Home' Greymouth Star : March 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, March 12, 2015
Dogs on leash in
Cobden sanctuar y
All dogs will be required to be on a
leash in the Cobden Aromahana eco-
sanctuary as part of proposed changes
under the Grey District Council’s
dog control bylaw. On Monday,
the council agreed to seek public
feedback on its dog control bylaw.
The main changes are that all dogs
will be required to be on a leash in
the Cobden Aromahana recreational
area. Meanwhile, the exercise area
at Nelson Quay has been added to
the bylaw juristiction and the corner
of Ward and Hall Street has been
removed from the prohibited list.
Safety mats for
Taramakau bridge in May
Safety mats for the Taramakau
Bridge are not scheduled to be
installed until May. A Kiwi Rail
spokesman said they had finalised
the design with the manufacturer and
expected to have them installed during
Jackie Thomas to
release new single
Greymouth starlet Jackie Thomas is
hoping to step back into the spotlight,
after a break from her X Factor stint,
with the release of a new single Until
the Last Goodbye. Thomas has kept
herself busy since her 2013 X Factor
win, opening for Olly Murs and
writing new songs. The new song is
her first since her chart topping debut
single It’s Worth It. She will perform
the song live on X Factor on
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals: Jay
Elaine. Departures: Cook Canyon,
Garraway. In port: Jay Elaine, 16
other vessels. Expected departures: Jay
Elaine, today. Expected arrivals: Nil.
Gloriavale Christian Community
has responded to accusations by
a family who walked out at the
weekend claiming they were living
in a “false system”, by saying that
“no one is here against their will”.
James and Hope Ben Canaan
and their 12 children left the
Haupiri religious commune at the
They are now staying with a
family 300km away in Timaru
and setting about reintegrating
Yesterday, Gloriavale said it
was “entirely their choice” to
“If they want to go and live in
Timaru, well, that ’s their choice
and that ’s what they need to do.
No one is here against their will.
We only want people who want to
be here,” said Fer vent Stedfast, a
community brother who has been
a Cooperite since 1970.
“ We’re here simply and entirely
because we want to be here.
“If you decide to change your
house, or change your religion or
job, that is your choice, and you do
it. Somehow or other when we do
that ... it puts us in the news.”
Mr Stedfast would not discuss
details of what led to the Ben
Canaan’s sudden departure.
The family arrived in Timaru at
When word of their bold
move went around the South
Canterbury town on Monday,
donations soon began flooding in.
The family are said to have been
“ blown away ” by the generosity
of the local community after
being gifted clothes, furniture,
household goods, books and toys.
Supporters are no longer going
ahead with plans for a Givealittle
However, Mr Ben Canaan,
who managed Gloriavale’s self-
sufficient dairy farm for 20 years,
is seeking a job.
Liz Gregory, who is putting up
the family, said the family have
been “hugely courageous”.
“This family came to believe that
they were in a false system and
have left 500 of their family and
friends — the only ones they ’ve
ever known,” she said.
“They are feeling blessed, but are
aware of the road ahead of them.
“It’s a huge deal for them to stop
wearing their community clothes
and so they are going to transition
The Ben Canaans yesterday
thanked the Marchwiel Reformed
Baptist Church and wider Timaru
community for helping them
reintegrate back into society.
“It’s been quite over whelming
and we offer our sincere thanks
to everyone involved,” said a
statement released by the family.
“At this time we are requesting
privacy so that we can settle into
our new lives.”
Christian Community, which
currently has more than 500
members, was founded in 1969.
It relocated from its original
site at Cust near Rangiora, where
it was known as the Springbank
Christian Community, to Haupiri
in 1991. — NZME
The artworks are up and awaiting bids as part
of the Left Bank Art Gallery’s silent auction
The auction features 40 artworks which people
can bid for by writing their name and bid; each
bid must be higher than the last. The silent auction
ends on March 21, when a live auction will be held
for a further 10 pieces up for sale.
West Coast Society of Arts vice-chairwoman
Colleen Eason said they had work of renowned
artists such as Olivia Spencer Bower, which she
expected should attract national interest. One
piece by Wallace Award winner James Robinson
was valued at $6000.
Funds raised will go to the art society.
Ms Eason said the artworks were a combination
of works acquired by the gallery and those gifted
by artists. Work by local artists also featured
among the items on auction.
The live auction will be a full evening event, with
auctioneer, jazz band and refreshments. Tickets to
the live auction are $10.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Left Bank Art Gallery assistant Maxine Morgan fills out a form as part of the silent auction
currently on at the gallery.
Ar t gallery holds silent auction
‘No one is here against their will’
ANZ Bank will hold a series of informative
business workshops on the West Coast next week
to help local businesses grow sales and increase their
Regional business training manager Stephen
Caunter will be in Hokitika, Westport and
“Numbers are looking really good so far. I think
it shows that owners are really keen to look at new
ways of growing their businesses and strengthening
their financial situation,” Mr Caunter said.
Those attending will have the opportunity in
the workshop to explore ways of expanding and
developing their business, focusing on growth
strategies, while those wanting to learn more about
the financial side of their operation will pick up tips
from the financial health check workshop.
ANZ West Coast business banking manager
Bridget Kavanagh said those who had attended in
the past loved the tools and insights, and the positive
impacts that strategies from the workshops had had
on their businesses.
“And on top of the workshops we’ve got an
experienced business banking team, with four local
staff available to assist business owners with making
their operations stronger.”
‘ How to do a financial check on your business’,
which is free to business owners and key personnel,
will be held next Wednesday, March 18 at the Paroa
‘ How to develop a growth strategy ’ is set for
Tuesday, March 17 at St John Hokitika, or the next
day in Westport.
People can register with the ANZ.
Workshops to help local businesses grow
State-owned coalminer Solid
Energy is preparing for more
redundancies at its Stockton
mine, near Westport, as slumping
global prices for coking coal
threaten its long-term viability
and force it anew into talks
with its banks to restructure its
Plans under way to stem those
losses were in preparation and
“reductions will be inevitable
on the basis of those plans,”
chief executive Dan Clifford
told Parliament ’s finance and
expenditure select committee
yesterday at the company’s annual
Staff were being kept informed
of the company ’s difficulties and
decisions were “not a matter of
days or of double digit months,”
In an hour-long grilling by
MPs, acting chairman Andy
Coupe would not speculate on
whether the company might fail,
but said there were “a number of
potential outcomes” from current
discussions with its banking
consortium and that Solid
Energy was “expecting no further
support from the Crown.”
Finance Minister Bill English
on Tuesday questioned whether
Clifford told the committee
the company was running $30
million ahead of plan on a cash
operating basis, thanks to cost-
which had rendered it “neutral or
slightly negative” on an earnings
before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation basis, compared
with negative Ebitda forecasts
However, a substantial full-year
statutory loss is still forecast and
Coupe confirmed the board had
sought advice, but had made no
decisions, on options to sell parts
of the business.
The North and South Island
domestic thermal coal operations
were profitable and capable
of sale, although they had
constrained growth potential
because there was no growth in
demand for coal in New Zealand
and imported coal competed
with local product.
“The export business would
be the most difficult,” said
Coupe, who said that indicative
valuations for the parts of the
business had been sought, but
that no sale agent had been
appointed. Solid Energy has said
it risks breaching its banking
covenants in September 2016
“There are no immediate
cashflow problems and marginally
positive equity,” Coupe said.
“But it’s unlikely to be enough
to overcome the September
2016 issues. My view is that we
cannot see the refinancing of our
debt facilities is realistic absent a
restructure of our liabilities.”
The Government helped bail
out Solid Energy in 2013 with
$130m of preference shares and
a funding line for operations in
a deal that saw taxpayers treated
as secured creditors and forced
banks lending to Solid Energy to
take a $75m collective writedown
and become unsecured creditors
of a company that lost $517m in
the previous two years after global
coal prices fell dramatically.
That exposed the fragility
created by heavy, debt-backed
investment in experimental
new fuels, none of which were
profitable and all of which have
now been closed or sold. Just
ahead of the general election last
September, the government also
extended a $103m indemnity to
Solid Energy to cover the cost of
remediating mining sites in the
event they were abandoned, to
shore up its balance sheet further.
However, ongoing poor trading
conditions saw Solid Energy
announce on February 27 it
risked breaching its banking
covenants in 2016, based on
current forecasts of coal prices
and commercial performance,
and a need to engage again with
its bankers on a restructuring.
That announcement came three
days after the sudden resignation
of the previous chairwoman, Pip
Coupe said restructuring and
cost-cutting had reduced Solid
Energy’s breakeven price for
coking coal by around $US20 per
tonne to between $120 and $130
per tonne. However, coking coal
is currently selling at $103 per
tonne on global markets and the
company is basing its plans on a
price in the year ahead of $110 a
tonne. — NZME
Solid Energy preparing for
more Stockton redundancies
A Kotuku man who went on
to smash up the car he claims
had nearly hit his home, was
yesterday remanded on bail to
May 19 for sentence on charges
of possession of a weapon,
cultivation and possession
of cannabis and intentional
The Greymouth District Court
heard yesterday that Jeffrey
Alan Skafer, 61, was at home on
February 15 when a vehicle sped
by, narrowly missing his house.
Skafer took a golf club, axe,
knife and walking stick and
drove to the house of the person
he thought was responsible.
He yelled at a woman outside
the house, and threatened her,
before she fled into the property
and locked the door. He then
went into a shed and broke the
rear tail lights, front windscreen
and passenger side front window
of a car in the shed with the golf
club, breaking it in the process.
Once Skafer had left, the
woman called the police, who
visited Skafer at home. A search
of his house turned up 2.3g of
dried cannabis in a silver box,
10g of cannabis in a cupboard,
as well as 22 cannabis plant in
Behind a false wall in the shed
there were 14 containers of
freshly cut drugs, alongside 14
cut plants in plastic bags.
Skafer told police the near-
accident had made him angry.
Explaining the cannabis,
he said he used the drugs for
Riley Jordan McMillan was
convicted and ordered to come
up for sentence within 12
months and fined $250 for wilful
damage, two charges of resisting
police and disorderly behaviour.
When McMillan got home
early on New Year’s Day he
started to shout abuse outside
his house. He then tried to drive
his car but, after being restrained
by his father, he continued to
When the police were called
McMillan had to be taken
to the ground in order to be
Judge Raoul Neave said
McMillan’s offending was “rude
“ You spent a night in the
cells, which I hope, literally
and figuratively, was a sobering
experience for you.”
A Kumara man who drove in
to the back of a car belonging to
a policeman’s wife was convicted
and fined $1000 for careless
On December 22, Norman
James Preston was driving
a company vehicle on State
highway 73 at Kumara when the
vehicle in front of him slowed
down to turn, and indicated.
However, Preston failed to
stop in time and crashed into
the back of the car, severely
damaging both cars in the
Preston told police he had
looked up and saw the car in
front of him, but had not had
time to stop.
Judge Neave said Preston had
been lucky he had not been
charged with dangerous driving.
“If you had been a tourist
driver you probably would have
been,” he judge said.
Kotuku man attacks car he
claims nearly hit his home
A 44-year-old Westport man who pleaded
guilty to possessing child pornography was
convicted and sentenced to two months’
home detention and 250 hours of community
ser vice in Westport District Court yesterday.
The man, who was granted name suppression
for a further six months, was charged with
six counts of possessing objectionable
publications on March 8 last year.
Judge Raoul Neave said the images found
on the man’s computer were disturbing and
Most of the images were in the “ less serious”
Many were of young girls, some of whom
were engaged in sexual situations with older
men. Others involved animals and defecation.
There was no suggestion that the images had
been created or distributed by the defendant,
Judge Neave said.
Defending, Doug Taffs said the man had
found the child pornography on the internet
and developed an unhealthy attraction to it.
The material was discovered by the man’s
wife, who immediately alerted police. She
was upset and shocked and felt the need to
protect their children, Mr Taffs said.
Since the offending, the man had undergone
counselling and remained employed. He had
shown genuine remorse for what he had
A report by a probation officer indicated he
was at a “ low-risk” of re-offending, Mr Taffs
said. The offending was an isolated event and
was limited to the personal computer.
Mr Taffs asked Judge Neave to give the
man a shorter home detention or community
detention sentence because he still needed to
work to pay the mortgage on the house his
ex-wife and children lived in.
Judge Neave said his level of offending
warranted a “ high-level” community-based
sentence but, given the circumstances,
community detention may not be appropriate.
Instead he sentenced the man to two months’
home detention and 250 hours of community
ser vice. He said the man had no relevant
prior convictions. — Westport News
Home detention for possessing child pornography
Matthew O wen Fisher was convicted
and fined $500 in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday after he admitted
On February 4, Fisher drove in Lyttelton,
where he was stopped by police. After he
failed a breath test he tried to walk away
When an officer tried to restrain him
Fisher turned around and struck the
police offic e r.
Fisher then told police he had not
wanted to get caught with drugs on him
as he was trying to get his skipper’s ticket.
Raewyn Taipari was convicted and
ordered to pay a $250 emotional harm
repayment for assault.
On August 25, Taipari and her partner
were out celebrating a birthday, but when
they got home they began to argue, during
which Taipari hit the victim in the face.
Luke Allan Dietrich was fined $630 for
An arrest warrant was issued for
Veanna Christine Payne, 30, of Cobden,
after she failed to appear at court on
a charge of stealing a $650 trailer
between May 9 and July 8. A warrant
was also issued for the arrest of Timothy
Black, 17, of Cobden, for not appearing
at court on a charge of assault on
Laurence Moana Waiwai was remanded
to April 14 for assaulting a female.
Andrew Potae Mackie was also
remanded to April 14 for theft and breach
of his court release conditions.
A Cobden man who tried to steal a boat
narrowly avoided prison when he was
sentenced in the Greymouth District Court
Michael David Ross, 33, was instead given
six months’ home detention for a Christchurch
The court heard that Ross had been with a
friend when he tried to gain access to a shed.
When the pair were unable to get into the
shed, having come across a boat in a driveway,
they unlatched the cover on the boat, but were
disturbed while trying to unscrew the outboard
motor by a person in the nearby house.
When questioned by police, Ross said he
had been looking at the boat because he was
looking to buy one.
Judge Raoul Neave said that was an obviously
“nonsense excuse,” as it had been a “cynical and
deliberate” attempt at burglary.
Ross was also on court release conditions at
the time of the offending.
Lawyer George Linder said Ross had a
history of offending, but that was mostly
“nuisance type offending”.
The judge said that by a “narrow margin” he
was prepared to grant Ross home detention.
Attempt to steal boat nearly costs freedom
An Awatuna man who made a “significant
error of judgment ” in choosing to drive while
drunk was sentenced to four months of
community detention, 12 months’ super vision
and banned from driving for 12 months when
he admitted the offences in the Greymouth
District Court on Tuesday.
Simon John Reij had been drinking at home
with a fellow student he was studying with in
Christchurch. D uring the evening the friend
decided he wanted to go home, and Reij offered
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Reij had felt a
“misplaced responsibility” to drive his friend
home. It had been a “significant error of
judgment, but for the cost of a taxi his court
appearance could have been avoided”.
Mr Bodle said Reij had similar convictions
dating from 2003, 2004 and 2010.
He was remorseful and genuinely embarrassed
about the offending. He was now in counselling,
was a keen gardener and went to Alcoholics
Judge Raoul Neave said Reij had made a
“remarkably stupid decision to drive”.
“ Your friend was big enough and silly enough
to be abandoned to his own choices.”
Judge Neave said it was clear that Reij had
had a “good deal of difficulty with alcohol
dependency,” but that now seemed to be under
With four convictions in 12 years, Reij was
“ hovering close to imprisonment,” the judge
Shannon Young, 22, of Cobden, was
remanded on bail for sentencing to June 19,
for driving while disqualified on October 25,
driving while forbidden on November 30, and
breach of community work.
Jason Robert McKenzie was convicted and
sentenced to 150 hours of community work
and banned from driving for six months for
driving while disqualified.
On April 8, McKenzie was banned from
driving for a year, but on February 11 he was
stopped by police driving in Kumara. He told
police he thought his driving ban was over.
Lawyer Marcus Zintl said there was no excuse
for the offending, but at the time McKenzie
had been driving to Christchurch with his
mother to pick up his sister, as she had become
involved with a “ bad crowd”.
Therefore, although McKenzie was not
driving out of necessity, he was driving with the
“ best intentions”.
Judge Neave agreed that McKenzie’s
offending was not as “bad as it looked on first
A warrant was issued for the arrest of Deborah
Ann Howat for failing to appear on a charge of
assault, on November 24.
Error of judgment
Thursday March 12
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
March 12, 2010.
September 23, 1997.
As time unfolds another
Memories keep you ever
So sadly missed, always
loved, never forgotten.
From your loving
March 10, 2015, after a
short illness. In his 78th
year. Cherished husband
of Margaret, devoted
father of Rosemary,
Sharon, Rachael and
Nicholas, Greg, and
Sarah. Dear Pop to
Angus, Brendan, Sean,
Reuben, Liam, Emilie,
brother and friend of
Fay and Grant, Helen
and Mervyn. A kind and
loving man of deep
faith. Messages to
Hawkey Family PO Box
472, Ashburton 7740. In
lieu of flowers, dona-
tions to Christian World
Service would be appre-
ciated and may be left at
the service. A service to
celebrate Graham's life
will be held on Satur-
day, March 14, 2015 at
Oxford Street, Ashbur-
ton commemcing at
1.30pm. Followed by
private cremation at the
sorry you lost your
battle cuz. Our deepest
sympathy and love to
Janis and family.
Tourist’s keys confiscated
suspended the licence of
a tourist driver in Hari
Hari after they were
caught speeding at 96kph
through the 50km speed
restriction. West Coast
traffic police officer in
charge sergeant Dave
Cross said the tourist ’s
rental car contract was
and the vehicle keys
confiscated. He said
West Coast police were
still getting a “steady
stream” of complaints
about tourist driving and
police did not want to
discourage that reporting.
A power cut in the Coal
Creek area shortly after
2pm yesterday was caused
by a truck bringing
down an 11kV concrete
power pole on Taylor ville
assets and engineering
general manager Rodger
Griffiths said 103 power
customers in the Coal
Creek area immediately
lost their electricity
supply. “ Most customers
had their power restored
within 15 minutes, but
12 customers in the
immediate facility were
without supply until
6.05pm while the failed
pole was replaced,” Mr
Griffiths said. Apparently
a tyre blew out on the
truck, causing it to run
off the road and hit the
Pole crash cuts power
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