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e place to be ...
All weather forecasts lead to the
West Coast for Christmas Day.
Forecasters are agreed, despite the
cooler rain front today, the Coast
will bask in warm sunshine for
most of tomorrow. Fiordland is in
for a drenching starting today, and
further north there will be gale
north-westerlies around Wellington.
On Stewart Island, residents will
wake tomorrow to gale south-
westerlies, while in Fiordland it will
still be raining. e cold front will,
by Christmas Day, lie over most of
the North Island. But on the Coast,
weather forecasters con dently say
that morning showers will clear
to a ne day and a temperature of
19degC. Spare a thought for friends
over the hill --- rain is forecast for
Car thieves busy
ieves targeted a number of cars
in the Punakaiki area yesterday. e
owner of a vehicle left in the car
park at the Bullock Creek Track
between 1.30pm and 3pm returned
to nd a door had been forced open
and a Sony camera in a small white
bag stolen. Between 3pm and 5pm
a black Kathmandu brand handbag
and electronic items, including
a light blue coloured iPod and a
black Nokia cellphone were stolen
from a car at Barrytown. e third
theft happened outside a house at
Hartmount Place, Te Miko, also
near Punakaiki. A window was
forced open and New Zealand cash,
euros and German bankcards were
e Greymouth Star will not be
published tomorrow, Christmas
Day, or on Boxing Day. e next
issue will be on Friday. We wish
everyone a happy, safe and joyous
Christmas with family and friends.
Morning showers, mostly fine later
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Zookeepers at the Ramat Gan
Zoo were sure they were dealing
with just another penguin couple
until a routine blood test revealed a
surprise nding. Both the penguins
were female. Mor Porat, a keeper
at the Tel Aviv zoo, said she had
heard of male penguins coupling
but never two females. " e pair
walk together all the time. ey're
showing some courtship behaviour.
ey're cleaning each other. Singing
to each other. Building their own
nest. For a period of some months
or so they were acting like they're
nesting." --- AP
Hospital plans running late
Work on the $60 million new
Greymouth Hospital is running
e Government con rmed the
$60m loan to the West Coast District
Health Board in September, and the
DHB redevelopment group said it
was planning ahead to minimise the
chance of delays.
In early October, the design team
was given just seven weeks to come
up with more detailed designs by
DHB programme director Michael
Frampton said on Friday the
timeframe set by the partnership
group for developing initial concept
plans for Greymouth, and a new
Westport health centre, was very
"Given the large amount of
information the design team received
from workshop meetings with DHB
sta it was decided more time
was needed to work through this
information," Mr Frampton said.
" e DHB hopes to have some
clearer timelines in the New Year
which will include timeframes for
When the plans were announced,
the board said only the more recent
corporate building and dementia unit
were expected to stay and the rest
of the existing Grey Base Hospital
would be demolished.
Although plans had yet to be
developed the new hospital would
have between 56 and 62 beds,
compared to 70 currently.
In Westport, the ageing Buller
Hospital will be replaced by a smaller
integrated family health centre.
Minister Tony Ryall said in
September that recommendations on
the new hospital would be made to
the Government "early next year".
"Site work is expected to begin late
next year, with the new health facility
completed by the end of 2016," he
said at the time.
Christmas on the Coast
Boysenberries and brandy sauce are on the
menu tomorrow for the West Coast's mayors and
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O'Connor
said he would be at home with family. A barbecue,
ham, spuds and pavlova with boysenberries were
on the menu.
Green Party MP Kevin Hague and his partner
Ian both have family in the North Island so are
heading up to Rotorua and Hamilton for a few
days over Christmas.
"Just at the moment we don't have any small
children in the family so can get away without
most of the traditions," Mr Hague said.
e vegetarian MP will be happy with lots of
salad and fruit, "with perhaps a pint or two of
"With election year in 2014 it's important
to stay in good physical shape and also get the
mental recharge necessary for the hard work
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said
three of their four children were home and so the
family was heading to their bach at Moana.
Christmas dinner was not as traditional as it
used to be at the Kokshoorn home, he said.
"We mix it up a bit. We've tried to keep it more
casual as the years go by."
Westland Mayor Mike Havill plans to stay at
home on the farm at Ahaura with family. And his
National Party MP Chris Auchinvole and
Buller Mayor Garry Howard could not be
reached for comment.
A cat found with two legs
caught in a gin trap set in
suburban Cobden will make
a full recovery, but it is the
second cat in six months
trapped in the Cobden area.
e male cat was found
meowing underneath a house
in Firth Street at 3am on
e resident who found it
said a back and front paw were
still caught in a trap. e cat
had been in a lot of distress
and it took two people to hold
it down and remove the trap.
West Coast Vets veterinarian
Fokko Aldersho said the legs
were not broken and the cat
should return to normal.
Six months ago, another cat
in Cobden had its front leg
amputated after it was caught
in a trap.
chairwoman Margaret Sadler
said today the cat appeared to
be about three years old.
It was friendly and in good
condition so was probably a
She said cats were very
territorial and if they were
caught in a gin trap it would
probably be only a short
distance from their homes.
"Gin traps are likely to be a
danger to children as well as
"Gin traps can cause great
pain and su ering to animals
caught in them," Ms Sadler
She said the animals were
also likely to experience
"considerable distress" and
disorientation as a result of
prolonged entrapment, and
could su er from exposure to
PICTURE: Christine Linnell
Anne-Marie Douglas, Susan Smith and Louise Boere were busy today scraping and
peeling 10kg of carrots and 20kg of potatoes for the community Christmas dinner, to be hosted
by the Greymouth Baptist Church tomorrow from midday. Workers will arrive at 5am to begin
cooking the main courses, which will include chicken, ham and lamb, plus fruit salad, tri e and
other sweets for dessert. About 150 people are expected, though it is not too late for people to
call for a place at the meal. Hokitika will also host a community Christmas dinner at the Wests
Clubrooms, in Brittan Street. Meanwhile, as people tuck in to a festive feast either at home or
at a community dinner, unbelievably Z ser vice stations are gearing up for their busiest day of
the year for selling pies. Z Energy said pie sales were up 50% last year, with close to 13,000 pies
sold nationwide on Christmas Day 2012.
e time-honoured ritual of
collecting stacks of Christmas cards
seems to be fading out --- at least on
paper --- as more people express their
good wishes in digital format.
"It is interesting," said Post Shop
Greymouth manager Debbie Norton.
"Parcels are huge this year, de nitely.
ere seems to be a sense that people
are more excited about Christmas this
year. But cards, not so much."
For example, in previous years the
Greymouth Star received enough
paper cards from readers, businesses,
organisations and local politicians to
ll a wall.
is year we received six cards, two of
them from Trustpower. e rest of our
holiday cheer arrived via e-mail.
Development West Coast noted in
their e-card: " is year Development
West Coast is pleased to donate
the money saved from not printing
and posting Christmas cards to the
Ms Norton said the decline of
traditional cards was a bit sad,
particularly for older people.
"Facebook is obviously really cool
(but) I think people still love to feel
and touch and get things in the mail."
Paper Plus owner Doug Truman
noticed sales of cards in bulk had
declined in the past few years. " ey've
certainly been in decline ever since
postage went up, and the advent of
e-mails," Mr Truman said.
Much of the reason was the climbing
expense of sending cards through the
mail. "If you look at a card plus postage
these days, it's starting to get up there."
However, sales of individual cards
were still going strong.
"We had to break up some packs to
make more single ones. e volume has
certainly dropped, but the sentiment's
Take Note owner Lana South had
a similar experience with her shop:
"Individual cards, the special ones,
they're still selling quite well. It's more
for close family and friends."
Christmas cards a dying tradition on Coast
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
e cat recovers at West Coast Vets today after its legs were caught in a gin trap in Cobden at the weekend.
Cat caught in gin trap
88 MACKAY STREET, GREYMOUTH
PHONE (03) 768 6949
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