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AUCKLAND CITY HARBOUR NEWS, AUGUST 28, 2013
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A Carers Journey
Alzheimers Auckland Charitable Trust Symposium,
proudly supported by Bupa
Sunday, 01 September, 1-4pm
Gate B, Alexandra Park, Epsom
Rutherford Room, located on the second floor of the Grandstand
Entry is FREE for this event. FREE PARKING
FOR A FULL LIST OF SPEAKERS AND TOPICS
please visit http://www.alzheimers.org.nz/auckland/news-events
or for more information contact Marnie Burke on 09 551 8787
Living well with dementia. The speakers we
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their experiences and their advice: the care required by
people with dementia, and the support required by carers.
Is this the best cash course?
As those weird America s Cup con-
traptions sail past new, yet-to-be-
filled grandstands in San Francisco
in a farcical build-up of meaningless
races which are hardly yachting, I
remember facts revealed in the
Sunday Star-Times months ago.
Like the Government s $36 mil-
lion grant to actually get that huge
New Zealand water skiing device
At that stage, the Ministry of
Business, Innovation and Employ-
ment -- the donors -- had no idea
how our taxes were being spent on
the venture. And didn t seem very
interested. Now apparently the
crew of the Beehive are already hav-
ing talks with Team NZ on the size
of the next handout -- win or lose.
This is despite an earlier spendup
of more than $1m on a hospitality
budget for the 2010 Louis Vuitton
Cup. And unknown wages/salary
details of the 100-plus Team NZ
All this as tightening belts closer
to home see hundreds of redundan-
cies each month. New figures show
that our earlier coup building
speciality yachts for world trillionai-
res seems to have lost its way and is
becalmed and/or sinking. Major
improvement in those boatyards on
the back of a cup win is doubtful.
What could welfare agencies do
with $36m which was apparently
instantly available in these times of
If you had authority to spend like
this, who would get your cheque?
On a different tack (pun inten-
ded), there will be one major out-
come if New Zealand wins -- that it
will take all the power from the
hands of yet another dominating
As the winners and new cup
holders, New Zealand could then
dictate what class of boat the next
challenge event would be organised
for, breaking away from this $16m
current Star Trek class and moving
the racing back to traditional craft.
Old fashioned? That s true.
But imagine what other travesty
of marine design might be forced on
a great sporting tradition if grand
master billionaire Larry Ellison is
again calling the shots.
You don t have to be an oracle to
In the mailbag:
After all the taxpayers millions
lavished on the America s Cup,
Kiwis in San Francisco are appar-
ently hardly even aware the event is
on and the only people who seem to
know that the Kiwis are there are
the sailing fraternity -- a fairly
small fraternity without much
influence on the world stage.
So we spent our money on a
small group of people enjoying their
expensive hobby of sailing.
If the same money had been
spent on the arts what a difference
it would have made to the quality of
life for many people, not just rich
Why did we do it? And why can t
we get that sort of money spent on
the arts -- music, dance, literature,
theatre -- activities which add to the
quality of life in a society.
I have yet to learn that sailing
an expensive boat very fast makes
any difference to many people. --
An interesting quote on radio
from career protester and mayor-
alty contender John Minto at a
combined meeting of election
candidates in Howick: One hun-
dred and twenty-three Auckland
Council bureaucrats earn $200,000
a year or more.
He wants big salaries trimmed to
allow pay rises to those on the coun-
cil staff who hardly earn that much
in a lifetime.
Before we move on, look at some
of the sort of decisions we get for
that sort of money. Flashback to the
column on councillor Sandra
Coney s three-month battle with
Auckland Council staff over access
to background legal papers on the
much-vaunted unitary plan.
This heading in the Herald:
Bureaucrats beaten at own game .
Yes Sandra finally got access to
the papers she wanted -- and was
entitled to. The public s right to
know has been upheld.
And the bureaucrats have had a
well-deserved slap on the wrist for
their overbearing refusal to let an
elected member do the job the pub-
lic voted them to do.
That was a genuinely gut-
wrenching list that the Auckland
Council released of what one head-
line writer labelled Auckland s dir-
tiest restaurants revealed .
Thirty all across the region given
a D rating ( premises that have an
unsatisfactory level of compliance ).
Worse still -- if you can imagine
that -- six with an E black mark
( must shut down until it s imp-
roved to a reasonable level, public
safety is paramount ... have
repeated faults from a previous
Among the reports: Really dirty
... an immediate threat to food
safety and contamination ... vermin
like rats, mice, pests ... haven t
been cleaned for a long time ... when
I moved the fridge I was just flooded
Of course there s good news too.
Auckland city has 117 Gold A grad-
ing reserved for those who show
exemplary food safety and hygiene .
And can afford to eat there!
I remembered a fellow councillor
telling me of one response.
Before he had ordered, he noticed
an E certificate on the wall.
He pointed it out as he stood to
leave. At first, the foreign manager
appeared to have problems under-
standing him -- as many of them do
in similar circumstances -- but
finally replied. Oh, yes--Ef
Also in the mailbag:
Pat Booth applauds this Govern-
ment s determination to do some
things differently around our most
vulnerable children. I think we all
approve that focus and I commend
the courage to ask hard questions
and drive through changes.
There is some sense to the con-
cept that parents convicted of child
abuse have to prove any subsequent
children will be safe.
However I wonder how one
would prove that. Is a child a guinea
pig in such situations, or are they
removed and the parent left to
prove something without a context?
With over 10,000 established
cases of abuse each year, how bad
would it have to be for this scenario
to be implemented? Surely all sub-
sequent children of those cases
couldn t be removed? There are not
enough places already for the
roughly 5000 children currently in
care, which is why so many get
moved around frequently from place
Some people are so broken and
damaged they may never be able to
parent safely. But so many just
need some intensive learning
around parenting skills -- skills the
majority of us may consider as com-
mon sense but which they have
never seen modelled.
They also need to learn and
flourish within an environment that
believes in them, while being kept
honest and accountable for safe
behaviour. If we focus only on the
worst cases and legislate around the
extremes, I am not sure we will be
getting the best outcomes for the
majority of our vulnerable
tamariki. -- Ruby Duncan, chief
executive officer, Iosis Family
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