Youth Charged With Murder Following Death of 8yo in Otautau (+video of media briefing)

A man has been charged with murder following the death of an eight-year-old in Southland.

Emergency services were called to Otautau, a small town northwest of Invercargill, yesterday at around 10.30pm after members of the 8yo’s family notified police of the death.

Police arrested the man this morning and Southland area commander Inspector Mike Bowman said a forensic examination is now being completed at two Otautau addresses.

“The man was taken into custody shortly after police were notified in the early hours of this morning.”

“We expect the houses will undergo at least two days of investigation and properly, and possibly into the weekend.”

He said police were speaking with a number of witnesses.

“We wish to reassure members of the public this was an isolated incident and there is no threat to their safety.”

“This is a tragic, tragic event involving an eight-year-old child.”

It will take a number of days, if not a number of weeks to complete the inquiry, Inspector Bowman said.

Southland Mayor Gary Tong, a former police officer, said the rural town of about 700 people near Invercargill was a tight-knit community.

“It’ll be traumatic for the community. I don’t know the full details at this stage but hearts and thoughts are with the families and those that attended the incident as well – they’re all volunteers in that area.”

Police were called to the scene in Otautau yesterday.

Mr Tong said he got a call about the incident in the early hours of the morning and would be assisting police and the other emergency respondents in any way possible.

Otautau Gallery owner Pamela Hopkins said the small rural town was in a complete state of shock.

She said she heard sirens late last night and saw police cars this morning.

Ms Hopkins said Otautau was a good and close-knit community and people would support each other through the tragedy.

The man arrested will appear in the Invercargill Youth Court this afternoon.

Source: Republished by arrangement.

Vink Prepares For Defence of Tour of Southland Title

Michael Vink will arrive in Invercargill for the 2019 SBS Bank Tour of Southland armed with one vital piece of knowledge – how to win New Zealand’s most prestigious stage race.

The lanky, likeable Cantabrian finally saw his name etched onto the winner’s trophy last year after nine attempts, including runner-up finishes in both 2016 and 2017.

“I feel like I’ve had the legs to win a few times, but a few things just haven’t gone my way. You definitely need a bit of luck. Last year, having a good team around me made a big difference from previous years,” Vink said.

“Now I know what it takes to win, and I know what it takes to lose as well. Having those two experiences, you can put them together and map out a plan of how to approach the week.”

Vink has spent the season racing for the St George Continental Cycling Team in Asia, a squad which includes Dylan Kennett, who won the UCI 2.1 Tour of Taihu Lake earlier this year, and Southlanders Corbin Strong and Matt Zenovich.

Vink’s Placemakers team also includes Southlanders Josh Haggerty and Hamish Keast, alongside Ethan Batt and James Harvey.

“We’ve got a really good team this year, a couple of locals, which is always good, Dylan Kennett, who recently won a big race in China, he’s going to be our sprinter, and some good all rounders,” Vink said.

Michael Vink celebrates his win of the 2019 SBS Bank Tour of Southland. photo: supplied

“It’s probably one of the better teams I’ve had supporting me in the 10 years I’ve been coming to Southland, but at the end of the day I’ve got to have the legs to finish it off.”

Race director Bruce Ross, who will be taking part in his 50th Southland tour, including the past 30 years in charge of the race, believes this could be one of the most even fields he’s seen.

Ross, who is tremendously proud of the platform the SBS Bank Tour of Southland has provided for New Zealand riders to launch international careers, said picking a winner for 2019 is no easy task.

“Michael Vink was a great champion last year and it will be fascinating to see who comes out of the peloton to challenge him in 2019,” Ross said.

Robbie Hucker (Kia Motors-Ascot Park Hotel) finished runner-up to Brad Evans in 2015 and will be riding alongside Mexican rider Eder Frayre, who arrives in Southland on the recommendation of former winner Heath Blackgrove.

James Fouche (Creation Signs-Ronald McDonald House-Ricoh) is the national road champion despite being just 21-years-old and joined World Tour team Mitchelton-Scott as a stagiare, or apprentice, for the second half of the 2019 season.

Then there’s exciting addition of the endurance riders from the New Zealand track cycling programme including Strong (Team Skoka Fruzio), who managed a top 10 finish on debut last year, fellow Southlanders Tom Sexton (Business South) and Nick Kergozou (Coupland’s Bakeries), and Base Solutions Racing-WCNI team mates Jordan Kerby and world omnium champion Campbell Stewart.

Or it could be one of the lesser-known riders from overseas, with six different nationalities represented across the field.

Vink will be watching as the threats in the peloton reveal themselves.

“It’s hard because at this time of year everyone is winding down from a hard season and the guys who have had a bad season will use this for some late motivation,” he said.

“You never know who is in what form, and it’s hard to pick out a standout list. It’s always going to be hard racing and there will be someone who comes out and gives you a good challenge, that’s for sure.”

Homicide Investigation, Following Death Of 8 Year Old In

Invercargill Police have launched a homicide investigation following the death of an 8-year-old in Otautau, Southland, yesterday.

Two Otautau addresses are currently under Police guard.

Police are speaking to a number of witnesses in relation to the incident.

We wish to reassure members of the public this was an isolated incident and there is no threat to their safety.

Further information will be released as it becomes available, Inspector Mike Bowman, Area Commander, Southland said.

Anyone with information that may assist this investigation is urged to contact Police on 03 2110400 or 105.

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

UPDATED: Media brieifng by Police.


Funeral Notices – Thursday 31st October

If you would like your lost loved one’s  death / funeral  notice or memoriam listed here, contact your funeral director for more information about this free service.

Your funeral director can also assist with the notice writing process, as well as other helpful services and advice during your time of need.

Funeral Notices is a free community service provided by and

BENNETTS, Tony “Stones”.
Of Queenstown, at home on October 28, 2019, aged 57. Loved Hun of Tanz, adored father of Leigh, Kirstie and Josh; father-in-law of Richy and Jo; and a very special Pop of Aleeah, Tyler, Aiden, Kadie and Maddie.
Will be missed especially for his generosity, humour, kind heart and not forgetting Coruba – short glass, double shot, splash of coke, no ice.
A service to celebrate Tony’s life will be held at Moonlight Stables, 69 Morven Ferry Road, Queenstown, on Saturday, November 2, at 3.00pm, followed by a private cremation. Messages to: 14 Remarkables Crescent, Frankton, Queenstown 9300.
Cared for by Affinity Funerals Central Otago & Lakes District FDANZ.

CORBIN, Jonathon Noel, (Jon).
Peacefully with family by his side at Hospice Southland on Tuesday 29th October 2019. Aged 47 years. Dearly loved Husband of Melissa. Loved father & step-father of Graham & Mikayla, Nicholas, Joshua, Shamus and Christopher. Loved grandad of all his grandchildren. Loved youngest son of Wattie* and Val* Corbin. Loved brother of Judith*, Glenys and Neil*, David and Raewyn, Barry* and Margaret, Darryl and Shirley, Roger* and Allana, and Veronica. A loved uncle to all his nieces and nephews. A service to celebrate Jon’s life will be held in the Southland Crematorium Chapel on Saturday 2nd November 2019 at 10am. Donations for Hospice Southland would be gratefully accepted and can be left at the service. Messages to 25 Huia St, Invercargill 9810.* Denotes deceased.

EDGE, Philip Clifford.
Passed away peacefully, after a short illness, at home, Edge Road, Wendon Valley, on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, aged 87 years. Dearly loved brother of the late Fred, and friend of Pip and Bella. At Philip’s request a private cremation has been held. Messages to Pip Wilson, 335 Wendon Valley Road, RD3, Gore 9773.

McKAY, Noelene Hazel.
Peacefully in the loving care of Rowena Jackson Retirement Village on Wednesday, 30th October 2019, aged 90 years.  Dearly loved wife of the late Alexander (John).  Loved mother and mother-in-law of Louise and Cliff Kelland, and Janet McKay.  Loved Grandma of all her grandchildren and great grandchildren.  Loved sister and sister-in-law of Desmond* and Roberta* McNatty, Gwyneth and Ivor* Harris, Errol* McNatty, and Rhonda and Barry Taylor.  Loved aunt of all her nieces and nephews.  No flowers by request.  Noelene’s family would like to thank the staff of Rowena Jackson for their care of Noelene and her family.  A service to celebrate Noelene’s life will be held in the Avenal Park Chapel, 75 Fox Street on Saturday, 2nd November at 10:00am, the service will conclude with a private interment.  Messages to 14 Saturn Street, Invercargill 9812.

SHAW, Dianne Lorraine.
Died peacefully on October 27, 2019, at Christchurch Hospital, aged 81 years. Dearly loved wife of the late Leo. Loved mother and mother-in-law of Stephen and Erica Cooney; Denise and Pete Gaffikin, Greg and Mary Cooney, Pauline Saunders, Kevin and Bella Cooney, Bernadette Cooney. Much loved Grandma of Amy, Peter; Sam, Hugh, Lucy, Violet; Emily; Caitlin, Harry; Stephanie, and Jack. A much loved great-grandmother to all her great-grandchildren. Messages C/- 19 London Street, Richmond, Christchurch 8013. A Celebration of Dianne’s life will be held in our John Rhind Chapel, entrance from London or Whitmore Streets, Christchurch, on Tuesday, November 5, at 1.00pm.

Passed away peacefully on Wednesday 30 October 2019, with her family at her side; aged 94 years. Loved wife of the late Finlay, a much loved mother and mother-in-law of Alistair (Doc) and Raewyn, Vicki, Jill, Penny and Geoff Beckley, a loved and cherished Grandma of Rebecca, Brett, and Fraser; Chayse and Jess; and Noushka, and Adam, loved by all her great grandchildren. Family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff of Longwood Care Home for their love and care shown to Betty. In accordance with Betty’s wishes a private cremation has been held. Messages to Penny Beckley 282 Earnscleugh Road, 1 RD, Alexandra.

WEIR, Keith Allan.
Peacefully, on October 29, 2019, at the Otago Community Hospice, Dunedin; aged 62 years. Dearly loved son of the late Allen and Ivy Weir, a much loved brother and brother-in-law of Donald, Colin and Val, Alison and Ivan Webber, and a loved uncle to all his nieces and nephews. A service to farewell Keith will be held on Monday, November 4, at 1.30pm, in our Chapel, 12 James Street, Balclutha, then leaving for the Balclutha Lawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Balclutha St John Ambulance would be appreciated and may be left at Keith’s service. Messages to197 Kaitangata Highway, Stirling 9231. Doug Nesbit Funeral Services Ltd Balclutha & Milton

In Memoriam

03.10.1987 – 31.10.2007
Loved son of Bart Burke.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you”Love – Dad and Chrissy.

Another Successful Round Of Clubsport At Teretonga

Round 3 of the Southland Sports Car Club’s Evolution Motorsport Clubsport Championship at Teretonga Park was another success with extremely good entry numbers in both the Motorkhana and Autocross events.

This was a split round with the Motorkhana taking advantage of the long southern twilights on a Thursday evening with a strong entry of 31 competitors tackling the three tests with nine new faces among them.

Andrew Kennedy in his Toyota Starlet took the victory from newcomer Aaron Findlay in a Mazda MX5 with Stacy Lines in his Mini third.

photo: Ron Veint

There are several young drivers competing this year with 12-year-old Euan Bergius leading the way in a competitive field of youngsters.

photo: Ron Veint

Sunday saw a dual Autocross test with 43 competitors with a contingent from the neighbouring Eastern Southland Car Club plus the Otago Sports Car Club among them.

Rain in the afternoon made for difficult conditions at times but Andrew Lawrie in the Mitsubishi Lancer took maximum points to secure a narrow victory from Liam MacDonald (Nissan NX Coupe) with Shannon Baker (EVO X) third.

Evolution Motorsport are the major supporter of the championship with additional support for this round from East End Liquor and NZ Safety Blackwoods while Mighty Meats supported the lunchtime bbq.

photo: Ron Veint

Motorsport New Zealand Board Member Nick Hamlin, who competed in the Autocross, spoke at the post-event prizegiving and revealed that Southland and Marlborough are the regions who currently have the most impressive clubsport competitor numbers in the country.

The next round of the championship will take place on Sunday 17 November and the Southland Sports Car Club is eager to hear from anyone who would be keen to have a go either in their own car, the Evolution Motorsport car that is available for use or just come out and take a no obligation look at what clubsport entails. Contact our Clubsport Co-ordinator Malcolm Mitchell at 021 666 956 or [email protected]


Round 1: Sunday 11 August 2019 9.00am

Round 2: Sunday 29 September 2019 9.00am

Round 3: Thursday 17 October 2019 (Twilight – 6.30pm)

Round 4: Sunday 17 November 2019 9.00am

Round 5: Thursday 30 January 2020 (Twilight – 6.30pm)

Round 6: Sunday 1 March 2020 9.00am

Mal’s Music Memory – Say Goodbye To Rocktober Triple Stack

Hi team. I guess we are all over the below average weather that’s been dished up to us for most of Rocktober so let’s give the month a decent wave goodbye by way of a rock triple stack.

With the best wishes from Haydon, Toni and Lennon at Little Fire MusicWorks lets enjoy some of the best, first up The Foo Fighters The Pretender, second Red Hot Chilli Peppers The Other Side and Whitesnake with David Coverdale, Judgement Day. Whitesnake coming to Auckland with The Scorpions late Feb next year. Another excuse to catch the direct flight to Akld.

Enjoy these tracks and what is left of Rocktober



New Council Term Begins With Inaugural Meeting At Murihiku Marae

Tuesday spelled new beginnings for the Invercargill City Council, with an inaugural meeting to mark a new term held at the Murihiku Marae in Invercargill.

Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt, son Declan, deputy mayor Toni Biddle, her father Bruce, and newly elected city councillors were all present. Iwi were also proud to put a cloak around Toni Biddle, who is the only Maori on the council.

Shadbolt gave a speech about moving forward as a team and making changes and even sang a waiata for his marae hosts.

Before the meeting commenced, kaumatua Michael Skerrett addressed the councillors and stated that they needed builders. He urged them to get on with the job.

Afternoon tea was shared at the marae before each newly elected councillor was given the chance to speak during the inaugural meeting.


Funeral Notices – Wednesday 30th October

If you would like your lost loved one’s  death / funeral  notice or memoriam listed here, contact your funeral director for more information about this free service.

Your funeral director can also assist with the notice writing process, as well as other helpful services and advice during your time of need.

Funeral Notices is a free community service provided by and

CAIRNS, Linda.
A memorial service will be held for Linda in the Otautau New Life Church, Queen Street, Otautau, on Saturday, November 2, 2019, at 1.30pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be left at the service for HAGAR NZ. Messages to[email protected]

CHALMERS, Allan Mitchell.
Aged 81 years. Passed away peacefully at home in Te Anau, on Monday, October 28, 2019, surrounded by his family. Dearly loved husband of Glenda. Loved father and father-in-law of Annette and Andy, Kerry and Graeme, Kevin and Melanie. Beloved Grandfather of Mark and Anna, Karissa, Jacqui and Andrea. Great-Grandfather of Forest and Aurora, Sage and Raine, and Bianca. A private cremation will be held as per Allan’s wishes. A memorial service to celebrate Allan’s life will be held in the Te Anau Club, Pop Andrew Drive, Te Anau, on Sunday, November 3, at 2.30pm. In lieu of flowers donations may be left at the service for Hospice Southland. Messages to 158 Aparima Drive, Te Anau 9600.

HOGGANS, Jeanne.
Died peacefully on Sunday October 27, 2019 surrounded by family at Summerset-in-the-Sun, in her 99th year. Dearly beloved wife of the late Duthie; loved and cherished mother and mother-in-law of Jenny and Graeme, Gill and Chris, Sue, and Sally and Nic; much loved Granny and Great-Granny. A private cremation has been held. Messages to the Hoggans Family, C/- 41 Nile Street East, Nelson 7010.

JOYCE, John Patrick ‘Jack’.

Passed away peacefully at Bupa Ascot Care Home on Monday 28 October 2019, aged 94. Loved son of the late Mary and Richard. Loved brother and brother-in-law of Rita Blackshaw, Frank and Shirley (all deceased). Much loved special uncle of Margaret and Neville Fitzgerald, the late Gerard,Kevin, Bernard and Yuko, Mary-Ellen, Catherine, Margaret, Peter, and Michael (Blackshaw). Loved Great-uncle of Anna-lee and Casey, Glen; and Joe. A graveside service will be held to honour Jack at Eastern Cemetery on Friday 1 November at 11:30am. Messages can be sent to 177 Dome Street, Invercargill 9812, or to Jack’s tribute page at

KENNEDY, Kenneth John (Ken).
Suddenly at Invercargill on Saturday, October 26, 2019. Aged 59 years. Loved father of Jenayha, loved youngest son of the late Eileen and Jim Kennedy. Loved brother and brother-in-law of Jim*, Shirley and Michael Devlin, Barbara and Evan McCallum, Robert*, Barry and Marnie, Annette and George. Loved uncle to all his nieces and nephews.
R.I.P. Dear Brother.
A service to celebrate Ken’s life will be held in J Fraser and Sons Chapel, cnr Esk and Doon Streets, at 10.00am, on Saturday, November 2. Then leaving for the Eastern Cemetery. (*denotes deceased) Messages to 55 Waiau Crescent or to Ken’s tribute page at

KIRKPATRICK, James (Jimmy) Alexander.
At Peacehaven Rest Home on Friday, 25th October 2019.  Dearly loved husband of Bev.  Loved father and father-in-law of Eileen and Steve, Jimmy and Wendy, and Shaun.  An adored Grandad, Great Grandad and a special friend of many.
“Peacefully resting in His Saviour’s arms.”
A service to celebrate Jimmy’s life will be held in the St. Stephen’s Church, North Road on Friday, 1st November at 1:00pm, the service will conclude with a private interment.  Messages to 33 Oteramika Road, Invercargill 9812.

ORMOND, June (nee Tamanui Kokiri).
Suddenly at home on Tuesday 29 October 2019.
Dearly loved wife of the late Richard. A much loved mum and mother-in-law of Richard and Maxina, Gordon and Sarah, Pat and Owen, Terina, Donna and Thomas, Honey, Janice and Nigel, Colin and Leigh, Polly and Emmett, and Ben and Anysha. A much loved and treasured nan, nana, great nana of all her Moko’s. A loved sister and aunty. June will be resting at Mahia Farm until her service. Details to be advised. Messages to 52 Perkins Street, RD 11 Invercargill. “Hoki atu koe ki o Matua Tipuna ki Hawaiiki.

ROWE, Ellen Margaret (Nellie).
After a short struggle at Windsor Park Care Home, on Monday, October 28, 2019; aged 88 years. Dearly loved wife of the late Rex. Dearly loved mother and mother-in-law of Lloyd and Margi (Blenheim); Scott and Ronnie (Perth); Rex and Lyn (Lorneville); Katee and Kim (Balclutha); Clare (Gore); and the late MacGregor. Also, friend of Jack; and Lorraine. Special Nana of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A service to celebrate Nellie’s life will be held in the Winton Presbyterian Church on Monday, November 4, at 1.00pm, followed by interment at Forest Hill Cemetery. Messages may be sent to 53 Pinnacle Road, RD 5, Gore 9775 or to Ellen’s tribute page at

SMITH Loretta Susan.
Peacefully at Southland Hospital on Saturday 26th October 2019. Dearly loved partner of Vaughan, dearly loved mother of Jake, MacKenzie, and Mya, and loved by all whose lives she touched. A Memorial Service to celebrate Loretta’s life will be held in the Lumsden Presbyterian Church, 23 Dacia Street, Lumsden on Friday 1st November at 11.00am. Messages to 379 Lumsden Dipton Highway RD 4 Lumsden


JOHNSTON, Stanley James (Jim).
The family of the late Jim would like to express sincere thanks to family, friends and neighbours for cards and messages of sympathy, and to those that came to the service to celebrate Dad’s life. Special thanks to Liz Lyall for the lovely service and comforting words. Also a huge thanks to the West Otago Town and Country Club for allowing us to hold Dad’s service there, and for providing a wonderful afternoon tea. Thank you also to Chris McPherson for the lovely wreath she made for Dad. Thank you to all Dad’s carers and personal helpers he had. A huge thanks to Kevin and Liz from Hammond & Ryder Funeral Services for their support and guidance through this difficult time.
Loved and remembered always.

In Memoriam.

MAWDSLEY, Ross (Rosco).
30 October 2017
No longer in our lives to share, But in our hearts you’re always there.
– Averil, Mark, Ryan, and Jean.

STILES, Stuart John.
2.5.1964 – 29.10.2016
Memory keeps you ever near us.
Love – Dad and Raewyn, Barbara, Desiree and your nieces and nephews.

Two In A Row For Southland Rest Home

Walmsley House rest home in Invercargill has officially exceeded the aged care sector’s highest quality standards, for the second time running.

Raewyn Healey, Enliven Quality Manager for Presbyterian Support Southland said on Tuesday they had received confirmation from the Ministry of Health advising Walmsley House had achieved four-year certification, following a recent audit. This the second successive time the rest home has been awarded maximum renewal status – making it only one of two in the region to hold back-to-back four-year certifications.

All rest homes and aged residential care facilities in New Zealand are subject to audits and certification every one to four years to ensure they provide safe, appropriate care for residents and meet national standards set out in the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001. A spot, or ‘surveillance’ audit also occurs around the middle of the certification period, with certification length dependent upon how well the rest home performs against 50 standards and 101 criteria set by the ministry and the (local) District Health Board contract.

Mrs Healey said the standards were far from easy to attain which is why four-year certification for an aged care service provider was seen as excellent.

She said it was a robust procedure that had involved two independent auditors spending a day and half at Walmsley House in mid-August reviewing records, systems and policies; observing and meeting with staff, residents and family members; and assessing everything from building upkeep and medication protocols, to fall prevention and meal nutrition, infection control, adverse incident management, staff education and so on.

However, Mrs Healey said, attaining and maintaining the ‘gold standard’ level of care attested to in the audit report was not a day and a half endeavour – the achievement represented “365 days of hard work and ongoing commitment to best practice and betterment” by staff at Walmsley House.

“It is very satisfying for all involved and I know the staff are proud to have had an official endorsement that they’re doing a great job”.

Walmsley House manager Jenifer de Jesus said it was pleasing to have achieved consistently high ratings over, what was effectively, an eight-year period.

She was particularly pleased the home had been awarded three ‘continuous improvement’ ratings – where all standards had been fully met and exceeded – in areas of service relating to good practice, staff education and waste management initiatives. Other successes include less trips to hospital, low staff turnover and high resident satisfaction.

Walmsley House is one of three Presbyterian Support Southland Enliven rest homes to hold 4-year certification. PSS Chief Executive John Prendergast attributed the success, in part at least, to
“a resident-centred approach to care and sustained investment in empowering staff through enabling technology and quality education and training programmes.”

Mr Prendergast said the fact that the rest home had held the accreditation – and therefore maintained the highest level of care – for two consecutive periods was a credit to Walmsley House staff who worked tirelessly and collaboratively to make incremental improvements to the services and care they provided, every day.

The Enliven rest home is centrally-located and provides a homely environment and personalised care for 31 residents.

Staff follow the Enliven philosophy which espouses the principles of caring, enabling and supporting the elderly to live rich, full lives. It recognises the importance of respect, independence, meaningful activity and enduring connections with, and to, family, friends, the wider community and nature.

Audit reports and summaries for all New Zealand aged care facilities and retirement villages are available on the Ministry of Health website.

New Faces For Holdco, Invercargill Airport Boards

Invercargill City Holdings Limited is pleased to announce the appointment of three new directors.

Grant Lilly has been appointed as chair of Invercargill Airport Limited and Peter Carnahan and John Schol have been appointed as directors on Invercargill City Holdings Limited.

Mr Lilly has an extensive background in the aviation and tourism industries, having just completed terms as a board member on the Queenstown Airport Corporation and Civil Aviation Authority and Aviation Security Service.

In addition, Mr Lilly has previous experience in management roles within airlines and tourism operations generally.

The Board of Invercargill City Holdings Limited considers that Mr Lilly is well placed to guide Invercargill Airport Limited as it seeks to take advantage of the opportunities available to it as a result of the strong stewardship and relationships that have been developed by Tommy Foggo during his time as chair.

Mr Carnahan has a broad range of board and senior management experience that will be of assistance to Invercargill City Holdings Limited.

Mr Schol is the chief executive officer of Malloch McClean and will add to the breadth of the board capacity.