Home' Greymouth Star : December 17th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 5
of the Northern Advocate
Drug manufacturers with Head Hunter
gang links have owned an isolated Northland
house that has produced millions of dollars
worth of methamphetamine, since 2006.
Police yesterday raided the property
in Taipuha Road at Waiotira, between
Whangarei and Paparoa, in a series of busts
resulting in 14 arrests, among them several
Head Hunters gang members and associates.
Northland police Detective Inspector
Kevin Burke said police believe the property
was bought to set up the factory-style
laboratory for the large scale manufacture of
QV records show the current owner
purchased the three-bedroom brick property
in 2006 for $100,000 — $4000 above its CV.
Mr Burke said the property came to police
attention during recent investigations and he
could not comment on how long the house
had been used as a drug base.
Police have been watching drug cooking
and distribution activities for seven months
in a covert operation called Operation Easter.
In November police stopped a Mercedes car
on the Auckland motor way and found about
2.5kg of methamphetamine with a street
value of between $2 million and $2.5 million.
The vehicle had been driven from Whangarei
by two Head Hunter gang associates aged 17
In one recent three-day period $3m worth
of meth was cooked at the Waiotira house, Mr
Burke told a press conference in Whangarei
The house was raided at 6am yesterday in a
sting that also involved 16 other properties,
most of them residential Whangarei
addresses. Fourteen people were to appear in
the Whangarei District Court yesterday and
today on drugs, firearms and other charges.
Two generations of some families, three
patched gang members and associates were
Three clandestine labs, three firearms and
a small amount of meth and cannabis were
uncovered during the exercise.
The police were backed up by special
operations units, including the Armed
Offenders Squad at the Taipuha Road scene.
No one was at that address at the time.
Police believe the property was used purely
as a lab, Detective Inspector Bruce Good,
from the Organised and Financial Crime
Agency NZ, said.
The operation had stemmed the tide of
methamphetamine flowing through New
“ It ’s pretty big. In less than one week
we obser ved the manufacture of $3m of
methamphetamine. This (outcome) will have
ongoing effects,” Mr Burke said.
However, it was not enough to turn that
tide or take the Head Hunters and other
criminal gangs out of the drug scene. “ Will it
stop them, unfortunately no,” Mr Good said.
Police believe the lab supplied much of the
drug sold in the South Island.
A Marlborough couple
has been fined $20,000 each
following multiple instances
of riding a quad bike without a
helmet — including with small
children on board.
Phillip Andrew Jones and
Maria Anna Carlson, share-
milkers from Canvastown near
Blenheim, had been seen riding
the quad bikes without helmets
multiple times dating back to
2012, Work Safe said.
The pair were both fined
under the Health and Safety in
Employment Act by Judge Tony
Zohrab at the Blenheim District
Jones was charged with failing
to take all practicable steps to
ensure no other person was
harmed at work while riding
a quad bike and Carlson with
failing to take all practicable
steps to ensure her own safety by
wearing a helmet, and the safety
of others by not carrying her
children on a quad bike.
Work Safe spokesman Francois
Barton said Carlson was twice
witnessed riding her quad
bike without a helmet after a
prohibition notice had been
issued and the second time she
had two young children with her
on the bike.
Jones refused to talk to Work
Safe New Zealand during
the investigation and Carlson
admitted that despite owning
helmets she did not wear one
because “it becomes just a little
bit of a hassle,” Mr Barton said.
“ Work Safe warned the couple,
then issued a prohibition notice
which was ignored,” he said.
“This behaviour does not
represent the sensible approach
taken by most farmers to quad
safety, but as a regulator, we could
not ignore this wilful refusal to
meet their legal obligations.”
Quad bikes posed a serious risk
on farms, Mr Barton said. On
average, five people were killed
and 850 were injured every year.
The best way to stay safe on a
quad bike was to always wear a
helmet, never let kids ride adult
quad bikes and to choose the
right vehicle for the job and get
proper training, he said.
of the New Zealand Herald
The Government ’s widely touted return to
surplus is likely to take a further 12 months
and is largely reliant on cuts to spending.
In spite of that, Finance Minister Bill
English says tax cuts remain on the cards for
election year 2017.
Yesterday’s half year economic and fiscal
update saw the Treasury change its forecast
of an operating balance before gains and
losses (Obegal) surplus of $297 million for
the 2014-15 year to a deficit of $572 million.
Acting Treasury secretary Vicky Robertson
said that despite solid growth in the economy,
the Crown’s finances would take a hit from a
lower than previously forecast tax take due to
low dairy prices and interest rates.
The Treasury now expects the Obegal to
return to a surplus of $565m in 2015-16.
However that surplus is achieved mostly by
cutting operating allowances or increases in
spending from the $1.5 billion a year set out
for Budget 2015 and 2016 to $1 billion. Mr
English said the previous $1.5 billion-a -year
spending allowance had been set “to make
sure we have a bit of a buffer”.
The operating allowance would rise to $2.5b
in the 2017 Budget.
“This will allow us to consider modest
tax cuts and/or additional debt repayment
in Budget 2017, as economic and fiscal
conditions allow ”, he said. He was also not
ready to concede defeat on achieving this
finance spokesman Grant
Robertson said the Government had failed
its own return-to-surplus test of successfully
managing the economy, and Mr English was
planning “an election year lolly scramble”.
Govt spending cuts key to surplus
Couple fined after riding quad bikes without helmets
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