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Eastern Courier : May 17th 2013
North Auckland and Northland grid upgrade project EC 17513 www.transpower.co.nz TranspowerNZ 0800 655 463 @TranspowerAKL ( Major works: Ti Rakau Drive Change in road layout from late May 2013 From late May the east bound lanes on Ti Rakau Drive between Edgewater Drive and Gossamer Drive will be restricted to one lane while Transpower installs underground electricity cables. There will be delays and drivers are advised to plan ahead to reach their destinations on time and consider alternative routes if possible. We apologise for any inconvenience and thank drivers for their patience while this essential electricity upgrade is underway. SINGLE LANE EAST BOUND between Edgewater and Gossamer Drives Edgewater Drive Gossamer Drive Fremantle Pl Ti Rakau Drive Friday, May 17, 2013 NETWORK Unbeatable coverage of readers 15+ 808,000 Auckland's most powerful media Ph 09 525 0666 Source: Nielsen CMI Q3 2011--Q2 2012 Stigma sticks Go to easterncourier.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to see interactive clips and learn how to sign everyday words or phrases. Deaf Aotearoa issues a challenge to learn signs Sometimes I feel people try to make me look different, inhuman, but I'm not. We're not aliens, we're humans, we're exactly the same. By SARAH ARGYLE Cheryl Spykerman Defying odds: Trevor and Cheryl Spykerman. CHERYL and Trevor Spykerman thrive in a silent world. The Spykermans and their three sons are a normal'' family, the only difference is Trevor and Cheryl are deaf. The Botany Downs couple has a message for the hearing com- munity: The deaf are just the same, we lead the same lives as hearing people. We have the same dreams and aspirations as every- body else.'' Cheryl, speaking through an interpreter, says her early life was a struggle and she always felt differ- ent as the only deaf member of her family. It was insisted that she communi- cate through speech. I had communication frus- tration. I was hungry to learn and use sign language.'' Cheryl was finally allowed to attend a deaf high school. It was there that she instantly felt at home, finally fitted in and met the man who would become her husband. Trevor Spykerman says being deaf means life is full of frustra- tions, barriers and discriminations. But one thing neither Cheryl nor Trevor have any difficulty with is raising their three hearing sons. They didn't force their boys to learn sign language but Trevor says the boys learnt it in their own time. We never use our children as our interpreters. We treat them as precious sons like a normal, happy family,'' he says. The couple says the move from South Africa to New Zealand has meant a number of the communi- cation barriers have been broken down. There's a lot more access in New Zealand to the deaf community. In South Africa you have to pay for an interpreter and it is really difficult for the deaf to cope,'' Cheryl says. Cheryl and Trevor have taken their hearing difficulties in their stride but still face challenges that stop them from doing everyday tasks with the ease of the hearing community. Supermarket shopping is an example. Cheryl says if they need help from staff they must write down their request. Or if a checkout oper- ator tries to talk to them they strug- gle to understand. We have to tell them we are deaf then they stop talking. We are never ashamed but at times it is hard for us.'' A lot of people don't know how to handle deaf people, Trevor says. They either walk away or speak very loudly. Very few people have the patience to try and communicate with us.'' Cheryl works as an employment consultant for Deaf Aotearoa where she supports people with job search- ing, applications and provides ongo- ing support to those in working environments. My passion is to reach all the deaf people in the community to make sure they are all aware of their human rights.'' Trevor, a design engineer, says deaf people have the ability to work a lot harder because they are not distracted by background noises or conversation. Cheryl says there is a real stigma attached to the deaf community. Sometimes I feel people try to make me look different, inhuman, but I'm not. We're not aliens, we're humans, we're exactly the same,'' Cheryl says. Deaf Aotearoa chief executive Lachlan Keating says deaf New Zealanders add layers of culture and colour to communities. Deaf Aotearoa challenges people to learn 25 signs to celebrate the seventh birthday of New Zealand Sign Language Week which runs until Sunday. Cheryl and Trevor say it would be a huge benefit to the deaf com- munity if others could learn basic sign language. Visit nzslweek.org.nz for more information. Draft plan changes 'pleasant' By SIMON SMITH Changes to the draft unitary plan will make the intensification more palatable, the mayor of Auckland says. Len Brown also hints at some relief coming for residents in northwest Pakuranga who are shocked at the idea of six-storey apartment buildings across their leafy suburb. ''They are going to be pleasantly surprised,'' he says. General changes will address concern over height limits in coastal townships as well as easing transition between zones. There will also be changes to areas of ecological significance and the council is fixing ''some clear faults and mistakes'' with the plan's technical drafting. But Mr Brown says the process will not be slowed to give more time for feedback which must be made by May 31. ''There will be no benefit from extending the timeframe for feedback in terms of making those views any clearer. ''They are about as clear as they can get right now,'' he says. The Howick Local Board this week urged Auckland Council to slow down the unitary plan process. It also asked for planning support in making its own submission. Mr Brown won't give more detail on his planned changes. ''I think we need to show respect to the process,'' he says. People will have a chance to make formal submissions once the draft plan is notified. ''We haven't fully decided when we will notify the plan, the intention is to notify it in September.'' Visit shapeauckland.co.nz to learn more information and for details on how to give feedback.
May 15th 2013