Mur­der ac­cused gets sup­pres­sion

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One of two peo­ple charged with mur­der­ing Nel­son woman TraceyAnne Har­ris has ap­peared in court.

The woman, 30, was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day, along with a 26-yearold man, af­ter a two-year po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion in the death of Har­ris.

Her body was found at her Stoke home in Fe­bru­ary, 2016.

The woman charged with Har­ris’ mur­der was given in­terim name sup­pres­sion when she ap­peared in the Ro­torua Dis­trict Court yesterday.

She also faces six charges of sup­ply­ing metham­phetamine, one charge of of­fer­ing to sup­ply metham­phetamine and two charges of sup­ply­ing the Class B drug Gamma Hy­drox­y­bu­tyrate (GHB).

She was re­manded in cus­tody with­out plea. She will next ap­pear in the High Court at Nel­son on March 7.

Judge Ma­ree McKen­zie noted there were a num­ber of dru­gre­lated charges, how­ever she said they were ‘‘not related to the mur­der charge’’.

The 26-year-old man jointly charged with Har­ris’ mur­der is set

But with no boats in sight, Buenz’s son turned his eyes to the sky, where he spot­ted a drone.

‘‘We’re walking along the beach and the drone comes down and it was at eye level... fol­low­ing us around.’’

Buenz said they looked around but couldn’t find any trace of the op­er­a­tor. ‘‘It was very clearly fol­low­ing us, watch­ing us, it wasn’t as though it just flew over... it was hov­er­ing over us, watch­ing us as we were sit­ting on the beach,’’ he said.

‘‘The creepy part was you have no idea who this per­son is, they’re sit­ting there con­trol­ling this thing and watch­ing you from re­ally close by. It doesn’t feel right.’’

He said af­ter the ‘‘in­tru­sion of pri­vacy’’ the drone flew away, with green and red lights blink­ing, leav­ing no clue as to why it had been there.

‘‘We were won­der­ing, ‘can we throw sand at it, or shoot it down?’’’ he said.

It felt ‘‘weird’’, and a po­ten­tial pri­vacy is­sue, that a stranger could film with­out iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves, nor pro­vid­ing con­text as to why they were op­er­at­ing the drone so close to peo­ple.

A mem­ber of Buenz’s hol­i­day­ing group sent a mes­sage to the Of­fice of the Pri­vacy Com­mis­sioner, and re­ceived a re­ply which said, es­sen­tially, a drone op­er­a­tor ob­tain­ing footage for per­sonal use in a pub­lic space had the right to film.

‘‘Peo­ple can have lit­tle ex­pec­ta­tion of pri­vacy in a pub­lic space and this is an is­sue in a na­tional park or camp­ing ground be­cause peo­ple value their pri­vacy when camp­ing or hol­i­day­ing,’’ the re­ply said.

‘‘The Pri­vacy Act does not ex­tend to in­di­vid­u­als col­lect­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion for their per­sonal use un­less the ma­te­rial is ‘highly of­fen­sive to a rea­son­able per­son’.’’

Those film­ing for com­mer­cial pur­poses had to abide by the Pri­vacy Act. How­ever, the Of­fice said the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion (DOC) might have its own guide­lines for recre­ational drone use in its Na­tional Parks.

DOC Motueka Oper­a­tions Man­ager Mark Townsend said peo­ple vis­it­ing Abel Tas­man Na­tional Park could not use drones with­out a con­ces­sion.

No con­ces­sions had been granted on the day Buenz had spot­ted the drone.

‘‘Un­manned air­craft/drones are de­fined as air­craft un­der Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity rules and a con­ces­sion is re­quired for any air­craft to land on, take off from, or hover over con­ser­va­tion land,’’ he said.

‘‘Un­der CAA rules, if a drone is to ap­pear at Nel­son Dis­trict Court on Fe­bru­ary 19.

He was ar­rested in Christchurch on Wed­nes­day.

Tas­man Dis­trict act­ing crime man­ager De­tec­tive Se­nior Sergeant Jac­qui Cor­ner said the ar­rests came as the re­sult of a metic­u­lous in­ves­ti­ga­tion by Nel­son de­tec­tives.

‘‘This is a timely re­minder that we are pre­pared and com­mit­ted to con­tinue and pur­sue crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions long af­ter an event in pur­suit of the truth and to bring those who have no re­gard for the law to ac­count.

‘‘It is vir­tu­ally two years to the fly­ing over con­ser­va­tion land, with­out tak­ing off, land­ing, or hov­er­ing, au­tho­ri­sa­tion from DOC is re­quired, although this is not in the form of a con­ces­sion.’’

He said in the Abel Tas­man it was ‘‘un­likely’’ a con­ces­sion for recre­ational use would be granted. ‘‘We get some pub­lic in­quiries about use of drones recre­ation­ally in the park and ad­vise those in­quir­ing that any ap­pli­ca­tion for a con­ces­sion for recre­ational drone use would likely be de­clined.’’

He said de­ci­sions were made based on po­lices and pro­vi­sions in the man­age­ment plan for the park, which had been de­vel­oped in day since Ms Har­ris’ body was found,’’ she said.

‘‘Our staff have been ex­tremely pa­tient and pro­fes­sional in gath­er­ing suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to bring this mat­ter be­fore the court.

‘‘We are also still ask­ing for any­one with in­for­ma­tion in re­la­tion to this in­ves­ti­ga­tion who hasn’t come for­ward to make con­tact with the Nel­son CIB.’’

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can call Nel­son po­lice on (03) 5463840.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Paul Bor­rell said in March 2016 that pre­lim­i­nary tox­i­col­ogy re­ports had left ‘‘some unan­swered ques­tions [about Har­ris’ death].’’ con­sul­ta­tion with the pub­lic, and it didn’t al­low air­craft land­ings ex­cept for man­age­ment and emer­gen­cies.

‘‘The rules on air­craft use in the park are aimed at min­imis­ing dis­tur­bance to wildlife and pro­tect­ing the nat­u­ral quiet of the na­tional park.’’

Vis­i­tors needed to re­spect the nodrone rules, as they could im­pact na­tive wildlife and other peo­ple’s en­joy­ment.

Peo­ple who saw a drone in the park should re­port it to DOC hut war­dens or rangers. ‘‘We plan to put in­for­ma­tion on new sig­nage at the Mara­hau en­trance to the park ad­vis­ing that drones can­not be used with­out au­thor­ity,’’ Townsend said.


Un­less you get a con­ces­sion from DOC, you can­not op­er­ate a drone in the Abel Tas­man.


Tracey-Anne Har­ris’ body was found at her Mar­lowe St, Stoke, home in Fe­bru­ary 2016.

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