Home' Greymouth Star : January 10th 2018 Contents P2
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2018
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Coast council CEOs’
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Win tickets to Super Rugby
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Illegal car ordered
off the road
A car reported to be ripping up
and down the main road within the
old Otira railway village yesterday
was found to be unroadworthy
when police stopped it later on
State highway 73. Senior sergeant
Paul Watson, of Greymouth, said
police received a complaint from
Otira residents late in the morning
and when a patrol later found the
offending car, it was being driven on
the main highway in an unregistered
and an unwarrantable condition.
The woman driver was issued with
an infringement when she failed
to produce her licence and the car
was ‘pink-stickered,’ effectively
rendering it illegal to use.
The Hokitika Volunteer Fire
Brigade was called twice to the
Beachfront Hotel last night after
the steam from showers activated
fire alarm sensors.
for heavy rain
The Metser vice has forecast bouts
of heavy rain for Westland and
Buller from tonight until Friday, as
part of a severe weather warning
for the South Island. “ There is still
uncertainty about the amounts
and locations, but the heaviest rain
should fall in Buller and Westland
between Seddonville and Fox Glacier
from overnight.” Between 120 and
150mm could be expected about the
ranges and 50 to 80mm elsewhere.
Rain with heavy falls
Lifelong pals Alan Robinson
and Walter MacFarlane have been
best mates for 60 years, ever since
they played football together at
prep school in Hawaii. So the pair
have been left “over whelmed ” after
discovering that they are not just
friends, but brothers, too. The men
learned of their sibling bond after
separately taking DNA tests to
trace details about their ancestry. Mr
MacFarlane never knew his father,
while Mr Robinson was adopted.
After using DNA-matching
websites following unsuccessful
searches on social media and other
sites, Mr MacFarlane found a top
match — someone with identical X
chromosomes — with the username
Robi737. Mr Robinson, who
flew Boeing 737 planes for Aloha
Airlines, had used the same website
to find answers about his ancestry,
it transpired. After realising the
connection, the pair learned they
have the same birth mother.
— Sky News
The Westland Racing Club was forced to
abandon its annual Hokitika meeting today after
heavy overnight rain made sections of the dry
track unsafe for racing.
It joins a growing list of abandoned meetings
throughout the country already this year, with
criticism that there are too many small racetracks.
Even before Hokitika races were abandoned the
New Zealand Racing Trainers’ Association said
it may be time for the West Coast to consider
investing heavily in one central racecourse to
ser vice the four racing clubs.
The suggestion comes amid murmurings that
a large number of New Zealand’s 52 racetracks
are not up to scratch after six meetings were
either abandoned, cancelled or postponed over a
five-day period from January 1 as the Ellerslie,
Waikouaiti, Omakau, Thames, Otaki and
Awapuni tracks were all rated unsafe. Most were
affected by rain falling on parched tracks, making
them slippery and dangerous for horse and rider.
Now Hokitika has joined the casualty list.
Westland Racing Club stipendiary steward
Jeff McLaughlin made the call after walking the
Hokitika track this morning.
“Heavy rain overnight has left surface water
on sections of the track, it ’s raining now and
we’ve made the right decision with more rain
forecast this afternoon,” Mr McLaughlin told
the Greymouth Star.
“There are areas which have been sprayed close
to the rail, but that ’s not the issue — it ’s the
water lying on the track.
“ We went through a process to come to the
decision to call the meeting off, and at the end
of the day we could not be 100% sure equine and
human participants were going to be safe.”
Club president Gray Eatwell says the
cancellation was devastating for the Hokitika
“ When it comes to weather we have no control,
but the club and the committee have put so
much into this meeting.
“The stipendiary stewards made the final call. I
feel for everyone — the trainers, the owners and
the committee who have done so much.”
The club had looked at postponing to a fine day,
but that was ruled out, Mr Eatwell said.
“ We looked at possibly racing tomorrow but
the ‘powers that be’ said that wasn’t possible.”
The Kumara Gold Nuggets meeting scheduled
for this Saturday is now under the spotlight.
The Kumara meeting was abandoned last year
when a section of the track was deemed unsafe
but the club has spent $50,000 in the off-season
repairing the turf.
The Reefton Jockey Club will host the final day
of the West Coast New Year galloping circuit on
The national horse trainers’ association says
small, poorly maintained tracks are to blame for
last week’s problems.
West Coast meetings have similarly been
affected in the past.
abandoned after the
fourth race in 2007,
and in 2006 the club
raced at Kumara and
Hokitika, while the
transferred to the
The Kumara track
failed to deliver in 2001 and 2005, and last year
the Gold Nuggets meeting was abandoned a
day before the big day after a section of the
track was deemed unsafe. In 2012 the Reefton
Jockey club abandoned its January meeting
because of track conditions, and in Hokitika
the Westland Racing Club’s scheduled race day
had to be put back a day, although last year’s
meeting went ahead in what must be regarded
as the heaviest track on record in the history of
New Zealand racing.
NZ Racing Trainers’ Association president
Tony Pike says the country has too many small,
underused tracks and the industry can not afford
to keep them up to scratch.
He called for more money to be spent on the
“ We have got too many racecourses here in
New Zealand to maintain up to a sufficient
standard, 52 in total,” Mr Pike said.
“ Where the horse population is based is
probably where the money needs to be spent.
Six or eight of our major racecourses, if we could
get them up to international standard, would be
fantastic long term.
“There is a place, too, for selected community
clubs which are great for the industry, and
Kumara is an example of this.
“ In regards the West Coast, you have to
rationalise whether the four racing clubs could
race on one course, spend $1 million on a course
and race on a number of days through the year,”
NZ Thoroughbred Racing national venue
inspector Garry Foskett said occupational
safety and health was the biggest cause of
abandonments and track-related problems
because of the weather.
“ We’re calling races off after one slip mark now.
It comes down to health and safety; if we send a
jockey out to ride and they slip the club is liable.”
Mr Foskett strongly disagreed that lack of
maintenance by the small clubs was to blame for
the abandoned meetings last week.
“ In the past we used to call tracks ‘shifty’ and
we were also allowed to address the offending
section of track on the day using a harrow, light
disc or ground hog. Today, we are not allowed to
do that and the meeting would be abandoned.
“ It ’s the red tape which is placing restrictions
— it ’s all weather-related and OSH which is the
Tree saves woman from river plunge
An elderly woman driving
from the West Coast to Nelson
was saved by a single tree from
plunging into the river last night
when her car hurtled about 80m
down a bank in the Upper Buller
The woman was alone in the
car when she crashed off State
highway 6 near Lyell about 6pm.
Senior sergeant Paul Watson,
of Greymouth police, said the car
careered down the bank towards
the Buller River over “quite a
“The vehicle was prevented
from going any further by a
single tree,” Mr Watson said.
Rescuers spent about two hours
at the scene to get access to the
woman, who was trapped in her
car perched precariously above
They had to chop down tree
canopy in order to clear the
way for a helicopter winch to
access the wreck and retrieve
the woman, who was moderately
The NZCC West Coast
Rescue Helicopter winched the
woman to safety and flew her to
Grey Base Hospital for medical
As the rain fell heavily today,
northern parts of the West
Coast, including Grey and Buller
districts, were officially classified
as suffering from a medium-
Communities Minister and
Damien O’Connor made the
announcement in Reefton
today, extending the drought
classification already covering
lower North Island regions to
Grey and Buller.
The announcement coincides
with rain and a severe weather
warning for periods of heavy rain
in Westland and Buller through
Mr O’Connor said months
of hot dry weather were really
impacting on farmers and the
Coast had missed out on last
week’s rainstorm that hit other
parts of the country.
He had hoped forecast rain
would “break the drought” before
the Government had to step in.
He said a watching brief was
also on neighbouring areas,
It came on the back of an
extremely wet year with many
farmers unable to grow pasture
or crops for spring, then an early
and unusual dry start to summer
that had turned pastures “from
swamp to concrete”.
“The Grey and Buller districts
now meet the criteria for a
The classification meant the
West Coast Rural Support Trust
and other recovery organisations
get a $50,000 funding boost to
assist by organising local events
Mr O’Connor said the adverse
drought classification would last
for six months, unless things
changed substantially before
Other measures, including tax
flexibility and income assistance
would be made available where
West Coast Federated Farmers
president Peter Langford, of
Karamea, said the situation in
some parts of the region had
been “desperate” and came on
the back of three challenging
The upper Grey Valley,
Inangahua and coastal Karamea
in particular were now “fried up
to a crisp”.
“Even as far south as Fox
they ’ve had issues with growing
grass,” Mr Langford said.
“It takes three to four weeks to
recover from a dry period. A lot
of the damage is done. People
have already culled cows.”
Some might not believe a
medium scale drought, given
rain today, “but that ’s not going
to fix anything for two to three
“The damage is done. ”
The West Coast Rural Support
Trust can be contacted on
0800 787 254.
Drought declared as rain falls
Toast comes up trumps
For some it will be a most
unappetising piece of toast
but others are tempted by the
novelty of ‘Donald Trump is
Toast ’ image, a real bit of fake
news being auctioned by a
Greymouth man in the name
What began as a joke between
two work colleagues has now
attracted worldwide interest.
Adam Gilshnan said the
idea of Trump toast emerged
from morning chats with a
co-worker about toast and
the daily antics of the United
“It was all just a bit of fun, but
for a good cause,’’ Mr Gilshnan
He is now offering the framed
toast picture on Trade Me to
raise money to help friend
Lisa Fisher travel to Russia
for multiple sclerosis (MS)
Mrs Fisher (nee Moreton),
44, is originally from Hokitika
and now lives in Christchurch
with her husband Kelvin, who
is originally from Greymouth.
“I ’m a Coaster helping fellow
West Coasters, and something
which started as a bit of a joke
has now turned into something
real,” Mr Gilshnan said.
“Hopefully it will raise
awareness of Lisa’s cause.”
The Trade Me listing has
drawn plenty of interest, with
about 2450 views by this
morning, although the bidding
was only $31.
The Fishers hope to fly to
Russia for stem cell treatment
costing about $100,000.
Since listing his ‘toast ’ Mr
Gilshnan has been chased by
the media from as far away as
He explains the story with
the listing: “ Who knew this
morning that when I put a
piece of delicious Nature’s
Fresh white bread into my
trusted 1983 Sunbeam toaster,
that my life would alter forever.
For when the toast popped up,
lo and behold, an image of the
man that has divided the world
appeared right in front of me,
staring at me like an apparition
from another dimension,’’ he
“ Was I dreaming? Was this
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Adam Gilshnan with his ‘Donald Trump is Toast ’ image, which he is auctioning off on Trade Me in the name of charity.
Calls to merge Coast tracks
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 0822
Sales A/H: Alastair Hamilton 768 7300
1996 Toyota Rav4
3 door, 2.0 litre petrol, 5 speed manual
1996 Toyota Granvia
3.0 litre, turbo diesel, 7 seater people mover
2013 Toyota Hiace ZX
Van, 3.0 litre, tubo diesel, 5 speed manual
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Stationwagon, 1.8 litre, 5 speed manual
Tree decorating time
Westland Lawnmower Services
NORTH SHORE, COBDEN
Setting the Standard
Newcastle St, Cobden Ph (03) 768 5771
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