Home' Greymouth Star : January 24th 2017 Contents 150 YEARS SINCE 1866
Rene dies P5
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TUESDAY, JANUARY 24, 2017
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of the Hokitika Guardian
Rail crossing crash
A Chinese tourist escaped injury
when his rental vehicle struck a
train control light at Totara Flat last
night. Sergeant Michel Bloom, of
Greymouth police, said the crash
happened about 11pm. The driver
was summonsed to appear in court.
Rata forest in the lowlands below
Otira is putting on a good show and
there are hopes of a great display in
time for the now annual rata festival
early next month. Otira Stagecoach
Hotel owner Lester Rowntree said
the second rata festival was set for
Sunday, February 5. The lowland
rata was properly out and the trees
closer to the hotel were covered in
blossom. “ I think it’s going to be
a good rata blossom this year. In
another week or so it will be looking
fantastic,” Mr Rowntree said. The
Clydesdale horses will be out on the
day to challenge humans in a tug
o war. Other activities will include
blackpowder shooting, music and
fast and slow pennyfarthing races.
Games will include horseshoe
throwing and loudest yodel.
Rain, possibly heavy, easing later
The world’s biggest explosion —
a blast in Russia the size of 185
Hiroshima bombs that was felt as
far away as Britain and the US —
remains a mystery after experts
debunked ‘proof ’ it was a meteorite.
A large fireball was seen crossing
the Siberian sky on June 20, 1908
before an eruption 9km above
ground flattened 80 million trees
and left charred reindeer carcases.
Italian scientists spent 21 years
researching the so-called Tunguska
event, claiming the blue-water Lake
Cheko filled a ‘missing’ impact
crater — giving rise to the theory
that the phenomenon was caused
by a meteorite. But a new study by
Russian geologists suggests the idea
is flawed, meaning the huge blast
— which lit up the night sky in
Europe and even America — is still
a mystery. While they have not put
for ward an alternative explanation
for the explosion, outlandish
theories in the past have included a
massive volcanic eruption, a comet
mainly composed of ice not solid
space rock, a black hole colliding
with Earth and even aliens shooting
down a meteor from a UFO in
order to save Earth. — Daily Mail
The West Coast District Health Board
and Minister of Health have been sent
‘please explain’ letters after more elderly
West Coasters revealed their home help
had been cut — including one woman
in her 90s.
The Greymouth Star first reported the
cuts last month after Eleanor Adamson,
84, was stripped of her only hour of help
after four years.
West Coast DHB interim general
manager Grey-Westland Phil Wheble
said at the time there had been no
cutbacks, but changes were being made
as staff were “transitioned” from casual
to permanent contracts.
However, numerous others have since
come for ward, all complaining of having
their help cut or severed altogether.
Lyla D unn, 91, was not impressed with
a DHB brochure that describes making
the bed as an activity that can be done
After 11 years, her home help is being
cut from 11⁄2 hours a week to one hour
at the end of this week, then once a
Mrs Adamson was interviewed over
the phone but Mrs D unn had an
assessor come to her home.
“He asked all the questions, then I
got a letter saying funding would be
Mrs Dunn, who constantly uses a
walker, said the letter had come as a
“I ’ve tried to get in touch with the
(DHB) manager three times last
Tuesday and once again. I’ve not heard.”
Despite having had two falls recently
she still cooks for herself and feels as
though she is being penalised “because
I can do so much”.
“If you’re independent they think
you’re all right.”
Noel Price, 87, is due to have his home
help of 10 years cut from one hour, to
none from next month.
He said his balance was “completely
shot ” and he used a walker to get around,
or a wall-mounted rail.
His help was for vacuuming and
making the bed.
Mr Price said he would now pay for
his help, but he was “disappointed for
those who can’t afford it”.
Blaketown man Harry Cox said he
personally knew of half a dozen others
having their hours cut.
His was going from 31⁄2 hours a week
to 21⁄2 hours.
After a heart attack four years ago he is
not even meant to hang out the washing.
His home helps not only cleans, but
fills the coal buckets and brings his
“It ’s (cuts to home help) been going on
around New Zealand for a while,” Mr
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor’s office has been contacted by
three or four elderly unhappy with the
Mr O’Connor has written to the DHB
and Health Minister Jonathan Coleman
for an explanation.
“This beggar’s belief that an
organisation can run a structure for
support and cut it back so much.”
At $15 an hour to help, the
administration costs would surpass the
cost of the help, he said.
“These are people who’ve worked and
paid taxes all their lives. The system now
encourages care at home. Now it wants
to cut that care from under them.”
It was not even at the level of a kennel,
Mr O’Connor said.
He believed the DHB was exploiting
the goodwill and trust of elderly who,
when told the system could not afford
the home help, would accept the
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
was also contacted to help.
“The DHB has got to understand by
keeping people in their houses with
home help, that stops them going into
retirement villages and rest homes,
where it costs the government $1000 a
week,” Mr Kokshoorn said.
“It ’s a false economy. They may save
money at the DHB, but it costs the
Kindy moves back home
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Kidsfirst Greymouth head teacher Tracy Jennings with Ilah Howie, left, Indiana Wildbore and Bethany Moynihan on their second day back in the
remodelled 55-year-old centre today, after six months at the Baptist Church premises while the upgrade was completed.
The West Coast District Health
Board says 17 people have had their
home help care reduced or stopped,
but hundreds more have been referred
or had their care extended.
Interim general manager Grey-
Westland Philip Wheble said there
was no intention of reducing the
‘Coasters’ — one of two providers —
has 1638 active clients.
Mr Wheble said the number of
hours of care provided by them had
increased from 8224 in November
2015 to 8582 in November 2016.
Since June 2016, the provider
‘Coasters’ had received 98 new
referrals and a further 131 clients
had their “packages of care” extended,
increased or moved from short-term
The total spend for home ser vices on
the West Coast had increased from an
average $213,800 a month in 2015 to
$233,500 a month last year.
In the same period, 17 people had
been informed their care would
cease or reduce due to an individual
needs assessment because their
assessment showed they were capable
of managing more for themselves, or
had access to support from family or
other ser vices.
“ We can understand for some,
particularly those who have had the
ser vice for some time, this can cause
concern,” Mr Wheble said.
“For this reason we have worked
hard to provide our clients and their
families with as much information
as possible and ensured the ser vice
is reduced over time, rather than
Clients could contact the manager
of the service and ask that the decision
be reviewed. If circumstances changed
they could also talk to their GP to
have the assessment reviewed.
Four extra registered nurses had
been recruited and more home-based
support workers were being sought.
1638 still receive home help — DHB
Sixty-three vehicles were caught
speeding through Ross township in
just four hours last Thursday.
Sergeant Russell Glue, of Hokitika
police, was surprised at the excessive
“Clearly the people of Ross have a
right to come to us and say they have
a problem,” Mr Glue said.
Ross Community Society chairman
Charlie McBeath said the State
highway speeding was getting worse.
“ We have been looking at the issue
for the past nine months.
“The police do monitor traffic
on a reasonably regular basis,” Mr
The community was looking at
buying an electronic speed indicator
device that was on trial and moving
it from one end of town to the other.
“The best deterrent was when we
had a constable based here and he
parked the police car outside his
house on the main road.”
The police house is opposite the
school, which is also in the middle of
town on the main road, Moorhouse
However, Mr McBeath said it
was also a worry that a lot of traffic
was turning off the main road into
Stewart Street and taking the short-
cut through town.
“The street is very narrow. There are
a lot of camper vans using it and the
numbers are increasing. ”
63 speedsters nabbed in four hours
A West Coast woman was granted
final name suppression after she was
convicted yesterday on two counts
of forging a document for financial
gain, defrauding others of $30,000.
Judge David Saunders made the
order in the Greymouth District
Court, saying there were good
reasons for suppressing her name,
including the circumstances at the
time when the woman had been in
hospital care, which was when she
disclosed her fraudulent applications
to two finance companies for $30,000
in total, using the names of a family
member and her own partner.
“The people that need to know
already know about the matter,”
Judge Saunders said.
The woman was sentenced to
nine months’ supervision for both
charges, with special conditions
course for gambling addiction and
other programmes as directed by
She was also sentenced to 150
hours of community work and
ordered to pay reparation to the
finance companies involved at a rate
to be determined by the court upon
confirmation of employment.
Judge Saunders gave the woman
leave to convert some of her
community work sentence hours to
Fraudster granted name suppression
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Harry Cox reads his reassessment
report. His home help is being cut.
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