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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Whose head will roll
at TV One news?
stopping goes to
A Grey District Council proposal
to close part of the public road
reser ve at Lake Haupiri, as requested
by the Gloriavale Christian
Community, will go to mediation.
The council has proposed closing
part of Heaphy Road where it runs
through Gloriavale land. The road
also provides public access to the
Haupiri Valley, Haupiri River, hot
pools and walking tracks. However,
to get there users must first cross
Gloriavale land. Under the proposal,
the road would remain public only
as far as the creek. Gloriavale has a
memorandum of understanding with
the Department of Conser vation
to facilitate public access through
the road and the rest of their land,
although it says it reser ves the
right to decline entry to those with
“ unacceptable” behaviour towards
the Gloriavale community members
or land. The road stopping proposal
drew 10 submissions, all opposed. An
Environment Court spokesman said
this week the dispute would first go
to mediation, though no date had
on Cobden Bridge
A 31-year-old Greymouth man
was warned by police after a fight
involving three men on the Cobden
Bridge about 6.50pm yesterday.
Police were alerted by a motorist
and when police arrived there was
just one man there. He admitted
having been in a scuffle with two
other men who had left the scene.
Police were attempting to track
down the other men today.
Becoming cloudy, drizzly afternoon
A dim-witted shoplifter walked
into a police station to complain
about the circulation of his CCTV
image, only to be promptly arrested
by bemused officers. Roofer
Nicholas Allegretto was filmed
by security cameras installed in
the Mackays hardware store in
Cambridge, UK, after stealing an
industrial magnet. The store put
up a picture with his face obscured
but it was when the image was later
published in a local newspaper that
Allegretto took exception. Instead
of lying low, the 23-year-old went
to the city’s Parkside police station
to voice his anger. He was promptly
arrested and later prosecuted. Shop
owner Neil Mackay said: “I suppose
you could say he wasn’t the sharpest
tool in the box.” — Daily Mail
A Crooked River farmer who had
just been convicted of animal welfare
concerns with 77 cows and 72 calves
found star ving on his property in
2012, was escorted by security from
the Greymouth Courthouse yesterday
after directing his anger at the Ministry
of Primary Industries (MPI) officer
who investigated the case.
Donald McKenzie Harcourt was
convicted on three separate counts of
failing to meet the health needs of the
calves, of having 77 emaciated cows,
and for failing to comply with the
requirements of an inspector under the
Animal Welfare Act.
After being stood down for
sentencing, Harcourt glared at the
principal MPI inspector, still in the
courtroom, and said, “read the internet ”
before being escorted from the
In his finding, Judge David Saunders
noted compelling evidence that
Harcourt was “antagonistic” to MPI
when it investigated animal welfare on
his farm, between August and October
The MPI investigation followed a
complaint about the state of star ving
calves on the farm.
The judge said that under the Animal
Welfare Act the onus was on Harcourt
to prove he did “all” that he was ordered
to do by the MPI — noting that much
of his defence had been to deflect
blame on to the ministry and others.
However, Harcourt had failed to
follow a notice issued to him to take
“all reasonable steps” to follow the steps
ordered by the MPI.
These included to de-stock, seek
veterinarian advice and treat animals,
and to follow advice to feed 16kg of
dry matter per cow per day.
“The defendant was obliged to prove
he had taken all reasonable steps,” the
The judge also commented on the
“collateral issue” of Harcourt’s milk
supply contract being cancelled by
Westland Milk Products, in mid-
“It is evident that Mr Harcourt
believes that the suspension of his
contract with Westland Milk Products
was solely down to the MPI,” Judge
However, the judge did not accept
that. He would release a full written
finding in due course.
Judge Saunders adjourned the
hearing until October 12 to ascertain
MPI investigation and court costs, and
to weigh up what fine Harcourt would
have to pay.
Farmer guilty of starving cattle escorted from court
A Blaketown man who filmed the
prolonged torture of a cat after his
friends set it alight and watched while it
ran around aflame until it died, has been
Jason Dale Rowling, 27, was yesterday
sentenced in the Greymouth District
Court to 200 hours of community work
for wilful ill-treatment of an animal.
Judge David Saunders noted that the
sentence would not necessarily satisfy
the public’s interest to denounce such
“On the face of it, to be dealing with
somebody guilty of such an offence and
not sending you to prison would be seen
as an affront on the public,” the judge
told Rowling. “ What they do need to
know is that you disclosed while you
were in prison, and as a result of the
influence of drugs.”
Because Rowling had dealt with the
contributing drug problem, it put “quite
a different complexion” on the case and
there appeared to be no rehabilitative
benefit from another prison sentence,
Judge Saunders said.
However, the penalty required more
just than a community work sentence
“as denunciation”, and he imposed a
four-month community detention on
Rowling, with a curfew between 8pm
“It is a very clear signal to you and
the community that those involved
in the cruelty of animals deser ve to be
penalised,” Judge Saunders said.
The judge also remitted half of the
$12,000 in court fines accrued by
Rowling for driving offences, with the
remainder to be remitted in six months’
time as a “good behaviour bond” if
Rowling complied with his sentence.
“As I say, actions speak louder than
words,” the judge said.
In sentencing submissions, defence
lawyer George Linder said it was an
important fact that Rowling “gave himself
up” while in prison, a result of cleaning
up his drug addiction and reconciling
past bad behaviour while under the
influence of methamphetamine (P).
Judge Saunders said that while
Rowling was not the “principal offender”
he contributed to the crime, and so there
had to be some parity with the penalty
the other offender, Hayden Growcott,
had received for torturing the cat.
“This man was effectively there as a
party by filming and it could be alleged,
as encouraging it,” the judge said.
Mr Linder pointed out that Growcott
had been convicted of two charges of
wilful mistreatment, while Rowling was
“only a follower in this case”.
“ He was given a cellphone by one of
the other associates and told to film
what was happening.”
Rowling had admitted the part the
drug P played in the offence, and to his
previous convictions, Mr Linder said.
Rowling was sent to prison in
December last year, while the cat killing
took place prior, in May.
“ He has taken full responsibility. He
has given himself up and shows remorse
for what is a despicable act,” Mr Linder
He said Rowling’s actions were now
well known in the community via media
coverage, and the “horse has bolted” in
seeking a suppression order.
PICTURE: Lisa Rangi
A locomotive derailed at the Kiwi Rail yard in Greymouth last evening — the second in under three months. The rail operator
confirmed the 8pm derailment, saying a freight ser vice locomotive heading to Christchurch was involved. It was too early to say what caused the
mishap, although it would be investigating once the locomotive was re-railed today, using a crane. The derailment had caused some delays to freight
services, but the Midland Line was open and there was no disruption to the Tranz Alpine tourist train. The previous incident occurred on July 21.
Council ‘sits tight’ on Kumara rift
Westland District Council chief
executive Tanya Winter said today
she would be contacting the two
Kumara factions at loggerheads
over funding for Chinese memorial
gardens, saying the council was in a
The town is split over controversial
plans to spend $398,000 of the
Kumara borough endowment fund
on the gardens, which could cost up
to $1.5 million. The disagreement
culminated in a walk-out from a
residents’ meeting this week.
The council, which recently ruled
out consultation over accessing the
endowment fund, was now “sitting
tight ”, Ms Winter said today.
“There seems to be two factions ...
Council is in a pretty tricky position.”
However, she assured that no
money from the Kumara endowment
fund had been spent under her
Past council papers show that
$72,000 was spent on town
improvements a few years ago,
raising concern among some Kumara
residents that it had been spent
without consultation. Ms Winter
said that money had actually come
from general reser ves and operating
revenue, not the endowment.
The only transactions from the
endowment fund pre-dated her
tenure as chief executive, and
generally related to land sales.
At one point the fund was projected
to grow to as much as $700,000, but
some land sales were not realised.
Ms Winter said the Kumara
community had approached the
council with the garden idea.
“ Now it seems to be a sticking
point in the community. There’s a
lot of support for the garden, but
not the level of funding from the
In Ross, which has more modest
plans to develop Chinese gardens,
the rules around the endowments
were more relaxed, but in Kumara it
could only be spent on reser ves, she
A temporary manager will remain
at two privately-owned Greymouth
rest homes for several weeks, the West
Coast District Health Board says.
appointment in mid-September, after
Ministry of Health and DHB staff
visited Granger House and Kowhai
Manor. The company Kiwiannia
bought both homes from Unimed in
One of the concerns has been a lack
of a facility manager.
DHB director of nursing and
midwifery Karyn Bousfield said the
temporary manager would remain
in place until the DHB was satisfied
the necessary improvements had
been made, and were likely to be
“ We anticipate the
temporary manager and the owner
will continue to work intensively
together for the next several weeks
and we will be reviewing progress
during that time,” Ms Bousfield said.
Clinical manager posts for each
home had been advertised.
Ms Bousfield said recruitment of
a manager and other staff was a “top
priority and the aim is to have these
staff in place as soon as possible”.
The temporary manager and the
owner had been working together to
address the findings of the Health
Cert inspection report, recruiting and
working on ser vice improvements.
“The timing of the withdrawal of
the temporary manager will depend
on DHB and Health Cert confidence
that the changes are at the right stage
for the temporary manager to partially
or fully withdraw,” Ms Bousfield said.
Temporary manager stays at two rest homes
Second train derailed
12 Herbert St, Greymouth
Phone: 03 768 0822
Sales A/H: Alastair Hamilton 768 7300
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ARE YOU READY FOR THE
WORKPLACE HEALTH AND
Talk to us about your
drug and alcohol policy,
or if you need any
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free work environment.
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