Home' Greymouth Star : May 27th 2014 Contents 3
Miners’ Hall —
inside and out
Hokitika split over
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TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
After basking in sunshine for a
whole day, forecasters have told the
West Coast to brace for another
bout of heavy rain. The Metser vice
says a broad trough, embedded
with a series of fronts, is expected
to approach southern New Zealand
tomorrow afternoon, preceded by
strong to gale north-westerlies. The
heaviest rain is expected about the
Fiordland and Westland ranges,
where 100 to 150mm is forecast
over a 12-hour period.
Residents of Ontario, in Canada,
and London, in England, will know
the name Greymouth for a slightly
different reason after a drug bust
named ‘Project Greymouth’. Project
Greymouth consisted of a nine-
month probe into three organised
crime cells. Making the association
with the West Coast town worse,
Project Greymouth was linked
with an investigation in London by
Waterloo Regional Police Ser vice
known as ‘Project Grimm’. Police
seized $1.2 million of cocaine,
$280,000 of P, four vehicles, a stun
gun and nearly $128,000 in cash.
“ Projects Greymouth and Grimm
again demonstrate how effective law
enforcement is at working together
to target criminality,” Waterloo
Regional Police Ser vice chief Matt
Forget begging for a walk or a
biscuit ... man’s best friend may soon
prefer you to just put the kettle on.
A British company has launched
a range of premium teabags for
dogs. Available in seven varieties,
the Woof and Brew herbal blends
promise perks for your pet such as
better breath and a shinier coat.
However, at £9.99 for 28 teabags,
they are likely to be fetched for only
the most pampered pooches. Each
teabag makes one litre of tea, which
can be cooled and stored for a week.
The owner said: “ We used to run
a tea-shop and many dog owners
would say their dogs like to have a
cup of tea, but the caffeine and milk
in the tea is not really suitable for
dogs. So we came up with a range of
herbal teas they can enjoy without
negative effects.” — Daily Mail
Showers turn to rain, heavy in south
Greymouth Star On-line
Two tourists nearly froze to death
after they decided to walk from
Arthur’s Pass to Otira during a
freezing wind and rain storm on
Sunday night, even though State
highway 73 had been closed for three
days by a slip.
Otira Hotel owner Lester Rowntree
said a 70-year-old man and his
34-year-old daughter finally turned
up at the hotel at 9 o’clock yesterday
morning, freezing cold.
“They left (Arthur’s Pass) at 3pm
and by 4pm, when they got to the
(Otira) Viaduct there were huge
gale-force winds,” Mr Rowntree said.
“It started to lift them up off their
They told him they had to hang on
to the rails to prevent being blown
over the side of the viaduct.
Mr Rowntree believed the pair had
been trying to get to Greymouth but
only made it as far as Arthur’s Pass
because of the road closure.
“ It was 14km and they thought they
would walk it but got caught in the
high winds and rain.”
Setting out to walk over the pass,
by road, the tourists, from the island
of Bohol, in the Philippines, had to
battle icy roads and lost their bags
during their trek. When conditions
got too bad to continue they took
shelter under a bridge and stayed
“They just about froze to death,” Mr
Hotel staff warmed up the tourists
and gave them something to eat after
their ordeal. “Once we warmed them
up they had a smile on their faces.”
He said it was a rough introduction
to the harsh weather that can hit the
West Coast: “ They nearly lost their
Mr Rowntree said the winds
blowing at Otira at the time were
picking up “anything not nailed
“ It was blowing sheds down ... tin
was flying 100m up in the air.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan
Guy has confirmed the Government
is reviewing its pest control budgets,
but says opposition claims the budget
is about to be slashed from $30 million
to just $7 million is “scaremongering”.
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O’Connor said on Friday that the
budget announced by Finance
Minister Bill English showed that
pest control funding for 2015-16
would be cut.
Today he released the line from
Budget 2014 to prove he was not
TheGreymouth Star has already
been contacted by one concerned
pest control contractor worried at the
This year $7.5m will be spent on
the West Coast alone, which has the
highest infection rate in New Zealand.
Mr Guy said a funding review was
under way to determine contributions
from the Crown, regional councils
“As a farmer, and the Minister
for Primary Industries, I know
how important it is to fund
When final decisions had been
made, they would be added to the
2015 budget process.
“It ’s important to note that (the
ministry’s) total funding has increased
by $17.4m in Budget 2014, which
sees a strengthening of the biosecurity
system. Biosecurity funding is up
by $2.2m and overall funding has
doubled since 2000,” Mr Guy said.
The West Coast Regional Council
runs its own pest control unit.
Chief executive Chris Ingle said
an independent funding review was
under way for pest control work, but
he had yet to receive an indication
of plans to reduce the size of the
There was a possibility that the
regional council share (10%) may
change, and could become a levy
instead of a rate.
The council-owned pest control unit
had 15 staff and he did not believe any
jobs were under threat.
“The fight against bovine Tb is as
important as ever and I cannot see
any possibility of any funding party
wanting to pull their funding until the
job is done,” Mr Ingle said.
Chairman Andrew Robb, a dairy
farmer, said the regional council had
still allowed about $700,000 in its
annual plan and a change in national
funding had “certainly not been
signalled to anyone”.
Mr O’Connor said on Friday the
indicated cut to pest control funding
would put New Zealand’s reputation
and export sectors at real risk.
Without ongoing control, possum
numbers would escalate quickly, and
because they were the main carrier
of Tb, more herds would be infected
with the disease.
The line from Budget 2014 which shows the proposed cut in funding in 2015-16.
Sicon Ferguson contractors scrape away at the foot of the Otira slip that kept State highway 73 closed from Friday until yesterday, when a temporary track was built around the 100m-long slip, near Kellys Creek. The edge of the road
is still covered in rock, where the orange digger is working. Extra trucks have been brought over from Christchurch to help continually clear the loads of gravel, with at least eight trucks and 25 people working at a time. A slip was
brought down in the same area after the second Christchurch earthquake, in February 2011. Rock from the landslide is being dumped at several spots including behind the Otira village to create a bund as river protection.
MPs trade shots over pest control budget cuts
Pair walk Otira in storm
“(The wind) started to lift them off their feet.”
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Reinforcements help clear Otira slip
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