Home' Greymouth Star : January 26th 2019 Contents Greymouth Star
Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 5
Remembering Carless Days
‘Carless days’ were introduced by the third
National Government on July 30, 1979 as their
answer to helping the declining New Zealand
economy following the oil shocks of the
In fact it was coinciding with their ‘Think Big’
projects and was a disaster that cost the New
Zealand economy dearly.
The owners of all petrol powered motor
vehicles under 4400 pounds (2000kg), with the
exception of motor bikes, were required by law
to refrain from using their car on one day of the
week, the day to be nominated by the owner.
It seems Thursday was the most popular
chosen day, – definitely not the weekend.
Transgressors had their car impounded
should they be caught on the road on their
nominated day, easily noticed by a bright
The first person fined under this new law was
a motorist from Christchurch who forgot that
at 3.45am he should not have been behind
the wheel as the switchover time on that first
morning was 2am. The judge was generous, so
it was reported, and he fined him $50 instead
of $40, which was the maximum set by law.
However, the whole scheme was a farce as
people with two cars had no problem. Doctors
could gain an exemption, as could various
clergy visiting the sick.
The whole scheme became ineffective and
was dumped by the same government that
had introduced the mess in May 1980, never
Looking back, one of the main reasons for
the scheme’s failure was ‘exemptions’, which
were allowed for certain folk in essential types
of business. This required a further black sticker
to be plastered on your window next to your
Carless Day sticker.
The local blackmarket made a fortune
throughout the country during this time
making duplicate stickers.
The Greymouth Municipal Pool
was not the only swimming hole
in the 1950s. TERRY KENNEDY,
now of Timaru, recalls happy
days spent at ‘Flaherty’s Pool’
near the beach at Paroa.
rowing up in Greymouth in the 1950s was a
time in history that is hard to forget. Swimming
for me was just tops, so with a few mates we
would all get on to our bicycles and head for
our favourite spots – Blaketown and Cobden beaches,
the now gone Municipal Swimming Pool, and then a
spot which was not known to everyone but to quite a
few it was ‘Flaherty’s Pool’.
Just over the South Beach overhead bridge, about
a quarter of a mile down the main highway was a side
road surrounded by vegetation, which took you to a tidal
lagoon the likes of which to swim in was first class – if you
could stand the sandflies.
An old school friend, the late Patrick Naylor, lived with his
mum, a widow, at the back of Flaherty’s, which was great
as their back door opened on to the pool. Pat Naylor later
became one of the first people to work as Greymouth’s
public relations officer. He has long since passed away,
along with his mum, and when last in Greymouth I noted
their home has also disappeared.
The pool itself consisted of two streams (one quite
deep) of tidal seawater which, in times of rough weather,
was pushed in from the sea, while the other pool was
more sheltered from the elements and faced directly
behind the beach. You did not venture far on to this area
when the weather was rough or during high seas.
Yet, I cannot ever recall any tragedies during the years
we swam at Flaherty’s Pool.
Although the water was salty, it did not stop those of us
fooling around and wanting like all lads to have fun. Often
in those early years of the 1950s whole families visited the
pool, with many cooking meals in the sand arriving early
and staying on long after we had departed.
Canoeing was another sport I first experienced while
swimming at Flaherty’s. You could not go very fast in
those years as the experience was rather new and with
people swimming and popping up all over the place you
had to be careful not to hit or injure anyone.
The floating tyre was okay and many people stored
them around the site as they were rather awkward to
carry in and out on a bicycle every week.
It was no different from any other venue on the Coast,
or indeed the world. Guys met chicks at Flaherty’s Pool,
and so the world moved on. Next week perhaps there
were two to a bike?
moouutthh MMuuunnnniiiicccciiiippppaaaallll PPPooool
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