Home' Greymouth Star : August 12th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Greymouth top cop
flexes her muscles
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Coast fashion designer
living the dream
Teen’s doco on
Greymouth teenager Cougan
Stoop will have his documentary
‘Forgotten Victim’ screened on the
TVNZ news programme Seven
Sharp this week to coincide with
Rail Safety Week. The former
Greymouth High School student is
in his second year of the digital film
and television strand at the New
Zealand Broadcasting School, in
Christchurch, and the documentary
was one of his assignments. The
19-year-old filmed and directed
Forgotten Victim, which is based
around locomotive train driver
Alf Wilson. In a 45-year career on
the tracks, Mr Wilson has been
involved in 13 fatalities as a train
‘Halfwits’ rip up
The Paroa School sports field was
ripped up on Sunday afternoon by
a vehicle doing wheelies. Senior
constable Mike Tinnelly, of the
Greymouth police, today called for
witnesses to come for ward to help
identify the “halfwits”. “ The driver
of the vehicle needs to have their
licence taken off them,” Mr Tinnelly
Sewage flows in
The new Greymouth sewerage
treatment plant has gone ‘live’.
Grey District Council assets
and engineering manager Mel
Sutherland said the Preston Road
plant was switched on last Tuesday,
and was now fully operational
as it went through a 28-day
commissioning period. Sewage
flows were being progressively
directed towards the treatment plant
as areas came on line, he said.
Mostly fine, showers spread north
An on-line shopper has been
left dumbfounded after a parcel
he ordered was left wedged in
his gutter — 7m above his front
door — by a bungling delivery
company. A driver from courier firm
myHermes left a note for Benjamin
Ward, 24, of Hove, East Sussex that
read: “ Today I called to deliver your
parcel. Stuck on the roof — sorry”.
The confused customer, who has no
idea how it got there, alerted the
company on Twitter and his pictures
chronicling the incident have gone
viral. As a result the embarrassed
courier company sent someone to
the house with a ladder to retrieve
the parcel. — Daily Mail
Train crash victim admits drink-driving
A 19-year-old man who was lucky
to escape with his life after he crashed
into the side of a fully laden coal train
last month arrived in the Greymouth
District Court today in a wheelchair
to admit drink-driving.
Benjamin James O’Connor, of
Greymouth, was fined $1000 and
banned from driving for 10 months.
Police prosecutor Steven Greer said
O’Connor drove in fog on an icy road
on State highway 7 near Totara Flat
about 9.20pm on July 2, when he
approached a railway level crossing
with bells sounding and flashing
lights — and ran straight into the side
of a train.
The train driver had not realised the
accident had happened until some
time later, and suffered no trauma as
a result of the crash, Mr Greer said.
O’Connor was flown in the NZCC
Rescue Helicopter to Grey Base
Hospital, where a blood-alcohol test
produced a result of 94mg of alcohol
per 100ml of blood.
He later told police he had drunk
two jugs of beer at the Ikamatua
Hotel, and had been on his way south
to see a friend in Nelson Creek.
O’Connor said he could remember
leaving Ikamatua and driving the car,
but could not remember the crash.
Mr Greer said O’Connor later told
police he had had to remove some ice
from his car windscreen before he left
O’Connor could not dispute the
police summary of facts because he
had suffered amnesia as a result of the
He could not explain the crash,
which had left him with a smashed
jaw and lost teeth, and unable to work
in his trade as a builder.
Mr Bodle said O’Connor was
thankful he had not been carrying a
passenger at the time of the crash and
was not more seriously injured. He
knew he was “ lucky to be alive”.
Judge Jackie Moran agreed, telling
O’Connor he was “ lucky you did not
lose your life”.
The ice on O’Connor’s windscreen
proved there was an issue of visibility,
however given that it was his second
drink-driving conviction in the recent
past he needed to “ learn not to drink
and drive,” Judge Moran said.
Oceana Gold has been granted
consent to mine deep beneath the
gold ghost town of Waiuta, even as
the trans-Tasman miner looks to
mothball its nearby Reefton mine.
The Waiuta mine would be accessed
by twin 3.3km tunnels driven in from
The company first applied for
consents at the Blackwater mine
in 2004, abandoned the bid, then
started again last year saying it could
employ up to 90 staff. Th e West Coast
Regional Council recently issued the
raft of consents needed.
Oceana Gold said last month
it would start work “should the
economics and technical aspects
work”. Gold prices are currently
depressed, and it is planning to
mothball the Globe Progress open-
cast mine at Reefton later next year,
putting more than 200 people out of
At Waiuta, the company wants
to mine the famed Birthday Reef,
which has not been touched since
1951 when the Blackwater Mine
shaft collapsed suddenly, blocking the
The entire town was abandoned
as a result. However, stories abound
that so much gold was left it looked
like a “jeweller’s shop window”
The Blackwater shaft pierced
879.5m but the seam goes far deeper.
Buller Mayor Garry Howard today
welcomed the news the mine had
consent and said it was good that
Oceana Gold had a future project to
“Just when will much depend on
the New Zealand dollar and the gold
price. They have for quite some time
recognised this is quite a rich vein of
gold,” Mr Howard said.
“It won’t be immediate, but it’s good
to see they are planning and moving
In his decision to grant consents,
regional council consents and
compliance manager Jackie Adams
concluded that the effects of the mine
would be minor.
The company has to have a
rehabilitation plan in place for when
The consents will lapse after 10
years, but can be extended.
Mr Adams said the water quality
would be better once mining had
started. The water was already
polluted with arsenic from the historic
Prohibition Mine, and Oceana would
have to put in filtration systems.
Waiuta township today is a historic
reser ve, but no surface disturbance will
occur on Department of Conser vation
land, or at the Prohibition shaft.
Oceana says the tunnels would take
30 to 36 months to drive. The main
tunnel would measure 4.5m by 4.5m,
and the return airway tunnel would
be smaller and used to vent the mine
as well as provide an emergency exit.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Left Bank Art Gallery volunteer Marg Sexton shows the first ‘memor y jar’ to come in as part of the gallery’s
celebrations for the Greymouth 150th anniversary. The jars are designed to carry any memories about the town, and
members of the public are invited to contribute their own jars to the collection. The exhibit opens on Friday and
coincides with a night market to be held that day.
Computer whizz a You Tube hit
Greymouth High School
student Cameron Urban
shows his computer game
ALMA Rainbow Climber,
which he designed and is
already proving a massive
on-line hit with computer
and smartphone downloads.
The 15-year-old designed
the block-dodging game,
which has a 1980s retro
vibe, and then made a You
Tube clip to preview it and
explain the concept.
Cameron’s You Tube
channel, Quickshot Films,
has received more than
2 million views and he has
over 800 subscribers.
He started uploading videos in 2011, explaining how to do graphics.
“About three months ago I decided to make a new project on my laptop, and that ’s when I came up with ALMA,”
“At present it is on the Android mobile platform for smartphones but it can also be played on a desktop.”
He also hopes to release the game app on Apple’s iOS system for iPads and iPhones. One week since its launch,
and with virtually no promotion, it has already had 100 downloads.
Memories are made of this
Oceana Gold looks to reopen old mine
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