Home' Greymouth Star : December 17th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Speculation that Helen
Clark will apply for the top
job at the United Nations
is ramping up, as the
organisation asks member
States to submit candidates
for Secretary-General and
urges women to apply for
Although New Zealand’s
former Prime Minister has
never declared her interest
in leading the UN, her
name appears high on the
list of potential candidates whenever the
post is publicly discussed.
The head of the United Nations
Development Programme at present
No 3 in the UN’s hierarchy — Ms
Clark said in 2014: “If there’s enough
support for the style of leadership that
I have, it will be interesting.” Yesterday,
General Assembly president Mogens
Lykketoft called for women to apply for
“Bearing in mind that in 70 years the
UN has never had a female secretary-
general, the inclusion and consideration
of woman candidates should be an
important focus for all of us,” he said.
Eight men have held the office in the
Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman
David Shearer told RNZ National he
thought Ms Clark would “have a crack”
at getting the job.
“The word on the street is that she’s
been for some time talking about it
and testing out the waters with various
Prime Minister John Key has said he
would support a bid by Ms Clark, if she
was to put her hand up for the job.
The term of Ban Ki-moon, current
head of the world body, will finish at the
end of next year, with the UN hoping to
begin its selection process
by the end of July next year.
Reforms within the UN’s
selection process will allow
General Assembly member
States for the first time to
see basic information about
all candidates, including
their resumes, and to meet
and question them.
But a number of barriers
remain firmly in place,
with the five veto-wielding
permanent members of
the Security Council, the
United States, Britain, Russia, France
and China, having the most say.
New Zealand Herald political editor
Audrey Young said Ms Clark’s chances
rested on whether eastern Europe could
come up with a consensus candidate
acceptable to Europe, the United States
“ With the current crisis in relations
over Ukraine, that is not a simple task.
“If it can’t find a consensus candidate,
Ms Clark will almost certainly seek the
post and will be a front runner.”
A campaign for more transparency
in the selection process, called 1 for 7
Billion, has been conducting an on-line
poll asking what qualities people would
like to see in the next UN chief.
“Have the courage to stand up to
powerful countries” leads the way with
38% of the more than 325 responses so
far, spokeswoman Justine Brouillard said.
New Zealand was one of six elected
Security Council members to sign
a statement saying the council had
been slow to engage with the General
Assembly on the selection process,
complaining that this is essential
given the call “for dialogue and a more
transparent and inclusive process of
decision-making on this issue”.
— NZ ME-AP
Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 7
An 11-year-old boy has died following
a fall in a lift in a house that was being
renovated north of Auckland.
It was understood the child was at his
grandparents’ house on Pacific Cliffs
Drive, Gulf Harbour when the accident
happened shortly before 1pm.
A builder rushed to the aid of the child,
who was playing in the lift before the
accident, but his injuries were too severe.
St John confirmed that the 11-year-
old was deceased when paramedics
arrived at the address.
Nick Denz, 26, was working at a
nearby property and spoke to the builder
who rushed to the boy ’s aid.
“It’s pretty messed up. He said the boy
was playing in the lift, because they are
massive houses and they have lifts, and
he got his head crushed.
“He was pretty spooked. He tried to
give him CPR but it didn’t do anything. ”
Pacific Cliffs Drive is a cliff top street
that borders the exclusive Gulf Harbour
Country Club and golf club and
overlooks the picturesque harbour.
There were a lot of new houses being
built and some houses being renovated
on the street, said Mr Denz.
“Kids wouldn’t be on a building site.
He was just playing around, but I don’t
understand because all the lifts in the
houses are pretty safe so we don’t know
how he would have done it.”
A neighbour, who did not wish to be
named, said the child was the grandson
of the home’s owner.
She said she had seen one fire truck,
four police cars and two ambulances
attend the scene and police had asked
for neighbours to stay away.
She described the home’s owner as a
“quiet man” who kept to himself.
The neighbour’s husband, who works at
the marina, said he had seen emergency
ser vices heading to the home.
“I just saw the vehicles arriving
and I called my wife to see why was
He said the boy had been playing hide
and seek when he was injured.
“ It is tragic, what else can you say. He
was playing hide and seek or something.
Must have been horrendous because his
siblings would have been there. ”
Workers nearby also heard “a lot ” of
sirens in the area close to 1pm.
“ I was thinking what on earth has
happened because they sounded so
close,” said one worker, who wished not
to be named.
Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter
was also called to the address shortly
before 1pm, but were stood down.
In a statement tonight, police said the
boy died “following a fall at his home”.
Police were called to the residential
property at 12.58pm.
“ Despite extensive efforts by family
and emergency ser vices, sadly the boy
was unable to be revived and died at the
scene,” the statement said.
“ Police believe this is a tragic accident
and as such, the death will be referred to
the coroner. ”
The exact events that led to the fall will
form part of the information that Police
will provide to the Coroner.
“ We are all immensely saddened by
this young boy ’s death and our thoughts
are with his family tonight. ”
Rodney Police Area Commander
Mark Fergus said the boy “ was playing
just like any other 11-year-old boy does
and this is very upsetting for everyone
Mr Fergus said the family had
requested privacy and he also issued a
remind to people commenting about the
tragedy on social media.
“ We ask that the media respect the
family’s privacy and that social media
users bear in mind that speculating
around the circumstances of such a
tragic accident can be very hurtful to a
victim’s family. ”
The Manly Fire
Whangaparaoa was called to the
incident, but a spokesman would not
comment on the ser vice’s role there.
Contrary to early reports, the incident
did not take place at a construction site.
— NZ ME-New Zealand Herald
Boy crushed to death by lift in house
The Pacific Cliffs Drive home where the tragedy occurred.
A volunteer firefighter fell up
to 7m down a steep bank while
attempting to free the driver of a
truck that crashed near Hampden
Both driver and firefighter
ended up in D unedin Hospital
with moderate injuries following
the 2.45am incident.
Police said the truck swer ved off
State highway 1, near Hampden,
when the 49-year-old driver
allegedly attempted to avoid an
animal on the road.
It travelled about 50m in a ditch
beside the south-bound lane,
before hitting a power pole, which
broke in half, and uprooting a
The vehicle came to a halt about
3m from a steep 7m drop to the
“She (the driver) was a very
lucky lady,” a police spokeswoman
The injuries to the driver’s legs
and abdomen were not believed
to be serious, but she was taken
by ambulance to D unedin
She was cut free from the
vehicle by volunteers from
the Weston and Palmerston
While cutting the woman out
of the truck, one of the Weston
firefighters fell 4m to 7m to the
railway line below.
“They cut the door (of the
truck) off and he stepped back
with the door and went down the
bank,” a spokeswoman said. The
firefighter injured his back and he
was taken to Dunedin Hospital,
When contacted, Weston
chief fire officer Bevan Koppert
declined to comment on the exact
nature of the incident as it was
The cause of the crash is also
— Otago Daily Times
Driver, rescuer in hospital after crash
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
A truck sits on the side of the road near Hampden after crashing early yesterday morning.
It is being reported 10 people were
taken to hospital following a suspected
P lab raid in Hawke’s Bay.
This included six adults and four
children. Nine have been discharged
but a four-month-old baby remains in
hospital in a stable condition, 3 News
It said those taken to hospital included
family members and workers from
Child, Youth and Family who had
recently visited the address at Elliott
Street in Taradale.
Children are believed to have lived at
the property which was raided under
suspicion of housing a P lab in Taradale
Armed offenders squad members and
emergency ser vice workers in hazardous
materials suits converged on Elliott
Street about 6pm yesterday.
Two people have been arrested in
relation to the suspected P lab raid,
detective senior sergeant Darren
Neighbours watched as emergency
ser vice workers had to be decontaminated
after being exposed to the property.
One neighbour spoke of her surprise at
“ I had no idea what was going on, I just
came home with my hot chips and saw
these men in (hazmat) suits all over the
She said the young parents that lived
at the house were always quiet and
“They are never noisy or throw parties. ”
She often saw children playing outside.
“As a mother and grandmother, I’m
really feeling for the children right now,
it ’s not their fault and they ’ll have no
idea what ’s going on.”
She was told by police that the
children were taken away. “It’s very sad,”
When asked if children were present,
district deployment officer for the
eastern district police Dan Foley said
he could not rule out the possibility of
others living at the address.
“ It appears to be a clan lab,” Mr Foley
He said products used to manufacture
dangerous and not just for children.
“ However, the chemicals are far more
harmful to children as their organs are
There was a scene guard in place at the
house overnight, police said.
Emergency ser vices later assembled
in Dalton Street, Napier, where a
decontamination unit was set up.
Fire trucks, police, ambulance and an
incident truck attended. Three people
were put into an ambulance about
9.20pm and taken away.
— N Z ME-Hawke’s Bay Today
10 taken to
after P lab raid
Steven Gunbie was
arrested after police
raided a number of
properties in the
The 37-year-old has
been on the run since
late last month and was
wanted in connection
with the disappearance of
Waiuku man Lance John
Mr Murphy, 57, went
missing on November 21
and was found dead in a
paddock near Wellsford
at the weekend.
A 51-year-old Waiuku
man has been charged
with murder. He was
granted interim name
suppression in the
Manukau District Court
on Monday afternoon.
Gunbie was arrested
in Waihi, after a search
warrant was executed.
He has been charged
with kidnapping and will
appear in the Manukau
District Court today.
Gunbie was also wanted
on a warrant for failing to
appear in court.
14 years for murder
in case with no body
A man described as a “ruthless and
meticulous criminal” has been sentenced
to life imprisonment for the murder of
Whanganui man Whetu Hansen.
Neil Raymond Swain appeared in the
Palmerston North High Court yesterday.
Swain was found guilty of murdering
Hansen by a jury on November 18 after
a three-week trial.
Swain, 57, shot Mr Hansen about five
times on the day he disappeared then
hid his body for 10 days at his Linton
property. He then sealed it inside a
44-gallon drum and dumped it in the
Mr Hansen’s body has never been
Members of Mr Hansen’s family filled
the public gallery and two of his sisters
read victim impact statements to the
Tessa Davidson said the court process
had caused significant financial strain to
the family due to time off work, visiting
Akers Road to see where Mr Hansen
spent his last moments and numerous
visits to police. She described Mr
Hansen’s death as shattering and said
she was in a state of disbelief his body
had not been found.
She spoke of experiencing moments of
uncontrollable tears and the trauma of
having to tell her own children what had
She finished by addressing the
defendant, “I hope your conscience lets
you sleep well Mr Swain. ”
Trudy Birchall said Mr Hansen had
grandchildren he would never see grow
up. She said their family was close and
had been greatly affected by her brother’s
“O ur family chain has now been
She said she owed it to her brother
to follow the investigation and said she
“couldn’t rest until she knew what had
Ms Birchall acknowledged nothing
would bring Mr Hansen back and said
knowing what happened in the last
hours of his life had made it difficult to
Sentencing Swain, Justice Brendan
Brown said a minimum jail term of
14 years was needed on account of his
He said despite no clear motive being
established Swain had performed a
“deliberate killing using a firearm on an
Justice Brown said Swain’s conduct
following the murder was cruel and gave
false hope to Mr Hansen’s family.
“ You are a danger to the community.
You are a hardened criminal
not deterred by a long term of
He said Swain’s attitude towards police
was “confrontational” and his current
offences meant previous convictions
A probation report prepared for
sentencing showed Swain continued to
deny the murder and therefore found
him to show no remorse.
Swain was also sentenced on seven
other charges relating to the possession
of explosives, cyanide, a firearm and
As Swain was escorted from the
courtroom he addressed the judge.
“ Well Your Honour, for once I am
innocent but found guilty. I am disturbed
you have allowed police to lie and perjure
evidence. I am very very saddened by
this. How can I tell anybody where a
body is if I don’t know where it is?”
— NZ ME -Manawatu Guardian
An Ashburton farm owner is floored
and sickened by the disappearance of
three dozen dairy cows from her farm.
Staff noticed their absence after milk
production became abnormally low.
The milking shed tracking system
showed the herd disappeared between
Monday and Wednesday last week.
Farm owner Jill Quigley believes
the cows were taken on two separate
occasions. She thinks 19 were stolen the
first time, before thieves returned to take
Mrs Quigley has rung every transport
operator in case they knew something,
but has had no luck. She says there was
no sign the cows walked off the farm
either, so their disappearance remains a
Mrs Q uigley is worried the cows were
not being properly looked after and was
deeply concerned for their welfare.
North Canterbury Federated Farmers’
dairy chairman Cameron Henderson
urged farmers to ensure their land had
secure boundaries and to keep an eye out
for any vehicles, particularly at night.
Mr Henderson said another alternative
to ear tagging, used at the Ashburton
farm, was genetic testing.
“O bviously you can’t change an
animal’s DNA so if you have records in
your system it ’s very easy to test those
animals and prove they are yours. ”
Mr Henderson said the ears tags still
gave an element of traceability as animals
needed to have them to be sold. Those
who remove the ear tags would also need
to be registered to buy new ones.
Ashburton police are seeking any
information on the case. — N Z ME
Three dozen cows
vanish from farm
Women urged to seek role
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