Home' Greymouth Star : December 3rd 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
A scientific project to collect layers
of sediment dating back to the end
of the last Ice Age from the bottom
of Lake Ohau has been granted
more than $750,000 to create the
most detailed climate study of South
Island weather yet tackled.
A GNS Science-led international
team of scientists began initial steps
to create one of New Zealand s
most detailed climate studies to date
by taking core samples from Lake
Ohau in March 2012.
e project has now been granted
$782,609 from the Marsden Fund,
and project leader Dr Richard Levy
said the study would collect 150m
of core samples from the bottom
of Lake Ohau to build a detailed
climate record over the past 17,000
years, "when the last ice age ended".
"It will be the longest record of
on-land South Island climate to
date. e core will reveal seasonal
variations in lake inflow. Information
gleaned from this record will be
integrated with other New Zealand
climate records and used to assess
the effect of warming on New
Zealand s climate processes."
e Marsden Fund, administered
by the Royal Society of New
Zealand and the New Zealand
Government, received 1157
preliminary proposals all hopeful of
receiving a share of the $59 million
of funding on offer, and the Lake
Ohau study was one of just 109
projects that were granted full-
Dr Levy added that the three-year
study, which would analyse sediment
layers on the lakebed, would also
help build a more detailed picture
of the effects of climate change
and southern hemisphere weather
"It will also help to improve the
understanding of interactions
between westerly winds, and large
climate features such as El Nino
and their influence on southern
hemisphere rainfall and temperature
"It will also provide a long-term
benchmark for the effects of current
Core samples would show how
sediment layers related to the history
of river inflows to the lake, and
how that in turn could be linked to
precipitation in the South Island.
Although acoustic imaging of the
lake had shown sediment was about
150m thick at its deepest point
at the centre of the lake, a more
sheltered area, with a sediment layer
of about 70m to 80m, had been
identified as the ideal location for
drilling, he said.
Drilling was expected to start
about February 2015, he said.
"It will take us a year at least to get
the system sorted out so then we
need to wait for the right weather
Some of the equipment required
was in Antarctica at present and
would be sent back to New Zealand.
Although initial 6m core samples
were taken last year, background
analysis on the project had been
ongoing for the past three or fours
"One of the key things we are
really trying to understand here is
what really controls precipitation or
controls rainfall on the South island.
"Ultimately we are trying to figure
out how the climate system in New
Zealand works and obviously that
sort of information can be useful to
feed into models that try to simulate
current weather patterns, plus
patterns from the recent past.
"Once we can do that we can
obviously start to better predict or
understand what might happen in
the next decades or hundreds of
years." --- Otago Daily Times
6 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Eleven New Zealand victims are set to
benefit from a $99 million settlement
with the distributor of a morning
sickness drug which caused birth defects
in thousands of babies worldwide.
alidomide distributor Diageo
yesterday agreed to the settlement
with more than 100 Australian and
New Zealand thalidomide claimants.
e settlement was announced in the
Supreme Court of Victoria.
It was the result of two class actions
against Grunenthal, the German
inventor and manufacturer of
thalidomide, and the UK Distillers
companies which distributed the drug.
While Grunenthal refused to assist
Australian and New Zealand victims
of the drug, Diageo --- which acquired
Distillers in 1986 --- agreed to a
settlement to assist claimants.
One of the lawyers representing the
victims, Michael Magazanik, said the
settlement would benefit those who had
never received compensation.
"We ve been litigating for a while
and we ve compiled a compelling case
against both companies. For its own
reasons, and it should be applauded,
Diageo has decided to recognise its
legal and moral responsibility to these
people. Grunenthal is a company that
for 50 years has protested that the whole
thalidomide disaster was an unavoidable,
unpreventable tragedy ... it s a myth.
"Diageo has effectively picked up the
tab for Grunenthal and it s now really
up to Diageo whether it goes after
Grunenthal for a contribution."
e financial distributions would be
based on the severity of victims injuries,
Mr Magazanik said.
e settlement would need to be
approved by Melbourne s Supreme
Court, which was expected to happen in
February, he said.
"Everyone s confident that it will take
effect." Diageo director Ian Wright said
the company was pleased to be able
to resolve the claims through an out
of court process. We believe that the
settlement reached today is both fair
and equitable to all involved in this very
sensitive and difficult situation."
Papamoa-based thalidomide victim
Terry Wiles said although he was not
involved with the class action, the news
was "really amazing".
While it was good to see Diageo step
forward and take responsibility, the lack
of accountability from Grunenthal was
appalling, he said.
"I think they have no conscience
whatsoever. It was always about money
and they just don t want to deal with
it." Grunenthal needed to "own up" and
"show some moral fibre", he said.
ù alidomide damaged unborn
children when taken in early pregnancy.
ù e drug was popular as a sleeping
medication, sedative and morning
sickness drug in the late 1950s and early
ùMelbourne law firm Gordon Legal
began thalidomide litigation in 2010 on
behalf of lead plaintiff Lyn Rowe.
ùSince then lengthy negotiations have
followed for other Australian and New
ùLitigation is currently underway
against thalidomide manufacturer
Grunenthal in the UK, USA and Spain.
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Lake Ohau, from which scientists hope to learn more about New Zealand s climate.
Core sampling to reveal climate secrets
of the Otago Daily Times
Eight men living a big lifestyle in the
Wanaka area have been arrested for alleged
large-scale dealings in LSD and ecstasy
after undercover police officers infiltrated
the resort s drug scene during a five-month
Southern police executed 10 search warrants
at addresses in and around Wanaka yesterday
and on Sunday, arresting eight men ranging
in age from 19-49.
Large quantities of powdered MDMA
(ecstasy) and hundreds of LSD tabs were
seized, along with cannabis, $13,000 in cash
and other drugs yet to be analysed by ESR.
It is the second major southern drug bust in
a week, after police swooped on properties in
Invercargill and Central Otago last ursday
and arrested 17 people they said were key
players in a crime ring.
e Wanaka investigation, dubbed
Operation Viking, was carried out by Otago
Rural CIB staff with support from the
southern district organised crime squad. It
began in July using several undercover police
officers to target the flow of class A and B
drugs into the area.
At a media briefing in Wanaka yesterday,
crime squad head, detective senior sergeant
Malcolm Inglis, said the men arrested in
the Wanaka operation faced between 70 and
100 drug charges including supply of class A
drugs --- which carried a maximum penalty
of life imprisonment.
"It s the top end of drug dealing. Four men
appeared in the Queenstown District Court
yesterday and four others are to appear at a
e alleged offenders ranged from seasonal
workers who had been living in the Wanaka
area for a few months, to permanent residents
of more than 18 years.
ey were people who did minimal
work, frequented cafes and restaurants and
appeared to have "no lack of cash , Mr Inglis
"People who liked to live the lifestyle ---
high expense with no other real form of
income. Many had "associations with one
another and could be described as being part
of a "loose ring of drug-dealing.
e ecstasy and LSD was believed to have
been imported from overseas and police were
aware of thousands more tabs available in the
"People think they can come in here during
the season when there are a lot of young
people about and sell their drugs and make
" ese drugs are destined not only for the
young people who are working in the ski or
adventure sports industries, or participating
in the rave scene, they are being used and
abused by all social groups across our
community. ere was significant evidence
the drugs supplied in the Wanaka community
had caused serious harm.
"We know of people who, as a result of
taking these kinds of drugs, have suffered
serious mental health issues, to the point of
wanting to take their own lives.
" e alleged offenders involved choose to
put their big lifestyle first, with no regard
for the community harm and the wreckage
that these drugs create in people s lives.
Police were still working to locate several
other people in relation to the operation and
were keen to hear from anyone with further
While the arrests would make an impact on
Wanaka s drug scene, there would be others
who would try to fill the void, Mr Inglis said.
"But we ll certainly be targeting them as
Four of the arrested men appeared in the
Queenstown District Court yesterday.
Daniel Miller, 29, plasterer, Oscar Jimmy
Gold Arlidge, 28, Daimon Jon Schwalger, 41,
and Campbell Smith, 28, appeared before
Judge David Holderness and were remanded
without plea until December 16.
Miller faces 28 charges: two of offering to
supply class A drug LSD, six of offering to
sell or supply class B drug ecstasy (MDMA),
17 of offering to sell class C drug cannabis,
one of procuring MDMA, one of conspiring
to sell a class B drug, and one of conspiring to
sell a class C drug.
Arlidge faces seven charges: five of
supplying LSD and two of supplying ecstasy.
Neither man applied for bail and both were
remanded in custody.
Schwalger faces two charges of offering to
Smith faces three charges after allegedly
selling LSD to an undercover police officer,
selling ecstasy to an undercover police officer
on a separate occasion, and selling ecstasy to
an associate. Both were granted bail.
Judge Holderness, summing up the
summary of facts while considering Smith s
bail application, said Smith allegedly sold
five tabs of LSD to the undercover officer
on August 31 for $120, then four capsules of
ecstasy on September 10 to the undercover
officer for $240.
Judge Holderness said Smith allegedly
admitted in police interview selling two
capsules of ecstasy to a female, priced $60
of the Ashburton Guardian
Ashburton s hepatitis A epidemic is over,
health authorities say.
With what started in five infected people in
April, health authorities struggled to contain
the outbreak which led to 28 confirmed cases
--- five of those hospitalised by the potentially
Canterbury medical officer of health Dr
Alistair Humphrey says he is confident the
outbreak has ended, with no confirmed cases
since August 28.
It comes after the seventh and final free
mass vaccination clinic held at Hampstead
School last week by Community and Public
Health for one to four year olds --- the age
group believed to be largely responsible for the
spread of hepatitis A.
Mr Humphrey said that took the total
number of immunised toddlers to 1145.
"It looks like the combined efforts of the
community have beaten this serious disease,"
Dr Humphrey said.
"We have vaccinated more than 70% of
children aged between one and four in the
"Effectively we now have what we call herd
immunity among Ashburton preschoolers,
which means that the chain of infection has
been broken and hepatitis A can no longer
spread through, or from, the preschool
He said it would provide peace of mind for
the rest of the country, as many Ashburton
residents go on holiday during the summer
He praised schools and early childhood
centres for taking on rigorous handwashing
campaigns and Ashburton food handling
businesses for vaccinating staff.
It is an important victory for health
authorities as hepatitis A outbreaks have been
known to last more than two years.
Ashburton Baptist Early Learning Centre
manager Lorraine Bennet welcomed the
announcement, saying it was not a surprise
after the sheer number of parents who took
their children to vaccination clinics.
She said her centre had become more
vigilant on handwashing and that was likely to
continue in early childhood centres.
e 50-year-old man
found dead in Tauranga
on Sunday has been
named as security guard
Lance Michael Scullin of
Mr Scullin was found
dead by neighbours
about 10am at a property
in Kesteven Ave police
He was a Merivale
and was assaulted after
going to help members
of the public during an
altercation outside his
yesterday in Auckland
was inconclusive and
police are awaiting
further testing to
establish the cause of
sergeant Greg Turner
said police were seeking
the weapon used in the
assault --- a dark brown
A portion of the
paling was discovered
in the Merivale School,
however the rest is yet to
of the New Zealand Herald
An estimated $6.4 million from the sale
of a luxury Auckland mansion is due to go
to former Hanover Finance director Mark
Hotchin --- if he wins a stoush with the
financial markets watchdog.
Mr Hotchin paid $12.2m towards the
construction of the seven-bedroom Paritai
Drive house, which has been bought by
businessman Deyi Shi for $39m, the Herald
e luxury mansion, which has an indoor
swimming pool and parking space for 12
cars, was built on land belonging to one of
Mr Hotchin s family trusts.
e trust --- called KA No 4 --- spent
$17.4m on buying the land the mansion is
As at April, $26.9m had been spent on
the house and other improvements to the
KA No 4 had paid $14.7m of this amount.
It used $1.5m of its own funds and borrowed
the rest from a third party, ASAP Finance,
and another Hotchin family trust, called KA
is year Mr Hotchin went to the High
Court at Auckland seeking a declaration
from Justice Helen Winkelmann on his
entitlement to the $12.2m he spent on
Mr Hotchin and KA 4 disagreed on how
money from the sale of the mansion should
be divided once creditors were paid and the
trust got its funds back for the land.
KA 4 said Mr Hotchin s claim was
unsecured and would come behind all others
in the proceeds of the sale. If there was a
shortfall it should be borne by Mr Hotchin,
KA 4 said.
Mr Hotchin disagreed and said the burden
of any shortfall should be shared between
him and the trust.
In her decision in July, Justice Winkelmann
declared Mr Hotchin had a $12.2m
unsecured interest in the property but that
his interest fell behind other claims on the
proceeds of the property s sale.
When ranking the claims in order of
priority, the judge said the debt owed by
KA No 4 to ASAP Finance should be paid
first. Justice Winkelmann did not specify
how much this debt was but documents held
by property website QV say KA No 4 had
a mortgage with ASAP worth $6.41m plus
interests and costs at the end of August.
After ASAP, the judge said the $7.3m owed
order of priority for funds.
e $17.4m spent by KA No 4 on the
land was next, followed by the amount this
trust spent on improvements to the property,
which was $1.5m.
e total amount to be paid from the sale
of the property before Mr Hotchin is entitled
to what he spent on the house is therefore
is means there is about $6.4m --- around
half of what the Mr Hotchin spent on the
construction --- from the $39m sale price left
to go to to the former Hanover director.
However, Mr Hotchin s interest in the
property has been frozen by the Financial
Markets Authority pending its civil claim
Mr Hotchin and five other former Hanover
directors or promoters are being sued by the
FMA for allegedly misleading or untrue
statements in finance company prospectuses.
e FMA is seeking compensation for
investors who put $35m into Hanover
Finance, Hanover Capital and United
Finance between December 2007 and July
22, 2008. Mr Hotchin s lawyer did not
respond to requests for comment. --- APNZ
„ Operation Viking Five-month operation
targeting flow of Class A and B drugs into
„Searched: 10 properties in Wanaka area.
„Seized: Large quantities of LSD, MDMA
(ecstasy) and cannabis, $13,000 in cash,
other drugs yet to be analysed.
„Arrested: Eight men on 70-100 charges,
including supply of Class A drugs.
„In court yesterday: 4. --- APNZ
Wanaka drug bust nets eight
Ashburton hepatitis A epidemic over
Hotchin up for $6.4m slice
Tauranga victim named
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