Home' Greymouth Star : August 11th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Friday, August 11, 2017
West Coast junior rugby finals,
Rugby Park, 9.30am.
West Coast District Youth St
John competitions, Greymouth High
School Hall, 9.30am.
West Coast Chargers v Tasman,
Wingham Park, 2.30pm.
West Coast Basketball
Association finals, Westland
Recreation Centre, 3.30pm.
Buller-Westland strokeplay golf
Helen and the Ferals, Kiwi-
Possum Productions, NBS Theatre,
Pope Shield, Gladstone Cup
women’s hockey tournament,
Westurf Greymouth, 9am.
West Coast v Marlborough,
Seddon Shield rugby, Murchison,
Pope Shield, Gladstone Cup
women’s hockey tournament,
Westurf Greymouth, 9am.
Mainland Netball under-15
championship, Westland Recreation
Centre, Anzac Park, 9.30am.
Kawatiri Cup netball, Hokitika,
Woodham Shield, Franz/Fox/
Haast v Ross, Fox Glacier, 2pm
It looks like a damp weekend is in
store, with more heavy rain for the
West Coast. After a wet Saturday
morning, 100 to 150mm of rain could
be expected in a 15-hour period from
tomorrow evening to midday on
Sunday, according to the Metser vice.
Rainfalls could be 50 to 80mm near
the coastline, and thunderstorms are
also possible. Buller could also get
heavy rain, though less than Westland.
The Greymouth library is running
its third annual poetry competition
for Grey district residents. Poems can
be on any topic, with four categories:
8yrs and younger; 9-13yrs; 14-17yrs;
and 18 and over. Prizes will be
awarded in each category and the
winners will be announced and prizes
presented by Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
at an event hosted by the library on
Wednesday, August 23 at 5.30pm.
Entries can be handed in at the library
or e-mailed as a Word document to:
Entries close at 4pm on August 18.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Galatea II, Corsair, Ocean Odyssey.
Departures: Redemption. In
port: Galatea II, Ocean Odyssey,
Corsair, Har vester, Coaster Raider,
20 Greymouth vessels. Expected
Whitebaiters asked for patience over Taramakau Bridge work
When a battered and breathless Daniel
Rockhouse staggered into the sunshine at
the entrance to the Pike River Mine on
November 19, 2010, he escaped what had
become an underground tomb.
Mr Rockhouse and his semi-conscious
colleague Russell Smith had dragged
themselves from a place which to this day
contains the remains of 29 men — including
Daniel’s brother Benjamin.
The pair had literally walked away from
a massive methane explosion deep in the
bowels of the coalmine on the West Coast .
They were the only men inside the mine to
sur vive that day.
Almost seven years on Mr Rockhouse is,
astonishingly, still a coal miner.
Now living on Queensland’s Sunshine
Coast, the 30-year-old remains haunted
by his experiences that day. But as the son
of a miner, he simply could not give up on
the career he had dreamed of since he was
a small child.
“It was pretty hard. I had about five
months off initially after the explosion,” Mr
Rockhouse, who now works at a mine 40km
west of Emerald in central Queensland,
“Just to process it and I came to the
conclusion that I’m not going to let that
influence what I do for the rest of my life.
“I’m going to do what I want to do and
that ’s mining. ”
Safer mining options than coal did not
appeal to Mr Rockhouse, who admits his
first shifts underground at a mine near
Newcastle following the disaster were
But life above ground has not been easy in
the years since the tragedy either.
His marriage broke down and the incident
took a toll on his relationship with his father
Neville — the mine’s safety and training
Now engaged, Mr Rockhouse is more
forgiving of his father, who he admits was
obstructed and denied the opportunity to
rectify safety issues within the mine by the
actions of site directors and mine bosses.
In 2011 Pike River boss Peter Whittall
was charged with 12 offences under
New Zealand’s health and safety at work
Those charges were dropped in 2013 with
prosecutors citing a lack of evidence.
The disaster led to calls for New
Zealand to introduce a crime of corporate
manslaughter, although Mr Rockhouse
already feels authorities in his homeland
have heeded lessons.
“The Government, safety-wise, has taken
Pike on board to a point where they ’ve
brought a new organisation in to take a
blanket approach to all industries,” he said.
“ It ’s a step in the right direction.”
Mr Rockhouse is hoping to deliver
something positive from the tragedy.
He is working towards one day becoming
a mining safety officer and says the only
reason he is working in a Queensland
mine is his confidence in the training and
enforcement of safety protocols.
He is also using his experience as a warning,
telling attendees at the Q ueensland Mining
Industry Health and Safety Conference on
the Gold Coast earlier this week that Pike
River is a lesson for everyone, everywhere.
Pike survivor still a miner
Whitebaiters have been asked to be
patient during Taramakau Bridge works
Work is well under way in the riverbed for
the replacement road bridge, which is due to
be completed in August 2018.
West Coast Whitebaiters’ Association
president Des McEnaney said whitebaiters
were starting to gear up for the coming
fishing season starting on September 1.
“There are a number of issues your
association has been dealing with, not
the least of which is the impacts of the
Taramakau’s new bridge construction,” Mr
McEnaney said today.
Standholders on the river were concerned
over the effects gravel extraction for the
bridge project was having on the riverbed,
The association had been talking to the
West Coast Regional Council, which had
“assured us that a restoration plan is been
worked on currently, and they are hopeful it
will be completed by September 1”.
Mr McEnaney said stand construction
normally started before then, and he asked
standholders to be patient.
“ If all goes to plan, they should have a
restored river bank they can fish off by 1
September. Details of this will be discussed
at the association’s annual meeting (on
(Opposite Dixon Park)
Phone 768 0370
for 24 Hour Service.
Drs Nadine Hahn,
Chemist this week is:
Phone 768 7470 (shop)
021 250 8504
Friday open until
No Sunday hours
Friday 6pm until
153 Tainui Street
Saturday and Sunday
Telephone: 769 9300
Gerald. — August 11,
husband, father, son,
One year ago today our
hearts shattered into a
million pieces as you
And though we are still
full of sadness that you
are no longer here,
guides us and we still
feel you near.
What we shared will
never die as it lives
within our hearts,
Bringing us strength and
comfort even though we
miss you always
Nodd (Gillian), Jorja,
Mason, Mum, Vicki,
Stan, Barry, Kaye and
families, Todd and
all your friends and
sincerely thank family,
friends and neighbours
for the love and support
given to us at this
difficult time. To those
who travelled to be here,
we thank you. For all
the baking, groceries,
flowers and cards we are
truly grateful. We also
thank the terrific para-
medics of St John, staff
at Grey Hospital and
High Street Medical
Centre for your wonder-
ful care of Ron. Denise,
David and team thank
you for your caring,
compassion and under-
standing. Mr Flood
(Jack) thank you for
service, especially as
you were unwell. Cheers
Don Muir and Paul
Mackie for your contri-
butions. Ron was a
loving and fantastic
husband, dad, grandad
and great-grandad. He is
going to be missed so
Dale, Jo and Darryl,
Evan and Lenka, Warren
and Anne, and their
The group Tui Birds and Friends,
with a local base, is heading to
the West Coast for a series of
The group is comprised of Hokitika
‘native’ Tui Birds and two fellow
music students from the University
of Otago, Isaac Shatford and Morgan
Birds is a classically trained pianist
currently studying under Professor
Terence Dennis, at the University of
Tui and friends will perform a
romantic work for piano as well as
violin with a touch of Bach, a breadth
of musical theatre numbers and one of
Shatford’s own compositions.
They will be on stage at the Regent
Theatre in Hokitika on August
31, NBS Theatre in Westport on
September 1 and Regent Theatre in
Greymouth on September 2. Tickets
Tui Birds head to Coast
Miner shuns slip talks
The mining company accused of knocking
out half of the Ross water supply by causing a
slip that dirtied the main creek, has refused to
meet with West Coast Regional Council staff to
explain itself, the council said yesterday.
However, Elect Mining said in a statement it
was “in communication” with the council.
Ross residents were told this week they would
have to conser ve water for another fortnight
after a slip blocked one of two the creeks
feeding the town water supply.
Minehan Creek, the larger of the two water
sources, was dirtied last week while Elect
Mining was upgrading the Mount Greenland
access road behind Ross township.
Regional council consent and compliance
manager Gerard McCormack said yesterday:
“Elect Mining representatives have refused to
attend a formal inter view ”.
“ We are continuing with our investigation.”
Elect, speaking through consultant Phil
McKinnel of Resource Solutions West Coast,
said the miner was in communication with the
regional council concerning the best way to
assist it with its inquiries.
“ In view of this it would be inappropriate to
comment on either of the questions posed,” he
said, referring to questions about what the Ross
water claims, and the council’s comments.
The Westland District Council first gave
notice to residents to conser ve water — without
giving any reason for it — on August 2.
Further questioned this week, it confirmed the
supply had to be shut down due to a significant
amount of dirt being pushed into the creek by
heavy machinery working on the road above.
Elect Mining is listed with the Companies
Office as having two directors in Texas —
Matthew and Michael Lance — with Tim
Madden, of Chesterfield, as a third director.
Elect Mining has recently been attending a
hearing in Marlborough as it seeks consent to
mine at Canvastown.
It generally mines on the West Coast. Its
most recent application is for a mine site near
Disquiet about the risk to the West Coast
Regional Council in taking over the mining
consent functions for the Westland District
Council has again been aired.
At the regional council meeting on Tuesday,
Cr Peter Ewen said he had formally written
to the chief executive in late April seeking
clarification of points of the plan to assume
the consent functions after it was discussed at
the April 11 meeting.
Cr Ewen said he had wanted to know the
number of existing Westland consents the
regional council was to take over prior to the
August 1 changeover, along with details of
the bonds, and the projected quantum of the
He did not get a response.
Cr Ewen said he was unhappy the deal
had been signed off already when the kind
of information he sought was about future
liability to the regional council.
Based on previous experience when
councillors had been asked to sign off bonds
related to the Stockton coalmine in Buller,
the information presented was “blank” and it
was not good enough.
“I’m a bit concerned we’ve taken this on,
without some of these questions being
answered,” Cr Ewen said.
Council chief executive Mike Meehan
apologised for his failure to respond.
He noted that staff had gone back to the
Westland council after the April meeting to
clarify that the regional council would not
be taking any liability from their mining
Previously, mining applicants were supposed
to apply separately to the district council
and the regional council for the appropriate
In April, the regional council agreed to take
on Westland’s function, so long as it retained
liability for past decisions and the regional
council would retain the right to end the new
consenting arrangement when it saw fit —
not the other way around, as Westland had
Consents and compliance manager Gerard
McCormack said his staff had since done a
cross-referencing exercise using the regional
council mining consents data base to compare
Westland’s records, prior to the changeover.
That identified “gaps” and he envisaged a lot
of retrospective applications, which had now
“It’s a bit of an open book as to how many
consents we are expecting,” Mr McCormack
Cr Ewen noted the incident this week
where work by Elect Mining Ltd at Ross had
allowed dirt from an access road to fall into
Minehans Creek, effectively contaminating
the Ross town water supply.
He asked if that was a consented operation
or “one that is not?”
Mr McCormack said the regional council
was investigating and Elect had been asked
to attend a “formal inter view ”.
Cr Ewen said the council could be seen to
have taken on operations it did not know
Cr Andrew Robb said his recollection was
the council had decided to take on Westland’s
mining functions subject to a negotiated
agreement. “My view is we have taken these
things on board,” he said.
Mr Meehan said that in order to reduce the
risk they had not taken on any liability prior
to the August 1 changeover.
Cr Allan Birchfield, a goldminer, was
pragmatic about sorting out any anomalies
with Westland’s previous administration.
“There will be a few things to tidy up, and
they will come out in the wash. I think it will
work out,” Cr Birchfield said.
Mining consent transfers queried
Pet cat mauled to death
A beloved family pet cat of 10 years was
killed after being mauled by wandering
dogs in Hokitika.
The Westland District Council
yesterday seized two dogs which had
been positively identified as the killers.
The Foster family of Hampden Street,
owners of Sox the cat, were away at a
family funeral when Sox was attacked
and later died.
Their neighbours came to the cat ’s aid
but despite intense efforts by a vet, the
family moggie could not be saved.
In a letter to the editor, Tracey and
Kevin Foster write of their devastation
at the terrible death of their cat and their
hope the dogs involved and their owner
will “be dealt with”.
“ We are aware this is not the only cat
to be killed recently,” they said.
A family friend, Leanne McGill,
yesterday expressed concern on the
Westland District Council Facebook page
at what the Fosters had been through.
She also questioned what dog control
in Hokitika had been doing, given other
recent accounts “of the same horror
story” around Hokitika, of “a trail of
dead or missing cats”.
The council replied yesterday afternoon
that many people had been inter viewed
yesterday in relation to reports of
roaming dogs killing cats.
Planning, community and environment
manager Jim Ebenhoh said two dogs
and their owner had been positively
identified in relation to the attack on the
Fosters’ cat and they were being visited
yesterday afternoon by a council officer
with the intention of seizing the dogs.
The dogs were “known” to council dog
control but had not been previously seen
as a threat. “ They’re not currently classified
as menacing or dangerous,” he said.
Reclassifying the dogs would be
something the council would look at
in the circumstances. However, the
dogs were already known as “repeat
wanderers” which had been impounded
in the past.
Tot wandered 3km
Remote and steep
terrain confronted those
searching for a two-
year-old girl and her
four-month-old puppy in
Motueka, with the child’s
parents — formerly from
Reefton — saying they
could not fathom the
distance she travelled in a
The girl and dog were
found about 11.20pm
on Wednesday following
a five-hour search by
police, search volunteers,
family and neighbours.
In a joint statement
released yesterday, police
and the girl’s parents
said the offers for
assistance as the search
got under way made a
“Police, many of them
off-duty, land search and
rescue volunteers, locals,
the Fire Ser vice, local
four-wheel drive club
and neighbours ... came
to the aid of the family,”
Inspector Mat Arnold-
extraordinary amount of
offers from people calling
centre and offering help
via our Facebook page as
The family said the girl
was left in the care of an
adult sibling at the Little
Sydney Road property,
surrounded by bush —
but she walked off.
“ During this time both
sets of people at the
house assumed that she
was with the other one
(and) it was an hour later
before it was noticed she
was not there,” they said.
“ No one could have
fathomed that she could
have possibly covered the
area and distance she did
in such a short time.” But
they said extensive media
and Facebook coverage
meant friends and family
elsewhere knew of the
drama unfolding before
having a chance to
“The coverage also
caused numerous people
to arrive to help search.
“ While this may seem
like a good idea at the
time, it is not... as the
dense bush is challenging
for the most experienced
searchers, let along
townies with no bush
experience.” — NZN
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Graeme 762 6559
5 Tarapuhi Street, Greymouth
2009 HONDA ACCORD EURO L
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2009 TOYOTA RAV 4 LTD
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NZ new, 1 owner, metallic red, 104,000kms ....................... $16,300
2008 HONDA JAZZ
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2006 HOLDEN BARINA
1.5, 5 speed manual, NZ new, 103,000km................................. $5500
2001 ACCORD TORNEO
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locking, towbar, 105,700kms ............................................................. $4500
2014 HONDA CIVIC EURO L
1.8, 5 speed auto, 5 door hatch, ABS, 6
airbags, electronic stability control, leather
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2005 HONDA JAZZ
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