Home' Greymouth Star : February 23rd 2017 Contents P2
150 YEARS SINCE 1866
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Coast trophy for
kapa haka festival
A pounamu trophy representing
the tides of the West Coast has been
presented by Poutini Ngai Tahu
for competition at Te Matatini, the
national kapa haka festival, which
opens today in Hastings. The trophy
is a collaboration between the two
West Coast runanga, Makaawhio
and Ngati Waewae, and was
designed and car ved by Poutini
artists Fayne Robinson and Turi
Gibb. It has been named Te Tai-
pakarukaru o Poutini — the gentle
rippling waves of the Poutini coast.
The pounamu will be awarded to
the winner of Te Kairangi o Te Rea
a-Tuhi for written te reo excellence
in the competition, held every two
years. Te Matatini was last held in
Christchurch in 2015.
released on bail
A Marlborough man made a
brief appearance in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday as a
result of an axe attack outside the
Z ser vice station that morning.
Wiremu Tainui Reeves, 33, of
Waikawa, appeared before a
registrar and was remanded on bail
to March 7. He has been charged
with intent to injure Andrew James
Brooks by assault. Police did not
The Russian military is building a
replica of Berlin’s Reichstag building
as a playground for teenagers to
attack at a patriotic theme park.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei
Shoigu said the replica at the Patriot
Park just outside Moscow will be
smaller than life size. The images of
Soviet Army soldiers hoisting the
red flag over the Reichstag in May
1945 have been iconic in Russia, and
speaking at parliament, he added to
lawmakers’ applause that the idea
is for Yunarmia members “to storm
a specific location, not something
abstract ”. The German government
had no immediate comment on
Shoigu’s statement. The Reichstag
in central Berlin, first opened in
1894, was refurbished after German
reunification and in 1999 became the
home of the German parliament. —
Fine, morning and evening cloud
Everyone out of the pool ...
Up to 300 people — many of them
dripping wet and still in their togs —
were evacuated from the Westland
Recreation Centre last night when the
fire alarm roared into action.
“There were people playing summer
basketball, gym classes are on, as well as
swimming classes in the aquatic centre
— there were people everywhere,” centre
manager Nelia Heersink said.
Wednesday night was the second
busiest night of the week.
“The evacuation went well. We had
a fire drill the other morning when
there were only a few people around,
so last night with so many people at
the centre we were again able to see if
the process worked well — and it did,”
Mrs Heersink said.
The Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade
sent two appliances but it turned out the
alarm was due to faulty equipment.
The West Coast has missed out on
buying the Kingston Flyer steam train,
which has just been sold to a Q ueenstown
consortium, but Development West
Coast says there is another train in
Wellington which may be a possibility.
The idea of putting a steam train on
the lines as a tourist attraction has the
backing of all three West Coast mayors
and the region’s MP.
Queenstown newspaper Mountain
Scene reported the sale to local investors
The train had sat dormant for several
years without a buyer, but when Grey
District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
suggested buying it in early 2015 DWC
ruled out the possibility.
when MP Damien
O’Connor resurrected the idea two
weeks ago DWC was more open to the
DWC chief executive Chris Mackenzie
has since been investigating the
possibility, and he said today although
the Flyer opportunity had gone, they
could potentially get an identical Ab
locomotive from Wellington, rebuilt and
ready to go, complete with carriages.
“ I will follow up with the trustees next
month, whether they want us to follow
anything up,” Mr Mackenzie said.
A steam train enthusiast who can
actually drive one, Mr Mackenzie said
the Flyer’s agent had told them a sale
process was already under way and
closed yesterday. A third party was also
“ I’m disappointed in some respects for
the West Coast. While the train itself
may never have made a profit, it would
have boosted trade at food outlets,
accommodation and shops.”
Before a steam train could come to
the West Coast, it would need Kiwi
Rail approval to run on the tracks, and
it would need people to fire and drive
it. The boiler would need to be lit at
3.30am or 4am daily, so that by the time
it was on its way to, say, Westport, the
crew would need to be changed. It would
also need two drivers and staff in the
Mr O’Connor said today he was
disappointed to hear it had sold, but he
was determined to help investigate other
“ I have spoken with other people with
steam train assets, we need to re-engage
with them,” Mr O’Connor said.
Mr Kokshoorn said there was “no
point crying over spilled milk”.
“ If there’s another opportunity and
Chris with the trustees is prepared to
follow up, I’m right behind them. We
have got a lot of railway track that ’s
under-utilised, and fantastic history
“ We need to get some finance from
Development West Coast now to deliver
it. Let’s do it.”
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith was also
enthusiastic and said the tourist train
idea had “tremendous merit”.
“ I would back Mr Mackenzie.”
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said the
idea had merit, though it needed to be
carefully costed, including the running
costs and maintenance.
At one stage they had looked at a
multi-vehicle option, with an on-rail,
“There are different options available.”
Based full-time in Kingston since 1971,
the Kingston Flyer was latterly owned
by former winegrower David Bryce.
Tourism Properties.com broker Adrian
Chisholm, who listed the Flyer, would
not reveal to Mountain Scene the new
owners or what they were paying. But
the report said it was understood they
met the asking price of $2 million.
Mr Chisholm did say one option was
for the Flyer to resume tourist trips on
the 13km railway line from Kingston to
Coast stonemason etches 185 names
Greymouth stonemason Jamie
Rhodes played a pivotal role
in the $11 million Canterbury
Earthquake National Memorial,
which was officially unveiled in
Christchurch yesterday on the sixth
anniversary of the deadly quake.
Rhodes Monumental Ltd was
contracted to inscribe the marble
wall with the names of the 185
people who lost their lives on
February 22, 2011.
“The architect had specified the
depth for the engraving and I was
asked to submit a few samples.
Initially a Christchurch firm had
done some work on the site but I
was accepted and got the contract
to do the engraving,” Mr Rhodes
team effort with my staff — my
apprentice Blair Sullivan and I
were tied up for three months on
the project with the team at work
of Karyn Gorrie, Rachel my wife
and Lilly Houston all involved.”
Colouring was not used on the
28 marble slabs as the depth of the
lettering produced shadows for the
desired effect, he said.
“The depth was quite different to
what we normally do.
“ We did 98% of the engraving
at the memorial. The setting and
location is ideal. It’s peaceful even
though the memorial is in the
centre of Christchurch.”
PICTURE: Setford Photos
Visitors at the Canterbur y Earthquake National Memorial on the banks of the Avon River after the dedication and opening on the anniversary of
the February 22 Canterbur y earthquake six years ago yesterday.
Mayors mum on dumping
West Coast council leaders clammed
up today, refusing to say who voted to
get rid of Development West Coast
chairman John Sturgeon just four
months before his term ended.
Mr Sturgeon did not attend the
meeting last week but was contacted
later. He is bitterly disappointed with
The Star asked under the Official
Information Act for any e-mails,
minutes or letters from the meeting or
relating to the decision.
“The mayors and chairs forum does
not keep minutes,” regional council chief
executive Mike Meehan replied.
Buller Mayor Garry Howard has
confirmed he moved the resolution, and
although only four people attended —
Mr Howard, Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn, Westland District Mayor
Bruce Smith and West Coast Regional
Council chairman Andrew Robb — no
one will say who backed it.
Mr Kokshoorn: “It was not a vote,
(it was) a consensus. There was some
Mr Smith: “It was unanimous. To
me it was about a fresh start, about the
growth strategy coming into line. ”
Mr Howard: The decision was
reached by “consensus”.
Mr Robb: “ The mayors and chairs
is a confidential forum. The big thing is
John (Sturgeon) did an outstanding job
for the region as DWC chairman. He
deser ves to be treated with respect and
leave his post with dignity. ”
Mr Sturgeon had been due to continue
through to November as the joint council
appointee to the trust. His replacement
is expected to attend their first meeting
in July, cutting short his term by four
Mr Sturgeon could not be reached for
comment this morning.
He has held the role since November
Greymouth hotelier Tony Williams,
who stepped down at the 2010 elections
after two years. Westport chartered
accountant Frank Dooley was chairman
Wellington steam train possible
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