Home' Greymouth Star : June 24th 2017 Contents The most read newspaper per capita in New Zealand
Readership of 11,000
SATURDAY, JUNE 24, 2017
$1.20 (Home Delivery 90c)
Phone 769 7900
one 7669999 790000000000000
Hijinks in the Marist schoolyard
WEST COAST FEATURE
owes $1 million
The latest liquidator’s report on
a failed West Coast goldmining
company shows that over
$1 million is owed. MCAM
Ltd was put into liquidation
in December 2014. In their
six-monthly report, liquidators
identified three vehicles that
were owned by the company.
Two had equity and were sold
at public auction, the proceeds
going to secured creditors. An
excavator, office furniture, plant
and equipment were also sold at
public auction. The liquidators
negotiated a monetary settlement
with the director-shareholder,
Michael McDonald, in relation
to his conduct as a director.
Payments totalling $50,000 were
received, before he defaulted on the
arrangement and was adjudicated
bankrupt late last year. Employee
claims for unpaid wages and
holiday pay totalling $15,848 had
been paid in full by the liquidators.
The liquidators say they are aware
of unsecured creditors totalling
$1,054,896. “D ue to the nature
of our recovery actions, it is not
possible to advise if unsecured
creditors will receive a dividend
payment upon completion of the
Rain clears, fine south of Hokitika
Greymouth Star On-line
An Arizona psychic medium
recalls the moment a car crashed
through the front window of a
restaurant in Canada, launching
him into the air and pinning him
against a wall. “ I didn’t foresee it
happening,” said Blair Robertson.
Robertson, 51, jokes about the May
30 accident even as he recovers
from injuries. He was having lunch
with a mentor and fellow psychic
when the car ploughed through the
window at Silks Country Kitchen
in Virgil, Ontario. Robertson and
his friend were seated at a table
by the window. Robertson, who
presents live psychic shows, had
just finished a nine-show Ontario
tour. — USA Today
Family members shed tears of
relief yesterday when a jury found
a former Grey Valley man not
guilty of grievous bodily harm
after a vicious bashing.
A reduced jury of 11 — missing
their elected foreman — returned
the verdict after deliberating for
about four hours in what Judge
Jane Farish described as an
Robin William Osborne, 22,
had admitted one charge of
causing grievous bodily harm,
at the Stillwater Hotel car park
on July 1 last year, but denied a
further second charge arising
from a more vicious bashing of
the victim on the same day, at a
remote site in the Arnold Valley
when a gun was put in the victim’s
mouth. The victim later died.
Osborne was also charged
with supplying a firearm to an
Ricky Carter, his partner Belinda
Crestani have all previously
admitted and been convicted for
their roles in the assaults. They
will be sentenced next Friday.
The victim suffered fractures
to his skull, jaw, eye socket and
Osborne’s lawyer Michael Vesty
contended that Osborne had not
taken part in the second assault in
the Arnold Valley.
Before that assault Osborne had
sent a text message to his mother
Anna, saying, “Job done, got the
garden hose, I’m not scratched,
see you tomorrow”.
Mr Vesty claimed it was Carter
and Crestani who took things to
a new level at the Arnold Valley.
“Robin Osborne was used by
Carter to lure the victim to the
Stillwater Hotel. That was his role
as a cog in the machine.”
Mr Vesty said Carter had
hatched a new plan, with a new
crew and a new venue, to get the
victim to confess he had stolen
5lb of cannabis and find out
where it was.
“Ricky Carter didn’t get a
confession out of the victim, the
victim hadn’t been as honest as
(witness) Ronald McGee said.
“It sounds a bit like the
Sopranos, but why would he put a
gun in his mouth?” Mr Vesty said.
He referred to a series of text
messages after the first assault at
the Stillwater Hotel.
Cunningham had texted Carter:
“Give him a chance, if he lies
punch him in the guts, if he lies
punch him. Snap his fingers, snap
his neck. Did he admit it?”
Carter to Cunningham: “He
said he had 2lb of cabbage (type
“Bulls..t, lying ****. ”
At 10.44pm, Carter texted
Ronald McGee: “Phew ... got it. ”
Mr Vesty said that was the
confession Carter wanted so
Osborne had no reason to go to
the Arnold Valley.
But Crown prosecutor Mark
Zarifeh said there could be no
question that Osborne was part
of the plan of common intent to
seriously assault the victim, and it
was “ludicrous” to deny it.
Mr Zarifeh said the greatest
tool in this case was common
Osborne was not a bit player —
“ he was a ring leader”.
“In evidence, Osborne said he
did not go to the Arnold Valley,
party to that offence.
“ When you look at the common
plan, Mr Osborne is not some
add-on to the plan, he is in there
boots and all.
“I suggest he was angry, he was
out for blood and that is why
his texts say he was ‘amping,’”
Mr Zarifeh said.
The agreement to seriously harm
the victim did not end in the car
park at the hotel: “They were
joining forces seeking retribution
in a common aim.”
Mr Zarifeh referred to an
exchange of text messages
between Carter and Cunningham
the day prior to the assault.
Cunningham to Carter at
1.43pm: “ What you going to do?”
Carter: “It all depends about
what happens tonight, take the
kids for tea while I talk with the
The next day (July 1) at
10.07am, Carter to Cunningham:
“Can’t wait for tonight.’”
Cunningham: “You got a plan?”
Carter: “Yep, boot of car, shovel,
piece of ****.”
Mr Zarifeh said Osborne had
told police he had put the victim
in the recovery position at the
Stillwater Hotel, but McGee said
the victim did not seem too bad,
and he was walking and talking.
“The recovery position was not
needed after the first assault.”
Mr Zarifeh said Osborne had
said it was one of the other two
who put the gun in the victim’s
mouth. That implies he was there
not in the car park, but it was
the Arnold Valley. ”
Osborne will be sentenced for
the first assault, on July 18.
A second-hand dredge bought by
the Grey District Council two years
ago and still not working, has been
described by one insider as “a complete
The port user, who asked not to be
named, said it was open knowledge
among Greymouth port users that the
council was getting nowhere with the
dredge it bought from Tasmania.
Despite the best efforts of operations
staff on the ground to get it up and
running — including numerous
modifications — he said someone
needed to take the rap for what was a
embarrassment in the council, to the
top,” the insider said.
Meanwhile, the Westport
dredgemaster has told the Greymouth
Star they warned the Grey District
Council that the Tasmanian dredge
would not be suitable for the
Blaketown lagoon, and time was
running out to keep the lagoon from
silting up again.
“The thing is now, it ’s getting worse
by the day. Last year when we assessed
it (for the Westport-based Kawatiri
dredge) it was just deep enough
for us to get in there,” Westport
acting harbourmaster and Kawatiri
dredgemaster Geoff Walker said.
“ Very shortly it’s going to come to a
head where no one is going to be able
to get in there.”
Greymouth effectively had ended up
with a dredge incapable of dredging to
the depths now expected of it, he said.
“ We did advise them when they were
looking at trying it that it wouldn’t be
Mr Walker said it was clear the
council had a lemon, having tried to
make the dredge work to the depths
“ It’s hard (for them) to admit when
they ’ve been trying so long. It wasn’t
designed for that depth. ”
Talley ’s said recently the lagoon had
become so shallow they could only get
boats in to unload fish at certain times
of the tide.
Although the council has said
repeatedly that the Kawatiri had
undertaken the last substantial
dredging at Blaketown, it was actually
Nelson company Herons, which was
paid $700,000 in 2009-10 to clear
the lagoon of 40,000 cubic metres of
sludge using a 45-tonne dredge from
the North Island.
At that stage the lagoon was silted
up so badly fishing vessels could only
move in and out of berths at high
tide. Before then the lagoon had not
been dredged for 18 years and was
so shallow at some points it could be
It was previously estimated that
10,000 cubic metres of silt would have
to be removed to reinstate the 3m
clearance at the entrance to the lagoon
from the Grey River.
Mr Walker said the Grey council
approached them to do the work about
three years ago.
The scope was for the Kawatiri to
come down and dredge the lagoon
entrance and over toward the Westfleet
The proposal was to visit each year
over three years to gradually catch up
on dredging and to “to keep within an
affordable budget ” while bringing the
lagoon depth to where it eventually
However, the council had never taken
“It’s been made available for the last
three years ... We gave them some
figures and terms. We’ve revisited those
figures every three years.”
Mr Walker confirmed they made an
offer to Grey about a year ago to send
the Kawatiri down to Blaketown for a
week of dredging.
A figure of $75,000 rumoured to
be the cost to cover fuel and staff
costs was confirmed by Mr Walker as
“ We worked around a price for them
. .. w e gave them a little bit better deal
than what we normally do.”
Further stories, p2.
Tenders are about to go out for the first
stage of work on the Runanga Miners’
The Runanga Miners’ Hall Trust,
formed to save the hall from demolition
after it suffered considerable storm
damage in 2014, has released a feasibility
study that says the restored hall could
host a cafe, retail, event and exhibition
An overall investment of $2.725
million is required over the next three
years to return the historic building to its
original condition and install accessible
toilets, a commercial kitchen for a cafe
in a replacement lean-to (possibly 1940s
style) and catering operations.
Once completed, it could be a visitor
attraction for an estimated 6000 visitors
a year, according to the report.
Hall chairman Paul Thomas said they
had building consent and the tender
documents were done and ready to go
Rather than just replacing the flo o r,
the first stage of work will now also
earthquake strengthen the building,
including the walls and ceiling.
“At the end of the work, the building will
be sound and meet building standards,”
Mr Thomas said.
The trust has raised about a third of the
money, and hopes some materials will be
Although grant funding may be
required to pay for staff in the first two
to three years, the hall should be able
to sustain itself from the third year of
operation, according to the feasibility
Once completed, it will become
an everyday social meeting place for
Runanga — a ‘ living room’ for the
It will house a cafe and maybe even the
Runanga Library, with talks under way
with the Grey District Council. Modest
revenue will come from venue and service
hire, while additional revenue could be
gained from some portion of ticket sales,
and the possibility of a bar, direct food
purchases or catering.
A frequent line-up of successful shows
will ensure the hall is well-used, the
feasibility study says.
Michael Knapp, an ex-Coaster, event
producer and drummer for New Zealand
band The Warratahs says the Miners’
Hall could become a desirable venue
because of its size and flat floor.
It could also host domestic conferences,
possibly with a South Island focus, as well
as farmers markets, craft and new product
markets, and car-boot sales. A shop could
offer a range of quality, locally-made
products for different budgets; the trust
has already produced t-shirts, limited
edition canvas prints and greeting cards.
“The development has the potential to
become a vital catalyst for the Runanga,
Greymouth and Buller communities,
adding economic growth through
employment, visitor spend and retail/
commercial activity,” the study says.
Miners’ Hall restoration ready for tender
Por t dredge ‘a lemon’
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
The Grey District Council port dredge, which has yet to see ser vice, in the Blaketown lagoon.
10am to 2pm
Links Archive June 23rd 2017 June 26th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page