Home' Greymouth Star : April 8th 2017 Contents SINCE 1866
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Taramakau River pioneers celebrated
WEST COAST FEATURE
SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2017
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car park decision
may be revisited
The partnership group in charge
of building the new Greymouth
Hospital will take another look at
car parking and gravel roads on
site. Last year it was revealed that
some areas would be gravelled to
save money. The latest minutes
of the partnership group record
that “gravelled area were noted,
particularly given West Coast
weather conditions, highlighting
the need to land the right solution”.
“This item will be given further
consideration once cost pressures
Screens to contain
Screens have been installed
around the proposed town square
to contain coal tar. When the
town was still fairly young, the
roads were sealed with the by-
product from the old Greymouth
Borough Gas works. The Grey
District Council said last night this
was not an uncommon situation
and contractors in Christchurch
also dealt with the product when
repairing roads following the
region’s earthquakes. The contractor
on site in Greymouth, Paul Smith
Earthmoving Ltd, was following
comprehensive procedures, as well
as industry best practice. Coal tar is
listed as a toxic product and people
should avoid contact with it, either
on their skin or breathing it in. The
screens have been installed around
the site to contain the contaminate
within the worksite. “ Interestingly
enough, coal tar is also used in
ointments to treat conditions such
as psoriasis and alopecia,” the
council said in a statement.
Morning cloud, fine, rain later
High blood pressure strikes
fear into the hearts of many. But
consuming bananas, sweet potatoes
and spinach each day could help
to reverse the deadly condition,
scientists claim. Rich in potassium,
the fresh produce helps prevent
hypertension by balancing levels of
salt within the body. New research
shows the beneficial mineral works
in the same way as diuretics, drugs
commonly used to lower blood
pressure. However, health experts
recommend adults consume at
least 4.7g of the nutrient each day
to notice any benefit. In real terms
this is the equivalent of 11 bananas,
which each contain on average
420mg. —Daily Mail
Calls are growing louder for controls
on freedom camping on the West Coast
in the wake of another busy tourist
season that has left lay-bys ‘reeking of
toilet ’ and favourite fishing spots ruined.
A 44% increase in tourist numbers
at Franz Josef Glacier has delighted
tourism operators, but the downside has
been a corresponding increase in ‘sleeper
vans’ and rental cars without on-board
toilets, freedom camping.
“It’s been atrocious,” Peter Salter, a
tourist operator from The Bushman’s
Centre at Pukekura said of the tourist
season which is just starting to wind
everywhere, like flies,” Mr Salter, whose
business relies on freedom travellers,
“It used to be the odd one or two. Now
there’s an app they follow. They home in,
pour in and there are 10 or 12. There’s
security in numbers.”
One area they headed for was
Monument Hill near Mikonui; it now
“reeks of toilet ”.
Another area was Kakapotahi beach.
Local residents had banded together and
put a sign up, but it was pulled down.
Mr Slater said he was recently up the
relatively quiet Whataroa River when
the vehicles started to appear, park up,
and “pull out their chairs”.
Freedom camping was now a major
problem and he thought there should be
some sort of tourist arrival levy to help
deal with it as the West Coast just did
not have the infrastructure to cope with
the numbers projected.
“Council is going to have to start
whacking them,” he said.
The Westland District Council has no
restrictions at all on freedom camping.
A bylaw was drafted a few years ago but
the council backed off when threatened
with legal action by the New Zealand
Motor Caravan Association (Wings).
Few towns have fought harder than
Punakaiki to bring about change,
including a petition signed by 95% of
residents calling for a crackdown on
Craig Findlay, who runs the
campground, said problems had
He agreed with Mr Salter that when
freedom campers came together a “pack
mentality” took over.
One angler was blocked in after fishing
on the beach off McMillans Road, just
south of Punakaiki. They would not
move until he threatened to have them
towed, Mr Findlay said.
Technology had changed things.
People from America were using an app
to find where they could park. They flew
into Christchurch and drove straight to
Punakaiki, spending their first night in
the country camping for free.
Despite the plea from residents for
help from both the Buller and Grey
district councils (Punakaiki is situated
on the border between the two), nothing
Tourist numbers were forecast to
increase next year.
“There is still not resolution. Still no
change,” Mr Findlay said.
Grey District Council compliance
team leader Kevin Hebberd said freedom
camping numbers they had obser ved
were the same, or slightly higher, than
“There are a lot more private vehicles
around than two or three years ago,” Mr
They had noticed a drop-off in the
number of Wicked camper vans this
year. Last year Wicked met with a huge
public backlash over its rude slogans
plastered all over its campers.
“ We noticed (the decline) and we don’t
know why,” Mr Hebberd said.
Most infringements issued were at
the Cobden Bridge or Jellyman Park
campsites, where freedom camping
is allowed but only for self-contained
Despite being well signposted “they
just think they are not going to get
About 53% of people ticketed paid
“It’s been a very active (tourist) season
this year, a lot of campers on the road.”
In February, Franz Josef residents
acted when a freedom camping hot
spot suddenly sprang up, with up to
50 vehicles squatting for the night in a
roadside gravel pit. Eventually it had to
be closed off with a gate.
Franz Josef Community Council
chairman Graham Berry said the
Dochertys Creek layby at the foot of the
Fox Hills had become increasingly busy
Piles of toilet paper had been left
around the edge and along Dochertys
They also had reports of people
cleaning themselves in the creek with
soaps and shampoos, polluting the
‘Globe Lake’ takes shape
Some 85,000 plants are on order
as Oceana Gold continues to
rehabilitate the huge hole in the
ground left behind by the Globe
Progress open-cast mine, inland
Trans-Tasman operator Oceana
announced just before Christmas
that it was permanently closing the
already mothballed mine.
In a work plan for the year to
March 2018, filed recently with the
West Coast Regional Council, the
company says planting of beech and
manuka will cover about 13ha.
At the main pit lake, based on the
current rate of filling, it should be
full between the end of 2019 and
The smaller General Gordon Pit
has been largely backfilled and now
forms part of the access into the
Globe Progress Pit.
The Coal Adit, an adit which
was used as part of the historic
underground operation to bring
coal up through the workings to
Globe Hill from Alborn’s Coal mine,
‘daylights’ from Globe Pit down
to Devils Creek. As this is below
the proposed ‘Globe Lake’ level,
extensive work was carried out to
This year, the Devils Creek waste
rock stack will continue to be
Treatment trials for the pit water
will also be established.
Infrastructure that is associated
solely with the processing of ore may
be dismantled as part of the closure
works, although no infrastructure
necessary to the running of the
water treatment plant will be
removed in the coming year,
The Globe Progress mine pit is slowly starting to fill with water.
Council quietly ditches opening prayer
A customary prayer to start West
Coast Regional Council meetings
has been quietly dropped, although
one councillor jokingly says the
council probably needs every bit of
help it can get at this stage.
Cr Peter Ewen says dropping the
prayer is “breaking tradition” and
given what West Coast councils are up
against with the Local Government
Commission breathing down their
necks, they could probably do with a
little “divine inter vention”.
Until recently, a prayer has been
invoked at the
Clementson, of Buller, chairs the
resource management committee.
Asked by the Greymouth Star
why he no longer led the prayer
Cr Clementson said he would find
it hypocritical given he was “non-
He would be uncomfortable having
to lead it, he said.
“It wasn’t a matter of policy, it was
there in the first place. It ’s something
that ’s always been done and it came
around to my turn. ”
had suggested one of the iwi
representatives on the council would
be more appropriate person to come
up with a mihi, although nothing
had been settled.
“It ’s only my view that that would
be more appropriate than a prayer.”
Cr Ewen said the prayer had not
been said since Cr Clementson took
up the deputy chairman’s role.
“I ’m of the view we need all the
help we can get, especially the way
Coast councils are at the moment,”
“ We’re going from bad to worse. If
we can’t get divine guidance, what
can we get?”
Having the prayer or not had not
been questioned before for as long as
he had been a councillor.
Council chairman Cr Andrew
Robb said he believed the prayer at
the meeting opening was a custom
rather than a rule set down.
The internet has changed the world,
and now it is changing how staff
and patients at Grey Base Hospital
operate, with major changes afoot.
Everything from patient and
staff wifi, to electronic referrals
and prescribing, is in the pipeline,
according to meeting papers for the
West Coast District Health Board.
A contract for staff and patient
wifi has been approved, with work
expected to take a few months, after
a staff resignation delayed things.
It will allow patients to browse
the web, do e-mail and message
friends, and also to Facetime or
Skype families unable to visit them
The staff wifi wireless network is
already up in some areas and patient
wifi is now imminent.
The board said it has also been
going through a procurement process
for a patient portal, which will allow
patients to access some of their
records and potentially allow them
to self-book appointments with their
Electronic prescribing is also being
considered but costs are higher than
The board says it is looking at how
to lower the cost.
In addition, the West Coast DHB
will be the second in the South Island
for electronic triage referrals.
“The new system will allow
electronic triaging of referrals by
clinical staff to occur, and improve
notification back to general practice
(GP) on the status of the referral. A
‘go live’ is being planned for May.”
West Coast health goes high-tech
AT LOW COST.
Design, Docket books, Invoice
books, Business cards,
Letterheads, Books, Rack cards,
Brochures, Photocopying, Perfect
binding, Large format printing
Mackay Street, Greymouth | P: 03 769 7929 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
VAPE SHOW AND COMPETITION
SATURDAY APRIL 22, 2017
Doors open 4pm
Limited tickets $10.
Biggest clouds, Coil building, Best trick
For competition details see our FB page or call in.
Come join in the fun at the WEST COAST’S first Vape Show
BETTER THAN SMOKING!
Our opening hours: 9am–5pm, Mon–Sat
Feel free to stick around and make
use of our FREE WIFI
154 Mackay St, Greymouth 03 768 0035
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