Home' Greymouth Star : March 5th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, March 5, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1778 - Thomas Arne, English composer of
Rule Britannia, dies.
1804 - Martial law declared as NSW Corps
quells Irish uprising at Castle Hill.
1827 - Count Alessandro Giuseppe Volta,
Italian inventor of the first electric battery, dies.
1916 - The Spanish liner Principe
de Asturias strikes a rock off the
coast of Brazil and sinks in minutes,
killing 445 people.
1936 - Britain’s new Spitfire fighter
plane goes on show for the first time.
1946 - Winston Churchill delivers
his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech.
1953 - Death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin
at age 73; Death of Sergei Prokofiev, Russian
composer best known for his orchestral fairytale,
Peter and the Wolf.
1963 - A plane crash near Camden, Tennessee
claims the lives of country music performers
Patsy Cline, “Cowboy ” Copas and “Hawkshaw ”
1966 - British airliner hits Japan’s Mount Fuji,
killing all 124 people aboard.
1982 - US comedian John Belushi, 33, is found
dead of a drug overdose in a rented bungalow in
2013 - Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez
dies of cancer, aged 58.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Rex Harrison, British actor (1908-1990);
Dean Stockwell, US actor (1936-);
Fred Williamson, US actor (1938-
); Eddy Grant, Jamaican singer
(1948-); Andy Gibb, English-born
Australian singer (1958-1988); John
Frusciante, US rock musician of Red
Hot Chili Peppers fame (1970-);
Eva Mendes, US actress (1974-);
Niki Taylor, US model (1975-); Jolene Blalock,
US actress (1975-).
“More tears have been shed over men’s lack of
manners than their lack of morals.” — Helen
Hathaway, American writer (1893-1932).
“But He gives all the more grace; therefore it
says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace
to the humble. ” — ( James 4.6).
the Jackson Bay
crayfishing beds have
claimed a Greymouth
victim. This morning at 7.10am, Muriel,
skippered and owned by Mr R F Shrives,
sank after the crew had battled feverishly with
pumps to relieve inflowing water. The episode
occurred in calm conditions and it is not
known how the leak happened although the
boat is a very old one.
Mr Shrives and his crew, son Harry and Jim
O’Sullivan, were rescued by Westport skipper
Mr Andy Devine and taken on board the
Marilyn, later being landed on the shores of
the bay. The trawler had been fishing in the
area for two months and it is believed the haul
of crayfish was lost with the boat.
Mr Shrives has been fishing in the area for
18 years and it is believed this is the first time
he had ever lost a boat. Harry Shrives’ fishing
career has been a much shorter one.
“He left his job and travelled down to Jackson
Bay to work for his father only a week ago,”
said his mother this morning.
The 13th West Coast Industries Fair opened
in glorious sunshine today at 1pm. Bad weather
in the other main centres could easily have
wrecked the show ’s first day. Organisers were
on tenterhooks until this morning when they
received a phone call from a group of major
entertainers to say they had arrived safely in
Christchurch and would make the fair in time.
Some displays were being finished off just
moments before the fair’s opening, but the
scene at Victoria Park when the first official
patrons of the 1965 fair arrived was one of
gaiety, music, noise and colour.
uFood for thought
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“ What happens now?” The newly-elected
Member for Manuwera, Phil Amos,
still not quite believing that his days as
a secondary school teacher were over,
had rung the Leader of the Opposition,
Arnold Nordmeyer, for guidance.
“ Well,” said Nordy, “we’ ll probably have
a caucus meeting some time in February.
(The conversation was taking place in
November). And since the Nats don’t like
to call the House together too early — far
too many farmers in their caucus, with far
too much to do — things won’t get really
busy around here until about the middle
of the year.”
“ What am I supposed to do until then?”
Phil responded plaintively.
The Labour leader chuckled. “ My
advice, Phil, is to talk to as many people
as possible, and just use the time to get to
know your electorate.”
That is the way it was for a brand new
MP, in a brand new seat, back in 1963.
Fifty years ago New Zealanders held
very different expectations of their
Members of Parliament. Very few people
in 1963 would have considered it either
appropriate, or accurate, to refer to
Members of Parliament as “our employees
in Wellington”. Most voters understood
that they had elected a representative:
someone whose duty it was to reflect,
protect and defend the interests of their
The idea that one’s MP is nothing more
than a glorified civil ser vant: a person
expected to turn up for work every day, do
their “job”, and collect their (excessive) pay,
is a much more recent notion.
In 1963, Parliament was still a deeply
respected institution: a place through
which awestruck schoolchildren were
led by school teachers and guides who
informed them, solemnly, that this was
where the country’s laws were made.
Democracy, itself, was still a highly-
valued and hard-won achievement in
1963. Hardly surprising when, just 20
years earlier, a significant number of MPs,
Phil Amos among them, had been fighting
in North Africa, Italy and throughout the
Pacific for its sur vival.
Perhaps that explains why communities
informed, in 1963, that their Member of
Parliament was coming for a visit felt both
pleased and honoured.
How was that respect so
Partly, it was the work of the baby-
boom generation. Shaped by decades
of post-war affluence and the dramatic
technological innovations that had
fuelled it, the baby-boomers aggressively
challenged the conser vative moral and
political assumptions of their parent ’s
and grandparents’ generations. Artists,
movie directors, television producers and
songwriters grew increasingly impatient
with yesterday ’s values: the times they
Those changing times were stoking
the fears of bankers and businessmen,
who were rapidly coming round to the
view that democracy was getting out of
hand. Politicians were responding to the
demands of workers, women, blacks and
gays in ways that threatened capitalism’s
Their solution, which in New Zealand
went by the name of Rogernomics, was to
take as many of the important economic
decisions as possible out of politicians’
hands and give them to bankers and
businessmen. But, to make this solution
work, it would be necessary to turn a
whole generation of politicians into liars
and cheats. Telling the voters that they
were being stripped of the power that had
made the post-war era such a levelling
experience for the rich and the powerful
was, obviously, out of the question. They
would have to be tricked into giving it up.
The people who copped the blame were,
of course, the politicians. Many of these
were guilty as charged — but some were
not. It was important, therefore, to foster
the notion that politics was an entirely
disreputable profession, to which only
entirely disreputable people were attracted.
Populist media personalities insisted that,
because no politician could be trusted, it
was necessary for them and their readers/
listeners/viewers to keep politicians on the
shortest possible leash.
Members of Parliament were,
accordingly, rebranded as the voters’
“employees”. Every aspect of their lives
was subjected to the closest media
scrutiny, and any failings ruthlessly
exposed. Inevitably, as the public was
increasingly persuaded that all politics
are “dirty politics”, politicians felt obliged
to surrender what remained of their
ancient rights and privileges as political
representatives, and to embrace, instead,
the democratically empty role of political
Many will cheer the Prime Minister’s
decision to align their “employees’” pay
rises with their own. Fewer will ask whose
interests Mr Key is representing.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
MPs: From representatives to employees
When former Auckland Cup winner
Sangster injured his leg last year, it was
not the end of the line for the six-year-
Thanks to people like Gina Schick,
visions conjured by some of former
champions being trucked off to pet
food factories are false.
The Cambridge woman runs Beyond
the Barriers, which educates people
about the use of thoroughbreds retired
from the racing industry as sports
horses — by taking up dressage, show
jumping, or eventing.
She also runs business Event Stars
that retrains and rehomes retired
A few weeks ago, 2013 Auckland Cup
winner Sangster came to her, having
finished racing in October with a leg
injury, and tomorrow he will lead the
field into the Birdcage area at Ellerslie
raceway — where the horses parade
before and after a race — then on to the
track for the Auckland Cup.
Ms Schick says Sangster had been in a
paddock doing very little since October.
“A good horse like that always gets
really well looked after by its owners,
but he’s used to being in a routine every
day and having lots of attention and
being worked — so to sit in a paddock
is reasonably boring when he’s perfectly
capable of having another life.
“ His trainers saw that he was bored
and needed something to do, so they
said ‘right, you’ve got to find a very
special home for this one’ and he was on
Ms Schick says she is working on
retraining the former racer, so she is
not actively looking for a home for him
A good horse such as Sangster will
be given away rather than sold on,
Ms Schick says. “ Then I can be really
fussy about where he goes.” But most
horses are passed on with a small fee —
enough to cover costs such as staffing
Beyond the Barriers is in the process
of being set up as a not-for-profit
organisation to educate people about
the options for ex-race horses.
“They can go on to good, useful,
athletic lives after wards,” she says.
“There’s a real need for it with the
amount of thoroughbreds that retire off
the track, there’s a need to supply post-
racing homes. ”
She says an average thoroughbred
usually races aged between two and
five-years-old, while most sport horses
do not start competing until they are
four or five years old.
In the past seven years, she says, she
has rehomed several thousand race
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Racing stars given
a second life
n his first day as “Mr
Pora”, the 39-year-old
formerly known as
“ Teina Pora convicted
murderer and rapist ”
popped out for a
His boss at the construction site where
Mr Pora is a labourer had given him
the rest of the week off in light of the
momentous news from London. He plans
to enjoy the next few days with friends
Wheke and John and with Channelle and
Benson, his daughter and grandson.
Mr Pora has come a long way since he
was released on parole last April. He has
adjusted to the shock of the cost of an ice
cream cone. He has got his driver’s licence,
a detail he had not bothered with during a
career as a teenage car thief.
The shock of the past 36 hours still
lingers. It was strange and wonderful for
such ugly labels to be stripped from his
name so suddenly after so long, he said at
a gathering to watch Tuesday night’s Privy
Mr Pora baked a banana cake for the
occasion. And he had a beer. Then, near
midnight after the excitement eased, he
quietly said, “I believed it would happen
For a shy man the spotlight was too
much, even though he had been told an
hour ahead of the news. He stood apart
on the deck wearing sunglasses to shield
his eyes, as the law lords delivered their
A while later he said something had
happened to him 11 years ago, halfway
through his time in Auckland Prison at
Paremoremo. He is a Christian now but
not in a preachy way, he said. He had
settled into a confidence that one day,
things would work out.
Three short sentences from a man for
whom words do not come easily and had
not ser ved well. He was twice convicted of
the rape and murder of Susan Burdett on
the basis of suspect confessions. The Privy
Council accepted expert evidence that he
is mentally impaired due to foetal alcohol
spectrum disorder and those confessions
cannot be relied upon.
Most well-known New Zealand
miscarriages of justice have a champion.
Tim McKinnel arrived at Mr Pora’s
cell door in 2009. “ We were both fairly
suspicious of each other to begin with,”
he recalled yesterday. As a detective in
South Auckland he had been shocked
by the heated discussions among senior
staff about whether Mr Pora was wrongly
convicted. As a private investigator he
studied the hallmarks of miscarriages for
a criminology degree and saw them in Mr
“ We were the same age. I knew
South Auckland. Conversation flowed.
Eventually we talked about the case and
he agreed to let me have a look at it. I later
learned that he didn’t think he’d hear from
Mr Pora saw plenty of Mr McKinnel
during the next five and half years. He
made the drive from his Hawke’s Bay
home to Auckland more than 50 times,
leaving wife Megan, a forensic scientist,
and their three young children. With
lawyers Jonathan Krebs, and Ingrid Squire
of Hastings firm Gifford Devine, they
have racked up several thousand hours, a
good proportion unpaid. They have earned
worry lines. Mr McKinnel has seethed
over the process of extracting information
from the police. He refers to the tools at
their disposal — the Official Information
Act and the Privacy Act — as “ blunt
instruments”. All but the inter viewing
policeman’s name on one lengthy
document was blacked out before it was
Information about the person whose
semen was found at the murder scene
was routinely rejected on the grounds
of privacy. They sued the police twice to
get information released. The content of
hundreds of pages of documents is still a
mystery to them.
A decision about a retrial is more than
a month away, there is likely then to be
the question of compensation but for the
investigator and the lawyers overturning
the convictions feels like the summit has
been reached. They are exhausted and
“ It has all worked out well but it has
not been easy,” said Mr Krebs. The system
had finally worked for Mr Pora but the
time was right
for a criminal
look into cases
like Mr Pora’s.
be a process. ”
He figures that
if 1% of serious
Mr Pora is
the one Mr
met at Paremoremo. “In many ways he
was like a child. On his first home leaves,
straightfor ward things were amazing to
He is fit, works long hours and had “a
pretty active social life”.
Mr Krebs: “He’s become quite
independent. He has been in a cotton
wool environment (due to parole
conditions) but they have gradually been
relaxed. He’s now got his driver’s licence. ”
And he’s learned to bake. The banana cake
he made on Tuesday tasted sweet.
A brutal murder, a fight for freedom:
Teina Pora timeline
March 23, 1992: Susan Burdett raped
and murdered in her home in south
March 23, 1993: Teina Pora charged
with burglary, sexual violation and murder.
June, 1994: Pora convicted as a party
to the rape and murder on the basis of
confessions he made. Sentenced to life in
May, 1996: Rewa arrested after attacking
a young woman in the inner Auckland
suburb of Remuera, DNA from Rewa’s
father found to match semen from Burdett
1998: Rewa eventually convicted of the
rape of 27 women, including Ms Burdett
but two juries fail to reach a verdict on
May 30, 1998: In 1998 Rewa was
convicted on multiple sex charges dating
back to 1987 and sentenced to preventive
detention with a minimum non-parole
period of 22 years. He was convicted
of the rape of Ms Burdett the following
1999: Court of Appeal quashed Pora’s
convictions as a result of the DNA
evidence implicating Rewa and evidence
that Rewa acted alone.
June, 2000: Pora was again convicted at
his retrial, based on his confessions and
witnesses, some of whom it later emerged
were paid. His appeal to the Court of
Appeal was dismissed.
September, 2009: Private investigator
and former police detective Tim
McKinnel visits Pora in prison and is
given permission to make inquiries on
September, 2011: Pora team file notice
of application for the Royal Prerogative of
Mercy but two years later are granted an
appeal to the Privy Council.
May, 2012: Police’s criminal profiling
expert goes public in Herald with view
Pora not involved; Pora’s team sue police
claiming it is unlawfully withholding
evidence, Ms Burdett ’s brother says Pora
February, 2013: It is revealed police paid
some prosecution witnesses.
August, 2013: The Police Association
call for an independent inquiry into Pora’s
April, 2014: Pora granted parole at his
13th appearance before the board and
after spending 21 years in jail.
November, 2014: Five-member Privy
Council panel hears appeal.
March 3, 2015: Privy Council quash
— New Zealand Herald
Meet Teina Pora
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Pora enjoys time with friends and family after the Privy Council decision.
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