Home' Greymouth Star : January 31st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
West Coast/New Zealand
2 - Saturday, January 31, 2015
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Agnete Winther-Anderson and daughter Cushla Winther-Briggs, Rachel Passuello and daughter
Gemma, and Janine Robinson and daughter Zara enjoy the sun at Dixon Park yesterday. They are looking
forward to returning on Waitangi Day for the annual community picnic.
Waitangi Day community
picnic organisers will be hoping
it is the lucky 13th time for this
secretary Sarah Van Looy said
the usual fixtures would be
back, with plenty of food on
offer in the popular hangi and
a barbecue, both for gold coin
donation, with drinks and iced
Bottled water will take priority
over soft drinks this year as a
healthier option, although some
soft drinks will be available.
Entertainment will be provided
with music from Banjaxed,
Molly’s Remedy and Just Jazz, as
well as a kapa haka performance.
A lolly scramble will be held later
in the day.
Ms Van Looy said some “special
visitors” were also expected, but
people would have to see for
The picnic will open at 11am
and wind up about 5pm.
The number of stalls for a
market has not been confirmed,
and those interested in having a
stall can contact Ms Van Looy on
769 8600 or 027 717 7714.
Picnic organisers hoping for lucky 13
The deaths of a young mother and
her newborn son might have been
prevented had the mother received the
care of an obstetrician in hospital, a
The inquest into the deaths of Casey
Missy Turama Nathan, 20, and her
baby Kymani was held last year and the
findings of Coroner Garry Evans were
today made public.
Miss Nathan died hours after giving
birth to baby Kymani at Birthcare
Huntly. Kymani died in hospital two
recommendations for changes in the
teaching and super vision of graduate
midwives in his findings.
Miss Nathan’s midwife, who was
granted permanent name suppression,
was relatively inexperienced.
In his findings, the Coroner described
the midwife’s “successive errors of
clinical judgement and failures to follow
The coroner heard there were several
warning signs that should have
warranted a referral to an obstetric
consultation, which were ignored by the
Whanau spokeswoman Jenn Hooper,
representing the Nathan family and
the family of the baby’s father Hayden
Tukiri, said the Coroner’s findings were
“ invaluable” at helping them understand
exactly what happened to their two
“Although it hurt, unbelievably
so, to know that these deaths were
preventable, the next step really is
holding on to hope that these incredibly
strong recommendations will now
actually be made in to reality. ”
Miss Nathan experienced a prolonged
early stage of labour, and once labour
progressed she collapsed in the birthing
pool and fainted.
She roused and delivered baby
Kymani. Both were rushed to Waikato
Hospital. Kymani was in a “seriously
compromised state” and died two days
after his birth.
Miss Nathan died soon after arriving
at Waikato Hospital, after suffering
serious complications in child birth and
significant blood loss.
Coroner Evans said Miss Nathan
had suffered a rare medical emergency
called amniotic fluid embolism, which
caused widespread organ failure and
He said Kymani had been deprived of
oxygen when Miss Nathan fainted, as a
result of the amniotic fluid embolism.
In the later stages of Miss Nathan’s
pregnancy the midwife noted that her
fontal height, or size of her baby bump,
was in the 90th percentile.
A referral to an obstetric consultation
or an ultrasound could have shown the
baby had oesophageal altresia, meaning
the oesophagus ended in a pouch,
causing a condition that meant Miss
Nathan had more amniotic fluid than
normal. Specialist care in a hospital
could possibly have meant a better
outcome for both mother and baby, the
The recommendations Coroner Evans
laid out in writing for the Minister
of Health Jonathan Coleman, The
Ministry of Health and the Midwifery
Council included an extended period of
super vision and mentoring for graduate
midwives, or for an extension on the
teaching period for under-graduates.
He also recommended further
guidelines be used around foetal growth
charts. — NZME
Coroner critical of midwifery training
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Casey Nathan and Hayden Tukiri
A man suffered serious burns to most of
his body after the boat he was in burst into
flames while he was filling the tank with
Maketu fire chief Shane Beech said it was
only thanks to the quick thinking of the
man’s friends that the whole petrol station
did not go up in flames.
They pulled the man out of the burning
boat, towed it across the road to an empty
gravel area and unhooked it from the car
while emergency ser vices were on their
Firefighters were called to the fire about
4.30pm yesterday and arrived to find the
8.25m aluminium boat fully engulfed in
Mr Beech said the fire had started while a
Reporoa man was filling the underfloor tank
when the fumes ignited, engulfing him and
The boat ’s owner, who was clearly upset,
said at the scene he was inside waiting to
pay for the petrol when the fire broke out.
The owner, who was from Taupo, raced
outside and pulled his friend from the boat
so ser vice station attendants could hose him
down to keep him cool until emergency
ser vices arrived.
He then moved the boat and unhooked it.
The man suffered serious burns to most of
his body and was flown to Waikato Hospital
in a rescue helicopter.
It took firefighters about 15 minutes to put
out the fire.
Mr Beech said he was unsure how the fire
“ It could have been electrical ignition or
anything in the boat,” he said.
“The boat ’s completely written off.”
— Bay of Plenty Times-NZME
Man seriously burned as boat
catches fire at petrol station
The Otago Regional Council will
stop all water takes from the Taieri
River and its tributaries from midday
on Wednesday, as the region faces the
worst dry conditions since the 1999
Council chief executive Peter
Bodeker said concern was also
growing about low flows in the
Lindis, Cardrona, and Manuherikia
rivers as well as rivers in South Otago.
If conditions continued to
deteriorate, some form of water
shortage direction was likely to be
issued in coming weeks to manage
water in Central Otago catchments.
Mr Bodeker said the council
had made the decision after staff
reviewed river flow and rainfall data,
confirming conditions in parts of
Otago were now worse than 1999.
Predictions for the dry weather to
continue through February meant
the council now had no option other
than to restrict all takes for irrigation
to protect the river ecosystem.
“The Taieri has been running below
its minimum flow at Waipiata and
Tiroiti for several days, despite the
superb rationing and rostering of
water organised by local irrigators,”
Mr Bodeker said.
The drought-affected flows in the
river must now be given over to
nature to sustain the ecosystems, he
“ We understand the dry conditions
are causing severe hardship for many
farmers and we have no desire to
exacerbate or prolong this. However,
council must take a long-term view
to manage this precious resource and
ensure the river system stays intact.”
More river gauging devices had
been installed and staff were keeping
an hourly watch on flow levels
and weather conditions so if flows
returned to a sustainable level then
water could be released for irrigation.
As conditions were so dry, the
light rain of recent days would have
minimal impacts on river levels.
“Having said that, all landholders
relying on water takes should be
aware that substantial rainfall is
needed over several days to restore
the Taieri, and other rivers that are
— NZ ME-Otago Daily Times
Otago stops water take as drought bites
Tax cheat Alex Swney arranged for
the council-funded Heart of the City
to pay him nearly $300,000 annually —
despite his role as chief executive of the
business lobby group being only part-
time — according to calculations from
An investigation into the disgraced
businessman has also revealed Swney
lived in a succession of multimillion-
dollar homes on Auckland’s most
desirable streets in the decade he failed
to pay tax.
On Wednesday, Swney pleaded guilty
in the Auckland District Court to four
representative charges of tax evasion
comprising of $1.8 million in unpaid
tax, and a further $1.2 million in interest
The Weekend Herald has calculated
the amount of money Swney would
have received from Heart of the City
based on the total amount of tax evasion
pleaded guilty to — $1.4m in income
tax, and another $450,000 of unpaid
GST. The results, checked with two
independent tax experts, suggest Swney
may have received about $3.3m of
undeclared income during the 12-year
period covered by the charges, equating
to average annual payments of $280,000.
Heart of the City interim chief
executive David Wright would not
discuss the amount, saying the matter
was still before the courts, but former
Heart of the City chairman Peter
Cammell was stunned to hear of the
scale of payments. He said the amount
far exceeded what he understood what
was the agreed rate he was supposed to
be paid for being chief executive.
Mr Cammell said the chief executive’s
job was part-time as Swney spent a
considerable part of his week working
for the Briar wood shoe and handbag
business of his wife, Angeline Marshall.
“That’s why he was able to claim he
was an independent contractor, and not
an employee,” he said.
Swney, until name suppression over his
offending lapsed in October, enjoyed a
reputation as a vibrant and successful
businessman who moved in the circles
of Auckland’s elite.
During the time he was failing to
pay tax, his residences also matched
his social status with many years spent
living in mansions on New Zealand’s
most expensive street.
In October 2006 the couple spent
$3.2m buying into the street before
flipping their home three years later for
$4.1m and moving next door.
— New Zealand Herald
Swney’s $3 million ticket revealed
It may look like summer, it may feel
like summer, but it does not sound like
Gardeners will be happy but most who
enjoy the seasonal sounds of the cicada’s
courtship call will have noticed a definite
absence of the unmistakable ‘song’.
The lack of cicadas is no cause for
concern though, according to bug man
The entomologist said cicadas live
underground on a five to six-year cycle
and it was likely that at the beginning of
the last cycle not as many cicadas mated
or laid eggs.
“There wasn’t many in the cohort that
was born five or six years ago, so this is
what we are seeing now.”
The downturn of the cicada chorus
and wing-snapping beat this summer
is in stark contrast to last year when the
insects were prolific.
“It has to do with high and low
numbers and not every area is the same.
This is an indication that we are in a low
number because we should really hear
them right now.
“It should be deafening but this is one
of those quieter years with not much
Sodden soil which drowns infant
cicadas, early or late frosts, not enough
sun and wind could all affect the number
of eggs that sur vive and the amount of
cicadas that mate. — NZ Herald
Where have cicadas gone? Catton fires back at critics
Author Eleanor Catton says she
will discuss “inflammatory, vicious
and patronising things that have
been broadcast and published in
New Zealand this week” in future
inter views she does with foreign
“ I will of course discuss the
frightening swiftness with which
the powerful right moves to
discredit and silence those who
question them, and the culture of
fear and hysteria that prevails. But
I will hope for better, and demand
The acclaimed author posted
the comments on her blog last
night in response to criticism she
received this week for describing
the Government as “neo-liberal,
profit-obsessed, very shallow, very
money-hungry politicians who do
not care about culture. ”
Catton told reporters at the Jaipur
Literature Festival in India earlier
this week that she struggled with
being an ambassador for New
Zealand because she did not think
the country was doing as much as
it could to support the literary arts.
Catton, who won the 2013 Man
Booker Prize for her novel The
Luminaries, said she felt “very
angry with my government ”.
“At the moment, New Zealand,
like Australia and Canada, (are
dominated by) these neo-liberal,
profit-obsessed, very shallow, very
money-hungry politicians who do
not care about culture.
“They care about short-term
gains. They would destroy the
planet in order to be able to have
the life they want.”
“ I’ve never really thought of
myself as a New Zealand writer.
Coming and being an ambassador
for my country when I feel that
actually my country is not doing
as much as they could for the
intellectual world in general, but
for the literary arts ... It ’s just a
slightly complicated position to be
in,” she said.
Prime Minister John Key
responded at the time saying he
was disappointed Catton “doesn’t
have respect for the work we do
because I have tremendous respect
for what she does as a writer”.
He said Catton has been aligned
with the Green Party and her
comments “probably summarise
the Green Party’s view of this
Yesterday morning her father
defended her criticism of the
Government by taking
broadcaster Sean Plunket after he
branded her an “ungrateful hua”.
The falling petrol price has been
a boon for the great summer road
trip but more big price drops are
looking unlikely in the short-term
according to the AA.
The cost of 91 Octane is now
172.9c per litre at major retailers.
That is about 19.2c less than at
those outlets three months ago.
Petrol company Gull, a market
minnow, yesterday ordered all
stations where it controlled pricing
to sell diesel for less than $1 a litre.
Some Gull stations even had 91
Octane edging down to $1.52 a
But motorists hoping to see $1.50
petrol prices at major retailers
could be waiting a long time, with
the AA saying the falling New
Zealand dollar was off-setting falls
in the cost of crude oil.
AA senior policy analyst Mark
Stockdale said it was unlikely prices
at major retailers would change over
the weekend. But he was concerned
about the falling dollar, which was
already increasing the cost of fuel
Gull’s price limit of $0.999
per litre for diesel applied to the
company’s sites and marinas from
Whangarei to Masterton.
Gull was able to offer lower
prices than industry giants at some
locations partly because it had
Dave Bodger, Gull New Zealand
general manager, said the company
would stick to the $1 diesel limit
for a while. “ That diesel price will
be wedged in until at least after the
But Mr Bodger said any petrol or
diesel price forecasts for later next
week would be “guesses” at best.
Mr Bodger said he did not expect
much movement in the price of 91
over the next few days.
“ It ’s still summer over most of the
country. Most of our people are in
summer mode. I can’t see anybody
tearing themselves away from
an ale at 4 o’clock to change fuel
prices.” — NZME
Petrol prices level out
Eleven great white sharks have been
spotted at a single site in the Kaipara
Harbour — the largest concentration of
the species yet seen in the upper North
A team of researchers recorded the
gathering of great whites — the largest
measuring 3m and 3.5m — over two
days earlier this month.
Since then, a 3.4m female among the
group has been tracked to Port Waikato,
while another has travelled to Ninety
Department of Conser vation marine
scientist Clinton D uffy, who was with
the crew when it came across the group
of mostly juvenile sharks about 5km off
Shelly Beach in the southern harbour,
described the encounter as “really
The team, who regularly head out on
the harbour as part of a joint satellite
tagging programme, obser ved eight in
one spot on January 17.
“ It was by far the largest number of
white sharks we’ve ever seen in the
Kaipara Harbour in a single day,” Mr
After tagging one of the sharks,
another 3m great white was discovered
swimming around a float where their
boat was anchored.
Mr Duffy said some nearby fishermen
also caught one of the sharks, but broke
it off the line as soon as they realised
what they had caught.
A further three were found at the same
site the next day, but none have been
seen there since.
It was unclear why so many have been
spotted together at once.
“ We speculate that they were feeding
on fish coming off the tidal flats as the
tide fell, but then the next day, when we
saw similar conditions, we didn’t see any
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
11 great white sharks spotted
Air fares as low as $1365 return to
Europe are on sale as airlines try to top
up planes for the coming year.
Har vey World Travel was this week
selling fares on China Southern Airlines
to Amsterdam for $1365 and Air New
Zealand to Los Angeles or San Francisco
Har vey is part of Stella Travel, whose
general manager of marketing David
Libeau said demand was strong.
“The demand has been very high
which is surprising in a way. When
the weather’s bad people book but the
weather’s been good and they ’re still
China Southern, which was trying to
attract more New Zealand passengers
with revamped food and wine, was also
appealing on price, he said.
“ I haven’t seen prices that low.”
Flight Centre will stage its annual travel
expo in Auckland today and tomorrow
and was expecting around 20,000
visitors lured by fares to Amsterdam for
“ If you sit the pricing at a low level
everyone else follows suit and that ’s why
you have Emirates at below the $2000
mark,” general manager for product at
Flight Centre Simon Mckearney, said.
Emirates is offering fares at under
$2000 to Oslo, Budapest, Brussels and
Barcelona as part of its “early bird” sale.
Mckearney said there was strong airline
capacity throughout the Pacific, and
Hawaiian Airlines was offering deals to
Honolulu for $900 and there were “very
good deals” on Air New Zealand to the
“The revenue management teams in
airlines want to mop up that capacity
and close off aircraft as soon as possible
so that ’s why they ’ll drop a good price,”
he said. — NZME
Cheap air fares up for grabs
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Harris Atkinson doesn’t know what he’d be doing right now if it
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it’s given me some choices in life.”
Harris dropped out of school in Year 11 and admits he had got into
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Civil Quarrying and Mining programme in Greymouth. He signed up
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