Kids dive for cover

Waikato Times - - Front Page - Kirsty Lawrence

Chil­dren play­ing out­side dived for cover as po­lice and a flee­ing gun­man ex­changed a vol­ley of shots down a subur­ban Tau­ranga road.

A man was shot dead by po­lice on Thurs­day af­ter he fired upon them when they at­tempted to stop a ve­hi­cle as part of their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into this week’s dou­ble homi­cide.

Michelle Wooster said two of her chil­dren, who are 9 and 11 years old, had been out play­ing and were on their way home when the shoot­ing un­folded right in front of them in Carmichael Rd. ‘‘We are try­ing to calm them down.’’

She said when the gun­shots rang out her 11-year-old hid be­hind a parked car.

‘‘He thought [his brother] was going to get shot.

‘‘He was just stand­ing there watch­ing.’’

The man was driv­ing while shoot­ing at po­lice and went around a round­about, be­fore flee­ing down an­other road.

Send­ing her chil­dren off to school yes­ter­day was nerver­ack­ing Wooster said, as last night was the first time she had let her 9-year-old out to play with his brother with­out par­ent su­per­vi­sion.

It was not un­til later on Thurs­day night she started to think that a way­ward bul­let could have hit one of her chil­dren. ‘‘I got a bit spooked af­ter that.

‘‘I think how many people were out [there] with the gun­shots, it is quite scary.’’

An­other Tau­ranga fam­ily, who were only 200 me­tres away when the man fired shots at po­lice in Carmichael Rd, said the ex­pe­ri­ence was ‘‘blim­min scary’’. Ava But­ter­worther, 12, said they heard the sirens com­ing so turned to look.

‘‘They were like 200 me­tres away, that is when the first gun­shots went out.

‘‘I just heard the sound.’’ She said it all hap­pened re­ally fast but she saw a man driv­ing wear­ing a black hoodie.

While she did not see the gun the man was us­ing, Ava did see the po­lice shoot­ing back.

‘‘They kept driv­ing and the sirens dis­ap­peared.’’

Her dad, who did not want to be named, said the fam­ily were out for a walk when they heard the sirens. He was used to sirens so did not turn to look but the two chil­dren did, wit­ness­ing the shoot­ing.

‘‘It was pretty blim­min close.’’ The in­ci­dents oc­cur­ring in Tau­ranga re­cently had been fright­en­ing but he com­mended po­lice for the job they were do­ing. ‘‘Full credit to the po­lice, get on top of it be­fore it gets worse.’’

A project to im­prove the well­be­ing of the Waikato re­gion by 2030 could be used as a blue­print for oth­ers to follow around New Zealand.

That’s what Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern wants, af­ter help­ing the Waikato Well­be­ing Project launch its 10 tar­gets which will aim to end poverty, fight inequality and take ac­tion on cli­mate change.

The tar­gets are based on the 17, United Na­tional Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals, but have been adapted to meet the unique chal­lenges facing the Waikato re­gion.

De­tails of the tar­gets were re­leased at the Waikato Well­be­ing Sum­mit held in Hamil­ton yes­ter­day.

The Waikato Well­be­ing Project is the first of its kind in the coun­try and is headed by the Waikato Regional Council and the Wel En­ergy Trust.

Trust chief ex­ec­u­tive and cochair of the Well­be­ing Project, Raewyn Jones, said the two or­gan­i­sa­tions wanted to take a lead­er­ship role in bring­ing the re­gion to­gether, to find out what’s important, what can be achieved.

‘‘To­day marks the end of 12 months of con­sul­ta­tion and re­search, cul­mi­nat­ing in some tar­gets that we can agree upon.’’

She said there were three key ar­eas the project’s re­search looked at to de­cide which tar­gets should be used.

‘‘One, is it fea­si­ble? Is it some­thing that is doable? Sec­ond, if we choose that tar­get, would it have a real im­pact on the other tar­gets that we’re hop­ing to achieve in the re­gion?

‘‘And the third, is there al­ready en­ergy and work hap­pen­ing in those ar­eas, so that way we know it’s vi­able, there is al­ready people want­ing to make change, so it’s re­ally going to have a good im­pact.’’

The launch rep­re­sented phase 2 of the project, Jones said, which was about ‘‘catalysing’’ the tar­gets into ac­tion, find­ing a way to make them work.

The sum­mit, which in­cluded people in key lead­er­ship roles from around the re­gion, split into work­shops to review the 10 tar­gets.

‘‘We’ll have an op­por­tu­nity to de­brief, look at what comes out of the day, pull to­gether some points for our lead­ers, change around the tar­gets, what’s work­ing, what’s miss­ing and what we need to do.’’

The tar­gets will also be taken to the re­gion’s com­mu­ni­ties, for fur­ther feed­back.

The top tar­get fo­cused on pro­vid­ing a ‘‘zero hunger’’ and ‘‘no poverty’’ sta­tus for fam­i­lies and their chil­dren.

‘‘About one is six chil­dren live be­low the poverty line, by 2030, less than 1 per cent will,’’ the project said in a book­let handed out at the sum­mit.

Re­duc­ing rates of non­com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and men­tal ill­ness and im­prov­ing health eq­uity was next.

Pro­vid­ing qual­ity education, de­cent work and eco­nomic growth, with a spe­cial fo­cus on young people was the third goal.

Life be­low the wa­ter, life on the land and waste man­age­ment fea­tured highly among the tar­gets.

The project wanted to in­crease the num­ber of swimmable rivers and lakes to 80 per cent by 2030; it wanted a fo­cus on im­prov­ing ma­rine and coastal wa­ters, pre­vent loss of in­dige­nous veg­e­ta­tion, and re­duce waste to the land­fill by 50 per cent, by 2030.

In homes, the project set a tar­get to have af­ford­able and clean en­ergy, to make sure people can live in warm, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient homes.

Cli­mate change was the fi­nal tar­get, with a goal to re­duce car­bon emis­sions by a min­i­mum of 25 per cent by 2030, on the path to net car­bon zero by 2050.

Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern, in her pre­sen­ta­tion to the sum­mit, pointed out the con­nec­tion be­tween the Waikato Well­be­ing Project and the gov­ern­ment’s Well­be­ing Bud­get, due on May 14.

‘‘In prac­tice, a Well­be­ing Bud­get means you write policy with the next gen­er­a­tion in mind, and your broaden your mea­sures of success.

‘‘We’ve changed the way we present the bud­get.

‘‘Bud­gets used to be im­pen­e­tra­ble. It’s a more col­lab­o­ra­tive model now and it’s some­thing that you are pi­lot­ing here.

‘‘We are all watch­ing you and hope it goes well, so we can en­cour­age oth­ers to do the same.’’


Prime Min­is­ter Jacinda Ardern speaks at the Waikato Well­be­ing Sum­mit at Claude­lands Event Cen­tre, Hamil­ton.


Wel En­ergy Trust Chief Ex­ec­u­tive and Waikato Well­be­ing Project Co-Chair, Raewyn Jones, says the 10 tar­gets rep­re­sent a move­ment for change in the Waikato.

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