Home' Greymouth Star : August 18th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 5
An innocent man injured in a
motorway shootout has had his bid for
compensation thrown out.
Richard Stephen Neville launched
legal proceedings claiming $1.4 million
after he was sprayed with shrapnel and
glass shards when shots were fired by a
police armed offenders squad member
during the 2009 incident.
Courier driver Halatau Naitoko died
after being accidentally shot.
Justice Geoffrey Venning ’s judgment,
delivered yesterday afternoon, said
Neville’s statement must be struck
out because there was “no reasonably
arguable cause of action”.
Police were pursuing rifle-wielding
car thief Stephen McDonald, who was
in the back of the plaintiff ’s truck at the
Mr Neville provided an affidavit to
the High Court at Auckland saying the
actions of the police gunman known
only as Officer 84 amounted to gross
negligence or recklessness.
His shot went through the front
windscreen of the vehicle but the
Crown lawyer Peter Gunn, acting on
behalf of the Attorney General, said
that was clearly an accident.
Justice Venning agreed the action
could not succeed because “the plaintiff
cannot establish that Officer 84 knew at
the time he fired the shot it was unsafe
nor that it would cause death or severe
injury to the plaintiff ”.
Even if that was the case, the judge
said the scenario did not reach the
threshold for the purpose of section
nine of the New Zealand Bill of Rights
Act, relied on by the plaintiff.
“ While the seriousness of Mr Neville’s
injuries must not be discounted,
counter vailing factors such as the
emergency situation faced by the police
and the officer’s duty to take action
to protect members of the public also
need to be weighed,” Justice Venning
“The police identified Mr McDonald
as presenting a risk to life and the
public in general and in that sense
the actions of shooting at him can be
seen as proportionate.” He also pointed
out that any claim for compensation
for grievous bodily harm was a claim
for personal injury which was covered
under the Accident Compensation
Mr Neville’s lawyer Charl Hirschfeld
said his client provided the best first-
hand account of the scenario.
“This narrative is neither fanciful nor
speculative,” he said.
The lawyer accepted it was a
“fast-moving and unstable set of
circumstances” and the involvement of
the armed offenders squad was logical.
But he said the shots were fired
recklessly and unlawfully and therefore
in contradiction of the Bill of Rights
Justice Venning disagreed, stating the
conduct did not meet the criteria of
causing “shock and revulsion” or such as
to “shock the national conscience”.
When Hannah Scott lay in
Dunedin’s intensive care unit in
a coma in 2009, doctors told her
parents to be “realistic” about her
Her injuries included a broken
neck, fractured skull and pelvis and
a traumatic brain injury.
She was, her mother Marnie said,
seriously injured with a “pretty
Six years later, Miss Scott has
recently passed a University of
Otago French paper with an
A-, can walk short distances,
and is starting to regain her
But the journey for the family
that began with a call from Gore
police in 2009 has been a slow one,
and still has a way to go.
Miss Scott, 26, has a halting,
gentle voice, and a very clear sense
She said she was driving to Gore
alone when the crash occurred,
though she has no memory of
“And it was grim,” Mrs Scott
“It was that cliche; the parents’
worst nightmare, but you actually
live that cliche.”
She was in hospital from the
time of the July crash until
September, at which time she was
moved to the Isis Centre at Wakari
Hospital for rehabilitation.
At that time, though, she was
classified as being in a coma, and
was unable to talk, eat or move.
Slowly very slowly recovery was
But there were no miracles.
Miss Scott ’s challenges included
re-learning how to swallow.
She did not return home until
In the past six years she has gone
from wheelchairs and walking
frames to be able to walk short
In the physio pool she has gone
from being hoisted into the water
and having her arms and legs
moved for her, to a buoyancy
aid, to kicking with a board,
to swimming with a mask and
snorkel, and finally, on her 26th
birthday, swimming (with some
rests) 26 lengths of the pool.
This year, with the help of lawyer
Jane Guthrie, the older sister of
one of Miss Scott ’s friends, she
has been able to return to the
University of Otago, where she
was a second year student at the
time of the crash.
Ms Guthrie suggested the idea
after coming to the conclusion
Miss Scott had the ability to
return to university, and was
allowed time off from her job as
a lawyer at Dunedin firm
Wilkinson Rodgers to be her
support person in class.
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Hannah Scott, right, heads to university with friend and support person Jane Guthrie.
Smash sur vivor comes a long way
A teenage cyclist ’s leg was
badly injured in a hit and run in
Police are now calling for witnesses
to the crash at the entrance to the
Pak ‘n Save supermarket on Wainoni
Road on Saturday, August 8.
Senior constable Peter Carrington
said an 18-year-old man was cycling
south on the road between 9.15pm
and 10.15pm when a black Toyota,
possibly a Corolla, turned in to the
supermarket car park in front of him.
The bicycle slammed into the side
of the car and the cyclist fell off. Th e
car’s rear wheel then ran over the
man’s leg, causing significant injures.
“The driver did not stop and drove
back out of the Pak ‘n Save car park.
It is not known in what direction the
vehicle was headed when it left the
car park.” Mr Carrington said a good
Samaritan then took the cyclist to
Christchurch Hospital’s emergency
department in her car.
“The victim has recently had surgery
on his leg and is recovering at home,”
Police would like to speak to the
good Samaritan as well as the two
people a male driver and female
passenger believed to be in the black
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Cyclist ’s leg badly injured in Christchurch hit and run
An Auckland man has been convicted
of smuggling more pseudoephedrine
into New Zealand than anybody
Hui Zhang disguised
400kg of the drugs needed to make
methamphetamine as “bread crumbs”
from China destined for an Auckland
restaurant, which he used as a hub to
distribute through his network across
At the beginning of the trial in June,
the 44-year-old admitted admitted 34
pseudoephedrine supply charges as
“simply a link in the chain” but denied
the three more serious charges of
But after deliberating for two weeks,
the jury found him guilty of smuggling
two shipments of class B drugs totalling
392kg although acquitted him of a
third importation of 91kg hidden inside
a water cylinder despite his fingerprints
being found inside the sealed container.
Zhang now faces a prison sentence
likely to be longer than the 13 years
and eight months recently given to
Van Thanh Tran, who pleaded guilty
to smuggling a 250kg shipment after
being targeted in Operation Ghost.
— N Z ME -New Zealand Herald
Drug smuggler disguised
drugs as ‘bread crumbs’
Vehicle giant Ford has ramped up its
investments in infrastructure in New
Zealand, opening a warehouse and
distribution centre in Auckland after a
record year for the company.
Opened yesterday by Ford bosses,
the centre is more than 10,000 square
metres and will allow for the expansion
and growth of the brand in this country.
Ford New Zealand spokesman
Tom Clancy said the centre was
necessary to accommodate the
company ’s growth.
“ We needed a new and larger facility
because this year is actually a record
year for us. We have a record number
of new vehicles coming in and this new
facility is going to give us the capability
to support expansion in New Zealand,”
Mr Clancy said.
“ We have got big plans. By 2016
we will have almost an entirely new
showroom with entirely new vehicles
and with these new vehicles you have
got new parts and accessories that you
need to carry and have in stock, and
with this new warehouse we are looking
to get those to our dealerships and our
Mr Clancy said a record year had
been enjoyed industry-wide thanks to
growth in the sector.
“There are a couple of things going
on there is industry growth then, when
it comes to Ford specifically, we are
introducing new vehicles across our
entire line. As far as Ford goes, we are
on a growth (trajectory).”
Mr Clancy said Ford would be
exploring the option of selling electric
cars in New Zealand in the near future
but “the market has to be ready for it”.
“ We will definitely look at (it). Ford
operates around the world and we have
to look at each market and see what
works for that market,” he said.
“At the moment, for New Zealand,
we have got eco-boost technology
which is smaller engines, getting more
power with better fuel efficiency and
also smart diesel engines so that is the
strategy here at the moment.”
— N ZM E -New Zealand Herald
Ford opens new
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