Home' Greymouth Star : February 25th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, February 25, 2015
of the Wairarapa Times-Age
The proposal for a Super City has largely
been rejected by residents across the
Wellington region including Wairarapa,
according to a new survey, and it is
“doomed to fail” if put to a referendum.
Wellington City Council commissioned
a Nielsen survey to guide its submission
to the L ocal Government Commission,
which is proposing to merge all nine
councils into one and establish eight local
The sur vey was done earlier this month
and sampled 1000 people in all affected
It found support for the proposal was
“very weak at just 26%”.
Support was weakest in Wairarapa at
17% and the Hutt Valley at 18%, and
higher in Porirua and Kapiti, at 29% and
Wellington at 30%.
Based on the results, if a referendum
was held now, 61% would oppose the
proposal, 26% would support it and 14%
This could signal a blow for the LGC
which under legislation, has to be satisfied
that it has “demonstrable support” in
each affected area in order to issue a final
The threshold in a referendum to secure
change has to be more than 50% across all
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown
said the survey showed substantial
opposition to the proposal, and it
was doomed to fail if it was put to a
“This is a robust sur vey and the results
are very clear: there is very little appetite
among residents in the Wellington region
to the Makara-to-Masterton model ... the
commission’s model promotes a two-tier
structure that encourages friction rather
than a streamlined approach.
“ Wairarapa and Hutt Valley residents
are fiercely protective of their sense
of place, and across the whole region
the public are very wary of the current
In the council’s submission, which it is
to discuss today, it said there was a case
for change but people didn’t support the
proposed model, due to its limitations.
“The limitations are that it combines
a number of separate communities of
interest, it is one of the least efficient
models the LGC considered practicable,
there are serious questions in relation
to how effective the ‘shared governance’
model actually is, and with its two-tier
structure, the model blurs access to and
accountability of elected members. While
we support the use of referendum to
determine change, we believe it would be
a waste of resources to hold a referendum
on the current proposal because the result
will be clearly negative.”
It said there was no guarantee
local boards would have significant
responsibility over local matters because
it would be up to the new council to
determine the responsibilities and
budgets of the boards.
It also said Wairarapa’s dependence on
the rest of the region and the argument
that it couldn’t go it alone, was overstated.
It questioned how the LGC came to
consider Wairarapa as having the highest
rates in the region, when it used a rates
per resident calculation.
“ Wairarapa has 15% absentee landlords
(due to holiday houses) that artificially
inflates the rates position.”
Ms Wade-Brown said the survey also
showed an alternative model, with a
separate Wairarapa council, would have
A man who raped a 16-year-old girl in the
Dunedin library car park after befriending
her on Facebook while they were in the
library, has been sentenced to nine years and
two months’ jail.
David Michael Witchall, 25, was convicted
of sexually violating the girl by rape, sexually
grooming four younger teenage girls, two
charges of indecent assault and one of doing
an indecent act — all at Dunedin.
“This offending was pre-meditated,
demeaning and persistent. It went on and on.
All of the victims were young, vulnerable and
not experienced in the ways of the world,’’ he
“They are now scared and less trusting of
people, particularly men. They feel shame
and embarrassment and that it was their
fault when it was not at all.’’
Given a “three strikes’’ warning on the
rape and indecency charges, Witchall was
sentenced in the D unedin District Court to
jail with a with a five-year minimum non-
The court heard the 16-year-old victim and
two 15-year-old female associates were at
the Dunedin public library on July 26 last
year and met a 16-year-old male associate.
Witchall was a friend of the male and had
told him he was 17.
The male introduced Witchall to the
females and Witchall was told their ages.
In the library, the group used public
access computers to check social media
sites. Witchall became a Facebook friend
of the victim and started to engage her in
conversation, telling her she was attractive.
When the group went outside and Witchall
tried to hug the victim, she resisted. He
became angry and she became scared.
Witchall coerced her into going with him
to the library car park, saying he wanted to
show her something.
As they walked down the stairs, he grabbed
her wrist, led her into a corner and positioned
himself preventing her from leaving. She
asked to leave and tried to push past but was
unable to free herself.
Witchall said he would not let her leave
until they had had sex. He then raped her.
Afterwards, he spent several hours with the
victim and her associates and told them he
had had sex with her.
Three of the sexual grooming victims were
aged 14, and the other 15.
The 15-year-old victim was one of the girls
Witchall met in the library on July 26.
He obtained her cell phone number and
became a Facebook friend, and after texting
her about sexual activity, he persuaded her to
meet him in the evening.
On August 4, he met her at the library and
indecently assaulted her in an aisle.
He tried to get her to go to the toilets
for sexual intercourse. But she was able to
distract him and seek refuge.
After obtaining the cell phone numbers
of the three 14-year-old victims, and aware
of how old they were, Witchall texted them
telling them he loved them and trying to
persuade each to meet him at parks or school
He became involved in a relationship with
the first victim and continued to text her,
continually asking to meet for sex.
They met at a school ground, about 9.45pm
on May 24, and he indecently assaulted her.
He began texting the second victim on June
22 and persuaded her to meet him at another
school ground. She arrived with a friend and
he tried to kiss her and put his hands around
her waist and pull her towards him.
He persuaded her to go out of sight of her
friend. She told him she did not want sex
with him and left with her friend.
After texts to the third 14-year-old victim,
Witchall went to her school on July 29.
At his request, she became truant and
spent several hours with him at a park. He
attempted to get physically close to her and
to embrace her.
When she learned he was 25 and ended the
relationship, he denied his age.
Rung by the victim’s caregiver and told
to leave the girl alone, Witchall abused the
Crown counsel Craig Power said the
Dunedin offending began just 10 days after
Witchall was released from prison.
The presentence report described him as
emotionally detached from his offending.
Assessment of him being at high risk of re-
offending was “realistic’’.
Public defender Campbell Savage said
Witchall knew he was going to have to
take a serious look at himself and have
rehabilitation treatment through the penal
Witchall was also being dealt with on
convictions for three other admitted
offences — assaulting a fellow prisoner at
Christchurch Men’s Prison with intent to
injure him, on April 23; breaching a prison
release condition in failing to report to
probation, on September 11; and failing to
attend court at Christchurch, on August 18.
His prison term is made up of concurrent
sentences as follows: sexual violation, nine
years and two months; sexual grooming, two
years; indecent assault and doing an indecent
act, one year and eight months; assault with
intent to injure, one year and two months;
breaching a prison release condition, three
months; and failing to attend court, one
month. — Otago Daily Times
The watchdog tasked
with overseeing the
country ’s spy agencies
says it is not yet
possible to say they have
adequate systems in
place to ensure correct
The annual report by
Intelligence and Security
Cheryl Gwyn has been
tabled in Parliament by
Prime Minister John
Ms Gwyn has powers
allowing her to access
all premises and
documents of the
intelligence and security
agencies, and to require
the appearance of
witnesses under oath.
Her annual report
must also outline an
assessment of the
of the intelligence
agencies, and comes
after revelations of
illegal spying on New
However, Ms Gwyn
said today it was
not yet possible to
give assurances that
the two agencies
“D ue to my limited
time in the role and
the office during the
reporting year, I am not
yet able to certify that
either the NZSIS (the
New Zealand Security
Intelligence Ser vice) or
Security Bureau) has
overall systems that are
“That does not
necessarily mean the
compliance systems are
“ While I am not able
at this stage to certify
the agencies’ compliance,
I am encouraged by the
made by the GCSB
following the Kitteridge
“The GCSB has
organisational focus to
“D uring the reporting
period, the NZSIS did
not have an overall
or dedicated compliance
and audit staff.
“However, the current
director has recently
appointed a compliance
advisor and made clear
her intention to have a
focus on compliance
matters, and I expect
that progress will be
made in the current
Ms Gwyn, an
took over the job of
May last year.
Her office has a larger,
more proactive role as
a result of GCSB
reforms passed into law
The reforms increased
the scope and resourcing
of the oversight regime,
and came after a report
by former Cabinet
Kitteridge that found
dozens of people could
have been spied on
Edward Snowden about
by the American-led
Five Eyes spy system, of
which New Zealand is a
member, have kept the
spotlight on the activities
of intelligence agencies.
The annual report
released yesterday covers
the period July 1, 2013
to June 30 last year.
Ms Gwyn said she
expected the report for
2014-15 to be more
“ My office is now well
positioned to carry out a
full programme of audit
and review that is critical
to effective oversight, in
addition to strengthened
inquiry and complaints
Green Party security
said the annual report
exposed “big holes” in
spy oversight, including
that the NZSIS had
no internal audit
“The SIS can’t
be trusted to audit
strengthens the case for
oversight of the spy
agencies,” Dr Graham
“The SIS and GCSB
need rigorous oversight
by a proper Parliament
Select Committee, as
the Green Party has
repeatedly called for.”
Dr Graham said the
annual report was a “get
out of jail free card”
for the agencies, as the
been unable to carry out
her necessary oversight.
Man who raped teen in library car park jailed
Opuha Water will turn off the taps to
irrigators today as drought conditions
bite deeper in South Canterbury.
The Opuha Dam ser ves 250 farmer-
shareholders, who have 16,000ha under
“ We have reached the bottom of the
bucket,” Opuha Water chief executive
Tony McCormick said in a circular to
By today the lake will be at 371m with
a little under 1.5% storage remaining, he
As part of an agreement to reduce
the minimum Opihi river flows in
early February, Opuha Water will cease
irrigation and the last remaining storage
will be used to try to keep the river
flowing for the next 10 to 12 days, he
The lake level is falling at just over
1-2% a day, he said.
“There have been several small rain
events in the area over the last fortnight
but they have had very little effect on
inflows to the dam and in the catchment
generally,” Mr McCormick said.
On February 12, Primary Industries
Minister Nathan Guy officially declared
the drought conditions on the east coast
of the South Island as a “medium-scale
adverse event ”.
The declaration covered parts of Otago,
Canterbury and the Marlborough
District and enabled extra government
funding to be made available to Rural
Support Trusts which work closely with
farmers, providing support and guidance.
The Government is also keeping a very
close eye on Wairarapa and southern
Hawke’s Bay which are also suffering
from very dry conditions.
Opuha Waters turns
off taps as Canterbury
drought bites deeper
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