Home' Greymouth Star : April 1st 2017 Contents SINCE 1866
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WEST COAST FEATURE
30 years of DOC on the Coast
SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 2017
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cyclone heads for
After thrashing Australia, what is
left of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie
is forecast to slowly move across the
Tasman Sea to soak the West Coast.
Niwa forecaster Ben Noll said it
would slide towards the South
Island on Wednesday. The storm
would be both be slow to approach
and depart because a strong area of
blocking high pressure — in the
shape of a banana — will stretch
from Tasmania to the southern
Tasman Sea and to the east of New
Zealand. Tropical moisture from
the Coral Sea and Pacific Islands
is expected join together to create
an atmospheric river of moisture
flowing toward New Zealand,
bumping up against the high
pressure system to the south of the
Clocks go back
Remember to put your clocks
BACK one hour before you go to
bed tonight. Daylight saving ends
at 2am tomorrow. Enjoy the extra
Rain easing, southerly wind later
An Idaho motorist said a Bigfoot
sighting caused her to crash her car
last Wednesday. The woman, who
was not identified, told the Latah
County Sheriff ’s Office that she
saw a Sasquatch chasing a deer
on a stretch of US-95 outside of
Potlatch. She said the creature was
“shaggy” and between 7 and 8 feet
tall. The woman checked her mirrors
to see the Bigfoot, but as her eyes
re-adjusted to the road she hit
the deer. The woman drove to the
sheriff ’s office to report the incident.
Officers did not find any evidence of
Bigfoot at the scene of the crash.
— Huffington Post
New mental health unit planned
The West Coast District Health
Board has started planning for a new
mental health facility in Greymouth
to replace the current unit attached to
Grey Base Hospital.
In May 2014, when former health
minister Tony Ryall confirmed
funding for the new Greymouth
Hospital, he also committed to later
funding a new mental health unit.
“ In addition to the $67 million,
there will be $1 million for demolition
costs for a new car park opening in
2016, and further funding for the
development of the in-patient mental
health facility, which will commence
in 2017,” Mr Ryall said at the time.
Since then, the new hospital cost has
risen to $77.8m.
For now, the mental health unit, in
the former McBrearty maternity ward
at the south end of the old hospital
site, will remain, as will the Kahurangi
dementia unit next door. Most of the
main hospital buildings will be pulled
down, including Parfitt Ward at the
northern end of the site.
Since Mr Ryall’s announcement,
there has been no substantial update
on the mental health building.
The closure of Kowhai Manor
rest home yesterday has prompted
speculation that that hillside facility
could be used, however the West
Coast District Health Board noted
that it was privately owned.
The Ministry of Health referred
questions to the DHB.
West Coast DHB interim general
Wheble, said the board had until 2020
to bring to life new mental health
facilities for Greymouth.
It was not viable to bring the
current facilities up to new building
standards due to the level of seismic
Funding for new mental health
facilities was allocated in the board’s
current annual plan, however the
focus at the moment was “on-time
completion” of the new Grey Base
Hospital and integrated family health
centre in 2018.
“There are a range of options and
choices to be considered as part of a
wider campus master plan for Grey,
and a new home for mental health
ser vices will be considered as part of
that process,” Mr Wheble said.
“This planning work is due to start
over the next few months.”
The plan shows the DHB has set
aside $5m for a mental health facility.
Catering a family affair
With one son profoundly deaf and
the other autistic, Blackball couple
Denise and Richard Kilpatrick have
overcome their employment barriers by
taking both on board with the family
“ Jake was deaf from birth and I think
it was going to be hard to get him
employment. He attends Greymouth
High School and has any amount of
ability once he understands what is
required,” Mrs Kilpatrick said.
“ With Liam being autistic, working
in the catering business has been a
great help for him in learning social
environment life skills. We have
worked very hard with him, and in
this his last year at school he has really
blossomed. Being autistic he takes his
job very seriously.”
Mrs Kilpatrick said their catering
business, Dragonfly Catering, not
only provided casual employment,
with a pay rate of $18 an hour, but
also gave young people an avenue to
build on their personal development,
and a grounding in the catering and
Mr Kilpatrick works for the Van
Asch School for the Deaf, and sign
language is an important part of the
family’s everyday business.
“ We take our time in showing the
staff the whole operation and what is
involved. When we bring in someone
new it is a safe environment and
everyone is there for each other. They
all work hard, clearing the tables,
doing the dishes and we teach them
all the preparation, food handling and
Dragonfly Catering is based in the
old Cobden church, where the kitchen
has been upgraded to an A grade
PICTURE: Paul McBride
The team from Dragonfly Catering — Richard and Denise Kilpatrick, left, Kyle Shaw and Jake and Liam Kilpatrick.
Council dibs on
Solid Energy will soon begin
disposing of land associated with
the Spring Creek Mine as it
prepares to close the underground
mine for good.
The Grey District Council
already has its eye on the roads for
The failed State-owned
enterprise announced recently
it was permanently closing the
Dunollie mine — mothballed five
years ago and kept ventilated with
a skeleton crew — after failing
to find a buyer. The pit will be
Solid Energy chief executive
Tony King said the sealing process
was expected to be relatively
straightfor ward and the entire
disposal could be accomplished in
three to four months.
It expected to be able to sell
most of the equipment and would
probably relinquish the mining
Mr King said while the company
could sell the mining permit he
did not expect to find a buyer.
Directly across the Seven Mile
Valley, the Rewanui incline
once the railway line to the
former Liverpool State coalmines
and Rewanui township — is on
Kiwi Rail land and is not part of
Solid Energy’s mining permit.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said he
had reiterated in a recent meeting
with Solid Energy that the
council wanted the roads left for
future recreational use.
Solid Energy had maintained
the Rewanui track for years,
including clearing a slip last year,
and now someone else would
have to do that, he said.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Spring Creek Mine above-ground infrastructure.
Councils seek single district plan for Coast
West Coast councils want to keep
their autonomy but have one district
plan for the entire West Coast, with
one set of rules for everything from
mining to housing subdivisions.
For now, they say the work is around
better aligning the existing plans.
However, a draft submission on
behalf of the four councils to the Local
Government Commission backs the
The commission is investigating
whether there are too many councils
for the small population, and if there
should be one unitary council or other
forms of amalgamation. The review was
prompted by a petition signed by 600
West Coast ratepayers.
The councils say having one district
plan across the region would make
consents more “seamless”.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said ultimately having different plans
confused the public.
“They don’t care about the borders.”
Mr Kokshoorn said it made sense
to “align as much of our activities as
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius said the Grey District
Plan was more permissive and mining,
for example, was a permitted activity.
Rules around significant natural areas
(SNAs) were also completely different
from other councils.
Westland District Mayor Bruce
Smith also supported a single plan.
“It would solve a whole lot of
problems,” Mr Smith said.
At a political level, his council was
keen to get it started.
Other joint proposals the councils
have submitted to the commission:
Unified regulatory ser vices from
consent process and compliance
monitoring to building consent work.
A shared pool of expertise, including
human resources, risk management, iwi
engagement, procurement, health and
safety and rates.
Collaborative IT systems. The
councils are already installing a
shared phone system which will make
communicating among councils easier.
A single emergency management
website will go live soon, and video
conferencing will be used to reduce the
need for travel.
The Government says all
affected parties gave approval for
Jackson Bay water exports.
Okuru Enterprises proposes
pumping water from an alpine
creek above the Arawhata River
to tankers waiting out at sea.
Green Party MP Eugenie Sage
asked in Parliament on Thursday
if New Zealanders should get
a say over whether a private
company could extract glacial
water flowing out of a national
She also asked: “Is it acceptable
that the West Coast Regional
Council repeatedly renewed
a 25-year-old consent behind
closed doors to allow Okuru
Enterprises to sell pristine water
from a national park, before it
Environment Minister Nick
Smith said the Okuru Enterprises
proposal was originally publicly
notified and submitted on when
first consented in the 1990s.
Five affected parties — the
Department of Conservation,
Fish and Game New Zealand,
local iwi, Westland District
Council and a local landowner
— had all approved the renewal.
“Given that this application has
been sitting around for about 20
years unused, there was ample
opportunity for the Member
or anybody else to be able to
submit to the regional council
that there should be limits or
some special process around such
applications,” Dr Smith said.
Greens question water plan
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SATURDAY APRIL 22, 2017
Doors open 4pm
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