Home' Greymouth Star : June 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
6 - Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Air NZ denies being
stingy with wine
A man has been arrested after two police
pistols were stolen from the New Plymouth
District Court two years ago.
Police said two police-issue Glock firearms
were stolen. An investigation was launched
when they were made aware of the theft in June
Yesterday, police arrested and charged a man
in relation to the theft.
The 40-year-old New Plymouth man has been
charged with theft and will appear in the New
Plymouth District Court tomorrow.
Police said one firearm was recovered and a
person was charged and convicted with unlawful
possession of that firearm.
Inspector Keith Borrell said the arrest
signalled progress in the ongoing investigation.
“ I want to thank the public as they have played
a key role by providing us with information
which has assisted our lines of inquiry.
“ We still want to speak with anyone who may
have any information about the theft and I
encourage them to contact police.” — NZME
Arrest after police pistols stolen
European aerospace giant Airbus
is believed to be in the running to
buy Air New Zealand’s Safe Air
Blenheim-based Safe Air does
upgrade and maintenance work
for the Royal New Zealand Air
Force as well as for other military
and commercial aircraft operators
around the world.
The engineering base has long
been deemed non-core to Air
NZ’s business and the company
has been looking for a buyer for
Safe Air has carried out more
than 90% of the RNZAF’s heavy
maintenance since 1998.
Airbus Group Australia
Pacific has expanded its aircraft
maintenance operations across the
Tasman in the past two years and
taking over the Safe Air operation
could be part of its expansion in
The Toulouse-based plane
maker is in line to bid to replace
New Zealand’s ageing Hercules
fleet with its new heavy military
transport aircraft, the A400M,
when tenders are opened within
the next few years.
Air NZ has talked to potential
buyers but chief operations
officer Bruce Parton would not
discuss who they were and said
the airline had not signed any
“Air NZ has been looking at
how to best position the Safe
Air business for future success,
including potentially identifying
a partner that is better placed
than us to grow the business
in its specialist area of military
engineering support,” he said.
An Airbus spokesman in Sydney
would not comment on the
possible purchase. A spokesman
for Defence Minister Gerry
Brownlee referred inquiries to Air
Primarily a helicopter maker in
Australia, Airbus Group employs
more than 1300 people across
15 sites in Australia and New
It supports more than 500
Airbus helicopters and provides
“through-life support” for military
fixed-wing aircraft as well,
including Royal Australian Air
Force Hercules and Orions.
When in 2007 Safe Air won a
$110 million, six-year contract to
work on RNZAF planes, about
350 people worked there. Staff
numbers have been cut since.
— NZ M E-New Zealand Herald
Airbus in running to buy Safe Air unit
Air New Zealand will broaden the range of
wine in premium cabins as it pushes back on
claims its being stingy topping up glasses in the
back of the plane.
Passengers have complained the airline
was holding back on wine during flights, one
questioning whether it wanted to be known as
“the Scrooge of the sky”.
However, the airline’s chief operations officer
Bruce Parton said nothing had changed in the
past few months with the approach to ser ving
wine and volumes had increased slightly during
the past few months.
While the airline’s own complaints log had
shown no increase in complaints about beverage
or food, Mr Parton said some passengers on
short flights across the Tasman may get only
one wine ser vice because with a tail wind the
flight time was as short as two hours and 28
“By the time we take off and land we’ ll get one
run through — it’s just a timing thing.”
A head wind added an hour to the crossing
which meant there was time for another ser vice,
The airline now had a sole supplier in economy
— the Villa Maria stable — and this had allowed
it to simplify its process and make savings.
“ We’re spending more — we ’re investing
another $5 million in food and wine throughout
the country,” he said.
The airline would soon announce ways it
would broaden the range of wine in business
class beyond those submitted to the awards it
sponsors every year, head of procurement, Anna
“The problem we found with that is that
only about 30% of the industry submit wine
through that forum. Not only were we not
seeing a wide enough spectrum from that pool,
the industry was upset because they didn’t have
the opportunity to submit their wine to us,” she
The airline has appointed two leading
international wine judges and commentators
to help select its wine and help promote
New Zealand labels overseas. One is based in
California and the other in China.
Air NZ ser ves about one million bottles
of wine a year and Mr Parton said sauvignon
blanc was the most popular wine, but increasing
amounts of chardonnay were being drunk.
— NZ ME -New Zealand Herald
The debate about the
Kohanga Reo board
has come to a impasse,
with Labour calling for
the Education Minister
Hekia Parata to demand
minister saying it was not
The board itself will not
address governance issues
until a Waitangi Tribunal
decision about funding
is dealt with — but the
minister said she would not consider
the tribunal decision until there was a
modern board in place.
Maori Television’s Native Affairs
revealed on Monday night a review
by Internal Affairs had said there was
“gross mismanagement ” at the trust ’s
subsidiary, Te Pataka Ohanga, including
$110,000 in director’s payments to the
Maori king when he was not a director.
Previous allegations have included
credit card spending on personal items
by staff, leading to several investigations,
including one by the Serious Fraud
Office, all which found no illegal activity
and no wrongdoing by the trust.
However Ms Parata has said the board
needed to be modernised — which it
refused to do until a Waitangi Tribunal
decision about funding is addressed.
spokeswoman Nanaia Mahuta said if the
minister did not have confidence in the
board, members needed to go.
“S he should stop stalling and demand
their resignations,” Ms Mahuta said.
“As long as the minister fiddles,
nothing will change. Too much is at
stake and decisive action is required. ”
Ms Mahuta said Ms Parata knew
about the problems facing the board
and its management when former
board member Toni Waho gave her the
information, and should have acted then.
She said with the appointment of
a new chief executive, there was the
opportunity to create change if the
minister acted now.
In response, Ms Parata
said it was not for her
to say whether she had
confidence in the board.
“I don’t appoint the board
and it doesn’t answer to
me. It answers, or should
whanau,” she said.
The minister said the
board told her in February
it was planning a new
governance process. She
said the board should
put in place a governance
entity that “meets the modern tests
of representativeness, transparency,
accountability, and auditability”.
She said she had acted when Mr Waho
alerted her to concerns about the board,
by referring allegations to the SFO.
Meanwhile, King Tuheitia’s office has
refused to answer questions about the
$110,000 paid in directors fees to the
king when he was not a director.
A person at the Kingitanga office
said: “No one is going to talk to you
sweetheart. There is no comment.”
Te Kohanga Reo Trust Board
spokesman Derek Fox said the fee was
legitimate, but had been written up
wrongly — it should have been labelled
King Tuheitia was the patron of the
trust and the trust wanted to pay him an
honorarium; he had not asked for it.
“ It ’s not necessarily for him, it ’s for the
kingitanga,” Mr Fox said. “He, and his
mother before him do a lot for Kohanga
Native Affairs reported the issue had
been handed to the Inland Revenue
Department. IRD refused to discuss the
The story that ran on Monday night
was one of the episodes that reportedly
cost Maori Television its star broadcaster.
Executive interference in the Kohanga
Reo story, and another on Whanau
Ora, was believed to be a factor in
Mihingarangi Forbes’ resignation from
Native Affairs earlier this month.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
What does windy Wellington do
when it wants to dress its beaches in
the best sand it can find? It turns to
the golden sands of sunny Dunedin.
Sand that is not just golden but
dense, clean, quartz-based, medium-
Sand so perfect Wellington City
Council boffins scoured the whole
country before deciding nothing could
beat Dunedin’s golden grains.
WCC project manager Peter
Hemsley said the sand was needed
for the capital’s popular inner-city
Freyberg and Oriental Beaches, which
were covered with a sand from Golden
Bay in 2002.
With that sand washing away at the
rate of about 120 square metres every
year, the time had come to replace it.
Dunedin’s sand was the best on offer,
Mr Hemsley said.
“D unedin had the right sand, it had
the right quantities, and it had the
right machinery,” he said.
Otago University geology researcher
Associate Prof James White said the
sand was, once upon a time, schist
As the rock broke down, the quartz
portion was washed into rivers where
it eventually accumulated at what is
now Ferny Hill quarry, near Mount
From there, it was trucked to
Blackhead Quarries’ Walton Park
sand quarry, at Fairfield, where it was
graded, screened and washed.
“ It ’s reasonably dense, high-quality
“Apart from Dunedin, there wouldn’t
be many places around New Zealand
that have sand like this. ”
So far, 1200 tonnes of sand had been
loaded into containers at Fairfield and
put on to trains.
About 100 rail cars would eventually
be needed to transport the required
2400 tonnes to Picton, across Cook
Strait and to Wellington’s beaches.
The first loads were added to the
beaches yesterday, Mr Hemsley said.
The $400,000 project was expected
to be completed early next month.
— Otago Daily Times
Sand heading to faraway beaches
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Walton Park sand quarry manager Barney Fuller samples some of Dunedin’s
prized golden sand.
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