Home' Greymouth Star : November 28th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 3
Man killed at Lyttelton
A man died in an industrial
incident at the port of Lyttelton
about 3.20pm yesterday. e man,
in his 50s, is believed to have been
struck by a logging truck while
walking on a port road at No 2
Wharf, police said. e man is
believed to have been an employee
of a contracting rm at the port.
Inquiries are under way. --- APNZ
New psychiatric report
A man accused of murder and
attempted murder will undergo
a further psychiatric report to
determine whether he was insane at
the time. Max Allen McGowan, 34,
was excused from appearing in the
High Court at Auckland yesterday.
He is charged with murdering his
mother, June Gainsford McGowan,
and attempting to murder his father,
Stephen Charles McGowan, in their
Titirangi home on September 11.
He was remanded to the Mason
Clinic until March 27. --- APNZ
Car hits pole
A man was seriously injured after
his car crashed into a power pole
south of Christchurch yesterday. e
car left the road and crashed on Tai
Tapu Road in Tai Tapu, about 18km
south of Christchurch, shortly before
2.45pm. Inspector Peter Hegarty
said the man was trapped in the
vehicle. He was freed and own to
Christchurch Hospital. --- APNZ
Pruner hurt in fall
A woman pruning on a Pukehina
orchard is in Tauranga Hospital after
falling and hurting her neck yesterday.
A rescue helicopter was called to
the kiwifruit orchard at 12.30pm,
where St John paramedics treated
the 23-year-old who was found on
the ground by other workers. A St
John spokesman said the woman had
slipped from a ladder. She was own
to hospital in a serious condition.
--- APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
Cyclist in coma
A Rotorua cyclist is in an induced
coma after one of two crashes
involving cyclists yesterday. Carol
Harwood was cycling with her partner
Sarah Pitcher-Campbell at 6.25am
when she was hit by a utility vehicle
at the intersection of State highways
5 and 36. She is in the intensive
care unit at Rotorua Hospital in a
serious but stable condition with
head injuries. About 10.30am Craig
Robertson was knocked o his bike
on Gordon Road. He was treated at
Rotorua Hospital and discharged. All
three were training for this weekend's
Lake Taupo Cycling Challenge.
--- APNZ-Rotorua Daily Post
Big Wednesday draw
ere was no division one winner
in Big Wednesday draw No 423 last
night. Successful numbers were 3, 9,
14, 15, 32, 45; coin toss, heads.
Numbers in Keno draw No 9590: 2,
7, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19, 22, 23, 34, 35, 37,
38, 40, 43, 44, 48, 51, 66, 71. Draw No
9591: 3, 5, 8, 14, 16, 22, 23, 26, 31, 33,
40, 45, 49, 51, 53, 54, 58, 71, 76, 78.
Policewoman under investigation
e man accused of murdering a
homeless man in Auckland's Myers Park
has dismissed his defence lawyer and will
Grenville Kookie Fahey appeared in
the High Court at Auckland yesterday
for a callover before Justice Timothy
Defence lawyer Ron Mans eld told
the judge that Mr Fahey was refusing to
meet him to speak to him, and intended
to conduct his own defence.
"He has written to the Legal Ser vices
Agency and advised he does not require
legal aid and that my ser vices aren't
Justice Brewer cautioned Mr Fahey
that while he had the right to defend
himself, it was not usually advisable. He
was remanded in custody and the case
was set down for trial next year.---APNZ
A criminal investigation is
under way following allegations a
Queenstown policewoman assaulted
a Queenstown taxi driver earlier this
o cer is
Jenny McNee, who is based
in Queenstown but currently
on unpaid leave from work for
It is claimed Mrs McNee verbally
abused the driver and grabbed him
while she and her husband were
travelling home in the back of a taxi
earlier this month.
Mrs McNee declined to comment
However, her lawyer, Nic Soper,
con rmed Mrs McNee had received
a "written notice" from police that
an assault complaint had been
laid against her and was being
He then threatened legal action if
Mrs McNee's name was published
and said she had taken voluntary
unpaid leave to deal with a medical
Otago rural acting area commander
Inspector Andrew Burns con rmed
police were investigating an incident,
but would not con rm the o cer's
"Police con rm that they have
received a complaint in relation to
an alleged assault involving a police
constable and a taxi driver which
occurred in Queenstown early this
month," he said.
"Police take these kinds of
complaints extremely seriously and a
criminal investigation is under way.
Because of this investigation, police
aren't able to provide further details
at this time."
He said the o cer had been on
leave "for some time" and was not
expected back until early next year.
"It's an allegation at this stage."
e taxi company, Queenstown
Taxis 2011, declined to comment.
However, a source with knowledge
of the case said the allegation was
that Mrs McNee had abused her
driver, before "manhandling" him.
Video footage from the taxi had
been provided to police, he said.
--- Otago Daily Times-New
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Primary and intermediate
school teachers are being
overworked and some
subjects are prioritised
at the expense of others,
says a study into National
e latest report from
the Research, Analysis
and Insight into National
Standards (Rains) project
was released today. It
analysed how six schools
from around the country
fared with National
Waikato University professor Martin
rupp, who led the study, said worrying
trends had popped up in schools since
the standards for reading, writing and
mathematics were implemented in 2010.
ose subjects had become the focus
for some schools who wanted to make
sure its students were meeting national
levels. is meant subjects such as art,
history, social studies and other activities
had been left behind.
One school had begun a series of
uninterrupted sessions in literacy and
numeracy from 9am to 11am every day.
Other issues were teachers feeling
overwhelmed and overloaded with
work and students feeling bad about not
meeting standards --- despite making
"Teachers are putting too much time
and e ort into the overall teacher-
judgments, which lie at the heart of
national standards," Prof rupp said.
" ere's so many di erent bits of
assessment and they spend a lot of time
checking, moderating and working to
get it right. So there's an opportunity
cost --- they could be putting their time
into other things; like teaching children."
e report showed that out of the six
schools sur veyed, two had refrained
from using the four-point grade system
--- well below, low, at or above national
standards --- because they did not want
to label its pupils. ey only changed
their stance after the Ministry of
Education enforced it.
Another school who was not using
the "well below"grade had also just
changed last year after being asked by
Prof rupp said there was a need for
immediate change in the
policy to help students and
assessment is becoming too
dominant and taking over
in the schools too much.
ere's a need to change
policy to free teachers up so
they're not so preoccupied
with the national standards
and the whole business of
making the judgment on
that very simple and crude
scale --- well below, below,
at or above."
NZ Principals' Federation president
Phil Harding said: "( e report is)
con rmation (that) all the dire warnings
and the negative consequences of this
national standards policy are coming
" e only x is a dramatic re-think of
the policy. We've now got a high-stakes
model --- this is damaging the New
Zealand education system and it's no
better than a national test."
Education Minister Hekia Parata told
Radio New Zealand today that national
standards were a response to previous
concerns with the education system.
"Because now we're able to target more
precisely to what kind of subject area,
what age group, in what school (needs
attention) --- which then allows us to
invest, to change that downward trend,
so that we can lift it.
"In addition, in response to the concern
about teachers' workloads and other
concerns teachers have expressed around
measuring progress and consistency, we
have been working with the sector for
nearly two years now to develop a tool
that will not only assist with both those
concerns --- but will help teachers be
able to delve more deeply and broadly
into the curriculum."
Teachers found national standards
enriching in terms of their understanding
of the curriculum and how they could
better teach it, Ms Parata said.
"National standards doesn't narrow
the curriculum at all, far from it, what
it does it prompt the teaching of literacy
Parents also appreciated the system,
she said. " ey want to know how well
well their child is doing more regularly."
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Homes needed or 40 cats face death
A woman faces the agonising
decision of having 40 feral cats
she is caring for destroyed unless
she can nd them homes.
Denny McLeod has spent four
years and $30,000 feeding the
unwanted cats near Katikati. Her
e orts to manage the colony were
fuelled by her desire to limit the
damage to birds.
But all her care --- which
included feeding them every
night, trapping for desexing and
nding homes for kittens --- will
end next month.
She has been given notice to
leave her rented farmhouse on a
4ha Apata avocado orchard that
was for sale. And because she had
taken responsibility for the cats
by feeding them, the onus was on
her to nd a solution.
e colony was largely domestic
pets turned wild after their
owners dumped them in the area
before heading o for Christmas
holidays. What began as three
or four cats when she shifted
into the house seven years ago
had grown with each passing
Christmas until she began to feed
them four years ago.
"I started feeding them to
save birds and it morphed into
something bigger," she said.
She has formed close bonds
with the Holistic Vets which
desexed trapped cats for free
and the Animal Rescue and
Rehabilitation Centre. Even Bob
Kerridge, from the Auckland
SPCA, supported her e orts to
educate people who abandoned
cats and left them vulnerable to
miserable deaths from cat u.
"I am called the mad cat lady
--- it is not a label I aspire to," the
former Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
nursing tutor said.
Ms McLeod has distributed 50
yers in a bid to nd homes for
some of the cats, which she said
would be ideal for orchards with
"I'm extremely anxious about
these gorgeous animals because
I can't take them with me. If
I can't nd a home for some
of them, they will have to be
Sadly, her letterbox drop did
not draw a single response. " e
hurtful thing is the indi erence, I
would rather people got angry."
She fed the cats every night on
a mixture of cooked rice and ve
big cans of pet food in winter
and more expensive biscuits in
summer, costing $300 a fortnight.
Her e orts to improve the cats'
lives extended to buying little
"It's cost me a fortune, I'm
probably naive and stupid," the
nurse and former ambulance
o cer said.
But it seemed to work because
the bird life had ourished and
there were a lot more avocados
from the cats killing rats and
mice. "I have taken up their cause
to educate people."
Sue Mackey, of Holistic Vets,
said Ms McLeod had a heart of
gold and they had done all they
could to help: "I am really upset
for her about where this could all
people willing to take on the
cats, which would be desexed.
ey could not be left without
someone to look after them once
Ms McLeod left, she said.
--- APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
PICTURE: Bay of Plenty Times
Denny McLeod with the only cat that will leave with her when she
shifts from the Apata orchard.
Radio New Zealand's Morning Report
stalwart Geo Robinson has announced
his retirement after more than 30 years
Mr Robinson joined the NZBC in
Dunedin in 1970 after emigrating from
Britain in 1965 and working in banking.
He joined the Morning Report team
in 1975 when the programme was
introduced and, apart from three years
reading news on the then-commercial
network, has been there ever since.
In 2005 Mr Robinson was awarded
an honorary doctorate in literature by
Victoria University of Wellington.
Mr Robinson was given a special award
for outstanding contribution to radio in
New Zealand at the 2007 New Zealand
Mr Robinson, his voice breaking, told
listeners at the end of Morning Report
today that his last day would be on April
1 next year.
"I chose that date because it would be
the report programme's 39th birthday,
we started on the rst of April, 1975.
"Apart from a couple of years reading
the commercial news, I've been with the
report programme all the way through."
"It also gives Radio New Zealand,
I hope, plenty of time to nd my
replacement," Mr Robinson said on air,
his voice cracking.
" is has been a complete surprise,
Geo did not let on about this at all so
this is quite a shock," his co-host Simon
Mr Robinson thanked his colleagues,
Morning Report listeners and Radio
NZ's chief executive Paul ompson,
who had suggested Mr Robinson make
the announcement himself.
"I'm not going straight away, I'll be
here tomorrow, there'll be another
programme and apart from taking a bit
of annual leave before I go, I'll be here
every day, all the way through to the rst
of April next year," Mr Robinson said.
"It gives me a chance to thank my co-
hosts, people like Simon. I actually once
made a list of how many people I've
worked with and I got to over 30. I must
try to count it all up."
Mr Mercep returned his thanks to his
co-host. "Most of us grew up listening to
you Geo ."
Mr Robinson also thanked his family
for "putting up with my very unsociable
hours all that time".
"And thank you, the listeners, for
listening, my voice is cracking. ere's
more emotion here than I though there
would be, so I'll try and control it.
"I do want to leave today with the usual
words of saying, 'Have a good day, talk to
you tomorrow, here's the bird'."---APNZ
Act Leader John Banks maintained
he had done nothing wrong after a
High Court judge yesterday reser ved
his decision over whether to commit
him to trial for allegedly ling a false
Mr Banks left Auckland's High
Court through a rear entrance,
avoiding waiting media, before being
pursued down a nearby street where
he insisted he "only (does) good"
It came after the court heard
arguments from Mr Banks's lawyer,
David Jones, that a District Court
judge had made errors of fact in
committing the politician to stand
Michael Heron, QC, who has taken
over the case from private prosecutor
Graham McCready, said any factual
errors were matters to be decided at
trial, and not by judicial review.
Mr Heron said District Court
Judge Phil Gittos did all that was
required by law in committing Mr
Banks to trial.
Mr Jones told the court that Judge
Gittos had erred in his decision by
saying that Kim Dotcom's donation
of $50,000 was given directly to Mr
Banks, that he had incorrectly added
up the number of donations in the
electoral return, and said Mr Banks
had "glanced at" the papers, when
the evidence given by his campaign
nance manager was that he "might
have glanced," but did not read the
" ese are factual ndings which
clearly are wrong, and which must
have a ected the reasoning process of
the judge and the conclusions that he
later drew," Mr Jones told the court.
He said the issue was whether Mr
Banks knew there was a speci c false
statement in the return at the time it
was sent, "and that is not available on
the evidence before the court".
However, Mr Heron said the
Crown's case would be that Mr
Banks had encouraged the donations,
knew they were being made, and
made it clear he intended them to be
"So whether or not he gave the
return a great deal of scrutiny won't
be at the heart of the Crown case,"
After the hearing Mr Banks said he
still intended to stand for his Epsom
seat in next year's general election,
but admitted it would be di cult if
the trial went ahead.
"I think it would be problematic if I
had a trial at the end of next year for
my political career, but we make that
decision when we get to it, and the
rst base is next week."
Should the trial go ahead, he
was "looking forward to being
"I've spent a lifetime of doing good,
a lifetime of trying to balance my
family ledger, a lifetime of making a
di erence for people, and a lifetime
of contributing to this country. I only
do good. I don't do bad things."
Justice Paul Heath said he expected
to deliver his decision by early next
week. --- APNZ
Judge reserves Banks trial decision
Labour leader David Cunli e has
used a high-level meeting in Sydney
to lobby for New Zealanders living
in Australia to get a "fair go".
He called for New Zealanders in
Australia to be treated the same as
Australians living in New Zealand.
"For all sorts of historical reasons,
New Zealanders living in Australia
are not treated the same as
Australians living in New Zealand,"
he told the Australia New Zealand
Leadership Forum yesterday.
studying in New Zealand can
access our student allowances and
loans after two years, while most
Kiwis studying in Australia are
denied similar payments.
"New Zealanders living in
Australia are also forced to pay
public disability insurance, but
most will get no support if a tragedy
"In contrast, Australians living in
New Zealand pay into our ACC
system and are given that support if
the need arises."
Australian Prime Minister Tony
Abbott has signalled there would
be no signi cant change to rules
enacted in 2001 that deny new
New Zealand arrivals some key
bene ts of permanent residency
while keeping the right of abode in
e one concession so far to New
Zealand lobbying on behalf of its
so-called "second-class citizens" is
that --- subject to legislation being
passed in Canberra --- student
loans will be available from January
1, 2015 for New Zealanders who
have lived in Australia for 10 years.
Mr Cunli e said another
fundamental area where there
was not a fair go both ways was
"Australian nationals who come to
live in New Zealand can eventually
become full participants in New
Zealand life but many New Zealand
nationals in Australia cannot
become fully- edged Australians."
He said there was a widespread
misconception that New Zealand
migrants to Australia had lower
than average skills and were
more likely than average to be
"New Zealanders moving to
Australia, of whom we have
regrettably had over 200,000 in
the life of our current government
alone, tend to have higher than
average skill levels and to be from
younger than average age cohorts.
"In many cases they bring with
them the bene t of years of
investment from the New Zealand
education system, including at
tertiary level." --- NZN
Fair go call from Cunliffe
David Cunli e
Kiwi Rail says it has found a
temporary replacement for the
Interislander ferry Aratere, which
lost a propeller during a Cook
Strait crossing earlier this month.
It has chartered the Spanish ferry
Stena Alegra to replace the stricken
vessel, ensuring it can service
passengers and freight customers
during the busy summer period.
Interislander general manager
omas Davis said they were losing
about 45% of freight and passenger
vehicle capacity as a result of the
Aratere being out of service.
With the Stena Alegra, the Kiwi
Rail-owned company would recoup
about 35%, helping to minimise
disruption until the Aratere was
back in service.
e Stena Alegra, which was built
in 1998 at the Sevilla Shipyard in
Spain, is expected to arrive in New
Zealand from Europe by the end of
e ship has a passenger capacity
of more than 350 and a cargo
capacity of about 78 trucks or 325
cars. e passenger capacity of
Aratere is 600 and its cargo capacity
is 32 rail wagons and 28 trucks.
e Aratere, which recently
underwent a $54 million revamp,
lost the propeller during a crossing
on November 5. --- APNZ
Kiwi Rail finds replacement ferry
e refusal of three Government
Communications Security Bureau
sta to co-operate with a police
investigation into the bureau's illegal
spying on Kim Dotcom will further
erode public con dence in the electronic
eavesdropping agency, Labour says.
Police this week released a summary
of their investigation of Green co-leader
Russel Norman's complaint about the
illegal spying which was revealed by
Inspector-General of Intelligence and
Security Paul Neazor a year ago.
Announcing their ndings three
months ago, the police said the GCSB's
spying was illegal but as GCSB sta
did not act with criminal intent, no one
would be held accountable.
However, the summary noted that
three current GCSB sta refused to be
interviewed by police.
Dr Norman said one of those sta
"appears to have played a crucial role
in the GCSB's actions in this case, yet
police did not pursue this any further
despite the seriousness of this matter".
Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson
said the sta were within their rights not
to speak to the police, "but obviously it
doesn't help the public's con dence in
"It gives the impression they have
something to hide. roughout
this process with Kim Dotcom and
everything that followed from that the
GCSB have behaved in a way that have
decreased the con dence that the public
should have in them. Unfortunately this
will add to that."
e GCSB refused to comment other
than to say that it "facilitated requests
for information" from the police and that
"decisions about whether or not to speak
to police were made by the individuals
and the bureau respects those decisions".
e Independent Police Conduct
Authority is investigating a complaint
from Dr Norman about the way the
police conducted their investigation.
Meanwhile Dr Norman also claimed
the police summary suggests the GCSB
was supplied with data relevant to
Dotcom by United States spy agency the
National Security Agency (NSA).
e summary revealed the GCSB
received data about Dotcom from
another agency which was not named.
Dr Norman said it appeared the data
referred to was cellphone or other
electronic communications data.
e GCSB declined to comment on
the issues raised by Dr Norman.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
GCSB in Labour's sights
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