Home' Greymouth Star : January 10th 2018 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Kiwi Rail reluctant on Tranz Alpine
of the Westport News
The Buller District Council (BDC) has
gone from having the highest paid chief
executive on the West Coast to the lowest
paid, while the West Coast Regional Council
chief executive got a 22% pay rise.
The Buller council chief executive cost
ratepayers $194,145 in pay and expenses
for the year ended June 30, 2017, according
to information obtained by the Westport
News under the Local Government Official
Information and Meetings Act.
Andy Gowland-Douglas has held the
position since August 1 last year.
She received $176,347 remuneration
and clocked up expenses of $17,798. They
comprised: travel and accommodation
$10,560, CQ NZ membership $3850, Local
Government NZ and Society of Local
Government Members conference fees
$2608, Koru Club membership $504.35,
Society of Local Government Members
When asked what CQ NZ was, the council
referred the newspaper to the organisation’s
website. The website says CQ NZ is a
“collective intelligence” organisation, bringing
together teams of people who are “competent,
ambitious, curious and authentic”.
“ We design teams that support our
members to excel and prosper, personally and
professionally. CQ cuts through complexity
with precision that is often breath-taking,”
the website says.
The Buller chief executive’s expenses for
2016-17 topped the expenses of $17,580
for the previous year, which included
Ms Gowland-Douglas’ $8000 relocation
The Buller chief executive was the only
Coast council boss with access to a council
credit card, which the council said must be
used for goods or ser vices for “valid BDC
In 2015-16, the BDC shelled out $494,320
in chief executive pay and expenses, including
a $221,680 severance payment to Paul Wylie
who resigned in January last year.
The latest information shows the West
Coast Regional Council recently gave its chief
executive a 22% pay rise. Mike Meehan is the
only Coast council boss to receive a pay rise
since the 2017 financial year ended in June.
His remuneration package jumped $40,751
In the year to June 30, 2017, Mr Meehan
received $201,839 in pay and expenses.
His remuneration package of $189,079
comprised salary $163,942, superannuation
$8197 and vehicle $16,940.
He clocked up $12,760 in expenses: travel
$9793, accommodation/meals $1667, Local
Government NZ conference $1495.
Air NZ provided his Koru Club membership
at no cost.
When asked about the 22% remuneration
increase, regional council chairman Andrew
Robb said Mr Meehan’s salary was pitched
quite low initially because he had little
Mr Meehan had had professional
development during the year. Independent
consultants had benchmarked him against
similar positions elsewhere, based on his
performance, and recommended the pay rise,
Mr Robb said.
The Westland council’s chief executive’s pay
and expenses for 2016-17 came to $375,177.
Westland had the highest chief executive
remuneration Coastwide, of $348,897. The
cost included an $85,007 severance payment
to Tanya Winter, who took a personal
grievance case against the council in March
and resigned in April.
The Westland council chief executive also
spent $26,280 on travel, conference fees,
mileage, accommodation, and meals.
Grey District Council’s Paul Pretorius —
the Coast ’s longest ser ving chief executive
— received $221,748 in pay and expenses.
His remuneration package totaled $208,584.
His expenses of $13,164 were mainly for
travel, including reimbursement for using his
Coast CEOs’ remuneration revealed
State rail operator Kiwi Rail has
dampened any immediate hopes of
extending the Tranz Alpine tourist train
The Westland District Council is
preparing a formal pitch to Kiwi Rail to
have the world famous train terminate in
Hokitika instead of Greymouth.
Octa Associates, the same consultancy
which conceived a plan to bring steam
passenger train ser vices to Hokitika several
years ago, has been re-engaged by the
council to prepare a feasibility study.
A concept document about the Tranz
Alpine project was circulated late last year
to encourage community buy-in.
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith said last
week feedback on the idea had been “ loud
and clear” in favour.
However, Kiwi Rail said this week that
while it had had informal conversations
about extending the Tranz Alpine ser vice
to Hokitika, doing so would present a
number of “operational complexities”.
Those difficulties would need to be
worked through over a period of time,
general manager for network ser vices Todd
“ While we are open to explore potential
opportunities, there is no immediate plan
to extend our existing Tranz Alpine route,”
Mr Moyle said.
Kiwi Rail did not specify the operational
difficulties but industry insiders point to
the current state of the rail track on the
Hokitika line, which has a 40kph speed
limit due to old worn light rail left over
from the steam era.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
said Kiwi Rail had confirmed to him just
before Christmas that it was not interested
in adding at least another 30 minutes each
way to the existing Tranz Alpine journey.
It came up when the Mayor and
Greymouth iSite interests met Kiwi Rail
top brass a few weeks ago to discuss various
issues around the Greymouth Railway
“ We were assured by Kiwi Rail that
they would never be going to Hokitika,
and they even went as far as volunteering
a letter of intent to us that said they were
going to commit to Greymouth and had
no intentions of going anywhere else,” Mr
Kiwi Rail had also cited the 40kph speed
restriction on the branch line.
“The state of the rail tracks, also the time
delays, it was just not economic. ”
Further talks were ‘in train’ with Kiwi
Rail to look at improvements to the ser vice
between Christchurch and Greymouth.
He acknowledged that Westland had a
right to promote its interests but the two
districts needed to work together.
“I don’t mind a bit of rivalry between the
two towns but I could save them (Westland)
a bit of consultancy fees by phoning Kiwi
Rail and getting the same information,” the
Grey mayor said.
“At the end of the day, I think it’s
important to work together and look at
ways we can both benefit from the booming
Wednesday January 10
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Francis. — In memory
of a much loved and
loving husband, father,
Poppa, brother and
friend who passed away
January 10, 2000.
How fortunate we are
that in our hearts we
keep forever the memory
of those we loved
and the time we spent
Sadly missed but lovely
memories to cherish.
Your loving family.
KING, Ronald Russell.
— 1909 - 1988.
Passed away peacefully
at Christchurch Hospital
surrounded by his
family, January 7, 2018,
aged 81 years. Loved
husband of Eleanor and
father of his five
children Steven, Neil,
Leanne Vosper, Merryn
Kearns, and Joanne
Radics. Loved grand-
grandfather of his 14
grandchildren and eight
godfather of his niece
Erika Zatyko. In lieu of
flowers donations to
the Rangiora St John
Ambulance would be
appreciated and may be
made at the service. A
celebration of Steve's
life will be held at St
John Anglican Church,
High Street, Rangiora
tomorrow (Thursday) at
1.30pm. Messages to the
Radics Family, C/- PO
Box 35, Rangiora 7440.
Gulliver & Tyler Ltd.
Tainui) Karen Louise.
Passed away in
Monday, January 8,
birthday) 2018, aged 63.
Dearly loved eldest
daughter of Hector
(Spud) and the late
Georgina (Tilly) Tainui
(nee Mason). Loved
sister of Selina, Ritita,
Rima and Mark (all of
Hokitika), Naomi, Dean
and Adam (Australia),
and the late Anthony
(Toby), and George and
Jo-anne. Loved wife of
Michael Coakley. Loved
daughter-in-law of the
late Joseph and Emily
Coakley. Loved sister-
David, Kevin and the
late Patricia Coakley.
Dearly loved Ma of
Anthony (Ant), and
Taewa, Jordan, Liam,
and Tainui. Loved Taua
nui of Tyrone, Kingston,
Violet, and Grayson.
She was dearly loved,
and will be sadly
missed by many.
A service will be held
tomorrow (Thursday), at
1pm. Following the
service Karen will be
laid to rest at Rua
Funeral Directors Ltd.
Phone (03) 755 7993
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Slow speeds are imposed on the Hokitika branch line due to the state of the track, as seen at Kumara Junction.
‘Operational complexities’ with Hokitika rail line
The runners-up in the 2017 Gold
Guitar Award, Flora Knight and Sean
Donald, will play sets in Hokitika and
Reefton early next month.
Knight is a New Zealand-born fiddle
player who has previously played with
The Eastern and The Lone Pine Specials,
while Donald is a Canada-raised guitar-
picker who has played in the All Day
The duo were recipients of the 2017
New Zealand Gold Guitars overall
runner-up award, including winning the
Traditional Country and The Freeze Ya
Bits off Busking sections.
Knight and Donald formed a musical
bond a couple of years ago in Toronto and
have dedicated themselves to gathering
stories, songs and fiddle tunes from small
communities around the world ever since.
Their self-titled debut record Flora
and Sean is made up of songs and tunes
gleaned on travels around the United
States, Canada and Australasia from a
variety of sources.
They will play Hokitika’s Old Lodge
Theatre on February 7 at 7.30pm and the
following night the Reefton Club at 8pm.
Gold Guitar musicians
to play Hokitika, Reefton
Greymouth couple Adrian and Rita Costen
have started a new pressure cleaning business
covering the West Coast.
Washrite is a franchise operation cleaning
the exterior of houses and commercial
buildings, as well as providing other ser vices.
Mrs Costen said the franchise had only
been operated nationally for 18 months and
it would be something new for the West
They started business two weeks before
New exterior cleaning business on West Coast
The Westland District Council is
defending how it advised Kumara
residents they need to boil their water
following a positive e-coli test result from
the town water supply during sampling
The council issued a warning via
Facebook about 3pm that residents
needed to boil their water immediately.
Neither of the town’s two main eateries
were aware until Monday morning that
something was wrong, and some older
residents were oblivious to the ‘boil
water’ requirement until contacted by the
Guardian that day.
No further information from the
council on its Facebook or website was
posted until later yesterday.
Council strategy and communication
adviser Michelle Bunt, responding to
questions yesterday, accepted that “due to
staff resourcing issues, council has been
slow to alert the public in Kumara as
widely as we would normally like to”.
They were posting a website notice and
had booked newspaper advertising in the
They undertook a mailbox drop to
Kumara residences yesterday.
Ms Bunt justified the level of advice
given to Kumara residents since Sunday,
noting that the council only received the
graded level of the e-coli contamination
“Under the Drinking Water Standards
... a ‘ boil water’ notice does not need to be
issued for public health unless the e-coli
result is 10 or higher,” Ms Bunt said.
“ We have just received the graded level
of our positive e-coli result back from
the laboratory today. Our grade is 1.
So council is doing significantly above
and beyond its requirements in terms of
public health as a measure of caution and
Council contractors were yesterday also
flushing mains and disinfecting the water
“ We are taking this very seriously, which
is why we are going above and beyond our
The council had obser ved Kumara
seemed to experience a positive e-coli
result annually about this time of the year.
“ Why remains unclear but there are
possible scenarios.” This including cross-
connection on to the town supply causing
Ms Bunt said there had also been a water
break in the Kumara network late last
week another potential contamination
Kumara was due to have a new water
treatment plant installed by mid-2018.
The town water pipes were a separate
Council was reviewing the reticulation
networks for all urban water schemes,
with upgrades budgeted through its
2018-28 long-term plan.”
Kumara water notice
Port of Greymouth.
— Arrivals: Ocean
Odyssey, Cook Canyon,
In port: Jay Elaine,
Ocean Odyssey, Cook
Tempest, Tawera, six
Moon Shadow II.
Jay Elaine, Ocean
The bird on the back of
your $10 note is fighting
back from near-extinction
with 56 ducklings
counted by DOC rangers
in a record breeding
The blue duck or whio is
rarer than the kiwi.
However, the species is
rejuvenating after a record
breeding year, boosting
the whio population on
project Taranaki Mounga
has extended the stoat
trapping network around
Mt Taranaki in the last
year and a partnership
between Genesis Energy
and DOC has enabled
the whio population to
build up to 33 pairs.
Whio fight back
5 Tarapuhi Street,
Telephone 768 41266
• Sales • Service • Spare Parts •
Repower your boat this summer
with a new HONDA
Solution published in tomorrow’s Grey Star
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