Home' Greymouth Star : January 22nd 2019 Contents Coast fireman
helps out in
The West Coast principal rural fire
officer Atila de Oliveira has been
dispatched to Tasmania to take on
a role super vising air operations
in the effort to fight fires which
have been raging there since late
December. A further seven West
Coast firefighters are on standby to
head across to assist the firefighting
effort, deputy principal fire officer
Trevor O’Dea said. Those deputised
to assist in Tasmania could be away
for up to a month. RNZ reports
the fires have been burning across
20,000ha of mountainous terrain
in the Gell River area, after a
heatwave and a period of lightning
strikes and high winds. Haze from
bushfire smoke is blanketing several
Tasmanian towns, with hot and
dry conditions across the State and
more than 30 blazes already burning
setting the scene for a ner vous few
days. Some have commented the
fires are the worst seen in Tasmania
A heavy rain warning has been
issued for areas south of Otira,
from 3am until 8pm tomorrow. The
Metser vice says there could be up to
120mm of rain and thunderstorms.
A Scottish stone circle thought
to be thousands of years old has
turned out to be a lot more modern
after a former farm owner admitted
building the replica in the 1990s.
The ‘recumbent stone circle’ in
the parish of Leochel-Cushnie,
Aberdeenshire, was reported by
the site’s current farm with unusual
features including its small diameter
and proportionately small stones.
Historic Environment Scotland
and Aberdeenshire Council’s
archaeology ser vice celebrated
it as an authentic discovery and
continued their research — until
being contacted by the former
owner who said they had built the
stone circle in the mid-1990s. Neil
Ackerman, historic environment
record assistant at Aberdeenshire
Council, said: “It is obviously
disappointing to learn of this
development, but it also adds an
interesting element to its story.”
Recumbent stone circles often
date back 3500 to 4500 years and
are unique to the north-east of
Scotland. Mr Ackerman added:
“ These types of monument are
notoriously difficult to date.”
Showers turn to rain
Greymouth air cadets
Coast burnout hopes up
A jury trial of a West Coast
man facing nine historic sex-
related charges opened in the
Greymouth District Court
Judge Stephen O’Donnell
suppressed the man’s name and all
The man is defending three
charges of performing
indecent act on a young person
under-16, four of sexual violation
by unlawful sexual connection,
assault with intent to commit
sexual violation and attempted
sexual violation over a seven-year
period between 2005 and 2012.
Crown prosecutor Mitchell
McClenaghan claimed the
defendant touched and kissed
the complainant from the age
of 12 and by the time she was
18 the offending had progressed
to digital penetration, oral sex,
assault with intent to commit
sexual violation and attempted
Mr McClenaghan said the
defendant had “groomed and
preened” a young female. It was
premeditated and emotionally
“ The complainant is now 25 and
when she was aged between 12
and 13 it is alleged the defendant
began showing affection towards
her, by grabbing her buttocks and
At first the girl did not think
anything was wrong, but he then
started hugging, rubbing her side
and grabbing her buttocks. This
went on for four years.
When the complainant got older
she realised something was wrong
with the affection shown by the
defendant, who was married.
By the time she was 16 the
contact had become more physical
and on occasions she whacked his
hand away when he was touching
A year later the offending was
more sexualised and when the
victim was 18 the defendant tried
to have sex with her. On one
occasion she pushed him off her
and on another she pushed him
off and punched him.
“ When she tried to get away
the defendant told her not to tell
anyone,” Mr McClenaghan said.
A formal complaint was laid
with the police in 2015 and
when the police approached the
defendant “he exercised his right
Defence lawyer Marcus Zintl
said the complainant was not an
honest or reliable witness and had
exaggerated what happened.
“ The pair had an affair in 2010
when the complainant was
17 years old and nothing that
happened between them was not
consensual. There was an intimate
relationship between the two and
Mr Zintl said the woman’s
reporting of the alleged offending
was motivated by “revenge,
jealousy and resentment ”.
He asked the jury to decide the
trial solely on the evidence they
heard in court.
“ You need to give the defendant
a fair trial ... keep an open mind,
don’t rush to judge until all of the
evidence has been heard.”
Art lovers have just one day left to
enjoy remastered Rembrandt paintings
in a rare Greymouth exhibition.
Rembrandt Remastered was
assembled in Amsterdam in
collaboration with the Rembrandt
Research Project Foundation and is
currently touring the world. It opened
in Greymouth at the Regent Theatre
just before Christmas and will be
packed up on Thursday and shipped to
its next viewing, in Foxton.
Regent Theatre manager Patrick
McBride was disappointed with the
numbers through the doors.
“ We are well short of breaking even,
but we had to test the waters. It was for
the community and they are the ones
who have missed out,” he said.
The theatre invested about $25,000
to bring the exhibition to Greymouth,
in conjunction with the Grey District
Council and Left Bank Art Gallery. It
has returned just $5000 in ticket sales.
He said it is not unusual for West
Coasters to leave things until the last
minute and he hoped for a late surge
before the exhibition closed tomorrow
He suggested the summery weather
had affected attendance figures.
“On days like today and yesterday,
when the weather is not so good, we
have been getting a few more people
trickling through and over the past
week or so we have seen an increase in
visitors to the exhibition. ”
Movie patronage was also down on
the same time last year.
“ It was wetter this time last year
and we had a lot more moviegoers.
However, today and yesterday the
movie theatre was booked out for the
Mary Poppins movie, again because
the weather was not as good as what it
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Meagan Coates of Barrytown admires one of the Rembrandt Remastered images which have been on display in Greymouth since December 21.
A restricted fire season for the
West Coast has been imposed
from today following recent
periods of dry weather and rank
vegetation from a good growing
season exacerbating the fire risk
despite another heavy rain
warning issued today.
West Coast deputy principal
fire officer Trevor O’Dea said the
restrictions came into place from
8am today and would remain in
force for the foreseeable future,
probably into late autumn.
It practically meant no outdoor
fires were now allowed without a
“Any person lighting a fire in
an open area requires a permit,”
Mr O’Dea said.
The only exceptions were for
fires for cooking or warmth and
they had to be less than 500mm
in size under the restricted season.
That excluded all bonfires.
administered by Fire and
Emergency NZ after
superseded local councils, which
formerly undertook permitting
Go to www.checkitsallright.nz
Solar unit stolen as owners sleep
Thieves brazenly stole seven solar
panels from a Barrytown property
Police were today visiting the scene
after the residents, who were asleep only
about 50m away, woke this morning to
find that their power supply had been
raided during the night.
The stolen solar panels of different
brands formed an array to supply the
They had been mounted along a
private bush-lined driveway off State
Acting senior sergeant Paul Watson,
of Greymouth police, said the seven
panels were rated at between 200 and
“ The victim believes (the thieves)
would have spent at least two hours
there removing them. ”
Police were c alling on other residents
in the area today and were keen to
hear of any suspicious movements or
vehicles seen or heard in the area.
Recently police had reports of baches
in the area being targeted by burglars
and the latest incident could be linked.
Information can be passed on
by contacting Greymouth police
directly, or anonymously by phoning
Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.
Meanwhile, an enc losed yard in the
Hewlett Road extension at Karoro was
broken into overnight and up to 1000
litres of diesel was siphoned from a
Police would like to hear of any
suspicious vehicle movements in the
area, although as it was principally
non-residential this could be difficult.
“ Someone may have seen someone in
the area with a ute with fuel containers
on it,” Mr Watson said.
The latest fuel theft was a timely
reminder for people to consider taking
measures to protect their property.
“ Even though fuel prices have
dropped back a wee bit, it’s still a target
Exhibition loses $20,000
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