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MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Hotel safe robbed
Police are following "strong
leads" in an attempt to catch the
thief who stole $3000 from a safe
behind the bar at Revingtons Hotel,
on Friday night. Senior sergeant
Allyson Ealam, of Greymouth
police, said the bar manager had
left momentarily and returned to
nd the cash missing from the safe.
Meanwhile, police were quick to
nab an alleged burglar in Hokitika
early on Anzac Day. e break
in of the Sewell Street house was
reported to police at 2am and the
alleged o ender, aged 44, was taken
into custody an hour later.
Marine reser ves to
have big opening
Planning is under way for a "high
pro le" opening of the West Coast
marine reserves. e opening will be
held at Punakaiki later this year, the
Department of Conservation says.
Partnerships director Jan Hania
said it would be a "high pro le act,
attracting national interest" and
showcase to New Zealanders the
importance of marine reser ves.
Fire costs $70,000
A deliberately lit scrub re in
Buller cost more than $70,000
to extinguish. e West Coast
Conser vation Board was told today
the re at Dublins had consumed
224ha of scrub.
Fine, south-westerlies dying out
A Celine Dion fan who made
his neighbours' lives a misery by
blasting out My Heart Will Go
On has had his iPod and speakers
taken away. Gareth Davies, 47,
of Strood, Kent, was targeted
by council o cers after locals
complained he was blaring out
tunes including the classic ballad
from the 1997 lm Titanic at top
volume. After he breached a noise
order six times, council o cers
with a warrant seized equipment
from the former window salesman's
home. ey included his 3D tv, a
laptop, speakers, a sound docking
station with iPod, 32 DVDs, CDs
and a Playstation 3. O cers had
witnessed music being played in the
afternoon and early evening. Other
songs on his playlist included James
Brown's Sex Machine, Apache
Indian's Boom Shack-a-Lak,
Steppenwolf 's Born to be Wild and
You've Got a Friend In Me from the
1995 lm Toy Story. --- Daily Mail
Runanga residents will be asked
to decide whether Cyclone Ita has
extinguished all hope of saving the
township's historic Miners' Hall.
e high winds accompanying the
cyclone ripped half of the iron o the
roof, allowing the heavy rains that
followed to saturate ceilings and then
leak down into the rooms, causing
major water damage.
e Grey District Council resolved
at a special meeting on ursday to
consult residents to see whether they
wanted the full restoration of the hall
that had been mooted previously, or
a smaller version erected behind the
e council would have no nancial
input into either scenario.
Earlier in the day, councillors
met resistance from the chairman
of the Runanga Hall Restoration
Committee, Les Holmes, when they
tried to conduct their own inspection.
Mr Holmes, alleging that he had
lost the key, barred their entry until
he was talked around by Mayor Tony
After seeing the damage for
themselves, councillors formed
the same opinion as the sta and
engineers who had suggested that
the hall, braced with wet and rotting
timber, was beyond repair.
However, Mr Holmes said he had
thoroughly inspected the building
with an engineer and found it wet,
but otherwise "hale and hearty". He
claimed the timber was so solid it
would be di cult to drive a nail into
it. e restoration committee had
national and international support,
and the hall was still worth saving, he
e committee was praised for its
passion but criticised for its lack of
progress, the Mayor noting that it had
been fundraising for three years and
only had $10,000 of the $2 million
estimated for the restoration project.
at cost was now closer to $3m
after the recent storm damage.
" ere are good and well meaning
people on the board but that does not
restore a building," Mr Kokshoorn
"Two years ago I personally o ered
the $4500 required to repaint the
front, and it still has not been done."
Cr Allan Gibson said Runanga
ratepayers had already indicated
they did not want to put money
into the restoration of the hall,
while deputy Mayor Doug Truman
said the council's insurer might take
the decision away from the council
e idea of keeping the facade and
building a smaller $300,000 hall
behind it, did not sit well with Mr
" at would be like cutting down a
Buccati and turning it into a ute. e
front would be okay and the back,
rubbish that did not match," he said
A sticking point behind either
scenario is a Historic Places Trust
classi cation, obtained for the hall
only recently by the restoration
committee, against strong opposition
from the council, which owns it.
Should the council want to
demolish the hall it will now have
to get permission from the Historic
PICTURE: Paul McBride
A red-up Les Holmes talks to councillors outside the Runanga Miners' Hall, on ursday, having earlier barred the door to prevent entry.
e Government policy u-turn on
the sale of synthetic drugs still does
not go far enough, Grey District
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says.
Mr Kokshoorn, who has advocated
strongly for having all herbal highs
banned --- including organising
a petition presented to Associate
Health Minister Peter Dunne last
month, signed by 60% of New
Zealand mayors --- said a total ban
was needed, not simply banning
them until they were proven to be
"low-risk", as Mr Dunne announced
Mr Kokshoorn said it was
impossible to legislate a safe quantity
of any legal high or drug, because a
test for a safe quantity could only be
done on a certain amount.
" e test, probably on a sachet of
the stu , does not take into account
the risk the users take. ey also
drink alcohol when they take herbal
highs, they don't just take one sachet
--- they may take one or two or ve
--- and that's where the problem is."
̌ National story, p3.
Drugs move 'not enough'
Ngai Tahu may build
new Grey Hospital
Ngai Tahu Property Ltd has
been negotiating as a possibly
private investor in the $60 million
replacement Greymouth Hospital.
e group's development portfolio
includes a number of properties
with Crown tenants, such as the
court buildings in Christchurch and
Queenstown, and police buildings
in Christchurch, Dunedin and
It is also undertaking a major
public-private partnership with
the Christchurch City Council in
developing the new $113 million civic
Ngai Tahu Property chairman
Barry Bragg said "we are waiting
on the Crown to con rm its process
but (Ngai Tahu Property) would
be interested if the opportunity was
e business case for the new
hospital is expected to go before
West Coast-Tasman MP, Labour's
Damien O'Connor, said while not
criticising Ngai Tahu, the DHB
would be locked into paying a lease
for the hospital.
It was "outrageous" that the public
system was turning to private money
to provide basic health services to the
" e National Government is
e ectively moving to privatise health,
as they are with education."
National Party list MP Chris
Auchinvole said Ngai Tahu Property
had an excellent track record, and
private funding would "accelerate the
availability of money" for the rebuild.
In turn, the investor would have a
guaranteed income in the future, Mr
Some form of private investment or
partnership has been talked about for
Last year, Health Minister Tony
Ryall said the West Coast District
Health Board would seek private
sector partners for the proposed
integrated family health centre in
Westport, which will probably cost
between $6 and $8m.
In the board's 2011-12 annual
report it mooted opening up Grey
Base Hospital to private surgery
after a number of surgeons said
having the ability to do private work,
as well as public surgery, would make
the West Coast a more attractive
At least two public hospitals ---
Masterton and Wairau (Blenheim)
--- already provide for private patients.
Cave Creek 20th planned
e father of a Cave Creek victim
says some sort of service will be held
on this day next year, to mark the
20th anniversary of the disaster that
claimed 14 young lives.
irteen students from Tai Poutini
Polytechnic and a Department of
Conser vation o cer died on Friday,
April 28, 1995 when the DOC
viewing platform they and three
others were standing on fell 30m into
a rocky gully at Cave Creek, just north
e last big commemoration was in
2005 marking 10 years, and included a
ceremony at Punakaiki, co-ordinated
by the Department of Conservation,
at which a book of remembrance was
presented to families of each victim.
Andrew McCarthy, of Runanga, lost
his 17-year-old daughter Catherine
in the tragedy. He plans to write to
DOC and the polytechnic about
some sort of event to mark the 20th
"It has been somewhat over-
shadowed by Pike River," Mr
McCarthy said today.
"But it's one of those de ning
moments on the West Coast."
DOC Buller area manager Bob
Dickson said the 10-year anniversary
was the last large event.
"We maintain the area as a memorial
to the families."
He said this morning sta had been
reminded of the signi cance of the
day: "It's certainly not forgotten."
A commission of inquiry by
Christchurch District Court Judge
Graeme Noble concluded the platform
had not been built in accordance
with sound building practice, which
happened "against the background of
an underfunded and under-resourced
department (of conser vation)".
'Beyond repair' says council
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