Friday, June 27, 2014

Terrible to happen in New Zealand.

Photo / Thinkstock

Photo / Thinkstock
A young mother and her newborn baby lived in a car for two days after finding themselves homeless when they were discharged from hospital.
The woman contacted the Salvation Army who has provided her with counseling and emergency housing in South Auckland over the past two weeks.
Campbell Roberts, the organisation's social policy director, said the woman was in her 20s but would not reveal any specific details about her case.
"She was obviously in a desperate situation so she sought our help. Our social workers dealt with the situation and she's now in a situation which is ok," he said.
"Situations like this are often very complicated and somebody doesn't come to live in a car in minimal sort of circumstances so we have to be careful not to aggravate the situation further."
Homeless shelters and emergency housing centres in Auckland are at "bursting point" said Danielle Bergin, managing director for Island Child Charitable Trust.
"There are people who are desperate. There is a backlog of clients not getting houses and that's why that woman would have been in her car," she said.
"There will be more girls like that lovely girl, we hope that never happens again, but there will be more until the central housing unit at the Ministry of Social Development engage with emergency housing providers."
Bergin said a young pregnant woman arrived on her doorstep 22 weeks ago and has still not been placed in Housing New Zealand accommodation. The woman gave birth while living at the centre eight weeks ago.
She added that was also not uncommon for homeless people to be discharged from hospital with nowhere to go.
An elderly man who was discharged from hospital in December also slept in his car until he approached Island Child for help.
"In the discharge unit they need to somehow ask people if they've got somewhere to go. People who are homeless are often very proud. They've not got mental illness, they're not drug addicts," she said.
"We are now seeing a terrible wave of New Zealanders not getting the support they need and ending up homeless."

teenaged pregnancy

Nadine was a teenaged  pregnant girl who didn't have the family support as
Georgia Hageman is 15 and about to have a baby.

Photo hunt: Skies

A ray of sun shining through the clouds. There is a joke that there are 4 seasons in one day in Auckland.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Violence is a perennial issue

Violence is a perennial issue. The Government has just launched a $250,000 social media campaign at Grey Lynn's rape prevention Education centre on June 13.  

My book is timely in speaking out.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Child abuse bill passes into law

A law change aimed at improving the protection of children at risk of abuse or neglect, including stronger vetting of adults who work with children, has passed into law with broad support in Parliament.
The Vulnerable Children Bill passed its final stage by 105 - 10 votes in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon after only the Green Party and Mana Party's Hone Harawira voted against it.
The bill is the centrepiece of the Government's 'Children's Action Plan' - developed after Social Development Minister Paula Bennett's White Paper on Vulnerable Children.
Its measures include changes to the law so that abusive or neglectful parents will have to prove they are safe if they wish to keep any further children they have. In the past, social agencies have had to to prove they were not fit parents to take a child from them.
It also introduces greater screening of those who work with children for government and community agencies, and ban those with serious convictions from working closely with children.
Ms Bennett said while no law could stop children being abused, neglected or killed, the changes would ensure there were more checks on vulnerable children, greater vigilance of abusive parents, and support would be prioritised.
The bill will also put legal responsibilities on the heads of five Government departments to ensure children identified as vulnerable get the support their require. Those departments are Health, Education, Social Development, Justice and Police.
Ms Bennett said that was a critical change.
"Every child in this country deserves good health, education and welfare. Most parents provide that, but for those who can't or won't. government agencies must step in and be advocates for those children. I expect those children to now go to the front of the queue."
Labour's social development spokeswoman Sue Moroney said the bill was a good start, but did little to address the main problem of abuse in the home. She said it was a wasted opportunity.
"This bill deals with a proportion of this ugly problem that we have in New Zealand. Sadly, the vast majority of cases will be untouched by this bill. We've still got an awful lot of work to do."
Green Party MP Jan Logie said Ms Bennett had failed to deal to the main problem of child poverty.
"The Green Party wants to ensure all children have their needs met, and address the causes of vulnerability. Violence is not so easily amenable to government intervention but we can reduce it. This bill is not going to do that."

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

ABC Wednesday V for visit

My Mt Albert Baptist ESOL class are preparing for their first ever visit to a Maori marae. This morning we had a Couple Bill and Violet Tangarikin, pastors of the Waitakere Communuity Church in Henderson agreed to represent us on the protocol part of our Marae visit at Unitec. They came today, to enrich us the customs and protocol of a culture of the country some of the students have chosen as home, or visiting.
I am teaching my students the Marae, the meeting place of the Maori people. I have been to Marae before, and I show you photos of  earlier visits. I spent an evening there, and later I went with my sister. I learn quite a bit of protocol to teach my students.

This is the first entrance, where visitors wait until they are invited to enter the grounds. There is a Powhiri. The visitors sing a karanga, telling the hosts they come in peace. The women will enter first, to show indeed they come in peace.

From Sarawak to New Zealand.
On Thursday evening, Ngarimu of the Ngatiwhatuaorakei Marae invited some 75 volunteers to a formal welcome, a Powhiri with an female elder singing the welcome or the Karanga. We had a Pakeha Natasha who could reply in Maori. It was a symbolic gesture that we came in peace and the females entered the Marae ground first,and the men behind us.
When we entered the Marae, the men sat infront , and women behind. This is Maori protocol. The elders spoke to welcome us,at the end of it, we went to greet the elders with the Hongi, the Maori greeting with rubbing of our noses. We were treated with a sumptious vegetarian dinner.
Ngarimu asked the volunteers why we came. Some came because they were environmentally conscious, and some came because they came last year and were commited to this "Zero-waste" concept. Some of us were new Kiwis and students. Coming to this occasion was a privilege to experience the Maori way of life. Among these foreign contigent, there were volunteers from China, Japan, Korea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, France, England, Germany, Canada, and probaly more, but I didn't talk to them all. There some children.
As for me, I explained I came to New Zealand in 1978, when Bastion Point was in the fore front of controversy. This was an excellent chance for me to be part of it. besides I have always been a proponent of recycling when I was living in Singapore.
I went away with some insight of the spiritual aspect having spoken to a Maori grand mother who invited me to sleep beside her grand daughters. We spoke the protocols of why we should not take photos inside the Marae because of the mana of the spirits, and to ordinary things like the puha vegetable that I had posted before. The Maori Culture is very interesting, if you go to my links, you too will find it very informative.
We became Whanau or family. I want to thank Ngarimu and his Marae family for this opportunity. Next year, I will be back with Sam.
***I photograph a T-shirt with the symbols from my birth country and the photographs fo the marae taken from the outside.***

Maori customs

Kia Ora, hello. I have been to Marae and slept in them. I like to share this with you.
When visitors come, the home marae "family" tangata welcomes them with a call, karanga. A guest female replies.
You take your shoes off at the entrance.
 The Hongi, greeting by rubbing nose. Or if the visitors are uncomfortable due to cultural reasons, it is ok to have a peck on the cheeks or just shake hand,

Pre Marae Visit

 At last it is happening, after years of discussing about visiting a Marae, a New Zealand meeting place and to teach our International ESOL students, we  will be going next week.

Bill and Violet Tangariki, pastors of the Waitakere Communuity Church in Henderson agreed to represent us on the protocol part of our Marae visit at Unitec. They came today, to enrich us the customs and protocol of a culture of the country some of the students have chosen as home, or visiting.

Bill is a pastor of a Maori congregation in west Auckland. Violet taught us the Waiata  and explained to us what will happen on the day .

We learn and practise some Maori songs, and the students chose the Te aroha t

o sing when we arrive at the Marae.

Mother in law tongue

this year must be a special year for mother-in-laws. This plant is flowering. My friend wondered why it has such a horrible name, He said it should aptly be called daughter-in-law plant, referring to me. 

it's call mother in law tongue because in the old days the MIL's had very sharp tongue......meaning they are fierce and likes to scold their DIL........don't you ppl agree..
  . The three obedience of a woman: ‘obey her father before marriage, her husband when married, and her sons in widowhood’ and the four virtues: morality, proper speech, modest manner and diligent work of women in ancient China; spiritual fetters of wifely submission and virtue imposed on women in feudal society (古 德。三 父、既 夫、夫 , 德、 言、 容、 ( 德、辞 令、 态、女 ).

A seventy something Chinese woman told me, the day she got married, she became a slave to the family, her mother-in-law, her husband and the rest of her husband’s family.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rebecca Blithe

 Always grateful to the first newspaper write-up by Rebecca Blithe. Rebecca gave me my first break. She contacted me and wrote this wonderful piece. From there, I was interviewed on national TV on Channel one on a documentary, my book was exhibited in England, and I had that dream of launching my 3 books, and meeting media.

Rebecca is now the editor at Girlfriend magazine NZ


The New Zealand Herald is a daily newspaper published in Auckland, New Zealand, owned by APN News & Media. It has the largest newspaper circulation of any in the country, peaking at over 200,000 copies in 2006, although numbers had declined to 162,181 by December 2012.[1] Its main circulation area is the Auckland region. It is also delivered to much of the north of the North Island including Northland, Waikato and King Country.[

Words of healing

A mother's account of the death of her newborn son has been turned into a book in the hope it will help other mothers heal. Rebecca Blithe meets the author. "The specialist said, 'You're going to have a normal baby'," says Ann Chin, as she sits with a pile of her recently published book, Diary of a Bereaved Mother.
But the days that followed the birth of her son, Andrew, proved anything but normal.
"Once I had my baby they realised he was dying," she says, of his diagnosis of Campomelic syndrome; a bone and cartilage condition resulting in short limbs and breathing problems because of a small chest capacity.
"They knew because of the scans, but they didn't investigate because it was a rare thing," she says, of the abnormalities. "When the baby was born, they resuscitated him. He was going to die that night. He survived for 55 days.
"One afternoon I was told he had died. He stopped breathing, he turned black, he was dead for half of the afternoon. Then he began breathing again." Describing that afternoon, the author seems lost for words. "You can't really give words, except that it was heart-wrenching, I was in a black tunnel."
During this period, Mrs Chin stayed in the nurses' home at National Women's Hospital, awaiting her baby's death, and writing.
"It was not only a diary for myself but I was writing letters to family in Australia and Singapore. I kept carbon copies," she says, adding her father had made his six children write daily compositions from a young age.
Twenty-one years later, after meeting other women who lost children, she decided to revisit her ordeal, in the hope of helping mothers cope and those close to them understand.
"Six hundred babies a year die. That's more than the road toll. [Compared to the funding for road safety] there's just nothing provided for us."
Mrs Chin, who teaches English as a second language, says reliving the experience was difficult but cathartic.
"I took out all my old files. I read them and I cried. I sat at the computer and I cried. But after a while, I was okay. Then I finished the first draft on his anniversary."
She says the feedback so far has been positive, especially from those who have had similar experiences.
"One of the mothers [from a Stillborn and Newborn Death support group], she just cried. She said to have someone writing about it was really helpful. I've spoken to grandparents as well. People tell me, 'Now I understand'."
Her story also tells of her disappointment with some of the staff at the antenatal unit and the importance of cultural sensitivity. "We had two doctors who kept saying, 'This is his problem'," she says, of medical staff shifting the blame.
The book has been requested by one of Mrs Chin's doctors, who is now based at the University of Toronto, Canada, to assist with training and hospital management procedures.
Dr Simon Rowley is a consultant at Starship Children's Hospital who's been given a copy of the book.
"It is a good reminder to all health professionals that when our patients leave us, the story does not end for the parents. The detail is amazing, and every little thought and action seems to have been recorded as it happened, and then has been reflected upon.
"For parents undergoing similar experiences this book could be a great comfort. For health professionals, I would see it as essential reading."
Further reading
Diary of a Bereaved Mother is available at The Women's Bookstore, 105 Ponsonby Rd, or  email Ann Chin:

Save the world/ save the children: Violence Free Waitakere

Violence Free Waitakere creates family focused events that are both fun and free, while promoting great parenting at the same time.  We develop and facilitate effective projects and resources, which promote violence prevention in our own community and beyond. We are at the heart of collaborative projects that not only outreach, but build lasting community resilience. Empowering, engaging and networking with a multitude of agencies enables a brighter future for our community and their families.
We invite you to browse our site to learn more our organisation, our projects and events.


Robyn Brady-Operations Manager

Robyn comes from a  strong business  background combined with both Community Centre and Event management for an Auckland Council contracted YMCA facility. She is very passionate about community support and networking, project coordinating and managing operational systems within this great organisation.

Robyn sings in my church, Mt Albert Baptist Church. I don't have a close-up photo of her, but I have photos of the  day she and I went on a working  bee to plant the garden at the Mt Albert YMCA. I went back this April and saw the ferns growing. 

Children's well being in IMPORTANT to me.
Thursday Challenge is a place for photographic fun and learning.  "IMPORTANT" (Something important to you...)