Home' Greymouth Star : May 27th 2017 Contents WEST COAST FEATURE
SATURDAY, MAY 27, 2017
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Forgotten towns of the Paparoa Range
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Readership of 11,000
removal nears end
Eleven years after the Buller giant
snail saga had its day in court, the
last batch is set to be released into
the wild. In 2006, c lose to 6000
Powelliphanta augustus snails were
moved away from their ancient
home — sitting on top of a $400
million coal seam — after Solid
Energy won permission to mine
Mount Augustus on the Stockton
Plateau as part of the neighbouring
Stockton open-cast coalmine.
The snails are held in cool stores
and environmental chambers at
the Department of Conser vation
headquarters in Hokitika, and are
regularly released back into the
wild. A report to the latest West
Coast Conser vation Board meeting
says 1000 snails and 1100 eggs are
currently held in Hokitika. The
population was being managed
to reduce the number of eggs
being produced. DOC says it now
aims to have all snails back in the
wild by June 2018. Conser vation
board chairman Mike Legge said
the Hokitika snail facility would
eventually be shut down. “At the
moment, the reintroduction (to
the wild) is going well,” Dr Legge
said. Solid Energy funding for the
programme has ended as the State-
owned enterprise prepares to be
Greymouth Star On-line
A man called Greg rolled into
the Queen’s annual garden party
at Buckingham Palace using an
obscure loophole in the system.
Greg Agnew, 56, went with wife
Nicole and had a lovely time
nibbling sandwiches and mingling
with dignatries. The Queen, Prince
Philip, Kate, Will — the whole
gang were there. But how did
Agnew go to such an exclusive
royal occasion, usually attended
only by bishops, business leaders,
and people who give a proportion
of their wealth to charity? He
simply asked to come along.
Agnew, formerly a journalist and
now Los Angeles-based investor
in tech companies, was born in
New Zealand. “I discovered this
strange little loophole that I think
was created in Queen Victoria’s
time,” he said. “Anyone with a
New Zealand passport can simply
request an invitation. I did that and
they said yes. It was that simple.”
The 90 seats in the two boutique
cinemas at the Regent Theatre in
Greymouth are having a makeover.
The fabric squabs on each of the
lounge-type seats in both small
cinemas are being recovered this week
in a modern leather-like material
which is washable.
Many cinema-goers will have been
‘in the dark’ about what they were
sitting on but the beige coloured
seats were looking fairly grubby after
nearly eight years of service since the
boutique cinemas were first fitted
Efforts to commercially clean the
seats of years of body fat, plus what
happens when chocolate spills, had
been increasingly difficult, theatre
manager Patrick McBride said.
It was partly a reflection of greater
patronage in the past couple of years
for both small cinemas, which were
up to about 38,000 annually.
Staff were chipping away at
installing the covers in between
cinema screenings this week.
Some of the regulars were already
enjoying the new seating experience.
Mr McBride said the new covers
were a practical solution in the first
stage of the eventual recovering of
headrests, arms and backs of each seat
unit. The new seat covers cost $8000.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Regent Theatre manager Patrick McBride with one of the grubby squabs being renewed, alongside the new slate coloured seat covers.
Regent Theatre cover-up
The Department of Conservation
concedes that re-routing part of the
1867 Inland Pack Track to allow
mountainbikers on the proposed
Paparoa Track ‘great walk’ could have
a negative impact.
It has also suggested the abandoned
section should be conserved.
The Inland Pack Track has to be
changed to accommodate bikers
on the new walking track, which
connects Blackball with Punakaiki.
However, a lot of the locals want
bikers to use a nearby former logging
road instead. DOC has dismissed
that option, saying the cost would be
The Inland Pack Track was built to
facilitate access to the Brighton and
The track will link in with the
Croesus Track which dates back to
1879, and was completed in 1881.
DOC has had to apply to Heritage
NZ for a general archaeological
authority to upgrade the track.
That application, released by DOC
under the Official Information Act,
says the lowest section of the pack
track is the most heavily modified,
though the original line had not been
changed. Large areas of original track
benching, with a cobbled surface
remain, with the more modern track
It said the track was significant
as an early goldrush link between
Greymouth and Westport, and the
surrounding forest had changed little.
The use of cobbling was uncommon.
DOC wants to re-route the pack
track in at least four places, with
barriers to direct people to the new
sections. Mountainbikers would also
have a negative impact on areas of
cobbling and pitching “which are in
a fragile state”.
The discontinued parts could
become overgrown and damaged by
tree fall; to counter this there could
be a vegetation plan. Natural barriers
such as rocks could be used to direct
traffic away from fragile features, and
some sections covered with a special
gravel mix to stop erosion. The report
also says the track project team had
undertaken “an extensive consultation
However, former West Coast
Stewart Robertson, of Barrytown, said
DOC had consulted widely on the
Paparoa National Park management
plan, but that did not state what route
would be used for mountainbikers.
It was “misleading” for DOC
to claim there had been wide
consultation, Mr Robertson said.
DOC put the cost of using the
Inland Pack Track at $210,000,
against more than $720,000 to
redevelop Ryall Road, which would
need two bridges and a more lengthy
Heritage NZ is still processing the
Sections of goldrush pack track ‘fragile’
Six months after 17 elderly
Greymouth residents had their
home help cut back or stopped
altogether by the West Coast
District Health Board, a number
have had the ser vice reinstated.
Four people spoke out publicly,
and all have now had their help
reinstated, or in the end it was not
Around Christmas, Eleanor
Adamson was stripped of her only
hour of help after four years.
She found out last week that her
help had been restored.
“In the end, I’m pleased. Back
to the ordinary one hour — I’m
happy with that. As long as
someone will do the luxing,”
Mrs Adamson said.
Lyla Dunn, 91, was ner vous
her knees would give in, in the
shower. She has now had her help
for personal care increased. A few
months ago she addressed DHB
chief executive David Meates
directly at a public meeting to
make her case.
“They were going to cut me out
because I have family here.”
But her daughter was now 60
and could not be expected to do
everything, Mrs D unn said.
Noel Price said in the end his
cut never eventuated, while Harry
Cox was phoned last week and
told his help would be reinstated
“They had cut my wood and
coal times from a half hour to 15
minutes, and I lost one hour of
home help,” Mr Cox said.
DHB interim general manager
Philip Wheble said people’s
situations were fluid and he was
unable to discuss the details of the
Assessments were based on
patients’ ability to achieve
certain tasks, including a visual
assessment by staff.
“ Late last year and early this
year the ser vice was going
through a change process to
improve our ser vices to our
clients and the community. One
of these improvements was
ensuring we were appropriately
reassessing clients to ensure we
were providing the right ser vices
for their needs.”
For 114 clients this meant there
was an increase in ser vices, while
17 were deemed to be needing
A small proportion of these
people felt the assessment was
not accurately reflective of their
needs, Mr Wheble said.
“ In reviewing these cases we
found for most the assessments
were correct, but there were some
improvements that we could
make. In particular we found how
we communicated with our clients
around any changes to their
ser vices needed improvements
resulting in a number of changes.”
A Green Party list MP has defended
the use of a 30-year-old photo of
clearfell logging on the West Coast
in a column to drum up national
opposition to plans for sustainable
logging of Grey District Council
The picture originally featured on a
Te Ara history website in 2007, with
the caption: “ This block of native
forest on the South Island’s West
Coast has been clearfelled for timber.
Large areas of forest were felled in the
1970s and 1980s to provide logs for
the timber industry.”
This month, it was recycled on a
Green Party blog headlined ‘Logging
our native forest? No way!’
More recently, Green MP Eugenie
Sage also issued a national press
release damning the Haast water
export scheme, but referring to it
throughout as a ‘water bottling plant ’.
In fact, the Okuru Enterprises plan
has always been to export via ship
The Greymouth Star asked Ms Sage
about her misleading use of the photo
and the incorrect reference to water
“The photo is an older clear cut.
It was used to provide context and
remind people that native forest
logging belongs in the past,” Ms Sage
“Most New Zealanders think we
had moved on from the days when
our native forests were exploited for
short-term gain at the expense of
native plants and wildlife, present and
future generations and ... tourism.”
She said the National Party’s law
changes several years ago to allow
the removal of windblown trees
from conser vation land, the council
proposal, and a push to allow more
native logging as part of the West
Coast growth study was a return to
the destructive extraction policies of
the 1980s and 1990s.
However, Grey District Mayor
Tony Kokshoorn pointed out that
an agreement signed in 1991 with
parties, including the government and
Forest and Bird, outlawed clearfelling.
The picture was “entirely misleading”,
Mr Kokshoorn said.
“Sustainable forestry and clearfelling
are totally opposite. They are
misleading the public.”
Ms Sage also defended her press
release about the water exports.
The reference to a bottling plant was
subsequently repeated by at least one
other major news outfit.
Ms Sage said the press release made
it clear in the second paragraph that
the Okuru proposal involved piping
water into tankers off Jackson Bay.
“There has been increasing public
concern about our water being taken
by companies for commercial use with
no return to the public, and no ability
for people to comment on these
council decisions. This was the context
for the headline.”
Green Party slammed over use of old clearfell logging photo
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