Home' Greymouth Star : May 4th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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An Israeli tourist is missing
following an overnight tramp in the
Buckland Peaks area, south-east of
Westport. The 40-year-old left on
a walk about 10am on Tuesday and
had failed to return by late yesterday
afternoon. An initial search last night
failed to trace the solo tramper and
a police search and rescue operation
was under way this morning. Senior
sergeant Paul Watson, of Greymouth
police, said the man had failed to
keep a prearranged meeting in
Westport yesterday afternoon. He
was wearing dark trousers and a red
jacket. “ We believe he’s made it to
the hut at the top,” Mr Watson said.
That was ordinarily about a six-
hour tramp. A police team of five,
plus search and rescue volunteers,
were back in the area this morning.
A tracker dog had also been flown
up the mountain by helicopter. Mr
Watson said the weather was “a bit
craggy,” with marginal conditions
including south-westerly winds,
intermittent rain and near freezing
temperatures. It was possible the
man had lost his way, although the
tortuous Mount Bucklands route had
only recently been re-marked with
new signs, he said. “ We believe he
was well prepared — he’s believed to
be experienced ... he’s probably got
lost due to those conditions.”
‘may be linked’
Police have appealed for
information after a blue Toyota
Hilux was stolen from Greymouth.
The 1993 Hilux , registration
number CCR120, was taken
between 5pm on Monday and
5.10am on Tuesday. It had been left
in a High Street car park. Police say
they believe the suspect could be
linked to other offending in the area
in the past two days.
Fine with light winds
It might not be an official public
holiday, but to Star Wars fans
around the globe May the 4th is the
annual celebration for everything
Jedi-related. The date, chosen for its
similarity to the Star Wars motto
“ May the force be with you” allows
fans to dress up and indulge in Star
Wars movie marathons. Aside from
movie watching, there are some
other ways fans and enthusiasts
are marking the special day. This
year in Sydney, the biggest Lego
Death Star, a space-based battle
station, will be created out of more
than 210,000 bricks on May 4 in
Westfield Warringah Mall, in the
northern beaches. — AAP
The Grey District Council has
been swamped with nearly 10,000
submissions from throughout
New Zealand on a proposed
policy allowing ‘sustainable’ native
logging on council-owned land.
Chief executive Paul Pretorius
today lamented the mayhem the
mass submissions posed following
council’s intentions for the public
The majority of the submissions
appeared to be similar from
members of the likes of Forest
and Bird, and Greenpeace.
Submissions for the ‘sustainable
har vesting’ of council endowment
forests at Mount Buckley and
Mount Sewell, near Dobson,
and Iveagh Bay, at Lake Brunner,
The consultation followed a
council decision late last year
to seek public interest after an
application from West Coast
sawmiller Forever Beech seeking
access to the forests — which are
not on the Crown estate — for
selective helicopter logging.
In March, the council reopened
the consultation process after
someone complained that it
was confusing, notifying a new
round of public consultation “on
whether sustainable har vesting of
native trees should be allowed on
A dismayed Mr Pretorius
said mid-morning over 8000
submissions had come in.
is a deliberate
misinformation out there ...
in other words, it’s a shocking
situation,” Mr Pretorius said.
At lunchtime, the mayor
confirmed that at the rate
submissions were rolling in —
mostly by e-mail — they would
surpass the 10,000 mark.
Mr Pretorius said it would take
staff “weeks” to sort them out, and
delay the process by a couple of
“It’s not going to happen any
time soon,” he said.
Forest and Bird chief executive
Kevin Hague was unapologetic
this morning about the impact on
the resources of a relatively small
council, saying “they made their
Despite Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
recently talking up West Coast
forests as its “jewel in the crown”
for a future economy based on
tourism, the council could not
“ have its cake and it eat it too,”
Mr Hague said.
Forest and Bird was encouraging
its members to submit but the
council process was flawed
because Forest and Bird believed
it was more than just a local issue.
“ We think it’s a disastrous plan.
It ’s clear that the issue of logging
native forests is more than a local
issue. We’re saying to everyone
around the country, ‘you have a
stake in this.’”
While the process was essentially
the council’s and applied to
private land, Mr Hague said the
council should simply abandon
“ We’ve heard Tony (Kokshoorn)
set out his new line, which is the
future of the West Coast economy
is a diverse economy which
looks after the environment as
the bottom line. It is therefore
incoherent pursuing a strategy
based on Tony ’s laudable correct
sentiment, and also logging native
Mr Hague said there was debate
whether selective logging was
“actually sustainable or not ”.
Forest and Bird considered
forest ecosystems negated the
removal of any trees at all, with
trees dead or fallen needed for
ongoing renewal ultimately.
Allowing sustainable logging
on council-owned land would
ultimately harm the tourist
economy on the West Coast.
“The awareness it is going on
makes the West Coast a less
Responding, Mr Kokshoorn
said the council knew what
it was doing and the fact the
Department of Conser vation
now wanted to investigate the sale
or swap of land for the council’s
native forest areas proved they
were on the right path.
“ We know we can’t have our
cake and eat it too, and I repeat,
we know the importance of our
environment. We are not going to
ruin the jewel in the crown, which
are our forests.”
Car smashes into The Warehouse
An elderly driver slammed into the entrance to The Warehouse Greymouth
late this morning, badly damaging part of the foyer, but avoiding shoppers. A
second car appeared to have been damaged, glass was left scattered over several
metres, and the front foyer was left with bent pillars. The Warehouse staff reacted
quickly, cordoning off the area even before fire or ambulance arrived, and were
escorting shoppers out the other side of the foyer. Another staff member
comforted the driver in his car. St John said it had treated one person at the
scene, who was uninjured. Sergeant Andrew Lyes, of Greymouth police, said
an elderly driver was involved. Speaking soon after the incident, he said he was
unsure if the man had suffered a medical event, or if his foot slipped.
The Warehouse confirmed the store was still open.
PICTURES: Laura Mills
Dad’s car written off in late-night crash
A suspended driver who allowed his
unlicensed former girlfriend to drive
his father’s car — which she then wrote
off in a crash — was convicted in the
Greymouth District Court on Tuesday.
John Spencer, 23, of Greymouth,
admitted driving while suspended and
aiding an unlicensed driver to drive early
on January 20.
Police said Spencer had been drinking
with his 17-year-old girlfriend when they
left her address about 12.30am and were
driving on Shakespeare Street when he
suggested she might like to drive in view
of her going for a learner’s licence.
A short while later the car, which
belonged to Spencer’s father and driven
by his now former girlfriend, crashed into
a building. The vehicle valued at $5700
was subsequently written off.
Spencer admitted to the court that the
girl had been consuming alcohol as well
and it had not been a good idea for him
to suggest she drive.
At the time, Spencer’s licence had been
suspended for demerit points after being
caught driving on a learner’s licence while
Spencer was sentenced to 50 hours
of community work for driving while
suspended and disqualified for six
months; he was convicted and discharged
for aiding an unlicensed driver.
Judge David Saunders told Spencer he
needed to take “a far more responsible
attitude” to his driving obligations.
Firearm incident ‘hot-headed’
A 30-year-old Greymouth man who
has been in custody since June last year
was yesterday sentenced to 21 months
in prison for a raft of firearms charges
arising from an incident in a suburban
Owen Antony Jackson was convicted
of unlawful possession of a firearm,
possessing a firearm without a licence
and discharging a firearm with reckless
disregard after he fired a gun at another
man in Marlborough Street, Greymouth,
on June 26.
Lawyer Tom Garrett said no one had
been injured in the incident and Jackson
had surrendered himself and the firearm
to the police about 30 minutes later.
Judge David Saunders said Jackson’s
behaviour was a “hot-headed” act.
“There are too many tragedies in
our courts because of firearms. New
Zealanders look on aghast at Americans
and their gun rules and we pride ourselves
on our gun control, but people still seem
to access and misuse them which can
result in a tragedy,” Judge Saunders said.
Clearly, Jackson did not strike a vehicle
or a person otherwise he would have been
facing more serious charges, he said.
He also noted that because Jackson had
been in custody since June his release was
Three release conditions were imposed,
including an order that he undertake
drug and alcohol assessments, a
stopping violence programme and other
programmes as directed.
“Hopefully this will reduce the risk of
you being back in this position in the
future,” the judge said.
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