Home' Greymouth Star : March 24th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Police are currently targeting repeat
driving offenders, last night nabbing
a 23-year-old Cobden man, a known
disqualified driver, who was caught
behind the wheel in Bright Street,
Cobden. His car was impounded.
He will appear in the Greymouth
District Court on April 24 charged
with driving while disqualified.
Greymouth police said the arrest was
a timely reminder to those who had
either been disqualified, suspended
or forbidden to drive that they
needed to find someone else to drive
or risk losing their vehicle.
Arrivals: Jay Penelope, Moon
Shadow II, one Greymouth
vessel. Departures: Cook Canyon,
Sovereign, Ki Lin, Brid Voyager,
Stella Marie, Moata, Towai, Antares,
four Greymouth vessels. In port:
Moon Shadow II, Tainui, Tawera, Jay
Penelope, Iveagh Bay, Garraway, 20
other vessels. Expected departures:
Moon Shadow II, today. Expected
arrivals: Galatea II, today; Jay Elaine,
Twelve young Coasters killed in car accidents over four years
Some West Coast schools have accepted their
fate with decile review changes, but others face a
long road to appeal.
Schools were informed of the changes in
November, most increasing much to their
bewilderment. Decile ratings are based on
socio-economic factors of the community; the
lower the rating the more government funding
Reefton Area School went from a decile three
to a seven, and principal Wayne Wright said they
were in the process of putting a review together.
“ We are very hopeful that we well be successful.
Our school community is not like other decile
seven school communities ... We can’t fathom
how it got to what it has for us.”
Mr Wright said he understood how the
census data had suggested good socio-economic
factors in Reefton township, “but they are not
necessarily with families that have kids in our
Mr Wright said they needed to compile
personal information from families in order to
support the application.
“I’m not sure what will happen if we don’t do
The implications of the change would be
“It is a huge reduction of resources for us. We
are trying to make a good case.”
Westport schools plan to band together
to ask for a review, while Blaketown
School has submitted a review application to
appeal its increase from a decile two to a decile
Greymouth High School principal Andy
England said they were urgently preparing
a review, after increasing from decile four
“I don’t think it was entirely right what
happened, but equally from what I see happening
most schools around here have gone up. I would
question if there is any benefit from doing a
review,” Mr England said.
“ We’re mailing our families this week and asking
for an urgent response, in confidence, of course.
We believe that the decile rating rise doesn’t truly
reflect our position within the country as a whole,
based on salary data in particular and what we
can see of household spending through school.”
Haast School, with a roll of 16, had the highest
jump on the West Coast, going from a decile
three to eight.
Principal Liz Hawker said they would not
be appealing as the Haast demographic had
Paroa School jumped from a decile six to a
decile nine, but has decided against appealing the
Grey Main School principal Mandy O’Sullivan
said they also decided against reviewing the
change, which would result in a $7000 loss for
“There’s not a lot else we can do,” Mrs
The Ministry of Education was looking at
different ways of deciding funding that would
not rely on decile ratings, she said.
Ministry of Education head of evidence, data
and knowledge Lisa Rodgers said the period for
decile review closed on March 31.
Two reviews had been received as of Wednesday
last week. Schools would learn their fate by the
end of May.
Ms Rodgers said a review would be granted
if there was evidence “that the decile rating
does not accurately reflect the socio-economic
circumstances of a school’s students”.
The latest school decile ratings, announced
in November, were based on information
from the March 2013 census. The ratings are
calculated using household income, parents’
occupation, household crowding, parents’
educational qualifications, and if parents receive
Ms Rodgers said a significant change in any
of these indicators since the time of the census
could alter a school’s decile ratings.
“It ’s important to remember that some schools
may have a new decile rating even though little
had changed about the school’s students or
their families’ circumstances. That ’s because the
decile ratings don’t just reflect the circumstances
of each school’s community, but how each
school compares to all other schools in
Twelve young West Coast people
died in car accidents and four killed
themselves over a four-year period,
according to figures released by the
national Child and Youth Mortality
For the West Coast District Health
Board area, from 2009 to 2013 there
were 36 deaths of children and young
adults aged between 28 days and less
than 25 years.
Four people aged 15-24 years
When broken down from age 15 to
19, 10 deaths were due to unintentional
injury, nine of which were transport-
related. The remaining five deaths were
due to a range of other causes, which
were not released.
For the 20-24 years bracket, there were
13 deaths in total. Of these, four were
medical deaths, and seven unintentional
injury deaths. Three of the unintentional
injury deaths were transport-related.
There were four deaths in people
aged 15-24 years due to the Pike River
West Coast Child and Youth
Mortality Review Group chairman
John Garrett, a paediatrician, said
the single biggest cause of death was
recorded as ‘transport-related’, totalling
The death of child or young person
was a tragedy for the family and those
close to that person, he said.
Nationally, the number of deaths has
more than halved since 1980. However,
the Coast figures have risen, from 32 in
the 2003-08 period.
Nationally, suicide was the single
greatest cause of death.
The review committee said because
figures for a DHB area the size of the
West Coast were low, there was data
it could not provide because to do so
would breach its legal obligation to
Tuesday March 24
Urgent Cases Only
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Greymouth High School
students at the Mawhera
Services Academy recently
returned from a successful
induction course at the New
Zealand Defence Force
Burnham military camp —
including a meeting with VC
hero Willie Apiata.
The students, who recently
moved from the Karoro
Learning campus to the high
school, completed the intensive
two-week course as part of their
year-long programme, which
will build skills and experience
suitable for entry to the military
or other ser vices organisations.
Greymouth High School
principal Andy England said
he was proud of the students,
and in particular their success in
winning the Ross James Drill
Trophy for best drill.
Four ser vices academies from
around the South Island took
part in the course, with Mawhera
winning the drill trophy and
coming second in the sports and
longest day trophies. Student
Nathan Connell was top student
from all the academies in the
beep test, required fitness level
test and cross-country.
Mawhera Services Academy
director John Wentworth
said a highlight was meeting
Mr Apiata, who inspired the
students to careers in the
New Zealand war hero Corporal Willie Apiata VC with Mawhera Ser vices Academy students Nathan Connell, left, Nopera Taewa-
Coghlan, of Cobden, and Izayer McLaren, of Hokitika.
Greymouth students meet Willie Apiata
A judge has taken a German tourist ’s
word that she will voluntarily pay
thousands of dollars in compensation
to a motorcyclist that she seriously
injured in a head-on crash once she
Franziska Ehret, 26, drove a
camper van on the wrong side
of a West Coast highway earlier
this month and collided with an
The 37-year-old motorcyclist from
Westport under went six hours of
surgery for a broken leg, elbow and
Ehret, a social work student,
admitted a charge of careless driving
causing injury at the Christchurch
Yesterday, she offered to pay $2000
in emotional harm reparation to
the victim before she flies back to
Germany to attend her grandmother’s
However, the court heard that while
she wanted to pay more, she simply
did not have the cash to do so.
Although she had taken out a
comprehensive insurance policy, she
has been told that she will not be
paid out in full because she has been
convicted of an offence.
Ehret, through defence counsel
David Goldwater, promised to pay
a further $13,700 — the cost of the
motorcyclist ’s written off bike — via
instalments once she is home.
Judge Geoffrey Ellis admitted he
was unsure whether any order he
made would have jurisdiction in
Instead, he accepted her offer to
repay the victim in instalments and
relied on her “honour”.
“I have accepted your word, and
New Zealand and your victim trusts
you to abide by it,” Judge Ellis said.
Ehret accepted responsibility at the
outset for the crash on State highway
6, north of Punakaiki, just after 5pm
on March 13.
The court was earlier told that
Ehret had crossed the white line
while driving around a right-hand
bend, colliding head-on with the
In sentencing, Judge Ellis told Ehret
of the “community concern about
New Zealand motorists who suffer
injuries at the hands of tourists”.
But he acknowledged that Ehret
had owned up to her momentary lapse
of attention or error of judgment.
The insurer’s refusal to pay out
could be challenged through the civil
courts, the judge said.
He ordered Ehret to pay $2000 in
emotional harm reparation before
leaving New Zealand and disqualified
her from driving for six months.
Judge Ellis also took her word that
she would pay the victim $13,700 in
instalments on her return home.
“ You have made that offer and I
have accepted that you have acted
honourably and out of human spirit,
compassion and remorse for a man
who has suffered so badly because of
Judge trusts tourist over Coast Road crash payments
Almost a year on from Cyclone Ita, plastic
discs that were blown out of the Preston
Road sewerage plant are still popping up on
Tens of thousands of discs or ‘media’ used
in the sewerage treatment process were
scattered over the neighbourhood while the
sewerage plant was still being constructed
when the windstorm lashed the West Coast
on April 17, 2014.
On Sunday, almost a year later, the
Greymouth Star found a disc amid
driftwood on the Blaketown beach near the
tiphead. Not long after the storm, discs were
found washed up on Rapahoe beach.
Grey District Council utilities engineer
Kurtis Perrin-Smith estimated that well over
100,000 discs escaped from the plant. The
disc clean-up alone cost $26,870.
About 1.5 million had been supplied for
the plant, although some were still in bags.
Mr Perrin-Smith that the discs had settled
in the plant and had been topped up once
“ We’ve done one top-up, we might have to
do a second one. We will wait to see how the
‘media’ sits inside the tank.”
It was months since they last heard of discs
“ If people are finding them, we’d love to
have them back. If they are passing the plant
just drop them at the front door.”
One unconfirmed report suggested that a
disc had been found up the Coast Road.
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Grey District Council utilities officer Paul Tinnelly with a disc from the Preston Road sewerage plant which were blown out by
Cyclone Ita a year ago, and washed up this week on the Blaketown beach.
Sewerage plant discs still washing up on beaches
West Coast branches
of the Maori Women’s
Welfare League will
host the new national
president, Prue Kapua, in
Hokitika next month.
Two of the four
branches — Rata and Te
Aiorangi — are based in
They will be joined
by members from
Kawatiri (Westport) and
Kotuku (Greymouth) in
welcoming the president,
lawyer, on her first tour
of the South Island
since being elected in
Te Aiorangi branch
president Mere Wallace
said an open meeting
was planned for April
8, including short
each branch as well as
a question and answer
session with Ms Kapua.
Both West Coast
runanga were also invited
to attend the event from
11am at the St John
rooms, in Hokitika.
Coast Maori Women’s
Welfare League to host
Six teenagers on a thieving spree from
cars in the Far North — including two
girls aged 13 — have been arrested after
crashing a stolen vehicle.
Northland police spokeswoman Sarah
Kennett said a 14-year-old boy, believed
to be in Child Youth and Family
(CYF) custody, allegedly stole a car
from Auckland and drove to Omapere,
60km south-west of Kaikohe, last
Another car was stolen and was later
crashed in Kaitaia.
Police said there were a number of
incidents of unlawful interference of
vehicles parked in Kaitaia following the
theft of the vehicle.
Mrs Kennett said police were told
some young people were involved in the
dishonesty offending. “ They searched a
number of residential addresses, vacant
buildings and other areas where the
offenders were known to hang out,” Mrs
Last Thursday officers carried out a
search warrant at a Kaitaia property and
located two girls aged 13, a girl aged 15,
two 14-year-old boys, and one boy aged
They face vehicle crime charges
unlawfully getting into a motor vehicle.
Three are in CYF custody, the youngest
two have been referred to the police
Youth Aid section and the 17-year-old
has been released on bail.
Far North Area prevention manager
senior sergeant Chris McLellan said
police thanked members of the public
who provided information which
helped officers. “ We believe that within
two days of these offenders being in the
Far North area their crimes affected
at least 10 victims and there was
significant amount of damage done to
“Police treated the spate
dishonesty offending with urgency
and using many different staff ... were
able to put a stop to the offending.”
— N Z ME -Northern Advocate
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