Home' Greymouth Star : May 12th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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FRIDAY, MAY 12, 2017
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No arrests yet for
No one has yet been arrested for
puncturing at least 50 tyres on 36
vehicles in Greymouth early on
Wednesday. However, police say
they are following “good lines of
inquiry”. Sergeant Mark Kirkwood,
the officer in charge of the
investigation, said police had their
suspects but were keeping an open
mind. “An investigator has been
assigned and is working on the case
full-time, assisted by other officers,”
Mr Kirkwood said. “ If the public
have had their vehicle damaged and
have not as yet contacted police,
please do so.” Response manager
senior sergeant Brent Cook said
police had increased patrols through
the central business district and
would be working with local
business owners around stepping
up their security measures. Police
believe the offender, possibly using
a screwdriver, came from Cobden
and stabbed tyres on his way from
around Greymouth High School,
through the CBD on the way to
Cobden. Those who wish to pass on
information anonymously can call
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Car thief thwarted
Dunollie and Runanga residents
were today warned to be wary of
leaving their locked vehicles on
the roadside overnight after an
attempt was made to steal a vehicle
in McDougall Avenue. A Dunollie
resident contacted the Greymouth
Star to warn other residents after
someone smashed a window in a
parked four-wheel drive vehicle and
unsuccessfully tried to hotwire it.
Police said the matter was the subject
of a complaint laid this morning.
A 24-year-old man was arrested
in Hokitika early today following
a family violence incident. He was
due to appear in the Greymouth
District Court this afternoon
charged with assault and acting in a
A Scottish grandmother has
earned the admiration of many after
handing in her notice with some
choice words. Kaitlyn McGrory,
from Glasgow, tells her boss Mr
MacGillivray exactly what she
thinks. “ The job’s a c*** and I’m
leaving,” Marlene apparently wrote.
“ I’ll no be back after June 30. Canny
wait. Good luck getting some other
mug to clean the place. Cheerio. ”
Marlene supposedly ends her
missive with, “yee ha”. — Mirror
Both the Otira Tunnel and a
shortage of extra carriages have
been cited by Kiwi Rail as reasons
why it cannot extend its flagship
Tranz Alpine into Greymouth.
The State-owned rail operator
has announced it will be “building
capacity” to meet rising demand,
with a rebrand for its three Tranz-
Scenic trains and the Interislander
ferry ser vice under the new name
‘Great Journeys of New Zealand’.
In a response to questions, Kiwi
Rail told the Greymouth Star it
will not add further carriages to
the Tranz Alpine due to capacity
restrictions associated with the
“Any increase in capacity would
require additional ser vices. There
are no plans for that at this stage,”
a spokesman said today.
The lack of space on the tourist
train has been flagged for several
In the peak summer period it
often overruns the Greymouth
Railway Station platform.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn was flabbergasted at
news the tunnel was now a reason
not to expand the current train.
Kiwi Rail had previously said
it was a question of investing in
more carriages, Mr Kokshoorn
“They ’ve never put the Otira
Tunnel up as a constraint for more
carriages. This is a new revelation
bottom of it because Coasters are
very reliant on the Tranz Alpine
to bring tourists in.”
It was a particular concern for
Greymouth as the train’s “hub”.
“ We’d be disappointed that the
Otira Tunnel would be now put
up as a reason to not do it.”
The Tranz Alpine was closed
down for months in 2013 to
mitigate the fire risk in the tunnel.
Stratful said constraints on
freight ser vices to the region
through Otira were well known
but the impact on passenger train
capacity was new.
He was due to meet with Kiwi
Rail to discuss the train and if it
was making money currently, he
would be asking why it would not
want to invest in more capacity.
Kiwi Rail had
announced a $50 million package
to build new carriages.
Prior to that it was known the
current passenger train capacity
for Kiwi Rail would run out by
“Also, we’re well aware the stress
it puts on the current iSite that ’s
basically over whelmed when you
get 300 people getting off (at one
time),” Mr Stratful said.
In November, Kiwi Rail said
it was taking carriages from its
Coastal Pacific train, c losed by
the Kaikoura earthquake, for the
Tranz Alpine and the Northern
Explorer trains in response to
“ high demand”.
A year ago Kiwi Rail also said
further new carriages were needed
for the Tranz Alpine because the
problem was “of capacity, not
It said it could nearly double the
train’s capacity to 600 passengers
if it had enough carriages.
The train ordinarily has six 60-
seat passenger carriages, along
with extra viewing, baggage and
Kiwi Rail head of scenic
journeys Gavin Rutherford said
last year more carriages were
being investigated because there
were no spares when the current
fleet was built.
“ Kiwi Rail is currently assessing
options around the possible
passenger rolling stock which
would involve either building
new or purchasing and renovating
older passenger carriages,” he said
at the time.
Books inspire dress-up day
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Book characters of all shapes and colours jumped off the page at Grey Main School today for Book Character Day, including Harvey Tacon (Gandalf from Lord
of the Rings), left, Layken Inglis (Skulduggery), Jamie McNabb (Robot from Robot Riot), Charlotte Jamieson (Little Red Riding Hood), Xhenniah King (Poppy
from the Trolls), Kristian Halberg (Donald Trump), Rilh Simpkin (Snow White) and Millie Stevenson (witch from Room on the Broom). Principal Mandy
O’Sullivan joined in the dress-up for her 35th Book Character Day at the school as Mr Happy, while other staff members were also characters from the Mr Men
book series. Mrs O’Sullivan said she was impressed with the effort pupils and their parents had put into costumes this year.
Council celebrates $1.5m surplus
A cash surplus of just over $1.5 million
for the nine months to the end of
March was reported to the West Coast
Regional Council meeting on Tuesday.
Corporate ser vices manager Robert
Mallinson said the surplus was mainly
a reflection of returns from the council’s
business unit, Vector Control Ser vices
The council’s investment portfolio
had also performed reasonably well.
The portfolio was $11.6 million, with
income of $498,791 in nine months.
Chief executive Mike Meehan said the
surplus was something to be celebrated.
“I think we should trumpet this
because VCS have worked very hard.
It is really good to have an operating
surplus of just over $1.5m,” Mr Meehan
Chairman Andrew Robb agreed,
particularly in light of the aim to have
New Zealand predator-free, as well as
benefiting the region.
“It’s a huge benefit for the West Coast
... it ’s an important asset for the council.”
Almost a third of people able
to connect to ultrafast broadband
(UFB) in Greymouth have now
done so. A total of 4337 users
are able to connect and the
uptake rate now sits at 29%. “It ’s
encouraging to see that strong
demand for UFB is continuing, as
connectivity continues to improve,”
Minister of Communications
Simon Bridges said yesterday.
Hokitika UFB rollout, p2.
The West Coast District Health Board
said today no staff would lose their jobs
“immediately” as a result of changes to
the hospital laundry services.
The board has been consulting staff
over a proposal to cease on-site laundry
ser vices at Grey Base Hospital.
When the new hospital opens, there
will be just one new role to undertake
remaining laundry ser vice tasks such as
laundering patient clothing.
There are currently two staff who
handle laundry, which has been trucked
to and from Christchurch since the
hospital laundry was closed and then
Current laundry services staff will be
able to apply for the new role, or offered
redeployment options, the board says.
When the new hospital opens, it will
stop all washing, drying, linen packing
and sewing services.
It will outsource the full laundry
provision to Canterbury Laundry
Ser vices — owned by the Canterbury
DHB — for scrubs and linen packing,
and contract a local commercial
provider to launder items such as hoist
slings, cleaning mops and patient
Canterbury and West Coast District
Health Boards support ser vices
manager Rachel Cadle said the
changes were mooted in anticipation of
operating a new a roll-on . roll-off linen
service in the new hospital.
The agreed new ser vice would improve
health and safety for Greymouth staff
with a reduction in heavy lifting, and
improve infection control measures
with a reduction in double handling.
Patient clothing would continue to be
laundered on site, as now, with laundry
staff undertaking those duties.
The hospital laundry closed five
years ago with the loss of 19 jobs. The
contract went to Canterbury Linen
Closing the laundry cost the DHB
$152,000 in redundancy payments.
It said at the time it would have cost
$450,000 to strengthen the earthquake-
prone building and $704,000 for new
DHB laundry jobs safe — for now
29% sign up for UFB
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 0822
Sales A/H: Alastair Hamilton 768 7300
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