Home' Greymouth Star : January 27th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014
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$78m sought for
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O'Connor wants Health Minister
Tony Ryall to commit $78 million
for a new hospital in Greymouth.
e Health Minister assured the
West Coast public last week that
hospital services would be better
when their "brand new hospital"
was built. His statement indicated
the $60m loan approved by the
Government four months ago could
change. Mr O'Connor said today the
minister's assurances were "worthless"
as he had not committed to the
money. e working group behind
the hospital rebuild had asked for
$78m but received $60m, he said.
Mr Ryall had not explained how the
best hospital and services would be
provided, and had also "ignored" the
requirement for services in Buller
and Reefton. "My concern is that
the Government's (desire) to keep
votes in Canterbury will cost West
Coasters money for redeveloping our
hospital," Mr O'Connor said.
A water meter in Buller has
revealed that extraordinary amounts
of water has either been leaking
from the Waimangaroa supply, or
been drawn without the council's
knowledge. Buller District Council
manager operations Stephen Gri n
said they were surprised to nd the
small township of 335 souls was
using 780,000 litres of water a day. It
should average about 100,000 litres.
Previously, meters showed farms on
the supply were using just 250,000
litres. " is indicates some large
leakage or extraordinary usage that
we are not aware of," Mr Gri n said.
A loving wife who saved her
husband's life by giving him one of
her kidneys now wants it back after
he dumped her. Andy Lamb was
dying of renal kidney failure and
was only being kept alive by weekly
sessions of dialysis until his wife
Samantha persuaded him to take one
of hers. e 41-year-old mother-
of-one told the Sunday People: "He
needed a new kidney or he would
die. He was on dialysis three times
a week." However, she now says as
soon as she went through with the
operation she regretted it. Samantha
believes he was having an a air with
her friend Clare who she confronted
and which Andy denies. "I hate him.
If I could I'd take it back and give it
to someone else." --- Daily Mail
Fine with light winds
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service) Manslaughter charge possible
e driver of the car that slammed at
high speed into a Greymouth house on
Friday night after a short police pursuit,
killing backseat passenger Judd Hall, 26,
of Runanga, could face a manslaughter
West Coast police area commander
Inspector John Canning said they had
yet to interview the driver, who was
impaled in the stomach by a piece of
wood from the house, but charges were
"It is early days yet and until the
investigation is complete we will not
know what, or even if, the driver will be
charged," Mr Canning said.
A range of o ences were possible,
including dangerous speed causing
death, driving with excess breath-alcohol
causing death, or even manslaughter.
"It all depends on what evidence there
He could not say which of the two
survivors --- a 22-year-old man and a
24-year-old man, one from Runanga
and the other from Greymouth --- was
driving the Subaru stationwagon, but
police estimated it was travelling at
about 140kph when it veered o High
Street and smashed into a house that
had been vacated only seven hours
Both sur vivors were still recovering in
Grey Base Hospital and would be there
for "some time yet".
While Mr Hall's mother, Joe Hall, has
questioned the pursuit, Mr Canning
said there was still some debate over
whether it was actually a police pursuit.
"It is only a pursuit when the driver
being pursued by police knows they are
being followed, and that question will
not be answered until we speak to the
A patrol car was parked in an alleyway
in High Street, between St Patrick's
Catholic Church and the Aachen Place
Motels, about 700m from the crash
site, with only the nose of the vehicle
pointing out toward the street.
"When the constable saw the vehicle
speed by he decided the driver needed
to be stopped. He jumped into his
patrol car, turned on his ashing lights
and followed the car."
He did not activate the siren and
estimated the car was speeding in excess
of 100kph in a 50kph zone.
e constable lost sight of the vehicle
as it rounded the corner on High Street,
outside Grey Base Hospital, and then
came upon the crash scene. e pursuit
lasted only 10 seconds.
"We have also had reports of witnesses
seeing the vehicle racing in town earlier
in the night," Mr Canning said.
Ms Hall told APNZ her son was in
his pyjamas when his friends turned up
outside the house and persuaded him
to come out. " ere's been comments
about him being out partying but that
is not the case at all," she said.
"He was ready for bed and had just
gone down the shop for some Powerade
and Skittles when his mates turned up
at 10.45pm and invited him to a party
in Kumara. It was just bad luck that he
the boot in
Provocative right-wing internet
blogger Cameron Slater was today
standing by a headline that described
Greymouth car crash victim Judd Hall
Mr Hall, a 26-year-old from Runanga,
died when a car in which he was a
backseat passenger left the road and
crashed into a house about 11 o'clock on
At 7.21am on Saturday, Mr Slater's
Whale Oil blog site carried a brief story
on the crash under the heading, 'Feral
dies in Greymouth, did world a favour'.
When contacted by the Greymouth
Star today, Mr Slater accepted that he
did not know Mr Hall or his family, but
justi ed the "feral" description by saying:
"It is Greymouth, isn't it? Didn't Helen
Clark say that you are all feral?"
He said anybody travelling at 140kph
in a car in a 50kph area was 'feral',
whether on the West Coast or in south
He did not regret the headline and
would not be apologising for it.
"It's a tragic situation but where is it
written in the rule books that you have
to take into account people's feelings?"
the blogger said.
was "an utter
" is young
lad has a
father who are
a great deal
of hurt at the
compassion and support they need at
the moment, not condemnation from
the likes of Slater," Mr Kokshoorn said.
" ey (the parents) are people that
Slater has never met, does not know, so
for him to describe their o spring as
feral is the lowest of the low and an utter
e 'feral West Coasters' label has been
around since 2000, when former Prime
Minister Helen Clark was speaking
on National Radio at the height of the
native timber logging debate, but her
comments were taken out of context.
A transcript of the sentence in question
shows that Ms Clark actually said:
'Attitudes of some on the West Coast
could be fairly feral'.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Police forensics sta examine the scene of the Friday night fatality. e impact of the crash shunted the former railway house, in High Street, o its
A Runanga family has been left
devastated after losing the last of
four sons at the weekend, all of
whom died in tragic circumstances.
Judd Hall, 26, was settling in for
a quiet Friday night at home when
mates swung by his Runanga house
and persuaded him to go to a party.
Shortly after wards, he was killed
when the car he was travelling
in was involved in a brief police
pursuit before it smashed at speed
into a Greymouth house, opposite
Parents Joe Hall and Rick 'Rowdy'
Durbridge are struggling to come to
terms with the fourth such tragedy
to strike their children.
Stepson Dan Herk, 36, was killed
in the Pike River Mine disaster of
Joe Hall had raised him from
about the age of 14, family told
On Mother's Day in 1990, the
couple's seven-year-old son Jessop
died in a car crash caused by a drunk
female driver in Motueka, and Brett,
19, died a few years later in a fall in
Mr Durbridge and Joe Hall,
now on the West Coast, have two
sur viving daughters and the family
is now mourning the death of a
fourth son and brother.
"Judd was the biggest character
ever, with the biggest heart. He'll be
so missed --- he already is," said one
family member, who did not wish to
On Facebook, Judd Hall's mates
remembered a larger-than-life
character and a "Runanga legend".
Parents mourn fourth child
Cyclists will be relieved to hear that
the uneven approaches to the Taramakau
road-rail bridge are set to be repaired on
e cracked asphalt and rails have
frequently caught out unsuspecting
visiting cyclists and motorcyclists as they
cross the single-lane bridge.
New Zealand Transport Agency senior
network manager Mark Pinner said
today essential maintenance work was
scheduled on both approaches to improve
safety for cyclists and motorcyclists.
" e road surface at the two approaches
has cracked and become uneven. It will
be replaced with new asphalt, creating a
smoother, level surface and safer approach
to the bridge, in particular for cyclists and
motorcyclists," Mr Pinner said.
"Kiwi Rail are working with us to make
sure the foundations under the railway
line, and the road, are solidly compacted."
Rubber mats would be installed on the
bridge as soon as a working design was
available, and the NZTA also planned to
install a clip-on cycle lane later this year,
subject to funding.
On Sunday, the bridge will be closed
overnight for periods of up to three hours,
from 8pm to 11pm, 11.15pm to 1am, and
1.15am to 3am, if required.
If wet, the work will be postponed to the
following Sunday, February 9, at the same
Bridge under repair again
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