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SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
West Coast murder cold case
WEST COAST FEATURE
Tai Poutini Polytechnic says it
hopes the arrival of two temporary
professors will help raise its
“academic profile”. A report to the
polytechnic council this week said
Dr Susan Laing and Professor
Chris Kissling would be joining the
institution as adjunct professors.
The appointment referred to
academics with significant personal
achievements who were after
a limited appointment to help
advance their own career. Dr Laing
will be joining the polytechnic from
Edinburgh Napier University, in
Scotland, while Prof Kissling, was
formerly been based at Lincoln
University. Polytechnic chief
executive Allan Sargison said
the appointments would give Tai
Poutini Polytechnic a “degree of
academic profile and recognition
without necessarily employing full-
time professors, which we couldn’t
The dry spell that West Coast has
been enjoying is drawing to a close.
The Metser vice said this morning a
slow-moving front would move on
to southern Westland today, before
weakening. Heavy rain is expected
with 60 to 100mm. Most of the bad
weather is expected to be south of
Fox Glacier, though some should
make it further north.
Britain’s cheeriest lollipop man
has been banned from dancing and
giving ‘high fives’ to schoolchildren.
Council bosses have ordered
Nkosana Mdikane, 74, to stay still
so motorists can see him, despite
his merry singing and dancing
brightening the mornings of
hundreds of pupils and parents.
Mr Mdikane was previously hailed
by West Dunbartonshire Council
for his ‘excellent ser vice’ outside
Aitkenbar Primary School in
Dumbarton. But now the local
authority have told him that all
lollipop men must “remain static
with one hand on their stick and the
other stretched outwards”.
— Daily Mail
Rain or drizzle, light winds
Rolleston ramps up opposition to 1080 factory
Rolleston residents are doing a
leaflet drop as they continue to lobby
councils and the Government to stop
a proposed 1080 poison plant — half
owned by the West Coast Regional
Council — from being built on their
The regional council has invested
$1.9 million in the factory, but kept
that secret for 18 months.
Jonathan Scott, who set up the
1080-Free Rolleston Facebook page,
said letters of concern and requests
for progress information on the
factory were being fielded by the
Selwyn District Council.
“D ue to the surprising admission
from some residents indicating they
haven’t heard about the factory, the
group organised a leaflet drop in the
community,” Mr Scott said.
The Selwyn council had suggested
the resource consent assessment for
the factory would take place this
The leaflet to be distributed says
the factory will be located close to
the main stockwater drain, which
runs along Halketts Road, past the
iZone industrial park, Rolleston
Primary School and on to the dog
It asks people to sign the petition
opposing the factory. That will then
be presented to the Government,
Selwyn and West Coast councils.
It also asks residents to write to
the Environment Minister Nick
Smith, or the factory owners — Pest
Control Research Ltd and the West
Coast Regional Council — asking
them to allow public notification of
“ If they have nothing to hide, surely
public support is a good thing?” Mr
A Greymouth mum is tired
of being judged and harassed
for parking in mobility car
parks around town — with her
Katrina Stewart is not disabled,
but her son Ruben is and Mrs
Stewart has had enough of
people turning up their noses
at her when she parks in the
disability parks, sometimes with
the kayak on the roof.
“I am obviously an able-bodied
person, but I am entitled to use
the mobility parking, because
I have a disabled child,” Mrs
The snide comments thrown
her way when she does make
use of the parking spots have
included accusations of being
She said she was tired of
having to explain herself to
people who questioned her right
to park there.
“ I have a mobility sticker on
my car windscreen, that an
elderly lady even looked for one
day. I have now stuck it to my
window so it can be seen more
While it annoyed her that
people always appeared to be
challenging her, she said she just
wanted people to know she was
doing it legally.
She also reminded people that
it was not always the driver who
had the disability, as in her case.
“One day, Ruben will walk
and I won’t have to use those
parks, and I am certainly looking
for ward to that day.”
Ruben has a chromosomal
condition since birth and is the
only child in New Zealand with
the diagnosis. Doctors told the
Stewarts they did not know if
he would ever walk or talk, but
after an operation on his foot he
is now at least able to stand and
get around with his specially
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Katrina Stewart and her two-year-old son Ruben parked in a disabled car park in Albert Street, Greymouth, to the chagrin of some
on wheels has moved from
Greymouth to Westport, but
bigger changes could be afoot if
hospital meals are centralised to
the big cities.
According to West Coast
District Health Board meeting
papers the Westport home-based
support co-ordinator had the
capacity to also co-ordinate meals
on wheels, so that task had now
moved to Buller.
company Health Benefits Ltd
had put a business case for a
national food service contract to
be considered by all DHBs “and
meals on wheels is included in
“No decisions have been made
Although co-ordination of the
meals had moved to Westport,
they were still cooked in the
kitchen at Grey Base Hospital.
“There is no change from the
point of view of clients, and all
recipients of the service have been
sent a letter to inform them of the
change,” she said.
Coleman said in November that
Health Benefits Ltd would be
wound down. It says it has made
$300 million in savings since it
The company developed business
cases for the DHBs’ procurement,
laundry, food and IT ser vices, and
the Government wanted to move
to the implementation stage.
DHBs will instead lead the
Meals on Wheels change signalled
Mobility parking dilemma
Ben Aulakh and Brendon McMahon
Police have defended a tourist driver who
was punched in the face yesterday after being
pulled over by another motorist, one of three
tourist-driver incidents on the West Coast.
The Greymouth assault took place not long
before a car with four Chinese tourists plunged
20m into the river at Whataroa, and some
Germans ran off the road near Waiuta.
Yesterday’s assault occurred when a motorist
signalled for the tourist driver in Greymouth
to pull over, then punched him in the face and
removed the keys from his car.
Police said the tourist had been driving a
white Toyota rental car on Main South Road
near the Australasian about 11.40am when the
motorist in a silver sedan signalled for him to
stop, then attacked him.
The victim suffered bruising to his eye, and
he and his female passenger were left shaken.
road policing Assistant
Commissioner Dave Cliff defended the tourist
driver’s actions, and said yesterday ’s incident
was a “nasty assault” committed for no reason
at all. The tourist had simply moved to the right
of the road and then back to the left on the
urban street. “It was a really innocuous incident
in terms of driving that was not unsafe ... There
was nothing in terms of dangerous driving.”
Police were today unable to provide any
updates on whether they had captured the
assailant, after being called out to an unrelated
incident at 4am.
Shortly after the incident, four Chinese
tourists made a lucky escape after their rented
four-wheel-drive came off a gravel road near
Whataroa and plunged into the river. The
tourists were forced to swim for their lives to
escape the almost submerged vehicle.
Franz Josef Glacier police constable Bill
Parker said the tourists, who were booked into
accommodation in Franz Josef Glacier, had
headed down the road to have a look around,
and were on their way back to Franz Josef
when the accident happened.
He said the car had remained in the river, as
it had been washed into a deeper hole, and it
would have been too dangerous to get it out.
Mr Parker said that all four occupants of the
vehicle escaped without serious injury, though
one womsn had some glass in her arm, as well
as gravel rash.
“They are still on holiday and they are trying
to enjoy it, and I am keeping them informed of
what ’s happening with their vehicle.”
About the same time, a German tourist
suffered a badly broken leg after a vehicle
crashed on the Waiuta road shortly after noon
The Ikamatua Volunteer Fire Brigade was
called to the crash scene, about halfway
between Blackwater and the abandoned town
of Waiuta, about 12.20pm.
Ikamatua deputy fire chief Darryl Lawson
said the car with its three German tourist
occupants had landed upside down in
Blackwater Creek below the narrow gravel
road. Initially the use of lines rescue equipment
was considered, but in the event three people
were brought out by foot, Mr Lawson said.
“Access was difficult.”
Brigade members had to carry the car’s
occupants up the creek and on to the road so
they could be collected by rescue helicopter,
Mr Lawson said.
NZCC Rescue Helicopter pilot Angus
Taylor said the tourist suffered a broken femur,
as well as a compound fracture to the lower leg,
and was taken to Christchurch hospital.
The Greymouth incident comes after new
figures this week showed the West Coast had
the worst record in the country for serious road
incidents involving foreign drivers in the past
five years — 37% between 2009 and 2013.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said
there was a “definite issue” with tourists driving
on the wrong side of the road, and he had seen
three such incidents in the recent past.
However, he was concerned that “extremist
behaviour” from New Zealand drivers was
becoming a trend, adding the actions of the
man involved in yesterday’s incident were
“disgraceful” and “inappropriate”.
Eight people have died in tourist crashes
in the past fortnight — and the number of
incidents climbed again yesterday.
additional reporting New Zealand Herald
Two tourists crashes in one afternoon
Police were called to a Greymouth
address in the early hours of this
morning after a man was stabbed.
Greymouth police senior sergeant
Phil Barker said they were called
after a man was stabbed with a
bottle, about 4am. Mr Barker said
he believed the man’s injuries were
not life threatening.
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