Home' Greymouth Star : January 25th 2017 Contents Hole blown in Totara
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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25, 2017
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leads to assault
A teenage woman facing two
charges of assault, the result of school
bullying in Runanga — which went
from bad to worse — was declined
diversion when she appeared in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday.
Kathleen Te Para admitted two
charges of assault against a student
at Runanga School. Te Para was
remanded to appear in the Porirua
District Court as her mother lives in
A car load of Chinese tourists were
pulled up by police near Ngahere
yesterday after a complaint their car
was passing on double lines. Acting
senior sergeant Andy Lyes said the
driver was fined on the spot. It comes
a day after a Chinese driver crashed
into a railway signal at nearby
Totara Flat. He appeared in court
yesterday and was fined $200. Mr
Lyes said there was extra traffic on
State highway 7 — which includes
the L ewis Pass — and many were
going via Taylor ville Road to reach
Punakaiki. It seemed the route was a
default setting in a lot of GPS
sat-nav systems, he said.
Yet another heavy rain warning
has been issued for the West Coast
— the third since the big storm
that flooded parts of the region
last week. The Metser vice expects
another burst of rain to arrive
tomorrow with up to 120mm in the
ranges of South Westland.
Showers turn to heavy rain
Police in Slovakia could not believe
it when they stopped a small van
crammed from floor to ceiling with
lambs. The car-sized van had been
adapted to create two layers of
shelving, which allowed the driver
to squeeze in twice as many young
lambs. The police officers could not
believe their eyes as they counted
the number of animals: ‘One, two,
three ... 24, 25, 26 ... 51, 52, 53 ...’
Eventually they counted a total of
72 lambs packed into the tiny space.
Some were standing on each others’
heads and others were pressed tight
against windows but miraculously all
were still alive despite having barely
enough oxygen. — Daily Mail
Woman stole cash, toys from Christmas charity
A woman who stole cash and toys
from a West Coast charity she was
volunteering for was told in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday
she needed both budgeting advice and
Aroha Beckett, 26, of Greymouth,
admitted the theft. Beckett was
helping out Foster Hope West Coast
over Christmas wrapping presents at
The Warehouse in Greymouth.
She was on duty on the wrapping
desk on December 12 when she took
a donation bucket aside and stole
some $5 notes from it and replaced
it. A second time she took another
bucket and took a quantity of money
from that one, too.
Beckett also stole toys a member of
the public had dropped off to Foster
Hope as a donation.
The theft was discovered when
another volunteer noticed a number
of $5 notes missing from one of the
Beckett admitted taking the money
and toys, saying that she realised it
was her daughter’s birthday the next
day and she had no money.
Lawyer Liz Bulger said Beckett had
a history of trouble but she had turned
things around since December.
“S he regrets what she did and
has tried to contact the charity
but has had no response back,” Ms
“ It was a case of the poor stealing
from the poor,” Judge Robert Murfitt
He convicted and sentenced Beckett
to six months’ super vision, including
counselling and budgeting advice.
A woman who has not been seen
since December 22 made her last
eftpos transaction at the Punakaiki
campground — the same day
Borat movie star Sasha Barron
Cohen and his actor wife Isla
Fisher stayed at the same camp.
Police officers have been focusing
on the Punakaiki to Fox River
area over the past two days as
they continue to look for Shelly
Crooks, 36, who told a friend she
was hitchhiking to Opotiki, in the
North Island, to spend Christmas
with her family. Her family has
not heard from the mother of four
since, and police say this is unusual,
especially over the holiday period.
Police have been handing
out posters to local businesses
appealing for information.
Craig Findlay, from
Punakaiki campground, said police
had told him that Ms Crooks had
not used her eftpos card since
His son Jed remembered her
quite well. She had stayed in a
“It was a wet day, the same day as
the famous actors. She got her gear
dried in the drying room.”
However, he has no recollection
of her leaving, which Mr Findlay
said was normal for a busy
campground, but they did not
think she had a car.
Acting senior sergeant Andy
Lyes, of Greymouth police, said
today inquiries were ongoing.
Asked if they believed Ms
Crooks may not have left the West
Coast, he said police were “not
there yet ”.
They had leads in different areas
that had to be followed up over the
next few days and either confirmed
Police were still keen to hear of
any sightings and should have a
better idea of last sightings of her
in the next few days.
The police national media centre
said this morning Ms Crooks had
been walking local tracks and then
planned to hitchhike to the North
“ We are making inquiries in
a number of areas to locate Ms
Crooks, and ask people who may
have seen her between the West
Coast and Opotiki to contact
Her father, John Crooks, said
a few days ago that Shelly had
five-year-old twins and a son and
daughters aged 11 and 12, who
were in the care of other family
He had expected she would have
made her way to Opotiki to be
with her children for Christmas,
or to Tokoroa for a family birthday
party on Boxing Day.
Ms Crooks is 180cm tall and of
medium-solid build. When last
seen she was wearing a blue-grey
rain jacket, black three-quarter
pants and running shoes.
She may have been carrying
a driftwood walking stick and
End of an era in Greymouth retailing
It is the end of an era for the Truman
family after 80 years of retailing in
Greymouth, as Doug Truman bows out
of his Paper Plus business next week.
The business has been sold to the Sara
and Kelsall family.
Paper Plus (formerly the Central Book
Shop) is the last bastion of a Mackay
Street retail empire that has its origins
in the Depression of the 1930s, when
Doug Truman’s grandfather established
a department store.
Truman’s operated large stores in
Greymouth, Westport and Hokitika
until the 1970s, when the business was
dissolved. It sold everything from carpet
to work boots, and also conducted a
door-to-door mail order business for
sawmilling and mining settlements from
Karamea to Paringa.
Doug Truman worked at everything
from carpet laying to fashion buyer.
Truman’s was “a Ballantynes-type
shop,” he said today.
In the mid-1970s he bought the
Central Book Shop and has been there
Greymouth retailing had been in
“static period” since, but the book
and stationery business had largely
It had also enabled him to ser ve
through local politics. He finished on
the Grey District Council in October
following 48 years in all spheres of local
Mr Truman said the time was right
to hand on the business with “the
challenges of the new age” of technology
“In a couple of weeks I’m 77 so sort
of think, ‘how long do we keep going
here’? There’s more potential with the
younger brains coming in to carry on
A seamless changeover also enabled
the longstanding values of the shop to
carry on, he said.
“It’s really great that a local team
can carry on in a style to which we are
Edith Sara will run the business in
conjunction with her daughter Suzanne
Mrs Sara said Truman’s and Paper
Plus had always been noted for its
family orientation towards staff and
customers, led by Mr Truman, and his
departure was significantly personal.
“ We hope that it will stay the same.
We’ve got good staff here ... and Doug’s
going to be around to help us out. ”
Greymouth neighbours are in court
this week over loud music that one
describes as screeching classical-type
music and the other as soothing jazz to
Edgar Rochwalski is appearing for a
judge-alone trial to defend a charge of
failing to comply with an excessive noise
notice a year ago.
Stewart said she had lived in Marsden
Road for 11 years and when Rochwalski
moved there he had barricaded himself
into his property with high fences.
Despite the fences, for the past three
years she had still been blasted with
excessively loud screeching classical-
The noise had stopped for now, she
The loud music came from the rear of
the property and sometimes it felt like
the speakers were pointed directly at her
house, Ms Stewart said.
She described the music as like nails
on a blackboard.
It was interfering with her peace,
comfort and convenience.
“I couldn’t even play outside with my
young boy and I was in tears because I
could not play with him.”
She said she felt like a prisoner in her
One day when she arrived home the
noise was “ridiculous” so she complained
to the council, which sent a noise control
officer and another staff member to
Cross-examined by Rochwalski, Ms
Stewart said she did not know why the
high fences had been erected.
Mr Rochwalski claimed it was because
Ms Stewart ’s husband had fired bullets
at his property.
The offending music was not high-
pitched but jazz, classical and sometimes
even Dave Dobbin, he said.
Neighbours at war over loud music
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Doug Truman outside the bookstore he will leave behind next week.
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