Home' Greymouth Star : December 31st 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 - 3
Tourists hurt in smash
A German woman and her teenage
son are in a serious condition after a
crash involving two groups of tourists
on State highway 5 in Reporoa.
The crash between a people-mover
and a hatchback happened about
11.15am yesterday. Tokoroa sergeant
Murray Hamilton said the van was
carrying a German couple and their
four children. The car was carrying
a couple from China. Both vehicles
were rentals. Mr Hamilton said
rescue helicopters flew a 44-year-old
German woman and her 15-year-old
son to Waikato Hospital with serious
injuries. The other occupants of both
vehicles suffered minor injuries.
— NZ ME -Rotorua Daily Post
Woman still critical
A woman injured after falling off
a steep track on to rocks remains in
a critical condition. The woman fell
4m to 5m from the track, landing on
her head in the Boxing Day accident.
The Australian woman, 23, was
walking with her boyfriend in the
Kauaeranga Valley in the southern
Coromandel Peninsula. After a
tricky rescue by the Auckland rescue
helicopter, the woman was flown to
Waikato Hospital. — NZ ME
Collision victim named
Police have released the name
of a man who died in a head-on
collision on Boxing Day. He was
Kevin Francis Keane, of Timaru. Mr
Keane, 71, was driving a rental car to
Tauranga when he was killed. Police
said Mr Keane’s vehicle and another
vehicle collided. Two occupants of
the other vehicle, an elderly couple,
were taken to Tauranga hospital, one
with critical injuries. The head-on
collision happened at about 2.15pm
on State highway 2 near Gill Lane,
Whakamarama. — N Z ME
Police are investigating a possible
serious assault in Oamaru. Acting
sergeant Carl Pedersen, of Oamaru,
said it was alleged to have occurred
between 1.20am and 1.30am
yesterday, at an address in Oamaru-
Pukeuri Road. A Chilean man, 35,
was taken to Oamaru Hospital with
suspected broken ribs and other
injuries. Police were making inquiries
at the address and with the victim.
— Otago Daily Times
Old shell found
The Defence Force bomb disposal
squad was dispatched to dispose of
a military shell found in a building
in Auckland yesterday. The shell
was found when the building in
Onehunga was being cleared out,
police said. There was no danger and
no evacuations took place. — N Z ME
Numbers in Keno draw No 10640:
7, 16, 17, 20, 23, 25, 32, 33, 37, 38, 44,
47, 50, 56, 57, 59, 63, 66, 75, 78. Draw
No 10641: 1, 3, 7, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19,
20, 31, 39, 41, 45, 48, 51, 58, 61, 73, 78.
Draw No 10642: 1, 15, 18, 21, 34, 39,
41, 42, 43, 47, 50, 56, 60, 63, 68, 69, 74,
75, 77, 78. Draw No 10643: 2, 3, 7, 8,
11, 12, 17, 20, 21, 36, 42, 45, 48, 51, 55,
60, 62, 65, 76, 78.
Suspicious fire in Christchurch red zone
Criminal probe into death
New Zealand director Sir Peter
Jackson and actor Sam Neill were
among the hundreds of mourners
gathered in Paradise, Glenorchy,
yesterday to say farewell to the
man who helped create Middle-
earth, location scout Dave
Described as the “kindest man
in the whole world” by his wife
Peta Carey, the 58-year-old
lost his battle with cancer on
The ser vice was held in a
marquee erected at the side of
the historic Paradise homestead.
While Ata Whenua, a film
about Fiordland which Mr
Comer directed, played in the
background, a picture montage
showed moments of his life. Some
of the most moving were those
of him with Peta and daughter
Billie, childhood photos, as well
as the other passions in his life —
water, mountains, Fiordland and
Mr Comer’s sister, Sally Watts
said his involvement in the film
industry was an expression of
the land he loved so well. “ I’m
painfully proud of his creative
vision which enriches us all.”
Long-term friend Jeff Darling
described Mr Comer as a poet.
“He was able to open a world of
places to many of us, bring stories
to our life. He had a real sense of
beauty and would slowly reveal it
He explained how Mr Comer
would introduce a new location.
“Suddenly, a whole story would
unfold. It would depend on
the time of day, the light, even
the smells. He taught me the
language of how to see. ”
Sir Peter, has paid a moving
tribute to Mr Cromer on
Facebook, describing him as a
“ He could see a fairly
unremarkable landscape, and
imagine in his mind’s eye what
it could look like on film. Such a
“ Dave found Hobbiton and his
legacy continues to this day when
tourists and fans walk around
the set with tears in their eyes.
Dave was loved and respected by
those who were fortunate enough
to work with him in the film
— Otago Daily Times
Lord of the Rings
Fire crews in the South Island
have been kept busy overnight,
responding to a scrub fire in the hills
of west Otago and a suspicious blaze
in Christchurch’s red zone.
Southern fire communications shift
manager Andrew Norris said the fire
was burning through a forestry block
in Tapanui, northern Southland.
“ We’ve haven’t got a lot of ground
crews there, it ’s all being done by
helicopters, so there’s a couple
of helicopters and about a dozen
ground crews on site.
“That ’s burning in the Blue
The fire started in the early hours of
this morning, but due to its remote
location, crews were only able to
access it at first light, Mr Norris said.
“It was well up on the hills.”
Crews were called to the red zone
fire, in the suburb of Brooklands on
Christchurch’s northern side, around
“ We had units from Brooklands,
Kaiapoi and St Albans station
attend,” he said.
The fire told hold of a large shelter-
belt hedge at a two-storey property
and was being treated as suspicious,
Mr Norris said.
“That was all contained and
extinguished last night and they
were there for about two and a half
Police and Fire Ser vice investigators
would be looking into the cause of
the blaze today, he said. — NZ ME
$NZ KIWI DOLLAR ($NZ1)
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source: interest.co .nz
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Trading to 10:30am,
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
DECLINERS: 18 TRADED: 60
Aluminium High Grade
A search to locate three overdue
climbers on Aoraki-Mount Cook has
been put on hold due to severe weather.
The climbers were due back from an
attempted summit of Mount Cook on
A search was carried out yesterday
morning, but has since been put on hold
due to severe weather.
The officer co-ordinating the search,
senior constable Brent Swanson of
Tekapo police said the weather was
forecast to improve tomorrow, when the
search was expected to resume.
Weather conditions were currently
“100kph-plus winds, heavy rain and
snow forecast for later today ”.
Police have confirmed the identities of
the the three men as Dr Michael Bishop,
53, from Sydney and Raphael Viellehner,
58, and his son Johann Viellehner, 27,
Dr Bishop was an experienced
mountaineer who had previously
climbed in the Aoraki-Mount Cook
National Park, Mr Swanson said.
Raphael Viellehner had previously
climbed in Europe and Russia and was
described as experienced, he said.
All men were described as extremely fit.
However, as there had been no change in
the weather the search was still on hold.
“Conditions were quite rough for
flying, and the weather forecast is for
deteriorating weather,” Mr Swanson
The guide who last saw the missing
climbers said conditions for climbing
yesterday were reasonably good, but
crevasses were an issue at the moment,
with quite high freezing levels and
unstable snow bridges.
“At this stage we are making further
enquiries as to the missing party’s
intentions and plans, and closely tracking
the weather,” Mr Swanson said.
“ It doesn’t look like there will be a good
clearance until New Year’s Day.”
There was a guided climbing group
based at the plateau, and the guide was
providing updates on both weather and
visibility to police and would report back
on any sightings of the missing party, Mr
Police had contacted the families of all
three climbers, but were unaware of their
Their location on the mountain was
also unknown. “ There’s no huts up where
Authorities have received no direct
contact from the three men and it was
unclear what communications devices
the climbers had.
“ We don’t know about cellphones.
They didn’t have an emergency locator
beacon with them,” Mr Swanson said
The Department of Conser vation
alpine rescue team conducted an aerial
search early yesterday but the bad
weather thwarted the team, and there
was no sign of the three men.
The search tomorrow was expected to
involve two rescue helicopters and eight
rescuers, Mr Swanson said.
The Christchurch-based alpine cliff
rescue team, land search and rescue
volunteers and the Department of
Conser vation were likely to team up
with police when the search resumed.
Mr Swanson said other climbers and
visitors in the area would be “hunkered
down in huts” for the next two days.
The three climbers left Plateau Hut
at 1.30am on Monday, to climb via the
Linda Glacier route. A guide last saw
them at 4am at Teichlemann’s Corner
on Linda Glacier.
They were due back on Monday
afternoon. The guide told police
conditions for climbing on Monday
were reasonably good, but crevasses were
an issue, with quite high freezing levels
and unstable snow bridges.
Police said the three men were roped
together when they left the hut.
A guide was providing authorities
with updates on weather and visibility,
and would report any sightings of the
missing party. — NZ ME
Roger Sauvarin was feeling pretty
good about himself when he went
out for a dive on Elizabeth Reef
off Whananaki in Northland on
Just a day earlier the 49-year-old
Auckland sales manager had scored
the biggest crayfish of his life, a beauty
that weighed in at 3.3kg.
Monday ’s beast turned out to be a
bit of a tiddler compared to the 4.3kg
monster he latched on to just 24 hours
Dragging the cray out of its rocky
perch was straight for ward enough.
However, rough weather conditions
meant there was drama awaiting
the group of four divers when they
returned to the surface with their
“ When we came to the surface,
with the current out there we had
drifted a fair way from the boat,” Mr
Sauvarin said. “ We had to put up our
emergency locater buoy that you have
so the boat can see you. There was
a pretty big swell and they wouldn’t
have seen us other wise.”
While clearly huge, Mr Sauvarin’s
catch — which was one of eight
caught be the group on the day — is
unlikely to be a record. Packhorse
crayfish such as this one are typically
larger than their tasty cousin the spiny
rock lobster, and can reportedly grow
as big as 15kg.
While there was no happy ending
for the crayfish, the Singapore chilli
dish it was turned into made for a
happy group of about 40 campers.
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
Roger’s monster catch
Roger Sauvarin and his monster crayfish.
‘Geyser’ causes flooding
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Water from a burst main sprays into the air in Alexandra
Up to eight properties
were flooded when a water
main ruptured in Alexandra
Water sprayed about 30m
into the air and the geyser was
visible from the town’s fire
station, about 1km away.
After the main in Bodkin
Road, Bridge Hill, burst, water
flowed down The Half Mile
to the Alexandra Bridge, and
through residential sections.
Debris littered the streets.
Firefighters from the
Alexandra Volunteer Fire
Brigade and the Otago Rural
Fire Authority created dams
and diversions to help protect
property, as Fulton Hogan staff
isolated the burst main and
shut off water.
Bodkin Road resident Alan
McCrostie said he was working
in his garden about 3.30pm
and was surprised when he
heard water from the geyser
hitting rocks nearby.
He diverted water to stop it
flowing into other properties.
The geyser reached the height
of nearby pine trees.
Alexandra Station Officer
Shane Ryan said more than 20
firefighters and two appliances
Between six and eight
houses on different streets
had bedrooms, gardens and
Alexandra chief fire officer
Russell Anderson said the
brigade had to wait for Fulton
Hogan staff to turn off the
water before beginning
The flow of water had abated
by about 5pm.
The extent of damage from
the flooding was not known
yet. — Otago Daily Times
A criminal investigation has
been launched following the
death of a man at a Christmas
Police confirmed yesterday an
investigation in to the death of
Robin Lloyd, 50, was under way.
The Southland man was
seriously injured at a Winton
work function on December 19
and died in D unedin Hospital
Sergeant Dave Kennelly, of
Invercargill, declined to comment
on speculation the man died after
being hit by a party-goer doing a
burn-out in a vehicle.
However, he confirmed the
fatal injuries were sustained after
the alleged misuse of a hire van in
a work building.
No charges had been laid.
The death could be counted as
part of the holiday road toll.
“It is at a work place, but it
will fall within the definition of
a road, so therefore it is likely it
will be counted in that, however,
it hasn’t been determined, as the
matter is under investigation.”
— Otago Daily Times
Two teenagers at the centre of
homicide investigation behind the fatal
assault of Ihaia Gillman-Harris at an
Auckland motel have been identified.
Police believe Leonard Nattrass-
Wallace-Loretz, 17, were seen on
CCTV footage at the Ascot Epsom
Motel where Mr Gillman-Harris, 54,
was fatally assaulted on Saturday.
Auckland Central CIB Detective
Inspector Scott Beard said both
teenagers were aware police were
looking for them.
“ We are looking to resolve this case as
soon as possible and advise Mr Nattrass-
Berquist and Mr Wallace-Loretz to
come for ward to police as soon as
“The assistance we have received from
the public to identify these two men
has been fantastic and we would like to
thank everyone who has contacted us
with information. ” Mr Gillman-Harris
checked into the Ascot Epsom Motel at
8am on Saturday with two younger men
wearing baseball caps and hoodies. He
referred to them as his nephews but they
are not related to him.
Motel owner Anuj Gupta said Mr
Gillman-Harris had stayed at the motel
Soon after checking in, the two men
left in the 54-year-old’s Range Rover.
About an hour later Mr Gillman-Harris
walked into reception, bleeding from a
head wound, and asked for help.
It has been learned police are
investigating whether the three men
were at the motel for a pre-arranged
meeting. It is unclear how long Mr
Gillman-Harris had known the men, or
how they met.
Mr Beard said police would be “out
there looking, knocking on doors and
shaking trees until they are caught ”.
Mr Gillman-Harris was a private
man who worked for Kiwi Rail as a
team leader assistant in Auckland’s
Southdown freight terminal.
He spent Christmas Day in Wellington
before travelling to Auckland on Boxing
An autopsy revealed Mr Gillman-
Harris died as a result of blunt-force
trauma to his head but Mr Beard would
not say if a weapon had been used.
When the injured Mr Gillman-Harris
appeared in the motel reception with a
head injury, staff called 111.
They thought his injuries were from an
accident and did not realise they were
life-threatening. — N ZM E
Teens in motel homicide probe identified
The intended recipient of a letter
addressed only to “Granny ” has been
found, ending a mystery which has
confounded Karitane since before
“Granny” is Warrington woman
Lynley Beard, 70, who was surprised to
find a picture of her daughter’s family on
the front page of the Otago Daily Times
a big surprise when I saw the (story) on
the front page,” Ms Beard said.
Her daughter and son-in-law Jess and
Kris Mundy, both formerly of D unedin,
lived in Christchurch where she had
been spending her Christmas holidays.
She was yet to speak to her daughter but
had heard she was “highly embarrassed”
about addressing the letter to “Granny ”.
“S he has been getting lots of text
messages from her friends in Dunedin. ”
She was thankful Karitane Store
owner-operator Sue O’Neill had
persevered in trying to find out who
“Granny ” was. She would pick up the
letter on her way back to Warrington
from Christchurch in the next few days.
Mrs Beard’s identity had perplexed the
coastal village since the letter arrived at
the town’s store just before Christmas.
Warrington is about 10km south of
Ms O’Neill, who was keen to solve the
mystery, put the contents of the letter,
which included photos of the Mundy
family and a Christmas card, beside the
counter of the shop, which is also the
village’s post office.
Ms O’Neill, who yesterday received
calls from as far afield as Timaru tipping
her off about the mystery , said it was
“absolutely fantastic” that Granny’s
identity had been found.
In the end, it was Jack Gibbs who
recognised the woman in the photo as
his daughter-in-law ’s sister and called
Ms O’Neill. Mr Gibbs said he was happy
to help. — Otago Daily Times
Identity of ‘granny’ revealed
A person of interest has been arrested
by police investigating the murder of
a man found lying unconscious on a
Wellington street earlier this month.
Bruce Coker, 49, died last Tuesday
after suffering a fatal head injury. He was
discovered lying unconscious in Rossiter
Street, Linden, Tawa, on the evening of
Saturday, December 20.
Police officers investigating his death
under Operation Leo named Chance
Slade Rameka, 21, as a person of interest
in the inquiry earlier this week.
Detective senior sergeant John van den
Heuvel said Rameka was located yesterday
in a Cannons Street, Porirua address. He
was arrested for his outstanding warrants
issued by the Gisborne District Court
and the Porirua District Court, and is due
to appear in the Porirua District Court
next Tuesday. — NZM E
Arrest in Wellington
A German man has admitted causing
a fatal collision which killed one person
and injured several others on Boxing
Mario Pieper, 43, admitted one charge
of careless use of a motor vehicle causing
death and two of careless use of a motor
vehicle causing injury, according to
He was charged after the crash between
a campervan and a car on Boxing Day at
Five Rivers, at the intersection of State
highway 97 and State highway 6, about
95km north of Invercargill.
The crash took the life of 22-year-old
Pengxiao Tao, a student at Southland
Institute of Technology.
Pieper was given permission to return
to Germany with his wife and two
children but he was ordered to return
to the Invercargill District Court to be
sentenced in February.
Detective sergeant John Kean said
people who stopped to help at the crash
scene had showed considerable courage
in what was a difficult and traumatic
situation. — NZ N
Tourist admits fatal
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