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NORTH HARBOUR NEWS, MARCH 22, 2013
Narrow escape for man
It's raining metal: This stump grinder
tooth weighs almost a kilo.
Close call, left: A retired Albany man
was three metres away from his
campervan when it was hit by a flying
piece of metal.
By KATASHA McCULLOUGH
If that had hit me on the
head I wouldn't be
A HUNK of metal from a construc-
tion site sailed about 400 metres
over a fence, road and several
houses to smash into a campervan
Pete Gay was working on his car
about 3 metres from where the
metal object, a tooth from a stump
grinder, struck his campervan.
It was a bit of a shock,'' Mr Gay
If that had hit me on the head I
wouldn't be here today.''
The tooth weighs more than 800
At first Mr Gay thought the bang
he heard was from a shotgun or an
He later saw the piece of metal
and the dent in his van which he
had recently finished doing up after
three years of work.
Mr Gay says it could have caused
a lot more damage.
I'm frightened someone else
might not be so lucky.''
After some research he realised
what the object was and contacted
the nearby Albany Heights Villas
construction site on Gills Rd.
Tree maintenance company
Treescape was using a stump
grinder at the time. Director Bran-
don Whiddett says the company is
taking the incident very seriously.
Treescape is testing to find out
why the tooth came loose.
We can't say exactly but at this
stage the assumption is that it was
a faulty bolt,'' he says.
Depending on the outcome of the
tests, the company will look at
introducing a new safety policy
where bolts are never reused when
a tooth is changed.
Mr Whiddett says Treescape will
fix Mr Gay's campervan straight
Park sheds exotics as trees shed branches
By KATASHA McCULLOUGH
Watch out: Hibiscus and Bays Local
Board member John Watson with a
branch that fell suddenly from a
eucalyptus tree in Long Bay.
Beware of falling branches in
parks, a Hibiscus and Bays Local
Board member is warning.
John Watson was at Long Bay
Regional Park when a three-
metre branch fell from a
He says there was a crack and
then a loud thump a second later.
There was no warning or
chance to get out of the way,'' he
It was just as well no-one was
sitting directly under the tree.''
He says these incidents happen
more frequently during periods of
long, hot weather.
In Australia, summer branch
drop'' is a widespread pheno-
Northern regional parks princi-
pal ranger Mathew Vujcich says
four groups of gum trees in the
park will be removed over the
They are being removed for
both safety reasons and as part of
a plan to replace exotic trees with
The area where the branch fell
has been taped off.
Mr Vujcich says it was more
likely it fell because of the tree's
natural decline and was not con-
nected to the recent dry weather
By MARYKE PENMAN
Reports of crime are on the rise,
thanks to a non-emergency phone
line that went live last month,
The Crime Reporting Line has
been used successfully in other
parts of New Zealand for the past
three years and on February 20
was rolled out across the Waite-
mata Police District.
North Shore police area com-
mander Inspector Les Paterson
says more than 90 per cent of
people surveyed said they preferred
to use the phone line as opposed to
the old way'' of laying a complaint
at a local police station.
Most common crimes can be
reported using the line, as well as
missing persons and lost property,
Information is fed directly into
the police computer system and
used to identify patterns such as
burglars or car thieves targeting
Specialist staff will be watching
the information streaming live, Mr
By reporting using this system
you may help prevent others from
Forensic services can be ar-
ranged simultaneously over the
phone and insurance forms will be
emailed immediately where
Eventually a dedicated non-
emergency number will be set up.
Online reporting is also being
looked at, but Mr Paterson says
work is needed to ensure any data
captured over the internet is accu-
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