Home' Greymouth Star : August 22nd 2017 Contents P4
TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2017
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West Coast ‘action plan’
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Readership of 11,000
of the Hokitika Guardian
Judges’ tribute to
probation of ficer
Long-ser ving Greymouth
community probation officer Kerry
Aston was yesterday thanked by
judges in the Greymouth District
Court ahead of his retirement next
month. “ The Christchurch judges,
along with myself, want to convey
to you our respect and appreciation
of the work you have put in over the
years,” Judge Paul Kellar said. “Each
of us has come to rely upon you and
you will be really missed by myself
and all of the other judges.” Judge
Kellar said Mr Aston’s advice had
always been helpful to the judiciary:
“ He knows everything about
A rare rowi kiwi has been found
dead on the road at North Okarito
forest. A necropcy confirmed
the female’s death was caused by
trauma consistent with being hit by
a vehicle. The kiwi, named Monte
Carlo, had been hatched and raised
in captivity before being released
back into the Okarito sanctuary
in 2014, and at four years old was
just coming up to breeding age, the
Department of Conser vation says.
An estimated 450 rowi are left.
Biodiversity ranger Stacey Lockie
said kiwi had no road sense and
had been known to dart in front of
vehicles at the last minute. “Kiwi
living near the road will often have
territories that include areas on
both sides of the road, so they will
routinely cross the road to access the
entire area. These kiwi are really rare,
so look out for the kiwi road signs
and take a bit of extra care driving
along this road to keep our rowi
safe,” Mr Lockie said.
Pet owners living in China
are turning to acupuncture to
help soothe the aches and pains
of their beloved cats and dogs.
Fascinating photographs show
cats and dogs receiving treatment
at clinics in the country after
their owners decided to see if it
would help them. Wang Xijuan,
74, took her cat to a session at a
Shanghai clinic and said: “China
is famous for acupuncture. I took
the cat here immediately to have a
try. ” After four treatments, Wang
said her cat can “walk now, jump
and even fight with other cats”.
On its website, the International
Veterinary Acupuncture Society
said acupuncture has been used in
veterinary practice in China “for
thousands of years to treat many
ailments”. — Daily Mail
Cloud increasing, showers spread
— sur vey
Westland District Council offers the
lowest value for ratepayers of the three
West Coast district councils, according
to the Taxpayers Union 2017 local
government league tables released on
Overall, all three councils come out
well in the right-wing lobby group’s
Ratepayers’ Report, but Westland has
the most expensive average residential
rates at $2185 for a rural authority in the
Westland was also the only West Coast
council where the average residential
rates bill was above the nationwide
average for rural councils ($2132).
The region’s councils were compared as
part of a group of 23 rural councils with
populations of less than 20,000.
Westland’s average residential rates
charges of $2185 a year were followed by
Grey ($1894) and Buller ($1835).
Taxpayers’ Union director Jordan
Williams said as well as having the
highest average residential rates bill,
Westland also had the highest operating
costs per ratepayer, and the highest
debt per ratepayer of the West Coast
councils, but still compared moderately
to national averages.
“Grey District Council leads the way
with what appears to be very efficient
use of public money,” Mr Williams said.
“Grey has the lowest total operating
expenses per ratepayer of all West Coast
Westland paid proportionally more
staff over $100,000, or 12.28%, than the
other councils in the region.
Grey was the lowest with 7% of its staff
paid over $100,000.
“This results in Grey District Council
having the lowest staff costs in the
region, at $704 per residential ratepayer. ”
While Westland had the highest
debt per residential ratepayer in the
region, and the third highest of all rural
councils across New Zealand, it also had
significantly more assets per ratepayer
than both the Grey and Buller councils,
Mr Williams said.
Grey District Council had the least
assets per ratepayer ($61,823) and
liabilities per ratepayer ($5682) in the
The Ratepayers’ Report is interactive
local government league tables covering
financial position, performance, and
governance information for all of
New Zealand’s territorial authorities,
exc luding the Chatham Islands. The
report was compiled from data gained
by reviewing each council annual report
for the year ending June 30, 2016 and
other relevant data obtained under the
Local Government Official Information
and Meetings Act.
The draft report was sent to each
individual authority for their review and
error checking prior to public launch.
The group finance figures include
council figures, plus any subsidiary
council controlled organisations.
Mr Williams said the taxpayers’ union
would include regional councils in their
reporting in the future.
He sounded caution in comparing
‘apples to apples’ to calculate residential
rates across territorial authorities
because councils used various mixes of
rates, levies, and user charges.
“O ur approach is based on work by
Napier City Council to find an average
residential rate. ”
The methodology councils were asked
to use to calculate the figures disclosed
in the report are available at www.
“The average residential rates figure
should be a guide only. It does not, for
example, factor in councils’ reliance on
The full report is available at www.
Tv channel declines Ban 1080 political ads
The Ban 1080 Party says the Sky
TV farming channel Country TV
has refused to accept its political
Party leader Bill Wallace was
philosophical yesterday, saying if
he owned a television channel he
would not let the Department of
Conser vation’s ‘Battle for Our Birds’
As a political party, Ban 1080
funding for television advertising.
This year it got $41,478, compared to
$1.2 million for the National Party.
Mr Wallace said his party started to
get prices from Country TV and was
working through a programme when
the channel said its major shareholder
Colin Har vey would not allow the
commercials to run.
Mr Har vey built animal health
company Ancare, which was recently
merged with multinational Merial. A
staff member there told the Ban 1080
Party he was involved in rabbit and
Mr Wallace said the station was
privately-owned, and if he was in the
same boat he would not run anything
from cabinet ministers Nick Smith
and Maggie Barry promoting the
beech mast, for instance.
However, Country TV — aimed at
farmers, hunters and fishermen —
was the sort of audience Ban 1080 was
targeting in the election, Mr Wallace
Hari Hari dairy farmer Mary
Molloy, from Farmers Against Ten
Eighty, said they were stunned the
adverts could not run.
“The poison industry in New
Zealand is muzzling the truth about
its cruel poison and our State is
allowing this ...” Mrs Molloy said.
The Ban 1080 Party made headlines
during the last election when the
Electoral Commission withheld the
names of those who objected to the
registration of the party. Pukekura
businessman Peter Salter is the
candidate for West Coast-Tasman.
Country TV general manager Helen
Ryan said they would not be carrying
any political advertisements.
“ We don’t like to carry anything
that ’s too contentious politically.”
Volunteers spring into action
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Joy McGirr, who has been volunteering with the Cancer Society in Greymouth for 25 years, helps a team of volunteers prepare daffodils for deliver y
this morning. This year a fleet of vintage cars was on standby to deliver the corporate flowers, with Daffodil Day this Friday. As volunteers arranged
the flowers into bouquets, the Vintage Car Club waited in the car park to complete the deliveries.
The West Coast has the highest
proportion of home births in the
country, partly due to the birth rate at
the 500-strong Gloriavale Christian
One in seven babies are now born at
home on the West Coast, according
to the Ministry of Health’s annual
maternity report, just released for
It is the highest proportion of home
births — 14.2% compared with 3.7%
That equated to 52 home births,
compared to 247 at a hospital on
the West Coast. Some babies were
born out of the region, including at
Christchurch Hospital. In 2014 there
were 21 home births, or 6.1%.
West Coast Home Birth Association
spokeswoman Sharon Knightbridge
said part of the high rate was due to
the Gloriavale Christian Community.
The availability of home birth
midwives in Westport, Grey and
Hokitika had also helped, while
Gloriavale had its own midwives.
A number of women had further
babies at home. Many of those on
the West Coast lived a long way from
hospital, so the midwife could come
to them, she said.
A caesarean rate is not given for the
West Coast. However, the proportion
of elective caesarean sections was
generally higher among women in
the South Island (14.7%) than in the
North Island (11.1%).
From 2011 to 2015, the proportion
of women having an elective
caesarean section increased for 13 of
the 20 DHB regions.
Gloriavale pushes up home birth rate
Kea play havoc in Hokitika subdivision
Cheeky kea are causing chaos in a
rural Hokitika subdivision, damaging
everything from house flashings to
bike tyres and seats.
Hau Hau Road resident Renee
Patterson said the native parrots had
been “having a field day ” and over the
weekend had punctured tyres on her
children’s bikes, the seat of a go-kart,
shoes and gumboots at the backdoor
and at least 10 balls in the backyard.
Brickfield Road residents’ reports of
damage to house fittings and fixtures
such as flashing have been ramping
up in recent months.
However, the Department of
Conser vation says the presence of
the alpine parrot in the Hokitika
subdivision on Blue Spur is not that
Hokitika area manager Ian McClure
said the department had had second-
hand reports of “kea conflict ” at Blue
“It is common at this time of year
for juvenile kea to form small mobs,
move into residential areas and
have destructive behaviour. It is not
unusual for kea to be in these areas as
they naturally have a large range, and
occur from mountains to sea level,”
Mr McClure said.
“If people are having trouble with
kea they should contact DOC or the
Kea Conservation Trust. We can give
advice and undertake site visits to
help people find ways to kea-proof
their property. Most problems with
kea stem from people feeding a bird at
some stage, so we can not emphasise
highly enough the importance of not
Mr McClure said the kea trust
recommended putting away anything
that could be damaged by a kea, such
as hoses, or anything soft and pliable,
and ensuring rubbish bins were
securely closed at all times.
“Do not bang on ceilings, yell or
throw things at kea as this will only
make them more curious so the kea
are more likely to hang around. You
can use a garden hose to move kea off
areas but make sure you are accurate so
it doesn’t become a game. Eventually,
the kea will become bored and move
away in its own time.”
While their behaviour might be
bothersome, kea were protected
wildlife with less than 5000 left in the
South Island, he said.
Ph 732 4111
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MS Craft Fair
Saturday September 2, 2017
Greymouth High School
We have a large range of Salami
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OPEN LUNCH AND DINNER
Sunday Come in for our famous Roast
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