Home' Greymouth Star : July 2nd 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - 5
Defence Minister Jonathan
Coleman says he cannot rule out
civilian deaths at the hands of
foreign troops as part of a joint
raid with New Zealand soldiers
An investigation by Maori
broadcast on Monday night
claimed six civilians were killed
and 15 were injured when New
Zealand Special Air Ser vice
troops and Nato forces raided a
village in Baghlan province on
August 22, 2010.
The previous Defence Minister
Wayne Mapp said at the time no
civilians were killed in the strike.
Dr Coleman told reporters
yesterday: “ There is absolutely
no suggestion that New Zealand
were involved in
inflicting civilian casualties or
deaths. Beyond that I don’t really
have any comment to make.”
Asked whether coalition forces
in the joint operation killed
civilians, he said: “ There is no
evidence that they did. But you
couldn’t rule out there may have
been civilian casualties.
“The key thing is New Zealand
Government is responsible for
the actions of New Zealand
New Zealand troops were on
the ground during the mission,
and Dr Coleman had been
briefed that no civilians had been
harmed by ground troops.
The United States military was
using helicopter gunships during
Dr Coleman said “you probably
can’t rule out ” civilian deaths
from these gunships’ fire.
The raid took place two weeks
after New Zealand soldier
Timothy O’Donnell was killed
in Bamiyan province, and it was
seen by some as a counter-attack
or a revenge mission on behalf of
New Zealand’s military.
The mission took place in Talah
wa Barfak District, in a province
province, where New Zealand’s
Provincial Reconstruction Team
was based. It involved New
Zealand’s elite SAS troops, which
were usually based in Kabul.
Nine insurgents were killed in
The district ’s
initially said there were eight
civilian casualties, and a Nato
investigation later revealed a
malfunctioning gunsight on a
coalition helicopter that had
resulted in errant shots hitting a
building. The building was struck
mistakenly, but was previously
used as a base for insurgent
The Native Affairs report was
conducted by journalist Jon
Stephenson. Villagers told him
that there were no insurgents
in the village at the time of the
early morning raid.
Mr Stephenson told TV3:
“They told us their stories,
which were that six people were
killed including a three-year-old
girl and that 15 were wounded,
and they showed us cellphone
footage of the dead. They
presented us with a government
“ I did a lot of other investigation
and confirmed from very senior
Afghani officials, and from
people like hospital directors
and NGOs, that those accounts
Prime Minister John Key told
TV3’s Firstline the Government
did not acknowledge that any
civilians had been killed in the
“ My understanding is the
CDF (Chief of Defence Force)
came in over the weekend,
there was a thorough review
of the particular mission that
the SAS had gone on and my
understanding is that they refute
“They say that there were
insurgents that were killed, but
that was it.” — APNZ
Tow truck driver
It took a jury just 20 minutes
to acquit an Auckland tow-
truck driver accused of taking
an impounded car on an
unauthorised high-speed spin.
Michael Donald Woods
admitted driving the car after
towing it back to his yard for the
police in 2012.
Mr Woods, who now goes by
the name Michael Holliday, said
he took the Nissan Silvia on the
road to make sure he had not
damaged its suspension when he
hoisted it on his trailer.
He defended a charge of
unlawfully taking a motor
vehicle on the basis that he
had not known he did not have
permission to drive the car.
After his two-day trial finished
in the Auckland District Court
yesterday, Mr Woods said the
acquittal felt “hollow ”.
In August 2012, the NZ
Transport Agency suspended
his licence to operate as a tow-
truck driver because it ruled he
was not a “fit and proper” person,
Mr Woods said the prosecution
had been a “set-up” and he felt let
down by what happened to him.
When asked who had set him
up, the 51-year-old said: “It ’s not
hard to put it together.”
Now the trial was over, Mr
Woods said he wanted to focus
on patching up his relationship
with his family, which had been
affected by the charge.
Early on April 15, 2012, Mr
Woods was called by police to
pick up the impounded Silvia
from Mount Wellington.
The Crown initially said he
took the car on a “joyride”
along streets surrounding his
Pakuranga firm, East City
Towing, but prosecutor Leo
Farmer did not use that term
in his closing argument on
Mr Farmer said Mr Woods was
caught out by a GPS tracking
device in the impounded car,
called a Snitch.
Its data showed the car hit
speeds of 113kph and 105kph at
times on a short trip.
When police spoke to him, Mr
Woods initially said he followed
a carload full of boyracers
hanging around his yard, with
the Silvia still on the back of his
truck. He then changed his story
and said he drove the Silvia to
make sure it wasn’t damaged.
Defence lawyer Jeremy Bioletti
told the jury Mr Woods did not
handle the police interview well,
but said people lied for various
reasons. — APNZ
Moa resurrection not so far-fetched
The moa could well be a goer — but
not just yet.
Labour MP Trevor Mallard was in
the spotlight yesterday after suggesting
extinct moa could roam the hills of the
Hutt Valley in coming decades as a
boost to tourism.
His comments to a Wainuiomata
business development breakfast
provoked plenty of criticism but the
resurrection of the bird is not a daft
idea, according to a Whanganui expert.
Whanganui Regional Museum
curator of natural history Mike
Dickison, who did his PhD on
flightless birds and oversees one of the
best moa bone collections in the world,
said the ridicule Mr Mallard faced was
unfair. Mr Dickison saw a copy of Mr
Mallard’s speech yesterday and said
what talked about was nothing new.
“ It ’s certainly not wacky or out of
the mainstream. This is certainly being
talked about. He’s obviously really
excited about it,” Mr Dickison said.
“He’s got a lot of flak. I don’t think
that ’s justified. ”
Mr Dickison said when species
did begin to be resurrected, plenty
of easier ones would come first, but
birds, including the moa, could not be
He said it would be much easier
to resurrect bird species such as the
huia, where similar birds were still in
existence. There was nothing like a
moa around, which made it harder.
Science did not yet have the complete
genome for any moa species, which
would be required before it could even
be considered, Mr Dickison said.
“That ’s the easy part, having all the
“The hard part is how to turn that
into an embryo and hatch it. ”
Mr Dickison said it might be 100
years, it might be 500 years, but it was
“I think you’d be pretty brave to say
‘Oh, you can’t do this’, even in 100
“That ’s all Trevor Mallard is talking
about. And he’s right, it would be nice. ”
— APNZ-Wanganui Chronicle
Scenes like this — a wild moa alive in New Zealand bush — may be possible within the next century.
David Bain is about to
become a father.
Liz Bain, the Christ-
church primary school
teacher he married earlier
this year, is pregnant.
Mr Bain confirmed the
pregnancy last night.
“ Elizabeth and I are
expecting at the end
of November or early
December and our families
and friends are extremely
delighted for us and have
been very supportive,” Mr Bain said.
The pair, who met more than 10 years
ago, tied the knot in front of 80 family
and friends at Trent ’s Vineyard, on the
southern outskirts of Christchurch, in
The newlyweds live together in a small
back-section flat owned by Liz since
2007 in the Christchurch suburb of
Mr Bain, 42, works at a local
His wife still goes by her family name
of Miss Davies at Cotswold School in
the Christchurch suburb of Bishopdale,
where she is a Year 6 teacher and Maori
and Pacific leader.
She is still teaching at school and
not yet showing, a family friend said
“They had plans from the start to have
kids,” the source said.
“They have told their close friends but
just want to play things very quiet.”
Mr Bain was convicted in 1995 of
murdering his D unedin family and
spent 13 years in jail before
being he was acquitted in a
said he was “absolutely
delighted” for the couple.
“I think they will be great
parents and I hope they
have a lovely family life,”
The former All Black
said the “very special
sweeter if Justice Minister
Judith Collins “ had respected the will
of the nation and honoured the report
commissioned by her government in
settling David’s compensation claim”.
Mr Karam was referring to the three
polls conducted in February and March
last year which showed a two-to-one
majority in favour of Mr Bain receiving
A report by former Canadian Justice
Ian Binnie found that on the balance of
probabilities Mr Bain was innocent of
murdering his parents, two sisters and
brother in D unedin in 1994 and had
been wrongfully imprisoned.
Mrs Bain’s mother Carolyn is a long-
time Bain supporter, having visited him
in prison and even billeting him during
his second trial in the High Court in
Christchurch, making his lunch every
When the couple’s engagement was
made public, Mr Bain’s then future
mother-in-law said she was “delighted”
to welcome him to the family.
Baby for Bain
Speculation is mounting that Fonterra
is on the verge of securing a profit-sharing
agreement with a British dairy producer that
will involve the New Zealand milk giant
sourcing whey — a by-product of the cheese-
making process — from the United Kingdom
for use in infant formula destined for major
markets including China.
Citing unnamed sources close to the
talks, Britain’s Sky News reported that
the arrangement could be announced this
week and was potentially of “enormous
significance” to Surrey-based Dairy Crest,
whose brands include Cathedral City cheese
and Clover butter.
The partnership would involve London-
listed Dairy Crest removing minerals from
whey — the liquid that remains after milk
has been curdled and strained — produced at
a cheese plant in Cornwall.
The report said the demineralised whey
would be supplied to Fonterra, the world’s
biggest dairy exporter, and used as an
ingredient in infant milk formula destined
for China and other markets.
Fonterra declined to comment on
Whey protein produced at a Fonterra plant
in the Waikato was wrongly suspected of
being contaminated with a botulism-causing
bacterium last year, sparking a global food
Fonterra bulk whey protein and infant
formula base powder are still banned from
entering the Chinese market following the
contamination false alarm.
However, the Dairy Crest partnership is
understood to be unrelated to the ban.
Fonterra launched its Anmum formula
brand in China last year and the company
also manufactures baby formula on a contract
basis for major multinational food firms.
Rabobank senior analyst Hayley Moynihan
said much of the world’s whey supply was
produced in Europe and the United States —
the world’s biggest cheese markets. She said
global demand for whey had been rising as a
result of its use as an ingredient in nutritional
products such as baby formula and sports
“ How much whey we end up with (in New
Zealand) depends on how much cheese
is made, versus milk powder and other
products,” Ms Moynihan said. “ We’re seeing
globalisation throughout the dairy industry
companies are sourcing products from all
over the world. ”
University of Waikato professor of
agribusiness Jacqueline Rowarth said it
appeared as if Dairy Crest was looking to
gain a foothold in China through Fonterra,
which “could be good for all parties”.
China is the world’s fastest-growing
infant formula market, where retail sales are
predicted to reach $US25 billion by 2017.
Tough new import requirements for
baby formula introduced by the Chinese
Government on May 1 have sent many
manufacturers of the lucrative dairy product
into a state of flux. Only five New Zealand
manufacturers of retail-ready infant formula,
including Fonterra, are registered to export
the product into China.
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
Fonterra deal with UK firm tipped
An Auckland businessman
already jailed for fraudulently
obtaining loans from a vehicle
finance company yesterday
pleaded guilty during a separate
trial to using investor funds for
his own purposes and to repay
After giving evidence at his trial,
41-year-old Mark James Whelan
admitted 10 Crimes Act charges
three of theft by person in a
special relationship and seven
charges of false statement by
Whelan’s trial began in the
Auckland District Court last
The Serious Fraud Office,
which brought charges against
Whelan, said they related to
his involvement with options
trading company Derivatek New
Zealand and his own company,
Global Futures Trading.
From mid-2007 until February
2009, Whelan used Global
Futures to obtain funds from
high net worth individuals to be
traded through Derivatek, the
SFO said. Whelan used investors’
funds to fund an advance fee for
a $US20 million ($22.8 million)
loan, for personal use and to
repay other investors.
In order to conceal this activity,
Whelan issued false statements
to the investors, the SFO said.
Derivatek director, Auckland
stockbroker Greg Arnott, also
pleaded guilty to SFO charges
last month for his involvement in
Arnott and Whelan are next
due to appear in the Auckland
District Court tomorrow.
In May last year, in a separate
case, Whelan was jailed for
four years four months after he
pleaded guilty to 66 charges of
fraudulently obtaining loans
from Motor Trade Finances.
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
A roadside office used by police has
been smashed off its foundations by a
speeding driver in a stolen car.
The small green office, owned by New
Zealand Transport Agency, sitting just
off State highway 1 at Uretiti, Northland,
is used by police weighing and checking
Early on Saturday the driver of a grey
Subaru L egacy bowled into the office,
shunting the structure sideways about
The badly-damaged car was dumped at
the scene and a police dog and handler
were called to track, but had no luck
finding the driver and any passengers who
may have been in the car about 12.15am.
Whangarei detective Dave Wilkinson
said the car, which was reported stolen
last week, was extensively damaged and
had been towed away to be examined.
Mr Wilkinson wanted to hear from
anyone who picked up any hitchhikers
on State highway 1 after midnight on
Police would still be able to carry out
checks of heavy vehicles without the
The building was declared a write-off
by the NZTA which hoped to have some
form of office up within a month.
Spokesman Ewart Barnsley said the
wiring infrastructure to the building
was not damaged. “ We have inspected
the building and we are committed to
getting something up there as quickly as
possible.” — APNZ-Northern Advocate
Hunt on for shed-smashing driver
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