Police charge man with wasting their time

2011-01-13 07:22

Wellington – A New Zealand man who sparked an intensive two-day land, sea and air search after apparently disappearing while diving for shellfish was charged today with wasting police time.

Yesterday evening, Colin Smithies (49) walked into a police station at Clive on the east coast of the North Island, 285 kilometres from Titahi Bay near Wellington, where he had sent a text message to his wife 48 hours earlier saying he had found a good spot to dive.

His wife raised the alarm when he did not return four hours later, and about 40 searchers, including police divers and ground parties, combed the area for two days after his backpack and car were found near the Titahi Bay beach.

Detective Sergeant Donna Howard said Smithies had hitchhiked across the island and was “disorientated and quite distressed” when he arrived at Clive.

She said the reasons for the disappearance of the father of three were between him and his family, who had been put through a great deal of trauma.

“Obviously, Mr Smithies has some issues he is dealing with, and I’d like to leave it at that,” she said. “I think perhaps that we’ve referred him to medical professionals may give you a good indication of where he’s at.”

Howard said Smithies, a senior economist with the national business watchdog Commerce Commission, would be charged in court.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.