Home' Greymouth Star : February 13th 2017 Contents MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2017
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Police happy with
A Westport resident was assaulted
in Palmerston Street, Westport,
early yesterday morning. West Coast
police prevention manager senior
sergeant Vicki Walker said it was
an isolated incident in an other wise
well behaved weekend in the town
as it hosted hundreds of visitors for
the Buller Marathon. Ms Walker
noted that the other large events at
the weekend, the Coast to Coast
and the Gold Nuggets Motocross
had no issues and were all “ well
run”. St John reported a “reasonably
quiet day ” at the annual motocross
event at Waipuna Station.
Ambulance crews treated “multiple”
competitors who had suffered
minor to moderate injuries, but
none required emergency transport
to hospital. Last year, the rescue
helicopter was called three times to
Waipuna to collect riders who had
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter was called to Iveagh Bay,
Lake Brunner, about 2.30pm on
Saturday after a man staying in the
area became unwell. He was taken
to Grey Base Hospital. Yesterday
the helicopter was involved with
the recovery of two people who had
become unwell while walking in the
Welcome Flat area of the Copland
Track, near Fox Glacier. In the first
call the helicopter was called to
Welcome Flat Hut at 9.45am to
uplift a person who was flown to
Fox Glacier township for medical
attention. Not long after the
helicopter was called to the Douglas
Rock Hut above Welcome Flat to
uplift an unwell tramper, who was
taken to Grey Base Hospital.
Heavy rain turns to showers
A university is seeking doctoral
candidates to undertake a PhD
— in chocolate. The University of
the West of England is offering a
£15,000-per-year grant to study the
genetic factors that influence the
flavour of Britain’s favourite treat.
According to the prospectus, the
successful candidate will study how
the fermentation of cacao beans
leads to specific flavour profiles. The
three-year position has been created
in response to demand from the
chocolate industry for more forensic
knowledge of different cocoa strains.
Candidates have until February 27
to apply to the university’s faculty
of health and applied sciences in
Bristol. — Mirror
Jobs are expected to go within the
Hokitika dairy factory as Westland
Milk Products gets under way with a
company-wide review, although the
principal union representing dairy
workers says nothing is yet certain.
Several well placed sources informed
the Greymouth Star at the weekend that
managerial jobs to be scrapped had been
announced on Friday, with production
jobs to be culled by the end of this week.
Westland today confirmed the review
was under way but refused comment
until that was completed at the end of
Chief executive Toni Brendish
announced last month a further review
of staff roles, following the last one at
the end of 2015, across the Westland
group of companies — Westland Milk
Products, Westland Shanghai and
Shareholders were told between 30
and 60 jobs would be going when the
co-operative announced the review last
New Zealand Dairy Workers Union
national secretary Chris Flatt said the
union had been briefed on behalf of
its Hokitika members but it was still
working through the detail.
“ What we’ve been informed is that
we’ll have people under our collective
who will be affected,” Mr Flatt said.
“ I’m not in a position to say exactly
who yet and there hasn’t been a formal
announcement. We are aware of affected
workers. We can’t reveal numbers or any
positions yet. ”
The union covers about 230 staff at
the Hokitika site and a further 30 at
Rolleston and represents non-salaried
drivers, dairy processing operators, stores
workers and laboratory staff.
Mr Flatt said he expected “a plan for
a formal notice” to emerge from the
Hokitika site either today or tomorrow.
The union had been working closely
with its members and the company
around “ various options”.
This included which positions might
be affected, what the options were for
continued employment at the factories
for those affected, and the potential for
staff in unaffected positions to take the
opportunity to leave, thereby opening up
vacancies for staff who might other wise
As far as the union was concerned
“potential redundancies” included jobs
not covered by the union’s collective
“ We are aware now that there are actual
members under our collective who are
affected by the proposed review.”
The union fully understood the likely
economic impact on both Hokitika
and Greymouth of potential job losses,
Mr Flatt said.
Shareholders contacted today were in
the dark at this stage.
Whataroa farmer Phonse Carroll said
it was to be expected that staff below
the management level might be affected,
with factory level jobs under the gun,
although the company had said the
review was broader.
“They went to great lengths it was
across the board. It doesn’t surprise me
to be honest,” he said.
“ I do know that we’ve got a couple of
reasonably good guys there looking at
that side of things — how the plant ’s
working and how many are actually
Mr Carroll said this was the latest
of three staff reviews in four years of
“stripping out the dead wood” but it may
still be too late.
It was likely new chief executive Toni
Brendish had found things were far
worse than she might have known, while
the shareholders wanted the factory to be
contributing more to the local economy
and “not hurting people out there”.
“ I think she’s realised she’s in a position
now that it ’s a lot worse than she was led
Tourism West Coast has got in
on Valentines Day, with a list of 10
romantic things to do to celebrate.
Top of the list is ‘slip into a hot pool’
at Maruia, Franz Josef Glacier or one
of the outdoor pools.
“ Have a romantic soak snuggled up
with your sweetheart at one of the
West Coast ’s many hot pools,” it says
on its website.
Or you could ‘bond over wildlife’
including kiwi, kotuku, tuatara, long-
finned eels, fur seals and even the
“ Take your honey to Honeycomb
Hill Cave, near Karamea, with
Oparara Guided Tours for a close-up
view of moa remains, New Zealand’s
extinct giant bird, while exploring this
incredible limestone cave. ”
In third spot is ‘make mountainous
“Clasp your beloved’s hand as you
absorb the magnificent views.”
The other ideas are:
4. Get flushed with goldrush fever.
5. Take a ride on the wild side (horse
6. Share a stunning sunset.
7. Pick a perfect present.
8. Wander in the West Coast
9. Please your passionate palates.
10. Head to a romantic hideaway.
Tourism West Coast offers Valentine’s Day alternatives
Roses colour Grey
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Lyn Anisy, left, and Margaret Hyde of the Westland Rose Society with a colourful display of mixed roses used to decorate the Trinity Hall for
the 40th South Island Ranfurly Rose Show, hosted in Greymouth on Saturday. Mrs Hyde said 10 South Island rose societies, including Westland,
entered the Ranfurly event, which Greymouth hosted for the first time in years. Judging by two North Island judges got under way on Saturday
morning and the doors were opened to the public during the afternoon. Despite a challenging growing season Westland Rose Society members were
able to bring together good quality blooms which held up well against stiff competition from elsewhere in the South Island, Mrs Hyde said. Moutere
Hills Rose Society won the Ranfurly Rose Show Trophy, last won by Westland in 1995.
Man on trial for alleged male rape
A West Coast man is being tried
by jury in the Greymouth District
Court this week on various charges
of sexual violation arising from an
incident with a 17-year-old boy in
Shane Dion Dibben, 26, has
denied one charge of assault with
intent to commit sexual violation,
six of sexual violation by unlawful
sexual connection, and one of assault
with intent to injure.
The hearing is before a jury of
seven women and five men.
Crown prosecutor Claire Boshier
said the alleged offending arose
from “a night of violence and rape”.
She said the complainant and
Dibben had been living in separate
house buses. The offences are alleged
to have occurred on the night of
September 17, 2014.
The complainant and Dibben knew
each other from elsewhere, where
they had met a few years earlier.
Ms Boshier said the pair became
acquainted again and stole a vehicle
from South Westland.
“They were bailed to the same
address following that incident.”
After the alleged sex incident the
complainant went to the police the
next day to say that he had been
punched and kicked, threatened
with a knife and a pair of scissors,
and anally assaulted over a two and
a half hour period.
The alleged assault began when
Dibben asked the complainant to
help him close a gate.
When spoken to by police, Dibben
denied all of the allegations and said
the complainant had annoyed him
because he was not paying his way.
He had also told the complainant to
f... off that night, and that was the
last he saw of him.
A derelict wooden house destroyed
in a suspicious fire in Westport early
yesterday was partially demolished
Westport Volunteer Fire Brigade
deputy fire chief Trevor O’Dea said
they were called out at 12.25am to
the Peel Street property, in the block
between Rintoul and Wakefield
streets. By then the house was well
involved, “from one end to the other”.
Two Westport fire crews and
another from Granity were needed
to contain the fire over about two
and a half hours, Mr O’Dea said.
“ It was an old empty derelict house.
Neighbours said there had been
some squatting occurring in the area
The brigade was called back to the
site at 7am after a hot spot in the roof
Part of the charred house was
demolished due to its dangerous
state and the remainder would be
taken down today.
Mr O’Dea said the fire was being
regarded as suspicious at this stage,
following a fire safety investigator’s
inspection of the site yesterday, and
evidence had been gathered for
West Coast police prevention
manager senior sergeant Vicki
Walker said police were seeking
information about the fire.
Police suspicious of derelict house fire
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