Home' Greymouth Star : January 30th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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SLR cameras make
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Poking around Greymouth’s
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drinking after rally
Three drink-drivers were
picked up by the Tasman Police
District Tactical Alcohol Group,
which set up in Hokitika for the
weekend with the arrival of 1000
motorcyclists for the Woodstock
Rally. All three were picked up at
a checkpoint near the Woodstock
Domain venue. One blew
470mg, while the others received
infringement notices, with readings
under the court threshold of 400mg.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old Ross
man was caught drink-driving
in a random stop in Park Street,
Hokitika, early on Saturday
morning, blowing 480mg.
Police today warned residents to
request verification from door-
to-door sales people following
a complaint yesterday about a
man supposedly selling postcards.
Greymouth prevention sergeant
Paul Watson said a Greymouth
resident contacted police after
a door knock. “I would suggest
that anybody approached by this
male gets identification of the
organisation he works for and
confirm that it is a legitimate entity,”
Mr Watson said today. If the sales
person was unable to verify if they
or their organisation was legitimate
and people’s concerns were raised
then they should contact police, he
Rain becoming heavy, thundery
Ever have one of those days
where you felt like the whole
world was out to get you? Erik
Norrie was extremely unlucky
when he was attacked by a shark,
struck by lightning, and bitten
by a rattlesnake — odds of 1 in
11.5 million, 1 in 3000, and 1 in
37,500 (annually) respectively.
Roy Sullivan was hit by lightning
seven times — a chance of 1 in 22
septillion. Violet Jessop was on the
ship Olympic, which sank, then
ser ved on the Titanic and finally
on the Britannic, which also sank.
Henry Ziegland dodged a bullet,
which lodged in a tree. He blew up
the tree years later and the bullet
blew out and fatally wounded him.
Ivan Lester McGuire ser ved as a
cameraman for a skydiving course.
He remembered his camera, but
forgot his parachute. The odds
of dying from skydiving are 1 in
143,000. Costis Mitsotakis is the
only person in the village of Sodeto
not to win the lottery.
— Daily Mail
Police today urged West Coast
motorists to be patient on the roads with
the earlier Chinese New Year expected
to compound booming visitor numbers,
as more self-driving tourists hit the road.
Chinese New Year celebrations got
under way at the weekend.
Greymouth prevention sergeant Paul
Watson said some Asian nationalities
had featured in calls directly fielded by
police about poor driving.
Between Friday and yesterday they
had eight driving complaints, but Mr
Watson said that was likely to be only a
fraction of what was actually happening
on the roads with the increased traffic
“A lot of the issues are speed and the
fact they are going quite slowly, holding
up traffic,” he said.
Reports of slow driving tended to be
in the 70 to 80kph range, with overseas
drivers “quite oblivious” to traffic behind
them which in turn made some other
motorists “quite anti”.
On Friday, while returning from
Canterbury via Arthur’s Pass, Mr Watson
picked up four separate incidents of poor
He urged motorists to report poor
driving either by calling *555 from a
cellphone, or by taking vehicle details
and calling it in to police once they are
The Chinese New Year celebrations
for the Year of the Rooster began on
Saturday and continue for two weeks.
According to Tourism New Zealand,
arrival growth related to the celebration
is expected to be moderate compared to
the big visitor increases in recent years.
Up to 33,000 Chinese New Year-
related holiday makers are expected
to arrive in the country over the next
fortnight, on top of the normal visitor
Tourism NZ general manager Asia,
David Craig, said the moderation in the
growth of recent years was not a surprise.
“ New Zealand experienced rapid
growth in recent years of up to 40% so
a slowdown in growth can be expected.
It comes at a time that New Zealand
has become more expensive and other
markets, especially the US and Europe,
compete hard for Chinese visitors.
China’s economic slowdown means their
consumers are becoming more price
“At the same time Chinese travel
behaviour is changing. There are fewer
tour groups coming but the number
of free independent travellers (FIT) is
“This has benefits for New Zealand
as a tourism destination. O ur primary
focus is on FITs because they spend
more over a longer time period and in
The Chinese New Year peak is earlier
than in previous years because of the
date. It is also clashing with school
holidays and the peak season, putting
pressure on hotel room availability.
More heavy rain expected
Another day, another heavy rain
warning in the ongoing wet summer
on the West Coast. The Metser vice
warned to expect rain becoming heavy
early tomorrow morning, easing late
tomorrow night. In the 21 hours from
9am, falls could reach 250 to 300mm
about the ranges, and 100 to 150mm
nearer the coast, south of Hari Hari,
with the possibility of thunderstorms.
Exciting first day
Police are still “following lines of
inquiry” into the disappearance of Shelly
Crooks, who was last seen at Punakaiki
nearly six weeks ago.
“Some information has come in from
other parts of the country outside
the West Coast, and this information
is being assessed and followed up,”
detective sergeant Kirsten Norton of the
Greymouth CIB said today.
The missing mother of four has not used
her eftpos card since she stayed at the
Punakaiki campground on December
22. Ms Crooks was apparently heading
to Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty to spend
Christmas with her children but failed
Police last week focused inquiries on
the area from Punakaiki to Fox River, on
the Coast Road.
Search ongoing for woman
PICTURE: Viv L ogie
Grey Main School’s 11 new entrants — Millen Kerr, front, Delbert Aimes, Rarta Warren, Eli Ramage, Frank Gibson, Zach Gillam, Remedy
Karena, Caspian Barry, Kari-Moana Kennedy, Millie Stevenson and Mollie Petrie — were raring go on their first day of school today. Principal
Mandy O’Sullivan said the school had 18 new enrolments for the year, including the new entrants and three new teachers. The roll starts the year on
342, with 30 five-year-olds to start school during the year. Grey Main has two new entrant classes — one with five pupils and the other six.
Police hail ‘copybook’ rescue
West Coast police have paid tribute
to a Ross hunting group who last
night called for help after one of their
members fell ill.
The trio was in the Whataroa
River Valley yesterday when one of
them became unwell with suspected
Greymouth prevention sergeant
Paul Watson said they were above the
bush line at the time but were able to
make contact via a satellite phone to
the unwell man’s partner, who in turn
contacted emergency ser vices.
The group subsequently activated
their personal locator beacon and
the Rescue Co-ordination Centre
notified police at 7 o’clock, when a
local search and rescue effort was
Given low cloud conditions on the
West Coast side at the time a rescue
helicopter was dispatched from
Aoraki-Mount Cook, with cliff rescue
team volunteers on standby.
The unwell man was airlifted to
Franz Josef Glacier initially and then
to South Canterbury for medical
treatment later in the evening.
Mr Watson said it was a copybook
rescue, largely due to the group being
well prepared with aids such as the
personal locator beacon and satellite
phone. “I take my hat off to the
group. They were well organised and
prepared. It just shows a well prepared
group, well organised well equipped, it
goes very smoothly. ”
Some of the country’s top scientists
say biological control is the key to
ridding New Zealand of all pests —
in August an ambitious goal of
exterminating every rat, stoat, possum
and feral cat from mainland New
Zealand. Former Prime Minister
John Key admitted at the time it
was the most ambitious conservation
project in the world.
A $28 million joint venture, Predator
Free New Zealand Ltd, will identify
large-scale pest eradication projects
and try to attract private investment.
The idea of the joint venture is to
attract $2 of private sector and local
government funding, for every $1 of
Fears were held on the West Coast
there could be increased use of 1080,
but some top scientists have now
revealed their thoughts, which are
more hi-tech than just dropping more
Biological Heritage National
Science Challenge director Andrea
Byrom said they would need to
reconsider biological control, “which
is a catch-all term for approaches
like causing infertility in mammals or
using a virus to reduce a population to
very low levels”.
“There are also promising new
methods such as ‘gene drives’ that
are being discussed, which are a new
method of breeding an all-male line
into a pest population until eventually
it declines to extinction with no
females to breed with,” Dr Byrom
She said while that might sound
futuristic and scary to most people,
the reality was there were many
technological hurdles to overcome
in the world’s laboratories before it
could apply those technologies in a
Professor Neil Gemmell, from
the Department of Anatomy at the
University of Otago, also said he
thought genetic technologies would
be the key.
There was more public support for
tools that might impair an animal’s
fertility compared with any other
form of manipulation or control
measure, Prof Gemmell said.
However, the first target of
eradicating a pest species by 2025 was
only eight years away.
“This is likely going to be hard to
achieve. If we start today we need
six months to plan, likely several
years in the lab, then a few years for
controlled field trials, before eventual
“This is the New Zealand version
of the space-race and we need
commitment and resource to achieve
this. Likely a quasi-business/military
model as seen during the space-race
might be needed to achieve this goal.”
Scientists back biological
control over 1080 poison
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