Eastern Courier : December 8th 2010
www.easterncourier.co.nz Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Apologetic MP accepts report Fronting up: Botany MP Pansy Wong addresses the media in Wellington. By MATT BOWEN Systemic travel perk abuse was not found in an investi- gation involving Botany MP Pansy Wong and her hus- band Sammy. The independent report confirmed that their actions on a 2008 trip in China could be construed as being for pri- vate business purposes in breach of the rules. Ms Wong has accepted the report and apologised. She and her husband agreed to each repay $237.06 to cover the subsidised portion of the trip from Bei- jing to Lianyungang. Ms Wong resigned from Cabinet when the revelations came to light last month. Consultant Hugh McPhail s 42-page report says the business activity was largely unintentional and inadvertent on her part . Mr McPhail says it is unlikely the Wongs would have been in Lianyungang if it had not been for Mr Wong s business interest in the hovercraft company. Ms Wong says her energy and focus now will be used to serve the people of Botany and promoting the interests of ethnic communities . Prime Minister John Key says Ms Wong is not likely to return to Cabinet before next year s election. Call to support appeal APPEAL HRISTMAS APPEAL Grateful: Heidi Burger, with daughter Jenna-Mae, says help from the Salvation Army got the family through a tough time. Photo: FIONA GOODALL By NICOLA WILLIAMS LIFE changed for the Burger family when redundancy struck. Without the Salvation Army s help the family would have had to return to South Africa to live. Heidi Burger says leaving was something she didn t want to contemplate and she s immensely grateful to be able to stay in the country she loves. The Burgers left South Africa because they didn t want to raise their daughters in an unsafe country. They moved here three years ago and Mrs Burger s husband got a job in the first week. But the recession hit and he was made redundant a few months later, leaving them without an income for six months until he found another job. Having no job in a new country with no support is difficult, Mrs Burger says. We had a lot of help from the Salvation Army during that time. We go to the church so we have a big support group there. It was the Salvation Army that got them through the tough time. They are very kind, com- passionate and willing to help. They go beyond a food pack -- they did a whole lot more for us than you could ever imagine. Mrs Burger is very grate- ful and would like to encour- age people to support the Eastern Courier and Sal- vation Army Christmas appeal that provides food and gifts to those struggling at Christmas. The Botany resident was overwhelmed with the Christmas hamper her family received. It was so nice. There were so many treats and snacks, it really eased the burden, she says. At Christmas we couldn t afford anything so to be given a food parcel was a blessing. Mrs Burger says many people need help for the first time in their lives and in a volatile economy it could hap- pen to anyone. Anything unexpected can happen, anyone can lose their job, she says. Every bit helps, a small donation makes a big differ- ence in someone else s life. Donations of new unwrapped gifts for children, teens and adults are needed along with non-perishable staple food and Christmas treats including pavlovas. Cash donations allow the Salvation Army to buy items they are short of and perish- able food. Volunteers are also needed to help make up the Christmas parcels on Decem- ber 21 and 22. Phone 535-0847 to register for a parcel by December 15. Donation boxes are at the Salvation Army office in Wel- lington St, the family stores in Howick and Botany, local libraries, Botany Town Cen- tre and Westfield Pakuranga. Cheques can be made pay- able to East City Salvation Army and sent to PO Box 38-126, Howick.
December 3rd 2010
December 10th 2010