Bale body dad had been laid off amid dairy slump


Bale body identified as homeless Te Awamutu father

When the dairy downturn started biting, Daniel Bindner's world started unravelling.

The Waikato father lost his job as a farm worker, broke up with the mother of his children and ended up homeless before he disappeared.

It was almost a week after the 40-year-old was last seen that workers at a Hamilton recycling plant discovered the father of three's body in a compressed bale of cardboard.

Daniel Bindner was last seen at McDonald's in Te Awamutu on June 21 where his image was captured on CCTV. His body was ...

Daniel Bindner was last seen at McDonald's in Te Awamutu on June 21 where his image was captured on CCTV. His body was later found in a cardboard recycling bale in Hamilton

Police are treating the death as unexplained after a post-mortem failed to pinpoint an exact cause of death.

Dead man found in cardboard bale at Hamilton business 
Company says body in bale not worker 

The last known movements of Daniel Bindner.

The last known movements of Daniel Bindner.

But police know he was picked up in cardboard by a recycling truck in Te Awamutu and transported to the factory in Frankton.

They were called after workers found his body in a bail at OJI Fibre Solutions recycling plant, sparking two days of investigations and mystery before police identified him.

It was a sad end to a life that had been heading downhill in the last few months.

Daniel Bindner was last seen at McDonald's in Te Awamutu on June 21 where his image was captured on CCTV. His body was ...

Daniel Bindner was last seen at McDonald's in Te Awamutu on June 21 where his image was captured on CCTV. His body was later found in a cardboard recycling bale in Hamilton

For the last two years Bindner had been living and working as a farm hand on a dairy farm between Te Awamutu and Ohaupo.

Ad Feedback

But a season of low dairy payouts had forced his employers to restructure which resulted in Bindner being laid off, his former employer and farm owner Graeme, who asked his surname be withheld, said.

"Hard times" had left them no choice.

The body discovered in a cardboard bale at a Hamilton recycling business was found in multiple parts.

The body discovered in a cardboard bale at a Hamilton recycling business was found in multiple parts.

"With the financial situation we have gone from two workers down to one. Everybody is struggling."

Graeme tried to set Bindner up with a couple of jobs, but nothing had worked out.

"He was laid off a couple of months ago, he knew it was happening after the last payout."

Workers first uncovered a leg, arms and then the rest of the man's body.

Workers first uncovered a leg, arms and then the rest of the man's body.

"We had found him a job but that fell through too - nothing seemed to work."

His official last day was June 1.

"It's come as a bit of a shock."

Police at the scene where a body was found in a Cardboard bale at OJI Fibre Solutions in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Police at the scene where a body was found in a Cardboard bale at OJI Fibre Solutions in Hamilton on Tuesday.

Bindner had worked for Graeme's son for a year before coming to work for him on the farm.

He was an obliging worker, Graeme said, who would pitch in on all farm jobs.

"He milked all the time, was a regular worker, loved his kids."

Police at the scene where a body was found in a cardboard bale at OJI Fibre Solutions in Hamilton.

Police at the scene where a body was found in a cardboard bale at OJI Fibre Solutions in Hamilton.

Bindner and his partner lived together on the farm with their two children, and another from a previous relationship.

Police said the children were aged 16, five and seven. A son of Bindner's lives in the South Island.

Over the last few months, Bindner's relationship with his partner became rocky and the pair split a few months ago.

Graeme said Bindner's partner had since moved from the farm.


At a press conference on Thursday Detective Inspector Hywel Jones revealed that Bindner was last seen at McDonald's Te Awamutu at 11.04pm on Tuesday, June 21, where he was recorded on CCTV.

He was reported missing on Monday - just 24 hours before his body was discovered.

Jones said Bindner was unemployed, homeless and estranged from his partner. 

"We believe he was sleeping rough in the Te Awamutu area...certainly in the days leading up to his death," Jones said.

Police were focusing on building a picture of Bindner's movements after he was seen at the McDonald's in Sloane Street.

"From that point we are trying to establish what his movements were, information from the public is key to the investigation," he said.

He wanted to hear from anyone who could help police track Bindner's movements before and after that date.

Jones said the cardboard Bindner was found in appeared to have come from the Te Awamutu area and they were tracking trucks that worked that route to establish exactly where Bindner was picked up.

​Bindner was described at a European man, about 176 cm tall, of medium build and with dark brown medium length hair. He was last seen wearing a beanie, jeans, and was carrying a dark satchel. 

Jones would not comment on what he was wearing or the state of his body when he was discovered. 

His family were receiving support from Victim Support, he said. 

"They seem to be holding up okay at this time," he said.

Jones said they were awaiting forensic reports to establish the exact cause of death. 

"A post mortem was conducted yesterday and concluded yesterday.

"But at this time the results of that are inconclusive. We await further results over further weeks to pinpoint the cause of his death.

Police scene examinations at the OJI Fibre Solutions recycling plant have now been completed.

In a statement OJI Fibre Solutions chief executive Officer Jon Ryder said the body was isolated to one bale due to removed from the site on Thursday.

"Because of our ability to track our product, we have been able to identify when the material in which the body was found arrived at our Hamilton site", said Ryder.  

"We also know when any surrounding product was recycled and we are confident that we have tracked and isolated every piece of recycled material and processed paper from that time." 

The Hamilton Baling site collects, sorts, bales and distributes recycled material to Kinleith Mill in Tokoroa where it is made into paper, he said. 

"Given the unprecedented circumstances the company has taken extremely rigorous steps to identify and safeguard the entire product that has been on the Hamilton site to ensure there was no contamination of any downstream product. 

"We will continue to hold material at our Kinleith site for police evidentiary purposes only," he said.

Six staff work in the small Frankton site.  All had been offered emotional support and counselling after the find, he said.

"It is a very distressing time for all of us and we are also very concerned to respect the deceased. Our sympathies are extended to his family and loved ones."


Hamilton Christian Nightshelter Trust manager Peter Humphreys said many of the city's rough sleepers choose to sleep in cardboard bins and skips as it was relatively safe and warm.

But it could also be dangerous.

"You have to be careful about where you sleep at night, it can be quite dangerous to sleep in skips and cardboard bins - it is not a safe place to be."

Te Awamutu did not have a large homeless population, he said, but did get the odd person sleeping rough who just got out of jail.

Sometimes they would make their way to Hamilton.

Late last year a Hamilton bar worker was almost crushed in a compactor truck after falling asleep in a recycling cage outside a Hamilton bar. 

After spending a late night out drinking in town and at a friend's house, the Good George part-time kitchen hand decided to head to the bar on Somerset St for his 8.30am shift.

He had to be rescued from the back of the rubbish truck at 5am by firefighters after he was tipped inside. 

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Morris murderer loses appeal

Connor Morris was fatally struck by a sickle during a fight in West Auckland in 2014.

The man who bludgeoned Millie Elder-Holmes' partner to death with a sickle in an Auckland gang fight will stay behind bars.

A Scottish mentalist read my mind video

Colin Cloud has honours in forensic investigation, now he performs as a magic show.

It feels like a violation to have someone enter your mind. It's frustrating and confusing but also awe-inspiring.

Giving youth a voice

Hannah Lidgett is the country's youngest person to be elected to a RSA executive committee.

A Pukekohe teen is the youngest member of a RSA executive committee in New Zealand.

'Plan B' for Kidwell

Ben Gardiner (centre) has joined the Kiwis as assistant coach.

David Kidwell forced into late coaching change as Garth Brennan lands Titans role.


The big bells above Wellington video

The majestic bells will ring proudly over the Labour Weekend, as part of the 13th annual Wellington Bell Ringing Festival.

Those in the capital get a rare chance to hear all 14 St Paul's church bells ring this weekend.

'No' to Māori seats

Napier City Council civic buildings

Maori council wards 'perceived as creating a division' by some Napier residents.

Full house expected for All Whites

Chris James celebrates scoring against Mexico in 2013.

Westpac Stadium expected to be chocka with just a few thousand tickets left for World Cup playoff.

Council chief executive to stay

Wellington City Council CEO Kevin Lavery has signed on for another two years.

Contract extension for Wellington City Council boss Kevin Lavery, and maybe a pay rise.


A new government for NZ

Jacinda Ardern is set to become Prime Minister.

NZ First leader announces he will form a government with Labour after weeks of coalition negotiations, saying the country voted for change.

Sumner Rd delayed video

Aerial photos from January show the extent of the damage to Sumner Road. This photo is looking towards Lyttelton.

The reopening of a key Chch road has been pushed back by at least a year.

Man denies shooting woman

Luke Adam Nickless has appeared in the Christchurch District Court charged with wounding with a firearm with intent to ...

A 34-year-old has denied shooting a woman at a home in Canterbury.

Bypass opening soon

Traffic builds up on the northern motorway between Belfast and the Waimakariri River bridge.

Traffic will be switched onto Christchurch's new Western Belfast Bypass from early November.


Retired farmer sailing away

Roy Woolerton, 80, spent 16 years building his catamaran, but it's now in the water at Westhaven Marina in Auckland.

The hand-built 14.5m offshore cruising cat has two engines and four double berths

Surviving Labour Day

Expect heavy traffic this Labour weekend (file photo).

It's been carnage on the roads this year. Here's how to take it easy this long weekend.

Emotional send-off for soldier

Sergeant Wayne Taylor, 42, died during a maritime counter-terrorism training exercise off the Coromandel Peninsula on ...

The death of Sergeant Wayne Taylor has left a huge hole, his family say.

Four injured in crash

Two cars have collided in the Athenree Gorge.

Two trapped and two more injured after smash in gorge near Waihi.


Cato needs a co-host

Suzy Cato is famous for her Children's TV show Suzy's World

Children's TV star Suzy Cato now hosts a radio show and wants a Taranaki kid to join her on it.

Sex case verdicts

A jury has returned its verdicts in a Taranaki sex abuse case which was heard in the New Plymouth District Court. (File ...

A jury has found a man guilty of half the historical sex abuse charges he was alleged to have committed.

Traffic light knocked down

The crash happened at the intersection of Devon St East and State Highway 3.

Traffic on New Plymouth's northern route is down to one lane as a result of a crash.

Returning Kiwi's prison stay

After years of living outside of New Zealand, a Taranaki man spent a stint behind bars after being arrested for a ...

A decade old criminal offence caught up with a Taranaki man when he returned from living overseas.


Hemopo clearly Turbos' best

There was no better for the Turbos this season than Jackson Hemopo, who was also the team's top lineout target.

With the Turbos' season over, rugby writer Shaun Eade looks at the top performers.

Crown: Lundy guilty gallery

Justices Helen Winkelmann, Mark Cooper and Raynor Asher are hearing Mark Lundy's appeal in the Court of Appeal.

Crown says times of death in Lundy case may have changed between trials, but  key evidence remains the same.

Car flips outside school

A wrecked car's tyres and brake pads were still smoking as police and a witness rushed to help the driver who crashed ...

Witnesses shocked to see a car smash into two parked cars before flipping in front of school.

Hartley in for high-stakes debut video

NZ motorsport ace Brendon Hartley will make his F1 debut at the US Grand Prix.

Kiwi driver in lions' den at Circuit of the Americas with Lewis Hamilton racing for the F1 crown.


Dam consultation plan gets nod


Tasman district councillor Dana Wensley.

It's time for the public to have a say on the proposed Waimea dam.

Military manoeuvres

Military light operational vehicles involved in Exercise Southern Katipo 2017 roll off the HMNZS Canterbury at Port Nelson.

 Nelson gets a glimpse of the Southern Katipo military exercise as soldiers and supplies roll out of Port Nelson.

Fruit jobs in balance

T&G Foods plant in Nayland Rd, Nelson will either be sold, consolidated or shut.

Apple processing plant in Nelson faces closure amid dropping volumes of juice fruit.

Charge follows scare

A policeman at the Stoke Railway Reserve looks for a man who was allegedly seen with a knife in the area.

Police charge teen with possession of an offensive weapon after knife scare in Stoke.


Bar gets new lease of life

Paddy Barry's Irish Bar, on Scott St, closed in 2017.

The owner of two popular night spots in Blenheim is seemingly looking to open a third.

Charity shop to close

Pams Shop Charitable Trust president Bev Dixon says the trust tried everything they could to keep the store open. (File ...

Sales had dropped significantly to the point where the shop had not made a charitable donation in a year.

Embracing cultural differences

The Yealands Wine Group, based in Seddon, is one of the largest wine companies in New Zealand.

It's easy to dish out the criticism when corporates don't do their bit for ethical practices, so it's important to recognise when they do.

Hijacker could get $25,000

Abdille said a government rule change stopped her reuniting her family in 2004.

Asha Abdille injured two pilots in 2008. Now, she's out of jail and could be in the money.

South Canterbury

When Taiyo met Tom video

Japanese student Taiyo Watanabe finally met his hero gold medal winning shot put world champion Tom Walsh in Timaru on ...

Aspiring Japanese shot putter surprised by unexpected meet and greet with hero Tom Walsh.

Testing criticised

Consumer NZ's advice to people who burned firewood was to make sure the wood was well-seasoned.

Consumer NZ says low-emission woodburners could still cause significant pollution.

$820k revamp for hospital

Henderson Building foreman Simon Bartlett carrying out construction at the Bidwill Trust Hospital.

Bidwill Hospital's nine surgeons will be based on site once upgrade is complete in June.

Slight setback for Tekapo hotel

An aerial view showing developments at Lake Tekapo.

Latest hurdle in consent process of luxury hotel a 'slight' set back, developer says.


ORC boss loses job

Peter Bodeker's contract as the Otago Regional Council's chief executive will not be renewed.

The Otago Regional Council's chief executive is out of a job after the council decided not to renew his contract.

Racing boss turns to golf tourism

Owner of Highlands Motorsport Park and Hampton Downs, Tony Quinn.

Highlands Motorsport Park boss Tony Quinn wants to build a golf course and residential development at the back of his racetrack.

Pilot Graeme Frew confirms Full Noise for Wanaka

Reno rookie of the year, Graeme Frew.

Record-breaking rookie Reno racer Graeme Frew to bring V-12 powered Yak-3 aircraft to Wanaka's airshow.

Aerial rat attack in Matukituki Valley

Native robins are thriving at Aspiring Flat after being reintroduced to the area several years ago.

DOC opens new front in the Battle for our Birds in the Mt Aspiring National Park near Wanaka.


Unique tanker in truck parade

Bill Richardson Transport World tourism co-ordinator Amelia Munro will accompany the museum's Texaco Tanker in Sunday's ...

A one-of-a-kind Texaco tanker will be paraded in Invercargill for possibly the last time.

Principals praise parent volunteers

Invercargill Middle School principal Stan Tiatia.

"I think we are really lucky that the good old Southland way is to get in and help."

Kiwis need to talk about driving

NZ Transport Agency regional relationships director Jim Harland with a steering wheel tag that provides tourists with ...

Before criticising out international drivers, Kiwis need to start looking at their own driving ability, an NZ Transport Agency director has said.

Gore dairy owner wary of safety

Sunbeam Milk Bar owner Eddie Cooney is appreciative of support from the Gore community following an armed robbery in his ...

Three robberies have taken their toll on Gore dairy owner Eddie Cooney but he's not hanging up the closed sign.

Ad Feedback