Home' Greymouth Star : April 1st 2014 Contents 3
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Police want help to nd the people
responsible for vandalism around
Hokitika over the past couple of
nights. Overnight on Saturday,
two cast iron framed bench seats
at the corner of Fitzherbert Street
and Sta ord Street were smashed.
en the following night signboards
were ripped out of the ground on a
section on Hampden Street.
e highest temperature in
Greymouth during March was a
balmy 25degC belying the onset
of Autumn. Weather observer Phil
Forrest said that it was a dry month,
with just 54.9mm of rain falling, but
a very wet January has slewed the
year-to-date gures with both the
sunshine and rainfall gures losing
out to their 2013 counterparts. So
far there have been 517 hours of
sunshine logged (626hrs last year)
and 299mm of rain (290mm).
e sunshine total for March,
172hrs, was seven hours fewer
than its counterpart and the lowest
temperature recorded was 4.5degC.
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Greymouth Star On-line
Being kept up at night by the
sound of neighbours or because
you live on a busy road is not
uncommon --- but a French
couple was left sleep deprived
and depressed because of a noisy
peacock next door. e husband and
wife, from Marseille in southern
France, sued the town hall after
they alleged that they had been
left depressed and su ering from
insomnia because of the animal's
persistent squawking. e couple
said that they both had to resort to
psychotherapy because of the noise.
e peacock was given to the local
mayor in 2008 as a present. But
the bird often escaped its pen and
had been running loose in the 9th
district of Marseille --- next to the
Maison Blanche park in the city.
--- Daily Mail
After two busy years touring and performing in Sydney, former Kumara musician Zak Mason and his partner, e Voice nalist Sarah De Bono,
were in Greymouth yesterday for a bit of the laid-back West Coast lifestyle. "No place compares to home," he said. While in town, they called into
the Tai Poutini Polytechnic MAINZ music course, where they performed a few songs and told the students about their experiences working in the
music industry. is was Ms De Bono's rst time on the West Coast: "It's so beautiful," she said. Ms De Bono rose to fame in 2012 when she nished
fourth in Australia's e Voice television talent show, with Mr Mason as her co-songwriter and guitarist. e long-time friends were given a ve-
year contract with Universal and went on tour in Australia with pop star Kelly Clarkson.
PICTURE: Christine Linnell
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn
has unveiled ambitious revitalisation
e orts for Greymouth drawn up by the
council's economic development liaison
team over 18 months.
However, Mr Kokshoorn is putting the
onus on Greymouth building owners
including the Mawhera Incorporation
to keep the struggling central business
district a oat.
e strategy was developed with
input from business owners, Mawhera
Incorporation and the general public.
It includes a Lighting Up the River
project that would see coloured 200-
watt LED spotlights installed along
Mawhera Quay from Johnson Street, up
to and across the Cobden bridge.
"We want to reintroduce the town to
the river," Mr Kokshoorn said. "Building
the oodwall in 1990 separated the
e cost of running the lights would be
$2600 per year.
e group was also exploring a four-
year plan of moving the History House
museum into a proposed Discovery
Centre closer to the town centre by the
oodwall, nanced through fundraising
Top priority would be installing
interpretation panels throughout the
central town and eventually the whole
"We have budgets in place for this, and
that will be the number one project that
we want nished before Christmas."
However, Mr Kokshoorn said they had
to be realistic.
" ere's got to be a responsibility
where everyone does their bit."
It was ultimately up to building owners
to keep old, potentially quake-prone
buildings in good condition.
"A lot of these building owners are
signalling they are going to take the
full seven years, or even possibly walk
away from those buildings depending
on where the leases are with Mawhera.
We're saying to those owners they have
a collective responsibility to keep those
buildings looking good. Otherwise it
only drags the town down."
Building owners could not hide behind
the excuse of not being able to a ord it,
"( e buildings) may be coming to
the end of their useful life, but building
owners made a lot of money with those
buildings. Many were purchased very
cheaply after the oods."
Some buildings in the town centre,
such as the old Recollections secondhand
shop on Mawhera Quay, would need to
be demolished. Mr Kokshoorn said this
would be a matter of some urgency for
Mr Kokshoorn said Mawhera
Incorporation also had a responsibility
to put funds back into the town centre
after freeholding nearby residential
"As landowners, Mawhera have to
realise that without a major capital
investment from them over the next 10
years ... building owners as their leases
expire will vote with their feet and move
out, leaving Mawhera with huge blocks
of land which they'll still have to pay the
upkeep and rates on.
"It's in everyone's interest to sit down
and avoid major problems 10 years out."
Mawhera Incorporation chairwoman
Natalie Win said she did not know the
details of investment plans for the town
"We're busy working at this stage on
the work that needs to be done for the
buildings that need to be (strengthened)
in the area."
A West Coast paedophile who
preyed on girls as young as ve years
old was exposed in the Greymouth
District Court yesterday as William
Oquist, 60, of Blackball, was found
guilty by a jury of nine women and
three men yesterday of all but two of
the 27 counts that he faced in relation
to the indecent assault and, in some
cases rape, of young girls.
He was remanded in custody for
sentencing later this week.
Oquist initially faced 35 counts
relating to ve girls, but one of the
complainants broke down during
cross examination and was unable to
continue with her evidence.
Judge David Saunders discharged the
accused on those allegations, leaving
four complainants and reducing the
number of allegations by eight.
However, many of the charges were
'representative', those o ences having
occurred on a regular basis.
e jury found the man not guilty of
two indecencies that allegedly occurred
in Oquist's car at the Blackball rubbish
e o ending was committed over a
16-year period (1996-2012), involved
o ending on two sets of sisters and
included the use of pornographic
videos and sex toys.
e complainants were aged between
ve and 11 at the time of the o ending
and the accused would give them
gifts and lollies before introducing
them to the pornography, and later the
e two charges of common assault
related to an eight-year-old who, after
witnessing Oquist exposing himself
to her ve-year-old sister, ran into the
room and shoved him away from her.
He responded by punching the girl on
e following day, warning her to
not tell anyone, he punched her again.
e charge of threatening to kill was in
relation to the ve-year-old.
Oquist had told her that he would
shoot her if she told her parents what
e jury, after hearing ve days of
evidence, took four hours to arrive at
He has had name suppression
throughout the trial but Judge
Saunders today lifted that.
Blackball man convicted of child sex abuse
e two hitchhikers allegedly
attacked by a 38-year-old man who
is on parole, could have been much
worse o if they had not managed
to escape near Franz Josef Glacier,
according to police.
e man arrested over the
attack after a ve-hour stand-o
in South Westland on Sunday, is
also being spoken to in relation to
a Christchurch homicide probe.
He had been living with the
Christchurch victim Amy Farrall,
police have con rmed.
e Corrections Department said
today that the man had only been
out of prison for six months and was
still on parole.
In a statement, the department
passed its condolences on to the
family of the young woman killed
in Christchurch and said it was
saddened by the senseless attack on
National commissioner Jeremy
Lightfoot said his department did
not normally comment ahead of the
"(But) I thought it important to
reassure the public that our initial
inquiries show that this o ender had
met his parole conditions up to the
point of his last reporting in to us on
Probation sta were in regular
contact with him and those he was
living with, Mr Lightfoot said.
However, a review of his management
would be undertaken to ensure his
supervision in the community met
e man was sentenced in the
Palmerston North District Court
in May 2009 to ve years and
three months in jail for crimes
including burglary, theft, arson and
He was freed on parole from
Rimutaka Prison last October.
e two victims, a 27-year-old
Japanese woman and a 28-year-old
German woman, were transferred
to Christchurch Hospital today and
both are reported to be in stable
ey were on the same ward and
the German victim, who was in a
serious condition yesterday, but had
improved. Police have spoken to the
women, but would not release any
details this morning.
Tasman police Superintendent
Richard Chambers said that police
were still not sure what brought on
the attack, but the injuries sustained
were likely to be a consequence of
trying to escape.
"Reality is, had they not been
able to get away as quickly as they
did we could have been dealing
with something considerably more
serious," Mr Chambers said.
e alleged o ender sustained dog
bite injuries during his arrest. He was
transferred to Christchurch Hospital
this morning and is expected to be
interviewed by police this afternoon.
A Christchurch police spokesman
said the man was also in a stable
condition. Police are also asking
anyone who saw a dark-coloured
Nissan Terrano, registration number
WR4174, travelling between
Christchurch and the West Coast
from late morning on Saturday to
Alleged attacker was on parole
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