Home' Greymouth Star : January 12th 2019 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Saturday, January 12, 2019
PICTURE: Brendon McMahon
Police stop traffic ahead of races
West Coast traffic police ran a ‘driver reviver’ post in Kumara for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon in an initiative to highlight road safety in the lead-up
to the Gold Nuggets race meeting. Acting senior sergeant Paul Watson, of Greymouth, said the checkpoint outside the Kumara Sportsground stopped east and
west-bound traffic with the offer of a cup of coffee and some friendly advice. It was particularly aimed at highlighting the issue of driver fatigue — in particular
encouraging local and overseas drivers to regularly stop for a stretch and to consider swapping drivers. This was particularly relevant for those getting behind the
wheel after arriving on long international flights, Mr Watson said. “It’s to ensure drivers are having adequate rest breaks.”
The man who stole from a D unedin
hunting store this week told the court
it was the first time he had committed
such a crime in some years.
“That ’s because you’ve been in
prison,” Judge Emma Smith said.
Brandon Antony Macgregor, 24 was
released from the Otago Corrections
Facility after ser ving nearly four
years for the armed robbery of an
On that occasion he and a friend
carried knives and got away with
$1000, it was reported.
Macgregor was undone when the
shopkeeper spotted a tattoo on his
neck and police arrested him the same
“ You’re just doing it again, taking
people’s property. Nothing’s changed
for you,” the judge told the Dunedin
District Court yesterday.
“ You cannot offend so blatantly, so
quickly after coming out of prison.
What on earth were you thinking?”
“I wasn’t,” Macgregor replied.
Choosing to represent himself,
he pleaded guilty to the theft of an
archery scope from Hunting and
Fishing which took place on Monday.
He and a friend browsed the
Crawford Street shop, taking an
interest in the archery section.
Macgregor took the $249 scope and
stashed it under his jersey.
As the pair walked out, the security
alarm sounded and staff pursued as
the men ran off.
Macgregor and his mate disappeared
into bushes near the O val and police
tracked them down half an hour later.
The stolen item was undamaged and
returned to the store, the court heard.
Macgregor told officers he had not
gone to Hunting and Fishing with
the express intention of committing
the crime but had spied the scope and
made a snap decision.
Judge Smith said the defendant
had an “appalling” history of similar
offending.”I know that,” Macgregor
He stressed since he had been freed
from prison, he had met conditions
set by the Parole Board by attending
drug and alcohol counselling and he
was preparing to enrol in an anger-
management course. Looking over
his previous sentences, the judge said
rehabilitative efforts had been made
with the defendant in the past, without
success. “ With respect, it doesn’t seem
to me even imprisonment has made
a great deal of difference to your
thinking,” she said.
community work to be added to the
30 hours he was currently completing.
After some deliberation, Judge
“I’m not sure any retailer in D unedin
is going to thank me,” she added.
Macgregor was sentenced 50 hours’
community work and ordered to pay
court costs of $130.
— Otago Daily Times
Stole scope after release from prison
New ‘degrees of
murder’ proposed to
reflect ‘moral blame’
A University of Waikato researcher is
proposing new “degrees of murder” which
she says will make the criminal justice system
Waikato University senior law lecturer
Brenda Midson said the current legislation
did not reflect varying degrees of moral
blame in New Zealand cases.
She said in cases where young defendants
who killed, or victims of violence who killed
their abuser or those who killed children
showed that not all people who killed others
were treated the same.
“Given that homicide can occur in a really
broad range of circumstances, with lots of
different degrees of moral blame attaching to
different types of killings, all we have in terms
of options for courts is to find somebody
either guilty of murder or manslaughter,
which don’t necessarily reflect the degree of
moral blame that ’s involved.”
Dr Midson, who is also editor of the
New Zealand Law Journal, said a murder
conviction also carried “a far greater stigma”
than a manslaughter conviction.
“ What happens is that you can have two
people that end up with murder convictions
for very different degrees of moral blame
in the killing or they can end up with very
different convictions for a very similar type
She said these differences could be clearly
seen in cases of child homicide such as
that of the killing of Taupo toddler Moko
His killers Tania Shailer and David
William Haerewa were originally charged
with murder, but the Crown accepted a guilty
plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
“In cases of child homicide, you might have
a defendant who beats a child to death and
the child dies after a prolonged period of
abuse, but it’s difficult for the prosecution to
prove that that defendant intended to kill the
victim so they end up with a manslaughter
conviction, which has a connotation of
almost-accidental death,” Dr Midson said.
She said the degree of moral blame in child
killings varies wildly, and legislation should
be amended to reflect this spectrum.
Her proposal is distinguished from current
legislation by introducing a more serious
charge of first-degree murder.
This would include hate crimes and revenge
killings, while second-degree murder covers
cases like a coward’s punch, or that of Moko’s
Dr Midson said degrees of murder would
make the justice system fairer but Marie
Dyhrberg QC, a defence lawyer who has
worked well over 50 homicide cases in her
career, said the current justice system was fit
“ Many cases are very different and the
circumstances will vary. Determining the
appropriate sentence for any particular
crime, particularly murder and manslaughter,
should remain in the hands of judges who are
trained and are well-aware of how to keep
consistency and fairness for all people.”
She said the proposal allowed concepts of
prejudice and sympathy to influence the jury
- som ething at odds with justice.
“That is not the role of the jury, that is the
role of the judge, and a jury cannot decide
that someone should not be charged with
murder because they feel sorry for them or
alternatively that they should be convicted
of murder because there is some sort of
prejudice against a person.”
There were 686 people killed by homicide
between 2007 and 2016 in New Zealand.
People have swarming to websites
providing health advice for treating
jellyfish stings, insect stings, and
The number of people seeking
help for bites and stings has shot up
over the holidays. In the two weeks
from December 16, more than 3700
people accessed Ministry of Health
information about spider bites, and
hits on jellyfish sting advice tripled
compared to the weeks before.
The number of people reading
about insect bites grew 73%,
and wasp sting information was
accessed 86% more times than in
Deputy director of public health
Niki Stefanogiannis said the annual
spike marks the summer holiday
rush into the outdoors, as more
people visit beaches, parks and
rivers, and come in contact with the
critters in our environment.
Most stings and bites can usually
be managed simply at home. But
katipÅ , redback and white-tailed
spider bites can be more harmful,
and it is helpful to catch the spider,
so medical staff know what they
are dealing with in case treatment
In some extreme cases, bites
from creepy crawlies do have
the potential to turn nasty. They
occasionally can lead to serious
wounds, and even become life-
“For most people a sting or a bite
is just a localised irritation, but
some people can be quite sensitive
and get a bit more swelling around
the site, which could last for a few
days,” Ms Stefanogiannis said.
“Other people can even have a
serious allergic reaction, or even
Anaphylaxis causes swelling in
airways and can stop a person from
breathing, so is very dangerous, she
“Those reactions are quite rare, but
it’s really important if you suspect
someone is having an anaphylactic
reaction, to call 111 so they can get
immediate medical attention. ”
For less urgent cases, the Ministry
website health.govt.nz, could help
identify what caused a bite or sting,
and what treatments could be use,
Her top tips include wearing
insect repellant outdoors in
the evenings, being watchful of
children near water where they can
pick up jellyfish, staying well away
from swarms of wasps or bees, and
avoiding putting your hands into
places spiders could be hiding.
“Just be aware of your environment,
and check the regional council
website near you, because they ’ll
have information about jellyfish
and beach conditions.” — RNZ
People swarming websites for
advice for treating bites, stings
Stoats on Great Barrier most likely ‘human assisted’
Samuel and Shannon
(nee McNoe) welcome
with love their precious
Muriel, on December
20, 2018 at Timaru
8lbs 1 oz. All going
77 Shakespeare Street,
of the late Leo Breen
and loved daughter
of the late Pat and
(Wendon). Loved sister
of Denise Dore (Dune-
din), Colleen and Owen
Patrick (twin brother)
and Shirley Monaghan
(Invercargill), Marie and
Eddie Valk (Cromwell).
A loved aunt of all her
nieces and nephews.
A patient sufferer at rest
Eileen. — Passed away
peacefully on Tuesday
January 8, 2019
surrounded by family
and friends at home.
Dearly loved wife of the
late Leo Breen. Much
loved mum and mother-
in-law of Lee-Anne and
Peter Cooper, Julie and
John Watkins, Matthew
and Helen (all of Gore),
and Kevin and Kirstie
(Greymouth), loved and
cherished Nana and Nan
of Jessica, and Mallory;
Sam, Ryan, and Connor;
Coen, and Finn.
Rest in Peace
A private service was
held on Friday. Mess-
ages to 78 Koa Street,
Hammond & Ryder
Funeral Services, Gore
FDANZ - NZIFH
Steepest street challenge
may have downside
A sur vey of the winding Welsh
Baldwin St for the title of the
world’s steepest is complete but
the methods used may be less than
Dunedin’s claim to be the home
of the world’s steepest street
has been officially challenged by
residents of the Welsh town of
Harlech, who believe their street,
Ffordd Pen Llech, is steeper.
The man leading the challenge,
Gwyn Headley, said a group
of residents had spent all day
Wednesday walking up and down
the narrow, winding street carrying
a global navigation satellite system
(GNSS) sur veying receiver.
A total of 14 data points were
recorded on the 330m-long road,
which had an accuracy of about
plus or minus 5cm for altitude, Mr
At one stage the bricks used to
keep the receiver steady rolled
down the steep incline, he said.
The information collected during
the survey would be given to a
mathematician, who would collate
the data before it was passed on to
Guinness World Records.
It would take at least three
months for Guinness World
Records to consider the challenge,
Mr Headley said.
A keen rugby fan, Mr Headley
said if the street was to be
recognised as the steepest it would
be at least one victory for Wales
over New Zealand.
But a D unedin surveyor has cast
doubt on the sur veying methods
used by the Welsh.
University of Otago School of
Surveying professional practice
fellow Richard Hemi said the
GNSS method used by the group
might not provide the most
To ensure they were as accurate
as possible it was important the
sur vey was from the centre of the
road, which was easy on Baldwin
Street but much more difficult on
a winding lane, Mr Hemi said.
“In my mind, there is still a
little bit of a question with their
windy street as to where you
bends they ’re invariably going to
be steeper and for a record book
I think you’d want something
If he had been tasked to survey
the street, he might have used a
GNSS initially to find the steepest
part, then used a more accurate
instrument, he said.
“I’ve done a bit of highway
surveying and I’m not sure anyone
with any engineering surveying
experience would be using a
GNSS in that sort of urban area.
“It’s good for mountain tops.”
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said
it would not be the first time the
city had fended off a challenge
from another city or town.
“If the Welsh (bid) turns out to
comply with (Guinness World
Records) and turns out to be
steeper, it will have the record —
at which point we need to arrange
a bit of an earthquake to tilt
Baldwin Street a little more so we
overtake them again.”
An unintended consequence
of the challenge was that it
gave D unedin free promotional
coverage in the international
media, Mr Cull said.
“They’re really doing us a bit of a
favour, aren’t they?”
Baldwin Street resident Lacee
Dawes said it would be a shame if
its title was taken away.
“It creates a cool atmosphere.”
However, living there also had its
“The other day I was sitting on
the deck and people were on my
stairs there taking photos.
I was like ‘ This is my house, man’,
but they were still very sweet.”
— Otago Daily Times
Wellington meth importer
One of the four people involved
in a methamphetamine operation
run from a central Wellington
apartment has been granted parole.
In 2015, Michael Debreceny
was sentenced to nine-and-
a-half years jail for importing
methamphetamine (P). His co-
ranging from 17 to three-and-a -
The drugs were brought into the
country in green-coloured plaster
blocks labelled as “green jade’ and
were unpacked in the kitchen of an
apartment in Chews Lane.
In its decision the Parole Board
says Debreceny accepted his guilt.
However, contrary to the
Debreceny says he did not initially
know what was in the packages, but
when he found out he continued
to work for the drug dealing
The board said he may want
to reconsider being so helpful to
others in future.
Debrecency has a job and a place
It found he poses no undue
risk and what risk there is can be
managed with special conditions,
including not to associate with his
co-offenders without his probation
Debreceny will be released this
month and must abide by special
conditions for two years. These
include not to change his job or
associate with his co-offenders
without his probation officer’s
approval. Not to possess or
consume alcohol or illegal drugs
and to undertake a drug treatment
programme if directed.
Finally, Debreceny must live at an
approved address and is subject to
a curfew for the first three months.
Paintball attacks on shuttles
A person has been arrested after reports of wilful
damage involving a paintball gun in Dunedin yesterday
A police spokeswoman said officers were called to
John Wilson Ocean Drive after receiving a report of
people ‘’acting suspiciously’’.
A person was arrested about 6.30pm, but had not
been charged last evening.
investigating three tour
shuttles which were shot at
out of the blue by paintball
guns in Ravensbourne
The Ritchies buses were hit shortly after 3pm.
A police spokeswoman said the incidents could not
be connected at this stage.
Company area manager for Dunedin and Queenstown
Peter Varrie said the vehicles were tour shuttles,
heading from the Octagon out to Port Chalmers.
The windscreen of one of the buses was hit, causing
problems with visibility, which had the potential to
cause a crash, Mr Varrie said.
Police were called immediately and were looking into
what happened. Mr Varrie was still waiting to hear
whether any of the passengers on the shuttles would
make a complaint through ID New Zealand Tours.
The shuttles had been cleaned, and were back in
ser vice, he said.
— Otago Daily Times
As if a single stoat on Great
Barrier Island was not bad
enough, conser vationists believe
at least two of the highly-
destructive pests may have found
their way to the previously stoat-
Two specialist stoat-sniffing
dogs are forming part of a large-
scale operation by the Auckland
Council and the Department of
Conservation (DOC) to find the
Incident controller Jonathan
Miles said the sighting on January
3 at Medlands Beach was being
treated seriously. A worst-case
scenario was if it was a breeding
“ We are taking this extremely
seriously because Great Barrier
Island has never had stoats on
it and certainly we do not want
stoats on there because they
are a major predator to the bird
If confirmed, the stoats were
likely stowaways on a boat.
“Because of where the island is
in distance from the mainland,
really the only way that a stoat
will get there is, in a way, human
assisted. So yeah, a boat.”
That was a reminder of why it
was important for visitors to the
Hauraki Gulf island to check
their gear and vessels for pests,
he said. “Stoats, ferrets, weasels,
plague skinks and even Argentine
ants rely on people to transport
them to our islands, so it’s up to
people to make sure they are not
unwittingly introducing these
devastating pests by thoroughly
checking their gear and vessels
before they leave the mainland.”
The island has significant
populations of endangered birds
which would be easy prey for
them and with the speed stoats
could cover the ground, Mr Miles
said it was vital to get on their
trail as early as possible.
A member of the public said
they saw the stoats at Medlands
Beach on January 3 also and
reported them the following day.
DOC and the Auckland
Council have set up a network of
trail cameras, tracking tunnels and
traps which, along with the dogs,
will try to confirm and eradicate
any stoats. — RN Z
Te Papa seeks more Government money
Te Papa is warning the
government that a lack of
funding for infrastructure may
put the public, staff, and its
collections at risk.
Museum of New Zealand-
Te Papa Tongarewa issued the
warning as part of its statement
of performance expectations for
the financial year.
The document, given to the
government mid-last year, said
the museum could not afford to
do upgrades to its infrastructure
In 2015 the National
million in funding to be spent
over four years to fix core
infrastructure that had not been
looked after properly in the first
15 years of its existence.
Last year the museum put in
two budget bids, one for $10m
per year for four years starting
2019-20, and one for $17m over
three years from 2018-19, to
design and build a new home for
the animal collections, which are
stored in an earthquake prone
The museum said without
more money to go towards
maintenance, there could be
risks to visitors, staff, and
collections, from the failure of
things like air conditioning,
ventilation, and water-tightness.
Te Papa spokesperson Kate
said the museum
appreciated the $40m that had
been received from government
over those four years for
maintenance as it had enabled it
to address priority building and
However, there was still more
“O ur priorities over the next
five years are work on our fire
systems, seismic work, lifts,
lighting, and bathrooms.
“ If funding for maintenance
would prioritise those capital
works that are needed to ensure
safety for visitors and staff.”
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