Home' Greymouth Star : July 18th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 5
An Auckland father shattered
his daughter’s skull with a fatal
shotgun blast when he pointed
the weapon at her and pulled
the trigger to try and scare her,
Crown prosecutors have told a
Gustav Sanft, 26, is accused
of the manslaughter of his two-
year-old daughter, Amokura
Daniels-Sanft, at a home in
Favona in June last year.
He is standing trial at the High Court
at Auckland where he has denied the
manslaughter charge but pleaded guilty
to unlawfully possessing a pistol.
Yesterday, prosecutor Katie Hogan said
the Crown accepted Sanft did not intend
to kill his daughter and that he had not
expected the shotgun to fire when it did.
He immediately dropped the weapon
after it had gone off and picked up his
daughter, holding her in his arms and
walking around wailing, she said.
“There is no doubt this case involves a
terrible tragedy,” she said.
Despite this, Ms Hogan said Sanft
was guilty of manslaughter because he
had not shown a proper duty of care to
his daughter in the way he handled the
shotgun, which had its barrel and handle
shortened and its serial number scratched
She said Mr Sanft had
failed to check if the weapon
was loaded, if its safety catch
was on, and he not only held
the weapon too close to his
daughter but pointed it at her
and pulled the trigger.
However, defence lawyer Phil
Hamlin said Sanft believed the
shotgun was harmless and that
it accidentally went off in his
hands as he was waiting to
throw it into a rubbish skip.
He said Sanft never deliberately pointed
it at his daughter.
Ms Hogan said the “tragedy” occurred
when the family was in the middle of
moving out of their Favona Road address.
Amokura began playing up by jumping
on the couch when Sanft pointed the
shotgun at her, perhaps to try and scare
her, and then pulled the tigger, Ms Hogan
Once the blast hit his daughter, Sanft
immediately dropped the shotgun and
picked up his daughter, saying, “I pulled
the trigger she was just playing up, I f***
up, what have I done?” she said.
When his partner returned home
shortly after, Sanft called out to her, “I
shot her, I shot her”, Ms Hogan said.
To an ambulance officer Sanft said, “I
don’t want your sympathy I am a killer”.
dad tried to
will help people who lost their
homes in the Edgecumbe floods in
development at Kokohinau Marae,
5km south of Edgecumbe, was
announced by Maori Development
Minister Te Ururoa Flavell and
Building and Construction Minister
Nick Smith yesterday.
Five two-bedroom homes are to
be built and infrastructure for 41
The development will eventually
provide affordable housing for
kaumatua (elders), but Ngati Awa
iwi have elected to initially use it to
house whanau (family) impacted by
immediately with support from
the Whakatane District Council
and the Bay of Plenty Regional
Council to expedite all planning
consents as an emergency housing
Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry
for Business, Innovation and
Employment are splitting the
Government contribution of more
than $2.6 million towards the
Maori housing project to help Edgecumbe f lood victims
A Whangamata couple is suing
computer giant Dell after their
$2 million lodge was damaged beyond
repair in a fire caused by a defective
The fire in January, 2014 meant the
property — which had a market value
of $1.94m — could only be re-sold for
The owners are now seeking more
than $1.4m in damages.
The lawsuit in the High Court at
Auckland, brought by Denise and
Gordon McGregor — as Wentworth
Retreat Ltd — states the defective
lithiumion battery in their Dell laptop
exploded during the night after the
family had been watching a DVD of
The fire caused significant damage
to the lodge’s main building and
firefighters were unable to save it —
a subsequent investigation by a fire
investigator confirmed the laptop
battery exploded, their claim states.
The breaches claimed by the property
owners include that Dell failed to
ensure the laptop was free of any
defect that could pose a risk to public
safety and that it was known the ion
batteries were capable of bursting into
Documents showing the recall of
Dell batteries in 2006, 2008 and 2009
have been put forward to support the
Dell denies liability and has added
Gray ’s Auctions Ltd — which sold the
laptop on-line to the McGregors — as
a third party under the claim.
Dell has also offered a number of
It says Wentworth Retreat was
removed from the companies register in
2015, so no proceeding can be issued in
its name; the McGregors were covered
by insurance and did not adhere to the
laptop’s instructions and warnings; and
the building that was destroyed did not
comply with the New Zealand Building
Code for fire protection.
Associate Judge Roger Bell has said
there is cause for a case and has ordered
discovery documents to be filed by Dell,
in order to defend the claim, including
about battery and laptop recalls, before
August 14. — N ZN
Dell sued for $1.4m
over battery fire
Former New Zealand prime minister
John Key is set to receive Australia’s
Mr Key will be appointed an honorary
companion in the Order of Australia
in Canberra, after the governor-
general approved Malcolm Turnbull’s
recommendation to give him the
“ John was an outstanding leader of his
country, and he is respected around the
world for his influence in our region and
beyond,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement
“ He was also deeply committed to
advancing the Australia-New Zealand
bilateral relationship and pursuing our
common interests in the region and
internationally. ” The prime minister said
Mr Key helped drive economic growth in
Australia and New Zealand, and ensured
his country played its part in tackling
international security challenges.
“ He has been a great friend of
Australia and has represented his nation,
and our shared values, magnificently,”
Mr Turnbull said.
“ Lucy and I look for ward to seeing
more of John and Bronagh this side of the
ditch and perhaps John and I can venture
out for another paddle before too long. ”
Governor-General Peter Cosgrove will
invest Mr Key with the insignia of his
appointment at a Government House
ceremony this afternoon. — AAP
Key given highest Australian honour
A woman who had the wrong part
of her spine operated on felt her
surgeon had “washed his hands” of her
following the botched operation.
A report from the Health and
Disability Commissioner released
yesterday says the 51-year-old —
only referred to as Mrs A — was
experiencing worsening back pain,
which left her dragging her left foot.
After an MRI scan, Mrs A had
discectomy surgery on May 9, 2013,
performed by a doctor — identified
as Dr C — and was discharged two
Mrs A later said while there was short
term improvement, she experienced
nerve pain and incontinence and went
to the emergency department with
A later MRI review from another
orthopaedic surgeon found Dr C had
operated on the wrong level in her
The HDC report was critical of the
doctor for not seeking further advice
from colleagues after the first MRI
scan or communicating with Mrs A
about further treatment.
The commissioner recommended a
formal apology be given to Mrs A and
that the doctor undertake a review of
his communication procedures.
Moral judgments are not all that
helpful when deciding who gets
to have a house, D unedin South
MP Clare Curran says.
“The bottom line is people
need somewhere to live.’’ Since
Sunday night Ms Curran has
been camping in the Octagon
to protest the Ministry of Social
Development ’s treatment of
homeless Dunedin mothers Kylie
Taggart, 30, and Amy Stuart, 25.
She said she plans to stay in the
Octagon until both women have a
place to live.
The ministry appeared to blame
the women for their predicament
in a public statement, and the
women told the Otago Daily
Times they feel harassed and
belittled by welfare staff.
After their story was published
yesterday, some people on social
media criticised the pair because
of perceptions about life choices.
Ms Curran said those arguments
were irrelevant. The Government
was paying for expensive
emergency accommodation in
motels for the women, which
made no sense for the taxpayer.
“They ’re not going to pay for
in motels forever, so what are
their options?’’ The ministry has
suggested the women have to pay
back the money due to claimed
anti-social behaviour, but that
would only get the women into
debt, Ms Curran said.
The women deny any suggestion
of anti-social behaviour.
Neither of them are in
“The whole thing about being
a single parent is the fathers are
not directly in the picture,’’ Ms
Ms Curran said she was
approached by up to 60 people
yesterday in the Octagon, none
of whom said anything negative
about the mothers.
However while the Otago Daily
Times was visiting the campsite,
about 6pm, Ms Curran spoke to a
man who claimed the women did
not deser ve any more help.
Ms Curran tried to explain the
issue was systemic, rather than
“ My position is people have
histories, they’ve got pasts . . .
but people still need a house,
especially when they’ve got
kids.’’ The ministry declined to
comment further yesterday.
— Otago Daily Times
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Clare Curran in her protest camp in the Octagon yesterday morning.
MP protests homeless mothers’ treatment
Operation was on wrong part of woman’s spine
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local news and issues
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