Home' Greymouth Star : June 15th 2017 Contents P5
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Pull-off areas will be sealed, and
more safety barriers put up between
Cobden and Westport before
the next tourist season. Associate
Transport Minister Tim Macindoe
said yesterday work was under way
on dozens of individual road safety
projects to make busy South Island
tourist routes safer for visiting
drivers. On State highways 6 and
73 on the West Coast, more signs
showing rest areas, destination
guide signs and the like will be
installed. At Shines Hill, between
Westport and Punakaiki, a safety
barrier will be installed, along with
one at brewery hill, Cobden. Sites
are being identified now where pull
off areas can be sealed this spring.
There will also be more ‘no passing’
lanes, and ‘keep left’ arrows. The
improvements are part of the
Government ’s Visiting Drivers
Project ’s $15 million road safety
engineering programme announced
last October. A further $10 million
has been budgeted through the
project for co-investment with
local councils to support regional
works and a visiting drivers
education campaign. “ These
improvements are designed to
reduce the likelihood of crashes
occurring and to minimise the
consequences when they do occur.
Some of our roads are challenging
for drivers unfamiliar with them,”
Mr Macindoe said.
Fine spells after showers clear
A leading Indian non-
governmental organisation (NGO)
has announced plans to name a
village in the country after United
States President Donald Trump
in an effort to boost US-India
relations. The development comes
in time for Trump’s 71st birthday
today, which Hindu right-wing
activists plan to celebrate in the
Indian capital. Bindeshwar Pathak,
founder and chief of NGO Sulabh
International, is “to name one
Indian village after President
Trump, as part of efforts to further
the India-US relationship” at a
community event in Washington,
the organisation said. “ We are
developing this village in the
northern state of Haryana, where
toilets for all homes have been
built by Sulabh. We will name the
village after President Trump after
discussing it with the villagers,”
Pathak said. This would not be the
first village in India to be named
after a US president. A village near
New Delhi was renamed Carterpuri
to commemorate US president
Jimmy Carter’s visit to the village in
1978. — DPA
Despite appearances, Cobden beach is
not experiencing widespread erosion and
is actually “relatively healthy”, scientists
have reported to the West Coast Regional
The Niwa report ‘Managing and
Adapting to Coastal Erosion at Cobden
Beach’ was tabled at the council meeting
The Cobden report is one of a series
commissioned by the council to gauge the
overall impact of coastal erosion facing
several communities up and down the
region — from Granity to Neils Beach
— and how to manage it.
The report noted accretion trends of
the past 30 or so years were expected
to continue in the foreseeable future,
although the rock defences put around
the Grey District Council’s recently
improved car park fronting Jellyman Park
continued to “interfere” with the natural
“The fundamental issue is that the
car park and associated infrastructure
have been located too close to the active
shoreline and do not provide for sufficient
beach crest buffer to accommodate the
cycles of storm-related erosion that are
experienced,” the scientists said.
Niwa has recommended the Cobden
councils discuss “values, objectives and
expectations” for the car park, and its
future as an amenity or costal defence
buffer. Relocating the car park further
landward was suggested, and reinstating
a minimum 10m vegetated beach crest
buffer — ideally wider and closer to the
30 to 40m width occurring along much
of nearby Domett Esplanade.
Overall, Cobden beach was not
experiencing current long-term and
widespread erosion and “is relatively
healthy and well stocked,” Niwa said.
The northern 5km of the beach was
wider and growing, with evidence of 50m
or more gain in the past 30 years.
“The southern 1km of the beach has
also accreted since the 1980s, but to a
Despite the general trend of beach
growth, storms or spates of storms caused
“overwashing and short-term cut-back”
along the entire seafront.
Future trends in the Cobden shoreline
would be related principally to the
pattern of sediment washed north from
Blaketown and bypassing the tipheads.
“It is anticipated that the supply of
sediment to Cobden beach will continue
in the foreseeable future in a similar
manner as has been occurring over the
last 30 or so years.”
The Cobden beach frontage was
generally relatively stable but with short-
term natural cycles of accretion and
“These natural cycles are expected to
cause smaller changes to the Blaketown
and Cobden beaches compared to the
historic changes that resulted from the
construction of the river training walls.”
The Grey River training works over
100 years had extended about 1km from
the 1884 shoreline and had significantly
altered the coastline by modifying
sediment supply to both the Blaketown
and Cobden beaches. Past studies showed
Blaketown had experienced “massive
accretion” as the northerly drift trapped
sediment against the tiphead.
Conversely, to the north “significant
historical erosion” had occurred.
Mapping of the coastal position from
aerial photos and cadastral maps showed
that from 1884 to 1981 Blaketown beach
had advanced seaward about 300m at a
rate of 2.9m a year, while the southern
part of Cobden beach had retreated about
130m at a rate of of 1.35m a year.
“This rate of sediment trapping at
Blaketown is expected to reduce in time
with ... an increase of sediment bypassing
the river training works and on to
Sunsets paint West Coast skies
PICTURE: Steven Russell
Blaketown resident Steven Russell was in the right place at the right time last week to capture the winning shot in the Greymouth Star winter 2017
sunset photo competition. He captured the colours of the setting sun from the beach near the Blaketown tiphead. It was one of 42 sunset photos
submitted, from Westport to Fox Glacier, judged by Greymouth professional photographer Elizabeth Passuello, an accredited judge with the
Photographic Society of New Zealand. Ms Passuello also praised a Sue Eade photo of waves against the setting sun, taken from Camerons beach.
Mr Russell wins a $100 meal voucher with the Ocean View Restaurant, at the Beachfront Hotel in Hokitika, where he can dine and watch the sun
melt into the Tasman Sea. Thank you to everyone who entered. We received so many good entries we will run them all in a series of photo pages,
starting on Saturday.
Blackball is in for a boost, with
new public toilets, work to fill in the
open drains along the main road,
and the first ‘great walk’ developed in
New Zealand in over 20 years.
The Grey District Council has
agreed to set aside $100,000 for
toilets, and the same again for fixing
the drainage problem.
There are also plans for a tree-lined
avenue leading into the town.
The work is part of efforts to
get Blackball ready for the new
$10 million Paparoa Track ‘great walk’
linking Blackball with Punakaiki.
Grey District Mayor
Kokshoorn said he thought Blackball
should become a hub for the walk,
running shuttle buses to the starting
“ We are making a major push
and working towards making sure
Blackball capitalises on the track,”
Mr Kokshoorn said.
The Blackball Residents’ Association
has consulted over the need for public
toilets, most people preferring a
central site at the skatepark.
In a submission to the council the
residents’ group said replacing the
open drains with culverts was “a very
necessary first stage in enhancing the
visual appeal and safety for visitors
and residents alike”.
Another idea is to plant memorial
trees to commemorate the Pike River
29, to form an attractive avenue into
The Paparoa Track will have a side
track leading to the Pike River Mine
to be called the Pike 29 Memorial
Construction of the walk is due to
start later this year, and it is expected
to open at the end of 2018.
The Department of Conservation
projects up to 2500 walkers a year,
and 1000 mountainbikers. The walk
will also host two organised sporting
or other competitive events a year.
Yet another suspicious fire occurred
in Buller overnight, this time near
Granity Volunteer Fire Brigade
chief Murray Watson said the older
wooden house, on the bank of
the Mokihinui River between the
township and the Seddonville turn-
off, was razed in the fire.
Mr Watson said a nearby resident
must have heard something before
raising the alarm shortly before
2.20am, although there would have
been a delay given there was no
cellphone coverage in the area.
“They obviously got woken up by
something,” Mr Watson said.
The house, on State highway 67 and
about 57km north of Westport, was
empty but not abandoned.
There was little the brigade could do
on arrival and the Westport brigade
was dispatched but turned back.
Mr Watson said the fire was
police and a Fire Ser vice inspector
were due at the scene this morning.
West Coast police prevention
manager Paul Watson said the vacant
dwelling had been set on fire.
It was “too early to say” if there
was a firebug active in the area or if
the latest fire, quite a distance north
of Westport, was part of a spate of
suspicious house fires there in the
past few months.
“O bviously we have got some issues
in the (Westport) township which
we are working around,” Mr Watson
The CIB had begun an investigation
into the latest fire, he said.
Arsonist razes Buller house
GRAPHIC: Eric Martini
Changes to the Greymouth
coastline, between 1875 and 2014.
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