Home' Greymouth Star : May 10th 2014 Contents 3
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SATURDAY, MAY 10, 2014
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GP waiting times
Waiting times for routine doctor
appointments continue to improve
in Buller, Reefton and South
Westland, the West Coast District
Health Board says. “ There has been
a slight increase in wait times for
routine appointments in Greymouth
and Karamea, which is principally
due to the need to better manage
leave arrangements,” according to
papers released by the DHB.
Two Hawke’s Bay police officers
were assaulted during a scuffle
outside a Napier bar last night.
Police were called to the Sideline
Bar in Taradale Rd, Onekawa last
night after reports that three people
had been removed from the bar but
were harassing bouncers and trying
to get back in. Inspector Andy
Sloan said that when police arrived,
they found two women and a man
“ highly intoxicated” and arguing.
The two police officers inter vened
after one of the woman hit the other
woman on the side of the head. A
scuffle ensued, which resulted in
the male police officer receiving a
cut lip and the woman police officer
receiving injuries to her left eye. A
28-year-old man and a 29-year-old
woman, both of Napier, are facing
charges of assaulting police, resisting
arrest and obstructing police. They
are due to appear in the Napier
District Court on May 14.
Cloudy with drizzle
Smog and air pollution are
lingering environmental problems
in China. But a city in the north-
western region is determined to
fight against dirty air using nothing
more complicated than plain old
tap water. Recently, local residents
in Lanzhou found that two giant
sprayers had been set up at the
Dongfanghong Square where a
subway station of the city’s Metro
Line 1 is under construction.
Martyn Chipperfield, professor
of atmospheric chemistry at the
University of Leeds, said the water
will cling on to the pollutants and
bring them back down to earth.
“This is a small-scale effort to damp
down the dust. The water will go up
as a fine mist, and stick to the dust
and form larger particles — and
fall back down to the surface under
gravity. It ’s basically replicating rain
on a local level,” Prof Chipperfield
said. This does of course mean that
anyone in the vicinity is likely to get
Laura Mills and Westport News
Bathurst Resources is eyeing
consents right alongside the
proposed Escarpment Mine on
the Denniston Plateau.
When consents were granted
in 2011, the commissioners said
it “was abundantly clear that
large scale mining was poised to
‘ invade’ the entire plateau and,
if unchecked, would completely
destroy the ecosystems”.
subsequently agreed to a
$22 million conser vation
After lengthy appeals, the
gained full consents — just
as international coal prices
consents for an underground
mine at Coalbrookdale, next to
Escarpment, but said this week
it would apply for open-cast
consents for parts of the deposit
which could be developed as an
extension of the Denniston mine.
“ Work is under way in
It already has an exploration for
Whareatea West, again next to
Escarpment, and said it would
apply for a mining permit for
that area this year.
Spokeswoman Sam Aarons,
when asked why the company
was looking at expanding when
it was slowing work at the main
Escarpment Mine due to the low
coal price, said they needed to
plan for the future.
“Having seen how long it
has taken to get Escarpment
licensed, we need to be
submitting applications for our
other consents and licences on
an ongoing basis. While the
precise timing on submission for
these applications has yet to be
determined, they are still part of
our overall plan for the plateau.”
Forest and Bird said today the
other blocks were known about,
and had always been a concern.
“Escarpment is only the
beginning,” field officer Debs
If Bathurst had applied for
the larger area at the same time
it would probably not have got
consent, Ms Martin said.
Once it was established, with
livelihoods dependent on the
mine, it became harder to say ‘no’.
In its quarterly report, Bathurst
also said management plans for
Escarpment had been approved,
and it was now working with the
Department of Conservation to
secure the authority to enter and
The company ’s quarterly report
last week showed it had only
$2.34m of cash.
Bathurst had burned through
over $8m since the end of
December. However, it raised
$A7.39m (before costs) in April
when it issued 123 million
fully-paid ordinary shares to
‘ institutional, sophisticated and
Bathurst had sold 93,985 tonnes
of coal during the quarter — an
increase of 22% on the same
period last year. The majority
(63,058 tonnes) came from
Takitimu, followed by Cascade,
in Buller (26,136 tonnes) and
Canterbury Coal (4791 tonnes).
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn has
called on the Greymouth Heritage Trust to use
some of its $100,000 of funds to make a start
on moving and restoring the old Greymouth
After four years of discussion with the Grey
District Council, the trust needed to “get some
runs on the board” by turning the cranes into an
attraction for the town, and as soon as possible,
Mr Kokshoorn said.
The trust needed to move the cranes eastward,
off the wharf, to a new permanent position by
the industrial heritage park in the area. The trust
could then add interpretation panels telling the
history of the cranes, and light them up, to
create a permanent attraction for Greymouth.
Once the trust had sorted out the cranes it
could start the rest of its restoration planning
into the future.
“ We have talked about it too long, the money ’s
in place, we just need a quick plan, and that will
be a feature for Greymouth,” he said.
Mr Kokshoorn said the money the trust had
in the bank included $60,000 in proceeds from
the sale of his 2010 historical book The Golden
shed, which previously sat next to the
cranes, was demolished on April 29, after it was
badly damaged by the remnants of Cyclone Ita
12 days earlier.
The heritage trust had previously intended
to restore the goods shed, however it could
not afford to purchase it from the council for
$170,000, and then repair it within the tighter
timelines imposed by the council for repairs.
Heritage trust committee member Paul
Schramm said a significant amount of
preparatory work was necessary before the
cranes could be moved and set up in a new
They had to identify a suitable site, then assess
whether the concrete pads on which the cranes
would sit needed piles sunk into the ground.
They also needed to consider to what
extent the cranes should be refurbished, so
they did not deteriorate any further from
their current state.
Mr Schramm said the preparatory work
came with “quite a significant cost ” and
after that the move itself would also cost
significantly and take time.
He said the trust was frustrated about the
speed at which the work was progressing,
however Greymouth was a small
community and as all of the work was being
done voluntarily, they had to accept that it
would take some time.
Mayor calls for action on stalled crane project
An investigation is under way after a
technical breach in a Grey Valley 1080
operation meant the poison was hand
laid on the banks of the Grey River
and river islands without the right
However, the medical officer of health
for the West Coast, Dr Cheryl Brunton,
said there was no risk to public health.
The Greymouth Star asked questions
after Ngahere man Gary Donaldson
asked why the poison had been laid by
the river, and questioned if it posed a
risk to public health.
Dr Brunton said three consents had
been issued, but she had made an error
with one which the applicant had also
missed when sent a draft.
A new consent had now been issued
and as is customary, an investigation was
The applicant had asked to use pellets
in bait stations and hand lay them on the
However, when the consent was issued
it mistakenly missed out authority to
hand lay, Dr Brunton said.
The two other nearby operations did
“It’s an error I made and it was not
picked up by the applicant or AHB.
“ It was picked up as a result of this
gentleman’s inquiry. ”
The breach was technical, but was
being treated as a breach. It was being
investigation and would be reported to
the Environmental Protection Agency.
The consent had been revoked and a
new one issued.
Dr Brunton stressed there was no
public health risk. The poison was laid a
while ago, giving it time to break down
before a fresh in the river. If there was a
fresh, the dilution factor would increase.
She also stressed she would have given
permission to hand lay anyway.
Mr Donaldson walks his dogs at night
near where the dredge is parked.
He was surprised to see the poison had
been laid so close to the river, although
he noted it was well signposted.
He was also surprised at the size of the
area where it had been laid, from Totara
Flat to Stillwater.
Although cyanide had been in the area
before, he had not seen 1080.
If there had been a flood, there was the
potential for poisoned carcases to wash
down river and up on to Greymouth
beaches, where people would not be
aware of the risk of secondary poisoning,
He asked why it had been laid so close
to the river.
Tb Free New Zealand Northern
South Island programme manager
Matt Hickson said the annual Grey
Valley West ground-based possum
control operation covered about 14,682
hectares. It ran from the far right of the
Grey River, extending from Taylor ville
through to Hurleys Clearing and around
farm edges to the Rough River.
Within some islands, there was strong
evidence of possum clusters, which were
being controlled using 1080 placed in
bait stations and on the ground.
“All operational areas have warning
signs that clearly state what toxin has
been used and that the area is out of
bounds for pets, particularly dogs,”
Mr Hickson said.
“ Dog owners are reminded that
possum carcases remain toxic until
broken down and it is important to keep
their animals under control at all times
near operational areas.”
Anyone who suspected their dog had
ingested a toxic substance, should take it
to the vet immediately.
1080 mistakenly laid in Grey River islands
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Greymouth Coastguard president Franco Horridge, left, and vice-president Dave Gunter with 200 rubber ducks ready for their open day next Saturday, May 17.
The open day will give people a chance to see what the Coastguard does, with rides in the Ivan Talley rescue boat and the inflatable rescue boats. “ We want to let
people see we are here and see what we do,” Mr Horridge said. They also hoped to have an unmanned aerial vehicle from Canterbury Air Patrol and the NZCC
Rescue Helicopter on hand. The rubber ducks will be raced along Sawyers Creek.
'Duck' season help for Coastguard
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