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Police updates – Opua incident, missing persons in Waikanae and Lake Rotorua

Police updates 11 August 2022 news

Police updates on crimes and investigations for Thursday 11 August 2022.

Name release – Fatal crash, Burkes Pass

Police can now release the name of the man who died following a crash on Burkes Pass near Tekapo yesterday.

He was 60-year-old John Grant Wilson of Timaru.

Police extend our sympathies to his family and friends at this difficult time.

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing.

Road Police focus on schools with aim to prevent speeding, Marlborough

Marlborough Police are heading back to school this month to make sure drivers have learnt that they need to lower their speed in school zones.

Speed is a significant factor in crashes where serious injury or death have occurred and Police are aiming to prevent further harm.

“School zones often have a lot of pedestrians, many of which are kids, so making sure you are driving at no more than 40km is hugely important” says Sergeant Joshua Clauson.

Drivers also need to slow to 20km and take care when passing school buses.

“Tamariki can be unpredictable around roads, especially when they are excited for the day ahead or to see their friends and might not be paying attention to cars on the road.

“As a responsible driver, it is important to slow down and keep your eyes peeled in school areas.”

Police will be actively focusing on those driving in school zoned areas in the Marlborough and Kaikōura areas over the next month to ensure drivers are slowing down.

“Remember speed limits are just that, the limit, not the aim!

Infringement notices can and will be issued to anyone travelling over the limit in these zones as the safety of everyone using the road is our priority.”

Drivers are reminded to allow for plenty of time for school drop off and to give the road their full attention.

Sergeant Clauson says “parents are setting an example for our school-aged children about safe and smart road use all the time and we hope to see everyone acing their drop-offs over the next month.”

Update: Serious incident near Opua

A 31-year-old man critically injured when he fell from a vehicle on Paihia Rd, south of Opua, has sadly since died in hospital.

The incident occurred shortly before 4am on Saturday 6 August.

Our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends at this time.

An investigation into the circumstances of the incident remains ongoing.

Name release – climbing incident, Mt Ngāuruhoe

Police can now name the man who died climbing on Mt Ngāuruhoe on Friday 5 August.

He was Wayne Pooley, 51, of Auckland.

Police extend their condolences to his family and friends.

His death has been referred to the Coroner.

Update: Name release, fatal fire – Palmerston

Police are now in a position to release the name of the man who died in a fire at a residential property on Copinsha Street on Monday, 18 July.

He was Glen Allan Newell, 53, of Palmerston.

An investigation into the cause of the fire remains ongoing.

Update: Bledisloe Street, Levin

Police have now laid charges following last week’s incident in Bledisloe Street, Levin.

A 62-year-old Levin man has been charged with threatens to kill, causing harm by posting digital communication, arson, and possession of an offensive weapon.

The man has been released from hospital and is remanded in custody, scheduled to reappear in Levin District Court on 31 August.

A number of investigations relating to the incident last week remain ongoing at present.

As the matter is before the Court, Police cannot comment further at this time.

Update – missing kayaker, Lake Rotorua

Police are continuing to search for an 18-year-old missing kayaker around Lake Rotorua today.

He was last seen around 2:30pm yesterday, wearing dark clothing when he went for a kayak on the western side of the lake.

Search and Rescue personnel will search the shoreline today, liaising with Coastguard and local iwi.

The man’s orange and blue kayak was recovered by Police yesterday. Anyone who saw the man potentially exiting the lake or in the water, from 2.30pm yesterday is asked to urgently contact Police.

Anyone with information should call 111 and quote event number P051519937.

UPDATE: Check sheds for missing man, Waikanae Beach

Police are asking members of the public to check their garden sheds or backyards around Victor Weggery Reserve, Waikanae Beach for sightings of missing man Brent Falaniko.

He was last seen near the reserve early yesterday morning wearing dark grey clothing and carrying a blue blanket.

He is described as being of European descent, medium build with grey shoulder length hair and a beard and he may have sought refuge on someone’s property.

LandSAR and Police will be assisting in searching for Brent today and we remain concerned for his wellbeing.

Anyone who has seen or has information about Brent is urged to contact 111 and quote file number 220810/6231.

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  1. I wish the police would be more specific other than ‘western side’. There are many of us who can assist with looking along the shore if we know the vicinity to look in as we know the lake and the wind etc.

    It is very cold and choppy today, just heartbreaking to think this young man hasn’t been found yet.



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