Ode read­ing and haka for re­turn of Walls Bay sign

The Northern Advocate - - Opinion -

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?

Nga mihi

Trial date

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

Art ap­pre­ci­ated

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

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