Home' Greymouth Star : December 20th 2013 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, December 20, 2013 - 9
Young man run over
A pedestrian struck and killed by a
vehicle in rural Canterbury yesterday
may have been trying to fetch his
skateboard, police say. e 20-year-
old man was struck on Carrs Road
in Loburn, north of Rangiora, about
5.25pm, police said. "Initial inquiries
indicate he had walked into the path
of a vehicle, while attempting to
retrieve his skateboard lying on the
roadway." e man died at the scene.
Police said speed or alcohol were not
believed to be involved. --- APNZ
Crash victim named
A young farm worker killed when
the car she was driving crashed
through a guard rail on a bridge
and plunged into a river has been
named. Keryn Michelle Swainson,
20, was driving alone when she
failed to take a right-hand bend and
crashed on Turakina Valley Road
near Hunterville about 9pm on
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
A 71-year-old Palmerston man
is due to appear in the Dunedin
District Court today on charges
of indecent assault involving 10
victims. Dunedin police said the
alleged sexual o ending spanned
30 years, from 1980. e man was
arrested yesterday by Oamaru police,
and bailed to appear in court. Many
charges were representative, and
a considerable number of further
charges would be laid, police said.
--- Otago Daily Times
Quakes cost tops $31m
Two earthquakes which rocked the
upper South Island and lower North
Island earlier this year resulted in
$31.1 million in insured losses, the
Insurance Council of New Zealand
has revealed. e magnitude 6.6
August 16 earthquake, centred near
Seddon, was the most damaging of
the two quakes, accounting for $16.2
million of the costs. e magnitude
6.5 July 21 quake, which also had
its epicentre near the upper South
Island town, resulted in $14.9
million in insured losses. --- APNZ
Fatal crash case stayed
e prosecution of a Cromwell
man on charges arising from a fatal
accident near Alexandra earlier this
year has been stayed because of the
man's serious illness. Maxwell James
Birtles, 63, was charged with careless
driving causing death and injury
following the head-on collision near
Butcher's Dam on July 29 when an
American woman, Kirra Lee Smith,
23, was killed. Another young woman,
22-year-old Tessa Louise Senior,
was injured. In the Dunedin District
Court yesterday defence lawyer David
Robinson applied for the prosecution
to be stayed. Police prosecutor Tim
Hambleton did not oppose the
application. --- Otago Daily Times
Numbers in Keno draw No 9634: 1,
9, 16, 21, 26, 36, 41, 43, 46, 52, 59, 62,
63, 64, 68, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74. Draw No
9635: 2, 3, 7, 17, 19, 22, 25, 31, 32, 33,
40, 41, 44, 46, 48, 50, 62, 69, 71, 77.
Brown critic admits junket slip
e new work safety regulator
says it has real concerns about the
forestry sector after a 20-year-
old Levin man was killed by a
falling tree yesterday --- the 10th
forestry fatality this year.
Lincoln Kidd had been felling
trees on a commercial forestry
block o State highway 1 near
Oturoa Road, between Levin
and Foxton, when the incident
happened about 6.45am.
Work Safe NZ said it was
investigating the death.
Acting chief executive Geo rey
Podger said it was concerning
that Work Safe NZ had to deal
with the 10th forestry death
this year in only its rst week of
He said safety inspectors
had been assessing every cable
logging operation in the country
since mid-August. ey had shut
down almost one in 10 operators,
or 15 of the 162 visited so far,
and taken enforcement action
e number of deaths this year
is twice the annual average, with
four of the victims aged under 30.
e youngest, 19-year-old
Eramiha Pairama, was struck by
a tree near Whakatane in January.
Council of Trade Unions'
president Helen Kelly, who has
led the campaign for forestry
safety reforms, said the training
of younger forestry workers was
inadequate and the work was
now much harder than it once
was. " ese young people are
being sent to their death."
Ms Kelly said the new forestry
code of practice, introduced
in December last year, was
insu cient and weak.
Labour forestry spokesman
Shane Jones said workplace
safety resources were grossly
inadequate to deal with the
burgeoning demand for export
timber. --- APNZ
Action calls as 10th
forest worker killed
Mayor Len Brown will forgo
some executive powers as he sets
out to rebuild his political career.
A subdued Mr Brown yesterday
accepted the unanimous decision
by his colleagues to censure him
with a warning from supporters
Ross Clow and Chris Darby
he would be on thin ice if any
other skeletons came out of the
Mr Brown gave an assurance
there was nothing else out there
and made a commitment to
work closer with councillors on
a common agenda in the New
Mr Brown will spend more
time with councillors, give them
more say in the development of
the budget and major policies,
and regularly report on the
$4 million mayoral o ce budget
to the nance committee.
transparency will not extend to
Mr Brown paying back some or
all of the $100,000-plus costs of
the Ernst and Young report that
found he failed to declare more
than $39,000 in free hotel rooms
is will be subject to
"con dential but binding"
negotiations between the mayor
and a group of councillors.
Nor would Mr Brown say
what changes had been made
between the draft and nal
reports, which chief executive
Doug McKay told councillors
had occurred. Mr McKay also
revealed Mr Brown had an input
into the terms of reference for
the review, which found he "did
not inappropriately" use council
resources to support his a air
with Bevan Chuang.
e councillors' decision
to censure the mayor was
unanimous, but a group of
ve right-wing councillors ---
Cameron Brewer, Denise Krum,
Linda Cooper, Dick Quax and
Sharon Stewart --- voted against
a motion to keep working with
the mayor in the best interests of
e motion replaced a vote of
no con dence in Mr Brown that
the ve had wanted, but was
ruled out of order under standing
Mr Quax, who has been calling
on Mr Brown to resign all week,
said the council could only move
for ward when the mayor was
gone. " e sleaze from the rst
oor of this building is a rotting
political corpse. at stench can
be cleaned only when the mayor
moves out," he said.
Said Cameron Brewer: "For
the best interest of Auckland he
now needs to go. at is what the
people of Auckland are calling
for and that's what I'm asking
But while the plans of the ve
clearly failed, Mr Brown was
not let o the hook by the 15
councillors who decided to give
him a lifeline and move on with
running the Super City.
First-term councillor Chris
Darby called the mayor's actions
"totally inexcusable and an
absolute embarrassment", while
Mr Clow said people were
upset at the mayor's sense of
entitlement, recidivist behaviour
and lack of contrition.
Mike Lee said the events
of the past two months were
unprecedented in his 21 years
of local government, and left the
council battered and bleeding.
He said the censure expressing
"profound disappointment and
disapproval" signalled the most
severe chastisement of a fellow
politician that could be given out.
Mr Brown put on a strong ---
even contrite --- appearance at
a press conference, saying he
had given serious consideration
to resigning, but after deep
re ection would stay on to
complete his vision and plan for
" is is a fair but very rm
direction to myself and I have
indicated to them I accept that
is an appropriate direction. is
has been the most di cult time
of my life."
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Auckland councillor Cameron
Brewer, who has been baying for
Mayor Len Brown's blood for not
declaring gifts, has admitted not
declaring a four-day junket to the
Mr Brewer yesterday admitted
taking free air tickets and
accommodation paid for by Media
Works, which runs TV3.
e right-wing councillor said
he made a declaration of interests
in 2011, but not in 2012, which
would cover the period he went to
e 2012 declaration of interests
shows that Mr Brown and just nine
of the 20 councillors led returns.
Mr Brewer and Dick Quax, who
yesterday said "unless the council
code of conduct has any kind of
meaning there has to be serious
consequences", were among the 11
councillors not to le a return.
e other councillors were Arthur
Anae, Cathy Casey, Sandra Coney,
Alf Filipaina, Christine Fletcher,
Michael Goudie, Calum Penrose,
Sharon Stewart and John Walker.
Mr Brewer apologised but said it
was not in the same league as Mr
Brown's $39,000 undeclared hotel
use and there was certainly no intent
to try to obstruct the process.
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
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Seeing her age in cupcakes left
106-year-old Freda McMillan a bit
"I've got no pu ," she said as she
tried to blow out the candles in
e work of Home of St Barnabas
Trust kitchen super visor Barbara
Sanderson, the cupcakes were the
centrepiece of the birthday celebrations.
Born Fredericka MacKinlay in 1907,
Mrs McMillan, known as Freda, had
kept in good health, driving until
she was in her 90s. She moved to St
Barnabas after her 100th birthday.
While able to get about back then
with help from a bright red mobility
scooter, she now needed a wheelchair
"I miss getting out like that," she
said at her birthday lunch yesterday.
Asked if she had family, she replied:
"My mother had 13 children; I'd had
However, she did help bring up her
late husband Stan Lambert's two sons
from a previous marriage. She later
married Lin McMillan, who had since
She was brought up in Kaitangata,
where her family ran bakeries.
" e pies were very sought-after."
She loved reading books, especially
histories on her home town, and
admitted she had a soft spot for Prime
Minister John Key.
--- Otago Daily Times
106 cakes big surprise for Freda
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Freda McMillan is surprised by her birthday cake of 106 cupcakes marking
every year of her life. Home of St Barnabas Trust manager Shirley Hennessy
is by her side.
Lianne Dalziel says
agreement between the
previous council and
the Government to help
rebuild the city, has left the
council in the red.
e new council has
opened the books on the
spending promises and
debt left behind by the old
e interim ndings of a
Korda Mentha report show the ongoing
operating costs of anchor projects such
as the metro sports facility have not been
factored into the council's agreement
with the Government, Radio New
Zealand reported today.
Also, the cost of repairing underground
infrastructure such as pipes is rising and
previous estimates are already out of
Ms Dalziel says that has left a shortfall
in what the council can a ord.
She says the nal Korda Mentha report
will look at ways to meet the funding
shortfall that do not involve more debt.
Ms Dalziel says the council now
has a baseline to work from and can
re-prioritise the work.
e council may have to delay some of
the work, Ms Dalziel said.
Ms Dalziel ordered the review after
she was elected in October.
She said the report con rmed her
" e statements at the front of the
three-year plan were wildly optimistic
--- we knew we were looking down the
barrel of a debt pathway without much
wriggle room," she said today.
"But I remain optimistic, at least we
have a baseline from which
to build solutions."
Ms Dalziel said Korda
Mentha looked at three
core issues: e accuracy
of the estimated cost of
repairing council assets;
insurance issues which
remain unsettled; and the
with the Government.
It discovered estimates
were inaccurate and the
ongoing cost of running
anchor projects when they
come under council ownership was not
ere was no guarantee the council will
get the $1 billion of insurance money it
"You could tell immediately we were
looking down a hole --- we just don't
know the size of it," Ms Dalziel told
" ere is much work to do. Some of
the estimates are so old they may no
longer be relevant."
Ms Dalziel said the council owned
more than 1000 community assets and
some of the work could be put o .
"Even putting out some of the work by
a year makes a di erence in what we can
Ms Dalziel says the council had to
focus "100%" on getting its insurance
claims settled and it was a frustrating
"Pulling your hair out would be a good
example of what happens most days
down at the council building."
e Korda Mentha report does not
have gures in it.
Ms Dalziel says the consultant will
continue working with the council next
year. --- NZN
City in red over rebuild deal
William and Kate confirm NZ tour
e Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
will bring Prince George on a landmark
tour of New Zealand and Australia in
April, Kensington Palace has announced.
It will be Catherine's rst tour to the
region, and the rst o cial overseas
visit for baby George, who will be about
nine months old at the time of the visit,
foreign media reports.
e hotly-anticipated tour is expected
to be around three and a half weeks'
long, and take in both New Zealand and
Prince William and Kate will spend
between a week and 10 days on
o cial engagements in both countries,
beginning in New Zealand. But with
rest days and travel, the entire trip will
take the best part of a month, British
newspaper e Express reports.
Prince George is unlikely to accompany
them on most of their public duties but
aides anticipate there will be occasions
in both countries when the infant will
appear before the cameras.
e royal visit will mirror Prince
William's rst foreign tour at the same
age when he visited in 1983, when his
parents Prince Charles and Diana,
Princess of Wales, showed him o to
He was photographed playing on a
blanket in the grounds of Government
House in Auckland.
Princess Diana had to ask special
permission from the Queen to take her
infant son on the six-week tour when he
became the rst royal baby to accompany
his parents on an o cial overseas visit.
ere was concern about the heir to the
throne and the second in line travelling
together on a plane in case it crashed.
Prime Minister John Key this morning
con rmed the visit in April, saying he
was "delighted" by the news.
"I am delighted New Zealand will have
the opportunity to welcome the Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge, who today
con rmed they will visit Australia and
New Zealand in April next year," Mr
Key said in a statement.
"It's also anticipated Prince George will
accompany his parents, but a decision
hasn't been made on that yet and will be
made in due course."
Prince William has visited New
Zealand four times in the past, most
recently in March 2011 to attend the
Christchurch earthquake memorial
ser vice and to visit families of the Pike
River Mine victims.
Further details about the royal tour,
including dates and an itinerary, will be
released by Kensington Palace next year,
Mr Key said. --- APNZ
e Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George.
Minister Gerry Brownlee
must carry the blame for
the Earthquake Com-
mission's failure to meet its
legal obligations, Labour
A damning joint report by
the Chief Ombudsman and
the Privacy Commission
has found EQC has not
met requirements under the O cial
Information Act and the Privacy Act
to provide timely information about
e report, from Chief Ombudsman
Dame Beverley Wakem and Privacy
Commissioner Marie Shro ,
acknowledges EQC is working under
extraordinary circumstances but says its
Canterbury customers are living in the
aftermath of a major natural disaster.
"Access to information is not just a
'nice to have' that gives way to more
important priorities in disaster recovery,"
the report says.
Labour's EQC spokesman, Clayton
Cosgrove, said the report shows EQC is
operating under a siege mentality.
" at's because Gerry Brownlee simply
refuses to make his department comply
with the law," he said after the report
had been released yesterday.
" e large in ux of OIA
requests could have been
avoided if there wasn't
such a risk-averse attitude
--- the report shows EQC
was ine cient, sta were
ill-equipped and always
needed further referrals
and permissions to deal
with even simple requests."
e report says access
to information is a basic
right that enables individuals to engage
e ectively with government agencies,
and to have a proper say in decisions that
profoundly a ect their lives.
Under the OIA, requests for
information must be responded to within
20 working days. "By early 2013, it was
clear that EQC was routinely breaching
this requirement to the extent that, by
late May, it was advising requesters there
would be a six to seven-month delay
before it could respond to information
requests," the report says.
e report nds EQC's backlog of
information requests rose dramatically
as the result of an abrupt increase in
an already high volume of information
requests --- from 50 to 70 new requests
per week in August-October 2012 to
more than 160 per week in November-
--- APNZ-New Zealand Herald
for EQC failures
As 13-year-old Lance Tikitere
Fitzgerald's lifeless body was brought to
the surface by police divers, a haunting
wail echoed across the Whakatane River
from a grieving relative.
Almost 100 members of the youngster's
family and friends gathered by the bank
waiting for police to bring the youngster
to the shore. Lance's father had to be
held back by other family members as
he called out his son's name, begging
the dive team to "bring my boy to me".
e youngster went missing as he was
playing with friends around the base of
the Whakatane Bridge.
He was standing on a concrete step and
was seen to fall backwards approximately
1m into the water and did not surface.
His body will be taken back to
Hiruharama Marae, Ruatoria.
--- APNZ-Rotorua Daily Post
Boy's body recovered from river
PICTURE: Rotorua Daily Post
A searcher on the river yesterday.
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