After witnessing two sad moments I just had to write a letter in the hope that what I saw can be stopped.
We were at a birthday function marred by what can only be described as ‘‘addicts’ tragedy’’.
In a nearby pokie room or ‘‘gaming lounge’’ was a girl of seven or eight sitting by herself at the centre. She was hanging on to a small clock.
I realised that her mother was in the pokie room gambling away the family money and this poor child watched the clock and went up to her mother at the door and asked to go home about every 15 minutes. The mother made her sit down so she could keep playing. At one stage, she was kind enough to offer her a $2 coin so the girl could play one of the children’s amusements. This was given begrudgingly and only after the girl went up to her mother at least five times. I asked at the counter if that behaviour was allowed, and staff said it happened all the time. I said they should say something, but they said they weren’t allowed to.
Eventually the mother and girl left, but her sad little face was etched on my mind.
Then about 45 minutes later, another mother arrived, this time with a boy about 10, and she did exactly the same thing – gambled in the pokie room while her son sat by himself. He got so bored he started looking for food or money under the seating. When we packed up and left at 5.45pm, she was still there and that boy was still waiting for his mother to stop gambling.
Both these women were in their 30s or early 40s – one European, one Maori.
Pokies are a blight on our society and now kids are being neglected, left unloved, sad and hungry.
Could you please get this out in the public domain so it might put a stop to it? Trudi Nelson
In typical fashion for reorganisations such as has been foisted upon us, the central bureaucracy has become more omnipotent – and probably grown – while the rural limbs have been weakened.
As I recall, in the original proposals for the Auckland Council there were no boards. They were added as a sop to those who suggested that the system lacked regional representation. It did. However, the outcome is actually worse than the original proposals. We are now paying boards a lot of money to achieve very little. Not only must that be very irritating and demoralising to board members – it is money we cannot afford.
I see we need to ‘‘Get ready for a rates rise’’. I rest my case. John Clements
Orewa another important logging issue as yet not apparently thought significant enough to create discussion. It relates to the enormous costs created from roads damaged by heavy trucks involved in logging operations over metalled roads in wet weather on hilly terrain.
Continuous use by the loggers of Krippner and other Rodney rural roads impose huge costs that are very significantly beyond their recovery from normal levels of rates.
In fact, studies prove that around 30 times standard road maintenance costs are created from logging truck operations. Normal levels of council rates paid on forest lands will not cover any of these additional road maintenance costs.
Many other New Zealand councils cover such costs by implementing additional targeted forestry rates. The Southland District Council led the way on this in 2004. Many others have followed suit. Additional significant sums of financial bonds are required from loggers.
I wonder if our council has these matters covered? Perhaps we might expect a full and unambiguous response on the issues raised? Larry Mitchell