Porirua com­mu­nity helps out with kai for kids

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

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.

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