Home' Greymouth Star : February 22nd 2017 Contents P8
150 YEARS SINCE 1866
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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017
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The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
projected to shrink
Nearly all regions will have more
people in 2043 than they did in
2013, Statistics New Zealand said
today, but the West Coast population
could shrink. Projections suggest
that nationally the record growth
rates seen in recent years will begin
to subside. On the West Coast, the
two more conser vative projections
show a population decline. Only
one project shows a slight increase
of 0.3%. “New Zealand has recently
been experiencing record high levels
of net migration, with more arrivals
than departures. Our projections
have been updated to reflect that,”
Statistics NZ population statistics
senior manager Peter Dolan said.
“However, due to our population’s
changing age structure, which is
a result of fewer births and more
deaths, population growth will slow
in the long-term.” Auckland will
continue to be New Zealand’s fastest
growing region. Over 80% of New
Zealand’s growth to 2043 will be in
Auckland and the other 12 cities,
resulting in over a million more city
dwellers than in 2013.
Morning cloud, long fine spells
The West Coast District Health
Board came under fire at an
emotionally charged public meeting
in Greymouth yesterday, with
several people in tears about battling
cuts to their home help.
Grey Power called the meeting
after being contacted by the DHB,
to talk about home help services.
A number of elderly people who
have already had their help cut, got
up to speak — one using a walker —
and some home helpers themselves
also fired off tough questions to the
Board chief executive David
Meates told the gathering of about
100 — mostly elderly people and
their caregivers — that in November
2016 the board saw 8500 home help
clients, up 300 on the year before.
It had taken on 98 new clients in
the past six months, and 131 had
been reassessed. Of those, 114 had
their care increased and 17 had
it cut and of them, six were being
Lyla D unn, 91, supported by a
walking frame, then addressed
Mr Meates directly: “I’ve had two
assessments and got another one on
Thursday. I don’t know if you can
help or not? They thought I had
improved — how you improve as
you get older, I don’t know.”
Graham Farmer said his wife was
number 14 on the list of those cut.
“I want to know what you are
going to do about it,” he said.
“I don’t want to hear bulls..t.”
Eleanor Adamson, who went
public about her home help cuts
around Christmas, said she had not
Harry Cox had nothing but praise
for his caregivers, but became
distressed talking about the health
Bev Tibbles said her mother, 95,
was contacted in December because
her home help was leaving. She was
told she would be phoned about a
replacement, but “I’m still waiting
for that phone call from December”.
Cr Murray Hay read out a letter
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn had sent
to the Health Minister, and said
personally he felt the level of
funding was not matching the
Carole Gibb said she had worked
for 35 years as a caregiver and told
Mr Meates: “I’m embarrassed to be
here and so should you”.
The service was not being run
properly, and there was no trust,
Ms Gibb said.
“ What have you been doing for
two to three years?”
Greymouth pharmacist and West
Coast PHO member Julie Kilkelly,
sitting with her mother, spoke of the
lack of continuity of care with GPs,
saying they may not be the best
person to refer people to the home
A constant theme from the
floor was how hard it was to
contact relevant staff at the DHB.
Mr Meates asked some to leave
their contact details.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor said funding for personal
care such as showers and dressings
However, funding for home
management such as lawns and
cleaning had reduced.
“David Meates has been asked to
do more with less,” Mr O’Connor
“There’s a lot of fear out there,
people concerned ‘we’ ll be next.’”
For every person who contacted
him, 99 did not. Many would tell an
assessor they could manage, when
they could not, he said.
Mr Meates admitted the board
could have done a better job of
explaining what it does, noting
assessments had stalled for a time.
He talked more widely about the
health system and said GP waiting
times for urgent cases had gone
from 20 days to two or three, and
Grey Base Hospital had done 58
hip and knee replacements this year,
eight more than planned.
An orthopaedic surgeon who was
blocked by a slip near Otira, drove
over the Lewis Pass instead.
“This matters to them,” Mr Meates
The board had fought to keep a
hospital in Greymouth and he said
they were rebuilding West Coast
health ser vices.
However, he did concede, “we
cannot meet all of the need all of
ser vices Steve Johnson said phone
assessments had now stopped.
The DHB had started fortnightly
meetings with care workers in
Hokitika and that would now
be rolled out to Greymouth and
“Communication has been a little
bit lacking,” Mr Johnson said.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Lyla Dunn, 91, addresses the Grey Power meeting at the Trinity Centre
yesterday about the cuts to her home help service.
been a little bit lacking.”
Elderly berate DHB for home help cuts
Development West Coast
chairman John Sturgeon has
had his term cut short by four
months after the mayors voted
to replace him.
A new council appointee is
expected to attend their first
meeting in July; Mr Sturgeon
had been due to retire in
“I don’t know the reasons
why,” Mr Sturgeon said this
morning, referring queries to
the regional council.
In a short statement today
from all four West Coast
councils and Development
West Coast, they said they
had decided to replace their
representative, Mr Sturgeon,
80, from July 1.
Mr Sturgeon had “dedicated
himself to the trust since being
appointed by the councils on
November 1, 2010. This follows
on from John’s distinguished
career in the coalmining and
The councils “extend to John
a ‘thank you’ for his ser vice
to the trust, and to the West
Coast community, and wish
him well for the future”.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said the consensus
was that with the new economic
action plan for the West Coast
imminent, they should bring
for ward the change.
They wanted a younger
person at the helm of DWC
and to “get the right mix to
take the West Coast for ward”.
DWC chief executive Chris
Mackenzie said as Mr Sturgeon
was the councils’ appointee, it
was for them to explain why
his term was ending early.
“The council made the
decision, not Development
West Coast,” Mr Mackenzie
The new appointee would not
necessarily be chairman as that
was elected by the trustees, he
Mr Sturgeon became
chairman while “two camps”
existed at the trust, and he was
seen as a solid mediator.
The Government ’s economic
report on the West Coast,
Development West Coast,
possibly leaving it to focus on
managing the fund of more
than $120 million.
The Tai Poutini West Coast
Growth Study found that
economic development on the
Coast was fragmented and
Almost everyone consulted
by the report ’s authors had
concerns or questions about
funding role, including it
taking over 12 months to
decide on applications, the
An action plan from that
report is currently being
The trust is made up of seven
members, three of whom are
elected, an appointee from the
New Zealand Law Society,
the NZ Institute of Chartered
appointee, and the trustee
appointed by the four councils.
A 33-year-old man has been charged
after an axe attack on another man outside
the Z service station in Greymouth this
Police area commander Inspector
Mel Aitken said they were called to the
Whall Street garage after a report of
an altercation between two men — one
wielding an axe — at the rear of the
One of the men was struck with the blunt
end of an axe. He was not seriously injured.
“It was very fortunate that it was the
blunt end,” Mrs Aitken said.
Police tracked down the alleged assailant
about an hour later, and charged him
with assault with intent to injure. He will
appear in the Greymouth District Court
The victim of the attack was interviewed
at the Greymouth Police Station.
“He has received treatment for bruising
and was very lucky to escape being
Police were unsure what prompted the
attack or if the two men were known to
“ We are still in the process of
inter viewing both men,” Mrs Aitken said
Officers spent an hour searching the town
for both drivers — one in a white van and
the other in a red ute.
The search was extended all over
Greymouth, including Cobden and
Blaketown, and because they had a good
description of the vehicles they were
located relatively quickly.
“ We are treating this as a very serious
attack. Any assault with a weapon,
including an axe is very, very serious,”
Mrs Aitken said.
An eyewitness to the incident made a
statement to police this morning and also
posted on his Facebook page seeing “two
guys going after each other with axes
in the middle of the street ”.
Police have appealed to hear from
anyone else who witnessed the attack.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Armed police at the scene of an axe attack in Greymouth this morning.
A cow that apparently escaped
from a slaughterhouse has led police
on a wild chase through the streets
of New York City. Police corralled
the animal in a backyard in Q ueens
after a chase that lasted more than
an hour. Footage airing on WABC-
TV showed the black bull or steer
trotting through a residential
neighbourhood with several
tranquiliser darts stuck in its hide.
The nimble bovine eluded attempts
to box it in between police vehicles
by squeezing through narrow
openings. There were no reports
of the cow causing any injuries
during the chase, though it did rip
the door off a car. WABC reported
that Skylands Animal Sanctuary
a Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey,
has offered a home for the wayward
beast. — A AP
Deputy PM visits
Deputy Prime Minister Paula
Bennett will be on the West Coast
tomorrow and Friday. “ Ms Bennett
and I will spend two days travelling
the West Coast, from Westport
to Reefton, and Greymouth to
Hokitika and Franz Josef,” National
Party list MP Maureen Pugh said.
“ Ms Bennett ’s varied ministerial
portfolios are important to a range
of West Coast communities, from
police and State Ser vices as well as
tourism and women,” Mrs Pugh
Axe attack drama
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