Home' Greymouth Star : May 25th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, MAY 25, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Two Greymouth houses were
broken into with daylight
burglaries over the weekend,
though police do not believe the
two are linked. A window was
forced open in a Blake Street
house at 4.45pm on Saturday and
a number of items were reported
missing. Yesterday, a property on
State highway 6 at Coal Creek
was also entered, between 11am
and 4pm. Police said a laptop,
blanket and duvet were stolen in
that burglary. Meanwhile, Westport
police believe three of the four
burglaries there at the weekend
were linked. Two commercial
premises and two houses were
targeted. Chainsaws and tools were
among the things stolen. In one
case, the cord to a CCTV camera
was cut and cigarettes taken.
Fine, frosty inland
Greymouth Star On-line
An investigation is under way at
a Scottish hospital after a surgeon
allegedly used a ‘rusty hacksaw ’
to amputate a patient ’s leg. The
probe follows concerns raised
by theatre staff who witnessed
the procedure and reported it to
senior management. The elderly
male patient was admitted to Ayr
Hospital for what should have
been a routine operation, but a
metal plate was unexpectedly
found in his leg. Incredibly, medics
could not find the equipment
they needed, so a member of staff
was sent to a nearby branch of B
and Q. Unfortunately the DIY
store was shut. As a last resort, a
hacksaw from old stock stored in
a hospital cupboard was used. The
anaesthetised patient remained
unconscious while the operation
was halted and the medical team
discussed their options. Surgery
only resumed when the saw was
found and staff realised it could cut
through the metal plate.
— Daily Mail
A Greymouth pensioner is stunned
after receiving a $1471 bill for
an ambulance ride to transfer her
partner, who suffers from dementia, to
Christchurch for surgery that did not
Barbara Collett said she was going
public on behalf of other people their
age who would be hurt by such bills.
“If they ’ve got no money, how are they
going to get home?” Mrs Collett said.
Her partner is a resident in the hospital
wing at Kowhai Manor rest home. After
being admitted to Grey Base Hospital
in April and told he needed surgery, he
was later transferred from the rest home
to Christchurch Hospital by St John.
The operation did not take place,
apparently at his own request.
“Imagine my surprise when I received
an invoice from St John for $1471.99 to
be paid by June 11 for travel expenses,”
Mrs Collett said.
“ Why should I have to pay such a huge
sum of money when my partner is a
subsidised resident of (Kowhai Manor)
and I am a superannuitant?”
She said she would have preferred the
operation to be done in Greymouth,
noting also that those who did travel
as a support person had to pay for their
own accommodation in a motel.
She would not have minded
contributing to the ambulance trip, but
the size of the bill left her shocked.
“ What is this hospital of Greymouth
going to provide for the elderly of
our town after the so-called rebuild?
Nothing,” she said, referring to plans for
a new $67 million Greymouth Hospital.
The invoice says the charge is for an
ambulance trip covering 237km.
“St John is a charity and relies on
the prompt payment of charges for
ambulance services to help fund our
ambulance operations and continue to
support you and your communities,” a
note on the invoice says.
St John spokesman Ian Henderson
responded today that the invoice was
correct and that a patient transfer had
been ordered to transfer the patient to
“This was a private hire, and as such
the charge is correct,” Mr Henderson
Information on the St John website
says ‘private hire’ between 101km and
400km is charged at the rate of $6.21
Ex-Coast man killed in head-on crash
A former Greymouth young man
died last night after a head-on
collision on a slow bend on State
highway 73, just west of Jacksons.
The driver and passenger of a car
heading towards the West Coast
sur vived the crash, but the driver of
the car heading towards Christchurch
died at the scene. The deceased had
been living in Ashburton.
All three were young men.
The crash occurred about 5pm at
Rocky Point, beside the Taramakau
Tasman police area
spokeswoman Barbara D unn said a
serious crash investigation was under
way and details as to the cause of the
crash were not yet available.
Greymouth and Kumara volunteer
firefighters were both called to the
Kumara deputy chief fire officer
Les Neame said the crash occurred
at the western end of Rocky Point on
a slow bend.
Mr Neame said the driver of one car
was able to get out but his passenger
had to be cut free by the Greymouth
He said the road was damp and
may have contributed to the crash.
The NZCC Rescue Helicopter
was called to transfer the injured
passenger back to Grey Base
Hospital with knee and leg injuries.
The highway was closed between
Kumara and Jacksons until midnight.
Two months ago, a Christchurch
man in his 70s drove off the road
at Rocky Point while travelling
eastward on State highway 73.
Over the bar in safety
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
Bronah Gibbens, left, Kalia Gunter, Natasha Fensom and Daniel Horridge enjoy a trip over the Grey River bar in the Coastguard rescue boat the
Ivan Talley. Boat rides featured on Saturday as part of a Coastguard West Coast open day at the group’s headquarters, at the end of the Blaketown
Dismissal of Whittall charges ‘purchased’
The Pike River Mine saga is back
in court today, with legal action being
taken over the decision to drop all
charges against former mine boss
Twenty-nine men lost their lives in
the 2010 disaster.
Whittall initially faced 12 charges
related to failing to ensure the safety
of workers in the mine, but these
were dropped in December 2013.
That same day, Whittall and the Pike
River directors offered a voluntary
reparation payment of $110,000
to the families of each of the men
killed in the blast, as well as the two
A judicial review into the Crown’s
decision to drop the charges is being
held today in Wellington.
Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her
son Ben in the explosion, and Anna
Osborne, who lost her husband
Milton, have taken the legal action.
The women are arguing the
Ministry of Business, Innovation
and Employment ’s failure to put up
evidence, and for the court to hear
evidence, was unlawful and invalid.
Nigel Hampton QC, representing
Mrs Osborne and Mrs Rockhouse,
says the dismissal of Whittall’s
charges was “purchased” by a
$3.4 million payout to the families.
He says the court made an unlawful
decision in dismissing the charges,
and suggests the payment was a
pre-condition to the charges being
He says the decision for this to
happen was made behind closed
doors and the victims’ families were
Mr Hampton says this was contrary
to victim’s rights and open justice.
The families involved would have
rather seen Whittall held to account
in court, he says.
The hearing is expected to run for
two days. — NZME
New Zealand Herald
The Department of Internal Affairs is
investigating the charity status of the
Gloriavale Christian Community.
Gloriavale owns assets totalling
$36.6 million, including a dairy farm,
deer enterprise and an aircraft repair
The tax-exempt charity, operating
as the Christian Church Community
Trust, is run by four church leaders
and overseen by Hopeful Christian,
who is referred to in documents as the
Internal Affairs said in a statement
today: “The department is continuing
to assess information about whether
the charity complies with the Charities
Act, and won’t be able to provide any
further information until we have
completed all our inquiries”.
Assets and financial results related to
Gloriavale are listed on the Charities
Services website, a government agency
which is part of the Department of
The trust ’s annual returns for August
2013 through July 2014 show it is
worth more than $36.6m and made a
net profit of more than $1.86m in that
Former members said the trust owns
everything in the community, and
when members leave they take nothing
The 30ha dairy farm in the Haupiri
Valley where the community lives and
works, is valued at $10,200,719, and no
community members are paid for their
work in its eight companies.
Donations made to the trust in the
year totalled $1,502,286, while the total
amount of contributions the charitable
trust made to the community was less
than 10% of that, at $108,635.
Michael Gousmett, a former charity
director said last month the organisation
was required to provide public benefit.
“ What exactly are they doing that
provides a public benefit?
operation, and by all accounts very
successful, but pay no income tax. ”
Officials probe Gloriavale’s charitable status
A visiting hunter from the United
States had a cold night in the Paringa
bush during a sleety south-westerly
storm yesterday after he dislocated his
shoulder in a 40m fall down a rock
Search and Rescue Mid to South
Canterbury co-ordinator Brent Swanson
said the man was a professional hunting
His guide had to return to their camp
to use a satellite phone to call for help,
leaving the man alone with some warm
clothes while he awaited rescue.
Difficult terrain and weather prevented
the NZCC Rescue Helicopter from
reaching him last night.
Pilot Angus Taylor said they made
two attempts after the alarm was raised
about 10pm, firstly to try to winch him
out and when that was thwarted they
tried to drop more warm gear to him
but that was also thwarted due to snow.
The Mount Cook alpine rescue team
retrieved the man this morning and he
was taken to the Twizel Medical Centre.
Hurt tramper waits night in snow
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