No need for the ‘‘wreck­a­va­tor’’

The Press - - Opinion | Letters -

It sounds as if Bishop Paul Martin is of­fer­ing to spend the Dio­cese’s $30 mil­lion in­sur­ance pay­out for the Blessed Sacra­ment Cathe­dral on hous­ing for the home­less (May 12). Or is he ear­mark­ing funds from a fu­ture sale of land about the Bar­ba­does Street pe­riph­eries he’d rather be shot of?

Either way, I pray he isn’t an­other ‘‘wreck­a­va­tor’’ in the mould of one of his pre­de­ces­sors, the late Bishop Brian Ashby who, in 1974, con­signed the beau­ti­ful Cas­si­oli mar­ble High Al­tar, and other ir­re­place­able trea­sures, to the scrap heap in a rush to em­brace post-Vat­i­can II litur­gi­cal ‘‘nov­el­ties’’. In so do­ing, he spurned an avalanche of wellinformed and re­spect­ful ad­vice that the Cas­si­oli mas­ter­piece was wor­thy of preser­va­tion. Bland­ness was the new or­der of the day. And yet, the pity is, this ‘‘sani­tis­ing’’ of the cathe­dral’s in­te­rior space needn’t have hap­pened: con­tem­po­rary can, and does, hap­pily co-ex­ist with tra­di­tional as the ex­am­ple of Wellington’s St Mary of the An­gels well demon­strates. If the Christchurch City Coun­cil is gen­uine in its state­ment that chlo­ri­na­tion of our wa­ter sup­ply is tem­po­rary (as per the flyer in my let­ter­box mid-March) it needs to dis­play its in­tegrity. The Coun­cil should have a chart in The Press every two weeks, or on the Coun­cil web­site, list­ing every bore and the progress made. As each in­di­vid­ual bore is com­pleted, it should be marked off the list and chlo­ri­na­tion of that bore ter­mi­nated im­me­di­ately. Cur­rently, we are be­ing given no in­for­ma­tion and the en­tire is­sue ap­pears to be a Coun­cil se­cret. Our wa­ter reeks of chlo­rine, and this process needs to be com­pleted in the short­est pos­si­ble time frame. drink­ing wa­ter af­ter a correspondent ques­tioned our re­port­ing of re­sults.

Christchurch City Coun­cil sup­plies drink­ing wa­ter to about 342,000 in the city (in­clud­ing Lyt­tel­ton) and 2500 on Banks Penin­sula.

We test the wa­ter daily and our test­ing regime is more ex­ten­sive than that re­quired by the Drink­ing Wa­ter Stan­dards for New Zealand.

Re­sults are pub­licly re­ported each month through the In­fra­struc­ture, Trans­port and En­vi­ron­ment Com­mit­tee. The lat­est re­sults, half of which were upstream of the chlo­ri­na­tion units, show that in April 530 sam­ples were taken with no pos­i­tive re­sults for E.coli. I would like to re­spond to Satur­day’s front page ar­ti­cle, ‘‘Seclu­sion for chil­dren po­ten­tially trau­ma­tis­ing and un­ac­cept­able’’.

As the clin­i­cal head of the unit I am com­pletely sup­port­ive of work­ing to the elim­i­na­tion of seclu­sion and we have in fact made sig­nif­i­cant in­roads into de­creas­ing the use of seclu­sion over the last few years. We have gone from 17 pa­tients be­ing se­cluded in 2013/14 to 5 in 2016/17.

We work hard to avoid seclu­sion by at­tempt­ing to in­ter­vene early when pa­tients are be­com­ing dis­tressed and we use a va­ri­ety of de-es­ca­la­tion strate­gies in­clud­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive prob­lem solv­ing, use of sen­sory and quiet rooms for pa­tients to take space and talk with staff about is­sues of con­cern, in­volv­ing par­ents and fam­ily sup­ports to help calm young peo­ple, in­volv­ing cul­tural sup­ports with karakia and wa­iata and also of­fer­ing use of as needed med­i­ca­tion.

A de­ci­sion to se­clude a young per­son is only taken when there is real risk to the safety of the young per­son, other pa­tients and staff by dan­ger­ous be­hav­iours.

We are hope­ful that with the new unit cur­rently be­ing de­signed, where sig­nif­i­cant at­ten­tion is be­ing given to the de­sign of space for the most dis­turbed pa­tients, we will be able to al­most elim­i­nate seclu­sion.


Catholic Bishop Paul Martin out­side the wall sur­round­ing the earth­quake-dam­aged Christchurch Basil­ica.

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