Home' Greymouth Star : February 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Wednesday, February 18, 2015
A stoush last evening between two
Barrytown men in their 60s is being
investigated by police. The fight
began after one of the men alleged
the other had driven his vehicle at
Burst pipe delays work
The planned work on the
Greymouth water supply has been
delayed a week after a pipe burst
during pressure testing yesterday.
Grey District Council utilities
engineer Kurtis Perrin-Smith said
they discovered during testing that
a T-section of pipe had a split. “ It
wasn’t obvious to the eye until it had
pressure on it,” Mr Perrin-Smith
said. That meant the planned work
on the pipes at the treatment plant
and the resulting drop in water
pressure around town had been
delayed until next Friday, February
27. “It ’s exactly the same, just a week
later. ” That work will affect water
supplies in Cobden, Greymouth,
Boddytown, Blaketown, Karoro,
South Beach and Paroa.
The Grey District Council has
signed a new triennial agreement
with the Westland District Council,
Buller District Council and West
Coast Regional Council to co-
ordinate with one another. When the
item was presented last week at the
Grey council’s first meeting of the
year, deputy mayor Doug Truman
quipped that it might give them
earlier notice of any 1080 factories
being built, in reference to the
regional council’s secret investment
in a 1080 poison factory near
Christchurch. Within the agreement
a section on new activities stipulates
that should the regional council
“ wish to undertake a significant
new activity or undertake an activity
currently undertaken or proposed to
be undertaken” it would consult with
the other parties.
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Nil. Departures: Moon Shadow II,
Tainui, Tawera, Achernar, Calypso,
Tui, Expatriate, six Greymouth
vessels. In port: Okarito, Joy
Maree, 15 other vessels. Expected
departures: Nil. Expected arrivals:
Jay Elaine, today; Cook Canyon,
tomorrow; Ocean Odyssey, Friday.
No blame in tourists’ deaths
A drunk driver who drove at 82kph in a 50pkh
zone in Hokitika to get more alcohol, was
convicted and fined $850 in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday, and banned from
driving for six months.
On January 6, Samuel Ngaamo was stopped
a result of his speeding through town. He then
blew 456mg in an evidential breath test.
Lawyer Marcus Zintl said Ngaamo had been
at a waka ama competition, and had chosen to
drive to get more booze, as he was the most
sober person in his group.
Judge Jane McMeeken said that thinking he
was the most sober person did not “make it
okay” that he had chosen to drive, as it was a
A serial thief who took tourist property from
Franz Josef Glacier was yesterday sentenced to
12 months’ super vision.
On December 6, Nicholas David Brown
visited the Monsoon Bar, where he took a high-
powered torch belonging to the night porter,
valued at $150. On December 16 he was back
at the bar and stole two hooded jackets, valued
at $50 each. Then, on Christmas Eve he stole a
$50 jacket from the bar.
The tourists’ property had since been recovered,
but the owners had already left the country.
Brown has since gone through the restorative
justice process as a result of the offending.
Lawyer George Linder said yesterday Brown
accepted he had been heavily intoxicated at the
time of the offending, as he had been drinking
for two days straight. He also admitted to a
significant alcohol problem at the time of the
Brown had since engaged with alcohol
counselling, Mr Linder said.
Judge McMeeken said if that was how Brown
behaved when he was drinking, he “simply
could not drink”.
Drunk driver caught on
way to get more booze
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
Genuine Care and
Freedom campers took the chance to air some of their washing while parked outside the public toilets
beside the Grey United Tennis courts, in Greymouth, at midday yesterday. The campers were Chinese
tourists and spoke limited English when questioned by the Greymouth Star. They packed away their
washing after the Star asked them about it. Grey District Council compliance team manager Kevin
Hebberd said certified self-contained campers were allowed to park outside the toilets, in Shakespeare
Street. “It ’s very cheeky but I don’t think it ’s a breach of our bylaw,” Mr Hebberd said.
Tourists air undies in street
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
A Blackball man was accused in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday of using
“ bully boy behaviour” in threatening a man
less than half his age.
Paul Gerald Humm, 40, was convicted and
ordered to make a $300 emotional harm
repayment for threatening his flatmate.
In November, Humm’s relationship with his
partner ended. However, when he suspected
his former partner of having a relationship
with his flatmate, he went to the flatmate’s
workplace and sent him threatening texts.
Humm is currently ser ving a sentence
of four months’ community detention and
was banned from driving for 18 months for
dangerous driving and driving with excess
breath-alcohol, after he smashed his car into
Judge Jane McMeeken said Humm was
guilty of “aggressive bully boy behaviour”.
An Otira woman was convicted and fined
$200 for possession of a knife.
On February 4, Donna Littleton-Taylor,
52, was drinking at a friend’s house when
she suddenly left the property. However,
her car ran out of fuel and stopped shortly
after she left. Littleton-Taylor began walking
towards Greymouth but was approached by
police, who found a 30cm serrated knife on
her, which she said she was carrying for her
Judge McMeeken said it was “incredibly
unwise” to have knives in her possession.
A man charged with breaching community
work was warned that if his attitude did not
improve he would be “ walking himself into
Jordan Joseph Beams was sentenced to 75
hours of community work on November 12,
2013 for driving with excess breath-alcohol
On September 23 last year, Beams was
convicted for breaching his community
work but after again failing to report several
times he still has 27 hours of his sentence
Judge McMeeken said she was surprised at
Beams’s “approach to life”.
“ You are giving me a very clear message, you
look? I can help you with that, if your attitude
doesn’t improve you’ ll be walking yourself
The judge advised his to pay his fines and do
his community work.
Brock Anthony Harris had his sentence
of community work substituted for nine
month sentences super vision, for speaking
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said Harris
had completed an alcohol rehabilitation
programme in Christchurch, and was now
sober and living with his father.
Community Probation advised that the
sentence Harris previously had was replaced
by one of super vision.
Shaun Keith Williamson, of Greymouth,
was convicted and discharged for a breach of
community work. On January 14 last year he
was sentenced to a further 140 hours for a
breach of community work, but he failed to
complete it when he was supposed to, by June
last year. He has now completed the sentence.
Anthony Kaye, 22, of Greymouth, was
convicted and fined $500 for intentional
damage, being an unaccompanied learner
driver and driving a vehicle issued with a
On February 2 Kaye’s car was issued
with a non-operation order given its poor
state. However, five days later he drove in
Greymouth and was caught by police.
Lawyer Marcus Zintl said Kaye had
Asperger’s, which contributed to his
A Westport man who contravened a
protection order by visiting the cafe where
she worked had his case adjourned to
March 24 to go through the restorative
justice process. He was given interim name
The man had split up with his partner,
with whom he shared children, in 2007. On
May 24, 2007, a protection order was made
by his former partner against the defendant.
However on January 16 he found himself
in the coffee shop where his former partner
Although she was not at work at the time,
the woman’s colleagues contacted her and she
called the police, who arrested the man.
A warrant for arrest was issued for Alan
James Minto, 57, of Kumara, for failing to
appear on a charge of threatening to injure,
on December 12.
Mark Aldous was convicted and fined $500
for careless driving. He pleaded guilty by
letter and did not appear in court.
Robyn Jane Gregg, 43, of Ngahere, was
remanded to April 13 for breach of a
protection order, on December 2.
Shaun William Whitehead was convicted
and fined $300 for disorderly behaviour.
Courtney Robert Curtis-Smith had his case
of assaulting a female adjourned to April 14.
Connor John Prendergast had charges of
unlawfully being in an enclosed yard and
failing to answer police bail withdrawn by
Michael Brian Henham, 45, of Blaketown,
was remanded on bail to March 24 for
restorative justice for assault on January 28.
Payment order for threats
A Hokitika woman who stole a
Playstation 3 console and games
from the house of her former
partner, was discharged without
conviction in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday.
Tessa Wallace previously admitted
at a hearing last May, to taking the
console and games from her former
partner, David Sinclair. At the time,
Wallace said she stole the items in
revenge for him having previously
stolen thousands of dollars from
her and her father.
Wallace was found not guilty of
the joint theft of a television from
the address, however her brothers
Chance Tipa and Tyran Dickson
were found guilty of the offence
and each was sentenced to 100
hours of community work.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said
yesterday Wallace was hoping to
avoid a conviction, which could
potentially compromise her chances
of pursuing a career in the military.
Mr Bradley said he had not managed
to get any direct confirmation from
the military that a conviction would
bar her from joining the ser vices.
However, a decision to allow her on
to a course which could potentially
lead to her being chosen for the
ser vice was pending, depending on
the outcome of the theft case.
Judge Jane McMeeken said that
given Wallace’s relationship with
the burglary victim it had been a
“nasty offence”, but it was at the
lower end of the offending scale.
that Wallace had been at risk of
offending during her life from both
family and peers, but had shown
that she wanted to resist that and
The judge agreed that a conviction
could potentially “close the door” on
her career aspirations, which would
be out of context with the gravity of
the offending so she discharged her.
Theft conviction avoided
The annual noise
sur veys are under way at
the glaciers, including
the first sur veys at Fox
Glacier since permitted
flight numbers were more
than tripled from 25 to 85
daily due to access issues.
About five years ago,
just 25 heli-hike landings
a day were permitted at
However, when Franz
Josef retreated, guided
foot tours on to the ice
were stopped. More
recently, the same
occurred at Fox Glacier.
Last April the Westland
Tai Poutini National Park
Management Plan was
altered and now allows up
to 60 additional aircraft
landings per glacier per
day, while foot access
remains either impossible
of Conser vation
conser vation ser vices
manager Wayne Costello
said there were strict
limits for noise, with
visitors to the glacier
valley sur veyed annually
during peak season.
The sur vey results are
due about April.
At Franz, where
the flights were first
increased, noise level
annoyance dropped last
year but was still just past
the threshold of 25%.
Mr Costello said
they were working on
so that people knew from
the start they would hear
aircraft noise and not be
able to touch the ice.
Franz was still receding
and there was no
immediate hope that foot
access would be restored,
“Certainly at Franz it ’s
too dangerous. ”
There was “no chance at
Fox any time soon”.
The coroner says no one was to blame
for the death of two Canadian tourists,
whose camper van crashed over the Haast
Pass highway during torrential rain a year
and a half ago.
However, he today called for large
message boards to be installed in South
Westland to warn motorists of road
Connor Hayes, of Ottawa, and Joanna
Lam, of Kingston, Ontario, died when
their camper van plunged over a cliff into
the Haast River. Miss Lam’s body was
found some days later more than 50km
away, on the beach north of Haast. Mr
Hayes’ body has not been found.
On September 8, 2013, the couple set
off in their hired camper van. About the
Gates of Haast bridge, John Caird, who
had been travelling in his road patrol
truck, was putting out ‘flooding’ signs.
He was followed by a car driven by Haast
resident Dayna Buchanan, who was
followed by the utility of Timothy Mee.
About 1.8km from the Gates of Haast,
the three vehicles were halted by a small
slip which had blocked the road. Ms
Buchanan and Mr Mee turned around
and returned to Haast.
After they left the site, they saw
a camper van arrive and stop at the
opposite side of the slip. They attempted
to make contact with the occupants of
the campervan but were unable to do so.
On the morning of September 11, a
large slip was found 785m south from
the small slip that had stopped the
drivers the night before. It completely
blocked the roadway and debris was in
the Haast River.
When it was later discovered
the camper van had not arrived in
Wanaka and that Joanna Lam had not
contacted her prospective employer, a
comprehensive search was undertaken.
The remains of the campervan and debris
from it were eventually located about
239m downriver from the point where
the Pipson Creek slip entered the Haast
Police put for ward three possibilities
the camper van was engulfed by a
sudden landslip; they were forced to
stop and retrace their route by a slip at
Pipson Creek; the camper van toppled off
the road while the driver, compromised
by the extreme weather conditions, poor
visibility and in trying to avoid debris on
the road, had driven too close to the edge.
About 250mm of rain had fallen
in the area, but a report found that
although communications in the area
were troublesome, the co-ordination,
including road closure, occurred in an
orderly and structured manner.
Miss Lam’s body showed severe
trauma, which would be unusual in an
Coroner David Crerar said he was
satisfied by the response of the New
Zealand Transport Agency and by John
Caird that appropriate measures were
“The deaths of Joanna Lam and Connor
Hayes were a result of the tragic coming
together of a number of events, the
absence of anyone of which could have
resulted in a totally different outcome,”
Mr Crerar said.
There was no suggestion the couple
were irresponsible. However, there were
lessons to be learned.
The coroner recommended that
NZTA continue with the review of the
infrastructure needs for communication
on State highway 6. Radio repeater
stations have been placed to ensure
adequate monitoring of the Diana Falls
“NZTA should ensure that, to the
extent practicable, radio communications
are made available to the full length of
State highway 6.”
The coroner also recommended:
A variable message signage board be
installed and maintained at or near Haast
NZTA should continue with and
enhance the existing State highway
emergency procedures and contingency
plans and improve the cross-boundary
co-ordinating procedures which are
already in place.
That physical barriers (gates) be
provided and maintained at the entrance/
exit points of State highway 6.
NZTA consider enhancing the
pamphlet and web advice given to
tourist drivers visiting New Zealand,
emphasising the hazardous weather and
road conditions which could affect our
remote State highway system.
The coroner also noted a submission
from Michael Hayes and Lorraine
Tetreault, on behalf of their family:
“ We have been very touched by the
outpouring of sympathy. We left New
Zealand knowing that no resources or
manpower had been spared in the search.
We feel blessed that Joanna was found.”
Call for large road warning signs to be installed
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