Home' Greymouth Star : February 4th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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WEST COAST FEATURE
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2017
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Who really discovered gold on the Coast?
150 YEARS SINCE 1866
A West Coast man yesterday
pleaded guilty to manslaughter after
an earlier charge of murder was
amended by leave. All details were
suppressed. The man appeared before
Justice Rachel D unningham in the
High Court at Christchurch via an
audio visual link to the High Court
at Greymouth. Justice D unningham
noted the man was subject to a third
strike warning. He was remanded in
custody for sentencing in Greymouth
on March 3 following a restorative
justice conference with the victims in
the case. At the same time the Justice
declined an application to the court
to lift an interim order suppressing
the man’s name. She noted the
man was due to appear at a High
Court jury trial in April on other
matters previously transferred from
Greymouth to Christchurch, and
publication of his name at this point
could prejudice the ability of a jury to
determine those matters.
BBC on Coast
Popular BBC television
documentary Coast is currently
filming on the West Coast.
Coast began more than a decade
ago, taking journeys around the
coastline of the United Kingdom
and uncovering stories relating
to both their natural and social
histories. More recently, the show
has expanded to cover the coastlines
of its neighbouring countries, and in
2013 Australia’s coastline featured.
More recently it was New Zealand’s
turn, in conjunction with TV One,
but although Fiordland featured, the
West Coast did not. Presenter Neil
Oliver was spotted in Greymouth
A 79-year-old United Kingdom
man has revealed he has slept with
over 2000 women — double that
of Playboy boss Hugh Hefner.
Lothario Chris Culleton says he
has been a ladies’ man all his life
and has bedded an astonishing 2084
partners — the equivalent of 33 a
year if he started at 16. Chris claims
he met many of the women he has
been with while working as a music
promoter. But after decades of
playing the field he says he is now
giving up dating to take up fishing
instead — saying “women are too
much trouble”. — The Mirror
Cloudy, isolated showers
Council forces bankruptcy
A Greymouth man who had a
painful two-year wait for a hip
replacement has called a public
meeting on the future of health
ser vices on the West Coast.
Representatives of all the political
parties have been invited, and
representatives of the Canterbury
and West Coast district health
boards. The meeting will be held
Rev David Hastings first saw his
GP with a painful hip and limp at
the start of 2015, and four months
later was told by a physiotherapist
they expected him to see a surgeon.
However, the pain got so bad
he again had to see his GP and
ended up back with the same
physiotherapist who found his
condition had worsened.
Last May, Mr Hastings received
a letter from Grey Base Hospital
saying he would receive an
appointment to see a surgeon
within the next four months. As
the deadline approached, he called
and was told he was well down
In frustration, he wrote to the
Minister of Health and “two weeks
later I had an appointment with a
The surgeon told him that by
then there was no cartilage left
and it was “ bone
rubbing on bone”.
would not be able
to operate before
This was in
September and he
was now looking
at surgery in
he wrote to the
minister and less
than a week later
the hospital told
him they had
the very next
In the end,
surgery did not
happen as his hip
not ready, but they finally operated
Mr Hastings said he was
grateful to have a new hip and was
recovering well. He had stopped
all painkillers and was looking
for ward to getting back on the
However, he wants to know
why patients are not told that
a four-month letter is a legal
responsibility, and that pre-op
preparation needs to be fulfilled
within four months.
people waiting for orthopaedic
surgery and “suffering even more
than I did” had no knowledge of
their legal rights.
He also questions the system
which allows surgeons a “good
share of the lucrative private
The public meeting will be held
on Wednesday, March 8 at Holy
Trinity Hall in Greymouth.
DHB responds, p2.
Residents of three West Coast
towns are still having to boil their
water, partly a result of the terrible
Blackball residents were told to
boil their water a week ago.
Grey District Council utilities
engineer Kurtis Perrin-Smith said
yesterday the notice remained in
The constant wet conditions
meant it could not store water at
Blackball, forcing the council to
draw it directly from the creek.
“ We are monitoring the situation
daily. It ’s looking good,” Mr Perrin-
“It ’s because of the continued wet
weather that we ran out of water
Kumara and Arahura residents
are also having to boil all water for
food preparation. Kumara has been
on a ‘ boil water’ notice for about a
fortnight after e-coli (faeces) was
found in the town supply.
Westland District Council
corporate planner Karen Jury said
they needed three consecutive clear
readings before they could lift a
‘ boil water’ notice.
Testing would continue and the
notice would be reviewed next
Flushing chlorine through the
Kumara supply had been successful,
however it and the Arahura supplies
were both prone to contamination
events as they were untreated, and
weather could also affect them.
Investigations so far had not
revealed a specific cause for the
e.coli in the Kumara supply.
“The low levels of e.coli detected
make it difficult to track and
pinpoint the contamination source,”
Ms Jury said.
However, there was a level of
presence of coliform bacteria
specifically e.coli but
organic contamination) in the water
At Arahura, the source of the
e.coli was still being investigated.
Three towns on boil notice
PICTURE: Department of Conser vation
Nelly Mason and Hamiria Hutana from Ngati Waewae, who blessed four whio (blue ducks) with a karakia before their
release on to the Styx River, behind Kokatahi, are pictured at left with Antje Wahlberg (DOC), Lee Percasky from the Isaac
Conservation and Wildlife Trust and Michelle Lambert (DOC). The birds were part of a larger group of nine whio collected
last year as eggs from rivers within the central West Coast whio recovery site that includes the Kawhaka, Taipo, Arahura and
Styx rivers. Eggs collected through this programme are hatched and reared by the Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust.
DOC and volunteers undertake pest control using traps on each of those rivers. “ W hen the predator control programme
started in 2002, whio were becoming scarce on these rivers. On the Styx River, we counted four pairs,” DOC biodiversity
ranger Antje Wahlberg said. There were now eight or nine pairs on the Styx and about 35 pairs in the wider site. The aim for
the central West Coast site is to raise the number of pairs to 50.
A Runanga man has been locked up for
several weeks following a long history
of domestic violence described in the
Greymouth District Court this week as
“extraordinary and extreme”.
Manu Harris was remanded in
custody until a February 16 court date
in Christchurch after the latest incident
involving his wife.
Police opposed bail given that Harris
had breached bail within 24 hours.
“I simply do not believe he realises the
significance of the latest breach, and he
needs to be held accountable,” Judge
Stephen O’Driscoll said. Harris was
arrested on January 21 after allegedly
assaulting his wife — who lives in
Canterbury. He appeared in court
on January 26 and was released on
conditional bail but the following day
breached that by making a phone call to
Judge O’Driscoll said Harris had been
identified as the person who had made
the call, although the complainant “did
not want the police involved because the
defendant would be locked up”.
The judge referred to an extensive
summary of incidents — including nine
family harm incidents linking Harris to
the complainant since June 2015.
The family violence team had been
involved with the victim for over two years
and she had been described as a “classic
case of battered woman syndrome” who
had suffered “extraordinary and extreme”
Judge O’Driscoll said Harris struggled
to comply with court orders and
conditions, and had not long been
convicted and discharged for breaching
his prison release conditions involving the
same complainant. The judge noted that
Harris also faced a charge of possessing
Man jailed for ‘extraordinary’ violence
Blaketown couple Christine and
Douglas Banks were individually
adjudged bankrupt in the High Court
at Greymouth yesterday at the request
of the Grey District Council — but
with a fortnight’s grace to pay the debt
Their bankruptcy comes at the
end of a long-running row that has
simmered since the early 2000s and
cost ratepayers more than $1 million in
legal bills after the couple disputed the
legality of an increase in the rental on
their leasehold residential section.
Associate Justice John Matthews,
sitting in Christchurch via audio visual
link, said yesterday the couple had left
it very “late in the piece” to own up to
their responsibility to pay $44,000 they
owed in unpaid lease payments to the
Justice Matthews said they should not
have been surprised that the insolvency
proceedings would cover about
$40,000 in unpaid court ordered costs
to the council, following three separate
court judgments, and a previous letter
by Mr Banks acknowledging that.
The judge adjourned the hearing
for 90 minutes part-way through to
allow the Banks to contact family
members to see if they could help
cover the remaining debt, but when
they returned they could not offer a
Justice Matthews noted in the Banks’
new proposal that the family would
help to pay the remaining money, but
he said it was “short on detail”.
He then adjudged them individually
bankrupt — but with “one last chance”
in a stay until February 17 to pay the
At the start of the hearing Mrs Banks
told the court they had arranged to sell
their house to family, effective from
She did not specify the sale price,
despite the judge asking for firm
evidence it had not been sold below a
Justice Matthews said the council
had a responsibility as the guardian of
public money on behalf of ratepayers
to recover outstanding debt and it was
in the public interest to other potential
debtors that the Banks’ solvency be
cleared up “once and for all”.
Council lawyer David Shackleton
said the application for adjudication
included $44,000 owed on the
property and about $40,000 in costs
from several court orders.
“Mrs Banks says they want to
adjourn for another month, saying
they ’re selling their house and will pay
the council. The council opposes this
because all of the cost orders have not
been paid,” Mr Shackleton said.
There was also “no evidence” of the
property being sold at market valuation
or of other debtors being paid.
The council sought an official assignee
for the benefit of potential creditors.
At the beginning of the hearing
Justice Matthews told Mrs Banks he
wanted to be clear she understood the
proceedings — particularly in light of
them repeatedly not meeting orders of
the court to pay costs to the council.
“There is really no way you can avoid
paying that — as I have tried to explain
to you before.”
It was “commendable” the Banks’
had found a way to pay their original
debt but, “I just want to be absolutely
certain you understand the position so
you don’t go off on to a tangent ”.
Mrs Banks responded by saying
they “never ever dreamed” yesterday’s
proceedings covered the court ordered
costs. “ We just want to get this one
out of the way.
“ I thought we were dealing with the
$44,000 owing. We’ve got the money
sitting there. The only reason we’re
asking for a month’s delay is to make
sure the paper work goes through.”
Asked by Justice Matthews how they
proposed to pay the court ordered
costs Mrs Banks said they were “not
going to make any commitment today,
except to say family support”.
However, they definitely “did not
want bankruptcy ” as that would affect
Mr Banks’ self-employment.
Whio numbers take flight
Health rally called
Two-year wait for hip surgery
Phone 0800 43 99 43
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