Murder accused gets suppression
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.