Home' Greymouth Star : July 4th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
playcentre turns 40
World Cup overpass
collapses on bus
Hokitika police uncovered a
cannabis growing operation while
ser ving documents at an address last
night. Police carried out a search
under the Search and Sur veillance
Act of the address and discovered
two cannabis grow rooms operating.
Fifty-one “well manicured” plants
were seized together with a large
quantity of dried cannabis, utensils
and growing equipment. A 57-year-
old Hokitika man will be appearing
in the Greymouth District Court on
charges later this month.
Trees go on sale
Timber companies have until July
25 to apply to the Department of
Conser vation to recover native trees
blown down on the conser vation
estate during Cyclone Ita.
Legislation passed under urgency
last week made it legal to take
timber off certain parts of the DOC
estate. The director-general is now
calling for requests for application,
with just over three weeks open for
submissions. Further applications
will be assessed on a three-monthly
Pike work delayed
Work on the Pike River re-entry is
progressing more slowly than hoped.
In August last year, the Government
announced $7 million funding for
Solid Energy’s plan to re-enter the
mine. The work was expected to
take about six months. In April, it
was reported it was taking longer
than expected. The Greymouth Star
understands ongoing delays have
again pushed back the timetable.
Raining clearing in the evening
Greymouth Star On-line
A one-armed cyclist has received
an apology after being fined for
riding his bike — with only one
hand. Bogdan Ionescu was hit with
the ridiculous $40 charge because
he only had one handbrake on the
left side of his bike and no braking
mechanism on the right. He was
stopped by police while riding his
bike in Cologne. Despite having
legally modified his bike so he can
control another brake with his foot.
on the cards
Blackball could be set for a makeover
with the community working on projects
to reinvigorate the township by drawing
on its rich past, including a cycle trail.
Grey District Council eastern ward
councillor Anton Becker, said he was
hoping to inspire some pride and “tidy
the place up”.
The old information kiosk at the
entranceway to the town would be
moved and a welcome to Blackball sign
erected. He was also looking at having a
street light put in at the bottom of the
“If you didn’t know Blackball was there,
you could quite easily miss it.”
The community was also working with
the Department of Conser vation to put
a cycle trail from the town, down to the
old railway track towards Roa and loop
Cr Becker said he was still hoping to
secure some funding to help with the
restoration, but was eager to “get the ball
rolling” on some of the projects.
He had taken some inspiration from
the restoration of Kumara, and believed
Blackball could offer even more.
“I think it has got more appeal than
Photo billboards would be set up at the
entrance to the town and at the museum.
Cr Becker said he hoped to get people to
spend more time in the town.
“There is no use staying for half an
He has started by securing a ride-on
mower for the community so they can
maintain the street berms more regularly.
At the moment, the council only
mowed the area twice a year, he said.
The Grey Valley Lions are also planning
to set up a gazebo at the cemetery.
Blackball Residents’ Association Trust
chairman Paul Maunder, said they were
looking to add another container to the
museum next to the Hilton, which would
be filled with Blackball memorabilia.
The information site at the bottom of
the hill had become quite derelict and he
was keen for it to be moved so everything
could be in one place.
The Croesus Track had always been
a drawcard for the town and he was
excited at the current proposal for a loop
track from the Croesus hut.
Mr Maunder said the town had plenty
of history and relics hidden around that
could be opened up for visitors.
“The mine site is one of the most
accessible mine sites of that era.”
Tourism West Coast chief executive
Jim Little said the town had a lot of
heritage to offer.
“The whole heritage story on the West
Coast is huge and Blackball has got
heaps of it. ”
Mr Little said there was no reason why
Blackball could not become a popular
“If it is done right and marketed
properly, then yes.”
He said Kumara’s success had been
driven by passionate and enthusiastic
people and had benefited from its own
Ag Fest organisers were hoping
many thousands of would people turn
out from far and wide, as the event
opened in Hokitika this morning
under clear skies and with snowy alps.
After 18 months of planning, the
biennial event was back in Cass
Square and co-organiser Andy
Thompson said they hoped to see
6000 to 8000 people today and
“ We know they are coming from
Franz Josef and we know they are
coming from Karamea.”
Mr Thompson said Hokitika was
full and he understood people were
travelling from Canterbury for the
event. They had received “tremendous”
support and thanked those who had
helped set up over the past two days.
Fellow organiser Phil Lemon was
excited about the return of the two-
day agricultural event for its second
“It is a way bigger event this time.”
Mr Lemon said 98% of their site
holders from 2012 had returned and
many had asked for bigger stalls. Over
250 exhibitors were booked in, up
from the 140 at the last event.
Some well known faces will be
among the crowd with cook Jo Seagar
presenting cooking demonstrations at
Expert on weather Phil Duncan,
from Weather Watch, will discuss
rural weather patterns.
Hokitika’s world champion axeman
Adam L owe will showcase some
of his talents at a timber sports
demonstration Another attempt will
be made to set the world record for
most people wearing gumboots at a
single event tomorrow.
Mr Lemon said the event was
not solely about agriculture, with
the Anzco women’s expo set up as
a shopping mall featuring fashion,
jewellery and kitchen stalls.
Gates will be open from 9am-4pm
each day. Entry is $5 for adults and
free for children.
PICTURE: Janna Sherman
A 29-year-old Reefton man has
been jailed for four years and six
months for his part in the burglary
of five different farms in April last
year, as well as a number of drug
Christian Shannon Leylander
was one of three men charged with
breaking into offices and stealing
items from the Shingle Creek,
More Cow 1, Kowhai Downs and
More Cow 2 farms, in April 2013.
He was also solely charged with
offering to sell ecstasy and receiving
a $30,000 jetboat knowing that it
was stolen. He jointly stole a trailer
valued at $2500.
Judge Paul Kellar said in the
Greymouth District Court on
Tuesday that Leylander had drunk
heavily over a period of time,
which had eventually moved him
to taking methamphetamine (P),
which Leylander admitted had
“taken over” his life.
Judge Kellar said the man had
been in a position of trust at the
time of the offending, and he had
betrayed that trust. That was a
“ highly aggravating factor” in the
Leylander had six previous
convictions for burglary, 22 for
dishonest use of a credit card, six for
theft and four for receiving.
James Ashley Findlater, 26, of
Westport, who had been working
with Leylander at the time of the
offending, was also accused of
breaking into and stealing from the
Findlater had been scheduled
to appear alongside Leylander.
However, he was remanded to
appear in the Christchurch District
Court on July 3 because a pre-
sentence report had not been
8000 expected at Ag Fest
Rich past to be reinvigorated
Farm burglar jailed
New figures show the West Coast
economic decline had bottomed
out and was starting to recover —
until a new round of job losses was
announced at the Stockton and
The region’s fortunes began to
wane after the Pike River Mine
disaster in 2010, followed by the
closure of the Spring Creek Mine
as international coal prices fell, and
ongoing job cuts at the Stockton
The regional economic activity
report, released last month by the
Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment, shows that by
early this year the numbers of those
out of work had hit bottom, the tide
had turned, and more people were
in paid employment.
But within weeks of that report,
Solid Energy announced a further
185 job losses at Stockton, and
Oceana Gold said it was letting
go 60 jobs at Reefton as it moved
towards putting the Globe
Progress open-cast into ‘care and
Buller Mayor Garry Howard said
he thought the region was suffering
from a “follow-on effect ”.
“ When one person leaves, it
doesn’t stop there,” Mr Howard
He was trying to remain positive,
despite the mine job losses and the
impending closure of the Holcim
cement plant at Cape Foulwind,
but he admitted it was difficult.
“ We can’t live on hope. There’s a
large challenge ahead of us.”
Mr Howard has put for ward
employment but said “the council
can’t make it happen. It’s up to the
central government ”.
opportunities were on the horizon
for the West Coast but he did not
think they would be enough.
Westland Milk Products will
have 36 new jobs available in
Hokitika when its new spray drier
construction is completed next
year, and in Greymouth, Westfleet
Seafood Ltd hopes to increase its
permanent staff by at least 20%
when its new fish factory is finished
in time for the 2015 hoki season.
More job losses stall West
Coast economic recovery
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