Home' Greymouth Star : December 31st 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2015
Four generations of
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
2500 pour into
Reefton for race day
Three fires in
The Westport Volunteer Fire
Brigade attended three fires last
night — all deliberately lit. Fire
chief Alan Kennedy said police
were investigating the cause of two
fires lit in the vicinity of the Buller
Bridge about 7.30pm. One of the
fires was in vegetation and rubbish
near the Westport end of the bridge,
while another had been lit in similar
material by the railway line, near
The Esplanade. Mr Kennedy said
the brigade was called out again at
9.30pm to North Beach, off the end
of Derby Street, where someone
had lit a fire in a pile of driftwood
and old tyres. The fire had been
left unattended and was typical
of incidents in the area, he said.
Fortunately the brigade was able
to get an appliance near the blaze
on the foreshore in order to stop it
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter flew to Haast at 4 o’clock
this morning to ferry an unwell
local resident to Grey Base Hospital
for medical treatment.
A British homeowner has put what
could be the rudest address in Britain
up for sale. Photographer Chris
Frear, 40, is selling his bungalow on
4 Kinnell Street for £115,000. He
says the address, when said quickly,
sounds like ‘f ... hell street ’. Mr Frear,
who lives with his mother Beth, says
he hopes whoever buys the property
in Thornhill, D umfries and Galloway,
has a sense of humour. “ Whoever
buys our house will love living here.
You could say we swear by it,” he
said. Mr Frear, who runs a sound
restoration business, had not noticed
how the address could sound until a
customer pointed it out three years
after he had moved there.
— Daily Mail
NEW YEAR’S DAY
Fine, apart from morning cloud
We wish all our
No paper tomorrow.
Publication resumes on
12 hurt in bus crash
Twelve people were injured, some
seriously, after a bus toppled on its side
in a collision with a car in the Otira
Gorge this morning.
The crash occurred below the viaduct
,in the vicinity of the rock shelter,
Police said 36 people were involved
and three had been flown by rescue
helicopter to Christchurch Hospital.
The condition of the remaining
victims was not confirmed by 1pm.
The bus was on its side on the road
and State highway 73 was expected to
be closed for several hours. Motorists
were urged to avoid the area as there
will be significant delays.
The Greymouth Star understands a
passing motorist was flagged down at
the crash scene about 11am to seek
help and that someone then travelled
on to nearby Arthur’s Pass village,
where the accident was reported to
emergency ser vices.
The Greymouth-based NZCC
West Coast Rescue Helicopter was
dispatched to the scene by 11.20am.
Volunteer firefighters from Greymouth
and Kumara were also sent to assist.
St John South Island communications
manager Ian Henderson said St John
was alerted at 11.05am.
“ We sent to the scene four ambulances
and three rescue helicopters. St John
has also sent mass casualty incident
equipment and medical resources, in
case it is required,” Mr Henderson said.
He confirmed 12 people had been
injured. Three had very serious injuries,
two were suffering moderate to serious
injuries and seven had minor to
The crash left at least one person
trapped under the bus, while at least
three other people had suffered life-
At midday, a St John spokesman said
some of the crash victims were believed
to be trapped and that the bus had
tipped over near the rock shelter.
Tasman police communications
manager Barbara D unn said motorists
intending to travel along State highway
73 today were “urged to stay away ” and
to make alternative plans.
The New Zealand Transport Agency
was advising at 12.30pm that motorists
intending to travel to and from the
West Coast via Arthur’s Pass should
alter their plans and travel via the
Lewis Pass instead.
A diversion for traffic heading from
the West Coast towards Canterbury is
in place at Jacksons.
Three key members of the Pike River Families
Group Committee have been recognised in
the New Year honours for ser vices to the
Families frontman and publican Bernie Monk,
his brother-in-law and lawyer Colin Smith, and
the group secretary Carol Rose have all become
Members the New Zealand Order of Merit
(MNZM). They are the only West Coast names
included in the 2016 honours.
Mr Monk’s son Michael, a builder, and Mrs
Rose’s son Stuart Mudge, a coalminer, were
among the 29 men who perished when the mine
exploded on November 19, 2010. Mr Smith was
Michael Monk’s uncle.
Responding to the honours, Mr Monk said he
felt “hollow and humbled at the same time” to
have been singled out with the recognition.
“I have accepted the award on behalf of the
families, and my family as they have had to put
up with a lot over the last five years (but) I didn’t
actually achieve what I set out to do, and in my
heart I feel I have let some of the families down
and have not got the men out.”
Mrs Rose, of Wakefield, Nelson, simply said
she also felt humbled.
Mr Smith said for him the honour represented
the cumulative effort the families have put
into health and safety regulations, the Royal
Commission of Inquiry and the select committee
process around changing the regulations.
“Lastly, it is also recognition of the work with
the (proposed Pike River great walk), which is
a tribute to the Pike 29 and provides something
for the 29 men and the West Coast community
as a whole.”
The trio also paid tribute to their partners
Kath Monk, Jen Smith and Steve Rose —
for their support over the five years since the
A live band at the Railway Hotel tonight
will spark some New Year’s Eve life into
Publican Reg Edmonds today put paid to
suggestions that the town was in for a quiet
New Year, as they would be ringing in 2016
with the five-piece band Alley Boy.
“Alley Boy lead singer is Chris Elley, a
Greymouth man who has been away from
the area for a few years and has recently
returned,” Mr Edmonds said.
The music would cater for all ages: “ Their
music is from the 70s, 80s and 90s, and we
are hoping to get a good, well behaved crowd
at the hotel tonight. Everyone is welcome
to come along and join us to see in the New
The Railway and Ferrari’s Bar have the only
live entertainment in town, with karaoke at
the Greymouth Workingmen’s Club and
Greymouth RSA, while the Rapahoe Hotel
will also have a band, Soul Kitchen.
Pub sparks up Greymouth New Year’s Eve
A trio of young German
tourists who entered the Coal
Creek Falls Track on Tuesday
for a day walk were rescued late
last evening after they became
Land search and rescue
mounted a rescue last evening
after a friend of the trio contacted
the police after it emerged the
would-be climbers were out of
West Coast acting area
McKenzie said the trampers had
ventured beyond the Coal Creek
Falls at the track end.
They spent Tuesday night in
the open and by late yesterday
were “hopelessly lost ”.
“It was very much goat country
where they were and by their own
admission, they were hopelessly
lost,” Mr McKenzie said.
Although fit, they were
inexperienced in the type of
terrain they had encountered
and were ill prepared to spend
another night out in the open.
Between them they had two
cellphones, although one of them
went flat yesterday.
They had been texting another
friend, who became concerned
and contacted police yesterday.
The overdue men were spotted
with the assistance of the NZCC
“It was a good result in the
end but if they had been better
equipped it would have been a lot
manager Angus Taylor said
the helicopter supported the
police rescue operation from
about 8.30pm by standing by
to winch the men out of Coal
Creek, about 4km, high above
Search and rescue crews had
walked into the area and assisted
the men into harnesses so they
could be winched out, Mr Taylor
He understood the German
tourists had planned to walk up
on to the Paparoa Range from
However, they underestimated
the terrain and eventually found
themselves stuck by Coal Creek,
above Cliff Creek and over
the ridge from the abandoned
Rewanui railhead, below Mount
‘Hopelessly lost ’ tourists rescued
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Pike River Families Committee members Carol Rose, Bernie Monk and Colin Smith, who
were all made Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the community.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
The crash scene above Windy Point in the Otira Gorge after midday, with the bus on its side in the middle distance.
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