Home' Greymouth Star : August 4th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
braves the rain
Seddon Shield challenge
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MONDAY, AUGUST 4, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Boy winched from
Coal Creek Falls
An 11-year-old boy who fell
and injured his back on Saturday
afternoon while visiting the Coal
Creek Falls, near Runanga, had to
be winched to safety by the NZCC
Rescue Helicopter. He was flown to
Grey Base Hospital. The helicopter
had not long returned from
Mawheraiti, where it collected a
21-year-old man who dislocated his
prosthetic hip in a farm accident.
Jackie sings in
Greymouth singer Jackie Thomas,
winner of last year’s New Zealand
X-Factor, has banded together with
her fellow musicians and a few All
Blacks to release a song to benefit
New Zealand communities. Thomas
has joined Stan Walker, Moorhouse,
Annie Crummer, Clara van Wel,
and Boh Runga to release the
charity single A Song for Everyone.
It has been released in conjunction
with the For Everyone Charitable
Foundation, headed by All Blacks
Ali Williams, Dan Carter and Richie
McCaw. The song is available on
iTunes now and available at The
Warehouse from Wednesday.
A group of kayakers, including a
woman with a dislocated shoulder,
spent a cold Saturday night in the
bush between Ross and Hari Hari
after the NZCC Rescue Helicopter
was unable to get to the site due
to the windy weather. The woman
was kayaking on the Kakapotahi
River when she suffered the injury.
The helicopter returned to the area
yesterday morning but was unable to
locate them near the river. However,
pilot Angus Taylor said the kayakers
were spotted from the air after
someone saw bushes moving. The
group had been attempting to walk
out overnight. The entire party was
winched to safety.
Showers turning to rain
Police were shocked to discover
100 chickens in the car of a drunk
driver they pulled over. Officers
eventually retrieved 58 live chickens
from a cage in Luis Motola-Placio’s
car in Nebraska, United States. The
other 42 were reportedly crushed
by the mass of their fellow chickens
on them. Mr Placio, 36, who
was stopped in January, has since
received a 15-year ban from driving
because of his drunkenness and
was also handed a livestock neglect
conviction. He will also ser ve 180
days in prison and pay a $1000
penalty. — Metro
Homeless in 30secs
In wind-wary Blaketown
they were patching roofs again
yesterday after yet another natural
disaster, and one family with no
insurance is wondering where to
This time three families were
left homeless, and garages and
everything within them cast
asunder, in 30 seconds of terror
when a tornado spun off the sea
during a tempest on Saturday
Tornadoes and windstorms
are no strangers to Blaketown.
So much so that residents know
exactly what to do when disaster
strikes. Yesterday, troops of
local residents rallied up ladders
including the Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn, hammer in hand —
to secure tarpaulins across gaping
roofs in a race to beat the next
downpour, and help pick up the
debris that littered the Doyle
Blaketown folk are well drilled
in tornado-wind damage repairs.
Only 15 weeks after easterlies
from Cyclone Ita howled through
the suburb, demolishing the hall
and ripping the roofs off about
a dozen Blaketown homes, some
are still roof-less and others are
still under repair.
Those cyclone repairs came
only six years after the July 31,
2008 windstorm blew roofs off in
Blaketown and Cobden, and that
also was only three years after a
vicious tornado roared through
Collins Street on March 10, 2005,
before moving across the lagoon
to cut a swathe through central
Greymouth, damaging over 100
homes in the process.
Marcia Pere’s home, on the
corner of Doyle and Coakley
Streets, suffered the worst damage
Adding to the despair, her
house was uninsured due to
wrangling after the Christchurch
earthquakes about houses more
than 100 years old. She does have
A large part of her roof went,
and the garage. Unsecured on
Saturday night, rain poured in,
saturating carpets and furniture.
Today she was unsure what
would happen next as the
electricals were all wet. She was
unsure how bad the structural
damage was until a builder friend
had looked at it.
“One whole side, where the
fire brigade didn’t put a tarp, got
completely drenched,” Ms Pere
That means she has to move
out. She cannot afford the costly
repairs, but would “love to go
back to my own house”, which
she owns outright.
Unsure where to turn, she
is considering setting up a
fundraising page on the website
Give a Little.
When a Grey District Council
staff member drove past yesterday
and informed them they had to
secure the roof, the family was left
unsure what to do.
So family matriarch Maree
Awatere approached Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn, who spent four hours
on the roof himself helping secure
“ We tried everyone, we couldn’t
find anyone to help,” Mrs Awatere
Mr Kokshoorn today said the
Mayoral Relief Fund would be
available to all victims to help
get them over the short-term
problem. “It hasn’t got a lot in it,
but it will be a helping hand to get
them through the week.”
With this latest event the
council has exhausted its supply
“They’re all over Greymouth.
We only had one left yesterday.
They are all over town from the
last (disaster) still.”
Blaketown residents can have
some consolation in knowing that
their insurance rates will not be
Insurance Council of New
manager Samson Samasoni said
the recent weather events were
highly unlikely to have any impact
on premiums or insurability.
“ If there are repeated costly
events in the same area over a
period of time, individual insurers
will assess their appetite for
taking on the risk and the price
of that risk, but it’s more likely to
require a significant number of
costly recurrences before policy
holders are likely to see any
change on premiums or excesses,”
Mr Samasoni said.
For video footage of the
Blaketown tornado, check the
Greymouth Star Facebook page.
Fifty-one workers at the Oceana
Gold Globe Progress Mine were
laid off this morning.
The job losses, which have been
signalled for more than a month,
come as the company heads
towards putting the Reefton mine
into ‘care and maintenance’ next
One employee said the workers
were called to a meeting at the
Tai Poutini Polytechnic Reefton
campus this morning, when
they were handed a letter and
immediately stopped work.
Manufacturing Union West Coast
organiser Garth Elliott confirmed
the job losses.
He also said more redundancies
were to come.
Asked if many of the 51 had
new jobs to go to, he said “there’s
not a lot on the West Coast at the
the 240-strong Reefton mine
workforce by about 25%.
Poor international gold prices
have eroded the mine’s profitability.
Oceana Gold could not be
reached for comment this morning.
51 mine jobs gone
PICTURE: Laura Mills
When Marcia Pere’s Blaketown home was left exposed to the elements after the tornado on Saturday night, rain got in and the family was unsure where to turn.
Adding to their woes, the Grey District Council told them they had to secure the roof, so Mayor Tony Kokshoorn was called in for help. The Mayor surprised them
when he turned up with a tarpaulin and then climbed on to the roof to help do the work himself, above left, alongside Ms Pere’s partner Anthony Jurgens. Family
matriarch Maree Awatere said one of her girls, Jo Jones, was working in Video Ezy when the big 2005 tornado hit, now Ms Pere’s house had been hit. “It didn’t have to
pick on us twice. I’ve only got two girls, hopefully that’s the end of tornadoes for us.”
Why does the Coast attract tornadoes?
Blaketown may feel like tornado alley,
but the Metser vice says the whole West
Coast is tornado-prone.
Forecasters also noted today that
tornadoes often come in phases.
The big tornado of March 2005, which
smashed its way over Blaketown and
Greymouth, was just nine months after
another had damaged Bannockbrae
Signs and Super Liquor in Gresson
Last week, a water spout was spotted
off Serpentine Beach, and about nine
hours later a tornado hit two properties
at South Beach, Greymouth.
Metser vice severe weather forecaster
John Crouch said the area between Haast
and Westport got the most tornadoes in
the country. However, when they hit in
Greymouth and Hokitika, where most
of the region’s population resided, they
were more noticeable.
Often they came in phases, including
those in 2004-05.
Tornadoes were associated with
thunder, which the Coast was more
prone to as they moved off the Tasman
Sea. Lift from the Southern Alps helped
trigger the thunder storms.
A front was often preceded by a north-
easterly because onshore winds such as
nor-westers were turned around, in the
lowest 1 to 2km of the atmosphere.
“It comes in from the north-west, hits
the Southern Alps ... and gets turned
into a north-easterly. ”
In plain language, an onshore wind is
turned as its hits the alps — and that is
conducive to tornadoes forming.
The Greymouth ‘barber ’ — a katabatic
wind that blows through the Cobden
Gorge — was not a factor, and generally
occurred when cold weather drained
out from the Grey River. It generally
happened in colder weather, during
Mr Crouch said thunderstorms
forecast for Thursday brought the small
possibility of conditions that were
conducive to tornadoes.
100 years since outbreak of Great War
PICTURE: History House
Soldiers, probably from Hokitika, disembark from the train at the Greymouth Railway Station as they begin their fateful march down Mackay Street to the wharf
at the beginning of World War One in August 1914. Today marks 100 years since war was declared in Europe. Possibly upwards of 600 West Coasters died in the so-
called Great War.
West Coast story, New Zealand observance, p3; world commemorations, p6.
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