Home' Greymouth Star : March 27th 2017 Contents Hokitika rider wins
Le Race again
MONDAY, MARCH 27, 2017
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A stitch in time
at Moonlight P5
of the Hokitika Guardian
after bar row
A 54-year-old Greymouth
woman was arrested for allegedly
assaulting a bartender at the
Greymouth Workingmen’s Club on
Saturday night. West Coast police
prevention manager senior sergeant
Paul Watson said the woman
was subsequently charged with
assaulting a police officer, common
assault, possession of cannabis and
possession of cannabis utensils. She
was due to appear in court today.
Other weekend arrests included a
Westport man who was released on
bail on Saturday morning after a
domestic-related incident on Friday
night. A 22-year-old Greymouth
man was arrested in town on
Saturday night for breaching bail
conditions. He was kept in custody
until this morning when he was due
to appear in court.
Wanted man caught
at Children’s Day
Vigilant police officers helping
out at the Children’s Day carnival
in Hokitika yesterday nabbed a
young Hokitika man wanted on
an outstanding arrest warrant. The
24-year-old was arrested for failing
to appear in court, and had been
avoiding the police — but he then
ran into them at Cass Square for
A 17-year-old boy from
Greymouth was among two drink-
drivers caught on the West Coast
over the weekend. The youngster
blew 529mg when he was stopped
early on Saturday; there is zero
tolerance for drivers under-20. A
53-year-old Hokitika man stopped
at Kumara on Saturday night blew
Fine, light winds
A Canadian provincial
government has withdrawn a
man’s personalised licence plate,
saying Lorne Grabher’s surname is
offensive to women. Grabher said
he put his last name on his licence
plate decades ago as a gift for his
late father’s birthday. Grabher
recently learned that the Registrar
of Motor Vehicles would be taking
away his custom ‘Grabher’ plate
after they received a complaint from
a woman who regarded the plate as
being ‘hateful towards women’.
— Daily Mail
DHB whistleblower berated
A West Coast District Health Board
member who drove a suicidal man to
the mental health unit at Grey Base
Hospital after waiting two and a half
hours for hospital staff to turn up at
his home, today called on the board
chairwoman to resign after a “secretive
meeting” at which he was browbeaten
for speaking out.
The mentally unwell man turned
up on the Cobden doorstep of Peter
Neame, a retired psychiatric nurse and
elected DHB member, a few weeks
The West Coast has the highest
suicide rate in the country.
Mr Neame raised the matter on
Friday during the public section of
the monthly board meeting, but it
received little discussion.
Without directly addressing his
concerns, chief executive David
Meates said he was “aware of some
(mental health) figures showing other
encouraging signs” but it was too early
to talk publicly about them.
However, it has now emerged the
matter was later raised in private, after
the public meeting.
Today, Mr Neame hit back with
an open letter to board chairwoman
Jenny Black, from Nelson, saying that
instead of dealing with the important
issues he had raised, particularly the
need for immediate care for suicidal-
mentally ill people, “you used this
meeting to spend at least 20 minutes
conducting a tirade of personal
“I was told that I was ‘grandstanding’,
‘ breaching standing orders’, ‘disloyal’,
‘c ausing disunity’, ‘bringing the board
Mr Neame said to the best of his
knowledge no one took minutes “of
this secretive meeting”.
He maintained it was his democratic
right to speak out.
As an elected board member he had
a duty to bring the concerns of the
West Coast public to the board and
make them public “should I see fit”.
Mr Neame said not one board
member had dealt with the real issues.
“ I am not an obsequious seat
He said the chairwoman Ms Black
and her deputy (Development
West Coast chief executive) Chris
Mackenzie had “abused your public
Both were ministerial appointments
and should resign.
Ms Black declined to respond when
contacted by the Greymouth Star this
During the public section of the
meeting, Mr Meates said the suicide
figures on the Coast needed to be
“really, really carefully interpreted”
without any “catastrophising”.
Speaking more generally, he said no
medical system in the world could
meet all the needs all of the time.
However, the West Coast health
ser vice was “ light years from where it
was” in terms of sustainability, quality
and reliability, Mr Meates said.
Mr Neame disagreed: “Suicidal
patients once could walk into hospital
and have care right away”.
Mr Meates replied: “Have we got a
way to go? Yes. Have we come a long
way? You bet. ”
Board member Michelle Lomax
noted the health targets reported
publicly each quarter did not carry
any mental health targets.
The new Westland District Council
has forged ahead with adopting the
annual plan and budgets for the next
year — without any public input.
The decision was made at the council
meeting on Thursday.
Mayor Bruce Smith said not consulting
the public would save both time and
Council strategy and communication
adviser Karen Jury said the council was
not required to go out and consult on
the contents of its draft 2017-18 annual
plan because it did not differ from the
long-term plan, already approved.
“At this stage, council has not made
any significant changes to the work
programme set out in year three of its
long-term plan. As a result, the council
does not have anything it needs to
consult with the public about,” Ms Jury
“A number of councils across New
Zealand have made the decision to
fundamentally keep to their long-term
plan programmes and therefore not
consult this year,” she said.
Mr Smith said the council was
forecasting to “spend nothing like what
was originally consulted”.
Councillors debated final areas of the
budget and plan last Thursday in the
Tweaks to the departmental budgets,
mainly related to spending on
consultants, have led to a forecast 3.45%
overall increase in the rate take.
Roofing workshop on the move
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Ellery’s director Clark Ellery oversees the relocation of the long-run roofing machine from central Greymouth to South Beach, after 50 years on
Mawhera Quay. The Ellery’s sheet metal and roofing operation is now based in the former Fergusons Earthmoving premises by the overhead bridge.
Mr Ellery said the business had outgrown the workshop on the quay and the new facility was ideal in every aspect. “After we purchased the building
we have been busy behind the scenes preparing it for the shift. We have a new concrete floor throughout, new walls and lighting. The area is four times
the size and will allow further expansion. It is a larger, safer and more pleasant working experience for staff and our customers.”
Council tests views on native logging
Mostly virgin indigenous forests
owned by the Grey District Council
could some day be logged, depending
on the outcome of public consultation
currently under way.
A submission process is due to close
The council owns a large area of mixed
podocarp forest on Mount Buckley
behind Dobson and has pockets
elsewhere, including a significant stand
fronting Lake Brunner, at Iveagh Bay.
The Iveagh Bay forest has already been
mooted by Mayor Tony Kokshoorn as
suitable for a possible land swap option
with the Department of Conser vation
for a piece of stewardship land south
of Punakaiki to potentially expand the
The council decided at the end of
last year to begin consultation for a
sustainable har vest policy for its forests
after Forever Beech approached it
about gaining the timber rights.
Pretorius said a number of submissions
had already been received.
The process was sparked by the
Forever Beech approach for Mount
Buckley but there was also other
interest in council-owned forests.
Mr Pretorius underlined the
consultation was on the principle
of managing sustainable harvest
possibilities rather than identifying
specific pieces of forested land
managed by the council to be logged.
“ We’re not talking logging in a
specific forest ... we know that logging
as a subject is a controversial subject.
We wanted to know how the public
feel about it,” Mr Pretorius said.
Indigenous forests owned by
the council have in the main been
untouched until now.
The consultation document published
on the council website notes there will
be a strong focus on sustainability and
environmental accountability through
A full report including a summary
of feedback received and proposed
direction will go to the council meeting
in April or May.
Submission forms are available
on line and can be e-mailed, posted
or hand delivered to the council
chambers by this Friday.
Annual plan adopted without consultation
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