Home' Greymouth Star : February 9th 2017 Contents 150 YEARS SINCE 1866
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700 limber up for
Coast to Coast
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2017
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Work Safe NZ has agreed to
extend the Pike River Mine sealing
deadline to June. The daily picket by
mine families and supporters, which
started just before the November
19 anniversary of the disaster, has
resulted in West Coast contractors
refusing to do the sealing work.
Solid Energy requested an
extension. Documents released
under the Official Information
Act by Work Safe NZ late last
year show the mine already has a
1m-thick seal inside the drift, which
is the stone drive entrance to the
mine proper. The next step is to
add 25m to 26m of rubble, and at
the face, a 1.5m seal. The previous
deadline was February 28.
Doctors around New Zealand
have been told to be on alert for
mumps, after outbreaks in other
parts of the country and in Fiji.
Medical officer of health Dr
Cheryl Brunton said a suspected
case of mumps on the West Coast
before Christmas turned out to be
something else. A few suspected
cases were under investigation
in Canterbury but had not been
confirmed, Dr Brunton said.
$1m spending limit
The West Coast District Health
Board is considering lifting the
spending authority for chief
executive David Meates — from
$500,000 to $1 million. The
proposal will be put to the board
meeting tomorrow. The delegated
authority is for goods and ser vices,
not capital expenditure.
A snail had to undergo an
operation to fix its shell after a
distraught woman begged a vet to
save its life when she accidentally
stood on it. The woman brought the
snail and its shattered shell to the
Haclinica veterinary hospital in Tel
Aviv, Israel. The clinic documented
the entire procedure — from start to
finish — on their Facebook page and
ended up naming it Chevy. Once the
snail was inside the surgery, the vet
used glue and began piecing it back
together using tweezers. It is believed
the snail will remain at the clinic for
up to a month to let its shell heal
after the vet used a lot of glue to
carry out the procedure.
— Daily Mail
A Cobden man who admitted saying,
“you spy, you die” during a phone call to
the Security Intelligence Ser vice (SIS)
has been convicted in the Greymouth
District Court of misusing a telephone.
Paul Thomas Bradford, 48, defended
himself last Friday in a judge-alone trial
before Judge Stephen O’Driscoll. He
claimed in evidence he had been subject
to “ home invasion by telephone” after
discovering that his phone had been
bugged during investigations into 1080
“ I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster
and feel I have been held to psychological
ransom,” Bradford told the judge.
“The end of privacy is the end of
Judge O’Driscoll warned of the need
for “harsh deterrents” to dissuade this
kind of offending. On the other hand,
Bradford was “clearly passionate” about
having been bugged.
“ I think this was an aberration, a one-
off incident,” the judge said, before
convicting Bradford and ordering him
to come up for sentence in 12 months
When Bradford called the SIS on
October 17 last year he told a telephone
receptionist “you spy, you die”.
When police arrived at his door shortly
after wards, Bradford said it proved that
his calls were being bugged because he
had withheld his phone number prior to
calling the SIS.
Bradford recounted the distress at
being grilled as a ‘person of interest ’
after Fonterra and Federated Farmers
received 1080-laced packets of infant
formula in November 2015.
Bradford said he had never been
involved in anti-1080 groups and had
voluntarily co-operated with the inquiry,
but later discovered his phone calls were
being monitored, he said.
“ I found out through my phone
provider that my phone was being
bugged; that I was being spied on.”
Bradford told police how West Coast
residents had unjustly been “paying the
price” of the infant formula scare.
When inter viewed, he
government ser vices would take idle
threats more seriously following the
shooting of Ashburton Winz staff,
although he also said he was “ being
made the baddy”.
“ I take offence to being categorised
as someone with mental health (issues)
going into Winz and killing someone,”
Those who worked for the SIS could
expect calls, he said, and “if you can’t
handle the heat, you shouldn’t be in the
kitchen”. If pushed, “you’re going to get
Bradford offered no cross-examination
but noted the police had been courteous
“ It ’s a shame the New Zealand Police
have become the NZ SIS’ whipping
boy,” he said.
In defence, he produced his telephone
book with the number withholding
Bradford also produced a news
recording of former Prime Minister
John Key on the abhorrence of spying
on New Zealand citizens in relation to
Bradford told Judge O’Driscoll he was
convinced the SIS and police operated
“ When I was phoned by the New
Zealand police investigator I asked him,
‘ how do they get my phone number?’
There was a big long pause. ”
Summing up, Judge O’Driscoll
conc luded that Bradford’s misuse of the
phone was “annoying with malicious
New hospital goes upward
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Dr Pradu Dayaram, right, and project manager Jim Coard watch the three-storey steel beams go up on the new Greymouth Hospital site today.
The first of the five to seven-tonne steel beams were hoisted into place this morning. “It ’s a real milestone getting the steel started,” Mr Coard said.
Despite the worst summer in 20 years, the timetable is holding up, with a completion date of March next year. The entire foundations are done and
the first pour on the ground floor slabs has also started.
Animal rights group SAFE is again
lobbying against the Reefton Rodeo, set
down for next weekend.
The group said in a statement today
graphic footage released recently
showed distressed animals at a rodeo in
In addition, 62,000 people had signed
a nationwide petition to ban rodeo and
59% of the respondents of a recent
Horizon poll were in favour of a rodeo
ban. “Normally docile bulls and horses
are induced into aggressive behaviour by
painful or irritating means such as flank
straps, electric prods, tail twisting, and
painful spurs — leading to aggravated
and enraged animals who will perform,”
“ We strongly urge local
residents not to condone this cruelty by
attending the rodeo.”
Reefton organisers have said in
previous years they have gone to great
lengths to protect the animals, including
bringing in a mechanical sheep for
people to ride. They could not be reached
for comment today.
Sports people f lood into Coast
People have started pouring into
the West Coast for a big weekend
of sporting events from Westport to
Several thousand visitors are
expected in Greymouth for the
start of the 34th Kathmandu Coast
to Coast tomorrow morning, and
in Westport for the 35th Buller
Marathon, on Saturday.
The Coast to Coast has drawn 700
starters and the Buller Marathon
1700, and together with their
support crews and family and friends
the West Coast will be bursting at
A further 360 competitors are
entered in the Rosco Contractors
2017 Gold Nuggets motocross event
at Waipuna Station over both days
Former world No 2 rider Josh
Coppins will be competing, along
with 100 ‘mini’ riders.
Other events this weekend include
the inaugural ‘One Month to Go’
concert on the Hokitika beach from
4pm on Sunday, a month out from
the Wildfoods Festival.
Shantytown will hold its annual
Heritage Day, the Westland Rose
Society is hosting a South Island-
wide exhibition in Greymouth, and
the Westland Golf Classic has drawn
golfers from around the South Island
to the Kaiata links for two days.
West Coast police prevention
manager senior sergeant Vicki
Walker said that with all the extra
people arriving in the district
motorists needed to be patient
and drive safely. “ There are going
to be a lot of extra vehicles on the
road during the weekend, starting
tomorrow with the Coast to Coast
— motorists need to take extra care.”
SAFE rounds on Reefton Rodeo
DWC encourages steam train
Laura Mills and Brendon McMahon
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor intends to follow through
with Development West Coast,
which yesterday said it would look
seriously at renewed efforts to buy
the Kingston Flyer steam train to
ply the West Coast rail network.
Yesterday Mr O’Connor promoted
the idea as a promising heritage
tourism opportunity for the region.
The Flyer, which includes two
mainline AB steam locomotives and
carriages, is languishing amid weeds
at Kingston, at the head of Lake
Wakatipu, after its owner halted
operations and put it up for sale for
$2 million more than two years ago.
Development West Coast chief
executive Chris Mackenzie told the
Hokitika Guardian yesterday he was
aware of Mr O’Connor’s renewed
campaign to bring the train to
Greymouth, and the trust would be
“following up” in the next few weeks
to see if sale conditions had changed
since the trust last investigated the
operation in 2015.
“It ’s not a closed book,” Mr
Mackenzie said. “ We will look at it
In May 2015 the trust investigated
purchasing the train, based on local
proposals, but in the end rejected
it saying the estimated capital cost
to purchase the engines and rolling
stock, relocate them, bring them
up to an operational standard and
establish compliant infrastructure
would be $5m to $6m.
DWC now has new trustees
and a new chief executive in Mr
Mackenzie, who helped set up the
trust in 2000-01
and who also
personally crewed Mainline Steam
Trust locomotives on past excursions
to the West Coast.
Mr O’Connor said this morning
DWC would need an enthusiastic
body or organisation to drive the
Those interested in being involved
would need to see it as a huge
opportunity for the Coast, rather
than a huge liability, he said.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn, who raised the idea last
time, urged DWC to look at “the big
picture” and not just the immediate
“It makes us a point of difference,
a vibrant place, and it will take off,”
Mr Kokshoorn said.
He suggested Mr O’Connor
should now formalise the support of
the three West Coast mayors.
Then DWC should do a “proper
feasibility (study) — not a desktop”.
“They need to work out how we
can make it happen,” Mr Kokshoorn
Mr Mackenzie said he could see
the potential benefit of having steam
trains running between Greymouth
and Reefton, and Greymouth and
Hokitika, or tying in with the Tranz
Alpine tourist train.
“When we look at it we have to
look at the whole thing — what are
the ancillary benefits?”
Practical logistics around running,
locomotives and crewing trains
appropriately were more complex
and intensive than modern diesel
electric motive power for instance,
“A lot of it is also subject to Kiwi
Rail and access to their tracks.”
possibilities” to tie it into existing
projects to drive wider economic
Mr Mackenzie said.
Tourism Properties, which is
selling the Kingston Flyer, refuted
rumours today that the train had
already been sold.
The agent said they had fielded
expressions of interest from a
number of parties, including interest
from as far away as Auckland, and
some dated back years.
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