Home' Greymouth Star : February 12th 2018 Contents SINCE 1866
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Buller Marathon ,
Coast to Coast big weekend P6, 7, 11, 12
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2018
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of the Hokitika Guardian
with big crowd
West Coast police reported few
issues at the weekend, despite
thousands of visitors in the region
for both the Coast to Coast and
the Buller Marathon, making it
one of the busiest weekends of the
year. Sergeant Andrew Lyes said
police had dealt with a number of
driving complaints, both for the
manner of driving or speeding. In
Greymouth, a 25-year-old man
spotted driving away from the
Australasian Hotel was stopped by
police on Friday night. He blew
454mg. Meanwhile, Westport police
are investigating the burglary of a
Derby Street property. A chainsaw
and a lawnmower were among items
reported missing on Friday.
into the bedroom
Telehealth could be coming to
a bedroom near you ... The West
Coast District Health Boards says
it is a leader in telehealth, and
many patients now see a specialist
via video conferencing. It is now
looking to take the programme to
the next level. Currently, people
have to go to a nearby clinic to ‘see ’
the doctor. However, the board is
figuring out whether people could
stay home and use their own devices
for the consultation.
Fox slip cleared
State highway 6 through the Fox
Hills, between Franz Josef Glacier
and Fox Glacier, reopened to one
lane this morning after a slip during
heavy rain yesterday closed the road
overnight. The slip was 200m long
and a little further south than the
one brought down by the cyclone.
Rain eases to fine day
An on-line adjunct professor
incorrectly told a student that
Australia is not a country and gave
her a failing grade, prompting
Southern New Hampshire
University to replace the instructor.
The 27-year-old student in Idaho
was assigned to compare American
social norms to that of another
country. She chose to study social
media use in Australia, but the
professor gave her a zero on that
portion of the assignment, saying
Australia is a continent, not a
country. Australia is actually both
— a c ountry and a continent. In
a statement, the university said
it deeply regrets the interaction
between the professor and student,
and wished athletes from Australia
good luck in the Olympic Games.
— ABC News
Police, social agencies ‘gunning’ for Gloriavale
Community is today under intense
pressure as police and social agencies
circle in on the remote community at
West Coast police have paid daily
visits to Gloriavale in the past week.
Area commander Inspector Mel
Aitken declined to detail the reason
or if there were any charges pending
as a result of the visits.
However, the Greymouth Star
understands at least 33 female
members of the community have been
inter viewed in the past week and that
charges will be laid.
Gloriavale leader Fer vant Stedfast
declined to say if the community was
feeling under siege, but acknowledged
“there’s always rumours”.
“I have no comment whatsoever,”
Mr Stedfast said this morning.
However, someone with intimate
personal knowledge of Gloriavale
said another official operation was
focusing on the community and how
it cared for and protected children.
“ I think they ’ve been gunning for
them,” the source said.
They described a community “under
siege”, with the leadership increasingly
being questioned by younger members.
The whistle-blowers, however, were
People in the wider Grey district
community were increasingly aware
of what was happening at Gloriavale
because younger men kicked out
of the commune were being given
outside employment and support, the
Mrs Aitken said police often visited
Gloriavale and had increasingly done
so over the past two years.
This was to do with the police
being in an active “education role”
at Gloriavale, particularly in the
“ We’re out at Gloriavale all the time
because we do a lot of education in the
school, so it’s not unusual for police to
go to Gloriavale,” Mrs Aitken said.
Hokitika Catholic parishioners
have been warned that a new
church may be the only viable
option as repair costs for bringing
the 103-year-old St Mary’s
Church up to seismic standard
balloon past the $5 million mark.
The idea of a new church was
proposed early on but was roundly
rejected by parishioners.
However, the Christchurch
Catholic Diocese, which locked
up the building six years ago due
to safety concerns following the
Canterbury earthquakes, now
says that if the funding shortfall
can not be found a new church
may be more feasible.
Until now repairs had been
estimated at $2m, but that
escalated to $5.4m in the latest
assessment. Parishioners were
delivered the bad news at Mass
over the weekend.
Christchurch Catholic Diocese
property team leader Tony Sewell
said repairs to historic buildings
were always difficult to assess and
St Mary’s had proven to be no
“The church needs extensive
strengthening and upgrading.
that the land under the church
is unsuitable and the fact that
the church has been built in two
stages also adds to the complexity,”
Mr Sewell said.
“The projected $5.4m costs are
well beyond our existing budget,
that is why we will be looking
to the likes of Heritage New
Zealand and other organisations
and individuals to make up this
shortfall to save the church. That
is our ultimate aim, but if the
capital is not forthcoming we may
have to look at building a new
However, exactly what that
means for the future of St Mary’s
remains to be seen.
Mr Sewell said the diocese did
not expect to be able to make
a decision on that for several
months as it investigated all
St Mary’s parish spokesman
Mark Lockington said the
intended re-entry date of April
2019 was no longer possible.
“The diocese have promised
we will have a church at the end
of this, so we are guaranteed a
church, it’s just a matter of timing.
Unfortunately, we won’t be back
in the church by Easter 2019. ”
Mr Lockington said the largest
factor in the budget blowout was
“ Under the church is prone
to liquefaction and the cost is
so high to remedy it. That ’s the
biggest reason for the blowout.”
The diocese had been prepared
to under write the overall costs
of re-strengthening the building,
leaving the parish to fundraise for
However, Mr Lockington said
$5.4m was “a lot of money ”.
Fundraising efforts were halted
last year until the tenders had
The consented re-entry was to
include the removal of the church
tower to roof level as well as
strengthening of the church walls
and roof in the front section of
the altar as the first stage, allowing
the church to be used again.
Blackball donated a facelift
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Scaffolder Tiger Neither, left, Meg Fulford and secretary-treasurer Sue Christie in front of the Blackball Workingmen’s Club, which is undergoing a transfor-
mation thanks to community support and willing contractors. The old roof has just been replaced and the building will be painted in traditional Blackball colours
with red walls and a black roof. A mural of the old Blackball ropeway, which used to carr y coal across the Grey River to Ngahere, will decorate the side wall. All
the labour for the project has been voluntary, co-ordinator Meg Fulford said. “ The original roof was shoddy and the patch-up wasn’t doing the job. One of our
members, John Matthews, is a roofer in Christchurch and donated his time. He used to go to school in Blackball, while Tiger Scaffolding has also donated
scaffold and labour and local artist Les Holmes will be painting the mural free of charge.”
The new Wellington owner of Granger
House in Greymouth has also purchased
the Kowhai Manor buildings and is
considering reopening the hillside rest
home as a dementia unit.
Heritage Lifecare chairman David
Renwick said today both sales were
expected to go through this Wednesday.
It is buying the buildings and business
at Granger House, but just the buildings
at sister home Kowhai Manor, which has
been closed for a year.
The company that owned both homes
later went into liquidation.
Mr Renwick said they were aware of
a shortage of domestic rest home beds
on the West Coast. They may be able to
reopen Kowhai as a dementia unit.
“ We’ve got to make sure the numbers
are there. Staffing is another issue.”
They would endeavour to keep as many
staff as possible, he said.
If some jobs were lost, there could
potentially be jobs in the new dementia
unit, with a “gap of maybe a few months”.
The impending sale marks over a year of
uncertainty for Granger House residents,
families and staff.
Heritage Lifecare has over 100 years’
experience in caring for the elderly. It has
a strong presence in the North Island,
as well as Edith Cavell and George
Manning Lifecare, in Christchurch, and
Clutha Views, in Balclutha.
Kowhai Manor likely to reopen
The man credited with being New
Zealand’s foremost expert on pounamu,
Russell Beck, has died after a battle with
cancer. He was 76.
Three months ago Mr Beck, of
Invercargill, gifted his extensive collection
of 1500 pieces of jade from around New
Zealand and the world to the GNS
Research Institute, in Lower Hutt.
He had worked extensively with GNS
and Ngai Tahu to survey jade deposits
in the South Island
and was well known
among the jade
industry on the West
Cox said the
collection was an
and one of only a few collections in the
world which had specimens from so
The author of four books on jade and
pounamu, and a skilled carver, Mr Beck
started working at the Southland Art
Gallery in 1965 and was director for 23
years, until officially retiring from the
position in 1995.
Greymouth car ver Ian Boustridge said
the West Coast jade community felt a
deep sadness at Mr Beck’s death.
“Russell was seminal in the development
of the New Zealand pounamu arts in the
early 1960s and 1970s which continued
through to this day,” Mr Boustridge said.
“Russell’s encyclopaedic knowledge of
New Zealand pounamu made him the
foremost expert on all things pounamu.
He disseminated his knowledge freely
with a generosity of spirit unique in this
world. His support of all artists working
in pounamu arts was always heartfelt and
he will be sorely missed.
“His lasting legacy will be the
authoritative pictorial books he wrote.”
Mr Beck’s funeral will be held on
Wednesday in Invercargill.
NZ’s leading jade authority mourned
Repair bill soars to $5.4m
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