Home' Greymouth Star : May 30th 2017 Contents P2
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An apparent fault in the Grey
Main School fire alarm system
resulted in an early morning call
for the Greymouth Volunteer Fire
Brigade. Emergency ser vices were
called out just after 3.40am but
there was no apparent cause, deputy
fire chief Graeme O’Dea said.
Police busy with
West Coast police had a relatively
quiet night. Greymouth police dealt
with two family violence matters
and were called to the fire alarm
activation at Grey Main School.
Westport police also dealt with two
family violence matters overnight.
St John transferred a couple of
motocross riders from Waipuna to
Grey Base Hospital at the weekend.
Acting Westland territory manager
Emma Kay said the number of
those injured during a two-day
motocross event was relatively low.
Both injured riders were taken
to hospital suffering minor to
Cloudy periods, few showers
A robot ‘priest ’
lights from its
hands and can
the faithful has
in the town that gave fame to
Martin Luther and the Protestant
Reformation. Five hundred years
after Luther published the Ninety-
five Theses in Wittenberg, kicking
off the Reformation, an evangelical
church launched a unique automated
blessing robot for the special
celebrations in the historic town
located in the German state of
Saxony-Anhalt. The robot on show
in the old town of Wittenberg is
called BlessU-2 and was developed
by the Evangelical Church in Hesse
and Nassau. After the robot wishes
users a “warm welcome”, it asks them
if they want to be blessed by a male
or female voice. It then asks the
believer “what blessing do you want ”,
which results in the robot making
a mechanical sound as it raises its
arms to the heavens and starts to
smile. Lights then start to flash in
the robot ’s arms as it says “God bless
and protect you” and recites a Biblical
verse. — Mirror
Cobden shipwreck scrapped
Contractors today began
dismantling the stricken fishing boat
Kutere, after the owner ruled out
refloating it as uneconomic.
Three fishermen — owner Les
Horncastle, and father and son
Mathew and Adin Fisher — sur vived
a harrowing ordeal when the boat
struck a sandbank off the Cobden
beach in the dark early yesterday.
Cold and shaken, they scrambled
ashore safely by lifeboat. By late
yesterday afternoon crowds had
flocked to the beach to see the wreck
for themselves, about 600m north of
the Cobden tiphead and Grey River
mouth. The Nelson-based vessel was
not attempting to cross the notorious
Grey River bar at the time, but had
been trawling just off Cobden.
It was revealed today the beach will
be the boat ’s final resting place.
Five tonnes of fish and 2000 litres
of fuel were unloaded from the hull
late yesterday afternoon and after
today’s high tide, it will be cut up and
sections taken to higher ground.
Greymouth and Nelson fisherman
Les Horncastle said that after a
meeting with his insurance company
it was decided to scrap the boat.
“It was just not economic to refloat
it,” Mr Horncastle said.
“It will be cut into sections and
we will take out the engine and fuel
tanks. We pumped 2000 litres of
diesel from the boat yesterday. All the
rigging is being cut off right now and
the winch will come off as well to
relieve some weight. The sections will
be stacked up on the pad after the
outgoing tide. It hurts, but at the end
of the day no one lost their life, that ’s
the main thing.”
Heavy machinery was used to
clear a path to the boat yesterday
afternoon, just after the turn of the
Police kept people at a safe distance
as men hauled fish from the hold,
and on to a waiting truck. Hundreds
came throughout the afternoon,
with a rush after school as children
were brought down to the beach.
Trouble started about 1.43am when
the vessel became stranded on the
sandbar while being pounded by
“I was down below sleeping at the
time when the boat lurched and next
minute I was hit by a wave,”
Mr Fisher said.
“ I was yelling out for my son
(Adin) but it just happened that he
was up relieving himself up in the
“ We were sitting on the sandbar
and the boat was leaning right over.
“I was getting hit by waves but we
got the liferaft and got ashore.
“It was dark but the lights were still
going on the old girl. ”
PICTURE: Paul McBride
The stricken fishing boat Kutere lies motionless on the Cobden beach as contractors set about dismantling it this morning.
Internet complaints spread
Grey Valley residents have rallied to
tackle internet problems as it became
clear last night that the poor ser vice
is not confined to Nelson Creek and
Sixty-eight people last night attended
a public meeting at the Nelson Creek
Hall, called by the town’s mechanic
and postie Kevin Fowlds. Mr Fowlds
contacted the Greymouth Star last
week after his internet connection was
lost 19 times in less than 14 minutes.
Residents were regularly told by their
telecommunications provider to change
Chorus has not denied the problem
but says the network is nearing capacity,
which means at times of peak demand
speeds and stability reduce. An upgrade
would cost hundreds of thousands of
Mr Fowlds said people from as far
away as the Arnold Valley attended the
meeting. Another complaint was lack of
He said there were several options on
the table, which they would look into
before meeting again in a month.
One is putting up a tower and another
is talking to Vodafone about a box to
boost the signal.
“ We’ve pretty much given up on
Chorus,” he said. “ They didn’t show up.”
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said the meeting heard that a satellite
dish for the Nelson Creek area could
cost about $30,000.
“ We pointed out they have (council)
infrastructure fund of $17,000,”
Mr Kokshoorn said. A vote would
need to be held to show residents
were in favour of using the funds on
Development West Coast had also
given $300,000 to each of the district
councils to improve broadband and
cellphone coverage, so this could be
“They could also wait for the next run
of the government rural broadband
rollout, which is substantial.”
Mr Kokshoorn said much of the
internet focus went on the cities, but
rural areas did not want to miss out on
the technological revolution.
“It’s important they keep up.”
Alice Cardwell, from the Arnold
Valley, said she had written to the
minister twice and was wrongly told the
Mount Sewell tower was going to be
upgraded and “then we can get off the
overcrowded copper wire on to a decent
“Two financial years (nearly) later it
still hasn’t happened.
“Heavy rain and lightning always play
havoc and after last year’s rain we had to
abandon our copper wire landline. Even
with the change to a satellite ser vice our
internet is slow, a fraction of the speed we
are paying for and sending even medium
sized attachments is a nightmare,”
Ms Cardwell said.
‘Dragons teeth’ solve traffic ache
The Grey District Council has
completed painting ‘dragons
teeth’ road markings outside
Greymouth High School and
may introduce them to other
Hastings District Council was
the first in New Zealand to trial
the teeth markings and now
has them painted outside every
school in the area.
The ‘teeth’ have a special
reflective layer that makes them
glow at night.
The council said this morning
the new markings in Shakespeare
Street would be monitored
closely to determine their impact
on speed reduction and student
Shakespeare Street is congested
at times, as school buses converge
there with children for both Grey
Main School and Greymouth
“If successful, it is likely that
council will adopt the road
markings for other schools around
the district,” the Grey District
Council said in a statement
Two new pedestrian crossings
have also been installed — one
at the corner of Shakespeare and
Marlborough streets, and the
second further down the street
outside the Westland Recreation
Centre. Some parking spaces were
sacrificed to make room for the
traffic safety initiatives.
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