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PAPAKURA COURIER, MAY 30, 2012
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It s one of the toughest
decisions Len Brown has
had to make since
becoming mayor of the
He s been forced to
abandon his dream of
extending the success-
ful Manukau free swim-
ming pools policy across
the city because it
didn t have enough
political or public sup-
Instead a majority of
at last week s Auckland
Council strategy and
finance meeting, agree-
ing instead to support
free access for 16-year-
olds and under across
Heirlooms stolen from storage
By JAY BOREHAM
she lost family
heirlooms from her
storage units in
Photo: JAY BOREHAM
BURGLARS have stolen $60,000
worth of Kathy Crook s possessions
and more than 200 years of her fam-
But the Papakura resident is
determined to get them back.
I have been to every market all
and around Auckland in the last
five weeks from Pokeno to Puke-
kohe, Papakura to Clevedon, Avon-
dale, St Lukes, Otara, you name it,
I ve been to secondhand shops,
She doesn t care if she has to buy
back an item as long as she can find
something the police can trace back
to the burglars.
Ms Crook was renovating her
house last year and split her belong-
ings between two Papakura storage
Then at the end of last year her
father fell ill and was put into care.
She and her siblings split their
I didn t have time to sort it, I put
itallinboxes. . .andputitinto
monitored storage in Elliot St and
had probably 98 per cent of it
Her father died on May 7.
On or just before March 13
thieves got into the service crawl
space of the storage units and
removed panels from the rear wall.
They took most of the boxes from
Ms Crook s unit and some from
units either side. In the boxes were
4000 books, her own collection and
some of which she had just
inherited from her father.
More than 300 cooking books
that were my grandmother s, plus
mine, plus my mother s plus my
aunty s -- that was a collection in
itself and they date back to the
Ms Crook s father was a maritime
captain for the Northland Harbour
Board so most of his library con-
sisted of non-fiction stories from the
sea and included editions signed by
Sir Peter Blake, Russell Coutts and
Sir Francis Chichester.
A fortnight after the first bur-
glary Ms Crook s second storage
unit containing her furniture and
other belongings on Ingram St was
hit. This time the thieves removed
panels from above the door and
passed items over it.
So they have rifled all the stuff
out of that because they couldn t get
the furniture out -- vases, silver,
jewellery, chinaware, tablecloths,
the linen you name it.
She s worried that the burglaries
might have been carried out by an
organised group and would like
people to keep an eye out for her
These guys know how to hide
stuff and then put it out in garage
sales little by little.
She hopes making people aware
of her plight will mean people will
remember and contact the police if
the goods turn up somewhere down
the line .
Storage owner Jeff McMiken says
he has done everything he can to
help Mrs Crook and the police close
in on the burglars.
We ve been in business for a long
long time and we have never had an
issue, he says.
He already has a state-of-the-art
alarm system and monitoring
cameras but has spent thousands
on adding more cameras throughout
his storage units to ensure it can t
The police are now following a
number of leads in regards to the
two thefts, a spokeswoman says.
But we still want as much infor-
mation as possible, she says.
Phone Constable Shane Grant at
the Papakura police on 295 0200 or
call Crimestoppers anonymously on
0800 555 111.
Station upgrade ends an era
It ll be a sign of the times and the
end of an era at the Papakura Rail-
way Station this Queen s Birthday
More than 80 years of manual
signalling at the station will end
when the next stage of upgrade
Signalling systems will switch on
Saturday when the Papakura signal
box closes and is replaced by an
automated signalling system.
Auckland Transport and Kiwi-
Rail are using the long weekend rail
network closure to make the switch
and carry out work to modernise
the station to meet future patron-
age growth and prepare it for elec-
From next Tuesday passengers
will be directed to the island
platforms one and two while the
first stage of work is carried out to
the station entry and platforms
alongside Railway St West.
The station s kiss n ride drop-off
area and the ticket office will close
but customers can buy concession
tickets from Brandy s Cafe
´ at 2/14
Railway St and Stop N Save at 192
Great South Rd.
One man who s seen many
changes to the Auckland rail net-
work is Veolia signaller Tom
He s part of the team responsible
for signalling the trains through the
section of track between Wiri and
Papakura. He s been working at
Papakura Station for 21 years and
in the rail industry for 43 years.
The lever-operated mechanical
signals were installed here in the
1930s and although they are safe
and reliable they do need to be
upgraded because with all the cur-
rent and the old metal levers in the
system, there will be a risk of elec-
trocution once the new overhead
wires go in, he says.
I think it s great the old signal
panel will be kept on display in the
ticket office, which is also a heritage
building, to show people how we
used to do it in the old days and how
far we have come technologically on
the railways from the early 1900s.
The signalling equipment will be
relocated to the west side of the sta-
tion along with the old wooden
The heritage building will be
refurbished into a ticketing office
and information kiosk and space for
The station upgrade also includes
an enlarged park and ride, more
platform shelters and furniture,
CCTV, lighting and public address
upgrades and passenger infor-
KiwiRail will also provide a
dedicated freight line through the
station and optimise track and plat-
form layout for electrification.
Man on the run after robbery
A man on the run after the aggra-
vated robbery of a Takanini laund-
rette could have his partner with
The police are calling for infor-
mation on the whereabouts of
Norton Wilson, 19, and his partner
Brenda Fenton, 30.
Wilson is wanted in connection
with a number of thefts and bur-
glaries, including the aggravated
robbery of the Quick n Clean Laun-
derette in Takanini on May 20,
Detective Brendon Pearson says.
Wilson is believed to be in pos-
session of a butcher s knife and
should not be approached.
Ms Fenton is not wanted in con-
nection with any offences. She is
believed to have joined her partner
on the run after she was inter-
viewed by police about his where-
abouts. On May 23 she left her chil-
dren with family members and has
not been seen since. She should also
not be approached.
Anyone with any knowledge of the
pair's whereabouts should phone
Detective Brendon Pearson on 295
0200 or call the Crimestoppers line
anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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