Home' Greymouth Star : May 31st 2017 Contents P2
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WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2017
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Police catch up
Greymouth police intend
catching up with a suspected
shoplifter from Postie Plus today.
Police have been given the identity
of the alleged thief. Meanwhile,
a Hokitika youth confessed to
police youth aid after a series
of graffiti vandalism incidents
around the town. Acting sergeant
Jayne Bretherton said that in the
course of their inquiries to speak
to a number of suspects, the youth
aged under 17 had confessed their
part. A Ross resident has reported
the theft of $100 worth of meat
from a freezer on their property.
The theft was reported yesterday.
Ms Bretherton said it served as a
reminder for residents to secure
A faulty fire alarm sensor sparked
a fire call to the Westland District
Council chambers yesterday, shortly
One phone scammer has picked
the wrong target, accidentally
calling New Zealand police. Police
have released a transcript and
recording of a call between an
officer and scammer trying to get
him to log into a remote desktop
control website. After humouring
the caller — who claimed to be
fixing the computer — by getting
him to spell out the address of
the site, the officer then tells him
the jig is up. “ You’re calling from
overseas. It’s a scam, mate,” the
officer says. “Do you know you’ve
rung the New Zealand Police?”
The comment gives the caller
pause, before he abruptly shouts:
“Shut up. F*** off ”, and breaks off.
Police have warned anyone who
receives a similar phone call to not
pass on any personal or financial
information or allow the caller to
access computers. — N Z N
Cloudy periods, few showers
Greymouth Star On-line
A second-hand dredge that is still
not doing its job two years after it
was purchased by the Grey District
Council is “working” but needs yet more
modification, the council says.
Talley ’s Greymouth manager Jeff
Drake said on Monday the dredge was
“still not operating” and from what they
had obser ved it had only ever done
about half a day ’s work in the Blaketown
Mr Drake said keeping the lagoon
clear was urgent because some fishing
vessels were being restricted to the wharf
depending on the tide, leaving a short
window of opportunity to bring them in
to unload before the lagoon became too
“ We’ve got vessels constrained because
they can only move from half tide on ...
they can only move three hours before
high tide and three hours after.”
The main issue was the silted-up
lagoon entrance and berthing. Regular
dredging was needed, and realistically
down to 5m, Mr Drake said.
Fishing operators had had very little
communication from the council about
the plan to keep the port clear, apart from
the lack of progress with the dredge.
“They tend to tell us it ’s broken down,”
Mr Drake said.
Council chief executive Paul Pretorius
said the dredge, floated out from
Tasmania in mid-2015, “is working” but
not continuously yet as some aspects
were still being trialled to meet the local
“ It’s not working full-time. It’s still
experimental to get right ... it is dredging
quite well but there are other issues,” Mr
confirmed that Maritime NZ had put
a number of stipulations on the council
which had caused delays.
When the dredge was first bought from
its Tasmanian owner, a selling point was
that it was self-propelling.
Mr Pretorius said it was true the dredge
had the capacity to be self-propelling
on fixed lines — but it needed to be
crewed to monitor the best operating
“It must have a person on it, whether
it’s self propelling or not. Heights have
to be continually monitored. It pumps
beautifully. There’s no doubt it has the
Settling on the best cutting mechanism
to disturb the bottom for silt to be
sucked up was key. In the past the lagoon
had been dredged up to 6m deep.
“Now we’ve got a lot of very compressed
sand that has to be broken up. The
cutter head is very important. We’re just
trialling which one will be the best. ”
Appointment of a new port manager
from June 12 would help, Mr Pretorius
said, as he had been acting part-time in
that capacity until now.
After two years of delays and promised
start dates, Mr Kokshoorn this week
stood by the decision to have a council-
owned dredge rather than paying a
one-off cost to have the port dredged.
However, he acknowledged it had
taken “too long”.
It cost the council about $700,000 the
last time it commissioned the Westport
dredge Kawatiri to do the work, about a
Mr Kokshoorn agreed it was important
to meet the fishing industry’s expanding
need for the port.
“There’s a bit of an expansion going
on with Talley ’s at the moment, and
Westfleet is going well. There’s a good
future for our fishing fleet and it ’s
Long road to Taramakau
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
The first of 44 ready-made concrete bridge beams for the new Taramakau Bridge rounds the corner at Kumara Junction just on 5.30pm yesterday.
It was hauled from Christchurch to the Taramakau by a large Fulton Hogan truck, the tail end of the beam carried by a motorised slave unit. For
at least the next three months up to three loads a week of the 45m-long beams will make their way across Arthur’s Pass to the new bridge site, some
bumper to bumper. The first of the beams arrived last evening, and was resting on the north bank of the Taramakau this morning awaiting
installation on top of concrete piers currently being prepared for the new bridge. New Zealand Transport Agency project delivery manager Colin
MacKay said the main contractor for the $25.8 million bridge replacement, Fulton Hogan, was responsible for the manufacture and transport of the
beams from Christchurch. Motorists have been warned to expect delays on State highway 73 while the beams are transported across. Each load is
scheduled to leave Hornby at 4.30am with loads to pass through from Springfield to Arthur’s Pass between 7.30am and 12.30pm, between Arthur’s
Pass and Otira from about 2.30pm and are due at the Taramakau River by 6pm. Before travelling motorists should check www.nzta.govt.nz on the
day to see if a truck is scheduled.
Agfest owners have put Hokitika in
question for future festivals but have
also yet to commit to the new events
venue the Grey District Council
plans for the Greymouth aerodrome.
A permanent outdoor events area
to replace Victoria Park, was pushed
into the council draft annual plan
late in the piece recently after an
approach from an “existing West
Coast event ”.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn declined to
confirm it was Agfest.
However, it emerged at the
Westland District Council meeting
on Monday that Agfest owners were
looking at moving to Greymouth
from next year.
Hokitika has hosted the rural
festival at Cass Square every two
years since it was founded in 2012.
The surface at Cass Square has been
problematic although the Westland
District Council confirmed on
Monday it would be available to
Agfest again next year.
Agfest co-owner and former
Westland councillor Andy Thompson
said this morning they had not had
confirmation of that and were still
considering all their options.
Mr Kokshoorn today again declined
to confirm he had been courting
“ We’re dealing with a big event and
that is the reason why we are looking
at the outdoors events area because
we have a request ... we have a request
to have this event in Greymouth and
I’m not saying it’s Agfest.”
The council was still negotiating
and it expected to see a long-term
commitment to the new events site
from the interested party.
“It costs us to put it on and we have
to have a certain criteria for payback.
We have to make sure it’s not a one-
off,” the mayor said.
At the annual plan hearing a
fortnight ago the council confirmed
$11,000 in operational funding and
$131,131 in capital funding, to be
loan funded over six years, to develop
infrastructure such as fencing and
power supply at the aerodrome site.
Mr Thompson said any commitment
by them to the Grey District Council
in terms of next year’s festival was
“still up in the air.”
Ag Fest ’s commitment to the event
area would be based on a straight fee.
“The contribution on our part for
wherever we go will be paying some
ground hire,” he said.
Agfest still regarded Cass Square
as suitable for its needs, but he
underlined the festival had always
been ‘Agfest West Coast ’ with a
regional focus: “It ’s never been
Greymouth, Hokitika competing for Agfest
Coast tsunami history logged
A drowned village, shipwrecks
found inland and trees cut off to the
stumps throughout the West Coast
have been added to a database of
possible tsunamis in New Zealand.
The new database collected by Niwa,
records palaeotsunami — a tsunami
that occurred before written records
existed and has been discovered
by investigating geological and
A number of possible sites are
found throughout the West Coast,
some backed strongly by evidence,
including a cluster around the
Okarito Lagoon and a possible
tsunami in 1826 indicated by a boat,
found by explorer Thomas Brunner
in 1847, which may have been
Early travellers to that area also
reported a drowned village, which
may indicate tsunami between 1430
Also at Okarito scientists have
found buried soil and even a drowned
forest dating to 710 BC and further
south at Bruce Bay they found tree
stumps planed off, possibly a sign of
a tsunami in 1430 to 1500.
Nearer Haast, at Ship Creek, they
also note that a shipwreck was found
At Nine Mile, north of Greymouth,
gravel mixed with artefacts was found
in a cave, a possible hint of a tsunami
between 1470 and 1550. There are
also sites just south of Westport.
The database ranks how robust the
evidence is; for instance, at Okarito it
varies from poor to excellent.
Niwa said the information,
which was previously stored in old
spreadsheets or historic documents,
had been transferred to an interactive
map and database.
Project leader and Niwa scientist
Darren King said the aim of the
database was to increase awareness
of New Zealand’s tsunami hazard.
“If you are assessing tsunami risk, it
is helpful to know the history of past
events in your area. ”
Mr King said many of New
Zealand’s palaeotsunami records had
been sitting in spreadsheets, or held in
information that had not previously
been published, such as reports, logs
and old historical documents. It is
based on the work of former Niwa
scientist Professor James Goff, now
based at the University of New
South Wales in Australia.
The New Zealand palaeotsunami
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