Home' Greymouth Star : August 7th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Civil defence on the West Coast is
heading in a new direction with the
arrival of a new regional director of
emergency management and natural
Mark Crowe took up his position at
the West Coast Regional Council last
His role is similar to the group
controller role, but with all West Coast
civil defence staff now reporting directly
to the West Coast Regional Council.
The change came into effect from June
30 when civil defence staff from Grey,
Westland and Buller districts all became
full-time staff of the regional council,
directly reporting to the new regional
The three district-based civil defence
staff, while still domiciled at each of the
district councils, are now employed by
the regional council.
A fifth person yet to be employed will
undertake an analysis role within the
regional civil defence office.
Mr Crowe has come to the job from
the Timaru District Council, where he
managed its civil defence response team.
Prior to that he spent five years with
the New Zealand Fire Ser vice as a senior
firefighter, heavily involved in urban
search and rescue.
He has brought his wife and two sons
with him. Mr Crowe said he was born
and bred in South Canterbury but had
worked widely in various roles around
the world before his most recent innings
for two years back in his hometown of
The new role was a move from a general
to more targeted focus for civil defence
on the West Coast, and moved it into a
new mode of organisation.
Mr Crowe said he was attracted to to
the West Coast for what he described
as an interesting new job in an exciting
period of transition for the region.
2 - Monday, August 7, 2017
Buller council proposes to
build Westport IFHC
of the Westport News
Buller Mayor Garry Howard has
confirmed the Buller District Council
has put up a proposal to build Westport’s
proposed integrated family health centre
His revelation followed comments on
Friday from a former mayor, Pat O’Dea,
who urged the council to come clean on its
The Government, not the council, was
responsible for funding health facilities,
Mr O’Dea said.
Mr Howard said the council would only
be involved if it was satisfied the IFHC
was fit for purpose. “And then we would
only get involved if the Government isn’t
going to centrally fund it.”
Asked if it was the council’s role to
be funding public health facilities, Mr
Howard said there was a “strategic reason”
for the council’s proposal.
“It would be an advantage to ratepayers if
we were involved and we’d certainly spell
that out if it’s going to be the case.”
Asked if ratepayers would have a say on
whether the council invested in an IFHC,
he replied: “Most likely not. It would be
councillors who would actually make the
Ratepayers elected councillors to make
decisions on their behalf, he said.
“Those elected members will act in their
(ratepayers’) best interests. It will be well
spelled out, should that proceed.
“But there’s a lot of hurdles and a lot of
things to happen, before council makes
that final decision.”
He confirmed the council had already
had talks about its proposal with the
Government and the Ministry of Health.
It had also had some discussions with
clinicians, but council wanted to hear
more from them. They judge whether the
proposed IFHC was fit for purpose, he
Rumours that the council had proposed
to fund the new centre had been
circulating since a secret council meeting
in June to discuss the IFHC. The council
cited commercial reasons for excluding the
As recently as two days ago, Mr Howard
would not confirm or deny the rumours the
council had proposed to fund the IFHC
Mr O’Dea was shocked that the council
did not intend to consult ratepayers.
“I totally disagree with that. It’s outside
the scope of councillors’ responsibility and
if the council go ahead with that then the
public should revolt.
“It’s totally unacceptable.”
The council should not be involved with
the building, funding or design of the
proposed IFHC, Mr O’Dea said.
“They would set a precedent for small
communities throughout New Zealand to
be at the whim of government for health
He did not buy Mr Howard’s argument
that the council’s involvement could mean
a better health centre.
“It’s a government responsibility, not just
for Buller but throughout New Zealand.
“ When the Government can squander
millions of dollars on the Pike River
track and not worry about the health and
well-being of our New Zealand citizens,
then it’s certainly time for a change of
When Mr O’Dea was mayor his council
put ratepayer money into saving dental
services and helping secure a GP.
He said on Friday that neither was the
same as the council taking on a government
responsibility to provide public health
The council took over the private dental
clinic because Westport would not have
had a dentist other wise, and there was no
great expense to ratepayers, Mr O’Dea said.
“ We really only facilitated, we didn’t build
The council also provided a home loan to
help attract a GP to Buller when the town
was short of doctors. The doctor repaid the
loan, he said.
Monday August 7
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Monday August 7
Urgent cases only
Phone 769 7493 first
5pm - 8pm
Ph 768 0250
Why have your loved
ones taken away
from the Coast for
The only funeral home
in Greymouth offering
services on site
Ensuring you get Expertise
and Qualified Funeral
Leslie. — November 2,
1966 - August 7, 1997.
20 years of treasured
memories have gone by.
Forever in our hearts
Shirley, Lance, and
Arthur. Phyllis, Isobel
and all his cousins.
Application to change
Brae Creek to
The Grey District Council has
applied to the West Coast Regional
Council for consent to divert a creek
at Blackball. The application says
Brae Creek has changed course and
is heading towards the bridge. The
council wants to return the creek to
its natural course.
Results of last week’s Greymouth
Bridge Club’s competitions were.
— Thursday: Paul Holt and Pitabas
Mishra 57.21% 1, Ravi Vemulapalli
and Stuart Oliver and Bijaya Mishra
and Naomi Kirwan 54%, 2 equal;
Ian Anderson and Michelle Gunn
53.4%, 4; Craig Hartwig and Glenn
Balloch and Colleen Freitas and
David Waugh 51.6%, 5 equal.
Arrivals: Nil. Departures: Galatea
II, Jay Elaine, Resolution II, Ikawai,
Claymore, Redemption. In port:
Cook Canyon, Har vester, Corsair,
20 Greymouth vessels. Expected
arrivals: Galatea II, Ikawai. Expected
The Reefton Fog Festival was held at
Reefton Area School on Friday evening.
Reefton Area School principal Wayne
Wright said: “ The festival has been held
more or less annually since it began in the
mid 1980s at the former Reefton School.
It is a chance for the community to get
together to celebrate the end of the fog.”
Reefton celebrates end of fog season
Winner of the ‘Fog Monster’ costume competition was Brock Thomson, pictured
with principal Wayne Wright.
The 93 Students Against Dangerous Driving balloons are released into a clear
PICTURES: Trevor Johns
The crowd waits in the school auditorium for the talent quest.
Students Against Dangerous Driving spokesman Jackson Simpson, right, prepares
the Fog Festival crowd for the release of 93 balloons, representing the number of lives
lost on the road in New Zealand in 2016.
The Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, in
Nelson, has won a High Court ruling
against a number of parties including
two West Coast anti-1080 groups,
allowing it to go ahead with an aerial
Plans to drop brodifacoum-laced baits
were challenged in court by the Brook
Valley Community Group, testing the
new national regulation for pest control
in a bid to halt the operation.
They were joined in the action by
Farmers Against Ten Eighty and Te
Whare o te Kaitiaki Ngahere, both from
The High Court on Friday confirmed
the legality of the poison operation.
Environment Minister Nick Smith
said it was a huge win for the Brook
Waimarama Sanctuary Trust.
“It is a tribute to their determination
and detailed work that the High Court
has concluded their plan is consistent
with the demanding requirements of
the Resource Management Act for
the protection of the environment and
public health,” Dr Smith said.
The court decision was a significant
win for conservation nationally, he said.
“I acknowledge the support in the
proceedings of the Royal Forest and
Bird Protection Society and the
advocacy for the national regulations
by the Parliamentary Commissioner for
“It confirms that New Zealanders can
have a high degree of confidence in the
safeguards on the use of poisons like
1080 and brodifacoum, and the evidence
on which their use is based.”
Westport Airport will charge for car
parking from next month.
However, it will still be free to use the
car park for dropping off or picking up
Starting on September 1, there will be a
$5 charge for anyone who parks for three
hours or longer during the day.
It will cost $10 to leave a car overnight,
capped at $40 a week for multiple nights.
Airport chief executive Sonia Cresswell
said ground staff would take parking
payments and monitor the car park.
Ms Cresswell said staff would monitor
the car park and record which cars had
registered for parking and which had not.
“ We will offer a friendly reminder by
way of a printed note on the windscreen
of any car, which has not been registered
prior to flight, requesting that payment
be made to terminal staff before leaving
the car park. ” — Westport News
to charge for
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
New West Coast
civil defence director
Lee Scanlon and Teresa Smith
of the Westport News
Punakaiki ratepayers have confirmed
a new rating plan for their seawall.
Some ratepayers were upset about
how the West Coast Regional Council
planned to apportion the special rates
for the seawall.
The council re-did its rating
classifications and ratepayers approved
them at a meeting last Tuesday night.
Regional council chief executive Mike
Meehan admitted on Thursday that the
original classifications “hadn’t quite got
The properties behind the existing
seawall had been facing substantial
rate rises, he said. Those increases were
reduced by transferring a greater rating
burden to a larger number of properties
behind the camping ground.
The increase for them was “pretty
marginal”, Mr Meehan said.
The northern seawall extension is
costing ratepayers $440,000.
Mr Meehan said the rock —
which comes from Whitehorse Hill
was much better quality than
previously and would produce a
The southern seawall extension has
cost $700,000, paid for by the New
Zealand Transport Agency, to protect
State highway 6 from slumping.
NZTA transport system manager Pete
Connors said work on the southern end
was almost done.
“Next week’s work consists mainly of
tidying up drainage in the area.”
He said the only other works
programmed at the site were some
repairs to a section of the wall damaged
during a storm in January.
New rating plan for
Punakaiki seawall confirmed
of the Westport News
All Stockton Mine union
members have apparently been
offered a $14,000 bonus if they
meet production targets
by their prospective
E Tu union organiser Garth Elliot
said he understood BT Mining had
offered workers a $14,000 bonus as
part of their individual employment
BT Mining — a joint venture
between Bathurst Resources and
Talley’s Fisheries — takes over
the mine from Solid Energy on
Workers who are on individual
contracts with Solid Energy will
transfer to BT Mining on the same
terms and conditions as now.
Solid Energy will pay redundancy
to workers on the collective contract
and BT Mining has offered them
individual contracts, which will
later be replaced by a collective
Mr Elliott declined to say whether
the union would be seeking to
include the $14,000 bonus in the
He understood only four workers
had refused to sign the individual
agreements and declined to work
for BT Mining.
The Westport News has also
heard BT Mining plans to scrap the
travel allowance for mine workers
who commute to Westport from
Mr Elliot declined to comment.
BT Mining chief executive
Richard Tacon did not respond to
Stockton employs about 222
Stockton union members offered bonus for production targets
Over a hectare
of Department of
Conser vation reser ve
adjoining State highway
6 near Charleston was
burned in a scrub fire on
The Charleston Rural
Fire Party, Westport
Volunteer Brigade and a
tanker from the Granity
brigade battled the fire in
low regrowth scrub for
about three hours from
9.30pm, about 3.5km
south of Charleston.
Westport fire chief
Alan Kennedy said the
fire at the junction of
the highway and Four
Mile Bush Road spread
over about a hectare but
could easily have spread
wider given the windy
Luckily the arrival of
rain after midnight helped
stop that, Mr Kennedy
“Lucky it didn’t spread
to two to three houses in
The fire did not
start by “spontaneous
combustion” and was
certainly suspicious given
the recent weather and
Firefighters were able
to return home by about
Traffic along State
highway 6 was interrupted
for a time.
The NZCC West Coast
Rescue Helicopter was
out twice on Friday. It
flew to Westport about
midday to transfer a
Westport patient back to
Grey Base Hospital.
the helicopter was called
to Haast to pick up a
South Westland man
in his mid-50s who had
fallen from a motorbike in
a remote backblock area.
had sustained a back
injury and was flown to
The next day the
helicopter was called to
Westport to transfer a
patient to Greymouth.
Charleston scrub fire
Rescue helicopter missions
A North Island band
has released a new single
— about a banker who
runs away to the West
Coast. Kokomo band
member Grant Bullot,
of Tauranga, has just put
the final touches on the
The song Holed up in
Karamea tells the story
of a malfeasant Auckland
banker on the run, all set
on the West Coast.
“ We played down
there in the early days
of the band when we
were touring the South
Island,” Bullot told The
Weekend Sun newspaper.
“The hotel we played
at was a fantastic spot
called The Last Resort
(Karamea), and it really
was what it said — after
that it was all bush. It
does seem like the perfect
place for one of those
hedge-fund types to go
Band releases Holed
up in Karamea song
Greymouth Showcase Jewellers
88 Mackay Street, Greymouth
Phone 768 6949
just by taking a look!
In store this month only
Links Archive August 5th 2017 August 8th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page