Home' Greymouth Star : December 7th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
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MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2015
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Retailer takes up
Young Farmer picked
fatal stairs fall
A former Runanga woman who
fell down a flight of stairs at her
Nelson home on Friday night
died from her injuries the next
day. Debbie Marie Hill, 49, whose
family still lives in Runanga, was
found at the base of a staircase
about 10.15pm. She was taken
to Nelson Hospital in a critical
condition but died on Saturday
about 3.30pm. An investigation into
the death is under way by the police
on behalf of the coroner.
A 17-year-old Greymouth boy
who got into an argument with his
ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend
at Greenstone Park Speedway late
yesterday afternoon, kicked and
damaged several cars as he left
the scene. Senior constable Mike
Tinnelly said the boy was arrested
for wilful damage but inquiries
were continuing today and the
police would like to hear from
any witnesses to the incident. The
offender was alleged to have kicked
the vehicles as he was leaving,
following the stoush with his ex.
Man loses car,
A man had his car impounded at
North Beach on Saturday morning
— at the same time his partner
went into labour. Greymouth police
were called about 7.20am after
a report of a vehicle attempting
to tow a stranded vehicle off the
beach. When the police arrived the
woman went into labour and they
called an ambulance. At the same
time, they impounded her partner’s
vehicle because the driver had been
forbidden to drive. They then gave
the man a quick ride to Grey Base
Hospital to be with his partner in
her hour of need.
Morning cloud, few showers in north
A Star Wars fan has transformed
her Doberman into a Stormtrooper.
Sabrina Ridler, from California,
spent hundreds of hours
painstakingly handcrafting the
head-to-toe costume for her four-
year-old pet Penny Bark-Bark.
— Daily Mail
Pugh may get MP call-up
Speculation is rife today that former
Westland mayor Maureen Pugh could
be about to enter Parliament on the
National Party list.
RNZ said at noon the long-anticipated
departure of Trade Minister Tim Groser,
a list MP, to become ambassador to
the United States would be announced
today, although his actual resignation
may be delayed until February.
Mrs Pugh, No 52 on the National Party
list at the 2014 general election, is next
on the party list.
The Prime Minister’s office said who
the next MP was would become clear
later in the day.
Although Mrs Pugh failed in the last
election to unseat the West Coast-Tasman
MP, Labour’s Damien O’Connor — who
actually increased his majority to 4094 in
his contest with Mrs Pugh — National’s
strong result meant she was only one off
election on the party list.
Immediately after the election Mrs
Pugh flew to Wellington to join the
intake of new MPs for induction,
although her party acknowledged at
the outset that she might not make it
when the final vote was counted. When
the special votes came in, she had to fly
She has since maintained her political
presence on Facebook, and was at Lake
Brunner on Friday with Environment
Minister Nick Smith.
Mrs Pugh said by cellphone this
morning she was not at home and was
unsure what was happening.
Giddy-up for Christmas Parade
PICTURE: Tony Kokshoorn
Under threatening skies on Saturday, Otira Hotel stagecoach driver Lester Rowntree prepares to gee up for the Greymouth Christmas Parade from outside the
historic Greymouth Harbour Board offices, in Gresson Street. Costumed members of the Black Powder Gang ‘ride shotgun’ atop the coach, while a gaggle of
Shantytown can can dancers squeeze inside.
More photos p 6, 7.
‘New evidence’ in murder
‘New evidence’ about the
circumstances which led to the
murder of Lisa Blakie while she
was hitch-hiking to Greymouth
in 2000 will be aired tonight
on the television current affairs
Ms Blakie, from Timaru, had
previously lived for a time on the
When she missed her bus from
Christchurch in February 2000
she decided to hitch-hike.
She never arrived in Greymouth
and her body was later found
weighted down by a boulder in
the Porter River bed, beside State
Two years later, Darfield man
Timothy Taylor was found guilty
of her murder.
The case continues to attract
interest, with Taylor claiming he
was not involved and claims by
the dead woman’s father, Doug
Blakie, that the Timaru Devil’s
Henchmen were involved in his
3D will screen the new theory
at 9.30pm on TV3.
A former Ross police officer has
been honoured for his part in the
dramatic South Westland arrest
of a murderer he says was “trying
to commit suicide by cop”.
Constable John Woodward,
now of Martinborough, received
the New Zealand Police Silver
Merit Award from Police
Commissioner Mike Bush, at the
annual pay parade for Wairarapa
police in Masterton.
In March 2013, Mr Woodward
was stationed at Ross.
Mr Woodward had driven
to near Franz Josef Glacier, in
pursuit of Aaron McDonald,
who had raped and murdered
woman and also kidnapped and
injured two tourists at Whataroa.
His citation notes that: “D uring
the pursuit, the offender stopped
several times to throw items
at Mr Woodward, including a
molotov cocktail. He also set fire
to the road with inflammable
liquid at Karangarua, south of
“The offender was eventually
stopped with road spikes. O ver
the following five hours, Mr
established a rapport with him.
“He defused several potentially
provided the offender with a
number of options that, together
with armed offenders squad, led
to a safe surrender and arrest.”
Speaking before the parade, Mr
said the car
and a half
McDonald had pointed at him
“ what I believed to be a firearm,
with a spotlight”, had thrown
molotov cocktails, and had used
some kind of flamethrower
device, which melted the rubber
on his windscreen wipers,
blocking his vision.
At one point, the two vehicles
were close together at a bridge
over a culvert, and McDonald
had been “ready to ram him” to
take both vehicles off the road.
“I was quite prepared to take
one for the team ... Given the
circumstances, I felt that was
After McDonald was stopped,
he and Mr Woodward — who
was also an armed offenders
squad member — were involved
in a five-hour stand-off and
negotiation, which eventually
resulted in McDonald’s surrender
During this time, “He was
trying to get us to shoot him,
trying to commit suicide by cop,
basically,” Mr Woodward said.
“Isolation was just a huge, huge
factor ... It was one of those
hopefully once in a lifetime jobs.”
— Wairarapa Times-Age
Minister hails Lake Brunner clean-up
A clean-up of the largest freshwater
lake on the West Coast five years ahead
of time has been hailed as a credit to
farmers, the regulator and the wider
Environment Minister Nick Smith
said on Friday, during a visit to the
lake, that what had been achieved in
conjunction with the 22 Westland
Milk Products suppliers in the lake
catchment, the West Coast Regional
Council and other community partners
was “really encouraging”.
The Government had allocated
$200,000 through its ‘Fresh Start for
Water’ programme for planting and
fencing work on private land and
community sites after water quality
monitoring over 18 years until 2010
showed an “observable decrease” in
water quality due to farm run-off and
“The Government has an ambitious
plan for stepping up New Zealand’s
freshwater management and Lake
Brunner is an example of how we can
reverse deteriorating water quality,”
Dr Smith said.
It also showed what could be achieved
through fairly low investment but with
a practical focus in a “sensible way ”.
“ Don’t take you’re foot off the project.
It is going to require an ongoing
West Coast Regional Council chief
executive Chris Ingle said fixing Lake
Brunner was not straightfor ward.
“ It is complex and it is not easy to
achieve the outcomes,” Mr Ingle said.
The solution was not only about
imposing rigid rules but collaboratively
working through practical solutions for
A “back and for ward” dialogue among
council staff, farmers and Westland
Milk Products had enabled practical
solutions to emerge.
“ We had to invent it off the hoof.”
What had been achieved was a good
balance between farmers’ need to make
a living and the council meeting its
“At one stage we were going to do
some quite rigid controls over fertiliser
(use), but moved away from that,” Mr
Instead, farmers in the catchment
proposed other measures such as
installing more effective effluent
control systems — with individual
farmers spending about $300,000
each to do this — plus lowering
fertiliser application rates in the
West Coast Fish and Game manager
Dean Kelly praised the effort to achieve
“the turnaround ” in Lake Brunner.
Fish and Game had first highlighted
the issues about 15 years ago and it had
been “keeping a watching brief ” on the
lake ever since.
Mr Ingle said the project was a good
“ We’ve seen it turn around. We
commend the farmers for realising
there was a problem and taking the
initiative,” he said.
Lake Brunner could be used as an
example of how dairying could be
“truly sustainable” in the catchment.
“It’s a bloody good success story, how
the local farmers have driven it.”
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