Home' Greymouth Star : August 26th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 5
After a long 15 months of waiting,
Auckland Zoo staff were pipped at the post
when they missed the birth of the latest
addition to the giraffe herd.
Auckland Zoo’s six-year-old giraffe, Kiraka,
gave birth to a healthy male calf without
the watchful gaze of the keepers on Friday
morning, despite the zoo’s best efforts to keep
an eye on her labour.
The calf is the first male giraffe born since
Auckland Zoo Pridelands team leader Nat
Sullivan said she had a camera set up to
monitor Kiraka’s progress from home, but the
giraffe wandered into an area of the enclosure
where there was no sur veillance.
“ I checked throughout the night, didn’t see
anything, then at 4.30am I checked and the
little calf was standing there.”
After a rocky start with Kiraka’s first calf,
the zoo was concerned about the impending
birth of her new baby, but Kiraka has taken to
motherhood with ease this time around.
“After the first calf she was quite a ner vous
mum and we weren’t too sure how she was
going to go this time, but she’s really calm
and protective when she needs to be, but
other wise pretty chilled,” Ms Sullivan said.
The calf has no name yet as the keepers are
waiting for its personality traits to appear.
“ We wait a few days and just wait for their
personalities to come out to see if we want
to name off a personality trait or something
physical, but within the week we’ll have a
name for him.
“ We normally have big arguments
throughout the team — everyone comes out
with their top three and then we have a vote.”
Giraffe calves have a rather dramatic
entrance to the world — being born from a
height, the ground impact shocks them into
taking their first breath.
“It’s probably about a one and a half metre
drop to stimulate them into life and it also
breaks the umbilical cord and stuff all at the
same time, so nature’s got it pretty sussed that
Despite the abrupt entry, the new calf was
up and walking within half an hour and
feeding well from his mother.
Newborn giraffe calves weigh about 100kg
and stand about 1.8m tall.
Ms Sullivan said the baby giraffe would be
introduced to the rest of the herd over the
next few weeks, and would be on display for
the public in about a month’s time.
Zoo staff miss giraffe’s bir th
Kiraka with the new calf.
prison officer instructed inmates
on fighting technique show
management of the privately-
run Mount Eden prison was
“completely shambolic”, Labour
“ Just when we thought that it
couldn’t get any more crazy, it did,”
Labour’s Corrections spokesman
Kelvin Davis said, after new details
of why an officer was suspended
During question time yesterday,
Corrections Minister Peseta Sam
Lotu-Iiga said media reports on
the weekend that the officer had
fought an inmate were incorrect.
Mr Lotu-Iiga said footage of the
incident was taken on June 23, and
he was advised of it on August 6.
“ I haven’t seen the footage but I
have been advised that it shows a
prison guard, on CCTV footage,
approaching a group of prisoners
who were sparring,” Mr Lotu-
Iiga said, to laughter from the
“Sparring is a banned activity,
and Serco were shown the footage on August
6. Serco have suspended the staff member while
the investigation proceeds. ”
In response, Mr Davis asked if Mr Lotu-Iiga
“ was saying that guards are now training the
inmates how to fight?”
“This case has been the subject of a lot of
hearsay and mis-reporting. What I am saying is
it is currently under investigation by the Chief
Inspectorate, and we should await
the findings of his review,” Mr
More pressure was put on
Mr Lotu-Iiga and the British
company Serco yesterday after
violence between inmates.
The Ombudsman investigated
after a segregated prisoner at
Mount Eden prison was assaulted
by mainstream inmates on two
separate occasions in 2013.
Corrections was told it owed an
apology to the inmate for failing
to ensure his safety.
Mr Lotu-Iiga said the full report
had not yet been released, but
there had clearly been failings.
“ It’s not good enough and it
will form part of all the incidents
we will look at (when) making
decisions around the future of
Mr Lotu-Iiga said Serco had
been fined $100,000 for a number
of incidents when prisoners were
“ We are looking (at) whether
they can be fined for the alleged
assaults, and we will get back to you.”
The Corrections Department has taken
control of the remand prison, which was
being operated by Serco, following allegations
of fight clubs involving inmates and drug
The Prison Inspectorate and the Ombudsman
is carrying out a review of the prison after the
allegations. — N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
A young rugby player who
“ king hit ” another man has been
discharged without conviction
— with the backing of the victim
whose jaw he broke.
Beaudene Friedrich Birtwistle,
21, who has played for Samoa
under-20s and is the son of
ex-international lock Mark
Birtwistle, walked away from
the Auckland District Court
yesterday with no black mark
against his name thanks, in large
part, to the forgiveness shown by
the victim’s family at a restorative
Judge Stan Thorburn said he
factored a potential sporting
career into his decision to grant
the discharge without conviction.
The defendant was at a party
in Mount Albert in November
when there was a confrontation
that saw a group of people,
including the victim, leave.
Though it was not referred to in
court documents, it is understood
he began urinating outside,
which prompted Birtwistle to
punch him in the face.
The blow landed him in hospital
for three days and caused him
permanent damage with doctors
advising him not to play contact
sport in future.
His parents, who spoke on
condition of anonymity, said
their son had been left with
three plates in his jaw, numbing
down the right side of his face
and would require serious dental
work in future.
Initially they voiced their
disgust about the potential for
Birtwistle to escape conviction
but after a restorative justice
conference, were able to give him
At the end of last year,
restorative justice was made
mandatory in cases where there
was an identifiable victim but the
legislation change resulted in a
backlash from some lawyers who
saw it as clogging up the court
Judge Thorburn held this
case up as an example of how
successful the scheme could be.
The judge granted the
discharge in March but made
it conditional on the defendant
completing an anti-violence
course and writing a letter to
the victims telling them of his
It is understood there was also
a confidential payment made to
“He is a young man with the
expectations of a professional
life ahead of him. He has
possibilities of some connection
with a sporting career,” Judge
However, he pointed out how
different Birtwistle’s plight could
have been, had the incident
happened in Australia, where
there are long jail terms in some
States for perpetrators of “king-
“ Perhaps in a counting of
blessings Mr Birtwistle is
fortunate that he is not across
the other side of the Tasman,” he
said. — NZME
No conviction over ‘king hit’
Disgraced Bridgecorp boss Rod
Petricevic has been granted parole and
will be released from jail next month and
He will be banned from working or
having any role in the affairs of any
business, trust, company or voluntary
organisation without the approval of
his probation officer. He cannot handle
money for anyone else or give anyone
release follows him
stumping up his own money for a
psychologist and counselling sessions.
The 66-year-old is ser ving a six years
and 10 months sentence imposed in
2012 for misleading investors and using
company funds to buy a luxury boat, in
cases brought by the Financial Markets
Authority and Serious Fraud Office.
The last failed finance company director
still in jail, Petricevic has been granted
release after this third appearance before
the Parole Board earlier this month.
The Parole Board said a “chastened”
Petricevic seemed to express genuine
remorse when he appeared before it and
had not caused any problems in custody.
“Given the apparent change in his
understanding of his offending and his
attitude generally, and the strength of
his release plan which includes ongoing
access to psychological counselling, we
are satisfied that Mr Petricevic ’s low
risk of offending can be managed in the
community during the remainder of his
sentence,” the board said in its decision
“ Mr Petricevic says he has no intention
of offering advice or being involved in
any business enterprise following release.
He will be retired,” it said.
He will be released on September 7.
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
Police have named the man who died at
the Hotel Grand Chancellor yesterday as
58-year-old Mark Lawrence Ivil.
The Tauranga man, who had been
accused of fleecing more than $4.28
million from a number of people in a
property scam carried out over a 24-year
period, was expected to appear in the
Auckland District Court yesterday.
However, he was found in a “bad way”
in a room, following the toxic fume scare
at the hotel, earlier in the morning.
Several attempts by ambulance staff to
revive him were unsuccessful and he was
Police say Mr Ivil’s death was not being
treated as suspicious but are not releasing
any more details in relation to his death.
According to the Bay of Plenty Times,
he had appeared in the Tauranga District
Court in late July, where he faced 39
charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office.
The charges were detailed as 21 charges
of obtaining by deception, 14 charges of
obtaining by false pretences, plus two
charges each of using a forged document
and obstructing an investigation.
Ivil was accused of sur viving off the cash
and direct credit payments dishonestly
obtained from people throughout 1990
to 2014. He had been due to enter a
plea, but the case was transferred to the
Auckland District Court.
A police spokeswoman said a scene
examination for a “sudden death” was
being carried out at the hotel. The death
has been referred to the coroner.
Dead man faced
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