Home' Greymouth Star : May 29th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, May 29, 2014
DHB heart and
continues to climb
The West Coast District Health
Board’s performance against the
national health target for heart and
diabetes checks in primary care
has continued to climb in the third
quarter. The performance in the
‘more heart and diabetes checks’
climbed to 69.6%, up from 66.4%
the previous quarter. Board chief
executive David Meates said the
increase reflected the significant
work undertaken right across
primary care. “ While the 95% target
has not been met, steady progress
is being made.” Meanwhile, the
Coast continues to achieve the
emergency department health target,
with 99.6% of patients admitted,
discharged or transferred from the
emergency department within six
hours. It also achieved the ‘improved
access to surgery’ target and the
‘shorter wait for cancers treatments’
target. Performance against the
‘ better help for hospitalised smokers
to quit’ improved on the previous
quarter from 92.5% to 95%, but
performance in the ‘better help
for smokers to quit after attending
primary care’ fell from 59.9 to 55.4%.
NZ’s 1080 use blasted
by US columnist
New Zealand’s use of 1080 poison
has been blasted by a United States
columnist writing for the massive
on-line news website The Huffington
Post. Conser vationist Maggie
Sergio, writing in an opinion piece
about American island pest control,
noted “lurking in the background is
usually New Zealand’s Department
of Conser vation and their Island
Eradication Advisory Ser vice
Group selling a variety of consulting
ser vices, including the bait and
helicopter pilots necessary. Yes, the
government of New Zealand is
in the business of manufacturing
brodifacoum, 1080, and other
horrific poisons via this factory,
known as a State-owned enterprise,
which is a private business that the
government owns, and profits from. ”
The Huffington Post has a huge
on-line following, but has also been
criticised by several science bloggers
for allegedly “censoring” rebuttals
written by science bloggers before
publishing them. In 2012, it became
the first commercially run United
States digital media enterprise to
win a Pulitzer Prize.
Dairy event launches
The South Island Dairy Event
(SIDE) has launched a free
smartphone app to enhance this year’s
conference experience. SIDE, which
takes place in Invercargill on June 23-
25, is the South Island’s premier dairy
conference run by farmers, for farmers.
Committee chairman Paul Marshall
said this year the introduction of the
free smartphone app would make the
event more accessible to attendees.
“The app means farmers can quickly
and easily access the conference
schedule and view it by day, topic,
speaker or activity. Attendees can also
bookmark presentations they want to
see and create a personal schedule for
each day. And it’s great for networking
— attendees can see who is at the
conference, share contact information
and connect with one another,” Mr
Arrivals: Moon Shadow II. In port:
Moon Shadow II, Tainui, Garraway,
Electra, Happy V, Tawera , 25 other
vessels. Expected departures: Moon
Shadow II, tomorrow. Expected
arrivals: Galatea II , Sunday; Cook
Canyon, Monday; Ocean Odyssey,
Lies told to the police have prevented
anyone being held accountable for a fatal
truck crash in the Otira Gorge two years
ago, the Christchurch Court news website
Two of the Chinese men who admitted
telling lies about who was driving,
admitted in the Christchurch District
Court yesterday charges of per verting the
course of justice.
Judge John Macdonald remanded both
men on bail for sentencing on August 19.
The news site said the judge called for pre-
sentence reports to assess their suitability
for home detention sentences and referred
the case for a restorative justice meeting.
At that session, the men are expected to
meet the widow of the man killed in the
April 2012 crash, Danian Xu, a 49-year-
old chef from Christchurch.
Police prosecutor Bronwen Blackmore
told the court that reparation payments
were being sought for Mr Xu’s wife and
Appearing before the court were Feng
Sun, 39, and Yu O u Yang, 52.
Lawyer James Rapley, appearing for Ou
Yang, asked for a delay of at least six weeks
for the sentencing so that the restorative
justice conference could take place.
Mrs Blackmore told the court that Sun
and Mr Xu and a third man were in a rental
truck that left Christchurch on April 22,
2012, heading for Greymouth, where they
were due to open a restaurant. Ou Yang
was in a car following behind.
On the descent from Arthur’s Pass to
Otira the truck left the road and plunged
15m over the side of the Otira Gorge on
to the dry riverbed. Mr Xu died at the
scene, and Sun and the other man received
a broken jaw, facial cuts, and spinal injuries.
They were taken to Christchurch Hospital
by the West Coast rescue helicopter.
Months later, when Sun, O u Yang,
and the third person in the truck were
inter viewed by police, they gave statements
that Sun had been driving.
After further investigation, they were
inter viewed again in 2013, and Sun and
Ou Yang retracted their statements and
admitted that the third person in the truck
was the driver. That person continued to
deny being the driver, but Sun said he had
asked them to lie because he did not have a
driver’s licence at the time.
Thursday May 29
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
INGLIS, Carlos. — We
feel extremely lucky to
have had the privilege of
loving and caring for
Carlos over the past six
years. Thank you Tash
and Rod. Carlos was
very much loved and
adored by Lynn, Kathie,
Sonya, Sarah, Rachael,
Bec, and Ricky Whyte
and their families. We
would like to sincerely
thank all those who
played a part in support-
ing us while we lived on
the Coast, Grey Main
School, Kids Ward,
Grey Hospital, High
Street Medical Centre,
Nelson Street Pre-
School and the many
support carers, espec-
ially the amazingly
Ten-month-old Sierra Julian enjoys making her way through the play tunnel during the Grey Valley play day at
the Dobson Community Hall yesterday. The day was organised by WestREAP as a chance to show the value of
early childhood learning. There was plenty to keep the children happy, with The Wiggles car and a fire truck on
display, in addition to a bouncy castle and a free barbecue.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Play day makes learning fun
of the Hokitika Guardian
Caned by ratepayers for a rural rate
rise of 38%, the Westland District
Council yesterday agreed to look at
ways to trim back its ‘wish list’ to try
to balance out rating inequities this
The 12.1% general rate increase
outlined in the plan puts rural rates
up 38.1%, with a similar amount for
smallholdings, while those in the
small settlements will be hit with a
23.4% rate strike.
At the other end of the scale,
Hokitika commercial rates are
proposed to go up just 4.9% and
Hokitika residential 6.3%, while
Hokitika beachfront properties face
A strong contingent of the rural
sector made up the bulk of the 74
submissions received on the draft
plan this year, and half of them also
took the opportunity to front the
council yesterday on the issue.
They also stood against a lack of
council ser vices they received for
paying the highest proportion of the
Kawhaka resident Anthony Allan
criticised the rating model formula,
and the Mayor and councillors
themselves for setting the proposed
variances without assessing the
impacts across each sector.
He was the first of many speakers
pushing for ways to have the rates
more spread more evenly this year;
next year the council will have
concluded its $55,000 rates review.
Former Westland mayor John
Drylie, backed up by Mike Spruce
and Hemi Te Rakau, spoke to a joint
submission on behalf of a number
of smallholding ratepayers in the
They wanted the same rate to
be applied across the board for all
“ When these vast differences are
compared, the proposed increase
on smallholdings are substantially
high,” Mr Drylie said. “ There is no
difference in finances from people in
smallholding properties to people in
Hokitika, so why the big difference?
It doesn’t make sense.
“The model is decided by
councillors. You make the decision.
You have the ability to modify, alter,
and change the rates.”
Mr Te Rakau said the proposed
increase, on top of 27% last year,
was not sustainable. Some were even
on the verge of having to sell their
“Stop the increase at this time and
maintain the status quo until the
rate review has been carried out,” Mr
Te Rakau said.
Responding, Mayor Mike Havill
conceded the council did not
understand the full impacts across
each sector when setting the overall
draft rate strike.
“ When we adopted a 12.1%
increase, at that point no one on the
council knew the impacts it would
have on different properties,” Mr
“ We do recognise that out rating
model has got its challenges. That is
why we have put into plan a review.”
However, Hari Hari farmer Mary
Molloy said the rates balance needed
looking at now, not 12 months down
She said farmers would struggle
this year to meet the demands on the
back of two significant storm events
in recent months. They should no
longer be looked at as “nice geese
to have a golden egg extracted
“ We are the people that are still
here at the end of the day, keeping
you in your jobs, and your rate
increase for us is obscene. If you
want us to continue to support
Westland then don’t screw us,” Mrs
Old Christchurch Road resident
John Bourgeois said the “mysterious”
rating formula needed explaining
and he was not happy paying more
and more in rates each year for fewer
and fewer ser vices.
“All I get is a very poorly maintained
road,” Mr Bourgeois said.
His neighbour, Marj Allan, agreed
and also said that paying back council
debt should be carried evenly by all
ratepayers in the district, not lumped
largely on two sectors.
The forecast 12.1% rates increase
is comprised of debt repayment to
the tune $250,000 towards its $8.7
million debt with its now defunct
Westland Holdings Ltd trading
The rest is made up of depreciation
funding of $430,000, solid waste
spending $160,000, maintenance
contracts $160,000 and new projects
After hearing all the submissions
yesterday the Mayor led a
recommendation for staff and
councillors to look closely for any
changes that could be made in
each area to offer a reprieve to
unwinding depreciation at a slower
pace, paying back less debt, or
shelving some projects that were not
“It is a piece of work but I guess
this is in line with the community ’s
wishes that we revisit what we
are doing until the rates review is
“It’s the proportion of increases
that ’s causing the grief and we can’t
fix that until after the review so we’ve
got to go to a fall-back position,” Mr
Cr Greg Hope said they needed
to find some way to apply the rates
more evenly or he would not be
voting to adopt the annual plan.
“We need to look at ways of
tackling it until we can put the horse
before the cart — and that might
mean we have to tinker with our
wish list,” Cr Hope said.
“I won’t be adopting it unless we
can pull one of these levers.”
The onus of cutting the rate was
put back on chief executive Tanya
Winter and staff to come back with
options for the next annual plan
debate, on June 12.
38% rate rise prompts WDC rethink
A Hokitika man who took a car
he had not paid for to Christchurch,
and then made off with a tank of
stolen petrol, was sentenced in
the Greymouth District Court on
Katene James Campbell was
banned from driving for six months,
sentenced to 90 hours of community
work and ordered to pay reparations
Police prosecutor Steven Greer
said that on April 19 Campbell had
taken a car he had not yet paid for
from Hokitika, and used it to drive
to a job inter view in Christchurch.
While in the city he filled up the
car with $116 of fuel at a BP gas
station, and left without paying.
Lawyer Richard Bodle said
Campbell had intended to pay for
the vehicle. After failing to get the
job he had driven to Christchurch
for, he had run out of money and,
needing to get back to the West
Coast, he had panicked and filled up
the car without paying.
Mr Bodle said Campbell “couldn’t
believe had had done it”, and was
“ very remorseful”.
Judge Jane McMeeken said
Campbell had previously been
convicted of drink-driving in 2010.
However, this latest offending was
“really serious”. She told him to
ensure it had been the result of a
one-off circumstance that he had
found himself in.
Mr Greer said the vehicle had since
been returned to its owner.
A Ruatapu man was ordered
to make a $400 emotional harm
payment to a man he assaulted after
a car accident in April.
Reece William Janetins Skipper,
36, had been driving along the Old
Christchurch Road on April 17,
when another car crashed into him.
Skipper got out and punched the
victim in the eye, causing him to fall
to the ground.
Police prosecutor Steven Greer
said the victim was left with bruising
and a cut to the eye, and had suffered
from headaches for a couple of days
after the attack.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said
Skipper had become enraged as his
daughter was in the car when it was
hit. Skipper had also calmed down
and exchanged details with the
victim over the accident.
Mr Bradley said Skipper had also
made the offer of the $400 payment
to the victim.
Judge McMeeken gave Skipper
credit for making the offer.
A Hokitika man was convicted and
discharged for breaching community
work and super vision.
Ranui Wani Dickson, 18, of
Hokitika, had been sentenced to
super vision and community work
after an assault in February. However
he failed to attend probation.
Dickson said there was no reason
for his non-attendance, and that he
knew he would “get breached”.
Judge McMeeke said a probation
report described Dickson as having
a “disruptive and unco-operative
attitude”. S he said the next option
However, Dickson’s older brother,
who was in court, said he would
make sure Dickson stuck to his
community work and super vision
sentence. He had also been taking
him to drug and alcohol counselling.
A Karangarua man was sentenced
to 40 hours of community work
for possessing a firearm without a
Tommy Nicholas Scadden, 27, was
also charged with two charges of
breaching his release conditions.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said that
two days after Scadden’s firearms
licence had been revoked, he had
been sent to prison and so had not
received official notification that it
had been revoked.
Upon his release from prison,
Scadden had a year’s super vision to
complete. However, he had moved
down to Franz Josef Glacier to work
after eight or nine months.
Judge McMeeken said that as
Scadden had a year’s super vision, he
could not just think his super vision
was over after eight or nine months.
He was bailed to a Blackball
address, while police carried out
inquiries about his breach of
A man who admitted making a
mistake as to when he should appear
at court said the judge could be
assured he would not miss his next
Brian McBride, 50, had been
supposed to appear via an audio
visual link on May 23. However, he
said he had mistakenly thought he
would be appearing last Monday.
When he found out he had missed
his court date, he had immediately
presented himself at the Greymouth
Police Station. He said he “regretted”
missing the hearing. However, he
had good reasons for having missed
happening in his life at the time”.
Lawyer Richard Bodle, who had
been appointed as Amicus in the
case, said that despite numerous
calls and texts he had been unable to
McBride said he had responded to
the text messages, and “that was it”.
Judge McMeeken said McBride
had not been picking up his mail
from his Post Office box address. He
needed to check his mail as people
would be trying to get in touch with
He will reappear in court on June
of the Westport News
Punakaiki people should receive a
rate rebate for not receiving the treated
water supply they are paying for, says a
Buller district councillor.
Punakaiki has been on a ‘boil-water’
notice for over six months because of
problems with its water treatment.
“ We are charging for the service
and we are not giving it,” Cr Graham
Howard told the council meeting last
He wanted the council to offer
ratepayers a rebate.
Mayor Garry Howard disagreed. “ We
can’t give a rebate because the same
person we are giving a rebate is going to
be paying for it,” the Mayor said.
The water account is a closed one,
which means all costs are funded by the
Operations manager Steve Griffin
said the problem had been getting water
flowing through the treatment plant.
The council had cleaned out the old
filters, to no avail.
The constriction now appeared to be
in the ultraviolet system, which had
been removed for remedial work. If the
problem remained when it was refitted,
council would replace it with a bigger
Cr Howard said ratepayers were
paying $800 each for a ser vice that used
to cost them $100, and still receiving
the same quality water.
Mr Griffin said that was “absolute
rubbish”. This year’s rate was $622. It
had previously been $590.
However, Mr Griffin agreed the
situation was unsatisfactory. “ We are
working as fast as we can to try and put
things right ... hopefully we are nearly
at the end.”
Man took car and stole petrol
to get to job interview
West Coast police say they are
alarmed at reports of two near-
misses on railway crossings, only
days after a Reefton couple died
when their car was struck by
a train at Rotokohu, east of
Senior sergeant Phil Barker, of
Greymouth police, today reminded
all motorists to be aware of
the danger when crossing railway
“Motorists need to pay attention
when crossing tracks, and I can
assure drivers that the police will be
following up all reported breaches
and prosecution will be considered
if offences are detected,” Mr
Anyone who witnessed motorists
making dangerous railway line
crossings should try to get the
registration numbers of the
vehicle, to help police catch the
“The last thing we want is
another tragedy like last week’s and
everyone driving over a railway line
needs to stop and have a good look
for trains,” Mr Barker said.
Motorists caught undertaking
dangerous manoeuvres across lines
could face a variety of charges
including an act of endangering
life and dangerous
some of which have penalties of
imprisonment and a compulsory
driver’s licence disqualification.
Near misses on railway crossings alarm police
Punakaiki people should
receive rate rebate says
of the Westport News
The Buller District Council is setting
aside $10,000 to investigate replacing
two outdated homes for the elderly at
The money will come from housing for
the elderly rentals, not ratepayers.
The council will talk to Tai Poutini
Polytechnic about whether its building
course students can design and build the
The council was responding to a request
from the Inangahua Community Board
to replace two Reefton units with units
suitable for accommodating couples.
In its submission to council’s draft
annual plan hearings last week, the board
said Reefton’s 16 pensioner housing
units were all occupied and there were
12 people on the waiting list.
None of the existing units was suitable
Two were very old and scheduled for
replacement in 2015-16, the board said.
It suggested the council work with
other rural councils over adopting a
common building plan and having units
prefabricated by a firm specialising in
Cr Graham Howard’s vote was
the only one against Mayor Garry
Howard’s motion to allow $10,000 for
investigations. Cr Howard said the
council should be reconsidering its role
in pensioner housing when it reviewed
its long-term plan.
Buller council to
Reefton pensioner houses
The Labour MP involved in a push to
get the Hollyford road opened 25 years
ago says it was abandoned because the
cost per vehicle could have been as
much as $100.
A new campaign is under way, the
latest in a long series of attempts.
However, the most serious attempt
in recent years was in 1989, when
it got traction right from the top,
when the then Tourism Minister
Jonathon Hunt pledged unequivocal
support for a ‘ World Heritage
Damien O’Connor, a Buller tourist
operator at the time, said it all
started after a report was delivered by
professionals from the Asia-Pacific
“About 12 of them came to the West
Coast for about four days ... and looked
at tourism potential,” Mr O’Connor
A local taskforce was set up, but the
conclusion was that the toll road would
cost too much per vehicle, at $90 to
The current proposed price is $35,
rising every five years by $5.
Mr O’Connor said the traffic volumes
had increased since 1989, hence the
The Labour Party did not have an
official stance on the road, he said.
Previous Hollyford road
because of toll cost
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