Home' Greymouth Star : March 1st 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 5
Shipwreck surprise for museum
A pair of candlestick holders from the Surat
shipwreck of 1873, in the Catlins, have been
given to the O waka Museum by a descendant
of sur vivors of the wreck.
Professor Brian Roberts, of Brisbane, said
the brass candlestick holders had become
heirlooms in his family after his great-
grandparents, John and Selena Roberts,
salvaged them from the ship Surat when it
was wrecked in the Catlins on New Year’s
The ship was heading for Port Chalmers
but struck a reef near Chaslands Mistake and
eventually ran aground north of the Catlins
River, at what is now Surat Bay.
Prof Roberts said all his ancestors’
possessions were lost or waterlogged during
their “dramatic arrival” in New Zealand. The
only thing they found at the beach worth
keeping were the candlestick holders.
“They ’re the only thing that remains in the
They had remained in his family’s care.
Formerly of Napier, Prof Roberts’ father, also
called Brian, died last year and left the brass
items to his son. The pair decided to gift the
candlestick holders to the O waka Museum.
The candlestick holders were believed to
have been made some time between 1840 and
1860, and were of Victorian origin and design.
Owaka Museum director Gael Ramsay was
amazed something had turned up after all this
time from so far away.
She was pleased to receive items that had a
connection to events in the area.
The Surat wreck was a significant part of
local history and the museum had only a few
items related to it.
The candlestick holders will be put with the
Surat display which includes a scale model of
the ship. — Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Professor Brian Roberts holds a set of candlestick holders which his ancestors salvaged
from the wreck of Surat in 1873 which have been given to the Owaka Museum.
Sky Network Television and Vodafone
have not given up hope for a merger
despite being rebuffed by the Commerce
Commission last week over competition
The pay-television operator and
telecommunications group have not
triggered a right to terminate the
transaction if it was not completed by
yesterday, Sky said in a statement.
“S ky does not currently propose to give
notice of termination of the SPA (sale and
purchase agreement) to Vodafone while
the parties consider their options,” it said.
Vodafone had also indicated it did not
propose termination either, Sky said.
The competition regulator rejected the
companies’ application to merge last
week, saying it risked creating a strongly
vertically integrated pay-television
ser vice and telecommunications provider,
with rejection hinging on their owning
all premium sports content.
Had the deal not captured popular
sports it probably would have got over
the line. The rejection saw shareholders
dump Sky stock, wiping $293 million
from the company ’s market value. The
shares last traded at $3.80, valuing Sky
at $1.48 billion.
The Commerce Commission has not
published its detailed reasoning behind
the decision, which the companies could
then scour to determine whether it was
worth seeking a judicial review.
Sky and Vodafone want to create the
country’s largest telecommunications
and media group, with Sky buying
Vodafone New Zealand for $3.44b,
funded by a payment of $1.25b in cash
and the issue of new Sky shares at a
price of $5.40 per share.
Vodafone would have become a 51%t
majority shareholder in Sky Television
in what amounted to a reverse takeover.
The pay-television operator planned to
borrow $1.8b from Vodafone to fund the
purchase, repay existing debt and use for
working capital. — NZ N
skyrocketed last year, growing by
more than 20 times the amount
snapped up by New Zealand
Customs three years ago.
More than 400kg of the drug
was intercepted by staff, as well
as 1.1 tonnes of precursors
including ephedrine, which
could have been used to create
another 800kg of meth.
A glut in the global market
and the fact criminals are
trying harder to smuggle illicit
substances are possible reasons
for the record high result last
year, investigations manager
Maurice O’Brien said.
“New Zealand’s meth and
MDMA prices are much
higher compared to many
overseas countries, which makes
smuggling a lucrative business,”
Wagner congratulated Customs
staff on catching out smugglers
who have elaborate and creative
“ Whether it’s on passengers,
in cargo or through the
mail, Customs is committed
to keeping these harmful
substances off our streets,” she
Just like on-line shopping,
manager Bruce Berry said
internet drug orders are also on
About 70% of intercepted drugs
are found in small quantities by
mail centre staff.
“New Zealanders are looking for
price, choice and opportunities
. . . with illicit substances as well,”
“ We’re seeing an increased
variety of drugs, and their
precursors, mimics, synthetics.
You name it it’s coming through
Customs will use $2.78 million
seized under Criminal Proceeds
legislation to continue the fight
in New Zealand and overseas,
including spending $730,000 on
disrupting meth supply through
intelligence operations with
border agencies worldwide.
Another $568,000 will be
spent on facilities to improve
evidence quality and intelligence
Meth seizures. — 2016, 413kg;
2015, 283kg; 2014, 82kg; 2013,
21kg. — NZN
Record meth seizures
Issues over access to parts of
Hunter Valley Station on the
shores of Lake Hawea look set
to continue despite the station’s
lease changing hands.
Last month, the O verseas
Investment Office approved
the sale of the lease on the
6468ha station to a new lessee,
understood to be an American
The commissioner of Crown
Lands is yet to grant consent to
the transfer of the leasehold from
Ta ff and Pene Cochrane to the
In its decision the OIO said the
new leaseholder had demonstrated
a willingness to enable public
access to several important sites
on or around the land.
Public access through the
station has been a contentious
issue in the past, particularly
around the use of Meads
Road and access to the head of
Lake Hawea and the Hawea
Conser vation Park.
A group of 10 interested parties
took part in negotiations with the
new leaseholder about increasing
public access through the station
before the OIO’s decision was
made last month.
Provisions for improved access
are included the decision but in
some cases the terms would be
determined by the leaseholder.
At least one of those groups
involved in the negotiations
improvements had been made.
Federated Mountain Clubs
president Peter Wilson said it
seemed the negotiations had
come to nothing.
Mr Wilson said he believed
an agreement had been reached
that would allow managed access
with an easement placed along
the road line, which ran through
the station, in the name of the
Walking Access Commission.
It was clear from reading the
OIO’s decision the current
access, which was very limited,
would continue, he said.
“For us, this is a major issue and
one we are going to fight quite
Queenstown lawyer Graeme
Todd, who represented the new
leaseholder in the negotiations,
said there had been an extensive
consultation process with groups
wanting access to parts of the
Mr Todd said all the groups
involved put for ward plans for
what type of access they wanted
and in most cases those plans had
been included in the granting of
Some groups wanted provisions
set, such as the use of vehicles,
which were not applicable to a
working farm, he said.
“ What people need to
remember is this is a working
farm and will continue to be a
working farm so access has got to
continue to work around those
A spokesman for the Walking
Access Commission said it
was still examining the OIO’s
decision. — Otago Daily Times
Hunter Valley Station access still concern
A jury is expected to begin deciding
today whether Michael Joseph Davies
murdered his longtime friend on a
Davies, 52, also known as Michael
Waipouri is charged with kidnapping
and brutally murdering his friend of 30
years, Lance John Murphy, in Puhoi,
north of Auckland, in November 2015.
Davies’s co-accused, 38-year-old Steve
Gunbie, is charged with helping in the
kidnapping and hiding the body.
The Crown says Davies handcuffed
Mr Murphy and tied a hood over his
head before using a baseball bat and tree
branch to brutally cave his head in.
Davies’s lawyer called on the jury
to convict him of the lesser charge of
manslaughter because he had a paranoid
personality that led him to believe Mr
Murphy was a dangerous enemy.
The Crown also alleged Gunbie co-
operated with Davies by driving the car
containing the kidnapped Mr Murphy
and later hiding his dead body.
Gunbie’s lawyer defended his client by
saying he never drove the car Mr Murphy
was in and moved his body only to help
get it off a friend’s property. — NZN
New Zealanders are being challenged to go
a day without turning on a tap in an Oxfam
project aimed at providing easy access to clean
water in Pacific island nations.
The project is being launched today with the
release of a short film by comedian Te Radar.
Taps Off Day will be on March 22, coinciding
with World Water Day, and money pledged will
go to O xfam’s water, sanitation and hygiene
projects in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.
The anti-poverty organisation says just $75 is
enough for a new tap stand in Vanuatu.
Fitisemanu said going 24 hours without being
able to turn on the taps might seem like a wild
idea to most New Zealanders.
But she said it was a daily reality for many
people in the Pacific, who have to walk for
hours to the nearest water source — “often a
river that ’s used for everything from drinking
and washing, to bathing and using the toilet ”.
The event is supported by Auckland civil
defence, and director John Dragicevich says it
was not just a way to recognise the hardship of
He said it was also a wake-up call to New
Zealanders and a reminder that this country is
not immune to natural disasters affecting water
People wanting to take part can register on the
tapsoff.org.nz . — N ZN
Oxfam aims to turn taps on in Pacific
jury to retire
New Zealand’s pilots have won a court victory
against the decision allowing shorter safety areas
at the ends of Wellington Airport’s proposed
In a decision released yesterday, the Court of
Appeal has ordered the Civil Aviation Authority
to revisit airport’s application for a 90m runway
end safety area (RESA).
“O ur review leads us to the inescapable
conclusion that a RESA must extend to 240m
in length unless it can be shown that it is not
practicable,” the justices said.
Wellington Airport wants to build a 350m
runway extension in an effort to attract long-
haul flights from Asia and the United States,
for an estimated $300 million, but will face a
tough and expensive task of including the extra
In 2015, the CAA accepted the airport’s
application for the shorter run-off area, rather
than one of at least 240m.
That was backed up by a High Court decision,
but the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association
appealed on behalf of its 2200 pilot and air
traffic control members.
The Court of Appeal, on reviewing the law
and New Zealand’s international obligations,
said the correct legal test required the CAA to
assess whether a 240m RESA can feasibly be
“If satisfied that this is not practicable, the
director is empowered to approve a shorter
RESA only if it extends to the greatest distance
practicable between 90m and 240m. ”
It must also satisfy New Zealand and
international aviation safety laws, the court said.
Court backs pilots on runway
Specials available South Island only, price valid until Sunday 5 March 2017 or while stocks last. Trade not supplied. Due to current
Licensing Trust laws, liquor not available at Elles Road, Windsor & Gore. Specials may not be available at all stores. Club Deals are
only available to Clubcard Members at New World South Island stores when they scan their Clubcard at the time of purchase.
Laundry Liquid 1L or Surf
Laundry Powder 3kg
Greek Yoghurt 1kg
Mixed Veges or
Peas 1kg, includes
900g Crispy Skins
Medal Ale or
Summit Lager 330ml
15 Pack Bottles
Mother Earth Vege
Fruit Sticks 152g
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