Home' Greymouth Star : February 8th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Lifestyle block burgled
Westport police are hoping for
help to ‘round up’ a weedkiller thief.
Twenty litres of Roundup weedkiller,
two deep cycle Commander
batteries, three diesel containers
and a snig chain have been reported
stolen from a lifestyle block near
Westport. Police are interested
in hearing about anyone who has
suddenly acquired these items and/or
tries to sell them.
A technician testing fire alarm
systems at Grey Base Hospital
yesterday inadvertently sparked a fire
call-out. Greymouth Volunteer Fire
Brigade chief Lee Swinburn said the
brigade responded to what turned
out to be a false alarm call about
2pm. No evacuation was required as
the alarm technician was on the spot.
The NZCC West Coast rescue
helicopter transferred a medical
patient from Westport to Grey Base
Hospital about 5pm yesterday.
Health centre progress
The West Coast District Health
Board is progressing plans for an
integrated family health centre in
Reefton. Submissions have closed
and a decision will be announced
at the end of the month. The West
Coast Distict Health Board also said
today locum GPs for Reefton had
been confirmed to the end of 2017.
Action plan on way
An action plan to put into motion
ideas to turn around the West Coast
economy will be presented in the
near future. Ideas on the cards so far
include more sustainable logging,
tourism boost and having a one-stop
shop for mining. Ministry of Business,
Innovation and Employment manager
regions and cities John Doorbar said
the Tai Poutini West Coast Action
Plan was being developed and led
by the region through the regional
governance group and project teams.
The Government ’s role was to support
the region and consultants to develop
and implement the plan. “ While a
firm date for completion and release
has not been set yet by the region,
the rate at which the action plan is
coming together is impressive. We
have full confidence that through the
efforts of the governance group and
project teams that the plan will be
ready for launch in the near future,”
Mr Doorbar said.
Golden Coast Holdings has applied
to explore 380ha at the beach near
Kakapotahi. It is the latest application
to NZ Petroleum and Minerals.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Canopus, one Greymouth vessel.
Departures: Cook Canyon, Jay
Elaine, Moon Shadow II. In port:
Canopus, 21 Greymouth vessels.
Expected departures: Canopus,
tomorrow. Expected arrivals: Ocean
Woman incoherent when found
has rejected Labour
leader Andrew Little’s
parliamentary bill to
help gain safe re-entry
to the Pike River Mine
His bill would have
criminal immunity to
those connected with
the re-entry, i.e. Solid
Mine widow Anna Osborne said it was
“staggering that the Government would
refuse to even consider it ”.
“ It ’s disappointing that Solid Energy’s
directors need special treatment just to
do the right thing. It wouldn’t be needed
if the Government stepped up, listened
to the experts, and acted in good faith
rather than dodging us,” Mrs Osborne
“ We will be attending the commerce
select committee with Dame Fiona
Kidman next week to put our case once
“ Former chief inspector of mines Tony
Forster will be joining us. Maybe the
Government will listen to him. They
certainly haven’t listened to us.”
The select committee meets next
Thursday. Families will meet with
Prime Minister Bill English the
of the Westport News
A woman missing for six weeks was gaunt
and incoherent when a tramper stumbled
across her in the bush at Fox River on
Shelly Crooks, 36, was last seen at
Punakaiki on December 22. Her shoes were
in tatters and her toenails were ripped off
when Englishman Alex Morley, 44, found
her near the confluence of Fox River and
Dilemma Creek, near Punakaiki.
She had lost her food, sleeping bag and
personal locator beacon and was trying to
hobble out using two sticks.
Mr Morley, a conser vation volunteer,
might never have come across her but for
his trepidation about fording swollen rivers.
He set out from Bullock Creek near
Punakaiki on Sunday intending to spend
the night camped under the Ballroom
Overhang at Fox River
However, some of the rivers he forded along
the way were already high and he decided to
head back in case they rose further.
He said he was heading along the north
bank, looking for a good place to cross,
when he noticed someone beside the river.
“ I sort of waved and said ‘hello’ and they
raised their hand and I shouted — because
the river was quite loud — ‘are you okay?’
which is what I ask anyone I see who’s
Mr Morley said he could see then there
was something wrong.
“The person wasn’t really in distress but
weren’t really responding, weren’t very loud,
so I got closer and could see that she seemed
to be having problems with her feet.
“She was very quiet and I had to lean in
c lose to hear what she was saying.”
He knew of the search for Ms Crooks and,
as recently as Saturday, had checked on-line
to see if there was any news about her.
They shook hands and when he introduced
himself, the woman replied she was Shelly.
“ It just dawned on me, is this the person
they ’re looking for?
“ I asked how long she’d been out there and
when she confirmed she’d been out there for
“ I said ‘I think people are looking for you’
and she seemed quite shocked by that.”
He said Ms Crooks was very gaunt and
“S he didn’t explain in any sort of sequence
what she did but I gathered she’d fallen and
she’d hurt her feet, ripped her toenails off.”
At first he assumed she had rags wrapped
around her feet but later realised they were
what was left of her shoes.
“The sole was missing and all the way up
the heel was missing as well.
“S he had the remains of tramping gear
and a rucksack with her and was sitting
on the ground with a couple of knackered
sticks, which presumably she’d been using to
get herself along. ”
Ms Crooks told him she had lost her
personal locator beacon, food and sleeping
He gave her muesli bars, couscous salad
and golden syrup dumplings.
“ I’d stuck those in a ziplock bag thinking
that would be a nice pudding at the
Ballroom O verhang.”
He also gave her his red sleeping bag and
water, told her to stay put, then raced off for
help about 6pm.
Mr Morley said his adrenalin was pumping
and he was a bit panicky so plunged straight
into the swollen Fox River but turned back
about halfway across.
He tried to ford a couple of other places
near where he had found Ms Crooks.
She did not seem aware of him as he
passed by and was eating the food he had
given her, he said.
Ms Crooks had told him she had managed
to give up smoking because she had been in
the bush for a so long.
He took over an hour to reach help.
“ I knew I could get to Fox River market
and I could bang on the door somewhere
and say ‘I need the phone’.”
He got there about 7pm and raced into the
“ I screamed at some tourists ‘do you have
a phone signal?’ and they said ‘No are you
He found the organisers of the market
who were just packing up and told them
he had found the woman depicted in police
A man went for a phone and Mr Morley
was able to give police search and rescue
c lear directions about where to find Ms
Crooks and where a helicopter could land.
The helicopter arrived about 8pm, picked
Ms Crooks up and flew her to Grey Base
Wednesday February 8
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
NALDER, Gavin Ross.
A Memorial Service
to celebrate Gavin's life
will be held on Saturday
February 11, 2017 at St
Church, Walsh Street,
Reefton commencing at
11am. Following the
will be served in the
church lounge. West-
land Funeral Services
Ltd. FDANZ. Phone
(03) 768 0250.
77 Shakespeare Street
Telephone 03 768 5868
14 McGlashen Ave
Telephone 03 544 1129
• Professional care you can
rely on and trust
• A company with
compassion and honesty
• Personal audio visuals
designed for you
• Cremations and burials
• Monumental designed
Passed away peacefully
at Allen Bryant Lifecare,
Hokitika on January 30,
2017, aged 76. Loved
husband of the late Dale,
loved father of Graeme,
Naylor, Stuart and Nui,
Michael and Lisa, and
Phillip and Maree, loved
grandfather of Ashleigh,
Hannah, and Brooke,
Russell and Beverley, an
uncle, cousin and friend
of many. Messages to 9
Westvale Drive, Grey-
mouth 7805. Flowers
donations to the Cancer
Society would be appre-
ciated and can be made
at the service or posted
to the Cancer Society,
PO Box 81, Greymouth
7840. A funeral service
to celebrate Gerry's life
will be held in the
Tainui Street tomorrow
(Thursday) at 2pm
followed by cremation
here in Greymouth at the
Services Ltd. FDANZ.
Phone (03) 768 0250.
AITKEN, Brian Grey.
Passed away after an
illness in Brisbane,
Australia, on February
4, 2017, in his 76th year.
Dearly loved husband of
the late Kay, much
loved dad and father-in-
law of Graham and
Lee, Joanne and Tony
McEnaney, Brent and
Janie, and Nathan and
Suzanne, loved grandad
of Riley, Kendal,
Celeste, Steffan, Jason,
Logan, Bryony, Jackson,
and Jazmine, loved
great-grandad of Jalem,
Macey, and a loved
uncle, cousin and friend
of many. Messages to 54
Doyle Street, Blaketown
7805. Flowers respect-
fully declined, donations
to St John would be
appreciated and can be
made at the church or
posted to PO Box 508,
Greymouth 7840. A
Memorial Service for
Brian will be held in
Holy Trinity Anglican
Church, Tainui Street,
Greymouth on Saturday
Funeral Services Ltd.
FDANZ. Phone (03)
Rescuer tells of finding Shelly Crooks in bush
Greymouth at sunrise on Waitangi Day.
Spectacular Waitangi Day sunrise at Greymouth
PICTURE: David Cross
Abbeyfield New Zealand is a step closer
towards its dream of building an alternative
elderly care home in Greymouth, with local
volunteers and a steering committee right
behind the project and fundraising.
The proposed 3000 square metre house will
be built on the corner of Marsden Road and
Palmerston Street, to meet the rising demand
from the growing numbers of older people
who have no housing security.
The Grey District Council donated the land
which has sewerage, stormwater and power
infrastructure already in place.
Abbeyfield NZ chief executive Susan
Jenkins said Abbeyfield was part of the
solution of pressing housing issues for older
“ We believe there is a critical gap in the
options available between living alone and
going into a retirement village or rest home
care. We have the land, we have all the
consents and we are in the process of raising
funding,” Ms Jenkins said.
The completed project is expected to cost up
to $1.5 million and once in operation will be
The national charity had 12 other homes
operating throughout the country, and their
homes were an answer to loneliness and older
age, Ms Jenkins said.
“The Greymouth home will provide housing
for 12 independent older people with a
housekeeper providing two main meals
during the day and a buffet-style breakfast.”
Abbeyfield project closer
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Steering committee members stand on the site of the proposed Abbeyfield house in
Greymouth, on the corner of Palmerston Street and Marsden Road — Raelene Costello,
left, June Frankpitt, Lyn Heine, Peter Frankpitt, Olga Dodd, Elsie Perrie and Abbyfield
executive officer Susan Jenkins.
The Labour Party centennial events
on the West Coast are continuing
this year, with two workshops to help
people save today’s history for future
Dr Emma Kelly from Victoria
University is archivist for the Labour
100 Project, tasked with encouraging
past and present members of the
Labour Party to rummage through
their attics and cupboards to find
photos, papers and stories of New
Zealand’s oldest political party.
“Branch records such as
correspondence; minutes of meetings;
records of fundraising or other
activities; posters; photographs of local
events or people; and any oral history
recordings all are part of the rich
history of New Zealand and worthy of
being archived,” Dr Kelly said.
Last week two Greymouth members
took into West Coast-Tasman MP
Damien O’Connor’s office a souvenir
booklet produced in 1940 on the
death of Prime Minister Michael
Joseph Savage, as well as a similar
booklet produced on the death of
Prime Minister Norman Kirk in
“They felt the booklets should
be kept somewhere relevant and
accessible” electorate officer Angela
“The archiving workshops will help
people with similar items. Anyone
who has done any local research
will know how valuable keeping old
records can be”.
Dr Kelly said they were not creating
a new archive, but promoting the
deposit of materials in the archive,
museum, Nga Puna o Maumahara,
or library of people’s choice in the
“The workshops are the chance to
get together and consider the basics
of archiving, to discuss what you
may have, where to next and who are
the best archivists-museum workers
in your local region to discuss your
records with. The workshops will be
hands on and your local archivists-
museum staff and people keen on
archival research will be there to
talk through their experiences and
“I will also create an umbrella
digital record of where things are
so they can be found in the future
so that researchers and anyone else
who is interested will be able to find
materials easily. ”
Two workshops will be held in
Greymouth at History House between
10.30am and 1.30pm on February 10
and 11. The workshops are free and
lunch is provided. Registrations can be
made by e-mailing Dr Kelly at emma.
Labour history sought for archives
The souvenir booklet produced in 1940 on the death of Prime Minister
Michael Joseph Savage.
Gravel extraction caution
Gravel consent holders in the lower Buller River
have been put on notice after the West Coast
Regional Council found pits in the dry riverbed
on Organs Island, upstream of Westport.
Council consents and compliance manager
Gerard McCormack said the out-of-code
gravel extraction was discovered during
“proactive monitoring,” despite the poor
While the majority of the sites visited on
the West Coast were found to be operating in
accordance with resource consent conditions,
officers obser ved extraction holes (pits) in the
dry bed on Organs Island.
Mr McCormack said all four existing gravel
extraction consent holders for the area had been
sent reminders about their consent conditions
as council staff were unable to ascertain who
had taken the gravel.
“A failure to re-contour the riverbed following
the extraction of gravel can cause the river to
change course and increase the potential for
erosion of river banks,” he said.
“The letter we have sent consent holders
reminds them of the importance of complying
with their consent conditions. ”
Rescue helicopter busy
The NZCC West Coast Rescue Helicopter
had a busy weekend including two calls to
search for missing people.
The helicopter was called to Lewis Pass early
on Friday afternoon after a motorcyclist crashed
on State highway 7 at Engineers Camp.
The rider was apparently taking evasive action
to avoid a car overtaking a truck on the road
when he crashed, suffering moderate injuries,
NZCC West Coast Rescue Helicopter base
manager Angus Taylor said.
The motorcyclist was flown to Christchurch
That evening the helicopter flew to Franz Josef
Glacier to uplift a medical patient who was
transferred to Grey Base Hospital.
On Sunday afternoon a grandmother and
her granddaughter were both thrown from the
horse they were riding, shortly before 2pm at
Barrytown. Both suffered moderate injuries and
were flown to Grey Base Hospital for treatment.
The helicopter was called about mid-afternoon
on Sunday to help in the search for a 70-year-
old woman who was washed out to sea after
being caught by a rogue wave at Kohaihai.
Just after 7pm on Sunday the rescue team
was called to assist with the recovery of Shelly
Crooks, who was found on the Inland Pack
Track, about an hour’s walk from the Fox River
Later on Sunday night the helicopter was
called to Hokitika beach to assist in the search
after a person was apparently spotted in the
Slow payers keep Westpower discount
Power companies have confirmed that
customers who do not pay their bills on time
will not lose their Westpower discount.
In December, West Coast lines company
Westpower announced that its electricity
consumers would all be receiving a share of a
$2 million discount on their December power
That meant between $50 and $100 would be
credited against the average domestic power
The Greymouth Star was contacted by a
person concerned that if someone did not pay
their bill on time, they may lose out and the
power company would benefit.
But Trustpower general manager customer
operations Fiona Smith said the Westpower
discount was processed as a credit on the
Should the customer lose their prompt
payment discount by not paying on time, then
the account would show the loss of the prompt
payment discount. That would adjust the
customer ’s balance, just as any changes to the
However, the customer always retains the
credit and “the Westpower discount will go
towards reducing their balance whether they
pay on time or not ”.
Contact said it applied the Westpower
special discount as a credit to a customer’s
electricity account, which would have shown
on their next bill as a credit against their
energy charges, reducing the total due for that
It deducted the prompt payment discount
(available for paying on time) from the total
Roa mining consents approved
Roa Mining Company has been granted a
raft of consents, allowing it to further develop
an open-cast mine on a hilltop above Roa, near
The West Coast Regional Council consents
allows the company to expand into the Rajah
“The site and surrounds are heavily modified
by existing and current mining and mining
operations as well as previous exploration
activities,” Roa’s consent application said.
Mining in the area goes back to 1890 and the
land is gazetted as State Coal Reser ve.
The site occupies a footprint of about 26ha,
and about 13ha is already fully disturbed by the
existing mining operations. The Rajah pit is not
visible from public areas as it is “tucked” away
in the Harry Creek catchment and is often
covered in cloud or fog due to its altitude.
Once mining is completed, the rehabilitation
of the pit will restore vegetation on exposed
surfaces, the application says.
“The activity will benefit New Zealand by
enabling people and communities to provide for
their social, economic and cultural well-being. ”
The Rajah area is about 3km north-west of the
existing Roa Mine base. The pit will be mined
in sequence, including Rajah East and Rajah
West, and the final pit shell will comprise three
high walls, the tallest being 150m.
The Rajah area currently contains mining and
mining operations associated with the Rajah
Boxcut, Rajah Underground Mine, Pit 3 open-
cast mine, Waterfall Creek open-cast mine as
well as access roads, powerlines, machinery and
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