Home' Greymouth Star : December 17th 2015 Contents www.greystar.co.nz
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2015
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Sirens for food
The sound of emergency services
sirens wailing in and around
Greymouth tonight are in aid of
the annual Police, St John, and Fire
Service food drive, from 5.30pm.
Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade
fire chief Lee Swinburn said the
drive, held annually for about seven
years, would go street to street
to enable residents to hand over
their donations of non-perishable
food items to be passed on to the
Salvation Army foodbank in time
for Christmas. Fire appliances,
ambulance and police vehicles will
be involved in the two-hour food
A man was arrested in Werita
Street, Greymouth, late yesterday
morning during a stoush with
another man. The fight broke out
in the vicinity of the Robert Harris
Cafe and the Greymouth Star car
park about 10.30am. Police quickly
broke up the fight and one of the
men was arrested for disorderly
conduct and breach of bail.
Greymouth police will be speaking
to the owner of six cannabis plants
located outside an Omoto Valley
Road property yesterday, in the
course of other inquiries. A police
spokesman said the owner of the
plants, a local man, would face a
court summons. A woman caught
drink-driving in Willis Street,
Greymouth, last night will be
appearing in court. The woman blew
848mg of alcohol when breath-
tested. The limit when criminal
prosecution kicks in is 250mg.
Fine, late showers around hills
The family of a man in Saudi
Arabia have demanded he divorce
his wife after his mother witnessed
his bride kissing a camel. Bizarrely,
the woman’s mother-in-law was
left furious after witnessing the
exchange and her demands to
end the marriage have prompted
a massive family dispute. Despite
the protestations of the couple who
remain happy together, the wife
is now too scared to return to her
husband’s home where her mother-
in-law also lives. The camel kiss
occurred at the unnamed family’s
home west of Riyadh, when the
woman said she acted spontaneously
because she was happy with the
income the animals were generating.
But her furious mother-in-law
considered it a breach of social and
religious norms and demanded her
son divorce her. — Daily Mail
Violent assault on rural cop
Haast people have been praised for
coming to the aid of the town’s sole
charge policeman during a violent
encounter last night.
Constable Paul Gurney was called
to Nolan Road, Okuru, about 8.20pm
last night to deal with a domestic
argument, which turned nasty when a
man turned on him.
“D uring the encounter, constable
Gurney faced several physical threats
and his police car sustained damage
before he was able to subdue the man
with the use of a taser,” police said
today in a statement.
Realising the seriousness of the
situation Mr Gurney called on
someone who knew the alleged
offender and who agreed to come to
With no cellphone coverage in South
Westland and the nearest police back-
up 160km and 90 minutes away at
Franz Josef Glacier, the local rural fire
party was also rallied to help contain
After the man had been tasered, the
member of the public then helped Mr
Gurney to handcuff the man.
Haast Rural Fire Party chief Kerry
Eggeling said while he was not there,
up to six volunteers turned out to help.
“He was on his own and we do help
out in situations like that,” Mr Eggeling
said. “I believe he tasered the man, and
that being the case, that would be the
first case of someone being tasered in
the Haast, ever.”
Mr Eggeling said the Haast
community was very supportive of its
local policeman and was always ready
to support him when called upon.
He said the incident last night was
“ Years ago we had a policeman here
who got beaten up.”
Previous Haast constable of 18 years,
Robin Manera, regularly called upon
the community to assist him in his
work, from apprehending rogue deer
poachers passing through the area
to assisting with road blocks to stop
wanted people on the run.
Mr Gurney recently returned to
South Westland after several years
as the sole officer at the most remote
police outpost in New Zealand, the
He had previously ser ved in South
Westland at Franz Josef and Whataroa,
and took over from Mr Manera at
Haast in November.
At the time he told the Hokitika
Guardian that he enjoyed the challenge
of remote rural police work and was
not fazed by it.
“Some police officers don’t like it
because there is no immediate back-up
and you’re by yourself, but I enjoy that.
It keeps me on the ball,” Mr Gurney
Late this morning he was busy
dealing with another incident —a
fishing boat drifting off Jackson Point
and in danger of hitting rocks.
West Coast acting area commander
Inspector Iain McKenzie said the
response from Haast community
members in coming to the aid of Mr
Gurney was outstanding.
“Constable Gurney has significant
experience as a sole charge officer in
remote communities so he certainly
knows how to manage these situations,”
Mr McKenzie said.
He “made a good call” in ensuring he
had back-up before approaching the
“The outcome yesterday was a credit
to everyone involved and I can’t thank
those community members enough for
their response,” Mr McKenzie said.
Grant David Sadler, aged 52, made
a brief appearance in the Greymouth
District Court this morning before a
Justice of the Peace.
He faces two charges of assaulting a
police officer, one charge of assaulting
a female, and the intentional damage
of a police car.
The man charged in relation to the
1080 poison milk formula scare today
pleaded guilty to the charges.
The man, who has interim name
suppression, entered guilty pleas and
was convicted of two charges in the
High Court at Auckland this morning
in relation to the scare, which resulted
in infant milk formula being pulled from
However, the facts of the case are
disputed and will go before a judge in
A criminal investigation started
when letters were sent to Fonterra
and Federated Farmers in November
last year threatening to poison infant
formula if New Zealand did not stop
using the pest-control poison 1080 by
the end of March this year.
The public was told of the threat
in March and formula was taken off
supermarket shelves and held securely to
In what became known as Operation
Concord, 60 people were considered of
significant interest and approached to
be inter viewed by police, including a
number on the West Coast.
More than 2600 people were considered
over the course of the investigation,
which cost police $3 million, Police
Commissioner Mike Bush revealed
when the man was arrested last month.
The Ministry for Primary Industries
said after today ’s guilty plea that
domestic and international consumers
of New Zealand food should take
confidence in the way the criminal
blackmail threat was handled.
“ What we saw in response to this
threat was multiple government agencies
working together with dairy companies
and retailers with a common purpose —
to protect consumers,” director-general
Martyn D unne said.
“They managed a determined and
Mr Dunne thanked dairy manu-
facturers, retailers and all the government
agencies involved in putting in place
mitigation measures to respond to the
“The police should be congratulated
for getting to this point. They managed
a determined and focused investigation. ”
1080 threat admitted
London death ‘tragic accident ’
Greymouth jade sculptor Ian Boustridge
says the death of his son who slipped and
fell from a building in L ondon was “a
tragic accident ”.
Clark Boustridge, a business analyst
who worked as contractor for Lloyds
Banking Group, died in the fall on Friday.
Ian Boustridge said his son had been
“universally loved and adored”.
The 30-year-old former student of Grey
Main School and a boarder at Christ ’s
College in Christchurch, studied finance
and economics at Otago University
before moving to London in 2012 to
work for Barclays Investment Bank.
In March this year, he married his
long-time girlfriend Sally Coleman, of
A spokesman from the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and Trade said: “The
New Zealand High Commission
is providing advice and assistance
to the (next of kin). Due to privacy
considerations we are not in a position to
release any details.”
inquiry into Mr
Boustridge’s death is being carried
out, however, foul play has been ruled
out. Funeral ser vices are expected to
be held in Greymouth and Auckland.
The clip-on cycleway on the
Taramakau Bridge is just days away
New Zealand Transport Agency
media manager Frances Adank said
it had been due to be finished by
tomorrow but it would now be ready
for use by late afternoon on Tuesday.
Fulton Hogan began the
$1 million contract in late August.
Ms Adank said finishing touches
were now being completed at both
approaches to the bridge clip-on,
including sealing work.
A separate contract is under
way to build a safe rail crossing
across the Hokitika-Greymouth
railway line at the southern end of
the bridge, along with a marked
crossing for cyclists where the West
Coast Wilderness Trail intersects
with State highway 6.
“That won’t be fully completed
until February, but there will be a
temporary finish,” she said.
Improvements at the southern
end have included widening the
road edge for south-bound cyclists.
Currently the cycleway follows the
road edge to where it enters the
Kumara Tram, with the Westland
District Council yet to finalise a
separate track for that section.
The 1.5m-wide clip-on has been
bolted to the underside of the
bridge and cantilevered off the
downstream side. A 1.4m-high
balustrade has been fixed along the
river side and includes passing bays
to allow cyclists to take in the views
and not impede others.
NZTA investigated alternatives,
including the option of traffic
signals to control traffic on the road-
rail bridge and taking cycles across
the top or underneath the bridge,
but those ideas were dismissed as
not practical or too costly.
The Government has committed
to building a new road bridge
alongside, costing up to $15 million.
Once constructed, the clip-on will
be removed and the existing bridge
retained solely for trains.
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Work on the clip-on to carry the West Coast Wilderness Trail across the Taramakau River was virtually complete yesterday, with work to improve
cycling access to both approaches now well advanced.
Constable Paul Gurney, outside the Haast Police Station last month.
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