New sergeant is top dog handler

Julian Lewis, who has been acting as the relieving sergeant at Kaikoura for some months now, has been formally appointed and confirmed as Kaikoura's new sergeant.

Julian and I go back just over 20 years when we both started at the New Zealand Police College as young keen recruits towards the end of 1992. Julian then progressed to become New Zealand's top police dog handler, a great achievement which has required a lot of self-determination, team work and leadership. I am sure that Julian will continue with these same qualities in his new role in Kaikoura and provide good service to the local community and wider district.

For three days over the school holidays I had my 14-year-old nephew and his mate staying with me in Kaikoura. Both lads are of farming stock and absolutely enjoyed the diving, fishing and hunting opportunities that were on hand. The are both champing at the bit to get back down this way for the roar, if the school holidays coincide. Kaikoura is blessed with a world famous marine area and some pretty grand hunting in the foothills and mountains behind the ocean. For the young lads in town, make the most of these opportunities while you have them on your doorstep.

Now we are getting over the holiday period and it is an appropriate time to thank all the volunteers in our community. The St John Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Coastguard, Search and Rescue, and sports clubs, to mention just a few of our community volunteers. You all do a wonderful service for our community and on behalf of my colleagues we enjoy your professionalism and are thankful for the assistance you provide.

On Friday afternoon a north-bound truck crashed when approaching the Oaro end of the Hundalees and blocked the whole of the south-bound lane. Fortunately no vehicles were travelling in the opposite direction at the time. If they had been, chances were there would have been fatalities. Land Transport Regulations stipulate that large trucks should drive at 10km or less than the posted speed limit. In the corners preceding this crash site there were two posted 65km signs. Kaikoura Police and the Blenheim Highway Patrol Staff will be paying close attention to the speed of heavy vehicles in the coming months.

Two months ago I and the district licensing inspector and Ministry of Health conducted a controlled purchase operation of 16 local licensed premises for the sale of alcohol. Most acted very responsibly, but it was very disappointing that two sales were made, to a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy. The likely implications of this are that the duty manager will be stood down for a one-month period and the licensed premises will be closed for the sale of alcohol for a three-day period.

Youths under the age of 18 who gain access to alcohol often make poor decisions which can lead to an increase in anti-social disorder and traffic offending in our community.

There will be several more controlled purchase operations of our town's licensed premises this year. We look forward to the day that no sales are made to minors.

Andy Grant

Acting Sergeant

Kaikoura Star