Home' Greymouth Star : April 21st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Friday, April 21, 2017
Medical transfer flight
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter took a patient from
Westport to Christchurch yesterday
afternoon. Pilot Stu Gorrie said
today they were called to Westport
about 3pm for a medical transfer.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Ocean Odyssey. Departures: Jay
Elaine, two Greymouth vessels. In
port: Ocean Odyssey, Har vester,
Sovereign, 19 Greymouth vessels.
Expected departures: Ocean
Odyssey, today. Expected arrivals:
Galatea II, Sunday.
Hokitika mail mix-up brings apology
of the Westport News
The new Grey Base Hospital
swallowed government money promised
for Westport ’s new health centre, says
a former West Coast District Health
John Vaile told a public meeting in
Westport on Wednesday night that the
Ministry of Health had told the DHB
there was $10 million available for the
The DHB’s initial plans came up with
a centre costing $7.2m, Mr Vaile said.
About six months later, the ministry
told the DHB the money had gone.
“ You know where the $10m went? It
went into Greymouth for their increased
cost down there, so we are back to square
one,” Mr Vaile said.
He opposed the ministry’s plan for
a private funder to own the Westport
centre, saying similar public-private
partnerships had been a disaster in
He said the proposed centre site
had moved from Buller Hospital to
Pakington Street only because the
hospital site was reser ve land. Private
developers would not build on land they
did not own, he said.
The hospital was the only site in
contention until last year, when three
probabilities sprung up: the hospital,
Pakington Street, and the Kynnersley
Home site in Henley Street.
Mr Vaile said the DHB had not
realised the hospital site was reser ve land
until he informed it.
He said the West Coast Hospital
Redevelopment Partnership Group
which comprises DHB and Health
Ministry representatives — was a “faceless
committee that ’s not accountable to our
community one little bit”.
“I think we need to send a strong signal
to the ministry and the board that we
don’t want what they ’re proposing ... We
need to get more active and demand the
ministry and the board come and discuss
Westport’s new health centre should
have 20 beds, not 10 as proposed, he said.
New Greymouth hospital
used up Westport funds
of the Hokitika Guardian
Late and wrong mail deliveries and
bulk drops into letterboxes are among the
complaints made over New Zealand Post ’s
new mail ser vice in Hokitika.
NZ Post contracted out the mail side of
its operation to Send Through Limited
in November, replacing two long-ser ving
Annoyed residents say that since the
changeover, mail ser vices have been unreliable
Resident Trish Barlow aired her frustrations
on social media at the weekend after receiving
a bulk drop of mail on Saturday, some of it 11
“Disappointed — what has happened to
our service in Hokitika, once so reliable an
now not so? Saturday, April 15 the postie
pulled up and dropped off at least a dozen
letters with one dating back to the April 4,
sent from Greymouth. Eleven days to get a
letter that was posted in a town 30 minutes
Her complaint drew a number of others.
Donna Douglas: “ This seems to be the norm
since they changed the structure of the postal
ser vices in Hokitika. In hindsight, probably
not the best move to have been made. Bring
back the posties. ”
Samara Wright said her mail had been sent
to Temuka and back.
The mail delivery issues had also been
causing distress to elderly folk in town:
“ Unlike us they don’t pay things on-line
and when mail is extremely late it ’s very
stressful for them as well as receiving hospital
appointments late in the mail too.”
Some said bills were being received just
days before they were due and others believed
the mail was being stockpiled and delivered
when there was more.
At the same time as moving to a contractor
for its mail and courier deliveries, NZ Post
also changed delivery to Hokitika households
to every second day.
NZ Post West Coast area manager Matt
Bell said at the time 95% of mail would still
be delivered within three working days and
courier packages would still be delivered
However, several complaints about late
parcel deliveries — and wrong deliveries —
had also been made about the courier ser vices.
“ We received a parcel for someone else
and when I dropped it off to them they had
a parcel that was mine. O ur numbers aren’t
even similar,” Karla Marie Jones said.
NZ Post responded to the Facebook post by
saying that was concerning and they would
be following it up with their fleet manager.
“O ur mail delivery muck-ups have been
going on for some time, since they made
the mail sorting changes in Hokitika,” Ms
“ I guess we were all being patient and
understanding — as small towns do — but
enough is enough, New Zealand Post you
really need to look into the Hokitika ser vice
as a whole.”
NZ Post yesterday apologised and said it
would be monitoring the Hokitika situation
“ New Zealand Post would like to sincerely
apologise to Hokitika residents for the
inconvenience and upset this may have caused,
as we regret the late delivery of any mail in our
network. We are aware of the delays and mis-
delivery issues and are working through them
with the new contractor for mail ser vices.
We will be monitoring the mail delivery in
Hokitika closely to ensure that these issues
are resolved as quickly as possible.”
NZ Post said the new contractor had four
staff assigned in Hokitika.
It was the contractor’s responsibility to
hire people if they needed to, although all
employees would have to be approved by NZ
In May, NZ Post closed the Hokitika Post
Shop in Revell Street and transferred the
agency franchise to Photo Corner to provide
basic postal ser vices and to maintain the
private post boxes.
(Opposite Dixon Park)
Phone 768 0370
for 24 Hour Service.
Dr Vanessa Love
Chemist this week is:
Phone 768 7470 (shop)
021 250 8504
Friday open until
No Sunday hours
Friday 6pm until
153 Tainui Street
10am - 12 noon
Telephone: 769 9300
Ph 768 0250
Let us make your
ideas a reality with
Best value and
Ensuring you get Expertise
and Qualified Funeral
Ikamatua. Passed away
peacefully at Ziman
House, Reefton on April
20, 2017, aged 82.
Loved son of the late
Philip and Kathleen,
cherished brother and
brother-in-law of Dick
and Pauline, Bob and
Eleanor, Colleen and
Rob Jamieson, and the
late Phil and Patsy,
Patrick, John and Jean,
Trevor, and Rona, a well
loved uncle, great-uncle,
and friend of many. In
lieu of flowers, dona-
tions to Alzheimers New
Zealand would be appre-
ciated and can be made
at the service or posted
to PO Box 11288,
Wellington. Messages to
PO Box 50, Ikamatua
7846. A funeral service
to celebrate Brian's life
will be held at St
Church, State Highway
7, Ikamatua on Monday
at 11am followed by
burial at Burkes Creek
Phone (03) 768 0250
of the Westport News
Westport’s proposed new health centre
is too small, says a leading local nurse.
Diane Longstaff, the team leader
for Buller district nurses and the
New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation
chairwoman for the West Coast, said she
had suggested spray painting the size on
the ground, then filling the space with
the number of likely occupants.
“I tell you what, you are going to be bum
to bum,” she told a public health meeting
in Westport on Wednesday night.
“As far as the size goes it’s definitely
too small and they definitely need older
persons’ health (care), in my opinion. ”
The proposed 1632 square metre
integrated family health centre (IFHC)
would have only 10 beds. Buller Hospital
has 35 beds, 18 of them in Dunsford
aged care ward.
The West Coast District Health
Board proposes closing Dunsford and
providing no aged residential care in the
Ms Longstaff said Westport would not
have enough aged care beds.
“O’Conor Home can expand and
expand and expand but you are never
going to have enough older persons’ beds
in the community unless you get some
private person coming in, or the DHB
sticks with older persons’ health.”
The community make-up had changed
since the DHB closed Westport ’s
Kynnersley aged care home, Ms
The ‘Move to Westport ’ campaign had
attracted more older people, with more
Work and Income had relocated
people with drug and mental health
problems to Westport, but there was no
extra funding to help them.
The DHB wanted to look after older
people in their own homes, but that
only worked if there were enough family
members and support ser vices to help
them, Ms Longstaff said.
“Even then, a lot of those people are
on their own at night time and get
frightened and you get social isolation
issues and things like that. ”
Ms Longstaff said she had been
involved in consultation meetings with
the DHB about the IFHC.
Local health professionals had had no
say on where the centre went or how it
was funded, she said.
A new IFHC designer had turned up
at every meeting she attended.
“I still don’t know what their plan is.”
The consultation meetings had stopped
more than a year ago, she said.
Since then the proposed site has moved
from Buller Hospital to the hospital
boiler house site in Pakington Street. The
likely cost has increased from $8 million
to $12 million and negotiations are well
advanced with a third party investor.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor called the public meetings
this week to discuss Buller health care.
More than 60 people attended the
afternoon meeting, organised by Grey
Power, and just over 20 people attended
last night’s meeting.
Both meetings decided the MP should
ask the Health Minister and officials for
“genuine engagement ” with Buller on its
health ser vice needs.
Mr O’Connor said the community was
right to be suspicious about plans for
their health care when health ser vices,
such as community care, were already
being cut back.
“ You actually end up with not just
inferior, but unethical care. ”
Thieves smashed their way into this vehicle parked at the Rapahoe end of the Point Elizabeth Walkway yesterday, stealing a
handbag. It was one of three vehicles in as many days that were broken into around the Greymouth area, prompting police to warn
owners to remove all their valuables from parked cars. West Coast police prevention senior sergeant Paul Watson said property was
also taken from vehicles parked in Kowhai Street and Stanton Crescent, in Karoro. In all three incidents the passenger window was
smashed. “People should remove all their valuables to prevent temptation,” he said. Any suspicious activity should be reported to
police straight away.
Thieves target Greymouth cars
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Cake firm contracts confirmed
A defibrillator purchased from local fundraising
and used by St John volunteers in Hokitika will
stay in the town, in a reversal by St John bosses
who want to “standardise” equipment.
The backdown follows a meeting this week
between Hokitika St John area committee
chairwoman Abbie Provis and St John Tasman
district manager James McMeeking, after
ructions in the ranks.
The Lifepak 15 equipment, used to monitor
vital signs with a defibrillator, was purchased
about two years ago for $23,000 by the
Hokitika area committee, replacing older MRX
The operational side of St John had given
its blessing for the area committee to buy the
machine. The area committee oversees the
local volunteer base and raises funds, while
the operations arm of St John, with a regional
manager in Greymouth and district manager in
Nelson, oversees day-to-day running.
About three weeks ago Hokitika volunteers
heard their machine was to be taken to Nelson
and replaced with an MRX machine, similar to
the one it had replaced.
That was later confirmed in an e-mail from
the West Coast manager, who said the Lifepak
would be leaving in a week once Hokitika
volunteers had familiarised themselves with the
replacement MRX equipment, already put in
“There was no discussion. The area committee
were unaware it was being taken away — no
discussion at all,” former area committee
member Sonja Barker said.
The Lifepak had been purchased “with the
blessing of St John” after the Hokitika St John
committee received $20,000 from the old
Westland Hospital Trust, covering almost the
full $23,000 cost.
Mrs Barker said when they asked why it
was being taken away they were told it was to
However, the Lifepak 12 equipment was
standard in other St John regions, including
Canterbury, she said.
It was also upsetting given that Hokitika
money had been used in good faith to purchase
the Lifepak in the first place.
Mrs Provis confirmed the meeting with Mr
McMeeking had resulted in him “changing his
The annual West Coast May
Day celebrations will take place
in Blackball this year with debate,
a new museum exhibition and
the formation of a co-operative
The annual event is jointly
hosted by the Blackball Museum,
Unions West Coast, West Coast
Labour Party and West Coast
It starts next Friday, April
28, with a light-hearted debate
between Blackball young people
and Blackball oldies on the topic
‘shoot the rich’.
The debate will be judged
by Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn and takes place at
the Blackball Workingmen’s
Club and Society of the Arts,
beginning at 7.15pm.
Saturday sees a range of events
taking place at the workingmen’s
club, starting at 10am and running
through to 4pm.
“Given that it is election year
and given the memorandum
of understanding between the
Greens and Labour, it felt right
to engage with any tensions or
contradictions that exist before the
two parties can present a unified
face on the Coast,” Paul Maunder,
for the organisers, said.
“The first session of the forum
will begin with the criticism that
the Greens are anti-jobs and
therefore you can not vote for
Labour if there is going to be a
Damien O’Connor and Green
list MP Julie Anne Genter will
respond to this and any other
issues that arise from the floor.
That will be followed by a
panel discussion on the role of
environmentalism on the Coast
and then the parties, joined by NZ
First, will present their policies on
There will be a musical interlude
before lunch with songs from
a play presented last year, The
After lunch, local environmental
success stories will be presented
by Mr Kokshoorn (Cobden
(Moonlight Sanctuary) and Aaron
Jagger (Barrytown restoration).
Mr Kokshoorn will then open
the museum’s winter exhibition,
which is a collage of local
responses to the questions, ‘ Who
are you going to vote for?’ and
‘ Why?’. This has been prepared
in partnership with the local
Finally, a new economic initiative
in the form of a co-operative
incubator will be launched by
the Cuban Ambassador, Mario
Alzugaray and Mr O’Connor.
Te Puawai Co-operative
Society Ltd, if it gains support,
will focus on bringing into being
local economic initiatives which
operate within a co-operative
framework. Shares (four shares
at $5 each enables membership)
and membership forms will be
available on the day.
“This project is modelled on a
similar initiative in Australia, with
close ties to the union movement,”
Mr Maunder said.
“It will offer support for start-
ups wishing to operate as co-ops,
will be able to provide an initial
administrative umbrella, access to
new markets and the solidarity
associated with worker-based
organisations. It is an exciting
initiative that has come out of
previous discussions at May Day
Those attending the Saturday
events are encouraged to register
with Mr Maunder in order to
assist with catering. A donation
of $10 to cover lunch and teas is
suggested and is payable on the
New museum exhibition for May Day celebrations
Police say the suspected burglars
spotted outside the vacant Jacksons
Hotel early yesterday morning were
unloading gear and moving in, not
ripping off the place.
West Coast police prevention senior
sergeant Paul Watson said today
that, after investigating the incident,
they were now satisfied it was not a
“ We have tracked down the owners
and they confirmed a person was moving
in,” Mr Watson said.
A passerby at 2.30am saw a white van
parked suspiciously to the side of the old
pub, which has been closed and vacant
for well over a year.
However, Mr Watson said it turns out
that was the only time the new occupants
were able to move their possessions in.
Burglars were new tenants moving in
More time on Heaphy
Track for riders
The Heaphy Track
is being extended by two
months in spring to run
from May 1 to November
The New Zealand
Conser vation Authority
has approved an
amendment to the
Park management plan
allowing the longer
season that will run for
the first time this year.
season previously ran to
Conser vation Buller
Bob Dickson said
the extended season
would give bikers more
opportunity to ride the
Heaphy Track in warmer
were riding the Heaphy
Track in May and
September and numbers
dropped off during
the winter months
when colder weather,
including snow, made
biking the track more
difficult,” Mr Dickson
“ We will continue
to monitor the shared
use of the track by
walkers to ensure both
have a good experience.
We will also continue
to monitor the effects
of mountainbiking on
native wildlife and the
were invited last year on
the proposal. Following
public feedback it was
decided not to allow
biking in April due to the
higher walker numbers
on the track then.
of the Hokitika Guardian
An Auckland-based cake decorating company
has secured two lucrative Westland District
Council contracts to upgrade drinking-water
treatment plants in Kumara and Whataroa.
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith confirmed
yesterday the council was proceeding with the
contracts, with a combined value of $405,000,
which had been awarded to Techno Economic
Ser vices (TES) Ltd in January.
Mr Smith said the Indian-owned company
had now paid the $100,000 bond asked for by
“ner vous” councillors in January, due to it being
an unknown company.
TES hit the national spotlight when it
emerged its sole New Zealand director, Neha
Bubna, was a South Auckland cake decorator.
TES was also lined up by the council district
assets manger, Vivek Goel — who is now on
leave pending the outcome of a Serious Fraud
Office investigation — to build an $8 million
mechanical sewerage plant at Franz Josef
Glacier. That contract was cancelled by the
incoming council, though it later awarded the
water contracts to the same company.
Mr Smith told Stuff a legal process had been
followed in relation to the water contracts and
the upgrades would be commencing soon.
Both plants were expected to be operational
The new plant would be supplied from India
and installed by Hokitika subcontractors.
Mr Smith said the principal of the company
had been contacted in India and he had
experience in water treatment plants in many
places around the world, but not in Australia or
“My understanding is the Indian-based
company bought a shelf company registered
in New Zealand. They needed to have a
New Zealand-registered company with a
New Zealand-based director to be able to be
registered for PAYE and GST. They need to
pay GST on importing the plants through
customs,” he told Stuff.
TES was one of five companies short-listed
from 49 who expresses an interest in the works.
Mr Smith previously said his council had
concerns that they were dealing with an
unknown company, and had therefore set a
However, at the same time it was not unusual
for companies outside of New Zealand to try to
break into the market, he said.
The council had followed a “robust tender
process” involving independent engineers, as
well as councillors and council staff, including
The SFO investigation into Mr Goel’s activities
are continuing. He remains on paid leave as well
as council chief executive Tanya Winter.
Ms Winter was suspended by a council
subcommittee earlier this month while an
independent investigation was started as to why
she had failed to inform the council that the
SFO was investigating Mr Goel, as the mayor
said that knowledge may have influenced their
decision in January to grant the water contracts.
Greenstone Park Speedway, King of the
Coast, 12 noon.
West Coast Fire Championships,
Kopara ex-pupils, residents reunion, 2pm.
New Fox Glacier Community Centre
grand opening, 1pm.
Oparara Wilderness Trail Run,
All Saints Church afternoon tea with the
Kumara Boot Sale, 10am to 3pm.
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