Home' Greymouth Star : December 10th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 7
e owner of the Kingston Flyer says
he is open to a community trust taking
ownership of the mothballed vintage steam
train operation and a tourism operator
leasing the locomotives and rolling stock to
get the attraction back on track.
Blenheim vineyard owner David Bryce
said his health stopped him from
actively seeking potential trustees in the
However, he was considering establishing
a trust to own and restore the train, which
would lease those assets to an operating
company. He welcomed expressions of
Interest from potential buyers had
evaporated in the months since the
operation closed for the season on April 30
this year, but no o ers have been received,
Mr Bryce said.
Maintenance and modern compliance
costs were major deterrents, despite the
books proving the debt free business was
popular and made a pro t.
"Trustees would not necessarily be train
people, it's more people who want to see
New Zealand's heritage remain alive in the
community, Mr Bryce said.
He did not think dropping the asking
price of $2.5 million, or further promotion
of the sale would stimulate interest.
"I'm going to leave it on the market
for another 12-months and consider my
options then," he said.
Mr Bryce said the deteriorating state of
the rolling stock was not a concern because
he had no interest in ever running the
"If no-one picks it up, it'll end up just
rusting away. Leave it parked in the
yard and lift the line and sell the land to
adjoining land owners, if they wish. Once
it's up, that's the end of it.
"It's a shame really because it's part
of New Zealand's heritage and some
organisation, or the Government, should
step up and save it anyway, it doesn't have
to be operated."
Time has stood still for the two black
steam locomotives and the green carriages
in the seven months since the last whistle
and the release of sta at the end of the
2013 summer season.
e Flyer may be on the bu ers, but
Kingston itself is far from being sidelined
by its absence.
Kingston Community Association
chairwoman Annette Dalziel said
the atmosphere, excitement and
communication the train brought to the
village as it steamed past households was
missed more than anything.
"It's sad to see tourists come, looking
forward to seeing the Kingston Flyer, and
then they see it asleep in its compound,"
Mrs Dalziel said.
Asked if the loss of the Flyer had
impacted Kingston's economy, the
chairwoman said tourists had always either
shot through, or decided whether to stay
overnight, regardless of the train.
e village's scenic beauty by the lake,
walking tracks, camping grounds, shing,
boating golf and bed and breakfast
providers were still drawcards for tourists.
"We really look forward to somebody
bringing it back to life, purely for the
happiness between tourist and locals when
they wave," Mrs Dalziel said.
A steady stream of visitors drove into view
from the highway while Mrs Dalziel spoke.
ey parked beside the closed railway
station and the occupants stepped out,
looked around, puzzled, then climbed back
in their cars and campervans and continued
German rail enthusiast Tobias Schulze,
driving a south-bound campervan with his
wife and toddler, was one of those visitors
who made the stop for the Flyer, despite
their short holiday time in the country.
"It's nice to see such old things working,"
Mr Schulze said.
"I saw it in a guide book of New Zealand
and hoped to see the train, but I didn't
know it wasn't running until we got here."
--- APNZ-Otago Daily Times
Kingston Flyer future in doubt
e Kingston Flyer
About 280,000 New Zealanders are waiting
for elective surgery, and more than half have
been told they need an operation but are not
on a waiting list, a sur vey has found.
But Health Minister Tony Ryall has
dismissed the study as private health insurers
trying to drum up work.
e sur vey by TNS for Health Funds
Association (HFA) and the Private Surgical
Hospitals Association (NZPSHA) found
more than 350,000 adults had some form
of elective surgery in the 12 months to
A further 280,000 have been told they need
surgery, but only 110,000 are on waiting lists.
e remaining 170,000 have been told their
need is not serious enough to go on the list,
but their quality of life is reduced and they
still need assistance, the survey found.
Among those waiting for an operation, the
average length of time since being referred by
their GP was 224 days.
HFA chief executive Roger Styles said more
surgery was being done over the past decade,
but the ageing population meant the need
was growing. e answer was not putting
more money into the public system, he said.
"Our view as a sector is there needs to
be greater public debate about the options
for dealing with that, what should be
government-funded, and what should be
funded out of people's pockets.
"Surely the best method is to encourage a
higher rate of cover though health insurance
cover so people can use that and it's not a
burden on taxpayers," he said.
More surgery was already funded privately
than done through the public system,
whether through insurance, ACC or personal
payments, and the private sector had capacity
to do more, he said.
Mr Ryall said almost 160,000 New
Zealanders would get elective surgery this
year, 40,000 a year more than when National
came into government.
" is big increase has put pressure on the
private health insurance businesses, with
their policy numbers declining."
Mr Ryall said the Government had made
elective surgery a priority by increasing
funding every Budget, and more patients
were getting the surgery they needed faster.
"We will continue investing more and
there will be another big boost for elective
surgery in next year's Budget.
"We have already announced that from
mid next year, we are introducing a new
system to help us record the number of
people who are referred for surgery but don't
In August, Mr Ryall said the number of
people waiting longer than six months had
been reduced by 85% in the past 12 months.
e TNS survey was conducted in
September and involved 1830 people aged 18
and over. e margin of error is plus or minus
2.3%. --- APNZ
Many waiting for
surgery not on list
Health Minister Tony Ryall
ousands of sci-
fans were captivated
by an Omokoroa man's
homemade Dalek which
attracted an astronomical
following on Trade Me.
Dave Logan never
thought his replica alien
would generate so much
e life-size replica of
a Dalek, copied from the
television show Doctor
Who, nally sold for
$2500 --- but not before
notching up about
20,000 page views on
A stunned Mr Logan
said more than 600
people had added
the auction to their
e auction closed on
Sunday and the Dalek
sold for $2500, which
was Mr Logan's reserve
He said he would have
liked to have received
more for it.
"I think I was expecting
to attract some hardcore
Doctor Who fans but
that didn't really happen."
Mr Logan said he was
amazed at the attention
the auction had received.
"It was far greater than
Apart from the big
following, he also
received dozens of wacky
comments from potential
buyers and Doctor Who
fans. " e conversations
have been great fun. All
sorts of people have left
"I am quite
disappointed to get rid of
it but I can always build
He added: "Now I
can do it quicker and
--- APNZ-Bay of Plenty
Trade Me following Whangarei
Warmer weather and production
pressure attached to the high price of
logs could be proving dangerous for
forestry workers, a union adviser has
said, following the serious injuries a man
su ered in a Northland forest.
A forestry worker su ered serious chest
and pelvic injuries after he was trapped
beneath a tree.
St John paramedics believed the man
in his early 30s was struck and trapped
by a falling tree just after 10am
yesterday in a forest in Kaihu, north of
Paramedics arrived at the scene at
10.30am. Northland Electricity Rescue
Helicopter pilot Russell Proctor said he
transported the injured man, who was
in a serious condition, to Whangarei
An ambulance from Dargaville was
also at the scene, assisting in treating
A representative from the Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employment
was at the scene to investigate the
First Union strategic adviser Edward
Miller, who said the injured man was
not a union member, called the incident
Mr Miller's advice to all forestry
workers was to monitor hydration and
fatigue as the weather warms up.
"Fatigue kicks in earlier and hydration
is really key at this time of year."
He said as log prices continue to rise
the demand to deliver will increase
pressure on workers that get on with the
" e fact that there were no deaths
from July until two weeks ago re ects
this," Mr Miller said.
On November 26 a forestry worker
died in a forest near Murupara, Bay of
Plenty, and on November 29 a man died
near Nelson after being trapped between
ere have been nine deaths in the
forestry sector this year and 90 serious
Whangarei man John Sanderson, 40,
died on January 27 after a branch fell on
A workplace health and safety reform
will begin next week with the rollout of
Work Safe NZ.
Northland MP Mike Sabin said
the new Crown agent was especially
important for Northland where forestry
is a large and major industry.
"It's crucial for the safety of all
workers in all industries, and their
families and the wider community."
--- APNZ-Northern Advocate
Forestry worker badly
hurt after tree falls on him
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