A car was fished out of the Wairau River last week. Photo: Supplied.

Sinking car sparks police call out

A partially submerged car was pulled out of the Wairau River after shocked bystanders alerted police.

The blue Holden Barina was discovered in the water about 4pm on Thursday near Hillocks Road north of Spring Creek.

Police attended the scene and the car was carefully hoisted out.

A police spokeswoman says the incident was not reported as an accident.

“Typically, in instances such as this, the local council would be notified to have the vehicle removed,” she says.

The injured man is likely to have all his medical treatment costs, which could run into several thousand dollars, covered by ACC. File photo.

ATV theft ends in tears

A man has been seriously injured after he was thrown from a farm vehicle minutes after it was allegedly stolen.

The unnamed man, believed to be a Frenchman in his 20s, was left with a badly mangled hand and had to be flown by Life Flight to Hutt Hospital for surgery.

He faces possible finger amputation after falling from the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) as it overturned on Friday, causing crush injuries.

A 24-year old associate of the man was arrested and appeared in Blenheim District Court on Monday morning charged with burglary and has been remanded on bail.

A police spokeswoman says the two men had taken the ATV from a farm near Taylor Pass Road on the outskirts of Blenheim shortly before the crash.

“A man and an associate accessed the farm in the vicinity of Taylors Pass Road, Blenheim where they located an all-terrain vehicle.

“The vehicle was driven for a short time before it overturned. The man was found by police at Wairau Hospital,” she says.

Under the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) scheme, the injured man is likely to have all his medical treatment costs, which could run into several thousand dollars, covered.

An ACC spokeswoman says that those visiting New Zealand should still have travel insurance for injuries that aren’t covered by the scheme such as illnesses, or other events like lost luggage.

The injured man was in a stable condition in Hutt Valley Hospital on Monday, a spokeswoman from Hutt Valley District Health Board says.

His associate is scheduled to appear in court in February.

Police were called to the PAK’n SAVE carpark on Friday night. Photo: Supplied.

Supermarket stabbing

A man has been seriously injured after being stabbed in a supermarket carpark in Blenheim.

Police were called to the PAK’n SAVE supermarket carpark on Westwood Avenue about 8pm on Friday after reports of a fight.

The patient was first taken to Wairau Hospital in Blenheim before being transported to Nelson Hospital by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter.

A police spokeswoman says a man was stabbed and two people have been taken into custody.

“A man sustained a serious but not life-threatening stab wound.

“Police continue to make enquiries into the circumstances of the incident.”

Anyone with information may help is urged to contact Blenheim Police by visiting the station or calling 105.

Information can also be provided anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Boaties in Marlborough will be under the watchful gaze of automatic speed cameras. Photo: Supplied.

Speeding boaties caught on camera

Automatic speed cameras are catching out speeding boaties in marinas across Marlborough.

Hi tech cameras in Picton, Waikawa and Havelock Marinas are recording every vessel as it arrives and leaves.

Around ten people have been slapped with $200 infringement notices since the cameras were installed.

Acting Harbourmaster Jan Eveleens revealed the cameras have been calibrated to a high standard, like those used by police officers.

He says the Marlborough District Council funded cameras came after an idea to install signs like those that flash up speeds for motorists.

Acting Harbourmaster Jan Eveleens. Photo: Supplied.
Acting Harbourmaster Jan Eveleens. Photo: Supplied.

“I thought we should have them in the marinas, but they were not accurate enough.

“It’s been a bit of an experiment as they [the new cameras] were picking up waves and seabirds but they’re much better now, very accurate.”

The camera at Havelock was installed last winter while the Picton and Waikawa cameras were put up in December.

They record every vessels’ speed as they arrive and leave in the marina.

Boats going above the limit are instantly recorded and an alert goes to the Harbour Master.

Infringement notices are sent to boat owners by the council for breaking local bylaws.

Jan says people flouting the 8-knot speed limit as they arrive at Havelock Marina and the 5-knot limit in place at Picton and Waikawa will face fines.

“There have been some serial offenders but what we are seeing is that once word gets out is that people are slowing down.

“We had one boat coming into Havelock that drove straight into one of the beacons and the boatie hurt himself.

“People can hurt themselves if they are going too fast.”

The Harbourmaster will also monitor speed limits on the lower Wairau River from the State Highway 1 Bridge to below the Blenheim Rowing Club.

Jan says there have been reports of jet skiers on this stretch of the river going too fast.

The maximum speed in this section of the river is 5 knots.

“We want people to slow down and be safe,” he says.

Jessica Boyce has been missing since March 19. Photo: Supplied.

Birthday tribute for missing Jess

It was her 28th birthday, a day she should have spent with those who loved her, but instead those gathered remembered a girl conspicuous by her absence.

A vigil to mark missing Renwick woman Jessica Boyce’s birthday was held in Seymour Square in Blenheim on Sunday evening.

People gathered to remember the young woman they all know as Jess, to share stories about the “bright and bubbly” girl they all loved.

And as the chime of the last bell rang out from the clock tower at 7pm, a rendition of Happy Birthday filled the air, followed by a minute silence.

People gathered at Seymour Square to mark what would have been Jessica Boyce’s 28th birthday. Photo: Paula Hulburt.
People gathered at Seymour Square to mark what would have been Jessica Boyce’s 28th birthday. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Her close friend and cousin, Aaron Goodwin, says the event was a chance for people to reflect and share.

The family wanted members of the public to be able to attend as they have been “so helpful and supportive”, since Jessica’s disappearance in March last year.

Jessica went missing on March 19 last year. Her disappearance was upgraded to a homicide investigation in October.

Her case is now being treated as a homicide by Blenheim detectives in charge of the investigation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan says those responsible were likely acquaintances of Jessica’s.

Aaron, who grew up alongside Jessica, returned to live in Blenheim on Friday, moving back to the town he grew up in from Dunedin.

It’s been a “confronting” few days, with memories everywhere he looks, he says.

It was her friends who came up with the idea of marking her birthday.

Amid the stories shared and fond memories of the bright-eyed blonde, were tales of parties past.

Speaking to the Marlborough Weekly last year, Aaron described Jess as very sociable and easy to get on with.

The Help Find Jess website started by her family is now named Remembering Jessica Boyce.

She always believed the best in people, says Aaron.

“She was so innocently naïve and genuinely did not understand about consequences, but she was not the hard woman that some people seem to think she was.

“We’re talking about an almost 30-year-old woman whose favourite movies were old Disney ones.”

Her friends spoke of her fun-loving nature, her kindness and willingness to help. Her absence is felt by all who know her, Aaron says.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

War time memories stolen in heritage heist

Precious war time memories, including a soldier’s medals and postcards home have been stolen by callous thieves.

A haul of heritage items has been taken from a padlocked storage container in Ward used by trustees from Flaxbourne Heritage Museum.

Items belonging to Private Arthur Wooding were among a cache of historical items swiped.

Arthur Wooding. Photo: Supplied.
Arthur Wooding. Photo: Supplied.

Flaxbourne Heritage trustee Sally Peter says she is struggling to put into words how upsetting the theft is.

“It’s a real violation. He served for future generations of the community to be here; they’ve taken something sacred away.

“We were looking after then for the future and I can’t help but blame myself for this,” she says.

The theft is believed to have happened between 23-24 November.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.
Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

A book commemorating Arthur’s first communion at St Peter’s Church in Ward on 3 February 1929, four medals, a small uniform repair kit and a pair of binoculars are among items taken.

Sally says she had been going to pick items up from the container when she discovered the padlocks had been cut open.

The museum’s ANZAC collection had been near the doors as it is used every year to commemorate the special day.

“I don’t think they knew what they were looking for and think maybe they got a fright and ran off as there was heavy stuff left outside.

“The ANZAC boxes were close to the door as I use them every year for a display at Ward Hall.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.
Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

“I feel I could have done better,” she says.

The Flaxbourne Museum collection has been stored in two shipping containers in Ward following the magnitude 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2016.

Other items, not part of the Wooding Collection, were also stolen, including an intricately engraved cornet, once part of the popular Ward Band.

A lantern off the shipwreck Wakatu was taken in the break in and an old inkwell from Ward School.

Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.
Items belonging to Arthur Wooding have been stolen. Photo: Supplied.

Sally says telling Arthur’s family about the theft was “awful.”

“This was a box containing precious memories from a man’s time away fighting for our country, including his medals, photos, postcards, his sewing kit for quick mends, his binoculars, buttons, badges and other things pertaining to his years spent away.

“How low can you get and how dare someone violate this privacy and his memory.”

Police are investigating the theft and anyone with any information can contact police via 105.

Jessica Boyce’s disappearance is being treated as a homicide by police. Photo: Supplied.

Family share victim’s photo to shame killer

The family of missing woman Jessica Boyce want people to share her photo on social media to help shame her killer into coming forward.

Jessica’s cousin Aaron Goodwin has posted a new profile pic of the smiling Renwick woman, who disappeared on March 19.

He urged people to share the photo in the hope it would prick someone’s conscience.

In the post he says how he hopes the post would propel people to come forward.

“Beautiful Jess. Keeping her as my profile photo in solidarity with investigators and everyone else trying to get justice for Jess.

“Hopefully seeing Jess everywhere might break the conscience of whoever is involved and propel them to come forward.

“Anything’s worth a shot, eh? If anyone else wants to do this, even just for 48hrs it would be really cool to her smiling face everywhere,” he wrote.

Possible forensic evidence relating to the homicide investigation has been seized by police from a Blenheim home.

Police working on the disappearance of Renwick woman Jessica Boyce, 27, searched a house on Warwick Street and another on Henderson Street last week.

Detective Senior Sergeant Ciaran Sloan says the occupant of the Warwick Street address was spoken to by police on Thursday, but no arrests have been made.

“A second warrant was executed at a Henderson Street address and samples of potential forensic value were seized.

“The investigation continues to receive information from the public and investigators are steadily working through inquiries that have been generated from that information,” he says.

Forensic scientists from crime scene specialist firm ESR assisted police at both addresses.

Jessica was last seen in a red Holden Rodeo ute in Renwick.

The ute was found three days later at the Lake Chalice car park in the Mount Richmond Forest Park but police bosses think it was left there deliberately to hinder the investigation.

Detective Senior Sergeant Sloan says enquiries are ongoing.

Tracey Phillips says it’s a “matter of time” before someone is injured near Girls’ College. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

Hundreds of school speeders stung in traffic operation

A recent speed sting has left Marlborough police “disappointed” with hundreds of drivers flouting road rules.

Almost 300 tickets were issued in four hours on Tuesday to motorists speeding past Marlborough Girls College on Nelson Street in Blenheim.

New Zealand Police Marlborough prevention manager senior sergeant Peter Payne says the result is “incredibly disappointing”.

“Even small increases in speed result in a much greater increase in your stopping distance,” Peter says.

“That can mean the difference between life and death for pedestrians, so it’s vital that drivers slow down around schools.”

Mother-of-two Tracey Phillips says it is “just a matter of time” before someone is seriously injured or killed outside the high school.

“I sit there every day waiting for my daughter and it makes me cringe how fast these vehicles go,” Tracey says.

“It’s a ridiculous, crazy situation and I don’t know why they can’t slow down; I think it’s getting worse too.”

Her concerns come as New Zealand Transport Authority reveal a planned pedestrian crossing controlled by traffic lights may be shelved.

NZTA Top of the South system manager Andrew James says the decision to combine both Marlborough Girls’ and Boys’ Colleges on the same site has delayed the promised crossing.

“Our funding and design was based on specific location and traffic movements, so the move of Boys’ College onto the Girls’ site adds a new layer of complexity,” Andrew says.

The ‘road policing operation’ on Tuesday saw 288 infringement notices issued on Nelson Street.

Marlborough police say they will continue to monitor traffic throughout November and will focus on safe driving around schools.

“Motorists need to be driving at a speed and in a manner that enables them to respond safely to the unexpected,” Peter says.

Appointed liquidator Brenton Hunt revealed creditors were unlikely to see any money back from defunct building company Rose Built Homes. Photo: Matt Brown.

Rose Built Homes used as ‘cash cow’

The bungling former owners of a defunct building firm may face criminal charges for fraud.

Rose Built Homes, which folded in September, has left Marlborough businesses out of pocket to the tune of $1.6 million.

Appointed liquidator Brenton Hunt revealed creditors were unlikely to see any money back, branding the case “one of the worst” he has seen in 25-years.

Treating the company as a “personal cash cow” could see former directors Ryan Butler and Kyle Payne in court, he says.

And the former directors have turned on each other, with Kyle blaming some of their dodgy dealings on his colleagues “gambling problems”.

The revelation comes amid rumours that Kyle has fled the country.

Brenton says he can’t stop Kyle from leaving the country.

“I can’t stop him travelling until I actually have judgement against him, and even then, a border alert would require details of his actual flight,” he says.

“Regardless…he can still be bankrupted here in New Zealand.”

Local contractors and businesses have been left high and dry, with one secured creditor owed more than $500,000.

Investigations uncovered a raft of costly personal purchases bought using company funds.

Boats, motorcycles and cars bought on finance were being paid from company accounts but registered to the young company directors.

But Brenton says he doubts any money will be paid out to any class of creditor.

“There were very few assets to be collected. Some office equipment and limited tools were collected from the office.

“The majority of these were returned to Christchurch and sold by Mainland Auctions, limited amount were sold to interested parties in Blenheim.”

“A number of creditors have raised jet skis as another asset, but I have never managed to locate any,” he says.

In addition, Kyle Payne traded a company asset, a Ford Mustang, on an Audi he recorded as his personally.

“The Audi still has a significant amount of finance over and above the trade-in value.”

Tax payments are “well behind” with no annual accounts ever produced.

Brenton says Kyle tried to blame the lack of tax payments on the company’s accountant, however, it is the director’s responsibility to file returns.

PAYE had not been paid since December 2018.

Kyle, in an interview with the liquidator, says he was not aware that non-payment of PAYE was a criminal offence.

“A huge amount of personal expenditure was coded in the company records as business expenditure and GST attempted to be claimed,” Brenton says.

“I have been working in insolvency for ten years, and as an accountant for over twenty-five years.

“Rarely have I seen company records in such a bad state.

“It has been very hard to work out anything form the records kept so I have had to go back to bank transactions.

GST had not been filed since March 2019 or paid since May 2018.

Brenton says Kyle had appeared to have committed “several items” of fraud and a creditor has offered to assist in filing a criminal complaint to police for fraud.

“Insurance records have been altered to allow customers to make drawdowns, customers have been asked to pay into bank accounts which are not company bank accounts and various customers and creditors have been lied to repeatedly,” he says.

“After recoding a lot of the expenditure which Kyle Payne had recorded as business expenditure but was paid to his own bank accounts, I have made a demand for $335,739.

“I have had no response to this demand so are now commencing judgement against him for this debt.”

Kyle sold his house, on Howick Rd, in September.

Brenton says Ryan was cooperative during the liquidation.

“He is apologetic for where everything has ended up and claims he never knew just how bad everything was.

“Regardless of his regrets he was a director and personally guaranteed several of the debts.”

Brenton says Ryan is looking into bankruptcy.

“As there has been very limited recovery from the company, I am funding a lot of the continued work for the liquidation myself.

He says the only asset of the company is the money which the directors had withdrawn in various ways.

“The likelihood of recovery of this for creditors is fairly remote so it is not anticipated any distribution for any class of creditor will happen.

“Regardless of this I will continue with my action against the director and see what comes out of it.”

Coralanne Child. Photo: Supplied.

Support for sex scandal school in wake of guilty pleas

Education bosses have pledged their ongoing support to a school stricken by an underage sex scandal.

Students at a Blenheim high school are a “top priority” say Ministry of Education staff after a former member of staff pleaded guilty to having sex with minors.

In the wake of her guilty pleas, acting deputy secretary, sector enablement and support Coralanne Child says support to those affected is ongoing.

“The safety and wellbeing of students is a top priority for us, as it is for boards of trustees, parents and whānau.

“In this case, we continue to offer our support to the school and its board as it moves past this challenging event,” she says.

The woman, who cannot be named, admitted seven counts of having sex with minors, and two of sending sexual images and video to minors, at the Blenheim District Court last week.

She was convicted and bailed for sentencing.

Her registration with the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand has been cancelled though she may be eligible to apply again.

A spokeswoman from the council says no formal hearing will be held though the former teacher will be told officially that she has been struck from the register.

“A person with a cancelled teacher registration is able to apply for registration again.

“However, if they have been convicted of a specified offence, they must first be granted an exemption by the Ministry of Social Development.

“Then the person may apply to the Teaching Council for registration and we review and consider if the person meets our registration requirements,” she says.

The school’s Board of Trustees welcomed the woman’s guilty pleas, saying it “ensures justice” for all those caught up in the case.

In a letter to parents, the chairman of the Board of Trustees says he hopes the move will “provide closure.”

“Her actions breached the trust of so many and it is appropriate that she has taken sole responsibility by pleading guilty,” he says.

He added that he hoped sentencing at the end of the year would allow people to move forward.

“I am very thankful that this matter will be concluded before the end of the year for the sake of our community, staff, parents and boys.“I would like to thank the police and all of the other agencies involved in this case for their diligence and their care during this very difficult time … and ensuring that this did not impact on the wider student body of our college,” he says.

But not everyone has been happy with the handling of the case, with one worried parent branding it “disgusting”.

The woman, who asked not to be named, says the scandal was felt by the wider community.

She says the guilty woman seemingly showed no remorse for her actions and was spotted at several public events, including junior rugby games.

“Talk about allowing her access to a smorgasbord of underage boys.

“I’m not comfortable with her being allowed to watch my boy play rugby and I know other parents feel the same.

“If this was a male teacher who was accused of having sex with underage girls- I highly doubt he would be allowed down the netball courts.

“Those poor boys and their families being made to look like fools by our justice system.”

The woman will appear for sentencing at Blenheim District Court on 17 December.