Home' Greymouth Star : February 18th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2017
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Shantytown’s secret history
WEST COAST FEATURE
free car parking
A Grey District Council decision
in 2015 to time restrict 17 parking
spaces in Lord Street for a supposed
retail development in the former
St James Theatre building, was
rescinded this week. This followed
a signed notice of motion by Cr
Peter Haddock to scrap the June
2015 decision to time restrict
parking there, and to restore free
parking immediately. It was carried
unanimously. Cr Haddock said the
council made its decision in 2015
on the promise of a ‘significant
commercial development ’ on the
corner of Tainui and Lord streets.
That had not materialised and the
restricted parking was “not in the
best interests” of the central business
district. Cr Haddock noted a few
other problems with central business
area parking. He had received
numerous complaints about people
being ticketed while vehicles —
many apparently rental cars — were
being left overnight in Lord Street
and exceeding the two and a half
hour daytime time limit. People
arriving for work in the morning
were consequently being forced to
park in the three-hour parks and
being “pinged,” he said. Meanwhile,
the council also this week rescinded
the warrant for one parking warden
and warranted another. Chief
executive Paul Pretorius pointed out
that under the Land Transport Act
parking warden warrants normally
empowered them to police warrants
of fitness and registrations as well,
however the council in the past
had excluded those powers from its
Cloudy with isolated showers later
Greymouth Star On-line
date has asked her to pay him £42.50
after she turned him down for a
second date. Lucy Brown, 38, from
London, had only just started dating
again after a three-year relationship
came to an end. Despite the date
going well at a pub in Clapham, she
messaged him to say she was not
interested in a second viewing. That
is when things took a turn. He said
he was devastated then asked for a
“contribution for the drinks I spent
on you”. Handily he finished his
message with his account number.
After she had ended up taking his
watch home by mistake, the mystery
man even informed her it was worth
$29 but told her not to post it back
because “it’d be too painful to receive
the watch in the post and remind me
of you” — Metro
Greymouth charges ahead with electric cars
The unforeseen closure of the Midland
Line railway has now disrupted log
exports, with every main industry now
affected — dairy, tourism, coal and timber.
The Waitangi Weekend scrub fire,
in hill country between Cass and
Springfield, severely damaged bridges,
viaducts, signals and tracks. It has closed
the Christchurch-Greymouth link for at
least six weeks while repairs are made.
Already 17,000 advance bookings on
the Tranz Alpine have been cancelled,
hitting Greymouth and the tourism
sector, and Stockton coal is being
stockpiled at Ngakawau. Westland Milk
has resorted to trucking its dairy exports
out of Hokitika.
West Coast forestry owner Ngai Tahu
Farming is looking at its log production
in the wake of the fire knocking out the
General manager forest estates Edwin
Jansen said they needed to “manage log
production levels at our West Coast
“ We are working closely with all parties
in the supply chain, including harvesting
contractors, transportation companies
and West Coast sawmills to ensure that
logging crews continue to have viable
operations and log supply is maintained
to West Coast sawmill customers while
the rail link is unusable,” Mr Jansen said.
Rail was important to the viability of
the West Coast forest industry.
attempting to minimise trucking logs
from the West Coast to the ports at
Lyttelton and Nelson, however cutting
sawlogs suitable for West Coast sawmill
customers created additional logs that
must be exported from these ports.
“ While the rail link is disrupted, road
transportation of these additional logs is
our only option,” Mr Jansen said.
One timber industry source said
trucking was an alternative but there
were not enough trucks and it was too
expensive compared to rail.
“ You might think that this would help
the poor embattled sawmiller on the
Coast, but no.”
Foresters were looking at scaling back
their entire forest cut for a few months
while the bridges were fixed.
Normally up to four coal trains a day
pass through the Otira Tunnel, as well as
Road Transport Forum chief executive
Ken Shirley said the alternative transport
options would come at a cost.
“It shows how vulnerable we are in
terms of infrastructure,” Mr Shirley said.
Road transport was more flexible, but
on the other side of the coin trucks could
not carry in bulk as rail did, and trucks
had to go over Arthur’s Pass, which was
not designed for heavy trucks.
“It really is a problem, along with
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said the rail closure showed the
vulnerability of the West Coast ’s rail link.
Coal could not be carted long distance
on roads and logging trucks could
create danger on roads that were already
congested with the peak of the tourist
season. Kiwi Rail update, p2.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Pine logs stockpiled at Stillwater recently. Some of these have since been
The West Coast now has its
first electric vehicle fast charger,
allowing car owners to recharge
their vehicle while doing their
shopping in town.
Similar chargers have started
popping up around New Zealand.
The launch of the Greymouth one
— in the Tarapuhi Street public
car park — is a joint effort between
community-owned lines business
Westpower and Charge Net NZ,
Electric vehicles (EVs) are
becoming an increasingly viable
and attractive option for everyday
More New Zealand businesses
are also making the shift to 100%
electric or plug-in electric hybrids,
including Electronet, which now
has a fully electric Nissan Leaf used
by its local IT support team.
Westpower chief executive
Rob Caldwell said it was not too
difficult to convince Charge Net to
install a station in Greymouth, and
it was a pleasure to help find a site
and install it.
“I am sure that it won’t be
long before other EVs are on
Greymouth streets, so along with
charging at home on a slow charger,
there will be the ability for a fast
charge while shopping in town or
having a coffee,” Mr Caldwell said.
Charge Net NZ chief executive
Steve West said they were
determined to accelerate the uptake
of electric vehicles nationwide.
Working in partnership with
companies such as Westpower was
helping it get in to the regions.
“This is the 32nd fast charger
installed on our network and the
ninth in the South Island, and we
are looking at many more sites.
“ We are participating in a road
trip that will include a number of
EVs (including BMWs and Teslas)
coming to Greymouth in late April
to fuel up so the timing of this
station is perfect,” Mr West said.
People who want to use the
charger have a card, which debits
the money directly from their bank
As at December, there were 2500
electric vehicles officially registered
in New Zealand.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Electronet IT manager Glenn Balloch charges up the work car for the first time at the new electric vehicle (EV ) charging station in Greymouth.
A text tells people when the vehicle is fully charged, so they can return to their car. The station was unveiled early yesterday afternoon, and
immediately drew interested onlookers.
A recent import to the West Coast
has been jailed for over two years after
he was convicted in the Greymouth
District Court on four counts of
driving dangerously causing injury,
and stealing a woman’s suitcase and
Marcel Benjamin Hesse appeared
for sentence before Judge David
Saunders on Tuesday.
Hesse was jailed for 26 months,
including 14 months for dangerous
driving, nine months for theft
and two months for breaching
community work, and he was
disqualified from driving for 18
Hesse previously admitted stealing
a woman’s suitcase as she was leaving
the West Coast to stay long term
in the United Kingdom, and also
admitted breaches of community
work and being an unlicensed driver.
Lawyer Marcus Zintl told the
judge Hesse was “realistic about the
outcome” and he was ready to go to
Mr Zint submitted that Hesse’s
early guilty pleas should be accounted
for and that his outstanding
community work be commuted to
his prison sentence.
One of the passengers in the vehicle
during the incident was pregnant at
Hesse counted himself “as quite
fortunate” that his friends who
suffered injury in the car did not
suffer any long-term effects.
The driving leading to the crash
was “a matter of swerving in and out ”
Since then Hesse had fallen out
with those friends and the associates
involved. His former partner also
now declined him access to their
child due to his driving on that day.
Hesse was remorseful at the theft
of a woman’s suitcase and contents
valued at over $1000 for which
Hesse offered no excuse except to say
it was “a mindless act of stupidity”.
“He tells me he came to the Coast
to stop offending and get away from
his associates,” Mr Zintl said.
“He knows with his previous list of
convictions he’ ll end up in custody.”
Judge Saunders noted Hesse’s
extensive history for burglary, theft,
and unlawfully interferring with
“ You have a disturbing history of
dishonesty, well over 10 years.”
Hesse’s 200-hour community work
sentence had been for dishonesty
offending which, despite warnings,
he had failed to comply with.
An aggravating factor from his
stealing the suitcase was that Hesse
was on bail at the time and it left his
victim with significant emotional
“All I can hope is that during the
current sentence you will get some
focus for the future,” Judge Saunders
Suitcase thief jailed for two years
Log expor ts grind to a halt
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