Home' Greymouth Star : November 7th 2014 Contents Tauranga
The man allegedly hired as a hitman by
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd says the
rocker told him he was being threatened
for not paying “working girls”.
Rudd, 60, was charged with
attempting to procure murder,
threatening to kill and possession
of methamphetamine and cannabis
following a police raid on his Tauranga
home yesterday morning.
The alleged hitman, whose name
has been suppressed, told the Sydney
Morning Herald in an exclusive
interview that Rudd was the “Hugh
Hefner of Tauranga”, claiming that the
amount he spent on “company is like
someone’s yearly wage”.
The man told Fairfax Media: “ The
girls that he gets, working girls and that,
they ’re p...ed off, he tells them, ‘Nah I’m
not paying you’ and then the partners
come and say they want their money.”
He said although Rudd was burning
his bridges with those “who care about
him’’ he was still a “good fellow ” with a
“ big heart”.
“ You’ve got to feel sorry for him —
just the expectations everyone has of
him,” he said.
He told the Bay of Plenty Times
yesterday he was running a small
business in Tauranga some years ago
when he first met Rudd. They had been
friends ever since. He said the rock
drummer was “a good fella”, though he’d
had some problems.
When asked about murder plot
allegations, the man replied: “I don’t
know what you’re talking about.”
The man said police called him
yesterday morning to inform him of
Rudd ’s arrest. Both people alleged
to be the intended victims refused to
When the Daily Mail Australia
contacted AC/DC’s ex-manager,
Michael Browning, he had only just
heard the news and said it was a “bit of
a shock, but there you go”.
A statement on the band ’s website
said: “ We’ve only become aware of Phil’s
arrest ’’ as the news was breaking.
“ We have no further comment. Phil’s
absence will not affect the release of our
new album Rock or Bust and upcoming
tour next year.”
Rudd was silent during a brief,
shoeless appearance in the Tauranga
District Court yesterday afternoon and
has been released on bail until his next
appearance on November 27.
According to court documents, Rudd
is accused of attempting to hire one
person to kill two others between
September 25 and September 26.
He is also accused of threatening to
kill a complainant on September 26.
Details of the complaints and the
names of the alleged intended targets
and hitman were suppressed by Judge
The Australian-born drummer has
lived in Tauranga for a number of years.
He first moved to New Zealand in
1983 after being sacked by the band, but
hooked up with the band again in 1994.
— New Zealand Herald
Friday, November 7, 2014 - 3
A Mahia man who died yesterday
when the dive boat he and two
companions were in tipped over in a
remote area on the east of the Mahia
Peninsula has been named — and was
related to a man who died in similar
circumstances three weeks ago. Police
this morning named the man who
died swells off White Rock reef near
Table Cape as 72-year-old Rare Tont
Pohe of Mahia, known as ‘ Tonto’.
A father and his teenage daughter
from Napier and Mr Pohe, the girl’s
uncle, were on board the boat when it
It was the second boating tragedy
of its type at Mahia in a month and
the men who died were related. Three
weeks ago, Mahia man 57-year-old
Malcolm Blake died when his small
crayfishing boat turned over off
Mr Blake was dragged out of the
water by others from the boat but was
unconscious and did not respond to
On that occasion a 16-year-old boy
went ashore and ran 2km to get help.
Police were advised of the latest
emergency yesterday at about 11.30am.
A rescue operation was launched,
involving local boats, the Coastguard
and rescue helicopters from Hawke’s
Bay and Gisborne.
“The group had attached a dive catch
bag to a buoy near the reef,” senior
sergeant Tony Bates, of Wairoa police,
“They were navigating the boat back
to pick it up when the boat broached
on the reef and tipped over. They all
ended up in the water, with Mr Pohe
trapped underneath the boat.”
Mr Bates said the father told his
13-year-old daughter to swim back to
the reef and go for help.
“She ran for half-an -hour over rocks
to the nearest house to raise the alarm.
Her father found his friend floating
unconscious on the other side of the
boat and towed Mr Pohe to the reef,
where he attempted to revive him
The ECT rescue helicopter from
Gisborne landed on the beach nearby
and St John paramedics on board
confirmed Mr Pohe was dead.
His companion was not injured.
Nukutaurua Road resident Sophie
Dodd said she answered a knock at her
door and saw the young girl wearing a
life jacket and dripping wet.
“S he was cold and wet. She said they
had had an accident and she needed to
use the phone. She was very strong and
brave for a young girl.”
The body of Mr Pohe was taken to
His death has been referred to the
coroner and to Maritime Safety.
— Gisborne Herald
$NZ KIWI DOLLAR ($NZ1)
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DECLINERS: 12 TRADED: 87
Aluminium High Grade
Teen hit by tanker dies
A teenager hit by a milk tanker
while walking along State highway
1, just south of Maheno, early
on Sunday has died in D unedin
Hospital. Jed David Kennedy, 18, a
farm worker from Herbert, suffered
serious injuries and was flown by the
Otago Regional Rescue helicopter
to D unedin Hospital where he
was on life support. Investigations
by police found Mr Kennedy had
crashed his car in Willowview Road,
west of Maheno. He then set out on
foot to Maheno and State highway
1, about half an hour before he was
hit by the northbound tanker shortly
after 1am. — Otago Daily Times
Two teenagers charged with a
Whangarei man’s murder have been
further remanded in custody. No
pleas were taken when the 17-year-
olds appeared in the High Court
at Whangarei yesterday. Justice
Paul Heath, who presided over
the hearing via audio-visual link,
continued interim name suppression
that had been earlier put in place
until November 20, when both will
return to court for a hearing. They
are accused of murdering Michael
Patrick Griffin, 56, early last month.
Mr Griffin was found at his house
with head injuries. The father
of three adult sons later died in
hospital. — Northern Advocate
Man tried to murder
‘threat ’ to family
A man has been sentenced to eight
years in jail for attempted murder
after shooting a man he perceived
to be boastful and a “threat ” to his
family. John Schuster, 44, was jointly
charged with Teariki McBride
earlier this year for the attempted
murder of Tulo Tuala. Mr Tuala was
seriously injured after the shooting
at Makara Beach in Wellington
in April. The High Court at
Wellington was told today that Mr
Tuala had needed surgery after the
shooting and would probably need
more surgery in future.Schuster
acknowledged family with a smile as
he entered the dock. Justice Simon
France gave Schuster a 20% for
apologising to the victim’s family.
Keno draw No 10425: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8,
29, 36, 38, 40, 41, 47, 48, 53, 59, 64,
67, 68, 75, 76, 77. Keno draw No
10426: 5, 6, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, 32, 33,
34, 36, 50, 59, 62, 70, 72, 73, 76, 78,
79. Keno draw No 10427: 1, 2, 13,
16, 17, 18, 29, 39, 41, 42, 49, 54, 56,
64, 65, 67, 68, 75, 76, 79. Keno draw
No 10428: 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11, 18, 22,
32, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 58, 60, 63, 64,
The three tourists killed when
their rental van and a truck and
trailer unit collided in central
Otago yesterday have been
identified by Hong Kong tourists.
The trio were part of a group
visiting New Zealand, police say.
Scene investigations are
continuing today to work out the
circumstances of the crash on State
highway 6 near Luggate yesterday
The 60-year-old male driver of
the white Hyundai rental van and
two female rear-seat passengers
The fourth occupant, a male
front-seat passenger, was taken to
Dunedin Hospital by the Otago
He remained in a stable
condition under obser vation,
inspector Olaf Jensen, relieving
area commander for the Otago
Rural region, said.
The driver of the truck, owned by
Beckers Transport Ltd, a family-
owned rural transport company
based in Oturehua and Omakau,
was shaken but not hurt.
Constable Greg Nolet said the
van was turning from Shortcut
Road on to State highway 6 at the
bottom of the steep incline, south
of Wanaka Airport, about 4.17pm.
Both the highway at that point
and Shortcut Road are in a
100kph zone, with Shortcut Road
governed by a give way sign.
Tyre marks from the truck were
evident in the left-hand lane of the
highway for about 50m.
The badly-damaged van ended
up on its side on the highway and
part of it was cut away to remove
The truck ended up on the wrong
side of the road, with its trailer
Mr Nolet said the van was one of
two heading to Wanaka.
Mr Nolet said the intersection
could be tricky, but he could recall
only one previous incident there,
in August last year, when a male
cyclist was seriously injured in a
crash with a van about 4pm.
On that occasion, police
suggested sunstrike might have
contributed to the crash.
A local resident said he regarded
the intersection as particularly
dangerous and had seen a “fair
amount ” of poor driving behaviour,
with motorists “taking their
chances” entering the highway
from Shortcut Road.
Wanaka St John and the Luggate
and Wanaka volunteer fire brigades
attended yesterday ’s crash.
The road was to be closed for
approximately three hours this
morning to allow police serious
crash investigators to undertake
further work. Detours were in
place. — NZME
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
A mangled car lies on its roof after it hit a truck and trailer unit in Otago yesterday.
PICTURE: Getty Images
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd leaves the Tauranga District Court yesterday
after being charged with attempting to procure murder.
AC/DC drummer on hitman
charges ‘good fellow’
Boat capsize victim linked to similar accident
A police officer who was the subject
of a brutal, late-night attack in south
Auckland may never return to the force,
a court has been told.
Walter George Tauatevalu, 37, was
jailed for six and a half years when
he appeared in the High Court at
Auckland this morning after pleading
guilty to causing grievous bodily harm
to sergeant Simon Tate with intent to
He was found not guilty of attempted
murder at trial in September.
Mr Tate’s partner constable Lisa Ross
read her victim impact statement in
court this morning and spoke of how
she had had to give up frontline policing
because of the anxiety it caused her.
She subsequently transferred to an
office job within the police.
Ms Ross said her partner was
“unrecognisable” when she first saw him
in hospital and for months she took
time off work to care for him.
On September 7 last year, Tauatevalu
and his wife attended the Otara
Scorpions rugby league prize-giving
at the Manukau Velodrome where an
argument developed over her speaking
to another man.
After reports of a violent argument,
Mr Tate pulled them over down the
road from the venue.
He tried to speak to the woman but
the offender intervened.
At trial, Tauatevalu’s wife gave
evidence of her husband upper-cutting
the officer several times and said he
looked as though he had “no life in him”.
Other witnesses who were on the
scene shortly after wards told the court
how the man repeatedly stomped on the
officer’s head as he lay on the floor.
Justice Graham Lang detailed the
injuries suffered by Mr Tate, which
included a broken cheek bone, nose, eye
socket and larynx, as well as bleed on
The judge described the attack
as “wholly cowardly and produced
devastating results for the officer”.
A report by a psychologist stated the
victim might never be fit to return to
He imposed a minimum non-parole
period of three years three months.
A man police were seeking following a
death at a rural west Auckland address
last night has been found in Whanganui.
Police said staff were called to the
address on Wairere Road about 7pm.
A man had died at the address as a
result of an incident.
The man police were searching for had
been at the address earlier in the evening
and was known to those who lived there,
They would not release his name last
night while they were looking for him.
This morning they released a
statement saying he had been located in
He was said to be helping police with
An ambulance spokeswoman said
another person was taken to Waitakere
Hospital from the address with moderate
Staff from the Fire Service also
attended and at least two young children
were taken from the dwelling, which is
down a long driveway, in a police car.
The scene was guarded overnight and a
forensic examination is underway.
Staff were in the process of notifying
the victim’s next of kin.
— New Zealand Herald
Police find man linked
to rural death
Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee
says any deployment of soldiers to
train the Iraqi Army will not be
the same as Afghanistan, where
SAS special forces charged with
“mentoring” Afghan security forces
ended up in combat situations.
The Government has ruled out
any combat role for New Zealand,
but is assessing whether to send
military personnel to train the Iraqi
Army. That prompted concern from
Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman,
Phil Goff, of a repeat of Afghanistan.
Although their official role was
training, SAS troops ended up in
combat with rebels while working
alongside the Afghan Crisis
In 2011, SAS soldier Leon Smith
was killed during an operation with
the Afghan unit and in the same
year SAS Corporal Doug Grant
was killed during a Taliban attack in
There was also a danger of “green
on blue” attacks — in which some
Afghan security forces turned on
the soldiers training them.
Mr Brownlee said the two scenarios
were different. “In Afghanistan our
troops were involved in roles to
advise, assist and accompany. We
are not intending that they will be
involved in any of those aspects in
The minister said he had ruled
out combat roles for both special or
regular forces “and I do not see that
However, he refused to give a
guarantee soldiers would not see
combat, saying it was a hypothetical
question as no decision had yet been
made on the deployment.
Military personnel are in Iraq
assessing what contribution New
Zealand could make with training
including assessing how safe
training locations are and whether
there is good enough security.
Mr Brownlee also dismissed
suggestions New Zealand was
now at a much greater risk of a
retaliatory attack by IS because of
its announcement it would boost
its intelligence work which can help
the US identify IS targets for air
strikes. — New Zealand Herald
Combat not ruled out in IS deployment — Govt
New Zealand doctors and nurses will
be sent to Sierra Leone to work with
Ebola patients as part of a joint Anzac
effort with Australia.
Next week the Cabinet is expected to
sign off on a proposal to send groups
of doctors and nurses to west Africa
to work alongside Australians in a new
100-bed hospital for Ebola patients.
The first volunteers could be on their
way by the end of the month when the
treatment centre is due to open.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully
said only volunteers would go and it was
likely they would be chosen from the
public health system. Up to 10 health
workers would be sent at any one time,
probably in rotations of two to three
Mr McCully said a significant number
of New Zealand doctors and nurses
had already expressed a wish to go. The
Government would also put in extra
The facility is being built by the
British Government but will be run by
Australia, which has contracted health
company Aspen Medical for the role.
It is expected to open at the end of the
month and will have about 240 staff,
He said Australia’s Foreign Minister,
Julie Bishop, rang him to offer New
Zealand a role.
“She confirmed there was space for
New Zealand to become a significant
partner in that initiative and they would
Officials were putting together a
detailed proposal to go before the
Cabinet, but he expected “the Anzac
endeavour” would get the go-ahead.
NZ medics join Ebola fight
Two men found guilty of
murdering a low-level drug dealer
during a robbery gone wrong
in North Canterbury have been
sentenced today — but in a rare
move, one offender has avoided a
Jason William Baker, 40, and
Shaun Murray Robert Innes, 38,
were found guilty by a High Court
jury in Christchurch of murdering
51-year-old Rangiora man Tony
John Lochhead on September 13
Today, a judge sentenced Baker
to life imprisonment with a
minimum non-parole period of 17
years for his role in using a hunting
knife to fatally stab Mr Lochhead
and wound his brother Peter
Graham Lochhead, 54.
Dunningham took the rare
decision not to sentence Innes to
She sentenced him to 10 years
in jail, with no non-parole period,
given that his role on the fateful
night was to simply knock on
the Lochheads’ door and lure
them outside before he ran
Justice D unningham told father-
of-three Innes in the dock: “I
am satisfied that you were not
present when the fatal stab wound
The jury was clearly of the view
that you went there with a common
intention to rob the Lochheads
and that you had played your
part in enticing them out of the
The trial heard that the pair had
arrived at the Lochheads’ flat with
the plan of robbing them of drugs,
guns, and cash.
Christchurch, attacked them,
Innes ran off.
The brothers fought back in self-
Baker cut Tony on his chest,
arms, face, neck, ear and lower arm
with a hunting knife.
“He got me, he got me f...ing
good,” he said, before collapsing to
the floor, with blood coming out of
his throat. Peter received non-fatal
Innes and Baker were arrested in
the following days.
They both denied charges of
murder and aggravated wounding.
Man avoids life sentence for part in murder
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