Home' Greymouth Star : May 20th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
West Coast/New Zealand
Government looking for ‘equitable’ deal
over local road subsidies — Brownlee
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee
says the Government is looking to
provide rural areas such as the West
Coast with an “equitable” deal over
subsidies for local road networks.
The Government review of ‘financial
assistance rates (FAR), which helps local
authorities fund their road networks
with subsidies ranging from 43% to 65%
has rocked West Coast councils, with
the Grey District Council warning of
a potentially “devastating effect ” if the
council lost road funding of $790,000.
The Westland District Council has also
protested the scope of the review, which
will potentially compromise the subsidy
for the Haast-Jackson Bay Road, and
both glacier access roads.
Mr Brownlee, speaking in Greymouth
on Friday, said the Government was
trying to recognise there was a “national
interest ” in the roading network in a
number of areas around the country
where the population base was not big
enough to sustain some of the costs of
“That is what the funding assistance
programme is trying to sort out at
the present time, to get an equitable
position. There is nothing finalised ... it
is a discussion, and we would hope that
everyone is still coming to the table with
open minds,” Mr Brownlee said.
“We are in a process of coming to a
consensus with all the local authorities
around New Zealand over the rate.
We are looking at the FAR funding,
regional roading funding, which is
over and above the roading assistance
rate, and we are also looking at what
else might need to be done in various
parts of the country just to move things
along a little bit.”
However, when asked about the FAR
review providing a less equitable deal
for places such as the West Coast, Mr
Brownlee said he could not answer the
question: “ That would be tantamount
to me announcing what the results are
(of the review), and we are not in that
Plans had previously been drawn up
for improving the narrow and winding
Mingha Bluff section of the Arthur’s
Pass highway, just east of the village.
However, despite holding open days
on the proposals, the New Zealand
Transport Agency had then left the up
to $20 million project out of its 2012-15
works programme. The next opportunity
for the project will be the 2015-18 works
Mr Brownlee said the Government
had no intention of putting a stop on
the planned improvement.
“These are the sort of projects that
have been pushed off on the long finger
for arguably decades, and we do want to
address them. It’s a matter of being able
to get to a point where you can prioritise
what needs to be done first. So it’s not
a project that ’s just pushed off into the
ether, its something that remains a live
piece of work for NZTA.”
2 - Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Sealord boat takes
A large fishing boat seen off
Greymouth shortly before dark last
night was a Sealord vessel. Sealord
crews made two trips to take out
supplies. The boat did not come into
Police to visit suspects
Police will be visiting three people
they suspect of smashing windows at
a flat in Bright Street, Cobden, about
11.30pm on Saturday. Police say they
have strong leads.
A small earthquake was recorded
in the northern Buller area this
morning. The 3.5 magnitude shake
at 4.49am was centred 25km east of
Karamea and 8km deep.
Arrivals: Ocean Odyssey, one
Greymouth vessel. Departures:
Galatea II, Christina. In port: Ocean
Odyssey, Tainui , Electra, Garraway,
Happy V, 24 other vessels. Expected
departures: Ocean Odyssey,
tomorrow. Expected arrivals: Moon
Shadow II, tomorrow; Cook Canyon,
Sunday; Galatea II, Monday.
Police urge landlords to inspect
properties after drug bust
of the Westport News
West Coast police are urging landlords
to carry out regular inspections of their
properties, as a Reefton address raided
in last week’s drug busts was a rental.
following raids at five properties that
uncovered cannabis, firearms and
A man was charged with cultivating
cannabis, possessing cannabis for
supply and theft of electricity after
operation was located at the rental
property in Reefton.
The West Coast Police Facebook
page said the property had suffered
unauthorised alterations to its interior.
On the page, police advised landlords
to carry out regular inspections of their
properties. If they were unsure about
something they saw during one of those
inspections, they could talk with police.
Inspector John Canning said people
growing cannabis at rental properties
happened fairly frequently.
A lot of people set up grow rooms at
rental addresses and they sometimes
structurally changed the building.
Unless the landlord was vigilant
it ended up costing them a lot of
Offenders made sure the changes were
designed not to be noticeable from the
outside, Mr Canning said.
He suggested landlords regularly did
inspections, as they were entitled.
“I would suggest they do that for their
own piece of mind and basically their
Landlords had to give notice before
inspecting a rental property. While
that would give the tenant a chance to
put things right it would also interrupt
If the landlord was making regular
checks, tenants would also be less likely
to make structural changes.
“It’s when landlords don’t regularly
check it that they do, because they feel
they can get away with it, I suppose.”
Ray White Landmark property
consultant Graeme Walsh said the
company carried out three-monthly
inspections of its rentals where it
looked out for all sorts of things.
The inspections could be more
frequent if necessary.
While staff were not actively looking
for criminal behaviour, they went in
with an open mind and worked through
To date, the company had not had any
issues with criminal activity.
The company was vigilant and vetted
everybody before they went into a
property. The vetting process, which
included tenants having to have
references, probably helped avoid any
criminal activity in rentals.
Mr Walsh added that with Westport
being a small community people would
be quick to tell the company if their
neighbours were misbehaving.
“So there is quite a good
neighbourhood watch group out there
... un officially.”
A man who drove 8km to Featherston in agony
after burning himself with cannabis oil has
owned up to drug use.
Nicholas Christopher Meyer appeared in
the Whanganui District Court last week and
pleaded guilty to two drugs charges.
In February, when Meyer was working as a
farm labourer near Featherston, he had cannabis
leaf in a frying pan on the kitchen stove and was
trying to extract the oil when it caught fire.
Meyer was burned and drove 8km in agonising
pain from his Western Lake Road address to the
Featherston township to get help.
Meyer was in a t-shirt and shorts, sobbing and
crying in pain and being comforted by several
staff from both Featherston Lotto and Post and
Gusto Cafe and Bakery on Fitzherbert Street.
They poured buckets of water over his back and
feet, immersed his hands in water and soaked
him with wet towels.
Staff later said the man was in such pain he
could not talk.
Featherston Volunteer Fire Brigade members,
who were first to attend, praised the staff for
their quick thinking and action in cooling the
He was taken by rescue helicopter to Hutt
Police were notified and found 10 cannabis
seeds when officers went to the property.
Meyer’s lawyer Richard Leith said his client
had lost his job because of his injuries and was
Judge David Cameron convicted and
sentenced Meyer to 75 hours’ community work
and ordered the destruction of any drug-related
paraphernalia. — APNZ-Wairarapa Times-Age
Tuesday May 20
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 768 5942 first
Jane Riley and David
Drake (9 Rue Noyer,
engaged and wedding
plans are underway.
DAVIES, Adam (Adz).
Tragically nine years
ago. Treasured and
much loved son of
Marion and Graham
(Smith), and adored and
loved brother of Lauren
We thought of you with
But that is nothing new.
We thought about you
And the days before that
We think of you in
We often speak your
And your picture in a
Your memory is our
With which we'll never
God has you in His
We have you in our
So loved and so missed
May you find your
vineyard in the sky xx
The West Coast will feature
prominently in a new tourism
show to be screened worldwide.
RV Rampage filmed on the
West Coast and the show will
hit screens on Thursday, on the
Travel Channel. The new 10-part
series will reach an international
audience of millions with Travel
Channel broadcasting in 23
languages to 130 countries across
Europe, the Middle East, Africa
The show was filmed last
year in 10 locations around the
country — Auckland, Rotorua,
Taupo, Taihape, Wellington,
Marlborough and Abel Tasman,
Greymouth and Charleston,
Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier,
Wanaka and Queenstown.
“ With RV Rampage, New
Zealand will be showcased to a
potential 200 million people with
each episode, providing incredible
reach,” Tourism New Zealand
director of trade PR and major
events, Justin Watson, said.
In the show, the presenters
host five international teams of
two, who undertake challenges
designed to immerse them in
the culture and lifestyle of New
Zealand and “rampage challenges”
to test them mentally and
“ Each of the episodes was
filmed in a different part of the
country showcasing the diversity
of New Zealand landscapes,
the experiences that available to
everyone and the people travellers
The series is hosted by Travel
Channel host and World’s
Greatest Motorcycle Rides
presenter Henry Cole and
Amanda Byram of Total
Wipeout, The Swan and Big
The Greymouth and Charleston
episode will screen on July 3, and
the Franz Josef and Fox Glacier
episode on July 10.
Contestants from the Pink team prepare to take part in the four-wheel-drive and gold panning
challenge at Wild West Coast Adventures as part of new international travel show RV Rampage.
Contestants are from Russia, South Africa, Thailand and the United Kingdom.
Coast to feature on new tourism show
SPCA volunteer Lacey Haronga, a Greymouth High School gateway programme student, holds two grey tabby kittens rescued after
they were dumped on Saturday. The six to eight-week-old kittens were found cold and wet underneath the Grey River rail bridge, and
have been adjusting to their new surroundings with the SPCA. They will be up for adoption and looking for a new home next week.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Abandoned kittens found under bridge
of the Hokitika Guardian
A vehicle has ripped up the
No 1 ground at Cass Square,
rendering it out of bounds for
the rest of the winter sports
Westroads staff were greeted
with the wheelie damage
Wheel tracks from the road on
to the field were clearly visible,
with a large portion of the turf
Westland District Council
group manager district assets
Vivek Goel said it was “very
likely” the field would be out of
action for the rest of the season
“It is, unfortunately, very
disappointing,” Mr Goel said.
“I have to say it is actually
very disappointing the people
involved in this one don’t realise
the damage done to the local
Mr Goel said that after similar
incidents in the past he would
also assess the possibilities of
preventing vehicles driving
on to the square unimpeded,
including the possible erection
Westroads grounds worker
Gary Bishop said the vandalism
was frustrating given the
amount of work that went into
preparing the playing surface
for winter sports after the
annual Wildfoods Festival.
“Someone has spoiled it for a
brief moment of excitement,”
Mr Bishop said.
Police are investigating.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Westroads staff member Gary Bishop assesses the damage to
Vandals damage Cass Square
The Grey District Council says it still
helping people repair their homes badly
damaged in Cyclone Ita on April 17.
A week after the storm the council
identified 200 houses, mostly in Cobden and
Blaketown, which needed repairs.
Environmental ser vices manager Steven
May said yesterday the damaged properties
had been identified as a result of council
staff driving around both suburbs and doing
a rough assessment of the damage, and the
council had not kept a count of how many
properties had since been repaired. It was
now responding to people coming to the
council and asking for help.
“ We have had a great response from people
coming and seeking advice on their individual
properties, and we’ve also, of course, worked
closely with insurance assessors,” Mr May
Some people were still caught in a holding
pattern with their insurance company over
whether their buildings were a repair job
or would be demolished, while others were
seeking advice on whether they needed a
building consent for the repairs.
He said a number of properties, mainly
in Cobden, had been vacated after the
fire brigade had deemed them unsafe for
habitation, by spray painting a ‘cx’ sign on the
Council still assisting home owners after cyclone
The West Coast Regional Council
could be in the gun if the Environment
Court finds at a hearing in Greymouth
this week that a diversionary wall
erected in the Whataroa River
as a flood protection measure was
Syland ’s Ltd, which owns a Whataroa
dairy farm, sought and obtained from
the council several years ago permission
to create an earth bank in the riverbed
to save the farm from erosion.
However, another riverbank farmer,
Mistral Farm Ltd, alleges that the wall
has diverted the river its way and is now
cutting into its farmland.
Mistral has asked the Environment
Court to order the removal of the wall
and, if that application is successful, may
seek damages from the regional council
for authorising the construction of the
The case is expected to last at least
Oil burn victim admits drug use
The driver of a transporter
truck which slammed into an
overbridge in Oamaru earlier
this month has been charged
with careless driving.
Constable Dean Paterson,
of Oamaru, said a 35-year-
old Christchurch man would
be summonsed to appear in
the Oamaru District Court
in connection with the
The rail bridge allows vehicles
up to 3.5m high to pass under it.
Mr Paterson said the driver
of the New Zealand Vehicle
Distribution car transporter
allegedly misread the sign to
display a clearance of 4.5m.
Two vehicles toppled off
the back of the truck’s trailer
and another was left hanging
precariously after the vehicle
transporter struck the rail bridge
about 12.30pm on May 7.
Three cars, including
late-model Audi and a 2014
Ford Kuga, were damaged.
— Otago Daily Times
to face charge
A woman has died after
being struck by a reversing
car in Whangarei’s
Rurumoki Street on
Road policing senior
sergeant John Fagan said
a woman’s vehicle had
become stuck after its
front wheels rolled over
a kerb. Members of the
public helped her push the
As the car gained
traction it sped backwards.
Police say the driver tried
to brake but her jandal
became wedged between
the brake and accelerator
The car collided with the
woman, and pinned her
against another parked
car. — APNZ-Northern
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