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St Thomas’ Runanga
WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, JULY 5, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
prepares for 150th
The 150th anniversary of
Moonlight will be celebrated next
Easter. On April 7, 1865, George
Fairweather Moonlight discovered
payable gold in a rugged gully in the
Paparoa Range. Moonlight’s Gully,
as it was originally known, became
famous for its gold nuggets, the
largest weighing in at a whopping
87.5 ounces. Moonlight community
spokeswoman Gail Johnston said
planning for the weekend activities
next year will get under way over
the next few months.
Water poured into
Greymouth police are looking
for someone who caused extensive
damage to a car by pouring water
into its fuel tank, overnight on
Tuesday. A white Nissan Nivara ute
was parked at the Recreation Hotel
and had its fuel cap forced open
while the owner stayed in a nearby
motel unit, resulting in expensive
repairs. In an unrelated incident,
police arrested a Greymouth man,
59, on Thursday for looking in the
windows of parked vehicles and
trying door handles on Tainui
Street. The police received a call at
12.40pm and quickly located him
walking in the area. He was charged
with unlawfully interfering with a
motor vehicle and will appear in
court on Monday.
Fine with morning frosts
Greymouth Star On-line
A Domino’s Pizza worker in
England was caught on camera
buying 59p bags of potato wedges
from a nearby Aldi supermarket
after the takeaway branch ran out
of the side orders it sells for £3.49.
Dressed in his Domino’s uniform,
the staff member was photographed
at the checkout buying bags of the
frozen snacks. The chain’s shop in
Linlithgow, West Lothian, then
passed off the Aldi wedges as its
Bakin’ Hot Potato Wedges, which
are normally sold at £3.49 per
portion — a difference in price of
£2.90 from the Aldi version. When
first confronted, embarrassed staff
initially claimed the food was for
Pacific Minerals Resources has
been granted a Department of
Conser vation concession to drill
exploratory holes for ilmenite in
Maher Swamp on the Barrytown
Flats — 20 years after a previous
government said ‘no’ to mining.
It wants to extract ilmenite —
found in sand and used as a base for
paint — for processing at a possible
plant to be built in Greymouth. An
office was opened recently in Gresson
Fletchers mounted the last bid to
mine the ilmenite sands in 1988.
Five years later, then Conser vation
Minister Denis Marshall declined a
bid to mine Maher Swamp. Pacific
Minerals does not have permission
to mine in the wetland, but DOC has
recently granted a permit for 32 drill
holes to be sunk over six to 10 days.
The area includes stewardship land,
scenic reser ves and marginal strip.
Outgoing West Coast Conser vation
Board chairman Stewart Robertson,
who lives at Barrytown, said the
question the board was most
frequently asked was ‘why allow
exploration when actual mining is
likely to be problematic?’ .
DOC had told the conser vation
board that by law it could not refuse
to process an exploration application
in an area that was not excluded from
mining in schedule four.
Pacific Minerals director Jim Hickey
said the timing for the drilling would
depend on rig availability and the
availability of key technical staff, and
the weather. A low impact rig would
“There will always be opposition
to mining or development of any
kind, with opposition generally
articulated by special interest groups
who generally have their own specific
agenda,” Mr Hickey said.
“That said, developments can
only proceed if they comply with
all statutory requirements, and the
majority of the community supports
the venture. To date, we have received
over whelming encouragement from
all sectors of the community on the
West Coast,” Mr Hickey said.
Forest and Bird West Coast
chairwoman Kathy Gilbert said
they had just received information
requested from councils and were still
waiting on an Official Information
Act inquiry from DOC.
The copy of the exploratory drilling
concession, released by DOC under
the Official Information Act, shows
that compensation has been allowed
for general access and “industrial
The concession says the environment
disturbance must be minimised, no
debris could be dumped, or water
polluted. Each drill hole is to be
The work must be done between
January and June, to mitigate any
impact on breeding swamp birds such
as fernbird and crake, and the little
blue penguin. West Coast Regional
Council consents and compliance
manager Jackie Adams said some
of the drill holes were a permitted
‘Yes’ to Maher Swamp drilling
Gravel in the Waiho (Waiau) River
at Franz Josef Glacier has built up so
much that continual flood alerts have
civil defence on edge, and authorities
are left wondering what to do.
The riverbed at the State highway
bridge, just downstream from the
glacier, has been steadily building up
by 20cm a year. In the 1980s, the old
suspension bridge was removed and
replaced with a Bailey bridge because
of the gravel build-up, but it too has
had to be lifted up several times to
keep it clear of floodwaters.
New Zealand Transport Agency
regional partnerships manager
Pete Connors said if the original
suspension bridge was still there it
would now be covered in a couple of
metres of gravel.
The West Coast Regional Council
monitors the Waiho in case it floods,
but it has built up so much it reached
the first stage alarm six times in May
The council intends meeting with
Franz Josef ratepayers to work out
what to do.
Planning and environment manager
Mike Meehan said the gravel build-
up had been gradually worsening for
at least 40 years.
“You used to be able to fly a plane
under the road bridge. It would have
been 8m lower 40 years ago,” Mr
Clearing out the riverbed would cost
$10-15 million, he said.
“The only option at the moment is
to keep raising the banks to ensure the
“ We do need to discuss it with the
Scientists told the council in a 2012
report that repeatedly raising the
floodwall was not sustainable.
Mr Meehan said one other thing
that could be done was to relax the
river boundaries to allow it to migrate
to “where it needs to go”.
For now, the situation was so bad
that “pretty standard” rainfall was
triggering the flood alarms, and there
was also the increased risk of a flood
going over the stopbanks.
“There is no question that the south
side is vulnerable,” Mr Meehan said.
“ We’ve got to be really vigilant on
the warnings. We relay that to the
Westland District Council and they
get people on the ground. They send
someone to have a look and keep an
eye on it.”
Mr Connors said the bridge had
been raised three times since 1991,
and lengthened once.
“It’s okay for now,” he said.
Waiho Flat resident Sandra Tinirau,
who has lived there for 29 years, said
although they were not right beside
the river they had watched it build up
“a lot ” over the years.
“It just keeps coming up,” Mrs
Some residents had learned to live
with the threat, but there would be
a major access concern if the bridge
went as there was no alternative route
for the State highway.
In 2002, the director of Civil
Defence warned of the potential for
a ‘dam break’ type flood from the
Callery River tributary, immediately
upstream of the State highway bridge.
By then, the riverbed had lifted by
8m in just 15 years. The most at-risk
area on the south bank was cleared,
and today only a motel block remains.
A meeting will be held with residents
in the next couple of months.
The original name for the river is
Waiau, which means ‘smoking waters’,
a reference to the river’s tremendous
Concerns over rising Waiho riverbed
Val Rew ser ves one of her last customers, Tom Fahey, at John Paul II High School yesterday. Mrs Rew has run the school’s canteen for 15 years, doing it solo for
the last 10. She began feeding the students as one of six or seven parent helpers. But the helpers dwindled and Mrs Rew took over the canteen. Yesterday she said
that she had enjoyed serving the children — “I love them all”. Leaving was tinged with “sadness”, but she was going to spend her time pulling weeds from her
garden in Runanga. The canteen is situated in a building at the school that is going to be pulled down, as it has not met the required earthquake standards.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Val’s ‘last supper’
Westland property developer
Gavin Molloy has been
liquidated after a claim by the
Inland Revenue Department.
Callery Holdings Ltd was put
into liquidation at a hearing in
the Greymouth District Court
Appointed liquidator Malcom
Coopers, said the liquidation
had been instigated by the IRD,
which was owed unpaid taxes.
However, at this stage it had not
provided its claim against the
Mr Molloy remains as a
registered director, although all
of his legal and management
obligations with the company
have now ceased and been taken
over by Mr Hollis.
At the end of April, Mr Molloy
was fined $2000 for failing to
furnish the IRD with 10 tax
returns, while his company was
fined $1000 for the four charges
At the time, Mr Molloy had
said he thought his partner in the
business, who was an accountant,
had looked after the company ’s
He had since hired another
accountant and all but one of
the returns had now been filed,
resulting in refunds to Mr Molloy
and the company
Between July 1, 2002 and
June 11 this year, Hokitika man
Lindsay Beckett Smith had been
listed as a director.
Mr Smith is currently facing
numerous fraud and forgery
charges, including using a forged
mortgage acceptance of loan
document, two charges of using
a forged private corporate client
authority loan agreement, and
a forged waiver of independent
legal advice document.
Mr Smith still has 50 shares
in Callery Holdings, while the
other 50 are held by Game One
Ltd, registered in Tauranga.
Mr Smith was also charged
with causing losses of $222,250
to Michael and Lillian Ross
by deception, and by deception
obtaining control of a $520,000
In June last year, Callery
Holdings and Glacier Air, both
previously owned by Mr Molloy
and Mr Smith threatened to sue
the Westland District Council
on grounds that the council had
“deceptively” squeezed them out
of the helicopter tourism market
at the glaciers.
They alleged that the council
then set up its own heliport
company on the land Glacier
Air had been forced to vacate at
Franz Josef Glacier.
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