Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2018 Contents SINCE 1866
cycle traffic picks up
decision to abandon
FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 2018
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311mm of rain
Hokitika was soaked with a
whopping 311mm (1ft) of rain in
the 72 hours to 9am today. Torrential
rain fell on the central West Coast
from Wednesday night to last
night, causing widespread but not
serious flooding in Greymouth
and Hokitika. The southern town
copped the biggest fall — 197mm
in the 24 hours to 9am — while
Greymouth had 113.4mm. For the
48-hour period to 9 o’clock this
morning the Hokitika total was
267mm and 311mm in 72 hours.
Hokitika weather recorder Mark
Crompton said the January rainfall
total is already 318mm, compared
with an average January rainfall of
221mm. In contrast, Westport barely
had anything in the 24 hours to 9am
— just 7.2mm — while Haast had a
modest 32mm. The Metservice today
cancelled the heavy rain warning
which was in force for the West
Coast over the coming day.
A 36-year-old Westport man who
had previously been disqualified
from driving indefinitely was caught
driving drunk in Coates Street,
Westport, last night. The man blew
a very high breath-alcohol reading
of 927mg when stopped by police.
He was arrested and charged with
drink-driving and driving while
A cheating husband slapped with a
lifetime sex ban by his scorned wife
has revealed how she lifted her veto
when she returned home tipsy after
a girls’ night out. Haley Mulholland,
48, relented after refusing to sleep
with her husband, Kevin, 49, for
three years, after a couple of glasses
of wine softened her resolve. In 2013,
carer Haley, who married Kevin in
2000, discovered he had slept with
another local woman after seeing
a Facebook message from her. She
let him remain in their home, but
kicked him out of their bed, insisting
he stayed celibate and even tracking
his movements. Admitting two years
into the sex ban, that while she did
not want him, she did not want
anyone else to have him either, Haley
said: “He swears he’s staying true, but
I can’t trust him as far as I can throw
him. Over the past few months, I’ve
become quite the detective.” Now,
a year later, after “much creeping”
from Kevin, she is enjoying nights
of passion with her husband again.
Haley said: “It turns out leopards can
change their spots. He has earned my
trust back.” — Daily Mail
Rain spreading south
Kumara: We’ ll be back
Kumara Racing Club stalwarts are
determined the famous Gold Nuggets
meeting will survive, despite having to
abandon the races two years in a row.
Tom Milne, Eileen Topliss, Joan
Meates and Bernie Fahey were packing
up at a wet, forlorn and empty Kumara
Racecourse yesterday afternoon.
While the decision made earlier in the
day had left them devastated, all were
adamant the club would bounce back in
2019 with the Nuggets, which Mr Milne
likened to the Melbourne Cup, such is
its fame in New Zealand.
Mrs Meates said she had tears in her
eyes when she heard the meeting had
been cancelled again.
The meeting was called off due to wet
track conditions and surface water after
132mm of rain fell in the area overnight
A crowd of around 6000 to 7000 had
been expected tomorrow, with visitors
coming from throughout New Zealand,
including the usual busloads from
To add to the club’s pain, it had just
spent $50,000 on a track upgrade after
the 2017 race day had to be cancelled.
“It’s not the end of the Kumara Racing
Club,” said Mr Fahey, a Kumara builder
who has recently completed repairs on
the old style wooden grandstand.
“ We’ll be back with bells on,”
Mr Fahey said.
“I’ll be the first cab off the rank,”
Mrs Meates said, giving her support.
Her sister Mrs Topliss, a former owner-
trainer and the first woman on the West
Coast Racing Committee, added: “ The
club will bounce back, we’ve done it
before and the committee is dedicated.
I just hope we’ve got enough money in
The sisters have given many hours
of voluntary ser vice to prepare for the
2018 meeting, and have been part of the
backbone of the Kumara Racing Club
for many years, as has Mr Milne.
“I’ve looked after the track this year
and spent all of the past four weeks here
every day, irrigating, tractor working,
mowing, waterblasting — doing
everything the girls (Mrs Meates and
Mrs Topliss) asked me.”
The club averted a possible $70,000
hit by abandoning early, and while it
had still suffered financially from the
cancellation, had the decision been
delayed until today the bills would have
shot up further, with no time to cancel
large orders of food and the like.
All felt disappointed for the trainers
and owners who brought their horses to
the West Coast and thanked them for
their patience, but they agreed that safety
had to come first. Suggestions have been
made that with meetings being cancelled
regularly and other issues, the time has
come to amalgamate small clubs.
That did not go down well with this
group of dedicated Kumara locals.
“If you amalgamate you take away
iconic race meetings,” Mr Fahey said.
“And this meeting puts a lot of money
into the community, not just here but in
Greymouth and the West Coast.”
More Kumara stories p12.
PICTURE: Chris Tobin
Kumara Racing Club members Joan Meates, left, Bernie Fahey,
Eileen Topliss and Tom Milne — hugely disappointed at having to
abandon the Gold Nuggets meeting for the second year in succession.
The Tranz Alpine train that arrived
just after the weather bomb struck
Greymouth yesterday was not allowed
to leave after the inbound train
encountered “instability” on the railway
line at Omoto, about 500m from the
Kiwi Rail’s flagship train was left
stranded and was parked up overnight at
the Elmer Lane depot.
Kiwi Rail said today a washout had
affected the line near Omoto and they
were working hard to clear it as soon as
Passengers were bussed back to
Christchurch yesterday, and those
journeying to Greymouth this morning
also travelled by bus.
“ Kiwi Rail crews are on site and we
are hopeful that the washout will be
remedied in time for Tranz Alpine to
make her journey to Christchurch this
afternoon,” a spokesman said.
“ If that is not the case, bus resources are
on standby. We will be in contact with
passengers should there be any further
disruption to ser vices,” the spokesman
Meanwhile, about a dozen Greymouth
residents were still out of their flood-
damaged homes this morning.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
praised the response from civil defence,
welfare agencies and emergency ser vices.
“They were not only dealing with the
first event but anticipating the second
event of 100mm that was coming. We
were lucky that we dodged a bullet on
that one in so far as the second wave
Mr Kokshoorn said they had tried
to “not over-dramatise the situation”
That was important in closing the
central business district, for example,
given the impact on business reputation
at the busiest time of year.
“It ’s a tightrope we walk but it worked
out well. ”
Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade
fire chief Lee Swinburn said they
had received a few more calls for help
yesterday after the initial burst of 29
call-outs in the morning.
The brigade was also called to a Joyce
Crescent property about midnight for
weather-related reasons but no action
Mr Swinburn said it was fortunate the
forecast second hit of heavy rain did not
strike yesterday afternoon.
“ It ’s probably lucky that second
weather bomb didn’t come through
which gave time for things to dry off
before the other one came through last
In Hokitika, firefighters responded to
about 15 calls throughout the afternoon
due to surface flooding and were called
out a few more times last night.
Fire chief Harry Collett said the
brigade was also on standby at 4 o’clock
this morning for the predicted surge but
“it never came”.
West Coast police were happy at the
way motorists drove to the conditions.
“ We had no major complaints or issues
except for the odd person screaming
through water,” senior sergeant Paul
PICTURES: Brendon McMahon, Viv Logie
A washout beneath the railway line at Omoto, at the entrance to Greymouth, stranded the Tranz Alpine train in Greymouth overnight. Below: Tranz
Alpine passengers board a fleet of buses for an unscheduled ride back to Christchurch yesterday afternoon.
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Saturday 27th January 2018
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