‘At­tacker’ work­ing at school

The Dominion Post - - News - TOM HUNT

The ac­cused day­light at­tacker of a Welling­ton park­ing war­den was work­ing on a pri­mary school con­struc­tion site.

Stuff can con­firm that Rawiri James Emery, 39, was work­ing for a sub-con­tract­ing firm on a ma­jor de­vel­op­ment at Newtown School when the al­leged at­tack hap­pened.

He ap­peared in Welling­ton District Court on Fri­day charged with in­jur­ing park­ing war­den Ken An­der­son with in­tent to wound on April 6 out­side Newtown School. The ac­cused was re­manded for two weeks with­out plead­ing.

The al­leged at­tack left An­der­son un­con­scious with a frac­tured eye socket and bro­ken nose.

He needed surgery to re­con­struct part of his face and Welling­ton City Coun­cil con­firmed yes­ter­day that it would be three to four weeks be­fore he would re­turn to work.

The vic­tim was sched­uled to have 35 sta­ples re­moved from his skull to­day and was re­ceiv­ing coun­selling.

A Nay­lor Love spokesman con­firmed Emery was work­ing at the site, though he was a sub­con­trac­tor and not di­rectly work­ing for Nay­lor Love.

All work­ers on the site had been vet­ted for work­ing at a school.

An­der­son was ad­mit­ted to Hutt Hos­pi­tal for fa­cial reconstruction surgery. A hos­pi­tal spokesman said he had since been dis­charged.

A wit­ness to the al­leged at­tack said An­der­son was walk­ing along Rid­di­ford St in Newtown when the at­tack hap­pened.

‘‘What was great for me was see­ing two park­ing of­fi­cers there within min­utes, along with po­lice and am­bu­lance.’’

E tu¯ union or­gan­iser Kim El­lis said war­dens could be ver­bally abused mul­ti­ple times in a day and – less reg­u­larly – also faced phys­i­cal abuse.

War­dens were val­ued mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and worked hard to ed­u­cate peo­ple. ‘‘The work they do is im­por­tant.’’

The fact that two park­ing war­dens rushed to the aid of their stricken col­league within min­utes showed how much they had one an­other’s backs, she said.

It seemed likely An­der­son was able to get an emer­gency mes­sage out af­ter he was on the ground.

The in­jured park­ing war­den was not a union mem­ber.

The prin­ci­pal of Newtown School, Mark Brown, would not com­ment.

Mean­while, park­ing war­dens in Porirua will soon start wear­ing body cam­eras to help avoid fur­ther vi­o­lence.

The city’s war­dens and an­i­mal con­trol of­fi­cers have been equipped with body cam­eras as part of their uni­forms to min­imise the risk of harm to staff and the pub­lic by en­cour­ag­ing pos­i­tive be­hav­iour.

The coun­cil’s gen­eral man­ager of pol­icy plan­ning and reg­u­la­tory ser­vices, James Jef­fer­son, con­sid­ered them timely. ‘‘Like that of­fi­cer, our staff are de­cent, hard­work­ing men and women who are just try­ing to serve this com­mu­nity, mak­ing it a bet­ter place to live and work in. They de­serve to feel safe while they’re do­ing that.

‘‘Un­for­tu­nately there are times when coun­cil of­fi­cers can be faced with ver­bal abuse, threats and phys­i­cal as­saults, so we want to do ev­ery­thing we can to keep our peo­ple safe.’’

The cam­eras only record when man­u­ally turned on by of­fi­cers and the pub­lic must be told they’re be­ing switched on. ‘‘Footage will only be held for the rea­sons de­scribed above, in line with the NZ Pri­vacy Act 1993.’’

A draw­ing shows the planned ex­ten­sions for Ex­pres­sions Whiri­naki, in a bid to make the gallery ‘‘a re­gion­ally sig­nif­i­cant cen­tre of arts, cul­ture and her­itage’’.

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