill.
Council chief executive Paul Pretorius said
today there was “ongoing communication”
with Subloos over fulfilling the terms of the
contract in light of the issues last month.
“Obviously, the whole issue of performance
is something that we deal with on an ongoing
basis,” Mr Pretorius said.
Assets manager Mel Sutherland said the
council had heard a rumour of strike action
and had followed that up with Subloos,
which said it had “no notification of a strike”.
“They confirmed that things are okay,”
Mr Sutherland said.
He said the council would be disappointed
if there were to be a disruption to “an essential
service,” particularly over the holiday period.
Cycling bridge opens
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Paroa resident Neil Messenger was the first to ride the Taramakau Bridge clip-on cycleway yesterday. During a ride on the West Coast
Wilderness Trail yesterday afternoon he arrived at the bridge just as contractors declared the clip-on officially open. “ They said to me I might as
well be the first person to cycle across, so I did. The clip-on is fantastic and gets the green light from me. It takes away all that pressure of tr ying
to cycle across the main bridge with all the traffic — they’ve done a great job. ” Mr Messenger said it also afforded a “million dollar view ”.
Two Buller District Council
commissioners have granted
a Punakaiki accommodation
business permission to legalise an
extra 17 beds.
Te Nikau Retreat owner
Hamish Johnston last year
proposed adding 49 beds to his
existing backpackers premises at
Hartmount Place, down a narrow
road just off State highway 6.
However, the road is only 110m
long, less than 4m wide, and has
no footpaths or street lights.
He later reduced his application
to 17 new beds.
In a decision released today,
commissioners Graeme Neylon
and Phil Rutherford said it was
“ unfortunate” that the applicant
had been operating for some time
now with beds that had not been
lawfully established with resource
consents, and in some cases
without building consents.
“There is distinct animosity
towards the applicant from
submitters because of this and
there is an element of punitive
action being called for through
some of the submissions received,”
the commissioners said.
“O ur task as decision makers
is not to judge the applicant for
past actions but to consider the
application on the evidence put
They had some empathy for
residents who had made their
home in what was intended as
a scenically sensitive residential
However, the 42 beds presently
available had been lawfully
established and it was not the
commissioners’ role to interfere
with those existing consents.
The applicant had acknowledged
significant issues, especially with
the Stray Bus tours.
“There is now an assurance
that these types of clientele will
no longer be catered for ... The
applicant has stated that he is no
longer seeking to accommodate
the ‘party bus’ type of traveller.”
The consent says a record of
guest numbers and staff staying
on site must be kept and supplied
to the council. Guest arrival and
departure times should be limited
to between 8.30am and 8.30pm.
A copy of the site manager’s
contact details must be provided
to the residents of Hartmount
Place and Ross Place to ensure
they can be contacted at all times.
A register of complaints is to be
maintained, and the maximum
bus size is to be no greater than
8m (a 24-seat bus).
Submitters have 15 working
days to lodge an appeal with the
Punakaiki backpackers green light
10 Boundary Street Greymouth
Ph 03 768 5720
fax 03 768 0907
• Gift Vouchers Available •
WESTLAND ENGINEERING SUPPLIES
DANNY, DEANE AND
HELEN WOULD LIKE
TO WISH ALL THEIR
HAPPY NEW YEAR
CLOSED ON STAT DAYS
GPS AND DASH CAMERAS
Links Archive December 21st 2015 December 23rd 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page