Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
West Coast/New Zealand
2 - Thursday, January 12, 2017
information on vehicle
West Coast police are seeking
sightings of a car and its occupants
believed to be somewhere in the
region. It is a blue 2005 Ford Falcon
XR6 saloon, registration CTY57.
Police said the car was believed
to be in Buller but could have
moved towards Greymouth. The
car was registered to an Ashburton
address. Information can about
its movements and the vehicle’s
occupants can be passed on to the
nearest police station or by phoning
0800 555 111 anonymously.
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter was called to Neils
Beach at Jackson Bay late on
Tuesday afternoon to uplift a
medically unwell person who was
ferried back to Grey Base Hospital.
Greymouth Port. — Arrivals:
none. Departures: Ocean Odyssey,
one Greymouth vessel. In port:
Cook Canyon, Moon Shadow II,
20 Greymouth vessels. Expected
departures: Cook Canyon, Moon
Shadow II (tomorrow). Expected
arrivals: Galatea II (tomorrow).
Tourism faces big funding decisions
of the Westport News
Free tourist access to attractions like
Punakaiki’s Pancake Rocks and the
Cape Foulwind seal colony is too costly
for ratepayers, says Buller Mayor Garry
He wants a user pays regime and a
tax on tourists entering New Zealand.
Places like the West Coast needed the
extra funding to cater for tourism, Mr
“ It is an industry and it does need
supporting. It’s struggling to cope with
the increase in tourism and the burden
it’s placing on ratepayers, particularly
small population areas.’’
Infrastructure funding for tourist
attractions should come mainly from the
Government, not ratepayers, because the
main users were tourists, he said.
Mr Howard accepted user pays would
cost New Zealand its point of difference
as one of the few countries where tourists
could visit natural attractions for free.
“Can we sustain that point of difference
is the question. ’’
The West Coast, which has just over
31,000 residents, catered for 850,000
tourists from April to December last
year. Up to September Coast tourism
grew at 11% compared to 8% nationally.
Since then Coast tourism has been
boosted by the impact of the November
earthquake on Kaikoura. At a key
pressure point, Springs Junction, the
Buller council has installed six new
toilets paid for by almost $200,000 from
the Government ’s Regional Mid-sized
Tourism Facilities Grant Fund.
The money was initially allocated to
Fox River, on the Coast Road, which
also needs toilet facilities.
Howard said more infrastructure,
particularly toilets, rubbish collections
and in some cases roading, was needed
for the tourist influx.
“ Punakaiki should definitely, absolutely,
have some means of collection to be
able to facilitate rubbish, toilets and
enhancing the attraction that is there.
The Department of Conser vation is very
limited in funding, given what it has to
manage. It needs a user-pays element. ’’
He revealed that his council had lobbied
for a $2 car parking fee at Punakaiki,
with the revenue to be split between
the council and DOC. He said the
Minister of Conser vation had rejected
the proposal, but it was up for discussion
again. It would raise considerable
revenue to provide infrastructure.
Howard said Punakaiki needed an
underpass so its 500,000 visitors a year
could safely cross State Highway 6 to
access the Pancake Rocks.
He declined to say who would pay for
the underpass, which could cost upwards
of $200,000. “It’s all part of an evaluation
that ’s currently going on at Punakaiki.’’
He said the Coast also needed new and
“If we’re going to get serious about
tourism, and actually try and get the
higher end of tourism, one of the ways is
to start accommodating for that higher
end by having four-star plus hotels on
the West Coast.’’
Work was under way to attract hotel
However, the mayor said the Coast
should not pin all its hopes on tourism.
“I want to make sure we facilitate it
and it is part of a diversified economy
here — that we don’t just change from
mining economy to a tourism economy
and just jump from one fire into
“It’s just got to be part of the mix, but
it’s a very important part of the mix.
“But let ’s be brutally honest — as
far as Buller, in terms of Westport to
Karamea goes, we’re in the backwash
until something is done with regard to a
northern link access. ’’
Howard has been promoting a 56km
Wangapeka Road Link between
Karamea and Nelson so tourists don’t
have to backtrack once they reach
Karamea. A road would almost halve
the distance from Nelson to Karamea to
The West Coast Growth Study,
released last September, said the road
proposal would only stack up if there
were significant broader benefits to the
The study said initial reports suggested
the road would be challenging to build
and expensive to maintain. It might
have significant environmental issues as
it passed through Kahurangi National
It could increase visitors to Buller but
several stakeholders had said it might
not bring major benefits to Karamea.
The growth study plumped for
tourism as the Coast ’s major immediate
opportunity for jobs. It said the region
must develop more iconic attractions
and products and commercialise more
— Westport News
Tourism goes into the new year
making more money than ever but
facing big decisions about how to fund
its unprecedented growth.
Tr a ffi c jams around Auckland Airport
this summer have infuriated travellers,
tourists have fouled trails on the
Coromandel and about a fifth of New
Zealanders say they are worried about
the impact of too many visitors.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief
executive Chris Roberts said there were
concerns about sustainability.
“ We know and acknowledge that
there is rising public and industry
concern that tourism is growing faster
than our ability to cope,’’ he said.
“ Without a co-ordinated response
from industry and central and local
government, we risk being unable to
fully capture the future potential of
tourism and protect the long-term
sustainability of our industry.’’ In the
past year, more than 3.4 million visitors
arrived and with a bumper summer
season in full swing new records are
The country’s biggest tourism
business, Air New Zealand, reported
a record profit and Tourism Holdings’
shares increased by nearly 70% to levels
last seen in 1993.
Total annual tourism revenue has
grown from $28 billion to $34.7b in
just two years.
New Tourism Minister Paula Bennett
has served as an associate in the
portfolio but will face having to make a
tough call on whether to fund facilities
by imposing new taxes.
A powerful group of tourism
leaders has got behind a push for the
Government to contribute $65m a year
to a dedicated infrastructure fund — to
match funding by a bed tax and a $5
increase in the border levy.
The bed tax suggestion has been
floating around for some time and
while those in the accommodation
sector have raised concerns about how it
would be collected and how they would
be disadvantaged, it will be seriously
considered by the Government.
The possibility of charging more for
overseas visitors to use national parks
will also be on the agenda.
And the Government will face
renewed pressure as a TIA report
detailing the infrastructure deficit —
especially in small centres — is unveiled
early in the year.
Roberts said every issue the country
has, arises from challenges of that
growth where the contribution of
tourism has grown from $28b a year to
$35b during the past two years.
“ In that regard they ’re nice problems
to have. Key amongst those are early
signs of public concern about the
growth rate of tourism and where we
can cope as a country,’’ he said.
“ We are very aware of that social
licence to operate.’’ A survey for the
TIA and Tourism New Zealand
showed 19% of respondents were
worried the country may be attracting
too many tourists.
This was up from 13% in a previous
sur vey with road accidents and
traffic congestion the top concerns.
Overcrowding, a lack of infrastructure
and environmental impacts were also
“There are a small minority of
visitors causing those concerns but
we acknowledge the public gets very
concerned about them,’’ said Roberts.
John Pask, an economist with
BusinessNZ, said that although bed
taxes were common overseas there are
“A bed tax would be fairly
discriminatory against a small group of
service providers (i.e. those providing
beds) given that tourists consume a
wide range of other ser vices when
they are here. Also, many people using
accommodation aren’t tourists but
locals on business or holiday,’’ he said.
Taxing tourists an additional amount
on arrival or departure would be
“But there are dangers in simple
overlays of additional tax — which
tend to get siphoned into funds which
over time attract uses other than
originally intended.’’ Pask said that as
a general principle, additional taxes
were pretty much always bad news and
there were good reasons to keep New
Zealand ’s relatively simple broad-based
“Allowing one new tax always
encourages calls for more, and allowing
a new tax in one new industry [like
tourism] sets a precedent for taxing
any other new industries that might
become established.’’ Roberts said a
dedicated infrastructure fund advocated
in the McKinsey report for the heads
of Air New Zealand, Christchurch
and Auckland airports and Tourism
Holdings would need some very strong
“How the money is collected is
going to be open to a lot of debate.
The Government ’s increasing tax take
from tourism suggests that they should
seriously thinking of funding it all
themselves.’’ There’s also a persistent
issue facing the tourism industry; the
honesty of the 100% Pure New Zealand
Lord of the Rings actor and New
Zealand tour guide operator Bruce
Hopkins is not surprised, calling our
rivers and lakes “gutter holes’’ and
Bennett has defended it. She told
National Radio: “ When it comes to our
image overseas New Zealand is seen
as clean and green and why on earth
should we get rid of something that
is working and marketing us so well.’’
Incoming Tourism New Zealand chief
executive Stephen England has said
he will learn more about the 18-year-
old campaign when he joins the
organisation in April, but is a supporter.
“I don’t think we’re being dishonest
figure out the right path for the nation
because it’s not just about tourism
— it’s about industries and agriculture.’’
— N Z ME -New Zealand Herald
Thursday January 12
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
of the Westport News
The West Coast ’s four local body
leaders cost ratepayers almost $330,000
last financial year.
West Coast Regional Council
chairman Andrew Robb maintained
his place as the most expensive Coast
remuneration and clocked up $11,735 in
expenses, taking his total cost to $85,935
— up $3340 on the previous year.
His expenses included $7768 for travel,
accommodation and meals, and $2268
He said his travels provided “exposure
for the region in Wellington”.
Mr Robb said Coast ratepayers gained
from his involvement with regional
sector groups. Sharing ideas helped solve
problems and save ratepayers money, he
“ Just by getting out of the region and
exposing yourself to other people and
advocating for our region to members of
Parliament ... it’s part of the job.”
He was also involved with the visitor
drivers governance group which helped
ensure safer journeys for visiting drivers,
and chaired the governance group
for the West Coast Regional Growth
Westland Mayor Mike Havill, who
stood down after just one term, was the
least expensive leader. He cost $78,606,
comprising $72,783 remuneration and
$5823 expenses. His total cost fell $2084
on the previous year.
Grey Mayor Tony Kokshoorn cost
$81,924. He received the highest
remuneration of $80,014 following a
pay rise of $6815 — the biggest increase
of any Coast leader.
However, he again had the lowest
expenses of just $1910, comprising
travel $1396 and accommodation $515.
Unlike other Coast leaders, Mr
Kokshoorn has never claimed for mileage
and seldom travels, saying leaders do not
need to travel to get results.
His total cost to ratepayers was $81,924
— up $5963 on the previous year.
Buller Mayor Garry Howard was the
second least expensive.
Mr Howard cost ratepayers $81,754
(2015: $77,230). He received $74,100
remuneration and clocked up $7654 for
His remuneration was the second
lowest of Coast council leaders and
his expenses were the second highest,
according to figures obtained under the
Local Government Official Information
and Meetings Act.
His expenses were: mileage $3166,
travel $1663, conference fees $1448,
accommodation $900 and food/
Mr Howard said his biggest cost was
“I do about 10,000km a year and it’s
just one of those factors — if you are
trying to get around the Buller district
it takes quite a bit of getting around
community and consultation-type
“There are trips to Christchurch but
not that many — more often I will be
going to Wellington.”
Mr Howard said he kept his expenses
as low as possible. “I don’t go looking to
claim for everything.”
Leaders’pay is set by the Remuneration
None of the Coast council leaders had
a council credit card.
Regional council chairman
most expensive Coast leader
Free tourism access too costly
for ratepayers — Buller Mayor
A New Zealand man who allegedly
attempted to smuggle more than $8.5
million worth of cocaine into the United
Kingdom in the back of a truck has been
After a hearing in the Christchurch
District Court last year, Franciscus
Maria Schaapveld was deported so he
could face the “very serious charges’’
even though he was charged four years
after the alleged offending.
Schaapveld moved to the UK in 1998
with his wife and three children and
worked there as a long-haul truck driver
for 40 years before his wife died of cancer
in 2006, according to proceedings.
He told the courts this left him
devastated and left him with ongoing
problems with depression.
On April 21, 2012, after a long-haul
trip from Europe Schaapveld was
stopped at the border and the truck and
trailer unit he was driving was searched.
Authorities allegedly found more than
$8.5 million worth of cocaine in the
He was detained overnight, spoken to
by police and released the next day.
But in June, Schaapveld decided to
return to New Zealand and travelled
on his normal passport and he told the
court authorities were “fully aware’’ of
him leaving the UK.
Schaapveld became a driver for
Fonterra and entered a relationship in
2014 but the woman also died of cancer,
reigniting his depression issues, he told
He also said throughout that time, he
had no contact with anyone in the UK
and was not aware of any charges laid
But in August 2013, Interpol in
Wellington confirmed with authorities
in the UK that Schaapveld was living in
Two years later, in June and July
2015, four of Schaapveld’s alleged co-
conspirators stood trial, were convicted
and sentenced to a combined 80 years’
imprisonment between them.
According to the Mirror, the “organised
criminal network’’ used their “extensive
knowledge and expertise in the haulage
industry to smuggle cash out of the
UK while bringing in Class A and B
A warrant was issued for Schaapveld’s
arrest in September 2015 and the
application for extradition was filed with
New Zealand authorities in December.
He was arrested in April last year.
In a hearing held in August, Schaapveld
argued it would be “oppressive’’ he be
extradited because of the time which
had passed and the absence of any
explanation as to why there was such a
delay in charging.
He said as time went on and without
any contact at all from any authorities in
the UK or his lawyers, he believed that
the matter had now come to an end.
Schaapveld said he also had established
a life in New Zealand under his own
name, paying taxes and caring for his
elderly mother whom he was concerned
Judge Jane Farish said while on a
humane level she thought it was unfair
for Schaapveld to be deported to face
serious charges after that length of time,
she did not make the law.
“I have to abide by the High Court
decisions and despite the matters
that Mr Schaapveld has raised they
do not bring me to a point where I
could legitimately say that it would be
oppressive to return Mr Schaapveld to
the United Kingdom.’’
Judge Jane Farish made an order for
Schaapveld to be extradited back to the
UK on August 11 last year.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
The cause of the
fatal fire in Flat Bush
which killed three
members of the same
family is officially
Fire investigator Phil
Faidley said while the
investigation team had
a theory about what had
caused the fire, they were
not able to conclusively
determine how the fire
Three died when a fire
ripped through their
home on December
22.— NZ ME
A series of mini-
tornadoes left a Cromwell
woman “shaking and
terrified’’ and caused a a
trail of destruction in the
Central Otago town last
Police warned some
residents to stay inside
after objects were thrown
high into the air about
Sergeant Bruce Terry, of
Cromwell, said the mini-
tornadoes had thrown
loose building materials,
such as roofing iron and
even a fence, up to 500m
A power pole was blown
down, trailers overturned,
a trampoline was lifted
and a few windows had
been blown in.
St John spokesman Ian
Henderson said no-one
Cromwell resident Jan
McGregor said she was
“shaking and terrified’’ as
scraps of metal flew past
her home in Waegna Dr.
“ I was in the bathroom
and my dog came running
in and jumped in my
arms. I looked out the
window and saw pieces of
metal flying towards me.
Luckily they must have
missed the house.’’
Another resident, Ben
Cormack, was driving
down the street with
friends when he saw one
of the first tornadoes.
“We saw afence of
one of the houses was
He and a group of
neighbours helped to
clear the debris from the
property, as the owners
were out of town.
“At one point we were
standing in our back-yard
and we saw three more
tornadoes pop up. They
flung bits of metal in the
A Fire Service
spokesman said Cromwell
firefighters responded at
5.49pm after a power pole
fell down near the corner
of Ord and Kawarau
Campbell said the pole
fell as a result of the
tornado and several
hundreds of customers
Ripponvale lost power.
Linemen were repairing
the pole last night and 37
customers were expected
to remain without power
until about 10pm.
— Otago Daily Times
A tree fell on to power lines at Blue
Spur early this morning during heavy
rain and winds, cutting power to the area.
The Hokitika Volunteer Fire Brigade
was called to Blue Spur Road at 6am
and stood by until electricity lines staff
arrived to make repairs.
Caldwell said power was restored shortly
before 8.30am and was the only outage
reported across the network during the
storm early today.
Meanwhile, the NZ Transit Authority
had surface flooding warnings out on
State highways 6 and 73 this morning
following the heavy rain at first light.
Water was across the road on the
Arthur’s Pass highway at Rocky Point
and in the Harris Creek and swamp area.
On State highway 6 surface flooding
was an issue at Brewery Hill at Coal
Creek, while heavy rain had caused
several areas of surface flooding in South
Westland between Ross and Haast.
West Coast police earlier issued a
warning that heavy rain is expected to
continue in the region and for motorists
to take care and drive to the conditions.
“ With heavy rains and local rivers from
Kumara Junction to Haast rising, trees,
and in some places roads have been
partially washed away, the roads may
continue to wet for a significant part of
the day,” the police statement said.
NZer who allegedly smuggled
cocaine into UK extradited
cuts power at
Fatal fire cause not
Solutions Page 9
Links Archive January 11th 2017 January 13th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page