Home' Greymouth Star : November 12th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2015
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Time to bake that
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Indians light up
hints at changes
The 150-year-old Westport News
has flagged the possibility of moving
to a weekly or bi-weekly newspaper,
but owner-editor Colin Warren says
it is a long way from abandoning
daily production. Mr Warren, who
now lives in Canterbury, penned a
column that ran on the front page
of Tuesday ’s edition in response to
a readers’ sur vey. He said producing
a daily newspaper in a small town
was a high-cost operation and
advertising revenue was so sparse “as
to make educated obser vers wonder
how we do it ”. “ The alternative to a
daily is a weekly, or bi-weekly, but
then coverage of the day-to-day
and sport, and sport draws would be
impossible. And it will be a sad day
in our 150-year history if economics
force such a development,” Mr
Warren wrote. He said yesterday the
newspaper was trading “okay ” at the
Truck vs bike
crash kills man
A man is dead after a collision late
this morning between a motorcycle
and a truck at Waimangaroa, about
15km north of Westport. West
Coast area commander Inspector
John Canning said police and
emergency ser vices were at the
scene at midday, and he was unable
to confirm if the dead man was
the motorcyclist or another person
involved in the collision.
A brother and sister have missed
out on a massive £150,000 cash
windfall after an antique vase they
broke during a childhood game was
valued at £200,000. The glass vase
was repaired and initially thought
to be worth just £800 by Hansons
Auctioneers of Derbyshire 40 years
on. But the pair were stunned to
find the piece was actually made by
French artist Emile Galle for the
Paris Exhibition in 1900, where the
siblings’ great-grandfather bought it.
The young brother and sister swiped
the vase from a jardiniere table on
a landing and took turns to balance
it on their heads William Tell-style
and throw a ball at it. The sister
scored a direct hit and the precious
piece fell to the floor and broke in
two. It recently sold at auction for
almost £48,000 but would have
gone for £200,000 had it been
undamaged. — Daily Mail
Fine apart from evening cloud
A man with more than 500
convictions, including the rape of
a seven-year-old girl, is living in
Westport after spending most of his
life behind bars.
It is understood the Corrections
Department relocated the man, in
his late 50s, to Westport after he was
released from prison in 2014.
He had been jailed for breaching
the conditions of a 10-year extended
super vision order, ordered by the
High Court in March 2010.
In June 2001, he was sentenced
to nine years in prison for raping a
seven-year-old girl. He was released
The man also has a raft of dishonesty
convictions, most recently for a crime
spree committed while on parole in
Christchurch in 2012.
Since living in Westport, he has
breached his extended super vision
order twice — once by consuming
alcohol and once by letting his
electronic monitoring bracelet go flat.
Last month he was sentenced to three
months’ home detention instead of
being sent back to prison.
A Westport woman, who asked not
to be named, fears for the well-being
of local children. She lives near the
man, whose home is within 1km of a
day care centre and a primary school.
“I fear for the kids in this town, I
fear for the people in this town,” the
She knew of a woman with young
children who also lived near him, and
who was preparing to leave Westport
after finding out about his crimes.
It was important people were aware
he was living in the community, she
Sensible Sentencing Trust founder
Garth McVicar said the fact the
man was not sent back to prison for
breaching extended super vision a
second time was “pretty disgusting”.
His history of offending showed he
struggled with being a law-abiding
citizen, he said.
Community Corrections district
manager Polly Cunningham said a
significant amount of work went into
approving a suitable address for a
child sex offender.
“ We carry out a thorough assessment
of the address that the offender plans
to reside at.”
That included checking the property
itself, any shared driveways, a visual
check of neighbouring properties,
proximity of the house to schools,
kindergartens, parks, swimming pools,
libraries, thoroughfares and other
places frequented by children.
In the event that a family with
children moved into the area,
Corrections would assess the situation
and work with all parties involved
to ensure their safety, she said. If the
address was deemed to be no longer
suitable, Corrections would work with
the offender to find a new property.
Notifying the community or
neighbours was considered on a case-
by-case basis. If specific potential
risks were identified, Corrections and
police might contact neighbours to
advise an offender was living in the
area, Ms Cunningham said.
The man has been described as a
career criminal, with a rap sheet 20
pages long. He first went to prison at
the age of 16.
The Sensible Sentencing Trust ’s
database said he had two convictions
for rape and convictions for indecent
offences against two girls under 12
years old in 1999, for which he was
jailed for one year.
The man also has a raft of convictions
for dishonesty. In 2013, he reportedly
duped nine Christchurch stores,
including liquor outlets and jewellers,
while on parole. He stole over $11,500
worth of goods during the six-week
crime spree before being caught.
— Westport News
Convicted child rapist resettled in Westport
A “loud bang” early this
morning startled awake Arnott
Heights residents, who arose to
find a house engulfed in flames.
A neighbour raised the alarm
just before 1am and when
Greymouth, Cobden and Brunner
fire brigades arrived the Stirling
Drive rental property was a mass
Windows at the front of the
house had been blown out and the
flames were well above roof level,
Greymouth chief fire officer Lee
The occupants of the burning
Housing New Zealand house
were not home at the time.
Mr Swinburn said there was
no immediate risk of the fire
spreading to the neighbouring
two houses, which were several
It took firefighters about 15
minutes to contain the blaze.
The house suffered major
damage towards the back, in the
lounge and kitchen areas, and
“extensive” smoke damage to the
rest of the property.
There was no immediate obvious
cause and given the house was
unoccupied at the time, a police
and fire safety investigation
would get under way today, Mr
A nearby resident, Jason
Mathews, said he was awoken
about 1am by a “ loud bang” which
he initially thought was either
fireworks or gunfire.
His immediate thought was to
look out to his near neighbour’s
property, as they had newborn
twins and he was concerned for
He went outside to find smoke
“ just wafting around everywhere,”
from the burning house about
There was a loud noise from the
house and at that stage firefighters
were already at the scene.
Detective senior sergeant Dan
Keno, of the Greymouth CIB,
said the fire was being treated as
“ unexplained” until police gained
information other wise.
“ We’re just awaiting the findings
of the fire safety investigator from
Christchurch,” Mr Keno said.
“ We’re treating it as suspicious
until we know other wise.”
Bystanders at the fire scene today
obser ved that there were several
empty houses in the vicinity,
including a vacant Housing NZ
house stripped of its wall linings,
due to methamphetamine (P)
residue found there.
Mr Keno said there was “no
suggestion” at this point there
was any link with last night ’s fire
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
A view of the rear of the burned out Stirling Drive house this morning.
West Coast real estate business to close
Ray White is closing its real estate
branches in Greymouth and Hokitika
due to the economic downturn.
However, it will keep the property
management side of the business open.
The doors to the real estate business
will close on December 31, but it will
continue trading until then.
In a letter to clients, principal Lindsay
Sinnott said they had been trading for
about 25 years.
He thanked people for listing their
property with them.
He also moved to assure tenants
in rental premises that the property
management would continue.
Mr Sinnott said today the new
mortgage lending ratios had also made
things difficult, and had compounded
the economic downturn.
Greymouth under the blue and
before joining in recent years with
Australasian real estate company Ray
White Real Estate.
‘Options open’ for old industrial site
An old industrial site at the southern
entrance to Greymouth is up for sale,
with all “options open” over its future
The Sicon Ferguson site on Main
South Road was listed yesterday with
Greg Daly Real Estate.
Principal Greg Daly said although the
site was zoned for industrial use, the sale
could present new opportunities.
“ It’s obviously a main road site, it could
be used for anything really — we are
definitely keeping the options open.
It ’s only just gone on the market. I only
went and put the sign up yesterday so it’s
too early to tell really. ”
The listing describes the site as having
possibilities, and-or sub-lease of one or
Mr Daly said the site was open for
anyone to buy it and do anything with it.
“ We are just putting signs up and
seeing what happens. We all know what
what ’s going on in the town, we’ ll take
what we can get.”
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn,
who previously spearheaded the ‘clean
up Greymouth’ campaign, said his
council would fully support a different
business buying the site and cleaning it
“Given the right kind of business, if
they are interested to clean it up ... we as
a council would go along and help them.
It’s in all our interests to make all our
entranceways look good.”
The industrial zoning could be changed
through the District Plan without a
“ To have it changed is not a big job,
but it would be a process, it would be
notified and there would be a public
consultation process. There would be
not be a problem changing use, but it’s
a process to go through.”
Spring Deals for SPRING
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FAMILY FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
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off listed price
Design your new home
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prior to 18 Dec 2015
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8 Higgins Place
6 Ashley Drive
152 Coulson Road
For further information
contact Geoff Ball
0274 800 801
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