Home' Greymouth Star : July 4th 2017 Contents P2
Older riders dominate
TUESDAY, JULY 4, 2017
$1.20 (Home Delivery 90c)
Phone 769 7900
Dance troupe enchants
Greymouth audience P6,7
The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
A trailer taken from Paparoa
Range School in Dobson last week
was recovered at a Greymouth
address yesterday after police
executed a search warrant. Senior
sergeant Paul Watson said two
people were arrested at the
Shakespeare Street address and
would face a variety of charges in
connection with the search and
the disappearnace of the trailer.
Meanwhile, a Nelson man who
fronted up at the Greymouth Police
Station yesterday was found to be
breaching his bail. He was due to
appear in court this morning.
More funds for
The Westland District Council
has received $15,000 from the
Government towards the West
Coast Wilderness Trail. The
funding will be used for a bridge
upgrade on Lake Kaniere Road,
with co-funding from Trustpower.
The wilderness trail was one of 12
new projects to receive $528,000
from the sixth round of funding
from the ‘maintaining the quality
of great rides fund’. The Mokihinui
Lyell Backcountry Trust received
$34,474 for the Old Ghost Road
Trail to upgrade the section of track
between Skyline Steps and Stern
As the inevitable robot takeover
looms, it is nice to know we
have one surprising weapon in
our arsenal: kangaroos. Volvo
has confessed that the springy
marsupials are throwing off the
‘Large Animal Detection’ systems
being developed for self-driving
cars. Those systems are meant to
make sure the cars avoid animals
along the road, such as deer or
cattle. But the hopping of the
kangaroos is messing with the
detection, which uses the ground as
a reference point, Volvo Australia’s
technical manager David Pickett
told the Australian Broadcasting
Corp. However, Kevin McCann,
managing director of Volvo
Australia, told The Guardian that
researchers would be able to solve
the problem before the driverless
cars are commercially available in
2020. — Huffington Post
Fine, morning showers in north
Greymouth Star On-line
Greymouth grabs Ag Fest
Greymouth has pulled off a coup
by luring the West Coast Ag Fest —
expected to draw 15,000 visitors — away
from its former home in Hokitika to
a new events arena at the Greymouth
The biennial Ag Fest — the West Coast
equivalent of the Mystery Creek Fieldays
has been held on Cass Square, in
Hokitika, since it began in 2012 but from
next year it will be held in Greymouth.
Ag Fest director Andy Thompson, a
former Westland district councillor and
mayoral candidate in last year’s election,
said today they needed to move for the
“sustained longevity ” of the rural festival
and to better showcase the event for the
“ We needed to move to a ground that
gives Ag Fest West Coast more space
to grow after the 2016 event seeing
Cass Square Hokitika close to capacity,”
Mr Thompson said.
The new site to be developed at the
aerodrome was about twice the usable
area of Cass Square, and he said that
had tipped the balance in favour of
Ag Fest runs over two days and although
it will tie up the aerodrome area for about
nine days, it will not disrupt hospital
flights and after a meeting last night it
has the full support of the Greymouth
“This decision came down to space and
ability to grow the event for the whole of
the West Coast,” Mr Thompson said.
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith was today
blindsided by the decision to move, but
not surprised. He learned about the move
when approached by the Greymouth Star
“There’s been lots of chatter for quite
some time. Ag Fest is a real celebration
of the rural sector ... I’m disappointed it is
moving to Greymouth,” Mr Smith said.
However, he also noted that the festival’s
success had grown out of Hokitika.
“Ag Fest was relatively small. If it’s twice
as big as last year, it’s a great thing for the
Coast. It’s a competitive environment out
there. Clearly Grey district has gone out
of its way to accommodate them. That ’s
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said the move was a great decision for
Greymouth and would anchor its new
events area, which was being developed
to replace the venue lost with the closure
of Victoria Park.
The festival would continue to benefit
the wider region economically, in the
same way that Greymouth gained from
the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival.
“Greymouth has lacked an events
venue since Victoria Park closed and
with the expected 15,000 attendees and
up to 400 exhibitors to Ag Fest, this will
now be the major event for the district,”
Mr Kokshoorn said.
“Ag Fest said that Cass Square was
not now big enough and the reason why
Greymouth was, was the 4ha of land
The council would charge the same fee
that Ag Fest owners had paid for Cass
Square, about $5000.
The council would provide power to
the site, while the festival owners were
responsible for temporary fencing and
toilets. The grassed area bordering the
runway, from the terminal building south
and containing just on 4ha of ground,
would be devoted to exhibition space.
A separate area of just over half a
hectare to the north would be reser ved for
parking. The Quarter Mile itself would be
closed for nine days for the set up and
pull down of the festival.
representatives last night met with the
aero club, which had unanimously “given
it their blessing”.
The Civil Aviation Authority had also
given it the go-ahead.
In the two days the festival was open the
airport would be closed to all traffic except
for emergency medical flights. Aero club
flights could operate outside the two days.
The runway would be temporarily fenced
for a buffer zone between it and Ag Fest.
Mr Kokshoorn said he could see
no reason why the events area at the
aerodrome would not be permanent.
“There are always possibilities that
maybe we could do something with
Messenger Park down the track.”
However, preliminary investigations
indicated that area — reclaimed lagoon
would be “hugely expensive” to
properly develop and with no guarantee
from Ag Fest, “so the airport is ideal”.
Meanwhile, Mr Smith said he had
instructed his council staff to keep the
Ag Fest 2018 booking for Cass Square
open in case of the unforeseen, noting
that the door was “always open” to come
back to Hokitika.
Woman heads DWC
Inchbonnie dairy farmer Renee
Rooney has taken over the chair of
Development West Coast.
She becomes the first woman to
head DWC since it was established
Her appointment comes a week
after a neighbouring farmer at
Rotomanu, Katie Milne, broke
through the glass ceiling to become
the first female national president of
Mrs Rooney replaces John
Sturgeon, whose term was brought
to a controversial early end by the
West Coast mayors after seven years
in the job. His seat, representing
the four councils, was subsequently
taken by Dame Julie Christie,
who attended her first meeting in
Mrs Rooney was elected as
the Grey district representative
on DWC during the local body
elections last year. While still
relatively new to the trust, she said
she was committed to the West
Coast and was excited about her
“ I see the immense potential of
DWC to take our region for ward. I
am looking forward to the challenge
of building on DWC’s successes
to date,” she said in a statement
released through the trust today.
The trust expected the West Coast
regional growth study action plan,
due to be launched on July 13,
would have “some affect ” on DWC
and so it was a timely opportunity
for the board to review its strategy
and refocus its operations.
The Greymouth Star
previously reported that closer ties
with Tourism West Coast may be on
the cards, with several government
ministers unhappy with the current
direction of both groups.
The board also expressed its thanks
to Mr Sturgeon for his “valuable
contribution to the trust over the
past seven years and wish him well
in his well deser ved retirement ”.
Mrs Rooney and her husband,
Greg, who have three children,
farm at Inchbonnie. She chairs
the Lake Brunner School board
of trustees and is a graduate of
the 2014-15 Development West
Coast leadership and governance
In 2016, she was nominated as a
West Coast finalist for the Dairy
Woman of the Year award.
She was elected chairwoman of
Federated Farmers West Coast in
Mrs Rooney was born on the West
Coast, moving to Canterbury with
her parents and then later returned
to take up dairy farming.
2010 to 2017 John Sturgeon
2009 to 2010 Tony Williams
2008 B Roche
2001 to 2008 Frank Dooley
The 4ha events arena site, with the runway and Lake Karoro to the right.
A Stillwater man who has been
unable to work since 2008 because of
a spinal condition says he has received
$170,000 in welfare benefits when a
$30,000 operation could have fixed
Chris Allan says he is in constant
pain from cer vical spinal stenosis. He
is unable to find relief, and has even
rigged up a rope system in his house
bus, weighed with a bag of rice, to try
to stretch his neck out.
A railway fitter by trade, he had to
give up work in 2008. He was offered
a job with Kiwi Rail in 2012 and
managed a three-week trial before he
was temporarily paralysed.
He says he had been told that while
the government funded hip and knee
surgery, it was reluctant to pay for his
spinal injury, which he believed would
cost up to $30,000.
By March the pain was so bad he
was doubled up on the floor of his bus.
His GP suspected a heart attack and
called an ambulance, but the hospital
confirmed stenosis. Even so, his
orthopaedics referral was rejected.
The GP then wrote to the
orthopaedics department, and at the
same time Mr Allan wrote to the
media, politicians and even the Prime
Eventually Mr Allan got an MRI
appointment at Christchurch Hospital,
and struggled through the procedure
for which he had to be sedated due to
the pain of lying down. He can only
sleep sitting up.
He has recently
“There is still
no guarantee of
surgery,” he said.
Mr Allan said
the health budget
to meet all
which get all the press, like hip and
knee replacements, get done. If your
orthopaedic need falls outside the realm
of the famous — and there are many
which do, then be prepared for years,
if not a lifetime, of pain and suffering,”
Mr Allan said.
“My personal experience is a case in
point. Genetics determined that I will
become ill, the State has determined
that I will remain ill.”
Mr Allan received a reply from Health
Minister Jonathan Coleman on June
13. His letter offering the orthopaedic
appointment came two days later.
He is now wrangling to have the
appointment changed as he has to
travel over to Christchurch by public
transport, and some days there is no
shuttle through Stillwater.
Dr Coleman said while he was sorry
to hear he was in pain, and that the
situation was distressing for him, it was
inappropriate for him to intervene.
Ministry of Health manager electives
and national services Jessica Smaling
said the ministry had sympathy for
anyone experiencing constant pain.
“It seems that in this case, the patient
concerned is in the system and appears
to be getting appropriate advice and
access to diagnostic procedures, which
is what ’s needed to determine the best
course of treatment,” Ms Smaling said.
“Any decision regarding surgery would
be part of the conversation with the
orthopaedic surgeon and the patient.
Note that there may be other, more
suitable options, which will also be
canvassed with the surgeon.”
$170,000 in benefits, $30,000 to fix
Chris Allan, at home in his house bus at Stillwater.
10 Boundary Street Greymouth
Ph 03 768 5720
fax 03 768 0907
• Gift Vouchers Available •
WESTLAND ENGINEERING SUPPLIES find us on
ONE STOP SHOP
We are more
Links Archive July 3rd 2017 July 5th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page