Home' Greymouth Star : November 19th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 3
Consents for highway
e Government will send New
Zealand Transport Agency's proposal
for a new section of highway
between Puhoi and Warkworth to an
independent board of inquiry in an
e ort to get the controversial project
o the ground sooner. Constructing
the 18.5km, four-lane motorway
between Puhoi and Warkworth has
been classed by the Government as a
road of national signi cance.
--- APNZ-Northern Advocate
Carcases and guts of cows, pigs and
deer have been illegally dumped in
the water near Maketu. Bay of Plenty
Regional Council said the carcasses
had been in the water for a long time
and posed a very serious health hazard.
e animals were likely to have been
stolen from a farm and the council was
urging people to report any dumping
they may have seen.
--- APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
Central Hawke's Bay farmer Lindsay
McGrath was appalled when he
found six of his ewes had been stolen
and the lambs they were feeding left
motherless last week. e ewes were
stolen from a paddock beside State
highway 2 at Pukehou, just a day after
Mr McGrath had moved them there.
--- APNZ-Hawke's Bay Today
Earthquake testing on
A 1950s Housing New Zealand
block of units remained standing
yesterday despite tests showing its
structural strength was not up to
scratch. e tests were to determine
how buildings from that era weather
earthquakes. "We need more reliable
information about how weak or strong
houses of this age are so we can make
better informed decisions on their
repair and replacement," Housing
Minister Nick Smith said. --- APNZ
Brewing returns to
After an absence of 108 years,
brewing has returned to Oamaru.
ree new beers with a distinct North
Otago focus were launched by the
Scott Brewing Co at the weekend.
Oamaru went dry in 1905 when the
brewers were kicked out of town and
prohibition was enforced. --- APNZ
Snake discovered in
A snake that hitched a ride from
Australia in a shipping container
was discovered by a snake-trained
biosecurity o cial. e Ministry for
Primary Industries inspector had
only just completed snake training in
Adelaide before the found the dead
snake was found in the container
--- APNZ-Otago Daily Times
Labour Party leader David
Cunli e said today a Labour
government would pay the court-
ordered compensation to the Pike
River Mine families, and seek
reimbursement from company
shareholders and directors.
He made the announcement on
the third anniversary of the disaster.
"It is shameful that neither the
Crown, nor Crown entities ACC
and NZ Super Fund, have upheld
their moral obligation to contribute,"
Mr Cunli e said.
" e nancial well-being of the
Pike River families is uppermost in
our minds. Paying the court-ordered
compensation is the decent and
right thing to do."
Mr Cunli e said that despite
Prime Minister John Key's promises
to stand side by side with the families
of the 29 men, they had been left
in the lurch by Mr Key, Pike River Coal Ltd, its shareholders and
parent companies and directors.
" e court has awarded $3.4
million in compensation from Pike
River Coal Ltd. Its shareholders
refused to pay it and the Government
has said the only way to get the
money is to sue the Crown. e
families deser ve much better than
that. Mr Key needs to be a leader,
not a lawyer. He has lost his moral
"Today is the third anniversary of
that tragic day and the families are
yet to receive their court-awarded
Mr Cunli e said if prime minister,
his government would pay the
families the full compensation
It would work with Pike River
Coal shareholders and government
entities ACC and NZ Super Fund,
to "require them to ful l their moral
West Coast-Tasman MP Damien
O'Connor said it was fair, just and
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e appeal period for the Bathurst
Mine at Denniston has now lapsed, and
no appeals have been lodged.
Bathurst announced last week it had
reached a deal with Forest and Bird. e
remaining parties had until yesterday to
ere can now be no further
challenges to the mine's resource
Bathurst managing director Hamish
Bohannan said the access road to the
mine had already been upgraded.
"Bathurst anticipates the rst
production ... to occur in the rst
quarter 2014 as part of the construction
process," Mr Bohannan said.
Steady mining of high quality coal
should be under way by June.
He said recently the coal was fairly
close to the surface, which would reduce
the development phase of the mine.
No Bathurst appeals lodged
David Cunli e
A man who was run over by his partner
outside a Hamilton superette is a gentle
soul who was trying to help her through
some issues, a friend says.
e man, a 43-year-old Hamilton
glazier, was yesterday in a stable
condition in Waikato Hospital with
family members at his bedside. e
incident happened just before midday
e woman, who is having a psychiatric
assessment, ed the scene and drove her
car over a cli and into the Waikato
River, but was hauled to safety.
A friend of the injured man, who asked
not to be named, said he was a gentle
soul who was shocked and devastated by
what had happened.
e friend said the couple had been
in a volatile on-and-o relationship for
about four years.
e friend said the man sought help
for the woman's behaviour in the past
"He's been struggling for quite a
while with it. He's quite a big man but
he's a gentle man --- he hasn't got a
violent bone in his body. He told
me he was just trying to help her."
e friend said he often sounded
scared or shaken on the phone and he
had become isolated from his friends
His family and friends told him to
leave "but obviously she had some kind
of emotional hold on him".
"Because he is quite a gentle, kind of
caring man he was just trying to do right
e woman was discharged from
Waikato Hospital on Sunday with
e Herald understands she was
admitted to the Henry Rongomau
Bennett Centre for psychiatric
Detective senior sergeant Ross
Patterson of Hamilton CIB said any
matters in relation to historic events
leading up to Sunday's incident would
be looked into.
e woman has not been interviewed
but police hoped to speak with her "once
her situation has been clari ed".
Any further action would be
decided after establishing the facts.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Qantas has launched an attack
on Air New Zealand's commercial
strategy behind its investment in
Virgin Australia and accused it
of being part of a foreign bid to
destabilise the Australian aviation
As another 20% of Air New
Zealand is about to hit the market,
Qantas has written to Australian
federal and state governments saying
it is being undermined by the three
majority government-backed airlines
which own most of Virgin --- Air
New Zealand, Etihad and Singapore
Air New Zealand said last week
it would spend up to $130 million
maintaining its stake in Virgin
as part of a planned $350 million
capital raising. Analysts said then
the Air New Zealand investment
was manageable given the health of
its balance sheet, but tipping in any
further funds would attract greater
Qantas yesterday was scathing of
the decision by the Virgin investors
and in a statement said: " e decision
of these shareholders to invest in
Virgin Australia's loss-making
strategy highlights that these airlines
aren't subject to the same commercial
realities as Qantas."
Virgin su ered an $98m loss in the
past nancial year and is having to
spend heavily to hold on to inroads
it made into Qantas' stranglehold
on corporate travel in Australia. In
response to the Qantas claims it said
it had broken the business market
Qantas said Virgin Australia's
proposed capital raising could see its
foreign ownership rise to more than
80% without the need for any further
regulatory approval. Despite this, the
airline would retain all the tra c
rights given to Australian carriers.
"If wholly privatised, Virgin
Australia's ability to receive
potentially unlimited capital from
its government-backed owners
would seriously distort the domestic
aviation market for the bene t to
foreign interests," the statement said.
Qantas has asked governments to
fully examine the motives behind the
"virtual takeover of Virgin Australia
by foreign airlines and to prevent
destabilising" of the domestic
aviation industry, local tourism and
Air New Zealand started
investing in Virgin early in 2011
to give it access to the Australian
domestic market and rationalise its
transtasman operations. It now holds
a near 23% stake and regulatory
permission to go to nearly 26%.
It would not comment on the
Qantas statement yesterday but
Virgin did, saying the Australian
aviation landscape had been changed
and "it is no longer a monopoly".
--- New Zealand Herald
Qantas attacks Air New Zealand plan
Man run over was
'trying to help'
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
e Vega stands rm in the face of the approaching Anadarko oil drilling
Small protest yacht
blocks oil drilling ship
A Government Chief Privacy O cer
will be appointed to give a stronger focus
on privacy and security in government.
e new position was announced
by State Services Minister Jonathan
Coleman and Internal A airs Minister
"It is important that New Zealanders
have con dence in government agencies
to do all they can to ensure personal
information is kept safe," Dr Coleman
Government Chief Information
O cer Colin MacDonald is already
leading a two-year programme to
ensure New Zealanders have trust and
con dence in information security.
e new Privacy O cer will lead
an all-of-government approach to
privacy and will be responsible for
leadership and advice for agencies, and
co-ordinating engagement with the
e appointment follows three privacy
breaches this year by the Earthquake
One claimant received an e-mail with
an attached spreadsheet with 2200
names, stopped cheque details and
claim amounts worth about $23 million.
Another e-mail was mistakenly sent to a
former EQC contractor, Bryan Staples,
with claim status and private details
of 83,000 claimants, covering 98,000
claims, and EQC admitted another
breach of privacy in September after
information on up to 260 claimants
was sent to the wrong customers.
Privacy officer to be appointed
A Wellington teacher is believed to
be the rst New Zealander to have
contracted a superbug resilient to
Brian Pool died in July from
complications caused by a stroke, but
doctors say his immune system was
weakened from ghting the bacteria,
It was believed the 68-year-old
picked up the bug while travelling
In January, while he was teaching
English in Vietnam, Mr Pool
su ered a brain haemorrhage and
was operated on in a Vietnamese
He was own to Wellington
Hospital where tests found he was
carrying the strain of bacterium
known as KPC-Oxa 48 --- an
organism that rejects every kind of
Wellington Hospital clinical
microbiologist Mark Jones told
Fairfax: "Nothing would touch it.
"It's the rst one that we've ever
seen that is resistant to every single
" is man was in the post-antibiotic
era, and this is why so many agencies
over the world are raising alarm
After the diagnosis, Mr Pool spent
that last six months of his life in
quarantine unable to leave his room. His twin sister Maureen Dunn said
they were not even able to take him
"He just wanted to get out in the
sun, and we couldn't take him out."
Ms Dunn said the family was
frightened, and even doctors did not
seem to know how the bug would
a ect others.
Earlier this year, British chief
medical o cer Sally Davies
described resistance to antibiotics
as a "catastrophic global threat" that
should be ranked alongside terrorism.
Wellington Hospital infectious
disease physician Michelle Balm said
Mr Pool's superbug could have been
contracted when he was in hospital
in Vietnam, or a few years earlier
when he had hernia surgery in India.
Teacher dies from superbug resilient to every antibiotic
Making sure pregnant mothers see a
doctor within 10 weeks of conception
should be a national priority, say MPs
working to improve children's health.
A parliamentary committee behind an
inquiry into child health and prevention
of child abuse found that in parts of New
Zealand, the proportion of women having
antenatal checks was " ird World" --- as
low as 17% in south Auckland.
e committee heard about high teen
pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy
rates, and recommended an overhaul of
sexual and reproductive services including
improved access to contraception and
mandatory sexual education in schools.
It made bold recommendations to
combat alcohol abuse by pregnant
"unequivocal" warning labels on beer,
wine and spirit bottles.
It also recommended that the Ministry
of Health create a target to ensure
90% of pregnant women booked an
antenatal assessment within 10 weeks of
e committee's report, published
yesterday, sends a strong message to
the Government that it should shift its
focus and funding to the period between
preconception and three years of age for
the greatest social and economic return.
e proposal for a new health target was
prompted by a review of the Counties
Only 16.8% of women in the region
sought maternity care within the rst 10
weeks of pregnancy, and 86% of pregnant
Paci c Island women were obese or
e report said the rationale behind
the 10-week target was that the earlier in
pregnancy medical and social assessment
happened, the sooner intervention could
occur if required.
Health committee chairman Paul
Hutchison said: "Early intervention, early
booking in --- we're ird World right
now. We've got to give it a crack."
e period between preconception and
early pregnancy has been identi ed in
New Zealand and international research
as a crucial window of development
which in uences the remainder of a
e Prime Minister's science advisor, Sir
Peter Gluckman, told the Herald: " ere
is a growing focus in the community
of scientists, doctors, clinicians, public
health people who understand ... that the
earlier in the life course one can address
and optimise the health of both mother
and father, the more likely the better
outcome for the o spring."
Research by the Liggins Institute has
found that a mother's pre-conception diet
in uences their future child's health.
Aucklander Lucia Tigri Brown, 24
weeks pregnant with her rst child,
said she was cautious after an earlier
miscarriage and sought an antenatal
check after 10 weeks.
"I think I was little bit more wary than
the average woman, wanting to make sure
everything was okay."
Ms Brown, 35, did not believe that the
importance of an early pregnancy check-
up was widely known.
"It is really important that women
are getting the right knowledge."
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Official plan to
A ve-year-old girl allegedly snatched
from her Taupo school by her father has
been found safe and well this morning,
Te Awatea Lemon had not been seen
since November 6 when it was alleged
her father Samuel Samson took her.
Today, police said they had been
making inquiries and checking a number
of addresses in the past two weeks and
located the girl this morning in the
Massey area of Auckland.
She is now being cared for by her legal
guardian and Child, Youth and Family.
A 31-year-old man has been arrested
and will appear at the Waitakere District
Court later today. --- APNZ
Five-year-old found safe and well
A Seventh Day Adventist
Church pastor and several of
his congregation lost $850,000
to a fellow church member who
falsely claimed he had $30 million
owed to him from a Nigerian oil
contract, a court has been told.
Damas Tutehau Flohr, 69,
persuaded the pastor and his
wife, two other couples and
four individuals to advance him
$853,000 when he was having
nancial di culties, Crown
counsel Robin Bates told a jury
in the Dunedin District Court
None of the people knew about
the others providing Flohr with
funds and none had been repaid,
Mr Bates said.
A government employee involved
in the research and analysis of
scams described court documents
relating to Flohr's claims as
"obviously scams" or having "all the
hallmarks of a scam".
He said it was "inconceivable"
any individual would receive a
letter stamped "urgent" from the
Federal Reserve bank because it
did not hold funds for individuals.
Flohr is on trial before Judge
Michael Crosbie and a jury on
seven charges of causing losses
by deception totalling around
In his opening, Mr Bates said the
Crown alleged Flohr obtained the
funds by deception and had, "on
numerous occasions", made false
representations to the victims.
ese included claims he had
$30m due from an oil contract in
Nigeria, money available in the
United States of America and the
United Kingdom and property
interests in Tahiti that he could
sell to cover the funds if necessary.
e Crown said Flohr intended
to deceive through his stories
which were not correct and that he
had represented various scenarios
which were materially false.
Melvyn Trevena and his wife
Lynette were among those who
Mr Trevena, a Seventh Day
Adventist pastor in Dunedin from
early 2002 to 2009, had known of
Flohr since the 1960s. He was
in England in 2007 when Flohr
contacted him, asking for money
because of nancial di culties,
the court was told.
When he forwarded $4000,
Flohr said he would be able to
repay him in about a month as
he would be able to release some
funds from an oil contract in
Nigeria if the money was paid.
Between October 2008 and
December 2009, Flohr asked for
several other amounts and Mr
Trevena and his wife ultimately
gave him $246,519.31, none of
which had been repaid.
Another witness, Evelyn
Wordsworth, who had met Flohr
at college in the 1960s, paid him
$305,000, her understanding
being all the funds were sent to
Nigeria, Mr Bates said.
Ms Wordsworth later began
having concerns about what
was happening. She thought it
sounded like scams and began
making inquiries. She contacted
some of the businesses and banks
Flohr had mentioned and asked
about documentation. She was
told it was not correct.
When Ms Wordsworth
confronted him and said what he
was doing amounted to scamming,
Flohr was "not interested", Mr
He claimed to have met some of
the people involved, including the
ex-president of Nigeria who was
"like a father" to him and regarded
him as a son.
After several of the complainants
became aware of the situation,
they went to Ranfurly where the
accused and his wife had moved
ey confronted him and asked
for their money back.
Flohr said he did not have
it, although some money ---
about a million dollars --- had
arrived with an ambassador.
But the ambassador had been
turned away at the border.
--- Otago Daily Times
Church members lose
$850,000 to fellow parishioner
A small boat is refusing to move
from the site where Texan oil giant
Anadarko intends to drill, despite the
presence of the huge drilling ship,
called the Noble Bob Douglas, about
One of the support vessels for
the drilling ship, the Hart Tide, is
much closer to the otilla boat, the
Vega, which is above the drilling
spot, which is one and half
kilometres under the ocean
Greenpeace executive director
Bunny McDiarmid, onboard the
Vega is hoping to give a children's
ag to the drilling ship, which she
contacted by radio.
She said: " e sailing vessel Vega
will not be moving. We will stay
where we are in defence of our ocean,
in defence of future generations, in
defence of climate.
"We have onboard a ag made by
children that says 'I love my beach'.
ese children don't want oil slopping
onto their beaches or belched into
"We're here to deliver this children's
ag to Anadarko's massive, untested
drilling ship. Anadarko have
consistently ignored New Zealand.
ey, and the government, have
hidden vital information from the
people of New Zealand. So let's
see if they'll ignore our children."
e Oil Free Seas Flotilla is a loose
association of individuals and boat
owners who oppose deep-sea drilling
and the new legislation that takes
away New Zealander's long-standing
right to peacefully protest at sea.
--- New Zealand Herald
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