Home' Greymouth Star : 01-May-2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, May 1, 2014
Walking tracks reopen
The Point Elizabeth Track has
reopened after Department of
Conser vation staff spent two days
clearing trees blown down in the
recent storm. The Colls Dam and
Lake Daniell tracks have all been
cleared, as has the St James Walkway.
However, the Coal Creek Falls track,
near Runanga, and Carew Falls
Track, at Lake Brunner, have both
suffered extensive damage and will
be closed for some time. DOC staff
are still checking tracks and assessing
the full extent of the damage. They
say caution is required on all tracks.
Members of the public encountering
track damage in conser vation areas
are requested to advise the local
DOC office, providing photos and
grid references if possible.
Army to help with
Army personnel will be in Westport
tomorrow to help Buller District
Council-owned contractor Westreef
Services clear up greenwaste left over
in the wake of the April 17 storm
that lashed the West Coast. Council
community services officer Lana
Thomas said the Defence Force would
help gather up the remaining piles
of storm waste left around the town.
However, Ms Thomas urged residents
to remember that each street would
only be cleared once. “If they have been
along your street, they will not be down
that street again. We urge people to
only put out storm damage greenwaste
as it has been noted that some are
taking advantage of the situation and
putting out other greenwaste.”
Lotter y mail scam
Anyone who receives a letter
in the mail from ‘The National
Lottery’ informing them they have
won hundreds of thousands of
dollars should toss it into the bin,
Greymouth senior constable Mike
Tinnelly says. The only way people
could claim their winnings was to
supply the company with the bank
account details. “Do not take any
notice and don’t be fooled into
believing you have won anything,”
Mr Tinnelly warned today.
DOC decision pending
on Bathurst easement
A Department of Conservation
decision on whether to grant
an easement to allow Bathurst
Resources to build a haul road for
its proposed open-cast coalmine
at Denniston is pending. DOC
received 246 submissions, and
held a public hearing in Westport
last September on the proposal. It
says the report is currently being
finalised, with the “decision still
The West Coast District Health
Board continues to have success with
recruitment. It has been recruiting to
fill 37 vacancies including 12 nursing,
seven corporate and support ser vices,
and eight senior medical officers. The
board said today nursing vacancies
were steadily being filled and levels of
nursing vacancies had steadied again.
An anaesthetist had been appointed
and a job offer had been made to a
Oceana Gold posts strong
Oceana Gold has posted a strong
first-quarter result, underpinned by
increasing gold and copper production
from its Philippines operations.
Quarterly revenue reached a record
$US170.4 million ($NZ199.5 million).
The 86,568 ounces of gold produced
was down 25% from the previous
quarter, because of lower production
from New Zealand operations. That was
partly offset by increased gold from the
Didipio mine in the Philippines.
— Otago Daily Times Shipping
Arrivals: Ocean Odyssey, Jay
Penelope. Departures: Jay Elaine,
Tawera, Sovereign, Okarito,
Anastasia, three Greymouth vessels.
In port: Ocean Odyssey, Tainui,
Happy V, Electra, Jay Penelope,
Christina, Garraway, 19 other
vessels. Expected departures: Ocean
The Greymouth police are seeking help to identify these people,
caught on security camera at the Speights Ale House restaurant.
Mary Lemon, right, and her miniature horse Cola delighted the residents of Granger House, including Joan Shand, left, when
they called in to the Greymouth rest home yesterday. Ms Lemon, her niece Leah Lemon and Cola visited all rest homes and Grey
Base Hospital, and Cola was a hit everywhere they went. “ The residents love it. We get stopped all the way down the corridor,” Ms
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Miniature horse a hit at rest home
PICTURES: Greymouth Police
Do you know these people?
Thursday May 1
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Missed every day
But know you are in
a better place
Ann (Betty). — Passed
away peacefully at Grey
Base Hospital, Grey-
mouth on April 30,
2014, in her 85th year.
Dearly loved wife for 62
years of Roy, much
mother-in-law of Sandra
(Ranfurly), Ian and
Diane (Greymouth), and
Jo and Jim Rankin
grandma of Michelle,
Troy, Wayne, Katie,
Blair, Kelly, and Sean,
loved great-grandma of
Carys, Ryleigh, Cody,
Dominic, Morgan, and
Rex, loved sister and
sister-in-law of Len and
Joy Muir, Tom (de-
ceased) and Gwen Muir,
Ethel and the late Sam
Stewart, and the late
Ronnie Muir, Lil and
Marion and Rick Flood,
Stan Muir, Gavin and
Billie Arnott, and Bill
and Marion Arnott. In
lieu of flowers, dona-
tions to the Alzheimer's
Society would be
appreciated and can be
made at the service or
posted to PO Box
8147. Messages to 24
Stirling Drive, Grey-
mouth 7805. A Service
to celebrate Betty's life
will be held in the
Memorial Chapel, 134
Tainui Street, Grey-
mouth on Saturday at
2pm, followed by cre-
mation at the Westland
Funeral Services Ltd.
Phone (03) 768 0250.
A man who was cultivating cannabis at
Taylorville was sentenced to 150 hours of
community work when he appeared in the
Greymouth District Court on Tuesday.
Christopher John Plester, 40, was found
to be raising eight medium sized cannabis
plants in a purpose-built growing room
when police executed a search warrant, on
March 17. A further eight cannabis seedlings
were being prepared for planting out under
Plester said the drugs were for his personal
use. He admitted the cultivation charge, and
also one of illegally possessing a .303 rifle
and two .22 firearms.
The weapons were found in a locked gun
safe but Plester, who had his firearms licence
revoked some years ago, said they were not
Lawyer John O’Connell said Plester was
only minding the weapons for a Kumara
man who was working temporarily in
However, Judge Noel Walsh did not
believe that and ordered the destruction of
“The lingering question I have is ‘why
would the defendant have a gun safe if he
did not have guns?” the judge said.
Judge Walsh also noted that Plester had
five previous cannabis-related convictions.
Craig Andrew Carter, 46, of Moana, was
fined $650 and disqualified from driving for
six months for driving with excess breath-
alcohol on Arnold Valley Road on March 10,
and Kirby Renee Richardson, 29, of Cobden,
was also fined $650 and disqualified for six
months on a drink-driving charge.
Simon James Allen, 21, of Cobden, was
remanded on bail for sentencing on May
27 after he admitted his third drink-driving
charge within as many years.
Daniel Phillip Currie, 32, of D unollie, was
fined $300 and disqualified from driving
for six months on a charge of driving while
A 70-year-old South Westland man, Peter
Lewis Hilton, had a community work order
previously imposed for a drink-driving
charge converted to a $500 fine.
When he first appeared, Hilton said he was
unable to pay a fine, but he told Judge Noel
Walsh that good gold had been washing up
on his claim at Gillespies Beach recently so
he could now afford it.
“Gold on the beaches, I might have to go
for a wander tonight,” Judge Walsh retorted.
A Hari Hari man who had chosen farm
work over community work was told that he
had put his liberty in jeopardy.
Codey Peter Pink, 22, eventually had
the remaining 89.5 hours of his 150-hour
community work sentence waived in lieu of a
$600 fine, but Judge Noel Walsh said he had
gone about things the wrong way and prison
was the usual response when defendants
thumbed their noses at court orders.
Probation officer Kerry Aston said the
service had gone to great lengths to get Pink
back on track by sending him letters, texts,
phone messages and even contacting his
employer, but Pink failed to respond.
Lawyer John O’Connell said Pink had
struck tough financial times and had chosen
to work — on days when community work
was scheduled — to ensure that he could
keep creditors at bay. He was now back in
the black and able to pay a fine at $65 a week.
Dana Howard, 42, of Hokitika, was
convicted and ordered to come up for
sentence if called within 12 months on a
charge of disorderly behaviour.
Howard had been intoxicated when she
yelled abuse at people in the Hokitika central
business district, and she refused to desist
when police asked her to move on.
After refusing several requests, police tired
of her antics and arrested her.
Man had purpose-built
A Christchurch man who fled
to the West Coast to evade an
80-hour community work order
had his sentence cancelled and
replaced with a $500 fine when
he appeared in the Greymouth
District Court, on Tuesday.
Matthew Joshua Luke Brown,
21, now of Hokitika, reported for
the 30-minute induction but then
disappeared, leaving 79.5 hours
of the sentence uncompleted.
Brown said he put work before
the sentence, moving to the West
Coast for a job.
He was prepared to re-engage
with Community Corrections
and do the work on weekends,
but Judge Noel Walsh said that if
he was working, Brown would be
able now to afford a fine.
A young Westland man was told
that his actions on the weekend
of the Wildfoods Festival had
brought shame on himself and
Ricky Lee Mahuika, 18, of
Kaniere, admitted a charge of
fighting in a public place. He and
another man had been obser ved
wrestling on the ground and
throwing punches at each other
in the Hokitika town centre at
1am on March 9.
Judge Walsh was not impressed:
“The great tragedy of this is that
the festival is the showcase for the
whole town. It’s gut wrenching
to think that tourists and visitors
may have had to witness this
The other man had been fined
at a previous court appearance
but he had an extensive criminal
history and had followed
Mahuika to provoke the fight.
For these reasons the judge
discharged Mahuika without
replaced with $500 fine
forest sampling across the
South Island confirm a
widespread seeding event
is under way, Department
of Conser vation scientists
Over the past two months,
seed on beech trees has
been measured at 23 sites
from north-west Nelson
to Fiordland by shooting
branches from trees to get
an early indication of the
likely autumn seed fall.
Scientist Graeme Elliott
said the seed shooting
results confirmed the beech
mast was proving to be a
widespread event. It was
looking like a 10-20 year
“ With the seed fall now
well under way it ’s expected
rodent numbers will begin
to increase towards a peak
in the coming summer
when stoat numbers will
Aerial 1080 poison and
ground-based pest control
operations in multiple
beech forest areas the
length of the South Island
From Greymouth to Hokitika,
the Styx River to Ross, the
Department of Conser vation
is dealing with an usual type of
plague — pampas grass.
DOC is in the second year of
its efforts to treat pampas before
it becomes too widely established
on the West Coast.
The toetoe lookalike can quickly
blanket an area, and provide a
refuge for rats and mice. It has
a purple plume rather than the
white of toetoe.
DOC partnerships director Jan
Hania said pampas was already
well established on the hillsides
above the Grey River, on forestry
roads, and between the highway
There had been a “worrying
explosion”, Mr Hania said.
A wider discussion on whether
a containment strategy was more
appropriate would be held at the
end of the season.
The team in Greymouth was
keen to hear report of pampas on
private land that could be treated.
In Hokitika, ratepayers have
been mailed a pamphlet on
‘Preventing the Pampas Plague’.
Plants have been destroyed in
the Styx, Kokatahi and Hokitika
riverbeds, and at other smaller
In Ross, DOC staff have also
taken to the air.
Mr Hania said residents had
been notified of proposal aerial
spraying of pampas behind the
Battle to stop
An ophthalmologist will be on hand
during a free evening in Greymouth
Glaucoma is often referred to as
the ‘silent thief of sight’. Most people
experience no symptoms until late in the
disease — the damage occurs slowly and
progressively, getting worse over a long
period of time.
While it is estimated 68,000 New
Zealanders over the age of 40 currently
have glaucoma, by the year 2031 that is
expected to grow to 76,000.
However, with early detection,
blindness from glaucoma is preventable.
A glaucoma eye examination can pick
up the disease early and appropriate
treatment can halt its progression and
preser ve sight.
It is estimated about 50% of New
Zealanders with the disease do not
know they have it.
In glaucoma, the optic ner ve, which
carries visual information to the brain,
is damaged; vision loss due to glaucoma
cannot be restored.
Glaucoma NZ recommends having
an eye examination for glaucoma every
five years from the age of 45 and every
three years from the age of 60. However,
people of any age who notice changes
in their eyesight should have their eyes
examined at that time.
In addition, anyone with factors for
glaucoma, such as family history, may
need to have their eyes checked more
There is no cure — once sight is lost it
cannot be restored.
If glaucoma runs in the family, people
are 10 times more likely to develop the
Other factors that increase the risk of
getting glaucoma include being over the
age of 60, short-sightedness (myopia),
and a previous eye injury.
Glaucoma New Zealand, a charitable
trust, set up to eliminate blindness from
glaucoma in New Zealanders, will hold
a free public meeting at 6.30pm on
Monday, May 5, at the Kingsgate Hotel.
Ophthalmologist Dr Allan Simpson will
speak about glaucoma and treatment
Ophthalmologist on hand at
Greymouth glaucoma meeting
of the Hokitika Guardian
A section of the West Coast
Wilderness Trail remains closed
through the Arahura Valley as extensive
repair and clean-up work continues
after the recent Cyclone Ita storm
The Milltown leg on day three of
the cycle trail was hit hard, leaving
the 70m-long MacPherson Creek
suspension bridge buckled and twisted.
Large trees were also brought down
across the forestry track, which remains
closed to Cowboy Paradise until further
Westland District Council engineers
have been out assessing damage to the
$7.9 million cycleway since Monday
and have not been contactable.
However, a statement released last
week said the clean-up would take
some time and was logistically
Meanwhile, the Department of
Conser vation is also still working to
reopen two of its most popular tracks
around the West Coast.
Both the Copland Track, near Fox
Glacier, and the Heaphy Track, at
Karamea, remain closed due to fallen
trees and slips.
DOC ser vices north and western
South Island director Mike Slater said
additional staff had been brought in
from across the department to help
with the clean-up and have the tracks
opened as quickly as possible.
The Copland is expected to be opened
by May 10, and the Heaphy on May 12.
Mr Slater said other West Coast
tracks were still being checked and
assessed for damage and caution was
advised on all conser vation tracks.
PICTURE: Simon Eyre
The twisted MacPherson Creek
Arahura Valley section of wilderness
trail hard hit by Cyclone Ita
Three new road bridges on the
Collingwood Bainham Main Road
costing $630,000 were opened this
morning by Conser vation Minister
Dr Nick Smith to provide all-weather
access to the Heaphy Track.
“These new bridges are required on
the access road to the Heaphy Track to
support all-weather access as part of the
Government ’s decision this year to allow
permanent winter mountainbiking. It
will enhance safety and improve the
reliability of access,” Dr Smith said.
The existing three fords had caused
problems for people accessing the track
in winter during flood events, with
people either being trapped or taking
unacceptable risks in crossing the fords.
The new road bridges are part of a major
programme of investment in improved
facilities on the track that includes new
huts at the mouth of the Heaphy River,
at Perry Saddle and at James Mackay, as
well as improved tracks and four new
track suspension bridges.
After the storms of Easter weekend,
the Heaphy Track is now open from the
Karamea end to Lewis Hut, but remains
closed between Lewis Hut and Brown
Hut at the Golden Bay end. DOC is
currently working to clear the storm
damage and anticipates that this part
of the Heaphy Track is unlikely to open
before May 12.
Three new bridges
opened to provide
access to Heaphy Track
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