Home' Greymouth Star : January 5th 2018 Contents SINCE 1866
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2018
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Broken bones in
quad bike crash
Two men were moderately injured
after crashing a quad bike on the
Haast beach about 7 o’clock last
night. The men, described as regular
visitors to the area, suffered various
injuries, mainly broken bones, when
the bike rolled. St John Ambulance
staff initially attended the scene
before the NZCC West Coast
Rescue Helicopter was called. It
returned to Grey Base Hospital
with both men about 1.30am today.
Complaints of poor driving
behaviour continue to pour in
to West Coast police, including
one of vehicle that crossed the
centre-line for long periods about
20 times on the Otira highway
yesterday. Senior sergeant Paul
Watson, of Greymouth, said not all
the complaints related to overseas
tourists but also New Zealanders.
“ It ’s not soley our visitors,” Mr
Watson said. Reefton police
received a complaint yesterday
about a local person’s driving; the
driver was pulled over and fined.
Early yesterday afternoon police
stopped and issued a driver with
an infringement notice on State
highway 6 near Greymouth after it
was called in as crossing the centre-
line “numerous times” between
Otira and Kumara Junction.
A Phoenix man has been arrested
attempting to smuggle more than
a tonne of marijuana with a street
value of $1.2 million from Mexico.
US Customs and Border Protection
said the bust took place on Saturday
on the US-Mexico border. Officers
referred the 55-year-old suspect for
further inspection of his motorhome
as he tried to cross the border into
Arizona. After a customs canine
alerted officers to an odour it was
trained to detect, they searched the
camper and discovered more than
120 bundles of marijuana from the
storage compartments, walls, and
floor of the vehicle. — Daily Mail
Greymouth Star On-line
A complaint about the lack of food
options for tourists visiting the West
Coast on Christmas Day is a cue
to do better, the new head of the
Greymouth Business and Promotions
Tourism West Coast circulated a
complaint from an Australian visitor
to Greymouth and Hokitika on
Christmas Day about both towns
being shut for the day, with nowhere
to eat. Even the fast food chains of
KFC and McDonald’s were shut.
Newly-elected chairman of the
business group Phillip Barnett,
who owns both the Lake Brunner
Hotel and Greymouth iSite, said
the criticism should be seen as an
opportunity to put something better
“Certainly it wasn’t brought to our
attention that these places would be
shut,” Mr Barnett said.
“ Disappointing to hear but we’re
going to be proactive in front footing
it ... This gentleman’s feedback is a
The question of why some businesses
chose not to open had to be tempered
by the stringent restrictions on
liquor licence holders for opening on
Christmas Day as well as the reality of
“For me to open my restaurant (at
the hotel) on Christmas Day is just not
worthwhile ... the environment here in
New Zealand is not conducive (but)
I can say the Greymouth restaurants
and cafes are very proactive.
“Opening on Christmas Day is
much more difficult than Easter, for
instance. Unless you’re a major hotel
it ’s really difficult.”
However, the business association
would take the lead to address the
obvious need for next Christmas.
“Going for ward the (association)
will be proactive with a roster. In
future we will make sure restaurants
will be open.”
A foreseeable solution might be to
identify one particular provider to be
open in Greymouth and publicise that
accordingly, Mr Barnett said.
Tourism West Coast chief executive
Jim Little noted yesterday the
question of opening on Christmas
Day was not just confined to the West
Coast, and even Auckland was mostly
closed for the day.
In Greymouth, at least the Kingsgate
and Ashley hotels were open.
But for visitors simply passing
through looking for a cafe “it’s
whatever they can see on the street ”.
Mr Little said there were practical
ways to deal with the Christmas Day
holiday, including offering split and
appropriately remunerated shifts to
staff who wanted to work, in order to
fill the need for food ser vice.
“ While we were aware things were
closed on Christmas Day I think we’ve
taken it for granted it’s Christmas
Day and time for families. We’ll see
what we can do,” Mr Little said.
Closed for Christmas complaint prompts change
A key Grey District Council
senior manager at the helm of
several key projects in recent years
Corporate and community
Horning finished work at the
council effectively just before
She had responsibility for
the future of History House,
Greymouth aquatic centre roof
beam repairs and pool closures,
and aspects of the Greymouth
town square design as part of
the urban revitalisation brief for
the Greymouth central business
district. This has included projects
such as the interpretation panels
erected at various points around
the town and the floodwall
revitalisation, which is due to get
under way this year.
Longer term her department
economic development activities
across the district including
development of a ‘Discovery
Centre’ in Greymouth, with the
council as a strategic partner with
the Mawhera Incorporation and
Copthorne Hotels for the possible
redevelopment of the Kingsgate
Hotel as an anchor project for the
Council chief executive Paul
Pretorius yesterday confirmed
Ms Horning had finished at the
council but declined to say why.
understanding was Ms Horning
wanted to pursue
development officer’s position
under the same department
remains vacant after the last staff
member resigned late last year.
At its December meeting the
council weighed up its options for
filling the position.
It decided to proceed with
employing a new staff member
on the basis of the need to focus
on key events for the district
while the future shape of the
regional economic development
announced last year by the
previous government in the West
Coast economic package. This
included rolling the activities of
Development West Coast and
Tourism West Coast — which is
funded by each district council —
into one structure.
Meanwhile, a number of
vacancies in the council
engineering department are due
to be filled.
Mr Pretorius said it was not easy
to attract appropriate staff with
the skills needed but they were
about to make two appointments
to that department.
The pilot of a Cessna carrying two
passengers who was forced to make an
emergency beach landing just south of
Hokitika yesterday says everyone stayed
calm as the plane grounded safely.
“ We were just on a routine flight,
when the engine failed,” Ben Patterson
owner-chief pilot of Hokitika-based
Wilderness Wings said this morning.
He would not say whether the two
passengers were tourists or not, but all
three walked away without injury.
Photographs taken at the scene
show the plane might have become
embedded in loose shingle upon
landing and veered around to face
“ We all stayed calm and it all
happened so quickly,” Mr Patterson
“ I haven’t had an engine failure before
but I have landed on a beach.”
He advised Civil Aviation (CAA) of
the emergency landing yesterday.
“ We can’t speculate on what
happened until we make our own
investigation; CAA will be following
up on our investigation. I spoke to
them yesterday and they were thrilled I
got it down safely,” Mr Patterson said.
Apparently it was high tide when the
emergency landing occurred just after
midday, meaning there was not a lot of
beach area to land on.
Marty von Ah, a contractor to
Hokitika Airport, was called to pull the
plane off the beach.
His father-in-law Max Dowell said
by the time Mr von Ah had located the
plane, just south of the Hokitika Golf
Club Mahinapua links, it was in the
water and he had to drag it out of the
A second tractor was required to get
it off the beach, lifting the nose and
towing the aircraft along the beach into
“He (Mr Patterson) was lucky it
didn’t happen in the mountains,”
Mr Dowell said.
Mr Patterson said he was the only
pilot at the company, which had one
He would now take some time off to
spend with his family.
Civil Aviation did not respond to
calls from the Greymouth Star this
The NZCC Rescue Helicopter was
initially called to the scene but was
turned back, and police were not
The Grey District Council will
undertake a performance review of
its Greymouth rubbish collection
contractor Smart Environment after
long delays this week.
Assets and engineering manager Mel
Sutherland said the council was not
happy after rubbish that should have
been collected on Wednesday was still
on the roadside today.
“ We’re not happy with the contractor’s
performance,” Mr Sutherland said.
“The objective at the moment is to
complete the collection and we’ll follow
up next week with the contractor and a
This morning red wheelie bins were
still lining the streets of Greymouth
awaiting rubbish collection which
was supposed to have begun 48 hours
earlier. Yesterday, Mr Sutherland said
the collection in Blaketown was expected
to have been finished by last evening, but
today it was still there. This morning he
said Cobden’s collection was completed
yesterday and all of Greymouth would
be finished today with bins in the
Rutherglen Road area possibly having
to wait until tomorrow morning.
A third truck has been brought into
action by Smart Environment.
The collection delays were caused by
a combination of the statutory holidays
and a truck breaking down.
The Cessna is pulled off the beach at Southside, Hokitika, yesterday afternoon.
Council ‘unhappy’ with rubbish delays
Engine failure forces beach landing
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
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