I want to start this month’s report by remembering the tragedies that occurred on our roads in late December, immediately after me writing my last report in fact. As I said at the time, our hearts go out to not only the families involved but also to all emergency staff and their families. Lives can change and end so quickly. Please be alert on our roads at all times, death can come in an instant. We have seen that.
Christmas and New Year is always a quieter time in Tokoroa and Putaruru as many of us travel to the beach to catch the sun and, if we are lucky, some fish. This year was no different and while we are enjoying somewhat of a lull in activity our family violence calls for service remain much too high and are a concern to us all. Being a parent, or indeed any member of a family unit, has its pressures and we have all been there, whether it’s work, money, alcohol/ drugs, breaking rules, school, friends or whatever there are always tensions and times of stress. This aspect of family life cannot be avoided and cannot be controlled. What can be controlled is how we as individuals react to these pressures. Do we add to it by being aggressive, dominant or selfish or do we take stock, call for help and learn new skills?
There are always options and there is always someone who can help, the trick is to know who those people are and identify in ourselves when we need them.
If I have one request this month it is to take stock and think about your own family situation, what if things go wrong?
Who can help in times of crisis? Friends, family, professionals, volunteers – they are all out there and they can help. Trust me I know just how many services we have out there, dedicated people, paid and unpaid, who just want to make our communities safer. I know how many people in our community genuinely care for each other and I have heard ‘‘if only we knew’’ more times than I care to remember. Ask for help and look for those who may need help, it could be you one day.
Talking about making our communities safer I can advise that the crime statistics for both Tokoroa and Putaruru are looking really good for the fiscal year (measured July 1 through to June 30). To date we are at -10 percent and -30 per cent on the previous year respectively. These results reflect continued hard work by all of us in the South Waikato community. Well done and thanks.
I would just like to touch on alcohol as this time of the year see’s an increase in its consumption – hot sun, sport and holiday periods being the main reason. A few drinks or even a lot of drinks is not in itself a problem. The problem again comes down to us as individuals; it’s what we do with it. Let’s face it, we all know someone who gets angry or aggressive on the fire- water. We know someone who gets emotional or irresponsible. Some of us probably recognise these traits in ourselves. My question is how do we manage that? Do we drink knowing that we will regret our actions? Do we sit back and watch our friends and family destroy themselves or do we see something and say something? For me, I would rather be safe than sorry, step up and speak up.
They say only an idiot does the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome, don’t be an idiot, drink safe and be safe, always.
That’s all from me this month other than to say good luck to all those, self included, who are embarking on ‘‘Boot Camp’’ or fitness/shape up regimes after the festive season. Remember the tummy wasn’t built in a day so it follows that it won’t be destroyed in a day.