Home' Greymouth Star : June 11th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Thursday, June 11, 2015
A super city proposal for Wellington
scrapped in favour of less rigorous change is
being lamented as a lost opportunity.
The Local Government Commission
announced yesterday councils in Wellington
and Northland would not be amalgamated
into super cities but planning is in the
final stages for Hawke’s Bay to follow in
Auckland ’s footsteps.
Commission chief executive Sandra
Preston said there was little support for
a major structural upheaval in Wellington
but there was a widespread mood for
About 90% of almost 10,000 people
who submitted did not support the idea,
prompting the existing Wellington councils
to go back to the drawing board.
Property Council Wellington branch
president Mile Cole said the capital had lost
a much-needed opportunity for a “single
A super city would have reduced
inefficiencies, improved governance and
moved the region for ward, he said.
“At the moment too many councils
are pulling in different directions,
leaving Wellington with a distinct lag
in competitiveness among New Zealand
Wellington Employers’ Chamber of
Commerce chief executive John Milford
said businesses across the region were
disappointed but the debate was far from
There was still a “huge appetite” for change,
“ Wellington region is not doing as well as
we should be, or as well as we could be.
“Change to our local government
arrangements is a factor that would help to
move the region forward. We’ve got to seize
Kapiti Chamber of Commerce chair-
woman Liz Koh said there was a considerable
concern the consultation process was less
Mayors in the region, including
Wellington’s Celia Wade-Brown, celebrated
Ms Wade-Brown said the idea was always
too ambitious and a more pragmatic solution
would be found.
“This decision shows that for the vast
majority of people Miramar to Masterton
was always too far for real local democracy.
People don’t want one uber-council,” she
The Green Party welcomed the news,
saying it was a “clear message” residents
do not want the quirky capital to become
Spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said some
form of amalgamation was possible in the
future but it would need to be looked at
“It is important that any change is driven
by the community rather than imposed on
The rejection of a Northland super city
was welcomed by the Northland Regional
Chairman Bill Shepherd said the
announcement ended months of uncertainty.
“ We told the Local Government
Commission during its reform hearings in
March last year that we couldn’t support
its draft proposal. The ball has been in its
court since then.”
The Northland councils have identified
alternative ways to provide services and the
commission was hoping to work with the
community on the ideas.
Commission chairman Basil Morrison
said the decision to make Hawke’s Bay a
super city was based on public support.
“ We believe in Hawke’s Bay there is
community support for reorganising local
government, that the final proposal will
promote good local government, and is in
the region’s best interests.”
A final proposal has been issued by the
commission but if 10% of an electorate in
one of the affected areas petitions for a vote,
it will force an area-wide poll.
If the plan is backed, the new council will
be formed in October 2015.
Five councils will be merged into one if the
plans go ahead.
Hastings, Napier, Central Hawke’s Bay,
Wairoa and Hawke’s Bay Regional councils
would be affected.
Plans from 2014 showed nine councillors
would be elected from five wards, supported
by five community boards with 37 elected
A walking-powered cellphone charger may
sound far-fetched, but not to Taieri College
pupil Karl Brinsdon.
The 14-year-old, who received the inaugural
Nidd Realty Youth Innovation Fund
scholarship this week, planned to have the
device up-and-running by the beginning of
The innovation, one of many in the pipeline
for Karl, would be powered by voltage sent
to the charger from discs placed in people’s
shoes. The voltage would be triggered by
vibrations of the disc, which was connected to
the charger by wire.
“I thought it would be a useful thing,” Karl
“People are getting less fit and using
technology a lot more, so I thought it would
be a good way for people to be able to charge
their phones while out exercising.”
Karl will receive $2000 courtesy of the
scholarship, and planned to use it for others’
benefit, rather than his own.
Among his other projects to be boosted by
the funding was a guitar to be made from
rimu he requested following the recent
demolition of a school building. The guitar
would be donated to the school, he said.
The music enthusiast also planned to
organise concerts in the Mosgiel area to give
fellow musicians an opportunity to perform in
front of a live audience.
Karl said it was an opportunity many people
in the area missed out on.
“A lot of people don’t have a lot of money to
go and do a lot of things. With this money,
it would be cool to rent a place out and have
them round and host them there. ”
Karl’s mother Rachel said the funding
would make a huge difference to her son’s
“ He would have done them, but we always
said it ’s a long-term thing,” she said.
“ With this money he can get on to some of
them now, so it’s fulfilling dreams really. ”
Nidd Realty owner Joe Nidd said Karl
embodied everything he wanted in a recipient.
“ His innovation was particularly what we
were looking for, but he’s thinking about
other people as well, and that ’s pretty
impressive at that age.”
Mr Nidd said he was driven to create the
scholarship after hearing “too many stories”
of bright young kids moving away from
“ We wanted to let people know at the
grassroots level there are people who
recognise innovation. If we can build a bit of
a culture if innovation in this town we might
help save a few more young minds from
leaving. ” — Otago Daily Times
Award charges up Karl’s inventive talents
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Karl Brinsdon will use a $2000 scholarship to fund his walking-powered cellphone charger
concept, one of his many innovations.
Baby had both
A 10-month-old baby with
two broken arms was left
in pain and anguish by his
carers, a D unedin judge said
The baby’s mother and her
partner did not seek medical
attention for him despite
his obvious suffering, Judge
Kevin Phillips said.
Axelina Teraroa Pokipoki,
32, and Samual Charles
Huntley, 29, were sentenced
yesterday in the D unedin
District Court to six months’
home detention for child
The court heard the pair had
told police the boy ’s pain was
caused by him “sleeping on
his arm funny ’’.
Judge Phillips described
that as “an unbelievable
Disneyland type creation’’.
The couple had rejected
concerns of family members
who wanted them to take the
baby to the doctor.
The family then contacted
Child Youth and Family
because they believed that
was the only way to get the
care the child needed.
The joint charge of child
neglect, which has a maximum
penalty of 10 years’ jail, was
laid after a paediatrician
examined the little boy at
Dunedin Public Hospital on
January 31 last year.
A two-week-old fracture
to the upper right arm was
revealed an older injury, a
three-month-old fracture to
the left forearm.
No medical treatment
had been sought for either
fracture, the summary from
Crown counsel Robin Bates
Medical reports said the
pain was from the two-week-
old break to the upper arm. It
would have been painful for
the child to be picked up.
He would have avoided
using the arm, which would
swollen, and he would also
have been crying.
Pokipoki and Huntley were
not charged with causing
injury to the child because
nobody could establish how
the injuries happened, Judge
“ You’re charged with not
getting this baby medical
attention immediately,’’ the
judge told the pair.
Before home detention was
available as a sentence, the
defendant would both have
been going to prison for 12 to
18 months, he said.
When police spoke to the
defendants, they said the baby
had improved a couple of days
after the injury presented
and that was why they did
not bother seeking medical
Lawyers Andrew Dawson
(Pokipoki) and Jim Takas
(Huntley) both argued for
home detention for the
couple. They now had support
from a community group and
Child Youth and Family were
Mr Takas described the
parenting situation as “very
Pokipoki had two older
children who spent alternate
weeks with her and Huntley.
The victim of the neglect was
spending every other weekend
with the couple. There was
also a 10-month-old baby,
born last July, and Pokipoki
was 21 weeks’ pregnant.
Judge Phillips sentenced
the couple to six months’
home detention, followed by
six months’ post-detention
Both defendants are to have
counselling, treatment and
must complete programmes
as directed. They are not
allowed to use any alcohol or
The judge said Huntley
had previous convictions
involving violence, but none
were relevant to the child
Huntley had been a positive
influence on Pokipoki whose
problems possibly related
to her chronic cannabis
addiction. She had difficulty
accepting the reality that she
had to have agencies involved.
— Otago Daily Times
New Zealand leads way in voice recognition
A former Awamoa School teacher has
pleaded guilty to two charges of indecently
assaulting a male pupil in 1982.
Paul Roger Herrick, 69, now of
Palmerston North, appearing before
Judge Joanna Maze in the Oamaru
District Court yesterday, vacated his pleas
of not guilty and admitted two charges
of indecently assaulting a male pupil
between January 30 and December 1,
1982. Both indecent assaults involved the
same victim, whose name is suppressed.
Crown prosecutor Matt Beattie told the
court the first offence occurred after the
victim was told to stay behind after school
for causing trouble.
Herrick, aged 36 or 37, at the time, told
the boy to follow him to the cloak room,
where he rubbed the boy ’s legs, running
his hands up the boy ’s shorts and began
committing an indecent act. Herrick
then told him to collect his things and go
On another occasion that year, the
victim was again asked to stay behind
after school and then called to the cloak
room. The boy was wearing shorts, which
Herrick pulled down. He then committed
indecencies on the boy.
Mr Beattie told the court the indecent
assaults had resulted in long-term
behavioural issues for the victim, who had
struggled to trust anyone in a position of
The charges were first filed in the
Oamaru District Court on December 12,
2014. Herrick initially denied any sexual
assault, but admitted the boy had troubles.
After entering pleas of guilty in court
yesterday, he was convicted and remanded
on bail to appear for sentencing on
July 8. — Otago Daily Times
New Zealand now leads the world in the
use of automatic voice recognition.
Some 1.4 million Inland Revenue
customers have signed up for its voice ID
phone ser vice — giving New Zealand the
world’s highest level of voice biometric
enrolments per capita.
Revenue Minister Todd McClay, who
announced the uptake figures yesterday, said
the voice ID service had saved 15,000 hours
of phone time each year.
Between 60 to 70% of customers who call
IRD use the ser vice on any given day.
“Every customer who calls IRD using voice
ID saves around 40 seconds per call, which
equates to 15,000 hours each year customers
don’t have to spend on the phone answering
personal security questions to verify who
they are,” Mr McClay said.
The voice ID service was launched in
January 2012. It allows customers to
automatically check the balance and
payment dates of their IRD accounts, receive
child support information, retrieve their
IRD number, activate their on-line ser vices
account and reset passwords — even if they
call outside opening hours. — N Z ME
A “compulsive alcoholic” with a
90-conviction criminal history has been
jailed for two years and one month for
what Judge Kevin Phillips described as
“calculated, premeditated, persistent and
Paul Simon Semple’s
convictions were mainly for property,
dishonesty and deception offences
but also included arson, violence and
misuse of drugs, Judge Phillips said
when sentencing the 32-year-old in the
Dunedin District Court yesterday.
Semple, of D unedin, admitted eight
charges of unlawfully interfering with
vehicles and one charge each of burglary,
assault, possessing an offensive weapon,
making a false statement to police and
behaving in a disorderly manner.
The offences were committed over
several months from last June and a
major aggravating feature was that the
defendant was on release conditions at
the time, the judge said. He described
the defendant as a major user of alcohol
Lawyer Garth Cameron said Semple
wished to accept the indication of 25
months’ jail and reverse his not guilty
Semple telephoned the emergency
number several times on December 1
asking for the police and saying he was
going to hang himself. He refused to say
where he was, then claimed he was up
Mt Cargill, had stabbed himself and was
bleeding beside the road.
When police eventually located him,
he said he was upset and wanted the
police to help him.
Three days earlier, Semple had been
arrested for disorderly behaviour,. He
appeared to become unwell while in
police custody, then took a swing at
a medical officer checking his oxygen
The defendant had a knife with him
when police arrested him in June for the
burglary and vehicle related offences. He
said the knife was for his own protection.
Judge Phillips took a 15-month
starting point for sentence, added three
months for the assault and 16 months
overall for the defendant ’s past record
and the fact some offending was on bail
and on a sentence. He then allowed a
seven month credit for the guilty pleas
and deducted another two months to
take into account the defendant ’s various
The 25-month sentence was imposed
on the burglary charge, with concurrent
terms of six months for the knife
possession and each of the eight unlawful
interference charges, two months on the
assault and one month for making a false
On the disorderly behaviour charge,
Semple was convicted and discharged.
He was given a concurrent two-month
sentence in place of fines of just over
$3000 which were remitted.
His uncompleted community work was
cancelled and the judge ordered the knife
be destroyed. — Otago Daily Times
Parents get home detention
Replacement buses are taking
commuters from Northcote
Point to downtown Auckland
this morning after the ferry
wharf was closed because of a
A Fuller ferry company
official said the buses would
replace commuter ser vices
until 8.50am, but not run after
that. She said the problem was
with the wharf, and not any of
the company’s ferries.
Buses replace Auckland ferries
Wellington super city plan scrapped
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