Home' Greymouth Star : January 14th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Tuesday, January 14, 2014
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Bay of Plenty police want to speak
to a group of people who were
camping south of Whiritoa beach at
the weekend following the reported
disappearance of a man believed to
have fallen from rocks. A person was
seen entering the water off rocks
shortly after 5pm on Sunday. A
search failed to find any sign of the
man and was scaled back.
— APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
Water woes ease
The Gisborne city water crisis has
eased but water restrictions will
continue. A week ago the city’s main
water pipe was snapped in two by a
landslide. Gisborne District Council
deputy chief executive Peter Higgs
said people achieved fantastic water
savings over the weekend. The
pipe had been reconnected but its
capacity was still being tested.
— APNZ-Gisborne Herald
Protesters reveal plan
Oil Free Otago has established
a “rapid response” team of up to
260 people to take to the waters
around Otago to hinder Anadarko
Petroleum Corporation’s deep-sea
drilling operations. Oil Free Otago
spokeswoman Niamh O’Flynn
hinted the team may be used to
block the shipping lane in Otago
Harbour to stop Anadarko vessels
from using Dunedin as a ser vicing
port. — Otago Daily Times
Sewage on beach
A blocked pipe has caused sewage
to overflow on to the beach in
Frankton — the third blocked
pipe incident in recent months.
Queenstown Lakes District Council
staff and contractors worked to trace
and remedy the cause of the blocked
pipe which caused the overflow
yesterday. — Otago Daily Times
Cage diving operations may be
changing the behaviour of great
white sharks off Stewart Island,
a shark expert says. Fishers have
warned sharks are now approaching
and following boats, putting paua
divers and other water users at risk.
But cage diving operators deny the
claims, saying fishing boats do more
to attract sharks. — APNZ
Rogue wave sinks boat
A pleasure boat towing children
on a car tube sank on Saturday
afternoon in the bay at Castlepoint in
Wairarapa after it was apparently hit
by a rogue wave. No one was hurt and
the children being towed had been
wearing lifejackets and made it safely
to shore, as did the people on the boat.
— APNZ-Wairarapa Times-Age
Port of Greymouth. — Arrivals:
Galatea II. Departures: Ocean
Odyssey, one Greymouth vessel.
In port: Cook Canyon ,Galatea II,
Thelma C, Electra, 16 other vessels.
Expected departures: Cook Canyon
tomorrow, Galatea II Thursday.
Expected arrivals: Jay Elaine, Thursday;
Ocean Odyssey, Sunday.
A Hokitika man’s attempts to retrieve his new
$46,000 utility off two women ended with him
being smacked over the head with a wheelbrace,
the Greymouth District Court heard yesterday.
The wielder of the tyre iron, Felicity Hancock,
48, successfully defended a charge of assaulting
Douglas Rae Cook, 70, with Judge Stephen
O’Driscoll ruling that she was acting in self-
Cook had employed Hancock and her friend,
Alison Fraser, at his Kaihinu market garden
for several years. At one stage he had been in
a relationship with Fraser but she moved into
Hokitika a fortnight before the assault, the
court was told.
On May 25 last year she returned to Cook’s
property and drove away in the new utility,
which she had transferred into her own name.
Cook tried to report the vehicle stolen but
the police station was unmanned. He then rang
111 and was told to try to locate the vehicle and
immobilise it if he did find it.
Cook found the vehicle and was taking the
nuts off a rear wheel when the two women ran
out of the house and tried to drive off in it.
Cook said he was stopping Fraser from closing
the door and trying to prevent her from putting
the keys in the ignition with his left hand,
while holding the wheelbrace in his right when
Hancock began “kicking the bloody life out of
He was hunched over, head in the vehicle and
Hancock was kicking his behind.
“S he was trying to hit my private parts, they
were good kicks,” Cook said.
He said Hancock then wrenched the
wheelbrace from him and struck him over the
head with it, causing a large gash which bled
“She smacked me on the head with it, one
almighty blow to the top of my head that just
about drove me to the ground. ”
cross-examination, Cook flatly
denied giving Fraser permission to change the
ownership details of the vehicle, saying he could
not if he wanted to because it was a company
car owned by a trust.
Hancock said she had acted in self-defence.
Cook was raising the wheelbrace, trying to strike
Fraser and she wrenched it off him, copping one
blow to a wrist in the process.
Cook was enraged and was advancing on her
so she instinctively hit him with the tool.
“It was either him or me. I hit him because he
was in my face, trying to smash Ali, and trying
to smash me. It was totally self-defence. I feared
for my life and Alison’s life. I thought I was
going to see my friend’s brains scattered over
Constable Jonathon Armstrong, of Hokitika
police, said Cook was covered in blood when
he arrived on the scene so he arranged for an
ambulance to have him taken to Grey Base
He later inter viewed all parties and laid
an assault charge against Hancock, but also
charged Cook with assaulting the women. Cook
will defend those charges in February.
Fraser claimed that Cook had gifted her the
vehicle and he had no rights to it.
She said she had no doubt that Cook would
have split her head open had Hancock not
blocked a blow with the wheelbrace and then
turned the tyre iron on him.
Judge O’Driscoll said that when a defence of
self-defence had been raised the onus was on the
prosecution to exclude it beyond a reasonable
doubt and they had not managed to do so.
The West Coast was the cheapest place to
holiday for families looking for a bach to hire
over the Christmas-New Year break, according
to figures released by holiday home rental website
As well as being cheap, the Coast was also one
of the most popular destinations for families
heading away for a break with their children.
Over the two-week holiday period between
Friday, December 20 and Sunday, January 5,
Bookabach recorded 50,397 travellers hiring
baches nationwide, with Northland (15.2%),
Auckland (13.1%) and Coromandel regions
(11.9%) topping the most popular list.
The average total cost of a holiday, based on
average cost per night, was $1084, and the
average stay was 5.3 nights. The most expensive
holidays were recorded in Auckland ($251)
and Queenstown-Lakes ($303), while the most
affordable places were the West Coast ($129)
and Southland ($145).
Bookabach general manager Peter Miles said
that overall, recorded rental activity was up 30% on
last year, with 39,656 adults and 10,741 children
staying at rented baches over the holiday period.
“ You might think that most people want to get
as far away from the big cities for as long as they
can during the break, but we actually found the
longest stays were happening in the Auckland
region — which includes Waiheke Island. On
average, bookings lasted nearly eight nights in
Auckland. This is in contrast to the average stay
in the Central Plateau region, just over three
nights, and the national average of five nights per
stay,” Mr Miles said.
“It was also interesting to see that the most
expensive and most affordable places were
neighbouring Queenstown and Southland.
Queenstown Lakes had some of the priciest
rentals thanks to the higher number of luxury
offerings, while cribs (baches) in the West Coast
and Southland were some of the best value in the
In terms of top 10 destinations, Whangamata
boasted the highest number of nights booked
overall for the sixth year running, while
Northland emerged as the most popular region
overall. Bay of Plenty, Southland, Coromandel
and the West Coast were the favourites for
families with children.
Mr Miles said the data could be useful for those
who were already thinking about where to go
next Christmas and New Year.
“Provided you can get there easily, West Coast
and Southland are two great options for budget-
conscious holidaymakers,” he said.
Coast cheapest place for bach hire
Tuesday January 14
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 768 5942 first
Arthur. — Passed away
peacefully on January
13, 2014, aged 82 years,
at Timaru Hospital. Lov-
ing husband of Sally,
Michelle and Mike,
Kylie and Simon, and
Vaughn. Loved Pop of
Simon and Rose and
loving Paddy of Sophie.
Loved brother of Ngaire
and Janette. A Requiem
Mass will be held at St
Joseph's Hall, Denmark
Street, Temuka, Wed-
nesday January 15, 2014
at 11am. Thereafter pri-
vate. Galbraith Funeral
The Fire Service new fire risk management officer (fire safety) for the West Coast, Dan Greene, right, receives the keys to the
vehicle from his predecessor, Greg Flaws. Mr Flaws, formerly of Hokitika, took up the role as a trainer in Christchurch, in
November. Mr Green has been involved with the Greymouth Volunteer Fire Brigade for almost five years. A born and bred West
Coaster, he said he was passionate about fire safety and eager to pass on his knowledge about the dangers of fire to schools and the
community. “ This year we will be working on reducing the number of false alarms,” he said, noting that 30% of the calls on the West
Coast were false alarms. While still in training he will receive support from Christchurch and Nelson fire safety officers. Mr Flaws
said he had been travelling back and forwards from Christchurch undertaking fire safety work. “I can stop that now, since Dan has
been appointed.” Mr Greene is also keen to promote smoke alarms this year. “ We will be happy if there is one in every house — and
even happier if they are placed in bedrooms, as you don’t smell smoke when you are asleep.”
New fire risk officer takes Coast post
PICTURE: Viv Logie
A Coal Creek man who threatened to
burn down a social worker’s house was
sentenced in the Greymouth District
Court today to 80 hours’ community
work. Benjamin Michael Roper, 23,
sent a text threatening to burn down
a woman’s home on November 25. He
told police that he was frustrated and
wanted to show the woman what it felt
like to snap.
The woman had been acting for Roper’s
partner in a custody dispute.
Craig Andrew Carter, 46, of Moana,
was convicted and ordered to come up if
called within nine months for breaching
a protection order by contacting a
woman five times on Facebook.
Carter had simply asked whether he
could see his now 12-year-old daughter
because he had not seen her for 10 years.
Lawyer Vicki Walsh said Christmas
was approaching and all Carter wanted
was a current photo of the girl and a
telephone call from her.
“He’s somewhat broken-hearted as he
stands before you,” Ms Walsh said to
Judge Stephen O’Driscoll.
Malcolm Hector McKenzie, 48, of
Dunollie, was fined $1000 for his fourth
conviction for driving with excess blood-
He was also ordered to pay $173
medical and analyst fees, and disqualified
from driving for 13 months.
Lawyer Vicki Walsh said McKenzie
was only marginally over the legal alcohol
limit and his previous convictions were
historic, the last being 14 years ago.
Evan Howard Turner, 29, of
Christchurch, was remanded on bail for
sentencing on March 4 after he admitted
a drink-driving charge.
Judge O’Driscoll noted that Turner
was no stranger to drink-driving.
Steven Paul Smith, 45, of Blaketown,
was fined $700 and disqualified for seven
months when he also admitted a driving
with excess breath-alcohol charge.
Melvin Gabriel McCausland, 38, of
Franz Josef Glacier, was fined $200 for
possessing cannabis seeds.
A Ngahere man’s claim that he had
no idea that half of the tyres on his new
car had been stolen was rejected in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday.
Rawiri Riki Clay was fined $400 and
ordered to pay $100 reparation after
Judge Stephen O’Driscoll found him
guilty of receiving two tyres knowing
that they were stolen.
The tyres in question had come from a
car that had been stolen from a man at
the Blaketown breakwater on July 3 and
was later found burned out, but minus
Constable Damon Munce was
informed that two of the easily
recognisable tyres were on a car parked
at Runanga. He took photos of the car,
which was registered under Clay ’s name,
but saw no sign of the owner. When he
visited Clay ’s home about a month later
the vehicle had different tyres on it.
Clay told the court he had purchased
the vehicle in good faith and had no idea
that the ownership of the tyres was in
$400 fine for stolen tyres
Reefton man, Robert
Frank Terry, successfully
argued in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday
that a charge of misuse
of a telephone should be
Terry, 60, allegedly
harassed a woman by
making repeated phone
calls. A defended hearing
scheduled for yesterday
could not go ahead
because the complainant
was unavailable due to a
Police sought an
adjournment but Terry
opposed it, saying that he
had already made several
trips from Reefton in
relation to the case,
including a scheduled
hearing in December
which was adjourned
because the court ran out
Terry’s submission and
yesterday ordered that
the case should go ahead,
prompting the prosecutor
to ask that the charge be
withdrawn through lack
Terry also asked that
costs be ordered in his
favour but that request
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