Home' Greymouth Star : May 11th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Monday, May 11, 2015 - 3
Woman found safe
Susan O’Brien, 29, who went missing
while running in Rimutaka Park
yesterday, has been found alive. Police
earlier confirmed a sighting after a
member of the public said they spoke
to a woman matching her description
in the Orongorongo Valley yesterday.
Police believe she may have taken a
wrong turn and became lost trying to
find her way back. — NZME
Two shooting deaths
Police are investigating the death
of a 21-year-old man killed while
hunting near Raetihi. Ohakune police
said the man was part of a three-
strong group on farm land in Ruatiti,
near Raetihi. Police were called about
4.30pm yesterday after the man
suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police believe his firearm discharged
while he was crossing a fence. A
16-year-old boy was shot while duck
shooting in Matata yesterday morning
and died at the scene. He was with
two other teenage boys at the time,
police said. — NZM E
Police dog found safe
A vet check followed by some annual
leave is in store for police dog Thames
which spent a week in the bush. The
three-year-old german shepherd
disappeared during training in the
Tararua Range last Sunday. Thames
was found about 1pm yesterday by his
handler constable Mike Wakefield
and a volunteer searcher. — N ZME
Fire damages RSA
An Auckland RSA is facing an
uncertain future after it was engulfed
in flames early yesterday. The fire at
the East Coast Bays Returned and
Ser vices Association on Bute Road
was found about 3am, less than an
hour before the Fire Service attended
a second large blaze at a car storage
facility in Ellerslie. — NZ M E
Lotto win shared
Three tickets, sold in D unedin,
Motueka and Grey Lynn, won their
holders $333,333 each in division one
of Lotto draw No 1457 on Saturday.
Successful numbers were 9, 22, 25, 32,
33, 35; bonus 14. Strike numbers were
22, 32, 9, 33. There was one Strike
Four winner, from Auckland, taking
home $191,346. Powerball number
10. There was no division one winner.
The Winning Wheel ticket was sold
in Christchurch. The winner from
Napier spun for $250,000.
Numbers in Keno draw No 11160: 4,
9, 10, 15, 17, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 33, 35,
42, 51, 55, 57, 62, 67, 70, 74. Draw No
11161: 4, 8, 10, 14, 16, 22, 27, 40, 46,
47, 55, 56, 59, 60, 69, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80.
Draw No 11162: 1, 9, 26, 31, 32, 34,
40, 44, 46, 54, 56, 61, 62, 63, 68, 69, 72,
73, 77, 79. Draw No 11163: 15, 18, 19,
22, 25, 28, 31, 37, 38, 41, 43, 45, 46, 49,
50, 57, 65, 67, 69, 70. Draw No 11164:
55, 57, 58, 60, 63, 73, 76, 78. Draw No
11165: 7, 9, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 26,
27, 34, 36, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 59, 75, 79.
Draw No 11166: 3, 4, 7, 10, 14, 19, 20,
25, 26, 28, 38, 41, 46, 49, 55, 56, 57, 63,
72, 77. Draw No 11167: 5, 7, 13, 15,
18, 21, 25, 30, 39, 42, 43, 58, 59, 67, 68,
69, 70, 71, 72, 73.
Building quake code eased
Inland Revenue now has a clear path to
try to bankrupt an accountant who owes
it nearly half a billion dollars.
Only $5.7 million of this amount is
John George Russell’s original tax bill,
and the rest is penalties and interest that
have compounded over the years. That bill
continues to rise, and at the end of March
was $485 million.
The former head of a merchant bank,
Russell has been battling the IRD for
decades and developed a template that
the Court of Appeal called a “blatant tax-
According to that same court, the
accountant established an “elaborate,
maze-like structure of companies,
partnerships and trusts” and provided
advice on how others could avoid tax
through their participation in the Russell
Despite winning a $367m judgment
against Russell last year, the IRD was
blocked from trying to bankrupt him over
the debt in September. That was because
the octogenarian sought a judicial review
of the IRD refusing payment proposals
from him, including that he pay $1000-
a week back until his death or mental
incapacity. However, that judicial review
bid was thrown out of the- High Court last
month. —NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
Taxman closes in
on $485m bill
A forensic scientist has told a court it
was “theoretically possible” for semen to
be transferred to Blessie Gotingco’s body
from the defendant ’s bed sheet she was
ESR’s Fiona Matheson has been
cross-examined in the High Court at
Auckland this morning after giving
evidence last week of finding sperm
present on intimate swabs taken from
the victim’s body.
A 28-year-old man with name
suppression is accused of Mrs Gotingco’s
rape and murder, as the trial moves into
its final week.
The Crown case is that just before
8pm on May 24, 2014, the defendant
deliberately ran Mrs Gotingco down
in his car as she walked home along
Salisbury Road from work.
It is alleged he then bundled her into
his car and took her back to his home
where he raped her, slit her throat and
stabbed her to death, before dumping the
body at a nearby cemetery.
Mrs Gotingco’s body was found two
days after the alleged killing and the
defendant was charged with committing
the murder on May 27.
Ms Matheson gave evidence of
microscopic sperm heads being present
on swabs taken from the body.
But she told the jury there were some
issues with those samples, regarding
which she e-mailed the officer in charge
of the case.
ESR protocol dictates the end of swabs
be cut off after they have been used so the
material on them dries and is therefore
preser ved for analysis.
However, that did not happen when
they were collected at the post-mortem
examination and Ms Matheson had to
allow them to dry in the laboratory.
Amicus of the court Kevin Brosnahan
suggested that was “sub-standard”
and the witness agreed it was not best
“ Where you get this increased power
and sophistication (in forensic analysis),
it heightens the need for extreme care
and vigilance to minimise this risk of
contamination,” the lawyer said.
Mr Brosnahan suggested there were
other means by which the defendant ’s
semen could have incidentally got onto
the victim’s body.
He said it was accepted that Mrs
Gotingco had been in the back of the
man’s car, where there could have been
“People have sex in the back of cars, I
assume,” Ms Matheson said.
Mrs Gotingco’s body was eventually
found wrapped in the defendant ’s bed
sheet and Mr Brosnahan asked whether
it was possible semen from the material
transferred to her body from that.
“It’s a possible scenario to consider,”
Ms Matheson said.
The trial continues. — NZ ME
Major changes to how quickly
earthquake-prone buildings will need
to be assessed and strengthened have
Building and Housing Minister
Nick Smith said the changes would
reduce the number of buildings that
would require assessment from an
estimated 500,000 to 30,000, and
bring down the total estimated cost
from $1360 million to $777 million.
The Government has come under
pressure to re-examine its rules
around earthquake strengthening
after people who own older buildings
faced huge bills and uncertainty,
and groups using heritage buildings
predicted they would need to be
abandoned or pulled down.
Currently buildings that could be a
risk need to be assessed within five
years, with any strengthening carried
out within 15 years.
The country will now be split into
zones according to the risk of a big
earthquake, and the timeframes for
assessment and strengthening varied
Affected buildings in low risk
areas like Auckland, Northland
and D unedin will now need to be
identified and assessed within assessed
within 15 years and strengthened
within 35 years.
The time frame will be 10 years and
25 years for buildings in medium
risk areas including Hamilton,
Tauranga, New Plymouth, Rotorua,
Whanganui, Nelson, Invercargill and
High risk zones — including
Wellington, Christchurch, Palmerston
Gisborne and Blenheim — will keep
the existing timeframe of assessment
within five years and strengthening
within 15 years.
“The return period for a significant
earthquake (MM8) ranges from 120
years in Wellington, to 720 years
in Christchurch, to 1700 years in
Dunedin, and only once every 7400
years in Auckland,” Dr Smith said
in a speech to the National Party’s
Mainland regional conference in
“ We . . . need to ensure the response
is proportionate to the risk, that the
costs are minimised and that we
retain as much of our built heritage as
“ Education and emergency buildings
will be targeted by requiring that in
high and medium seismic risk areas
they be identified and strengthened
in half the standard time.
“ We are prioritising all education
buildings regularly occupied by 20
people or more. We also want to
ensure buildings like hospitals can
maintain ser vices in the aftermath of
a significant earthquake.
“The effect of these policy changes
is that buildings like schools,
universities and hospitals in high
and medium seismic risk areas will
have to be upgraded more quickly,
but buildings in low risk areas
like Auckland and D unedin more
Dr Smith said the current
earthquake-prone building definition
as being less than 34% of the new
building standard would remain in
However, farm buildings, retaining
walls, fences, monuments, whar ves,
bridges, tunnels and storage tanks
would be excluded, with the new
rules focusing on older buildings like
Dr Smith said building owners
would be encouraged to upgrade
buildings ahead of the allowable
timeframe through the establishment
of a web-based public register of
buildings needing work, and requiring
notices on such buildings that
highlight the level of risk.
“There will also be a new requirement
to strengthen earthquake-prone
buildings when doing substantial
“The select committee is considering
the bill (containing the changes) and
will be reporting back to Parliament
in July with passage later this year.
“This is the most comprehensive
policy of any seismically active country
for dealing with older buildings and
strikes the right balance between
safety, cost, heritage and practicality. ”
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
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As at 4pm May 8, 2015
a2 Milk Company
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Auckland Intl Airpt
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Diligent BM Services
DNZ Prop Fund
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- 0 .01 34.47
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1.93 +0.01 33.40
Goodman Prop Tr
1.18 +0.005 44.96
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Trading to 10:30am,
Monday, May 11, 2015
DECLINERS: 10 TRADED: 93
Aluminium High Grade
Oban (Stewart Island)
Prince Harry has faced a grilling
from students at Stewart Island’s
The 30-year-old prince spent
his final morning on the island at
Halfmoon Bay School, which has
just two teachers and 24 students.
There he got the chance to see
how the students, aged between
five and 13, make the most of
video and on-line technology to
enhance their learning from their
The special royal guest sat in on
a beginners’ German class, which
was being taught by Stephanie
Michel from her home in the
Along with the four Halfmoon
Bay School students, Prince
Harry also got to interact with
children at schools in Taranaki
“Sorry I don’t speak German, but
good morning,” he told them all.
Ms Michel asked the prince
how she and the students should
“Just Harry is fine, Harry with a
He was then put on the spot
when Ms Michel asked if he
could speak any other languages.
“I learned French at school,
but I’ve forgotten most of it I’m
sorry,” Prince Harry said.
“ I would love to learn Spanish,
but my headmaster told me not
to bother. I wish I could speak
Prince Harry then asked the
children at the other schools
whether they had visited Stewart
None of them had.
“It sounds like a geography field
trip to me,” he suggested.
Once Prince Harry was done
with his German lesson, he was
taken into another classroom
where pupils performed a waiata
to welcome him to the school.
Some of them were wearing
colourful, glittery crowns they had
made especially for the occasion.
Two students welcomed Prince
Harry to the school and a
ner vous-looking year one pupil
read a story he had written about
making poppies for the school’s
Prince Harry then presented a
winner’s hoodie to Tyler Dawson,
eight, who won his age group in
the 100m sprint at the Southland
It was then the Halfmoon Bay
students’ chance to grill Prince
Harry about what he does.
One student asked what his
favourite thing about flying
“ You’ve got a moving office.
There’s only two of you in the
office and no one else can bother
Another asked whether he lives
in a castle.
Prince Harry disappointed the
students, saying he did not live in
a castle and he did not even have
Another wanted to know what
he calls the Queen.
“I call her Granny, but I refer to
her as the Q ueen because I’m in
the army and she’s my boss.”
One little girl wanted to know
what the prince’s favourite food is.
“Spaghetti bolognaise. Is that a
He was also quizzed about
his favourite parts of his trip
to Stewart Island and why he
decided to make the trip.
“ You guys are very very lucky
to live in a place like this,” Prince
Harry told them.
“ Make the most of it guys, suck
in the fresh air.”
The conversation turned back
to helicopters and the prince
suggested the students write to
Prime Minister John Key and
ask if they could all go for a
helicopter ride around Stewart
The school’s band then
performed The Exponents’ classic
song, Why Does Love Do This
Prince Harry gave the students
a warm round of applause after
they performed another song,
Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.
He was then presented with a
Halfmoon Bay School calendar
Prince Harry told the band they
were “going to be awesome” and
to keep practising.
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
Prince Harry on pasta, palace and granny
Former Greymouth woman Ranui Ngarimu, a tribal elder from Ngai Tahu, greets Prince Harry with
a hongi during a powhiri on the Awarua Marae at Bluff. Mrs Ngarimu also presented the prince with a
kakahu (cloak) woven by Ngai Tahu weavers as a gift on behalf of the tribe.
Key cool on
Prime Minister John Key says a
blanket lowering of speed limits is not
the answer to making New Zealand
Ten people died on New Zealand
roads this weekend, including in a pair
of triple-fatality crashes.
Police said the weekend’s road toll
was a “preventable tragedy” and more
should be done to make the roads safer
including lowering speed limits and
removing roadside hazards.
But Mr Key told TV3’s Paul Henry
programme this morning lowering the
speed limit was not the answer.
The main issues for New Zealand
drivers were alcohol, speed and fatigue,
Police were doing well targeting
dangerous drivers as well as looking at
safe speeds but a blanket lowering of
speed limits would not be obser ved by
drivers, Mr Key said.
“One person in the weekend is one to
many but 10 is terrible.
“O ur challenge is in the roads where
there’s blind corners or people get stuck
behind trucks and do silly things or
just plain stupid things. The question is
where should (police) target?”
Road policing Assistant Commissioner
Dave Cliff said it was too early to say
what had caused the crashes.
Removing roadside hazards like power
poles and trees, lowering speed limits
on rural roads and putting wire rope
barriers down the centre of roads would
bring “enormous value”, Mr Cliff said.
“ I think we’ve come to see road deaths
now as entirely preventable.
“ We understand what the safe system
is, it is just the implementation of it,
and we are working through that. At the
moment, to have so many killed, is all
completely unnecessary. I think that is
the tragedy of it.”
Mr Cliff told TVNZ’s Breakfast
programme today said the impacts
across the community was “huge”.
“That will go on for years.”
One way to combat the crashes was
to bring the speed limit down on some
windy rural roads.
“ Take for example the Rimutaka
Hill — getting the speed limits down
on those portions of roads that are not
designed for high speed. ”
Getting rid of roadside hazards and
putting up more median wire barriers
would also make a difference to the road
toll, Mr Cliff said.
“There’s more we can do in the
enforcement domain as well.”
If repeat speedsters who were caught
by fixed speed cameras had demerit
points applied to them, that would make
a difference as well, he told Breakfast.
He urged motorists to buy the safest
car available if they were planning to
replace their vehicles.
He recognised that people did make
mistakes that caused crashes.
“The price of making a mistake on the
road should not be your death. ”
Mr Key told Breakfast in the next
Budget there would be a lot more money
for roading and transport.
Some of that money would go towards
improving roads, he said.
AA spokesman Dylan Thomsen said
eliminating deaths on New Zealand
roads would be a long time coming.
Work was being done by the Ministry
of Transport and the New Zealand
Transport Association to bring down
the numbers, Mr Thomsen told TV3’s
Paul Henry programme.
“O ur rate of deaths per population is
about double the lowest in the world,”
“The idea of eliminating all deaths and
injuries all together may be beyond our
But Road safety campaigner Clive
Matthew-Wilson told the programme
the Government needed to be doing
more to make the roads safer.
Simple fixes like fences on the side of
roads and down the centre line would
make a huge difference, he said.
“The anti-speeding campaign this
year has been an unmitigated disaster.
These accidents are easily and cheaply
The road toll has hit 126 this year —
exactly 20 more than the number of
people who had died on New Zealand
roads at this time last year.
Ministry of Transport statistics show
this weekend saw the highest road toll
all year, with the six deaths on Anzac
Day weekend coming in second.
There have been 110 fatal crashes
in 2015 so far with 88 men dying and
38 women dying in the crashes, the
February saw the highest number of
fatal crashes with 32 on New Zealand
roads. — NZ ME
State house sales ‘not
experiment ’ — Bennett Dunedin
A fisherman swept off rocks on
Otago Peninsula on Saturday was only
minutes from death as he screamed for
help in the water, his rescuer says.
The D unedin man, of Chinese descent
and about 40, was fishing off rocks
with a friend at Seal Point when he was
dragged into the sea by a large wave
about 10.50am, police said.
He managed to stay afloat for 30
minutes while clinging to his fishing
rod and yelling for help as he was
pushed east by the current.
The man was eventually plucked from
the water by one of three private fishing
vessels which joined the search.
The Otago regional rescue helicopter
then transferred the man to shore.
Paramedics worked on the man before
he was flown to D unedin Hospital.
The man’s rescuer — Vivienne J
skipper John McLachlan — said the
fisherman was lucky to be alive.
“I ’d say another five minutes and he
would have been buggered.”
Two helicopters carrying paramedics
and Dunedin water rescue squad
members were dispatched, and the
Dunedin Coastguard vessel launched,
as a full marine rescue swung into gear.
Mr McLachlan and two other private
vessels nearby also heard the call over
marine radio and headed to the area.
Mr McLachlan said he first saw
the fisherman’s backpack floating in
the water, “and then we heard him
The man was “about 200m away ” from
his pack, floating near breakers and rocks
in a moderate 3m swell, having drifted
up to 1km from Seal Point, he said.
When the vessel reached the
fisherman, he was thrown a life ring and
then pulled on board, Mr McLachlan
said. The man was “knackered, to put it
bluntly”, he said.
Senior constable Lox Kellas, of
Portobello, said the rescued fisherman
was hypothermic, but conscious and
talking, and “dead lucky” to be alive.
The man was also lucky his friend had
been able to raise the alarm quickly,
despite “marginal” cellphone coverage in
the area, Mr Kellas said.
There was a second water resue later
on Saturday when a hypothermic man
was taken to Dunedin Hospital after
his dinghy overturned in Portobello Bay
The man, in his 50s, was rowing out
to his yacht moored in lower Portobello
Bay when his dinghy was caught by a
wind gust and overturned about 150m
from shore. He was pulled from the
water 20 minutes later by a fisherman
in a runabout. — Otago Daily Times
Angler ‘dead lucky’ to be alive
Getting a State
house is currently just
a “ lottery” for tenants,
The minister told
TVNZ’s Q and A
yesterday selling State
houses to community
housing providers was
not an “experiment ” and would
work in tenants’ best interests.
The Government announced
this month Tauranga and
Invercargill would see the first
1000 to 2000 sales of State
All 1250 existing State houses
in Tauranga and all 370 in
Invercargill could be up for grabs
this year if willing buyers can be
Ms Bennett said the transfer
would mean more housing
availability and more choice for
“At the moment they almost
have to win a lottery to get to the
top of the list and a vacant house
“ What the past has been for
decades is putting
(tenants) into a State
house and leaving
Invercargill had been
chosen because the
Government “had to
start somewhere”, she
The areas had a
stable demand for housing and
a number of community housing
providers who indicated they
wanted to get into the market,
The houses will be sold at a
discount to community housing
providers who might then partner
with private developers to make
the most of the opportunity, Ms
Another 3000 social houses
would be built in the process, she
There are currently 4808 people
on the social housing waiting list.
“ We have people that need
social housing. The argument
becomes should the Government
provide all of that,” Ms Bennett
said. — NZ ME
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Otago regional rescue helicopter crew move a hypothermic fisherman to a
waiting Helicopters Otago chopper before flying him to Dunedin Hospital on
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