Home' Greymouth Star : July 5th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
2 - Saturday, July 5, 2014
A new $100,000 concrete bowl is
complete at the Greymouth skate park,
and is good enough to attract world-class
The Skate Park Development Trust has
spent the past 18 months planning and
fundraising for the materials for it.
It has received grants and donations, but
more is required to complete the upgrade
of the rest of the park.
“It ’s nice that people have given freely
time and money,” trust member David
The bowl, which is deeper than a
swimming pool, is the first and largest of
three stages to be completed.
Next are plans to link the bowl to the
rest of the skate park, and revamp the old
part, a process that trust member Mary
Prendergast said “won’t take long”.
Experienced skater Dave North had a
big involvement in the construction of
the bowl and put in at least 1000 hours
He said it would attract the attention of a
lot of out-of-town skate enthusiasts.
“It’s a world-class bowl where kids can
learn to be world-class skaters,” Mr North
The trust plans to put up a sponsor’s
board in appreciation of those who have
donated and volunteered time and money
to the project.
“It ’s really brought out the best in people
in the community,” trust member Kerri-
Anne Wilson said.
The trust said the project could have been
finished in January had the rain held off.
They started with nothing, but said it
was the member’s children who were
involved in skating that were the driving
force behind it.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Dave North, David Russ, Kerri-Anne Wilson, Mary Prendergast and Michelle Griffin.
World-class skate park ready to roll
find out Monday
mineworkers will find out Monday
which of them has a job.
Solid Energy is cutting 185 jobs at
the mine — 135 from the Stockton
Alliance and about 50 contractors.
Today is the last day for Stockton
Alliance workers to tell the
company whether they want jobs or
On Monday, those working day
shift will finish early at 2pm so they
can go to Solid Energy’s Westport
office and pick up letters revealing
decision” on their fate.
Manufacturing Union West Coast
organiser Garth Elliott said that
jobs would finish immediately for
those workers to be laid off.
They would then have until
next Friday to appeal and receive
their final decision the following
Monday, July 14.
Those made redundant would be
paid out in lieu of notice.
Mr Elliott said the union had just
discovered that workers seeking
voluntary redundancy would be
required to work a month’s notice.
“The guys weren’t aware of this.
Everybody has been told all the way
through the process that those to be
made redundant aren’t required to
return to work, so we’ve got a little
bit of an issue on our hands with
Solid Energy declined to respond
However, it confirmed the 135 job
losses would include those taking
Solid Energy has said it has to
cut its Stockton workforce and
production by about a quarter
in response to continuing low
international coal prices and the
high New Zealand dollar.
The cuts are expected to save
$60 million this financial year, but
Stockton is still facing a $61m loss.
Solid Energy has refused to rule
out more job losses at Stockton if
international coal prices fall further.
A Dunedin family and at least one
of the city ’s car dealerships have
been linked to an investigation
into an alleged $1 million fraud
within the D unedin City Council’s
Citifleet department, it has been
The Otago Daily Times has
been told about 25 of the vehicles
missing from Citifleet appeared
to have been sold to members of
a D unedin family, unconnected to
the council or to any city motor
vehicle dealership, before being
Much of the sales history has
been identified by staff from
independent financial consultant
Deloitte, who are examining
transactions while investigating
alleged fraud for the council.
The sale of vehicles is believed
to have continued for more than
a decade, with up to 100 vehicles
understood to have disappeared
over that period.
Sale proceeds amounting to
about $1m are believed to have
been pocketed, up from a “six-
figure sum” suggested earlier.
Allegations of “backhanders” are
also being investigated, the ODT
has been told.
Transactions with Dunedin
City Motors are being examined
as part of the inquiry, it has been
The company is understood to
have sold new vehicles to the
council and to have bought used
vehicles from the DCC, as part of
Citifleet ’s regular vehicle renewal
It appears at least some of the
proceeds from the sale of second-
hand council vehicles to the
dealer had not been included in
the council’s accounts, the ODT
Dunedin City Motors dealer
principal Robert Bain, contacted
by the ODT, yesterday confirmed
his company was “assisting
Deloitte in their inquiries”.
He denied any improper conduct
by his company ’s staff.
Details of five transactions over
an eight-year period had been
provided, following a request from
Deloitte’s staff, he said.
Mr Bain declined to elaborate
when asked for details.
“I am not aware of specifics, but
I understand Deloitte are making
inquiries with other (car) dealers,”
Allegations a handful of car
dealers had been favoured over
others in the city are being
investigated, as the bulk of council
vehicles were supplied by one or
two companies while others were
not invited to tender for the work.
The actions of past and present
council staff — dating back
more than decade — are also
understood to be under the
microscope, as Deloitte scrutinises
the failure of external and internal
audits and processes within the
council, it has been confirmed.
The ODT understands that
includes, but is not limited to, the
actions of Citifleet team leader
Brent Bachop, who died suddenly
on May 21.
Members of the D unedin family
believed to have purchased and on-
sold about 25 of Citifleet vehicles
were not related to Mr Bachop.
They are believed to have kept a
share of the proceeds after buying
Citifleet vehicles and on-selling
them to third parties, the ODT
Council chief executive Dr Sue
Bidrose would not be drawn on
details of the complex investigation
yesterday, or the identity of those
involved, saying Deloitte needed
to finish its work first.
“ It’s the Deloitte report that ’s
going to help me distinguish
rumour from where we have
The Deloitte report is expected to
be completed by mid-August, and
Dunedin Police, while being kept
informed, are not yet involved.
Deloitte partner Kyle Cameron
declined to comment when
contacted last night.
An Air New Zealand safety video featuring
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models is in the
process of being withdrawn, the airline says.
The Safety in Paradise video, which
featured bikini-clad models in Rarotonga,
will be phased out completely by the end of
An Air New Zealand spokeswoman said
the airline typically changed safety videos
every few months, and said the video was not
being removed because of public pressure.
The process of phasing in the previously
recorded Bear Essentials of Safety video
featuring Bear Grylls began on their fleet
about a week ago, and the process is almost
complete, she said.
Air New Zealand video stirred up
controversy after more than 6000 people
signed an online petition asking for the video
to be removed.
The petitioner said the safety video
“completely disregarded” those passengers
who found it offensive.
Feminist commentator and Labour
candidate for Rangitikei Deborah Russell,
also voiced her disappointment.
Air NZ bikini video being withdrawn
An 11-year-old girl was hit
by a truck right in front of Bob
Clarkson’s eyes this week, and it is
something that will stay with him
Mr Clarkson, from Timaru, was
in his campervan waiting to turn
right from West Street onto East
Street near the KFC corner when
the accident occurred. The victim
remains in Christchurch Hospital
in a serious but stable condition
with a broken leg and a broken
Mr Clarkson said as the girl
who was hit started to run across
the road with a friend, he yelled at
them to stop. It was all he could
do, but it was not enough. One of
the girls ran straight in front of
his camper van straight into the
path of a northbound ACL truck
and trailer unit.
“I wound the window down and
said ‘that ’s dangerous’. When I
yelled out ‘stop’ one girl stopped
but the other one I still have no
idea why she kept going,” Mr
“I did everything I could to stop
it; I couldn’t have done any more.
How she wasn’t killed, I have no
Mr Clarkson is still shaken by
what he saw and is being helped
by Victim Support. He was one of
the first to get to the injured girl
and did what he could to help,
before taking it upon himself to
divert traffic until police arrived.
Mr Clarkson was worried that
next time, that might not be the
“The truck driver had the
presence of mind to put the brake
on so quickly but he took the girl
with him for about six feet,” Mr
“The driver I don’t blame him
because there’s no way he could
have stopped that quickly.”
Like Matthew Bird, another
man who was there when the
accident occurred and helped
in the aftermath, Mr Clarkson
wants to see something done
about the intersection. It was an
increasingly busy stretch of road
and it wasn’t safe to cross.
“How many more accidents
are going to happen there before
someone does something about
it?” he said.
Witness yelled at girls to ‘stop’
A drug dealer who sold
undercover police three times
has been sentenced to 18 months’
Heta Ropitini, 33, was
sentenced to 18 months’ in
prison in the Rotorua District
Court yesterday after previously
pleading guilty to supplying
possessing the Class A drug for
Judge Phillip Cooper said the
offending occurred over a two-
day period in March, where
Ropitini sold a total of $700
worth of the drug to undercover
The first officer purchased $400
worth of methamphetamine
from Ropitini before returning
for another $200 worth.
The following day, another
undercover officer purchased
$100 worth of the drug off
Ropitini, Judge Cooper said.
Judge Cooper said Ropitini was
affiliated with the Black Power
gang and had admitted to living
off the proceeds of drug dealing.
His lawyer, Moana Dorset, said
he was “deeply remorseful” for
“He has a huge appreciation for
the impact of methamphetamine
in the community and fully
understands the gravity of his
actions,” she said.
Ms Dorset said Ropitini did
not hesitate to take responsibility
for his actions and noted his
early guilty plea.
She also noted his desire to
turn his life around and become
a good role model for others.
Judge Cooper said he took into
account Ropitini’s early guilty
plea and his remorse, but said
it did not take away from the
severity of the crime.
serious problem in the Rotorua
community, and elsewhere in
New Zealand,” he said.
“A sentence should deter and
discourage others for supplying
such a dangerous and harmful
Drug dealer sent to jail for 18 months
Henry. — The family,
relations and extended
family would like to
express their warm
thanks and appreciation
to all those friends and
relations who sent cards,
flowers and support at
Joe's farewell. As so
many addresses are un-
known we wish to thank
you for your support and
caring and making Joe's
Kindest regards to all.
From the Skeats
memory of a dear
sister, aunt, friend and
neighbour. Taken from
A battler to the very end
Constantly in our hearts
A year ago you passed
To Heaven you have
gone to stay.
And though we try to
For you we will forever
We miss you each and
Your love, your strength,
your caring way.
and extended family and
Old Fashioned Values,
Old Fashioned Ethics
Jane. — June 28, 1913
- May 11, 2014. Joe,
Barbara, Kathleen, Marg
and Judi, Paul and
David, and their families
wish to sincerely thank
all who have loved,
comforted and supported
us during this sad time.
Please know that we
strength and comfort
from all the tears and
laughter shared, the
cards, the letters, the
visits, the phone calls
and beautiful flowers.
Thank you all for your
shared memories, we are
truly humbled and grate-
ful for your support and
thank everyone who
shared with us in cele-
brating Barbara's life
and farewell on May 17.
Your presence made it
easier on that difficult
day and helped make
that day a fitting tribute
for a wonderful lady.
Finally we acknowledge
and thank Bishop
Selwyn Life Care and
John Rhind Funeral
Home for their comfort,
care and professionalism
in maintaining dignity to
the last. Quoting from
Barbara herself “The
more you put into life,
the more you get out of
it”, and Barbara certain-
ly did, 100 years, 10
months and 13 days. She
touched many lives and
didn't expect anything in
return, she did it with
pleasure. Please accept
this as our personal
acknowledgment of our
sincere thanks and deep
Ph 768 0250
Why have your loved
ones taken away
from the Coast for
The only Funeral
Home in Greymouth
services on site
Ensuring you get Expertise
and Qualified Funeral
years have gone so fast,
there is so much we
have wanted to share
with you, we will raise a
glass to you tonight.
Miss you Dad
Mason and family.
July 5, 2011. In loving
memory of a wonderful
wife and mother.
Forever in our hearts
Always treasured in
Reg, Stanley, Gillian,
Michael, Jennifer, and
Gordon (Dave). — On
July 2, 2014. Dearly
beloved husband of
Bingjing Jiang, father to
Sonia, grandfather to
Kyra and Maya, and
loved brother to Peter,
Jan, Ali and Max. At
Hospice Wanganui after
a long battle, aged 67
years. Peaceful at last.
Friends are invited to
attend a celebration of
Dave's life in the Forrest
Lawn Chapel, 208 Guy-
ton Street, Whanganui
on Tuesday July 8, 2014
at 1pm to be followed
by private cremation.
Dempsey & Forrest
www.dempseyandforrest.co .nz .
Labour leader David Cunliffe
has drawn criticism and support
by telling a Women’s Refuge forum
yesterday that he was sorry for being
“Can I begin by saying I’m sorry,”
“I don’t often say it. I’m sorry for
being a man right now, because
family and sexual violence is
perpetrated over whelmingly by
men against women and children.
“So the first message to the men
out there is: wake up, stand up and
man up and stop this bullshit!”
His message went down well
with the over whelmingly female
audience. One woman told said she
had moved away from Labour but
his speech had won her vote back.
Refuge chief executive Heather
Henare said the Labour Party had
consulted her about its policy, unlike
the National Government, which
announced its policy on family
violence this week.
But the head of a study that has
followed the lives of 1265 people
born in Christchurch in 1977,
Professor David Fergusson, said
Mr Cunliffe was wrong to say
family violence was perpetrated
over whelmingly by men against
“The research by the Christchurch
study suggests that the rates of
domestic violence perpetration by
men and women are similar and
in many instances involve mutual
violence between couples,” he said.
“ Women do suffer more in terms
of fearfulness and related outcomes.”
He questioned a report by the
Family Violence Death Review
Committee last week which found
that, although 17 out of 63 New
Zealanders who died from domestic
violence from 2009 to 2012 were
men, only one was the “primary
“It’s quite difficult to assess this
if one partner is dead, but what we
do find in our study is that violence
is usually mutual and there isn’t a
New Zealand Herald
Cunliffe: Sorry for being a man
Most Labour voters prefer the Green
Party to NZ First if Labour only
needs one of them after the election
and Labour leader David Cunliffe has
hinted the Green Party would have the
edge if that was the case.
Half of the voters in the Herald-
DigiPoll sur vey said Labour should
go with the Greens if Labour was able
to form a government with just one
party compared to 35% who chose NZ
Among Labour voters polled, 59%
chose the Green Party to 38% for NZ
First. About 42 per cent of National
voters also said the Green Party against
37% for NZ First.
Mr Cunliffe said Labour’s aim was to
be able to work well with either or both
“ but of course we have a strong long-
standing relationship with the Greens
On current polling, Labour is likely
to need more than one support party to
govern — currently the bloc of Labour,
the Greens, NZ First and Internet
Mana is about seven points behind the
National aligned parties.
Mr Peters would not comment and has
consistently refused to say which party
he would prefer to go into government
Asked if Mr Peters should state a
clearer preference before the election,
Mr Cunliffe said “I think it would be
an advantage to voters to know what he
would prefer to do.”
However, he said he respected Mr
Peters’ right to wait until the election
results were known.
He said his preference was to include
both parties in any arrangement, similar
to National’s agreements with Act,
United Future and the Maori Party.
Mr Cunliffe said Labour had a lot
in common with both, on economic
policies with NZ First and in other
areas with the Green Party.
New Zealand Herald
Greens outpoll NZ
First as choice of
A man armed with a knife
attempted to rob the Ngapuna
Takeaways last night.
Rotorua police detective sergeant
Tony Colby said around 8.45pm a
man entered the shop, brandished
a knife at the owner and demanded
money. The owner ran out the back
of the store and the offender also
left the store. Police were called
and an investigation is under way to
identify this person. Mr Colby said
it was possible that two offenders
were involved, and that they may
have run off into the Ngapuna or
Sala St areas. Rotorua police would
like to hear from anyone who
witnessed what happened or saw
any suspicious activity in the area.
Armed robbery at Rotorua takeaways
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