Home' Greymouth Star : March 31st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Monday, March 31, 2014
A large ranchslider window was
smashed when an object was red at
a Firth Street, Cobden, house about
9.45pm on Saturday. Police said the
door shattered into thousands of
shards, but they had not been able to
locate the missile.
Arthur's Pass jolt
A 3.6 magnitude earthquake
was recorded near Arthur's Pass
yesterday. It was felt at 1.44pm, at a
depth of 10km, 25km south-west of
Jackie making music
Greymouth's X-Factor queen Jackie
omas could soon have some more
music to delight the ears of her fans.
omas last week posted a picture
of herself in a recording studio on
Twitter and Facebook. Her manager,
Lorraine Barry, said omas was
constantly writing and recording
music, but would not comment about
whether a new album was on the way.
Hospital food request
An Australian women has written
to Grey Base Hospital to heap praise
on sta --- and with a special request.
Her letter, put in a DHB newsletter
to sta , expressed thanks for the
"tremendous care" her husband had
received after being driven up by
ambulance from Franz Josef Glacier.
She had just one request --- a
little more gluten-free food in the
cafeteria. "Food was nice though,"
e West Coast will hold an
autism awareness event for the rst
time early next month and people
are encouraged to "light it up blue".
April 2 is the international Autism
Day, which will see global iconic
structures including the Empire
State Building illuminated in blue.
Next month, Greymouth will host
a 'light it up blue' walk and run on
April 5, going from the Kumara
School to the Dillmans Dam at 9am,
with prizegiving at the eatre Royal
Kumara at 1pm. More details and
entry forms can be found on-line
at the West Coast Light it up Blue
Facebook page. Autism a ects one
out of every 100 people.
Pounamu goes global
Stunning photographs of South
Westland have reached an even
larger audience, thanks to the
website of British paper e Daily
Mail. e photos, of the landscape
and pounamu, rst appeared in the
global issue of National Geographic
this month. ey now appear in
e Daily Mail, which receives 100
million website hits each month.
Injuries prove fatal
Milton man Travis Lane, 25, has
died after being struck by a van
in the south Otago township last
month. He was hit by a van being
driven north along Union Street
about 9.45pm on February 22. Mr
Lane was taken to Dunedin Hospital
with serious injuries, and died on
Saturday. --- Otago Daily Times
Port of Greymouth. --- Arrivals:
Cook Canyon, Galatea II, Quo
Vadis. Departures: Nil. In port:
Cook Canyon, Galatea II, Happy V,
Quo Vadis, Tainui, 17 other vessels.
Expected departures: Galatea II, today;
Cook Canyon, tomorrow. Expected
arrivals: Ocean Odyssey, tomorrow;
Jay Elaine, April 2; Moon Shadow,
̌ Westport Court
A leading Green MP says new
ties between the Department of
Conservation and West Coast businesses
are risking con icts of interest.
DOC said last week Amethyst Hydro
Ltd was helping with lagarosiphon weed
eradication work at Lake Ianthe, near
Amethyst is majority owned by
However, Green Party conser vation
spokeswoman Eugenie Sage, said
generally, commercial partnerships with
the department could also risk con icts
of interests, and DOC being more ready
to approve commercial developments on
public conservation land.
She also said Bathurst's decision to
delay its Denniston mine meant the $22
million predator control promised as part
of the o set package for mining was now
" e protection of our native plants and
wildlife from invasive pests and weeds
such as the lake weed in Lake Ianthe
should not have to rely on corporate
charity to DOC. It makes the work too
"It's too precarious an existence for our
native species to have to rely on corporate
largesse for vital conservation work such
as pest and weed control. DOC needs
to be properly funding to do this work
Instead of spending $100m on selling
o energy companies and slashing
DOC's funding by $54m in 2009, the
Government should re-organise its
spending priorities to properly fund
conservation, she said.
In budget 2013 the Government
allocated an extra $158m to tourism
promotion, and an extra $5m to DOC
to reduce the severity of the restructuring
and its deep cuts to frontline sta in area
o ces and eld centres, she noted.
Drink-drive crash costly My life, my funeral
At some time in life
you will go through a
Make the decisions
around this difficult time
easier for your loved
Make them for yourself.
This FREE easy to
follow pack is available
Visit or call us for your
"My Life, My Funeral"
134 Tainui Street,
Phone 768 0250
(Wally). --- Died March
Loved and remembered
--- Love Rex, Jillian,
Nigel, Lisa, Mark and
Poppy-Blu Reylands, left, Neeve Niamh, Kyia Cowan, Megan Dunn and Kaede Cowan were enjoying their last chance to splash around at the Spring Creek
Pool, in Runanga yesterday. e last day of the season was well attended by young ones who took the opportunity for a fun splash.
Last splashes of the season at Runanga pool
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
An Ikamatua woman's drink-driving
cost her $48,000 and a job, the Westport
District Court heard on ursday.
Nicola Jane Robinson, 25, of Ikamatua,
pleaded guilty to charges of drink-
driving and careless driving.
Police prosecutor Steven Greer said
Robinson had been socialising with
friends at the Ikamatua Hotel on
February 8 before she left and drove
along Atarau Road.
She hit the concrete barrier of a
bridge then took out some wooden
railing before her vehicle rolled and
landed upside down in a dry section of
She was taken to Grey Base Hospital
and su ered minor injuries.
A blood test recorded an alcohol
level of 155mg of alcohol per 100ml of
blood --- almost double the legal limit
She said she had had four jugs of beer
over a long period and thought she was
okay to drive.
Defending, John Sandston said the
incident was serious because Robinson
could have endangered others and
because of her high alcohol reading.
He said she had already lost $48,000
because of the incident. e vehicle she
had been driving was nearly new and
was written o .
Mr Sandston said Robinson was a
sharemilker earning good money and
was doing well for her age.
Judge Chris Somer ville said everyone
told him these sorts of situations were
a wake-up call. He asked Robinson to
explain how it had been a wake-up call
She said it had cost her a job and
ruined any chance she had of a career
with the police or re brigade.
Judge Somerville said Robinson's
alcohol level had been high and her
dangerous driving serious. Fortunately
she had not put anyone else's life in
For drink-driving he convicted her
and ned her $700 and ordered her to
pay court costs and medical fees. On
the careless driving charge he ned her
$300. On both charges he disquali ed
her from driving for six months.
Team Swim School gets a dumping of ice during the West Coast @Heart, Heart Stopper Challenge at the Grey
District Aquatic Centre yesterday. Teams of four to six people took the plunge into an icy pool for ve minutes. e
event is held to simulate the open heart surgeries performed on children where a child's chest cavity can be lled with an
icy slush to slow the heart rate, giving the surgeon a longer window of operating time.
Hear ty dip for good cause
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
About 60 young technology
enthusiasts have registered for the
2014 West Coast Kids Technology
Conference, to be held at Shantytown
on April 10-11.
Held almost annually, children will
participate in a range of technology
workshops undertaking creative
challenges. e technologies used this
year include computer electronics,
robotics, creating interactive 3D
worlds in minecraft, moviemaking and
A highlight will be the workshop on
robotics with guest presenter Guido
Weppler, a computer engineer from
Mr Weppler has created a dedicated
teaching robot speci cally for the
Greymouth event. Its brain is the
Arduino, a fascinating little fully
programmable computer. Participants
will learn how to assemble the
mechanics, all electronics, and the
software required to bring the little
robot to life.
ey will add sensors, more circuitry,
and more programs to make it smarter.
Conference organiser Eric Martini
said he was pleased with the high level
of interest in the event again this year,
particularly from schools outside the
" is is the fth year of the
conference, and it's always pleasing
to see so many enthusiastic kids from
across the Coast coming to learn more
Registrations are still open for the
conference, with just a few remaining
spaces, at http://wckidsconference.
Technology conference for youngsters
Guest presenter Guido Weppler, of Germany, shows Grey District Mayor
Tony Kokshoorn and fellow West Coast Kids ICT Conference presenters
Eric Martini and Jason Blair, the small robot control unit they will be
working with in their workshop at the next conference on April 10-11.
after glacier stunt
Paragliders have been put
on notice after one risked life
and limb to y up the Franz
Josef Glacier valley, one of the
busiest heliports in the Southern
e paraglider, believed to be
from overseas, jumped from a
high viewpoint at Alex Knob,
catching a glacier helicopter pilot
o guard on December 2 and
forcing the pilot to take evasive
e incident came to light on
Friday when it was reported to
the West Coast Conservation
Department of Conservation
area manager Wayne Costello
said the helicopter pilot had
reported the incident to the Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA).
Mr Costello said Franz was
one of the busiest helicopter
sites, with a number of machines
heading up the valley to the
glacier at any one time.
"A French man did it about two
years ago (too), since then we
have had a couple of others. We
sent people o to nd them, but
they landed in the valley, packed
up their gear, and have taken o ."
Under the National Parks Act,
people needed a landing permit
and DOC would refuse to issue
them in the glacier valleys, he
When people made inquiries
about paragliding now, the
answer was a rm "no".
Mr Costello said at least
the New Zealand Paragliding
Association disseminated that
information to members.
CAA senior communications
adviser Mike Eng con rmed the
incident had been reported.
e site was within an area
designated as a mandatory
broadcast zone (MBZ), which
meant aircraft must have radio
equipment to operate in the
Paragliders were subject to the
" e CAA logged the event but
could not identify the pilot so did
not take the investigation further.
No similar events have been
reported since," Mr Eng said.
Mr Eng said the landowner
could permit or deny access
to anyone, so DOC could ban
paragliders from launching o
Alex Knob to ensure the safety of
local paragliders and helicopters
ying in the area.
DOC says part of the problem
goes back to a website called
It says of Franz Josef: "best is
to climb in the afternoon, try
to y in the evening after the
helicopters have nished, or
camp overnight up there and
take o in the morning. You
must have an airband radio on
the helicopter frequency".
A new warning on the
Canterbury Paragliding Club
website carries an urgent safety
"Paragliding Earth that suggests
contacting the local helicopter
operators and-or ying outside
their normal operating hours is
su cient to y from this site.
is is not true. It is dangerous
and illegal to y in this or any
MBZ unless you comply with all
of the rules for that MBZ."
Reefton residents may
qualify for hospital
A 31-year-old Port Chalmers,
Dunedin man will appear in
court after allegedly assaulting a
police o cer yesterday.
A constable was allegedly
assaulted just after midnight
after police were called to
Harrington Street, in Port
Chalmers, to assist Armourguard
with a property seizure following
a noise complaint earlier on
Saturday night, Southern district
command centre deployment co-
ordinator senior sergeant Steve
e o cer received "some
bruising to his face", but was
otherwise uninjured, Mr Aitken
e 31-year-old will appear in
Dunedin District Court on Friday
to face charges of assaulting a
police o cer, obstructing police
and resisting police. A 24-year-
old Port Chalmers man was also
arrested and will face charges for
an unrelated assault, obstructing
police and resisting police.
--- Otago Daily Times
Reefton residents have been told that some
may actually qualify for travel assistance to
Grey Base Hospital, after concerns they were
ineligible because they were just 1km too close
Various theories were oated at a public health
meeting last week, including the fact that due to
road improvements the distance from Reefton
to Greymouth was now 79km --- a kilometre
short of the threshold to qualify for the travel
Another theory was that the distance was
measured post o ce to post o ce, rather than
to the hospital, which was further away.
Google Maps measures the distance as
e Greymouth Star asked the Ministry of
Health if Reefton residents would qualify for
help with travel to medical appointments.
Spokeswoman Erina O'Donohue said the
ministry's current arrangement with the DHB,
agreed late last year, was that those living in
Reefton township quali ed for national travel
assistance between Reefton and Greymouth
for adults with a Community Services card.
Children automatically quali ed.
"All other people in Reefton need to meet one
or other of the other eligibility criteria to access
national travel assistance, in the same way as
applied nationally," she said.
MP Damien O'Connor
has waded in to help a
Ngahere woman injured
during surgery at Grey
Base Hospital two years
Jo Partridge went in
for gynaecological day
surgery and came out
so badly burned that
she spent seven weeks
in the burns unit of
She has been trying
for almost a year to
get information the
hospital holds on her. e
information be released,
but some information
is still outstanding, Mrs
In a letter, Health
Minister Tony Ryall did
say he was "sympathetic",
but it was inappropriate
for him to intervene.
"I would simply like to
know what happened?"
Mrs Partridge said. "I'm
also concerned for the
next person. If I can help
improve the system for
the next person, I'll be
Mr O'Connor has
urged the West Coast
District Health Board to
"comply" with the Privacy
Mrs Partridge has also
lodged a complaint with
the Health and Disability
Links Archive March 29th 2014 April 1st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page