Home' Greymouth Star : June 25th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
An international science team plans
to drill a 1.3km-deep hole into the
Alpine Fault, near Whataroa, later
this year to find out more about the
‘inner workings’ of New Zealand’s
main faultline, and the earthquakes it
The team, led by New Zealand
scientists, will start drilling in early
Project co-leader Rupert Sutherland,
of GNS Science, said drilling technology
had matured to a point where a lot of
crucial information about the fault ’s
inner workings could be gleaned from a
“The Alpine Fault saves up all its
energy for one big showdown every
few hundred years. In between its big
ruptures, it stays locked and produces
minor earthquakes and tremor,” Dr
An international science panel has
reviewed the project plans in detail and
conc luded that every precaution will be
taken to ensure the operation is safe.
The Whataroa location is regarded
by scientists as one of the best sites in
the world. There, scientists will be able
to examine rock samples extracted
from the fault zone and install sensitive
monitoring equipment to record small
earthquakes and measure temperature,
pressure and a range of chemical
The project will be one of the first
attempts to probe the inside of a major
fault before it ruptures. As part of a lead-
up to this year’s project, a smaller group
of scientists drilled two boreholes to
about 150m in early 2011.
It found the existence of a finely-
ground, impermeable layer of rock in the
centre of the fault zone, holding back
large amounts of fluid on the upper east
side of the fault. This was a surprise as it
had not been anticipated from the many
surface studies of the fault dating back
to the 1970s.
Scientists believe the large difference
in fluid pressures on either side of the
fault zone could play a role in initiating
the first slipping movements as an
Their aim is to intersect the fault at
about 1km depth and drill a further
300m into the underlying Australian
tectonic plate. They will take rock
samples from the borehole for analysis.
The inside walls of the 10cm-diameter
borehole will be studied with a camera-
like device. They will also lower other
scanning equipment to examine rock
Near Whataroa, the fault cuts into
the Earth’s crust at about 45 degrees,
which means it can be investigated with
a vertical borehole without the need
for expensive angle drilling. Scientists
believe it last ruptured in 1717 in an
earthquake that produced about 8m
of horizontal movement and vertical
movement of 1m to 2m along the fault.
The project involves scientists — and
funding — from more than a dozen
organisations in New Zealand, Canada,
France, Germany, Japan, the United
Kingdom, and the United States. It is
being led by scientists from GNS Science,
Victoria University of Wellington, and
the University of Otago.
2 - Wednesday, June 25, 2014
New doctors for Coast
Staffing at GP practices Coast-
wide remains strong. The West Coast
District Health Board said today
new doctors had started at Reefton,
Westport and in South Westland. A
further four long-term doctors are
expected to start later in the year, as
well as two long-term casual locums,
who will provide back-up cover.
More mental assessments
There has been a large increase in
the number of children and young
people being seen by the West
Coast District Health Board child
and youth mental health ser vices.
Between January and April, there
was a significant increase in ‘crisis
presentations’. D uring the same
period last year there were an average
of three crisis presentations a month,
compared with an average of 10.5 in
the 2014 year, the board said.
Alayna Watene is the new
temporary head of Hokitika-based
West Coast Maori health provider,
Poutini Waiora. The West Coast
District Health Board agenda
papers say that Ms Watene has been
appointed interim leader after Dr
Melissa Cragg resigned in May. Ms
Watene has extensive experience as
the chief executive of Te Taiwhenua
o Heretaunga, in Hastings.
A fully-laden logging truck and
trailer spilled its load after crashing
off Pungaere Road near State
highway 10, in Northland yesterday.
Kerikeri police senior sergeant Peter
Robinson said the truck and trailer
had negotiated a corner but the left-
hand side of the unit had gone off
the tarseal. The unit was pulled over
and the logs spilled across the road
about 10.30am. The road was closed
until about 2.25pm. No charges
had been laid yet and police were
investigating. — APNZ-Northern
Diesel spill on road
Some road lanes in south Auckland
have been closed after a large diesel
oil spill. Police said the spill occurred
on Wiri Station Road this morning
and extended on to Langley Road.
Council contractors, Fire Ser vice
staff and police were at the scene.
Wiri Station Road eastbound and
Druces Road southbound were
closed until further notice, and some
disruption to traffic was expected.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Resolution II, Cook Canyon.
Departures: Galatea II, Ocean
Odyssey. In port: Cook Canyon,
Resolution II, Claymore, Electra, 25
other vessels. Expected departures:
Resolution II, tomorrow. Expected
arrivals: Moon Shadow II,
tomorrow; Jay Elaine, Friday.
Scientists probe Alpine Fault
The West Coast mobile
dental vehicles have to go to
Christchurch to have their
ceiling panels replaced due to the
risk of formaldehyde in the glue
holding the tiles in place.
month that urgent testing was
under way in Canterbury after
formaldehyde levels three times
national health standards were
found in a Canterbury clinic. For
the past year, dental therapists
from the clinic have suffered
headaches, nausea, itchy eyes,
runny noses, aggravated asthma
and skin irritation.
understood staff first complained
about an acrid smell and
chemical exposure symptoms in
March 2013, just a month after
the clinic first opened.
The Coast mobile clinics were
purchased as part of a national
procurement process, the West
Coast District Health Board said
in papers released today.
Work Safe NZ was immediately
informed of the issue and had
worked with the Canterbury and
West Coast boards on a plan of
As part of that, an independent
occupational health physician, Dr
Andrew Hilliard, was engaged to
ensure that appropriate actions
were identified and taken. Dr
Hilliard had stated publicly that
the risk to staff who worked
in the clinics was very low and
for the general public who had
spent a short time there, it was
the dental team “has been
concentrating on clearing the
backlog of patients waiting, as
the ser vice is below (full-time
equivalent) for dental therapists,
which are difficult to recruit ”.
Good progress had been made,
with the waiting list significantly
decreased, the DHB said.
Mobile dental units in
for formaldehyde fears
Wednesday June 25
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Qualified FD Since 1973
COLEMAN. — Bryan
and Maya, proud thank-
ful parents, along with
Ron and Cushla, Lynette
and Bruce, and Terri
(over the moon grand-
parents), announce the
arrival of a beautiful
baby boy on June 23,
2014. Born in Australia,
but of genuine Kiwi
ancestry. Messages to
1172 Yeppoon Road,
Ironpot 4701, Central
1.3km drilling plan near Whataroa
Holcim New Zealand is making big
changes to its New Zealand operations,
by building a new $50 million import
cement terminal at Timaru’s port,
looking at selling its lime operations
including Dunback, keeping a new
cement plant at Weston on hold and
combining management with Australia.
Work is expected to start on the
Timaru’s Prime Port in August, with
a second, worth another $50m, in
Auckland in December.
The two new terminals will each
employ up to 50 people during the
construction phase and when completed
each will have six employees.
“This confirmation of start dates can be
taken as a sign of the global company ’s
confidence in the strength of the New
Zealand market and in particular
the opportunities with the rebuild of
Christchurch post-earthquake,” Holcim
NZ’s managing director Jeremy Smith
The Auckland terminal enabled
Holcim to supply directly into one of its
major markets and the Timaru terminal
gave access to the major market of
Both should be operational by the
second half of 2016.
Building an import terminal at Timaru
was also consistent with Holcim’s option
of eventually building a new cement
plant at Weston, which remained on
hold, Mr Smith said.
Holcim intended to retain all the
assets associated with the Weston site
Prime Port chief executive Jeremy Boys
said the announcement was heartening
and positive, coming after discussions
dating back to last year.
It would also involve a separate
investment by the port in upgrading the
No 2 wharf, providing infrastructure
and dredging, estimated to cost about
Mr Boys could not say what
contribution the terminal would make
to the port’s income because that was
commercially sensitive, but said it was a
welcome long-term addition.
Holcim in August decided imported
cement would replace local production
at the Westport cement plant, which
would close once the two import
terminals were fully operational.
Holcim is now reviewing its options
for its lime businesses, which could
include divesting part or all of the lime
operations because they were outside the
company ’s future core focus.
McDonalds Lime Ltd employed
72 people at the country’s largest
single lime quarry at Oparure, just
north of Te Kuiti. The company had
manufacturing plants at Otorohanga
and Te Kuiti.
Taylors Lime’s 12 staff at Dunback
had also been briefed about the review.
A “comprehensive process” would
assess the options with a specialist to
Mr Smith said the changes would
eventually reduce the scale and scope of
the New Zealand business and require
a smaller corporate management,
making it logical to combine it with the
Australian operations into one business.
Mr Smith’s job would be disbanded at
the end of this year, but he would remain
with the company into next year to assist
with the transition.
A country manager would be
appointed for New Zealand later this
year, with Mark Campbell, at present
Australian chief executive officer, taking
over the joint management.
— Otago Daily Times
Big changes for Holcim’s NZ operation
Motorcycle club backs youth programme with funds
Greymouth Big Brother Big Sister chair woman Nicki Searle, left, James Johnson and West Coast Touring Motorcycle Club
president Ray Leach.The club, which runs the annual Woodstock Rally, has donated $1000 to the youth programme.
PICTURE: Janna Sherman
Grey Main School pupil Jessica McEwan, and Karoro School pupil Niamh Colledge show off their
rubber band bracelets — the latest craze which has been adorning the arms of children across the
country. Some bands come with scents while others can glow in the dark, and all of them can be made
into bracelets ranging from the simple to the elaborate. Samantha Friend, also of Grey Main, said she
made the bracelets ever y day: “Whenever I have the chance to.”
Pupils show off rubber band bracelets
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
William Payn, 18, of Reefton, told
police he had had five bourbon and colas
at home then gone for a joyride when he
was stopped in South Street in Reefton
on June 1.
He pleaded guilty in the Westport
District Court last week to a drink-
Police prosecutor Steven Greer said
Payn blew 549mg.
Judge John Strettell said it was Payn’s
first appearance and he must have known
he should not have been driving.
He fined him $500 and ordered him
to pay court costs. He disqualified him
from driving for six months.
— Westport News
Smith ‘open-minded’ over
more protection for
Conser vation Minister Nick
Smith says he is open-minded
about whether stewardship land
should be given more protection,
a move which could make it
harder to mine some areas.
Maori Party co-leader Te
Ururoa Flavell asked Dr Smith in
Parliament yesterday if he would
investigate the opportunity
to set aside the 55 ecological
areas that were currently in the
conser vation estate and include
them in schedule 4 — land which
cannot be mined.
It comes after Parliamentary
reported yesterday that one third
of New Zealand’s conser vation
land had “ weak” protection,
simply classified as stewardship.
“ Yes, I am open-minded about
reviewing areas of stewardship
land that are of high value,” Dr
He was also asked if it was too
easy to gain a consent to mine on
conser vation land.
But Dr Smith said the Bathurst
mine at Denniston showed just
how slow and how difficult it
“The application for that mine
was originally lodged in 2008.
I am embarrassed to note that
there were over 30 hearings
before commissioners, before
the High Court, the Court of
Appeal, and the Supreme Court
over that particular application,
and I actually think it shows the
opposite — that it is very difficult
to get consent to mine on public
conser vation land,” the minister
Indians escaping their hot summer are
expected to eye the West Coast as a tourist
destination over the winter months, after
tourism bounced back strongly this autumn.
Tourism West Coast chief executive Jim
Little said the colder months here were
favoured by those in the warmer climates.
“ We get a number of people from India
coming through because at that time of the
year it can reach 48degC in Delhi,” Mr Little
He also expected solid for ward bookings
with the Australian school holidays looming
after next week. The United States and
German markets also showed increases.
“O verall signs for the future are positive,
with our operators showing strong for ward
bookings for the coming summer and a great
response from TRENZ in Auckland last
Tourism New Zealand corporate affairs
general manager Chris Roberts reinforced that.
“ Looking at the emerging India market,
May is a traditional holiday period as Indian
visitors escape the hot Indian summer, and
the growth we have seen this year reinforces
the potential we see from this market and
supports our increased activity to drive
arrivals,” Mr Roberts said.
The summer ‘shoulder’ had held up, with
increasing numbers arriving in the West
Coast during April.
Mr Little said year to date numbers were
up 5%, with international numbers were
up 9.7%, although domestic numbers fell
0.9%. Guest nights for April were up 18.9%
compared to last year, with international
numbers up 20.7% and domestic up 16.7%.
According to the Department of
Conser vation, the Haast Visitor Centre saw
a 14% increase (46,700 visitors) and Franz
Josef Glacier Visitor Centre a 16.5% increase
(58,500 visitors), between January and the
end of May.
Paparoa National Park i-Site manager
Prue Grant said April alone had seen 15,000
people through the door.
“ For April we were 10% ahead of the
previous year,” Ms Grant said.
May had dropped by more than half, down
to 7000, although that was on par with
“That ’s just generally what happens, it does
get really quiet . . . it starts to ramp up again
In Greymouth, Noah’s Ark Backpackers
manager Matthew Bridge said they had
done all right into autumn, but had not
seen the significant increase that figures had
“ We had quite a good April, but not
anything close to a 20% increase. We were
more on the same level,” Mr Bridge said.
Business had gone quiet now and he did not
have high expectations.
“ It was pretty quiet last year and I’m not
expecting much more this year.”
Indians may eye Coast
as tourist destination
Kiwi could lose some
of their food sources if
logging of windthrow
timber on conser vation
land on the West Coast is
allowed, one scientist says.
University of Auckland
terrestrial ecology senior
lecturer Margaret Stanley
said it may seem sensible
to allow the removal of
dead trees. However, they
were a vital part of the
Many native species,
from microbes and
bacteria to fungi, lichens,
reptiles, bats and birds
relied on decaying wood
on the forest floor.
“ Kiwi and many other
species eat insects
that rely on decaying
wood and vegetation so
everything is interlinked
in a forest ecosystem and
removal of windblown
trees will affect those
linkages and inhibit forest
growth,” Dr Stanley said.
There was also a
gap about the biological
importance of decaying
wood to native species
which in turn had
Dead tree removal was
also likely to target larger
trees which contributed
the most to biodiversity,
The director of a risk
business says he is
“recovering well” after a
300kg alloy tower fell on
The Fire and Rescue
New Zealand director,
50, is in Hawke’s Bay
Hospital after he
sustained head and spine
injuries when a tower
struck him on Monday.
The accident happened at
the man’s workplace, which
doubles as his residence,
School. A hospital
spokesman said the man
was in a stable condition
yesterday. — APNZ-
Hawke’s Bay Today
Man on mend
Links Archive June 24th 2014 June 26th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page