Home' Greymouth Star : April 10th 2017 Contents SINCE 1866
The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
woes deepen P2
MONDAY, APRIL 10, 2017
$1.20 (Home Delivery 90c)
Phone 769 7900
ex-world No 1 P12
Burglars, possibly with the
munchies, broke into the Westport
BP ser vice station overnight on
Saturday, rummaging through
cupboards in the kitchen and
going through food items, but
apparently not touching anything
else. Police said the Palmerston
Street premises were entered some
time after 8.30pm on Saturday and
before 5.30am yesterday. Police
were today working to recover
closed circuit tv footage. Anyone
who witnessed anything unusual or
suspicious around BP at the time
was encouraged to contact Westport
police or anonymously via the
Crimestoppers phone line,
0800 555 111.
A young man was taken to
hospital after suffering moderate
injuries in a collision with another
vehicle at the junction of Mawhera
Quay and the Cobden Bridge
approach on Friday afternoon.
Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade
fire chief Lee Swinburn said both
vehicles, a car and a ute, were
extensively damaged in the 4pm
crash. Meanwhile, the Kumara
Volunteer Fire Brigade assisted a
driver whose car left the road in
the Greenstone area after 9pm on
Friday. Deputy fire chief Leslie
Neame said the driver was “knocked
about ” and required first-aid from
St John, who also attended the crash
A vegan taxidermist is making
a fortune turning roadkill into
luxury fashion accessories but
insists her beastly business plan is
not committing any furry faux pas.
Emma Willats, 32, has a freezer
full of dead foxes, badgers and hares
which she has collected off local
roads or friends have donated to
her. Ms Willats makes the corpses
into jewellery and sporrans — with
the latter going for up to £750 each.
However, she claims that the morbid
money-making scheme, called The
Dapper Dead, does not encroach on
her beliefs as a vegan. She said: “ The
way I look at it is that if something
has been killed for me then that ’s
wrong. But if it ’s something that ’s
died naturally or been run over then
we should try to preser ve it in some
way. It feels like a bigger waste to
just throw an animal to the wayside
once it ’s dead. It ’s better to use them
in taxidermy than have some council
employee just discard them. We
should be encouraged to use every
part of the animal. — Daily Mail
Rain setting in, heavy later
West Coast drug rape trial opens
The trial of a man accused of
drugging and raping a West
Coast woman is under way in the
Christchurch District Court.
McRae said the man, who has name
suppression, raped the woman in
Greymouth some time between
February and April 2014.
He told jurors the man and woman
often shared methamphetamine (P)
together, but on this occasion the man
drugged her with something else.
The accused then took advantage of
the fatigued state the woman was in
due to that drug and raped her, the
Defence counsel Marcus Zintl said
the woman either hallucinated the
attack, had a false memory of it, or
simply made it up.
The trial, before Judge Brian
Callaghan, is expected to take four
days. — NZME
Ownership of the Greymouth Civic
Centre will be transferred to the
Catholic Bishop of Christchurch as the
proprietor of John Paul II High School,
if the other parties using the centre agree
to a proposal from the school.
A staff report for the Grey District
Council meeting tonight recommends
transferring ownership once final
confirmation has been received from the
The Civic Centre has had limited
use since the $12 million Westland
The transfer will also be subject to
the various other users agreeing to a
memorandum of understanding.
The report notes that the Greymouth
Lions Club, as original donors of the
Civic Centre, has given its blessing to
Suggested conditions set by the council
are that the Civic Centre is not used in
conflict with the Westland Recreation
Centre, some car parking is retained for
council use, and if the school quits the
centre within the first five years 100% of
the sale of the complex will go back to
Earlier this year the council agreed
to explore the option to transfer the
facility to the nearby John Paul II High
School, following an approach about
using the centre while the school looked
at upgrading and strengthening the
St Columba Hall.
The council indicated its willingness
to transfer ownership on the basis it
would accommodate the ambitions of St
Patrick’s Primary School, Alpine Rescue
Club, Tai Poutini Polytechnic Climbing
Wall Trust and the Greymouth Gym
Club. A formal collective proposal from
the parties involved had since been
received by the council.
The proposed included transferring
the centre directly into the name of the
Catholic Bishop of Christchurch —
who acts by law as a corporation sole
and not the school board of trustees.
The school preferred the transfer to
the bishop, who would then commit
to maintaining the Civic Centre in the
same manner as the rest of the Catholic
school buildings in Greymouth.
Since exploration of a transfer, the
Greymouth Gym Club had opted out as
the gym gear would have to be packed
away to enable regular school use,
council staff said.
“This is not deemed practicable by the
c lub as it represents bulky and heavy
The report said the council should
consider rewording the condition that if
the centre was sold in future 50% of the
sale price be paid to the council. It had
created the misperception that a future
sale amounted to an indirect donation
of 50% of the remaining value to John
Paul II school, which would “be unfair”
to other schools.
The council ground lease ceased at the
end of December.
Staff said the council was faced with
the reality of the 50-year-old building,
which sits on Mawhera Incorporation
leasehold land, being sold “for next to
nothing” to a buyer who might convert
it to a use incompatible with council
activities in the adjoining council
The bishop becoming the recipient
rather than the school was not deemed
a significant issue.
“ It is important to understand that it
is not a donation to the bishop but to
a corporation owned by the Catholic
Church. It still can be seen as a gifting
of a facility of some value.”
A memorandum of understanding
would need to make sure all interests
were catered for, staff said.
A hay shed on an Atarau farm went
up in smoke yesterday morning.
The old shed at the back of a Rough
River property was discovered alight
about 7.30am yesterday, and was
thought to have self-combusted,
Ikamatua Volunteer Fire Brigade
fire chief Nick Pupich said.
When the brigade arrived it was
obvious the shed had been ablaze
for some time, probably from earlier
in the night, and it was a total loss.
Mr Pupich said there was no
suggestion of anything suspicious
about the fire; the shed was well
away from public roads and was
situated at the back of a farm
Firefighters stayed at the scene for
about three hours dampening down
burning material from the shed
after a digger was used to pull out
what remained, some of which was
still smouldering today.
Meanwhile, the Ikamatua brigade
has been relatively busy lately with
an average couple of calls a week
after one of its quietest years in at
least a decade.
“ We’ve had a reasonably busy
run for the last four to five weeks,”
Mr Pupich said.
Most of the calls were either to
road crashes or “goodwill calls” such
as extinguishing illegally lit bonfires
or calls to permitted scrub fires.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Paul Smith drainlaying contractor Hayden Taft inside the cordon around lower Tainui Street and the town square, which have been enclosed by
screens while a toxic coal tarseal by-product is excavated and removed.
The new Greymouth town square
and shared street site has been
screened off while the council works
out how to dispose of a poisonous
historic coal tarsealing material
uncovered during excavations.
The entire block of Tainui Street
between Mackay Street and
Mawhera Q uay has been wrapped
The Grey District Council said
the coal tar material came to light
during excavations before installing
new underground ser vices as part of
the town square project.
Coal tar is listed as a toxic product
and people should avoid contact
with it, either on their skin or by
breathing it in.
Assets engineer Mel Sutherland
said coal tar had not been flagged as
an issue in Greymouth previously.
“ We weren’t aware of it — it ’s only
because we’re digging up the entire
road,” Mr Sutherland said.
The council was now investigating
two options: either to encapsulate
the material as fill within the town
square site, or reopen a special cell
at the McLeans Pit landfill that
was previously used to contain spoil
excavated from the old rubbish
dump on the site of the Westland
Recreation Centre. Mr Sutherland
said road sealing in early Greymouth
used the coal tar by-product from
the former Greymouth Borough
Council gas works.
“This is not an uncommon
situation, and contractors in
Christchurch also had to face
working with this product when they
have excavated and reconstructed
the roads following the region’s
Procedures had been developed
for working with the contaminated
product in conjunction with the
town square contractor Paul Smith
West Coast fishing companies are
lamenting one of the poorest tuna
seasons on record.
Talley ’s Greymouth and Westfleet
both say catches have been well below
“It has been a real sad season,”
Westfleet manager John Brown said.
However, the West Coast did not
have the problem on its own as fishing
had “not been that flash” throughout
Greymouth-based Westfleet had
three boats targeting tuna this season
and they were just breaking even.
“It has just been a poor season and
the fish are not taking the line — it has
been a sad situation.”
On the upside, inshore trawling for
the likes of tarakihi and ling had been
“ brilliant ”.
“In fact, that has been the best season
for a very long time so far.”
Talley ’s Greymouth manager Jeff
Drake agreed the tuna season had been
“ unproductive”, while trawling had
“O ur (tuna) catch rates have been
well below what we would normally
expect to be catching, but it has been
a sub-par season New Zealand-wide,”
Mr Drake said.
After a bumper inshore trawling
season, the hoki season, starting in
June, was also shaping up to be a
Meanwhile, Talley ’s are unhappy with
the state of the Grey River bar, which
they say is overdue to be dredged.
“It ’s stopping the port from being
viable and the council need to deal
with the issue as soon as possible,”
Mr Drake said.
Someone was standing in the lagoon
the other day and the water was only
up to his waist.
“The Grey council need to pull their
finger out and get on with the job,
They ’ve had a dredge for two years
and so far it has been a very expensive
exercise for no return.”
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius accepted the criticism.
“His comments are not entirely out
of place. We’ve had issues from the get
go with getting the dredge certified,
but all going well it will be trialled this
week,” Mr Pretorius said.
West Coast tuna fishing season ‘poorest on record’
Fire destroys hay barn on Atarau farm
Street screened from toxic tarseal
Links Archive April 8th 2017 April 11th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page