Home' Christchurch Mail : January 10th 2013 Contents 3
CHRISTCHURCH MAIL, JANUARY 10, 2013
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HEMS, REPAIRS &
Trial for masseur
A Christchurch mall masseur may
defend charges brought against
him for indecent assault. Cunbin
Zhang, 58, was charged with
indecent assault in early
December when a woman made a
complaint to police. Since then,
more women have come forward
and Zhang now faces four charges
of indecent assault. Zhang is on
bail until February 15 for a post-
committal conference. In the
meantime, a judge will consider
police evidence and decide
whether the case will go before a
Arts get boost
The city council has started a
$70,000 fund for artists to
brighten up Lyttelton's future civic
square at 44 London St. The best
projects could end up with a
permanent home on the site and
be incorporated into the final
space. Funding applications close
on January 31. Visit ccc.govt.nz for
Quad bike deaths
Quad bike accidents have plagued
New Zealand this holiday season.
Ten-year-old Shane White was
killed on a farm in Kautara. A
20-year-old farm worker was
seriously injured on Christmas Day
in North Canterbury. On Boxing
Day 16-year-old Rowan Parker was
killed after his quad bike went over
a cliff in the Catlins. At the
weekend 45-year-old Rakaia
farmer Hamish Baxter was killed.
Last week a six-year-old girl was
left in critical condition when a
quad bike rolled in Hawke's Bay.
The accidents have prompted
renewed calls for compulsory quad
bike safety measures.
Schools pay price
The Novopay saga continues, with
new figures showing New Zealand
schools have paid out more than
$560,000 to cover mistakes
made by the new education
payment system. Almost 15,000
mistakes in pay have been made
nationwide, leaving schools to
stump up to help staff.
Cuts to student allowances will go
ahead this year. Repayments have
also increased from 10 to 12 per
cent. The move comes despite an
increase in repayments of $75
million in 2012.
QUICK PACK: John Barnes had only 24 hours' notice before heading to Australia.
John leads Kiwi crew to give
Tasmania firefighters a hand
By ANNA PRICE
JOHN BARNES knows only too
well the ominous roar of fire-
storms that go like a tornado''
feeding on fuel and oxygen in
their path, throwing debris kilo-
metres into the air.
The Christchurch-based Natio-
nal Rural Fire Authority rural fire
manager is leader of the 11-strong
New Zealand contingent which
was due to arrive in Tasmania
yesterday to boost crews battling
the raging Tasmanian bush fires.
They responded to a request
from Tasmanian fire agencies for
crews experienced in fighting fires
in tall-timber, remote and high-
The team includes Department
of Conservation staff from North-
land and Nelson forestry workers.
There's going to be a lot of peo-
ple very upset and a lot of lost
property and maybe lives,'' Mr
Tasmania's fires showed what
could happen given the right con-
ditions, and the extremes that
The Kiwi crews may be
deployed to the fire front in steep
hill country inaccessible to
machinery. Those fires were
sweeping the Upper Derwent
River valley and the Foster and
It's steep and broken country.
It may be dry fire fighting with
hand tools,'' Mr Barnes said.
All the firefighters were aware
of the perils of spotting''.
Fires can spot' up to a kilo-
metre ahead of the main fire front
with burning embers. Spotting is
very dangerous and unpredict-
able. Gale-force winds, high
temperatures and low humidity
create perfect conditions for this.
Fires can create whirlies (fire-
storms), throwing stuff kilometres
into the air.''
Mr Barnes recalls similar bush
and scrub fires in Canterbury,
where flames leapt at least 30
metres and licked outside the
main fire area.
He was in New South Wales in
1995 as an observer during the
bush fires which raged perilously
close to Sydney.
During three deployments to
the United States, Mr Barnes was
based at the federal rural fire
headquarters in Boise, Idaho,
which provided a lesson in service
Out of the Australian experi-
ence, New Zealand framed its own
co-ordinated incident manage-
It's more organised, everyone
knows their task and it's very
good for working between differ-
ent agencies which we do here.''
Firefighters shared a strong
camaraderie, he said.
In the States, a lot of signs like
thank you, firefighters' were put
up. They always threw a big party
when you went home and over-
whelmed you with kindness and
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