Home' Greymouth Star : April 22nd 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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WEST COAST FEATURE
20 years of West Coast air rescues
A man who threw accelerant on
a controlled burn rattled a good
part of Westport last evening. Fire
chief Alan Kennedy, said about
7.30pm the man used an accelerant
and caused a slight explosion.
He understood it prompted
multiple calls to 111. “I only live
300 or 400m away and it shook
my windows,” Mr Kennedy said.
They “had a yarn” with the man
about not using accelerant. The
blast was strong enough to prompt
speculation in town that a fuel
tanker had exploded.
Greymouth Star On-line
After being involved in a car
crash, one American man probably
thought his day could not get any
worse. But he soon found himself
involved in another wreck — when
both his girlfriend and his mistress
turned up to hospital to visit
him. Footage has emerged which
purports to show a very awkward
confrontation in a hospital room.
The man in the bed is said to have
been involved in a car accident,
although no further details are
known. Beside him, in a black vest,
is his supposed girlfriend who does
not take kindly to her boyfriend’s
bit on the side arriving at the
hospital. As the clip starts, the two
women are already arguing while
stunned nurses and medical staff
A feasibility study to move and restore
the historic Greymouth wharf cranes is
expected to be under way shortly — five
years after the Grey District Council
gave the Greymouth Heritage Trust six
months to present a work plan.
The trust has applied for feasibility
It told an extraordinary council meeting
on Thursday that it should know the cost
of dismantling, moving and restoring
the cranes within a few months.
In April 2012 the council agreed to
allow the trust six months to present
a conser vation plan, after rescinding a
2011 “final extension” given to the trust.
A staff report to the meeting noted
“a great deal of enthusiasm” within the
trust to restore the cranes.
It was positive about securing the
necessary funding, but wanted the
council to retain ownership.
“(Greymouth Heritage Trust) is of
the opinion that council has to accept
the responsibility on behalf of the
community to maintain the cranes into
the future. ”
To achieve restoration short term,
ownership could be transferred on the
basis of council accepting them back. The
trust could not restore the cranes under
council ownership due to complications
such as tendering requirements, project
bonding and insurance, the report noted.
Trust chairman Robin Ross told
councillors the project had been driven
“fairly hard” in recent weeks, including
applying to Lotteries for money to scope
the project, which would enable it to
apply for further funding to begin work
later this year.
The trust had recently been informed
by council staff it would be preferable
to transfer legal ownership to the trust
during restoration in order to lower
liability. The logic was the council could
not own the cranes and allow another
body to do the project because of the
insurance ramifications, Mr Ross said.
However once restored the cranes
would be “gifted back” to the council.
Mr Ross said they were concerned
maintenance costs to ratepayers being
“ We’re a bit concerned it might put the
public off,” he said.
Trustee Peter Davie said they could
see valid concerns around the council
not wanting to inherit an asset with
unknown future upkeep costs. But these
were hard to gauge given the cost of
restoration was not yet known.
A figure of $500,000 to $700,000 to
relocate and restore was ballpark, “ but
we are guessing and you can’t base your
understanding on a guess”.
Cr Peter Haddock asked if the trust
had considered its role to raise future
Mr Davie said once restored the cranes
could need minimal maintenance for
up to 50 years on the basis of regular
inspections and maintenance every few
years, although that was not confirmed.
Mr Ross said the trust was not in the
business of owning heritage structures
— simply saving and protecting them.
Cr Cliff Sandrey noted that the original
tender cost to dispose of the cranes in
2010 was just $10,000.
Mr Davie said a recent estimate to
remove the Westport crane was $56,000.
The “ landmark value” of the cranes had
to be considered, while acknowledging
the council also needed to weigh up the
cost to ratepayers — something the trust
was “a little bit scared of, to be honest ”.
The council unanimously agreed to
move the project for ward for further
consultation in the 2017-18 annual plan
Lack of public transport in focus
A research project is under way
into the lack of public transport on
the West Coast.
The Christchurch Methodist
Mission, which covers most of the
South Island, said it had been made
aware that transport was one of the
major issues facing older people on
the West Coast.
“ We are therefore exploring
whether a small transportation
system could reduce isolation among
older people and have a positive
impact on the whole community,”
the mission said.
Although St John and the Red
Cross run shuttles from Hokitika
and Westport to Greymouth, they
are only for medical appointments.
The mission says it is looking at a
wider ser vice.
sur vey investigated the needs
and the potential interest of the
population in a public transport
The results will help determine
what kind of service might meet the
needs of West Coast residents.
It will also look into whether a
public transport service could be
realistic, feasible and sustainable.
The sur vey is being supported by
the migrant ser vices group, New
A public meeting will also be
held at the Uniting Church in
Greymouth on May 2.
The sur vey is available from New
Coasters in Greymouth and the
Christchurch Methodist Mission.
The mission is involved in child
and family ser vices, social housing
and group programmes, and also has
a preschool and a home and hospital
for older people in Christchurch.
Military zero in on West Coast
The first military personnel
expected for a big military exercise
will arrive in Greymouth in October.
The New Zealand Defence Force
announced late last year it would be
holding its major military exercise
in the West Coast, Tasman and
Marlborough regions in late 2017.
It was last staged in Westport in
2015, boosting the economy and
bringing in a range of unusual
aircraft and vehicles.
This time more than 2000 military
personnel from 16 countries will
be in based in the top of the
South Island during October and
participants will arrive around the
end of the first week of October
17. They will include military role
players in civilian clothing, who will
blend in with the community.
Soon after the main military
contingent will rapidly build up its
forces in Blenheim and Picton over
two to three days.
Some will be flown in a Royal
New Zealand Air Force C-130H
Hercules, others will come by sea
over the beach in Okiwi Bay and
across the wharf at Picton in army
trucks and other distinctive military
Navy ships will be stationed off
the coast between Kaikoura and the
On October 21, the Royal New
Zealand Air Force’s helicopters,
the NH90 and the A109, should
arrive and commence daily flying
operations out of Omaka Airfield,
About 10 days later, the majority
of the army will move out of
Blenheim towards the West Coast,
to Westport and Greymouth, while
the helicopters will continue to
operate from Omaka.
Soldiers from Tonga, Papua New
Guinea, Fiji, Brunei, Malaysia and
Timor Leste will be taking an active
part. There will also be small groups
of personnel participating from
Australia, Canada, United States,
France and Britain.
The military fixed-wing aircraft,
which also includes a United States
Air Force C-17 Globemaster plane
and a Royal Australian Air Force
C-130J Hercules, also intend to
parachute some loads on to selected
drop zones in the exercise area.
Members of the public will have
the opportunity to get a close
look at some of the activities, and
information about that will be made
available later in the year.
The scenario is based around
a fictitious South West Pacific
island which is separated into two
nations called Becara and Alpira.
Westport, Greymouth, Nelson
Lakes, Kaikoura, Ward and the
Marlborough Sounds will become
the troubled Becara region.
The exercise will end about
‘Final extension’ granted in 2011
Westland District Council chief
executive Tanya Winter — who was
suspended earlier this month — has
resigned, Mayor Bruce Smith said
this morning. Ms Winter has taken
a personal grievance claim against
the council. She was replaced
by former chief executive Robin
Reeves, whom she took over from
in 2012 after ongoing complaints
about the state of the council affairs.
Ms Winter’s suspension related to
her allegedly withholding from the
councillors and mayor, information
about possible fraudulent activity.
Ms Winter called in the Serious
Fraud Office earlier this year to
investigate concerns around assets
group manager Vivek Goel. Mr
Smith said this morning the council
“thanks Tanya for the contribution
to the workings of council over the
past 4.5 years. We wish Tanya all
the best in the future.”
Microlight crashes, catches fire
of the Hokitika Guardian
A microlight with two people on board
crashed and caught fire at the Hokitika airport
this morning, but early reports indicated no one
was seriously injured.
Emergency ser vices were still at the scene at
Jane Teen called 111 — she was walking at the
airport about 8am and witnessed the crash.
She saw the microlight flying above the trees,
and thought it looked very low for the position
it was in.
“Then he just went down. I heard a thump and
there was white smoke followed by the black
smoke, and by then I thought ‘it ’s serious’.”
She was not sure what height he was at when
he crashed, but it was just above the vegetation.
The Royal NZ Airforce by chance was in
Hokitika, so she ran to them and alerted them.
Then Mrs Teen called contacted emergency
The crash happened at the very eastern end of
the runway. Police and fire were on scene, and
ambulance. The rescue helicopter arrived just
PICTURE: Janna Sherman
The NZCC Rescue Helicopter comes in to land at the crash scene, behind thick scrub at the eastern end runway.
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