Home' Greymouth Star : March 21st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Saturday, March 21, 2015
Top readers picked
St Patrick’s Primary School pupils Pyper Murphy and Michael Wallace
were rewarded yesterday for their holiday reading efforts during the Summer
Reading Challenge. Pyper won a tablet, while Michael won a watch in a
lucky draw. This year’s challenge had record entries of 364 children picking
up books during the holidays. Children were asked to read a book a day for 37
days. St Patrick’s had a 100% success rate among its pupils.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Two Rotomanu farmers have been
sentenced after the worst case of animal
cruelty local welfare officers have ever
Charges were laid after 152 star ving
cows had to be euthanised in 2012 —
the most ever in New Zealand and a
“rare event ” according to the Ministry of
Hundreds of others were sent to the
meat works or other farms to recover.
Robert Ussher pleaded guilty to six
charges of animal cruelty and one charge
of failure to supply sufficient food and
His son Jeremy Ussher admitted one
charge relating to mistreatment and one
of failure to supply.
The defence told the court Robert
Ussher had been farming for over 40
years, was facing bankruptcy and did not
know how to cope — now he had lost
He was sentenced in Christchurch
District Court yesterday to three months
home detention and community work,
while his son was fined $5000.
Both were disqualified from owning
or working with stock unsuper vised for
MPI Canterbury and Westland
District compliance manager Peter
Hyde said it was very disappointing that
so many animals had to be euthanised as
a result of star vation.
His advice to farmers was to seek help
at an early stage if they had a lack of
“There are organisations such as Dairy
New Zealand, Federated Farmers and
the Rural Support Trust who can provide
assistance and support,” Mr Hyde said.
“Doing nothing is not an option as
the situation can quickly deteriorate
and result in animals suffering pain
and distress, or even death through
star vation. “
Girl’s mother in ‘roast busters’
case slams lateness of apology
The mother of an alleged ‘roast busters’
victim says the police apology to her daughter
following the Independent Police Conduct
Authority (IPCA) report is too little too late.
On Wednesday police apologised to the
young women at the centre of the scandal
following the release of the report which
identified inadequacies in basic police work
from seven cases it reviewed.
The ‘roast busters’ are a group of mainly
west Auckland youths who bragged on social
media about having sex with drunk and
In late 2011 police investigated complaints
by teenage girls in relation to alleged
offending by some of the ‘roast busters’.
Charges were not laid.
In November 2013 the authority launched
a review of the police handling of an
investigation. Police also re-investigated
the complaints and reviewed their initial
One of the complainants was just 13 at the
time she was allegedly assaulted by at least
two of the youths. Her mother blasted the
IPCA and police when she was alerted to the
The mother, who cannot be named to
protect her daughter’s privacy, said she was
not informed of the IPCA report or the
police apology before the release.
“ I’m so f**king angry. What good is (an
apology) now after four years?”
The report showed problems in police
handling of the complaints.
The report said officers failed to pursue
positive lines of inquiry, did not identify
connections between incidents
“opportunities or inter ventions to prevent
rw-victimisation” were not considered.
Superintendent Bill Searle and Police
Commissioner Mike Bush both admitted the
standard of police work in the case had been
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley,
who was police minister when the ‘roast
buster’ complaints were laid, has announced
an investigation into CYF ’s involvement in
Professor Mark Henaghan, dean of law at
Otago University, said the youths could still
A police spokesman yesterday said there was
nothing in the report which has not already
New Zealand Herald
An American woman on her honeymoon
in New Zealand has been fined and
disqualified for driving after enjoying the
hospitality of the Hokitika Wildfoods
Festival, the Christchurch Court News
Sydney Fox Wagener, 32, of Portland,
Oregon, was told by Judge Charles Blaikie:
“ We can’t treat people visiting New Zealand
any differently than we treat our own
Defence lawyer Peter Dyhrberg said
Wagener and her husband had enjoyed
their three-week holiday in New Zealand,
and planned to return for another visit, the
The couple had parked their campervan in
a residential street in Hokitika before going
to the festival, and planned to sleep in it
After going to Wildfoods they returned to
the van at midnight, where they were met
by a resident who objected to where they
had parked the van and insisted they move
it further along the street where it would
cause no bother.
Wagener reluctantly decided she would
move the vehicle about 30m, and the police
had caught her while she was doing that.
Prosecutor sergeant Neil Williams said the
police did not accept that the explanation
amounted to special reasons, and Wagener
should be treated like every other driver.
Tourist admits careless driving causing injury
Two German tourists who drove into
trouble on West Coast roads admitted
charges of careless driving causing injury
yesterday, Christchurch Court News website
Ludwig Lunak blamed a West Coast
sandfly which landed on his arm for
distracting him for a second when he drove a
light van containing himself and two friends
off a narrow road that led to an old goldfields
He was $750 and disqualified him from
driving for nine months.
Another German tourist has admitted that
her camper van driving injured a motorcyclist
she collided with while on the wrong side of
the Coast Road, the website said.
Franziska Ehret, 26, pleaded guilty to the
charge of careless driving causing injury.
The case was delayed to Monday to find
out if the camper van company ’s insurance,
which Ehret had taken out, would cover the
damage to the motorcycle, which was likely
to be written off.
would sincerely like to
thank family and friends
for their kindness and
support at the recent loss
of a much loved
husband, father, grand-
father, uncle and friend.
Thanks to all who sent
flowers, cards, baking
and attended John's
service. Your kindness
will always be remem-
bered. Please accept
this as our personal
acknowledgment to you
Two years have passed
Tony, and Lisa.
Old Fashioned Values,
Old Fashioned Ethics
Ph 768 0250
Why have your loved
ones taken away
from the Coast for
The only Funeral
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Ensuring you get Expertise
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Matthew, Stephen and
Nathan would like to
thank everyone involved
in the service, after
funeral and through the
last six months who
have helped us in any
way to cope with the
loss of our beautiful
daughter. We would like
to thank the St John
from Murchison, the
from Nelson, the heli-
copter pilot and all the
caring passersby who
Kathleen at the accident.
Your speedy response
and actions on that day
gave us eight more days
with our beautiful girl.
Thanks to the wonderful
staff of Wellington ICU
and to the caring,
warm-hearted staff of
House in Wellington,
and to family and
friends who visited us
while in Wellington
Hospital and plied us
with food and laughter.
Thank you to the
wonderful people of the
Coast for their warmth,
generosity and love
during this time. We
would like to thank
everybody for the cards,
best wishes, baking,
garden vouchers and
which we received. A
big thank you to the
team who set up the
marquee and then took it
down in record time!!
Thank you to the
Ikamatua Fire Brigade
and their team for the
wonderful food provided
at Kathleen's funeral.
Thank you to Father
Peter Costello for his
patience and help in
organising the Mass.
Thank you to Westland
Funeral Services for
compassion. There are
so many more people to
be thanked. Please
believe that we will
support shown to us.
As I sit in Heaven, and
watch you every day,
I try and let you know
with signs, I never went
I hear you when you're
laughing, and I watch
you as you sleep,
I even place my arms
around you to calm you
as you weep.
I see you wish the days
away, begging to have
signs, so you know
you're not alone.
Don't feel guilty that you
have the life that was
denied to me,
beautiful, just you wait
So live your life, laugh
again, enjoy yourself, be
Then I'll know with
every breath you take,
You'll be taking one for
Died March 17, 2015.
Loved uncle and friend
to all his nephews and
Remembered with love
Annual police cannabis crop bust bags 2500 plants
More than $200,000 of cannabis has been
kept off the street after police’s annual drug
Fifteen people would be facing charges after
police discovered between 2000 and 2500
cannabis plants throughout the Southern
police district during Operation Jasmin,
Southern district police’s annual cannabis
crop bust, detective sergeant Malcolm Inglis
“ We have stopped somewhere between
$200,000 to $300,000 of cannabis from
reaching the street,” he said.
The plants would have been destined for the
illegal drugs’ market and their seizure would
also have cut into crime, such as theft and
burglary, which fuelled users habits, he said.
“The people (growing the crops) don’t care
whether it goes to 13 or 35-year-olds,” he
Police executed 14 search warrants during
the raid and 15 offenders would be facing
charges as a result, Mr Inglis said.
“Some (of the plants), we believe, are linked
to gangs, but proving it is a difficulty,” he said.
The operation involved 18 hours spent
searching for crops on a Royal New Zealand
Air Force helicopter.
Police had searched from Waitati to
Middlemarch to Southland and the Otago
Peninsula, he said.
“ We found some in behind houses to major
bush areas,” he said.
“All tend to be very well hidden. ”
In the past, police had encountered plots
protected by traps and other devices to
prevent detection. However, officers had not
encountered such operations this year, he
Police utilised a combination of tips from
the public and spotting the plots from the air
to discover the plants.
“ We have had a good couple of days,” he
said, after the three-day raid.
“ We have somewhere between 2000
and 2500 plants we have removed from
The operation was ongoing and and police
hope to unearth more cannabis cultivation in
the coming weeks.
This year’s haul was particularly “healthy”
owing to a strong growing season because of
the dry and hot summer, he said.
“The aim here is to stop some community
harm — stopping this from getting out into
the community is our aim,” Mr Inglis said.
One person was arrested yesterday in
relation to cultivation and more arrests and
summons would follow, he said — NZME
Central Queenstown businesses are facing
rate hikes of more than 30% to pay for two
huge projects, including a controversial
Such significant increases — albeit for
a short time — have fuelled further calls
for a bed tax in the resort, as its small rating
base is hit once again to pay for infrastructure
sufficient to cope with more than two million
tourists a year.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council
wants to spend $55 million on a convention
centre at the Lakeview site, above the existing
central business district, and $27.8 million
on an upgrade of the Wakatipu district ’s
Wakatipu residents will pay $51 each for
the convention centre while further away
Wanaka ratepayers will be stung $13 each.
However, the hardest-hit to pay for the
two big ticket items are businesses and
accommodation providers in Queenstown’s
central business district. A high-value CBD
business already paying $97,489 this year will
pay $33,739 more — a rise of 34.6%
while a high value accommodation business
paying $257,620 will pay an extra $79,339,
a 30.8% rise.
Bar owner Mike Burgess said it was a
significant rate hike and he questioned why
ratepayers had to pay the lion’s share of
convention centre costs. —
Queenstown businesses face rate hikes
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