Ode reading and haka for return of Walls Bay sign
Tena koe. We are commemorating the Walls Bay sign, currently in a Far North District Council shed, with an ode and haka tomorrow (December 9) from 11am to 2pm. The sign was taken twice from the reserve — the second time December 10, 2013.
Despite two campaigns calling for its return and numerous requests to Mayor John Carter, Deputy Mayor Tania McInnes, CEO Shaun Clark, and council lawyer George Swanepoel, the sign remains locked up in a council shed.
The ode will be read and haka performed at a picnic on Walls Bay Esplanade reserve.
We ask Mayor Carter and Deputy Mayor McInnes, why hide the sign for five years when it ought to be informing everyone the land is a reserve?
Maiki Marks Paihia How ludicrous that earliest trial date for the Otaika murder accused is February 2020 ( Advocate, November 24). What happens in the meantime? He gets to live at home with a fancy bracelet? The whole court system needs a radical shake-up if this is the norm.
Mike Pullen Tarmaterau
As a fairly new member of the committee of Arts Far North, a long-standing (more than 30 years) voluntary umbrella organisation for all art forms in the Far North, it was delightful on November 24 and 25 to see art-lovers of all ages thronging the Dalmatian Hall in Kaitaia, looking at and buying art pieces, watching demonstrations by artists, and even having a go themselves.
The range of arts on display was so varied, covering everything from textile art (batik, needle felting, knitting patchwork) to ceramics, wood turning, flax weaving and painting in every imaginable medium.
It was particularly good to see children stepping up and having a go at various art forms like felting, batik, flax weaving and paper craft. A number of people commented that they would like to take an interest further which bodes well for a healthy art culture in the Far North in future.
The atmosphere of the day was greatly enhanced by musical accompaniment provided by Alexander Lord from the UK and Tracy Christina of local fame who filled the hall with the sweet strains of folk music which, at times, struggled to be heard above the buzz of the crowd.
There was also delicious catering provided by Jaqi Brown and daughter, who were fundraising for an overseas trip for the daughter’s school. Just perfect as the weekend was wintery and the hot food much appreciated.
Arts Far North was delighted with the great turnout and would like to thank everyone involved in putting on the event, in particular Jen Gay and other AFN board members, Denise Conlin and team from Te Ahu, Katie Murray and team from Waitomo Papakaianga and, of course most particularly, the artists who took part.
I was amazed at the wealth of creativity in our region. The artist’s life can be a lonely one, beavering away in a studio, so we hope that more events like these which allow artists an outlet for sales but also an opportunity to network and have their work appreciated will be possible in the future.
Speaking of which — look out for our next Art in the Park event to be held in Remembrance Park in Kaitaia in the run-up to Christmas starting 10am on Saturday, Decem-
I was amazed at the wealth of creativity in our region.
ber 22. It will have a Wonderland theme, with a children’s hatdecorating workshop, prizes, craft stalls and performances of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party play running at several times during the day. A stalwart group of students from Kaitaia College are in rehearsals to provide this entertainment.
There will also be carol singing, a choir and other musical performances during the day.
If you are interested in performing or having a stall please contact Jen Gay on 021 058 8890. Otherwise just come along and enjoy the fun!
LOIS STATHER-DUNN Subscriptions Liaison AFN
Right to choose
I refer to the letter which describes and links a proposed “assisted suicide bill” within the context of NZ’s high rate of suicide.
John de Zwart is misrepresenting any potential relationship between the two — assuming he is referring to the End of Life Choice Bill — but this is certainly understandable given the deliberately confusing misinformation being widely spread by many religiously based organisations.
The best way to understand what is being proposed, for whom and how, is to Google and read the clear explanatory notes offered by the Parliamentary Counsel Office on the End of Life Choice Bill.
One of the many difficulties in finding a way to talk about and establish changes in legislation on what has commonly been described as “euthanasia”, has been to establish a shared clarity in the meaning words and terminology we use when talking about death and dying.
Euthanasia — literally translated as “a good death” — has been tarnished. Euthanasia does not anyway describe the aim of this draft bill with it’ s aim of establishing the compassionate, and legal right of the suffering terminally ill, within specific and stringent ethical criteria, to choose to end their own life.
This draft bill currently before the justice select committee gives
only those people with a terminal illness or a grievous and irremediable medical condition, the option of requesting medically assisted dying, allowing people who so choose and are eligible, to end their lives legally, in peace and dignity, surrounded by loved ones.
Suicide — or self-killing — is already legal and any assistance of suicide by another person is against the law. This will not change if and when the bill is passed because it is not about supporting or enabling suicide, but giving the choice of medically assisted dying to those who are suffering with a terminal illness.
It would be of public interest to know how many of those within our current tragic suicide statistics are people who would have sought eligibility for a medically assisted death as proposed under the draft end-of-life choice bill.
The passage of this bill could in fact lower the suicide statistics, as would better funding and resourcing of the organisations who are there to support those thinking about suicide, with its terrible grief and relentless guilt for friends and family.
Pat Gray Whangarei EOLC Bill focus group