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No kiss and
'Black Widow' in
relationship with killer
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
of the Westport News
in Paroa burglary
Toolboxes and a red and white
Honda CRF150 motorbike were
stolen from an unlocked garage in
Main South Road, Paroa, overnight
on Sunday. e motorcycle is not
registered. Greymouth police say
the thieves must have used a trailer
to cart away the gear.
Seagulls have been keeping
contractors busy at the Greymouth
aerodrome. An increase in seashells
and loose chips dropped on the
runway means it has to be swept
every two months, the Grey District
pools fail fence test
e Grey District Council has
completed its audit of 23 private
swimming pool fences, concluding
that three had been removed, 17
were satisfactory, two had only
minor defects, and one pool had no
fence at all. e owners of the three
non-complying pools have been
Showery periods, fresh westerly
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Greymouth Star On-line
A game of hide and seek spun out
of control when a naked Victorian
man became trapped in his washing
machine. It took 20 minutes to free
the man, with rescuers using olive
oil to remove him from the machine
at his home at Mooropna, north of
Melbourne. Sergeant Tim Gleeson
said the man had climbed naked
into his top-loader while waiting
for his partner to come home on
Saturday afternoon. "He was trying
to surprise his missus and became
stuck," Mr Gleeson told News Corp
Australia. Police o cers resorted
to olive oil to free the man during
a delicate operation. " ey greased
him up until he was free," Mr
Gleeson said. --- AAP
At least three Greymouth dairy
owners have stubbed out tobacco
sales, in another body blow to the
Merv 'n' Kips dairy owner
Margaret MacDonald said today
she was no longer stocking any
tobacco products, and had been
letting stocks run down over the
past couple of months.
It was a "calculated" decision,
she said, because the business
was not making any money from
selling them anyway.
ose who were unhappy with
her decision only had to cross the
road to the BP service station in
Tainui Street, Mrs MacDonald
"Initially I was selling only
smaller sizes and certain brands,
but decided to stop selling them
altogether as my sta were
being abused for not having the
full range --- and that was not
"My business is a dairy not a
tobacconist," she said.
While it was a "very big"
decision to stop the sales, she had
Sante Fe Dairy owner Allan
Meaclem said his Turumaha
Street business had not stocked
cigarettes for three years.
"I stopped selling them because
they are bad for you and the outlay
for them was too expensive," Mr
When he was stocking tobacco
he had $15,000 of stock that
had to be locked away --- "so I
thought, why bother?"
"Smoking is an expensive habit.
People could save between $9000
to $13,000 a year if they weren't
Munchies on Marsden new
owners Vicki Robertson and
Richard Mons made a conscious
decision when they took over the
business recently to not stock
Mr Mons said the dairy was
close to Greymouth High School
and numerous sporting elds so
they decided it was something
they did not want to sell.
"We have had lots of positive
feedback after deciding not to sell
cigarettes --- people are saying to
us 'well done' and these comments
far outweigh the negative
e odd person was upset when
they had to walk out empty
handed, but he believed the
decision to kick out cigarettes
was much better for the
neighbourhood and the shop.
Tobacco sales did not bring
people into the shop and most
of the time those who purchased
them did not buy anything else.
"We still sell milk, bread and
newspapers, as well as lollies. We
are targeting younger people and
selling cigarettes did not t in
with that," Mr Mons said.
Other dairies surveyed this
morning --- Cobden Takeaways,
Four Js Takeaways at Paroa,
Karoro School Store and the
Top Shop in Runanga --- are still
selling smokes at this stage.
Karoro Store owner Gerry Glen
said his cigarette cabinet was not
as well stocked as it was years ago.
"I have the bare minimum.
Cigarettes are the dearest item in
the shop, with the least return."
West Coast Tobacco Coalition
chairwoman Anne Hines said
it was "fabulous" news that local
dairies were pulling smokes o
the shelves and she hoped it
would encourage more to follow
suit. "It is recognition that a bad
habit it on its way out."
PICTURES: Viv Logie
Munchies on Marsden dairy owner Vicki Robertson, right, and sta member Petra Ingenbleek, have replaced cigarettes with a wall full of colourful lollies to
attract younger people to the shop.
e cigarette cupboard is
bare at Greymouth dairy Mer v
'n' Kips after owner Margaret
MacDonald stopped stocking
West Coast ratepayers forked out
$904,000 for their councils' legal bills
in the year to June 30 --- almost a third
more than the $651,754 the year before.
Grey district ratepayers were again
hardest hit, mainly because of one
continuing legal case. eir bills of
$438,000 were almost as much as
the other three councils combined,
according to gures obtained under
the Local Government O cial
Information and Meetings Act.
Grey's bills equated to $51.55 per
e highest fee was $337,000 paid
to Simpson Grierson for advice over a
ground lease dispute with Blaketown
couple Douglas and Christine Banks.
e couple have deliberately failed
to pay their rent in full since 2007
because, they said, the council lease
did not provide for seven-yearly rent
reviews and contained an incorrect
rent review mechanism. ey stopped
paying anything in 2010.
e council sought court orders
cancelling their lease, granting it
possession of the property, and for
payment of the arrears.
Following hearings in March and
May last year, the High Court ruled in
the council's favour.
Justice Fogarty said the couple had
agreed on the terms when they signed
the 21-year lease in 1981 and again in
2006. e terms were clear, the lease
was valid and the Banks were liable for
rent arrears of over $17,000.
e council could pursue cancellation
of the lease and possession of
the property if it could not reach
satisfactory agreements with the Banks
to collect the money.
Justice Fogarty subsequently found
the couple were liable for costs of
e Banks have appealed both
ey also want a Court of Appeal
judge to review a registrar's decision
that they most comply with the court's
rules and provide security for costs.
Grey District Council chief executive
Paul Pretorius said the current case had
now cost ratepayers over $600,000
" is, however, is an extension of an
earlier challenge which would have
cost $200,000. e gures quoted do
not include sta costs, which have been
Mr Pretorius said the council had
every expectation that the Court of
Appeal's decision would con rm the
High Court's ndings.
e Buller District Council had
the second highest average cost per
ratepayer of $25.33 for legal bills
Buller's biggest bill was $121,369 for
resource consents advice from Duncan
Cotterill, twice as much as Buller paid
the same rm for similar advice the
Gallaway Cook Allan received
$48,580 for advice on the awed
Westport hockey turf. e previous
year the same rm received $14,119 for
advice on the turf.
Westbury Law received $11,223 for
advice on Buller's new rubbish and
e West Coast Regional Council's
legal bills narrowly topped Buller's at
However, the cost per ratepayer was
just $8.41, given it is spread Coastwide.
e main recipient of regional council
legal work was Ross Dowling Marquet
Gri n, which received $98,727,
followed by Duncan Cotterill, $88,251.
e Westland District Council had
the lowest legal bills of just $83,956.
e highest sum was $63,314 paid to
Neither the regional council nor the
Westland council would reveal what
their legal bills were for.
$337,000 bill in Blaketown row
Road fatalities on the West Coast
increased last year, despite the New
Zealand road toll falling to its lowest
Nine people died on Coast roads last
year, two more than in 2012, although
only two of the victims were West Coast
residents. In 2011 the toll was nine, in
2010 seven and six in 2009.
e rst road death recorded in 2013
was in late January, when a 65-year-old
motorcyclist collided with a car while
travelling west on State highway 7, near
ere were four fatalities between
April and September, including the two
Canadian tourists who died when their
campervan was swept o the Haast
Pass highway by a landslide during a
wild storm. Joanna Lam's body was
found some days later, washed up on
the Haast beach 50km downstream, but
her boyfriend Connor Hayes' body was
In November, two motorcyclists were
killed in South Westland within two
days of each other. A 59-year-old man
was killed south of Knights Point on
November 25, when his bike, which
was towing a small trailer, clipped an
oncoming campervan. Police said the
trailer was well over the centreline as it
rounded a corner, striking the driver's
door of the campervan and inging the
motorcyclist into a ditch.
Just two days later a 70-year-old man
riding a trike was killed after an apparent
mechanical failure caused his machine
to veer across the road and crash into a
rock face, also on State highway 6, east
of Haast township.
On December 16 a van crashed down
a bank on Taylorville Road, landing
upside down in a creek and drowning
Blaketown woman Lavinia Langi and
her teenage son Lesili.
West Coast road toll up in 2013
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