Home' Greymouth Star : April 8th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Tuesday, April 8, 2014
' ey saved our
lives' --- hitchhikers
of the Hokitika Guardian
A Westland District Council wooden
bridge that ser vices only one property ---
Cr Kees van Beek's farm at Kawhaka --- has
been deemed beyond repair after it collapsed
under pressure from heavy earthmoving
equipment last month.
Council chief executive Tanya Winter said
the combined weight of the transporter and
equipment may have exceeded the weight
limit of the bridge, resulting in the partial
e respective insurance companies
were now investigating and until that was
complete she did not know what costs, if
any, could be incurred by the council.
However, council sta were working with
consulting engineers on a replacement
Ms Winter said the bridge was built by the
former Westland County Council in 1974
and provided the only dry-weather access
across Kawhaka Creek to Cr van Beek's
" e only access currently available for
them is a ford just upstream of the bridge
site. Obviously this is weather dependent.
Other access is possible if 2.4km of
unformed legal road was developed," Ms
Winter said. "It
also provides the
access a number
of other farms
if required and if
road was developed
Cr van Beek
said that while the
bridge served only
his property a lot
of other people,
shooters, also used
number that were
built across the district with subsidy money
from a 'back block access fund' under the
He said no discussions had been held
to move the bridge from the council's
Ms Winter said the bridge was maintained
as part of the council roading infrastructure
and was re-decked about 20 years ago. It
passed a routine inspection just two months
"In February, the bridge was inspected as
part of council's regular bridge inspection
programme by Opus International
consultants and was identi ed to be in very
good condition, with only minor routine
maintenance identi ed to remove gorse and
scrub and install bridge end markers."
While general repairs and maintenance
were budgeted, any replacement, this soon,
was not, Ms Winter said.
e collapsed bridge at Kawhaka, inland from Arahura.
Farm bridge 'beyond repair'
̌ District Court
A Hokitika man who hauled his stepson
to his feet by the hair was sentenced in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday to nine
months' supervision, including counselling
for anger management and relationship
Brendan Gary McMillan initially pleaded
not guilty to charges of assaulting the
14-year-old boy, and his mother, and
intentionally damaging a set of drawers.
However, part way through a defended
hearing yesterday he pleaded guilty to the
assault on the boy and the police withdrew
the other charges.
e evidence had revealed that McMillan
became angry during a water ght, wrenching
a water pistol from the boy and then grabbing
him by the hair to lift him to a standing
e following day, when the boy's mother
told him that he was no longer welcome
in the home, McMillan allegedly shoved
her, threw a cellphone across the room and
smashed the furniture.
Part of the deal that brought about the
change of plea was that McMillan, over the
lunch break, obtain a bank cheque to cover
the damage to the furniture.
Judge Alastair Garland accepted that
McMillan had acted out of frustration
but said he should have taken a "calm and
"You were the adult here," the judge said.
Dad pulled stepson by hair
A Runanga man who admitted assaulting
his partner during a domestic row came o
second best, the Greymouth District Court
Zane Brendon Creagh, 29, was sentenced
to 50 hours of community work after he
admitted charges of assault and intentional
He grabbed the woman by the wrists, forced
her down on a bed and spat on her before
raising the tv set above his head and throwing
it to the ground, smashing it.
He then stomped on it to ensure it was
broken beyond repair.
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Creagh was left
"battered and bloodied" after the incident,
while the woman had "minor discolouration
to her wrists".
e complainant had also smashed Creagh's
guitar and music collection, Mr Bodle said.
Judge Alastair Garland said Creagh had
a bad record of assaults on women, but in
this case he had "vented his spleen" on the tv
instead of his partner.
Man comes off second best
e body found on
Rapahoe beach last week
has been con rmed as that
of missing Christchurch
man, Kurt Millan Green,
e body was located on
Wednesday by a search
and rescue team after a
member of the public
alerted police after nding
a human foot in the area.
e body has now been
formally identi ed as that
of Mr Green, who was
last seen in the Blaketown
beach area on March 9.
e death has been
referred to the coroner.
Tuesday April 8
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 768 5942 first
One of the two hitchhikers
brutally attacked duringr a
terrifying ride from Whataroa to
Franz Josef Glacier last week has
thanked their rescuers, saying:
"they saved our lives".
German backpacker Michaela
Brandl, 28, was stabbed three times
in the neck, and her Japanese-
Dutch companion, Niki Honda,
su ered pelvic injuries from
jumping out of a moving vehicle
at Franz Josef. e pair were
discharged from hospital yesterday.
Ms Honda said in a statement
yesterday that she wanted to thank
the people who rescued her and
" ey saved our lives. ere are no
words to describe the appreciation
"I would really like to get their
names and see them," Ms Honda
A 38-year old Otaki man has
been charged with assault and
robbery in relation to the alleged
assault, after he picked up the pair
at Whataroa just over a week ago.
e man, who has interim name
suppression, is also accused of
raping and murdering community
support worker Amy Farrall in
Christchurch the day before.
Generous o ers of help, including
free use of a campervan, have been
o ered to the hitchhikers.
Police and Victim Support set
up a bank account for donations to
Yesterday, $14,035 had been
deposited into the account.
e two women say they did not
want to speak to the media, but Ms
Honda issued a statement via the
In it, she thanked New Zealand
"for all the love and support'' and
paid tribute to her new friend, Ms
Brandl, "the bravest woman I've
"I don't know what would have
happened to me without her, and
she has given me the greatest
support to get through this.
"I feel so blessed that we have
each other,'' she says.
" e letters and owers we
received at the hospital helped get
us through the rst intensive days.
"Now the police have informed
us there has been an account
opened for donations, too. We feel
so blessed, we don't know what to
Ms Honda said she had been
travelling "your beautiful country''
for two months before the attack
and said New Zealanders were
"some of the nicest people in the
Despite her horri c ordeal, that
attitude would not change, she
" ere are bad people in every
country. Maybe this was my
destiny to appreciate life once
again,'' she said.
"I am truly sorry to hear of
the loss of Ms Amy Farrall. My
thoughts and prayers go to her
family and friends during this
di cult time.
"Sometimes all of this feels like
a dream, a long dream I can't wake
up from. I would like to see a little
bit more of New Zealand, but
taking it slowly."
She also thanked everyone who
had supported her and Ms Brandl,
including the doctors and nurses,
police, Victim Support, her family
"I couldn't go through this
without them," she said.
"And I would like to thank the
people who rescued us." --- APNZ
of the Hokitika Guardian
A Hokitika jewellery designer will have
her work showcased internationally during
the fourth season of the American fantasy
drama Game of rones, which premiered
across the world yesterday.
Charlotte Breeze was commissioned
by makers of the television series, which
resumed in New Zealand last night, to
create a large costume piece for one of the
show's main characters, Sansa Stark.
Ms Breeze said yesterday the medieval
piece was crafted from steel and stone, but
more details, or images, of the piece were
being kept closely under wraps by the show's
developers at HBO.
e commissioned work was completed
last year and is expected to feature in an
episode to screen in June.
e 28-year-old artist was interviewed
about her work by the New Zealand
Women's Weekly last week.
She said the opportunity to work with the
Game of rones costume designers had
been "amazing" and she hoped it would lead
to further work.
e Game of rones series, which
launched in 2011, is lmed in a Belfast
studio and also on location in Northern
Ireland, Scotland, Croatia, Iceland and
It is promoted as the most recent big-budget
work to have contributed to the popularity
of the fantasy genre in mainstream media.
Jeweller's work on Game of rones
Grey Main School
proved to have the top
readers on the Coast
after their team won the
Westland heat of the Kids
Lit Quiz, hosted by St
Patrick's Primary School
on Friday. Karoro School
was second and St Patrick's
third. is is the rst time
a heat for the international
competition has been held
on the West Coast. e
quiz for children in Years
6-8 tests their knowledge
of books and literature. e
Grey Main team will head
to Wellington for the New
Zealand nal in June. e
winner of the national nal
will go to the international
nal in Cornwall, England.
Transpower has given
$38,304 to the Mokihinui-
Lyell Backcountry Trust
to purchase a portable
for the construction and
maintenance of the Old
Ghost Road cycle and
Transpower set up the
Community Care Fund in
2007 to help communities
a ected by Transpower
projects and assets.
manager people and
corporate relations Cynthia
Brophy said the Old Ghost
Road was an important
community project that
would have positive
economic and community
Big boost for
Grey Main tops
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