Grap­ple gets to grips with task

Ev­ery week the South Waikato News delves into its archives to see what was mak­ing the news 10, 25 and 50 years ago. This week we found sto­ries on an im­pres­sive grap­ple, calls for a com­mu­nity-wide poll and the Mata­mata County Coun­cil ap­proaches the full am

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

10 years ago Pu­taruru’s link to log un­load­ing

March 6, 2002 Hun­dreds of peo­ple gath­ered to watch he­li­copters un­load­ing logs from the stranded log car­rier Jody F Mil­len­nium, off the coast of Gis­borne, last week.

The Gis­borne Her­ald re­ported that the process, which in­volved chop­pers tow­ing grap­ples, seemed ef­fort­less and sim­ple.

How­ever, the sim­plic­ity of the un­load­ing can be cred­ited to a Pu­taruru en­gi­neer­ing firm.

Pu­taruru Weld­ing Ltd’s owner Ron Parker and his fore­man Grant Kel­son de­signed the self-set­ting self-re­leas­ing grap­ple that was in­stru­men­tal in get­ting the logs off the boat – in an ef­fort to make it lighter so it could float off the sand bar that had built up around it.

‘‘Peo­ple don’t re­alise the mag­ni­tude of it,’’ said Ron.

‘‘ They don’t re­alise the prob­lems in­volved in get­ting some­thing that weighed 40,000 tons to move.’’

Mak­ing the Jody F Mil­len­nium lighter and al­low­ing it to move, was where Ron and Grant’s in­ven­tion – the Heli­hawk Grap­ple – came in handy, al­low­ing the he­li­copter pi­lots to sim­ply swoop down, pick up the logs and fly them ashore with­out the prob­lems as­so­ci­ated with hy­draulic op­er­ated grap­ples.

25 years ago Rag call for poll March 3, 1987 A poll should be run to al­low the Toko­roa Bor­ough Coun­cil an op­por­tu­nity to test sup­port for its ad­min­is­tra­tion block plan. Ratepay­ers’ Ac­tion Group chair­man Sam Kennedy made this re­mark to­day, fol­low­ing the group’s first meet­ing since the project was tem­po­rar­ily shelved last week.

Mr Kennedy con­ceded that there was a real fear in his group that the coun­cil would vote to go ahead with the project at its rates es­ti­mates meet­ing – sched­uled af­ter the dis­trict coun­cil decision is made.

‘‘Coun­cil­lors have al­ready said they will bow to public opin­ion on this is­sue. We want to take them up on it,’’ Mr Kennedy said.

‘‘We want to see a poll of the town – coun­cil could put the ques­tions and we would pro­vide all the help re­quired and scru­ti­nise it,’’ he said.

One of the ma­jor fac­tors which raised doubts about the ad­min­is­tra­tion was the size of com­mu­nity it would ser­vice.

The coun­cil was pre­pared to build the $2.5 mil­lion-plus com­plex in the hope of con­vinc­ing the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion that Toko­roa should be the cen­tre of a new dis­trict coun­cil. 50 years ago

Hall loan May 3, 1962 The Mata­mata County Coun­cil is within 1550 pounds of rais­ing the full amount of the loan for the new Me­mo­rial Hall. The county clerk, Mr K A Otto said about 21,300 pounds was in­vested for the full term, 5000 pounds for six years and the bal­ance on a 10- year term. The county is un­der­writ­ing the 1550 pound bal­ance un­til it can be raised.

UN­LOAD: Pu­taruru’s Ron Parker shows off his im­pres­sive grap­ple that was used to un­load the Jody F Mil­len­nium.

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