Home' Greymouth Star : August 26th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 5
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull
concedes a chance to detect
the alleged $1.5
Citifleet fraud may have been
missed, after the council twice
overlooked advice from Audit
The revelation came in Audit
New Zealand ’s annual reports to
the council, which highlighted
gaps in council processes dating
back to 2003.
They showed Audit NZ twice
suggested the council consider
creating a new audit and risk
subcommittee, in 2007 and
2010, prompting the council to
insist its processes were sound.
That was despite the council
detecting another suspected
fraud in 2008, between the two
recommendations, the reports
The suspected fraud — which
was not made public — involved
less than $3000, but resulted in a
recently-appointed staff member
losing their job, it was revealed
Despite that, the audit and
risk subcommittee — designed
to improve the management of
risks, including fraud, within the
council — was not created until
Contacted yesterday, Mr Cull
conceded Audit NZ’s advice
should have been followed
“I think we should have had a
risk and audit committee earlier
than we did.”
Asked if it might have helped
detect the alleged Citifleet fraud,
Mr Cull said: “Q uite possibly,
“It could very well have helped.”
His comments came after the
council on Friday confirmed it
had called in police, and notified
the Serious Fraud Office,
month investigation into the
The probe revealed the alleged
decade-long fraud involved
the sale of 152 vehicles and
more than $1.5m in pocketed
The findings have triggered
finger-pointing between past
and present council staff,
councillors and Audit NZ, but
council chief executive Dr Sue
Bidrose said responsibility for
failing to detect the alleged fraud
rested with the council.
As a result, up to five
council staff were involved in
“employment processes”, with
some facing the prospect of
losing their jobs, it is understood.
Local Government New
Zealand president Lawrence
Yule yesterday said the “mind-
boggling” alleged fraud was
the biggest involving a local
authority he could recall.
There were likely to be lessons
from it for councils across New
Zealand, “to make sure this type
of thing can’t happen again”, he
“It is pretty mind-boggling to
think such a thing could happen
over the sort of length of time it
“That ’s pretty concerning to
He was also concerned the
DCC had overlooked Audit
NZ’s recommendations for a new
audit and risk subcommittee,
which was now considered “best
practice”, he said.
It was not
subcommittee would have
detected the alleged Citifleet
fraud, but “you would have
hoped it may have”.
Asked who was to blame, Mr
Yule said Audit NZ “can’t look
“The buck stops for this
type of thing really with
their management,” he said.
— Otago Daily Times
Chances to detect Dunedin
car fraud missed
Undercover police officers drank in
Dunedin bars as part of an operation
targeting liquor licensing offences.
While police said the inaugural operation
was a success — with most bars found
compliant — the Hospitality Association
slammed the move as “creepy ”.
Two Central Otago-based police officers
— in their mid-20s — visited city bars on
Saturday night to check compliance with
the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.
Alcohol harm prevention officer sergeant
Ian Paulin said the undercover officers
kept in touch with officers at the D unedin
Police Station via their smartphones.
“If they come across anything that
needed our attention, then we would
charge out,” he said.
Mr Paulin, another uniformed officer,
a D unedin licensing inspector and a
Public Health South official would
then go to the bar, with the undercover
“obser vers able to guide us to the person”,
The undercover officers visited six bars in
total, with some bars visited twice.
He confirmed those officers were
allowed to drink while on duty.
“There is case law that backs up if
someone is in a licensed premises, then
one drink an hour is appropriate . . .
other wise you would stand out.”
The behaviour of licensees and staff
was largely found to be compliant. One
Octagon bar was given a written warning,
after ser ving alcohol to an intoxicated
patron at 3.40am on Sunday.
If any more offending was identified
with that bar, the experienced operator
could face a hearing, he said.
“As soon as you raise your head above the
parapet with any licensing matter, then
you become subject to more scrutiny.”
Mr Paulin said the district-wide
operation was the first of its kind in the
country, and would continue for a year.
However, Hospitality Association chief
executive Bruce Robertson hit back at
the undercover operation, labelling it as
“A couple of people nursing a beer while
actively looking around the bar could be
“ We don’t think this is an appropriate use
of police resourcing and we would rather
they put a uniform on and be visible so
everyone knew who they were.”
The association had yet to receive a
response from Police Commissioner Mike
Bush about the use of undercover officers
in such operations.
Mr Paulin said undercover officers
enabled police to obser ve normal behaviour
in a bar, as staff and management might
react differently when a uniformed officer
entered the establishment.
He said undercover officers also observed
responsible management from security
staff, bar staff and licensees.
One bar let an intoxicated man enter,
and while that was disappointing, it was
pleasing he was served only water —
much to the patron’s disgust.
“ We know that the majority of people
arrested for violent or disorderly incidents
in D unedin are affected by alcohol.
“ Taking a proactive approach to ensure
that our bars are operating appropriately
is one of a number of actions we can take
to reduce the level of alcohol harm in the
community.” — Otago Daily Times
Police are hailing an officer for his extreme
bravery after he was shot while wrestling
an armed man who attacked a woman
in a carjacking bid outside a Hamilton
Waikato police district commander
Superintendent Bruce Bird lauded the actions
of the senior constable for his part in stopping
the gunman, believed to be Rangiriri man
Zeb McCallion, 35, whose alleged rampage
began on Sunday when police say he pointed
a gun at a Te Awamutu police officer before
threatening a Kihikihi family and demanding
Police caught up with the alleged offender
yesterday after he had ditched the Honda
Accord and allegedly stolen a Toyota Hiace
van, which was fitted with a GPS locator, in
The driver raced through the central city to
the Mill St Pak ‘n Save car park, where police
say he fled from the vehicle and attacked the
woman in a bid to steal her car, before officers
got to him.
As he was being wrestled to the ground,
a shot was fired from his sawn-off double-
It seriously injured him and caused foot
wounds to one of the arresting officers.
Mr Bird said both he and Police
Commissioner Mike Bush were “in awe of
the absolute courage and dedication to duty”
the police officers displayed in apprehending
“This would be right up there in the very
highest echelons to apprehend an offender
that we know is dangerous, having access to
firearms,” Mr Bird said.
Witnesses later described the events that
unfolded just before midday.
One woman said she saw the man leap from
the van as it was still moving and run across
the forecourt of the supermarket ’s ser vice
station towards the middle-aged woman,
who was sitting in her Rav 4.
Mark Strongman, of Huntly, had just arrived
at the supermarket with his wife Linda and
their nine-month-old granddaughter Maia.
“(Police) had their sirens and lights on and
came screaming in and I thought, ‘What ’s
going on here?’,” he said.
Mr Strongman said he thought the man had
a crowbar in his hands but then “it turned out
to be a shotgun”.
“He had a woman by the scruff of her neck
and tried to haul her out. She had the good
sense to hang on to the wheel. ”
He said four police tackled the gunman,
who went down fighting, and it took them
several minutes to bring him under control.
“They went across the other side of the
self-ser vice sign and then we heard the gun
go bang. My wife panicked a bit but I said,
‘Don’t worry, it ’s a shotgun and it can’t reach
“I just made sure our granddaughter was
Police said it was an extremely rare event for
an officer to be shot while on duty.
The carjacking victim was “shaken” but
“remarkably resilient considering the actions
she was subjected to”.
Mr Bush said it was timely to reflect on the
courage shown by the three officers who put
themselves at risk to protect a member of the
“The bravery of these officers in tackling
an armed and dangerous offender to keep
innocent members of the public from harm
is in the finest traditions of the New Zealand
“Credit also goes to all of the other staff
involved who helped to resolve this highly
dangerous situation. ”
Mr Bird said police would “absolutely” be
considering the wounded officer, who has
been on the force for about 10 years, for a
He said no charges had yet been laid
against the man, who was admitted to
Waikato Hospital, but several were likely.
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Police hail shot officer for bravery
in tackling armed man
A burglar whose vehicle was shot at
by a farmer when he stole from a rural
property for a third time in as many
months, has been sentenced to two and
a half years’ imprisonment.
Michael Tuhi Webb, 25, pleaded
guilty to seven charges of burglary,
one of driving while disqualified and
possession of cannabis.
Webb appeared for sentence in the
Gisborne District Court by Judge
John Mcdonald, who said the case
highlighted the risks of confrontation
between burglars and property owners.
Police have confirmed they have not
charged the farmer over the incident.
Three of the burglary charges related
to a Wharekopae Road property, from
which Webb stole petrol and tools this
year — once during January while the
owners were overseas and twice during
On the third raid, the owners had
installed a gate alarm system and were
alerted by it. The owner used his utility
vehicle to try to block the intruder’s
departure. But Webb circumnavigated
the obstruction and crashed through a
fence to leave the property.
He then made what the judge said was
an “odd” decision — to do a u-turn and
crash back on to the property through
two fences. The farmer fired at the
vehicle, peppering it with shot, which
later helped police identify it as the one
used in the burglary.
The farmer twice paid out $500 in
insurance excess to replace tools valued
at more than $800, which Webb twice
stole from an implement shed.
Items including a cellphone, camera
and lawnmower, which were taken in
other separate burglaries, brought the
collective total of goods taken to about
$4000, the court heard.
The cellphones were taken during
a burglary in which the occupants
were home but asleep. Webb’s later
effort to swap the phone proved his
downfall when the person involved in
the transaction reported the matter to
Reparation was a “forlorn hope”, the
judge said. Webb had no means to pay.
No order could be made.
The cannabis charge related to four
“tinnies”police later found at Webb’s
house, acting on a search warrant.
Sentence was arrived at from a
starting point of three years, with 11
months discount for Webb’s guilty
pleas and an uplift of four months for
his prior offending, which included
seven burglaries since 2006 and
nine convictions for driving while
disqualified since 2007.
Webb’s previous convictions included
many for violence and breaches of
community-based sentences, the judge
The judge noted Webb claimed
he committed the recent burglaries
because he needed money to fund a
visit to his ill grandmother.
The judge acknowledged Webb’s
expression of remorse but questioned
whether it would be any consolation to
In a statement to the court, the
farmer said they still felt insecure.
— APNZ-Gisborne Herald
Farmer f ired
f leeing raider,
A tyre barrier has been
installed at the intersection of
Oamaru’s Orwell and Humber
Streets, where a drink-driver
ploughed into a house earlier
Waitaki District Council
roading manager Michael
Voss said the intersection was
identified as high risk after the
August 2 crash, believed to be at
least the fourth there.
The drink-driver failed to take
the corner at the end of Humber
Street, at the Orwell Street
intersection, and continued
straight on, smashing through a
fence and the outside roughcast
wall of Louise and Paul Daley ’s
He continued through a
bedroom and an internal wall
and came to rest in the lounge,
5m into the house, moving a log
burner and furniture on impact.
The “energy-absorbing” tyre
wall would hopefully stop cars
from going any further in the
event of another crash, Mr Voss
The council planned to put
plants in the tyre wall to “make
it more of a feature”.
Joshua Scott Gordon, 22,
freezing worker, of Oamaru,
has pleaded guilty to charges of
drink-driving (950mcg), causing
injury and careless driving
causing injury, in Orwell Street
on August 2.
He has been remanded on bail
for sentencing in the Oamaru
District Court on October 22.
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
The energy-absorbing tyre wall built outside Paul and Louise Daley’s Or well Street, Oamaru, home.
Tyre barrier to protect house
Police say they have not given
up hope of new information
coming to light regarding the
death of Rutger Hale, despite
nearly a year passing since his
Mr Hale died in a crash on
State highway 6 in October last
year when a mystery object came
through the windscreen of his
car and fatally struck him.
He was driving between Lake
Hawea and Wanaka with his
girlfriend when the accident
Police have carried out work
including analysis of samples
of material found in Mr Hale’s
Detective sergeant Brian
Cameron said the case was
before the coroner so he was not
in a position to comment further
on any details of the case.
“ However, we do want to give
it another push in the media,
in case there is someone out
there who has information that
would help this inquiry. If you
do know something about what
happened on that day, please
come for ward.”— APNZ
Police still not giving up on mystery object death
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