Home' Greymouth Star : May 16th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 5
While Australia ties itself in knots
over whether to sign up to China’s
new Silk Road plan, New Zealand is
charging ahead without hesitation .
NZ Innovation Minister Paul
Goldsmith has been in Beijing for the
Chinese government ’s One Belt One
New Zealand signed up to be a part of
the scheme during Chinese Premier Li
Keqiang’s official visit in March, while
Australia held out.
It is a grand infrastructure building
bonanza on land and across oceans
linking parts of Asia, Eurasia, Africa,
the Middle East and Europe aimed at
boosting trade, economic growth and
cutting transit time for goods.
There’s $1.8 trillion worth of projects
already in the pipeline.
Mr Goldsmith flagged over the next 18
months both China and New Zealand
would draw up a work programme.
There’s some speculation China Rail
could be granted a contract to build
a 22km stretch of highway and rail
corridor from Whangarei to a port at
Marsden Point in Northland as part of
One Belt One Road.
But Mr Goldsmith declined to discuss
specific projects, saying talks were still
He said New Zealand architecture
firms and consulting groups were keen
to explore opportunities.
Mr Goldsmith was diplomatic when
it came to Australia’s reluctance to sign
“Each country has to work out where
they fit,” he said in Beijing.
“It’s not a competition ... I wouldn’t
like to comment on our Australian
friends.” But he pointed out New
Zealand was the first developed country
to have a free trade agreement with
China and is now the first to be doing
an upgrade of the deal.
Chinese investment in property,
agricultural land and major public
assets has been a hot button issue in
Australia in recent years.
Australian Trade Minister Steve
Ciobo was also at the summit and sees
merit in China’s grand scheme but it
Federal government ’s plans to develop
northern Australia and the One Belt
One Road initiative but he emphasised
they were “separate”. — NZ N
up to Silk
Crew on rescue
searching for lost trampers in areas
with no cellphone coverage may soon
be able to talk to them.
Vodafone and police search and
rescue say they have successfully
tested a “search and rescue network”
which creates an area of cellphone
coverage beneath an airborne search
This gives rescuers the ability to
communicate with cellphones below,
potentially saving lives.
The helicopter ’s altitude determines
the size of the coverage area. At
300m up it can be up to 4.5 square
kilometres, while at 100m it would
cover about 1.5 square kilometres.
“There have been a number of
cases in the past where technology
could have saved us time, money
and potentially lives,” Auckland
police search and rescue co-ordinator
sergeant Dene Duthie said.
“ We are looking for ward to this
More testing is needed before
the technology is used in real-life
situations and it did not change
advice that trampers tell people
where they were going and carry a
The idea to develop the network
came after American tourists Rachel
and Carolyn Lloyd were rescued in
the Tararua Ranges in May last year.
The mother and daughter were
missing for several days before a
chopper spotted their help sign laid
out in rocks on the ground.
Vodafone technology director Tony
Baird said after watching the Lloyd’s
story the company thought there
must be a better way.
“ With this innovation, it’s like we’re
creating a searchlight across the bush
using a mobile signal. We’re really
keen to keep working with SAR to
get this technology to a stage where
it could be used in real life search and
rescue operations,” he said.
The network detects a cellphone
ping, giving SAR teams a narrowed
search area to locate a missing person.
When they hear the helicopter
overhead, the missing person on the
ground can check for signal bars
on their cellphone and make a 111
emergency call, which is answered by
rescue crew inside the helicopter.
The information the missing person
provides is passed on to SAR rescue
crews on the ground to help direct
their search efforts. — NZ N
Search network will help rescuers talk to lost trampers
An audacious fraudster who lied to
a judge to get his former cell mate a
reduced sentence will remain behind
Nicholas Birch, 29, was jailed for
one year 11 months when he appeared
before the Dunedin District Court in
January on charges of making a false
statement and three of driving while
He recently challenged Judge Kevin
Phillips’ ruling in the High Court
but was knocked back in a judgment
released last week.
Birch’s counsel, Len Andersen,
claimed the sentence was “manifestly
but Justice Rachel
On March 31, 2015, the defendant
stood in the Alexandra District Court
claiming to be the representative of a
“successful businessman, horse trainer
and philanthropist ’’ vouching for the
criminal in the dock.
The man being sentenced by Judge
Michael Crosbie at the time was
Fletcher Dennis, facing a long jail
term for burglary.
Birch offered to pay more than
$25,000 the man owed in reparation,
and claimed there was employment
waiting for him when his sentence
The mystery benefactor would also
pay for the man’s correspondence
courses, he told the court.
The story resulted in Judge Crosbie
shaving six months off Dennis’
sentence but it was later discovered
the defendant had lied.
Birch and Dennis had been cell
mates at Otago Corrections Facility
until 19 days before the incident, and
Judge Phillips said the whole scenario
appeared to have been set up while the
pair were behind bars.
He said it was the first time he had
come across such a case.
“There hasn’t been someone such
as you who had the temerity to stand
in front of a sentencing judge and
shamelessly lie and lie and lie,’’ he said.
At appeal, Mr Andersen said
what his client had done was a false
promise of future action rather than a
misstatement of fact.
“Judge Phillips overstated the
seriousness of the offence as it was
only a false statement made orally to
the judge, rather than lying in court
after taking an oath,’’ he submitted.
While initially indicating Birch
should have been sentenced to home
detention, Mr Andersen abandoned
that angle at the hearing.
Justice D unningham said the judge’s
starting point regarding the false
statement was high but the uplifts
to the sentence he imposed for the
defendant ’s criminal history and his
repeat driving offences were “well
“I am satisfied that the overall
sentence, in totality, reflected the
seriousness of the offending and the
key sentencing principles at play,’’ she
The appeal was dismissed.
— Otago Daily Times
Fraudster who lied to judge loses appeal
A Dunedin methamphetamine dealer
has been jailed for more than two and a
half years and forfeited nearly $6500 in
Cody Charles Douglas, 25, previously
pleaded guilty to supplying the class-A
drug as well as offering to supply class
He initially looked set to argue the
$6485 police found when they raided his
home was legitimately earned savings.
But before a hearing took place to
determine the source of the cash,
Douglas accepted it should be forfeited
to the Crown under the Criminal
Proceeds (Recovery) Act.
At 8.50am on November 18, police
executed a search warrant at the
defendant ’s South Dunedin home.
They found him tucked up in bed
asleep beside a small red satchel.
Inside it were 18 unused clear plastic
zip-lock bags commonly used in the
supply of P but there was more damning
evidence of dealing.
Also in the satchel was a sunglasses
case holding a “tick list ’’.
“ It is common that a person dealing
controlled drugs keeps a list of whom
they owe money to and who owes money
to them,’’ the police summary said.
Six more lists gave officers an idea of
the scale of Douglas’ operation.
They revealed he was selling point bags
(a tenth of a gram) for $150 and quarters
for $300, the court heard.
During the morning raid, police also
seized Douglas’ phone.
Forensic analysis showed between
October and mid-November, he was
sourcing and offering to sell class-B
Ritalin — a central-ner vous-system
stimulant used to treat Attention Deficit
Over the same timeframe Douglas
was also regularly offering cannabis
to “numerous associates’’,
He came before the D unedin District
Court last week having pleaded guilty to
the allegations against him.
His counsel David More said Douglas
had spent time on remand leading up
to sentencing and it had “acted as a
“He is very much resolved to turn his
life around,’’ Mr More said.
Judge Kevin Phillips jailed the 25-year-
old for two years seven months and
ordered the forfeiture of the cash and his
cellphone. — Otago Daily Times
Two Northland brothers have
copped fines totalling $8000 after
they admitted harvesting more than
14 sacks of kina and selling them on
the black market in Auckland.
Reo Rangipohewa Uerata, 37, and
Douglas Phillip Uerata, 27, earlier
admitted a charge of obtaining
kina for a benefit and appeared
for sentencing in the Whangarei
District Court last week.
A woman they sold the seafood to
in Auckland, Zelma Dawn Davis,
was fined $3000 on a similar charge
on May 11.
The charge was laid under the
Fisheries Act 1996 and carries a
maximum penalty of five years in
jail and/or $250,000 fine. The daily
limit for kina is 50 per person.
Judge John McDonald said the trio
were identified during Operation
Gull run by the Ministry of Primary
Industries (MPI) from February
to December 2015 into the black
market dealing of kina and paua in
MPI obtained their cellphone
numbers, call data and text messages
which indicated the brothers were
taking large quantities of kina from
Northland, processing and placing
them into baskets for sale on the
blackmarket in Auckland.
Both made two trips to Auckland
between February 1 and March 31,
2015 and sold the kina to Davis.
Between February 1 and 7, they
went diving and harvested an excess
of 14 sacks of kina.
Davis onsold the kina at $12 per
basket and earned $636.
MPI also discovered Davis
deposited $648 into Reo Uerata’s
bank account on February 26, 2015.
Reo Uerata said the offending
had been playing heavily on his
conscience and he wanted to make
some money as he was going
through hard times.
The other two declined to
Judge McDonald said since
the introduction of the quota
management system that limited
the quantity of fish to be taken, the
country has had a serious problem
with unlawful fishing to service a
large blackmarket trade.
He said any illegal commercial
harvesting had a direct impact on
MPI’s ability to accurately assess
He fined the pair $4000 each.
— N ZME -Northern Advocate
Brothers fined $4000
each for poaching kina
Drug dealer jailed
Private aerospace company Rocket Lab
says it is about to try to launch an orbital
rocket from New Zealand.
The United States-owned New
Zealand company has announced it will
attempt to launch its two-stage Electron
rocket from its private Mahia Peninsula
facility, between Gisborne and Napier,
some time in the 10 days from May 22.
Announcing the window today,
founder and chief executive Peter Beck
says a cautious approach will be taken.
“There are a lot of factors that come
together ahead of a test and we’re not
going to fly unless we’re ready,” he said.
The launch is planned as the first of
three tests before the company begins
selling commercial satellite launches.
Rocket Lab announces launch window
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