Home' Greymouth Star : May 27th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 - 3
Chemical theft concern
Police in Auckland have issued
a warning over the theft of a
dangerous chemical which looks
and smells like coffee. The chemical
lignosulfate, which was scooped
from a 25kg bag at an Avondale
factory yesterday, was highly toxic
and should not be ingested, police
said. Anyone who came into contact
with the chemical should call the
Fire Ser vice and seek urgent medical
assistance. — APNZ
Boaties, dog rescued
Two fishermen and a dog were
rescued from Wellington Harbour
after their dinghy sank in rough
conditions yesterday. All three were
rescued by the police launch after
the alarm was raised about 12.35pm.
Police said the two boaties made
a 111 call as their 4m aluminium
dinghy was taking on water near
Steeple Rock, Seatoun. The pair
had been rowing the boat, which
did not have a motor, to the rock
to fish. They turned back, realising
weather and sea conditions were too
dangerous, but the boat was hit by
high waves and sank. The two men
were checked by ambulance staff but
did not need treatment. — APNZ
Child causes house fire
A youngster playing with a lighter
caused a fire that gutted a bedroom
at a rented Tauranga home and
resulted in a man being admitted
to hospital with smoke inhalation.
Maunganui fire station officer Roger
Pickett said the “potentially life-
threatening” fire started by the young
child was contained to one bedroom
but also resulted in smoke damage
to the rest of the Ngatai Road house.
Emergency ser vices were called at
3.45pm on Saturday. The man had
managed to get the two boys out but
suffered smoke inhalation.
— APNZ-Bay of Plenty Times
Two treated after fire
Two people were taken to Nelson
hospital with moderate injuries
following a house fire on Sovereign
Street. The Fire Ser vice responded
at 4.30pm yesterday to a two-storey
house well involved in fire. One
person was rescued from inside
the house and suffered smoke
inhalation. The fire was extinguished
and investigators were at the scene,
emergency ser vices said. — APNZ
A 21-year-old man is in custody
following the alleged stabbing of a
man at a Wellington home yesterday.
Police said they were called to a house
in Paparangi just after 2pm and found
man, in his 40s, suffering stab wounds.
He is now in stable condition at
Wellington Hospital. The 21-year-old
will appear in the Wellington District
Court today charged with wounding
with intent. Police said the two knew
each other. — APNZ
Numbers in Keno draw No 9950: 1,
8, 18, 26, 28, 32, 33, 41, 44, 53, 55, 68,
69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 76, 78. Draw No
9951: 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 28, 34, 36,
46, 47, 51, 52, 61, 64, 69, 72, 73, 78, 80.
Arrest after grim find
One person has died and two others are
injured after a stolen car crashed in the
Police said the vehicle was found
overturned at 6.30am on Hebden
Crescent, a road that runs alongside
State highway 2.
Inspector Mike Coleman said a male
was dead at the scene, while two other
occupants, a male and a female, were
taken to hospital.
One was taken to Wellington and the
other to Hutt Hospital, he said.
Mr Coleman said the overturned car
had been stolen, and it appeared no other
vehicles had been involved in the crash.
It was not known when the crash
The police serious crash unit is
investigating. — APNZ
Stolen car in
Kiwi Rail has launched an investigation
into a train crash this morning that left
one person with minor injuries and
another person treated for shock.
The passenger train derailed at 8.08am
at Melling Station, Lower Hutt.
Witnesses said about 70 people were
waiting for the train when it failed to
stop and smashed into the concrete
platform, eventually hitting a pole.
“It’s a very serious incident and we’re
very sorry it happened,” Kiwi Rail chief
executive Peter Reidy told reporters this
Of the 10 passengers on the train, one
had minor cuts and was taken to hospital.
She has since been discharged.
Another passenger was taken to
hospital to be treated for shock.
He did not want to comment on reports
that the train driver had told passengers
that the brakes had failed, and to brace
themselves for an impact. Nor would
he comment on a report that there was
grease on the rails this morning.
“Sun strike, the status of the driver, the
speed, the state of the rails — was there
any ice on there? It was quite cold this
morning — that will all be part of the
“All that will come out in due course, in
terms of the root cause of the incident. ”
The train’s black box and video camera
footage will be examined, he said.
There had been no indication of any
problems with the train, he said. It had
been ser viced 14 days ago and all trains
were inspected every morning before the
He said he was confident the trains
running tomorrow would operate well.
“ We have very rigorous inspection and
maintenance procedures. We carry 11
million passengers a year in the city, and
we have very very few incidents. So this
He said a train crash on April 15 last
year was still being investigated.
“At this stage, it ’s not related to this
He hoped the line would reopen by this
He said today was not a day to discuss
whether Kiwi Rail had enough funding
to run a safe operation. — APNZ
An arrest has been made in the
investigation into the disappearance of
Auckland mother Blessie Gotingco.
The arrest followed the discovery of a
body at a local cemetery. More details
are expected late this afternoon.
It is expected Operation Lynsey will
be upgraded to a homicide investigation
after a body was found in the Birkenhead
Cemetery, not far from Mrs Gotingco’s
Mrs Gotingco’s husband Antonio, who
was visiting the Philippines when the
56-year-old went missing on Saturday,
is expected to arrive back in Auckland
He is travelling home with Mrs
Gotingco’s brothers and they are
expected to go straight to the family
home on Salisbury Road to support the
couple’s three children.
A family friend said news that a body
may have been found had been relayed
to the Gotingcos’ children.
When asked how they were coping,
the friend said, “Devastated is an
Another friend posted a message on
the Help Find Blessie Facebook page.
“ P lease pray for the family. They need
all the strength and support at this time.
Blessie’s husband and brothers are due
to arrive today. We wish them all the
support and strength at this difficult
time,” the post said.
“ Keep them in your prayers.”
Birkenhead residents milled around
the cemetery, shocked that their usually
quiet community could be the scene of
Tracey Flaws said Mrs Gotingco’s
disappearance was “frightful” for the
“ I’ve lived here all my life and I don’t
feel safe any more especially at night,”
“ It ’s such a shock. You see this stuff
in the news overseas you sort of expect
it. But not in little New Zealand and
especially little Birkenhead.
“This isn’t right, that poor woman.
There’s children left behind. Being a
mother, that really hit home. It ’s such a
Mrs Flaws said she would be more
vigilant about her and her family’s safety.
“ People are sick. The frightening thing
is that it looks like she was just grabbed
off the street.”
Another resident said the situation
made her feel sad.
“ Why do people do this?” she asked.
“I hope and pray that they find the
person who did this. It’s so very sad. ”
Staff at Tower Insurance in downtown
Auckland, where Ms Gotingco worked,
were supporting each other following
the news of a discovery.
A staff member who did not want
to be named said Ms Gotingco, who
worked in the sales department, was very
“Everyone is just really sad. We’ve been
sent e-mails asking us to keep Blessie
and her family in our thoughts. She was
a very valued person.”
The staff member said the mood was
sombre in the offices.
“It ’s just quiet. People are trying to do
their work but everyone’s thinking of
Blessie. We all loved her. ”
A “bright” themed day had been
scheduled on Monday, was been cancelled
following news of Ms Gotingco’s
disappearance over the weekend.
“ We got messages on Sunday telling us
what had happened — that ’s when we
found out about her.”
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
$NZ KIWI DOLLAR ($NZ1)
$$$$N$NZZ KIKIWIWI DDOLOLLLAARR ($NZ1)
OLOLOLONNN ODODODONNN (((UUUS$/S$/S$/S$/OOOOUNUNUNCCCCE)E)E)
PRPRPRPR CECECECEC OIOIOIOIO SUSUSUSUS MEMEMEMETTTTAAAATTTT LLLLSSSSS
source: interest conz
NEW YORK (US$/OUNCE)
mark tet move t
As at 4pm May 26, 2014
a2 Milk Company
2.195 -0 .005 15.89
ANZ Banking Gr
36.50 +0.05 41.18
0.975 +0.005 29.52
Auckland Intl Airpt
3.88 +0.01 71.26
- 0 .005 21.93
Diligent BM Services
DNZ Prop Fnd
1.645 +0.005 29.92
4.31 -0 .03 92.86
Fonterra Shldrs Fnd
5.95 +0.03 11.61
Goodman Prop Tr
1.045 -0 .005 96 .50
Guinness Peat Gr
0.68 +0.005 26.18
- 0 .07 14.02
Kiwi Prop Tr
1.185 -0 .005 133.8
Michael Hill Intl
Mighty River Power
1.30 +0.01 28.94
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Sky Network TV
- 0 .01 540.5
Steel & Tube
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36.91 -0 .14 147 .9
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Trading to 10:30am,
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
DECLINERS: 24 TRADED: 79
Aluminium High Grade
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Police guard the cemetery on Eskdale Road in Birkdale in connection with the search for Blessie Gotingco.
Close to 30 firefighters battled
through gales for hours to save
a century-old homestead east of
Masterton that was showered
with flaming cinders from a blaze
that destroyed a nearby barn on
Wairarapa principal rural fire
officer Phill Wishnowsky said
crews from Masterton, Carterton,
Tinui and Mauriceville fought
the blaze for four hours from
about 9pm on Sunday.
The two-storey barn that was
razed was about 100m from the
homestead, he said. It was set
alight by sparks carried on high
winds from a nearby area where a
controlled burn had been lit days
Mr Wishnowsky said two water
tankers had been scrambled to
the property and water also was
drawn from a nearby creek to
fight the blaze, which took until
about 1am to contain.
Five firefighters and a water
tanker stayed at the scene
overnight and dampened down
“ It was a massive save and a
huge effort under extremely
trying conditions. The crews spent
as much time spraying water on
to the house as they did on to the
shed,” he said.
“If the firefighters hadn’t
done what they did, the house
would have been flattened —
Homestead owner Jan White,
who has lived at the property
for about 16 months, lauded the
firefighters for saving her home.
“At first there were only a few
sparks blowing across. Next
minute there were great big
things happening — it was just
like fireworks, only horizontal
— some were like inch square
flaming cinders going right over
the top of the house,” Mrs White
“I didn’t think there would be a
chance of them saving it. At one
point I thought I was going to
lose my home. I just couldn’t see
how they were going to contain
it because the wind was just so
strong. You could hardly stand up
“It was dangerous just being
here. I’d stored sheets of iron in
the barn and there were sheets
from the roof flying through the
air as well. It really was scary.”
She had only weeks earlier
shifted her saddles and horse-
riding gear from the barn but had
lost her winter supply of wood in
Close to a dozen neighbours
had at first helped to fight the
fire, hosing down the house and
splashing water on its walls.
A small area of garden caught
alight at her back porch where an
ember landed among pea straw
and firefighters took over from
her neighbours and sprayed foam
and water on the house.
“Those firefighters were amazing
— just amazing. It’s all thanks to
them, and my neighbours who
helped as well.”
Mrs White said the former
owner of the homestead was the
late sculptor Ken Kendall, who
before his death in 2012 had
transformed the attic of the barn
into a working studio for himself
and visiting artists.
Kendall, who had joined the
Order of St Francis, had thrown
open his home to fellow artists
and planned to establish a
She said Kendall had
commissioned architectural plans
for the revamp of the barn, which
had originally been used to house
Mr Wishnowsky said the blaze
was “a timely reminder to check
the current and long-range
weather forecasts before lighting
a fire” and also to ensure any
controlled burn was completely
— APNZ-Wairarapa Times-Age
Firefighters praised for saving homestead
PICTURE: Wairarapa Times-Age
Farm worker Bill Neumann at the site of a century-old two-storey barn razed in a fire during a
wind storm east of Masterton on Sunday night that threatened the Whangaehu Homestead in the
After a week of prosecution witnesses
calling his character into question,
friends and associates of Act Party MP
John Banks today praised his honesty
“ I actually would say that ’s what
defines John, as I know he held it in such
high regard,” philanthropist and public
ser vant Dame Jenny Gibbs said when
asked about those character traits.
“ In any conversation he would tell me
he’s appalled by dishonesty, he’s appalled
by lack of integrity. I literally would say
that ’s what defines John.”
She was one of several character
witnesses called by Banks’s defence team
as the Act Party MP defends a charge
of filing a false electoral return where he
allegedly knowingly received political
donations from Kim Dotcom and Sky
City that were recorded as anonymous.
The allegations against Banks relate to
two $25,000 donations from Megastuff
Ltd on Mr Dotcom’s behalf in June
2010 and $15,000 from Sky City in
May that year when Banks was making
an unsuccessful tilt at the Auckland
Dame Jenny said she knew Banks
came from a tough background his dad
had done jail time and a young Banks
had slept rough under bridges.
“ I know him always as someone who
was determined to overcome that and
create and honorable life and life of
public ser vice. ”
Patricia White, who along with her
late husband Tony founded Tony ’s
Auckland, remembered Banks starting
work there as a dish washer. He worked
his way up to be a partner in the business,
Mrs White said.
David Hay was Auckland deputy
mayor under Banks between 2001 and
2004 and 2007 and 2010. He said Banks
was committed to the job and “called a
spade a spade”.
The first witness called today was
Banks’s 2010 campaign PR man Scott
He recalled being passed a Sky City
envelope by Banks one day in May 2010.
Banks told him to pass it to campaign
treasurer Lance Hutchison.
Mr Campbell, a former TV3 political
reporter who was contracted to Banks
in 2010, told the court Banks came back
from a meeting at Sky City with an
He gave the envelope to Mr Campbell
and asked him to give it to Mr Hutchison.
Mr Campbell passed the envelope on
to Mr Hutchison, who was working in
the boardroom at the town hall, saying:
“ Banksy told me to give this to you.”
But under cross-examination, Crown
lawyer Paul Dacre, QC, questioned why
Banks had not given the envelope to Mr
Mr Campbell said Banks might not
have known Mr Hutchison was working
in the boardroom.
Yesterday, Sky City chief executive
Nigel Morrison said he had handed
Banks a $15,000 cheque in a company
envelope at a short meeting set up for
Sky City had no desire for the
donation to be anonymous and no one
had approached the company asking if
the donation should be anonymous, Mr
Mr Campbell said that Banks had a
full programme on June 9 — the day Mr
Dotcom signed two $25,000 cheques for
Mr Dotcom claims Banks lunched at
his mansion the same day the cheques
were signed — but Banks and his wife
say the lunch took place four days
Banks did not give evidence but the
court was last week played a lengthy
inter view he had with police in 2012.
The defence case has no closed and after
a break tomorrow Crown prosecutor
Paul Dacre, QC, and defence lawyer
David Jones, QC, will make their closing
statements on Thursday to Justice Edwin
Wylie. — APNZ-NZN
TV3 news is no longer allowed to show
footage from John Banks’S trial for filing
a false electoral return, and the network
apologised to the Act New Zealand
MP in last night ’s 6pm news for airing
a clip that appeared to show him eating
something he picked out of his ear.
The footage was shot last Thursday,
when the High Court at Auckland was
played an audio recording of a police
inter view with Banks in June 2012 and
aired on that night ’s 6pm news.
It had since been posted on You Tube.
Justice Edwin Wylie, who is hearing the
case without a jury, yesterday summoned
TV3 to explain the use of the footage.
TV3’s lawyer Clare Bradley said the
decision was made at “producer level”,
but the network now conceded it was a
“ bad judgment call”.
Justice Wylie agreed and revoked
TV3’s right to shoot or air any more
pictures from the trial, his delivery of the
verdict, and sentencing, should Banks be
He was also concerned the pictures
were shot outside the first 15 minutes
of the day, when television cameras are
allowed to film the accused at a trial.
“ I do consider this a serious breach of
the in-house guidelines. The issue that
concerned me the most was that the
footage was used in a way that I do not
consider to be fair and balanced, and it
seems to me this footage was used out
of context. ”
When Ms Bradley offered an apology
to Justice Wylie and “the system”, Banks
called out that he should receive an
apology as well and that it should be
aired on the news.
Ms Bradley said two matters were
considered when it was decided to air the
footage. “It was certainly our view that
there was no fair trial issue in relation to
this footage,” she said.
“Considerable weight was given, I
guess, to the fact that Mr Banks has
been in the public eye for a considerable
number of years and could be easily
described as a robust individual who
would not be impacted by this footage. ”
TV3 banned from court footage
Hone Harawira’s Mana Party has
confirmed an election year deal
with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party.
Mr Harawira announced the deal
had been finalised this morning
at Parliament at a joint press
conference with Internet Party
chief executive Vikram Kumar.
Mr Harawira said the formal
relationship had “taken us a while
to get to this point ” with Mana
members taking time to “get their
heads around what an alliance may
“o ver whelming
majority of members” were in
“ We’re looking for ward to where
we go from here.
Mr Kumar said he was “absolutely
delighted” to have come to an
The alliance which will be
known as the Internet Mana Party,
represented “a credible choice for
New Zealanders in the coming
election” and it was hoped the
alliance would encourage young
New Zealanders to engage in the
coming election and help reverse
the declining trend for young voter
Mr Harawira will be at No 1
one on the joint entity’s party list
with an Internet Party candidate at
No 2 and Mana at positions three
Mr Kumar said the Internet
Party’s leader, a key issue in
discussions between the two parties,
would be announced on Thursday.
Mr Harawira acknowledged
some Mana Party members were
not happy about the alliance.
Senior member Sue Bradford had
previously indicated she would
leave the party if the deal went
Ms Bradford told Radio Live this
morning she had quit the party.
Mr Harawira said Mr Dotcom’s
looming extradition hearing and
whether Mana would support his
efforts to remain in New Zealand
had “not even come up once” during
discussions over the last few weeks.
“It’s not a matter on the table at
Matters around financing of the
joint entity’s election campaign had
yet to be finalised.
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Mana, Internet parties form alliance
A Queenstown police constable
has pleaded not guilty to an offensive
Constable Jenny McNee, 43, was
charged in March after an internal
investigation into an alleged incident
involving a local taxi driver in
McNee was scheduled to appear in the
Queenstown District Court today.
However, she entered a not guilty
plea before the scheduled appearance
and the case has been adjourned for a
judge-alone trial in Q ueenstown on
Otago rural acting area commander
Inspector Andrew Burns has previously
confirmed McNee remains on leave
without pay for unrelated reasons.
It is understood cab camera footage of
the alleged incident has been provided
to police by Queenstown Taxis.
— Otago Daily Times
Officer denies offensive language
A driver was seriously injured in a crash
in Whakatane last night.
Police said the vehicle flipped going
around a right-hand bend on State
highway 30 near Te Rahu Road in the
eastern Bay of Plenty around 8.30pm.
The driver, and only person in the
vehicle, was taken to Whakatane
Hospital with serious injuries.
Police were investigating. — APNZ
Driver badly hurt
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