Home' Greymouth Star : October 30th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Mayor bids for train
2 - Monday, October 30, 2017
The NZCC Rescue Helicopter was
called out twice yesterday to transfer
medical patients. It flew to Buller
Hospital in Westport to transfer
a patient back to Grey Base about
6pm. The helicopter was called south
about 9.30pm to Franz Josef Glacier
to transfer a patient to Grey Base
A report in the Greymouth Star on
Friday said the decision to set up a
temporary museum was unanimous.
Cr Cliff Sandrey said today in fact
he voted against it, as did another
councillor. “I felt the cost to do so
would have been better spent on
earthquake strengthening the current
council freehold property,” Cr
Arrivals: Cook Canyon.
Departures: nil. In port: Cook
Canyon and nine Greymouth vessels.
Expected departures: Cook Canyon
October 31. Expected arrivals: nil.
year — Little
A manned re-entry of the Pike River
mine may be attempted early next year,
the minister responsible for Pike River
re-entry, Andrew Little, says.
Both Labour and New Zealand First
campaigned during the election on the
promise of re-entering the mine where 29
men died in the 2010 explosions.
Mr Little told the Three’s AM show
today the entry would likely go ahead by
“I would be surprised if we can’t make
an entry, provided everything else lines up,
by sometime in the early part of next year.
March, April I say would be realistic,” he
The previous National-led Government
had refused to send men into the mine,
saying owner Solid Energy considered
it too risky and had instead considered
sending remote-controlled robots.
Mr Little said he had not discussed the
feasibility of re-entry with the technical
experts but from what he had read, the
“probability was going up”.
Mr Little said he had been briefed on
new information the robot the previous
government had planned to send in to the
mine for a unmanned re-entry had not
even been built yet.
“So up till now, actually, there has been
no plan,” he said. — N ZN
The head of one of the
country ’s largest non-
government organisations is
now working from home in rural
Greymouth one week in three,
thanks partly to advances in
Former Green list MP Kevin
Hague started as Forest and
Bird chief executive last October,
and spent the first six months
in Wellington getting to know
the organisation, and bedding in
Now, he works from his
Marsden home one week in three.
Although the rural location
does not have ultrafast broadband
the connection is still good
enough to manage, so sitting at
his computer at home he sees his
work desktop from Wellington.
He is able to Skype — sometimes
just with audio — and has
Forest and Bird has 50 to 55
staff and 80,000 members and
Mr Hague said he felt he was
able to work well from home.
Before, as an MP, he travelled
more kilometres than he could
keep track of, but now he is
not only keeping his air miles
down — which is better for the
environment — he is also seeing
more of family.
The only hurdle, albeit small, to
overcome in working from home
was how to sign off cards and
‘thank you’ notes to supporters
while he is domiciled on the
West Coast, but that was easily
solved by bringing stationery back
About 10 Forest and Bird staff
members also work from home,
including Geoff Keey, who lives
at Arthur’s Pass.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Forest and Bird chief executive Kevin Hague behind the desk — not in Wellington, but at home in rural
Organisation head works from remote Coast
Monday October 30
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
ERSKINE, Walter. —
Left us October 30,
There's a little white
gate at the end of the
At the end of the road
A little white gate we
must all pass through,
When we come to the
end of Earth's struggles
And in God's beautiful
By that gate you some-
One day that gate will
And once more you will
hold my hand.
Gone far too soon, on
Dearly loved son of Jan
and Rob, brother of
Simon, Leighton, and
Olivia, grandson of Joan
and the late Colin, and
the late Jean and Allan.
“He will be sadly
Donations to West Coast
Mental Health Care
would be appreciated
and can be posted C/-
PO Box 387, Greymouth
7840. Messages to 1922
Kumara Junction High-
way, RD2, Hokitika
7882. A private family
Funeral Service will be
Phone (03) 768 0250
Ensuring you get
Ph 768 0250
Ngaire Yvonne. — July
14, 1951 - October 21,
2017. Passed at Christ-
church Hospital after a
three week battle.
Asleep until the Lord
calls her home
of the Hokitika Guardian
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith is leading a
bid to bring the Tranz Alpine tourist train
He says extending the world famous rail
journey south from the historic terminus at
Greymouth would boost economic growth
The bulk of the infrastructure was already
in place, he said. “ The rail tracks already
exist and are used daily by Westland Milk
Products and have a natural turning area.”
However, the Hokitika Railway Station
was demolished about 40 years ago, and
there is no turntable.
Under the mayor’s idea, the Westland
District Council would build a covered
platform opposite the adjacent Hokitika
i-Site, which would double as the ticketing
A concept document has now been
circulated among Hokitika businesses and
stakeholders to encourage buy-in.
It says the extra 40km would extend the
Christchurch-Greymouth journey for rail
visitors by 35 minutes and provide a “more
“Currently tourists disembark the train
in Greymouth. In the near vicinity of the
Greymouth train station there is little of
interest for tourists.
Nearby businesses include Noel Leeming,
Postie Plus, The Warehouse and a few small
cafes. This does not create a welcoming
atmosphere which encourages visitors to
stay and spend money. Reduced tourist
spending affects the income of local
businesses and families.
“By comparison, Hokitika has the
infrastructure and activities to support
a high volume of tourists. Community
support for this project is strong.”
The proposal also notes the links to daily
Air New Zealand flights to Christchurch
through the Hokitika Airport, and the
“This allows tourists the option to fly one
way and do the train journey the other way.
Hokitika is the gateway to the most popular
tourism activities on the West Coast — the
Fox and Franz Josef glaciers. In summer
there are 6000 visitors a night to the region.
“By extending the train journey to
Hokitika, Kiwi Rail could encourage
these 6000 daily tourists to take the train.
Ending the train trip in Hokitika would
create a more convenient departure point
for onward journey to Franz Josef or Fox
Glacier. However, visitors who wished to
disembark in Greymouth for northern
journeys to Punakaiki or Karamea would
still be able to do so. ”
Hokitika businesses were encouraged to
back the idea with letters of support, because
of the “significant economic benefits” the
rail tourism bid would bring to the district.
“ In order for us to be able to achieve this
we need to be able to convince a few key
“ Help us prove to Kiwi Rail’s board of
directors and operations team and the
Minister of Transport that the community
support for this exists. ”
The concept plan does not mention costs
or how it will be paid for by the council.
The idea follows on from an earlier one
floated by Mayor Smith of turning Hokitika
Airport into an international airport.
of the Hokitika Guardian
A bigger pay packet has been
approved for the Westroads board
of directors in recognition of the
company’s strong performance.
All three controlled organisations
(CCOs) owned by the Westland
District Council under the banner of
Westland Holdings Ltd — Westroads
Ltd, Westland District Property Ltd
and Hokitika Airport Ltd — held
their annual general meetings on
Despite objections from some
councillors, a resolution was passed
by the council the day before, directing
Westland Holdings to increase
the Westroads directors’ remuneration
by $26,000, backdated to October 1.
Westroad chairman Peter Cuff ’s pay
will move from $23,083 to $30,000
and each of the other three directors
Maurice Fahey, Bryce Thomson
and Cr Durham Havill — go from
$19,583 to $26,000.
Corporate ser vices group manager
Lesley Crichton said in a report to the
council meeting that in order to attract
and retain high calibre applicants it
was recommended that remuneration
was offered that was keeping with
similar types of organisations and
commensurate with the role.
Cr Latham Martin said they owed
it to all directors to be paying them
proportionate to what they would
receive in other directorship roles.
However, Cr Helen Lash said the
environment was not right to be
increasing their pay.
She also said the council was not
currently trying to attract high calibre
The directors in place had been on
the board a long time and there was
no rotational direction in place.
Cr Jane Neale agreed.
“I think to raise the remuneration at
the moment is quite insulting when
there are people in our community
really struggling,” Cr Neale said.
“Also, if we’re after high calibre
applicants, looking back, why did we
in effect fire the ones that we had from
In November last year the incoming
council moved to wind up the holding
company and change the structure of
the airport and property companies to
cut costs and increase efficiency.
Four of the five Westland Holdings
directors — including the newly-
appointed council chief executive
Simon Bastion — were retired from
Crs Des Routhan and David
Carruthers were appointed in the
interim to oversee the dissolution of
the holding company, although due to
tax implications that decision is now
Mayor Bruce Smith said the
Westroads board could not be
compared to that of the airport
company or Westland Holdings.
“ Westroads as a company now turns
over $20 million a year — it turns over
more than council,” Mr Smith said.
“Its profitability ... looks like it’s
going to see $1 million in the end. In
order to have a continued improved
performance we need to have the best
“The pay rate of Westland Holdings
directors or the airport company
can’t be compared with Westroads.
Westroads is a substantial company
— 151 staff, it’s huge.”
Mr Smith said the board was in
the process of looking for a new
director throughout the South
Island to replace Mr Fahey, who was
Cr David Carruthers agreed
commercial enterprise and its
directors should be remunerated
However, he was worried about the
succession issue given the ages of the
directors and the difficulty they had
had in attracting younger, suitably
Cr Des Routhan said the current
directors were not in it for the money.
“I know D urham would probably
do it for nothing, and the same goes
for Bryce Thomson.”
Cr Routhan questioned the effort
put in to justify going from $19,000
“How many meetings do they
attend? How many hours do they
work for Westroads? If it’s a lot I
would expect that they got paid
$26,000, if it’s bugger all probably
$19,000 is too much. I don’t know
what effort they are putting into the
running of it.
“I would imagine that if the
executive of the company are doing a
very good job then the directors won’t
be putting a hell of a lot in, but if the
executive aren’t doing a good job then
your directors should be putting a lot
in, very similar to what we’ve just
In putting the motion, the mayor
said the figure requested was still
below the benchmark.
The level of legal liability on
directors also needed to be taken into
“There is a significant legal liability
that directors of CCOs have and in
this one we have 150 staff working
in trenching environments with
“The health and safety factor is
huge, it’s a big responsibility,” Mr
Crs Neale, Lash and Gray Eatwell
opposed the motion.
Cr Havill was not present during
Pay boost for Westroads directors
Conser vation’s Battle for our
Birds aerial 1080 drop to protect
native species in northern
Paparoa National Park and
adjoining conser vation land has
The pest control targeted rats
and also possums over 36,000ha
of national park and other
conser vation land between the
Punakaiki River and Waitakere
River and across to the main
ridge of the Paparoa Range.
manager Bob Dickson, said
monitoring had shown rat
numbers in the area were at
a level where they threatened
at-risk native species and stoat
numbers could also rise due to
more rodents to feed on.
“The predator control was
particularly needed to protect
vulnerable populations of great
spotted kiwi, whio, kea, kaka,
Powelliphanta snails and long-
Warning signs have been placed
at all main access points to pest
Dogs owners are reminded to
keep their dogs well away from
areas where warning signs are
present. If anyone is taking a
dog into a pest control area, it
should be kept on a leash or wear
Dogs should also be kept well
away from any possums carcasses
that might come downstream
after heavy rain.
If it is suspected a dog has
ingested a toxic substance, they
should immediately be taken to
of the Westport News
The West Coast District Health Board
(DHB) is progressing plans for the
Westport integrated family health centre
(IFHC), despite the new government ’s
promise to change them.
The IFHC’s cost, size, site, and funding
mechanism could all change under the
The DHB’s director of facilities, Mark
Newsome, told The News the DHB was
still working on a fit-for-purpose design.
“Any work that we’re doing is not going
work we want to continue with.”
Mr Newsome said the DHB had to seek
approval from the West Coast Hospital
Redevelopment Partnership Group and
the Ministry of Health before moving
beyond the concept design stage.
“ Timing in that respect is probably not
too bad. We hope we would get clarity from
the Government sooner rather than later,
so this doesn’t further hold this project up. ”
The former government proposed a $12
million IFHC owned by ACC and leased
by the West Coast DHB.
The IFHC was to be built on the
hospital’s boiler house site in Pakington
Street because the hospital site is a reser ve
and ACC would not build on land it could
The IFHC proposal sparked protests and
a petition. Locals opposed the proposed
building, the site, and the funding model.
Labour has promised a fit-for-purpose
IFHC costing up to $20m, funded by the
Government and built on the hospital site.
Mr Newsome acknowledged the plans
for the boiler house site could not be
simply picked up and transferred to the
“ We may actually have to decamp or
move some ser vices to allow construction
to occur. We may even need to do a partial
demolition of the current hospital to allow
construction to occur. ”
An advantage of the Pakington Street
site was that other ser vices would not be
disrupted while the IFHC was built, he
said. Local DHB staff were shown a new
concept plan for the IFHC on Tuesday.
The News later asked the Ministry of
Health, which owns the plan, for a copy.
Cathy Cooney, refused to provide one. She
said the plan was incomplete and subject
In July, Ms Cooney gave The News a copy
of the previous concept plan — which was
also incomplete and subject to change —
before staff had seen it.
Mr Newsome said that when he discussed
the latest plan with staff on Tuesday, he
asked them to focus on the layout rather
than IFHC size which remains at around
The DHB had listened to staff feedback
on the previous plan and made significant
changes to the layout, he said.
Space had now been provided for district
nurses, who were left out of the previous
plan due to an “oversight”.
Mr Newsome said additional consulting
rooms had been included. The reception
area and some ser vice locations had
changed. Non-clinical working spaces had
A sub-waiting area had been provided
for mental health patients, who had no
separate waiting area in the previous plan.
The palliative care and birthing rooms
were now more widely separated.
Adult dental was no longer included
because the Buller Health Trust, which
owns the Westport dental clinic,
had withdrawn much to the DHB’s
disappointment, Mr Newsome said.
Removing adult dental had not
significantly changed the gross floor area,
Buller Mayor Garry Howard, who
is a trustee of the Buller Health Trust,
said today the trust might reconsider its
decision to withdraw if a fit-for- purpose
IFHC was built on the hospital site.
The trust had refused to be part of an
IFHC on the Pakington Street site.
DHB pushes ahead with Buller health centre
The Law Commission will
be holding a public meeting in
Hokitika this week in line with
its review on the law for dividing
The Commission said the
Property (Relationships) Act
had been law since 1976 but a lot
had changed since it had been
“ Dividing property
a relationship ends can be
“The law needs to help people
divide their relationship property
in a simple and fair way,” law
commissioner Helen McQueen
West Coaster’ will be asked for
feedback at the public meeting
this Thursday from midday
Legal help on dividing property
Hokitika ‘huggers’ line
up to smash a Guinness
World Record for the
longest hug exchange.
The previous record of
36 was surpassed on
Saturday when 55 friends
and family of late All
Saints Church volunteer
Noeline Tainui gathered
outside the church.
Among the hug line were
four generation of family
representatives of various
the Anglican sisters
of the Community
of the Sacred Name
in Christchurch. The
pink-themed event was
held as a tribute to the
late parishioner and
was also a fundraiser for
the church restoration
works, which is about to
start. A video of the hug
exchange will be sent
to Guinness officials to
verify the record title.
PICTURE: Janna Sherman
Hokitika goes for
hug world record
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