Kids dive for cover
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.