‘Attacker’ working at school
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’’.