Home' Greymouth Star : April 22nd 2014 Contents 3
600 take aim at
Ahaura Easter hunt
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TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
ere is nothing like a big wind
to keep the criminals indoors. at
was the opinion of Greymouth
and Hokitika police today, both of
whom had little in the way of crime
to report from Easter Weekend.
Traditionally, the 'occurrences'
sheets would be brimming after
four days of festivities. However,
a police spokesman today said the
lack of crime reported suggested
that o enders had decided to stay
e Grey District Council has
360m of guardrail to erect on the
Tayorville Road corner, which
has been the scene of two fatal
accidents, but is still awaiting the
serious crash inspector's report into
the latest fatality before work can
start. Chorus also has to install bre
optic cable along that stretch of
road before the work can begin.
opened to public
In the name of transparency the
Grey District Council has invited
media to attend workshops for the
Greymouth 150th commemorations
this year. In December, the council
formed a sub-committee to plan
the July 26-27 anniversary, but the
committee members have since
decided that a 'working group' would
better describe them --- and also
eliminate the need to publicly notify
their meetings. ey successfully
applied at a council meeting last
week that the council rescind its
decision to set up a sub-committee
and to form a working group in
its place, but only by keeping the
meetings open to the media.
Becoming cloudy, rain at times
In what may
be a game
the elusive Loch Ness Monster
has reportedly been spotted on
Apple Maps. Images on the satellite
mapping service show what appears
to be a 100ft-long oating creature,
using its ippers to wade through the
Loch in the Scottish Highlands with
its neck dipped down into the water.
--- New Zealand Herald
Builders and building materials were in
short supply today with a mad scramble
to patch up roofs left gaping after the
unprecedented windstorm on ursday
cut a trail of damage over 400km of
the West Coast, from Karamea to Fox
e Metser vice said today the strongest
gust recorded on its network was 130kph,
at Westport, although a Buller farmer
claims his own weather station recorded
300kph. e winds threw a campervan
clean over a fence at Whataroa, scattered
thousands of plastic discs from the new
Greymouth sewerage scheme over several
kilometres, and reportedly pushed over
gravestones in the Westport Cemetery.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
estimated that 60 Greymouth homes had
lost their roofs --- and some the trusses,
too --- and at least nine were probably
Westport and Whataroa were also
He put the cost of the storm at between
$10 million and $13 million.
Mr Kokshoorn was today hoping to get
insurance companies mobilised.
"We don't want a situation like
Christchurch," he said, asking that
insurance sta "hit the ground running"
to avoid Canterbury-style delays.
Insurance Council chief executive Tim
Grafton said this morning that insurers
"should have enough sta to do the job".
Grey District Council civil defence
controller Stephen May said sta would
be making a register of damaged houses
today, as well as repairing council assets.
A busy Clark Ellery said the Ellery's
sheet iron store had operated all weekend,
and started before breakfast today, helping
ensure that people had metal to patch up
their roofs. ey had already turned out
10 new roofs.
"We are making sure everyone that
needs a roof gets one," Mr Ellery said,
noting the wet weather forecast.
Evan Grooby, an owner of the private
hangar that was destroyed at the
Greymouth aerodrome, said one plane
was completely smashed, and three
Mr Grooby was on site about 7pm on
ursday when the building started to
"We thought it had started to abate,
then there were a couple of gusts. It was
a bit exciting.
"It's a bit of a kick in the guts, but we
lost a shed full of toys --- a lot of people
lost their homes," he said.
e Greymouth Volunteer Fire
Brigade had between 85 and 100
call-outs, and Westport 145, in the rst
48 hours of the storm.
Greymouth was assisted by Cobden,
Ngahere, Moana, Ikamatua, Kumara and
Hokitika volunteers, while the Runanga
brigade was busy on its own patch.
Westport re chief Pat O'Dea said in
his 52-plus years' experience with the re
brigade he had never seen anything like
it in terms of scale, or the length of time
it lasted. "People have put acres and acres
of trees and branches out on the footpath
awaiting the council collection," Mr
e storm means there is an abundance
of rewood heading into winter. However,
the Tasman Sea Scouts yesterday asked
people not to help themselves to the trees
from behind its badly damaged hall in
Anyone who requires assistance with
accommodation, or any other assistance,
was this morning being directed to Work
and Income, while farmers in need of help
were encouraged to call the West Coast
Rural Support Trust on 03 738 0038.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn sur veys Sue Twist's Cobden home, among the ruins of her roof and snapped trees this morning. Ms Twist said
she was inside the Bright Street house with a friend as the roof slowly peeled o on ursday. "I was frantically trying to grab personal items ... We had
to climb over trees to get down the driveway. When I came back the water cylinder had broken and there was water pouring all through the front. As we
were walking out we had to hold on to each other." Ms Twist, who is now staying with friends, said her home was insured.
Businesses count the cost
Wind damage hastens decision on goods shed
e fate of the dilapidated
Greymouth railways goods shed,
badly damaged in the wind last
week, hangs like the building itself
--- in the balance.
e rusting corrugated iron
building, which already had a
signi cant lean before the gale,
is now in a sorrier state; the lean
is more pronounced, a gaping
aperture appears where the west
end has blown out, and holes have
been left in the roof where sheets of
iron were wrenched o .
It is insured for $500,000.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the
insurers and council sta were
due to inspect the structure this
morning. e outcome would later
be discussed with councillors, who
would decide the future of the
building, which is at present under
o er to the Greymouth Heritage
" e building has sustained
substantial damage with one end
blown out and holes all over the
place," Mr Kokshoorn said.
"During the winds the re chief
said that it, along with R and N
Traders was his biggest concern,
the potential for harm to others in
the port area from debris from the
goods shed being very high. We
have to do something about it, and
do it quickly."
In December, the council o ered
the shed to the heritage trust in
a deal that was supposed to be
completed by February. "We have
waited six months and there's still
nothing (from the heritage trust)
on the table, it's time we made a
decision," the Mayor said today.
Heritage trust spokesman
Stewart Nimmo agreed today that
the building was "looking pretty
bad" but he still held hopes for its
retention. "It will be a great shame
if they make that call."
e Mayor said they would
make a decision either today or
Greymouth businessman Lance
Topliss is ruing the third storm to
damage to his Tainui Street premises.
"Previously I have had windows
blown out and lost the roller
door, but there is untold damage
this time," Mr Topliss said of
his business, Lance Topliss Auto
His was one of two commercial
premises left uninhabitable by the
Cyclone Ita windstorm last ursday,
the other being R and N Traders.
"I was in the building (at the time)
and at rst the front window blew in,
but when three sections of iron blew
o the roof it was time to go," Mr
Topliss said today.
He and sta returned on Good
Friday to gather up the stock, and
he is now awaiting a visit from the
insurance assessor before deciding
where he will trade while repairs are
"I will set up a temporary location
in Greymouth but at the end of
the day I want to be back in this
building, all going well," Mr Topliss
R and N Traders owner Kevin
Frewin said it was too early to
say what the future held for his
Boundary Street premises and
On Friday, a team of volunteers
helped clean out the entire store
after the roof was torn o during the
"At present we have what stock
we could save in storage at New
Zealand Safety, but things are in a
real shambles. We were lucky we
had a lot of help from people," Mr
"At this stage I'm unsure. We can't
trade from where we have our stock,
but it is only when the insurance
assessors check out the old building
that we will have some idea.
"We had not long left when the
wind hit, but I went back to check
and the back door was blown in and
the roof had gone. I got out of the
wagon and the wind was blowing
that hard I had to hang on to the
building --- it was terrifying."
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Lance Topliss assesses damage to his Tainui Street premises.
60 Greymouth homes
34 TAINUI ST, GREYMOUTH PH 768 7470
173 Tainui Street
Ph 03 768 9922
OPEN: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
IN STORE NO
PRICE FROM $699
$849 (GST EXCLUDED)
$11,738 (GST EXCLUDED)
8 (GST EXCLUDE
E FROM $699
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