Home' Greymouth Star : June 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Thursday, June 5, 2014
Police open day
Anyone who wants to get a peek
inside the Greymouth Police Station
without being arrested will have the
perfect chance next Saturday, June
14, as part of the police national
open day. It will be the first time
police stations have opened their
doors to the community on a
national scale. Visitors will be able to
view displays and information that
include search and rescue, armed
offenders, the public safety unit,
traffic enforcement, a police dog and
recruiting, and will also get to chat
to police staff. All 12 police districts
will be involved in the Come and
Discover NZ police campaign, to
gain an understanding of what a
modern police ser vice looks like.
The Greymouth station will be open
from 10am to 2pm.
The motorist who chose the Kaniere
Domain to do some ‘wheelies’ on
Tuesday afternoon had not banked
on being watched by a witness, who
passed on the vehicle registration
number to police, who nabbed the
offender straight afterward. The driver,
a 26-year-old man from Hokitika, was
charged with wilful damage.
A patient who inadvertently left
their cellphone behind after an
appointment at the Buller Medical
Centre yesterday, returned 10
minutes later to collect it, only to
find it had been stolen. The theft
took place some time between
4.15pm and 4.30pm. The missing
smartphone is a Xperia model,
coloured black with a white base.
Anyone who thought that May
was wetter than normal was right
— it rained for over half the month.
Greymouth saw 188mm of rain
over 20 days through the month,
compared to 123mm over 14 days in
May 2013. Consequently, sunshine
hours were down to 94 hours for the
month, compared to 137 hours last
year. Winter showed itself before
it had even arrived officially, as the
coldest day of May was the last one,
when the temperature dipped to
4degC. The warmest day was May
5, when the mercury fell just short
of 18degC. Meanwhile, Reefton saw
fewer days of rain, but when it did
there was plenty of it, as 242mm fell
over 17 days, compared to 90mm last
year. Reefton temperatures dropped
to -4degC on May 27 and got up
to 18degC on May 3. May 6 was
the wettest day in both areas; 42mm
falling in Greymouth and 55mm in
Reefton. Reefton weather recorder
Tony Fortune said it had been a
milder and wetter month than a year
ago. “ The first wintry blast affected
the town with a flurry of snow which
just settled but was quickly washed
away on the 26th of the month.”
Former Minister of Conser vation Helen Clark
says she has “no recollection whatsoever” of the
Haast-Hollyford road reser ve being removed
from maps during her tenure.
Those wanting to build a toll road along the
route through South Westland, from near Haast
to near Milford Sound, have been questioning
government departments in recent weeks over
how the road reser ve came to be removed.
Their focus has narrowed to the period
around 1989 when Ms Clark was minister of
conser vation (August 1987 to January 1989)
in the fourth Labour government led by David
An April 21 post on the Friends of the Haast-
Hollyford Highway facebook site pointed the
finger directly at Ms Clark. It said it had been
“c onfirmed” the transfer of the map to the
electronic database was completed in 1989,
and that was when the road reser ve between
Cascade and the Pyke River disappeared from
“ Investigation now is focused on the actions
of the Labour Minister of Conser vation in
1989 and her counterpart in land information
and what instructions were given by whom in
relation to the line’s removal and non-inclusion
in the electronic cadastre.”
DOC administers the land either side of the
route of the proposed toll road.
Ms Clark is now administrator of the United
Nations Development Programme and is based
in New York.
The full response received by the Otago Daily
Times from Ms Clark’s office yesterday read:
“ Helen Clark has no recollection whatsoever
of the matter referred to. She also notes that
she ceased to be minister of conser vation on
January 30, 1989. ”
Haast Hollyford Highway Ltd project co-
ordinator Bruce Smith said yesterday: “Look,
she says she knows nothing about it. And that ’s
Asked if he took Ms Clark at her word,
Mr Smith said he was awaiting an Official
Information Act request for documents from
“Once we have been provided the information,
we will be able to make an informed comment
on whose finger is in the pie.”
Mr Smith has provided the ODT with a 1976
letter supporting his belief there was a legal road
reser ve. The letter was from the chief sur veyor in
Hokitika, O L Amor, to the resident engineer of
the Ministry of Works and Development.
Mr Amor wrote the Public Works Act
of 1882 defined a road as “ being a public
highway whether carriageway, bridle path or
footpath” and his conclusion was the road
“ would be legal” under section 110a of the
Act. Letters from various government officials
at the time contained the same conclusion.
— Otago Daily Times
An American visiting New Zealand
on a working holiday visa, who suffered
a severe brain injury after driving drunk
and crashing his car near Franz Josef
Glacier, was fined $950 and banned
from driving for six months when he
appeared in the Greymouth District
Court, on Tuesday.
Tyler Wood had been drinking in
Franz Josef with friends on April 25
when, after being refused any more
alcohol at a bar due to his intoxication,
he got into his car and headed north
However, just 2km out of Franz
township he lost control of his car on a
bend, ploughed off the road into a ditch,
which his vehicle then carried along for
Wood was unconscious when he
was cut out of the car and put into an
ambulance at 3.30am.
He suffered a severe brain injury,
a fracture and a number of cuts and
bruises. A blood test at Grey Base
Hospital showed a result of 120mcg per
litre of blood.
Lawyer John O’Connell said the
accident was serious enough that it
would have left most people in a coma.
Judge Robert Murfitt said nothing
he could say to Wood compared to the
brain injury that he had suffered.
“ Hopefully, youth and resilience will
allow you to largely recover,” the judge
Drunk tourist left with
'severe' brain injury
A 29-year-old Hokitika woman charged
with two counts of burglary was remanded in
the Greymouth District Court on Tuesday to
see if she had managed to get a place on a drug
and alcohol rehabilitation course.
Aroha Reihana had previously stolen $1000
from her employer, a cafe in Hokitika, as well
as $100 from someone’s house.
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Reihana had
previously gone to prison many times and it
had not helped her get off the “treadmill of
offending”. She also had had a good job at the
cafe, and had bitten the hand that fed her.
Reihana had 39 previous dishonesty-related
convictions to her name.
However, she was now addressing her drug
and alcohol issues, and was in a culturally
beneficial programme to raise her self-esteem,
and help her connect with her roots, Mr Bodle
Judge Robert Murfitt said Reihana had been
in and out of jail for this type of offending.
Given her past, these crimes were almost
“predestined ” to happen.
She had wasted the money on alcohol and
gambling. Alcohol, along with her upbringing,
had led her to these crimes.
He said Reihana should be prepared to meet
the victims of her crimes, and to make peace
with those she had offended against in her
The judge remanded her until July 1 to see if
she could get on to a rehabilitation course at
He Waka Tapu.
A 27-year-old Hokitika man was fined $250
after a boozy night out in town ended with
him being arrested for disorderly behaviour.
Steffan Aitken had been out drinking at
Stumpers Bar in Hokitika on May 23 with
friends, when he abused a number of other
customers, and made sexual advances to a
After being told to leave the bar, he tried to
punch the bar manager, and landed a punch.
He then went back to the bar and continued
abusing customers again.
He was subsequently arrested by police and
spent about 40 minutes in police cells.
Grant David Sandler, of South Westland,
was sentenced to 160 hours of community
work and banned from driving for a year, after
Sandler was charged with refusing to
accompany the arresting police officer, as well
as refusing to provide a sample of blood. He
had earlier pleaded guilty to the offences.
Judge Murfitt said it was Sandler’s fourth
Lawyer Richard Bodle said Sandler had
been grieving the loss of a relative, and was
drinking with friends when he went to see
another friend. Police had reportedly seen
him drive from one house to another, before
arresting him at the second address.
He had drunk about five litres of beer.
Mr Bodle said Sandler was concerned about
his vehicle being confiscated, as a friend
whose car had been damaged in an accident
was borrowing his at the moment. He said it
would, therefore, be better for Sandler’s vehicle
not to be confiscated.
Police prosecutor Steven Greer said he
was concerned that in the rural area where
Sandler lived, where there was only one local
policeman, Sandler would have a strong ability
to use the vehicle.
However, Judge Murfitt said as there had
been an arrangement with Sandler’s friend for
her to use the vehicle, it was not necessary to
A man who repeatedly breached a protection
order was sentenced to five months’ home
detention at his address in Hokitika.
Graeme Thomas Stewart, 34, had been
under a protection order from the mother of
his children, since 2011.
He then breached a deferred sentence
by breaching the order, for which he was
sentenced to 120 hours of community work
Judge Murfitt said Stewart had breached the
protection order yet again.
He had been looking after his children,
while his partner said she had been visiting
a deceased relative in Australia. However,
when Stewart had not returned the children,
his partner contacted him on the matter.
Judge Murfitt said Stewart had sent a
number of gross, racist and abusive texts to his
partner, threatening her and their children.
Lawyer Eymard Bradley said Stewart had
previously committed the same offences,
however his recent pattern of offending had
diminished. He said Stewart was concerned
that his children, aged four, five and nine, were
now living in a “gang environment ”.
He said Stewart admitted that in committing
the offence, he had “lost the plot ”.
Woman who stole from employer remanded
Thursday June 5
Urgent Cases Only
Phone 769 9300 first
Grey Medical Centre
family would like to
thank those who have
given support during
Graeme's illness and
passing. To all who
attended the service, for
flowers, cards, mess-
ages, visits and baking it
has all been very much
The administrators of Postie Plus
have found a foreign buyer for the
retail chain’s assets and business, a
day after their appointment.
PWC’s David Bridgman and
Colin McCloy reached a conditional
agreement to sell Postie Plus as
a going concern to an overseas-
based retailer which does not have a
presence in New Zealand.
The buyer is conducting due
diligence over the next three
weeks, with the sale expected to
be completed within the next
four weeks, they said in a
A PWC spokeswoman declined to
name the prospective buyer.
Postie Plus will continue trading
while working through the sale
process, which Mr Bridgman
and Mr McCloy said is in “the
best interests of the company ’s
stakeholders, including its secured
creditors, trade suppliers and
other creditors, landlords as well
as the company ’s more than 600
administrators on Tuesday after
unsuccessful attempts to recapitalise
the business, including an attempt
to find a buyer or a new cornerstone
In April, Postie Plus said it was
in breach of its lending covenants
and expected to remain so for the
foreseeable future, meaning its bank
funding is repayable on demand.
But the arrangements it had in place
with its bank were sufficient to meet
the company ’s forecast funding
requirements up to July 30.
The company was hit by supply
chain disruptions in the summer of
2012 and 2013 after outsourcing its
distribution centre to a third party,
while shifting its headquarters to
Auckland, where it anticipated
After receiving legal advice, Postie
Plus said it intends to “vigorously”
pursue a damages claim.
Postie Plus shares last traded
at 7.3c, before being halted last
Thursday pending an announcement,
and the stock market suspended it
on Tuesday after the administrator
appointment. — N Z N
Foreign buyer found for Postie Plus
of the Hokitika Guardian
A petition opposing the shift of
the Pioneer Statue has amassed
over 200 signatures in a few days.
Organiser Nancy Prangnell said
those signing had so far expressed
three main concerns.
“A lot of people don’t want it in
the middle of the street because of
the traffic,” Mrs Prangnell said.
They were also concerned at the
cost of the shift when the money
could be better spent elsewhere,
while mainly older people simply
wanted to see the statue to remain
where it had stood for the past 100
Mrs Prangnell, who is a member
of the Westland Ratepayers’ and
Residents’ Association, said she
had raised the petition purely
as a concerned individual and
it was “solely for” Westland
She had been spurred on by
the lack of good process at the
council level, which recently did
a u-turn and ratified a suggestion
to shift the statue to the middle of
“It wasn’t done democratically
there was no process,” Mrs
Routhan said her motivation
was to secure the statue on its
original site in Fitzherbert Street,
especially given that things were
now in train at the council level to
have it moved.
“ What our concern is is that
one day we go down there and
suddenly the statue is not there,”
Mrs Routhan said.
The fact the council had backed
the idea to move the statue
and reallocate money to repair
monuments in central Hokitika,
meant the fight was by no means
over, she said.
“ We’ve got to be prepared for
anything that might arise. We’ve
got to have the numbers. We want
to get more than 400, that ’s the
Mrs Prangnell said the alternative
to shifting the statue was to have it
“raised up” on the current site and
repaired to a high standard.
The pair plan to continue to
solicit signatures daily in central
Hokitika for the rest of the
The West Coast ’s only Catholic secondary
school has ticked most of the boxes in the
latest Education Review Office (ERO) report.
The report, released this week, says John
Paul II High School is making good progress
in the areas of learning, the curriculum, and
Principal Kieran Stone said the report was
“encouraging and reaffirmed what we thought ”.
“It gives us some clear direction and shows
that we are in good heart,” Mr Stone said.
Since the last review the principal and
senior leaders had strengthened systems for
identifying and monitoring students’ progress
in all year levels, as well as improving student
performance at NCEA levels, ERO said.
The school had also introduced a new
pastoral system to improve the well-being and
academic needs of all students.
The report said there was a need to review
the effectiveness of provisions for ‘gifted and
talented students’, and the school was well
aware of that.
There had been a number of positive
developments with the curriculum, but
strategic planning for career programmes
needed some more attention.
Progress had also been made with promoting
success with Maori students, but the school
needed to clarify its vision, strategic direction
and leadership responsibilities in promoting
success for Maori, as well as involving
Maori students and their whanau actively
in the planning and decision-making
The review team noted that the board of
trustees needed to review its own effectiveness.
Mr Stone said the ERO process was “positive
and painless” and the advice and guidance
philosophy of ERO was welcome.
Statue petition gathers momentum
John Paul II High School
ERO report 'encouraging'
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Polytechnic restaurant launches lunch menu
Richelle Duran prepares a dish of tuscan chicken as part of today ’s launch of the lunch menu provided by Tai Poutini Polytechnic
students at the Tutoro Restaurant. Since 1993 the polytechnic has operated a training restaurant on campus in Greymouth. All
meals at the Tutoro Restaurant are prepared by students on the professional chef programme, while the hospitality students take
responsibility for all the front of house ser vice.
of the Westport News
Solid Energy’s crisis
has claimed another
Kaipara Ltd will make
an early exit from its
ine contracts at the end
of this month. Kaipara
employs 28 at the
Kaipara director Steve
Riddell said the decision
was reached on Friday.
“This is something
we’ve mutually agreed.
It’s driven primarily by
the massive downturn
in coking coal price and
“O bviously that ’s
incredibly difficult ...
it’s just recognition
they ’re got tough
Kaipara has two
contracts at Stockton.
One contract — to
develop the new Cypress
Mine pit and remove
vegetation — had been
due to end in March
next year, Mr Riddell
said. The other — a
drilling contract — had
been scheduled to finish
in September 2016.
Mr Riddell said
three of Kaipara’s 28
Stockton workers would
stay on to run dry hire
equipment for the
Stockton Alliance, doing
removal work at Cypress.
Another four drillers
might transfer to the
alliance if it was unable
to find competent
specialised drillers within
its own ranks.
Kaipara has been a
contractor at Stockton
for 25 years. Mr Riddell
said the door remained
open for it to gain more
Stockton contracts in
The early exit was
agreed to last Friday, he
on expected job cuts at
Stockton is expected
The Westport News
says it could include
cutting up to 200 jobs
and scaling the mine
operation back from
seven to five days a
The Grey District Council is
looking to establish Greymouth
as a cycle hub.
“We have the hub, but it is
only half finished,” Mayor Tony
Kokshoorn said at the council
meeting this week.
The council would look to
employ a co-ordinator to
lead an informal group with
public input. The meeting
acknowledged that the cycle
trail was proving popular
with residents and growing in
popularity with tourists.
Mr Kokshoorn said the council
needed to make sure they did
not lose momentum.
“ We need to create that hub.”
He suggested that signs could
be added to the start of the
trail, opposite the Greymouth
Railway Station, giving times
Council looking to establish Greymouth as a cycle hub
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