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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2015
recalled in panels
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
West Coast bowls
hopes at nationals
complaints pour in
West Coast police have been
dealing with several complaints a
day about poor driving, including
drivers wandering over the
centre line. West Coast acting
area commander Inspector Iain
McKenzie encouraged the public
to keep reporting any incident of
dangerous or poor driving they
witnessed, either via the *555
cellphone line or directly to a local
police station, regardless of how
insignificant the incident seemed.
“ I would rather deal with it earlier
than deal with a crash or fatality,”
Mr McKenzie said.
‘Copter picks up
The Greymouth-based NZCC
Rescue Helicopter flew into
Carrington Hut, in the headwaters
of the Waimakariri River, about
9am today to pick up an injured
tramper. A man in his late 40s,
from South Canterbury, had a
lacerated foot and was airlifted to
Christchurch Hospital for medical
Two small fires
A ‘car fire’ reported to the
Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade
yesterday turned out to be a small
rubbish fire at a Murray Street
property. Meanwhile, the Cobden
Volunteer Fire Brigade put out a
small fire on Cobden beach about 8
o’clock last night.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
Becoming fine in the morning
Britain’s largest sperm bank is
under investigation for banning
men with dyslexia. Campaigners
accused the clinic of ‘eugenics’ —
attempting to genetically improve
the human race. The London Sperm
Bank has produced leaflets stating
it will not accept men who are
dyslexic, have ADHD, autism or
certain other conditions. But the
fertility watchdog has launched a
review over concerns that the policy
is illegal and unfairly discriminates
against thousands of men. Around
one in 10 of the population have
some degree of dyslexia which
causes problems with reading,
writing and spelling. But a growing
number of experts say it should
not be counted as a disability as it
is linked to being extremely good
at maths, engineering or thinking
creatively. Famous sufferers include
Sir Richard Branson, Albert
Einstein and Steve Jobs, the late
founder of Apple. — Daily Mail
New Year parties on the move
The days when crowds of people
spilled out of the pubs to count down
the New Year at the Greymouth
clocktower are gone, with many young
people heading out of town tomorrow
for their celebrations.
New Year’s Eve celebrations will
be few and far between in downtown
Workingmen’s Club and the RSA,
which will both have karaoke for
entertainment, and Ferrari’s Bar,
which has solo guitarist Keat playing,
no other hotels in the CBD have any
special entertainment booked.
Of the town’s two former youth
venues, Revingtons has been closed
for months, and new owners at the
Railway have opted for early closings.
Mike Toal from the Union Hotel
said they seldom drew young crowds
on New Year’s Eve and he did not
expect tomorrow night to be any
“ We will get our usual walk around
crowd in for a drink and our locals,
but most of the younger ones head
away — many have gone to Nelson,”
Mr Toal said.
Further up town, neither the
Australasian Hotel nor the Recreation
Hotel has any entertainment planned.
The lack of organised entertainment
seems to be driving some people out of
town for their New Year celebrations.
Greymouth band Colt 45 will be
playing at the Moana Hotel and
publican Phil Barnett said the village
“ was full” and he expected more to
“The weather is going to be terrific
and we expect good crowds and a great
old party. Hopefully everyone will
have a great time, enjoy themselves
and stay safe,” Mr Barnett said.
While there are no bands playing
at Punakaiki, a spokesman for the
beach camp, Jed Findlay, said the
camp was booked out with about 300
holidaymakers making Punakaiki
their base for New Year’s Eve.
“ While there is nothing planned —
there will be a good vibe and the usual
fires along the beach,” Mr Findlay
Franz Josef Glacier is also preparing
for a busy night.
The ice retreat of the South
Westland glaciers is continuing apace,
with Fox Glacier losing 300m — the
length of three rugby fields -- in the
year to March.
Victoria University senior research
fellow Brian Anderson said Franz
Josef Glacier had lost 110m in the
At the moment both glaciers are
in retreat mode. Dr Anderson’s last
measurements were in March, and
in the previous year Franz had shed
about 110m of ice and Fox 300m.
They had both kept retreating since
then, and interestingly Franz Josef
Glacier has a ‘wave’ of ice 20m high
travelling down the glacier.
Internationally there were few
observations of ‘kinematic waves’
travelling down glaciers, he said.
Dr Anderson said although it was
a strong El Nino year, which meant
more rain for the West Coast, the
Franz Josef mass balance was tracking
about average for this time of year,
and well below previous El Nino years
of 1982-83 and 1997-98, which were
years of mass increase for the glacier.
Although the past winter had been
cold and wet, spring had seen average
temperatures and was not particularly
wet. Summer made a big difference to
the glaciers so a cool summer could
still end up being a good year for the
glaciers, he said.
“El Nino doesn’t seem to be having
a big impact on the glaciers this year.
And after a warm end to last summer,
we did have a good cold and wet
winter until about September. Since
then temperatures have been close to
average and it hasn’t been particularly
In 2013, historic records revealed
Franz Josef Glacier had retreated 3km
up the valley in the past century.
“Our best estimate is that they will
be 7 or 8km shorter than present by
2100,” Dr Anderson said two years
Fifty years ago this week, the
Greymouth Evening Star reported
that ice at Franz Josef “now stretches
in a spectacular blanket from the
terminal face to the sea — a distance
of 10 miles”.
“Early yesterday morning a giant
chunk of ice, estimated at two million
tons, collapsed from the western
side of the glacier and plunged into
the Waiho River. Some of the ice is
heaped six feet high in the Waiho
River,” the 1965 report said.
PICTURES: Brian Anderson
Franz Josef Glacier on November 30, 2012.
Viewed from the same spot three years later, on December 11, 2015.
Officials questioned Pike River ‘great walk’ feasibility
The newly-proposed Pike River
‘great walk’ may be able to draw up to
2500 visitors a year, but government
documents question how many people
will visit the mine site itself.
The Government announced the
$10 million walk from Blackball to
Punakaiki, in memory of the Pike
River 29, in November.
mountainbike track will traverse
the Paparoa Range over part of the
existing Croesus Track and Pororari
River Track, and feature an 8km
side track to the mine site, with an
information centre at the amenities
area and a discreet memorial at the
A raft of papers presented to cabinet
have now been released.
A June 8 report from the New
Zealand Conser vation Authority
shows it supported an alternative
coalmining great walk, saying this was
better for a track that would act as a
memorial to the men lost in the mine
disaster, and their lives in a coalmining
As such the track could have included
the Strongman, Rewanui, Liverpool
and Brunner mine sites.
The conser vation authority said
it did not support a track from Pike
River to Punakaiki, whether via a
northern loop along the escarpment
and then dropping down into Bullock
and Cave creeks, or via a southern loop
along the skyline through the head of
Moonlight Creek and down the ridge
to the west of the Punakaiki River.
“Much of the route is enclosed in
dense forest, the mountain range
section is exposed to severe weather
and the underlying geology, especially
to the west of the main range, is largely
limestone karst country ... which
will be excessively costly for track
The feasibility study by consultants
TRC looked at four options and
backed the one that was selected, from
Blackball via the Croesus Track.
TRC said it would need to be of
exceptional quality to exceed 2500
overnight visitors in a year, and become
one of the most compelling ‘must-do’
tramps on the West Coast.
Marketing and promotion would
need to exceed $20,000 a year for the
first three years.
While it had the right mix of open
tops, forests, river valleys, and great
views the main disadvantage was that
it would compete directly with the Old
Ghost Road, in Buller, the consultants
The track would generate six direct
and seven indirect jobs. Preliminary
cost estimates were withheld. A
shuttle bus would possibly operate
An assessment of the Pike River
Mine amenity facilities found it was
“difficult to imagine” many visitors
would drive there. Memorials and
museums in Greymouth would be
better to share the stories with as many
visitors as possible, the consultants
There was no great demand for more
outdoor education centres, and Mines
Rescue had a good facility on the
outskirts of Runanga for workplace
In a paper to cabinet, acting
Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s
office said the Paparoa National Park
plan did not allow new huts or tracks,
so it needed to be reviewed.
Dr Smith noted that the Pike River
families had requested a memorial
near the portal.
The documents also reveal Solid
Energy is not expected to hand
over the site to the Department of
Conservation until the middle of next
year, partly due to delays with sealing
The Pike River great walk is expected
to open in 2018.
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 0822
Sales A/H: Alastair Hamilton 768 7300
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