Home' Greymouth Star : August 6th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 5
New Zealand workers and
businesses are to be denied almost
$180 million in ACC levy cuts
next year as recommended by the
corporation, leaving it with an
embarrassment of riches.
The Government has set aside
the Accident Compensation
that workers and businesses receive
$658m in levy cuts next year,
instead cutting them by $480m as
indicated in the budget.
The smaller cuts were confirmed
by Prime Minister John Key at an
Auckland Chamber of Commerce luncheon
“It comes on top of previous ACC levy
reductions of close to $1 billion that we
announced in 2011-12,” he said.
“These levy reductions are possible because of
a number of factors good management of ACC
and favourable economic factors sustained over
a number of years.
“As indicated in the budget earlier this year,
most of the reductions will be directed at motor
vehicle levies. Other ACC levies have gone
down in recent years, but not motor vehicle
levies and the funding of the motor vehicle
account is growing the fastest of all the ACC
“For 2015-16 the average amount people will
pay in ACC levies will go down from about
$330 a year to $195 a year an average saving of
around about $135 per vehicle. ”
The reduction was made up by a reduction in
the petrol levy of 3c per litre and
a reduction in ACC portion of
annual vehicle licencing fees.
“The licence fee reduction also
incorporates new safety ratings for
cars so you’ll pay an even lower fee
if you have a safer car. ”
The cuts mean vehicle owners
will pay $438m less a year in petrol
tax and registration fees.
ACC Minister Judith Collins
also confirmed work account
levy paid by employers and self-
employed people would fall to 90c
per $100 of liable earnings, down
from 95c. ACC recommended a
reduction to 75c which would have saved $162m
a year. The Government decided against cutting
the earners’ levy which pays for non-work
injuries, which ACC in recommended cutting
from $1.26 to $1.20 per $100 of earnings. That
would have saved salary and wage earners $69m
ACC recommended the cut to the earners’
account and a deeper cut to the work account
following a public consultation process. Those
accounts are now fully funded meaning they
contain sufficient funds to meet all their future
obligations. Without cutting the levies further
as recommended by the ACC they will in effect
be collecting more money than they require
leaving the corporation with the headache of
what to do with the money.
Mr Key said he anticipated further levy cuts
“across all ACC accounts” in the future now that
he was satisfied that ACC was in good health.
— APNZ-New Zealand Herald
A man has admitted a firearms charge
over a fatal west Auckland shooting but
police say there will be no more serious
Allen George Lum, 41, appeared in
the Waitakere District Court yesterday
where he pleaded guilty to unlawful
possession of a firearm and intentional
A firearms charge against his 18-year-
old son Trae Lorenz Lum was withdrawn
The charges were laid after a gunfight
in a Ranui driveway in May.
Josh Roach, 23, died from wounds
he suffered outside the Luanda Drive
property where he lived.
Allen Lum’s other son Ricky was also
shot during the fracas but recovered from
his wounds in hospital.
Police confirmed charges of murder or
manslaughter would not be laid.
“Following a comprehensive police
investigation into the death of Mr Roach,
the information and evidence that was
obtained and collated throughout the
inquiry was the subject of a thorough
review by legal counsel,” Detective
Inspector Bruce Scott said.
“As a result, no charges relating to the
death of Mr Roach will be laid. ”
Police said they had spoken with Mr
Roach’s family and informed them of the
Allen Lum will be sentenced in
October. — APNZ
$180m in ACC
lev y cuts
A man has been taken to Auckland Hospital
after an altercation with a stingray yesterday.
The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust was
called to Harataonga Beach on Great Barrier
Island yesterday after a man on a commercial
fishing boat got a stingray barb stuck in his
Helicopter crew member Greg Brownson
said the barb went straight through two of
the man’s fingers and right into his hand.
He believed it happened while the man was
pulling a net into the boat.
The barb then came straight back out again
and the stingray went overboard, he said.
Mr Brownson said when the crew arrived at
the scene, the man was in a lot of pain.
“ We gave him some pain relief. He felt a lot
better after that, but he’ll be a sore guy later
on I’m sure. ”
The man was taken to Auckland Hospital in
a moderate condition. — APNZ
Stingray barb injures fisherman
The rescue helicopter arrives at the scene yesterday.
A man seen in the area where a
Taranaki grandmother was struck
and killed as she tried to remove
barriers from a busy highway is
being urged to contact police.
Hawera woman Christine
Anne Fairweather, 57, was struck
by a vehicle in the southbound
lane of State highway 3 at
Normanby about 11.50pm on
She had stopped her car and
turned on the hazard lights as she
tried to move metal fence frames
that someone had removed from
the footpath and placed on the
road, blocking the lane. Mrs
Fairweather died at the scene.
Police have been seeking
witnesses who may have seen the
barriers being moved from the
footpath onto the road.
Detective Guy Jackson said
police wanted to speak to a man
seen walking on State highway 3
towards Hawera between 11pm
and 11.30pm on Saturday.
may have seen something which
could be vital to piecing together
the moments up until Christine
tragically lost her life.”
The man was described as about
1.7m tall, of medium build, with
dark skin and short black hair.
He was wearing dark coloured
pants, a black hoodie with a
white design on the front, and
“I encourage this person to
contact police as soon as possible,
and anyone else that may have
seen them,” Mr Jackson said.
Police also wanted to speak to
any motorists who drove down
State highway 3 between 11pm
and 11.45pm on Saturday.
“ We strongly believe other
vehicles have driven down this
busy highway and may have
come across the barriers in the
middle of the road.
“ We would be most grateful
if these motorists could contact
police as they could help us with
our event timeline. ”
Mrs Fairweather’s husband,
John Fairweather, yesterday
urged those responsible to “man
up” and hand themselves in.
He told Radio New Zealand
his wife was always trying to help
others, but her good deed on
Saturday was unfortunately “the
biggest mistake she ever made”.
“I’m gutted. I’ve lost the love of
my life. ” — APNZ
Police seek man seen in area
where Hawera woman killed
An Auckland man who was jailed after
crashing while drunk and killing two of
his friends has been bailed ahead of his
Joel Dylan Bowlin, 22, was sentenced
to 21 months’ imprisonment by Judge
John Bergseng after admitting to causing
the deaths of Ashley Walsh 20, and Tye
Bowlin was also disqualified from
driving for two years and ordered to pay
$650 in reparation to a property owner
whose fence was damaged in the crash.
But in the High Court at Auckland
yesterday, his lawyer John Munro
indicated they would appeal the sentence
of imprisonment and sought bail ahead
of that hearing.
Justice Alisa Duffy granted the
application as Bowlin’s supporters in
the public gallery wept with joy and
mouthed their thanks.
Two women who allegedly stole
donations for a sick girl’s trip to
Disneyland have been arrested.
The girl’s father, Craig Martin, appealed
to the public after the charity box was
stolen from a Mister Minit kiosk at
Westfield St Lukes mall in Auckland
He said the charity box, which
contained hundreds of dollars, was to
help fund a trip to California for his
daughter Lisa, who suffers a serious
Police said two of the three women
who allegedly stole the charity box were
arrested in Hamilton yesterday.
Senior constable Jake van Selm said
the independent Crimestoppers line had
received an anonymous call identifying
“This information was linked to
existing data collected by our team into
the theft of a number of other charity
boxes and tip jars, and yesterday we went
to a Hamilton address and arrested a
41-year-old woman and her 20-year-old
Both women were to appear in the
Hamilton District Court today.
The mother is facing nine charges of
theft, one charge of aggravated assault,
and charges relating to failing to appear
in court and breaching community work
The daughter is facing one charge of
breaching super vision conditions, six
charges of theft and one charge of driving
in a dangerous manner. — APNZ
A High Court murder trial has been told that
police lost an opportunity to gather forensic
evidence during an East Coast homicide inquiry.
Lawrence Huihui Wawatai, 57, has been on
trial in the High Court at Gisborne for more
than a week, accused of murdering his long-term
partner Maryann Akuhata, 48, by setting her on
fire at their Tikitiki home on October 10, 2012.
The Crown case concluded on Monday.
Detective Benjamin Joel, the officer in charge
of the homicide investigation, told the court the
defendant was arrested and charged with murder
on October 15.
However, the defendant ’s clothes were not
tested for the presence of petrol because they had
been put in the wrong sort of bags.
“Due to the way they were packaged, that
evidence was lost.”
Mr Joel denied a defence claim that he had
deliberately held back a report by a Fire Ser vice
fire investigator, from an ESR forensic scientist
who had been tasked with writing a crime scene
Mr Joel said that decision was made by senior
“I was not involved in that decision.”
Undercover recordings taken while two police
officers posed as criminals in the Gisborne police
cells alongside the defendant were again played
to the jury.
Detective D uncan Maclean from Hastings said
he acted as the undercover agents’ controller and
was responsible for creating the fictional cover
stories for two undercover police officers.
The stories included a drug deal that was
fictitiously busted by the police and a second
cover story that involved a fictitious arrest after a
Under cross-examination by defence counsel
Adam Simperingham, Mr Maclean said the
aim of placing undercover police in the cells
with Wawatai had been to gather additional
information. It was not specifically to elicit a
Wawatai is also charged with arson and
assaulting a female.
— APNZ-Gisborne Herald
Man charged with setting
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