Home' Greymouth Star : November 25th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - 5
The Kim Dotcom extradition
hearing has finally wrapped up
six weeks after it was due to
Now Judge Nevin Dawson has
the unenviable task of wading
through hundreds of pages of
evidence and hours of submissions
to make the decision on whether
the internet entrepreneur and his
three co-accused are sent to the
United States to face a trial.
The FBI laid charges in January
2012 when Dotcom, Mathias
Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk
and Finn Batato were indicted
13 charges including
racketeering, money laundering
If found guilty, the men could
face lengthy jail terms.
The German-born mogul was
not at Auckland District Court
today to see the climax of the
He tentatively limped out of
court yesterday grimacing with
back pain after a fall at home and
his attendance was excused.
Judge Dawson will now have to
decide whether the defendants
have a case to answer in the US.
He does not have to decide
whether they are guilty or even
likely guilty — the threshold is
If, on the face of it, he rules
there is some merit in the US
government ’s charges and a case
to answer, on the face of it, the
quartet will be sent overseas.
However, should that be the
case, an appeal of the District
Court ’s decision would not be a
surprise since the last three years
has been dominated by legal
wrangling in all New Zealand ’s
The Crown — acting for the US
government — began by labelling
it a “simple scheme of fraud ”.
Its case is that Megaupload was
set up to operate like a large hard
drive connected to the internet.
Users would upload content, the
vast majority of which breached
copyright laws, and share it with
other members, Crown lawyer
Christine Gordon said.
At its peak the site was attracting
50 million unique daily visitors,
accounting for 4% of all internet
It made $38 million from
advertisers, but Ms Gordon
said its main source of revenue
was small fees paid by the huge
numbers of users, which totalled
more than $228.98 million.
Ms Gordon said some of those
proceeds were used to reward
people who were responsible for
directing the most traffic to the
site, while publicly Dotcom tried
to convince copyright holders
they were doing all they could to
remove the offending material.
between the four men were cited
by the Crown in a bid to convince
the court they were conscious of
the illegality of their actions.
“If copyright holders would
really know how big our
business is they ’d surely try to do
something against it. They have
no idea we are making millions in
profit every month,” it is alleged
van der Kolk said during one.
But Dotcom’s defence lawyer
Ron Mansfield accused the
Crown of “cherry picking”
evidence, much of which was out
of context and breached the duty
of candour, he said.
Mr Mansfield said Megaupload
was an internet ser vice provider
and as such was covered by
safe harbour provisions in the
That was not a defence to the
allegations but a complete bar
from prosecution, he said.
The defence argued “Mr
Dotcom’s dream idea” was created
in response to large attachments
being unable to be sent via e-mail
and was “copyright neutral”.
“ What the US is effectively
saying to internet service providers
is: ‘you need to actively investigate
copyright infringement and stop
it, because if you don’t you’ ll not
only be civilly liable but criminally
liable’,” Mr Mansfield said.
Judge Dawson today said he
would give an abridged version of
his decision in open court before
releasing his written judgement.
He did not indicate when that
would likely take place.
hearing wraps up
Kiwi Regional Airlines’ Dunedin to
Queenstown ser vice has been grounded
after only one month, following low uptake
by travellers and difficulties with the resort’s
KRA chief executive Ewan Wilson said
he accepted in hindsight it was an error to
attempt the route considering the weather
and the airline’s small size.
He said the airline had been accused of “not
wanting to fly’’ during the last month because
of low passenger numbers, but he denied that.
He said Dunedin people had “developed a
habit, and the habit is the jump in their car,
and they ’re comfortable with that ’’.
“ You can’t break a habit.’’ The last
Queenstown route flight would take off on
November 30. The airline began in a blaze of
publicity on October 22.
On that day it was decided to cut back to
two flights a week because of low bookings,
after an initial plan to provide a daily ser vice.
It was “in simple terms a combination of
a lack of consumer support and secondly
the reality Queenstown is particularly
challenging operationally’’, Mr Wilson said.
“ We just had an ongoing series of having
to cancel flights due to very strong winds.’’
The airline had to operate within “very safe’’
“From the consumers’ point of view they
don’t get it, nor should they need to get it.’’
Flights would be cancelled when there was,
for instance, 60 knot winds at 10,000ft.
“People would accuse us of not wanting to
fly because of low passenger numbers, when
in fact that ’s not the truth, we’re just not
flying because it’s unsafe. ’’ Larger jets could
handle some of those conditions, and Air
New Zealand had multiple flights passengers
could be re-booked on , whereas KRA only
KRA could “not spend the day waiting for
the weather to improve’’.
Mr Wilson said it was “fair criticism’’ to
suggest he should have been aware of the
Once cut to two flights a week, the loads
in and out of Queenstown were improving,
but passengers were not from D unedin —
instead most were travelling to and from
Nelson, via Dunedin.
KRA still had D unedin to Nelson, and
Nelson to Hamilton flights.
“ We’re disappointed, but very upbeat about
Dunedin and ser vices to Nelson four times
a week.’’ KRA was looking at new regions
for expansion, including Hawkes Bay, Bay of
Plenty and Taranaki.
The airline had not completely ruled out a
return to Q ueenstown.
There would be no job losses at Dunedin.
Engineering ser vices would stay, as two full-
time jobs and positions for ground handlers,
because only two flights a week had been
Enterprise D unedin director John Christie
said it was “obviously disappointing’’ for Mr
Wilson and for Dunedin.
He hoped if the airline’s other routes worked
well, KRA might return to the Queenstown,
and Enterprise Dunedin would work with
the airline to help if that happened.
Destination Q ueenstown chief executive
Graham Budd said the route was always
going to be tough but its axing was not
entirely surprising considering it cut flights
to Queenstown just as it started out.
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chief
executive Ann Lockhart said it was a shame
the ser vice had been cut but she understood
the decision from a business point of view.
From her talks with Dunedin Airport
representatives most of the demand was
expected to come from D unedin people taking
trans-Tasman flights from Q ueenstown.
— Otago Daily Times
Kiwi Regional Airlines grounds
Dunedin to Queenstown service
A mobile x-ray machine
for scanning hand-baggage
from cruise ship passengers
was unveiled as the latest
biosecurity tool of the
Ministry for Primary
The new machine —
designed to keep destructive
pests and diseases out of the
country — has been trialled
in Auckland and the Bay of
During the busy summer
tourist period it will greet
targeted cruise ships when
they dock at Waitangi, Napier,
Gisborne and Auckland.
“The machine will be largely
focused on detecting apples,
bananas, and other potential
fruit fly host materials that
passengers can carry in
their hand baggage,” MPI’s
detection technology manager
Brett Hickman said.
“ With fruit fly populations
on the rise in Australia,
there is a heightened risk of
the dangerous pest entering
New Zealand this summer.”
The machine will be used in
conjunction with biosecurity
detector dog teams and
questioning of passengers by
“O ur detection tools are
designed to work together
to block pests and diseases
that could damage our
primary industries and natural
environment,” Mr Hickman
MPI currently owns and
operates 30 x-ray units
for baggage scanning at
international airports, ports,
the Auckland International
Mail Centre and military
bases. — NZME
MPI’s new mobile biosecurity x-ray machine for hand luggage.
Customs unveils new mobile x-ray machine
A cunning new weapon could spell
the end for one of our most feared and
The venomous Australian redback
spider, characterised by the red strip
across its swollen black abdomen, is
found in several areas in Central Otago
and New Plymouth, and its spread to
other regions has remained a constant
But it is more notorious for the toxic
venom that a single bite can deliver to
a person unlucky enough to encounter
“One in three bites comes with a
severe reaction, but even mild reactions
are not that mild,” Otago University
researcher Stacey Bryan said.
Ms Bryan has observed them
predating 10 native species, including
the nationally endangered Cromwell
chafer beetle and the McCann’s skink.
Working with Canterbury Museum
arachnologist Dr Cor Vink and other
colleagues, Ms Bryan has developed
a new biological control that could
potentially stop their spread — and
perhaps even wipe them out in New
It lies in two chemicals identified by
Dr Vink, which were suspected to be
the active ingredients in the pheromone
that female redbacks laced their webs
with to attract males.
Her experiments found that while the
chemicals were not powerful enough
to eclipse the attraction of the females’
natural pheromones, they could still
equal it — meaning at least half the
males could be lured to their deaths in
“So it still needs a bit of tweaking
for us to get a super-stimulus, but we
are three quarters of the way there.”
— N ZM E-New Zealand Herald
A redback spider.
Biological lure smells
end for redbacks
A decision to cut staff in
Development, and instead
ideological decision which
cuts against good process, the
Public Service Association
Youth Development Minister
Nikki Kaye announced that
about 10 staff would go under
a restructure which could also
see the Ministry’s headquarters
move to Auckland.
The cuts were to free up
$1 million, which would be
put into a new partnership
arrangement between the
Ministry and philanthropic and
business groups to boost the
number of youth in leadership
programmes from 50,000 to
She is also considering moving
the Ministry’s base to Auckland
to be closer to the philanthropic
organisations and businesses.
That made any consultation
a “sham”, Glenn Barclay, PSA
national secretary, said.
“ People working at MYD
have only been given two weeks
to put for ward their views on
the proposal, leaving many to
conclude there is little room
to move.” The roles being
cut included those which an
independent review ordered
by Ms Kaye had shown were
effective, he said. — NZM E
Youth ministry staff cuts labelled a ‘sham’
Specials available South Island only, price valid until Sunday 29 November 2015 or while stocks last. Trade not supplied. Due to current Licensing Trust
laws, liquor not available at Elles Road, Windsor & Gore. Specials may not be available at all stores. Club Deals are only available to Clubcard Members at
New World South Island stores when they scan their Clubcard at the time of purchase.
Cadbury Roses 225g or
Bluebird Snack Packs
10 Pack, includes 8 Pack
Pams Fresh Express
Chicken Kebabs 20 Pack
12 Pack Bottles
Freya's Bread 750g,
excludes Lower Carb
Coca-Cola, Sprite or
L&P 355ml 18 Pack Cans
Huntaway Reserve 750ml
Fruit Drink 2.7L
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