Home' Greymouth Star : July 31st 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 3
Cat cuts power
A wayward cat has been blamed for
a power outage that affected nearly
10,000 households in Tauranga on
Wednesday night. Power was cut to
almost 10,000 Powerco customers
about 7.20pm after a cat climbed
on to outdoor electrical switchgear
at the Otumoetai substation. The
Greerton, Otumoetai, Matua and
Bethlehem areas were affected.
The cat did not sur vive. Power was
restored by 8.25pm.
— NZ ME-Bay of Plenty Times
Crash victim named
Police are still in the “very early”
stages of the probe into the crash
that killed 18-year-old Nakita May
Strange. Police yesterday confirmed
Miss Strange as the 18-year-old who
died after the Ford Laser in which she
was a passenger was driven through a
give-way controlled intersection and
was struck by a Ford Courier early
on Wednesday. The car was involved
in a petrol drive-off from a D unedin
ser vice station shortly before the
crash. Two of the Laser’s occupants
remained in hospital yesterday.
— Otago Daily Times
A man died following a motorcycle
accident in Whanganui yesterday.
Police said emergency ser vices were
called to the scene at Castle Cliff
Beach, Whanganui, about 5pm.
A 29-year-old man suffered from
serious injuries as a result of the
accident and died at the scene. The
man’s name would not be released
until family members were notified.
At least one person is in a very
serious condition following a pile-
up crash in Wellington yesterday.
Emergency ser vices were called to
the three-car crash on Haywards Hill
at 6.20pm. Fire Ser vice spokesman
David Barham said three fire trucks
attended and firefighters cut two
people out of two different cars. One
person was flown to Wellington
Hospital by helicopter. — NZ ME
A wanted man on the run from
police since early April has been
arrested and charged over the serious
assault of two Korean fishermen
at Ti Point Wharf in Rodney. The
37-year-old man had been actively
evading police. A 34 year-old man
was arrested and charged soon after
the incident. Taumaranui police
received information the wanted man
was at a local address and arrested the
man without incident yesterday. He
will appear in the Hamilton District
Court today. — NZME
Numbers in Keno draw No 11488: 9,
11, 13, 15, 20, 25, 26, 32, 33, 40, 43, 45,
46, 47, 50, 53, 64, 66, 67, 79. Draw No
11489: 10, 21, 26, 28, 33, 34, 36, 37, 44,
46, 48, 49, 51, 53, 56, 59, 61, 69, 76, 77.
Draw No 11490: 3, 5, 7, 13, 15, 19, 22,
24, 41, 42, 43, 52, 55, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63,
64, 80. Draw No 11491: 5, 14, 16, 17,
18, 21, 28, 29, 35, 37, 39, 42, 47, 48, 53,
55, 67, 68, 71, 75.
Front-line police to carry tasers at all times
A female passenger of a speeding
vehicle which crashed near Taumaranui
a week ago has died in hospital.
Emergency services were called to
Manunui, near Taumaranui, last Friday,
after a vehicle crashed into a power
Sunnie Hughes, 34, from Taumaranui,
was a passenger in the vehicle at the
time of the crash. She died in Waikato
Hospital last evening, police said.
Several witnesses saw the vehicle Ms
Hughes was travelling in driving at
significant speed before it collided with
a power pole, police said.
The driver, a 29-year-old man,
sustained minor injuries. — NZ ME
A fatal crash near the Karangahake
Gorge that may have been caused by
a fallen boulder was not in a vicinity
known for rockfall.
A man driving a Holden Commodore
died after crossing the centre line on
State highway 2 near the intersection
with Rahu Road and collided with a car
travelling in the opposite direction about
Road policing manager for Waikato
district, Inspector Freda Grace, said it
was too early to confirm what caused the
crash, but a large rock seemed to play a
“ What I can say however, is that we
are looking into what part, if any, a large
rock similar in size to a medicine ball
found in the eastbound outside passing
lane may have played in the crash.
“It appears the man driving the
Commodore may not have seen the
boulder and struck it causing his car to
career into the path of the Peugeot.”
The man died at the scene and a female
front-seat passenger in the Peugeot
suffered serious injuries and was flown
to Waikato Hospital.
NZTA Waikato-Bay of Plenty
regional director Harry Wilson said
the stretch of highway was not a known
“ It appears a rock about 40cm in
diameter may have been a contributing
factor. However, it’s not appropriate to
speculate at this early stage of the police
Mr Wilson said NZTA contractors
will be inspecting the bank above the
This was the third serious crash to
occur on the stretch of road in three days.
It was closed through the Karangahake
Gorge on Wednesday morning following
a serious incident in which a car crashed
into a paddock about 7.50am.
A person was rushed to hospital in a
serious condition following the accident.
Another crash closed the highway
on Tuesday, when three men travelling
to Tauranga were in a car that rolled
between Waihi and Paeroa. The men
escaped serious injury. — N ZM E
A man accused of murdering a
Christchurch toddler earlier this month
has today entered not guilty pleas.
But the 22-year-old Christchurch
roofer who denies assaulting and killing
15-month-old Ihaka Paora Braxton
Stokes on July 3 still has interim name
The man appeared in the High Court
at Christchurch this morning for a pre-
Defence counsel Phil Shamy said the
man could today enter not guilty pleas.
Mr Shamy also asked for interim name
suppression to continue.
Justice Cameron Mander granted the
interim suppression order. Discussion
from today’s hearing was suppressed.
Ihaka suffered blunt force injuries
including broken bones in the alleged
assault at a house in Truman Road,
He was found unconscious and rushed
to Christchurch Hospital where he died
shortly after wards.
The man was remanded in custody to
A further hearing on name suppression
will be held before then. — NZ M E
All front-line police response staff
will now routinely carry tasers.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush
announced the new initiative from
Police Headquarters in Wellington
this morning, saying the change was
about enhancing the safety of New
Zealand communities and police staff.
The initiative meant tasers could be
carried by appropriately-trained staff
at all times while they were on duty.
Those staff were level one trained
police staff, the majority of who were
front-line police staff, Mr Bush said.
There are approximately 5500 police
staff trained as level one responders,
Mr Bush said.
Currently, these staff could access
tasers from a lockbox in front-line
police vehicles if required.
Mr Bush said the decision to role
out tasers to all front-line police staff
was made following detailed research,
which showed the taser was successful
in easing violent situations.
“The reality is that police officers
often enter into high risk situations.
“ With taser immediately accessible,
this provides added confidence for
our staff and communities that if a
situation does escalate into violence
that our officers have appropriate
tools to manage the situation.”
The implementation of the initiative
would begin today, Mr Bush said.
However, it would be weeks or
months before front-line staff would
actually be carrying a taser.
Police currently have approximately
1000 tasers, and between 400 and 600
more will be purchased as part of the
Funding would come from within
the police budget, Mr Bush said.
Police Association President Greg
O’Connor said the taser was a “ less
lethal option” than a firearm.
Arming front-line officers with
tasers will improve safety for not only
police, but also the public, he said.
The association would work with
police to ensure tasers continued to
be used responsibly and sparingly, Mr
Mr Bush said police had listened to
feedback from front-line staff, “who
consistently tell us that the taser has
proved its worth in the field numerous
The process to move to routine taser
carriage was initiated by police late
last year, Mr Bush said.
Police Minister Michael Woodhouse
said he “fully supported” the new taser
policy and described it as a “welcome
“ We know front-line officers often
find themselves in rapidly changing
situations and it is not always practical
to return to their vehicle to retrieve a
taser,” he said.
“ Having a taser strapped to their
hip provides officers with another
option to diffuse or deal with violent
Tasers had proven to be an effective
tactical option for both preventing and
responding to high-risk situations,
and the risk of injury to the public,
offenders and police was consistently
low, he said.
Since 2010, tasers had been available
to police during 30,000 reported
incidents attended by police.
“ But due to their deterrent effect,
in almost 90% of cases they have not
been discharged,” Mr Woodhouse
“ We owe it to the front-line officers
protecting our communities and
keeping us safe to ensure they have
access to all tactical options they may
need during the course of duty.”
Mr Woodhouse said the new
policy would require the purchase of
between 400 and 600 extra devices,
which would be funded from within
the police’s existing budget.
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source: interest conz
NEW YORK (US$/OUNCE)
mark tet move t
As at 4pm July 30, 2015
a2 Milk Company
269 +3 12.04
ANZ Banking Gr
Auckland Intl Airpt
536 +4 105.8
497 +2 43.89
573 –2 8.00
DNZ Prop Fund
737 –4 29.83
Fonterra Share Fund
469 +1 50.25
– 0.5 21.53
Goodman Prop Tr
127.5 +0.5 43.50
120 +1 241.8
Kiwi Property Gr
1513 +2 4.50
219 +0.5 86 .42
482 +1 3.09
Metro Perf Glass
Mighty River Power
267 –1 104.5
Orion Health Gr
1760 +1 0.67
Prop For Ind
837 +4 11.26
124 +2 42.41
Sky Network TV
437 –1 79.55
294 +0.5 902.1
Steel & Tube
Summerset Gr Hldgs
416 –2 9.58
Trade Me Gr
Vital Hlth Prop Tr
165 –0.5 27.65
1805 +4 0.05
Trading to 10:30am,
Friday, July 31, 2015
DECLINERS: 13 TRADED: 95
Aluminium High Grade
0.6399 0 .5917
PICTURES: Orana Wildlife Park
Western lowland gorilla Fataki, centre, with half-brother Mahali, left, and brother Fuzu at Orana
Wildlife Park, in Christchurch, yesterday.
Sitting on a grassy mound,
12-year-old gorilla Fataki
sur veyed its new surroundings
at Orana Wildlife Park on the
western fringes of Christchurch.
Inquisitive black eyes set deep
in its hulking head, on top of
shoulders, inspected the 20 or
so journalists and cameramen
who had arrived to document its
One look was all it required,
evidently. The great ape got up
and loped inside his new
$6 million house.
The experience took our breath
“Oh wow,” was as eloquent as
people who get paid for their
The 190kg dominant male
Fataki arrived with Fuzu, seven,
and their half-brother, Mahali,
six, at Orana from Taronga Zoo
in Sydney last month as part of an
international zoo-based breeding
Today, the public will get to
view gorillas for the first time.
The western lowland gorillas
have gradually got used to their
After its quick departure, Fataki
soon re-emerged to its large
outdoor play area that features
sturdily-built platforms, power
poles, thick ropes and areas to
Orana Park’s head of exotics,
Rob Clifford, said it was
important the spacious concrete-
walled area was designed for
But he explained that the
powerful primates also need quiet
spaces to occasionally escape the
public ’s prying eyes.
“People have misconceptions
about gorillas. Yes, they are big
powerful animals, but really they
are just big softies,” Mr Clifford
“It doesn’t take a lot to hurt their
feelings or upset them. It takes
a lot to build up a relationship
with them. If they don’t trust you,
you’re mud to them.”
Zoo staff have already heard
them beating their chests, which
they say makes a hollow “ bongo
The herbivorous bachelors also
have big appetites.
Contrary to popular belief, they
do not dine out solely on bananas,
which are only a special treat.
Each gorilla eats 9kg of
vegetables a day, including lettuce,
cabbage, capsicum, egg plant and
The zoo staff has enjoyed getting
to know the highly-intelligent
yet critically endangered animals,
which can live to 50 years in
Mischievous youngsters Fuzu
and Mahali are “thick as thieves”,
Mr Clifford said.
They like to wind up their older
brother who is twice their size.
“They do silly things like slap
him on the back of the head and
run for their lives,” Mr Clifford
“They are a true family group.
Fataki is the big brother, and
I liken it to asking a 17-year-
old boy to babysit his younger
brothers on a Friday night.
“Sometimes he chases them. They
have to learn he’s the boss. But
these two are slow learners.
“ We’re getting a big kick out
of watching all those small
behaviours. People will be able to
sit and enjoy it all too.”
The public can get even closer to
the impressive males inside their
Inside, Fataki, which has the
strength of 11 men, had a closer
inspection of us media types.
Breath from his flared nostrils
moistened condensation on the
thick glass as he stared us down.
Then, he retreated to its nest
of wood chips, apparently still
wholly unimpressed by what it
saw. — NZME
It takes a lot to silence a gaggle of journalists. But the first
glimpse of New Zealand’s only silverback gorillas yesterday
shut up KURT BAYER and his colleagues quicker than a free
New arrivals not to be missed
Six years for
A teenager found guilty of killing
a west Auckland shopkeeper will be
eligible to be released from prison before
he turns 18.
The 14-year-old who stabbed Arun
Kumar in the neck at the Railside Dairy
in Henderson on June 10 last year
was found guilty of manslaughter, but
cleared of murder.
His 13-year-old co-defendant was
cleared of manslaughter.
Today the 14-year-old, whose name
suppression was lifted, but an appeal by
his lawyer sees his name hidden from the
public, was sentenced.
In sentencing, Justice Graham Lang
said he was not satisfied by the defence’s
claim the teen was acting in defence of
Mr Kumar who armed himself with a
Mr Kumar was acting “completely
defensively” and was “in a vulnerable
situation”, he said.
The teenager’s early-life and upbringing
that was “turbulent in the extreme” was
the underlying factor to his actions in
the Railside Dairy, Justice Lang said.
The 14-year-old suffered a “serious
traumatic brain injury” when he was
struck by a vehicle at age eight.
His mother drank alcohol heavily and
took drugs during her pregnancy, Justice
Lang said, and the 14-year-old had
symptoms of foetal alcohol syndrome.
He was addicted to synthetic cannabis
at the time of the attack on Mr Kumar,
and was living in a house that was used
Justice Lang said an expert had told the
court the teenager’s brain injury made
him “extremely vulnerable to complex
The teenager’s lawyer, Maria Pecotic,
said Justice Lang should not compare
his case to the case of Bailey Kurariki,
who was sentenced to seven years of
imprisonment for the manslaughter
of a pizza delivery worker Michael
Choy because of the elements of pre-
meditation and the number of other
Justice Lang agreed. He said there was
little assistance the case could give to his
He said his starting point for sentencing
was seven and a half years in prison.
He said he took into account the teen’s
youth when reducing the sentence.
He would only place light weight on
the teenager’s brain injury, saying that
discount had already been given by the
“ I have no doubt you would have been
convicted of murder (other wise),” he
The Crown was seeking a starting
point of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The jury at the High Court trial of the
two delivered unanimous verdicts last
The family of Mr Kumar declined
to file victim impact statements to the
Earlier this week the family said they
would not attend the sentencing in a
boycott against the justice system they
said failed them.
Prosecutor Kieran Raftery said the
family had felt victimised throughout
the court process.
“There is nothing they feel they can
add in words,” he said.
Justice Lang said the family were
“forced to relive their family member’s
“They will never be able to replace
Mr Kumar. They will never be able to
live their lives as they were (before his
The teenager sat throughout the
sentencing with a novel, pen and paper
on a desk in front of him.
He began the proceedings drawing
on the paper but as the sentencing
continued he would at times slump
for ward and rest his head on the book.
A large group of family were in court to
support him including his grandmother,
mother and his siblings.
As he was lead from the court room
they called out “love you”.
Ms Pecotic spoke to media after
spending time with her client after the
sentence was delivered.
The teenager had not heard a lot of
what was said in the court and it will
take some time for him to understand
what had happened, she said.
His family life was what was behind
his offending, and the teenager’s mother
knew that, she said.
“S he blames herself,” Ms Pecotic said.
Weakened work safety laws closer
Watered down health and safety
laws are a step closer to becoming law
with opposition efforts to ensure
all small businesses have health and
safety representatives failing.
Amid emotive speeches
Parliament, backbench National
MP Maurice Williamson said he
was happy to take the label of “evil
demon beast ” from Labour as he was
opposed to overly stringent health
and safety requirements being put
Family of some of the men killed in
the Pike River mining disaster — the
spur for the law change — watched
from the public gallery, after earlier
protesting the weakening of the
The Health and Safety Reform Bill
passed its second reading 63 votes to
56, after support from National, Act,
the Maori Party and United Future.
Labour, the Greens and New
Zealand First voted against the
Businesses with fewer than 20
workers will not now need health
and safety reps, however those that
are deemed high risk will, regardless
Forestry and logging industries
will be considered high risk, the
Government has confirmed, but is
still to work out other areas.
Labour has asked whether farming
will be defined as high risk, and
has also pushed for workers to
have the right to health and safety
That would have been guaranteed
under the bill as originally put
for ward, and was supported by a task
force, including employers, which
reviewed health and safety laws in
the wake of the deaths of 29 men in
the Pike River mining disaster.
Sonya Rockhouse, who lost her
son Ben, 21 in the mine, and Anna
Osborne, whose husband Milton
died in the disaster, watched the
second reading from the public
Labour’s spokesman for labour
issues, Iain Lees-Galloway, said the
changes betrayed the Pike River
“The minister cannot tell us is what
like the TPP the Government is
saying, ‘trust us — we will get this
“ Well, the families of the Pike
River 29 trusted the Government to
listen to the recommendations of the
Royal Commission and implement
them. And the Government has
failed to live up to the trust that was
expected of them.”
Employer groups are split over
the changes. The Employers’ and
Manufacturers’ Northern support
the original plan for universal
entitlement; Business New Zealand
has welcomed the changes on behalf
of small businesses.
Workplace Relations and Safety
Minister Michael Woodhouse said
the legislation would protect workers
while not being unnecessarily
onerous for businesses.
Mr Woodhouse said he expected to
be able to reveal what sectors would
be high risk “quite quickly”, and
before the Committee of the whole
While the bill was before select
committee Prime Minister John
Key denied that back bench MP
Mr Williamson was planning to
vote against the changes unless
concessions were made.
In yesterday ’s
Williamson said that if Labour was
looking for an “evil demon beast ”,
he was happy to have that label as
he had been involved in the push to
“Everything in life has a risk
associated with it. I was Minister of
Transport for a number of years and
I know I could have brought the road
toll to zero by just making the speed
limit 5kph and only having self lane
track armour-plated vehicles.
“The economy would have been
bankrupt within a day . . . but I could
have held my hand on my heart and
said, ‘ We have had no deaths’. It is
about balance. ”
Green Party MP Kevin Hague
said the party was pleased with the
original bill, but the “Government
has once again caved” to pressure
from bad employers.
Mrs Osborne said the weaker laws
were a betrayal.
“John Key stood there after Pike
and promised us he would fix the
law. He hasn’t, but other MPs can if
they stand up for what ’s right.”
Mrs Rockhouse lost son, Ben, at
Pike River. Her other son, Daniel,
was one of two men to sur vive the
“The Government ’s bill is broken.
I don’t expect much from them but
I’m hoping other parties will act to
protect workers properly before it
becomes law.” — NZME
A man who drowned after being
thrown from a boat on the Waitara River
mouth in Taranaki yesterday has been
named by police.
He was 52-year-old Erka Xu, a
Chinese national who had been residing
in Hamilton for some time.
He had been visiting friends in the
New Plymouth area.
Two men were out fishing yesterday
morning and as they were trying to cross
the Waitara bar, the small inflatable boat
they were in was overturned by a wave.
As a result the two men were thrown
into the water. The men were struggling
200m from shore when a local surfer
The surfer managed to reach the boat,
which had righted itself in the water, and
used it to rescue the men.
Mr Xu was unable to be revived and
was pronounced dead at the scene, police
Neither of the two men were wearing a
lifejacket at the time the boat overturned,
The sur vivor, a local man in his 60s,
suffered from minor hypothermia and
was treated by ambulance staff at the
scene. The death has been referred to the
coroner. — NZ ME
Rock suspected in fatal crash
Crash injuries prove fatal
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