Home' Greymouth Star : January 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
West Coast/New Zealand
2 - Monday, January 5, 2015
Greymouth police are seeking
an arsonist who possibly fled the
scene of the crime by pedal power.
Inspector John Canning said a
fire was lit in bushes at North
Beach, Cobden, about 6.35pm on
New Year’s Day, and someone was
then seen riding away on a push
bike. Police are keen to hear from
any members of the public with
Police are investigating alleged
wilful damage of a van in Westport
after someone kicked in the
passenger door of the vehicle early
on Saturday morning. A man
happened to be asleep in the vehicle
at the time, some time between
12.30am and about 1am. Meanwhile,
police nabbed a 35-year-old
Westport woman for drink-driving
in Brougham Street in Westport
early on Saturday. The woman blew
469mg when stopped just before
A small amount of property was
taken from the Beachfront Hotel,
in Hokitika, overnight on January 1.
In the Grey Valley, a Honda 420cc
4WD motorbike was taken from a
Mai Mai Road property.
Car sightings sought
Police are seeking sightings of
a red 2006 Holden Commodore
SV6, registration number DPJ187.
West Coast police area commander
Inspector John Canning said the
vehicle may be parked in a rural
location. Anyone who has seen the
vehicle, or knows where it may be
is asked to contact the Greymouth
Eye on drinkers
Police say they are keeping a
close eye on drinkers in central
Greymouth. “ With the warmer
weather during the night, police
are routinely closely monitoring
the CBD in relation to breaches
of the liquor ban,” police said in a
statement this morning. Anyone
caught consuming alcohol in
public within the ban areas will be
Westport police caught a few
drink-drivers over the New Year. At
2.30am on New Year’s Day a man,
52, stopped in Palmerston Street
blew 661mg. He will appear in court
on January 22. Just 15 minutes later
a woman, 31, pulled over in Derby
Street blew 334mg and was fined
$200 under the new alcohol limits. A
Westport man, 50, was arrested for
threatening language as a result of
a domestic incident at a Peel Street
address in the run up to New Year.
He also faces a charge of operating
a vehicle with sustained loss of
traction, and as a result his car was
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Moon Shadow II. Departures:
One Greymouth vessel. In port:
Moon Shadow II, 19 other vessels.
Expected departures: Moon Shadow
II, tomorrow. Expected arrivals:
Ocean Odyssey, Wednesday; Jay
Elaine, Thursday; Cook Canyon,
Galatea II, Friday.
Vicious attack on tourists
An almost average year, bar a mini
drought, marked the weather in Reefton
Weather obser ver Tony Fortune said it
was a year of average mean temperatures
January started off rather wet and
cool. Summer finally arrived just in time
for the new school year, much to the
annoyance of school pupils and their
February was the start of a mini drought
for the second year in a row.
Reefton’s autumn and early winter were
punctuated with many morning fogs and
a generally wet few months. Although
winter and spring frosts were numerous,
they were not as severe as in some
previous years as the ice did not build up
as much on the roads.
There was a lack of snow on the ranges
for a large part of the winter but it
reappeared at regular inter vals until late
spring. Snow fell on a few occasions but
did not settle for long at any stage.
There was a surprisingly clear fine spell
which lasted for three weeks in August
and September. As with nearly all long
fine spells, the town had a ‘catch up’ time
of regular rain in October and November.
For the year there was 2030.5mm of
rain, below the average of 2210mm and
slightly down on 2013. There were 183
days of rain, three more than the previous
rain. The heaviest fall was 65mm on
April 13, down on 78mm the year before.
The coldest day was July 18 when the
mercury fell to -7degC, and there were
65 frosts for the year
The warmest day was on February 20
when it got to 32degC, half a degree
cooler than the high in 2013.
There were 92 morning fogs (81 the
prior year) and one all day fog.
Thunder was heard on 17 days and
snow settled (just) on three days. There
was hail on seven days.
The highest barometer reading was in
August 24 at 1034, and the lowest on
October 11 and November 12, at 993.
Less than 48 hours into their holiday,
two American tourists were the victims
of a “ vicious and unprovoked” attack
in Northland — with one needing
Sergeant Phil Le Comte said police were
investigating the incident outside the Bay
Adventurer Backpackers on Kings Road in
Paihia about 3am on Saturday.
“A vicious and unprovoked attack on two
male American tourists, aged 22 and 23
years respectively, resulted in both being
hospitalised overnight for their injuries.”
While the pair were discharged from the
Bay of Islands Hospital later that day, the
22-year-old would undergo reconstructive
surgery at Middlemore Hospital in the next
few days, Mr Le Comte said.
He declined to comment on the nature
of the injuries but said a weapon was not
believed to be involved. Mr Le Comte also
declined to comment on the number of
people believed to be involved in the attack.
“At this time it is believed those responsible
are in fact locals which is both embarrassing
and disappointing to police and medical
staff involved,” he said.
The tourists had been socialising in the
centre of town but had made their way back
to the Bay Adventurer Backpackers where
they were staying when the bars closed at
Mr Le Comte said they were in the
courtyard of the backpackers when the
The two tourists arrived in New Zealand
with an associate on January 1 with the
intention of travelling throughout New
Zealand for 10 days, starting in the Bay of
They were recent engineering graduates of
the University of Montana.
Mr Le Comte acknowledged it did not
reflect well on the region.
“It is an isolated incident that has
ramifications for Northland and New
Zealand,” he said.
“It’s not a good look for us”.
It is not the first time tourists have become
victims of crime in the popular seaside town.
On the same road as Saturday ’s attack,
three English tourists were robbed at
knifepoint on April 3, 2013. The robbers
took their possessions and their car.
— NZ ME -Northern Advocate
Monday January 5
Urgent cases only
Phone 769 7493 first
5pm - 8pm
(Mum). — February 18,
1911 - January 5, 1970.
Dave (Dad). — May 4,
1907 - June 11, 1982.
Jean. — June 5, 1944 -
November 29, 1984.
Bryan (Tuffy). —
August 4, 1934 -
October 14, 1986.
1931 - August 14, 1989.
1933 - June 21, 1995.
In memory of our
Forever in our hearts
Helen, Lynne and
George (Bill). — Passed
away peacefully in his
January 3, 2015, at
Christchurch, in his 80th
husband of the late
Hariata, dearly loved
father and father-in-law
of Dianna and Paul,
Fran and Gary, Wayne
and Mary, Whatu,
Phillip and Julie, and
Paea and Shane, dearly
loved grandfather and
special friend of Terry,
Nigel, and Phil (Bro).
Bill will be sadly
missed, Messages to 146
Bright Street, Cobden,
Greymouth 7802. A
celebration of Bill's
life will be held in the
Holy Trinity Anglican
Church, Tainui Street,
Greymouth, on Wednes-
day at 2pm, followed by
interment at the Glad-
stone Memorial Park
Cemetery. Resting in the
care of Anisy Funeral
On January 4, 2015,
peacefully at Allen
Hokitika. Dearly loved
of the late
Williams. Dearly loved
brother and brother-
(deceased) and Stella,
(deceased), Joyce and
Ron (deceased) Bradley,
Melva (deceased), Vern
(deceased) and Julie,
Ngaire and Michael
Diedrich and Pam. A
much loved uncle of all
his nieces and nephews.
Messages to 229 Weld
Street, Hokitika 7810.
At Noel's request the
entire service is to be
held in Whataroa, at
Saint Luke's Anglican
Church, on Thursday,
January 8, commencing
at 1.30pm. Following
the service, Noel will be
laid to rest in the
Hokitika. Phone (03)
An Israeli tourist is believed to
be the first person to negotiate
the Heaphy Track in a wheelchair,
completing the 80km track from
Collingwood to Karamea on Friday.
Paul Murray, from the Rongo
Backpackers and Gallery at Karamea,
said Arnon Amit was helped by his
brother Nadav and friends Maayan
Kalo and Gul Janvosky,
He had to negotiate rough terrain,
go through a flood and tackle swarms
of sandflies to complete the track in
Mr Amit was injured in a car
accident while doing his national
ser vice in the Israeli Army in 2008
and lost the use of his legs. Before
the accident he was an enthusiastic
outdoors person and has since
managed to overcome his physical
challenges and maintain his love of
He used a special off-road
wheelchair manufactured in the
United States and made of strong,
lightweight titanium metal, Mr
Minor repairs were required along
Mr Murray said recent work by
the Department of Conser vation
to improve the track surface and
the width and stability of the
swingbridges and other river
crossings had made the Heaphy
Track more easily negotiated by
wheeled vehicles such as chairs, and
The most challenging part was the
first uphill section at the Collingwood
end, from Brown Hut to Perry Saddle
Hut. River crossings and sandy
beaches also posed challenges; Nadav
piggy-backed his brother across the
narrow swingbridges and pulled him
along the sand while Mr Kalo pushed
Before continuing their travels down
the West Coast, the tourists did an
inter view with Karamea Radio 107.5
FM, which has been posted on-line.
First wheelchair crossing of Heaphy Track
PICTURE: Paul Murray
Nadav Amit, left, Arnon Amit, Gul Janovsky and Maayan Kalo at Rongo
Backpackers and Gallery in Karamea, on Saturday after what is believed to be
the first crossing of the Heaphy Track in a wheelchair.
It was the calm before the storm today as Westroads machine operator Tee Momo sur veys the scene for the pending demolition
tomorrow of the John Paul II High School building, in the background. The former St Mary’s school brick building will be razed and
the site cleared completely by late tomorrow afternoon. “ That’s the plan, and I’m confident we will have it all done and dusted,” Mr
Old school set to come down
PICTURE: Paul McBride
The Grey District Council dipped into
its $1.8 million disaster fund to help
cover some of the $476,940 of costs
incurred as a result of Cyclone Ita.
Councillors recently looked over the
costs listed from the April 17 windstorm.
Included in that was an insurance claim
of $52,680 for the former Greymouth
goods shed, the settlement from which
was put towards the port deficit.
Clean-up and disposal of debris cost
Road costs totalled $166,820, of which
$158,450 was financially assisted.
The Preston Road sewerage plant disc
clean-up cost $26,870, which corporate
ser vices manager Ian Young said was
largely associated with the contractor
costs of putting the thousands of discs
back into the tank and other costs
associated with the plant.
Some of the minor costs included
the purchase of additional wool sacks
and food and drink for volunteers. A
couple of clubs helped in the clean-up
so the council made a donation to the
“These costs would have been far
higher if we didn’t have the volunteer
public and staff effort in picking up the
discs,” Mr Young said.
After insurance and Ministry of Civil
Defence and Emergency Management
assistance, the council was left with an
expenditure of $204,100.
A staff report suggested that the
decisions made after the storm were the
best course of action and the most cost-
effective at the time.
The shortfall was funded from the
council’s land sales reser ve and the
disaster recovery reser ve. The disaster
reser ve was initially set up with
Council uses disaster fund
to help cover cyclone costs
Colourful artworks posted in empty
Greymouth stores will stay in place,
after the Grey District Council received
positive feedback from the public.
The poster art was installed in late
September as the town held its 150th
celebrations, and features the work of
four local artists.
The council’s signage and interpretation
working group has recommended
keeping the window displays in place.
The only time constraint is from the
owners of the shops, who can request
their removal at any time.
“The response from the public is
over whelmingly positive. Phillip Barnett
from the Greymouth Travel Centre
(i-Site) said that his staff are suggesting
their clients take a walk around town
to check them out. There has been a
lot of support via social media,” council
community economic development
adviser Erin McGoldrick said.
“The posters have been commended
as a creative solution to a problem that
towns all over New Zealand are faced
with,” Ms McGoldrick said.
Mr Barnett said the feedback from
visitors had been good. “ It ’s a lovely idea.
For us in the tourism industry to be able
to point out different bits and pieces in
windows. It’s very good for the town. ”
The signs erected around the fountain
have now been removed and were only
intended to be temporary.
When the posters went up, Mayor
Tony Kokshoorn said the aim was
twofold — fill a gap and celebrate the
town’s 150th anniversary.
The images include artworks, graphic
designed pieces, historic images and
scenic photographs of the Grey district.
Posters stay in empty shops
Anglers have been urged to get
serious about water safety over the
According to Fish and Game, the
holiday season provides thousands
of freshwater anglers and their
families the opportunity to pursue
trout and salmon in the country’s
lakes and rivers.
Fish and Game says anglers
need to prepare carefully before
venturing out on to the water,
including making sure that boats
carry enough modern lifejackets
for everyone on board. Children
should have lifejackets that fit
rather than making do with
something that is too big that they
“can grow into”.
Salmon anglers fishing at river
mouths need to take particular
care and should wear some sort of
life preserver at all times. Salmon
gather at river mouths during the
summer to begin migrating up the
rivers to their spawning grounds.
“One Canterbury angler has been
lucky to escape with his life already
this month after being swept
into the sea while fishing at the
Waimakariri River mouth,” Fish
and Game spokesman Andrew
“River mouths are treacherous,
with swift currents, rips and big
waves, and anglers need to be
extremely careful,” Mr Currie said.
“That includes wearing life-
“ Wearing a life preser ver is
literally that — a life preser ver,” he
Water safety message for anglers
The two teenagers charged with
murdering a man in an Auckland
motel will face extra charges that
were added today.
Leonard Nattrass-Berquist and
Beauen Wallace-Loretz, both 17,
are due to appear in the Auckland
District Court today over the death
of 54-year-old Ihaia Gillman-
Harris on December 27 at the
Ascot Epsom Motel.
The pair went to police on New
They were charged with murder
and made a brief court appearance
before a Justice of the Peace before
the case came before a judge today,
when they are expected to apply for
Court documents show two
further charges have been laid
against Nattrass-Berquist and
They are accused of robbing
Mr Gillman-Harris of cash, a
cell phone and bank card as well
as unlawfully taking his $15,000
It is alleged the pair were with
Mr Gillman-Harris when he
checked into the Epsom motel on
Shortly after check-in, two young
men left in Mr Gillman-Harris’
An hour later he went to reception
with a serious head injury and
asked for help. He died in hospital
Detective Inspector Scott Beard
would not comment further on
the specifics of the investigation
but said the victim’s family were
relieved arrests had been made.
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 Day.
A post-mortem examination
revealed Mr Gillman-Harris died
as a result of blunt-force trauma to
his head but police would not say if
a weapon had been used. — NZ ME
Motel murder pair
face extra charges
A woman has been charged with
assault after the suspicious death of
a 69-year-old woman in her Napier
Hawke’s Bay CIB detective
senior sergeant Darren Pritchard
said police were investigating the
death of a woman at her home
on Kennedy Road, Onekawa, last
A 52-year-old woman had since
been arrested and charged with
assault in relation to the incident.
“Someone has been charged with
assault on that woman, who has
“S he has appeared in the Hastings
The alleged offender appeared
in the Hastings District Court
last Tuesday and has been granted
name suppression. It had not yet
been confirmed where the alleged
offender was from.
Mr Pritchard said police were
following positive lines of inquiry
in their investigation, which was
“(The investigation) is progressing
Further details were
expected to be released tomorrow
Mr Pritchard said it had been a
busy holiday period for police in
“ We have been kept busy, it hasn’t
been totally violence-free.”
— NZ ME-Hawke’s Bay Today
Assault charge after woman’s death
The investigation into the death
of a Woodville man has been
upgraded to a homicide, police say.
Police were called to a house just
after 3pm yesterday.
The death was initially being
treated as suspicious, but had been
upgraded to a homicide, a police
spokeswoman said today.
Inspector Chris Bensemann said
yesterday a number of witnesses
were being spoken to.
A post-mortem examination was
The investigation was in its early
stages, Mr Bensemann said.
“Preliminary witness accounts
indicate that an altercation had
taken place. ” — NZME
Homicide investigation in Woodville
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