Home' Greymouth Star : March 20th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Monday, March 20, 2017
A flare reported off the coast at
Cobden at 9 o’clock on Thursday
night could not be traced. West
Coast police response manager senior
sergeant Brent Cook said they had
ruled out anything sinister behind
the reported flare sighting after a
thorough investigation by the police,
Maritime NZ and search and rescue.
Mr Cook said all such sightings were
taken seriously and investigated.
Winners of the Greymouth Star
monthly garden page giveaway, each
receiving a copy of the latest edition
of New Zealand Gardener magazine,
were: Marilyn Cook, Ann Howard,
Joyce Stanton, Joan O’Connell and
The NZCC West Coast Rescue
Helicopter was called to Westport
yesterday morning to transfer a
patient to Christchurch Hospital.
Greymouth Bridge Club results. —
Wednesday: John Boyes and Ash
Hamilton 72%, 1; Dave Oldham
and Vicky Robertson 51%, 2; Nancy
Prangnell and Tina Fernando 50%,
3. Thursday: Sue Glue and Ian
Anderson 62.5%, 1; Ravi Vemulapalli
and Brian Rowlands 55.7%, 2;
Naomi Kirwan and Allison Palmer
51.6%, 3; Colleen Freitas and John
Boyes/Tina Fernando and Paul Holt
50.5%, 4 equal.
Arrivals: Cook Canyon, Galatea
II, Canopus, Humma 1, two
Greymouth vessels. Departures:
Esperance, two Greymouth vessels.
In port: Cook Canyon, Galatea
II, Annie, Canopus, Humma 1,
Sovereign, 16 Greymouth vessels.
Expected departures: Cook Canyon,
Galatea II, tomorrow. Expected
arrivals: Moon Shadow II, Jay
Greens oppose Coast
bulk water exports
of the Hokitika Guardian
The Green Party has joined in criticism
of plans by West Coast-owned company
Okuru Enterprises Ltd to take water
from a tributary of the Arawhata River
and export it in bulk water tankers off
The proposal — first consented over 20
years ago — still needs land use consent
from the Westland District Council and
came before a commissioner’s hearing
in Haast, on Friday.
Other lapsed consents have already
been granted by the West Coast
Regional Council, under the radar.
However, a coastal permit to disturb
and occupy the foreshore and seabed
associated with the pipeline for the
export facility is still pending.
spokeswoman Eugenie Sage said Okuru
Enterprises proposed taking enough to
fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool
every 52 minutes, and more than 27
Olympic pools every day — “all without
paying a cent in resource rental and
without the public having a chance to
“New Zealanders care passionately
about water, and want to be able to
have their say on water grabs happening
around our country before it is too late,”
Ms Sage said.
“ We shouldn’t be giving away New
Zealand’s freshwater for free and
without public consultation to private
companies who are going to sell it
overseas at a handsome profit.”
Two of the three submitters who
lodged objections to the scheme
attended the hearing on Friday. The
two landowners nearest to the proposed
water storage and processing site at
Neils Beach have raised concerns about
noise, dust, traffic and amenity values,
as well as some larger environmental
They have been backed by Ashburton-
based water lobbyist Bung the Bore,
which has started a nationwide petition
against the project, although it missed
the deadline for submissions.
Bung the Bore founder Jen Branje
opposed the selling of a natural resource,
and also expressed concerns about
the coastal ecosystem if tankers were
allowed to enter the area and discharge
ballast waste before taking on water.
A council staff report supported the
plan in principle and recommended the
land use consents be renewed, with over
Westland Mayor Bruce Smith has
also supported it and says generally
the majority of local residents did too
because of the environmental and
economic benefits the pipeline would
bring to Haast.
Okuru Enterprises director Helen
Rasmussen said the project would help
create jobs in a declining community.
Mrs Rasmussen said the Haast School
had gone from 120 pupils to just 11
with the decline of the sawmilling,
fishing and mining industries. Tourism
was now the main employer, but it was
“ We see around 60% are absentee
homeowners who enjoy the luxury
of visiting and exploiting our fishery,
whitebait, crayfish, enjoying all we have
to offer, using it as their playground, but
returning to their lucrative occupations
elsewhere, taking what they can with
them while contributing very little
to the sustainability of our small
communities,” she told Stuff.
Okuru shareholder Kerry Eggeling,
who owns the land proposed for
the storage facility, said water was a
renewable resource on the West Coast.
“ We get something like 8m of water
falling on these hills a year, most of that
runs out to the ocean. I spend hundreds
of thousands of dollars draining water
off my farm,” Mr Eggeling said.
A council decision on whether to
renew the land consents will be made in
the next three weeks.
Prime Minister Bill English told
One News the government would not
be willing to consider a tax on water
exports unless answers could be found
to some “pretty difficult ” questions
about water ownership.
“In New Zealand it ’s always been the
case that we’ve said that no one owns the
water. That ’s been the basis of everyone
being able to have access to water and
its use basically whenever they want,”
The bottling companies only actually
used a “very small” amount of water
available and a tax would raise questions
about whether other water-heavy
industries — such as wine, dairy or
tourism — should be charged as well.
Last week Environment Minister
Nick Smith said the amount of water
being used and profit being made
by companies exporting water were
“It’s just a bit unusual to start a debate
around bottled water when it ’s such a
teeny weeny fraction, and is having no
substantive impact on either the quality
of water or minimum flow.”
Dr Smith said the amount of
bottled water exported last year was a
million litres down on the year before.
— Additional reporting NZME
O'BRIEN - SEXTON.
Renee, James and
Jonty are chuffed with
Sexton, on March 16,
2017, weighing 9lb
9ozs. Special thanks to
Jamie Cummins and
midwives Sandy and
Monday March 20
Urgent cases only
Phone 769 7493 first
5pm - 8pm
Ph 768 0250
Why have your loved
ones taken away
from the Coast for
The only funeral home
in Greymouth offering
services on site
Ensuring you get Expertise
and Qualified Funeral
Melissa Loha and Eule took part in the Greymouth SPCA Mutt Strut dog
show at the weekend. With fun the name of the game, a good crowd turned
out to the Preston Road dog exercise area to support the event.
PICTURE: Paddy O’Connor
Good crowd attends dog show
Greymouth couple Pat and Elaine Knowles head off in their 1929 Chrysler as part of the West Coast
Vintage Car Club ‘Around the Lakes’ tour, on Saturday morning. Eighty-two cars from throughout the
South Island took part. “It was a great success all round,” vice-president Allan Giles said. “ We had lunch at
Gloriavale and held our field trials on the airstrip there. It all went well and the lakes were just absolutely
stunning. We had three motorbikes taking part as well and will look to have more next year.” Gordon
Thrower, from Canterbury, driving a 1936 Model A Ford was the eventual winner, and Greymouth man John
Boyes was second in his 1937 Cadillac.
Rona Wright, left, and Carole O’Connell were part of the Uniting Church Fair held in Greymouth at
the weekend. The fair carried ever ything from food to flowers and crafts.
of the Westport News
Granity’s threat from the sea is
becoming critical, says a Niwa scientist.
Coastal engineer Michael Allis has
recommended building a rock all and
reforming a drain, but says the work will
only provide short- to medium-term
Waves and sand had washed into
private properties in the past year, Dr
Allis said. D uring winter one property
had been abandoned and at least one
garage had been destroyed.
People had built ad hoc rockwalls, but
they needed a single rockwall.
He recommended the Buller District
Council re-form the Bradley Stream
drain and berm as soon as possible while
the community and the West Coast
Regional Council prepared to build
defences and join walls already under
Dr Allis’ new advice updates Niwa’s
previous advice to Granity, Ngakawau
and Hector residents. He told a public
meeting at Ngakawau in November last
year that the safest long-term plan was
for residents to move away from the sea.
In the meantime they could do other
things, such as plantings, he said.
His latest report to the regional council
said that, overall, Niwa’s 2016 advice
However, the advice for one coastal
section needed updating.
The area north of Bradley Stream was
rapidly approaching “critical risk level”.
“The community have had waves and
sand wash into their property in the
last year and have been galvanised into
The drain clearance berm had failed
to stop waves regularly washing into
private properties and several land
owners had built their own rock walls.
Dr Allis recommended ensuring
the defences were well built, formed
a consistent line, tied into existing
defences and avoided making things
He said a single rockwall should
include all properties north of Bradley
Stream, from 154 to 165 Torea Street.
Property owners south of 153 Torea
Street should also be prepared to build
a backstop defence berm in the short
term. This should tie into the southern
end of the rockwall, but be set back
from the present beach face by 5m and
“All works suggested should still only
be considered as short- to medium-term
defence options,” Dr Allis said.
He reiterated his advice to the
November meeting, that groynes were
not a viable option. They were unlikely
to be cost-effective, might not receive
resource consent, and were unlikely to
work, he said.
All the property owners would have to
agree to pay for them. Some properties
were not critically threatened and their
owners were less likely to want to pay.
A trial groyne programme required
years to assess — time many property
owners in Granity and Ngakawau did
A seawall would be more effective than
groynes, Dr Allis said.
The Westport News asked the council’s
assets and infrastructure manager Mike
Duff whether the Buller District Council
had reformed the Bradley Stream drain
and berm at Granity, as recommended
by Dr Allis.
Mr Duff replied that some consultation
with the regional council was required
before he could confirm. He said he
would provide an update by the end of
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Vintage cars converge for ‘Around the Lakes’ tour
Granity’s sea threat becoming critical
A Dobson man who brutally punched
his former partner in the face and
attempted to strangle her will walk free
in a matter of months.
Jeremy Keith Spalding, a farm manager,
pleaded guilty on Thursday in the
Greymouth District Court to amended
charges of assaulting a female and
attempting to intimidate. The original
charges of assault with intent to injure
and threatening to kill were amended by
Spalding, who has been in custody
since November, was sentenced to eight
months’ jail for assaulting a female and
two months’ for intimidation.
Spalding had previously pleaded not
guilty to more serious charges following
the incident in which he tried to strangle
his then partner on November 5.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said the
agreement to lower the charges reflected
an attempt at restorative justice and
Spalding’s former partner ending the
Spalding was granted bail last
November but breached it within days
and had been in prison since then.
Police prosecutor sergeant Wayne
Johnston said Spalding had been in an
“on again, off again” relationship with the
victim when he showed up drunk at her
Dobson home on November 5.
With a closed fist Spalding punched
the woman in the left side of her face
before punching her on the right
temple, knocking her to the ground and
attempting to strangle her.
“He then said he would kill her as he
had done it before and had got away with
it,” Mr Johnston said.
Spalding went outside for a smoke,
which gave the woman an opportunity to
escape outside, calling for help from two
volunteer firemen she saw outside.
Judge Charles Blackie noted that
despite the amended charges the facts of
the case “have not really changed ”.
“ You came home late at night and
you were intoxicated. You promoted the
argument ... She was begging you to
The one serious aggravating factor was
the attempted strangulation, the judge
A law change currently before
parliament would make grabbing around
the throat “a much more serious offence”
because it often resulted in death”.
“Also of course, it causes the victim
terror when they find they are unable to
breathe and think their life is slipping
away — something I’m sure you would
not want to experience,” the judge told
Spalding, who voiced his agreement.
Time already ser ved by Spalding after
he breached his bail would be accounted
for but his convictions justified prison.
“The question is the length.”
That would be a matter for the prison
ser vice since he was already in custody.
“I would think you are looking at a
fairly early release,” Judge Blackie said.
The judge also cancelled a previous
community work sentence and wiped
Spalding’s outstanding fines.
Man guilty of brutal assault on partner
PICTURE: Paddy O’Connor
All smiles at Uniting Church Fair
A Hokitika man accused of punching
his 17-year-old neighbour to the ground
after the teen set fire to a trampoline
was acquitted in the Greymouth
District Court on Thursday.
David Grant Sinclair denied one
charge each of assault and threatening
to injure William Delamere, on January
31 last year.
In dismissing the charges, Judge
Charles Blackie said it came down
to witness credibility and evidence
inconsistencies between the original
police statements and what was
presented in court.
Police charged Sinclair after he
vented at Delamere over the arson of
his children’s trampoline on the night
of January 30, 2016, in Bealey Street.
Delamere admitted pouring
bottle of petrol on the trampoline
and setting it alight. The youth lived
across Bealey Street from Sinclair
and was called outside by his mother
Teressa Buckeridge to apologise to the
trampoline owner early the following
Delamere, his mother and her partner
Elton Williams all later alleged that
some kind of assault had taken place
and that the youth was threatened,
although no evidence was produced by
police depicting the alleged injuries or
Delamere has already been convicted
of the arson.
He alleged he was punched several
times but the number of punches
originally recounted changed in the
witness box last week.
He also alleged Sinclair threatened to
“end me” by stomping on his head and
was told to pay $450 for the trampoline
by selling a motorised bike, although
Delamere said had not yet paid the
Defence lawyer Marcus Zintl relied
on two witnesses to the incident, one
of whom’s evidence the police had
previously rejected as hearsay.
Judge Blackie allowed the witness’s
written evidence to be heard for the
defence. It corroborated another
immediate neighbour who saw almost
the entire incident unfold.
The other witness, rejected by police,
was a woman who lived close by but felt
frightened to come to court. She said in
an e-mail produced by Mr Zintl that
she was worried about appearing due to
the possibility of intimidation from the
alleged victim’s family.
Summing up, Judge Blackie said
the burden of proof lay with the
prosecution, not the alleged offender,
and ultimately the police case did not
“It’s not sufficient to prove that a
defendant probably did something or
very likely did something. That ’s not
enough. If there is a reasonable doubt
at the end of the case then the benefit
of that doubt must be given.”
The judge noted Delamere had
trespassed on to Sinclair’s property
to commit arson, and he could only
imagine a father’s feelings at having
his child’s trampoline burned, after
Delamere’s mother and partner
informed their neighbour what had
“Not surprisingly, Mr Sinclair
demonstrated a degree of annoyance
Delamere was either persuaded or
cajoled to “front up” to Sinclair, who
later admitted to being annoyed and
“ You might consider this to be
understandable,” the judge said. “ Mr
Delamere said there was much more
than verbal abuse, that he was pushed
to the ground, pushed by the neck
and punched, although he was unsure
which side of the head,” the judge said.
“Strangely enough, in the statement
Mr Delamere made to the police in the
first place he made no mention of the
push to the neck or the head.”
and Ms Buckeridge also displayed
inconsistencies, the former exaggerating
the number of punches to up to 30 from
his original statement of six to eight.
Assault accused found not guilty
A Greymouth man who alleged
someone else took his modified
Mazda ute and did a 20m burnout in
it on Mawhera Q uay was convicted
in the Greymouth District Court
of driving with sustained loss of
Samuel Sean Jackson denied doing
the burnout and took to the witness
stand on Thursday to give evidence
in his defence.
Judge Charles Blackie had earlier
ruled there was a case to answer
after Jackson’s lawyer Marcus Zintl
submitted there was no case based
on reasonable doubt of the identity
of the driver seen in Jackson’s ute
during the burnout on September
11 last year.
In summing up, the judge told
Jackson his account of what
happened was “totally implausible”.
He disqualified him from driving
for the minimum of six months and
ordered him to pay a $600 fine.
Earlier, a Kingsgate Hotel
employee gave evidence of how she
was in her parked car on the quay
shortly before 3pm on September
11 when she heard the sound of a
vehicle pulling out of Albert Street.
She looked up from playing
Pokemon to see Jackson’s ute do
a “slow burnout ” along Mawhera
Quay towards the town clock.
Her description of a male driver
wearing a white cap with markings,
a black tee-shirt and dark sunglasses
matched what Jackson was wearing
when police caught up with him in
Cobden about 30 minutes later.
It would be “unsurprising” Jackson
was driving the ute, given that he
normally drove it, Judge Blackie
remarkably very similar. I emphasise,
remarkably similar,” the judge said.
In the witness box, both Jackson
and his brother Zachary gave alibi
evidence, saying they were both
below the floodwall adjacent to
Albert Street whitebaiting at the
time they heard the ute start up.
Jackson said he ran to his ute as
it was doing the burnout but was
not particularly concerned about it
because the vehicle was well known,
could be started without a key, and
was insured anyway — despite him
earlier saying it was a valuable work
Zachary Jackson held the same
Neither could explain why they
had not told police at the time about
this and the judge noted that the
brothers’ story would correspond,
given their relationship.
Man denies doing burnout
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