Home' Greymouth Star : March 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 5
A move that critics claimed
could nearly double the value
of international travel perks for
former MPs will not go ahead.
The Green Party yesterday
confirmed it will block the
change — ensuring it is now
dead in the water.
The calculation of how
much taxpayer money former
MPs are entitled to spend
on international travel was
to change under a statute
amendment bill, to be voted on
Currently, the perk must be
calculated on the cheapest
between Auckland and London,
for the former MP and their
That was to be amended to
peg the maximum rebate to
the lowest Air New Zealand
business-class return fare.
The entitlement is limited
to former MPs who were in
Parliament before 1999.
They can use the money to fly
to any destination on any airline
the calculation determines
how much can be claimed.
Legal blogger Graeme Edgeler
has estimated that the change,
which now looks unlikely to
progress, could increase the
maximum rebate from $11,000
to about $20,000 a year.
In response, National MP
Simon Bridges said it would take
only one objection from a party
to ensure his Supplementary
Order Paper did not proceed.
That objection was confirmed
by the Greens.
“The Green Party cannot
support a change that has a real
likelihood of increasing travel
rebates for MPs elected prior
to 1999 and their spouses,”
co-leader Metiria Turei said.
“ We can’t see any good reason
to move away from specifically
tying the value of the rebate to
the lowest cost option. ”
Ms Turei said the Government
had not provided any analysis of
the impact of the cost of their
proposed changes, or justified
their assertion that they were
fixing a mistake.
“ Without additional informa-
tion on those two things, we can’t
support the changes. ”
The proposed change had the
support of Labour’s Annette
King, who said it was designed
to fix a mistake in the current
The fare rebate had been
pegged to the lowest fare on Air
New Zealand since the 1970s,
Ms King said.
A mistake in wording saw that
change when the long-standing
entitlements were transferred to
the new Members of Parliament
(Remuneration and Ser vices)
“They inadvertently left out ‘Air
New Zealand’, which had always
been the benchmark for deciding
what the travel entitlement was,”
Ms King said.
“On July 1 every year,
Parliamentary Ser vices go
on-line and go to Expedia I think,
and they look for the lowest cost
air fare, and (the rebate) stays at
that for the year. It has always
been benchmarked with Air New
Because of the mistake the
maximum rebate had most
recently been pegged to another
airline’s fare, Ms King said.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
recovery has been promoted
on the international stage at a
United Nations conference in
Earthquake Recovery Min-
ister Gerry Brownlee made
a statement at the United
Nations Disaster Risk Reduction
conference in Sendai, Japan
He said the three key things
to “get back its feet relatively
quickly” after the quakes in 2010
and 2011 were public awareness,
strong business resilience and
Mr Brownlee said he had been
trying to discuss the benefits
of New Zealand’s insurance
scheme with as many delegations
as possible in Sendai. He said
good insurance systems provided
certainty of funding, reduced
governments’ bills and enabled
a quick drawdown of funds after
Figures released last month
showed nearly 80% of 168,000
building claims in Christchurch
have been resolved through
repairs or payouts under the
$100,000 cap. Private insurers
said they had settled nearly 60%
of residential insurance claims
which were over the EQC cap.
Residents who have been
waiting four or five years for
a payout or repairs have been
vocal about their frustration with
Government and insurers.
Their experience contrasts with
Japan, where residents affected by
the Great East Japan Earthquake
were all paid out within a year.
However, far fewer people are
insured in Japan, and payouts
for a house destroyed by an
earthquake are typically between
20% to 50% of the value of the
Japanese residents are given
a grant from local authorities
to allow them to rebuild more
quickly, but this is relatively small
— about $40,000.
Mr Brownlee said education
messages such as “drop, cover and
hold” had also played a key role
in Christchurch, possibly saving
lives. Also, businesses’ willingness
to remain in Christchurch and
support the local economy was
also crucial to the recovery.
The UN conference winds up
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Orokonui Ecosanctuary has
joined the fight to save rare and
critically endangered Haast
tokoeka kiwis with a new ‘’kiwi
Staff finished fencing a
15ha enclosure this week and
expected to take delivery of the
first five kiwi chicks today.
Ecosanctuary conser vation
manager Elton Smith said
the creche was “a whole new
conser vation project ’’.
“It just makes us a bit more
useful to the Department of
Left to their own devices
in the Haast Ranges, 95% of
Haast tokoeka chicks would
die before they reached
adulthood, compared with
a 65% survival rate if given
Eggs are taken from the wild
in Haast and incubated at the
West Coast Wildlife Centre at
Franz Josef Glacier.
Mr Smith said the chicks
would be raised at Franz Josef
for a few weeks, before being
sent to Orokonui where they
would be raised for about a
Once they were big enough
kiwi’s main predator — they
would be returned to the Haast
Ranges to live in the wild.
Staff and volunteers at
the sanctuary have spent an
estimated 900 hours building
a low fence around a 14ha
section of the sanctuary to
keep the new arrivals separate
from the population of 19 adult
Mr Smith said adult kiwis
were known to kill chicks so
they needed to be kept separate
and the chicks needed about
They would also need to be
fitted with a transmitter so
they could be recaptured and
The new creche borders
on the predator-proof fence
encircling the entire 307ha
sanctuary, reducing the length
of new fences required.
Mr Smith said the
ecosanctuary could now house
up to 15 birds and if the creche
was successful they could
double its size and take up to
DOC ranger Jacinda
Amey said the new creche
would provide a vital, safe
environment where young birds
could learn and grow.
“ With a population of just
400, we have to do all we can
to give every new bird the best
possible chance of sur vival.’’
She said protecting kiwis as
eggs, chicks and juveniles gave
them a 65% chance of making
it to adulthood.
general manager Chris Baillie
said the creche was located
in the most public area at the
top of the ecosanctuary but
it was “first and foremost a
conser vation project ’’.
“ While we would love for
more people to see our national
icon, we need to see how the
young kiwi settle in before we
can say what visitors may be
likely to encounter,’’ Ms Baillie
Orokonui joins two other
creche sites for Haast
tokoeka: Rona Island, in Lake
Manapouri, and Centre Island,
in Lake Te Anau.
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Volunteer Jeff Cleugh and Orokonui Ecosanctuar y ranger
Kelly Gough finish work on the new kiwi creche.
Orokonui Ecosanctuary has been steadily building its place in New Zealand’s
conservation network since it was fully enclosed with a predator proof fence
in 2007. Now, it has taken another big leap in its importance to the country by
becoming a creche for the critically endangered Haast tokoeka kiwi.
DAN HUTCHINSON reports.
Kiwi sanctuary takes on creche role
Pilot refuses to fly
Three Hells Angels members
were grounded after becoming
aggressive with Air New Zealand
staff over their gang patches.
An Air New Zealand pilot
refused to let three male
members of the notorious bikie
gang on to an Auckland-bound
flight at Dunedin International
Airport yesterday because of the
gang insignia screen-printed on
Police were called about 10am
when the men became aggressive
with airline staff, Taieri-Clutha
area response manager senior
sergeant Alistair Dickie said.
“It was a verbal disturbance that
was starting to heat up,” he said.
The three men were refused
access to the plane after the
confrontation in the domestic
The men were not charged, but
missed their flight as “the pilot
left without them”.
“They settled down (after
police arrived) and eventually
co-operated,” Mr Dickie said.
“One was reluctant to give
his details but eventually saw
A man in the departure area
said he arrived about the same
time as the police.
“They were running up here
flat-stick — I didn’t know what
the hell was going on,” he said.
Another man at the airport did
not witness the confrontation,
but saw police “ bail someone
buying coffee after the incident,
the three men politely declined
The men were booked on to a
subsequent 6.30pm flight. They
boarded the plane under a police
presence, without insignia or
An Air New Zealand
spokeswoman said the company
was “not in a position to
provide comment on individual
customers” but the airline
could refuse to carry passengers
wearing gang patches or insignia.
— Otago Daily Times
The future of Toast Martinborough and
other Wairarapa events is under serious
threat, South Wairarapa mayor Adrienne
“There is a very real risk the event won’t
carry on,” she said, at a South Wairarapa
District Council meeting last week.
Mrs Staples said policing of events had
changed “considerably” to comply with the
Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.
The act, which aims to reduce alcohol-
related harm, came fully into force at the end
of 2013, making last year’s Toast event the
first to be run under the new law.
“Those rules are being applied not just to
Toast but all our events over here,” Mrs
She said the law was a lot tougher and in
some cases there were decisions to be made as
to whether events were viable. “ I do know the
festival (team) are having to look long and
hard about how they run the festival. ”
Mrs Staples said the majority of the
festival-goers were fine — it was the 5% that
got “trolleyed” who posed problems. “ This is
my opinion, they (police) need to be focusing
on Courtenay Place on Friday night but there
are differences of opinions on these things.
They were strict with the races as well with
regard to BYO (bring your own).”
Each vineyard had to apply to the District
Licensing Committee for a special on-licence.
It was created under the act and can impose
several conditions, such as making sure free
water is available. Essentially, vineyards
became a bar for the day, Mrs Staples said.
“They are required to do everything that a
bar has to do when they sell you a glass of
She said some vineyards had been given
notice about not having water marked clearly.
“They are coming down very hard.”
Toast Martinborough chairman and Ata
Rangi vineyard business manager Pete Monk
said every event was facing some challenges
as a result of the act and they were working
through the implications at the moment.
He said he could not comment on the future
of Toast as it was commercially sensitive.
Deputy mayor and chairwoman of the
licensing committee Viv Napier said a lot
of time was spent on each vineyard’s licence
and the committee was very strict, imposing
about 20 conditions.
She said there had been issues with the
availability of water and food. “Some had to
resubmit their menu because there were not
enough substantial items at $10 or less.”
Mrs Napier said if vineyards breached
the conditions, they risked participating in
Toast because the next time they applied for
the licence, police and health officials could
oppose it. They could also be shut down on
“ Police are doing it to the letter of the law.”
Last year, Te Kairanga vineyard closed half-
an-hour earlier than the other vineyards, to
avoid breaching its licence conditions.
Wairarapa area commander Inspector
Brent Register said there were some breaches
which were being dealt with by the Alcohol
Regulatory and Licensing Authority.
“There were a couple of issues around the
sale of alcohol around the new legislation.
“ I don’t think it’s a threat, what needs to
happen is the vineyards need to recognise they
are licensed premises and they are responsible
for what happens on their premises.”
There are normally about 10,000 people
at the event. Last year, three people were
arrested for disorder offences and a person
was assaulted on a bus.
— N Z ME-Wairarapa Times-Age
Festival’s future at risk
Woman stomped on in attack
A Christchurch woman was
left with serious facial injuries
and multiple fractures after she
was allegedly stomped on during
a vicious attack in the city on
The 26-year-old woman and
her brother were assaulted in
Woolston about midnight on
Saturday, police said.
Senior constable Mike Phillips
said a man and two women
were understood to have started
assaulting the victims when they
reached the corner of Ferry Road
and Oak Street.
“The three assailants have
continued the assault until the
group was near the corner of
Ferry Road and Radley Street.”
The woman was taken to
Christchurch Hospital with
serious facial injuries.
“The victim was discharged
from Christchurch Hospital
on Sunday and is due to have
surgery later this month,” Mr
Police are now looking for
the three people who attacked
the pair. They are described as a
1.75m tall, solidly built Samoan
man, aged about 22-25, wearing
a red trucker style cap and a
white t-shirt or singlet; a Maori
woman, aged about 20-25, of
large build; and a young Maori
woman, aged about 17-18, of
slight build and wearing a black
jacket with a fluffy hood.
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
An elderly Hastings man is
recovering from an alleged attack
with a blunt weapon by his
son, who later died while being
arrested by police.
Ray McPeake, 76, was discharged
from hospital on Friday after
his son, Gregory McPeake, 53,
allegedly attacked him with a
cosh, or long blunt instrument,
about 6pm last Thursday.
Ray, who lives in Hastings
with his wife, Barbara, is retired
and has won local awards for his
model plane flying.
Police used an electronic
shock gun, pepper spray and a
dog on Gregory early on Friday
morning after they found him in
a Westshore car park.
During the arrest, which took
place after officers smashed the
window of the vehicle he was
in, they noticed he was having
difficulty breathing and had
Police administered first aid
and ambulance staff were unable
to revive him. He received police
dog bites during the arrest.
Police said there was evidence
of alcohol in the car but that
would be subject to further
They were investigating both
the attack on Ray, and the death.
Conduct Authority were also
investigating the death.
Mike Johnson said police were
thoroughly investigating what
“ Both of those incidents will be
carefully considered along with
background medical and other
relevant factors.” The cosh had
been recovered from Ray ’s house.
Gregory, who did not live in
Hawke’s Bay, was known to police
and had not been in contact with
his parents for some time before
Thursday ’s alleged confrontation.
— NZ ME-Hawke’s Bay Today
Man, 76, recovering
from beating by son
Included value offer valid until 30 March 2015. Prepay $19 lasts 30 days and auto renews if you have enough credit. Prepay terms apply,
see vodafone.co.nz/prepay. To use with other networks a $30 unlock fee applies.
with the coverage in your area we will refund the cost of your device purchase. Any Prepay credit will not be refunded. Handset refund only.
To be eligible for a refund, return the handset, box and charger (in good working order with no physical damage) to the Vodafone retail s tore
of purchase within 30 days. Proof of purchase required.
Only available from
Vodafone 100% Ellery’s
West Coast, get
Smart 4 fun
a free Prepay
At this price the phone is only set up to work with a Vodafone NZ SIM
Links Archive March 16th 2015 March 18th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page