Home' Greymouth Star : March 24th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Friday, March 24, 2017
Police probe thefts
South Westland police are
following “strong lines of inquiry”
after a spate of thefts in the Okarito,
Lake Mapourika, Franz Josef Glacier
and Fox Glacier areas in the past
week. Senior sergeant Brent Cook,
of Greymouth police, said the public
had helped with some information
since yesterday and police were
following that up. “Hopefully we’ ll
get on top of it.”
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter was called to Westport
this morning to uplift a medical
patient who was transferred to
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Ocean Odyssey, Genesis IV, two
Greymouth vessels. Departures:
Calypso, Endurance, Q uo Vadis,
Stella Marie, one Greymouth vessel.
In port: Jay Elaine, Ocean Odyssey,
Blue Seas I, Genesis IV, Tigerzeye,
19 Greymouth vessels. Expected
departures: Jay Elaine, Ocean
Odyssey, today. Expected arrivals:
Cook Canyon, Galatea II, Monday.
Council slashes budgets for 3.45% rise
of the Westport News
Inangahua Junction is struggling
to cope with extra tourists since the
General Store owner Jacqui Morrow
“I ’ve got 2000 pins that go in my world
map and I haven’t got one left. That ’s
since the first of December. We are 50%
up on our normal intake.”
The township struggled to provide
toilet and rubbish disposal facilities for
the tourist influx, Mrs Morrow said.
The store provided a toilet for
customers, but other people were using it.
Tourists were also using a toilet in the
Inangahua Hall, which Mrs Morrow
said she and her husband kept clean at
no cost to the Buller District Council.
She said the toilet had become smelly
and she believed the septic tank needed
The council recently installed $212,000
public toilets at Springs Junction, funded
by the Government ’s regional mid-sized
tourism facilities grant fund.
Mrs Morrow said ratepayers were
footing the bill for substantial operating
costs. She questioned why the new
toilets were not coin operated.
Mrs Morrow said her shop had also
been paying for the disposal of visitors’
rubbish and had asked the council in
December to provide some free rubbish
The council had recently supplied
about 40 rubbish bags. They were much
appreciated, but the peak tourist season
Council assets and infrastructure
manager Mike D uff said the council
had asked North Canterbury Transport
Infrastructure Recovery to provide
temporary toilet facilities for Inangahua,
funded from the Kaikoura earthquake
The council’s request recognised the
higher traffic volumes along State
highway 6 while the State highway 1
diversion was operating and that traffic
worsened when State highway 65 was
The request was in response to
travellers using the store toilet, he said.
He was unaware people were also using
the Inangahua Hall toilets.
Tiny town struggling
with tourist influx
of the Hokitika Guardian
The Westland District Council yesterday
slashed budgets across the board to reach a
3.45% rate increase.
That is half the rate rise signalled in the
Councillors went through budget items
line by line yesterday for a final decision on
what would make it into the draft annual
plan, which is due to be signed off by June
The biggest debate was within the assets
budgets and the ongoing cost of an outside
contractor to review the assets, at a cost of
$73,500 for the coming year.
Chief executive Tanya Winter said they
were two years into a three-year confirmed
However, Mayor Bruce Smith said he was
“ uncomfortable” with the cost and asked
what the council so far had to show for it.
None of the contractors had even visited
an asset to date, he said.
“ My concerns is, how do re-evaluate
something when you’ve never seen it?”
Cr Durham Havill said it would come
under scrutiny as part of his committee’s
focus looking at all the contracts within the
“I want to see what they have produced up
to now and see whether it’s accurate at this
point in time,” Cr Havill said.
However, staff told councillors the process
had been audited and pointed out the work
was a legal requirement.
Corporate planner Karen Jury said the
work was a minimum requirement of a
standard set by Audit New Zealand.
Cr David Carruthers said he could
understand the advantages in lowering rates
by making cuts, but in this instance the
council did not want to “shoot itself in the
Cr Helen Lash asked where it would leave
them if they stopped now, two years in.
Ms Jury said the council would still have
to do the exercise, and it had to be done by
an external party.
“ What we are looking at is a minimum
If the council broke the contract — which
could incur costs — it would still have to
employ another external party down the
Ms Winter said the contractor had been
instructed not do any further work until the
committee had reviewed its contract.
The table settled on $50,000 for spending
on consultants within the assets department
and $25,000 for condition assessments and
another $25,000 for data collection.
A total of $25,000 (down from $50,000)
was also approved for following up on
engineering advice related to seismic
assessments including the Hokitika
Museum and Centennial Pool, as well as
tender and contracting work related to the
Franz Josef oxidation ponds — for which a
location is still to be decided.
A proposed $35,000 in the budget for
consultants use within the human resources
sector was cut to $10,000 to cover staff costs
such as training and union negotiations.
Ms Winter said the $35,000 was already
the lowest it had been in a number of years,
down from $116,000. A lot of the budget
Some councillors suggested trimming it to
$20,000, but Cr Havill pushed for a further
decrease to $10,000.
“ We need to look at every aspect of how
council is run and it ’s another area that we
can cut back on significantly,” he said.
They also decided to cut back work
associated with an overdue review of the
District Plan, from $105,000 to $60,000,
noting the future work with other West
Coast councils on a regional plan, and a
focus on the issues troubling developers,
such as car parking and signs.
That tweaking cut the budget from what
would have been a 4.82% rate increase to
Cr Latham Martin said it was the lowest
rates forecast in the three years he had been
on the council.
However, Cr Des Routhan said they could
have done more.
“ I have a view that we tried hard but we
could have tried harder,” Cr Routhan said.
Most of the rate strike was the continued
unwinding of the council’s austerity
depreciation funding policy, which equated
“This is the last year that this is taken into
account,” the mayor said.
“ Without that we would have been
looking at a 0.6% increase. ”
Meanwhile, projects put forward by the
community for inclusion in the coming
year’s budget were all rejected — creation
of a cycleway north of Hokitika to Keogans
Road, and sealing of the Ross Cemetery
road and Grimmond Avenue near the
proposed Chinese Miners Memorial
Projects that carry over from last
year include the $3.5m stormwater
improvements, Franz Josef wastewater
treatment plant upgrade and upgrade of the
Whitcombe Valley Road, near the Hokitika
(Opposite Dixon Park)
Phone 768 0370
for 24 Hour Service.
Dr Amber Bone
Ph 768 0250
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family, and a much
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to her many nieces and
nephews and extended
families. Special thanks
to all the wonderful
people at Fitzroy who
have cared for Nola over
the past year. In lieu of
flowers donations please
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Messages for Nola's
family may be addressed
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Christchurch 8545. The
service for Nola in
Christchurch will be
held in our Crematorium
Chapel, 65 Vickerys
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row (Saturday) at 10am.
A memorial service to
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Private scrutiny for ‘cake’ contracts
of the Hokitika Guardian
A decision around a controversial
contract to bring the Kumara and
Whataroa water supplies up to
standard was moved behind closed
doors at the Westland District
Council meeting yesterday.
The contracts, with a combined
value of $410,000, have drawn
national media attention after
they were awarded in January to
Auckland-based Techno Economic
Ser vices (TES) — a cake decorating
The council has been in the
spotlight for its dealings with the
Indian-owned company, which
was last year also awarded an
$8.5m contract for a proposed
new sewerage plant at Franz Josef
Glacier, although that one did not
Council chief executive Tanya
Winter said yesterday the Franz
Josef contract had not actually been
However, the two water contracts,
currently on hold, were still
Mayor Bruce Smith said yesterday
the council had taken legal advice
and was following a process.
He expected a final decision
would be made early next month.
Mr Smith said the delay would
not affect the $285,000 Ministry of
Health drinking-water subsidy that
the council was in line to receive for
the Kumara upgrade.
Neither plant currently meets
national drinking-water standards.
Kumara was recently on a ‘boil
water’ notice for almost a month.
Mr Smith said he understood the
council had until June 30 to let the
contracts and get under way with the
work in order to retain the subsidy.
The two options the council now
faced were either sticking with
the successful tenderer, (TES), or
alternatively going back to tender.
Five contractors — Filtec
Ltd, Process Flow Ltd, Ser vice
Engineers Ltd, Southwater, and
Techno Economic Ser vices — were
shortlisted from an initial list of 49
for the water contracts.
TES tendered the lowest price at
$459,000, which it then dropped
by $57,000. It scored the lowest
in experience and track record
(15%) but the highest overall at
85% based on a mixture of design,
management and price.
of the Westport News
Police have examined CCTV
footage from Palmerston Street,
in Westport, but found no trace of
missing woman Leanne Ryall.
Sergeant Malcolm Lamont
said police checked footage from
cameras on both sides of the
northern end of the street.
He said there had been no further
developments in solving the mystery
of Ms Ryall’s disappearance. It was
possible police might bring a dog in
to help with the search.
Ms Ryall has now been missing
for seven days.
CCTV yields no clues on missing woman
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