The Tribune (NZ) - - OPINION -

Street beg­ging doesn’t look like the sort of thing peo­ple do by choice. But for some, it’s the re­al­ity at the bot­tom of the cliff.

As well as a mea­gre source of in­come, it can ful­fil needs, in­clud­ing the need for so­cial in­ter­ac­tion. Like ev­ery­where, beg­ging in our city is a com­pli­cated is­sue. What­ever a per­son’s rea­sons and man­ner, the de­ci­sion by our coun­cil to place pri­vate se­cu­rity per­son­nel does not sit well.

Our city hosts do a fan­tas­tic job help­ing peo­ple stay safe at night. But us­ing them for stan­dover tac­tics to stop peo­ple giv­ing money is no so­lu­tion. It takes away the am­bu­lance at the bot­tom of the cliff and re­places it with a rather hard land­ing.

If I were on coun­cil, I would have ad­vo­cated for bet­ter in­vest­ment in men­tal health at the top of the cliff, and a bit more cre­ativ­ity at the bot­tom.

Brent Bar­rett Palmer­ston North

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