Home' Greymouth Star : September 1st 2017 Contents SINCE 1866
Floor and lighting upgrade
at Regent Theatre
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
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The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
coming to Coast
Labour Party leader Jacinda
Ardern will visit Greymouth on
September 13-14. It will be her first
visit to the cradle of the Labour
Party, since she was propelled into
the party leadership just a month
ago. The public will have the chance
to meet Ms Ardern at 10.30am at
the Regent Theatre on Thursday,
September 14. Further details of the
visit are still being confirmed and
will be released closer to the time.
Karamea farmer Ross Scarlett
received his New Zealand Order
of Merit from Governor-General
Dame Patsy Reddy yesterday. Mr
Scarlett is a former chairman of
the West Coast Regional Council
and ser ved five terms on that
council until 2013. He also chaired
the Regional Land Transport
Committee, and led Westland
Milk Products through the
introduction of the Dairy Industry
Restructuring Act. He was a trustee
and committee member of the West
Coast Ragwort Control Trust.
North Korea has opened a travel
agency in Russia, promoting
itself to tourists as “safer than an
evening walk in London”. The tour
company, which is based in Moscow,
promises a “full immersion”
in the rogue state’s culture as
Pyongyang grapples for money.
Hit by economic sanctions for two
intercontinental ballistic missile
tests in July, North Korea is offering
Russian punters a 15-day stay for
£1500 each. The tour includes visits
to a farm, a mineral water factory, a
Buddhist temple, museums, walks in
the mountains and an introduction
to national cuisine. But long talks
with locals “are not recommended”.
Other less demanding tours include
relaxation on a beach, an aviation
show and even a beer festival.
— Sky News
Fine, southeast breezes
Council demands improvements
Grey district councillors want to see
a plan with targets to ensure regular
maintenance of the town assets after
they were shocked at the state of parts
of the central business district during
a town walk on Monday.
It came after Cr Tania Gibson
pushed the issue at the August council
meeting, tabling photos of shabby
street furniture and algae-covered
pavements and buildings throughout
Grey District Mayor
Kokshoorn and Cr Gibson said the
walk-through had really highlighted
how much of the area had regressed,
even with the current maintenance.
Cr Gibson said it was a shock to
some, despite the council having a
contract for street cleaning.
A working group has been set up to
address the tidy up with urgency.
“ It shouldn’t have been left as long as
it has. This town needs a good shake
up and a good tidy up,” she said.
“At the moment it ’s just expected
to be done, but it actually needs to be
Ideally, the town centre could
have “a big clean up” to get things
rolling through a community-driven
initiative in conjunction with the
Greymouth Business and Promotions
Association, individual retailers and
building owners, taking into account
the health and safety logistics.
“I ’d like to get down there with a
waterblaster myself ... there are a lot
of people like the BPA who want to
The councillors’walk also highlighted
the empty or semi-derelict buildings
around the CBD and the need to
engage with their owners.
Cr Gibson said it was important
to distinguish those property owners
from many retailers in the CBD who
did not necessarily own the buildings,
but had well presented and clean shop
“I don’t think we can blame the
shop owners. There’s a lot of empty
buildings around town that need
The mayor said the Albert Mall was
a particular focus of complaints.
“ We were informed by (council)
staff who came with us that the Albert
Mall had recently been waterblasted,
but there were concerns by councillors
we’ve been let down by the contract
because it’s hit and miss,”
Mr Kokshoorn said.
The chief executive had been
asked to report back on how well
the maintenance contracts were
monitored, “because this seems to
have fallen through the cracks”.
Councillors also wanted a report
on the terms of the current contract
around street furniture and the
maintenance of other amenities.
Association chairwoman Lynda Le
Brun deferred comment until after
the group meets on Monday.
on aquatic centre
The aquatic centre at the Westland
Recreation Centre closes this afternoon
until at least the end of October for roof
repairs — although there is still no firm
end date for when the pool will reopen.
The Grey District Council says it can
not say conclusively how long the pool
will remain shut due to the complexity
of the repair — which involves replacing
the sagging roof beams — but the target
is “definitely” the end of October.
The pools will be drained over
the weekend and other preliminary
work done to prepare the complex
for contractor CYB to start work on
Monday. The existing roof will be left in
place and propped internally while the
work is done.
Council corporate and community
services manager Quecha Horning said
the timeframe was still “a bit open-
ended” simply because the type of beam
replacement had not been practically
done elsewhere before.
“ We still do not know for sure. There’s
still a bit of risk. We’ve had some
indications from the contractor about
how long it will take to do the beams
but this type of work has never been
done,” Ms Horning said.
Roof beam replacement projects
elsewhere entailed removing the roof
“Hopefully, all will go according
to plan. It definitely means there’s a
possibility it could go over time,” she
However the project engineer and
contractor were “pretty confident ” they
could meet the end of October target —
“ but let ’s be clear, it could take longer”.
Meantime, earlier information from
the council that the unheated Spring
Creek Pool at Runanga would open
tomorrow to compensate for the
Greymouth closure was incorrect,
Ms Horning said.
“My understanding is October 1 is
when we are planning to open up Spring
Creek Pool. That ’s mainly for swim club.
We’ve made a commitment to them.”
The swim school — which caters for
thousands of child swim lessons a term
will not resume until October at
least, when the alternative pool option
In the meantime, school-based water
safety block courses will continue,
although this does not replace swim
Most aquatic centre staff have been
redeployed to other jobs within the
Grey District Council, while a few have
also taken leave for six weeks. Some staff
will help out at the Runanga pool, while
others have expressed interest in doing
behind-the-scenes work at History
PICTURE: Paul McBride
The Allan family — Andy, left, Anntoinette, Doug and Andy — made the most
of the aquatic centre today before it closes for two months for repairs.
A West Coast pensioner who has
spent the past 18 months in prison
charged with smuggling cocaine
into Australia, was today awaiting
his fate as the jury retired to decide
Roy Arbon, 68, has been on trial in
the Perth District Court this week.
He was caught with more than 2kg
of the drug when he flew from Brazil
to Perth International Airport.
The court heard on Tuesday that
Arbon he did not know the drugs
were in his bag and he claimed
he had been duped by internet
scammers who were drug traffickers.
It appears no Australian media
were in court when Arbon’s lawyer
Sarah Oliver gave his defence.
In an e-mail after wards, Ms Oliver
said in court she went through
e-mails that had been sent to Arbon
by ‘William Johnson’, a Nigerian
scammer, which confirmed what
Arbon told police in his inter view
about the scam.
She also read into evidence a
statement from a United Kingdom
police officer about the scam Arbon
fell victim to prior to the current
scam. That scam had 70 victims.
A neuro-psychologist was called
who gave some evidence about
cognitive impairments that impacted
on Arbon’s ability to understand
that he was being scammed.
Arbon, a retired beekeeper from
the Coast Road and Blaketown, had
been intending to fly to Australia,
Brazil and India — with stops in
Dubai and back to New Zealand —
within the space of two weeks.
Earlier in the trial, customs officer
Mary McEwan told the court she
had warned Arbon that he could be
asked to do something illegal. She
said Arbon responded “No, I know
what I’m doing,” and said he was
going to India for a holiday.
The court heard Arbon had taken
the Brazilian trip at the request of
‘Dr William Johnson’, who was
to give him a loan of more than
Jury out in cocaine trial
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Temuka resident Murray McIntosh was manning his stand on the Taramakau River this morning looking for a catch on the opening day of the West
Coast whitebait season. Mr McIntosh has been fishing the Taramakau for the past 12 years and expects a good season this year. “ There’s some bait in
the net and I can’t see any reason why we won’t get a good season. Conditions are perfect this morning, a flat sea, the river’s good — it ’s up to the bait
now.” Just a hardy few whitebaiters lined the banks of the Grey River this morning at high tide.
‘It’s up to the bait now ...’
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 0822
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