Home' Greymouth Star : September 2nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Tuesday, September 2, 2014
A Kaniere man who was sentenced
to jail last week for a series of
offences had several charges
dismissed before sentencing in the
Greymouth District Court. The
Greymouth Star wrongly reported
that Joshua James Little, 29, had
also been sentenced on a charge
of wilful trespass, two charges of
contravening a protection order, and
another of threatening property;
all of those charges had been
previously dismissed. Little was
actually sentenced on four charges of
burglary, one of cultivating cannabis,
seven of receiving and one of theft.
A 19-year-old Hokitika man
will be charged with assault with
a weapon when he appears in the
Greymouth District Court on
Thursday. He was arrested yesterday
after inquiries into an incident in
Hokitika early last week.
A red 24-inch, 18-speed
Diamondback bicycle was stolen
from a Cardwell Street, Cobden,
address between 7pm and 8pm on
Long dry spell
Greymouth has been 19 days
without rain, weather obser ver Phil
Forrest said today. “ We should have
another two or possibly three” dry
days, he said today.
Advance voting for the general
election begins tomorrow. Registered
voters can cast an advance vote
for reasons such as work, sickness,
infirmity, disability, being away
from home or for any other reason.
Postal votes may also be cast in
certain circumstances. Election day is
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
One Greymouth vessel. Departures:
Two Greymouth vessels. In port:
20 vessels. Expected departures:
Nil. Expected arrivals: Jay Elaine,
tomorrow; Cook Canyon, Thursday.
Fatal crash blamed on pilot
Two men who lied to the police after an
accident that killed a man in the Otira Gorge
on their way to setting up a Chinese restaurant
in Greymouth, were sentenced to home
detention in the Christchurch District Court
The Christchurch Court News website reports
that Feng Sun, 39, told the police he was the
driver of a truck that crashed off the road in the
Otira Gorge in April 2012, and Yu O uyang, 52,
who was a witness in a car following the truck,
also said Sun was the driver.
Danian Xu, a 49-year-old chef, was killed in
When the men finally confessed to the police
another man was driving it was too late to
charge him because of a limitation period, and
as the truth was not suspected, forensic testing
was not done at the scene of the accident.
Sun was asked to lie by the driver because
he did not have a licence to drive a truck, and
was charged with careless use of motor vehicle
causing death, and Judge Kevin Glubb said
justice had been irrevocably obstructed and
frustrated by the two men, the Court News
There had been a successful and compelling
restorative justice conference, and both men had
offered significant moral, financial, and practical
support to the Xu family.
The judge sentenced Ouyang to five months’
home detention, and Sun to seven months’ home
detention and an emotional harm reparation
payment of $10,000 to Mr Xu’s widow.
Home detention for
Otira Gorge crash pair
of the Westport News
A fatal microlight crash near Westport
has been blamed on the pilot breaking Civil
“It is considered that if Civil Aviation
rules had been complied with, the accident
would not have occurred,” the Civil Aviation
Authority (CAA) report said.
Pilot Roger Smith, 58, and his passenger
Cole Ashby, 25, both of Westport, died on
January 30 last year, when their microlight
crashed at Carters Beach just minutes from
The CAA investigation found Mr Smith,
who had about 765 hours’ flying experience,
took off in visibility conditions below the
Conditions had further deteriorated to
thick fog before the crash about an hour
later. Mr Smith probably suffered from
“spatial disorientation” after the microlight
entered the fog in limited light, and lost
control of the aircraft, the report said.
“Considering the environmental conditions
and the approach of night, the pilot found
himself in a situation that (neither) he nor
the microlight was equipped for.”
Mr Smith was not night or instrument
rated. The microlight was not equipped
for flying at night or in instrument
Mr Smith did not have a current
microlight pilot certificate. His biennial
flight review was about a year overdue.
His certificate and membership validation
had expired, the report said. His associated
medical certificate and declaration could
not be found.
Investigators found no mechanical defects
with his Bantam B22s. It had a current flight
permit and had passed its annual inspection
four months before the crash.
CCTV footage at Westport Airport showed
Mr Smith pumping fuel into his aircraft at
8.21pm on January 30, before the flight to
look for deer. The aircraft was last seen flying
near Cape Foulwind about 9.10pm.
Several witnesses indicated the microlight
was flying below the minimum allowable
height of 500 feet. They said that Mr Smith
would often fly low.
Witnesses in the Carters Beach area heard
a loud bang about 9.20pm.
The microlight was reported overdue the
next morning. The wreckage was found at
9.30am; Mr Ashby’s body was inside and
Mr Smith’s body was about 1.5km away
along the beach.
The area weather forecast that day was for
mist, fog, in the late evening with visibility
reducing to 500m. Investigators could find
no evidence Mr Smith had obtained the
forecast or made a pre-flight plan.
Westport Airport ’s visibility was 300m
about the time of the crash. The cloud ceiling
had reduced to 60m. Visual flight rules require
1500m visibility and a 180m cloud ceiling in
uncontrolled airspace at aerodromes.
The report said “spatial disorientation”
was a well-known phenomenon. It was a
significant risk when a pilot pressed on into
poor visibility with no instrument rating,
lost visual clues, and failed to sense correctly
his position or motion.
Tuesday September 2
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 768 5942 first
Mary. — Passed away
suddenly as the result of
an accident on Septem-
ber 1, 2014 in Welling-
ton; aged 18. Funeral
details to be advised.
Services Ltd, Phone
(03) 768 0250, FDANZ.
OLSON, Reg. — Betty,
Steven, Bianca and
Clayton would like to
sincerely thank everyone
for the kind words,
cards, flowers and bak-
ing. A special thanks to
the nurses at Morice
Ward, Grey Hospital.
An emotional Paddy O’Donnell stands by as his former Cobden home is demolished yesterday as a belated result of Cyclone Ita.
The house was condemned as a result of the Easter storm, and was brought down yesterday. “It ’s quiet sad really as it has been my
home for over 26 years,” Mr O’Donnell said. “But the roof was completely ripped off in the cyclone and the house sustained a lot of
damage. I was in town at the time having a meal and when I returned home I nearly had a heart attack, I got a real shock.”
Home demolished after Easter storm
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Developer may face ban
on running companies
A former Dunedin bar owner who left a string
of failed hospitality companies behind him may
be banned from running a company for five
Earlier this year, three hospitality companies,
Metro Bar (Dunedin) Ltd, 2 Mooses Tavern
Ltd and The Church Nightclub Ltd, were
placed in liquidation, owing Inland Revenue
Bar co-owner Ben Hanssen, along with his
business partner, had interests in D unedin
bars Metro, Monkey Bar, Diamond Lounge-
Rumours and the Clarendon Hotel.
Mr Hanssen had previously announced a
new Greymouth development involving the
Railway and Royal hotels, which was to include
a new nightclub, several new restaurants and an
outdoor seating area.
The plans fell apart about the same time the
media reported that several of his Dunedin-
based establishments were caught up in a police
investigation over allegations that Mr Hanssen
employed gang members to reclaim chattels
from a rival business, as well as allegations of
unpaid staff wages.
A final report on Metro Bar (Dunedin)
Ltd by liquidators Insolvency Management
includes a recommendation Hanssen “should be
prohibited from being a director of a company
for a period of five years’’.
The liquidators noted the company, which was
incorporated in March 2011 and ceased trading
late last year, had no assets available for the
Liquidators were provided with minimal
information about the company and its affairs,
as no company financial accounts could be
Don Millis, of Insolvency Management,
confirmed a recommendation had been made to
the Registrar of Companies to ban Mr Hanssen
as a director.
That recommendation was still being
Mr Millis said Insolvency Management
was appointed to deal with the liquidations
of insolvent companies associated with Mr
“ We are also aware of other insolvent
companies he is associated with.’’
Mr Hanssen could not be reached for
comment this week.
Last year he denied allegations that he left
staff out of pocket or used gang members to
intimidate rivals. — Otago Daily Times
A Dobson teenager who came home
after months of cancer treatment is
missing his dogs which have gone
missing — along with a chocolate cake.
Harry Foster was back from
Christchurch last week.
However, his two dogs went missing
a fortnight ago. Largely pets, they were
also used for hunting.
Mum, Francie Foster, said a kind visitor
had left them a cake. Their other son ate
a slice, and went out between 4 and 8pm.
When he returned, the cake and plate
were gone, as were the dogs.
Mrs Foster said they had just spent
$2000 getting one of the dog’s legs
pinned after it was broken. One of the
dogs is a lean black lab-cross collie and
the other is a brown and white foxie-
cross, which is taller than usual.
“Harry waited four months to see the
dogs,” Mrs Foster said.
They have returned to Christchurch for
more treatment. Anyone with information
is asked to contact the Fosters. The family
says a reward is available.
Pike, dairy downturn hit Kiwi Rail
The Pike River Mine disaster and a drop in
international dairy markets are among the
factors blamed for Kiwi Rail’s $248 million net
The State-owned company on Friday released
its financials for the year to June 30, revealing
that Pike River, the global financial crisis and
the Christchurch earthquakes had all had a
material impact on operating surpluses.
The unexpected loss of a propeller on the
Interislander ferry Aratere, and asbestos
contamination in freight locomotives, had also
had a strong impact.
The report said there had been a slowdown in
export logging and dairy volumes from April
to June this year as prices fell on international
markets. Bulk, dairy and import export
customers make up 40% of the company ’s
“As a result of all these factors, the operating
surplus in 2014 fell over 28% from 2013 to
$77.5m. 2014 was extremely frustrating for
Kiwi Rail, our customers and our stakeholders.
However the company is determined to recover
and continue its growth programme.”
The bulk of Kiwi Rail’s revenue last year was
derived from freight (64%), Interislander (16%)
and passenger ser vices such as Scenic Journeys,
which includes the Greymouth to Christchurch
Tranz Alpine (7%).
Kiwi Rail said the scenic journeys operation
had performed well.
It is election time and both John
Key and David Cunliffe have trotted
out stories to prove their West Coast
During a visit to the Westfleet fish
factory last week, Prime Minister John
Key, who grew up in Christchurch,
filled in time by telling the Coast
factory workers his first girlfriend was
Labour leader David Cunliffe has
mentioned a few times that his father
was from Ngahere, and also recounts
his ties to former Richard John Seddon,
the Hokitika MP who became New
Zealand’s longest ser ving prime
Mr Cunliffe said he was aware
growing up that he had a famous
distant relative — great-great uncle
“Dad mentioned it once or twice. I
don’t think it was a big thing in the
family,” he told the New Zealand
Seddon’s sister, Phoebe Ellen Seddon
married William Cawley Cunliffe in
Lancashire, England, in 1863, and
within a decade of marrying they were
settled in Greymouth, quite possibly at
the behest of the future premier who
had already arrived on the West Coast,
By 1873, Mr Cunliffe’s great-
grandfather was working at the
Dispatch Foundry Co, from which he
retired 38 years later. One of their 10
children, William Cawley Cunliffe II
married Blanche Walsh and moved to
Ngahere as stationmaster, and it was
there that Mr Cunliffe’s father, William
Richard Cunliffe, was born in 1915.
Mr Cunliffe will be back on the West
Coast this weekend for the launch
of a new biography on Richard John
Seddon, in Hokitika.
Leaders push Coast links
$8m for cycle trails
The government will provide $8
million in funding to cycle trails around
New Zealand to make improvements.
The Government announced that the
$8m would make up a contestable fund
over four years. New Zealand Cycle
Trail Inc manager Evan Freshwater
said it would allow for sections of trail
to be improved where the gradient may
exceed what is desirable for their riders,
improve the trail surface or build bridges
or boardwalks. Funding could also be
used to make repairs after storm damage.
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