Eastern Courier : May 25th 2011
6 EASTERN COURIER, MAY 25, 2011 OPINION Waiheke Island -- there's no better place to live your life. Enjoy your piece of paradise and more with villas starting from just $299,000 Waiheke Retirement Village 37 Natzka Road, Anzac Bay, Ostend. 09 372 2820 www.waihekeretirementvillage.co.nz Waiheke Retirement Village is right on the water's edge at Anzac Bay. The village offers an independent retirement lifestyle with a range of top quality facilities within a relaxed and supportive community environment. You can experience coastal retirement living for yourself by calling Libby on 372 2820. She can give you a tour of the village and show you a selection of spacious and affordable villas priced from just $299,000. If you have a SuperGold Card or have an ARTA approved Senior Citizen ID card you can travel for free on Fullers' ferries. And if you let us know before you travel we can arrange for someone to pick you up from the ferry terminal on Waiheke Island. energi _J11701EC CLUB HOUSE LOUNGE AND DINING ROOM • INDOOR HEATED SWIMMING POOL • SPA POOL • BILLIARDS • LIBRARY • PETANQUE TERRAIN • HAIRDRESSING SALON • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY CALL SYSTEM • COURTESY COACH • WORKSHOP Six Year Warranty Energy Efficient Quiet and Discreet • • • Serving the Auckland region since 2002 Call NOW for your quote 0800 4 FONKO (0800 4 36656) [GCT [ [ 6 ,1&5($6,1* <285 &20)257 YCTTCPV[ +,7$&+, +($7 38036 HEAT PUMPS HOT DEALS ON 607mY 803mY RAS-35YHA3 RAS-50YHA2 Hitachi Ticks All The Boxes! HEATING HEATING Don't Miss Out! from from $2,099 $2,599 PRICE INCLUDES Installation and GST! Great support A thank you to all sponsors of our mid-week tennis charity auction in support of Hospice South Auckland. To the businesses primarily in Howick but also outlets in Maraetai, Beachlands, Whitford, Half Moon Bay, Buck- lands Beach, Pakuranga and Botany -- a huge thank you. Because of your generosity, especially in a time when many demands were being made on you for Christchurch, Japan and other charities, we were able to raise a record- breaking $7000. Please accept our sincere appreciation. Jenni Cullen Howick Tennis Club Speaking out in defence of children Okay, if there s a danger that I m sounding like an over- age, one-trick pony I ll take that risk. I feel no guilt. At least I know that a big proportion of this column s readers are worried sick about the terrible number of this country s children who face injury and death every moment of their young lives. Week after week media headlines paint a picture of a national scourge -- three more badly battered babies in one recent week. Now at last a bill before Parliament -- seeking to make failure to report child abuse an offence with a jail term of up to 10 years -- reflects the views argued over the years by this column and its readers. The Rev Hone Kaa of the child advocacy group Te Kahui Mana Ririki laid out ground rules for his com- munity and all of us after the horrendous death of Nia Glassie with its background of family and neighbour silence. Stop turning a blind eye. We ve got to learn to nark. Those with deep concerns on this issue can share them with Parliament in the com- mittee hearings on the bill. In the meantime they deserv- edly fill my mailbag: Caroline Mabry, Glen Eden: I want to believe that the human animal wants to love their fellow humans. But factors cloud the minds of adults who decide to maim and kill and torture children. Economic stress, worry, horrible memories can cloud the mind. And so can drugs. We all need to be vig- ilant to sounds of distress in our neighbourhoods. I heard what turned out to be a two-year-old crying and crying. I went up to find him alone with no one around. I called the police. They arrived as the absent mum arrived. I was frightened of reper- cussions but later that day a hard knock on the door announced a presence. It was the sister of the mum coming to thank me. We must risk the possi- bility of embarrassment for the sake of our children. On another occasion it all seemed all right. I guess everyone knows that a permitted drug, alcohol, is out of control in New Zealand and that famil- ies and children suffer from violence and neglect as a result. We must encourage our government to address the Law Commission Reports in their Alcohol Reform Bill. The tsunami of concern about misuse of alcohol has forced the government to pro- duce this bill but it leaves out efforts to curb advertising, lowering the allowable blood levels for driving and cheap alcohol targeted for our young people. Remember we have chil- dren being treated now for alcohol addiction. Thanks Pat for forcing all of us to look at the horrors of child abuse and murder in our so-called civilised society. Willie Huitema, Kohimarama: Paula Ben- nett says the government doesn t have all of the money to protect children right now . What she really means is the government doesn t con- sider it a priority at the moment. The government can always find money for some- thing if it really wants to. It gave $4.1 million to the organisation that controls the AMI Stadium in Christ- church so that it could rebuild the pitch, all because this organisation was silly enough not to bother insuring it. Maybe that $4.1m would have been better allocated to protecting children. Maybe it could have saved one life. Jane Freeman: We say we value our children but how many of us have witnessed examples that defy that concept of value? The children in your column More tiny voices from the grave are just a small percentage of horrendous statistics that plague this nation. How many people have witnessed devaluing of chil- dren and kept silent? How many people have put other things such as drinking alcohol above the care of their children? How many people have paid for cigarettes over food for their children? Or have had their noses in a cellphone while crossing the street pushing a pram? We have manufacturers designing pushchairs that face away from the parents/ caregivers of children. This I believe has a huge impact of that relational interaction of long ago. An example I know of involved a situation where because the child was facing away from the parents in a pushchair they were unaware that the child had stopped breathing and had turned blue. I know of one recent example where two children were adopted through a cer- tain governmental agency. These children had been moved at least 25 times and subsequently suffered psychological and learning difficulties as a result. Their adopting mother was later told that medical funding was being cut for these two children. When the governmental agency was challenged about how many times these chil- dren had been moved the response from a person in a supervisory role stated that what these children had gone through was nothing. She had another child on her caseload who had been moved 79 times. In our current situation our society is governed by people who are doing things backwards. We have fizzy drinks and takeaways that are cheaper than bread and milk. Lollies and icecream are cheaper than fruit and vegetables. Yet the obesity statistics in our society are then complained about. We are breeding a gener- ation of decreased dental hygiene and low self-esteem. My question: Where does it end? As Members of Parliament these people should be fam- iliar with Bronfenbrenner s ecological systems theory as well as the structure of wha- nau, hapu and iwi. (One defi- nition of his theory: To study a child s development we must look not only at the child and its immediate environment but also at the larger environment as well.) Why is it that this is not being taken into consider- ation? How many deaths of chil- dren could have been prevented if the proper supports were in place? We have thousands of legal acts, bills and principles that we are required to abide by as citizens. Yet how many of the millions of people in this country have been educated on these rules they are required to adhere to? How many actually know what their human rights are? It is time for citizens to start reusing their voice. People s lives are at stake here and if we don t join together and stand up for ourselves then the deaths of more children will be the result. We might be many dif- ferent cultures yet within those cultures we share many similarities. Isn t it time we concentrated on those and joined forces? If we stand up for ourselves and our children together, then together we reclaim our voice. Next week: What the politicians said.
May 20th 2011
May 27th 2011