Home' Greymouth Star : April 8th 2014 Contents PROFILE
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TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 76
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Reflections of an ex-mayor
A three-year-old boy gave his
mother a scare yesterday when he
wandered away from a Cobden
house while she was not looking.
e mother called police to Firth
Street at 1.30pm after noticing the
boy was missing. Police found him
safe and well a short time later and
returned him to the safety of his
Man Booker Prize-winning novel
e Luminaries has missed out on
shortlisting for the Baileys Women's
Prize for Fiction. Eleanor Catton's
book, set in 1866 Hokitika, made
the longlist for the prize, which is
awarded to the best English language
novel written by a woman. e
overall winner will be announced
on June 4. e shortlisted novels
are: Americanah by Chimamanda
Ngozia Adiche, Burial Rites by
Hannah Kent, e Lowland by
Jhumpa Lahiri, e Undertaking
by Audrey Magee, A Girl is a Half
Formed ing by Eimear McBride,
and e Gold nch by Donna Tartt.
Boy charged with
stealing off mum
A 17-year-old Hokitika boy was
arrested last night for allegedly
stealing a cellphone from his
mother's home. A police spokesman
said the boy had also been charged
with breaching his youth bail
Fine, fresh mild easterly wind
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
A university student stung himself
on the genitals using a bee --- and
it was all in the name of science.
When Michael Smith started on his
journey to nd out the worst place
to be stung by a bee he probably
was not thinking it would be in his
nostril. But that is the conclusion he
came to after purposefully barbing
himself in numerous positions on
his body, including his genitals.
Surprisingly that was not the most
uncomfortable place to be stung,
the student at Cornell University,
in New York, said. "We speculated
it probably really would hurt to get
stung in the testicles. Two days later,
by chance, I did get stung there. It
didn't hurt as much as I expected
it to," he told the Independent.
He chose a total of 25 places to be
stung around his body, with some
hard to reach areas requiring him to
get creative. --- Metro
̌ District Court
Two young boys watched their
little brother as he was hit and
killed by a school bus just after he
had been dropped o on the way
home, the coroner's court heard
e inquest into the death
of Hector boy Mahuri Hemi
Bettjeman-Manawatu, ve, who
died on August 21, 2012, opened
this morning in the Greymouth
Regional coroner Richard
McElrea passed on the court's
condolences to Mahuri's parents,
Jamie Manawatu and Terri-Lee
Bettjeman, who were present in
e court heard that Mahuri's
brothers, aged seven and nine,
witnessed the accident. Both were
inter viewed by a specialist child
Evidence was given this
morning by o cer in charge,
detective sergeant Gavin Nicols,
serious crash unit senior constable
Greg Taylor, and Ritchies Bus
Company national training
manager John Harvey.
Mr Nicols read various
statements from other children
who got o the bus at the same
time as Mahuri. ey were
dropped o in Curtis Street and
had to walk about 500m north
home, crossing Green eld Street
--- the same route the bus took
after dropping o the children.
Mr Nicols said the driver told
police he checked the way was
clear and had driven up to the
intersection and turned left.
"Inquiries revealed that once
Mahuri got o the bus, he started
to run ahead, looking back as he
did," Mr Nicols said.
Mahuri had not stopped when
he arrived at the Green eld Street
intersection at the same time as
the bus was negotiating the left-
hand corner. e bus had travelled
about 10 or 12m from the bus
stop to the intersection.
Other children said that Mahuri
was being chased at the time, and
he sometimes chased the bus.
e children also described the
moment of impact.
Mr Nicols said the driver, in
his statement, told police that
when he turned the corner he
felt a bump as though he had
driven over a brick. He thought
it was strange, stopped the bus
and checked, only to nd Mahuri
lying on the ground. It was
obvious he had driven over him,
causing fatal injuries.
He suggested the boy may have
tripped and fallen over his velcro
shoe straps, which were undone,
or that he had run into the side
of the bus.
e coroner requested that the
names of the children and explicit
details of the death be withheld.
Electricity was cut to the Coal Creek area yesterday when this digger snagged the powerlines. Westpower general manager Rodger Gri ths said a circuit
breaker automatically tripped just after 1pm and isolated the supply immediately. at resulted in a loss of supply to customers from Warrens Hill through to
Coal Creek. Power was restored to most consumers within half an hour, and all customers were back on about 3.30pm. ere were no reported injuries.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Digger connects with powerlines
e Buller District Council has
indicated that a quiet, bush-clad
residential road at Punakaiki should
not be opened up to an extended
Te Nikau Retreat owner
Hamish Johnston wants to
add 49 beds at 2-4 Hartmount
Place, just o State highway 6.
However, the street is only 110m
long, 3.5m to 4m wide, and has no
street lights. Concerns are held that
the proposal for a total of up to 81
tourists staying there overnight could
end up stumbling along the maze of
tracks at night-time trying to nd
the nearby Truman Track, and could
throw loud parties.
Independent consultant Jessica
Hollis, acting for the council, said in
her report for the resource consent
hearing in Westport next week, that
when she checked the company's
website she found Mr Johnston was
already putting up more guests than
he was allowed to accommodate at
A temporary consent was issued to
allow the business to keep accepting
extra guests for three months over
Christmas. e owner currently
puts up tourists at 11 Ross Place (15
people), and at 13 and 19 Hartmount
Place (14 and 11 people respectively).
Mr Johnston wants to increase this,
and build a new accommodation
facility at 2-4 Hartmount Place,
adding 49 new beds.
e main base would be 19
Hartmount Place, with o ce and
sta accommodation. If consents
are granted, it would provide
accommodation for 81 guests plus 10
Ms Hollis said in her report the
opening hours were "arguably 24
hours, seven days per week". Large
buses would park in the Department
of Conservation area at Punakaiki.
Concerns relayed to the council
include: noise from parties (Andrew
Dennis); the number of people at 2
to 4 Hartmount Place (the Costellos,
Mark Walton and Susan Sidey); scale
of proposal (the Birrers); dramatic
increase in numbers (the Walkers);
and sewerage (many submitters).
Many of those opposed to the
development said the road was too
narrow for buses, and Richard Arlidge
asked how noise control would work,
given the distance from the Buller
District Council o ces in Westport.
Trevor Hayes said tourism was not
the issue --- it was the scale of it.
Ms Hollis said the proposal would
create up to ve jobs, and contribute
to the local economy. However, she
identi ed issues with car parking. e
council also has concerns about guests
wandering around the "confusing"
bush tracks through vegetation,
trying to nd the Truman Track to
Other residents could also feel their
privacy was being invaded.
Ms Hollis said the scale of the
proposal was "incompatible" with the
existing environment. e e ects of
the proposal were "more than minor"
and consent should not be granted in
its current form.
Council recommends against Punakaiki backpackers
Four visiting BMX riders have been
blamed for extensive vandalism of the
Reefton skatepark, on Sunday.
Senior constable Fred Aplin, of the
Reefton police, said the bike riders,
believed to be Australian, were heading
"I expect that they will be stopping
at skateparks along the way and will be
riding and tagging," Mr Aplin said.
He appealed for information from
anyone with knowledge of the group or
who had witnessed their antics.
ey were all aged in their 20s and
travelling in a white high-top van.
" ey have tagged all the skatepark
and surrounding buildings --- it is
extensive tagging," Mr Aplin said.
"Locals have gone to a lot of work to
develop the skatepark, then these out-
of-towners come along and wreck it,"
" e area was tagged with the letters
'MOLTS' and 'FONT' along with other
" ese people are visitors to our
country and they are treating our parks
with total disregard."
He expected it would take a lot of
e ort to repair the vandalism.
Vandalism blamed on visiting BMX riders
Gold prices nose-dive by $116 an ounce
Global gold prices have nose-dived
almost $US100 ($NZ116.40) an ounce
in the past three weeks, after a three-
month surge to more than $US1380 in
From mid-December's low of below
$US1200 gold had steadily risen to more
than $US1380, but had in recent weeks
fallen and was trading around $US1300
on the New York exchange yesterday.
NZ Mint's head of bullion, Clare
Goldworthy, said gold demand had been
"relatively bullish'' during the rst three
months of 2014, ''with a few at patches
Craigs Investment Partners broker
Peter McIntyre said with gold being a
traditional hedge against in ation, and
in ation being benign, including in
the United States, Australia and New
Zealand, investors could expect gold "to
pull back further''.
He described the present price at
$US1280 to $US1300 as "weak'', and
while volatility was expected during the
year, gold could fall to $US1200 during
the year, and if it went below $US1200,
"then $US1000 could be in sight again'',
In the face of rising production costs,
Oceana Gold had restructured its New
Zealand operations, cutting back its
operational plans, laying o sta and
signalling the possible mothballing next
year of its Reefton mine , which employs
about 260 people. --- Otago Daily Times
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