Home' Greymouth Star : July 10th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 3
Death not suspicious
The death of a 58-year-old man,
who was found in Q ueenstown’s
Shotover River yesterday, is not
suspicious, police say. The Arrowtown
man’s body was spotted by a jetboat
operator, who called emergency
ser vices about 10.40am. It was
found in an area of river near Big
Beach, near Arthur’s Point, sergeant
Steve Watt said. The man’s car was
discovered parked near the river and
police were working to notify his next
of kin. — Otago Daily Times
Train victim named
A young man killed in a collision
between his truck and a train in
Ashburton was from Hawke’s Bay,
police say. George Ellis, 22, died
after his truck and the train collided
at a level crossing about 8.15am on
Monday. The impact pushed the truck
off the railway line into a nearby
paddock and the train stopped some
500m further south along the line.
— APNZ-Ashburton Guardian
Burns victim dies
A man critically burned in a fire in
his Gisborne District Council flat
last month has died in Middlemore
Hospital in Auckland. Jonathan
Haronga, 54, suffered extensive burns
to his torso and legs in the blaze in
his Elgin suburb flat. He had been
in intensive care since the day after
the May 21 fire. Mr Haronga was
dragged out of the burning flat by
his cousin Tony Tapp, who happened
to be in the area at the time.
— APNZ-Gisborne Herald
Crash pair critical
Two women are in a critical
condition in hospital after a crash
in Napier on Tuesday night. Senior
sergeant Ross Smith said two cars,
with a single occupant in each,
collided on Prebensen Drive, Napier,
about 6.25pm near the Napier
Hastings Expressway intersection.
Both drivers, one in her 50s and one
in her 20s, had to be cut them from
— APNZ-Hawke’s Bay Today
Swans shot, poisoned
A swan has been shot and two
others poisoned at Virginia Lake
in Whanganui. “ It is a real concern
someone has shot and killed a swan
in a public reser ve,” Whanganui
District Council property manager
Rowan McGregor said. The dead
swan was found on Tuesday and
was reported to police. He said it
appeared swans were being targeted,
with two poisoned last week. They
were recovering at Bird Rescue.
— APNZ-Wanganui Chronicle
Big Wednesday draw
There was no division one winner
in Big Wednesday draw No 455 last
night. Successful numbers were 17,
19, 24, 25, 39, 42; coin toss, heads.
Numbers in Keno draw No 10038: 1,
7, 12, 16, 17, 21, 24, 26, 34, 38, 40, 41,
46, 53, 55, 58, 60, 68, 71, 73. Draw No
10039: 1, 6, 7, 21, 23, 30, 32, 36, 38, 39,
44, 47, 48, 55, 62, 67, 69, 76, 77, 79.
Shake-up proposed for EQC
Arson is suspected in a house fire in
Springvale on Tuesday night, police say.
Firefighters were called out to the blaze
in Fitzherbert Avenue about 9.30pm,
and the road was closed off from the
BP petrol station until at least 11pm.
Fire investigator John Hotter said the
fire started outside the back of the house
near the back door, and “there seemed to
be no plausible cause of ignition at the
Mr Hotter said the fire went through
into the roof and “entered the passageway
of the house. Luckily, it was found out
early,” he said.
The occupants were not home at the
time. — APNZ-Wanganui Chronicle
A police was punched in the head by
a motorcyclist after a high-speed chase
through Dunedin last night.
The officer needed hospital treatment
for his injuries after the man hit him over
the head with his helmet and punched
The incident took place about 10pm
after the police officer signalled the
motorcyclist to stop as he rode through
When the rider refused to stop, a chase
began through the streets of the city,
at one point reaching speeds of up to
The man eventually slowed and crashed
at low speed, but when the police officer
tried to arrest him, he ran at him,
swinging his helmet before punching
him in the head a number of times.
Police back-up arrived and he was
A man will appear in court today on
driving charges, drugs charges and the
aggravated assault of a police officer.
— Otago Daily Times
Labour is proposing a sweeping
overhaul of New Zealand’s disaster
insurance regime including shifting
EQC levies from
premiums to rates bills, lifting the
$100,000 cap on EQC payouts
and putting in a new independent
insurance commissioner whose first
job would be to review the insurance
industry and EQC’s handling of the
Canterbury quake aftermath.
“The Canterbury earthquakes have
highlighted just how under-prepared
both the industry and EQC were to
handle a major disaster” Labour’s
Earthquake Commission (EQC)
spokesman Clayton Cosgrove said.
“Being able to call on EQC’s
natural disaster fund has certainly
lessened the cost of the rebuild for
the rest of New Zealand. However
the earthquakes also exposed some
serious shortfalls, not the least the
lengthy and stressful claims process
faced by affected residents. ”
Labour’s response would be to shift
the current EQC levy which adds as
much as $207 a year to household
home and contents insurance
premiums to the rates collected by
That would mean all residential
properties were covered.
“This will avoid the problem of
uninsured properties not being
eligible for EQC payouts”, Mr
Labour would also introduce a
greater degree of proportionality to
the way EQC levies were calculated
to make sure those with less
expensive homes paid lower levies.
Mr Cosgrove also said the $100,000
cap on EQC payouts, above which
private sector insurers pay out on
quake claims, was “clearly outdated,
and has added to the complexity of
insurance payouts due to the high
number of claims that have exceeded
Labour also wants to introduce
an independent insurance com-
missioner, funded by a levy on
insurers, who would take “a hands-
on role in overseeing the industry
and making sure it works better than
it has when it is most needed”.
“The commissioner’s first task will
be to review and make follow-up
recommendations on the actions of
EQC and the insurance companies
in the wake of the earthquakes.”
Labour last month unveiled plans
to set up a special earthquake court
to speed up insurance claim disputes,
a proposal Earthquake Recovery
Minister Gerry Brownlee said was
unnecessary due to the existence of
a dedicated District Court bench
for the hearing of quake related
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
$NZ KIWI DOLLAR ($NZ1)
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source: interest co nz
NEW YORK (US$/OUNCE)
LOLOLONNNDODODONNN (((UUU $S$/TON
mark tet move t
As at 4pm July 9, 2014
a2 Milk Company
2.095 -0.01 11.67
ANZ Banking Gr
0.985 +0.005 7.65
Auckland Intl Airpt
5.42 +0.02 4.42
Diligent BM Services
4.13 +0.01 1.39
DNZ Prop Fnd
8.85 -0.01 932.2
Fonterra Shldrs Fnd
5.76 +0.02 4.30
5.05 -0.01 1.09
Goodman Prop Tr
Guinness Peat Gr
2.48 +0.015 434.0
Kiwi Prop Tr
14.40 +0.03 1.57
Mighty River Power
3.10 +0.01 6.50
3.61 +0.06 6.00
0.79 +0.02 16.30
1.09 +0.005 21.02
Prop For Ind
8.55 +0.03 12.84
Sky Network TV
6.63 +0.04 496.7
3.88 +0.01 167.3
Steel & Tube
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3.29 +0.02 30.96
2.68 +0.005 4880
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Vital Hlth Prop Tr
1.38 +0.005 3.65
25.40 +0.40 19.26
Trading to 10:30am,
Thursday, July 10, 2014
DECLINERS: 14 TRADED: 78
Aluminium High Grade
Helen Milner during her murder trial.
“ Black Widow ” murderer Helen
Milner is appealing against her
conviction on the single point that she
could not possibly have laced her second
husband’s food with a fatal overdose of
drugs without him knowing.
Defence counsel Rupert Glover
today argued at the Court of Appeal
in Wellington that there was no way
Milner could have crushed up between
14 and 233 Phenergan sedative and
antihistamine pills in Christchurch
delivery driver Phil Nisbet ’s food and
given it to him without him knowing
something was up.
A jury at the High Court in
Christchurch last December found
Milner, 50, unanimously guilty of
murdering Mr Nisbet in 2009, and
guilty of a second charge of attempting
to kill him a fortnight earlier.
The Crown proved that Milner had
slipped crushed Phenergan into 47-year
old Mr Nisbet ’s evening meal and killed
She then made his death on May 4,
2009, look like suicide in the hope of
cashing in a $250,000 life insurance
The mother-of-two nearly got away
with it when police referred Mr Nisbet ’s
death as a suicide to a coroner.
Coroner Sue Johnson raised suspicions
over the death, which prompted police
to launch a homicide investigation.
After Milner was found guilty of the
killing, Christchurch police admitted
that the first investigation had been
In February, Justice David Gendall
sentenced Milner to the statutory life
imprisonment and imposed a minimum
non-parole period of 17 years.
Mr Glover today told Appeal Court
judges Justices Ellen France, Tony
Randerson and Rhys Harrison that he
had spent “literally nights and nights”
thinking about how Milner could have
done the fatal poisoning.
Expert defence witness Professor Ian
Whyte had said it would have required
in the region of 45 tablets to achieve
level of the drug found in Mr Nisbet ’s
But he accepted it could have been as
low as 14.
“I find it very hard to explain that he
wouldn’t have been aware of it, even if it
was just 14 tablets,” Mr Glover said.
“There is an indisputable scientific
point here, based on mathematical
probabilities, that he took more than 14
Justice France pointed to evidence
from the police officer who conducted
tests that a meal laced with 25 pills had
a slightly bitter taste but “wasn’t so bitter
that he wouldn’t eat it”.
Justice Randerson said there was
agreement from expert witnesses that
“14 (Phenergan pills) could have been
Mr Glover again said he had difficulty
with the Crown’s position that Milner
must have administered the drugs to Mr
Nisbet without him knowing.
But Justice Harrison asked Mr Glover
who said that Mr Nisbet never noticed
what he was eating.
Mr Glover admitted that no one did,
leading to Justice Harrison saying his
position was merely speculation.
Mr Glover said it was far more likely
that Mr Nisbet took the fatal overdose
The Appeal Court judges highlighted
evidence of Milner’s previous attempts to
kill Mr Nisbet on April 15, 2009, coupled
with the “suspicious circumstances”
where it was alleged Milner used fake
names and addresses to buy Phenergan
in the days leading up to the murderous
They also said Milner could have laced
his food, given him some capsules, and
dropped Phenergan into his orange juice
Crown lawyer Mark Lillico said it was
“scientifically dangerous to take a punt ”
on how many pills were consumed.
He also reminded the court that
Milner’s son Adam Kearns gave
testimony that he saw his mother on
the night of April 15, 2009, crushing
up pills and putting them into capsules.
Shortly after wards, Mr Nisbet was taken
to hospital after falling unwell.
Family of both Milner and Mr Nisbet
packed into the public gallery today.
Present to witness the appeal was Mr
Nisbet ’s two sons Ben Porter and Zak
Bell, sister Lee-Anne Cartier, brother
Andrew Nisbet, and Milner’s two sons
Adam and Greg Kearns.
Detective Inspector Greg Murton,
who led the successful homicide probe,
was also in court today.
The judges reser ved their decision.
The woman at the centre of a
diplomatic incident and the victim
of an alleged sex attack says Foreign
Minister Murray McCully should
Tania Billingsley, 21, said she
was deeply unhappy her alleged
attacker, Malaysian warrant officer
Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail,
had been allowed to go back to
Malaysia, after mixed messages from
an official at the Ministry of Foreign
In an inter view with TV3’s Third
Degree, the Wellington resident said
she had yet to receive a direct apology
from Mr McCully about errors
made in her case. By having name
suppression — automatically granted
to alleged sexual attack victims —
lifted and speaking out, she was
putting a “face” to the alleged victim.
“ I guess that I’m someone who
has something to say about this
assault. I mean it happened to me
and throughout this whole process,
especially once it’s become so public,
my voice hasn’t been heard,” she said.
“ I think he (Mr McCully) should
Mr Rizalman, a former staff
member at the Malaysian High
Commission, is accused of following
Ms Billingsley home and assaulting
her with intent to rape. He was
arrested on May 9 and appeared
the next day in Wellington District
Court, but invoked diplomatic
immunity and returned to Malaysia
on May 22.
The New Zealand Government
has maintained it always wanted Mr
Rizalman to stay in the country and
face the charges. But an informal,
ambiguous communication from the
Mfat official led to a belief that Mr
Rizalman’s return to Malaysia was
acceptable to New Zealand.
Ms Billingsley, who said she spent
the morning of her birthday being
told by police her alleged attacker
was a diplomat, said Mr McCully’s
actions had been unsatisfactory.
“ I would like an apology from him
(Mr McCully) . . . not just for what I
feel is a really incompetent handling
of the situation but in his reaction,
like the fact that even when asked
directly about me and things like
that, that he just kind of brushed it
off and he was so intent on trying
to put responsibility and blame on
Mr McCully said: “I have publicly
apologised to the young woman
whose distress has been aggravated
by the poor management of this
case. The terms for a full inquiry
are being finalised. I do not wish to
compromise either the inquiry or any
criminal proceedings by commenting
An Mfat spokesman admitted there
had been faults in the handling of Ms
Billingsley ’s case.
“The ministry deeply regrets the
distress caused to the individual
concerned. Mfat chief executive John
Allen has apologised to her publicly
and by letter.”
commander, Superintendent Sam
Hoyle, said officers were continuing
to support Ms Billingsley.
Police did not oppose her decision
to have name suppression lifted.
Labour Party foreign affairs
spokesman David Shearer said the
incident was incompetently handled
and the Government had not treated
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
McCully should go, says victim in diplomatic drama
Eyewitnesses led police to two
youths who fled the scene of a
suspicious fire which destroyed
two Palmerston homes yesterday.
The Fire Ser vice was called to
a house fire on Tiverton Street,
with the blaze jumping to an
old shed next door because of a
strong breeze, about 1pm.
Both unoccupied properties
were destroyed in the blaze.
Constable Lesley Eason,
of Waikouaiti, praised the
eyewitnesses who contacted
emergency ser vices and later
led police to two local youths
suspected of lighting the blaze.
“They did a great job,” Ms
She confirmed the fire, which
was believed to have been started
by an accelerant, was being
treated as suspicious.
Police were also speaking to
the youths about another fire at
a Stromness Streeet house after
a smashed window and burned
curtains were discovered at the
time of the Tiverton Street fire.
“ Fortunately that didn’t take,”
The Stromness Street property
was part of the same deceased
estate as the Tiverton home, and
were both on the market.
An eyewitness, who declined to
be named, rang 111 after seeing
the Tiverton Street home ablaze
“I went over to the ranch slider
and the curtains were falling off
He was worried there was
a person inside but “when
I couldn’t see anyone inside
because of the smoke I didn’t go
anywhere near it”.
A nearby Tiverton Street
resident said, “I was asleep and
woke up choking. I thought it was
my house on fire.”
Palmerston station officer Craig
McCaw said the home and shed
were well ablaze on arrival and
the Waikouaiti brigade was called
as a back-up.
A fire risk management officer
was at the scene investigating the
cause of the blaze, he said.
— Otago Daily Times
Youths quizzed over house fires
PICTURES: Otago Daily Times
Palmerston volunteer firefighter Aaron Frederick checks for hot spots yesterday.
Volunteer firefighters attempt to put out a fire in Tiverton Street,
Palmerston, yesterday afternoon.
Accused gets extra time to digest case
A Masterton man accused of
historic sexual abuse against three
young boys has been given extra
time to enter a plea.
Godfrey Ball, also known as
Geoffrey Ball, a 78-year-old retired
school bus driver and scout leader,
faces 11 charges against boys aged
seven to 16 relating to sexual assault
The alleged offending took place
in Wellington between 1964 and
He appeared in the Masterton
District Court yesterday, where Judge
Barbara Morris granted him an
extension of 10 weeks to enter a plea.
He stood in the dock and bowed his
head as media took photos.
Ball appeared hard of hearing,
asking the judge to repeat a
statement at one point.
Defence lawyer Louise Elder said
Ball had not had the opportunity to
go through all the material received
from the police in disclosure.
Ball faces five indecent act charges,
two counts of indecent assault and
one charge of sodomy against a boy
aged 12 to 16.
He also faces charges of an
indecent act and indecently
assaulting another boy aged between
12 and 16 and one indecent assault
against a seven-year-old boy.
Ball was remanded on bail to
— APNZ-Wairarapa Times-Age
PICTURE: Wairarapa Times-Age
Godfrey Ball in the Masterton District Court yesterday.
Old war mine
Whangarei police are responding to
a report of a possible World War Two
mine washing up on a beach south of the
Northland police spokeswoman Sarah
Kennett said police received call from a
Ruakaka resident about 9.30am today
saying they saw what appeared to be
an old sea mine — a round steel object
with what appeared to be metal spikes
sticking from around it — was floating
about in the surf on Ruakaka beach.
Police put the Auckland-based bomb
disposal unit on standby and went out to
The bomb squad was later dispatched,
although the the sighting had still to be
— APNZ-Northern Advocate
Two men are in hospital, with one in
critical condition, after a crash early
Central police spokesman Dave Rose
said a van carrying two people crashed
on the Ohinepaka overbridge on State
highway 2, just south of Wairoa, at
He said one of the men, who was
trapped, was cut from the vehicle by Fire
Ser vice staff.
St John Heretaunga territory manager
Brendon Hutchinson said a 44-year-old
man and one in his 20s were taken to
The 44-year-old was later flown
by rescue helicopter to Hawke’s Bay
Regional Hospital with chest injuries.
He was in in a critical condition.
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