Home' Greymouth Star : January 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
e loss of more than 100 jobs at
Macraes Open Pit as part of a cost-
cutting measure by Oceana Gold
has been described as a devastating
body-blow by community leaders.
It is understood 106 people will
lose their jobs, leaving just 47 to
work the open-cast mine.
Oceana Gold managing director
and chief executive o cer Mick
Wilkes said in a press release at
the present gold price, the Macraes
open-cast pit had a mine-life until
the end of 2017, and the mine-life
for the Frasers underground mine
was to mid-2015.
Macraes is New Zealand's largest
gold mining operation, employing
between 600 and 700 sta in the
Macraes open pit, the Frasers
underground and the adjacent
An estimated 60-70 people
attended a private meeting in the
East Otago High School hall
yesterday afternoon when Oceana
Gold announced its intention
to "reoptimise" its operations at
Macraes open pit.
Workers declined to speak after
the meeting, following company
Although the mood seemed
sombre, they did not appear
surprised by the announcement.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said
the announcement was "a body
blow to some of our smaller rural
communities, although I completely
understand why Oceana Gold
needed to make the decision".
"Gold extraction is subject to
forces beyond our control.
"But, this will have a major
impact on employment in some
communities and we're very
conscious of the need to ameliorate
the e ects and help keep those
communities sustainable," he said.
e number of job losses was
not given by the company, but
Amalgamated Workers' Union New
Zealand secretary Calvin Fisher
said more than 100 jobs were likely
to be lost from the open pit crews
and mine technicians.
Mr Wilkes said the prolonged and
sustained drop in the gold price had
forced the company to reduce costs
in order to sustain its operations.
He said Macraes new mine plan
included a reduction in the amount
of material movement and gold
production at the open pit, which
meant "lower equipment usage and
a reduction in operating costs and
support sta requirements over the
next two years".
A smaller cutback is also planned
at the Frasers 6 open pit.
Union delegates would meet
Oceana Gold management later
this week, before a nal decision on
January 20, he said.
Otago Chamber of Commerce
chief executive John Christie said
the cuts were "devastating" news.
" ey are a big and important
employer and they've been part of
our region for over 20 years now,
so this won't be welcome news by
the people involved, or the wider
"A lot of businesses are dependent
on Oceana Gold for downstream
work," he said.
ere was also anger in
communities a ected by the
" ey should have announced this
before Christmas, before everybody
had spent up on their credit cards.
Now, they don't have jobs," an
Oceana Gold contractor who
wanted to remain anonymous said.
"Oceana Gold have been lying
to everybody for years, saying,
'Everything's going to be ne; we're
going to work it all out. Your jobs
are secure'. Well, everything is not
ne," she said.
" is is a nightmare scenario for
Dunedin and the whole South
Island. It's going to be a big blow
for a lot of communities."
--- Otago Daily Times
2 - Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Temporary GPs to start
A temporary GP, Dr Ranjit
Fernando, will start in Reefton on
Monday, staying until January 24,
when Dr Steve Reay takes over until
mid-late April. e West Coast
District Health Board and Reefton
Health say they are in negotiations
with GPs for permanent positions.
Two West Coast restaurants have
been awarded the 2014 Beef and
Lamb Excellence Award --- the
Matheson Cafe, at Fox Glacier, and
the Water wheel Restaurant, at Stations
Inn at Blue Spur, Hokitika. e award
is only given to restaurants whose beef
and lamb cuisine reaches the highest
standard of New Zealand ne dining.
Average weather forecast
till end of March
January-March weather is expected
to be pretty average, according to
the National Institute of Water and
Atmospheric Research (Niwa). ere
was neither El Nino nor La Nina
conditions last month, but El Nino
development becomes increasingly
likely by mid-year, reaching about a
50% chance. "For the coming three
months as a whole, lower than normal
pressures are forecast in the Tasman
Sea, and over and north of New
Zealand, while higher than normal
pressures conditions are forecast to
the south-east of the country. is
circulation pattern is expected to be
associated with a weak anomalous ow
from the north-easterly quarter," Niwa
Hutt boat accident
A 49-year-old boatie believed to
be dead after falling o a boat at the
mouth of the Hutt River has been
identi ed as Uikili Peniamina. Mr
Peniamina was collecting shing nets
when he was knocked from the boat
and swept into Wellington Harbour on
Sunday evening. He was not wearing a
life jacket at the time. Police said this
morning the Navy dive team, which
has access to special sonar equipment,
has been called in to help with the
search.. --- APNZ
Blenheim shop re
A Blenheim shop has been badly
damaged by a re this morning. Fire
Service senior communicator Mau
Barbara said several people called
about 5am about the re at the On
e Spot shop in Budge Street in
Riversdale. Fire ghters arrived to nd
the shop well ablaze, Mr Barbara said.
Four trucks attended and it took over
an hour to extinguish.
robbed at knifepoint
A pregnant woman was robbed
at knife-point on a Waitakere Falls
walking track in west Auckland this
morning, police say. Waitakere police
say the victim, aged in her 30s, was
walking on the Upper Nihotupo
Reservoir track at around 10.45am.
She was around ve minutes from the
car park on Piha Road when two men
with their faces covered emerged from
the bush. One of them had a knife and
demanded money. e woman had
no cash and the o enders took her
jewellery; a necklace, rings, bracelet
and watch, police said. e men ed
and the victim ran to the car park and
waved down a passing police car.
Departures: Ocean Odyssey, 1
Greymouth vessel. In port: 17 vessels.
Expected arrivals: Jay Elaine, Friday;
Cook Canyon, Saturday; Galatea II,
Coast DHB withdraws
travel chits, says patient
Experts have delivered a dire
warning that rising sea levels
will put some suburban areas of
coastal Christchurch under water
within 100 years.
e city council is now making
plans for what will be a vastly
di erent looking Canterbury
coastline, caused by warming
seas, melting ice in Greenland
and Antarctica, and more storm
South New Brighton, South
Shore, Sumner, Brooklands
and even parts of Linwood will
become water logged if current
sea level increase predictions
is is will lead to planned
abandonment of residential areas,
not too unlike what happened
to the worst a ected earthquake
areas, which were red zoned.
e insurance industry says that
houses in those areas will over
a long period of time become
e warning comes in a
$90,000 report carried out by
environmental consultant Tonkin
and Taylor for the city council.
ey key factor in the report
is that it supersedes previous
estimations of sea level rises.
Instead of sea levels rising to
half a metre by 2115 as predicted
by international authority Inter-
governmental Panel on Climate
Change the Tonkin and Taylor
report says it will be double this.
e report also says the worst
case scenario of a sea rise of 2m
by 2100 cannot be ruled out also.
e sea rises will a ect all of
New Zealand's coastline, it says.
e report's ndings will now be
taken into account when the city
council formulates its district plan
this year, Deputy Mayor Vicki
Buck said yesterday.
Cr Buck said stop banking and
other ood protection methods
would be considered in the district
"We need to identify these areas
and say here are the options ---
and there are options," she said.
"Climate change has a
reasonably grunty implications for
everyone and countries and cities
across the world are facing this
challenge including Bangladesh,
the Paci c Island and even New
York," she said.
e report says areas of the
eastern suburbs may need to be
abandoned in a "managed retreat".
Managed retreat means a
strategic decision is made by
authorities to abandon or relocate
properties and assets in the area.
e report warns if this cannot
be done then authorities will have
to undertake "forced retreat".
Avon-Otakaro Network co-
chairman Evan Smith, who last
year co-wrote a submission with
now Mayor Lianne Dalziel on sea
level rise, said he was surprised by
"It has serious implications for
the city because there is more
land vulnerable in storm surge
situations. e Christchurch
public need to be briefed on what
that means," he said.
e report also recommends
the city council increase their
minimum oor levels from
11.08m to 12.3m to compensate
for a sea level rise of half a metre.
Mr Smith said this aspect has big
implications for people currently
having their earthquake damaged
houses rebuilt or repaired.
ose xed or rebuilt before new
standards are adopted could have
issues, he said.
Cr Buck said the city was in a
fortuitous position as the red zone
covered much of the area at risk.
Mr Smith said the Government
would not consider extending
the red zone to cover more of the
ood management area.
"For the red zone it had to be
clear that the damage was due to
the earthquakes. To include sea
level rise would have enormous
consequences because it a ects
all coastal area in the country
so they would be setting a
e Canterbury Earthquake
Recovery Authority con rmed
this saying some of the ood
management areas met the
criteria for red zone due to
earthquake damage but not all
parts met their criteria.
Cr Buck said people in this
situation were most at risk.
Niwa climate scientist Brett
Mullan said storms tracks were
more "generally south" from New
Zealand which made it di cult
to predict if the city would see
more severe storms.
"But at best guess we will
continue to see the same level
of storm surge but on top of
rising sea levels which means
overall there will be an increase
of the base level," he said.
--- APNZ- e Star
Rising sea levels
suburbs at risk'
of the Westport News
A Westport man who regularly travels to
Grey Base Hospital for medical treatment
says the West Coast District Health Board is
no longer issuing travel chits.
e 68-year-old man, who asked not to be
named, has prostate cancer.
His wife, 65, su ers from a bad back.
In the past, the DHB has provided $56
fuel chits for the return trip to Greymouth,
However, when he sought one on Monday
he was told they were no longer available
because people had been abusing the scheme
and the DHB had overspent by about
$400,000. He was given a form and told to
seek reimbursement through the national
He said some people could not a ord to pay
their own way and then wait to be reimbursed.
"It's a bit of mucking around and it's
probably quite stressful for older people
who don't want to go on the bus ... I've been
diagnosed with prostate cancer. I'm stressed
out enough now without worrying about
that sort of thing."
He said he believed the DHB was trying
to make patients use the free Red Cross bus
ser vice to Greymouth, but it was neither
practical nor convenient for some people. His
own wife could not travel on the bus because
her bad back necessitated numerous stops on
He knew of an 83-year-old woman who
had taken the bus to Greymouth for a
morning appointment, then had to wait at
the hospital all day until the bus returned to
Donna Kelly, from Red Streetwear in Hokitika, tries on a fascinator for the Fashion in the Field
contest at the Kumara Races, on Saturday. She is one of three judges for the annual competition, in
which entrants win prizes for their fashion choices on race day. is year they have added a best hair/
headwear category. "Fascinators and hats are certainly a big thing. We're hoping that will take o ," Ms
Kelly said. e judges are also forgoing heats this year and going straight to the nal round, with no age
categories in the men's and women's competitions. Ms Kelly said hats and accessories made for strong
contenders among the women, while men should go for something more than the usual suit and tie.
"Something unique and di erent, with their personality showing through. ey should make it their
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Fashions for Kumara
Quali ed FD Since 1973
(Doss). --- Stewart, Don,
Neil, Robert and their
families would like to
thank everyone for their
support in our recent
loss. To those who
attended the service,
sent cards, flowers, bak-
ing, visited, etc, we are
very grateful. A big
thanks to medical staff
in both Hokitika and at
that made our mothers
life as comfortable as
possible. We also appre-
ciated the professional
organisation of Wayne
Thompson and his team,
Trish Barlow for the
catering and Rev. John
Drylie for the service.
Please accept this as our
personal thank you to
Wednesday January 8
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Macraes Mineworkers leave a meeting at East Otago High School, last night.
More than 100 jobs to go at Otago goldmine
A casual musterer on a farm near
Gisborne was own to hospital after the
horse he was riding died underneath him
as they descended a steep hillside.
Emergency services were alerted about
e 69-year-old horseman su ered
neck, head and facial injuries in the
mishap, at Rere, 50km north-west of
Gisborne. He was own to Waikato
Hospital after being assessed at Gisborne
Hospital's emergency department.
"He su ered serious eye and
facial injuries," a Gisborne Hospital
A St John ambulance was sent to the
"When the ambulance crew arrived
they realised they would have di culty
getting to the patient," St John territory
manager Shane Clapperton said.
"So it was decided it would be easier to
call in the ECT rescue helicopter."
e horseman was thrown clear of his
mount when the animal collapsed.
" e horse stopped where it dropped but
the rider fell several metres, and landed
in the bottom of a gully," helicopter pilot
Charlie Beetham said.
"It's not clear how long the rider may
have lain there before he was found. He
was unable to remember what happened
when we spoke to him."
Mr Clapperton said it appeared the
man lost consciousness as a result
of his fall.
"It was a pretty rugged area," Mr
Beetham said. " e two paramedics in
the ambulance were ferried to the scene
on quad bikes by farm workers, and then
had to walk about 50m in to where the
man was lying injured."
e helicopter landed on a fairly at
part of the hillside near the man, Mr
"It was a good team e ort by the
farmers. --- APNZ-Gisborne Herald
Musterer injured after horse drops dead
spent nearly $400,000 on
payouts for former sta
in the second half of last
year, a period in which
the department was mired
Figures released by the
Speaker showed that
since June, 20 former
employees had received
a severance payment.
On average, former sta
received nearly $20,000
650 people including
assistants and advisers
for MPs in Wellington
and regional o ces,
and also sta within the
such as security guards.
Eleven of the people
who received severance
packages had worked for
group manager shared
services Anne Smith
said the number and
amount of payments was
higher than usual because
the agency was being
restructured and because
of a high turnover of MPs
in the second half of the
She said the costs
would be o set by the
improvements made in
Labour Party MP Grant
Robertson said that the
payments re ected a
turbulent period for the
"It would be fair to
say that morale has
been pretty low in the
Parliamentary Service and
obviously from the point
of view of MPs we don't
want to see that carry on."
General manager Geo
orn resigned in August
after it was revealed that
had passed on e-mails
between Fairfax reporter
Andrea Vance and United
Future leader Peter
Dunne to an inquiry
investigating the leak of a
Williams criticised the
costly use of public
money to pay out former
sta . He claimed that
was "buying the silence"
of workers who had been
sacked on the spot by
A clause in
contracts allowed instant
dismissal of sta in
cases of "irreconcilable
Mr Williams said he
knew of two dismissals
in which a minor party
leader refused to hear
their employee's response
to allegations made by
would not con rm
how many of the
payments related to the
irreconcilable di erences
clause, but said the
agency followed strict
processes in dealing with
--- APNZ-New Zealand
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