Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2016 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Tuesday, January 12, 2016
of the Hokitika Guardian
A large goldmine at Greenstone,
near Kumara, remains shut and
It is understood about 20 staff
have been left in limbo since last
month, when mining was halted.
The mine is tied to Christchurch
businessman Mike McDonald, a
director of collapsed Hokitika-
based mining company MCAM
Work Safe NZ confirmed recently
that the mine had been shut down.
The regulatory authority became
involved after both the mine general
manager and manager were stood
down, following a disagreement
with Mr McDonald.
Deputy chief inspector extractives
Dave Bellett said Work Safe was
keeping in regular contact with
the company as it “restructured”.
However, it had not issued any
notices to the company or shut
down the operation, Mr Bellett
“That was a decision taken by the
An industry insider
some mining equipment had
been repossessed, although Mr
McDonald could not be reached
for comment to confirm that.
The Greenstone operation has
been bankrolled by Scottish investor
Martin Davie, who is understood to
have put up $20 million.
The Guardian was told Mr Davie
was in New Zealand two weeks
after work was halted, but he had
since returned home.
As of yesterday afternoon a
number of staff had still not been
paid and it was not clear when
mining would resume.
Mr Davie is the director of a new
company called Koura Mining,
which registers its principal place
of business as Eco Minerals, at
99 Revell Street, Hokitika,
above the ASB Bank — the same
premises previously occupied by
That office closed last year
after Mr McDonald’s other
company, MCAM Ltd, was put
into liquidation in November
2014 owing about $1.1 million to
Meanwhile, a third liquidator’s
report for MCAM was released
Paul Vlasic and Lynda Smart, of
Rodgers Reidy (NZ) Ltd, said all
assets of the company had been
realised. Two out of three vehicles
owned by the company were sold
at auction and the proceeds used
to help settle the secured creditors.
A 1997 Hitachi excavator, office
and sundry items of plant and
equipment were also identified.
A claim of over $3000 in relation
to court costs awarded to the
petitioning creditor had been paid
in full and over $11,000 of more
than $15,8000 in unpaid wages and
The report says the liquidators
had also negotiated a monetary
settlement with the director-
shareholder in relation to his
conduct as a director, which
provided for repayment over time.
“ Payments totalling $50,000
have been received. However, he
is now in default of the negotiated
arrangement. D ue to the nature of
our recovery action, it is not possible
to advise if unsecured creditors will
receive a dividend payment upon
completion of the liquidation.”
The surviving siblings of Martin and
Eileen Creagh’s 11 children, and Jim Creagh
and their extended families, gathered for
a day of reminiscing about growing up at
Dobson with a reunion at the Blaketown
Rugby Clubrooms on Saturday.
Sixty-five family members came from
all over New Zealand, Dar win, and even
one grandson, Michael Creagh, who works
in Mali. The events of the day included a
visit to the Karoro Cemetery to lay flowers
on the graves of Martin and Eileen, and
Martin’s parents James and Bridget Creagh
(nee Minehan). The family also visited
Wallsend, where James and Bridget lived
and ran a general store, and the Brunner
Mine site, where Martin worked. The
present owner of the original store allowed
the Creaghs to visit, and Brian Creagh, the
oldest sibling, recounted stories about life in
Wallsend when the store was still operating.
James Creagh arrived in Brunner from
Kerry, Ireland, aboard the Gainsborough in
Martin Creagh died in 1961, aged 59, and
Eileen lived in the family home at Dobson
until her death in 1983.
Cheryl, back left, Christine, Pat, Verna Harnett (daughter of Jim Creagh) and Martin Creagh. Front: Kevin, Brian, Doreen
McGrath (daughter of Jim) and Galvin Creagh. Absent: Coleman Creagh.
Creagh family gathers for reunion
HARRIS, Audrey Mae.
(late of Greymouth).
On January 10, 2016,
passed away peacefully
at Bethesda Rest Home
and Hospital, Bishop-
dale, Christchurch, aged
84. Dearly loved wife of
the late Raymond, much
mother-in-law of Peter
and Donna (Christ-
church), Margaret and
Greg Eton (Auckland)
and Russell (Australia).
Beloved grandma of
Kelsie and Sean; Nicola,
Phillip and Rachel and
Sienna, Conner, Hunter
and Vincent. Loved sis-
ter of the late Pat,
Norman, the late Elza,
Doug and Stanley. Spe-
cial thanks to the staff at
Bethesda who made
mum's stay so special.
Messages to the Harris
family, 6 Lombard Place
church. A celebration of
Audrey's life will be
held at the Anisy Cere-
mony Centre, 77 Shake-
speare Street, Grey-
mouth on Wednesday at
1pm, followed by inter-
ment at the Karoro
Resting in the care of
Anisy Funeral Home,
Unpaid workers still in limbo
Buller Electricity has sent a compulsory
acquisition notice for the remaining
shares in Pulse Energy, after becoming
the dominant shareholder in the energy
retailer following a takeover bid.
The lines company became the holder
of 90% or more of the voting rights in
Pulse on Friday, making it the dominant
shareholder, it said in a statement to the
market. All outstanding shareholders
must now sell their shares to Buller.
At 4pm yesterday, Buller announced it
now holds 353 million ordinary shares,
or 92.1%, in Pulse, from 317 million, or
94.6%, at its last disclosure on January
7. On January 8, the company issued 35
million ordinary shares on conversion of
its mandatory convertible notes, diluting
Shareholders have until February 2 to
return a signed transfer form, and will be
paid out, at 11c per share, within seven
Buller announced its intention to take
over Pulse in October, and made its full
offer on November 16, offering 11c per
share, 5c per option and $1.10 for each
mandatory convertible note. Pulse’s
NZAX-listed shares last traded at 10.5c,
and have gained 50% in the past year.
On December 31, three of Pulse
Energy’s directors accepted the share
offer, giving the lines company more
than 90% of the shares and the ability
to enforce compulsory acquisition of the
Pulse ceded a controlling stake to
Buller in 2011 to repay debt and provide
capital for expansion after the minnow
retailer ran out of cash and leaned
on the shareholder to get it through.
Buller Electricity is the local lines
network company on the West Coast
of the South Island. It reported an
annual profit of $328,000 in the year to
March 31, on operating revenue of $110
million, according to its 2015 annual
The independent adviser’s report by
Campbell Macpherson valued the shares
at between 9.2c and 11.3c, the options
at a maximum of 2.8c, and the notes at
$1.11 to $1.15. The report said all three
prices offered fell within its valuation
ranges, but said investors would need to
make up their own mind on whether to
accept the offer.
— New Zealand Herald
Buller Electricity sends compulsory
acquisition notice for Pulse shares
of the Westport News
Centre revamp will go to tender
once architects have finished
the required drawings
documentation, Buller District
Council chief executive Paul
The council approved a general
$736,132 on December 16 for
earthquake strengthening, fire
protection and providing a dual-
purpose performance theatre and
The budget includes more than
$120,000 in Vision 2010 funds.
The Westport News asked Mr
Wylie last week when the council
would seek tenders, given he had
consistently warned the work was
urgent because of the building’s
“Everybody knows the urgency
but given the delays and variations
that have occurred over the
last year I was not prepared to
authorise detailed drawings until
I had a firm council decision,” Mr
“The approval was advised to the
architects the day after the council
meeting. The architects began
work immediately on the detailed
drawings and documentation
required before such a project can
go to tender.”
He said the Christmas-New
Year period had then intervened.
“It is a little unreal to expect that
something such as this could
be advertised for tender within
three weeks, including the holiday
Inangahua Community Board
member Cr Dave Hawes told last
month’s council meeting the board
had cut the budget to the bare
bones. What remained was mainly
maintenance council had failed to
do on the building.
The $736,000 budget did not
take into account voluntary work
from community members, but
safety rules could limit volunteer
input, Cr Hawes said.
The budget is almost $61,000
more than council had set aside.
Deputy Mayor Graeme Neylon,
who is also on the community
board, said the board hoped tender
prices might come in close to
He said any
fundraising should go to providing
what had been stripped from the
Buller council approves budget for
Reefton Community Centre revamp
Anthony Robert Moore, 47, of
Blaketown, yesterday vacated his
not guilty plea to admit a charge of
behaving in a threatening manner.
The Greymouth District Court
heard that on July 17 last year
Moore had been evicted from
his Blaketown home. He became
angry when a number of police
arrived at the address and told him
only one person at a time could
enter the property to remove his
Police prosecutor Michelle Payne
said Moore hurled obscenities at
the police and when he drove off
he told the police to “watch that
house as it was going to burn”.
Defence lawyer Richard Bodle
said Moore’s temper flared up when
a larger than expected number of
police arrived at the house as he
was moving out; he thought the
police response was “overkill”.
Mr Bodle said Moore left then
property and when he returned, he
“He accepts what he did and
Moore was convicted and fined
A 47-year-old Greymouth man
who breached his bail conditions
overnight on Sunday was remanded
until January 26.
John Edward Hewer was arrested
for breaching his curfew, and
Judge O’Driscoll warned Hewer
that if he breached again he would
probably be taken into custody.
Evicted man admits threat
An 18-year-old Greymouth
man was arrested on Friday after
he allegedly posted what police
describe as “a digital and offensive
communication” against his ex-
A 47-year-old Greymouth man
was arrested for breach of bail.
He was kept in custody overnight
and was to appear in court this
A 50-year-old Hokitika man
staying in Westport for the
weekend had his driver’s licence
suspended for 28 days after he was
caught drink-driving on Saturday
night. He blew 844mg and was
bailed to appear in the Westport
court on January 18.
‘Digital and offensive communication’ arrest
of the Hokitika Guardian
The Governor-General’s visit to the
West Coast next month will largely be
focused in Westland, with stopovers in
Hokitika, Ross, Hari Hari and Franz
Josef Glacier planned over three days.
A Government House spokeswoman
said yesterday the logistics of the region
and the tight timeframe meant Sir Jerry
Mateparae would not make it further
north than Runanga.
The vice-regal tour will start from
Hokitika on February 23, heading
through South Westland over the next
two days. Members of the Government
House advance party were expected in
Hokitika last night and today to firm up
the itinerary, including accommodation
and transport bookings.
It is expected Sir Jerry will cover
some of the distance by helicopter. His
official schedule will be made public a
week before his arrival.
It is understood to be his first visit
to the area since holding the position.
He was booked for the Hokitika 150th
celebrations in December 2014 but
could not fly in due to the weather.
While his schedule is yet to be
confirmed, Hokitika Goldrush 150
Committee deputy chairman Max
Dowell said it was hoped he could
make a short stop at the Countess boat
display on the Quayside, which was the
feature in the 150th re-enacted river
The Governor-General had been
scheduled to greet the historic boat
and its crew, thereby becoming the
fourth Governor-General to have
an association with the 129-year-old
Countess, the oldest New Zealand-
built lifeboat still in working order.
Mr Dowell said it was hoped the
display shed could be decorated and
people dressed in period costume to
push the boat out for a photograph
opportunity akin to his predecessor,
Dame Sylvia Cartwright, who visited
Hokitika in 2002, when she opened the
Gibson Quay boathouse.
Lord William Onslow, the equivalent
of today ’s Governor-General from 1889
and 1892, named the Countess after
his wife during his visit to Hokitika,
during which he took a trip to Lake
Mahinapua, Mr Dowell said.
Lord Onslow ’s successor, Lord
Glasgow, was also rowed up to the lake
for a picnic when he visited before 1897.
Meanwhile, the Hokitika Museum has
organised a small afternoon tea for
the Governor-General and wife Lady
Museum director Julia Bradshaw
said the event would honour “unsung
local heritage heroes” — all people
connected with Hokitika Museum
in some way, such as volunteers and
supporters — and would be held in the
gallery where an exhibition of images
from its new Hokitika pictorial book
tying in old photographs with quotes
from Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker
Award winning novel, The Luminaries,
would be displayed.
Ms Bradshaw said the small invite-
only luncheon would be a more modest
version of what had been planned for
the 150th event.
In Hari Hari, Lady Janine has been
asked to do the honours of opening the
new $1 million community centre on
Sir Jerry Mateparae
Governor-General to visit Westland next month
New data shows renting has become
more common nationwide even though
most households are still owner-
Statistics New Zealand said the
value of residential building consents
passed the billion dollar mark for the
first time, but population growth was
still outstripping an increase in private
For an increasing number of people,
renting has become the norm.
The proportion of households who
owned their dwelling decreased from
74% in 1991 to 64% in the three
months to December 2015.
A further 32% of households were
rented, up from 23% in 1991. Four
per cent of the population had their
dwellings provided for free.
In most recent years, the number
of dwellings and households in New
Zealand had increased at a rate
exceeding population growth.
But that trend had reversed, with
population growing an estimated 1.9%
in the year ended to June 30, 2015,
compared with private dwelling growth
of 1.2%. There was a similar situation in
2002-03 and 2009-10 .
The figures, based on census data, were
updated based on building consents
and lagged by six months to allow for
completion of the dwelling.
Statistics NZ warned the national
census could conceal different trends at
a local level.
Parts of New Zealand were lagging
behind others when it came to new
Across Wellington, the Bay of Plenty
and Waikato, big overall jumps in new
housing consents were reported in the
12 months to November.
That high number included “a spike in
consents for apartments and retirement
village units,” in Wellington, Statistics
NZ’s business indicators manager
Clara Eatherley said.
But there were 153 fewer new consents
in Canterbury than a year before.
The new data also showed interesting
trends in non-residential building work,
the chief forecaster at Infometrics,
Gareth Kieran, said.
The value of consented education
buildings, shops, factories, storage,
hospitals, hostels and hotels was up on
the previous November.
Mr Kiernan said the data hinted
at some overall positives for the
New Zealand economy after a spate
of negative news and doom-filled
predictions last year.
He said non-residential data
suggested the tourism, construction and
services sectors were doing reasonably
“ You look at the data through
the second half of 2015 and
generally the growth has been
reasonably spread across most of
the country. It’s not necessarily
The value of non-residential building
work consented in November 2015 was
$531 million, $105 million more than
the previous November.
Mr Kiernan said excitement about
“major projects” in Auckland was in
some cases vindicated.
“It’s gratifying to perhaps see a bit of
that starting to materialise but again
we’d expect a lot more there, given
the pressures on the commercial and
industrial property markets that you’re
Mr Kiernan said Auckland ’s economic
growth was still running ahead of the
nationwide average, and that was likely
However, the value of non-residential
building work on farms and offices in
New Zealand was down on November
‘”The farm result (is) not too
surprising. It’s been softening for
a few months, just given the big drop
in dairy prices we’ve seen since early
Mr Kiernan said uncertainty about
weather conditions and El Nino meant
some people were “probably holding
back” on new farm building work.
Statistics NZ said the total value of
building work consented in November
was $1.6 billion, an all-time record.
Slightly over two-thirds of that value
came from residential work.
The figures included both monthly
and annual statistics for new consents.
Territorial authorities provided the
building consent data.
— N Z ME -New Zealand Herald
Renting becoming the norm
for more New Zealanders
burglary has been reported, with
Westmere Drilling in Dobson
targeted some time between the
New Year holiday and late last
Inspector Paul Borrell said
the burglary of the drilling
January 3 and last Thursday.
“It appears entry has been
gained into the perimeter of
the business through a fence.
A tractor within the perimeter
belonging to the drilling
company has been used to gain
actual entry into the building,”
Mr Borrell said.
Items stolen included several
aluminium ladders with a
combined value of $400, a Honda
three-inch water pump including
hoses and valve equipment,
and a small red Honda
It was likely the offenders used
a vehicle to get to Dobson and
during the burglary to remove
the missing items.
Mr Borrell said any sightings
of suspicious vehicles or persons
in Dobson, and especially
within the vicinity of Westmere
Drilling, between January 3-7
should contact the Greymouth
Police, or anonymously via the
Crimestoppers phone line, 0800
“ We are also interested in
hearing from anyone who
may have been offered for
sale similar property or has
information pertaining to this
Dobson premises burgled
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