Home' Greymouth Star : January 3rd 2018 Contents P2
High tea among the
pews at Moana
Reefton Races special
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018
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The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
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Lucky end to 2017
A Lotto winner from Westport
had a very happy new year,
collecting a share of first division in
the last Lotto draw of the year. A
ticket sold by the Dennis Bookshop
in Westport was one of six winners
on Saturday night, each collecting
$166,667. Other winners came
from Waihi, Waimate, two from
Auckland and a My Lotto player
from Palmerston North. Powerball
was not struck and has rolled over
with a $5 million jackpot for the
An explosives scare on Saturday
night near the Cobden tiphead saw
the area evacuated and cordoned
off while a NZ Defence Force
explosives team travelled from
Christchurch to investigate. Police
cleared the area after someone
reported seeing an explosive
device on the foreshore between
the new Cobden beach toilets
and camper van park, and the
tiphead. Sergeant Andrew Lyes
said at first it appeared to be a
detonation device, with loose
wires protruding from a man-
made hole in a rock. The area was
immediately evacuated over a 150
to 175m radius until the bomb
squad arrived early the following
morning. It turns out that some
detonation cord had been left in a
hole drilled in a rock at the time it
was blasted from the quarry, prior
to being placed for rock protection
work, “so it had been there for a
long time”. The detonation cord
was not connected to a detonator,
which would have made it much
more dangerous. “ The explosive
experts said the right call was made
as it was only closer inspection that
determined that the actual risk was
low,” Mr Lyes said.
‘F lat out ’ and ‘fully booked’ has
been the general response to how
things are going around West
Coast holiday spots as tourists
make the most of the long spell
of warm weather.
Unsurprisingly, all roads lead to
Punakaiki and the glaciers this
Margaret Costello from the
Paparoa National Park Visitor
Centre at Punakaiki said an
average of 1500 to 1600 people a
day had been passing through the
doors since Christmas, peaking
at 1700 on December 28.
Before Christmas they were
“Parking has been a problem;
it has been hard to find a park
and we’ve got someone from our
Westport office to monitor it at
All the car parks were choked
full with cars and campervans
and some of the big campervans
did not manoeuvre that well.
“DOC is trying to help them
find parks,” she said.
“Otherwise it’s been going very
smoothly; the blowholes were
Punakaiki Tavern spokesman
David Beatson said they had
been inundated with visitors,
while Joe Johannsen of the
Punakaiki Beach Hostel said
they were always fully booked
at this time of the year but he
thought the roads were busier.
“The car parks are bursting this
year,” Mr Johannsen said.
Punakaiki Beach Camp
manager Jed Findlay said it was
“madness” on the road outside
the Pancake Rocks.
“It’s always hectic but it ’s been
chaos this Christmas-New Year.
My customers say it’s relaxed
where we are while at the rocks,
it’s a different world up there.”
It had been much busier than at
this time last year because of the
hot sunny weather, Mr Findlay
The same pattern is being seen
in Hokitika where the iSite
staff say they have definitely
noticed more people in town this
office manager Leanne Johnson
said they were pretty much fully
booked every night.
“It’s been full-on in the bar, and
the cafe is really busy.”
Hokitika Holiday Park owner
Samuel Blight was flat out and
very happy with how things had
The Clock Tower Cafe has
taken on two extra staff to cope
with the influx of tourists.
“ We’ve been absolutely flat
out every day; it started on
Darren Campbell said.
Usually they served about
150 meals a day, but this had
increased to 250 meals a day.
At Franz Josef Glacier, iSite
spokeswoman Anna Dennehy
said the better weather over the
Christmas and New Year period
compared to last year had made
things busier in the town.
“People are staying a little
longer as well.”
PICTURES: Laura Mills
The Pancake Rocks lookout and Dolomite Track were crawling with visitors on New Year’s Day.
West Coast police reported a
generally quiet New Year with no
issues at any of the traditional holiday
hot spots over the holiday weekend.
There were no major crashes and
only a few drink-drivers were caught
during the break.
However, police again fielded a large
number of driving complaints over
the weekend scattered throughout
the West Coast — mainly reporting
other vehicles crossing the centre-
The bulk of police work over the
weekend was related to domestic or
family violence calls.
Greymouth police, said of the three
main towns, police were busiest in
Westport with a mixture of incidents
attended by police, including drink-
“Other than the few drink-drivers,
people were well behaved,” Mr Lyes
The traditional holiday hot spots
of Moana, Lake Kaniere and the
glaciers were “relatively quiet ”.
“People appeared to be enjoying
their celebrations and not coming to
police attention, which is great.”
A Westport driver pulled over on
Saturday blew 654mg and had their
licence suspended as a result.
A 30-year-old Nelson man visiting
Westport blew 991mg on New Year’s
Eve. His licence was immediately
Police were called to deal with a
young Hokitika woman who was
fairly intoxicated early on New Year’s
Day. She was taken into custody to
“detox” and released once she sobered
up, Mr Lyes said.
Westport police executed a search
warrant on New Year’s Day after a
vehicle was spotted crashing through
the fence of a residential property
in the town and the driver then
Witnesses had details of the vehicle
and police subsequently confiscated a
vehicle from another property.
At this stage investigations were
ongoing, including identifying the
A man and a woman received minor
injuries in a single vehicle crash on
Nelson Creek Road on New Year’s
Eve. The vehicle rolled and landed
through a fence on the opposite side
of the road.
Mr Lyes said the driver was facing
Coast police inundated with poor driving complaints
A Blackball house only recently
repaired after a fire five months ago,
went up in smoke again on New Year’s
A wood and storage shed less than
a metre from the back of the Harper
Street house was well involved when the
fire brigade arrived shortly after 4.15pm
on Sunday, the searing heat from the fire
igniting a corner of the house.
The Fire Ser vice has yet to determine
the cause of the fire.
Blackball Volunteer Fire Brigade
senior firefighter Scott Newcombe said
the house was occupied but empty at the
“The shed was well involved when we
got called ... and (the fire) had taken
off from there extremely quickly,”
Mr Newcombe said.
There was some irony to the call-out
given the brigade had helped save the
same house last July after a fire in the
The burning iron-clad shed contained
a lawnmower and building materials left
over from the recent fire repairs. It was
also full of dry wood which acted as “a
massive accelerant ”.
“The brigade couldn’t believe it. The
poor guy has just got in the insurance
and got it all fixed.”
At least one room was badly damaged
but the bulk of the small house was able
to be saved and looked fixable again,
despite suffering smoke and water
The Blackball brigade was assisted by
Ikamatua and Brunner brigades and
spent about 90 minutes at the scene.
Mr Newcombe said there was nothing
obvious to suggest how the fire might
have started however given it had been
“very, very dry and very hot” any number
of materials lying around on the property
might have self-ignited.
These included the possibility of empty
plastic drink bottles, which could ignite
under the hot sun in the right conditions.
“ It would be great if people could be a
little bit vigilant.”
Meanwhile, other fire brigades in
the greater Greymouth area including
Cobden, Runanga and Brunner had a
fairly quiet holiday weekend.
Kumara had not a single call despite
the heavy traffic through the area all
weekend. Greymouth volunteers were
called to a rubbish fire in Shakespeare
Street on New Year’s morning which
consisted of burning plastics.
Deputy fire chief Graeme O’Dea said
the fire was easily dealt with, but burning
plastic was frowned upon and the
property occupants had been advised.
The brigade was out early yesterday
evening to help St John with a medical
emergency in the Greymouth residential
Westport firefighters checked a
Lyndhurst Street house early evening
on New Year’s Day after the occupants
smelled smoke, but nothing untoward
Blackball fire house burns again
A man wearing a t-shirt
emblazoned with ‘Trust Me’
allegedly stole a car with an
accomplice in Fairfax County,
Virginia. The owner of the car had
left it unlocked and was warming it
up about 6.30am on Saturday when
the two men allegedly stole it. The
two suspects were arrested by police
in the stolen car not long after the
Honda Civic was taken. Police
also found several forged cheques
inside the car during the arrests.
Wilmer Lara Garcia, 23, has been
charged with theft and two counts
of forgery. He was wearing the shirt
that read ‘Trust Me.’— Daily Mail
Tourists flood into
Greymouth 105 Mackay Street Phone 768 5799
Hokitika 34 Hamilton Street Phone 755 8589
Happy New Year
Looking forward to seeing everyone.
Great specials starting on
January 8, 2018.
Come in and check them out!
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Phone: 03 768 0822
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