Home' Greymouth Star : December 31st 2013 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Pascoe quali es for
singles bowls champs
factor in crash
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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2013
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Dogs kill cats
ree Westport cats have died
since Boxing Day after being
savaged by marauding dogs. e
local SPCA's own cat was among
the victims. It was found dead
at the Mill Street shelter, SPCA
spokeswoman Robyn Nahr said. On
Boxing Day, a Fonblanque Street
resident found a paralysed cat, with
two large bite marks on its back,
on his front lawn. Mrs Nahr said
vets gave the cat antibiotics and
steroids, but were unable to save it
and had to put it down the next day.
Fortunately, the owner was located
and spent time with their pet
before it was euthanised, she said.
Dogs also savaged and killed a cat
in Romilly Street. " ere's no bad
dogs, only bad owners," Mrs Nahr
said. --- Westport News
Pike PR flop
New Zealand Oil and Gas's
failure to make a payout to Pike
River families has been listed as
the 12th toughest public relations
(PR) gig of the year. e top three
in the Blackland PR list were the
police for the Roastbusters scandal,
Fonterra's botulism scare and John
Key over the GCSB.
A milk tanker collided with a
car at the busy intersection of
High and Marlborough streets in
Greymouth about 5pm yesterday.
Details were sketchy because most
of the Greymouth police force
were o duty today in preparation
for their New Year's Eve duties,
but it appears that neither driver
was injured but the front of the car
su ered extensive damage.
Grey skies and rain
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Greymouth Star On-line
'Tis the season for gift-giving to
the one you love most --- and for
1566 people, it seems that person
was the tax man. More than 1000
people found the time to submit
their tax return on Christmas Day,
o cials have revealed. And the
busiest time was between midday
and 1pm, just before Christmas
lunch, when 144 people pressed the
'send' button on their tax return.
--- Daily Mail
e sterling service of two West
Coast mayors, a former school
principal and nurse were recognised
in the 2014 New Years Honours list
Westland's former mayor Maureen
Pugh, received the Order of New
Zealand Merit for services to local
government as did Pat McManus
who stood down as Buller's mayor a
few months ago.
Former principal of Karoro School,
George Maskill, and Westport nurse
Marguerite Moore received the
Queen's Service Medal for service to
their respective professions.
Former Westport mayor Pat
McManus was also included on the
2014 honour list for the NZOM, for
services to local government.
Mrs Pugh stepped down after
nine years as mayor of the Westland
extremely grateful to be recognised
for the e ort that has gone in these
past 15 years."
It is a long way from her rst
governance role with the Kumara
School Board of Trustees 32 years
"From then I could not have
imagined in my wildest dreams I
would be where I am today," she said.
"I've always been a believer that
when an opportunity presents itself
you can choose to walk through that
door, or not."
She began her career in governance
as a member of the local school board
of trustees and was elected to the
Westland District Council in 1998,
successfully challenging the sitting
mayor in 2004.
Mrs Pugh has been a member of
the National Freedom Camping
Forum since 2007 and has been a
member of the Local Government
New Zealand National Council,
serving as chairwoman of Zone Five
of Local Government.
Mrs Pugh was appointed a trustee
of the West Coast Primary Health
Organisation in 2002, and a trustee
of the West Coast Electric Power
Trust in 2004.
Mr McManus served as mayor of
the Buller District Council for six
years until retiring in 2013, having
served a total of 12 years on the
He has chaired a number of council
working groups, including groups to
address health issues such as primary
care and integrated family health
services, and liaising with agencies
like Child, Youth and Family, Work
and Income, iwi, and the Salvation
Army to co-ordinate social services.
He has overseen development
projects for the completion of the
Solid Energy Centre and the NBS
eatre in Westport and is a trustee
of the O'Conor Institute Trust Board
which operates the O'Conor Home,
an aged care facility in Westport.
Mr McManus has been involved
with the Denniston Heritage Trust
and the Trustpower Buller District
Mr Maskill has been a school
principal on the West Coast for more
than 35 years, including 25 years as
principal of Karoro School.
"I've always had a passion for
force for a
All he had achieved was the result
of collaboration with fellow educators
and sta : "It's not just me, it's all
those people around me who have
got to this stage".
"It's theirs, not mine."
He was one of the founding
members of the West Coast
He served as president of the
Principals' Association from 2005
to 2009 and in his last year as a
school principal he was Canterbury
University's West Coast's Leadership
and Management adviser.
He was largely responsible
for establishing the West Coast
principals' conferences in South
Westland, which have run now for
more than 20 years.
He was also instrumental in
the implementation of schooling
improvement initiatives and
Development West Coast's literacy
initiative, and has been an advisor for
other West Coast projects.
Mr Maskill has been a rst time
principal mentor for the University
of Auckland's residential programme,
was chairman of the Grey Valley
joint initiative for the merger of Grey
Valley schools from 2006 to 2009;
and is currently a commissioner.
̌ Continued p2
Two former mayors, principal and nurse receive honours
Musicians from the good old
days who will reunite in the
much anticipated West Coast
rockers night today, have been
putting the nal touches to
e night is in honour of the
late Rod Beck, a highly regarded
local musician who played in
many bands in the 1960s and
1970s. Former musicians will
play tonight in force.
"It will be a packed house at
the Australasian tonight, all
tickets were snapped up very
early on and there is a lot of
anticipation," Beck's daughter
and organiser Angie Beck
" e waiting is over, it will
be a fantastic night of stepping
back in time."
e leading West Coast
bands Harlem, Jasper and the
Complex will all feature in
the night's entertainment, and
members of the early 1960s
band the Tremors will perform
a range of nostalgic music
throughout the evening.
While the band members of
40-plus years ago have been
weathered by old man time,
their music still remains strong
and a polished performance is
every musician's focus.
Vocalist and lead singer of
the Complex John Low, said
everyone had taken on board
the quote of heavyweight boxer
Joe Frazier prior to his world
title ght against Muhammad
Ali in the ' riller In Manila'.
"Everything has been done,
there's nothing more to do.
Should I fail I'll walk away
without regret," Low said.
"Everyone is looking forward
to the night and playing
"I'm sure everyone will have
an enjoyable evening and a time
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Just some of the musicians practising yesterday: Keith White, left,
Angie Beck, Gerard Martini, Russell Knipe, Billy Saunders, John
Low, Ivan Wilson, Errol Goodall and Wayne Gladstone.
Rock back in time, Greymouth-style
Laura Mills and Nicholas McBride
Otira Tunnel workers were gassed
three times last month, according to the
Rail and Maritime Union.
e "serious safety incidents" occurred
on November 6 during rail recovery
work inside the tunnel, prompting
the Ministry of Business, Innovation,
Employment High Hazard Unit to
issue Kiwi Rail with 11 improvement
notices and three prohibition notices.
e union did not say how many
workers were involved.
e incident showed workers felt
"under pressure from above" to get the
job done and put work demand ahead of
safety," the union magazine said.
" e right to challenge unsafe work is
fundamental and the (union) will stand
by you and support you to stop the job
when safety is compromised," it said.
e Otira Tunnel was closed to
passenger trains for several months
from June due to the risk of re in the
tunnel. Fire suppression equipment was
installed on all locomotives using the
tunnel before it reopened to the Tranz
Alpine tourist train.
Kiwi Rail set aside $1.1 million for
infrastructure work on the tunnel.
Responding to an O cial Information
Act request, Kiwi Rail said it usually
spent about $500,000 a year but double
that had been allocated so far for short
term infrastructure work this year.
About $350,000 had been spent this
A Kiwi Rail spokesman said the
tunnel was in good order and was being
"Built in 1926, its location and gradient
introduce a number of complexities, but
the tunnel is a vital piece of Midland
Line infrastructure and Kiwi Rail is
committed to its maintenance," the
" e tunnel has been structurally
assessed as sound and is re-inspected
after any signi cant earthquake in the
Over the past year the tunnel has
undergone several items of maintenance:
¬ New rail has been installed.
¬ High powered water jets were used
to wash coal nes through the ballast
and out of the tunnel.
¬ Sheets designed to divert water
away from the track bed have been
replaced or re-tied where necessary.
¬ e ventilation fans have been
maintained and signs cleaned.
¬ Telephone communications and
back-up radio equipment upgraded.
¬ Excess rail has been removed to
improve ground conditions.
Kiwi Rail said its priority for
2013-14 was to improve the tunnel
oor and ballast formation.
" e ballast in the tunnel is subject to
contamination with coal dust and sand
in places, and requires regular cleaning."
It would continue replacing rails where
required. Some sleeper replacement
was scheduled within the next ve years.
e Kiwi Rail spokesman said track
inspections were carried out twice
weekly. "In addition to this, twice a
year, a track recording vehicle is taken
over track and separate non-destructive
testing of the rail is undertaken."
On-foot engineering inspection and a
visual inspection of the tunnel structure
are done annually. A two-person track
gang is based in Otira to look after about
50km of track, including the tunnel,
while three signals sta are also at Otira
to maintain the signalling system and
the ventilation fan equipment for the
e Reefton Trotting Club once
again drew the short straw with
the weather gods, with adverse
conditions having a negative e ect
on turnover for the nal day of
the Buller-West Coast Christmas
e Westport Club experienced
two days of sunshine, but in
Reefton early showers and a
testing track saw patrons put
through $80,059.18 compared
with last year's $90,501.05.
O course turnover was down
29.4% on last year with punters
outlaying $594,887.62, compared
Early rain ensured a heavy track
as the day progressed and drivers
elected to race wide of the
inside rail throughout the day.
Templeton trainer Jim Curtin
and wife Sandy completed the
Buller West Coast Racing Bonus,
with Curtin driving Maximan to
a grinding win in the Islington
Tavern Reefton Cup 32,000.
Despite the weather, patrons
enjoyed the racing and day
out, club president Tony omas
" e weather has been terrible
again but everyone here has had a
good day out," he said.
"Jimmy and Sandra Curtin have
done a marvellous training feat
--- they have been supporting the
Reefton club for many years."
̌ More, pages 7, 10
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Patrons shelter in the grandstand with a round to go in the Islington Tavern Reefton Cup feature race.
" e waiting is over"
Proudly owned and operated by Vinay Chandra and family.
Competition drawn on March 31, 2014.
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