Home' Greymouth Star : February 14th 2017 Contents 150 YEARS SINCE 1866
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2017
$1.20 (Home Delivery 90c)
Phone 769 7900
South Island’s best
roses in Greymouth
Buller Marathon’s most
faithful runner recognised
The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
Customers of the Greymouth
branch of Credit Union which is
earmarked for closure, have been
advised talks are under way on its
future. The proposal is to close the
Greymouth, Timaru, Oamaru and
Gore branches, as Credit Union
South adjusts to the move to
on-line banking. Eighteen jobs
would be lost if the closures
go ahead, but eight created
in D unedin, Invercargill
and Christchurch. The two
Christchurch branches would be
consolidated, and the Richmond
branch moved to Nelson. Credit
Union on the West Coast started
at the former Seaview Hospital,
but it closed the Hokitika branch a
couple of years ago. Chief executive
Tania Dickie said it had 22,000
members but in the previous year
about 200,000 on-line banking
transactions were made through
the internet, mobile banking and
telephone banking. One member
an hour per staff member went into
the credit union’s branch network,
she said. In Greymouth, there were
three staff members. If one was on
holiday and another one was sick,
a staff member from Christchurch
or Dunedin had to be sent over as
cover. The consultation period will
end on February 20. A final report
will be released on March 1 and if
the closures are confirmed they will
take effect from the end of March.
Mainly fine, isolated showers
Greymouth Star On-line
An Adolf Hitler impersonator,
complete with military garb and
a cropped moustache, has been
spotted close to the Nazi leader’s
birthplace, prompting a police
investigation. The man, described
as between 25 and 30 years old,
was seen dressed in a military style
coat, white shirt and red tie in the
Austrian town of Braunau am Inn.
The doppelganger, who like Hitler
has black hair brushed to one
side, even posed for photos with
passersby who noticed his uncanny
resemblance to the dictator of the
German Third Reich. The man
is also said to have visited a local
bar where he said his name was as
‘Harald Hitler’ and was overheard
ordering an ‘Austrian mineral
water’. — Daily Mail
150 years of firefighting
Greymouth ratepayers will be given
a deadline to connect to the town
sewerage scheme and it will be strictly
enforced, the Grey District Council
decided last night.
Some ratepayers in particular areas of
greater Greymouth had been notified
twice that they could now connect to
the sewerage schemes, although over
60% had not bothered, district assets
manager Mel Sutherland said.
Others in the central business district
had had the ability to connect for 12
A staff report to the meeting
appended recent newspaper reports of
effluent reaching the Grey River.
The report noted council policy that
properties must connect to dedicated
sewerage ser vices within two years of
these being provided to the boundary.
There were already compelling
practical reasons why property owners
should just get on with it, the report
These included individual property
owners paying from the date the new
scheme became operational outside
“ Why not use a ser vice that you
already pay for?” staff noted.
A condition of the resource consents
for the sewage-stormwater separation
was that it be completed within a
specified timeframe to stop raw sewage
from being discharged into water ways.
“This means ... no sewage may still
be deposited in what is retained as the
stormwater system,” staff said.
They also noted that a complex
system like a sewerage scheme was
designed for a specific throughput:
“ Until such time that the throughput is
achieved, the system does not function
That was also true of the collection
system for wastewater.
For instance, council staff were
having to pump water through the
Taylor ville-Dobson sewerage line to
Greymouth because connections to
the new system were “not yet sufficient
to ensure enough flow in the system”.
Homeowners in wider Greymouth
who had not yet separated their
stormwater and sewerage lines would
receive a letter from the council.
“Council, in the past asked that staff
do not enforce the two-year connection
timeline in recognition that the local
economy is under severe pressure.”
However, time was running out for
resource consent timelines around
separations and the council would be
‘in the gun’ if sewage continued to be
discharged with stormwater.
Cr Anton Becker noted a case of one
resident who had separated their pipes,
only to have sewage backing up and
spilling on to their property via the
“This is not acceptable.”
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said he
accepted lack of connections was now
“a major environmental issue” and cited
the “ bad look” of the sewage warning
signs on the Greymouth floodwall.
“It ’s never cheaper than now. We’ve
got to encourage people to connect
now,” Mr Kokshoorn said.
Cr Murray Hay said it was a “no-
brainer” that property owners should
connect, but asked if his particular
residential area in Palmerston Street
was able to connect or not.
Mr Sutherland said residents in all
the areas which were ready to go had
received letters up to twice already.
While new sewerage lines might have
gone past some properties, they were
not necessarily able to connect yet due
to pumps needing to be installed.
Tenders for further work on the
sewer upgrade in the southern part
of Greymouth were due in a week or
so, which would mostly complete the
system, he said.
“If you’ve received a letter to say
physically connect, you should
Cr Peter Haddock noted that those
in the central business district had
been able to connect since 2005 —
“that ’s 12 years”.
Mr Kokshoorn said that equated to
about 100 connections downtown.
The Greymouth Volunteer
Fire Brigade has erected five
interpretation panels to mark its
150th year of ser vice to the town.
Panels were erected last night in
High Street outside the current fire
station, the aquatic centre, Albert
Street, Dixon Park and in lower
Tainui Street beside the proposed
Fire chief Lee Swinburn said
the pictorial panels all outlined
significant fires and disasters around
town in the past 150 years.
All of the panels had been
sponsored by the NZ Fire Ser vice
and Grey District Council. They
would remain on display around town
for about six months before being put
on permanent display elsewhere.
Mr Swinburn said the brigade
planned a big celebration to mark
the sesquicentennial, including a
public open day to be staged at the
Front-line Training (formerly Karoro
Learning), on April 29.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Greymouth volunteer firefighters Wayne Kelsall, left, Colin Thomas and fire chief Lee Swinburn alongside one of five heritage interpretation panels
they erected last night in lower Tainui Street.
The West Coast may finally be
in line for more better days than
bad ones next month, a national
forecaster says, as the region suffers
through one of its wettest and coldest
summers in memory.
What started out as a sizzling
tourist season has been dampened
with constant rain since mid-
December, events were cancelled and
roads closed by flooding and slips.
The one bright spot of the rotten
summer is that the glaciers are not
melting quite as fast.
The Accuweather long range
forecast does not show any substantial
improvement until March, though
later this week should be fine.
The dismal summer saw the
Kumara Races abandoned at the
start of January due to dangerous
track conditions, then the Westland
A and P Show was cancelled for the
first time since 1971, due to sodden
Hokitika Racecourse and last week
the Waitangi Day Community
Picnic in Greymouth was canned
because the ground was too wet for
On January 19 a major slip at
Deception Point, between Aickens
and Otira, smothered the Arthur’s
Pass highway and railway, cutting the
main links to Canterbury for about
Three weeks later, a fire on the
Canterbury side again closed the
Midland Line railway link, this time
for at least six weeks and resulting
in the cancellation of 17,000 Tranz
Alpine bookings to Greymouth.
Hokitika weather observer Mark
Crompton said that with an average
temperature of 14.1degC, it was the
coldest January since 1993, which
It was “quite extraordinary” that
the maximum temperature exceeded
20degC on one day only.
It was also the wettest January in
The longest ‘dry spell’ lasted just
two days, on January 4-5 .
Niwa principal scientist forecasting
Chris Brandolino said January
rainfall was more than double normal
on the West Coast.
In the first 11 days of February
100mm of rain fell — 52% of the
month’s usual rainfall.
“ You’ve had your fair share in the
first 11 days,” Mr Brandolino said.
Two new reports have revealed ways
all four West Coast councils could
better work together, but consultants
also warn that ideas which would
work best would be the hardest to
In August, the Local Government
Commission announced it would
push ahead and consider changing
the councils, after public feedback
showed an “appetite for change”.
Combining the Grey and Westland
districts, or all four councils, are
among the options.
As well as looking at whether
there are too many councils, the
commission is looking at how the
councils can work better together to
The latest reports, looking at
efficiencies in the planning and
transport areas, were tabled this week
at the West Coast mayors forum.
Neither goes as far as to reach a
Consultants Boffa Miskell looked
at planning and found the councils
were generally trying to improve
their ser vices and work more closely
together, but could be unco-ordinated
and adopt a bureaucratic approach.
While there was a clear preference
for greater combined ser vices, there
were quite polarised views as to which
council could, or should, take a lead.
Also changes that would result in
the best long-term cost savings and
benefit to customers and ratepayers
were also likely to present the greatest
The transport report by consultants
Rationale said the resilience of the
transport network needed to be
It also noted problems with a road
network that was not designed for
large freight load.
It put for ward six options, from the
status quo through to a combined
business unit or even a formal
separate entity established either
under the Local Government Act
or a joint venture, that includes
transport planning, management and
“These reports are testament to the
constructive spirit in which the West
Coast councils, on behalf of their
ratepayers, residents and businesses,
have engaged with this process for
identifying efficiencies and cost-
savings in these two important areas,’’
Local Government commissioner
Janie Annear said.
The mayors agreed the reports were
an important step towards finding
“efficiencies for ratepayers” as well
as delivering an improved level of
ser vice collectively.
Overdue summer promised in March
Coast councils shore up co-operation
Deadline for connections
to be set and enforced
10 Boundary Street Greymouth
Ph 03 768 5720
fax 03 768 0907
• Gift Vouchers Available •
WESTLAND ENGINEERING SUPPLIES find us on
ONE STOP SHOP
We are more
Links Archive February 13th 2017 February 15th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page