Home' Greymouth Star : June 3rd 2017 Contents WEST COAST FEATURE
Gladstone’s sawmilling heritage revisited
The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2017
$1.20 (Home Delivery 90c)
Phone 769 7900
Blasting to open
up glacier access
The ongoing battle to maintain
access to South Westland’s
retreating glaciers will see blasting
done on the Fox Glacier access
track this winter. The glacier has
retreated about 740m since the end
of the last advance in 2008, while
neighbouring Franz Josef Glacier
has lost 1.5km. In response, the
Department of Conser vation plans
to do some blasting alongside the
Fox walking track. Operations
manager Wayne Costello said the
issue was with the end section of
the track to the viewpoint, which
in the past three or four years had
become slippery and had eroded.
Mr Costello said they hoped to
even out the ground with blasting.
DOC has warned of a “couple of
short closures to this section of
track while large rocks are blasted ”.
A review of the Westland Tai
Poutini National Park management
plan is in its early stages but is
expected to address the retreat of
the glaciers and ways to maintain
The Greymouth Star will not be
published on Monday, Queen’s
A Texas middle school principal
plans to launch an investigation
after a 7th-grade student was
named “most likely to become
a terrorist ” in a mock award
ceremony. “I was shocked,” Lizeth
Villanueva, a 13-year-old student
at Anthony Aguirre Junior High in
Houston said. “(The teacher) said,
‘Most likely to become a terrorist,’
and she said my name, and she
gave me this.” Lizeth received the
award in an advanced learning
programme that is supposed to
help children prepare for college.
The teacher told the students
the award was supposed to be
funny, but Lizeth is not laughing.
“Principal Eric Lathan released an
apology on Twitter for “insensitive
and offensive” awards, saying
they were distributed after the
school’s real awards ceremony had
concluded. — Huffington Post
Greymouth Star On-line
Chasing the water dream
Twenty-five years and numerous
ventures after selling water was first
flagged on the West Coast as the
latest economic wonder, not a drop
has been bottled or sold.
The latest in a string of water
bottling consents has recently been
granted at Waimangaroa. It is one of
six water consents issued on the West
Coast, each costing just $55 a year and
with no royalties.
However, one businesswoman who
has been involved since the early
1990s, says selling water is not as easy
as it sounds.
Okuru Enterprises Ltd has just
renewed its consents for bulk water
exports from Jackson Bay after the
first batch expired after 25 years of
trying to get it off the ground.
Okuru owns the consent for the
largest water extraction in New
Zealand — 9.6 million litres a year.
Director Helen Rasmussen said that
when they started, “everyone thought
it would be really easy ”.
“ It proved not to be.”
In November, West Coast Water —
owned by Timaru businessman Jim
Bisset, who developed the Sanctuary
Place subdivision at Kumara Junction
— a n n oun c ed plans to sell freshwater
in recyclable bags.
Mr Bisset said this week the venture
was on hold.
“ I’m still working on it, chasing a
share in the market,” he said, but for
now it was not advancing.
In 2008, Wellington-based Pacific
Engineering Ltd and a subsidiary,
Alpha Aqua, drew West Coast mayors
and community leaders to a function
at Kingsgate Hotel to announce
plans for a big water bottling plant at
Initially the company claimed it
would draw 4000 litres of water an
hour, which would then be bottled
and exported to the United States.
By August 2010, there was no sign
of the project getting started. Alpha
Aqua general manager Dave Adams
blamed the delay on the economic
It is believed this was tied to a water
consent issued to Ian Stewart in
March 2008 for a spring on the terrace
above the Taramakau River, nearly
opposite the Kumara Racecourse. The
consent is still valid.
Another Kumara resident, Jack
Meates, has held a consent for years
to extract water from the area, but he
said he had no immediate plans to act.
Like his mining consent, he
had kept the consent ticking over,
Mr Meates said.
The latest consent, issued in March
to Blair Colligan, now of Nelson, and
partner Gillian Bearman, involves
drawing water from Waimangaroa.
Mr Colligan, who ser ved a jail
sentence for his involvement in a drug
ring broken up by police almost a
decade ago, said he regretted that part
of his life and had changed.
This year water bottling has become
an election issue.
Green Party water spokeswoman
Catherine Delahunty said selling
off drinking-water for profit had
become an issue because people were
more aware that water was a precious
resource “that we can’t just give away ”.
“ Many communities around the
country are stuck with poor drinking-
water, e coli contaminations and dirty
rivers, while our most pristine water is
siphoned off for private gain. People
are becoming more aware of how
unfair this is,” Ms Delahunty said.
“The amount of water may not be
the issue on the West Coast, but it
is in other communities around the
country, like Canterbury and the
Hawke’s Bay. We can’t take our water
for granted either as we feel more of
the effects of climate change.”
If people took water for profit, they
should pay for the privilege, she said.
Revenue raised from a commercial
charge on water would then be used to
improve land and water management
and ensure it was sustainable.
“ Very little recyclable plastic actually
gets recycled, so it ’s a concern that
so many bottles are produced by this
sector. But also, water that is siphoned
off and pumped into tanks and ships
means we’re not even getting the
benefit of job creation,” Ms Delahunty
“The water industry is a lose-lose for
Water consents issued by the West
Coast Regional Council, all with an
annual charge of $55:
G J Stuart, Kotuku-Bell Hill
Road, 7,300,000 litres a year. Annual
D Lucas, J Meates and W
McGrath, Kumara, 7,300,000 litres
Ian Stewart, Kumara,
Okuru Enterprises, Jackson Bay,
9,600,000,000 litres a year.
Waimangaroa, 1,314,000,000 litres
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Eighty-year-old Greymouth war veteran Mick Collins is turning heads around town with his upmarket mobility scooter. The snow
white, battery powered vehicle has two self-locking doors, headlights, indicators, brake lights, windscreen wiper and fully protects
him from the weather. Just like a miniature car, it is big enough to fit one person and small enough to fit on the footpath. “It ’s a little
beauty and built for West Coast conditions,” Mr Collins said. “I put the charger on each night and it will do 60km before it needs to
be charged. It has two speeds, and a reverse as well.” He found the unique mobility scooter on-line for $9500 and decided it would be
perfect for him and for the Coast weather.
to cope with 14,000
A flood of 14,000 submissions
on a new sustainable forestry
policy being formulated by
the Grey District Council —
many without a street address
are proving “a bit much to
handle”, the council says.
Pretorius said the deluge of
submissions — mainly by
e-mail — was such that they
would not be dealt with until
the July meeting.
submissions is a bit much to
handle,” Mr Pretorius said.
However, those submitters
who had asked to be heard
would have the opportunity at
the June meeting, next Tuesday.
At least 10 people had asked
to speak to their submissions,
but staff were still working
through the final numbers of
those who wished to appear.
The bulk of submissions
campaign by Forest and Bird
and the green lobby for people
to file generic submissions
based on a view about what the
council intended to do.
One Green Party blog ran
a picture of a large swathe of
clearfelled native forest near
Charleston in the 1970s, when
in fact the council had proposed
sustainable har vesting
individual trees on its land
following an application from
sawmiller Forever Beech.
Mr Pretorius said most of the
submissions arrived by e-mail
and lacked a conventional
street address so it had to be
assumed most were mainly
from outside the district.
“Council can say, ‘we hear
you’ but actually this is a local
issue,” he said.
“The problem is some of the
submitters haven’t identified
where they are from.”
submissions being “off the
point ” there would be aspects
that were relevant and had to
be considered, he said.
Boat ramp planned
Cobden could be in line for a new
development as the Greymouth Boating
Club looks to build a boat ramp near the
Cobden Bridge and campsite.
Spokeswoman Judy Hay said the idea
was still in the “concept stage” although
they had applied for consent from the
West Coast Regional Council.
“ We had a group of volunteers down
by the river this week tidying up the
proposed site,” Mrs Hay said.
If everything went to plan they hoped
to build a concrete two-lane ramp for
Mrs Hay said it would blend in with
the existing character of the Grey River
and would give easy access to boat users
to the water way.
Mrs Hay, who grew up in Cobden, said
the same area was used as a marina years
ago. Images of the area as early as 1910
showed a large number of yachts moored
Costs had not been finalised but the
club hoped much of the work could be
undertaken by volunteers.
A new civil defence structure for the West
Coast could see the regional council take over
operational funding next year — adding $12
a year to an average household rates bill.
The West Coast Regional Council is looking
at setting up a new structure, in conjunction
with the three district councils.
Under the regional council’s draft annual
plan a director of emergency management,
a hazard analyst and three emergency
management officers are proposed in a
reorganised regional civil defence operation.
Currently, the three district councils directly
employ one staff member each to look after
civil defence in their districts.
Under the proposal, that will shift to the
regional council, although each district
council will retain an emergency management
The new arrangements proposed will cost
an extra $444,000 a year, to be funded by a
special rate. That will add $12 a year in regional
council rates for an average $200,000 capital
value homeowner, but it says ratepayers will
no longer need to pay a civil defence rate to
their district council.
Until now the regional council has employed
a group controller/regional manager for the
entire region. That role is currently vacant
following the departure of previous manager
The regional council proposes to raise a
regional civil defence special rate to deliver
“an enhanced shared ser vice” which the four
West Coast councils are jointly committed
to, according to the draft community
Civil defence changes add to regional rates bills
Coasters looking after Coasters — Locally owned
Coasters looking after Coasters — Locally owned Ph 0800 43 99 43
WHEN YOU SIGN UP &
ON EVERY PURCHASE
ALL INDUSTRIAL GAS
WELDING EQUIPMENT IN STORE
Our range is getting
Bigger & Better!
COME IN STORE — CHECK US OUT
E-CIGARETTES — BETTER THAN SMOKING!
Feel free to stick around and make
use of our FREE WIFI
154 Mackay St, Greymouth 03 768 0035
52 Revell St, Hokitika
Mon - Sat:
10am – 5pm
Thurs-Fri: 10am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 2pm
Links Archive June 2nd 2017 June 6th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page