Home' Greymouth Star : November 28th 2013 Contents 7
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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2013
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
A passenger on the West Coast
Shuttle bus was dropped off at the
Greymouth Police Station yesterday
evening after he spent the entire
trip making a nuisance of himself,
annoying the other passengers.
Police believe he was under the
influence of drugs. The 23-year-
old was behaving in a disorderly
manner, making the three-hour
trip “very uncomfortable” for other
passengers. A police spokesman said
it was “unfortunate” others on the
bus had to put up with his antics for
so long. After being delivered to the
police station the man was arrested
and charged with possession of
Judith Collins flies
under the radar
Justice and ACC minister Judith
Collins made a hasty, quiet visit
to Greymouth yesterday, visiting
the courthouse and ACC branch
office before attending a private,
closed-to-media business dinner at
the Ashley Hotel. She then headed
straight back to Hokitika to catch a
Two teenage boys will be
trespassed from Grey Main School
after police found them lolling
around on the shade sails hanging
above classrooms last night. Police
were alerted when someone spied a
boy wandering aimlessly around the
school grounds. When police caught
up with them they were warned to
stay away and told that they would
be treated as suspects if any damage
Showery later in the day
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
English Sports Minister Helen
Grant was left humiliated after she
failed to get a single question right
in a basic quiz — on sport. The
Conser vative MP did not know the
name of the current Wimbledon
women’s champion. She also scored
an own-goal by not knowing
who won this year’s FA Cup. Mrs
Grant bungled her way through
five questions and got every answer
wrong, even when she tried to cheat
by seeking help from an adviser.
She was quizzed in a toe-curling
exchange with ITV Meridian.
Asked who won the women’s title
at Wimbledon, she replied: “It ’s not
one of us. I know Andy Murray did
it for us, which is absolutely fantastic
and that ’s the important thing.” The
correct answer was Marion Bartoli of
France. — Daily Mail
‘Knife threat ’
A row simmering between
two Karamea farmers reached
boiling point on February 14,
when one produced a craft
knife and threatened to slit the
other’s throat, a Greymouth
District Court jury heard
Each protagonist blames
the other for the ill-will but
the defendant, Ronald Mark
Cocker, alleged that a biased
police officer had turned
a blind eye to his accuser’s
indiscretions, but followed up
all his complaints.
“He (the constable) has given
him (Peter Langford) leave
to behave how he wishes in
Granite Creek,” Cocker told
Cocker, 55, is accused of
threatening to kill or cause
grievous bodily harm to Peter
“He was lunging at me waving
the knife, saying he wanted to
slit my throat ... wanted to see
my blood running on the dirt,”
Langford said in evidence.
He and Cocker had been
neighbours at Granite Creek
for seven years, and had been at
loggerheads for most of them.
Langford said that he had
travelled to a Granite Creek
Road address on February
14 because his son was there
visiting a girlfriend.
On arrival he saw Cocker
loading a trailer and, believing
he was not entitled to be there,
suggested he should leave. He
said Cocker abused him, went
to his vehicle, retrieved a craft
knife and advanced on him,
threatening to slit his throat.
Langford backed off while
Cocker, repeating the threat,
waved the knife around.
“He looked like he meant
business ... it was scary, as ... his
eyes were wide open and he was
going for it,” Langford said.
Langford accepted that there
was bad blood between the pair
but he denied making up the
threats to get Cocker in trouble.
He said Cocker was an
“ intimidating, violent and
abusive” person. He did not
accept that he (Langford) was
a “bullying, intimidating and
aggressive neighbour who had
caused untold problems in
Samuel Langford said he was
woken by his father knocking
on the door seeking assistance.
He got dressed and walked to
Cocker’s vehicle to see Cocker
brandishing the knife, saying
“There was no way I was
gonna’ go closer, he was gonna’
cut me with that thing,” Samuel
He said Cocker then ran a
finger across his throat, causing
him to ask whether he was
“He said ‘no, just your father,
wait till I get him alone I’m
gonna’ slit his f...ng throat.”
The father and son evidence
was backed up by the girlfriend,
but Cocker produced a witness
who said the girlfriend was not
there at the time.
Cocker told the court that
two years earlier Langford had
beaten him up and throttled
him to unconsciousness on the
“He made me promise to
never cause trouble for him
again, then left me unconscious
by the road.”
Cocker said he had been
terrified of him since and tried
to avoid him at all costs.
He said Langford advanced
on his vehicle saying, “If you
stick around I am going to have
to choke you again”.
“He was edging closer so I
grabbed the craft knife and
said, “Don’t come any closer or
one of us is going to get cut”.
When the son then advanced
on him he held out the knife
and said, “no closer”.
Cocker said he had lodged
at least 10 complaints with
the Karamea police officer,
constable Alan Kees, about
Langford but nothing had
come of them. Conversely,
though, Langford’s complaints
about him were quickly acted
The constable told the jury
that both men had made
numerous complaints and both
had been treated fairly.
The Luminaries sales pass 250,000
The Luminaries, set entirely in Hokitika,
has so far sold close to 250,000 copies
worldwide, and the publishers say there are
no signs of sales slowing down.
Since the 832-page novel by Eleanor Catton
won the prestigious Man Booker Prize last
month, sales have gone from strength to
strength, selling out at bookstores across New
Zealand and broadcasting the setting, 1865
Hokitika, around the world.
Victoria University Press publisher Fergus
Barrowman said sales in New Zealand were
“ We’ve sold over 50,000 copies so far and
over 5000 e-books, there is no sign of sales
slowing down. We have printed 75,000 to
date and hope we have enough stock to last
Overseas, the book is selling just as well.
Granta sales and marketing director Iain
Chapple said sales had picked up following
Eleanor Catton’s win which made her the
youngest ever recipient of the prize and only
the second New Zealander after Okarito
author Keri Hulme.
“ We’re soon close to quarter of a million
copies across all our territories and formats.
There has been an incredible response since
“It has certainly been a top 10 bestseller and
is still the only ‘literary’ book currently in the
United Kingdom hardback fiction top 50.
Since the win it has also been an Amazon No
1 bestseller,” Mr Chapple said.
PICTURE: Viv Logie
Greymouth High School 2013 dux Brook Fleming-White shows off his haul of silver ware, including the dux medal, after he was
named top student at the annual senior prizegiving last night. Brook will next year head to Canterbury University to study
mechanical and electrical engineering. Meanwhile, aspiring Greymouth High School writers were the first recipients of two new
literar y awards in honour of Booker Prize winning authors Eleanor Catton and Keri Hulme. Bridget Sheehan won the Keri Hulme
Trophy as the top Year 11 English student, while Caley Hughes took out the Eleanor Catton Trophy as the top Year 12 English
student. Hulme, from Okarito, won the coveted international literary prize in 1985 for The Bone People, while Catton won this year
with her historical novel The Luminaries, based in Hokitika.
Full list of prizewinners, p2.
The motorcyclist killed
yesterday afternoon in an
accident south of Haast was
on a charity ride for cancer
understands the 70-year-old
man, from the North Island,
was on his way to Queenstown
on a trike as part of the
Firefighters Ride for Cancer,
which began in Auckland a
week ago. The riders stayed in
Greymouth on Tuesday.
It was the second motorcycle
death on the Haast highway
this week. On Monday,
Nottingham, 59, died near
Knights Point in a collision
with a camper van.
Details of yesterday ’s accident
are still sketchy, but Tasman
police district communications
confirmed that no other
vehicles were involved. The
crashed into a ditch about
West Coast police Inspector
John Canning said a lot of
motorcyclists were travelling
through South Westland
currently, “especially middle-
aged men on big bikes”.
He said the road was good,
as was the scenery, and fatigue
appeared to be a problem.
“This fellow was here doing
his thing for charity and his
community and he has been
tragically taken,” he said.
Elderly biker killed
on charity ride
The Buller District Council has allowed a
Punakaiki tourist resort to accommodate more
than its consented number of guests for the
time being, but neighbours are still resisting
a proposed expansion that would bring “mass
tourism” into a quiet residential area.
Te Nikau Retreat owner Hamish Johnston
applied earlier in the year for a resource
consent to set up accommodation for 40 more
guests in the Hartmount Place residential
subdivision, not far from the Truman Track, in
an effort to bring Stray Bus tourists to the site.
However, his application drew a dozen
opposing submissions from neighbours and
residents who were worried the scenic area
would be taken over by noisy partying and litter,
and the New Zealand Transport Authority
which worried about the manoeuvrability of
buses into and out of Hartmount Place and
traffic hazards on State highway 6.
Neighbour, Richard Arlidge, said Te Nikau
already put up too many guests and the
new development would drastically change
“(Mr Johnston) is bringing mass tourism
into our residential zone. You can’t argue that
it ’s not.”
Council records showed Mr Johnston had
consent for 42 guests at the three Te Nikau
properties in Hartmount Place, but the
website for the resort advertised more than 50
beds plus camping sites, not including staff.
Mr Arlidge said the resort often displayed
“no vacancy ” signs, suggesting that it was
exceeding its consented number of guests on
a regular basis.
Following the pushback from residents, Mr
Johnston withdrew an existing application for
retrospective consent for Te Nikau and consent
for 40 more guests. Last week, he submitted a
new application to consent a total of 58 guests
at the retreat, and add extra accommodation
for 29 guests, a bus driver and a staff member
at 2-4 Hartmount Place.
Under the new plan, large 29-seat buses
would not enter the site, but would instead
park elsewhere in Punakaiki while the guests
are shuttled down to the site in two trips. This
strategy was approved by the Department of
Conser vation and the NZTA.
A public hearing on the proposed
development is expected some time next year.
Neighbours rail against tourist plan
School dux crowned
3 double bedrooms, large designer kitchen, ensuite,
bathroom, separate laundry, extensive deck and
landscaping, double internal access garage
4 double bedrooms, large designer kitchen, ensuite,
bathroom, separate laundry, patio and extensive
landscaping, double internal access garage
foundation and floors
Master Build Guarantees
18 Ashley Drive
9 Higgins Place
Have a brand new house for Christmas!
027 696 0774
Trevor Kendrick 027 231 0117
Phone: 03 768 7145
Saturday 30th November 2013
9 Higgins Place – 3pm to 3.45pm
18 Ashley Drive – 3pm to 3.45pm
Land area 883m2
Floor area 196m2
Land area 830m2
Floor area 225m2
or build your own home on one
of the remaining 7 sections
Purchase a gym membership
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that’s only $1.36 a day!
$10 non members
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Preston Road 03 768 0768
Concession Cards and
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No classes over the long weekend.
Classes will return Tuesday December 2 at 6am.
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