Home' Greymouth Star : March 15th 2014 Contents 3
WEST COAST FEATURE
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Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Ross Presbyterian Church
Haast slip stable
e huge slip just south of
Knights Point on State highway
6 near Haast, remains stable, the
NZ Transport Agency says. West
Coast senior network manager
Mark Pinner said site investigations
were carried out at the end of last
year and there had been no further
movement at road level. e site
was monitored weekly by way of a
visual inspection, sur vey of markers,
and helicopter inspections after
significant rainfall. e slip remains
about 5m from the edge of the road.
NZTA last year elected to design
an anchored piled wall, but that will
only be undertaken if the slip poses
the risk of losing access along that
high bluff, coastal section of road.
11 jobs go in
Trents wholesalers in Greymouth
confirmed yesterday it will close its
cash and carry warehouse operation
on May 2 with the loss of 11 jobs.
e warehouse is the main supplier
of groceries and alcohol on the
West Coast. Foodstuffs South
Island Ltd chief executive officer
Steve Anderson was in Greymouth
to announce the closure, and said
the decision was a difficult one.
"While we will continue to have
a representative on the Coast,
we will no longer have a physical
site. West Coast customers can be
assured, however, that they will be
fully supported by our staff at our
replica Nelson and Christchurch
operations. We are in the process
of communicating this change to
them at present," Mr Anderson said.
e company was working with the
Greymouth staff to investigate other
roles within the wider business,
as well as offering them career,
curriculum vitae and counselling
support. It was also working with
local customers to reassure them
that the closure would not impact
on West Coast deliveries, with
orders still coming from Nelson and
Spasmodic rain, blustery wind
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Saudi Arabia has issued a list of
50 names new parents are banned
from giving their children, including
Linda, Lauren, Sandy and Amir.
e Arab nation s interior ministry
justified the ban by saying the
names either contradicted the
culture or religion of the kingdom,
or were foreign, or "inappropriate".
Among the others are Alice, Elaine
and Maya and Binyamin, the Arabic
name for Benjamin. --- Daily Mail
One of the last historic buildings
from the heart of the old
Greymouth Catholic precinct is
celebrating its centennial.
is week marks 100 years since
the completion of the St Patrick s
presbytery, now known as Noah s
Ark Backpackers, in Chapel Street
alongside the old St Patrick s
Noah s Ark owners Matt and
Myrie Bridge will hold an open
home tomorrow between 2pm and
"People are welcome to wander in,"
Mr Bridge said.
e couple will be available to talk
about the history of the building and
will supply information sheets, tea
e large two-storey home was
built to house the parish priest,
curates and church visitors. It was
designed by the Luttrell Brothers,
who also designed St Mary s
Church, in Hokitika.
e interior features rimu timber
panelling and still retains most of
the original fireplaces. e presbytery
is part of a once expansive cluster
of buildings that served the town s
e original St Patrick s Church
and the Sisters of Mercy Convent
were both demolished in the 1990s.
Assistant priest at St Patrick s,
Monsignor Gerry O Connor, lived
in the old presbytery three times
throughout his career as a priest,
shifting there permanently in 1989.
He spent a total of eight years there.
"It s quite an impressive building,"
He could remember being in the
dining room during a big earthquake
in 1962, while looking at plans for
the new Catholic high school with
the parish priest from Westport.
"He said Get in the doorway, and
he got in the doorway --- and we
passed him heading outside!"
Aftershocks from the quake
knocked a corner off his bedroom
and moved the bed two feet across
e building is currently for sale,
with or without the backpackers
business, because the Bridges
doubt they can afford seismic
ey are currently looking for an
engineer to do an assessment.
PICTURE: Christine Linnell
Noah s Ark Backpackers owners Matt and Myrie Bridge, meet Monsignor Gerry O Connor outside the former St Patrick s Catholic Presbytery,
which celebrates its centennial this weekend. Inset: An early photograph of the presbytery, with the edge of the church alongside.
100 years of priests and backpackers
Oceana Gold says the increased cost
of underground mining post-Pike River,
is just one factor being considered as it
weighs up whether to keep going with
plans to reopen the historic Waiuta mine.
Compliance costs have risen since the
2010 Pike River Mine disaster which
exposed, for example, the lack of an
A year ago, the trans-Tasman mining
company Oceana said it wanted to reopen
the rich Birthday Reef, deep below the
abandoned township of Waiuta. e reef
has not been touched since 1951, when
the Blackwater shaft collapsed.
If the mine went ahead it would employ
up to 90 people, the company said at the
Despite the lack of objections, it has
still not completed the consent process
started last March, having initially said
that development work could start as
early as 2014.
Oceana senior financial analyst Nova
Young said there were many factors
involved in determining whether a
development was economically feasible,
including major costs such as capital
expenditure for development, mining and
"Other costs, such as administration etc
would be taken into account to determine
overall economic feasibility."
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O Connor said underground mining was
now "tougher for anyone".
In addition, the price of gold had fallen,
which would impact on any goldmining
"Like any mining company, they will
be looking at all their options," Mr
O Connor said.
e result could have an "unfortunate"
impact on local communities, he said.
Legislation to establish the new
workplace health and safety agency,
Work Safe New Zealand, and support
new health and safety regulations for
mining was passed in December.
Mining safety changes impact
on Waiuta mine reopening plans Council kitty depleted
e Grey District Council s
penchant for robbing Peter to pay
Paul may force it to renege on a
clause in the District Plan offering
financial aid to developers.
Each of the four West Coast
councils was given $7 million
as a share of the $120 million
compensation package paid to
the region in 2001 when the
Government brought an early end
to indigenous forest logging.
e Grey District Council set
aside $1m of its allocation as an
economic development reserve in
a bid to entice new developments
and subdivisions, adopting a policy
of offering to share 50-50 with
developers the costs of providing
infrastructure, including new road
upgrades for their projects.
However, since 2005 half the fund
has been used for other purposes,
including $100,000 for a Preston
Road subdivision, $77,000 for
an economic development office,
$5000 for Art in the Park, $275,000
for Shantytown, $5000 for Top
Town participation, $30,000 for
the Greymouth skatepark, and
$25,000 on miscellaneous other
When the $502,000 contributed
to infrastructure upgrades is added,
the $1m kitty has been seriously
A staff report to the council
meeting this week said the lack
of funding posed a problem
because the District Plan decreed
that the council must make the
payment on the approval of all new
e only way it can get away
with not paying now is to decline
the application for development
on the grounds that it will have
adverse financial implications for
Without any discussion on the
issue, councillors voted to put the
problem in the too hard basket,
noting only that the council
could not afford the infrastructure
subsidy should a new subdivision
application be received and will
decide later how best to deal with
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O Connor says even as the electorate
MP he has not seen the plans for the
new Greymouth Hospital and said
yesterday it was time for the public to be
e latest business case, based around
a completely new hospital complex, has
been completed in Wellington and now
sits with Treasury and the Ministry of
"I ve not seen anything," Mr O Connor
said. "I ve no idea at this point what
exactly they are talking about or what
exactly is going to be delivered. It s time
for them to front up."
He said it was "insulting" that the
public had been left to pin its future
hopes on "glib press statements".
Green list MP Kevin Hague, a former
West Coast District Health Board chief
executive, also said it was time for the
public to have a say.
"We want as much public involvement
as possible," Mr Hague said.
It was most important to know what
hospital services would be available; the
actual design was more technical and
Consultation was "better late then
e DHB said in a statement it and
the rebuild partnership group had
committed to keeping the community
updated with progress --- as soon as the
information was available.
"We will continue to engage with
the community. However, at this stage
there is nothing specific to talk with the
e board said the process to date
was the result of extensive clinical
engagement --- over the last 10 days
in February more than 50 hours of
workshops involving over 70 clinicians
and health sector workers.
National Party list MP Chris
Auchinvole said he had not seen the
business case but would not expect to,
as he had confidence in the people who
drew it up.
He said Labour had nine years to
rebuild the hospital while it was in
office, and did nothing, while Mr
Hague as chief executive "only produced
"We have secured the $60 million
--- we are proud of the fact we have
achieved that. Why do they (Labour
and Greens) want to delay it? I just want
it (construction) to start." He said the
other MPs "just want to cause trouble".
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