West Coast

West Coast stories

Young drink-drivers in police focus

Young drink drivers under-20 are again the focus of West Coast police attention after three were nabbed in Westport at the weekend. Senior sergeant Paul Watson, of Greymouth, said a 17-year-old boy and two 20-year-olds had all been caught breaching their zero alcohol laws. All had passengers with them at the time and were issued with infringement notices. Mr Watson noted...

Fire destroys hay barn on Atarau farm

A hay shed on an Atarau farm went up in smoke yesterday morning. The old shed at the back of a Rough River property was discovered alight about 7.30am yesterday, and was thought to have self-combusted, Ikamatua Volunteer Fire Brigade fire chief Nick Pupich said. When the brigade arrived it was obvious the shed had been ablaze for some time, probably...

Bathurst finds new buyer for coal

Christchurch Bathurst Resources has found a new buyer for coal from its Canterbury mine, replacing the lost supply deal for Westport's cement works when Holcim closed the plant last year. Wellington-based Bathurst will supply up to 65,000 tonnes of coal a year to an unnamed buyer for up to 10 years from its Canterbury mine west of Christchurch, the mining company...

West Coast drug rape trial opens

The trial of a man accused of drugging and raping a West Coast woman is under way in the Christchurch District Court. Crown prosecutor Andrew McRae said the man, who has name suppression, raped the woman in Greymouth some time between February and April 2014. He told jurors the man and woman often shared methamphetamine (P) together, but on this occasion...

Paroa pupils tackle ‘matchbox challenge’

Paroa School Year 8 pupils Sam Johnson and Malia Turner count the number of items in a matchbox, as part of a 'matchbox challenge' in which families were challenged to fit as many items into a matchbox as they could. The winners will be announced on Thursday.

West Coast tuna fishing season ‘poorest on record’

Viv Logie West Coast fishing companies are lamenting one of the poorest tuna seasons on record. Talley's Greymouth and Westfleet both say catches have been well below par. "It has been a real sad season," Westfleet manager John Brown said. However, the West Coast did not have the problem on its own as fishing had "not been that flash" throughout the country. Greymouth-based Westfleet...

Fresh council troubles

Brendon McMahon In the latest twist to the worsening Westland District Council debacle, its former property company chairman has written to the Office of the Auditor-General about the way it was restructured out of existence early this year. This follows an extraordinary meeting of the Westland District Council on Friday afternoon, attended by a Department of Internal Affairs observer, to rubber-stamp...

Freedom campers fouling Coast

Laura Mills Calls are growing louder for controls on freedom camping on the West Coast in the wake of another busy tourist season that has left lay-bys 'reeking of toilet' and favourite fishing spots ruined. A 44% increase in tourist numbers at Franz Josef Glacier has delighted tourism operators, but the downside has been a corresponding increase in 'sleeper vans' and...

Council quietly ditches opening prayer

Brendon McMahon A customary prayer to start West Coast Regional Council meetings has been quietly dropped, although one councillor jokingly says the council probably needs every bit of help it can get at this stage. Cr Peter Ewen says dropping the prayer is "breaking tradition" and given what West Coast councils are up against with the Local Government Commission breathing down...

Smith faces no confidence call

by Brendon McMahon Feathers are flying at the Westland District Council, with Mayor Bruce Smith being accused of an "intolerable abuse of procedure" as he faces a vote of no confidence and a demand to step down immediately. Cr David Carruthers has lodged a formal notice for a vote of no confidence in the mayor, to be heard at the next...
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