Home' Greymouth Star : October 8th 2014 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Lettuce, carrots blamed for
food poisoning outbreak
$1 (Home Delivery 75c)
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Westport police attended a
domestic row in Derby Street about
9 o’clock last night. A spokesman
said the couple were arguing but
there was no violence or other
offending. However, a police safety
order was issued against the male
partner for three days. Police had
dealt with the same couple and
a similar incident on Monday
night. Meanwhile, police have yet
to apprehend a boy racer reported
speeding up and down the Westport
main street about midday yesterday.
He was driving a blue Nissan.
clips car door
A passing tanker swiped the open
door of a car parked in High Street,
Greymouth, about 11am yesterday.
Police said the truck clipped the
door as it was opened by the driver.
It appeared that the truck driver was
unaware of the incident and carried
Showers clearing to fine afternoon
in France are
an iconic statue
based on the
famous VJ Dday
photo is torn
it ‘portrays a
a photograph of a kiss in Times
Square that captured New York’s
celebration as the Second World
War ended, is currently on display
outside the Caen Memorial
Museum, in Normandy. However,
the statue has been criticised by
French feminists who claim it shows
“an assault ”. The ‘Unconditional
Surrender’ sculpture - which is
also nicknamed The Kiss - shows
a sailor kissing a woman while one
arm is around her waist and another
supports her neck. — Daily Mail
Have your say on
The group trying to revitalise
central Greymouth has invited
residents to complete another
on-line sur vey. It closes on Monday,
and organisers are particularly
keen that businesses take part. You
can find the sur vey at http://www.
A Rotomanu farmer will stand
trial early next year for his part
in the star vation and death of
hundreds of cattle.
David Anthony Ham faces
charges of animal cruelty and
failing to keep stock adequately
fed and watered, alongside Jeremy
William Usher, and his father
Robert William Usher.
In 2012, Ham leased a farm and
300 cows to the Ushers, which
once combined with cows they
owned took the total number of
animals on the property to more
However, a Ministry of Primary
Industries (MPI) inspection on
August 28 that year found that
of the 926 cows on the farm, 636
were in “ very poor condition”,
having suffered from star vation
for three to four months
Of those, 128 animals had to
be immediately sent for slaughter
while a further 152 were shot on
the spot. The rest of the herd was
distributed to neighbouring farms
to recover, leaving just 50 animals
on the farm.
Both Ham and the Ushers were
subsequently charged with animal
cruelty and failing to keep stock
adequately fed and watered.
However, at a hearing in the
Greymouth District Court on
August 26, Ham’s lawyer Michael
Smith argued that the charges
against Ham should be dismissed
because MPI had failed to prove
he owned any of the animals.
He also argued that Ham was
neither the owner nor the person
in charge of the animals due to his
having leased the cows and farm
to the Ushers. Mr Smith said all
the cattle leased by Ham bore
national animal identification and
tracing (Nait) tags, and because
none of the animals which were
found either dead or star ving
on the farm bore those tags, it
therefore could not be proved
that any of the animals belonged
In his judgment, Judge Raoul
Neave said there was no statement
provided by Ham, and therefore
no evidence for the tagging.
“I am simply not in a position
to say at this point definitively
who owned the stock. It therefore
follows that there is evidence
which suggests the stock is owned
by the defendant (Ham),” Judge
Evidence from farm hand
Christopher Curtis and farm
manager Sean Curran alleged
that Ham helped out on the farm
with tasks such as milking and
Fellow farmer and Federated
Farmers West Coast chairwoman
Katie Milne also alleged that
after seeing dead cows on the
farm while flying overhead in her
plane, she contacted Ham and
told him what she had seen.
Judge Neave said the evidence
showed there was a pattern of
knowledge accumulated where
“there was a clear duty on the
defendant to take steps. Some of
the evidence is capable of being
construed as an admission he was
aware of the situation.”
The judge said it was “no answer”
for Ham to point to the stock
lease, as he had an obligation for
the animals which he could not
“contract out ”.
“The lease, if anything, confirms
these obligations ... I consider
there is sufficient evidence that
the defendant was reckless in
respect of the care of these
All three defendants will appear
in the Greymouth District Court
via audio visual link with the
Christchurch District Court on
October 24 for a pre-trial hearing.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Greymouth’s new district librarian Liz Burke gets acquainted with her surroundings, having swapped Australian shores for the West Coast. Ms Burke,
originally of Melbourne, has most recently worked at Murdoch University in Perth. She had previously visited the West Coast on holiday. With 20 years of
experience working in libraries, Ms Burke said she was excited to take up the position with a “fantastic team”. A keen reader, her own books of choice are of the crime
Aussie librarian books in
An elderly Kumara man who became
lost after setting out for Christchurch
to visit his daughter on Friday was
found more than 65km south of his
destination by an Ellesmere district
resident, early on Sunday morning.
Simon Taylor, of Rakaia Huts 12km
south-east of Southbridge, was driving
home from Christchurch shortly after
2am on Sunday when he spotted what
turned out to be the car belonging to
78-year-old Rowan Kerr, of Kumara.
Mr Kerr, who is in the early stages
of dementia, was reported missing
on Saturday after he was last seen in
Kumara early on Friday afternoon.
He had previously talked about going
to visit his daughter in Christchurch,
about 217km away.
Mr Taylor, who contacted the
Greymouth Star yesterday, said he
was immediately suspicious of the
vehicle, because it was parked opposite
a local contractor’s yard which had
been targeted previously by thieves, at
Milltown just outside Southbridge. The
driver’s door of the car was slightly ajar
and the car’s park lights were on.
“As I drove past it played on my mind
why it was there,” he said.
When he turned around to have
a closer look, a very cold and
disorientated Mr Kerr appeared: “He
comes out of the darkness and of course
I immediately realise this is not what
I’d been assuming”.
The Kumara man was clearly anxious
about having not arrived at his
daughter’s home in the city. He had run
out of petrol and was unable to say how
long he had been on the roadside.
“He knew he was late, and worried
that his daughter would be worried.”
Mr Taylor said it was clear Mr Kerr
had been there for some time as the
engine of his car was stone cold.
After some persuading, aided by
a puppy and some peppermints Mr
Taylor had with him, Mr Kerr was
persuaded to get into Mr Taylor’s van
to warm up.
“He was just bloody cold and scared.”
Mr Taylor stayed with Mr Kerr for
about 90 minutes until police arrived.
With a frost on the ground, numerous
natural hazards in the district —
including deep creeks and springs
and a maze of rural roads between
the mouths of Te Waihora-Lake
Ellesmere and the Rakaia River, he
said it was fortunate Mr Kerr had not
wandered too far.
Good samaritan helps missing pensioner
Prayers urged for missing pilot
The air search for a missing Karamea
helicopter resumed at noon today after
low cloud hampered earlier efforts.
The helicopter is believed to belong to
Helicopter Charter Karamea.
Pilot Damian Webster was flying one of
two Karamea-based choppers to Nelson
on a maintenance mission yesterday,
when his aircraft was lost over the
Mr Webster’s helicopter was being
accompanied by another helicopter while
he made his way to Nelson for routine
maintenance on the aircraft.
His last known position, about 8am
yesterday, was over steep bush-covered
terrain in the Mount Arthur Range.
Both the Greymouth and Nelson rescue
helicopters searched an area 35km west
of Motueka yesterday. No emergency
beacon signal was detected and nothing
had come to light during a search last
night by the Nelson Rescue Helicopter
using night-vision equipment.
Rescue Co-ordination Centre New
Zealand spokesman Steve Rendall said
today the resumption of the aerial search
was delayed by low cloud, with further
bad weather this morning.
By 11.30am four helicopter search
teams had been briefed and were due to
resume searching the area by midday.
Two land search and rescue teams were
already searching the Flora River area,
with another two ground search teams
due to join them this afternoon.
Mr Rendall said the search area around
the Flora River was 5km in either
direction of the last known signal from
the missing helicopter’s tracking system,
which was a “pretty big area” to search.
Fairfax reported this morning that Mr
Webster’s partner, Jessie Creedmore,
wrote on Facebook that she wanted the
“nightmare to end”.
“Thank you everyone for your thoughts
and prayers just waiting and praying
please send strength to my baby Damian
Webster,” she wrote.
12 Herbert Street, Greymouth | Phone: 768 0822
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Greymouth & Westport
Daylight Saving Special
13” car tyres from $68
A little pink goes a long way
Buy your Pink tyre caps for $2 each.
100% of proceeds are donated to the
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