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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Club’s boy wonder
New West Coast
Finlayson yesterday announced
the appointment of Christchurch
lawyer Anna Tutton as a coroner.
Ms Tutton replaces retiring
Christchurch coroner Richard
McElrea, who covers West Coast
inquests. Ms Tutton has held a
practising certificate for over 25
years. She is currently employed by
the police as the manager of the
central North Island legal team and
acted as legal adviser to the police
response to the Pike River Mine
Sun and showers
The Christmas Day forecast for
the West Coast could be better
— but it also could be worse. The
Metser vice is currently forecasting
sun and showers. Between now and
Christmas Day it says forecasters
will be monitoring data from
multiple computer models and
satellites along with thousands
of radar images and obser vations
across the country to get a more
Two Coast arrests
A 50-year-old man was arrested in
Hokitika overnight after inquiries
into a historic assault incident.
Meanwhile, a 28-year-old Granity
man was arrested late yesterday for
unlawful possession of a firearm and
theft. Both will appear at the next
court sittings in Greymouth and
Rain with heavy falls
A landlord has been praised by his
regulars for instituting a list of rules
poking fun at ‘Christmas drinkers’.
Steve Bowen from The Stoke Inn in
Plymouth, Devon is among many
pub owners around Britain who
see the heaving bars of the festive
season as a double-edged sword.
The rules bemoan “people who don’t
go near a pub for 11 months out of
the year, the kind of awful human
beings who buy their beer from
supermarkets with the weekly shop”.
It calls on festive drinkers to respect
regulars, order in rounds and decide
what they want before they get to
the bar. The rules, first devised by
Stafford comedian Rob Halden, hit
out at groups on work Christmas
parties who “order ten drinks one-
at-a -time and then pay for them all
one-at-a -time as the rest of the pub
creeps closer to death”.
— Daily Mail
Speeding tourist overtakes police mufti car at 150kph
A honeymooning Indian tourist who
overtook two cars, one of which was
an unmarked police car, at 150kph,
was convicted and fined $500 and
banned from driving for six months
in the Greymouth District Court
Sahi Sudhirkumar Lohia, 25, had
been visiting New Zealand with
his new wife when he overtook two
cars at speed on State highway 6
at Camerons, near Greymouth, on
One of the oncoming vehicles had to
take evasive action to avoid a collision.
However, one of the vehicles Lohia
overtook was an unmarked police car,
which pulled him over.
When questioned by police, Lohia
said he had been rushing as he wanted
to get his sick wife to Greymouth
Hospital before they left on the Tranz
Alpine train to Christchurch later in
Lawyer Marcus Zintl said it was not
a case like others recently reported in
the press, where foreign tourists had
flouted New Zealand road laws and
Lohia had written a letter of apology
and was remorseful.
However, Judge Brian Callaghan
said he was sceptical of the excuse
Lohia gave for his speeding, given
that police also spotted him speeding
near Ross earlier that day.
A Greymouth man was near to
drowning when a group of hero police
officers plucked him from the sea at
Blaketown beach last night.
The offshore drama unfolded shortly
before 4.30pm, about halfway along
Another person running on the beach
spotted the man struggling in the rip,
and made an unsuccessful attempt to save
him. He raised the alarm and a team of
five police officers were quickly on the
scene to find the 41-year-old in grave
Senior sergeant Brent Cook said it
seemed the man might have been able to
hold on to be lifted from the sea by air
after he momentarily gained a foothold
on a sandbar.
However, that option disappeared in a
flash when a wave swept the swimmer off
Police immediately had to make a call
and “improvised”, drawing on previous
water rescue training and grabbing
lifejackets and ropes they had with them
in the patrol car.
Two officers plunged in the water to
grab the swimmer, while the other three
pulled their colleagues back in.
“They adapted it, but they made some
good decisions,” Mr Cook said.
West Coast police area commander
Inspector John Canning said two of the
constables put on lifejackets and swam
out to the man with ropes. The other three
officers stayed on shore ready to pull the
officers back through the surf while they
held the drowning man afloat.
Mr Canning praised his staff for their
quick thinking and life-saving heroics.
“They had the right equipment, kept
cool heads, worked together and in the
end it was a relatively straightfor ward
rescue,” Mr Canning said.
The rescue vindicated the decision a year
ago to equip West Coast police patrol cars
with lifejackets and ropes, he said.
“That decision paid dividends yesterday.
Without this equipment to keep
themselves safe I couldn’t condone my
staff attempting a rescue like that. ”
The troubled swimmer would most
likely “have perished” waiting for a boat
or helicopter to arrive.
Mr Canning said the swimmer was
physically exhausted and unable to walk or
sit when brought to shore. He was taken
by ambulance to Grey Base Hospital.
Mr Cook said it was well known that
Blaketown beach was not the safest.
It was not clear how the man came to be
in the water, however the muggy evening
last night might have tempted him to
take a paddle.
Mr Cook said all five police staff would
be nominated for a bravey commendation
for their efforts yesterday.
Their actions reflected a strong team
ethos and “the guys did the right thing”.
The Otira Hotel will this weekend
host a celebration of 200 years of
horses in New Zealand, for what
promises to be a throwback to
Otira’s famous stagecoach era.
Hotel owner Lester Rowntree
is gearing up for celebrations on
Sunday and Monday for what he
described as a “very special time in
“For many years I’ve wanted to do
something to honour the occasion,”
Mr Rowntree said.
Mr Rowntree, who bought the
hotel earlier this year, said the first
horse in New Zealand arrived from
New South Wales in 1814.
“Just about every farm on the
West Coast was broken in with
a horse in the early days. We just
want to honour that.”
Significantly, Otira was the last
stagecoach post in New Zealand,
running horse-drawn coaches over
the Otira Gorge right up until the
opening of the Otira Tunnel in
“Sunday will be the first time for
91 years a Cobb and Co (coach) has
moved out of the Otira Hotel,” Mr
He will also have heavy horses
on display, a wheelwright will
demonstrate fitting a wheel to a
wagon, and a blacksmith will make
horseshoes and then shoe horses on
“ Who has seen a Clydesdale
being shoed? That ’s quite special for
people who have never seen it,” Mr
Both days were free, with events
starting from 11.30am.
“ We will entertain people in a
way they have probably never seen
Guests will include Fergus
O’Connor, uncle of West Coast-
Tasman MP Damien O’Connor,
who Mr Rowntree said had “bred
more Clydesdales than any person
alive today ”.
‘ World renowned’ bush poet Jack
Drake will also be attending.
Three years after he assaulted a
former student, a Buller High School
teacher has been de-registered from
On July 21, Alfred D ubs was
indecently assaulting a 15-year-
old boy, in August 2011. He was
fined $2000 and ordered to pay an
emotional harm reparation of $5000.
Dubs subsequently e-mailed the
New Zealand Teachers Council
to request that his registration be
cancelled. They granted his wish on
A report by the New Zealand
Teachers Disciplinary Tribunal
details a summary of facts from the
It shows that Dubs, who was 54 at
the time, had been the boy ’s computer
teacher at the Westport school from
the start of 2010.
In May 2011, the boy was expelled
from school and his home life was
deteriorating, with neither of his
parents willing to have him stay with
them. D ubs offered to have the boy
stay at his home, and he was placed
in D ubs’ care by Child Youth and
Family for the weekend of May 20,
“From this point on, the intensity
of the defendant ’s relationship and
interest in the victim grew,” the
The boy returned to the care of his
parents, though Dubs bought the
boy presents, including a phone to
keep in touch with him. The victim
would go to D ubs’ house about twice
a week for dinner and stay late.
On the night of the assault Dubs
let the boy use his computer, where
he found pornographic images of
children. D ubs proceeded to massage
the boy, before groping him, at which
point he objected and later asked to
be taken home.
Buller High School board of
trustees co-chairman Peter Kirkwood
said today the school had “let process
take its course” at the time of the
“ We as a school supported everyone
that we could. There was nothing
“L etters were sent home to parents
to say this had happened, without
breaching any confidentiality,” Mr
“(Dubs) was removed from the
school and he has not been back.”
Mr Kirkwood was not sure how
long Dubs had been at the school,
but did not believe it was a long time.
Sex assault teacher de-registered
PICTURE: Paul McBride
This model horse outside the Otira Hotel will be joined by real Clydesdales, a blacksmith and wheelwright this weekend in celebration of 200
years of the horse in New Zealand.
Otira’s year of the horse
The draft Opus plan for the Greymouth
central business district is out for public
feedback. O ver the next few weeks the
Greymouth Star, in conjunction with the
Grey District Council, will run a daily
Today we look at laneways.
development adviser Erin McGoldrick
said: “ The proposed project to activate
existing laneways to provide opportunities
for cafes, night-time economy might be a
private sector opportunity supported by
the renewal. In addition, it may provide
easily walked connections within the
Today’s question: How might we use
our laneways as inviting and practical
You can e-mail your response to erin.
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