Home' Greymouth Star : March 28th 2014 Contents 3
Biblical twist to
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FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Police arrested a 16-year-old
Hokitika boy last night and charged
him with wilful damage arising
from a recent spate of gra ti
vandalism in the town. e scout
hall and Cass Square grandstand
and amenities were among the
public buildings defaced. e boy
was expected to appear in the
Greymouth District Court today.
for midnight fire
Greymouth volunteer re ghters
were roused from their beds just
after midnight to extinguish a
small scrub re that had been lit on
the Blaketown beach, in front of
Arthur Fong Park. Chief re o cer
Lee Swinburn said despite the
inconvenience of the timing it only
took 10 minutes to douse.
had to pay
$3000 to sh
out of a remote lake at Rotomanu ---
and everyone is mysti ed as to how
it got there. "We had to hire a hiab to
lift it out," consents and compliance
manager Jackie Adams said. "It
weighs over a tonne." Whoever
dumped the container in Lady Lake
had tried unsuccessfully to sink it.
When council sta were alerted
they found a brown substance was
leaching from it. Tests showed it was
furniture stain, which was tracked
down to a Christchurch company.
Asked about the whereabouts of the
container, a spokesman said it was
out the back but when they went to
check it had gone. Mr Adams said
no one seemed to know who took
the tank, who dumped it, or why.
Luckily, although the pollutant had
discoloured the water, sampling
showed the water quality was okay,
Often cloudy, risk of drizzle
A frustrated chief justice told
Kenyans on Tuesday that even
witchdoctors could help them resolve
their disputes without taking each
other to the overburdened courts.
Willy Mutunga, a respected lawyer,
was appointed in 2011 to reform a
judiciary widely seen as in the pay of
the political elite and to cut red tape,
at a time when many Kenyans had
lost con dence in the courts.
Haast-Hollyford road oppon-
ents today accused the promoters
of wanting to carve a road
through a World Heritage area,
with a $30 million side road to
Big Bay now added to the mix.
Promoters told West Coast and
Southland leaders this week the
proposed 136km southern toll
link with Milford Sound would
cost $230m to build and bring
in a projected 900,000 tourists
in its rst year --- not vehicles, as
Fiordland Coast Walks ---
which currently o ers $2895
10-day coastal walking trips from
Haast to Hollyford --- has now
added to the debate with calls for
a second road to deviate from the
inland route to coastal Big Bay
and Gorge River.
e side road would turn west
at Pyke River and run out to
the coast at Big Bay, with plans
for a campground and hotel
Coastal walks owner Grant
MacKinnon said the new
road link would o er further
development opportunities in the
Red Hills and Gorge River areas.
However, Haast Hollyford
Highway Ltd owner Durham
Havill, who has championed
the southern route for the past
30 years, is not interested in the
Big Bay idea.
"We're not interested in that,
we are only interested in building
the Haast-Hollyford road. at's
our undertaking," Mr Havill,
a former Westland mayor, said
He expected Mr MacKinnon
might have "a few hurdles to
jump" to get his side road, whereas
the Haast-Hollyford proposal
was more "straightforward".
However, it was revealed this
week that the Haast-Hollyford
has some hurdles of its own. Land
Information Minister Maurice
Williamson said yesterday the
project could not proceed unless
they could prove in court that
the paper road status had been
illegally removed from the maps
in 1976, as alleged. Mr Havill's
company also needs to nd at
least $5m to start the resource
Wilderness Lodge Lake
Moeraki owner-operator Gerry
McSweeney, describing the
promoters as "arrogant", said the
entire area of the proposed road
had World Heritage listing and
to build a road through it was
illegal under international law.
" ese Chinese bridge-builders
and their fringe supporters simply
don't understand this area has the
highest level of protection in the
world," Dr McSweeney said.
e Big Bay proposal only
"added insult to injury".
e lowland part that was
being proposed for the Haast-
Hollyford road was the "most
precious" section and the "heart"
of the South-west New Zealand
World Heritage Area.
"It is already very accessible,
compared to other places around
Fleets of helicopters could
provide access and there were
a variety of gateways "without
carving a road through what is
the core of our tourism industry.
that is inaccessible."
He said neither Labour nor
National approved the road.
" is is totally at odds with
both sides of the House."
He cited the multi-million
dollar e orts to repair sections of
State highway 6, such as Diana
Falls and Knights Point.
"We have enough issues keeping
(that) highway open, without
chasing dreams," Dr McSweeney
Forest and Bird West Coast
chair woman Kathy Gilbert said
the project was "pie in the sky"
and while she agreed it could
jeopardise the wilderness she did
not seriously expect it would get
Mr Havill said he believed the
highway would open up the area
for everyone to enjoy.
"It is a wilderness that only
young and t people can actually
see. Most people work for their
entire lives and they can't get to
it. All we are doing is putting
a road through it so people can
Paparoa Range School Blackball site pupils Caitlyn Gallant, left, and Kahya Pownceby-Burgess jot down notes in the Blackball Cemetery on Wednesday
afternoon. e Blackball Residents Association has decided to tidy up the cemetery and the local school has been enlisted to help by recording details on the
headstones and mapping the location of each plot.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Blackball history plotted
Facebook page step too far --- police
Police say a Facebook page launched
a year ago to alert people to the
whereabouts of road checkpoints has
overstepped the mark.
e page highlights the location of
checkpoints and speed cameras, and
is augmented with police gossip. It
currently has 1503 'likes'.
Initially, West Coast police area
commander Inspector John Canning
was relaxed about it because he saw it
more as helping to get people to slow
down, rather than avoid detection.
However, he said today some of the
postings that were being made on the
page included hate messages toward
police and unveri ed information
obtained from scanners.
"While it is not illegal to have a
police scanner, it is illegal to use the
information heard on it in a public
arena --- and that it what is happening
on this page," Mr Canning said.
e administrator of the Facebook
page, Jackie Galland, posted a message
today saying the police wanted to shut
it down and asked for support; that
attracted 200 'likes'.
However, Mr Canning said he met
Ms Galland yesterday and had asked
for it to be toned down, not closed
"We had an in-depth discussion and
I'm disappointed with the outcome," he
"We have no problems with the page
stating where checkpoints are and
asking people to slow down --- that's
what we want --- but when it's used as
a personal hate page against police and
to air what has been heard on the police
scanner, it becomes an issue for us.
"Some things could be posted on the
page, perhaps, before all of the facts are
known, and this is where the problems
"If the page was just being used to
advise people of where police have set
up speed cameras there would not be a
problem," Mr Canning said.
Tarsealing cuts out new home
e Grey District Council is adamant
that it will not pay to patch seal a short
section of a residential Greymouth
street, saying it is not its responsibility.
A couple last year built their house on
the hill at the end of Coates Street, and
paid $60,000 to have a sealed, winding
driveway created all the way down to
the sealed edge of the public road.
ey were astonished this week when
contractors re-sealing their street
stopped about 10m from the end,
saying that they had orders from the
council to go no further.
e contractors had, however,
prepared the entire road, sweeping
shingle into and blocking the drains
bordering the private driveway, before
packing up and leaving.
e Coates Street couple --- who
developed a new section, creating an
extra $2300 a year in rates for the
council, and paid about $5000 for
consents --- say the council is not
giving them a fair go, especially as
that area of street had been sealed in
the past but is now cut up from truck
Even so, they o ered to pay for the
extra work while the road contractor
was in the street, but that o er was
declined and the workers packed up
and left, leaving behind a short stretch
Council assets manager Mel
Sutherland said today the council
only maintained the rst 175m of
Coates Street, as the rest of the
street was deemed to be a driveway
ser ving only one dwelling.
e resource consent for the
couple's new property speci ed
that the driveway be sealed by the
applicant, and detailed the area to
e couple say that they complied
with those requirements by taking
their sealed driveway right up to
the edge of Coates Street, and it is
unfair of the council to now claim they
are also responsible for a section of
what has always been part of the street,
o cially designated 'road reser ve'.
However, Mr Sutherland said the
council had a policy of resealing to
driveways that were on the boundary
of the road or only extending the seal
about 3m from the end of the o cial
street. As the council only recognised
the rst 175m of Coates Street as a
road, it was "within its rights" to cease
work where it did.
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