Home' Greymouth Star : July 15th 2017 Contents SATURDAY, JULY 15, 2017
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Shipwreck coast: relics
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Hector calls fowl
A year after the Buller District
Council had to deal with a band
of rogue rambling roosters drunk
on whisky, it is now looking at the
crowing cockerels of Hector. An
anonymous complainant to the
Greymouth Star said there were
seven or eight roosters around
town, and they started crowing as
early as 3.30am and did not stop
until about midday. “It’s a chain
reaction. Someone turns a light on,
and off they go.” The bylaw around
keeping chickens, the complainant
said, lacked teeth. Council manager
community and environment Craig
Scanlon confirmed that officers
were looking into a complaint
and were trying to work with all
parties concerned. Last winter,
noisy roosters were dumped in the
Westport Domain, where three
renegade roosters took a liking to
a magnolia tree across from the
domain. After the cage intended to
catch them was stolen, council staff
turned to Google for answers, which
suggested a bit of whisky with
barley. The roosters got drunk and
rolled on their sides, allowing the
officers to pick them up effortlessly.
Some went to heaven but others
were re-homed in a more rural area.
Heavy falls later, then ease
Greymouth Star On-line
More than 1000 polyamorous
couples have descended on New
Orleans, Louisiana, for the annual
Naughty in N’awlins event, the
world’s largest swinging convention.
Vibrant photos from its Sexual
Freedom Parade show scantily clad
swingers frolicking through the
streets of New Orleans draped in
colourful beads. The parade, which
organisers claim is the biggest of
its kind in the country, is aimed at
raising awareness of polyamorous
relationships, swinging lifestyles and
‘archaic laws outlawing sex toys’.
During the week-long convention,
couples attend workshops, seminars,
parties, naked speed dating and —
most importantly — nightly erotic
balls. — Daily Mail
‘too f lash’
A shipwreck found buried at Cape
Foulwind remains a mystery three
years after a partial archaeological dig.
The remains were first found in 1970
by a farmer digging drains. Speculation
has since raged, including that it could
be the Rifleman, wrecked in 1833.
In 1846, the first Pakeha explorers
on the West Coast, Charles Heaphy
and Thomas Brunner, sighted parts
of a shipwreck close to the Cape
Foulwind location, which a later
newspaper report concluded was the
The Rifleman sailed in 1833 from
Hobart for England and was never
heard of again. However, recent work
suggests that the Rifleman was actually
wrecked on the Auckland Islands.
Other contenders for the Westport
wreck are the Mountain Maid, and far
less likely the Oceola and Yoland.
Westport resident Steve Wilkinson,
who drove the archaeological project
three years ago, said he had doubts
about the Mountain Maid.
The coal they found in it had been
analysed and traced to Newcastle
in Australia. Muntz metal was also
found and that was only invented
in the 1830s, which ruled out older
possibilities, including the Rifleman,
which was built much earlier.
After the 2014 dig the wreckage
was reburied under the oversight of a
“It ’s going to be preser ved better than
it was,” Mr Wilkinson said.
However, there was still no definite
proof of what ship it was.
The Mountain Maid, Mr Wilkinson
said, was wrecked north of the Buller
River and sold for scrap, whereas this
wreckage was south of the river mouth.
The drift was normally north, not
Mr Wilkinson said he thought a sail
clew was found further north, and a
yard (spar on a mast) north again at the
Carters Beach pumping station, could
all be from the same boat.
The spar is now at Coal Town
Museum in Westport but it had to
be snapped off to extract it from
the ground, meaning whatever it is
attached to remains underground.
Relics of Greymouth
Mystery surrounds buried shipwreck at Cape Foulwind
The $190,000 quote for a pod toilet
at Blackball has been described as
“outlandish” and out of kilter with low
property values in the town.
The Blackball Museum of Working
Class History Trust suggested to the
Grey District Council meeting on
Monday night that its own costed plans
would provide “a greater range of public
toilets for the town” if the council were
to fully fund it. The other plan is partly
funded by $100,000 seed funding from
The trust ’s plan would see two new
toilets constructed and existing toilets
at the domain and the Blackball
Community Centre upgraded — all for
a total cost of $60,000.
A toilet at the Croesus car park should
be raised with the Department of
Conser vation, the trust said.
Trust chairman Nick Secker presented
building and plumbing quotes, along
with consent costs, to build new toilets
at the skatepark ($20,000) and museum
($15,589), renovate the domain toilets
(about $5000), and tidy up and do some
upgrading of the community centre
toilet block ($20,000).
The new builds would be made to look
like old-fashioned single men’s huts.
The local scheme would leave about
$40,000 for unforeseen expenses,
contingency costs and supplies into the
“ Furthermore, it would circumvent the
need to apply to an additional fund to
find remaining capital,” Mr Secker said.
“ We believe that this is the community
solution rather than a pod dropped from
the back of a truck solution.”
Earlier this year the council agreed to
set aside $100,000 seed money in the
2017-18 annual plan for the Blackball
Residents Association to apply to the
Government tourism infrastructure
fund to develop toilets so the area could
capitalise on the expected spin-off
from the planned Paparoa Track, with
Blackball as a hub.
The initial application was turned
down but a fresh application is being
Mr Secker critiqued what had been
described as “a community-led proposal”
for the new Blackball public toilet.
While the toilet was requested through
the residents association and there
was acceptance of site advice given in
the community, “that is the extent of
community input ”.
The idea of surrounding the building
pad for the planned pod toilet with
a wooden wall was “superfluous” and
added unnecessary maintenance costs on
top of the proposed budged of $190,000.
“The cost associated with this
infrastructure is outlandish. Given
the average house value in Blackball is
around the $100,000 mark, this would
bring a two-tier value system to the
town, with visitor facilities double
the value of community housing and
“This can happen in tourist towns and
it is unfortunate. We wish to avoid this
distortion, and any insult to residents’
property valuations,” Mr Secker said.
Later on during the council meeting,
Cr Anton Becker said the council had
made “some sort of commitment ” to
what it understood the community
Corporate and community ser vices
manager Quecha Horning said her staff
had been working with the residents
association on a weekly basis on that,
“meeting with at least four members of
The Blackball toilet was “off the
template” of that used for the new
Cobden facility, and the association had
done its own sur vey.
“The discussions we’ve had around the
toilets is they want a good quality toilet,
but they were concerned with the skin of
Ms Horning noted the new
infrastructure money was for both toilets
and car parks.
Cobden family terrorised
A Cobden couple are at their wits
end after five years of random rocks,
bricks and bottle throwing at their
Clifford Street home.
The latest attack was this week,
and for five years the culprit has
The attacks have cost them
thousands of dollars in glass repair
bills and left them feeling rattled
and constantly insecure in their
“It’s not as if we’ve done harm
to anyone out in the community,”
homeowner Graham Hunt told the
It had been “on and off,” and
usually after dusk.
“ We never know when it’s going
to strike, but it ’s been bloody going
on for just over five years. ”
In that time most of their front
windows had been smashed by
rocks, bricks and wine bottles. Even
a vacuum cleaner had been thrown
through the window.
Fortunately, a local glazier had
been understanding of the problem
and allowed him to pay off his bill.
“ We’ve just had to spend over
$1000 replacing our ranchslider
windows. It ’s pretty hard when you
are on a limited income,” Mr Hunt
In the latest incident on Monday
night the house was pelted with
rocks and a brick at 6.45pm.
“ We’ve got our suspects. A guy
was previously charged but the
courts let him off because he’s got
mental issues,” Mr Hunt said.
Ironically the rock pelting stopped
for a while but resumed after the
court case was dismissed.
Mr Hunt said the police had
been supportive but the strain was
beginning to tell and it seemed the
culprit might never be caught.
“The police have been good with
us every time we have contacted
“I’m left now with only two
options: one to get security cameras
in, or two, sell up and move out.”
Mr Hunt said they did not see
why they should have to move as
they had lived there for 22 years
and the neighbourhood was a
However, he was worried that
with the latest incident when they
dialled 111 they were transferred
to the Crimestoppers line, and they
were informed that at the time the
Greymouth police were busy with a
“ very big job”.
“I know for a fact there were two
officers over in Doyle Street (at the
time),” Mr Hunt said.
While acknowledging the good
local police response to date, their
latest experience highlighted the
poor resources for police which
was not necessarily the fault of
Greymouth police who were short
of staff to respond, he said.
But neither should it be the
problem of people like himself
who had a right to feel safe in their
own home and to expect a police
presence as crime was happening,
Mr Hunt said.
Responding, senior sergeant
Paul Watson said they were doing
everything possible to support the
In the latest incident there was
“probably a named suspect ” and
police would be making some
inquiries to see if there was a
“There is no real set pattern to it.
We are doing what we can around
that to assist them,” he said.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Cobden residents Helen Schist and Graham Hunt have been the target of a malicious rock thrower for at least five years.
$190,000 cost ‘outlandish’
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