Porirua community helps out with kai for kids
Folks in the Porirua basin have big hearts. That’s nothing new. Whenever there is a call to help a family in need, back a cause, or support a community during an event like the Waitangirua siege, people pitch in. It’s the brilliant side of human nature.
Last week this was evident after the story of Shari-ann Clifford’s lunch-making efforts featured on page one. Five hundred lunches for hungry children is an incredible effort.
Clifford didn’t care why kids were without lunch. She said it wasn’t her business.
Since the story, the offers of support have rolled in. From Ole Football Academy to Mana MP Kris Faafoi, to individuals who were captivated by Clifford’s desire and motivation – it’s been heart-warming to bear witness to this.
There has been negativity directed towards Clifford from some quarters, with her receiving criticism for supporting parents who don’t feed their children.
She is unrepentant and will continue doing what she is doing, which should be admired.
However, more schools have now contacted Clifford, proving there is a need in our community.
It is a long-held problem that children in some parts of Porirua and Tawa do not have breakfast or lunch, get sick easily because of substandard housing, and are not correctly clothed for winter.
More must be done to pressure the Government to address poverty. It may feel like you’re shouting into the wind sometimes, but efforts like Clifford’s are serving to highlight real problems.
She will carry on buttering 60 loaves of bread every Sunday, but the wider dilemma of poverty remains. We can help people like Clifford, but it’s not the solution we need.
We must keep shouting about the need in our community. Maybe someone will, eventually, listen.
Titahi Bay beach is packed with residents and visitors during summer. Its beauty, however, masks the fact it can be a challenging environment, with dozens of rescues performed by alert lifeguards in the past decade.
So, it was with some dismay that Surf Life Saving New Zealand, and the Titahi Bay Surf Life Saving Club, reacted to the proposal by Porirua City Council to cut the $22,000 it gives each year for midweek lifeguarding.
Titahi Bay lifeguards patrol in the weekend and many of them cross over into midweek stints as well.
The council is going through a massive cost-cutting exercise in order to stave off another 5 per cent rates rise, and this is to be respected, but cutting midweek lifeguarding has raised the ire of a number of submitters to the council’s annual plan.
Save money elsewhere. Lifeguards are important for education and keeping our beaches safe.