Home' Greymouth Star : December 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, December 17, 2015
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uLetters to the editor
1830 - South American patriot Simon Bolivar
dies in Colombia.
1903 - Orville and Wilbur Wright make first
successful airplane flight in history, soaring over
sand dunes near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1939 - German battleship Graf
Spee is scuttled off Uruguay to
prevent it from falling into British
hands in World War Two.
1957 - The US successfully test-
fires the Atlas intercontinental
ballistic missile for the first time.
1967 - Australian prime minister
Harold Holt disappears while swimming at
1967 - HMAS Perth comes under fire off
Dong Hoi, Vietnam.
1971 - The India-Pakistan War over East
Pakistan (later Bangladesh) ends when 90,000
Pakistani troops surrender.
1975 - Lynette Fromme is sentenced in
Federal court in California to life in prison for
her attempt on the life of President Ford.
1983 - Six people are killed by an IRA bomb
outside Harrods department store in London.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Sir Humphry Davy, British inventor of
miners’ safety lamp (1778-1829); Robert
Guccione, US publisher (1930-
2010); Tommy Steele, British
singer-actor (1936-); Kerry Packer,
Australian media magnate (1937-
2005); Art Neville, US musician
(1937-); Peter Snell, New Zealand
athlete (1938-); Bill Pullman, US
actor (1953-); Sara Dallin, British
pop singer of Bananarama fame (1961-); Milla
Jovovich, US actress (1975-).
“ You have no idea how big the other fellow ’s
troubles are.” — Bertie Charles Forbes,
Scottish journalist (1880-1954).
“ Because He Himself suffered when He was
tempted, He is able to help those who are
being tempted. ” — (Hebrews 2:18).
more to the West
Coast than any other
province in New
Zealand is the latest National Roads Board
decision that all one-way bridges on State
highways are to go. It means for the Coast a
bridge-building boom, a greater share of the
Roads vote, and the immediate scrapping
of contract documents for two West Coast
Immediate effect is the withdrawal from the
tendering stage of the new bridges planned for
both the Whataroa and Waitangi rivers on the
main highway south. Tragedy of it is there have
been several splendid one-way structures built
on the West Coast in the past few years —
perhaps most notable the half-mile structure
across the Haast River.
Even on the West Coast, where traffic
volumes are comparatively light, though likely
to build up with the Haast Pass access, there is
still enough traffic to warrant the conversion of
all bridges to two-way.
The Ministry of Works Greymouth is
unworried. Not only is it having its Christmas
cabaret tonight, but it has found the man
who lives “halfway along the Coast road”. In
yesterday ’s mail the ministry received a letter
addressed to Mr Jack Coulson, halfway along
the Coast Road, C/- MOW, Westport.
Greymouth manager of Newmans bus lines,
Mr G McDonagh spotted the story in last
night’s Star, recognised the name, collected
the letter and “popped it in with Mr Coulson’s
bread” this morning. “He lives just on the
Westport side of the Fox River — that ’s
about halfway along the Coast Road,” Mr
uFood for thought
Printed and published by the
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
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The prospect of an American Navy
ship visit — the first in 30 years — has
occasioned much self-congratulatory
back-slapping among New Zealand’s
diplomatic and military professionals.
The “rock in the road” — as the United
States described New Zealand’s nuclear-
free policy — is, clearly, not the obstacle
it was. Thirty years of patient diplomacy
on the part of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs and Trade plus 30 years of our
military insinuating itself into any and
every situation in which New Zealanders
and Americans might find themselves
dodging the same bullets are on the point
But, before the Royal New Zealand
Navy band begins rehearsing the Star
Spangled Banner, and before the boys and
girls at Mfat start popping champagne
corks, perhaps someone should pose the
question: “ Why now?”
For 30 years the US has felt itself
under no irresistible pressure to see Old
Glory waving above the quaysides of
Auckland, Wellington, Lyttelton or Port
Chalmers. From the mid-1980s until
2015 the strategic interests of the US
have not been such that any of the five US
Administrations that have occupied the
White House during that time have felt
it necessary to either bully New Zealand
into a change of policy (which they could
have done at any time) or to acknowledge
(as the Obama Administration is
currently doing) that our anti-nuclear
policy really is not that big a deal
So, again: “ Why now?”
The answer can be delivered in a single
Like Germany ’s in the early 20th
century, China’s burgeoning economic
strength in the 21st century cries out for
the naval power necessary to protect it.
Exactly as the dominant naval power of
the early 20th century, Great Britain, took
fright at the prospect of a rival blue-water
navy presuming to protect the world’s sea-
lanes on more-or-less equal terms, the US
Navy is looking to its laurels.
Now, of course, every armchair admiral
in the country will be spluttering that
the Chinese Navy possesses nothing
of which the mighty US Navy need be
afraid. America’s colossal aircraft carriers,
unassailable and unstoppable, allow the
US to project its power across the entire
planet ’s surface. Neither the Russians,
nor the Chinese have anything to throw
that the Americans cannot intercept and
destroy at will. No, on the world’s oceans,
Uncle Sam has nothing to fear.
So argued the British admirals in the
decades when the advent of air power and
aircraft carriers had already transformed
the towering battleships of the Royal
Navy into a collection of floating targets
for enemy dive-bombers. Those New
Zealanders old enough to remember
when the news came through about the
sinking of HMS Repulse and HMS
Prince of Wales know all about the ability
of new technology to transform the
Herein, lies Uncle Sam’s concern. The
strategic objective of the Chinese Navy is
to deploy weapons of sufficient destructive
menace to keep the all-powerful
American carrier groups far away from
those places (like Taiwan and the South
China Sea) where China is determined to
reassert its sovereign authority.
These weapons are missiles. New, super-
fast, state-of-the-art missiles that pose a
deadly threat to every American vessel
afloat — including the carriers. As Dan
De Luce, national security correspondent
for Foreign Policy magazine, writes:
“The Pentagon is particularly
worried about the so-called “carrier
killer” Dongfeng DF-21D ballistic
missile, which was on public display
at a September military parade
commemorating China’s victory over
Japan in 1945. China has started to deploy
a supersonic YJ-18 cruise missile that is
expected to be installed on submarines
as well. Both missiles could undercut the
ultimate symbol of America’s military
might, the aircraft carrier, possibly forcing
the huge ship and its fighter wing to stay
at an impractically long distance from a
To defeat this new threat, the US Navy
is rewriting its naval warfare playbook in
a way that requires unrestricted entry to
strategic locations across the vast face of
the Pacific Ocean. In furtherance of a plan
that recalls the “island-hopping” strategy
of World War Two, the US military is
looking for access to every outcrop of
volcanic rock and coral between Pearl
Harbour and Yokohama, islands from
which its aircraft can neutralise China’s
Resupplied and refuelled from the
“ unsinkable aircraft carriers” of Japan,
the Philippines, Australia and . . . New
That is why now.
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
Any port in a (missile) storm
Murderer was ‘pure evil’
of the New Zealand Herald
They might be in prison
but they will still be put to
work to prepare Christmas
dinner for the masses.
Inmates at New Zealand
prisons will be ser ved a hot
roast lunch on December 25,
prepared for them by other
Prison kitchens will be
humming as inmates prepare about
9000 meals of roast chicken with
gravy, roast potatoes, carrots and green
peas. Alongside the roast, each inmate
will get two slices of bread and an apple
As with any other day, a vegetarian
option will be available and all special
dietary requirements catered for.
The Department of Corrections
said the cost of Christmas Day meals,
including breakfast and dinner, fell
within the standard budget of $5.30
per prisoner and was in line with the
Ministry of Health’s recommended
“Christmas Day in prison will be a day
of routine and reflection,” Corrections
commissioner Jeremy Lightfoot said.
“For many prisoners, it will be a day
spent thinking of friends and families in
different parts of the country. As such,
the day will be marked in an appropriate
Mr Lightfoot said allowing inmates
to get involved with the Christmas Day
meal preparation was beneficial.
“The opportunity to actively participate
. .. m akes the prisoners feel proud they
are making a positive contribution to the
day ’s celebrations,” he said.
“ Working in the kitchen also gives the
prisoners a set of skills they can use to
gain employment when they are released.
Many prisoners who work in the kitchens
are achieving national qualifications in
hospitality and catering. ”
Mr Lightfoot said 1300 Corrections
staff would be on duty on Christmas
Day, “protecting public safety and
ensuring that the day runs smoothly”.
Around the country different prisons
were also making a community
contribution this Christmas.
Prisoners put to work
ahead of Christmas Day
t is a classic case of beautiful
Mei Fan’s boyfriend Tani
Hoyhtya smiles as he remembers
the woman he loved.
“She was a beautiful lady with
a wonderful laugh and a big heart. She
always wanted to give more to others
rather than receive herself.
“This is what I liked about her.”
But Mr Hoyhtya’s eyes narrow when
he talks about her estranged husband,
Michael Preston, her killer. He was today
jailed for life and Mr Hoyhtya said he
was pure “evil”.
“He’s a psychopath. I’ve studied a little
and he ticks all the boxes.”
Speaking after the sentencing in the
High Court at Wellington, Mr Hoyhtya
was satisfied with the 19-year minimum
term Preston must serve for murdering
Ms Fan in her Miramar home in
Preston, although he never admitted it,
was found guilty by a jury of stabbing her
38 times, leaving a knife embedded in her
Her body was found days later after
Mr Hoyhtya, then living in Vietnam,
raised the alarm when he had not heard
from her in days. She was not answering
texts and was ignoring her social media
Mr Hoyhtya met Ms Fan in China
in 2011. Preston was living over there
with her but he had moved back to New
Zealand by then, taking their children
Ms Fan followed, to be close to the kids,
and Mr Hoyhtya took a job in Vietnam
at the United Nations. But he and Ms
Fan had big plans. He was going to ask
her to marry him and they were planning
to settle in New Zealand.
They never got the chance.
After Ms Fan died Mr Hoyhtya did
move here, getting a forestry job in
Rotorua. But he finishes that on Friday
and will return home to Finland soon.
“This country holds nothing for me
because I don’t have the woman I love.
That was the primary reason I wanted to
come here. I’ve not been happy here.
“I’ve not been able to make this my
home. My family and friends are mainly
in Finland. Here, I only have work and it
is not enough to just have work.”
Ms Fan would often talk to Mr
Hoyhtya about Preston and everything
he was doing to her. She had taken
protection orders out against him but the
pair would often be in contact, sometimes
intimate contact. Usually though, they
would argue about their children’s
custody arrangements and Preston would
threaten to have Ms Fan deported.
After Ms Fan told Preston about her
new love, Preston e-mailed Mr Hoyhtya’s
work, trying to derail his career. Preston
would also call him a “beast from the
Bible” because of his 6/6/66 date of
“It’s totally insane,” Mr Hoyhtya
“He presents, in my opinion, pure evil.
He’s the beast from the Bible himself.
I believe so. How can anybody do such
horrible things like he’s done?”
Mr Hoyhtya gave evidence at Preston’s
trial. He said he was upset that he was
asked if he had killed Ms Fan.
It was impossible, he said, as he was in
Hanoi at the time.
“I was not even in the country. This was
just more insult.
“Everybody, not only me, but all Mei’s
friends and family who cared about her
and loved her and Preston has been
blaming them all,” Mr Hoyhtya said of
Preston’s various theories on who killed
While he thanked the police for their
work in bringing Preston to justice, Mr
Hoyhtya was unhappy he had to wait
longer than two years for the court
process to conclude, and that he was not
allowed to speak his mind during that
time because it could jeopardise Preston’s
right to a fair trial.
He said that was not consistent with the
UN’s Universal Declaration of Human
Mr Hoyhtya was also unhappy court
rules meant his victim impact statement,
read to Justice Joe Williams, was vetted
and some sections removed.
“Even after two years, one month and
eight days, I’m not allowed to say what is
the true impact on me.”
Mr Hoyhtya is not sure if Ms Fan has
been buried yet in a proper plot, saying
such arrangements were in the hands of
He was, however, planning on
planting a rose or tree with a plaque of
remembrance, hopefully in the Botanic
Gardens Ms Fan loved.
Preston, 60, was also found guilty of
beaching a protection order.
Ms Fan was 37.
Preston was a ‘strong suspect from the
Detective senior sergeant John van den
Heuvel told Newstalk ZB Preston was a
“strong suspect from the word go”.
He said he thought Preston believed he
would get away with it.
“There is no doubt that there was a
degree of planning in this crime on his
behalf and he took steps to cover his
tracks and avoid going to court.”
Those steps included using gloves and
possibly a disguise on the day he killed
Preston was arrested five months later.
One of the threads that undid him was
his explanation about his whereabouts,
which was false.
“That rung alarm bells for us. The
investigation uncovered CCTV that
showed he was not being up front with
us and ultimately there was some forensic
evidence in relation to DNA on the knife
and also we found traces — very minute
traces — of her blood.”
Mr van den Heuvel said Ms Fan’s
family in China were satisfied with both
the guilty verdicts and the sentencing.
“Their lives will never return to what it
was before. They will take some sense of
relief from this.” — New Zealand Herald
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