Home' Greymouth Star : September 22nd 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Two Coast players make
Heartland U19 side
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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
on the run
One of the
two men who
to police in
the back of
a chiller van
after a citizens
arrest in South
is wanted by police after breaching
his bail conditions. West Coast
police have warned people not to
approach Shane Dibben, 24, as he
was considered dangerous. Police
communications manager Barbara
Dunn said today Dibben was
known to carry weapons, including
knives, and he “definitely should not
be approached by members of the
public ”. He is known to have been
on the West Coast as recently as
Friday, however police say he may
be attempting to leave the area and
is actively avoiding police. He does
not own a car or hold a driver’s
licence. Dibben is described as
European about 173cm tall, of slim
build and has a distinctive spider
web tattoo under his right eye.
hit with taser
A Hokitika man was subdued
with a taser and pepper-spray on
Saturday night after he threatened
to kill police who had been
called to investigate an incident
at a Fitzherbert Street address.
Constable Sonya Rea, of Hokitika
police, said police were threatened
with a knife as they approached the
man, in his early 20s. He dropped
the knife as soon as he was tasered
and sprayed, and now faces a variety
of charges including threatening to
kill and possession of an offensive
Peroxide blondes must now apply
for photographic ID to buy the
strongest hair bleach, under little-
noticed new European anti-terror
rules. Anyone wishing to buy
such materials must pay £40 for a
three-year licence, or face two years’
jail. Applicants will face a criminal
record check and scrutiny of medical
records for signs of mental health
problems as well as questions about
why they want the chemicals.
Josie Appleton, of pressure group
The Manifesto Club, said: “ This is
treating everybody like terrorists.
Surely terrorists would be innovative
enough to buy their explosives
elsewhere? Innocent hobbyists will
suffer.” — Daily Mail
Morning showers, long fine spells
New list MP on edge
The West Coast ’s newest MP
Maureen Pugh had a roller-
coaster night on Saturday as
she watched her tilt at the
electorate seat dissolve in an
emphatic vote for Labour’s
Damien O’Connor, only to be
buoyed late in the night when
she realised the National Party
landslide would carry her into
However, even today as
she was winging her way to
Wellington for a two-week
induction as a party list MP,
she was hanging on by her
fingernails at No 52 and the
very bottom of the list, with
300,000 special votes yet to be
Spurned by the electorate
with a 3700 vote deficit, the
former Westland mayor was
the loser on the night, but
made up for that by riding
on the coat tail of National’s
unprecedented 48% party
It means the electorate may
again have three MPs, with
Kevin Hague completing the
trio. He is riding high on the
Green Party list.
A National Party spokes-
woman said this morning
there was still no guarantee
she would be in Parliament,
and could lose out once special
votes were counted.
She would still go through
the process, but as the last one
through on the list they could
not guarantee she would still
be there in the final count.
The spokeswoman said Mrs
Pugh was “in at this stage” but
if another party gained a seat
through special votes, then she
would be out.
It was a good night personally
for Mr O’Connor, who has
lost the West Coast-Tasman
electorate only once since
1993 (to National’s Chris
Auchinvole in 2008), and
extended his winning streak,
but overall it was a calamity
for his party, which sank to its
worst result since 1922.
In a pattern repeated around
the country, Labour had its
worst party vote since the West
Coast-Tasman electorate was
formed, taking just 7714 votes
to National’s 14,827. New
Zealand First did well with
2872 and the Greens 3966.
The surprise of the night
was Ban 1080 Party candidate
Peter Salter, who won 2141
votes — more than the Green’s
Kevin Hague, although Mr
Hague says he does not target
the electorate vote.
Mrs Pugh was riding high
today as she headed to the
She said she would like to
think the three MPs would be
supportive of “anything that
benefits the West Coast ”.
Mr Hague was not jumping
the gun today, though, and
was waiting until October 4
to see if Mrs Pugh remained
on the list when the votes were
finalised. However, he said he
had worked together with her
previously when she chaired
the West Coast Primary
Mr O’Connor said he wished
Mrs Pugh well, but cautioned
that she would receive a level
of scrutiny “she is probably not
used to in local government ”.
For Mr O’Connor today it
was all about the future of the
Even Westport, devastated by
mining job losses, party voted
National amid unfounded
concerns of a Labour-Green
coalition and the impact that
would have on mining, he said.
“A lot of soul searching
needs to take place,” he said,
referring to the future of his
It had to face up to a lengthy
and partly divisive leadership
process. He would not say if
he would continue to back
leader David Cunliffe.
Mr O’Connor said Labour
had been unable to convey its
core policies in a simple and
straightfor ward way.
Mr Salter, who outpolled
Mr Hague, said he could not
complain about the result.
“Our party is barely a month
old and the Greens have been
campaigning for almost a year,
and I beat him. We made a
statement and that ’s good.
“This is just one battle and
we have a long fight ahead of
us to get rid of the stuff (1080
poison), and one day we will
be proven right and it will be
gone,” he said.
“Obviously people have had
a gutsful. I’m happy, this is
another thing I can tick off my
Claire Holley said the party
vote for West Coast-Tasman
was nearing 5.2%.
believe we will build
momentum, people know
about us now, and our
policies. Part of the problem
is that people really liked our
policies, and for whatever
reason, perhaps, maybe a bit of
fear, that we wouldn’t get over
5%, so people didn’t vote,” Mrs
have always said if
everyone who agreed with
our policies voted, we would
get over (the line), in excess
of 5%.” She wondered if there
may have been a “sympathy
vote” for John Key towards the
end of the campaign, because
of ‘dirty politics’, which may
have hit the Conser vative vote.
New National Party list MP Maureen Pugh
is bitter about media coverage of her mayoral
record in Westland, after just scraping in on
the party list.
In a brief inter view she hit out at media
references to her nine-year legacy as Westland
mayor, with unprecedented levels of debt and
the highest rate rises in New Zealand.
On Saturday, Mrs Pugh won every polling
booth in rural South Westland, but also lost
every one in Hokitika — where she was mayor
until just last year — traditionally a National
“ You managed to get that cr..p out there
more than most. Well done,” Mrs Pugh said
While she has provisionally won she sits on
a knife-edge given her 52nd ranking on the
party list and final vote results yet to come in.
Nonetheless she was on her way to Wellington
this morning for induction as a list MP.
At the combined booths for Hokitika and
the Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi Valley, Labour’s
Damien O’Connor topped the polls at 799
Mrs Pugh today stood by her legacy, which
was “to better” the Westland District Council
over the past 15 years.
Nancy Prangnell, a strident critic of the
council under Mrs Pugh’s watch and member
of the Westland Residents and Ratepayers
Association — referred to recently by Mrs
Pugh as “the little anti-council ratepayer group
in Hokitika that has O’Connor as a supporter”
said she was shocked to hear the former
mayor might make it to Parliament.
“I really don’t feel she should be there,” Mrs
Prangnell, of Kaniere, said.
She said Mrs Pugh’s candidacy directly
affected her decision not to vote for National
for the first time in her life.
Westland ratepayers were now having to pay
for the debt left behind by her council.
“I think the town and our rates reflect
Maureen’s past. I’m surprised that she got
on the list considering what she’s done to
Hokitika. People are suffering.”
Westland Ratepayers and Residents
Association president Max Dowell said it was
“no wonder” Mrs Pugh had polled poorly in
“Awkward questions” from the association
about Mrs Pugh’s role in the unaccounted
$8.7 million of debt, and $15 million debt
overall at the end of her tenure, had never been
answered, Mr Dowell said.
Mrs Pugh had consistently refused to give
answers because “of negativity around the
questions and she had gone on record saying
she would never meet with the association”.
He claimed the lack of engagement with
honest questions by Mrs Pugh did not bode
well for her future in politics.
“The $8.7m has never been addressed.”
He noted Mrs Pugh had polled poorly in
Greymouth, too, and wondered if she had
been bitten because of her criticism of the
Grey District Council.
“S he was always making statements that
Greymouth had more debt. They may have
more debt but, by crikey, they ’ve got the
infrastructure to show for it.”
Mrs Pugh said that as an MP she would
continue to do what she had achieved as a
councillor and mayor — to bolster community
and regional development.
The revival of Kumara was a positive example,
The environment which enabled the
award-winning Theatre Royal Hotel and
other initiatives there “just didn’t happen”
“They wouldn’t ever be there if it wasn’t for
the community development we did ... it ’s a
great model and it works. ”
The death of diehard Labour
supporters has been given
as one reason for the party ’s
terrible showing on the West
Coast, even in traditional
While Damien O’Connor
held on to the electorate with
an increased majority of 3688,
the Labour Party had its worst
party vote since the West
Coast-Tasman electorate was
formed, and nationally its
worst result since 1922.
Greymouth polling stations
(Grey Main School, for
example, was 152 for National
and 84 Labour), polled higher
in Blaketown, and dominated
the party vote by more than
100 at the best Hokitika
polling booth, at the iSite.
Blaketown Labour stalwart
surprised at the Blaketown
“I was surprised as I’ve
always been Labour,” Mr
“There are a lot of people
living in Blaketown now I
don’t know and you don’t
know how they have voted.
I am surprised that National
got a good hearing here but
I am pleased to see Damien
(O’Connor) back in,” Mr
Even in Westport, decimated
by mining job losses, National
took three out of four booths,
with the best result 177 to 130,
a trend which did not surprise
former mayor Pat O’Dea.
“A lot of the old diehard
Labour supporters have passed
on and I think more than ever
the young people are having
their say,” Mr O’Dea said.
“The young ones see issues
unfold and seem to have
enough common sense to vote
“I’m pleased for Damien
(O’Connor), but I’m against
people getting on the party
list when they haven’t got the
support of the general public.
Maureen Pugh is a prime
example of that.”
Labour diehards ... dying
The West Coast ’s newest MP, Maureen Pugh, celebrates making the National Party list on Saturday night with husband John, and
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