West Coast

West Coast stories

Pike River families to PM: ‘This is just dragging on’

Laura Mills The Pike River Mine families say work to send a drone or cameras into the stone drift leading into the mine has stalled, and the Government has refused to release all existing footage from underground. Six weeks ago, Prime Minister Bill English agreed to consider sending a robot or drone into the drift, noting technological advances. Another option was...

Regional council issues warnings

The West Coast Regional Council has issued a formal warning to Westroads (Greymouth) for breaching consent conditions by failing to undertake surveys of Blaketown beach before extracting gravel, and failing to submit gravel returns. "Since issuing the formal warning we have received the necessary information from Westroads. The issue of this formal warning serves as a reminder to those holding...

Reward doubled for kokako confirmation

Laura Mills A reward offered for confirmation the South Island kokako is still alive has been doubled to $10,000. The initial $5000 reward offered in January by the South Island Kokako Charitable Trust generated 40 reports of possible encounters, and interest from around the world. The bird was considered extinct until 2013 when credible sightings including on the West Coast prompted it...

Falls awareness programme produced

In an effort to reduce the number of falls experienced by people on the West Coast, a programme of community awareness events is being produced for 'April Falls Month'. A Health Quality and Safety Commission report showed eight incidents on the West Coast in the year to the end of June 2016, five of which were falls-related. The West Coast health...

Council dibs on Spring Creek disused roads

Laura Mills Solid Energy will soon begin disposing of land associated with the Spring Creek Mine as it prepares to close the underground mine for good. The Grey District Council already has its eye on the roads for recreational use. The failed State-owned enterprise announced recently it was permanently closing the Dunollie mine mothballed five years ago and kept ventilated with a...

Greens question water plan

The Government says all affected parties gave approval for Jackson Bay water exports. Okuru Enterprises proposes pumping water from an alpine creek above the Arawhata River to tankers waiting out at sea. Green Party MP Eugenie Sage asked in Parliament on Thursday if New Zealanders should get a say over whether a private company could extract glacial water flowing out of...

Coast flight danger area changes mooted

Laura Mills The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has received two submissions to change the flight rules over the Holcim quarry at Cape Foulwind and Strongman Mine, at Nine Mile. CAA is currently reviewing air space over the West Coast, with changes to be effective from November 9. It says it wants to de-clutter, simplify and clarify the air space, and change and...

Coast tourism drive

The West Coast will be well represented at the biggest tourism trade show in New Zealand, in May. Auckland will host TRENZ 2017 from May 9 to 12 and will be attended by 377 trade and tourism buyers from 29 countries including Australia, the Pacific, Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, and North and South America. Tourism West Coast will be updating its stand...

New mental health unit planned

Laura Mills The West Coast District Health Board has started planning for a new mental health facility in Greymouth to replace the current unit attached to Grey Base Hospital. In May 2014, when former health minister Tony Ryall confirmed funding for the new Greymouth Hospital, he also committed to later funding a new mental health unit. "In addition to the $67 million,...

Councils seek single district plan for Coast

Laura Mills West Coast councils want to keep their autonomy but have one district plan for the entire West Coast, with one set of rules for everything from mining to housing subdivisions. For now, they say the work is around better aligning the existing plans. However, a draft submission on behalf of the four councils to the Local Government Commission backs the...
The South Today