Home' Greymouth Star : June 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Tuesday, June 17, 2014
warned after thefts
Reefton landowners have been
warned to be on their guard after
a children’s quad bike and a Victa
lawnmower were stolen last week.
Police are especially interested
in sightings of a white or cream
older model double-cab utility
vehicle in rough condition. A police
spokesman said all landowners
should check their security
protection, and be wary of any
vehicles that they did not know
travelling on the roads. Meanwhile,
Reefton police also warned a
20-year-old man for trespassing
after he arrived at a property
uninvited and refused to heed
requests from the owners to
The fundraising effort for Paroa
couple Cassie Brown and Josh
Sutherland and their 11-month old
son Luka, who has a rare disorder,
has reached $8540. Luka was
diagnosed with severe combined
immunodeficiency disorder (SCID)
on May 23, and the family has been
at Starship Hospital in Auckland
ever since. He is currently off a
ventilator and awaiting a bone
marrow transplant. You can read
Miss Brown’s blog at http://
donate to the family at http://
LukasJourney. Information on the
illness and support is available at
heads to court
A West Coast activist group
of self-appointed anti-1080
“ watchdogs” will have their date
in court. Te Whare o te Kaitiaki
Ngahere, based at Hari Hari, made
57 allegations against 39 people,
around the use of the poison. A
court hearing has been set for the
High Court in Christchurch on
August 4, to determine among other
things whether the group should
pay $25,000 before the case can
proceed. Group spokesman Danny
Lane asked supporters to go to
court to demonstrate that there was
public interest in the case. A bid to
have the case heard in Greymouth
was not successful.
A contractor has been chosen
to work on the upgrade of the
Greymouth water supply. The
Grey District Council is currently
negotiating the final capital cost of
the project. Construction will go
ahead later in the month or early
next month, if a price is tendered
within budget or if extra funding is
The installation of the Stillwater
drinking-water pipework has been
completed and the Grey District
Council hopes to have it hooked up
by the end of the month. Water will
come from the Brunner supply and
is expected to show an immediate
improvement in the aesthetic
quality of the water. The council said
there would be some discolouration
during Grey River flood events until
the supply was connected to the
Greymouth Bridge Club results.
Wednesday : Ian Anderson
and Gerarg Bardel 65%, 1; Ash
Hamilton and Michelle Gunn 51%,
2. Thursday : Sue Glue and Mary
Pupich 70.8%, 1; Stuart Oliver
and Brian Rowlands 64.6%, 2; Ash
Hamilton and Michelle Gunn
Departures: Galatea II. In
port: Cook Canyon, Jay Elaine,
Claymore, Electra, Ocean Odyssey,
26 other vessels. Expected
Departures: Ocean Odyssey
tomorrow; Claymore, Jay Elaine,
Thursday; Cook Canyon Friday.
Expected arrivals: Moon Shadow II
Murchison remembers earthquake 85 years on
Church bells will ring out in Murchison
today, 85 years after the 7.8 earthquake
that killed 17 people.
The quake struck at 10.17am on June 17,
1929 was felt all over New Zealand. It had
a devastating effect throughout the West
Coast. It was half a day before authorities
realised that the worst hit region was
Doris Nalder is thought to be the last
remaining Murchison resident who
remembers the day the earth moved.
She was eight years old at the time and
living at Newtons Flat in the Upper Buller
Gorge, not far from where the Buller
River swingbridge is now and close to the
There was a smaller earthquake at 7.20am
that day. Her mother was a bit worried,
but Doris went to school as usual with her
brother and sister.
“At the time we didn’t know what was
happening. Everything shook so much.
My brother had gone out to meet an old
chap who had turned up on the road.
He rushed back and the door, which was
jammed, fortunately was opened and we
“A slip came down, a big landslip from
the hill. I was buried a couple of times by
rock and mud. My sister pulled me out, she
actually saved my life.”
Slips came down in the Buller River on
both sides of Sullivans Bridge: “It didn’t
flow for about 12 hours”.
The siblings made it home about 3pm,
passing over slips and fallen trees. They
were then refugees, billeted out in Nelson
for four or five weeks.
“It was pretty hard times, it was a farming
area. Farmers were not able to get to the
farms because of the slips. It was a very
difficult time for two or three years.”
As a young girl, there was an upside —
Doris got her first ride on a train and made
her first visit to Nelson.
“It was very different from living out in
the wop wops,” she said.
However, she is also quick to remember
the 17 dead.
Now living in Murchison Mrs Nalder, nee
White, said there were probably no others
from the Murchison area still living there
who remember the quake. The museum
also thought she was the last of her era.
“They were mostly babies (the remaining
sur vivors), they know what their parents
had told them.”
Tuesday June 17
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 768 5942 first
William (Red). —
Forester, Miner and
Exceptional Man. Red
passed away peacefully
on June 15, 2014, aged
86, surrounded with love
from his family. He was
the cherished husband of
Colleen, very loved
father and father-in-law
of Fiona and Max, Greg
and Glenda, Rowena
and Gavin, and Alison
Jessie, Callum, Maddie,
Innes, Lachlan, Hugh,
Remy. Red Pop to Ava
We will miss his love,
his bright smile and his
lively commentary on
the state of the world.
Our heartfelt thanks to
Foote Ward staff for
their gentle care of
Red in his last week.
Messages to 87 Queen
Street, Westport 7825.
The funeral service for
Red will be held at Club
Buller, 44 Queen Street,
Westport on Friday June
20 at 2.30pm, followed
by interment at Orowaiti
cared for by Ascot
Russell Street, Westport.
Phone (03) 789 6441.
Richard (Brick). — On
June 14, 2014. In
Loved partner of Jenni.
Loved son of the late
Jack and Tess Henham
(Ngahere). Dearly loved
brother and brother-in-
law of the late John,
Margaret and the late
Robbie Hogg, Rose and
the late Whip, Carol and
Billy Foster, Rod and
Maureen Rudolph, and
Jean and Ivan Rae. RIP.
Funeral to be held in
Brisbane on Thursday.
Messages to 19 Matai
Street, Dobson 7805.
West Coast householders will have
to wait a little longer to find out when
smart meters will be installed.
announced recently that Mighty River
Power’s metering business Metrix
was its preferred provider to supply
smart meters to Trustpower’s 225,000
customers, including the West Coast.
The Greymouth Star asked if that
meant the end of meter readers, but
Trustpower said it was too early to
Spokesman Graeme Purches said
Metrix was the preferred supplier but
no contract had been signed yet.
“ We do not expect to be doing
anything until 2015,” Mr Purches said.
Smart meters could not be installed
everywhere because they required radio
‘mesh’ or cellphone communication.
“At this point we have no idea of
rollout dates, and specifically no idea
what it will mean for the West Coast.”
However, he said Trustpower had
signalled for some time that within three
to four years it expected to be operating
smart meters, “because the market is
moving rapidly in that direction, with
over one million already installed ”.
Fair Go reported in 2011 that one
West Auckland mother blamed her
new Genesis Energy advanced meter
for giving her a horrendous power bill.
Genesis, though, blamed an expensive
to run oil heater, poor insulation and a
“ We also have a warning tonight
if you’ve got an old mechanical
meter, it might be running slow. That
means your power bill now is too low,
and you’re in for a nasty shock when
it changes,” Fair Go reported at the
Mr Purches said it was rare for meters
to run slow; more commonly they
However, some of the older generation
analogue meters with electronic innards
could run fast, but when they did so it
was usually immediately obvious.
Trustpower had been on Fair Go as
a company that was actively replacing
those meters, and having a system in
place to record discrepancies which
would signal a meter problem, he said.
“In some areas people did get larger
bills when smart meters were installed,
but that was not because the former
meter had been faulty, but because at
the time of installation the technicians
discovered wiring discrepancies, such as
incorrect wiring of the ripple system for
the hot water or nightstore heaters, or
in some cases wiring that bypassed the
meter completely. In some cases, people
were put on a different tariff, as well,”
There had been very few such incidents
in the past year or so, and with well over
one million smart meters now out in the
field, “there have in fact been very few
One anonymous caller to the
Greymouth Star said she would not
allow the meter to be installed in
her house, in order to preserve meter
A Smart Connect
the same way as
your old meter. The
big difference is
that readings are
over the cellphone
Also, the Contact
electricity usage every
half hour, so the
customer can get more
Coast waits for smart meters installation
What is a
A former Runanga woman has been
awarded the Women in Construction
Vanessa Bell, now the operations
manager for the traffic management
company Men at Work, in
Christchurch, won the award at the
first Women in Construction Awards.
The awards recognise and reward
women who have achieved excellence
in the construction industry,
companies that are committed to
developing the careers of women in
construction, and individuals who
support women employees.
Ms Bell is a traffic manager and
trainer of traffic super visors who
are working on roadwork sites
needing temporary or short-term
Miss Bell went to Runanga School,
Greymouth Junior High School
and then Greymouth High School.
She played representative West
Coast hockey, and started work
in Greymouth before moving to
Christchurch in 2010-11 .
“The job is what you make it,” she
said. “ We have our laughs but it is a
serious job. I like setting up a really
well planned site, seeing that it flows
and that drivers and cyclists are
negotiating their way round it. The
cones really do have a purpose.”
Her bosses said Miss Bell was
“determined, motivated, focused
and had a great ‘can do’ attitude”.
She has completed a number of
managing and super vising courses,
sitting the highest temporary traffic
Men at Work has 40 full-time
PICTURE: Neil Macbeth, Scirt
Former Runanga woman Vanessa Bell has won a major award for ‘Women in Construction’.
Ex-Coaster wins construction award
of the Hokitika Guardian
About 3000 athletic visitors will swell
the Hokitika population in September
as the largest Spring Challenge field yet
descends on the town.
The women’s team adventure race,
which combines mountainbiking with
rafting, hiking and navigation in a
series of either three, six or nine-hour
courses, is almost at capacity.
Organiser Nathan Faavae said at least
350 teams of three, or 1050 people, had
so far registered for the event, which
would be capped at 1100, making it the
largest field so far in the eight years the
event has been running.
Mr Faavae said teams were
traditionally capped at 330. However,
the Hokitika course reached that limit
early on, with spaces left only in the
A further 20-30 teams were also on a
“Because of the demand we have
extended the field a bit but we are close
to the maximum we can cater for. All
up, with supporters and crew, it is about
3000 people to manage, which starts to
put a bit of pressure on our logistics.”
A venue large enough for a prizegiving
function was still to be found.
Accommodation for the weekend was
also filling fast, with most of the central
backpackers, hotels and motels full, he
Hokitika i-Site travel co-ordinator
Shona Marshall said they had been
taking bookings on behalf of the
organisers as soon as registrations
opened. “ The day they opened we were
inundated. Most people had thought
beforehand and got all the holiday
homes,” Mrs Marshall said.
Group accommodation options were
still sought after, with a minimum
booking of three up to 14 including
“Most of them want to stay in their
teams and many are looking for private
houses. I have let out quite a few
now, probably more than during the
Wildfoods. The town will be booming.”
As well as accommodation providers,
business owners are also looking
forward to the influx.
Central Business Retail group
chairman Barry Wilson said its ‘Love
Hokitika’ sub-committee had been
working with organisers for marketing
opportunities. A market day was also
planned for the September 26 weekend.
The timing was “perfect ” — still a
month out from the tourist season
picking up again, Mr Wilson said.
“It can only be good for us.”
Spring Challenge is expected to pump
in at least $1 million into the Hokitika
Mr Faavae said community groups
also stood to benefit.
“ We do usually get community groups
to help out with marshalling and car
parking and some of the logistical jobs
we need a bit of manpower for on the
In return, they were given a donation.
Mr Faavae said he had been in contact
with some volunteers who he expected
to meet with in another Hokitika visit
Some “fine tuning ” of the course
routes would also be done, however the
majority had now been mapped out.
Mr Faavae said details of the routes
always remained under wraps until the
night before and he would only hint
that the start line could be up to an
hour away from Hokitika.
The new West Coast Wilderness
Trail could also be incorporated in the
course, he said.
3000 expected for
West Coast Penguin Trust ranger Ruben Lane
works on the new penguin fence, which is going up
just south of the Fox River, on the Coast Road. He is
looking for volunteer help over the next few weeks.
The trust says progress is taking a bit longer than
expected, and a few volunteers could help ensure
the fence is completed before the nesting season. By
coincidence, this is National Volunteer Week.
Coast Road penguin fence
Coast Road penguin fence
The Grey District Council has
rejected a request from a group of
Cobden residents to have a creek
at the back of their properties
enclosed in concrete piping, at
a potential cost of more than
They put for ward the request as
part of the council’s draft annual
plan submission hearings.
Residents said that when the
water level in the creek rose during
heavy rain, a property in Newcastle
Street, one in Fox Street and three
homes on Bright Street were prone
One resident, who spoke in
support of the submission, said
the surface flooding was “quite
The watercourse either side of the
creek already ran through piping
of about 700mm, however that
was not wide enough to ensure a
constant flow. Piping of 900mm
would ensure a constant water flow.
If the council put piping in place
in the creek, it could fill in the area
above the pipe, he said.
However, a council report
estimated the project would cost
$320,075, including $100,000 for
building secondary water flow
paths, and $86,250 for supplying
and installing the concrete piping.
The submission also said the
side wall of the creek
had collapsed, there had
been a general lack of
maintenance, as well as
overgrowth of weeds in
the creek. The creek never
ran dry and was currently
in a natural state of decay.
It had previously been
cleared out by a periodic
detention gang, however
some of the material had
been left dumped on the
With children living
in two of the properties
backing on to the creek,
safety was also an issue.
The submission said the
water way was under the
A council staff report
said the creek was part of
the stormwater drainage
system for Cobden. The council
had maintained watercourses in
Cobden, and it provided an annual
budget to do so. The budget did
not allow for landscaping of the
creek, just to ensure it remained
The report noted that safety of
children in the adjoining properties
was the responsibility of their
It also said that if the creek was
piped, filling in land above it would
force any water which fell during
storm events on to the surrounding
properties. It would also reduce
the flood carrying capacity of
the surrounding land, unless a
secondary flow path was provided.
Grey District Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said that because there
was no inundation of housing
during flooding, and because of
the sheer expense of it, the council
would not pursue the project.
There were other places in the
district, such as those close to
Raleigh Creek, Runanga, which
were more prone to flooding.
Council rejects calls
to pipe Cobden creek
The Defence Force’s bomb squad were
called to a chemical spill in the Kapiti
Central fire communications shift
manager Chris Dalton said a call
was received about 2.20pm yesterday
alerting them to the spill at an old
tree nursery on Paraparaumu’s Rata
“They were cleaning out a house
and they put a pile of old agricultural
chemicals on a trailer and they were
obviously leaking and they reacted
with some other products on the
“ When they started fuming they
called the fire brigade so we’ve been out
there with Defence Force picking it up.
“Because we didn’t know exactly what
the chemicals were and how to deal
with it, we get the army involved as well
their bomb crews deal with extreme
“They basically put all the chemicals
into containment bins and they screw
the lids on them and they take them
away by another company called
Fire crews were at the scene for more
than four and a half hours, he said.
No-one was injured. — APNZ
Bomb squad called to
Kapiti Coast chemical spill
A Greymouth woman who
overtook vehicles on blind corners
in a high-speed police chase was
today sentenced to 60 hours of
community work and banned from
driving for six months.
Shiree Jan Barnes, 47, was
charged with failing to stop and
reckless driving, on State highway
6 on April 30.
The Greymouth District Court
heard that Barnes drove 11km
while followed by police, who
eventually abandoned the pursuit.
Barnes told police she was too
scared to stop.
Daniel William Lockyer, 26,
of Atarau, was convicted and
remanded until July 1 for driving
with excess blood-alcohol.
Lockyer had two previous
offences. A blood test showed a
blood-alcohol level of 140mcg per
100ml of blood.
Wesley James Skelton, 23, of
Cobden, was remanded until July
1 for receiving stolen property of
$2500 of clothing and makeup on
Kenneth John Russell, 82, of
Blaketown, was banned from
driving for six months and ordered
to pay $420 reparation for careless
driving after knocking a cyclist off
his bike, on March 12.
roundabout in Greymouth he did
not see the victim, striking him
with his car. The victim suffered
broken bones in the accident.
Russell had no previous motoring
Judge John Strettell said Russell
simply did not see the cyclist, who
was “reasonably seriously injured”.
Woman overtook vehicles on blind
corners during 11km police chase
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