Home' Greymouth Star : March 8th 2017 Contents 150 YEARS SINCE 1866
Hokitika museum building
reopens — without collection
Paroa, St Pat’s
swimming sports P8
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8, 2017
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Two bikes crash
on road-rail bridge
Two motorcyclists crashed
within minutes of each other on
the Taramakau Bridge yesterday
morning. The Greymouth Volunteer
Fire Brigade was called to the
bridge about 11am after a bike slid
at the northern approach. “ While
we were dealing with that incident
another one fell off at the other
end of the bridge,” fire chief Lee
Swinburn said. The pillion passenger
involved in the first crash suffered a
hand injury but no one else was hurt
in either mishap. Mr Swinburn said
drizzle at the time had made the
start next week
Earthworks for the $1.8 million
Greymouth town square will
get under way on Monday. The
contract for most work on the
square was awarded to Paul Smith
Earthmoving. The first part of
the contract is for the square and
groundworks. The second contract
is for the canopy, and the third for
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter made two trips from
Westport to Christchurch Hospital
yesterday, transferring patients who
required orthopaedic care. Pilot
Angus Taylor said the first call was
at 3.30pm and no sooner had they
returned to base at Greymouth
than they received another call
for a second patient transfer from
Westport to Christchurch.
Fin with light windse
A plane was forced to make
an emergency landing after an
“extremely pungent ” smell was
detected in the cockpit. The smell
is believed to have emanated from
the toilet at the front of the Spicejet
plane from Bengaluru to Delhi. It
made an unscheduled landing at
Hyderabad Airport because of the
smell, delaying all 188 passengers.
A spokesman for the airline said:
“Spicejet aircraft, operating flight
SG 192 from Bengaluru to Delhi,
had to be diverted to Hyderabad
due very foul smell from for ward
lavatory coming into the cockpit.”
The cockpit and toilet were
ventilated at Hyderabad and the
plane landed at Delhi an hour
behind schedule. They did not
give specific details as to what was
causing the smell. — Metro
Credit Union withdrawal
Credit Union South has confirmed
the closure of its last West Coast
branch, in Greymouth, from the end
of the month.
Credit Union Westland started
out in Hokitika to ser vice Seaview
Hospital staff, and later opened
branches in Greymouth, Westport
and downtown Hokitika.
Now merged with Credit Union
South, based in D unedin, the
Hokitika and Westport branches
closed several years ago, and today it
confirmed further closures in the face
of the growing use of on-line banking
and because of the small membership
numbers at five other branches,
Timaru, Oamaru, Hornby and Gore
will also close. Eighteen jobs will be
lost through the closures, including
three in Greymouth.
Credit Union will also ‘disestablish’
its Money Coaching ser vice and some
customer service roles in Nelson and
Dunedin, and plans to consolidate
its two Christchurch branches. The
Hornby branch will close at the
conclusion of its lease, in May. All
other branch closures, including
Greymouth, will be on March 31.
The closed branches will be replaced
by ATMs in Greymouth, Hornby,
Timaru, Oamaru and Gore.
Credit Union South chief executive
Tania Dickie said the banking service
had been affected by the growing
use of internet banking, which
meant “much reduced activity” in its
“This is a difficult situation for us
all and I want to pay tribute to our
staff for their outstanding work over
“ Wherever possible we will try
to find positions for staff in new
customer services roles being created
in Dunedin, Christchurch and
Credit Union South, trading as
NZCU South, is a 100% New
operative and is the third largest
credit union in the country.
Health concerns vented
PICTURE: Laura Mills
“I have nothing to gain from this meeting, I may gain some enemies,” retired Anglican minister David Hastings told a public health meeting today in Greymouth.
He called the meeting after having to wait two years for a hip replacement. “I’m not here to run down the DHB, they are the meat in the sandwich,” he said. The
Government had removed over $1 billion of health funding and, with the general election this year, it was the time to make a fuss, he said. Canterbur y and West Coast
District Health Board orthopaedics and older person health general manager Dan Coward said the West Coast board was in the top four in the countr y for
orthopaedic surgery and 68% of that orthopaedic surgery was performed in Greymouth. In the past six months, Grey Base Hospital had completed 112 orthopaedic
elective surgeries, and 32 had gone to Canterbur y, based on clinical need. There were 35 currently who had been waiting longer than four months. Mr Coward said
five surgeons visited the Coast, and the roster allowed for eight visits a month.
DNA leads police
closer to identity
of ice body
Police say they believe they now
have a fair idea on the identity of
the human remains revealed by
the Fox Glacier last Thursday.
Detective Matthew Tailby,
of Greymouth police, said
he expected a post-mortem
examination to be completed
today, after which they would try
to match up DNA collected from
the body with information police
had about missing persons in the
“ We have a pretty good idea
as to who it is, however we need
to confirm everything before we
release any information publicly,”
Mr Tailby said.
He would not say how long they
believed the body had been in the
It was recovered from the site on
Monday morning when a team
of police search and rescue staff,
alpine cliff rescue team members
and a local iwi kaumatua, who
blessed the glacier and remains,
was helicoptered in to the site.
understands the body was not
actually in a crevasse, but was on
the surface of the glacier.
The tramper who found the
body told police there was also a
backpack with it, but The Press
reported this morning there was
no sign of the pack at the scene.
The glacier moves at a pace of
about 1m a day in that area, near
Chromebook porn breach resolved
The head of the network overseeing the
rollout of Chromebooks to West Coast
schoolchildren says they are confident
there will be no more problems, after
adult content turned up on Paroa pupils’
Paroa School said yesterday all
Chromebooks had to be shut down after
adult content advertisements popped up
on a number of the computers.
Most Greymouth primary schools have
progressively moved to Chromebooks
for senior pupils since last year in
an inter-school project called Toki
Toki Pounamu head Mandy
O’Sulllivan said today that due to the
Paroa issue, the technicians had been
working to ensure N4L, the national
internet ser vice provider, had the
appropriate settings to block it from
happening in the other 12 schools on
“ We are confident this will not cause
problems for the other Toki Pounamu
schools,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.
Currently the 13 schools use the same
network provider and IT support.
At Paroa, “adult” advertisements were
pushed on to the children’s computers.
Principal Judy Elvidge said yesterday
the “inappropriate malware” had
attached to a number of school devices
but the problem had since been resolved.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges
said today work was ramping up on a
$60 million investment programme to
upgrade the alternate State highway route
(via Murchison and Springs Junction),
between Picton and Christchurch.
“The Government ’s investment in the
alternate route includes a range of road
improvements to make the route safer
and more resilient,” Mr Bridges says.
“Several sections of the route have been
widened and 36km of the route has been
resealed or repaired to help the road cope
with the increase in traffic, with a further
22km to be resealed before winter.”
Three new Bailey bridges had been
installed alongside permanent one-way
bridges at Upper Buller and Homestead
Creek west of St Arnaud, and at
Slow vehicle bays have also been
installed in several locations and speeds
have been reduced in high risk areas, with
a strong police presence.
“Traffic numbers on the route have
increased by more than four times since
the Kaikoura earthquake in November.
The Government is focused on making
the route as safe and easy to use as
possible,” Mr Bridges said.
The NZTA was now focusing on
preparing the Lewis Pass route to safely
cope with higher volumes of traffic this
winter, he said.
Other measures to improve safety along
the route include:
A short range cell site will be
installed at Boyle River next month to
improve cellphone coverage.
Tr a ffi c signals have been installed on
the one-lane Maruia Bridge to ensure
travellers in both directions can cross
Six radars measuring traffic volume
and speed have been installed along
the route. The radars also differentiate
between vehicle sizes and can determine
how many cars or larger vehicles are
travelling at any given time.
Webcams have been installed in the
above areas, along with Waipara and
Blenheim. The images are used on social
media to provide travel updates.
State highway 1 along the Kaikoura
coast is expected to be open by the end
More safety focus on ‘alternate highway’
A truck crash near Maruia early
this morning closed both lanes of
State highway 65 for seven hours,
sending Picton traffic down
the Buller Gorge and through
Police, fire and St John were
called when the truck rolled
near Rappahannock Road about
The driver, a 45-year-old man
from Christchurch was airlifted
to hospital by the Nelson-
Marlborough rescue helicopter,
suffering from arm injuries.
Two weeks ago a motorcyclist
was killed in the same area when
he crashed into a fence.
West Coast police prevention
manager sergeant Paul Watson
said there was also a crash in
the Reefton township yesterday
when two vehicles collided. Both
vehicles were written off and the
drivers sustained minor injuries.
Earlier yesterday a vehicle
crashed in the Buller Gorge.
The two occupants were taken
to Buller Hospital to be checked
Also early yesterday a car
crashed into a barrier that had just
been erected near Charleston.
Mr Watson said the driver had
sped through roadworks at Shines
Hill too quickly.
“The driver was found by
roading contractors yesterday
morning asleep in his vehicle near
where he had crashed.”
He was not injured but the car
was extensively damaged.
Truck blocks highway
The top of the south regional
tourism cluster has released a
new 2017 itinerary brochure,
suggesting where tourists can
go while the highway north of
Kaikoura remains closed.
The West Coast focus is on the
Oparara Arches, Pancake Rocks
and Punakaiki blowholes, and
International trade marketing
manager at Christchurch and
Canterbury Tourism Julia Hunt
said the new resource would help
travel agencies easily identify other
itineraries while State highway 1
was closed for rebuilding after the
November Kaikoura earthquake.
Christchurch, Hanmer Springs,
Kaikoura, Marlborough, Nelson
Tasman and the West Coast.
The new booklet will be valid
for 12 months, until the highway
north of Kaikoura reopens. It is
available in English and Chinese.
Joint tourism push
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