Home' Greymouth Star : January 10th 2019 Contents Animal blamed for
A car lost control on a narrow
stretch of the Kumara-Inchbonnie
gravel road near Mitchells yesterday
morning after it met “a large
animal” in the middle of the road.
Police said the westbound vehicle
had been travelling about 60kph
when it encountered the animal,
about 11.30am, causing the driver
to lose control in gravel and slide
off the road and over a bank. Both
occupants suffered minor scrapes
and the female passenger was later
taken to hospital by St John to be
A farm house under renovation
on Virgin Flat Road, about 15km
south-east of Westport, has been
burgled. The break-in was reported
yesterday after a door was found
jemmied open and building
materials stored inside the empty
house were missing.
A professor faces losing his
high-powered job at an American
university after writing 20 fake
scientific papers. Seven of these fake
pieces of research were accepted and
four were published on-line. Peter
Boghossian, an assistant professor
of philosophy at Portland State
University in Oregon now faces the
sack after a widespread backlash
from the scientific community. Dr
Boghossian claims he conducted
the questionable experiment to
challenge the ‘nonsense’ which
features in many social science
papers. Some of the works included
convoluted papers on ‘dog rape
culture’, ‘a conceptual penis’ and
even a re-written chapter of Mein
Kampf. Dr Boghossian and two
collaborators said their aim was
to expose how ‘absurdities’ get
published in legitimate peer-
reviewed academic papers due to a
lack of critical review. These papers
were based on ‘nutty or inhumane’
ideas that featured ‘a little bit of
lunacy’. — Daily Mail
Few showers clearing
Greymouth Star On-line
Two hats in ring for
Reefton turns it
on for the races
Firemen save petrol station
Quick action by two West Coast firefighters
who were in the right place at the right time
saved the Springs Junction petrol station just in
time on Tuesday afternoon.
A large rubbish fire flared up and threatened to
send the whole complex up in smoke.
It came within 12 hours of a large fire at
Engineers Camp on the other side of the Lewis
Pass, and which closed State highway 7 earlier
West Coast principal rural fire officer Atila
de Oliveira and Springs Junction volunteer fire
chief Jerry Hohneck had been busy on Tuesday
supporting a controlled burn in the area, and had
not long returned to Springs Junction when they
noticed the fire just after 2pm.
Mr Hohneck had just returned to his business,
the Springs Junction Tearooms, when he looked
across the road to see “a massive fire” just behind
the ser vice station.
Mr de Oliveira, who had been installing a
new weather station nearby, also noted a fire
accelerating “ very, very quickly”.
He said a shout from Mr Hohneck “the petrol
station is on fire” was enough to drop everything
and rush to the site.
With Mr Hohneck speeding over with the
fire appliance and manning the pump, Mr de
Oliveira jumped on the hose to deal with about
30 old tyres which were engulfed in flames.
“The quick action of Jerry saved the station and
avoided the fire spreading to some old vehicles
and more tyres” Mr de Oliveira said.
The Reefton brigade was called out but was
turned back when the situation was brought
Mr Hohneck said he had just filled the
appliance with water and it was fortunate they
were able to act immediately given the risk of
fuel vapour igniting.
“ You don’t get it much closer than that before
it was a major fire. ”
Water and foam quickly quelled the flames
but a few more minutes and it would have been
much worse, he said.
“ Potentially that whole place would have been
up in flames. Another five minutes, it would have
been a different story. It was a very lucky save.”
Mr de Oliveira said ser vice station staff had
lit the rubbish fire in a drum earlier but an
afternoon wind change sent sparks flying into
the pile of tyres.
“ We were very, very lucky. Five minutes later
and we wouldn’t be able to stop a fire with
such potential — tyres and vehicles are very
flammable and with the wind picking up the
whole scenario was a recipe for disaster.”
It was a pointed reminder. Everyone lighting
fires needed to keep watch and ensure it had
been completely extinguished before leaving, he
Mr Hohneck said two other scrub fires in the
Maruia Valley had also kept Springs Junction
rural firefighters busy in the past week in an area
where low rainfall had seen rank vegetation from
a good growing season dry out.
Mr de Oliveira said the West Coast would
return to a restricted fire season by the end of
January — meaning any open fire will require
Meantime, Fire and Emergency NZ had to
assess the situation based on the known risk. For
instance, the differing rainfall data across the
West Coast — which could be hugely variable
— was a consideration.
They also had to factor public perception which
tended not to differentiate between particular
West Coast districts. “ We have a huge area and
different micro-climates. We’re trying not to
confuse the public. It ’s difficult.”
At this stage the fire season was still ‘open’ with
rain this morning but longer range conditions
were expected to see things dry out again.
“The risk will go lower again, but looking
for ward to the next two weeks we can see it will
get drier,” Mr de Oliveira said.
Billowing smoke from a fire alongside the Springs Junction service station, viewed from the tearooms.
Turnover was down at the
Reefton Jockey Club summer
meeting yesterday, although the
races drew a crowd of 1500 from
near and far.
In total, $83,494 was put
through the tote compared with
$99,824 at the January 2018
Although turnover was down,
the club was nevertheless happy
that on-course takings were up
25% after eight races, compared
to last year when betting was
over an 11-race programme.
“ We were very pleased with the
day all round,” secretary Colin
“It was an excellent day of
racing and we were happy with
the turnover as we were up 25%
on the corresponding eight races
last year. The weather was perfect
and the track was in great order,”
Mr Stevenson said.
The Reefton turnover, though
down, was commendable when
compared with the Matamata
Racing Club’s turnover of
just $31,000 for its eight-race
Matamata races in the Waikato
region, which is recognised
by the New Zealand Racing
Industry Board as a leading
region for thoroughbred racing.
Attention moves to Kumara on
Saturday for the Kumara Racing
Club’s Gold Nuggets meeting
over 10 races, and the West
Coast New Year galloping circuit
concludes on Tuesday with the
Westland Racing Club meeting
Photos p6-7, results p8,
feature race p12.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Punters line up at the tote windows at the Reefton Racecourse yesterday.
Westport rubbish piles up
A holiday boom in rubbish and empty bottles
in Westport after Christmas and New Year
has meant waste contracting staff with Smart
Environmental are not finishing work until
7 or 8 o’clock at night.
The Buller District Council today asked
residents to leave their rubbish bins out until
8pm for the rest of this week and next.
“D uring the warmer months we tend to notice
an increase in glass recycling and people starting
to overfill their glass recycling crates,” the council
said in a statement.
“O verfull glass recycling crates are very difficult
for the truck operator to hook the crate on the
truck without glass spilling on to the road.
Council would like residents to ensure the glass
in their crates is level with the top of the crate.”
Extra bottles can be taken to the transfer station
for free, and placed into the colour specific bins.
Collectors in Westport are only contracted to
pick up recycling from the kerbside in 240-litre
wheelie bins and glass in 60-litre crates.
Coroner’s Court quiet on Coast
The Coroner’s Court did not sit on the West
Coast in 2013, 2015 or 2017, figures released
under the Official Information Act show.
West Coast inquests used to be heard locally
by coroners Peter Roselli in Westport and Tony
Sullivan in Greymouth.
However, changes to the Coroners Act resulted
in the appointment of a new regional coroner, one
of just three in the South Island.
Mr Roselli held his last inquest in 2010, which
was into a coalmining death at the Black Reef
Mine near Dunollie.
Papers released to the Greymouth Star show the
Coroner’s Court sat just once in Westport in the
four years between 2013 and 2017.
Twelve hearings were conducted “on papers”,
whereby the coroner made a finding in their office
after reading all the evidence.
Greymouth had no court sittings in 2013, two
in 2014, none in 2015, two in 2016 and none in
2017. Twenty-two hearings were conducted on
Ministry of Justice group manager courts,
tribunals and regional service delivery Jacquelyn
Shannon said the decision on whether to go to
inquest was usually the coroner’s.
On occasions a hearing may have been held in a
court in another area.
Before the changes, Mr Roselli held several
West Coast inquests annually.
Punters return to Reefton
►‘Recipe for disaster’
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2019
THURSDAY, JANUARY 10, 2019
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