Further anomalies on the 1080 related Whitianga assault of Graeme Sturgeon


From Carol Sawyer

The security guard who was witnessed assaulting Graeme Sturgeon is the director of a security firm that was registered 8 weeks after the incident.

Graeme Sturgeon, as most readers will know by now, was assaulted in the public carpark of the Liquor King Building, Whitianga, on the night of 17 October, 2017 – hauled from his car by a ” security guard’, his clothing torn and his nose bloodied. This was witnessed by others and I have earlier produced a couple of those witness statements.

A small group of people had come across a 1080 poison-loading operation – no signage, nothing to say there was no vehicle access, residential housing and food outlets on either side, and seemingly a clandestine operation. DoC employees were loading 20 tonnes of 1080 poison, in the dark, from a storage area at the rear of the building in preparation for an aerial 1080 poison drop the next day.

In a remarkable turnaround the NZ Police have charged the assaulted person, Graeme Sturgeon, with assault !

The case came before the court in Thames on November 30th, 2017. The police produced the “summary of facts’ below, in time for that hearing. Graeme Sturgeon pleaded Not Guilty. The case comes up again in Thames on 16 January, 2018.

The person who attacked Graeme, and who is now being declared by Police to be the one attacked, is ‘security guard’ Richard Steven Perry Lane, who is supposedly a director of a security firm, VIP SECURITY CONSULTANTS LTD.

Hold on a minute !!! I have just been told this firm was only registered on the 12th December 2017. (‘VIP SECURITY CONSULTANTS LIMITED was incorporated under the Companies Act 1993 on 12 December, 2017’) – WHAT IS GOING ON HERE ?!!!

Could it be that DoC employed people to act as security guards who were NOT security guards? They didn’t have ID by all accounts. At the drop zone the next day they wore sunglasses and beanies and no ID. They didn’t give their names when asked, at any time. Their vehicle the next day, on a public road, had no mileage sticker, no registration sticker, and no number plate.


Here is the Police Summary of ‘Facts’, and below that again is Graeme Sturgeon’s statement :

NZ Police


DOB 24/07/1948 (69)

Charge Common Assault(Crimes Act)manually
Crimes Act 1961 Section 196
1 Year imprisonment

On Tuesday the 17th October 2017 the Defendant, Graeme William STURGEON, was part of a 1080 protest group at the Department of Conservation offices situated on Joan Gaskell Drive, Whitianga.

At about 7:40pm he then drove his Toyota vehicle towards trucks that were being used to transport 1080 at the rear of the premises.

He was then signalled to stop by a security guard, the victim in this matter, Richard Steven Perry LANE, but he continued past him and parked beside the front truck.

The victim then approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and opened it, concerned as to the risk the occupant posed.

The Defendant then kicked the driver’s door open fully and kicked out at the victim, striking him in the stomach.

The Defendant then punched the victim to his jaw, before being restrained by the victim at arm’s length.

The Defendant then attempted to punch the victim in the head area a further three times, before he was calmed down by people present.

As a result of the assault, the victim received soreness to his jaw area.

When spoken to by Police, the Defendant denied the facts as outlined and stated that he was the one assaulted.

The Defendant is 69 years old, is currently an accommodation provider, and has previously appeared before the court.




“Statement made after the events of Tuesday 17 th October behind Liquor King in Whitianga :
I was camped with four other people on a property up Kaimarama Road awaiting an 1080 Airdrop that was due to go into the area the following morning.
About eight o’clock we receive a message to say there was a strong smell of 1080 in the housing estate behind Liquor King and DOC was loading trucks with 1080 there in the middle of town.

We were anxious to get photos of such a crazy action
so I drove into Whitianga. The directions given were a bit hazy so upon spotting Liquor King I drove up the road alongside Liquor King and around the back of the building. As I turned the right angle corner at the back of the building I came upon 5 or six trucks that I had not seen until that moment.

I stopped and was in the process of taking off my seat belt when my door flew open and I was grabbed by the scruff of the neck and dragged from my vehicle. So much happened in the next few seconds that I am a bit hazy about, after receiving a brutal fist in the face. I remember a woman’s raised voice and seeing a
Security Guard standing there in front of me saying ‘Well he is bigger than me’

As my nose was bleeding I staggered back to my vehicle to get some tissues to be told that I was not getting into my vehicle as it was staying where it was until the police arrived. I was happy enough with that. I then became aware that both the inside and outside locking system of the driver’s door was broken and the door hinges appeared bent as the door would not close very well. I could not lock the door.

While we waited I was told that Diana Halstead and Dr Pond had also been assaulted as DoC Security Staff entered their vehicles and attempted to take their keys from them. The trucks reversed out from behind the building and set off up to the Kaimarama Road. The Police arrived after about an hour and went inside the building to, I presume, interview DOC Staff. It was only at that time that I realised that the building contained DOC Offices.

The Constable finally emerged and began to question us and take photos including the broken door on my vehicle and my shirt and jacket that had just about been torn from my back. He was pleasant and did a very thorough job I thought. It was agreed that we would go to Coromandel Police Station and make a detailed statement to Morrisey as soon as possible.”


Photos (via Carol Sawyer)

1) Security guard and DoC Warranted Officer at Kaimarama Road, 18 October, 2017
2 )1080 poison loading operation, Liquor King carpark, 17 October, 2017
A.Copy of assault.jpg
3 ) Graeme Sturgeon after being hauled from his car, clothing ripped, doorhandle broken and thrown to the ground, nose beaten.


4 and 5 ) Information I have been sent. Someone found them on https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/PSPLA/ – make of it what you will.



4 and 5 ) Information I have been sent. Someone found them on https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/PSPLA/ – make of it what you will.


6) In his day job, Mr. Lane sprays poison it seems – in this case for the Waikato Regional Council.


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