Home' Greymouth Star : February 11th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Runanga School pupil Kole
Darling was dropped off at to school
in style yesterday morning when he
got a ride by helicopter. Kole, and
his friend Caleb Wanstall, got the
flight after winning a competition
on The Hits. School principal Philip
Graydon said it would be a morning
that Kole would never forget and
plenty of pupils and families watched
as the helicopter dropped them off.
Petrol station accident
A woman struck by her car at the
Mobil Petrol Station last weekend
was injured during an attempt to free
the jammed automatic transmission
of the vehicle, causing it to shoot
backwards. The woman, who suffered
serious injuries to her hand and foot,
said today she had switched off the
car while it was filled with petrol.
After rocking the car to free the
mechanism, the woman’s husband
got into the driver’s seat. The woman
was standing to the side when
her husband suddenly succeeded
in releasing the automatic shifter.
Unfortunately, the momentum of
this caused his foot to slip onto the
accelerator, shooting the car into
A 36-year-old man was due to
appear in the Greymouth District
Court this morning following two
separate incidents in Hokitika
yesterday. Police said the Hokitika
man was arrested on two separate
occasions last night — both times
for alleged threatening behaviour.
The separate incidents involved two
separate complainants but few other
details were available.
charged after crash
A disqualified driver from Nelson
will be charged as a result of a single
vehicle crash near Maruia early
yesterday morning. Reefton police
said the woman driver crashed off
the road about 4.30am. She was
taken to Grey Base Hospital and
treated for minor injuries.
Police stop car weaving
over centre line
Police stopped a red Toyota
saloon after it was seen weaving
over the centre line on the Kumara
Junction Highway yesterday
afternoon. At 4.30pm a concerned
motorist saw the Toyota travelling
towards Greymouth. The motorist
followed from a distance whilst
giving a commentary to police. The
Toyota was later stopped by police
who spoke to the driver before a
passenger took over driving.
An import to the West Coast
who repeatedly abused his former
partner in Rotorua and stole more
than $3600 from a Greymouth
hotel, was yesterday jailed for 10
Tangata Ponini earlier admitted
one charge of theft, three of failing
to answer court bail, common
assault, wilful damage and breach
of a protection order.
He had been scheduled to
defend the charge of breach of a
protection order at a hearing, but
after the case could not proceed
because the judge was not able
to get to Greymouth, Ponini
changed his plea to guilty.
On April 10 last year, Ponini
visited his partner, who he was
prohibited from seeing under the
terms of the protection order, in
After the two argued, he verbally
abused the victim, telling her that
she was a useless mother. Despite
being repeatedly told to leave
her home, he refused to do so.
The victim then locked herself in
the outhouse, where she harmed
On October 14, Ponini was
again arrested in Rotorua after
visiting the victim at her home,
and having tried to get into
her bed, he held the woman up
against the wardrobe while she
was screaming. On one of the
visits he also smashed the door of
her house, causing $220 worth of
Back in Greymouth, Ponini
also stole $3600 from Revingtons
Hotel on April 26. After someone
playing on the pokies got a
jackpot, the the bar person went
to the safe and took out $840 to
give to the winner of the jackpot.
When the bar person’s back
was turned, Ponini went to the
safe and stuffed $3600 down his
trousers and walked out.
In court, the bar manager who
had been in charge when the
theft occurred said the incident
had caused her “much mental and
“Emotionally, I have become
very suspicious of customers in
the gaming room, and I cry very
easily when I obser ve something I
see which is not right.”
As a result of the incident, the
manager had received a disciplinary
letter from her employer, and had
to pay more than $600 to them
in compensation. Ponini told the
court he was sorry for what he had
His lawyer George Linder said it
had been a “crime of opportunity ”.
Mr Linder also said Ponini had
been in a “volatile relationship”
with his ex-partner.
In addition to the prison
sentence Ponini was ordered to
pay reparation of $3600 for the
theft, a $500 emotional harm
repayment to the manager who
had been on duty during the theft,
and $220 to his former partner for
damaging her door.
Rawiri Tamati Weepu, 28,
of Awatuna, was remanded in
the Greymouth District Court
yesterday to March 13 to defend a
charge of dangerous driving.
On September 15, Weepu was
alleged to have driven on State
highway 6 towards Hokitika,
when a rude gesture was made
at him by the victim, who was
known to him. He turned around
and followed the victim at high
speed, nudging his car twice in
In court, Weepu said he had
not been there at the time, and
the victim was jealous because he
went out with his ex-partner.
Dianne Frances Keenan, 64,
was remanded on bail to March 10
for wilful trespass on November
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
family wish to thank the
nursing staff of both
Morice and Hannan
Wards who were fantas-
tic in every way in their
care of the late Phyllis -
a bit more than the
hospital hierarchy. A
special thanks goes also
to Dr Shinnamon.
Genuine Care and
STRANGE, Lorna. —
A memorial service will
be held for Lorna on
Thursday February 12 at
7.30pm in Holy Trinity
Church, Tainui Street,
A Greymouth adult education ser vice
offering community tuition in areas such as
literacy, numeracy and life skills has been
given an extra 1603 teaching hours.
Karoro Learning has had the number
of hours it can offer through its adult
and community education (Ace) courses
increased by the Tertiary Education
Commission from 6400 to 8003.
Ace co-ordinator Colleen Eason said it
had exceeded the number of hours it had
been subsidised to provide last year. It had
then been given 25% extra hours for Ace
by the Tertiary Education Commission for
Ms Eason said it had already isolated
which areas of learning it was most
interested in committing extra hours to.
“ We have identified digital literacy as a
focus, and we know the programmes that
are coming through with schools, with new
devices, so we want to be able to offer more
digital literacy generally, for the community,
but also for parents, so that they can keep
up with what their children are doing, and
keep their children safe.
“It’s a lot of hours to fill, so we have got
To qualify for a subsidy necessary to
provide many of the courses offered
through ACE, each needed to contain an
element of either literacy, numeracy, digital
literacy, sign language or te reo Maori.
Any of the courses offered through the
new hours, existing or new, would have to
contain one of those elements.
Karoro Learning director Russell
Nimmo said it was hoping to continue
to increase the hours it offered, because it
would provide “more opportunity in the
He said that Ace was not an area Karoro
Learning gained any profit from, but just
provided ser vices to the community.
Ms Eason said a number of new Ace
courses were set to come on shortly, in
life skills, which included literacy and
gardening, and a certificate in life skills,
for students who benefited from supported
learning at school. That course was
designed to help them be more
PICTURE: Ben Aulakh
Gail Wickes, left, Dahlia Ramage and Richard Maddison, on an adult and community education computer course at Karoro
Community tuition boost
Land Rover stolen
A green Land Rover was stolen
from a farm shed at Stillwater during
the past five days. The green 1970
vehicle was stolen from a farm shed
on Greymouth-Kotuku Road. The
vehicle’s registration number is
DW9786. Police have asked for any
information regarding suspicious
behaviour or vehicles in this area
during that time to be passed on to
Missing garden ornaments have
been handed in to the police after a
member of the public found them
left on Bright Street, Cobden.
Both ornaments were described
as “unique”. The owner of the
ornaments should contact the police.
Police appeal for
driver in hit and run
Police are appealing for the driver
of a ute to come for ward, following
its involvement in a car crash at
the intersection of Cowper and
Raleigh streets yesterday. A red flat
deck early 1990s model single cab
ute was involved in a minor crash
at the intersection at 5.50pm. No
one was injured in the crash. Police
require the ute driver’s details for the
investigation into the cause.
Anthony Carrick D uncan was
remanded at large for sentencing in
the Greymouth District Court on
May 19 to give him time to provide
a medical certificate and affidavit
for why he could not complete his
Duncan faced six charges of failing
to provide accounting information,
five counts of using a document for
pecuniary gain, and one of providing
a false statement.
Lawyer George Linder applied for
Duncan’s sentence of community
work, which had not been completed,
to be substituted by a sentence of
community detention, owing to his
inability to complete the community
work due to “medical issues”.
However, Judge Gary MacAskill
said the only evidence D uncan had
provided was a medical certificate,
the relevant page of which was
“almost illegible” due to the poor
handwriting of the doctor.
He also said that given the fact
Duncan had previous convictions
for fraud and dishonesty, he did not
necessarily believe his argument
about medical issues.
The judge ordered D uncan to
provide a medical report, with an
affidavit, stating why he could not
complete the community work.
Connor John Prendergast was
remanded on bail to March 12 on a
charge of criminal harassment.
Judge MacAskill said the police
would provide evidence on that date
of further similar behaviour from
Pendergast, showing his propensity
for that kind of offending.
The judge advised Prendergast that
if he wanted to oppose the charge he
should consult a lawyer before his
next court appearance.
Abigail Bennington, 20, of
Karoro, was remanded to April 14
for sentencing after she completed
restorative justice on charges of
common assault and intentional
damage, on November 9.
Deborah Ann Howat
remanded to March 10 for assault
on November 24.
Lawyer George Linder said Howat
had applied for legal aid, but had not
yet received a letter to confirm that it
had been granted.
A 45-year-old woman from the
Grey Valley was remanded on bail
to March 10 for assault. She was
granted interim name suppression.
Toa Tokomaru Marino, 30, of
Cobden, was remanded to March
10 for speeding and driving
in contravention of his learner
licence conditions, on December
5, threatening a police officer
on December 20, and breach of
A Runanga woman who drove
while suspended in order to get her
daughter to school was convicted
and sentenced to 50 hours of
community work and banned from
driving for six months.
Tara Charlene Pickett, 25, had her
licence suspended in November for
However, on January 26 she was
caught behind the wheel and was
stopped by police. She told police
she thought she had passed the
period of her suspension.
Lawyer Vicki Walsh said Pickett
had been driving to get her child to
school at the time.
Judge MacAskill said that as
Pickett had more than $4500 in
outstanding fines, and a history of
infringements, she could be given
Aaron Mark-Hart-Thomson, 17,
of Kumara Junction, was remanded
on bail to March 24 for stealing a
road cone on November 15.
Kaleb Ford-Witana was remanded
to March 24 for failing to comply
and being an unlicensed driver.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said Ford-
Witana had been remanded to court
this week in order to get his licence,
however he had failed the test due to
suffering from learning difficulties.
Mr Bradley said the restorative
justice co-ordinator would now
engage with Ford-Witana in order
to help him get his licence.
Benjamin Samuel Bennett was
remanded to March 10 on charges
of theft, burglary and procuring
Greymouth, was convicted and
remanded to March 10 for
restorative justice on two charges of
theft and one of common assault.
A Blaketown man who threatened to put
another man “in a hole” was remanded on
bail for restorative justice on a charge of
threatening to injure.
Dythaniel Scott Hart, 24, admitted the
charges in the Greymouth District Court
yesterday. He was remanded to March 10.
On January 12, police visited Hart about
his property being damaged. However, as
he was intoxicated he told police he would
like 10 minutes to find his flatmate, who
he suspected of causing the damage, so he
could “put him in a hole in Kumara”.
Police warned Hart to stay away from his
flatmate, however later that day he visited
the flatmate at another address, where he
again made threats towards him, slamming
the door of an oven in the process.
In court, Hart said the allegations were
“ bull..t ”.
Hart asked the judge why he was not
allowed to drink as a condition of his bail.
“I don’t see why my life should stop
because my house got smashed up.”
Judge Gary MacAskill said Hart had
misbehaved while drunk and had previous
history of similar offending, however he
agreed to remove the condition.
Joshua Clement Duncan, 24, of
Westport, was remanded on bail to
appear in the Westport District Court on
Duncan faces charges of possession of
a methamphetamine (P) pipe and .22
calibre bullets, on December 11, receiving
a $150 Tom Tom GPS gadget between
October 15 and November 30, dealing in
methamphetamine, and receiving $500 of
property between August 1 and November
Timothy Rangi Verplanke and Tessa
Aimee Rasmussen were both convicted
and remanded on bail to March 10 for
theft of 1000.
The money belonged to Rasmussen’s
stepfather, and has since been recovered.
A Hokitika man who got into a
drunken fight with a friend about how
the two of them were going to get
home was convicted and fined $200 for
disorderly behaviour, when he admitted
the offence in the Greymouth District
Gary Richard Smylie was at a pub in
Hokitika late at night on January 10,
when he got into a fight with a friend in
the corner of the bar. He and his friend
were arrested and asked to go home.
However, about an hour later the two
were again arrested after scuffling out on
Lawyer Vicki Walsh said the pair were
good friends and had argued about how
to get home.
Had it not been for the fight, it would
have been “quite a comedic episode,” she
Cyril James Delamare, 50, of Hokitika,
was remanded on bail without plea
to February 17 for possession of 42g
of cannabis on January 23, and wilful
A 40-year-old Hokitika man who
rolled his car after crashing it through
a fence was convicted and remanded
to March 24 for excess breath-alcohol
of 1298mg and careless driving, on
Stephen James Cosgriff was driving
on State highway 6 south of Hokitka
when his car drifted to the left of the
carriageway, then to the right, before
crashing through the fence and rolling.
Cosgriff got out of the car and walked
to a nearby house. When he was
questioned by police he said he had been
on his way to see his daughter.
Tyran Robert Dickson, of Hokitika,
was remanded on bail to March 10
for restorative justice for assault with a
Fine for drunken fight with friend
Defendant given leave to
provide medical certificate
Threat to put man ‘in a hole’
A Blackball man who smashed his car
into a tree, breaking several bones in the
process, was convicted in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday and sentenced
to four months’ community detention
for dangerous driving and driving with
Paul Gerald Humm, 40, was also
banned from driving for 18 months.
While driving on Marsden Road, in
Greymouth, on October 25 Humm
crossed the centre line, forcing an
oncoming car to swerve. He then ended
up sliding his car into a tree.
A police investigation of the tyre
marks left by Humm’s car estimated he
was driving at between 77kph and
88kph at the time of the crash, in a 50kph
A blood test carried out by police
produced a reading of 144mg of alcohol
per 100ml of blood.
Lawyer George Linder said Humm
suffered “quite substantial” injuries in the
crash, sustaining four fractured vertebrae.
Mr Linder said Humm had been
drinking at a friend’s place the night
before, stayed there overnight and had
got up the next day and driven.
He said Humm apparently over-
corrected while driving.
Humm accepted he was going to lose
his licence, and had also had to pay $4500
to have his car repaired, something Judge
Gary MacAskill described as “self-
inflicted punishment ”.
The judge said there needed to be more
driver education about the dangers of
driving the day after drinking, as many
people thought that “sleeping it off ”
“If you are still hungover, the likelihood
is you are affected by alcohol, Judge
He noted that Humm had a history of
drink-driving, careless driving, dangerous
driving, and “pages” of notices about his
Community detention after crashing car into tree
A tobacco retailer in the
Buller district will probably
be fined $500 after being
caught selling cigarettes
to an underage customer
late last month. During a
Community and Public
Health controlled purchase
operation, visiting 22
premises throughout the
West Coast, one tobacco
retailer sold cigarettes to
a young person under the
age of 18.
West Coast medical
officer of health Dr Cheryl
Brunton said she was
disappointed with that.
All retailers have to do
is ask for proof of age
identification from any
customers who appear to
be under 25 years of age,”
Dr Brunton said. “It is
that another retailer
has sold cigarettes to an
underage volunteer.” The
retailer who made the
tobacco sale has been
referred to the Ministry of
Health and will be issued
with an infringement
notice that can carry a
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