Home' Greymouth Star : April 9th 2014 Contents 3
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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014
Est. 1866 Phone 769 7900
A wallet stolen from an unlocked
car parked outside St Mary's
Primary School, in Hokitika, on
Monday afternoon, was found on
the beach yesterday --- minus the
$15 cash that had been inside it.
A police spokesman said the theft
should serve as a reminder for
people to lock their cars, no matter
how long they would be away from
Govt asked for
$1m for Reefton
e West Coast Regional Council
will ask the Government to spend
$1 million to improve Reefton's air,
rather than $11.3 million to mop
up the mess caused by pollution.
After 18 months, a council-
appointed group, largely made up
of Reefton residents, has endorsed
the installation of an emission-
reducing device for chimneys.
However, even after bulk
purchasing enough for the entire
township, the devices cost $2500 a
pop. e regional council yesterday
endorsed the recommendations
from the Reefton group, and will
ask the Government for nancial
assistance. It would cost $1m to t
the device to 400 Reefton homes,
compared to the estimated 'social
cost' of polluted air of $11.3m.
e council also agreed to prohibit
some varieties of coal and backyard
res during winter. Chief executive
Chris Ingle said today the Reefton
community would now be
consulted on the proposals.
A strange white speck of 'light'
on a recent photograph taken
by Curiosity rover has led some
to believe that life is thriving on
Mars. UFO blogger Scott Waring
claims that the new photograph
taken by the rover suggests there
are intelligent creatures living
underground. But Nasa, perhaps
rather unsurprisingly, are not quite
heralding it as the discovery of
the century just yet. e Curiosity
rover is currently exploring an area
of Mars known as 'the Kimberley.'
Named after a region of western
Australia, the area sees four di erent
types of rock intersect and is
scienti cally fascinating.
--- Daily Mail
Patchy high cloud, easterly breeze
(Supplied by Nelson Weather Service)
Tiny, sting-less wasps to be released on West Coast
About 200 Irish wasps that do not
sting and are only the size of a sand y
will be released on the West Coast
next month to tackle the clover root
weevil in pastures.
Ag Research entomologists Dr
Scott Hardwick and Mark McNeill,
based at the Lincoln Campus in
Canterbury, have been tracking the
spread of the weevil in the South
Island so that they know if and where
to release the wasp, which is regarded
as an e ective biocontrol agent.
Sampling last winter and early
spring revealed that the weevil
was now present through much
of the northern parts of the West
Coast, from Greymouth through to
Karamea, but in spite of extensive
sampling south of Greymouth, they
only discovered a single infested site
in the Waitaha Valley, south of Ross.
Because the wetter weather there
made it harder for the wasp to y, i t
needed to be carried into the area as
eggs inside parasitised weevils.
Mr McNeill said today he wanted
to release about 200 wasps.
"It doesn't sting. It's about the size
of a sand y and doesn't bite."
He also plans to resample sites
between Kumara Junction and Franz
Josef Glacier to determine if the
weevil has made it to those regions.
Sites in the Grey Valley, Bell Hill
and Rotomanu will also be sampled
for weevil adults and parasitoid.
e rst trial releases of Irish wasps
were made in Waikato, Hawke's
Bay and Manawatu, and within just
18 months their performance had
exceeded the expectations of even the
most optimistic scientists, he said. Clover root weevil and an Irish wasp.
A West Coast drug dealer who grew
a second crop of cannabis while on
bail awaiting trial on his rst charge of
growing drugs, was yesterday remanded
Robert Alexander Fraser, 40,
of Greymouth, appeared in the
Greymouth District Court yesterday
and admitted 11 charges relating to the
cultivation and sale of cannabis.
On April 1 last year Fraser was found
to be carrying 28g of cannabis when
his car was pulled over in a routine
tra c stop. A subsequent search of his
Murray Street property revealed 1.38kg
of drying cannabis, plus seed trays and
planters in a bedroom. Two cannabis
plants were growing in a ceiling cavity
and another two were found outside.
A search of a second Murray Street
home that Fraser had access to housed
a further 78 mature cannabis plants and
Fraser was bailed on charges relating
to those drug searches, but on July 1
when police called at his address they
found he was back growing drugs, with
nine cuttings and 24 plants about 40cm
tall under lights.
Fraser initially elected trial by jury but
last month vacated his not guilty pleas
on arraignment. He was remanded in
custody for sentencing on May 12.
Another Greymouth drug dealer,
Kirk Douglas Waho, was charging a $5
delivery fee for his cannabis, the court
Waho was remanded on bail for
sentencing on May 6 when he admitted
12 charges of o ering to sell cannabis
between December 4 and January 9.
Police prosecutor Steven Greer
said police sought a warrant to check
Waho's phone messages after a search
of his house revealed a 'tick' list (client
list) and other cannabis paraphernalia.
Investigations revealed that in a little
over a month, Waho had sent out 250
texts to various people o ering to sell
cannabis tinnies for $25, plus a $5
He was also o ering ounce-lots of
cannabis for $350.
On some occasions his texts went to
20 or 48 people simultaneously. Most of
Waho's customers named on the charge
sheets regularly frequent the dock at
the Greymouth District Court.
Waho declined to o er an explanation
Ritchies Bus Company has tted its
entire eet of school buses with extra
mirrors to alleviate a blind spot after a
ve-year-old Buller boy was fatally run
over just after he was dropped o on
the way home on August 21, 2012.
Mahuri Hemi Bettjeman-Manawatu,
of Hector, died of serious crush injuries
to his head and chest when he was
hit by a school bus, coroner Richard
McElrea said at the conclusion of an
inquest in the Greymouth District
He adjourned the inquiry to give
written ndings of the circumstances
and consider the recommendations,
most of which had been dealt with.
e recommendations included
moving the bus stop away from the
intersection where Mahuri was struck,
and the installation of more mirrors on
all Ritchies school buses to improve
Ritchies training manager John
Harvey said something as "benign
as running beside a school bus" had
suddenly taken on a much more
sinister connotation, which scared him,
as he had seen many children racing
buses over the 30 years he had been
Mr Harvey said that it had "never
once" occurred to him that it could
have such tragic consequences.
"It scares me that I let it happen so
many times," Mr Har vey said.
Police serious crash investigator
senior constable Greg Taylor said tests
showed that drivers were unable to see
about 45-55% down the left-hand side
of the bus, "making this a hard-to-see
Subsequent to Mahuri's death, extra
mirrors had been tted to the left side
of all its 85 Volkswagen school buses
nationwide, as recommended by the
police. "It is accepted there is a driver
blind spot on vehicles of this sort.
However, such blind spots exist with
virtually every large vehicle, whether
they be passenger service vehicles or
otherwise," Mr Taylor said.
Ritchies sent a memo to all its drivers
urging them to be on the lookout for
children running alongside buses.
e same memo was sent to Bus and
Coach Association members.
Drivers were advised to stop the bus
and speak with the children if they did
see them running alongside.
Mr Taylor said there was no evidence
of vehicle fault, road fault or suggestion
that speed was a factor in the Hector
" e incident resulted in the young
boy following the bus and as it turned
left at the same time, the child has
fallen on to the road and the left rear
wheel ran over him."
All the children interviewed gave
similar accounts of what happened,
saying that Mahuri was running
backwards, or running forwards and
looking backwards as the bus drove
around the corner.
Mr Taylor said suggestions Mahuri
had hit the front left-hand side of the
bus were not substantiated.
"Two adults at the scene recalled
seeing the rear of the bus move, like
it had driven over something as it was
completing the turn into Green eld
Street. None of them realised what had
happened until they heard the screams
of kids," he said.
Mr Taylor said the driver looked
before he drove away from the kerb at
the bus stop to ensure the way was clear
--- "then he felt a bump and stopped".
e driver would have had limited
visibility as he looked at the mirrors
and the rear view mirrors.
"It is not known if the driver re-
checked the rear view mirror as he was
making sure his way was clear ahead of
him. Even if he had re-checked, with
the limited visibility it may not have
shown what was unfolding anyway."
Mr Taylor said Mahuri either tripped
or fell, or possibly a combination of
both, then the rear wheels of the bus
ran over him as it rounded the corner.
Buses fitted with extra mirrors after Buller tragedy
PICTURE: Nicholas McBride
ey are not drawings, but against a white backdrop Cromwell artist Rachel Hirabayashi's iron buildings can make you look twice. Hirabayashi has
speci cally made a town of six buildings for a new exhibit at the Left Bank Art Gallery, in Greymouth, including a church and schoolhouse complete
with an outhouse. In addition to her wire town, Hirabayashi has brought a wreath made of tin cans, and seven paintings inspired by gold towns for
the exhibition, which runs from Friday until May 2.
Contamination of Mill Creek at
South Beach has been traced to a pig
farm, but the West Coast Regional
Council says the water quality
would not have caused a rash of dog
poisonings in the area.
e council tested water samples
last month, close to where three
dogs were poisoned in mysterious
circumstances. A huntaway died
in January while walking near Mill
Creek, although it did not go in the
water, and late last year two other
dogs were poisoned in the area.
e poisonings provoked fear
among dog owners and has still not
Council consents and compliance
manager Jackie Adams said the
results showed e-coli (faeces), which
was traced to a pig farm on the
eastern side of the main highway.
"We have spoken to the farmer
about xing the problem," Mr
A fence was too close to the creek
and as a result e-coli from pig faeces
got into the water.
However, he said that would not
have poisoned the dogs. Nothing
else of concern was found in the
Creek pollution traced to pig farm
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