Home' Greymouth Star : January 20th 2018 Contents WEST COAST FEATURE P6-7
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Filming of a six-part adaptation
of Eleanor Catton’s Booker prize-
winning novel The Luminaries
— s et entirely in goldrush Hokitika
— remains uncertain after it was
expected to start last year. When
the BBC announced its plans to
film the series, Catton made it
a condition that filming would
include New Zealand and Hokitika.
A spokesman for Catton’s publisher,
Victoria University Press, said
they hoped to be advised soon
regarding filming. Six hour-long
episodes were to be produced by
Working Title Television, an NBC
Universal International Studios
company for BBC 2. Catton will
be one of the executive producers.
Meanwhile, Catton’s latest novel,
which was expected to be on the
bookshelves by the end of last year,
is also delayed. “Eleanor’s next
novel, Birnam Wood, is scheduled
for late 2018 but we have no firm
date yet,” the spokesman said.
Advance publicity released by
Catton’s agent says the new book
will be a psychological thriller set
in a remote part of New Zealand,
where ultra-rich foreigners are
building fortress-like mansions
which are stocked with weapons in
preparation for an imminent global
Cloud clears, isolated showers
Greymouth Star On-line
A new sur vey has revealed that
one in four non-believers pray
when confronted by tough times
— despite insisting they are not
religious. For atheists and agnostics,
personal crisis or tragedy is the most
common reason for them to resort
to prayer, with a quarter admitting
they pray for comfort or to feel
less lonely. Church attendance in
the Great Britain dropped from
6.5 million to just over 3 million
between 1980 and 2015. However,
more than half of all adults in the
UK pray regularly despite only
one in three praying in a place of
worship, according to a poll carried
out on behalf of the Christian aid
agency, Tearfund. Of the varied
subjects of prayers, family tops
the list. More than 70% of prayers
mention family. A strong 42% of
prayers thanked God, while 40%
asked for healing and another 40%
included mention of friends.
— Daily Mail
Punakaiki squeeze on campers
Freedom campers are continuing to
frustrate Punakaiki residents although
restrictions could be on the way.
Punakaiki Beach Camp manager
Craig Findlay said there had been
no change from last summer, with
the same issues prevailing of freedom
campers using facilities they were not
entitled to without paying, leaving
litter, and on occasion, excrement.
“ Yesterday we caught six people about
to use the facilities, without paying
while freedom campers still treat the
outdoors like a toilet, especially in
remote spots,” Mr Findlay said.
“The road that goes to the river is
surplus Crown land, it ’s Linz land,
another area no one wants control of.
I could tell you 100 stories.
“There’s a lot who abide by the rules
and they ’re disgusted with how others
A spokesman for the Punakaiki
Tavern said freedom campers were
coming in regularly to use the toilets,
fill their water bottles and leave
without buying anything, often at busy
times when they could go unnoticed.
Mr Findlay has also seen no
improvement in the way the
Department of Conservation (DOC),
or the Grey and Buller district councils
were dealing with the problem, nearly
two years after most of Punakaiki
residents signed a petition requesting a
ban on freedom camping.
With the $10 million ‘great walk’
through Paparoa National Park due to
open in April 2019, he said this would
place added pressure on Punakaiki if
the freedom campers were not under
control by then.
However, that now seems possible.
DOC Buller operations manager
Bob Dickson told the Greymouth Star
that freedom camping at Punakaiki
was now being reviewed.
“It is probable there will be no
freedom camping on the site at the
Punakaiki car park; it is being reviewed
because Punakaiki will be an exit for
the ‘great walk’, which will create space
Mr Dickson said compliance had
been good in the car parks they
monitored at Punakaiki this summer.
“ We do acknowledge campervans
that are not self-contained do present
challenges with human waste.
“DOC, Buller and Grey (councils)
are working towards having uniform
compliance, with the ideal being in
place in 2018-19.”
As to the immediate problem,
Mr Findlay said he would like to see a
concerted approach now.
“A Buller (council) compliance officer
comes down once a week but we need
unilateral action between DOC, Grey
council and Buller council to resolve
Grey District Council compliance
team leader Kevin Hebberd said
Punakaiki township was just outside
the Grey district, but he understood the
council had been having discussions
with DOC and the Buller District
Council on freedom campers.
Closer to Greymouth, the Grey
council had issued 35 freedom
camping infringement notices between
November 26 and Christmas Day,
mainly at Cobden beachfront areas,
Mr Hebberd said.
“That ’s about the same as the previous
year, as it is with litter, but most of that
is being dumped by locals.”
A contractor was going out 20 to 25
nights a month to monitor freedom
Meanwhile, Franz Josef Community
Council chairman Graham Berry said
he had not heard any concerns about
freedom campers, which had been
a big issue last summer at places like
Docherty Creek, at the foot of the Fox
“ We’ve not been notified of areas
where they are causing problems.”
Peter Salter, from the Bushman’s
Centre at Pukekura, said the problem
had probably peaked, with numbers
slightly down this season.
“Down at the lake (Ianthe) someone
has been put on to monitor the
campground, which has put the wind
up some of them,” Mr Salter said.
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith said
it was possible freedom campers were
making more use of motorcamps this
“Last year we would have 60
parking up each night at Sunset Point
(Hokitika); this year it’s around 30 to
“I’ve not had a complaint over my
desk about freedom campers for three
to four months.”
Old cemetery extended
A small extension is being made to a
corner of the Karoro Lawn Cemetery
— the first new plots there since the
replacement Gladstone Cemetery
opened about 15 years ago.
Grey District Council utilities
engineer Kurtis Perrin-Smith said
recent work to extend concrete berms
in the burial section of the newer
Gladstone Cemetery had come in
under budget and this allowed the
opportunity to extend the cremation
berm by 20 plots at the back of the
“There was a little area at the
south-western corner where we had
extended previously ... where we
thought we could get some cremation
There was some demand for
cremation plots at Karoro, he said.
“ We had a list of people requesting
that area at Karoro so we’ve been able
to accommodate those.”
At this point it would be “the last ”
extension although there might be
further scope in future. Full burials
at Karoro were now confined to
previously secured family plots, he
“There is still a little room around
the RSA (section) to be developed
(but) there’s no new full burial plots
left at Karoro.”
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Excavation work in the south-western corner of the Karoro Lawn Cemetery yesterday.
Parking tickets issued in
Greymouth soared last year, with
increases of more than 600% in
one month alone.
Grey District Council statistics
for the five months from July to
November show comparative
figures for 2016, with increases of
between 234% and 602% in the
number of infringements issued.
In July, 269 tickets were written
compared to 59 the previous July,
marking a 355% increase.
The following month 356
vehicles were pinged, a 415%
increase on August 2016 (69
September saw 274 tickets
issued, compared to just 39 a year
ago, representing a 602% increase.
Enforcement staff hit their stride
in October, issuing 459 tickets —
595% more than the 66 issued in
October 2016. In November 361
tickets were issued — a 234%
increase on the 108 issued in
Just three tickets were withdrawn
in the five months previous.
The sharp increases did raise
some comment at the council
table a couple of months ago —
mainly around the fact a new staff
member was on the job.
Cr Peter Haddock, whose
portfolio includes land transport
and parking, said the sharp
increase was not a result of a staff
directive, as far as he knew.
However, there seemed to be
a clear link with a new person
employed in the role.
“I think it ’s just a new
Cr Haddock said.
“I did comment one day that
parking statistics are up massively.
It ’s significant, which is all the
more reason we need more
designated parking in town.”
The question of parking around
Greymouth often sees some
retailers bemoaning other retailers
and their staff taking up time
“I think there have been some
complaints from retailers that
other retailers or staff have been
parking on designated parking
spaces,” Cr Haddock said.
In November, council staff called
police after an angry vehicle owner
made a scene at the Grey District
Chambers, unhappy at being
The council last
commissioned a parking strategy
study of Greymouth.
In line with the report
recommendations, the council
adopted a fluid approach with the
option to further review.
Cr Haddock noted the council
had been approaching parking
proactively in view of possible
redevelopment in the town centre.
An example was when the owner
of the former St James Theatre
building was approached by a
national retailer seeking premises
Changing the status of parking
spaces in Lord Street to restricted
was felt to be an incentive for
the new retailer to take up that
particular site and council acted
“The property owner said we can
secure that retailer if you change
However, the council had since
reversed the parking designation
after the new retail development
failed to materialise and the time
limited spaces were left empty for
most of the time.
Whether more vigilant parking
enforcement acted as a disincentive
for shoppers in town was a moot
point, Cr Haddock said.
“I suppose once you’ve got your
first parking ticket you’d be more
There might be an opportunity
for mid-town property owners to
capitalise in future by offering paid
parking spaces on vacant land, he
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