Home' Greymouth Star : August 16th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Franz Josef ’s flooding conundrum
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SATURDAY, AUGUST 16, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
WEST COAST FEATURE
ghost town clean-up
Let it Raine
It sure can rain on the West Coast,
and when it floods a new appointee
with an appropriate name will be at
the helm. Oamaru man Chris Raine
is the new civil defence manager for
the Coast. He is currently working
out his notice and will start here in
spring, the West Coast Regional
Council said this week.
Two Westport people have had a
charge of selling or bartering legal
highs dismissed after police failed
to disclose what they sold, when
they sold it or who they sold it to.
Jamie Michael Doyle, 35, and Janine
Rose Franklin, 27, appeared in
Westport District Court yesterday.
Rhey jointly faced a charge of selling
or bartering an approved product
without the appropriate licence.
Doyle’s lawyer Alan Heward argued
the charge against them was not
made out in the charging document
and asked Judge Jackie Moran to
consider dismissing the charge.
Judge Moran said the charge stated
the pair jointly sold or bartered an
approved product without a licence
between July 18, 2013 and February
25, 2014. There was also no detail
about who the substance was sold to.
Judge Moran said it was not unusual
for a charging document to say an
offence happened between certain
dates. However the failure to disclose
what products were allegedly sold or
bartered went to the heart of the
Question of the Day
As par t of a plan to regenerate the
Greymouth central business district,
the Grey District Council is encouraging
the public to par ticipate by answering a
‘question of the day’. Answers should be
e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s question: ‘Can you walk, ride or
rest where you need to?’
Sun, a shower or two
This must literally be the largest
political cover up in China’s
history — a very dirty trick that has
dragged one council’s reputation
right through the mud. Local
officials in Sihong county in east
China’s Jiangsu province could not
be bothered to wait for planning
permission to build more than 20
new motor ways ... so they built
them anyway and covered them
with earth to stop their paymasters
spotting them by satellite. Central
government officials have clamped
down hard on illegal building in the
country using satellite imaging to
spot unauthorised developments.
— Daily Mail
Greymouth Coastguard seeks $1.5m replacement rescue boat
Five years after buying the Ivan
Talley rescue boat, Greymouth
Coastguard is looking at buying
Coastguard skipper Doug Griffin
said the Ivan Talley was already five
years old when they bought it five years
ago for more than $330,000.
“The Ivan Talley is not a purpose-
built rescue boat. It is a leisure craft
that has been adapted. The boat we are
looking at getting built to replace it is
a purpose-built rescue boat, designed
by a naval architect,” Mr Griffin said
The Southern Regional Coastguard
group was now looking at new rescue
vessels for both Bluff and the West
“The new vessel would be solely a
rescue craft, it would be ergonomically
designed and there would be a decent
place for any injured people,” he said.
It would also have a better endurance,
being able to travel from Auckland to
Greymouth and back without having
to refuel. “It would suit the West Coast
conditions perfectly, and we would
have it for 30-odd years,” Mr Griffin
Although it was “early days” he hoped
fundraising would begin next year and
the new vessel would take one to two
years to build.
“ We really need to get the ball rolling,
and hopefully that will start with local
support. The new vessel is for the
community and will benefit all of the
The Runanga Miner’s Hall will be
handed over to the newly-established
trust as soon as possible, along with the
insurance payout from the April wind
Already, the trust is planning to have
a new roof installed within a few weeks,
and will then work on repainting the
Initially, the Grey District Council
drew a hard line that it would not
transfer ownership or any insurance
money to the trust until the proposed
restoration was 75% complete.
However, after meeting with the trust
on August 8, the council-appointed
delegation decided the simplest option
was to transfer the hall as soon as
A staff report to the council meeting
last night stressed that the assets being
handed over would not be compromised
if the restoration was not completed.
“The liaison group is confident that
this is not an issue,” staff said.
Whether the trust could actually get
the full funding for the restoration was
not resolved, though.
“The reality is that confirmation of
the trust being successful in raising the
full amount for the restoration remains
outstanding,” although staff said the
liaison group was satisfied that “this risk
The sum of the insurance payout is still
The question of sustainability of the
hall in the long-term has been addressed,
with the trust also submitting a budget
that showed they expected to be able to
get an income of $27,000 a year, but did
not explain how.
Miners’ Hall Trust chairman Paul
Thomas, of Reefton, said the projected
income was worked out by Department
of Internal Affairs community adviser
Dyan Hansen, based on similar halls
around New Zealand.
“ It is based on actual budgets from
halls around New Zealand. It’s not pie
in the sky. It has been a case of looking
at similar types of halls and trying to
forecast what income would be,” Mr
Cr Cliff Sandrey said at the meeting
handing over the hall now was the best
“The way for ward for the trust is to
take ownership completely,” Cr Sandrey
The council again acknowledged the
outcome of the public poll that resulted
in an 87% call from Runanga residents
for a complete or partial demolition of
the rundown hall.
Mr Kokshoorn said he “read into the
poll” that Runanga people still wanted a
hall but did not want to pay for it.
“ We accept that, but they are saying
they still want a hall. It was difficult for
council, but we had to make a call.”
As a result of the transfer, the current
lease to the Runanga Area Association
chaired by Les Holmes will become
Mr Thomas said it was “a great day for
“The village gets to retain one of the
most iconic heritage buildings in New
Zealand, but more than that Runanga
gets to retain a building that can be the
heart of a community hub,” Mr Thomas
The trust planned to create a visitor
experience and attraction based on the
area and the rich social and political
history of both miners’ halls, the original
1908 structure and the current hall, built
He said that was also part of the plan
to make the hall sustainable in the long-
Mr Thomas expected to have a new roof
in place within a couple of weeks, after
which the trust would start repairing
and painting the facade.
Funding would be a mix of private
donations, sponsorship and applications
to major charitable funders such as
Lotteries environment and heritage
fund, and Lotteries community facilities.
The Greymouth 150 years Then
and Now exhibition opened at the
Left Bank Art Gallery last night.
One of the curators Rose Blair,
told the Greymouth Star that she
was “amazed” at the art which was
She is urging West Coasters to
get into the gallery and view the
exhibition, which is celebrating 150
years of Greymouth being settled by
Much of the art is by Friends of
the Gallery. Ms Blair said it was
diverse and all with a West Coast
and Mawhera focus.
“ West Coasters needed to embrace
the exhibition. We are blessed to
have this wonderful building and
blessed to have such a collection of
eccentric artists,” Ms Blair said.
The exhibition runs until
September 27, the day on which
the anniversary will be officially
celebrated. Visitors will be invited
to bring photographs, documents,
mementoes and stories about
Greymouth, which can be placed
in Memory Jars as part of the
Greymouth 150 exhibition.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Rose Blair, one of the people helping curate the Greymouth 150 years Then and Now exhibition at the Left Bank Art Gallery, surrounded by some
of the art on show now.
150 years in art
Council relief for ‘broke’ St John
St John will get some reprieve
from the Grey District Council in
recognition that the Greymouth
area committee’s finances are in dire
Therese Gibbens this week spoke
to the council meeting about
the unaffordability of the lease
charged by the council for the
St John headquarters site beside the
Mrs Gibbens said they were
struggling to pay the $8750 lease;
after their building was completed
they were paying $5000.
“ For an organisation like us that is
struggling for funding, it is just too
much ... we’re broke.”
The local committee was “seriously
underfunded” and had several other
aspects to cover as well, including
the need to build an new building at
Blackball after their current premises
received an ‘E rating’, or less than
20% of the national building
St John at a national level was
struggling, too, and had fallen back
on the community for funds.
“Funding sources have dried up,”
Mrs Gibbens said.
She asked for the lease to be wiped
or be replaced with a peppercorn
rental, noting that several other
councils around the country
supported St John that way.
St John was not able to simply stop
operating for a period to save money.
Mrs Gibbens painted a grim picture
for the organisation.
“ It is hard enough to get volunteers
.. . w e have 134 volunteers across the
West Coast. It’s not enough. Long
term, we can’t predict what will
Cr Kevin Brown described the
increase in the lease over the years as
“a fair hike”.
sympathised with their situation:
“There wouldn’t be a person in this
room who wouldn’t want to help
He reminded the committee to
apply to the council each annual plan
for financial assistance.
“ I can’t speak for council, but take
it as you will get it,” Mr Kokshoorn
The council agreed to grant St John
$5000 of financial assistance, and to
drop the lease to $6750. Rent reviews
will also be changed from a three-
year cycle to seven years, backdated
to June 2010.
Staff said the $5000 would need to
be in the form of a grant so that the
rental income that normally went to
the aerodrome, which itself ran at a
“considerable loss,” would not suffer
a reduction in revenue.
The council was unable to sell the
land because of its reser ve status.
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