TERRACE END CEMETERY
A sacred place in our city and these early inhabitants deserve far better. Historically, an amazingly rich place for a wander, but always marred by the neglect. Very pleased if its going to be properly looked after.’’ – Trudy Hutton-Baas
‘‘I remember when the Ashhurst Cemetery was in such a bad state. Now it’s beautiful. I hope they can do it up to that standard.’’
As a political activist I have been reflecting on 2015. As the window on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) closed more tightly, thousands of New Zealanders in towns and cities throughout our country, including Palmerston North, bravely protested to send a message to the National government: ‘TPPA – Walk Away!’
After five years of denying that the TPPA would mean higher medicines and act as a bill of rights for foreign investors, the PrimeMinister changedhis tune. At the same time the holy grail of a bonanza for the dairy industry had not transpired
These and other trade-offs on our sovereignty continued to be made under a shroud of secrecy. As we asked many times, ‘‘What is the government so determined to hide?"
People were fed up with being insulted by our Trade Minister, Tim Groser. We wanted to live in a genuine democracy that puts people, not foreign investors and multinational corporations, first. We wanted the right to decide our own futures, as befits a modern democracy, and to be able to deliver on the Treaty of Waitangi
And we expected our elected government to listen to the people’s cry, ‘‘TPPA is not okay, we’re going to fight it all the way"
Dion Martin Palmerston North
It is oh, so sad that in future years every public holiday will, for too many families, be the time to remember the accident that caused the premature passing of a loved one.
Although such accidents occur throughout the year, there is an overwhelming poignancy when they occur at holiday times, particularly during the Christmas and New Year period. The numbers of drownings have risen and the road toll is greater than that in 2014..
As to the causes, the cell phone has been shown to be a lethal weapon in the hands of some drivers, and remains a potential threat to road users. Ignorance of the perils of ocean rips, and the sheer stupidity of those who swim outside the safety flags, looms large. Climbers and trampers can and do add to the holiday toll.
There are of course those accidents that no one could have forecast, such as the tragic death of the young boy struck by a boat while being towed on water skis.
A moment’s inattention by any of us while driving can have disastrous consequences. The sobering fact is that many who die on our roads do so through no fault of their own. Alas the grim toll has become an inevitable part of public holidays..
One can, however take heart from the efforts of the police in pushing home the message of taking care on the roads, and how they handle the grim tasks of attending the scenes of accidents and visiting the bereaved. We owe much to police, paramedics, and volunteers who keep our breaches safe. Without their skills and dedication, the annual toll of holiday deaths and injury would be much higher..
Don Robertson, Palmerston North CONTACT US The Tribune welcomes letters. They should not exceed 250 words and must carry a genuine name, home address and daytime phone number. Preference is given to letters exclusive to The Tribune. Letters may be edited, abridged or omitted without explanation. They can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to PO Box 3, Palmerston North to be received by 4pm on the Thursday prior to publication.