Home' Greymouth Star : March 29th 2014 Contents 3
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WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 2014
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Waka ama racing
comes to the Coast
West Coast GDP
slumps to NZ low
ere is good news and bad
news for the West Coast in the
regional gross domestic product
(GDP) gures released yesterday
for the year to March 2013.
Over the period 2007-13 the
Coast economy increased 33.4%,
signi cantly higher than the
national movement of 24.5%, with
the region's top two industries,
mining and dairy, showing large
increases. However, Statistics NZ
regional economic manager Peter
Gardiner said that with the e ects
of the drastic decline in the coal
industry nally hitting home, the
West Coast, along with Hawke's
Bay and Gisborne showed the
largest decreases in GDP for the
12 months ending March 2013.
Over that period the Coast GDP
dropped 6.2% --- a far cry from
the 17% increase in 2007-08.
Canterbury and Auckland had the
largest increases for the year with
Canterbury up 6%. e West Coast
also had the smallest contribution
to GDP, 7%, down from 8% for
the previous four years. In 2011,
agriculture (mainly dairy) and
mining contributed 14.2% and
13.8% respectively to the region's
GDP. Mr Gardiner said the West
Coast had one of the smallest and
least diverse economies in New
Zealand, making it vulnerable to
industry and external shocks. In
2012 the region's GDP rose due to
a number of positive contributions,
but fell last year, re ecting the
decline in mining.
Cloudy, risk of drizzle
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
A study by University of
Colorado psychology professor
Peter McGraw and journalist Joel
Warner has suggested that you
might be funnier after a few drinks.
McGraw and Warner got 12 funny
advertising executives together in
a bar and asked them to tell jokes
while drinking, charting their
progress. e jokes were assessed
by an on-line panel of sober judges.
Researchers discovered that after
about two or three drinks people
were "willing to blurt out things
they might not ordinarily say, but
hadn't yet fully lost perspective on
what's considered a violation". After
which the drunken people were
convinced that they were becoming
funnier but the sober panel did not
--- e Telegraph.
Smog filters urged for Reefton
Almost the entire population of
Reefton will have to pay for $2500
lters to be tted to replaces in an
attempt to help reduce coal smog.
After more than a year of
investigations the Reefton Airshed
Committee has recommended that
lters be put on all replaces to resolve
However, the lters each cost $2500
tted, and with 400 a ected homes
in the township of 1000 people, the
committee has asked the West Coast
Regional Council to appeal to the
Government for nancial assistance.
e 2013 census shows Reefton has
465 occupied dwellings.
In November 2012 the committee
was asked to develop recommendations
for a review of the regional regional
air quality plan to meet government
air standards. A 56% reduction in
concentrations is required.
at level has been exceeded several
times each year since 2006, when
the council began annual air quality
monitoring in Reefton.
e council has until 2016 to reduce
the number of days that exceed the
quality to three, and by 2020 that must
be down to one.
e airshed committee focused on
a new technology, an electrostatic
precipitator lter, which uses a small
electrical current to make particles
cluster into larger particles and stick
to the ue walls, reducing the amount
going out the chimney.
A laboratory trial on a multi-fuel
burner with a lter had positive results
on reducing emissions from wood and
e committee has recommended
that the regional council:
º Requires lters be installed on
all solid fuel domestic burners and
indoor open res, including new
burners. Multi-fuel burners meeting
an approved standard will not need a
º Prohibits the burning of non-
approved coal on domestic burners.
º Prohibits backyard res during
º Considers requiring lters on
commercial and industrial boilers.
e committee also asked the
council to make a submission to the
Government for nancial assistance
with installing lters, and funding for
a person to give ongoing advice to
e committee said they were not
recommending stopping the use of
coal completely. Sub-bituminous coals
can still be used on multi-fuel burners
with a lter.
e regional council will consider
the recommendations at its April 8
e outlook is mixed for the
Greymouth central business district,
with one prominent business owner
predicting a long, di cult winter while
another remains cautiously optimistic.
Delayed repercussions of the Pike
River Mine tragedy and the Spring
Creek Mine closure are starting to bite
in the retail sector.
A look around the town centre shows
at least 14 businesses that have closed
in the past year --- but about half a
dozen have opened in their place.
Railway Hotel publican Grant Olsen
said business was slow.
"As far as I can see, I've spoken to
a few businesses, and it's very quiet.
ings have pulled back, let's put it
that way. e closures, Pike River and
then Spring Creek ... have made a huge
e town was now feeling the e ects
of having no major primary industry to
drive demand for secondary businesses,
Mr Olsen said.
" e (West eet) sh factory is going
ahead, which is positive. But the guys
who lost their jobs were all on huge
Ellery's 100% owner Clark Ellery
--- vice-chairman of the Greymouth
Business and Promotions Association
--- said there were promising signs of
improvement for the town centre.
"De nitely the last three months are
showing good signs of positivity and
growth compared with (the same) three
months last year," Mr Ellery said.
such as the
consolidation of businesses in the
Olsen's Pharmacy building in Guinness
Street were creating "mini hubs" that
would provide a better shopping
experience and generate interest, he
"As people know what they're going
to do with their buildings with the
earthquake situation (businesses) are
going to start investing in areas that are
going to go ahead."
Business and promotions chair woman
Sharon Pugh said the outlook was good
for the region as a whole.
"Engineering and manufacturing
and other industries, a lot of them are
actually doing well.
"And we have major employers in
health and education. So when we talk
about jobs, there's a whole wider thing
Greymouth businesses that have
closed in the past year, or are about to,
Jones' Cafe, Trent's food wholesalers,
Amici clothing shop, Totally Gifts,
e Paradise, Royal Hotel, Civic
Video, Smeltinghouse Cafe, W Hunt
Scrapmetal, YHA backpackers, Time
Out Arcade, Merv 'n Kips Dairy, Cafe
124, Cameo Gifts.
New businesses include:
Sweet Dreams and Inspirations,
Freddy's Cafe (taking over from the old
Frank's Cafe, which closed two years
ago), GoTech computer repairs, and the
upcoming Ferrari's Bar at the Regent
Reefton hopes the addition of a
3D projector will bring blockbuster
movies and help keep the small
cinema a oat.
ree visiting technicians this week
nished installing the equipment in
the cinema at the community centre.
Gareth omas, who is heading up
the technical side of the project, said
volunteers had worked over recent
weeks to clean out the projection
room, repaint it and do carpentry
Projectionist Trevor Johns said
the digital 3D projector would give
the cinema a boost after months of
having no ability to play digital lms,
meaning they could not screen the
latest lms supplied by NBS eatre,
"We'll be showing popular movies
that people want to see, that will
make it a possible enterprise," Mr
ey hoped to move to four or
ve showings a week, including two
recent movie releases and possibly one
Mr Johns visited the Westport
theatre and talked to projector
operators at the Takaka Cinema to
gure out how the 3D equipment
worked. "Ours will be newer and a bit
di erent, but I got the gist of how it
New curtains and a new screen will
also be installed.
While the new projector should be
operating by next week, Inangahua
Community Board chairwoman
Jenette Hawes said an o cial opening
was planned for later in the month.
"We're trying to put together
an opening or lm festival in the
school holidays using the 3D digital
equipment," Mrs Hawes said.
ere was also the possibility of
adding ice-creams, cold drinks and
other refreshments in the foyer, she
Town cinema goes 3D
An aerial view of part of the Greymouth central busines district in 2013.
e Tranz Alpine tourist train has
had its strongest month since the
Christchurch earthquakes, nishing
January $111,000 ahead of budget.
service was expected to earn
$1.1 million for the month, but
instead nished with $1.21 million.
at is a marked improvement on
January 2013, when revenue was
$924,000, although Statistics NZ
gures show that guest nights for that
month had slumped 16.4% on the
Tourism West Coast chief executive
Jim Little attributed that slump to
the Wanganui River bridge washout,
which severed State highway 6 at
Hari Hari for nearly a week.
Kiwi Rail passenger general
manager Deborah Hume said the
impact of the tourism drop after the
Christchurch earthquake was still
being felt, but they were pleased that
the Greymouth train journey was
"While the Tranz Alpine is still
seeing the e ects of the Christchurch
recovery, and passenger numbers have
been impacted by the decline in both
domestic and international tourism,
it continues to be a popular and
pro table tourist service," Ms Hume
In the Kiwi Rail sta newsletter
e Express last month, Ms Hume
expressed con dence about passenger
numbers in February for Kiwi Rail
Scenic, which is made up of the
Tranz Alpine, Northern Explorer and
Coastal Paci c train services.
" ings are looking good. Forecast
additional revenue for February is
$200,000 and forward bookings are
already $100,000 above budget. is
is having a very positive impact on
Tranz Alpine. When Tranz Alpine is
doing well our business is doing well
and this is proving just the case."
"Patronage for the Tranz Alpine is
forecast to reach 14,500 passengers for
February --- by far the biggest month
since the earthquake and a result that
promises much for the future."
Tranz-Alpine numbers on rebound
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