Home' Greymouth Star : May 23rd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Friday, May 23, 2014 - 3
Buller Gorge collision
Police were expecting the worst
when they were called to a head-on
crash in the Upper Buller Gorge on
Wednesday night. According to a
police press statement this afternoon
Reefton police, completing work
at the scene of a double fatality at
Inangahua, where a car and a train
collided, received a call at 7pm to
attended a head-on crash near the
Iron Bridge. Police were amazed to
see the occupants of both vehicles
walking about. Constable Fred
Aplin said two late-model cars
being driven by tourists had collided
after one of the vehicles crossed the
centre line. He said airbags in both
vehicles had activated and all three
people had been wearing seatbelts. A
28-year-old man from Hong Kong
was likely to be charged.
School fire suspicious
A fire seriously damaged an
Auckland primary school overnight.
The Fire Service was called to the
Freyberg Memorial Community
School on Roberts Road in Te
Atatu just after midnight, northern
fire communications shift manager
Megan Ruru said. The building was
“ well ablaze” by the time fire crews
arrived. The fire was considered
suspicious and a fire investigator had
already been to the site. Nobody was
injured. — APNZ
Man found safe
A Rangitikei man, not seen for a
week, has been found in a hay barn,
police say. Stephen Walker, who
disappeared on Wednesday, May 14,
was found by a member of the public
walking their dog at the foot of the
Ruahine Ranges just after midday
yesterday. The dog alerted its owner to
the presence of a person in the barn,
and they called police. Mr Walker was
found shortly afterwards. — APNZ
The jury in a Rotorua money
laundering trial was discharged on
Wednesday night after it was unable
to reach a verdict. Valentine Barclay
Nicholas, 52, and a co-accused
whose name is suppressed, were each
charged with one count of money
laundering in 2006. The pair have
been released on bail until a callover
in the Rotorua District Court on June
25. — APNZ-Rotorua Daily Post
Bugs hit hospital
Dunedin Hospital has been hit
by a “perfect storm” of two different
gastroenteritis bugs, patient services
medical director Dick Bunton says.
The emergency department was also
stretched. The outbreak had closed
a ward, and another was designated
solely for gastroenteritis patients.
Some elective surgery has been put
off. Twenty-three staff and 21 patients
had been ill with a mix of norovirus
and clostridium difficile in the past
two weeks. — Otago Daily Times
Numbers in Keno draw No 9942: 1,
8, 9, 13, 14, 18, 20, 25, 35, 40, 41, 47,
48, 49, 51, 53, 67, 69, 74, 75. Draw No
9943: 1, 2, 4, 6, 14, 15, 23, 27, 31, 36,
40, 46, 53, 64, 65, 68, 70, 74, 76, 80.
The historic Oamaru Courthouse is
to be disposed of, a decision that has
been greeted with with surprise and
disappointment in the town.
The cost of earthquake-strengthening
the 130-year-old building, estimated at
between $1 million and $2 million was
too high for a court that was open for
business less than one day each week,
on average, Courts Minister Chester
Borrows announced yesterday.
Ownership of the building, in the
centre of Oamaru which has sat vacant
since December 2011, will now be
transferred to Land Information New
Zealand for disposal.
Linz will consult Ngai Tahu as to
whether it wants to exercise its right of
first refusal under the Ngai Tahu Claims
Settlement Act (1988).
Once Ngai Tahu has formally
responded to this request, Linz will
arrange for the disposal of the site, either
to Ngai Tahu or on the open market.
“ What we’re trying to say to Oamaru
is: we’re not taking court ser vices away;
we’re committed to staying here,” Mr
“The people of Oamaru just needed
confirmation firstly that we agree
the Opera House isn’t a good site for
When the building was identified
as an earthquake risk, court hearings
were held in the Oamaru Opera House
while options for the category one listed
building were investigated.
Next month, court hearings will move
to a portable facility in Humber Street,
in the Oamaru Licensing Trust car park.
The ministry says it will look for a
more permanent solution in Oamaru.
Yesterday ’s announcement was met
with “real disappointment ”, Oamaru
lawyer David Jackson said.
“This is our courthouse. It’s been here
since 1883. It has a certain presence and
and now, (the portable court) is round
speaks volumes, doesn’t it?” Mr Jackson
“As participants, we can see where
this is heading, despite the minister’s
assurances that this Government is
committed to having court ser vices in
Employers, lawyers, victims, witnesses,
court staff, police and Corrections were
all affected by the ministry’s “ ludicrous”
decision, the Berry and Co partner said.
“One of the things that has caused
a great deal of frustration is the fact
that there’s been no consultation or
discussion,” he said.
“ We’re presented with these numbers
and we’re presented with a decision
we’re never actually consulted as to
what we think would best ser vice the
local community and I think that ’s a
great disser vice to the local community
that it’s own participants in the justice
system aren’t consulted. ”
Mr Jackson said the Portacom court
facility was not practical in the long-
term and expressed fears that in two or
three years, Oamaru would permanently
lose its court ser vices.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said
discussions were ongoing between the
council and other community groups,
with a focus of retaining court ser vices
from the Oamaru courthouse.
Asked if the council would consider
buying it, Mr Kircher said he would “not
rule it out ”.
“progressing” with other community
groups that might be in a position to do
so. — Otago Daily Times
Oamaru courthouse decision dismays
Police in Christchurch were
kept busy overnight with two
A man will have surgery tonight
after a fight in the central city
Police said the man in his 30s
suffered arm injuries, thought to
be inflicted with a knife, during
an altercation with another man
at a property near the intersection
of Hereford Street and Fitzgerald
Avenue. The injuries were not
sergeant Richard Quested said
investigators are speaking to
those involved but no arrests had
yet been made.
The fight was believed to be
related to an earlier domestic
incident at the property.
In a separate incident, a man
in his 20s suffered facial injuries
when he was attacked with a
bottle or glass outside the Fox and
Ferret in Riccarton about 1.15am.
The man’s injuries are not
believed to be serious. An 18-
year old man was arrested at the
scene and will appear in court
Last evening, a man was
arrested in a third incident at a
property in Sydenham.
Mr Quested said a man in his
20s was stabbed in his back, chest
and arms in what police believed
was a family dispute about 6pm.
The victim suffered non-life-
A 22-year old man will appear
in court today. — APNZ
Serious attacks in Chch
Sky City’s chief executive is to
give evidence next week about
the casino’s donation to Act MP
John Banks, which the MP told
police he knew nothing about.
Banks is before the High Court
in Auckland accused of filing
a false electoral return after
his failed Auckland mayoral
The trial has been adjourned
after hearing extracts yesterday
from a lengthy inter view Banks
gave police in 2012, Radio New
Zealand reported today.
It is over the question of
whether he knew about money
from Sky City and the internet
businessman Kim Dotcom which
was listed as anonymous.
Banks told the police in the
inter view, played in court, he
couldn’t remember any dealings
with Sky City about donations.
don’t remember talking
to Sky City about asking for
donations. I don’t remember a
conversation with Sky City about
asking for support, but I could
well have because I ask most
people,” he said.
Banks told the police the
campaign to be mayor of the
new amalgamated Auckland
was back-breaking and mind-
Yesterday, a recording of the
police inter view with Banks
revealed he told Mr Dotcom that
his donation to a failed mayoral
bid could be anonymous.
The Crown’s case is that Banks
knew of the $50,000 donation
from Mr Dotcom and $15,000
from Sky City, although the
return listed them as anonymous.
In the 2012 inter view with
Banks played in court he said to
detectives he told the internet
businessman he could make his
Banks said he gave Mr Dotcom’s
security chief a bank deposit slip.
He also confirmed he would have
called Mr Dotcom and thanked
him for his support, despite not
knowing whether the cheques
In the inter view, Banks said he
did not read the electoral return
before signing it because he
trusted his campaign treasurer
who had worked on four
campaigns with him.
He also said he got legal advice
in 2007 that he could fund his
mayoralty race through a secret
trust or do it in the spirit of the
law. He said he chose to be open
Banks said he met Mr Dotcom
at his Coatesville mansion, near
Auckland, and described seeing
six chefs and a goldfish tank
the size of a room. He said Mr
Dotcom talked about playing
video games for four days and
Banks confirmed he had asked
Mr Dotcom for money and
described the entrepreneur as
being on another planet.
He was asked about meeting
Sky City chief executive Nigel
Morrison in May 2010, where
Mr Morrison told police he
handed over a cheque in a Sky
“ I have no memory of this,”
Banks told police he was an
“ honest trader, straight up,
don’t believe I’ve done
anything dishonest, in inverted
commas, in my life.”
The former mayor, who went on
to make a return to parliament
as Act leader, also told police in
the inter view that his campaign
workload was “mind-bending”.
Banks said the electoral return
was prepared by his campaign
treasurer Lane Hutchison. When
asked what his obligations were
in checking the information
in the return, Banks’ reply was
that he had confidence in Mr
The trial resumes on Monday
when Mr Morrison, the final
prosecution witness, is due to
give evidence. — APNZ-NZN
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NEW YORK (US$/OUNCE)
mark tet move t
As at 4pm May 22, 2014
a2 Milk Company
ANZ Banking Gr
Auckland Intl Airpt
3.94 +0.02 218.3
5.48 +0.02 60.83
Diligent BM Services
4.35 +0.06 16.02
DNZ Prop Fnd
4.15 -0 .02 191.5
- 0 .03 742.7
Fonterra Shldrs Fnd
Goodman Prop Tr
1.055 +0.005 110.3
Guinness Peat Gr
2.42 +0.01 88.06
Kiwi Prop Tr
1.16 -0 .005 81.75
1.18 -0 .01 68.13
4.42 +0.24 149.7
Michael Hill Intl
1.28 -0 .01 6.00
Mighty River Power
2.255 -0 .005 12.20
3.40 +0.04 79.52
1.30 +0.02 699.6
0.97 +0.02 46.20
14.40 -0 .04 1.24
1.06 +0.005 20.80
Prop For Ind
3.13 +0.01 2.91
8.41 +0.01 51.69
Sky Network TV
6.43 -0 .02 22.73
- 0 .02 189.8
Steel & Tube
Summerset Gr Hldgs
3.50 +0.04 17.88
2.67 -0 .02 1856
3.58 +0.01 214.3
2.52 +0.01 21.27
Vital Hlth Prop Tr
32.19 -0 .04 24.93
Trading to 10:30am,
Friday, May 23, 2014
DECLINERS: 24 TRADED: 83
Aluminium High Grade
Suspect spending by schools has been
uncovered — including one that gave
thousands of dollars in gift vouchers to
staff, bought from a company owned by
The Auditor-General has criticised
some schools for wasteful spending and
flagged others in financial strife.
Three schools were singled out after
spending tens of thousands of dollars on
overseas trips, including an intermediate
that spent more than $50,000 on travel
and koha for funerals — despite being
singled out before.
In a report on audits of 2012 accounts,
Auditor-General Lyn Provost said
fewer schools had broken the rules than
in previous years.
However, auditors found a number of
schools breached rules. One unnamed
school made payments of $140,000 for
building works to a company where
a board member was a director and
The report also highlighted four audit
reports with items including probity,
prudence or waste.
Otara’s Ferguson Intermediate School
spent about $52,000 to send teachers
to Samoa and Tonga, on conferences
in Melbourne and Prague, and koha
for funerals, despite being marked for
similar spending before. The Ministry
of Education said it was in ongoing
contact with the school and financial
practices looked to have improved
Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O
Whakawatea spent $5120 on Christmas
gifts, bought from a business co-owned
by principal Susanne Simmons-Kopa.
Ms Simmons-Kopa yesterday said the
decision on the vouchers was made by
the board in her absence, and with her
ownership of the business declared.
Te Kura Toitu O Te Whaiti-nui-a -toi
put for ward $38,000 for a trip to Hawaii
for 13 children and six adults.
Nine staff from Manukau’s Viscount
School went to a professional
development seminar in San Diego, at a
cost of $43,000.
Principal Keith Gayford, who went on
the July 2012 trip, said staff from other
schools were also at the conference,
which was hugely beneficial.
“It ’s interesting that the auditors
thought that our spending was
imprudent but theirs wasn’t.
“I think it ’s got something to do with
the fact that we are a poor old decile one
school, and we should know our place.”
government money should not be used
for overseas trips for students and only
in rare circumstances for senior staff.
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Flags raised over school spending
The mother of trainee teacher Tarun Asthana
would often worry her son would get into
trouble on a night out, and last year her worst
fears came true when he was killed by a single
In the High Court at Auckland today, former
navy sailor Grenville David McFarland was
jailed for two years and four months after earlier
pleading guilty to the manslaughter of 25-year-
old Mr Asthana.
He suffered a fatal head injury after he was
punched by McFarland and struck his head
on the pavement outside a central Auckland
McDonald’s in the early hours of November 2
McFarland, 27, had just witnessed Mr Asthana
have an altercation with a woman.
In a victim impact statement read to the court
today, Mr Asthana’s mother Yvette Asthana said
her son’s “sheer cheekiness” got him in trouble.
“ I’m sure that Grenville never thought that his
blow would have killed my Tarun. I hope that in
time he would have realised there was a better
way of dealing with the situation rather than
having to use his fist.”
The Asthanas, who were from India and lived
in Oman for a time, came to New Zealand eight
years ago and Mr Asthana developed a love of
the outdoors and an affinity with children.
His mother said he also loved fast cars and was
intelligent and generous.
“ Unfortunately Tarun came under peer
pressure and got pulled into the drinking culture
of this country. As a mother I was always wary
of what could happen, but he insisted that he
was always safe,” Mrs Asthana said.
“ I tried to make him realise that because of our
colour and who we are we always had to careful
of how we conducted ourselves.”
Mrs Asthana, whose religious faith had helped
her cope with losing her son, said she knew he
was now in a better place and at peace.
The court was told she had accepted an
apology from McFarland and the two parties
had undergone restorative justice.
Defence lawyer Ron Mansfield argued for
his client to avoid jail. He said McFarland was
remorseful and not at risk of further offending.
McFarland had walked away from Mr Asthana
after he hit him, but did not realise how bad the
“ unintended tragedy” was and did not mean to
cause such harm.
When he found out how seriously Mr Asthana
was hurt he immediately reported to the Navy,
from which he had since resigned, and police.
McFarland was now using his experience to
educate others not to use violence in similar
circumstances, Mr Mansfield said.
But while she accepted his remorse and other
positive factors, Justice Pamela Andrews said
only a jail sentence was appropriate. — APNZ
Fatal punch brings jail Dunedin
A fire is raging at a historic
homestead near Glenorchy.
The fire has taken hold in
Paradise Homestead, which has a
category one historic listing.
Queenstown and Glenorchy
were at the scene, tackling the
The homestead has been
It was built in 1883 by New
architect, William Mason.
It sits on 128ha and is owned
and operated by the Paradise
The fire was reported at 9.50am,
and had taken hold in the main
homestead building, southern fire
communications shift manager
Tim Reynolds said.
The historic homestead was
located on the Glenorchy-
Paradise Road, he said.
An extra fire truck from
Queenstown has been drafted in
to help with the large blaze.
There were no reports of
injuries, Mr Reynolds said.
The cause of the fire has yet to
An ambulance spokeswoman
said paramedics were on standby,
but there had been no injures so
The luxury Paradise Homestead
is an exclusive retreat, which can
cost guests up to $1200 a night.
The restored building has been
modernised to include central
heating throughout the property,
including its eight original guest
bedrooms and three bathrooms.
— APNZ-Otago Daily Times
Fire at historic homestead
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
A member of the military pictured wondering what to do next after a Royal New Zealand Air Force Hercules C130 aircraft dropped
a supply load into a vineyard during Exercise Alam Halfa 2014 near Hastings yesterday. Some damage was done to vines and a pallet
narrowly avoided hitting a parked car.
A routine air force exercise went wrong
yesterday when a drop of supplies on large
pallets — delivered by parachutes — landed
in a nearby vineyard.
Several pallets were meant to drop in an
area just outside Hastings, in Hawke’s Bay,
where a number of soldiers are taking part
in a defence force exercise.
A number of the pallets landed in a
neighbouring vineyard, damaging some
One of the loads narrowly missed a
parked car — thought to belong to one of
the workers at the vineyard.
Members of the military were seen walking
up and down the rows in the vineyard,
checking the pallets. Some of the men
were seen with their hands on their heads,
seemingly wondering what to do next.
Royal New Zealand Air Force Squadron
Leader Lyn Coromandel said the pallets of
supplies — dropped from a C-130 Hercules
— had not landed in the designated drop
zone and, as a result, they were looking into
the circumstances behind that happening.
Mr Coromandel said: “Aerial delivery is
a very demanding activity which is why
we conduct training in the controlled
environment of exercises.
“ We train intensively to be precise when
air drops are made.
“ We will be scrutinising very closely
yesterday ’s drop. ”
He said the pallets were for soldiers
taking part in the Exercise Alam Halfa
2014, which has troops in various scenarios
including ambushes, raids and other life-
like cases. — APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Air force in a vine old mess
PICTURE: Otago Daily Times
Oamaru lawyer David Jackson says the decision to dispose of the Oamaru
Courthouse is disappointing.
A photo op of Justice
Minister Judith Collins firing a
pistol has led to a complaint to
the police watchdog.
The National Shooters’
Association said Ms Collins
had broken the law because
she was not licensed to the use
the firearm, and she had shot a
pistol outside of a gun club.
A picture of the minister
firing the pistol at an ESR
testing facility last month was
placed on her Facebook page.
Richard Lincoln complained
to Police Minister Anne Tolley,
who referred the matter to
When police said they would
not inter vene because Ms
Collins had been super vised at
the time, Mr Lincoln wrote a
letter to the Independent Police
He said he had laid the
complaint because he wanted
“one law for all”.
“ We, as civilian gun owners,
don’t want to have these laws
imposed on us with what
appears to be politicians taking
liberties and exemptions that
they’re not entitled to.”
Mr Lincoln said he was not
ruling out a private prosecution.
Ms Collins said she could
not comment on the complaint
while it was before the IPCA.
But Prime Minister John
Key dismissed the complaint
as “ridiculous” and “OTT (over
He was also asked about Ms
Collins’s ownership of a taser,
which usually required a special
“ You’d have to ask her. She’s
never used it on me, so I’m not
aware of her having one. ”
Ms Collins, a former Police
Minister, said the taser was
non-operational and was stored
in a perspex box.
She said it could not be
charged up, “although it would
be tempting occasionally to
be able to”. — APNZ-New
Collins pistol photo triggers complaint
Justice Minister Judith Collins firing a pistol in a photo that
has caused controversy due to Ms Collins’s lack of a firearms
A young mother who
crashed her car into a
park bench, throwing her
two children from the
bonnet, has today been
sentenced for her “foolish
Renee Jackson, 28,
appeared for sentencing
this morning in the
Tauranga District Court.
She pleaded guilty to a
charge of reckless driving
and was fined $500,
ordered to pay $130 in
court costs, disqualified
from driving for six
months and sentenced to
nine months’ super vision
by the Tauranga
Jackson allowed her
children, aged five and
eight, to climb on to her
car bonnet before driving
them around Kulim Park
on May 10.
She crashed into a
park bench throwing the
children from the bonnet
and seriously damaging
her actions as “quite
disturbing” and “very
foolish”. — APNZ-Bay
of Plenty Times
Ex-navy man admitted manslaughter
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