Home' Greymouth Star : June 17th 2017 Contents WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017
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Old West Coast from above
A Greymouth man has been
called by scammers every day this
week. John Morel said the latest
call, yesterday morning from a
man with an Indian accent, was
the most persistent yet and even
when threatened with Interpol,
the scammer would not hang up.
Mr Morel has had daily calls from
different people claiming to be from
Windows, all desperate to ‘fix’ his
computer. Some are male and others
female. Most have hung up as soon
as he tells them he knows they are
scammers, but yesterday ’s caller did
not give up easily. “ He said over the
past few days they had hundreds of
letters with a virus, and I should not
let it take over by computer. They
said the screen would go blank. I
said it was already blank. It was not
turned on.” He told them he knew
they were trying to scam him but
this time, the man argued back,
saying that was not true. “He kept
talking over me.” Mr Morel even
threatened the phone scammer
with Interpol. Mr Morel has had
so many calls he even managed to
get the number, so other people
with caller ID can be on alert for
01909722781. He said the number
9 made some people think it was an
Cloud increasing, showers
Greymouth Star On-line
A new Bermuda triangle has
opened up in China after 85 freight
and passenger ships went missing
in a small stretch of water last year.
Some fear that the trouble zone
will become a place where ships
disappear, often without a trace,
after six of the top 10 biggest losses
took place near Asian countries.
According to a report by insurance
firm, Allianz subsidiary Global
Corporate and Specialty, the waters
off southern China, Indochina,
Indonesia and the Philippines were
the site of a quarter of all losses.
Experts said that the main cause
of accidents was poor maintenance
of the ships or overloading, for
example, of passenger ferries. Bad
weather, particularly strong storms,
also played a role in the widespread
losses. — Express
DWC douses steam train idea
Development West Coast has again
shunted aside the possibility of the
heritage Kingston Flyer steam train
being brought to the West Coast as a
Greymouth-based tourist attraction,
saying it would have “negligible”
The vintage train — together with
two former New Zealand Railways
AB steam locomotives of the World
War One era and a rake of early 20th
century wooden carriages — has been
sitting idle in Northern Southland for
several years after its Blenheim-based
owner bought the train but then lost
The train, along with 15km of track
and a swathe of prime land at Kingston,
fronting Lake Wakatipu, was sold early
this year to a Queenstown consortium,
which later said it was considering
options for selling off the train.
However, for the second time DWC
has investigated and then dropped the
“The decision of the trustees
is to decline the purchase of the
Kingston Flyer,” chief executive Chris
Mackenzie said this week after the
decision at the last board meeting on
A fairly extensive review of the
business case could not make it stack
up. The decision was also largely driven
by the new owners’ indecision about
selling the train, Mr Mackenzie said.
The trust had also decided to ‘park’
further investigation based on the
cost of purchase and transport to the
West Coast, upgrading the train to
mainline standard, staffing, storage,
finding qualified drivers and the lack
of turntable facilities on the existing
Installing turning facilities at
places like Moana, Hokitika and
Westport was also costly and therefore
uneconomic. Reefton and Greymouth
currently have turntables.
Lack of turning would have meant
running the steam locomotives
backwards for return journeys, which
was slow and inefficient.
“That ’s not the main reason. It is
really the upkeep and the crewing
requirement and where we store them.
So, on that basis the decision was to
decline the potential purchase. The
other issue is that the current owner of
the Kingston Flyer has not yet decided
to dispose of the Flyer. They haven’t
made a final decision.”
Mr Mackenzie said the trust had
assessed buying and setting up the
train against potential economic
benefit: namely direct employment
and benefits of visitor spending from
the estimated number of people the
steam train may bring to the region
“over and above” current tourist traffic.
At the very least, operating the
train here would have meant paying
qualified Kiwi Rail locomotive
engineers to drive it, he said.
“It was therefore estimated there
may be a marginal increase and other
benefits that it may bring to the Coast
may be negligible.”
He did not rule out another look in
the future, although he hinted that
DWC was also in a period of change.
“ We’ve also got steering behind us
the regional growth strategy, which is
going to focus us in a slightly different
direction. If something comes up at a
future date, I’m not saying we wouldn’t
put another case before the trustees.”
A keen steam train enthusiast
himself with practical experience, Mr
Mackenzie said he personally would
have liked to see the Kingston Flyer
on the Coast, but it would have been
reliant on a large volunteer base to
bridge the gap for paid staff to carry out
extensive and ongoing maintenance.
The danger of that was it could have
ended up as a static display here.
“ It would have been nice to see it
here but at the moment, sentiment
has to give way to reality.”
for the repair of the sagging
beams in the aquatic hall at the
Westland Recreation Centre,
possibly requiring a three-month
The Grey District Council had
planned to do the work during
the quiet winter season, but that
is now unclear.
Council corporate planning and
community manager Quecha
Horning said all pool staff would
be “ looked after” during the 10
to 12-week shutdown, although
the council did not know yet if it
would proceed this winter.
A report in the council agenda
said the work was due to get under
way in July, but Ms Horning said
it was still waiting on detailed
engineering drawings before
deciding how to proceed with the
“There’s no pricing on it at the
moment. I’m not sure how it ’s
going to pan out. We have been
working with a local contractor
and engineer to come up with an
approach how to fix it. Once we
have the pricing there will be a
Ms Horning said the pool
shutdown, redeploying staff and
the best time to undertake the
work while also meeting the
needs of the swimming public
were “incredibly complex”.
The scope of the contract,
the price and how it might be
tendered would need to go back to
the council table before anything
“ If we can’t get this to happen
within this wintertime when
it’s slow, then we may end up
delaying another year ... we really
don’t know if it ’s going to be in
Ms Horning said they were
working out how the existing pool
staff would be redeployed during
the shutdown, noting that the
adjoining Westland Recreation
Centre gym and stadium would
“ We’re going to look after our
“Some people have said they
really want to take a holiday and
we’ ll have other people who want
to continue working. There’s all
kinds of stuff that we can do to
look after staff.”
Both pools would have to be
drained so the beams could
be braced from below while
replacements were installed, and
would “potentially” be closed for
about 12 weeks.
Ms Horning said there was no
“pending risk” with the structural
integrity of the current roof.
Old Marist school gets reprieve
The Marist block at John Paul II
High School, in Greymouth, has been
granted a stay of execution.
The original Marist Brothers High
School — situated on the other side of
Alexander Street from the rest of the
current school — had been suggested
for demolition, however during recent
earthquake structure testing it was
found to be one of the safest building at
As a result, the building was going
to remain in use for at least another
decade, principal Kieran Stone said.
The board of trustees had intended
phasing out the Marist block in the
However, Mr Stone said because it
was a wooden building it was found
to be structurally safe. Elsewhere,
brickwork buildings at the school had
been demolished — including the old
two-storey St Mary ’s block — as part
of an ongoing earthquake readiness
The Marist block was now going to
remain in use, and in the long-term it
would be pulled down in 12 years or so,
Mr Stone said.
“It is a lovely old building with history.
It is quirky in some ways.”
Meanwhile, there was a need for work
to be done to ensure the classrooms
were up to standard.
“The woodwork department is being
refurbished, and we have put in new
desks and carpet. The toilets need
upgrading, and that was one of the areas
that might cause some concern, but the
board is aware of that,” Mr Stone said.
The upgrade was due to start once the
planning and financing was completed.
PICTURE: Christopher Stewart
Part of the Marist block at John Paul II High School, including the broken statue of St Joseph and the infant Jesus.
A Greymouth man charged with
grievous bodily harm after smashing
his former friend over the head at a
New Year’s Eve party two years ago
was found guilty by a High Court jury
in Greymouth yesterday.
Denis Bernard Crozier denied
causing injury to Raymond Thompson.
Mr Thompson suffered life-changing
injuries in the attack, which fractured
his skull and left him with a permanent
During the hearing the court was
told that Mr Thompson and two
friends, Josephine Clarke and Robert
van Groen, went to Crozier’s home to
celebrate New Year’s Eve and the birth
of Crozier’s son.
Crown prosecutor Barnaby Hawes
told the court that later in the evening
Crozier told Ms Clarke he wanted Mr
Thompson to leave as he was eating all
his food and drinking his alcohol.
When she went outside to tell them
it was time to go, Mr Thompson was
bashed from behind. Ms Clarke said
she saw Crozier with a concealed
weapon as he walked outside, followed
by the sound of “dull, heavy whacks to
Ray ’s skull”.
Justice Gerald Gamble, in summing
up the case yesterday, told the jury
they needed to put aside any feelings
of sympathy and prejudice and give a
clear verdict according to the evidence.
Justice Gamble said Crozier, in his
evidence, said he only pushed the
victim and denied having a bat and
swinging at him.
“If you believe this you must acquit
the defendant,” Justice Gamble said.
The prosecution had told the jury the
main witnesses, Ms Clarke and Mr van
Groen, were honest and reliable, while
on the other hand Crozier’s lawyer
Marcus Zintl said they were unreliable
and deliberately lying.
Justice Gamble said the suggestion
that Crozier pushed Mr Thompson
face first into a pole was not supported
by the prosecution, who said the victim
would have had some kind of front
facial injuries, and he did not.
The jury deliberated for three and a
half hours before returning a verdict.
Mr Zintl sought bail for Crozier on
humanitarian grounds, saying Crozier
had been compliant and had two
However, Justice Gamble said he had
been found guilty of a serious crime
which would most likely see him sent
to prison and he was not prepared to
remand him on bail.
Crozier was convicted and remanded
in custody to August 18 for sentencing.
Greymouth man guilty of bashing causing brain injury
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