Home' Greymouth Star : November 16th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Saturday, November 16, 2013
A new book on the Pike River River
disaster by investigative journalist Rebecca
Mac e has advanced another possible cause
of the underground explosion, that only
emerged after the Royal Commission of
Tragedy at Pike River Mine was o cially
launched in Blaketown last night.
e Listener journalist Mac e interviewed
more than 100 people, and paints a detailed
picture of a mine that failed to perform in
Without the bene t of being able to
examine the seat of the disaster --- the way
is blocked by a large rockfall brought down
by the second explosion --- the cause may
never be known.
According to the Royal Commission,
the most likely scenario was a collapse in
the roof panel where the miners had been
hydro mining, just as the water pumps were
turned on, and the electrical system sparked.
Other theories were a build up of gas
where the ABM20 was working, machinery
sparking or even contraband such as
Mac e writes that another scenario
emerged after the commission's lengthy
In early 2013, the policeman in charge of
the investigation, Detective Superintendent
Peter Read had asked Queensland gas
chemist Darren Brady to bring a fresh pair
of expert eyes.
Mr Brady visited Pike River Mine
immediately after the disaster.
Temperature readings obtained from the
mine in the days after the rst explosion
showed it was much hotter around the rider
seam, in the slimline shaft.
When the slimline shaft was drilled to
help ventilate the mine, after the collapse of
the main shaft in 2009, a metal sleeve was
inserted to line the 600mm hole.
Mr Brady thought it was possible that the
gap between the outside of the sleeve and
the surrounding ground may have
allowed oxygen to reach the rider seam,
react with the coal and spontaneously
He said that could have been the ignition
source, of it could have caused a roof
collapse, and sudden release of methane
into the mine.
̌ More, p5
New theory on Pike disaster cause
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Author Rebecca Mac e presents farmer Paul Berry with a copy of her book Tragedy at Pike River Mine. About 100 people gathered
at the Atarau Pike River Memorial yesterday afternoon while author of the newly released book, Mac e, gave a dedication to the 29
men who lost their lives at Pike River. Mac e also presented landowner and former long ser ving Grey district councillor Paul Berry
and John Paul II High School principal Kieran Stone copies of the book. "Every working New Zealander expects to return home
from work but sadly this was not the case for those at Pike River," Mac e said. " e book uncovers why they did not."
Cash-strapped families are stealing food to
Left with just $50 for food, some are risking
their health or being arrested for stealing from
supermarkets and shops to provide for their
One Masterton woman has admitted to
dumpster diving and stealing food and local
advocates say she isn't the only one resorting
to breaking the law to feed children.
Progressive Enterprises, which operates the
Countdown, Supervalue, Fresh Choice and
Woolworths brands, says Dumpster diving is
not a major problem but is a dangerous one as
food was thrown into bins for safety reasons.
Wairarapa Advocacy Service manager
Trevor MacKiewicz said at least half of the
500 clients on his books have admitted to
stealing food or taking it from bins outside
"It's nothing new to me to hear people are
" ey just have to do it because they don't
have enough to survive on. Some have less
than $50 for food ... ey are just trying to
get food from where ever they can ... ey
are stealing ... it's just not easy for them to
It's not only bene ciaries, he said.
"Low-income earners are nding it di cult
to pay all the bills and have enough to feed
their family on as well."
As for Dumpster diving, he warns clients
not to do it.
"It's theft. e police see it as theft. It only
makes life harder if they get arrested.
" eft is theft and if you are jumping into
a bin you are on someone else's property. It's
Local foodbanks help but cannot o er
unlimited food parcels to people, he said.
Progressive Enterprises public a airs manager
Kate Porter said dumpster diving was not a
"We don't encourage or condone people
taking food from our bins," she said.
Products discarded include products with
expiry dates which made them unsuitable for
"Food expiry dates are based on scienti c
testing and if food has been dumped, it is
there for a reason.
"Food safety can't be guaranteed and
sometimes even recalled or withdrawn
products end up in the bins.
e company gives food to charities through
its Food Rescue programme for the needy.
Last year it provided $1.4 million worth of
groceries nationally to foodbanks through
the Salvation Army, Kaibosh, Fair Good and
Hungry locals wade through trash for food
A paraponter spent about four hours
perched precariously on a ridge with
suspected spinal injuries after crashing in a
remote Canterbury alpine range yesterday
Westpac Rescue Helicopter pilot Stuart
Farquhar said the man had been ying over
steep terrain around the Mt Cheeseman Ski
Area when a gust of wind caused part of his
parachute to collapse. He crashed into a steep
hillside covered in loose shingle and rock.
When the helicopter arrived some of the
man's colleagues were with him but, after
a paramedic assessed he may have spinal
injuries, it was decided it was too risky to
winch him onto the chopper without properly
securing him on a stretcher rst.
"He had moderate facial injuries but
the biggest concern was keeping his spine
immobilised, which was tricky given where
he was," Mr Farquhar said.
To do this, the helicopter crew picked up
an alpine cli rescue team from Christchurch
and ew them to the scene.
ey inserted anchors into the unstable
ground and secured the man to a stretcher
allowing the helicopter crew to winch him
He was taken to Christchurch Hospital,
about four hours after the crash.
Mr Farquhar said the man was an
experienced paraponter. --- APNZ
Paraponter in tricky rescue
Protest rallies over Roast
Busters group today
An on-line petition calling for the Prime
Minister to take action over the Roast
Busters group has attracted more than
93,000 signatures and its creator hopes to
have it presented to Parliament.
e petition urges John Key to "bust the
Roast Busters and show you take sexual
violence seriously" by ensuring justice for
the teenage girls --- some as young as 13 ---
who were named and shamed online when
the young men claimed on Facebook to have
got the girls drunk and had sex with them.
Petition organiser Jessie Hume said the
huge response to the petition "demands an
appropriate response from the Government".
"It would be good to meet with John Key
and Judith Collins if we could and pass on
the message from the public to them."
e site joins sexual abuse support groups,
anti-violence campaigners and health
practitioners speaking out in support of
victims and condemning violence against
females in the wake of the Roast Busters'
Ms Hume --- an Auckland mum --- is also
an organiser of protest rallies being held
around the country today. In Auckland,
protesters would gather in QEII square at
2pm and march up Queen St to Myers Park.
"We're hoping for a really strong public
response to that and we do encourage people
to come down there. ey'll be in good
company," she said.
In Christchurch the protest will start at the
Bridge of Remembrance at noon. --- APNZ
Plan to save
P lab kids
Police want the govt to create a new
crime of endangering a child through
the manufacture of drugs.
Rank-and- le police are pushing for a
law change to protect children exposed
to dangerous chemicals in home-based
Politicians are considering a bill which
would allow judges to given tougher
sentences to o enders who commit
crimes in front of children.
But the Police Association wants
Parliament to go further by creating
a new crime of endangering a child
through the manufacture of drugs.
It says children were found in 34% of
the clandestine P labs dismantled this
e association's submission on the bill
said police were often frustrated with
the di culty of keeping children out of
potentially contaminated homes.
A law change was needed to help them
" e current legislation makes it
di cult to properly hold to account
those responsible for the endangerment."
e Police Association is supported
by Auckland lawyer Chloe Barker, who
has studied the dangers of P labs to New
She said that while there was awareness
of the meth epidemic, there was less
focus on the damage being done to
Ms Barker said that while she did not
oppose the sentencing bill, she thought
the emphasis was in the wrong place.
"It is a step in the right direction.
For a long time children have been the
forgotten victims of meth labs and the
It was a little bit like having the
ambulance at the bottom of the cli ,
because if a prosecution was not
successful in convicting o enders,
then having a child present during the
manufacture of the drugs would not
even be an issue.
"A child living in a meth lab is
inherently in danger and it is such a
dangerous place for them to be that my
feeling is it should be a criminal o ence
for someone to be manufacturing
methamphetamine in the presence of a
child or to know a child is present in a
meth lab and not do anything about it.
Society should say strongly that
children were important enough to have
laws for such an o ence.
" ere can't be any doubt that New
Zealand children are being damaged in
those labs and there needs to be a strong
reaction to it."
Labour MP and children's
spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern, said
Labour had not yet decided its nal
position. If the aim of the bill was to
increase sentence, the bill would do that.
"If this is about the longer-term care of
the child and whether or not they were
exposed to that kind of environment
... then it probably doesn't address that
A spokeswoman for Justice Minister
Judith Collins said the Government
supported the sentiment of the bill but
would wait for the select committee to
report. --- New Zealand Herald
Quali ed FD Since 1973
134 Tainui St
Ph 768 0250
ROSE, Donald Hugh.
--- Dorothy, Hamish,
Vicki and Bill, along
with their families,
would like to thank
relatives and friends
for their many cards,
flowers and baking, and
messages of sympathy
in the loss of Don.
Special thanks to Don's
many friends in Haast
who helped out tremen-
dously. Please accept
this as a personal thank
CURTIS, Barry Leslie.
--- Of Levin. Peacefully
on November 11, 2013,
at Arohanui Hospice,
Palmerston North, aged
79 years. Much loved
husband of Rosalie, and
the late Beth. Loved and
respected father of
Steven, Helen, and
Wayne and Alexa. Much
loved Poppa of Ryan
Michaela, and Aimee.
Many thanks to all of
the staff of Arohanui
Hospice for their care
and support. In accord-
ance with Barry's wishes
a private service and
cremation has been held.
Messages C/- 284
Oxford Street, Levin
5510. Harvey Bowler
Funerals. Levin and
Otaki FDANZ. Locally
Gloria, Maureen and
Deb wish to thank
everyone for their kind-
ness shown to the family
after the passing of
Edna. The food, lovely
cards, flowers and phone
messages were greatly
appreciated. A special
thank you to the staff at
Allen Bryant Rest Home
for their wonderful care
of Edna over the last
four years, and also,
more recently to Richard
Seddon Hospital staff.
Please accept this as
a personal acknowledg-
ment of your kindness
A man who admitted
leaving an 11-month-old
boy alone on the side of
a Southland highway
after nding him in the
car he had just stolen has
apologised to the baby's
"I'm sorry for what I
done. I shouldn't have
done that. I'm saying I'm
really sorry to the child's
mother," Charanjit Singh,
31, of no xed abode, said
from the dock in the in
the Invercargill District
e boy was rescued by
a passing truck driver and
returned to his mother
unharmed not long
after he was left on the
roadside in the Northern
Southland town of
Balfour on Monday
From the dock, Singh
also o ered to pay for
the damage he caused
to the woman's $58,000
Mazda CX9, which he
drove across paddocks
and crashed down a small
bank near Balfour while
trying to evade police.
Singh has been in
custody since his arrest
on Monday and pleaded
guilty yesterday to six
charges --- unlawfully
taking the Mazda, theft
of the complainant's $750
iPhone, failing to stop
for police, abandoning
a child, driving when
forbidden and reckless
His counsel, John
Fraser, said he was
not seeking name
Sergeant Rob Mills
said Singh was hitch-
hiking north on State
Highway 94 on Monday.
He was picked up at
Lumsden and dropped
o at Balfour. At the
intersection of SHW94
and Queen St, he hid his
backpack in bushes and
walked into the town.
Outside a dairy he saw
the Mazda, which had
been left outside the
shop with the keys in the
ignition while its owner
went in to buy lunch.
Singh took the car
and returned to get his
When he noticed the
baby asleep in his carseat
in the back he removed
the child from his seat,
placed him on the side
of the highway, retrieved
his backpack and drove
o at speed. A passing
truck driver and the boy's
mother both saw him
leave the baby on the side
of the road, Sgt Mills
Police began chasing
Singh in a marked patrol
car with lights and sirens
but he failed to stop.
He turned down a no-
exit gravel road leading
to the Mataura River, and
when the road ran out,
drove across paddocks
before losing control of
the vehicle and going
over a small bank. Singh
ran o along the riverbed
but was caught by police
a short time later. He had
the cellphone in his jeans
pocket, Sgt Mills said.
When interviewed by
police, he said had stolen
the car intending to drive
to Dunedin and did not
know the child was in the
car when he stole it.
He estimated he
had reached speeds of
200kmh during the chase.
Judge Michael Turner
convicted Singh and
remanded him in custody
for sentencing on
Parole has been denied for convicted
child murderer Peter Joseph Holdem.
e 56-year-old has been in jail
since being convicted of murdering
6-year-old Louisa Damodran near
Christchurch in 1986.
At the time of the murder he had
just been released from prison for the
abduction and attempted murder of a
A psychological report of Holden in
February described him as "predatory
"Despite extensive treatment it is said
he has made little gains and the overall
treatment has been unsuccessful despite
Holdem was previously denied parole
in April 2013, 2011, 2010 and 2007.
"Mr Holdem has little community
support. He is not suitable to attend
further programmes outside of prison,"
the Parole Board's April decision said.
"Given that the limited gains he
has made over 27 years in prison, his
prognosis is gloomy.
"He remains an undue risk as a high
risk sexual o ender and the safety of
the community requires that he remain
In its latest decision, the board said
Holdem had been assessed as not being
"anywhere near ready" to progress to the
usual reintegrative steps that would be
required for a person who had spent so
long in prison.
He had told the board that he
had "served his time" and was being
punished for his past rather than the
o ence he was in prison for.
"He also has convictions for sexual
o ending and 66 other convictions
including for crimes of dishonesty,
sexual crimes, assaulting children and
escaping," the decision said.
Holdem felt the gains he had made
"Mr Holdem now believes that he
no longer poses a risk to society," the
board's decision said.
"He told (his lawyer) that he had
inevitably changed after 27 years and
it would be 'insane' for him to want to
return to prison."
e board commended Holdem
for his willingness to engage with a
psychologist, however, it was "di cult
for the board to see how this will be
possible in any meaningful way given
Mr Holdem's view that he will not re-
"In Mr Holdem's case, on the
evidence before it, the board considers a
very signi cant change is still required
before he would be a suitable candidate
for parole when he is next scheduled to
be seen for consideration of parole in
After abducting Louisa Damodran,
Holdem drove to the Waimakariri
River, north of Christchurch, where he
strangled her and threw her in the river.
Her body was found some weeks later.
Louisa's mother, Aynsley Harwood,
told the Herald in 2007 that Holdem
was driven to hurt children, and prison
was the only place for him.
"He will just have to stay there,
otherwise children are in danger.
It's the responsibility of every New
Zealander to make sure people like
Peter Holdem don't go around hurting
children. I personally feel Louisa would
have wanted to protect other children."
e mother of a Hawkes Bay teenager killed
during an illegal street race has described her
heartache to three young men charged in
relation to the race.
Brandon Lawrence, 19, Jesse Ellmers,
18, and Adam O'Sullivan, 17, appeared in
the Napier District Court yesterday after
previously pleading guilty to charges of
unnecessary exhibition of speed causing
death and unnecessary exhibition of speed
Judge Geo Rea sentenced the trio to two
years and three months' imprisonment for
their involvement and disquali ed them from
driving for four years.
e court heard today that the teenagers
were part of a Holden versus Ford race that
was planned on the night of February 19
this year, during which the vehicles reached
speeds of up to 180km/h.
Maree Schafer, 18, was the sole rear-seat
passenger in a Holden Commodore driven
by Lawrence when it slid sideways across the
road and hit a tree, fatally injuring her.
Her mother read a victim impact statement
to the court describing the impact on her and
"No mother should have to bury their child
before them." change anything, no sentence
will change the lifelong burden you have
been left with," the judge said.
Mother tells court of heartache
THE BALLOT FOR PASSES FOR THE
100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIONS OF ANZAC
DAY AT GALLIPOLI, TURKEY, IN 2015
IS NOW OPEN.
Attendance passes for the commemoration are limited due to anticipated high
demand and safety considerations. Each person who is successful in the
ballot will be entitled to two attendance passes. Attendance passes grant the
bearer entry to the Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative site and the
New Zealand service at Chunuk Bair.
Direct descendants of Gallipoli veterans and New Zealand Defence Force
veterans are eligible for special ballot categories with the majority of passes
available for the general public.
The ballot is open to all New Zealand citizens and holders of a New Zealand
permanent residents visa, regardless of where they currently live, aged 18 or
above at 25 April 2015.
THE BALLOT CLOSES ON 31 JANUARY 2014.
To enter the ballot and learn more about Gallipoli 2015 commemorations,
visit www.Gallipoli2015.govt.nz. You can also call 0800 336 547 or
00 64 4 8010162 from outside New Zealand.
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