Home' Greymouth Star : May 22nd 2017 Contents SINCE 1866
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MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017
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ditches cake company P2
biggest in years P2
West Coast roots
The winner of The Bachelor reality
tv show has strong West Coast
connections. After weeks of drama,
kisses, roses and intruders, the winner
of Bachelor Zac Franich’s heart was
last night revealed on television as
Viarni Bright an account manager
from Mount Maunganui. Miss
Bright’s grandmother Rosemary
Collins (nee Dick), also from
Mount Maunganui, is currently
in Greymouth staying with her
sister, Pam Steegh. Miss Bright ’s
mother Wendy, who featured in
a ‘meet the family’ episode, was
born in Greymouth in 1958. Mrs
Collins’ and Mrs Steegh’s father was
Greymouth identity and butcher
Gordon Dick, whose shop was in
Mackay Street along from where
Ellery’s is now. “ We knew absolutely
nothing,” Mrs Collins said of the
final. “She kept it a secret very well.”
At the end of the show last evening,
Mr Franich presented Miss Bright
with a ring and told her she was a
“c o n fident, driven, kind, caring and
beautiful girl ... that ’s the kind of girl
I want to walk down the street with
and hold your hand”.
Rain at times
A conspiracy theorist who believes
the earth is flat has taken a spirit
level to prove his point. D Marble
said that scientists had produced
facts and figures in the past to prove
that Earth is round, but not much
evidence has been produced recently.
So he armed himself with the spirit
level for his flight from North
Carolina to Seattle. Comments on
his video ‘Flat Earth: Spirit Level
Flight Experiment ’ are disabled.
Writing on You Tube he said he
wanted “to monitor whether or not
the pilot would dip the nose of the
plane to compensate for cur vature”.
He said: “I recorded a 23 minute
and 45 second time-lapse which
by those measurements means
the plane travelled a little over
203 miles. According to cur vature
math given to explain the globe
model, this should have resulted
in the compensation of 5 miles of
cur vature. As you’ll see there was
no measurable compensation for
cur vature.” — Metro
Viarni Bright, 22, with her mum
Grey district ratepayers will feel a
3.81% general rate increase in the
coming financial year.
After a marathon 10-hour sitting on
Thursday, the Grey District Council
heard 38 submitters to the draft annual
plan, and finalised its budgets for the
That contrasts with the Westland
District Council, which for the first
time in its history decided to adopt
the annual plan without allowing any
public input, while proposing a small
increase of 3.45%. The West Coast
Regional Council and the Buller
District Council are both still consulting
on their draft plans; Buller proposes a
1.8% increase and the regional council
The 3.81% increase at Grey is slightly
more than the 3.75% in the draft
plan and represents $11,000 of extra
The proposed move of History House
and installation of traffic lights at the
Tainui-Mackay streets intersection
have been put on hold pending further
An impassioned submission by senior
students at John Paul II High School
about fees charged at the Westland
Recreation Centre got loud applause
from councillors — and a decision to
give all local secondary school students
16 years and over a 20% discount on
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said getting
the budget through signalled the end of
a major push by the council over the past
decade to rectify years of infrastructure
spending neglect that had cost
$120 million to catch up.
“Our big capital item expenditure
has come to an end and we’re going to
start paying down debt into the future,
starting next year,” Mr Kokshoorn said
after the meeting.
Councillors heard a large contingent
of submitters wary of the proposed shift
of the museum in partnership with the
Greymouth iSite, from Gresson Street
to vacant premises in Mackay Street
near the railway station.
However, the shift is now on hold
anyway while more work is done to
consider the options.
The development of an outdoors event
area at the Greymouth aerodrome has
unanimous council approval, subject to
an unnamed major West Coast events
partner accepting its part of the deal.
The major spending planks in the
coming year are:
$330,000 to strengthen the council-
owned Left Bank Art Gallery building.
$100,000 to enhance the
Greymouth floodwall with the town
square and shared street project at the
corner of Mawhera Quay and Tainui
$100,000 for toilets at Blackball
in conjunction with the Paparoa Track
$100,000 to improve surface
drainage in Blackball.
A $14,000 top up for Tourism
West Coast on the previous annual
contribution of $86,000.
Other major budget items include
$25,000 of new spending on garden
maintenance for the Greymouth
central business district, an extra
$50,000 for district promotion by the
council, and $40,000 extra for footpath
upgrades in Runanga and D unollie.
As well, the council will spend
$15,000 on a dog park at Runanga.
It will also again forgive the Grey
St John Area Committee the $6500
annual lease due for its base in Water
Walk Road, Greymouth.
A new Rapahoe reser ve group will get
$10,000 to investigate public toilets.
Mr Kokshoorn said the Grey District
Council’s debt levels now sit at
$30m, and reser ves at a healthy $10m.
The council had spent $120m over the
past decade, mainly on crucial ‘nuts and
bolts’ infrastructure — namely roading,
sewerage and water assets — now all
Big ticket items included: $48m
on sewerage upgrades; $25m on the
Westland Recreation Centre and
Runanga pool; $33m on roading; $10m
for water treatment upgrades; $1.5m
on McLeans Pit landfill; and $3m on
An additional $4.5m would have to be
provided for an extra cell at the landfill,
The council also set aside an extra
$20,000 for the study of the existing
underground stormwater infrastructure,
and was continuing to renew the
Runanga-D unollie sewerage scheme.
Re-bridging the Taramakau
PICTURE: Paul McBride
The first piles have been driven in the north channel for the new $25.8 million Taramakau Bridge. The temporary platform used for the heavy crane
now extends across two-thirds of the river. The new concrete structure — between the existing road-rail bridge and the temporary crane bridge —
will span 250m, rising 10m above the riverbed. The old bridge will eventually be used solely for rail.
Speeding car lands in Westport harbour
A speeding car mounted a
2m-high rockwall at the harbour
end of Westport’s main street early
yesterday and flew over the top
into the Floating Basin, forcing the
occupants to swim for their lives.
The late 1990s silver Nissan Primera
stationwagon was partly submerged
when the Westport Volunteer Fire
Brigade arrived shortly after 4.30am
to find the car at the foot of the
rockwall and up against an access
footbridge to a mooring for fishing
The vehicle’s occupants had
“ We got down there and the people
had done a runner,” fire chief Alan
The car had apparently been
travelling at speed along Palmerston
Street and failed to take the sharp
right-hand bend at the end, where it
turns into Gladstone Street.
After mounting the rockwall, it
careered over the single lane road on
top before landing in the water on
the other side.
Mr Kennedy said the brigade
helped search the vehicle for the
missing occupants — some of whom
later showed up at Buller Hospital
cold and wet.
“They were very lucky people. They
were lucky they hit a pile in the
walkway or they would have been out
in deeper water. ”
Station officer Graeme Heaphy
said the path of the car from the
street over the wall and into the
harbour was unbelievable.
“Even missing the boats was pretty
lucky,” Mr Heaphy said.
Sergeant Malcolm Lamont, of
Westport police, said they were
keen to hear from residents who
might have seen a late 1990s Nissan
Primera stationwagon in and around
Palmerston Street prior to the crash.
The vehicle was recovered from
the harbour yesterday morning. It
was not stolen and police knew the
Mr Lamont said at least three
people were inside when it crashed
into the harbour. Police had spoken
to two passengers but had yet to
identify the driver.
Teams narrow search for Swede
The search was continuing today
in mountainous country behind
Karangarua for a man now five days
overdue from a hunting trip.
Search efforts are focused on the
upper reaches of Regina Creek after
they found the last known campsite
of Swedish national Christian
Tommarch, who failed to keep a
rendezvous last week.
The campsite with Mr Tommarch’s
tent and sleeping bag was found at the
weekend in the high altitude area near
Regina Creek, above the Douglas
Valley route, a tributary to the upper
Mr Tommarch was originally
described as being well equipped
and experienced for his week-long
However, police confirmed this
morning he was not carrying a
personal locator beacon.
Area commander Inspector Mel
Aitken said police were, however,
still proceeding on the basis that
Mr Tommarch would be found alive.
“At this stage, based on the
information we have gathered, we are
still treating this as a search.”
Police launched a formal search on
Friday morning after a preliminary
check on Thursday night failed to find
any sign of the overdue hunter.
Several search teams, including land
search and rescue volunteers, a tracker
dog and and alpine team spent the
weekend combing the area, described
as “tricky terrain”.
Mr Tommarch has been living in
Central Otago. His family in Sweden
have been notified of the search
and are being kept up to date on
Police would still like to hear
from anyone who has been in
the Karangarua area in the past
week. Those with any information
or sightings are asked to contact
Greymouth police on 768 1600.
$120m infrastructure spending ends
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