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home gutted by fire
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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2014
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Bank plans to
The ASB Bank says it is on
track to move out of its temporary
Greymouth home in portacoms by
the end of the year. ASB general
manager of branch banking Grant
Gilbert said they were working with
the landlord and contractors and
were on schedule to move back into
the Mackay Street branch premises
later in the year. The bank has
been operating out of a temporary
portacom building since December
to allow earthquake strengthening
of the Mackay Street premises. “As
we had to relocate to enable the
work to be done, we have taken
the opportunity to refurbish the
branch for our customers, and also
refresh our working environment,”
Mr Gilbert said. “ We are looking
for ward to being able to offer them
fantastic new facilities in the branch
when it reopens.”
A suggestion to install a pay and
display parking area at Punakaiki
has been dropped. The idea was
raised by the Department of
Conser vation and Buller District
Council. DOC said this week it,
and the council, were still looking at
options for ensuring a high standard
of visitor facilities at Punakaiki.
“ But the suggestion of installing pay
and display machines in the car park
is not being progressed.”
A man who flapped his arms
about in a cemetery, making ghost
noises within earshot of mourners
visiting graves was fined and given a
suspended prison sentence. Anthony
Stallard, 24, was reported to police
after he was seen throwing himself
backwards and saying ‘wooooooh’
at Kingston Cemetery in his home
town of Portsmouth. Shortly before
that, Stallard, who is unemployed,
was seen kicking a football at
graves with a friend. Police arrested
him and charged him with using
threatening or abusive words or
behaviour likely to cause distress. —
Mostly fine, few showers
Greymouth Star On-line
by Janna Sherman and Laura Mills
A mass mailout to 13,500 West
Coast homes is planned to generate
support for a Haast-Hollyford road —
and there is now talk of revisiting the
Karamea-Collingwood road proposal.
The two-page leaflet will be
distributed in the next fortnight,
giving a detailed outline of the project
including costs and projections and
seeking support for the suggested
$250 million toll road.
Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd
chairman Durham Havill gave
Economic Development Minister
Steven Joyce a confidential update on
the project yesterday during a visit
to Greymouth, together with a letter
of support for the road signed by all
three West Coast mayors and the
chairman of the West Coast Regional
Council, which Mr Havill claimed was
a reflection of public opinion on the
Mr Havill also revealed that the
infrastructure investors behind the
Haast-Hollyford proposal, had also
requested information on a number of
other West Coast projects including
a slurry line at Buller Bay north
of Westport, a road link between
Westport and Nelson, bringing
Westport into the South Island
tourism loop, and a number of other
Like the Hollyford road, the
Karamea-Collingwood proposal has
been around for years. It was last
seriously mooted in 2001, when Prime
Minister Helen Clark announced she
was “strongly opposed”.
Forest and Bird advocacy manager
Kevin Hackwell said the Karamea-
Collingwood proposal was the reason
he first got involved in conser vation in
the late 1960s.
It was calculated back then —
excluding construction costs — that if
every car that used the Buller Gorge to
travel to the Coast was diverted to the
proposed road, the maintenance cost
would be $1000 a vehicle.
Instead, $3000 could be given to
every man, woman and child north of
Westport, and including Golden Bay,
a year for the maintenance cost alone
“and it would be cheaper”.
“ Even then it didn’t make sense. And
since then, the Heaphy (Track) has
become one of the great walks,” Mr
The ‘Support the Road’ brochure
says Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd
partners — Chinese investors JCP
Partners, who are finance partners with
Blakely Construction — had signed
a memorandum of understanding
allowing $250m to design, build,
finance and maintain a toll road
between the road ends at Cascade and
Hollyford, for a period of 30 years
from the opening date.
Mr Havill said West Coast residents
were now being asked for a physical
show of support through answering
the flier, which claims the new road
would double tourist numbers on the
West Coast and create 1500 jobs.
“ When the road opens in 2020,
visitor numbers to the West Coast are
projected to increase by 100% to over
two million, providing approximately
1500 new jobs and a further boost to
“ If only half of the 125 buses per day
that travel into Milford use the new
toll road, the boom will be greater than
when the Haast Pass road opened in
A Blaketown family left homeless
by the tornado two weekends ago,
with a hopeless outlook and no
insurance, has just found out they are
insured after all.
Marcia Pere thought she probably
only had contents insurance on her
Coakley Street home because that
was all she had been invoiced for.
Faced with no roof, saturated carpet
and furniture, and no full insurance,
a desperate Ms Pere had been
considering resorting to
on-line fundraising on the website
Give a Little.
So when her roof disappeared in the
winds, she was horror-struck. Grey
District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn even
helped secure tarps on the roof.
However, Ms Pere said yesterday
she had looked into things further
with the help of the bank, Credit
It turns out her insurer, Vero,
recorded phone calls and they proved
she had, as she said, requested home
insurance as well as contents.
“I’m pretty relieved,” Ms Pere said.
She has been living with a friend
since the tornado, but Vero will now
pay for her to live elsewhere for a
Back in the old place, the tarpaulins
are barely containing the rain and
after the weekend, they found a
puddle in the lounge.
But now the family can relax a bit.
“Everyone in Greymouth has been
so good,” she said.
The family thanked their bank,
Credit Union, for its help and Vero
for honouring its word.
PICTURE: Laura Mills
Marcia Pere and her family outside their tornado damaged home — Unique Bishop, 12, Anthony Jurgens and Ella Pere, four.
Silver lining to tornado
Campaign launched to revitalise Greymouth CBD
A 30-week campaign to stimulate
public ideas for revitalising the flagging
Greymouth central business district
was launched today.
The Grey District Council dubbed
the ‘Greymouth CBD Renewal’ as “the
biggest economic development project
in the Grey district this year”.
The project will be run in collaboration
with an Opus urban design team.
Stage one starts today with a
‘Q uestion of the Day Quick-Poll’,
which is available on-line at www.
greydc.govt.nz/renewal and at the
Grey District Library, aquatic centre
and council offices.
Poll feedback will be used in the
inception of an urban design process.
Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said the
central business district was “ready for
“ We want to be inviting more
people to stay, play and do business
in the heart of the West Coast,” Mr
Mawhera Incorporation chairwoman
Natalie Win said the Maori landowner
was also committed to the project.
“ We are excited to be participating in
the Greymouth CBD Renewal project
and look for ward to contributing to
a vibrant, lively town centre for our
residents and visitors to enjoy,” Mrs
The renewal project stems from 2012
and 2013, when 215 people from the
Economic Development Liaison
Group and associated network groups
met to develop a “community-led,
grassroots” development strategy for
A 10-year economic development
strategy for 2013 to 2023 was
developed as a result, and that has
already been used recently through The
Real Stories project.
Renewal of the central business
district was rated by the community as
the highest priority.
Recommendations from the 2010
town development strategy will also
be included, as well as consideration of
other prior work.
Activities and further public
consultation will continue through to
March 2015, when a master plan and
concept designs will be included in
the council’s draft long-term plan.
A West Coast Regional Council
member says farmers may not be
responsible for the poor water quality
at Lake Brunner.
The council yesterday released its
12-month review, which showed no
improvement in the lake despite strict
new rules governing farming in the
Council staff maintain that turning
water quality around will take time,
possibly a number of years.
However, Cr Allan Birchfield said
the council may never achieve its target
because the problems may actually be
caused by “natural background” stuff.
“The lake has a huge catchment. We
should have looked at other lakes that
don’t have any farming around and
look at the background,” Cr Birchfield
“ We may be blaming the farmers for
a problem that isn’t there and isn’t of
Chief executive Chris Ingle said it
would take a couple of years of data to
see an improvement.
“ It’s a very long-term target.”
He hoped the first signs of change
would be seen in two to three years.
Councillor suggests ‘natural causes’ for polluted lake
Hollyford road backers widen interest
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