Home' Greymouth Star : February 20th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
A freedom camping hot spot near Franz
Josef Glacier, with up to 50 vehicles
squatting for the night, will be closed off
with a gate.
Franz Josef Community Council chairman
Graham Berry said the Dochertys Creek
layby — effectively a gravel pit — at the foot
of the Fox Hills, had become increasingly
busy since November.
On Thursday 54 vehicles — only 18 of
them self-contained — were found there
when Westland District Council staff visited
in the morning.
Mr Berry said 90% of the campers were
being directed there on-line through a
travellers app that told them it was a legal,
free place to stay.
“The main issues with this site is it is not
a camping ground and has no toilets — a
lot of toilet paper and what you use toilet
paper for, in piles around the edge and along
Dochertys Creek itself.”
The community council had also been told
of people cleaning themselves in the creek
with soaps and shampoos, polluting the
“ We are trying to keep our region a
beautiful tidy area,” Mr Berry said.
The Westland District Council, which
owns the site — used by roading companies
for storing road chip and gravel — was
approached over the issue last week.
As a result, the area will be closed off and a
padlocked gate will be added later.
Mayor Bruce Smith said freedom camping
was not new and was not confined to Franz
Josef, with similar issues in communities
from Kumara to Bruce Bay.
However, he said statistics showed that the
average freedom camper spent $89 per night
in the region.
It required a discussion on how best to
accommodate them, Mr Smith said.
“They are going to continue to come and
the numbers are going to increase. Do we
push them away, or put in areas in each of
the towns where freedom camping can take
place, with toilets and showers, and then
strictly enforce the areas outside?”
The council was keen to work in
partnership with local communities on
In Franz Josef township, the former
Department of Conser vation site was
previously mooted for development into a
Four years ago, the Westland council
backed down on a bylaw that would have
stomped out overnight freedom camping
close to towns throughout the district, after
being threatened with court action by the
New Zealand Motor Caravan Association.
It was replaced with a freedom camping
policy that encourages travellers and
campers to use camping grounds and
accommodation facilities supporting
overnight vehicle camping.
2 - Monday, February 20, 2017
Power cut cause to be
Transpower says it will fully
investigate the cause of the power
cut that left all of Murchison, Buller,
Grey and most of Westland off the
grid just before 8 o’clock on Saturday
morning. A spokeswoman said this
morning during maintenance work
at the Kikiwa substation near St
Arnaud, a piece of equipment was
opened, which had not been planned,
causing the outage. It had people on
site and they were able to quickly
restore power. “ There will be a full
investigation about how and why,”
the spokeswoman said.
DHB boss to attend
Grey Power meeting
West Coast District Health Board
chief executive David Meates will
attend a Grey Power meeting
tomorrow afternoon in Greymouth
to discuss home help ser vices.
Law expert offers help
in Whittall case
Massey University law expert
Professor Chris Gallavan has done
more than take a passing interest in
the Pike River case against former
chief executive Peter Whittall. He
has offered to help if the case now
moves from the Court of Appeal to
the Supreme Court.
Stolen car set alight
A stolen car was set alight on the
Coast Road last week. The car was
found ablaze at Eight Mile. Sergeant
Brent Cook, of Greymouth police,
said the vehicle had been taken from
a Greymouth address. Fire engines
from Greymouth and Runanga
Mussel shells used to
Bathurst has joined Solid Energy
in using mussel shells to neutralise
acidic run-off from some Buller
coalmines. West Coast Conser vation
Board chairman Mike Legge said
Solid Energy addressed the board
meeting in Westport last week and
gave a presentation on the scheme.
He said it was “very clever but so
simple”, and Bathurst was now using
the same method.
The queen mother of Tonga
has died in Auckland, aged 90.
Tongans are mourning after Queen
Halaevalu Mata’aho Ahome’e, who
was being treated at an Auckland
hospital, died yesterday afternoon.
The Tongan consul in New Zealand,
Stafford Aho, confirmed her
passing yesterday. It is understood
Princess Mata’aho, Queen Halaevu’s
granddaughter was at her bedside.
Arrivals: Galatea II, Happy V,
one Greymouth vessel. In port:
Galatea II, Happy V, 17 Greymouth
vessels. Expected departures:
Galatea II, today. Expected arrivals:
Cook Canyon, Moon Shadow II,
tomorrow, Jay Elaine, Wednesday.
Solid Energy to truck
Stockton coal to Ikamatua
of the Westport News
The Buller District Council’s former
chief executive is working for the
Hurunui District Council.
Paul Wylie, who is understood to be
aged about 73, recently began work as
Hurunui’s recovery manager, involved
in earthquake recovery work. He is part
of a group that also reports to Kaikoura
District Council chief executive Angela
Mrs Oosthuizen was previously the
Buller council’s corporate services
manager and reported to Mr Wylie.
He left the Buller council in January
last year, 11 months short of completing
his five-year contract. Relationships
between him and councillors had
deteriorated after they refused his
request for a pay rise and a two-year
He was the highest paid chief executive
on the West Coast throughout his
Buller tenure. His severance payment
cost ratepayers $221,680.
of the Westport News
Up to 50 coal trucks will rumble through
the scenic Buller Gorge for 24 hours a day,
five days a week from today.
Solid Energy is planning to truck
Stockton coal to Ikamatua for stockpiling
while the Midland railway line remains
closed — which could be another six weeks.
Solid Energy said it planned to truck
between 1000 and 1500 tonnes a day. That
equates to up to 50 truckloads a day or 100
truck movements including the return trip.
Trucks would go from the Ngakawau
loadout through Granity, Westport and
Reefton, to a purposed-built rail load-out
at Ikamatua, the Solid Energy statement
The loadout is owned by Birchfield Coal
“The goal is to build a stockpile of
Stockton coal that will allow an optimised
logistics chain upon recovery. This will
lessen the impact on customers affected by
the outage,” the Solid Energy statement
“Solid Energy and its transport partner
JBT ( Johnson Bros Transport) will
be working together to minimise the
impact on the communities through the
“If there are any questions, residents are
urged to contact Solid Energy.”
JBT owner Mark McIntyre said JBT
was bringing in trucks from its alliances
around the South Island, along with 10 to
Another 15-20 local drivers would be
To suggestions some people would not
welcome the coal trucking through towns
and the Buller Gorge, Mr McIntyre
replied: “Some people wouldn’t be happy if
Stockton closed down either.”
JBT had a traffic management plan in
place, he said. In Westport, trucks would
drive along the heavy traffic bypass of
Brougham, Domett and Mill streets.
“ It’s going to give the economy a wee
boost, with accommodation and other
stuff, fuel.” Mr McIntyre said it would take
some time to ramp up to 1500 tonnes a day.
He had no idea how long the trucking
would continue and said it would depend
on when the railway line reopened.
Monday February 20
Urgent cases only
Phone 769 7493 first
5pm - 8pm
MONK, Bessie De
Vere (Betty). —
Peacefully on Saturday
February 18, 2017.
Aged 90 years. Loved
wife of the late Cliff.
Much loved mum and
Marilyn and Kelvin,
Gordon and Linda, and
Ron and Jackie. Loved
Nana Betty of Delia and
Cindy; Gareth, Ross and
Casi; Ryan, Bryce and
Stacey; and Nick and
Will. Loved great-nana
Betty of Jon, Jasmin,
Holly, Leah, Finn,
Charli, Alfie, Maja and
great-nana Betty of Mia.
A loved sister, sister-in-
law, aunty and friend.
Messages to 3 Bowen
Street, Kokatahi 7881. A
service to celebrate
Betty's life will be held
at St Andrews United
Street, Hokitika on
Thursday February 23,
commencing at 1pm.
Following the service
Betty will be laid to rest
with Cliff in the Lawn
Section of the Hokitika
Funeral Directors Ltd.
Phone (03) 755 7993.
Ph 768 0250
Why have your loved
ones taken away
from the Coast for
The only funeral home
in Greymouth offering
services on site
Ensuring you get Expertise
and Qualified Funeral
Former Buller chief
A surfboard-shaped shower has been installed alongside the new public toilet block installed at the Cobden tiphead. The Grey
District Council has built the toilet and shower with the help of a Government tourism infrastructure grant.
PICTURE: Tony Ruru
New toilet and shower at Cobden tiphead
Freedom campers polluting Docher tys Creek
Dochertys Creek near Franz Josef Glacier is one of several freedom camping problem
areas this summer.
Volunteer Fire Brigade
won the four-person
team event at the
Top of the South
United Fire Brigade
Association region three
competitions, held in
Ross at the weekend.
Marlborough and the
West Coast competed.
The Greymouth team
of Jason Prendergast,
Warren Rose, Daniel
Greene and Sam Bugler
took the honours with
100 points, leaving
closest rival Rangiora
in second place with
94 points and Brunner,
Ross, Diamond Harbour
and Collingwood in the
The performance was a
positive outcome for the
Greymouth team, which
now looks forward to the
to be held at Whangarei
competition at Ross
was won by Darfield,
followed by Christchurch
Airport and the Hokitika
and Rangiora teams third
Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade team members
in action at Ross — Warren Rose with the hose, left,
Jason Prendergast on standpipe and Daniel Greene
opening the hydrant.
firefighters win at Ross
The Kumara Residents’
Trust did another weekend
clean-up of toilet paper
and faeces left in the
bushes by dozens of
freedom campers who have
been parking up for the
night on Trustpower land
at the Kapitea Dam. “It ’s
disheartening that I have
to warn my young children
when playing in the bush
to watch out for poos and
toilet paper,” chairwoman
Julie Rowe said. However,
it “was lovely to see a
mobile home traveller from
Nelson taking the time to
pick up rubbish that others
had left behind. I hope our
sign helps to keep the bush
clean and that everyone
can continue to enjoy and
take care of the scenic
Kumara cleans up campers mess
Shelley Crooks has returned home
and taken her first steps on crutches,
after her incredible sur vival after being
lost in bush north of Punakaiki for six
In Ms Crooks’ only interview about
her ordeal, the 36-year-old told the
Weekend Herald last weekend she kept
herself alive by eating bugs and plants
for almost a month.
Medics allowed her to return
home this week where she has been
continuing her recovery, surrounded by
family and well-wishers.
John Crooks said his daughter was
recovering steadily and while she still
has a long road ahead of her, the family
including Shelley’s four children —
were thrilled to have her home.
“`It ’s great to have her back,’’ Mr
“S helley is healing well but there’s still
some time to go. Nutritionists have still
got her on a strict diet and want her to
be careful not to over-eat.
“She is still in a wheelchair but is able
to stand up now and take steps with
the help of crutches, but she can’t do it
Mr Crooks said his family had been
deeply humbled by the support of
“ We can’t thank the community of
Opotiki and our whanau enough. It’s
been massive for us,’’ he said.
Injured and unable to walk after a
tramping trip gone horribly wrong,
Crooks was without food, shelter,
medical supplies, phone or radio
communication and lost in bush for
six weeks. By a stroke of luck another
tramper, conservation volunteer Alex
Morley, crossed her path at the Fox
River end of the Inland Pack Track.
Another house fire in Westport early
yesterday is being treated as suspicious.
Westport Volunteer Fire Brigade
senior station officer Kevin Strechman
said it was the third house fire in the
town already this year.
The fire was spotted by someone in
Peel Street about 12.53am.
The house was unoccupied and
the fire had started in the front area.
Firefighters contained the fire but
the house sustained smoke and water
“It was getting quite involved in the
front,” Mr Strechman said.
The brigade was on the scene for
about 90 minutes, and had to return to
monitor it. Waimangaroa and Granity
brigades were called in to help.
Mr Strechman said the fire was under
investigation and for now it was deemed
Miracle survivor returns home
Westport house fire suspicious
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