Home' Greymouth Star : November 2nd 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2015
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
Passengers travelling on the
historic steam train Passchendaele
got a treat when the engine pulled
into Westport at the weekend.
Westport is gearing up for a huge
military exercise involving 2000
visiting troops. Buller Mayor Garry
Howard said as it steamed into the
railway station, a military transport
plane the C17 flew overhead. Last
evening, a Hercules flew from
Ohakea in the North Island to
Christchurch, then to Westport.
Most of the personnel will be
arriving over the next few days.
Prince’s itinerar y
Buller people will find out
mid-week where they can catch a
glimpse of Prince Charles during
his visit to Westport this weekend.
The Prince of Wales will spend half
a day there, his visit coinciding with
a big military exercise involving
2000 visiting troops. It will be
his first visit to the town. Buller
Mayor Garry Howard said today
the itinerary was still being kept
under wraps, but he could reveal
more in a couple of days. The prince
would be in town late on Saturday
afternoon, with a public reception
at the clocktower. Mr Howard
said recipients of Queen’s Ser vice
Medals had been invited, and “quite
a contingent ” from various iwi
would be attending. The last royal
visit to the West Coast was Prince
William, in 2011.
A Canada pharmacy gave
children bipolar medication after
accidentally mixing it in the
Halloween candy bowl for trick-
or-treaters. The two medications
were Quetiapine, an antipsychotic
also used to treat schizophrenia and
depression, and Divalproex sodium,
an anticonvulsant that treats
seizures and the manic phase of
bipolar disorder. Seven individually
wrapped pills found their way
into the bowl after a woman
dropped her 17-year-old son’s
medicine by mistake as she was
leaving the pharmacy in Q uebec
City. They were then picked up
by another customer, who placed
the medications next to the
candy bowel. Quebec City police
spokeswoman Melissa Cliche said
an employee then unknowingly
mixed it in with the candy and
‘distributed it to the kids’.
— Daily Mail
Rain with heavy falls, thunder
Ex-court worker convicted on cannabis charges
A former Greymouth court worker,
who previously had name suppression,
was convicted in the Westport
District Court on Friday of possessing
cannabis and two pipes after her
application for a discharge without
conviction was denied.
Lene Ann Taylor, 41, had her case
transferred to the Westport court.
Police executed a search warrant
at Taylor’s home in April, finding
26.5g of cannabis — 1.5g less than
the ‘dealer limit’ — and two pipes in
various locations around her house.
At the time, Taylor was a casual
Ministry of Justice employee, and
worked as a jury attendant at the
Greymouth District Court. Her last
day of employment there was July 3.
Defending, Marcus Zintl said a
conviction would destroy any chance
of Taylor gaining further employment
with the ministry. It would also have a
“seriously negative impact ” on her.
He argued that Taylor’s offending
was not as serious as police had
A drug test, taken six days after
the search warrant was executed,
came back negative. If she had been
smoking cannabis, it would have
shown up, Mr Zintl said.
“ Essentially, I’m asking her to be
given a second chance.”
A conviction would also be a blow to
her self-esteem, he said.
Police prosecutor sergeant Wayne
Corbett said the charges were “not
insignificant by any stretch”.
Taylor’s decision to possess cannabis
was inappropriate for the position
she held at the Greymouth District
Court, Mr Corbett said.
Judge Noel Walsh said Taylor’s
previous convictions were not a
deterrent for the original employment.
Further, Taylor had no guarantee of
further work with the Ministry of
The fact she had not been
re-employed since charges were laid
could not be proved to be because of
the charges, Judge Walsh said.
For possessing the pipes, he
convicted Taylor, gave her a 12-month
suspended sentence and ordered her
to pay $400 towards prosecution
costs. For possessing cannabis,
she was convicted and discharged.
— Westport News
The “premediated and sadistic” offending
filmed it, beat another to death and kept the
paws of others he had killed has topped the
SPCA’s national List of Shame.
In November last year, Hayden Growcott
was jailed for two years and five months on
two wilful animal cruelty charges for a host
of offending against cats, part of a five and
half year sentence for drugs and receiving.
Growcott used gin traps to capture cats,
one of which he beat to death with a
tomahawk. He also cut off one of its paws
and hung it in the garage as a memento.
Growcott and Blaketown man Jason
Rowling later caught a neighbourhood cat
named Midnight, with a cage, set it alight
with petrol, and filmed it while it ran around
Thinking the cat was dead Growcott
dumped it, however despite suffering severe
burns to its ears and body, the cat sur vived.
Rowling was sentenced to four months’
community detention and 200 hours
of community work for his part in the
SPCA chief executive Ric Odom said all
animal cruelty cases were unacceptable, but
Growcott and Rowling’s offending was on a
“The offender had deliberately captured
the two cats for the sole purpose of inflicting
the most atrocious cruelty and pain on
them. The fact that he cut off one of the cat’s
paws to keep as a memento is particularly
disturbing given the well documented links
between animal and human abuse.
“All animal cruelty cases are unacceptable
but this one stands out for the premeditation
and particular brutality with which it was
Mr Odom said at the time, Growcott ’s
sentence was the longest ever handed down
for animal welfare offending, and it had
only been superseded by the case of Cape
Foulwind dairy worker Michael Whitelock,
who was jailed for four and a half years in
October this year for animal cruelty against
While a dairy unit manager at the
Landcorp Totara dairy farm at Cape
Foulwind, Whitelock broke the tails of 152
cows and 57 heifers, and subsequently failed
to provide adequate treatment for their
He and three other farm employees shot
one cow in the leg and beat another, while
he also shot another cow in an attempt to
try to euthanise it, and then dumped it in
the offal pit without making sure the cow
Mr Odom said he expected that case
would be on next year’s list.
He said the only similar case of the same
level of severity as Growcott and Rowling’s
was that of Whangarei man James Heka,
who in May last year was jailed for two years
and four months in prison on 10 counts of
wilfully ill-treating possums.
Heka filmed possums which he nailed
to trees, and which desperately screamed
as they tried to escape. In another video,
Heka hacked the limbs off a female possum
and then mocked it as it tried but failed to
flee. He chopped the possum’s head off and
dangled it in front of the camera lens while
saying, “ What up girl? Smile, smile, smile
Mr Odom said the List of Shame sadly
showed there was still work to be done to
protect New Zealand ’s animals.
The organisation had deliberately released
the list on the week of its annual appeal
because SPCAs around New Zealand
needed to continue their work.
“The List of Shame highlights the ongoing
need for the inspectorates, who daily rescue
abused and neglected animals as well as
providing education, vet care and shelter for
these vulnerable pets.”
PICTURE: Laura Mills
‘Little monsters’ were among the 1336 children and adults who thronged Shantytown on Saturday night for a Halloween party. Witches and
wizards held their own against angels, while the Fat Controller and the characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factor y also made an
appearance. A large number of staff, including from Shantytown and The Warehouse, gave up their night to run the event, with the assistance of
1300 join Halloween par ty
Female biker killed
IRD cuts Greymouth office reception hours
Inland Revenue has cut its
reception hours in Greymouth
to three days a week and opened
a drop box, but says it has not
reduced staff numbers.
About 2000, IRD decided to
close its Greymouth branch, but
after a public outcry changed its
However, it is now cutting
reception hours to Mondays,
Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A spokesman said the office
remained open to customers five
days a week.
It had recently reviewed its
ser vice to West Coast customers
and determined that the best way
to assist them was by making the
site open for walk in customers
three days a week, and by
appointment only on the other
“The change is that on
Wednesdays and Fridays customers
can only use the self-ser vice
channels available unless they
have a pre-booked appointment.
The office hours have changed to
10.30am to 4.30pm each day.”
Greymouth can also visit five
other locations on the West Coast,
so the change to office hours
in Greymouth gave them two
dedicated days to help customers
requiring an appointment in areas
other than Greymouth.
Monday, Tuesday and Thursday
were found to be the most popular
days for customers to visit the
Greymouth site, the spokesman
The department also discovered
that almost three-quarters of
customer queries could be handled
without a face to face interaction
with a staff member.
Staff numbers at the Greymouth
office remain at nine.
A Christchurch woman died yesterday
afternoon when her motorbike and a car
collided on a winding section of the Arnold
Valley Road, at Aratika.
She was travelling north with a group of
eight motorcyclists when her bike collided
head-on with a south-bound car about
3.20pm. The woman died at the scene. The
driver of the car was not seriously injured.
Another female rider with the group came
to grief when she struck debris from the first
crash. That woman, also from Christchurch,
suffered a broken leg and was flown to
Grey Base Hospital in the NZCC Rescue
Today police could not immediately say
what caused the crash. The serious crash unit
The road between Kokiri and Moana was
closed for seven hours after the crashes.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
The crash site between Kokiri and Moana.
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