Home' Greymouth Star : March 2nd 2017 Contents P2
150 YEARS SINCE 1866
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racetrack ripped up
THURSDAY, MARCH 2, 2017
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Power cut hits
A major power cut on the
Transpower grid affected Dobson,
Runanga, Ngahere and Moana
this morning. Westpower said it
had restored electricity to West
Coast consumers about midday. The
cut also affected consumers from
Nelson to Timaru, including 50,000
homes in Christchurch. It knocked
out a lot of traffic lights in the city.
Transpower said it was “currently
Westland Milk Products says
it expects to take another few
weeks to conclude a review of jobs.
Shareholders were told between
30 and 60 jobs could go. Most are
employed at the Hokitika plant,
although the company said the
review would cover the Westland
group of companies — Westland
Milk Products, Westland Shanghai
and Easi Yo. Initially the changes
were due to be concluded at the
end of February, but the company
now expects it to be mid March,
as it tries to “do things correctly,” a
It is the sort of thing you’d hope
people would grow out of, but it
turns out peeing in the pool is still
common practice. There are 75
litres of urine in the average public
pool, which can be harmful to
people’s health, according to new
research. Scientists have discovered
a new way to track this disgusting
habit, which involves measuring
how sweet the water is. Scientists
tested the sweetness of the water
by testing for an artificial sweetener
called acesulfame potassium. By
identifying a compound that was
consistently present in urine the
team could estimate how much
urine was in the water sample. The
researchers tested more than 250
water samples from 31 actively used
pools and hot tubs in two Canadian
cities, and more than 90 samples of
clean tap water used to initially fill
the basins. — Daily Mail
Few showers turn to rain
Greymouth Star On-line
Canterbury farmer and businessman
Peter Morrison is the new chairman
of Westland Milk Products.
On his second day in the job, he says
it will be next season before the payout
is back to where it should be.
Outgoing chairman Matt O’Regan
announced in October his intention
to step down on March 31.
The company has been struggling
to turn around a low payout and has
come under severe criticism from
shareholders. It is currently cutting
job numbers in an attempt to get back
Mr Morrison, a current director,
has been a Westland Milk Products
shareholder since the co-operative
started as an independent dairy
company in 2001, supplying milk
from farm properties in Canterbury
and the West Coast. He was first
elected to the board in 2015.
Mr Morrison today acknowledged
that Westland had performed poorly
in the previous financial year and that
its payout was below the break-even
line for shareholders and less than
competitive than other companies.
However, he said the payout was
on the way back up again and, while
it would take more than one season
to get back to a more competitive
position, he was confident in the
“ We have a very strong and capable
new chief executive in Toni Brendish,
and she is backed by a very able team.
The right people are there with the
skills and dedication to get the job
done and the board is now putting the
right governance structures in place
to ensure we have a company with an
exciting future,” he said.
“ Westland will provide shareholders
with a competitive and sustainable
Ms Brendish had enacted a
positive plan for change that was
and considerable savings, and a
shareholder-led governance review
was also under way.
Mr Morrison acknowledged that
while Westland was going through
a period of change, it was having to
make some tough calls to ensure its
structure and systems were right for
‘growing’ the company ’s future.
“It will be the 2017-18 season before
we have got our payout back to where
shareholders need it to be,” he said.
“But shareholders will be rewarded
for their patience and ongoing
support. I know that they are with us
on this and willing to give this board,
our managers and their teams the
time we need to turn things around
and build a positive and sustainable
Deputy chairwoman Katie Milne
was elected to the Westland board in
2016. She farms at Rotomanu.
Canterbury farmer new head of Westland Milk Products
West Coast student numbers at Tai
Poutini Polytechnic have jumped by
almost 20% this year as a result of strong
student interest in popular programmes
and new courses that target industry
West Coast general manager Teresa
Schwellnus said the boost in enrolments
was great news for the polytechnic and
the wider West Coast community.
“Student enrolments at our Greymouth
and Westport campuses have increased
from 166 in 2016 to 198 this year. That ’s
a 19.2% increase and it ’s great news; not
only are we helping local people in to jobs,
we are also making sure we are delivering
the graduates that busy West Coast
businesses need,” Dr Schellnus said.
However, they were still mindful of the
challenges facing the polytechnic.
In December, the Government
appointed a Crown manager to the
polytechnic, citing a significant financial
deficit and declining student numbers.
Dr Schellnus said the polytechnic
needed to keep encouraging more
students to sign up to its programmes
to ensure its future sustainability. It was
working closely with the community and
industry to make sure it was delivering
students who would fill the skills gaps in
“ For example, our redeveloped 2017
cookery programme will turn out chefs
that West Coast businesses are crying out
for. We also know that graduates of our
agriculture, business and IT, automotive
and engineering programmes are in
The West Coast Trades Academy was
more popular than ever before, with high
school students lining up to take part.
The outdoor education, cookery, jade
and hard-stone car ving and agriculture
programmes are all full for 2017.
Chief executive Alex Cabrera said 2017
would see the polytechnic focused on
ensuring West Coast residents had access
to tertiary level vocational education and
training that was effective, sustainable
and of a high quality.
“ We are committed to delivering
training that meets the needs of both our
students and industry. ”
Students interested in business,
computing and IT, food and beverage and
tourism programmes can also sign up for
mid-year programmes starting in July.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Tai Poutini Polytechnic kitchens are buzzing again with New Zealand Certificate
in Cookery (level 4) students — Maggie Butcher, front, Marion Digby-Smith, Lee
Kaio, general manager Dr Teresa Schwellnus, Donna McLaughlan, chef tutor Paul
Sullivan and Bracken Hall.
A West Coast caregiver who
belatedly admitted causing the
death of a toddler after shaking it so
violently in frustration that the child
immediately went blind and resulted
in severe brain injuries, was yesterday
jailed for five and a half years.
The caregiver appeared before
Justice Williams for sentencing in
the High Court in Greymouth.
Justice Williams made a continued
order for interim name suppression,
including details of the caregiver’s
relationship to the child and other
factors which might lead to their
identification, and that of the child,
until the outcome of another court
case is known.
The jailed caregiver is due to defend
the other charge, also suppressed,
in a court hearing due to begin in
Christchurch on April 11.
Last month in the High Court
at Greymouth the caregiver
pleaded guilty to the lesser charge
of manslaughter in relation to
the child’s death after the Crown
vacated an earlier murder charge by
Yesterday, the Crown submitted a
sentencing starting point of seven to
eight years jail based on similar cases.
The caregiver’s defence lawyer
Marcus Zintl submitted that
the defendant at the time of the
incident was “overwhelmed” and “ill
equipped” to deal with a crying child
who would not settle.
The defendant was remorseful and
the sentence starting point should be
between five-and-half and six years,
Mr Zintl submitted.
statements were read to the court
about the life-changing effects of the
toddler’s death, including prolonged
grief, the effect on other children
and an over whelming loss for the
Deep anger at the potential of a
young life cut short was also read out
in the court.
It included statements from close
relatives of the child reading in
person their statements, and directly
addressing their feelings to the
caregiver prior to judgment.
The caregiver was allowed to sit in
the dock for much of the sentencing
submission and was impassive
The media was granted permission
to photograph the defendant for
future publication when the interim
suppression orders related to the case
are lifted, but when ordered to stand
for sentence the caregiver covered
Coast baby killer jailed for five years
A body stuck in ice on Fox Glacier
for possibly 40 years was discovered
A tramper discovered the body in
a crevasse near the Chancellor Hut,
alongside the upper glacier, about
Police said the body had been there
for “some time”. A team was heading
to the scene to retrieve the body, try
to establish its identify and notify
next of kin.
West Coast police prevention
manager Paul Watson said a backpack
was also found with the body.
Because there were no recent
reports of people missing in that area
it was likely to be someone who had
been missing for 30 to 40 years, and
“finally spat out from the ice”.
“Currently we are going through
historic missing person records.”
Police would know more when they
reached the body, Mr Watson said.
Glacier Country tourism group
chairman Rob Jewell was unaware of
the discovery of the body.
“In fact, I have been here for 10
years and don’t recall anyone going
missing in that area,” Mr Jewell said.
Glacier gives up body held on ice
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Roger Morgan, from Readylawns in Christchurch, levels the Makura Croquet Club playing surface in preparation for sowing grass later today.
Mr Morgan, who has been contracted by Fairhall Agricultural, said it was all going nicely now with “perfect” weather. The repairs to the green have
been delayed over the past 18 months, and croquet club secretary-treasurer Margaret Glasson said they were both relieved and excited to see work
progressing. It would still be “quite a while” before the club was back playing at its High Street base, though. “ We are lucky we have been able to
continue playing croquet at our temporary base at the Greymouth RSA, which has kept the club going. Had we not had anywhere to go while we
waited for the work to be done we would have lost members, so we are grateful to the RSA for letting us move in.”
Croquet green restored — finally
Scratch and reveal for your chance to win!
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