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Greymouth property ladder over 25 years
WEST COAST FEATURE
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SATURDAY, AUGUST 9, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Runanga chess champs
off to nationals
ser vices in focus
A public meeting on Thursday,
August 21, will start a process to
look at health ser vices in Reefton.
West Coast District Health Board
chief executive David Meates said
when he was last in Reefton he
made a commitment that when
the DHB had greater certainty
about the facility developments in
Greymouth and Buller, it would
“engage the Reefton community
in a conversation about the future
mix and configuration of Reefton
health ser vices”. “ This first public
meeting on August 21 is to provide
background and context to the
process that we’ll run over the next
couple of months. We’ ll set out
the variety of ways in which the
community can work with us to
explore the future of Reefton health
ser vices.” The meeting will be held
at the Reefton Workingmen’s Club
Last week it was Labour MP
Damien O’Connor’s billboard
that was targeted by vandals, and
this week they defaced a National
Party hoarding opposite the Tai
Poutini Polytechnic, in Greymouth,
spraying a swastika between
candidate Maureen Pugh and Prime
Minister John Key.
With its steel grey exterior and
makeshift wooden ramp, it looks
no more than a workman’s hut.
But this small metal container is
in fact a visitor centre which has
opened at Colwyn Bay on the north
Wales coast. Measuring no more
than 2m by 3m, the ‘centre’ has
been put in place to give the public
an insight into the redevelopment
of the beachfront. However, the
unit, which is situated near the
once magnificent but now derelict
Victoria Pier, has hardly been a hit
with visitors. Since it was installed
in April, it has faced a huge amount
of backlash and its guest book has
become full of sarcastic comments
about its appearance. — Daily Mail
Shower turn to rain
Shoals of whitebait have been spotted
in new whitebait channels excavated on
Cobden Island in the Grey River in a
Department of Conser vation project to
restore natural habitat.
So far about 1.8km of channels have
been excavated and DOC now plans
to dig more. The channels are intended
to create ideal habitat for adult inanga
to lay their spawn, which is eventually
washed out to sea and then returns as
“ It all happened with greater ease than
we expected,” conser vation ranger Henk
Stengs said of the Cobden project.
“There is still a lot of scope for channel
excavation, hence we have applied for
an extension to the existing resource
consent in order to set this project up
for the long term,” Mr Stengs said.
The work had created a lot of bare
ground with gorse and broom seed,
which was starting to germinate.
Mr Stengs said they wanted to get
on top of those weeds and complete
plantings of native species before
extending the channel system further.
“ It is all too easy to bite off more than
we can chew and before one knows
it the gorse and broom take over. We
want to stop this from happening.”
So far, 5510 plants, mostly flaxes, have
been put back alongside the channels.
However, during summer gorse and
broom seedlings grow at a rate of up
to 30cm a week and controlling them
is a big job, something volunteers have
helped with, until the flaxes and other
natives become fully established.
A further 2000 flax bushes will be
planted next autumn.
Mr Stengs said after successful
spawning in the past autumn, they were
waiting to see any results this fishing
“I saw many shoals per visit alongside
the new channels last March — mostly
a hundred or so but some containing
several thousand fish.”
Mr Stengs said the project was on
schedule for handover to the Cobden
Aromahana Sanctuary and Recreation
Areas Incorporated, the community
group formed to carry out ecological
restoration and to help develop
recreational opportunities at the
The wider project, in conjunction with
the Grey District Council, involves
cleaning up the old Cobden rubbish
dump. A new footbridge has just been
put across Range Creek along the east
side of the lagoon.
When the track is finished it will
be possible to walk right around the
Cobden Island was used extensively in
the 1960s and 1970s for hockey, cricket,
soccer and rugby, but has not been used
by sports teams for many years.
The lower Grey was still a braided
river as late as the 1940s.
PICTURE: Stewart Nimmo
This photograph, taken about six weeks ago, shows the latest progress on the Cobden Island whitebait restoration project.
Excavation cleared for stadium
The Grey District Council has
solved a messy problem about
what to do with the contaminated
remnants of an old rubbish dump
beneath the site for the proposed
Westland Recreation Centre in
The $10 million stadium, to be built
adjoining the Grey District Aquatic
Centre, will require extensive
excavation and foundations 4m
deep because of the decaying layer
The council initially identified it as
a costly problem because McLeans
Pit landfill was not consented
for contaminated soil and, at the
standard rate of tonnage, putting it
there would have added significantly
to the cost of the project.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the
council had now decided to bury
the contaminated soil in a special
pit to be dug at the landfill, away
from the main dumping area and
in accordance with the Resource
He said the design for the
recreation centre originally called
for 100 piles, but when the final
design came back it had more than
doubled to 250 piles.
That tipped the cost back in favour
of a backfill option, which would be
As a result, the foundations would
be backfilled with river gravel, as
happened when building the aquatic
A separate tender would be
issued for the backfilling, and Mr
Kokshoorn said they had money for
that to go ahead as soon as possible.
Tenders for the main construction
contract will be called within a few
Stock effluent station stalled
A truck effluent dumping site that
has been on the cards at Jacksons for
the past 10 years, is no further ahead
after it failed to get support from the
New Zealand Transport Agency
southern regional director Jim
Harland said the site had been
confirmed, but progress had stalled
because the councils could not agree
on the maintenance.
Once installed someone would
have to clean it and that required
a local authority commitment, Mr
Harland said. The site had been under
consideration for at least a decade.
Mr Harland was not aware of plans
for dumping sites anywhere else on
the West Coast.
Grey District Council assets
manager Mel Sutherland said they
did not have facilities to deal with
the site and the only option for them
would be to take the effluent to
“It wouldn’t be appropriate to take
the material to that location,” Mr
Meanwhile, at the Westland District
Council the issue dates so far back
that it has fallen off the radar.
Assets manager Vivek Goel said the
issue had been a longstanding one
but he could not give a reason why
nothing had happened. The council
currently had no involvement with
NZTA over the matter.
In May, two trucking companies
were ser ved with infringement
notices and fined for dumping dairy
effluent on the roadside at Aratika
Free service fails to take off
A charity which provides free air
transport for people with medical
conditions has reminded people it can
fly into Greymouth and Westport, after
not carrying a single patient since it was
launched in November.
Angel Flight New Zealand is a
registered charitable trust that provides
free air transport for people who cannot
afford commercial flights.
In November, it expanded its services
in the South Island to include flights
from Greymouth and Westport.
The flights are operated by private
pilots who offer their time, skills and
aircraft at no charge, supported by a
range of sponsors.
They are available to patients who
need non-urgent medical treatment,
or their carers, in places where road
transport or commercial flights would
be too difficult or expensive. The patient
needs to have a clear financial reason
for the charitable service.
However, South Island co-ordinator
James Turner said they had not
received any requests for ser vice or any
volunteers from the West Coast.
By comparison, it had conducted a
number of missions from Otago and
“ We are still actively seeking an
increase in community awareness of
our services and of course we are still
actively seeking additional volunteers,”
Mr Turner said.
Whitebait returning to haven
20 Turumaha Street, Greymouth Phone 03 768 4952
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