Eastern Courier : June 1st 2011
2 EASTERN COURIER, JUNE 1, 2011 OPINION Office Ph 272 7017 Fax 265 1285 Editor Janet Taylor email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager Stuart Palmer email: email@example.com Circulation Ph 525 2022 Fax 580 1648 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Classifieds Ph 525 2100 Fax 580 1643 email: email@example.com 39,297 Audited Circulation (ABC Jan-Dec '09.) Delivered each Wednesday/Friday to Beachlands, Botany Downs, Bucklands Beach, Burswood, Cascades, Chapel Downs, Chapel Heights, Cockle Bay, Cumbria Downs, Dannemora, Donegal Park, East Tamaki, East Tamaki Heights, Eastern Beach, Edgewater, Farm Cove, Golflands, Half Moon Bay, Highland Park, Howick, Huntington Park, Maraetai, Mellons Bay, Northpark, Ormiston, Pakuranga, Pakuranga Heights, Point View Park, Sacramento, Shamrock Park, Shelly Park, Somerville, Sunnyhills, Whitford. Includes Rural Delivery area: Howick RD. 33 Birmingham Rd, East Tamaki. P.O. Box 76-400, Manukau City. www.easterncourier.co.nz Gentle Quality Dentistry 140 Chapel Rd, Botany Downs www.chapelparkdental.co.nz 272 8488 Accepting Bookings Now • ACC Estimates • Treatment for under 18 years • Interest Finance Dr Debbie CHIU BDS (Otago) Member of NZDA Super goldcard holders welcome • Open Late Nights & Weekends • Emergency Care at Normal Rates • Braces/Teeth Straightening FREE & Associates You will leave the ship with a new set of skills, a huge sense of achievement and life-long friends. So, are you ready for your next big adventure? That's the Spirit! challenge and achievement... that's the Spirit! For more info call 0800 472 454 www.spiritofadventure.org.nz If you are 15 -18 join us onboard Spirit of New Zealand for a 10-Day Youth Development voyage. 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You will be trained and receive financial support. If you can offer Michael a home for life, have the ability to help him feel safe, strong and cared for we would love to hear from you! If you would like to find out more, please contact Care Services on (09) 914 1101 or email Care_Services_Auckland@cyf.govt.nz LETTER RULES We welcome your letters to the editor. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must have full name, residential address and phone number. Hard-copy letters must have a legible signature. Only your name and suburb are published. Initials, pen names or email attachments are not accepted. We prefer letters about local issues. All correspondence to the editor is assumed to be for publication unless marked otherwise. The editor reserves the right to abridge or withhold any correspondence without explanation. Letters may be edited for sense, papers style, brevity, good taste and to protect the rights and reputations of individuals and groups. Opinions expressed must be genuinely held by the letter writer. Letters may be referred to others for right of reply. Mail: Eastern Courier, PO Box 76-400, Manukau 2013 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fax: 265-1285. Green plan The Auckland Council has given some regard for Auckland's environ- ment in its plan but more detail is needed. It is necessary to work in tandem with nature to make a likeable city: To stop the urban sprawl develop a green belt approach. Develop wildlife corridors across rural and urban Auckland. An example of the benefit of this is the tui which needs trees of at least 8-10 metres to enable it to live in the suburbs. Some important trees are natives kanuka, puriri, rimu and kowhai and the introduced bottlebrush. Replanting in bush areas needs to be from plants raised from the seed of trees in that area -- eco sourcing. The continuation and expansion of community and school programmes for growing food crops and raising native trees and plants is vital. Understanding care of the soil, the work of bees and appreciation of all aspects of life should be the basis on which a liveable city is built. Margaret Willis Botany Downs LOCAL PIX www.localpix.co.nz How MPs ''faced the abuse facts'' The voices of those dead children have been heard -- and Simon Power has delivered on the promise he gave last year. A new parliamentary bill creates a new offence with a maximum of 10 years in jail for failing to protect a child or vulnerable adult from serious harm by a member of the same house- hold as the victim. It also applies to people who do not live in that household but are so closely connected that it is reasonable to regard them as a member of it, as well as staff members of a hospital, institution or residence where the vic- tim lives. The formal first reading of the bill was passed: The ayes 112 -- National 58, Labour 42, Act 5, Maori Party 4, Progressive 1, United Future 1, Inde- pendent Hone Harawira 1. The noes 10 -- Greens 9, Independent Chris Carter 1. A rare, near accord. Here's what representative speakers said: Simon Power: We have to finally face up to the fact that a series of con- tinuous tragedies is occurring in this country and is going unchecked by this Parliament. That is not a criticism of previous governments or for that mat- ter this government quite obviously. But it is saying that this Parlia- ment now has an opportunity to say to the public of New Zealand that we have heard the message the public has been relaying to members of this House for many years now and that message is quite straightforward. The message is that we should stop sitting on our hands when it comes to children being abused, mistreated and killed in households where families, family members and regular attendees at those houses are not sticking their hands up and saying: Something is not right here. I know what happened and I am going to take some respons- ibility and come forward'. We need legislation that gives a clear message to those people that they are not narks; they are people who are protecting those who most need their protection -- young, small and vulner- able members of our society who can- not speak for themselves. We know them only when the media portrays them and when their photographs are on the front pages of newspapers and leading television bulletins when it is too late after the fact. We sit in our cosy homes watching the faces of these children, innocent children, being beamed into our living rooms and we have some- how, over a long period of time, devel- oped a legal system that has enabled people who were close to those incidents to remain silent. This bill says that travesty must stop. Responsibility will lie with those individuals and people who could have done something or said something for those who could not do anything or say anything and have been mistreated. The offence recognises that it's not just parents and caregivers who have responsibility for protecting our chil- dren and other vulnerable members of our community.'' The new law would also apply to the neglect of a vulnerable adult as well as ill-treatment of a child. Carmel Sepuloni as Labour spokeswoman said: Labour is con- cerned about the level of abuse of our children in this country. We share a genuine concern for our children and we do not want to let politics get in the way of that to any extent. But it is important that we lay out all of the reservations we have on this bill. We cannot pretend that we accept it in its entirety. There is a possibility with what this legislation proposes that false reporting may lead to an overloading of social service agencies, according to several welfare groups and academics. That is a concern to us because we are already getting reports from those agencies that they are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the workload they are facing. They are increasingly overwhelmed because of the needs of the people who come to them and the challenges those people face and increasingly overwhelmed because of the poverty they are seeing and the stresses famil- ies are under. Putting it into context, it is about the climate that we have at the moment. There's the continued increase in the cost of living, the severe underemployment in this country -- if not underemployment, then unemployment -- and just the fact that families are really struggling. When families struggle then we see our social service agencies struggle. The agencies are concerned that this legislation and its provisions may lead to false reporting, which may lead to an overloading of social service agencies. The Children's Com- missioner John Angus has said that mandatory reporting of child abuse would swamp Child, Youth and Fam- ily. New Zealand already has a high level of reporting on abuse incidents and needs to respond better to those cases rather than bring in mandatory reporting.'' Keith Locke explained at length the major opposition of the Greens was over other provisions in the amend- ment bill which follow the not guilty verdict on three men who damaged part of the Waihopai communication station. On the child provisions, he said: The Greens support the inten- tion of the bill to put more moral sanc- tion on assaults on children. That is very good but, as we and our co-leader Metiria Turei have said in the past, we are concerned that lengthening the sentences that apply, particularly to family members in a place where children might be abused, might provide a certain disincentive for reporting crimes. Family members will not want to get another family member into trouble if he or she will be given a 10-year sentence. Some of the people in that household might be abused but be very scared of coming forward to the police. There are all of those sorts of problems and it would be much better to somehow bring in techniques and support for families and extended fam- ilies in order to bring them on side so that they can constrain and prevent violence in the home.'' Next week: The list of Australians obliged by law to speak up in defence of children.
May 27th 2011
June 3rd 2011