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THURSDAY, JULY 2, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
An 86-year-old man’s mobility
scooter was stolen from outside
the Hokitika Chartered Club on
Tuesday night. Sergeant Russell
Glue, of Hokitika police, today
appealed for public help to track
down the “ low-life” thief. The
elderly owner discovered the theft
when he went to leave the club.
Police were shocked at the incident
and the impact it had on the man.
The scooter was found near the
Hokitika Airport yesterday, stuck
in mud where it had obviously
been driven. “Luckily, the man has
got it going and he’s back into his
mobility — but it ’s still a bit of
a low-life thing to do,” Mr Glue
said. Anyone with information
on the thief or who had seen the
scooter being driven through town
on Tuesday night was urged to
contact Constable Sonja Rea at the
Hokitika Police Station.
ends in arrest
A 23-year-old man’s abusive
behaviour outside the Greymouth
New World supermarket last night
resulted in his arrest. Police said
the man was highly intoxicated and
abusing passing shoppers. He was
arrested and charged with disorderly
Google has been forced to
apologise after its image recognition
software mislabelled photographs
of black people as gorillas. The
internet giant ’s new Google Photos
application uses an auto-tagging
feature to help organise images
uploaded to the ser vice and make
searching easier. However the
software has outraged users after it
mislabelled images of a computer
programmer and his friend as
the great apes. Google said it was
‘appalled’ and ‘genuinely sorry’ for
the mistake. Yonatan Zunger, chief
architect of social at Google, said
programmers were working on a fix
to the problem. Mr Zunger later
said that Google had turned off
the ability for photographs to be
grouped under that label to stop the
problem. — Daily Mail
Rain, heavy falls, clearing morning
Greymouth Star On-line
Downtown Greymouth will be almost
bereft of nightlife this weekend after
the Railway Hotel became the latest
West Coast licensed premises to have its
on-licence suspended this week.
In a statement this morning the police
said the Railway on-licence will be
suspended this Saturday for 24 hours as
a result of an incident a year ago.
On Monday, the Alcohol Regulatory
and Licensing Authority temporarily
suspended the on-licences at both
Revingtons Hotel, in Greymouth, and
the Beachfront Hotel, in Hokitika, for
It is doubtful that Revingtons will
reopen at all at the end of its two-week
With the two central Greymouth
licensed premises now effectively closed
this weekend, and the demise of other
traditional pubs in recent years, patrons
will be hard pressed to find a pubic bar
In the past 15 years the central business
district has lost the Richmond, Royal,
Duke of Edinburgh, Golden Eagle and
Gilmer hotels, leaving just the Railway
and Revingtons as traditional public
bars, as well as two nightclubs.
Ferrari’s Lounge Bar, along with the
Kingsgate house bar, Speights Ale
House restaurant and the Greymouth
Workingmen’s Club, plus the nearby
Union Hotel, are the only on-licence
options in the downtown area, aside
from the outlying pubs, the Recreation,
Australasian and Kells.
West Coast police alcohol harm
reduction sergeant Sean Judd said the
Railway suspension related specifically
to the bar allowing intoxication and
disorderly conduct on the premises after
two extremely drunk women were found
there in July last year.
“A fi ght also broke out inside the bar
and the staff closed the premises on
police advice to prevent further trouble,”
Mr Judd said.
The Railway ’s licence suspension
followed a meeting with the licensee
Grant Olsen and police, Community
Public Health and the district licensing
Mr Judd said the Railway accepted the
incident was below the standard required
and agreed to the 24-hour closure this
Saturday without the need for a public
Mr Judd said the agencies investigating
the Railway incident wanted to remind
the public that drunk people could not
be on licensed premises and there were
harsh penalties if they were found there.
“ We are not talking about people out
having a few drinks and having a good
time, we are talking about people who
drink to excess who tend to spoil the
atmosphere for others.”
Hospitality Association Westland
branch spokesman Steve Schmetz,
of Hari Hari, said the three licence
suspensions were “not a good look” and
licence holders and their staff had to take
responsibility and keep “up to speed ”.
Mr Schmetz said the local hotel
industry was under increasing pressure
from the authorities, on top of declining
on-licence consumption, fuelled by
increased home-based drinking and
unlicensed “garage bars popping up”.
The other big issue for operators was
people ‘preloading ’ and then coming
into bars “making a bloody nuisance of
“From surveys, very little alcohol is
now drunk on licensed premises,” Mr
It was obvious that some pubs needed
to “sharpen up” and ensure they ran a
tight ship as the regulatory authorities
on the West Coast tightened the noose.
Mr Schmetz said it seemed Community
Public Health, in particular, was out to
“prove a point ”.
School sitting on a goldmine
Kumara School children have
been making the most of a
collapsed mine shaft at the back of
Juniors, intermediates and seniors
are all getting a chance to try their
luck at finding gold in the dirt
originally excavated from the mine.
Teacher Joan Gray said the
children got the opportunity to pan
for gold this week.
“It’s a good chance to get outside
and do something interesting,” Ms
Contractors recently rediscovered
the shaft while digging near the
school boundary to erect a new
fence. The shaft has since been
covered in to make it safe, however
the spoil was set aside as ‘paydirt’
for the pupils to try their luck.
A Blaketown man who received
stolen goods from a number of
burglaries around Greymouth was
this week convicted of three charges of
receiving and one of theft.
Appearing in the Greymouth District
Court, Jessie Thomas Fisher, 20, was
remanded in custody for sentence on
On May 15, $1500 worth of
equipment was stolen in a burglary,
while later in the month a television,
tools and food were stolen from a
another address. Those thefts totalled
$2300. On May 23, a laptop computer,
tablet and cigarette case were stolen
from a Greymouth address, with a total
value of $2000.
Two days later, Fisher was arrested in
a vehicle at an associate’s home. Two
search warrants were issued the next
day and the tools and other items were
found at Fisher’s house. He told police
that the tools and food had been left
at his address the night before by an
associate. Two rings and a cigarette case
were also found in Fisher’s bedroom.
On May 24, Fisher was being driven
from the West Coast to Christchurch
by an associate, when they stopped at
a service station. They filled up with
$68 of fuel, and Fisher told the driver
that he had paid at the pump, and they
Judge Noel Walsh said he was not
prepared to grant Fisher bail, partly
because he had previously ser ved a six-
month sentence for burglary.
“ When you
Greymouth community you again
got involved in dishonesty related
“I am not prepared to put the
community at risk, given that prison is
inevitable,” Judge Walsh said.
Judge Walsh said he inferred the
offending was committed because of
the need for money for drugs.
Man admits receiving from Greymouth burglaries
Illness, forgetfulness, mislaying
paper work and miscommunication
were some of the excuses offered
by people who failed to show up
for jury ser vice in the Gremouth
District Court last week.
Sixty-seven potential jurors failed
to appear for the the first of two
weeks of court trials. After being
sent a warning letter for failing to
turn up, about 40 contacted court
staff to explain themselves. A further
26 were summonsed to the court
this morning to explain why they
had failed to show last week; just
nine of those bothered to turn up.
Charles Cook said he had not
received the first letter about jury
ser vice, but did receive a subsequent
one. He had been working out of
town, and had been on a jury “just a
few months ago”.
Deputy registrar Elspie Mitchell
said “everyone was busy ” but the
judge was not very happy with that
as an excuse.
“ If this happens again he can issue
a warrant to have you brought to
court,” Ms Mitchell said.
Another potential juror, Eileen
Gardyne, said she had “just had so
much happening” and had already
taken five weeks off work.
Quentin Johansson brought a
medical certificate to court to show
that he had been suffering from a
throat infection. He rang the 0800
phone number he had been given
and was told that the Greymouth
court staff had been contacted, and
advised he was no longer needed.
Ms Mitchell said the “message
didn’t get through to us”.
“ We don’t strike you off the
list, there’s obviously been a
Three others — Christopher
Riddle, Marcella Ross and Ian Ward
all said they had the flu. Mr
Riddle said he had not realised he
needed to be at court for the whole
week, while Ms Ross said she had
sent a letter excusing herself but had
not heard back.
Ms Mitchell said the juror
summons letter made it clear that
Mr Riddle needed to attend for a
full court week, and Ms Ross was
still required to attend until she got
a letter saying she had been excused.
Jeffery Jones was warned to attend
in future after he said that he had
“other things I had to attend to”.
“ We all have got urgent stuff we
need to attend to,” Ms Mitchell said.
Self-employed tradesman Noel
Murchie said he had been called out
on a job, and had also “thrown the
papers away” he had been given by
the court. Ms Mitchell advised him
to call the 0800 number and “insist ”
on talking to someone at the court.
Steven Pizzato said he had a
motorbike accident the weekend
before. Ms Mitchell said he needed
to let the court know when things
like that happened.
A number of potential jurors spoke
out last week after getting a rebuke
from the court and judge, saying
that the court answer machine had
not made it clear when they were
supposed to turn up.
However, Ms Mitchell said today
she had a “ list of the people who rang
up and were able to get through”.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Tim Wafer, right, shows Kumara School pupils Samantha Wafer and Jack Rowe the art of goldpanning yesterday.
Excuses fly for jury no-shows
Top pub closed for 24 hours
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