Home' Greymouth Star : November 10th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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New home for 127-year-old
Greymouth Cup P14
West Coast people looking for
something a little different this
weekend can try an outdoor movie
night at Dixon Park, on Sunday. It
will feature the 1984 blockbuster
Ghostbusters on the big screen,
with music and food available in the
build-up. The Grey District Youth
Trust, which has organised the event,
encourages people to take their own
chair and rug. Music will start from
7pm and the film when it gets dark.
Port fuel spill
Grey District Council port staff
say the fuel pump at the Blaketown
lagoon was not the cause of a
recent oil spill. Staff did their own
investigation and said they thought
it was a mixture of oil and diesel.
The fuel pump was not responsible
but staff could not pinpoint the
cause. The West Coast Regional
Council has also been investigating
and concluded the contamination
had come from a stormwater drain.
first official trip
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor has headed overseas
on his first official trip as cabinet
minister with the new Labour-led
Government. As Associate Trade
and Export Growth Minister he
will be in Manila, Philippines,
this weekend to participate in the
Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership preparatory ministerial
meeting, on the margins of the East
Fine, lights winds
Lacy Windham, a doctor at the
University of Tennessee Health
Science Centre, recently revealed
an excruciatingly awkward situation
she was put in by two expectant
parents, mainly because the dad-to-
be was not the baby’s actual father.
The mum-to-be’s husband was in
the armed forces, and had been
deployed for the entire duration of
his wife’s pregnancy. And he had
been doing some rough calculations.
“He couldn’t understand why we
were letting her pregnancy go so
long.” After in fact going into early
labour on her own, this might have
worked out — except for one thing.
“She and her husband were white,”
Lacy says. “ The father of the baby
was not. We couldn’t help but stare
at her husband as he walked over to
the baby warmer. We could see the
moment he figured it out.” — Mirror
West Coast leaders are starting
to rally to fight a ban on all new
mining on conser vation land, a
move they fear will add to seven
years of mass job losses.
On Wednesday evening, new
Conser vation Minister Eugenie
Sage announced the ruling,
catching many on the West Coast
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn was this morning
writing to his fellow mayors.
“ We need to take stock of
the situation, and sit down
with Eugenie Sage and (Prime
Minister) Jacinda Ardern, if we
can,” Mr Kokshoorn said.
Although coalmining activity
had retrenched, goldmining was
still “huge” on the West Coast, and
the proposed minerals institute
would be looking at mining rare
earth minerals — many of which
were on the conser vation estate,
The West Coast currently has
50 alluvial goldmines that employ
175 staff. Five domestic coalmines
employ 110 staff directly and
598 jobs are tied to Stockton,
The minister’s office yesterday
current mining concessions on
conser vation land.
Goldminers’ Association spokes-
man John Wood said there had
been a huge backlog of permits
under the National government
and if they had been granted,
miners would have been better
placed to ride out the new policy.
Mr Wood said mining often did
better under Labour governments.
“As Jim Anderton once said to
me, ‘ jobs in mining are skilled
and high paying in rural areas’.
Making beds aren’t. ”
Opposition leader Bill English
said yesterday the Government
needed to make sure the
mining ban “doesn’t have a
job prospects, say on the West
Coast where there has always
been a pipeline of propositions
for mining on lower value
conser vation land”.
West Coast Regional Council
chief executive Mike Meehan
asked what would happen to
stewardship land on the West
DOC has been working through
a project to divest itself of areas of
stewardship land and give better
protection to higher value land.
“ I don’t think anyone would
have a problem with really high
value conser vation land being
protected,” Mr Meehan said.
“ In the conser vation estate,
there’s a raft of land that ’s very
low conser vation value. It should
be looked at for disposal.”
Mr Meehan said he also
questioned what would happen
to authorised operations not
currently mining — “are they
The minister’s office told the
50 access arrangements were
approved on the conser vation
estate but not currently actively
operating. Some mine sites are in
care and maintenance, including
rehabilitation of the site.
The 17 current West Coast
$67,230 in fees for DOC each
The Westport News reported
Ms Sage saying that applications
currently under way, such as the
Stevenson Mining application for
Te Kuha near Westport, would be
decided within the existing law.
Army ousts Greymouth ‘rebels’
PICTURE: Viv Logie
The ‘liberation’ of Greymouth began this morning with the arrival of the multinational militar y force as Exercise Southern Katipo reaches its climax. People
living around Blaketown and central Greymouth were treated to the thud of two Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters, which landed at Anzac Park
which is now the army base. Armed patrols then fanned out towards the Greymouth aerodrome and Blaketown. Under the exercise scenario, the army is liberating
the town from insurgents, and was expected to restore the mayor to power this afternoon. Lieutenant Colonel Tim Tuatini said a large presence had also moved
into the Omoto Racecourse this morning as the “hostiles” were being cleared.
Grey murder-accused unmasked
The man accused of murdering a West
Coast woman at her home last month
can now be named — but the victim’s
name has been suppressed.
George Sean Warren, 45, of
Cobden, previously had interim
name suppression which lapsed when
he appeared at the High Court in
Christchurch this morning, via audio
visual link from prison.
Warren pleaded not guilty to
murdering the woman on October 22.
He elected trial by jury.
Justice Gerald Nation made an
interim order for name suppression
of the victim to protect the woman’s
When Warren made his first
appearance in the Greymouth District
Court two days after the murder,
emotions ran high as people in the
public gallery yelled abuse. Two people
were taken from the courtroom after
yelling obscenities at Warren as he
stood handcuffed and surrounded by
police and a prison officer in the dock.
Lawyer Steve Gill has now taken over
as Warren’s defence counsel.
Justice Nation remanded Warren in
custody to a case review hearing on
After the shooting in Marsden Road,
Warren fled the scene and was on the
run for 23 hours. He was located two
days later when he was found walking
along the Old Christchurch Road
between Arahura and Kawhaka.
He surrendered without incident,
West Coast area commander Inspector
Mel Aitken describing his arrest as a
“ very peaceful” resolution.
St Patrick’s Primary School has had
to cancel its December swimming
lessons because of the ongoing
closure of the Greymouth aquatic
centre, raising concerns about water
The Grey District Council closed
the pool on September 1 to allow
repairs to the sagging roof beams, but
now admits the closure will drag into
March and possibly beyond that.
Principal Caren Olivier said the
school usually held the lessons before
the summer holidays.
“The December lessons were very
important to us, especially because
they were held just before the
holidays,” Mrs Olivier said.
“ We did a lot on water safety
during our December sessions and in
February we do learn to swim.
“I’m very concerned we will not be
able to have them.
“ We have an option of some dry
land training, but that ’s not as
valuable as getting the children into
Children would also be missing out
on their fun days, she said.
“ We have 142 children and it is
important to us to get them in the
St Patrick’s had been offered the use
of the Spring Creek Pool at Runanga,
but that was not due to open until
December 1, and would also add to
the school’s transport bill.
“ We are looking at working the
added costs into our budget next year,
but the issue is very disappointing,”
Mrs Olivier said.
Cobden, Karoro and Paroa schools
all have their own smaller pools so are
not as badly affected by the aquatic
Cobden principal Noula Kazakos
said their pool was suitable for swim
sports and lessons, and had been
offered to other schools that did not
have their own pool.
The Karoro School pool is heated
and principal Maureen Truman said
that gave them the option of using it
for swimming lessons, although no
decision had been made as to how
the school would run its learn to
swim programme next year.
Grey Main School, the largest on
the West Coast, planned ahead so no
swimming events were organised for
“ We realised the pool would most
likely be closed and decided not to
have swimming,” principal Mandy
In the new year, they had offers to
use the pools at nearby Greymouth
High School, Runanga and Cobden
School, and may schedule the school
and district sports for Runanga.
The annual zone swimming sports
would not be affected as they were
scheduled for Westport next year.
“It’s just a bit of a blip on the radar
and there’s not a lot we can do about
it,” Mrs O’Sullivan said.
How schools are coping with aquatic centre closure
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
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