Home' Greymouth Star : March 7th 2017 Contents P2
150 YEARS SINCE 1866
Blackball poet comes
home for launch
final at Kumara
TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2017
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A magnitude 4.2 earthquake was
recorded 25km south of Arthur’s
Pass at 11.09am today. This was in
the same location as a swarm of
recent earthquakes. Today ’s quake
was 16km deep. Just before 1am,
a small magnitude 2.8 jolt was
recorded 25km south of Westport.
Last call for local
People wanting a say on how West
Coast councils should be structured
are running out of time. So far, just
five submissions have been received.
In August, the Local Government
Commission announced it would
push ahead and consider changing
the councils, after feedback showed
an “appetite for change”. Combining
the Grey and Westland districts,
or all four councils, are among the
options on the table. The deadline
for ‘alternative reorganisation
applications’ — essentially other
proposals for change — close on
March 15. “ The commission has so
far received five responses to its call
for alternative applications or other
change proposals to West Coast
local government arrangements,”
commissioner Janie Annear said
today. An alternative application
must include a description of the
type of local government change
or changes proposed, a map or
description of the affected area, what
the changes are seeking to achieve
and what improvements would
result from these changes. More
information about the process can
be found at www.lgc.govt.nz or in
hard copy at council offices, libraries
and some iSites throughout the West
After sporting what appeared to
be a new suit and tie during his
joint session of Congress last week,
President Donald Trump went
back to wearing his favourite red tie
on Friday that appears to be held
together with sticky tape. Thanks to
strong gusts of wind that flipped his
tie into the air while disembarking
Air Force One, once again it seems
as though the president opted to
use pieces of sticky tape to keep the
bright red tie together.
— Daily Mail
All Chromebook children’s laptops at
Paroa School had to be shut down after
adult content advertisements popped up
on a number of the computers, the school
Most Greymouth primary schools have
progressively moved to Chromebooks for
senior pupils since last year.
At Paroa, “adult” advertisements were
pushed on to the children’s computers.
Principal Judy Elvidge said this
morning the “inappropriate malware”
had attached to a number of school
“The school responded immediately
once we became aware of the situation,”
Ms Elvidge said.
All Chromebooks were shut down
and an IT technician, police and the
Cyber Crime Unit then investigated the
problem, which had been identified and
“ We can confirm that it did not relate
to an individual or any inappropriate use
of a device,” Ms Elvidge said.
Pupils would be able to use their
Chromebooks again after they had been
updated and rebooted.
“The well-being of children at our
school is our primary concern and we are
doing everything we can to ensure safe
access to their digital devices.”
Greymouth police could not be reached
for comment but the police media centre
said it was made aware of an issue with
the Paroa School internet yesterday.
Police spoke to the school and offered
advice, but no further action was required
at this stage.
If a child comes across inappropriate
material on-line, Netsafe recommends to
Try not to assign blame about how
they came across the material.
Reassure them that it is not their
Do not trivialise it by saying that the
material may not be real (it is important
to deal with their feelings first).
Provide comfort and assurance.
Normalise their response, e.g.,
‘ It’s normal to be scared/angry/upset/
Do not over-react by taking away
the technology — this will make them
less likely to talk to you if something else
happens and it can make them feel like
they are to blame.
Make sure that they know you are
glad that they came to you about it.
For tips on everything from passwords
to cyber bullying, and keeping safe
on Snapchat and Facebook refer to
New highway 80% complete
The two-year, $22 million
realignment of State highway 73 at
Arthur’s Pass is now 80% complete,
eliminating the narrow, twisting
section of road east of the village.
The New Zealand Transport
Agency said today a wet alpine
summer meant the entire project
would be completed by the end of
summer 2017-18 .
The section between Greyney ’s
Shelter and Rough Creek, on the
edge of the village, was initially
expected to be finished by the end
of this month.
NZTA highways manager
Colin Knaggs said while they
were disappointed with the delay,
contractors had worked hard to get
to this point.
“As people on the West Coast
know, it has been a very wet
summer and this has created delays
in the final surfacing of the road.
With winter approaching, the
plan is to lay a temporary seal over
the unfinished sections. This will
protect the project over the winter
months,” Mr Knaggs said.
“ We will lay the final seal and
put the finishing touches on the
project when the weather allows, in
The Mingha Bluff project
involved realigning and widening
a 5km section of highway. Tight
corners were removed to give
drivers better visibility, and dips
and hollows were smoothed. The
railway line has been realigned,
bulk earthworks built, new culverts
and the majority of retaining walls
have been built.
The section from the southern
end of the project, at Greyney’s
Shelter through to just north of
Halpin Creek bridge has been
sealed, along with the section
between Snow Creek and the
Rough Creek bridge.
Halpin Creek to Snow Creek
remains under construction at
the moment, and contractors are
focusing on constructing retaining
walls after which the new road will
Guard rails will then be installed
along the entire road, along
with road marking and minor
NZTA said there had been no
archaeological finds during the
work, but it had collected the old
‘mile markers’ along the route.
These were currently in storage
while the agency decided what to
do with them. They are not the
original markers, which were made
from limestone, but concrete ones
dating from the 1950s.
PICTURE: NZ Transport Agency
A completed section of the newly realigned highway, looking towards Arthur’s Pass village.
Tranz Alpine to
resume on March 22
‘Inappropriate malware’ cleared off Chromebooks
The Tranz Alpine train ser vice to
Greymouth is set to resume on March
22 after repairs to the fire-damaged
Midland Line were completed faster
Bookings for the resumed ser vice have
“ We are pleased that we are once again
able to offer Kiwis and overseas visitors
one of the world’s most spectacular scenic
journeys,” Kiwi Rail group manager sales
and commercial Alan Piper said.
“The ser vice is also significant to the
West Coast economy — Tourism West
Coast has estimated that the Tranz
Alpine brings in excess of $15 million a
year into the region,” Mr Piper said.
The rail line was badly damaged when
a fire swept through 300ha of scrub
between Cass and Springfield over
Waitangi Weekend, damaging several
bridges along the route, including one
where 12 wooden piles needed to be
Kiwi Rail had been expecting to reopen
the line in early April, but will now open
it to freight ser vices on March 20, and
is taking bookings for the Tranz Alpine
from March 22.
“O ur staff have worked incredibly hard
to open the line earlier than expected,”
group general manager network ser vice
Todd Moyle said.
“This is especially impressive because
of the difficulty of accessing the sites
where the work is being carried out.”
Punakaiki makeover suggested
Punakaiki village could be
transformed with better parking, a
loop road, underpass, and even a spa.
The Department of Conser vation
yesterday released a concept plan
that gives the first glimpse of what is
on the cards for the bustling tourist
A good part of the concept plan
addresses parking, by proposing to
shift bus parking to a loop road to
run behind the present buildings on
the main road, though NZTA would
need to agree.
It also throws up fun ideas such
as lighting up the Pancake Rocks
at night, a spa, zipline, and outdoor
A lookout behind the visitor centre
is also suggested, along with the
potential for an underpass beneath
the State highway to connect with the
Pancake Rocks walking track.
The existing car park to the north
will be extended, and the State
highway will have new parking, drop-
off areas and footpaths.
At the heart of the plan is a central
landscape area with walkways
connecting commercial developments,
and a central gathering area and
outdoor dining areas. A pedestrian
and cycle route could link with the
beach and connect with the proposed
Pike 29 ‘great walk’ and mountain
bike track to the south.
DOC Buller conservation services
manager Bob Dickson said the
department had been asked to
do the design work as part of the
Government ’s West Coast Regional
This year tourist numbers are
expected to reach 500,000 visitors.
Consultants Boffa Miskell talked
with key stakeholders and business
owners at Dolomite Point to come up
with the plans.
“This is quite distinct from any
urban design work relating to
village expansion or community hall
aspirations, which is a phase two
and resides primarily with the Buller
District Council,” Mr Dickson said.
DOC would not be constructing a
new visitor centre but was working
with another party on the possibility
of them investing at the site and
DOC becoming a tenant.
“The concept, if accepted by the
West Coast Regional Growth Study
governance group, could lead to
a future funded feasibility study.
This would offer opportunities for
wider community and stakeholder
consultations, and design work. ”
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