Home' Greymouth Star : February 11th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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First contact with West Coast Maori
WEST COAST FEATURE
150 YEARS SINCE 1866
on new hospital
Television screens will be installed
at three key locations in the existing
Grey Base Hospital to screen
updates on the new hospital going
up next door, in Water Walk Road.
“Messages are currently being
developed and will be regularly
updated to align with the project
progression,” DHB management
As a special promotion on Tuesday
to mark Valentine’s Day, the Grey
District Library is encouraging
borrowers to have a ‘blind date’ with
a ‘mystery book’. The library will
have a variety of books wrapped in
brown paper, identifying only their
genre, which it will be issued to those
brave enough to try one. Books will
be available for adults and children,
large print and audio-books. Public
Libraries New Zealand initiated
Library Lovers Day on February 14
as a chance to honour and celebrate
libraries, librarians, bookworms and
Already in shock that her daughter
was swapped at birth 34 years
ago, a Russian woman has found
out that she, too, was handed to
the wrong mother by the same
maternity hospital 22 years earlier.
Alisa Tsyrenova, 56, who was already
stunned after meeting her real
daughter for the first time, has now
found out that her own real parents
are not the loving couple who raised
her. Both discoveries were proven
by DNA tests which she agreed to
undertake so she could know the
truth as she undergoes treatment
for a life-threatening illness. It was
only last week that she discovered
the daughter she brought up, named
Yulia, was not her real child, but
that local artist Dugarma is her
blood daughter. This week came
the bombshell that another Soviet
blunder at the same Kurumkan
district maternity hospital meant
her DNA did not match the woman
she knew as her sister, Tsytsyg
Putushkina, 53. Researchers from
Russian tv talk-show ‘L et Them
Speak’ found out however that Alisa’s
DNA did match the ‘sister’ — called
Tatiana — of a woman, named
Butydma, born around the same time
as her in January 1960.
— Daily Mail
Rain, becoming heavy
Greymouth Star On-line
Tai Poutini Polytechnic staff made
six trips to China last year to build its
programmes — despite having only six
Chinese students — and two trips to
Scotland for university studies.
In December, the Government
appointed a crown manager to the
Greymouth-based polytechnic, citing
a significant financial deficit and
declining student numbers.
Tai Poutini Polytechnic has forecast a
significant financial deficit as a result of
a declining roll.
The Tertiary Education Commission
(TEC) commissioned an independent
investigation into the level of education
delivery at the polytechnic against
funding agreements, after a routine
audit in 2015 turned up discrepancies.
The polytechnic said recently the
Crown appointment of Murray Strong
would not affect student studies or the
programmes offered this year.
The Greymouth Star asked for details
of overseas trips last year to China and
In a statement, it said staff made
six trips to China last year to develop
relationships with Chinese education
institutions in order to develop new
programmes and attract students to
New Zealand, and also to deliver or
assist in the delivery of China-based
In one case three Greymouth staff
went, on others just one.
It had six Chinese students enrolled
at Greymouth and two at the Auckland
The polytechnic said the cost
was commercially sensitive, but “all
expenditure incurred was in line with
relevant (Tai Poutini Polytechnic)
Planning was not finalised for this
year, but the polytechnic expected
more Chinese students.
Three staff members had flown to
Scotland during the year to attend
bachelor of business and enterprise
studies at Napier University.
Again the cost was commercially
sensitive, and again “all expenditure
incurred was in line with relevant
The polytechnic said developing
international partnerships was one of
the Government ’s priorities for New
Zealand polytechnics and universities
through its Tertiary Education
Tai Poutini Polytechnic had
been actively working to increase
international student numbers and
develop new international programmes.
Its partnership with the Guilin
Tourism University in China resulted
last year in a pilot of an eco-tourism
programme, which saw four Chinese
students travel to New Zealand to
study. The polytechnic also led a five-
strong tourism business delegation to
China to learn more about one of the
fastest-growing markets as a result of
It said those programmes were set to
continue and expand this year.
It was also collaborating with
Chengdu Technician College and
a delegation visited the Greymouth
campus last month.
“It is expected this will result in
students being sent to New Zealand
from late 2017, along with the
delivery of China-based professional
development programmes to eco-
These opportunities, and others
under way, could not be realised
without polytechnic staff building
relationships with international
partners and travelling overseas to
pursue and develop targeted education
programmes, it said in a statement.
Scientific measurements show Franz
Josef Glacier has retreated 1.43km in
the past nine years.
Victoria University scientist Brian
Anderson has just released the latest
“ To put the current position into
perspective, the recent retreat has
been the most spectacular in the
historic record, and both glaciers
(Franz Josef and Fox) are now well
shorter than they were back in the
1980s,” Dr Anderson said.
Dr Anderson liaised with Heather
Purdie from the University of
Canterbury to measure the retreat
at Fox Glacier at 740m in the same
Between April 2015 and March
2016 Fox Glacier lost just 30m, and
then a further 100m up to December.
At the same time Franz lost 390m
and then a further 150m.
“The ongoing retreat, which started
in 2008-09, has taken a total of
1.43km of Franz Josef Glacier (to
9.86km long in December 2016), and
740m of Fox Glacier (to 12.25km in
December 2016),” Dr Anderson said.
“This is a pretty typical pattern,
where Franz Josef length changes are
bigger and more rapid than at Fox
He said the South Westland glaciers
had probably finished reacting to
the massive ice loss from 2010-11,
but 2015-16 was almost as bad and
Fox Glacier was continuing to thin
around the terminus.
Each glacier had a ‘mass balance’
which was the amount of snow that
accumulated in winter, minus the
amount of melt that happened during
the summer. There was not much
snow during the winter, but then
the spring and summer so far on the
West Coast had been wet and cold,
Dr Anderson said.
Based on Hokitika temperature and
precipitation records, the winter snow
on the glaciers was less than average
for the past 50 years, but the summer
melt had been well below average.
“It’s definitely good glacier weather,”
ser vices manager Wayne Costello,
based at Franz Josef, said the public
viewing sites in the glacier valley had
not moved in about two years.
At Franz, as ice melted, DOC
re-routed the track and improved it,
including the gradient.
“ We’ve done that in the past four
months,” Mr Costello said.
Fox Glacier was steeper, and work
started there before Christmas and
was currently being finished.
However, he said the viewing areas
could not be moved closer to the ice
because of the risk of rockfalls from
the unstable valley walls as the ice
“It’s for visitor safety. ”
DOC is currently reviewing the
Westland National Park management
plan. It says the two significant issues
facing the national park are air access
and the effects of climate change.
Skyline Enterprises, which owns the
Queenstown and Rotorua gondolas,
announced in September it was
investigating a gondola at Franz Josef
to view the retreating glacier.
Foot access on to the ice stopped
in 2012 due to the danger created by
the melt and is now accessible only by
PICTURES: Brian Anderson
Franz Josef Glacier — November 2012 and October 2016. The retreat slowed a little last year. The terminus is now hidden behind a little bedrock knob.
Polytechnic staff f lit to China, Scotland
Inf lux of freedom campers
The Grey District Council
has pinged a large number of
‘sleeper vans’ squatting the night
around Greymouth, and the aquatic
centre is keeping an eye on an
increasing number of freedom
campers coming in for showers.
Although the council allows
self-contained camper vans to park
for the night outside the Marist
clubrooms in Shakespeare Street
— c onveniently close to the public
toilets and aquatic centre showers
next door — others are being moved
“I believe our office got about five
up there the other morning which
weren’t certified,” compliance team
leader Kevin Hebberd said.
A council policy prohibiting
camper vans from freedom camping
closer than 2km from a campground
was dropped six or seven years ago.
Full campervan parks are located at
Karoro, South Beach, Tainui Street
behind Challenge service station, and
Mr Hebberd said most self-
contained camper vans not at formal
parks, were stopping at the Cobden
Bridge and Jellyman Park, Cobden,
and increasingly at Shakespeare
In the first few weeks of the new
year 26 infringements were issued.
Generally about 53% of those
issued with an infringement notice
Mr Hebberd said.
Although a lot more campervans
were around now the tourist
season was nearing its peak, the
infringement rate had been dropping.
Campervan companies had got
on board with getting their vans
certified, and tourists now were more
aware of the rules.
Officers would direct campervans
which were not self-contained to a
camping ground, he said.
“They wouldn’t send them to the
Westland Recreation Centre
manager Nelia Heersink said
campers regularly turned up with
shampoo and towels asking to use a
shower at the aquatic centre.
At the moment the numbers were
not huge and so staff were being
lenient, but she said as numbers grew
they may have to address it.
allocate a changing room.
If the pool was especially busy
with children, or school groups, they
would ask people wanting to shower
to come back later.
“Our patrons come first.”
Rapahoe Bay Holiday Park owner
Jan Fletcher finds freedom campers
Some nights she sees a dozen
campervans freedom camping at
Cobden, but back at the park they
may have just three or four.
“It’s a snub to us. We just have to
put up with it,” Mrs Fletcher said.
“It ’s not fair — they (freedom
camping sites) don’t have to pay for
firefighting equipment, to have a
certain distance between sites.”
Some nights they could tell when
the council officer had moved vans
on — “you get one, two, three, four
on a night arrive one after the other.
You think ‘aha, they ’ve been kicked
out of Cobden.’”
Punakaiki residents have also asked
the council to stop freedom camping
around the town, although both the
Grey and Buller district councils
refused to do so.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Two campervans parked up for the night outside the Marist clubrooms,
in Shakespeare Street, next to the aquatic centre.
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