Home' Greymouth Star : January 25th 2018 Contents P2
THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2018
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to serious assault
Witnesses to a serious and
public assault in Greymouth on
Tuesday night have been urged
to contact the Greymouth police
immediately. Sergeant Andrew
Lyes said the assault on a woman
took place in Boundary Street near
the floodwall, in the area around
the large billboard signs and Thai
Takeaways, about 5.45pm on
Tuesday. A man known to have
been living in the Greymouth area
but who had probably left as a
result of the incident, was wanted
for questioning around the alleged
assault on his partner. “ Police are
treating the matter seriously and
we have a warrant for the offender’s
arrest. We do not expect he is still
residing on the Coast but we are
appealing to the public for those
who were witnesses,” Mr Lyes said.
“ We believe there are a number of
witnesses. We would appreciate if
they could approach the Greymouth
police.” Anyone who saw what
happened also has the option of
calling the crime reporting line on
0800 555 111. Mr Lyes said at least
one witness had come for ward at
the time of the assault.
Hurt biker airlifted
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter flew to Ngakawau last
night about 7 o’clock to uplift a
motorcyclist who had crashed on
State highway 67 on the Karamea
Bluff. Rescue helicopter staff said
the moderately injured rider had
been taken from the crash site to
the Ngakawau Domain where they
were picked up by the helicopter
and flown to Grey Base Hospital.
The owner of a $300,000 Ferrari is
suing Marriott International, saying
a hotel valet gave his keys to a young
man who was trying to impress a
woman he just met. Lawyer James
“Skip” Fowler, 73, parked his yellow
458 Italia Spider outside the Vinoy
Renaissance Resort and Golf Club
last July 27 while attending a lawyer’s
convention in St Petersburg. There
the 2014 Ferrari remained for more
than 12 hours, until Levi Miles, then
28, showed up. Miles said he told the
woman it was his and demanded the
keys, telling the valet that the ticket
was in the car and he would bring it
back. He never did. Miles drove off
with Chloe Rimmer in the passenger
seat until an officer stopped him for
driving without taillights. “I was just
trying to impress the girl I just met
at the Vinoy,” he told officers.
— ABC News
A big slip brought down into
Sawyers Creek at Boddytown is an
example of the West Coast Regional
Council abdicating one of its core
responsibilities, Grey District Mayor
Tony Kokshoorn says.
The Grey District Council has
contractors on site to clean up the
slip to avoid a possible repeat of the
historic 1978 flooding event which
badly inundated Greymouth’s eastern
A big movement of earth on the
edge of a former forestry block, now
in private hands, slipped into Sawyers
Creek before the eyes of adjacent
property owner Dave Packham two
weeks ago today.
The creek, which runs through the
middle of Greymouth, is currently
running muddy as work to clear the
slip and shore up the creek bank is
undertaken this week.
Mr Packham said the slip happened
quickly, with trees on the hillside
literally moving before his eyes.
The slip started about two-thirds up
the face above the creek from a point
where a previous historic slip had come
It dammed Sawyers Creek for a time.
“It came right across and blocked it
completely,” Mr Packham said.
Both councils were notified of the big
slip at the time, he said.
District council utilities engineer
Kurtis Perrin-Smith said there was a
significant build-up of water behind the
slip and clearing it was a matter of some
urgency before the next big rain event.
It should be cleared by the end of
today and the council would then figure
out who pays, he said.
The Greymouth Star understands the
cost of remedial work around the slip off
the private land to keep Sawyers Creek
clear would fall to the landowner, along
with the statutory body responsible for
West Coast Regional Council chief
executive Mike Meehan acknowledged
this morning they were aware of the
He said its rules allowed for this
kind of remediation work to occur by
different councils or agencies.
“If work falls outside of these rules
the agency may undertake work under
the emergency works provisions in the
Resource Management Act, subject to
“In the case of this slip we will work
with Grey District Council. In regard
to what they are doing, our engineering
staff have provided some advice.”
Mayor Kokshoorn said it was not
simply a matter of the regional council
allowing the district council to do the
repairs, and it was a point of contention.
“This has been a longstanding bone
of contention between the regional
and district council. The regional
council’s duties are water ways, keeping
water ways clear. But for some reason
the regional council has refused to take
on this responsibility,” Mr Kokshoorn
“ We’ve argued for years about this
point but probably around 15 years ago
it came to a head that a lot of willows
and waterways needed maintenance and
could have been a dangerous situation
In the face of the regional council
doing nothing the Grey District
Council had picked it up because it was
for the public good.
“Nevertheless, we think the regional
council is not fulfilling its obligations
regarding water ways. This is a serious
“In this case we again have a slip in
Sawyers Creek. We will fix it because we
do not want a reoccurrence of the 1978
disaster, when the entire top end of
Greymouth was wiped out by a flood.”
Mr Kokshoorn said waterways were
one of the regional council’s core
responsibilities but its inaction was an
abdication of that.
“The regional council should accept it
as a core responsibility.”
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
A view of work under way this morning to clear the Sawyers Creek slip at Boddytown.
Heat relief — by the supermarket freezers
Reefton people are finding relief
next to the supermarket freezers as
a heatwave settles in.
The town’s weather obser ver Tony
Fortune said the temperature in
the inland town, where heat gets
trapped in a basin, dropped to
17degC overnight, making it one of
the warmest nights since he started
doing readings in 1964.
The daytime temperature got to
28degC yesterday and it could get
to 30degC today if the cloud cover
cleared, he said.
It had been reaching 25degC by
11am and holding that temperature
all day. By late afternoon people
were finding it unbearable, he said.
“This is the longest, hottest spell
for a long time,” Mr Fortune said.
People were cooling off with a
swim in the Inangahua River, or just
“slopping about ”, while others were
getting relief by standing by the
“ We shouldn’t complain. We
complained last year when we didn’t
get a summer, now we are getting
two in one.”
Greymouth is expected to nudge
up another degree or two on Sunday
and Monday, to 25degC.
Nationally, January is shaping
up to be the hottest in recorded
history. Greymouth has sold out of
Climate scientist Jim Salinger said
if the average temperature for the
month slid up just half a degree it
may be the hottest month on record.
The national average January
temperature is 17.1degC.
Farmers in the drought-hit
northern West Coast expect things
to get worse before they get better.
Greymouth received just 0.4mm
of rain overnight as the Coast heads
into another long, hot weekend.
February is usually the driest
month on the West Coast, but hot
conditions since November have
meant some farmers have already
had to de-stock and cut down on
milking, RNZ reported.
A medium-scale adverse event was
declared in Taranaki, Manawatu-
Whanganui and Wellington at the
end of last year, and a fortnight
ago the Government expanded the
classification to also cover the Grey
and Buller districts.
immediately followed by a flash
flood in Greymouth, but that quickly
drained away to another spell of hot
Federated Farmers West Coast
president Peter Langford, a dairy
farmer from Karamea, said they
normally got free irrigation from the
Cape Foulwind dairy farmer John
Milne said that despite some small
pockets of rain, the soil moisture was
the driest it had been in January in
at least 18 years and there was little
Mr Milne told RNZ farmers were
having to use supplementary feed,
usually saved for winter, and in
December he cut down to milking
his 300-strong herd only once a
day so the stock would stay in good
“There’s some farms around here
that are (having to milk) once a day
and historically they ’ve never done
that. They ’ve always stuck with twice
a day until the end of the season,” he
“So it’s having quite an impact on
milk flow in the area at the moment.”
Mr Milne said he had culled about
10% of his cows and if the dry
weather continued it was possible
any cows not in calf this season
would go to the freezing works.
Mr Langford told RNZ his farm
milking had also been cut down to
once a day and he had sent stock to
the freezing works.
It was a stressful and costly time for
drought hit-farmers and some were
feeling burned out, he said.
“I ’d have to admit to that, certainly
myself, quite a few others probably
are getting stretched to their limits
and wanting a fortnight off the farm
.. . but who is gong to look after their
farm for a fortnight so they can have
The West Coast Rural Support
Trust has been given $50,000 from
the Government to help with the
drought, which the trust said would
go towards organising community
events and bringing in experts to give
advice to farmers.
A field day will be held on Tuesday
at Atarau in the Grey Valley.
The Metser vice said February was
usually the driest month for the
West Coast and while some rain was
expected late next week, that could
be the last decent dousing for a while.
Drought field day, p2.
Drought tightens grip in Buller
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